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How normal people wind up in cults

In the wake of Jonestown in the 1980s and 1990s, Americans were terrified of “cults.” Sociologists worked to understand why people joined “cults” (a poorly defined, polemical term whose technical meaning is far different from the colloquial usage). These scholars suggests that people who joined cults were lacking something in their lives––this was called the relative deprivation of religious affiliation. But you’ve probably already spotted the problem: everyone is lacking something. And when you actually look at the people who join religious groups that society deems extreme or inappropriate, you see that those people are incredibly normal. This video explores how the everyday Jane or Joe can find her or himself in an extreme religious group.

Full story at YouTube.

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