Cult's Activities

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Cult`s Activities

Cult activity has been on the rise over the past few decades. With it there has
been an increase in the fear surrounding it. From this fear, society has learned
much about cults, how they get members and what to look out for as far as cult
recruiters go. Society as a whole has also learned what can be done to deal with
cults. Cult activity and the fear that surrounds it Throughout the last couple
of decades more and more stories of illegal cult activity or murders by satanic
cults appear on the news each night. This surge of reported cult activity has
caused a spark in public interest. There has been a large increase in the fear
that surrounds cults over the past couple of years. A cult is a therapeutic
or unconventional religious movement (McBride, 1985, 22), and the more cults
that fall beneath the public eye, the more serious the fear of cults becomes.
Much of this fear has been sparked by major cult related incidents such as mass
suicide by the Peoples Temple or the murder of Sharon Tate. These incidents,
and incidents like them, grab the nations attention and create widespread
panic. But as the nation reads about these stories in the paper, the same
questions seem to surface. Questions like How does this happen? or What
can we do to stop this from happening again? are often asked. The panic and
fear of cult activity in our country seems to continue to grow with the more
unbelievable stories that hit the news. The first big news event that was cult
related occurred in 1969. Five dead bodies were found by the maid at 10050 Cielo
Drive. Beautiful actress Sharon Tate who was pregnant at the time, and her
friends Steven Earl Parent, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, and Jay Sebring
were found butchered thoughout the residence (Bugliosi, 1974, 18). The murders
themselves grasped the nations attention, but it was when the murderers and
their motives surfaced that the fear began. It was in February of 1970 that the
motive of these murders was discovered (Bugliosi, 1974, 283). Through police
investigation, it was discovered that the murders were cult related. Charles
Manson and members of his cult, known as The Family, were to blame. Manson
and family lived on a ranch in California. Manson was an avid fan of The Beatles
and believed that this rock band spoke to him though their lyrics. He
particularly liked The Beatles White Album which included the song Helter
Skelter. Manson interpreted this songs lyrics as a prophecy of a race war
that would take place between the blacks and the whites. In this war, he
believed the black man would rise up and slaughter all of the whites. So
Mansons plan was to take his family out into the desert and hide in a
bottomless pit until the war was over. After the war, he believed the blacks
would realize all they ever knew was taught to them by the white man, and if
they wanted to survive, they would need a white person to tell them what to do.
That is when Manson and his Family would surface from the bottomless pit, and be
the rulers of the world as the master race (Bugliosi, 1974, 284-290). The only
problem with Mansons prophecy was that Helter Skelter never came. So he sent
Family members out to kill Sharon Tate and friends and instructed them to make
it appear as if the blacks did it. He tried to accomplish this by writing words
in the victims blood all over the walls like Arise, Helter Skelter,
and Death to the Pigs. All this was done in hopes of starting the race war
(Bugliosi, 1974, 424). The trial for this terrible crime was so publicized that
it played a very significant role in creating cult fear. The next largely
publicized cult related incident occurred in 1979 with the mass suicide in
Jonestown (Green, 1993, 34). Jim Jones started his cult in California. His cult
was referred to as the Peoples Temple, and his followers called him Reverend
Jim Jones. Jones operated his cult under the cover of a home for depraved
children. He managed to round up 300 children, some taken illegally, and around
600 men and women who wanted to help these children. Jones then left California,
and headed to Guyana (Miller, 1990, 42). It was there that he convinced his 900
followers, made up of men, women, and children, to drink orange squash