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The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn

I will never understand quite a few things, but today, ( or lately),  the main one on my mind is the cult mentality. This doesn't only apply to organized cults, but to some churches and/or religions as well.

 

The church cult of Scientology, for instance, has fascinated me for a long while. Same thing with Charles Manson, and now: Jim Jones. Is it the charisma of their leaders? Did they start out "good", (for lack of a better descriptor), and then turn "bad", or were they bad deep down at the core to start with? 

 

My interest doesn't just stop with these "leaders", but also the people attracted to them. What draws people in? Many of these folks are not stupid, in fact some, if not many of them, are well educated. Are they missing something in their lives? Are they  missing something in themselves?

 

I watch/listen/read to/or about people drawn into these types of things, but I still can't figure it out. Why can't they see when things start to go wrong, or when things don't make sense? Why don't they rebel when asked to kill someone, or asked to commit suicide? 

 

I guess the answers to these questions would be quite valuable if we could answer them, wouldn't they?