Comment on endoftheworld cults

FrankLloydWrong Wed, Jan 2, 2008
On the subject of cults.. I feel a kind of glee in researching bizarre conspiracy theories and I recently happened upon Robert Anton Wilson's "Everything is Under Control" which is basically a cross-referenced encyclopedia of cults, conspiracy, UFOs and the paranormal that is a highly entertaining read. Part of the fun in reading it is that you can endlessly spook yourself out with speculation.
I consider it kind of a guilty pleasure, because I know that fear is such a useful tool in controlling people. To fear someone or something is to give it lots of power. The true threat of a cult is in the tactics they use to make members afraid and keep them under control.
People throw around the term "brainwashing" a lot in talking about cults, but I never really had a clear idea of what it meant until I saw a french documentary about an organization called Landmark Forum called "Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous", which was explicit in showing what I consider to be people being psychologically broken. It's scary and infuriating, especially since I have friends who are a part of this organization here in the US.
I think the solution lies in understanding, revealing and demonizing the tactics, rather than the organizations themselves.