‘Cults’ – New Religious Movements
People enter high demand groups to change themselves. These groups are sometimes known as ‘New Religious Movements,’ or pejoratively, as ‘cults’.
People enter high demand groups to change themselves. These groups are sometimes known as ‘New Religious Movements,’ or pejoratively, as ‘cults’. Changes in one’s consciousness, level of awareness, and point of view can come about through immersion in an intentional culture with its own container inside the larger culture. *This immersion sometimes has a price. Perhaps along with altered consciousness comes obedience to a charismatic leader. ‘Belonging’ may mean subservient belief in doctrines central to the group. And alterations in behavior and lifestyle as part of membership of the group may alarm people outside the group.
When people leave these groups there may be distress from several sources:
I have extensive experience within such groups, as well as extensive experience of leaving and integrating what was valuable from being in the group. Once outside the group it can be difficult to honor, nurture, and then integrate what was truly valuable in being a member of the group.
[*Extensive research, such as the 1998 Swedish Government’s Commission on New Religious Movements supports much of what is stated here.]