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Cults: Dangerous Devotion

TITLE: Cults: Dangerous Devotion

DATE: 2009

DIRECTOR: Sandya Viswanathan



SUMMARY: “Uses interviews with world-renowned scholars and the survivors of cultic tragedy to unmask the mystery of cults. Defines three characteristics that make a cult: reliance on a guru or leader rather than general principles of religion, systematic indoctrination with a focus on confession and self-criticism, and heavy exploitation from above. Shows how cult leaders have twisted the quest for purity into an obsession with madness and murder from Jim Jones’ pursuit of a socialist paradise at Jonestown to Warren Jeffs’ Yearning for Zion ranch. Looks at a number of examples of contemporary cults, including the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo, the polygamous Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS), Charles Manson and his bizarre prophecies, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, and Paul Schäfer’s colony of German immigrants in Chile that became a center for torture.” OCLC