Reasons Why People Join, And Stay In Cults
The death of almost 100 people, among children, at Kenyan self-styled pastor Paul Mackenzie Nthenge’s 325-hectare (800-acre) farm in a village called Shakahola in Kilifi county has led to calls for governments to regulate religious groups in order to weed out destructive cults.
Nthenge allegedly ordered his followers to starve themselves to death as the only way to escape eternal damnation and meet Jesus.
A religious cult is a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous.
Religious cults often have a charismatic leader who claims to have special knowledge or insight into spiritual matters, and they may require strict adherence to certain beliefs, practices, or lifestyle choices.
Why Do People Join Religious Cults?
While people join cults for different reasons, there are some common factors that may contribute to someone joining a cult:
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- a desire for spiritual guidance or community
- a need for a sense of belonging
- vulnerability due to difficult life circumstances
- susceptibility to manipulation or brainwashing
- a charismatic leader who promises answers and solutions to life’s problems
- a severe lack of something, for example, affection at home
- a psychological or physical dependency of the members on the leader
- false promises of what you get when you join the group or what you become, for example, riches or miracles
Once one joins a cult, sometimes it is difficult to leave the group. Here is why:
- people feel that the group offers them a sense of belonging and purpose
- cults use tactics such as isolation from family and friends, sleep deprivation, and other forms of psychological manipulation to control their members and keep them from leaving
- members may also fear physical harm or threats if they try to leave
- members may feel that leaving would mean giving up a critical part of their identity or belief system
- former cult members may experience psychological trauma or difficulty adjusting to life outside the group.
Cults can be extremely dangerous for their members and for society as a whole. They can cause psychological, financial, and physical harm, isolation from loved ones and cult members sometimes engage in violent behavior toward outsiders or even their own members.
In the case of the Kenyan pastor, his preaching relates to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies about Judgement Day.
According to BBC News, the church’s online content also features posts about the end of the world, impending doom and the supposed dangers of science.
He repeatedly references the “New World Order” and is highly skeptical of modern technology.
Nthenge previously claimed that a plan by the Kenyan government to establish a unique identification number for citizens to access government services was the “mark of the beast”.
The “mark of the beast” is a term that appears in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. According to the text, the mark will be required in order to participate in economic transactions, and those who refuse to take it will be persecuted.
More: Pindula News