It really is kind of wild that people still join cults, but they do. Cults have a bad reputation for a reason. When you join a cult you have to be ready to follow the leader blindly and do everything that he says. You may even be expected to give the leader of the cult all of your money and possessions and do his bidding. But with all of that said, people still join cults all the time. Even after seeing a few cults, such as the group at Jonestown or the people at Heaven’s Gate, destroy themselves through mass suicide, there are still many cults that are operating today. Some are famous, while others are pretty much totally unknown.
So what is really the deal with cults anyway? How can you tell if someone you know might be involved in them, and how can you tell the difference between people involved in a cult and your ordinary garden-variety religious nut jobs? Well as different as all cults are, there are a lot of things that almost all of them have in common. Check out the following 15 messed up rules that you will have to follow if you are in a cult. If the people around you start spouting these things off, then get away from them as soon as possible. Unless of course cults are your thing, then have fun!
15. You Have To Believe The Leaders Rule As Law
When groups of people all participate in a mass suicide because they were told to by Jim Jones, or when people kill because Charlie Manson told them too, one has to wonder what is really going on. But the thing is, in the world of cults this stuff is almost the norm. When people are in cults they get used to following every word of their leader and doing what he or she says, by the time it gets to killing themselves or other people they don’t even blink an eye. This is what makes cults so hard for many of us to fathom, how can people really just do everything they are told by some random cult leader? Well, it takes a certain type of person to get that involved, but it isn’t all that rare.
14. You Can Never Doubt
Sometimes it really does get confusing how cult members could really fall for all of this, but the thing is there is literally no doubt allowed in cults. If there is someone who might be involved with the cult that is starting to doubt what the leader says, that person is usually cast out as quickly as possible. When you think of cult groups such as “The Family” run by Charlie Manson, there were a lot of people that circled in and out of that group over time, it was only the total core group that stayed and committed all the horrific acts that they ended up going to prison for. The people that don’t doubt the leader of the cult get rewarded, or at least they think they do.
13. You Have To Participate In Many Group Sessions
It might sound obvious that you have to do a lot of groupthink when you are in a cult, but I mean, you really have to do a lot of groupthink. If you don’t believe me, think about the ridiculously creepy cult called Heavens Gate, where a whole bunch of people killed themselves because they thought in doing so they would live on in an extraterrestrial spacecraft. My point is you have to be willing to follow through with pretty much anything that you are told to do, simply because you are part of a group. This won’t work if you are an individual of any sort, but then again, if you were an individual you probably would not have joined a cult in the first place.
12. You Have To Get Permission To Do Anything
If you belong to a cult then it isn’t like you can just decide to do anything that you feel like any time that you want. A good example of this is the Branch Davidians, who were led by David Koresh. He decided he was the Messiah and that all of the females in the group, including some that were underage, were his spiritual wives. It isn’t like anyone in this cult, or in any other, can just decide to go off and go to a movie or go out to lunch, they have to literally do anything that the leader of the cult says that they have to. It sounds odd to a lot of people to be in a situation like that, but then again a lot of people crave a lifestyle where someone else is in charge and they don’t have to think for themselves.
11. You Have To Pretend To Be Better Than Everyone Else
This is a good one, pretty much every single successful cult has one thing at its’ core, and that is that the people in the cult are living a lifestyle that is better than the one that anyone else is living. The people in the cult are right, and everyone else is wrong, the people in the cult are chosen ones who are on their way to something amazing, while everyone else is totally misguided and are on their way to certain doom. This is the entire key to the whole aspect of any good cult, you can’t run a cult without followers believing that they are the best. If you don’t get people to believe that they are a part of something special, then why would they want to be a part of it at all?
10. You Must Pretend You Have More Knowledge Than Others
Successful cults often get followers by telling them secret “knowledge” that makes them think they are aware of things that other people are not. For example, the Manson family were told by Charlie that there was going to be a race war that would be won by African Americans, but they would then turn to the whites for leadership and that then of course the Manson family would become the leaders. This of course is totally ridiculous but when you are trying to lead a cult you have to come up with something of interest to keep people following you. The more ridiculous the claim the better because then it creates even more the thought that you are all part of a special group that no one else understands.
9. You Have To Cut Off Family And Friends That Are Not Part Of The Cult
When you are in a totally ridiculous cult and you have a lot of family and friends around you, what are they most likely to say to you? Probably something along the lines of “Umm hey, you do realize that everything you are doing is completely insane, and the people you are hanging out with are freaks, right?” For that reason cult leaders try to cut you off from your family and friends as soon as they possibly can. It makes sense because then all you have left to lean on are your fellow cult members. Isolating people from those that truly care about them is the first thing that a cult does. They also usually look for people that don’t have a lot of support in their lives and are looking for a group to belong to.
8. You Need To Give Up Your Belongings
This is a big one. For a cult to be successful it has to bring in some cash, how else would a cult survive? So how do they bring in money and make sure that they can support themselves? Well, a big part of that answer is you. When you join the cult if you have anything in your bank account or if you own any property, there is a pretty good chance that the cult is going to ask you to hand that over. After all, it just proves that you really believe in what they are saying and also, now that you are in the cult you aren’t going to need money anymore! All of that is going to be taken care of from now on, so you can just go ahead and give them all of your money. No worries!
7. You Need To Help Find New Members
Cults always need new members, it is very rare that a leader of a cult would be satisfied with just having just a few people following them. One of the main things you are going to have to do when you are in a cult is to find new members after all the cult leader is always going to want to have more people giving him money and more women to be his wives. It is one thing for the cult leader to go off and act like he is the best and try to get new members, but it is quite another for someone already in the cult to tell stories about how great the cult is. When you are in a cult part of your job is becoming a master salesman, you got out and try to recruit other people to join.
6. You Can’t Leave
Leaving a cult isn’t so simple for a lot of people. They have become totally brainwashed and totally broken down to the point that they haven’t made any of their own decisions in years without their cult family. They have no money, no job and no one to rely on outside of the cult. It is sort of like when a woman has been abused by her partner and people wonder why she doesn’t just leave and do her own thing? Being in a cult is very similar except those in a cult have actually been brainwashed into thinking that what the cult is teaching them is good and the only true way in life. It is easy to say they should just leave, but the reality of the situation is much different.
5. Being Alone Is Frowned Upon
The one thing that a cult really has going for it is the ability to isolate people from the outside world, this is why they don’t like you spending a lot of time on your own. If you are the type of person that likes taking long solitary walks on the beach, then you might want to forget about doing that for a while, because if you go for a walk on the beach you are probably going to have about 5 other cult members coming with you. You basically are not going to do anything in life without other cult members around, you probably aren’t even going to have your own room to hang out in. Every time you are alone it is a chance for you to make a move and to get out of the cult, and they don’t want that to happen.
4. You Can’t Check Out The Internet Or TV
The one thing that cults really have over you is the control of information. As long as they can tell you what is going on in the world then they also have some control over what you think. If they allow you to spend a lot of time on the Internet or watching television then there is a good chance that you might find out something that they don’t want you to know, or something that doesn’t line up with what they have been telling you. For that reason they usually strictly monitor cult members use of the Internet and television, and some cults don’t allow members to use either of them at all. So if you are totally into Minecraft, you might want to rethink joining a cult.
3. The Leader May Say He Is The Chosen One
Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles of the Heaven’s Gate cult said they were “The Two” mentioned in The Book of Revelation 11:3. The Reverend Sun Myung Moon had a vision that Jesus Christ did not finish his work on Earth and Moon, should carry on Jesus’s work. This is a fairly common theme with cult leaders, they claim to be chosen ones and sometimes even claim to be Jesus Christ. This is an interesting thing as it means that most people are going to think they are total lunatics, but that the people that do follow them tend to be predisposed to think that things like this can actually happen, and then will follow the cult leader and do everything that he says.
2. You Might Have To Wear Similar Clothing
If you are a dedicated follower of fashion and are thinking of joining a cult, you might want to think twice. When it comes to cults the last thing they want is for you to think you are an individual of any sort, and one of the ways to squash someone’s individuality is to not let them dress differently than anyone else. Many cults have all of their members either dress totally the same or wear something that identifies them as a cult member, while other cults have members all wear similar haircuts. Basically anything that you might do that makes you stand out from the other cult members is a bad thing, which is why you often see cult members wearing all of the same types of clothes.
1. You Might Need To Do Some Unmentionable Things
Not all cults are going to make you kill someone or kill yourself, and not all cults are going to try and make you do the deed with the cult leader, but enough of them do that this is going to be mentioned. Cult leaders are cult leaders for a reason. They aren’t just doing what they are doing because of the fact they want power, they want to do things with that power as well. Sure, maybe you will wind up in a cult where all you have to do is chill out and hang out in a house in the woods and grow vegetables, but that isn’t very likely, the odds are that you are going to have to do something that is either against your morals, or that might even possibly be illegal.
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