Cults can lead to terrible crimes and the loss of life. Anyone can become a victim and find themselves under the control of a charismatic leader. Dr. Alex Asakitikpi, an anthropologist and sociologist, explains the key characteristics of a cult and how to avoid being lured into one. Cults can be ideological, religious, philosophical or political, and often have radical views which are opposed to mainstream beliefs. They tend to be secretive, well-organized and hostile to non-members. Cult leaders keep their activities secret and isolate members from their families and friends to control them more easily. Members are often expected to follow the leader’s instructions without question. Anyone can end up in a cult without realizing it. Mind control tactics are common, and victims become brainwashed and subservient. Recovering from a cult can be a difficult journey and often involves intervention from loved ones. It’s important to be aware of the key characteristics of a cult and to know how to identify and avoid them.
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