10 Places Where Cults Find New Members

The recruitment ways that cults use to lure in unsuspecting victims are extremely manipulative. The overwhelming majority of cult recruits are regular individuals who had been tricked into becoming a member of a gaggle primarily based on false guarantees.

A cult isn’t essentially a religion, both. It can be a enterprise or political group. The frequent thread amongst all cults is that they expects their followers to sacrifice their regular lives in alternate for acceptance into the group. Cult leaders are sometimes charming and charismatic, and so they know tips on how to slowly brainwash folks into giving up their cash and ties with family and friends in alternate for staying within the group. There are just a few key locations the place cults look to seek out new members.

10. Yoga Courses

Holly Faurot  started taking lessons on the Jivamukti yoga studio in New York Metropolis in 2007. Holly struggled with an consuming dysfunction, and she or he was abused throughout her childhood. Holly felt that yoga helped enhance her life a lot, that she determined that she wished to pursue a profession as a yoga trainer. She paid the studio $13,000 to start her coaching.

Many former college students have claimed the Jivamukti studio educate their members to worship their guru. Holly’s guru, a lady named Ruth Lauer-Manenti, made Holly wait on her like she was royalty, and would solely reply to the title “Woman Ruth.” Holly claims that she was afraid to say “no” to something Ruth requested, as a result of she would get very offended. Quickly sufficient, Ruth started sexually assaulting her regularly. Holly ultimately sued Ruth, and as extra particulars concerning the yoga studio grew to become public, folks started to comprehend that it was run like a cult.

Ruth Lauer-Manenti wasn’t only one dangerous apple on this yoga studio, both. The founders of Jivamukti, David Life and Sharon Gannon, demand a god-like stage of respect from their college students, as nicely. In a documentary concerning the studio, Life proudly admits that he introduced his 13-year-old nephew, Jules Febre, to India on a yoga retreat. David pressured Jules to get up at four:00 a.m. to do yoga, after realizing he solely had one hour of sleep. As an grownup, Jules was brainwashed sufficient to observe within the footsteps of Jivamukti Yoga management.

9. YouTube

Within the age of the web, you don’t even want to depart your home to be seduced by a cult. In reality, a number of new cult leaders are reaching new followers by means of producing content material on YouTube.

One girl named Sherry Shriner claims that she is a “Prophet, Ambassador, and Daughter of the Most Excessive.” She makes use of her YouTube channel and podcast to unfold a conspiracy concept that “The New World Order”- a gaggle of reptilian and alien elites – are plotting to enslave mankind. Examples of her “proof” are safety digital camera footage through which she claims she has captured shape-shifting people.

A lady named Barbara Rogers and her boyfriend, Steve Mineo, had been religious followers of Shriner. Steve bought right into a disagreement with fellow Shriner followers on Fb, and so they accused him of being a reptilian. Barbara and Steve had been excommunicated from the group, and so they had been harassed by Shriner’s followers for a number of months. Barbara shot Steve on July 15, 2017, and he died immediately. Afterwards, she claimed that Steve believed that his physique been taken over by a reptilian overlord, and that she might really feel the darkness creeping within her personal physique. Capturing him was the one solution to save them each. Sherry Shriner continues to supply content material on-line and search extra followers for her digital cult.

eight. Relationship

A lady named Alexandra Stein grew up in South Africa, and within the 1960s, she moved to the USA to be part of the Civil Rights motion. After a foul breakup in her 20s, she wished to be with a person who cared about politics as nicely. Alexandra discovered a political group in Minneapolis known as North Star Press. They advocated for a number of human rights points that Alexandra cared about. She thought that possibly she might probably discover a new boyfriend there.

Folks often be part of a cult throughout a crossroads of their life, like a breakup, shifting to a brand new metropolis, or entering college. Throughout these transitional intervals, persons are often making new buddies and attempting new issues, so it’s a lot simpler to fall prey to manipulation.

Alexandra was in one in all these transitional intervals when she went to some conferences at North Star Press. She wasn’t certain if she would keep, till the group leaders set her up on a date with one of many male group members. In fact, she thought she met the person of her desires. They ultimately bought married, and had kids. After a number of years, Alexandra started to comprehend that North Star Press was really a cult. After escaping, Stein went on to earn her PhD. She has devoted her life to educating folks on the indicators of cults, and tips on how to keep away from them. She additionally counsels ex-cult members who’re having issue adjusting again to the actual world.

7. Anime

In 1995, The Aum Shinrikyo cult killed 13 people with sarin gas and completely injured hundreds of others within the Tokyo subway system. Not lengthy earlier than this terrorist assault, the group paid to get their very own sequence of animated movies to play on TV. In fact, the anime starred their chief, Shoko Asahara. He claimed that he was the son of God, and that he might see visions of armageddon.

The anime featured his outlandish claims, like his obvious capacity to astral venture throughout meditation, the place his spirit might fly above Tokyo to see and know all the pieces. Asahara claimed that by setting off the gasoline assault within the subway, the Japanese folks would lose religion within the authorities, and he could possibly be topped Emperor of Japan.

6. School Campuses

Virtually everybody of their teenagers and 20s start to query their mother and father, and the remainder of society. This may end up in a type of rebellious part of their lives, or they search a greater lifestyle than how they had been raised. So, what higher place for cult members to seek out recruits than a college campus?

Based on an investigation by The Guardian and the Cult Information Center in the United Kingdom, there are over 500 lively cults, and the vast majority of them use school campuses for recruitment. Normally, a cult member will invite somebody to a Bible examine, or they strategy somebody standing alone and start what looks like an mental and philosophical dialog. Based on Colleges.com, the identical factor is extremely frequent in the USA.

A person named Steve Hassan was attending college at Queens School. He had simply damaged up along with his girlfriend, so he was sitting alone within the cafeteria. Three lovely younger girls approached him, and commenced putting up a dialog. At first, he felt flattered, and so they invited him to satisfy up with them later. He later realized they had been really a part of front-group of a Korean cult known as The Moonies. As Steve realized that day, if one thing appears too good to be true – it most likely is.

5. Pyramid Schemes

A Pyramid Scheme is a enterprise that guarantees its workers wealth and success. Staff are required to spend their very own cash shopping for a provide of the corporate’s product, after which attempt to promote it to their household and buddies. Gross sales folks on the bottom stage of the pyramid are inspired to recruit their buddies to promote as nicely. The extra folks they recruit, the upper up in rating they turn into. Folks on the prime of this pyramid take advantage of, and the folks on the backside sometimes lose cash, as a result of they’re shopping for merchandise they will’t appear to promote to anybody. This sometimes places folks into huge quantities of debt. These teams typically domesticate peer strain and loyalty, or make it extremely tough to get out.

Just some corporations which have been confirmed to be pyramid schemes are Herbalife, Amway, and LuLaRoe. One LuLaRoe sales consultant was even urged by a gaggle chief to cease paying her payments and promote her automotive with the intention to purchase extra stock. Based on witness testimony, they’re taught to consider that if the product isn’t promoting, it’s their fault, and so they simply must strive tougher. LuLaRoe has additionally made it incredibly difficult for their sales consultants to leave with out incurring hundreds of of debt.

In China, pyramid schemes all of a sudden popped up in all places, convincing tens of tens of millions of younger school graduates to turn into employed as gross sales folks. In 2017, the Chinese language media started to categorise pyramid schemes as “enterprise cults.” In actuality, pyramid schemes really do have all the pieces on the cult guidelines: a charismatic chief, a promise that’s too good to be true, and peer strain on the members to dump their cash into the group.

four. Door-to-Door Witnessing

This subsequent recruitment tactic shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody, since most of us have gotten an unwelcome knock on our door from a Jehovah’s Witness. Whereas many individuals would classify them as simply one other offshoot of Christianity, Jehovah’s Witness has been categorized by a number of cult training teams, and it has even been banned in Russia.

Jehovah’s Witness has some very shady practices, together with the “two witness rule,” which allowed child molestation to happen regularly. In addition they prevent members from dating or marrying anybody outdoors of the faith. Anybody who will get a divorce is taken into account to be such a sinner they’re by no means allowed to seek out love once more. They aren’t allowed to obtain blood transfusions, have a good time holidays, and a lot extra. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses deny being a cult.

three. Bands

Musicians and bands generally have what is named a “cult following,” like Juggalos from the Insane Clown Posse. Normally, that phrase isn’t meant to be taken actually, besides that bands and cults have lots of similarities. One band from Japan took these cult practices to a complete different stage.

The J-pop band “AKB48” started with 48 members, and ultimately grew to 88 younger girls of their teenagers and 20s. They’re extremely standard, promoting out concert events and making tens of millions from report gross sales yearly. Whereas they’re presupposed to exude cuteness and innocence, they’re additionally used as intercourse objects. In a single music video specifically, they dance in lingerie, singing the lyrics, “I would like you.” They’ve a really strict rule that if you wish to be a part of the AKB48, you aren’t allowed to have a boyfriend, as a result of it takes away from male fan’s fantasies that possibly sometime they may find yourself with one of many women.  

One member, named Minami Minegishi, joined AKB48 when she was simply 13. At 20-years-old, she was caught in a relationship with a member of a boy band named Alan Shirahama. This prompted such an enormous scandal that Minami shaved her head and posted an apology video on YouTube, begging for forgiveness. She was allowed to remain within the band, however was nonetheless demoted, incomes much less cash than she did beforehand. This scandal make clear the cult-like guidelines pressured upon musical expertise in Japan, and started a discussion about what ought to and shouldn’t be authorized in these labor contracts.

2. Self-Enchancment Workshops

According to Business Insider, the Self-Assist trade made $9.9 billion in 2017 alone. Clearly, loads of folks want to enhance themselves. Many individuals additionally go to the extent of attending workshops and seminars.

One self-improvement group known as NXIVM guarantees its members they are often profitable, and so they have branches everywhere in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. One department of the group specifically promised to empower girls and assist them shed extra pounds. They had been made to really feel like they had been becoming a member of a secret sorority that was destined for greatness.

One department of the group in Albany, New York required girls to pose for nude photographs throughout the initiation course of, and it was used as blackmail to make sure they might by no means give up. The group members had been starved and branded by scorching irons, and given completely different rankings of ‘masters’, ‘slaves’, or ‘vanguard’, relying on what number of buddies they may persuade to affix the group. Clearly, loads of girls joined due to their buddies, and earlier than they knew it, they had been caught in a full-fledged cult. Even supposing this story was everywhere in the information, NXIVM nonetheless exists as a self-help group.

1. Media Commercial

One would hope that conventional media would know when to censor content material that could possibly be dangerous to folks, however sadly, cults pay for adverts in conventional media on a regular basis. In 2016, Scientology spent tens of millions of on a Tremendous Bowl industrial, however they aren’t the one ones who’ve coughed up massive bucks to thrust themselves into the highlight of mainstream media.

Store Associated Merchandise

Aesthetic Realism is a cult that worships a poet named Eli Siegel, who dedicated suicide within the 1970s. When he was alive, Siegel was a profitable poet and thinker who claimed to have the “one true reply” …no matter meaning. In 1990, the Aesthetic Realism Basis paid over $300,000 for a double-page ad in the New York Times, the place they claimed that they may “repair” homosexual folks. Earlier than he died, Siegel claimed to have satisfied 126 men and women to cease being gay. The group by no means stopped attempting, even after Seigel’s demise.

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