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. These forces include social cohesiveness, which has its parallels in the ties that bind family members together; shared beliefs, which set the groups' standards for behaviour; and altered consciousness, which can lead to a rapid change in the attitudes of recruits and members. For this second edition, Galanter has added three new chapters on cult developments of the 1990s
- the Branch Davidians, Aum Shinrikyo, and Heaven's Gate. The books also features 32 new photographs.