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Both Alcoholics Anonymous and the Italian Red Brigades possess strongly held belief systems, put a premium on social cohesiveness and provide feelings of well-being. Whether one's distress stems from neurosis, addictive illness or political conviction, charismatic groups spell relief.

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Galanter makes effective use of systems theory to show how a cult functions as a social organism - transforming outsiders into insiders, monitoring their activities, seeking feedback from the outside world and protecting its boundaries. Conformity is generally assured through the manipulation of psychological distress rather than overt coercion.

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  7. The charismatic group catches members in a psychological pincer, using heavy demands to induce anxiety that members then depend on the group to relieve. The author's effort to place cult membership in sociobiological perspective is less persuasive. If the propensity to belong to charismatic groups has been bred in by evolution, why do proportionately so few of us join them?

    Beyond the vague claim that such groups are likely to emerge at times of social dislocation the 's, for example , Dr. Galanter has little to say about why some people enlist and others don't.

    After the Cult

    Of greater concern to him is why groups like Synanon, the California therapeutic community, and Jim Jones's People's Temple go bad because, for all the dangers, he remains appreciative of the good cults can do. Indeed, it is possible to detect, behind the author's clinical prose, a certain regret that the discontents of civilization have supplanted the unroutinized charisma of days gone by. The book's centerpiece is a long chapter on the Unification Church, which Dr. Advanced search Search history. Browse titles authors subjects uniform titles series callnumbers dewey numbers starting from optional.

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    Cults: Faith, Healing and Coercion

    Cults: Faith, Healing and Coercion. Description Why do people join cults? How do cults exert such a strong influence over their members' beliefs and even their appearance? These and other questions about the operation of cult groups are answered in this unique book. The psychological forces that enable cults to exert their intense influence are analysed in detail and with many examples.

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