Interesting. But the real question is, Why do you join social groups? Why are you a member of your sorority, church or sports activity? What do you gain from it?
The same ways you gain from your social groups, others gain from their involvement in what you call a cult. Let’s be clear here, the only difference between a cult and an established religion is the social acceptance of the group. Anything can be labeled a cult if it is a group that presents ideas, behaviors and regulations that are not accepted by mainstream society.
People seek out relationships, acceptance and right standing for their lives. Some people do not know how to establish those things on their own so when they encounter a confident person who seems to have it together, they imitate them and follow them hoping their lives will reflect that too. Organized social groups offer a sense of family, a set of guidelines to follow and assurance that a person will be protected by the leaders if they join. Who doesn’t want to be protected? Who wouldn’t join a group that they believe will help them to achieve their goals in life? We are ALL involved in mini cults if we are a part of any established organized social group yet we don’t believe it because we believe we are free to come and go as we please. If you anticipate being ostracized as a result of leaving any social group, if you have a fear of disappointing your leader or if you have changed the way you dress, speak and socialize with others then you too can assess that you are a part of a cult right now.
The problem that I see with certain social groups is the fact that they present their particular method to happiness, salvation or success as the ONLY way to achieve them and often shun all outside methods to drive home their point. These social groups that prohibit their members from socializing outside of the group also lend a bad name to the organizations because members feel trapped and are often unable to free themselves from the mental slavery because they desire approval so much.
What do you do if you think you’re involved in a cult? If you are not satisfied with how your social group is impacting your life you can leave. You do not need anyone’s approval to leave. You will not go to hell for leaving. Your life will not end when you leave. You are not destined to fail if you leave.
When you decide to leave your social group (cult), there will be freedom and rebelliousness waiting for you. After you pass through those stages, you will be able to rebuild your life. I promise.
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