By Janja A. Lalich
Heaven's Gate, a secretive staff of celibate "monks" expecting pickup by way of a alien ship, captured severe public realization in 1997 while its contributors devoted collective suicide. As a manner of knowing such confusing occasions, many have visible those that sign up for cults as needy, misplaced souls, not able to imagine for themselves. This e-book, a compelling examine the cult phenomenon written for a large viewers, dispels such easy formulations through explaining how general, clever humans may give up years in their lives--and occasionally their very lives--to teams and ideology that seem strange and irrational. having a look heavily at Heaven's Gate and on the Democratic employees get together, an intensive political staff of the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties, Janja Lalich offers us a unprecedented insider's examine those cults and advances a brand new theoretical framework that would reshape our knowing of these who sign up for such teams. Lalich's attention-grabbing dialogue comprises her in-depth interviews with cult devotees in addition to reflections won from her personal event as a high-ranking member of the Democratic employees occasion. Incorporating classical sociological strategies reminiscent of "charisma" and "commitment" with newer paintings at the social psychology of impact and keep an eye on, she develops a brand new process for realizing how charismatic cult leaders may be able to dominate their devotees. She exhibits how participants are led right into a kingdom of "bounded choice," within which they make likely irrational judgements inside a context that makes excellent experience to them and is, actually, in keeping with their optimum aspirations. as well as illuminating the cult phenomenon within the usa and world wide, this crucial e-book additionally addresses our urgent want to know extra concerning the mentality of these precise believers who take severe or violent measures within the identify of a reason.
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Additional info for Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults
It did not take long before I was contacted for media interviews, while the dead were yet to be identiWed. qxd 4/28/2004 3:08 PM Page 29 G U RU S , S E E R S , A N D N E W A G E R S 29 Figure 2. In late March 1997, thirty-nine bodies of Heaven’s Gate devotees were found in this mansion in the exclusive community of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (San Francisco Chronicle) A knowing chill ran through me that Wrst night as I listened to scanty descriptions of what was known about the deceased; yet I did not want to jump to conclusions.
In chapter 2 I introduce the group and describe the spiritual, religious, and self-awareness milieu of the 1970s, which was inXuential at the time. The characteristic beliefs of that era and that milieu had an impact on the two individuals who founded the group, as well as many who joined in the early years. Chapters 3 through 5 provide a narrative of the life course of the group, highlighting people and events to underscore the bounded choice perspective. In part 2, dealing with the Democratic Workers Party, I begin with a brief description and discussion of the leftist milieu of the early 1970s, the period when the Party was formed.
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Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults by Janja A. Lalich