Isolation, adolescence, and Escaping a cult Adolescence

Bainbridge, W. S. “Cults and Their Attractions: Cults.” Science, vol. 246, no. 4927, 13 Oct. 1989, pp. 271–272., doi:10.1126/science.246.4927.271.

“Galanter often uses the term charismatic group instead of cult, and he defines such a group as a set of persons with a shared belief system, a high level of social cohesiveness, and influential behavior norms who impute charismatic or divine power to the group or its leadership”
“Persons raised in the occult milieu join a cult simply as a part pf their family tradition, just as the offspring of Methodists would join a Methodist church.”
Hunter, Eagan. “Adolescent Attraction to Cults.” Adolescence, vol. 33, no. 131, 1998, pp. 709–714.,
Traditionally, young people have been critical of, and impatient with, the established values and behavior patterns of society. They desire change, and experience frustration when it does not occur. Their ideal ism leads them to believe that those in power, as well as established institutions, have failed to meet the legitimate needs of various groups. To them, social problems and their solutions stand out in stark clarity.
In addition, during adolescence higher-order thinking skills become engaged; it is a time of intellectual curiosity, of seeking truth. Youths are intellectually and spiritually open to new ideas. Unfortunately, they have not achieved the balance of experience and maturity that would enable them to sort truth from illusion and reality from fantasy in all situations. They have not gained sufficient sophistication to evaluate –critically and methodically–complex philosophies.
Many youth movements play upon this naive idealism and intellectual curiosity. The young person may be challenged to answer the clarion call to join a group that professes to offer a vision of a perfect society, one in which all injustices are rectified. After all, how could any self-respecting person, caring for the world and its people, not be willing to give this “new way” a try?
The personality profile of an adolescent susceptible to cult overtures might include identity confusion or crisis; alienation from family; weak cultural, religious, and community ties; and feelings of powerlessness in a seemingly out-of-control world. Studies have indicated that a surprising number of cult members come from democratic and egalitarian homes and upper socioeconomic levels, rather than ovcults as “groups or movements exhibiting an excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing.
Such cults employ unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the determent of members, their families, or the community.” Cults attract youths experiencing psychological stress, rootlessness, feelings of emptiness and of being disenfranchised, and identity diffusion and, overindulgent, dysfunctional, and poor families.

Marty, Martin E. “Sects and Cults.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 332, no. 1, 1960, pp. 125–134., doi:10.1177/000271626033200113.
The comfort, the appeal, and the sanction of the sect, in this instance, are that it provides surrogates for insularity through apparent psychic if not always possible physical distance from worldliness and competing systems
The sect organizes itself, if not in physical spatial contradistinction from other groups, at least in psychological distinction and distance.
In this sense, sectarianism is a form of escape from complication.
The cult offers some escape through attachment to the charismatic person at a time when a dialogical, interpersonal society tends to level and plane personality
Lovecraft, Howard P., and Sunand T. Joshi. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories. Penguin Books, 2016.
A couple of the short stories from H.P. Lovecraft’s work could be used such as, “The Festival,” and, “The Shadow over Innsmouth.” Both of these short stories mention or imply a cult-like scenario, so in order to relate this back to my research topic I could incorporate the actions of the characters that each of the narrators encounters. For, “The Festival,” the synchronized action and ritual of the mass of people the main character follows would go hand in hand with some of the ideas cults use today to “brainwash” individuals. Whereas, “The Shadow over Innsmouth,” acts as an example to the isolation people in a cult may experience, or in the case of the story, the whole town.

Exploring the distinctions between a high performance culture and a cult

Cults seek to create barriers between members and the outside world. They do so in two ways: first, they work to avoid scrutiny by outsiders and second, they create distrust and disdain on the part of members toward the outside world.

Cult versus Church Religiosity: Comparative Study of Hare Krishna Devotees and Catholics in Slovenia

To compare with the prevailing (in Slovenia as in many other European countries) Catholic religiosity we chose one of the biggest and publicly the most recognized new religious movements. It has existed in Slovenia since the beginning of the 1980s and has been active and noticeable enough to (re)produce a stereotype of a destructive cult, recognized in contemporary Western societies as typically connected with authoritarianism, fanaticism, exclusiveness, and isolation from the society in which it is active.
One of the most typical characteristics of new religious movements, especially those that maintain a so-called communal lifestyle, is a general conviction about their exclusiveness and isolation from the rest of society. They are associated with an extreme lifestyle, in which—because of their very intensive religious practice and the high importance of religious identity—they more or less break their contacts with the rest of society. This reproach is very often heard in connection with the Hare Krishna movement as well.

Cult victims/escaping cults:
Escaping the Cult, Recuperating Victims
Rohrer, Judy.Theory & Event; Baltimore Vol. 11, Iss. 2, (2008): N_A.

Switching off the cult: mental health professionals have little understanding of the needs of people who have escaped acult.(Report)