iOS app Android app

Identifying the Extremist Brain

My Experience in a 'Christian' Cult

Jake Dagel | Posted 11.30.2013 | TED Weekends
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 | TED Weekends
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 | TED Weekends
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 | TED Weekends
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 | TED Weekends
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 | TED Weekends
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.

How Cults Gain Power Over An Individual: A True Story

Lisa Kerr | Posted 09.27.2013 | TED Weekends
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 | TED Weekends
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?