Cults: Dangerous Devotion

Cults: Dangerous Devotion

The History Channel  |  October 1, 2010

Cult - The word alone inspires feelings of frightening intensity, from fear and loathing to ecstatic, even murderous devotion. From the dawn of history to the age of Al Qaeda and Aum Shinrikyo, cults have shaken and shaped the fate of empires and the lives of countless men, women and children. Cults are a force of such elemental power in society that they are studied and monitored by institutions from the National Institutes of Health and the Vatican to the FBI. But what are they? Where do cults come from? Why do they persist? Why do we fear them - and should we?

Cult - The word alone inspires feelings of frightening intensity, from fear and loathing to ecstatic, even murderous devotion. From the dawn of history to the age of Al Qaeda and Aum Shinrikyo, cults have shaken and shaped the fate of empires and the lives of countless men, women and children. Cults are a force of such elemental power in society that they are studied and monitored by institutions from the National Institutes of Health and the Vatican to the FBI. But what are they? Where do cults come from? Why do they persist? Why do we fear them - and should we?

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