The potential recruit is involved in many meetings and activities and this adhesion process is known as “ fascination” . In Belgium, it has been called a prison term where beatings, violence, threats and psychological manipulation is used to persuade an individual. Geneva states that the freedom of the member is violated. Coercion and imposition of religious beliefs lead to psychological damage. It is even a waste of emotional and psychological energies (Wright 1984, p. Walsh (2001, p. 121) cites several papers that have reported the use of mind control and coercion with negative psychological consequences including a study of 102 patients with prior involvement with religious cults, confirming the use of techniques similar to the brainwashing techniques used in Communist China during the 50s.
Entertainment is seen as corrupting and the members are allowed information that is group originated (Walsh 2001). This alienates the members from the society at large and serves to estrange the cult members’ families. The members are even dictated how to think, act and feel. Wright (1984, p. 172) cites several studies where participation in religious movements takes people out of their social network and career paths and it could hinder one’ s educational and occupational opportunities.
Some even face psychological problems when they are forced to join cults or have to undergo conversion. Deprogramming can be done and mind control and psychological manipulation can lead to the brainwashing of individuals. Once people leave such cults or religious organizations, they demonstrate characteristics of mental aberrations (Wright 1984). People that defect out of an organization without the support of deprogramming or ‘ exit therapy’ experience a feeling of having been cheated which is supposed to be quite natural (Wright 1984).
Why should one have to undergo an exit therapy to leave a cult? Those that defect voluntarily explain the greater levels of tolerance and understanding.
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