Essay by Ishynum846High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2002

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The basic meaning of a cult is the worship of a deity or the rituals of that worship. It has been used to refer to unorthodox or unconventional groups whose beliefs are different from the traditional religions of the society in which they exist.

Society and media has created many negative and positive meanings of the term. A positive meaning, which is rarely used, would be: worship; reverential homage rendered to a divine being or beings, or a particular form of system of religious worship, especially in reference to its external rites and ceremonies. A negative but a popular meaning is: a small, evil religious group, often with a single charismatic leader, which engages in brainwashing and other mind control techniques, believes that the end of the world is approaching, and collects large amounts of weaponry in preparation for a massive war. Since most people believe that their religion is the one true faith, they usually call any other religion a cult, meaning the group holds mistake or heretical beliefs.

A point that all cults have in common is the act of recruitment. It is the process, performed by the current members, to bring a new member. The cults take recruitment very seriously because it is probably the only way you can convince someone to join a group, which has a bad reputation under the media. The act of recruitment is taken step-by-step. Cults usually try to do what the media has done to lower their status in society. Advertise. Cult members usually advertise on bulletin boards, newspapers or most of the time it is personal contact in public areas. The member looks for a weak, middle-class youth, someone usually alone or new to the area. The recruiter approaches the person friendly and introduces their selves and exchange names. They...