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Cults

ISIS Is a Cult That Uses Terrorism: A Fresh New Strategy

Steven Hassan | Posted 10.21.2014 | World
Steven Hassan

The good news, and I speak here as a former member of a totalistic group, is that the 'cult' word has finally leapt into the conversation about ISIS. But it does so in a way that barely scratches the surface of what makes ISIS a cult; what draws people to it; and how to stop them.

Fugitive Minnesota Cult Leader Spotted In Washington

The Huffington Post | David Lohr | Posted 08.14.2014 | Crime

Authorities in Washington say they have received a "credible tip" as to the location of Victor Barnard, the leader of a cult-like religious sect who i...

Growing up in Bill Gothard's Homeschool Cult

Micah J. Murray | Posted 07.06.2014 | Religion
Micah J. Murray

When I tell my story, people say "You should hate God by now. It's a miracle you're a Christian at all. They're right. It's a miracle.

MANHUNT: Fugitive Cult Leader Allegedly Said Sex With Kids Normal 'Because It Was In God's Word'

The Huffington Post | David Lohr | Posted 04.16.2014 | Crime

State and federal authorities are searching two states Wednesday for Victor Arden Barnard, the leader of a cult-like religious sect who is accused of ...

ReThink Review: The Wolf of Wall Street -- Why Depiction Isn't Endorsement

Jonathan Kim | Posted 03.05.2014 | Entertainment
Jonathan Kim

The Wolf of Wall Street did not create or endorse the corrupt culture and lifestyle it depicts, but simply pulls if from the shadows and puts it on display. If this inspires people to follow Belfort's example, the issue isn't the film.

Live & Dangerous: New Year's 2014

Jeff Pollack | Posted 02.18.2014 | Arts
Jeff Pollack

Music fans all over the country will be toasting to 2014 with some live music this year -- and whether you're looking to rave or prefer something a little mellower, there are plenty of great shows to choose from.

London 'Slave' Revealed To Be Enigma Codebreaker's Daughter

Evening Standard, London | | Posted 01.27.2014 | World

One of the three women allegedly held as a slave by a Maoist sect is the daughter of a Second World War codebreaker, it has been claimed. Josephine H...

London Slavery Case Continues To Get Weirder

Evening Standard, London | Justin Davenport | Posted 01.26.2014 | World

A woman who fell to her death from the home of the couple suspected of holding three slaves phoned her family shortly before in what may have been a c...

My Experience in a 'Christian' Cult

Jake Dagel | Posted 11.30.2013 | Home
Jake Dagel

We all have dreams and aspirations, and we often will do anything to achieve those dreams. Because I was not willing to listen to those with more wisdom I fell into a trap that has changed my life forever.

How to Start Your Own Cult in 7 Easy Steps

Steve Mason | Posted 11.29.2013 | Home
Steve Mason

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgWhat's the difference between cults and religions? Mostly it's a matter of time and size. The longer a cult exists and the more followers it attracts the more legitimate it becomes despite its beginnings.

How Cults Rewire the Brain

Michael D. Langone | Posted 11.29.2013 | Home
Michael D. Langone

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgAre there phenomena within the cultic studies field that we might better understand if we considered brain research and theorizing? Two come to mind: (1) susceptibility to influence, (2) trauma.

Becoming Prey To Cults

Carol Smaldino | Posted 09.28.2013 | Home
Carol Smaldino

If we are all capable of violence and submission -- especially when we are out of touch with our own shadows (and how could we tame them if we don't even know what they are?) -- then I too could be vulnerable to a cult.

Cults Come In All Kinds: The Head Is Not A Great Neighborhood To Live In

Lama Surya Das | Posted 09.28.2013 | Home
Lama Surya Das

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgI'm not foolish enough to say, either explicitly or implicitly, that mine is better than yours. I'm talking about fanaticism and criminality, not beliefs and opinions -- which are harder to judge and impossible to legislate.

When Organized Religion Becomes a Cult

Eliyahu Federman | Posted 09.27.2013 | Home
Eliyahu Federman

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgIt was either the modern unknown world, or their family. If they chose not to return, their family would disown them. Leaving their loved ones behind was not seen as an option. Sadly, that is the definition of a cult.

Examining The Conscious Choice Of Joining A Cult

Jayanti Tamm | Posted 09.27.2013 | Home
Jayanti Tamm

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgAre they victims? Only those on the outside and ex-members view them that way. To the devout, the concept that they are 'victims' is a direct insult. How can they be victims when they have chosen their path?

How Cults Gain Power Over An Individual: A True Story

Lisa Kerr | Posted 09.27.2013 | Home
Lisa Kerr

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgWhat makes a bright young woman join a cult and sacrifice her life to someone else's dreams? For starters, nobody joins a "cult." From the outside Master's Commission looked like the quickest path to change the world.

WATCH: I Used to Be In A Cult And Here's What It Did To My Brain

Diane Benscoter | Posted 11.27.2013 | Home
Diane Benscoter

2013-09-26-benscoterpull.jpgExtremism has become a sensationalized catchall phrase, often used by politicians and mass media to polarize and to label groups of people as "the bad guys." But, what is extremism? And how do we get to the root of its destructiveness?

Salvation is Not a Human Thing.

Hannah Brencher | Posted 10.12.2013 | Religion
Hannah Brencher

I watched scriptures that I had grown up with be twisted into knives right in front of my eyes and I sat complacently with my hands by my side, not fighting the emptiness that came with each breath of silence. I disclosed information and sorrows that I had never shared with anyone before and watched as they were spat back into my face in the form of a word called "sin." I was dirty. I was shamed. I was forced to share the most embarrassing, vulnerable, and bare moments in my life with leaders of the church. They instructed me to write down every sin I could ever recall committing and read it aloud before a group. And then sit and soak with that sin as I waited in line to get to the light.

Lululemon's Cult Culture: Get Fit or Die Trying

Elizabeth Licorish | Posted 10.02.2013 | Business
Elizabeth Licorish

At Lululemon, everything about you is inventoried and measured in terms of "authenticity" and "integrity." Which sounds reasonable, until you realize your yoga mat's on a sweaty, slippery slope. In fact, according to Lululemon's standards, almost everyone is a lazy, sociopathic scumbag.

LOOK: Peek Inside West Virginia's Most Infamous Cult... It's For Sale! And Likely Overpriced

Posted 02.22.2013 | DC

WASHINGTON -- Looks like the revolution is over. The Zendik Farm Arts Foundation, in the mountains of West Virginia, was the home of an interestin...

Scientology: Scary or Sacred

Tom Alderman | Posted 04.14.2013 | Books
Tom Alderman

This is certainly not the first exposé of Scientology -- although it might qualify as the most abundant. Time magazine, CBS-TV, and NBC-TV are among the many who've taken on this most controversial of religions since its beginnings in the mid-1950s.

Why I Won't Watch The Super Bowl

Eliyahu Federman | Posted 04.05.2013 | Religion
Eliyahu Federman

There is value in using the Super Bowl as an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. But as a society we should be mindful of the cult-like traits of groupthink, tribalism and consumerism.

On a Freedom to Think, as in "Freedom of Mind"

Carol Smaldino | Posted 03.30.2013 | Books
Carol Smaldino

Freedom of Mind applies to us more than we might assume at first glance. Freedom is something many of us take for granted. We don't always help it stay alive or grow through examining our actions as a country or our thought processes as individuals.

Billy Graham Prays With Romney But Website Still Indicates Mormonism Is 'Cult'

Bruce Wilson | Posted 12.17.2012 | Religion
Bruce Wilson

Billy Graham's own website is automated so that Christians who search for the term "Mormon" will get this page result and be informed, straight from Graham himself, that the Mormon Church is in reality a cult. It's that simple.

IndieCade Preview: Armada d6, a Board Game Lost to Time, Resurrected

Turnstyle | Posted 12.03.2012 | Los Angeles
Turnstyle

IndieCade --the International Festival of Independent Games-- hits downtown Culver City, California this weekend. Here's a look at one of the games th...