Sunday, July 3, 2016

This Woman Was Raised By a Notorious Cult. Here’s How She Finally Got Away. | GOOD

Cults are just one of many kinds of radical groups worldwide, defined as organizations that hold extreme social or political views. Such groups can be of any political or tactical persuasion; some of the most universally agreed upon include al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Army of God, and the Animal Liberation Front. These organizations seek out idealistic people, often very young, who are looking for simple answers to life’s biggest questions, as well as a sense of community. The most successful radical groups have figured out how to prey on those who lack the critical thinking skills to resist their propaganda and inappropriate demands.

Illiteracy isn’t a prerequisite for joining a radical group, but critical thinking and literacy frequently go hand in hand. In fact, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism found that the areas where “perpetrators live or conduct pre-incident activity are generally characterized by low socioeconomic status,” and a 2013 study showed a strong correlation between literacy and socioeconomic status, indicating a relationship between illiteracy and radicalism. When people are exposed to more points of view—which occurs organically the more frequently someone reads and writes—they are better able to draw their own conclusions and become dissatisfied with the answers supplied by their group’s teachings.

One radical group—called a cult by some, a fundamentalist religious sect by others, and a Christian community by its founders—is the Twelve Tribes, which has been accused of physically abusing children in hope of securing their places in heaven. The organization is particularly adept at exploiting vulnerable individuals by drawing them in for a visit to a Yellow Deli, one of their 24-hour cafes.

This Woman Was Raised By a Notorious Cult. Here’s How She Finally Got Away. | GOOD

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