It seems that cults are all over the news these days. What gives? Here is a partial roundup of top cult stories from just the past week:
“Trial starts for militant religious sect leader over abuse” (Sept 20) — Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps
“‘I lost my entire family to a cult’: How one woman escaped Grace Road” (Sept 19) — “A South Korean church which believes global famine is imminent has set up base in Fiji, where it’s gained considerable influence but faced growing allegations of abuse.”
“15-Month-Old Girl Was Starved to Death by Dad Connected to Black Supremacist Cult” (Sept 18) — United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors
(I’ll take this opportunity to mention that back in July, Japan executed the former leader and six other members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, which carried out the infamous 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway. Police were on alert for shenanigans by Aum followers, who remain active.)
We certainly appear to be living through a time of mass hysteria and apocalyptic thinking, at least in the US, which may explain the plethora of cult-related headlines. As social mood continues to darken, the prevalence and popularity of cults may well increase.