Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America (Religious Information Systems) by J. Gordon MeltonJohn Gordon Melton is an American religious scholar who was the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion and is currently a research specialist in religion and New Religious Movements with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor Universitys Institute for Studies of Religion.
His areas of research include major religious traditions, new religions and alternative religions, Occultism and Parapsychology, New Age, and vampirology.
Melton has been criticized by several scholars for what they see as conflicts of interest in his reporting of some of the groups he studies.
10 Things to Know About the Psychology of Cults
This 30,member Japanese cult is led by a crook. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Founded in by L. Ron Hubbard , Scientology has been accused of fraud. In , a French court upheld a conviction against the church for taking advantage of vulnerable followers. The group, which is considered a religion in many countries including the United States, has a long list of encounters with the law. Founded in in New York by A.
WASHINGTON -- Cults, for many Americans, are a memory from the . a group of scholars seeking to form a “neutral information center” for.
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One of the first known hate groups, this cult was and still is focused on the advancement of the white race as a whole. It was disbanded in , and again in However in and respectively, the KKK would eventually reform. Its peak year was , with membership at about four million members. Although it has lost most of its strength as a cult, a religious movement, and a political organization, the Ku Klux Klan has not only remained alive if only just barely , but has inspired other groups for example, the Neo-Nazis as well.
The same story makes the headlines again and again. An anguished family is trying to ''rescue'' its child, who has, the parents charge, been ''stolen'' by a cult, sometimes after only a single weekend of involvement. The parents describe the child as a humorless ''zombie'' - where formerly he or she was self-possessed, intelligent and completely ''normal. A new understanding of the psychology of the cult experience is emerging from the work of researchers and clinicians who have studied current and former cult members. While stating that not all cults are necessarily psychologically damaging to their members, the researchers' findings offer insights about the proper treatment of those who have been harmed, as well as the techniques that cults use to hold the loyalty of old members and attract new ones. Some researchers suggest that the study of the cult experience has important implications for theories about the functioning of the human brain.
As he pressured members of the Peoples Temple to drink cyanide-laced punch, they screamed, wept and argued. Slowly, they In , Rev. Jim Jones, the religious cult leader and civil rights activist, hinted at things to come. Archaeologists have discovered a bronze, child-sized hand at Vindolanda, an ancient Roman auxiliary fort in Northumberland, England. Excavators unearthed the unsettlingly lifelike hand near a temple dedicated to the god Jupiter Dolichenus, suggesting it may have had religious