Friday, May 02, 2008

target demographic

Last week's service was on cults and mind control. A member shared her story of 19 years in a group that started out spiritual and ended up controlling and vindictive. The scariest thing: learning that UUs are *exactly* the target marget for cult recruiters: creative, out-of-the-box, concerned about doing good in the world, and strong-minded. Yes, strong-minded people make the best cult members.

Among the congregation, I heard several people remark that a previous relationship had exhibited signs of mind control, or they'd been part of a group or an eco-job that was using mind control techniques. We distributed a list of Characteristics of Cults to give to our youth going off to college.

Check out the International Cultic Studies Association for more info, or call them at 239.514.3081


At 1:29 PM, Blogger Cindy said...

I'm glad you opened your pulpit up for this. And I love the title, Spiritual Predators.

You're right, we ARE the best target audience. It's a myth that marginal people are the most vulnerable to cults - mental instability, lack of education and financial resources don't make for good pickings -- middle class, fair, open-minded educated people do. In other words, the kids we are raising in our congregations.

For the last several years I've been doing a religious education series for middle and high school students (3-4 weeks if local or a lock-in.) Perhaps you'd allow me a moment of self promotion:
Nobody Joins a Cult -- Donuts, Kool-Aid, and Not Enough Sleep. A workshop on Fundamentalisms and Totalistic Groups

FMI justiceandpeace1 [at] yahoo [dot] com


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