My WCs are usually personal or light-hearted, but not this week.
Cults and Extreme Belief
There was some discussion here a while back about A&E’s Scientology and the Aftermath. If you enjoyed it, you should check out a new A&E series that premiered last week. Elizabeth Vargas looks at a different cult each week. Some of them I’ve heard of and some are new to me.
The premiere was about NXIVM (pronounced “Nexium”), which made the news late last year. The parallels to Scientology are obvious; maybe it’s similar for most of these cults. Keith Raniere sees himself as a god-like genius whose followers will save the world. Beautiful people including young actresses are recruited. People spend gobs of money on “training” and are slowly drawn in. Various subsets of the group get sicker and sicker.
Smallville actress Allison Mack was in some respects the Tom Cruise counterpart here. She became one of the lead sickos and was arrested along with Raneire in Mexico and extradited to the US to face charges.
Lots more has come out recently about NXIVM. At least in this case the ringleaders will hopefully end up in prison.
Other groups to be looked at include Twelve Tribes, Sanctuary Church, United Nation of Islam, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), Jehovah’s Witnesses, and The Family. The Jehovah’s Witnesses episode aired last week and this week it’s Children of God.
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