Minna Weng conversation 4

I chose the third one
Read ‘Cult Deception, Dependency, and Dread’

Cults are often established under the guise of religion or other ideologies, with leaders elevated to god-like status. They employ tactics of deception, manipulation, and the propagation of superstitions to control their members. These groups are fundamentally opposed to scientific principles and societal norms, posing serious threats to the well-being and interests of those ensnared. Cults manipulate their members’ spiritual beliefs, tear apart families, and disrupt social harmony.

Individuals who join cults are often emotionally vulnerable, dependent, and fearful. Cults employ various methods, including deceit and the promise of fame and fortune, as well as psychological or physical punishment, to coerce individuals into joining their organizations. When a person encounters a cult during a vulnerable phase in their life, the group often projects an image of benevolence, creating an illusion of respect and safety for potential recruits. Cult organizations gradually indoctrinate new members with their beliefs and a sense of superiority, while exaggerating the sins of their past, slandering others, undermining members’ autonomy, and stifling critical thinking. This process makes members increasingly dependent on the cult organization, leading them to believe that they can only find self-worth within the cult.

I once watched a documentary about Korean cults titled ‘In the Name of God: Betrayal of Faith,’ which focused on Jesus Morning Star, founded by Korea’s Mingxi Zheng. In the backdrop of a repressive social atmosphere where young people had no means to vent their life frustrations, JMS promoted freedom and openness, attracting numerous young followers. Ming Xi Zheng frequently organized sports events, camping trips, and picnics, creating an appearance of positivity, freedom, and hope within the cult. Additionally, Mingxi Zheng promoted his prophecies and allowed the media to spread his supposed accurate predictions, crafting an image of himself as having divine knowledge. However, the disturbing truth was that Mingxi Zheng often instructed his followers to select young and beautiful girls and subjected them to sexual assault under the pretext of mentoring. He manipulated these girls into believing that such abuse was a sign of God’s favor, and that they should feel honored. Eventually, the cult’s true nature was exposed, leading to Ming Zheng’s imprisonment. This highlights how cult organizations initially pretend to have benevolent intentions to entice members, gradually revealing their cultish nature to serve the personal interests of the cult leader.

It is indeed crucial to resist cults and protect yourself from their influence. We should strengthen self-awareness, have a solid understanding of scientific principles and critical thinking skills, respond to life challenges rationally, and maintain a positive attitude.

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