A religious cult is described as a certain belief or practice that may be bizarre in the eyes of society. Some cults may even be considered a subculture. The idea of cults were introduced into psychology and sociology in 1932. Throughout the years, more cults have been established and turned into denominations. Many have criticised the teachings of cults. However, there are certain techniques that a vast majority of sects use to influence others: manipulation and persuasion. Almost all aspects of the mind may be controlled by the mere presence of these religious practices, especially if the mind belongs to an easily influenced being.
Emotions can cause a person to be easily influenced. The feeling of unhappiness or despair in a person results in a situation where a cult offers false promises to that person in order to persuade them to take part in activities. If someone is mistakenly comforted by false beliefs, they are more than likely willing to take action that benefits the cult’s group. The members can deceive this person with manipulation, and therefore cause damage to one’s mental state. Since emotion is a large part of thought, it is believed to influence actions as well.
Negative influencing cults manage to manipulate one’s actions, as well. With enough exertion and belief, people are brainwashed to obediently do what the cult’s leader wants them to do. That is how they use manipulation to gain power. Followers use the false hope they already have stored in their mind to believe they will be rewarded with either riches or great honor if they participate in the activities. For example, one may decide to be in a cult that has strange requirements in order to become a member. It may be to kill someone with opposing beliefs and in return, they are believed to receive eternal happiness. Another necessity may be to harm someone else for riches. Actions are greatly controlled by the manipulator when they are bribed with rewards and riches.
Most people are psychologically persuaded to do almost anything when they are given a false belief to live by. Whether it be emotions, actions, and everything in between, a cult can have control over a characteristic. These methods are one of the main reasons why psychologists and sociologists study the psychological features of cults. People have tried many ways to avoid being mind-controlled by these strange religions. A handful of anti-cult movements have been released into society to control the number of people being negatively maneuvered by their minds. Both religiously and politically, cults have maintained power thanks to their ability to manipulate and control the more naive portion of the human population.