Cults and Brainwashing

The ideology of cults, brainwashing, and mind control: New Religious Movements are typically seen as cults by traditional religious groups, and brainwashing is often used as a way to describe the only possible reason that somebody would join one: "Surely my sweet, reasonable, and intelligent daughter would never join such a group in her right mind; she must have been brainwashed." Anti-cult rhetoric was introduced to Japan after the Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attacks, along with a host of deprogrammers. This rhetoric and the accompanying theory has long been debunked by scholars and psychologists alike. For examples of the anti-cult perspective on new religious movements see:

The American Family Foundation

The Ross Institute, run by a well known de-programmer.

For a less hysterical academic approach see:

The Religious Movements Homepage at the University of Virginia, especially, the "Cult Group Controversies" page on "Brainwashing."

Apologetics Index is a sort of "middle path" site that provides "information that helps equip Christians to logically present and defend the Christian faith" by providing resources on "religious cults."

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