The 8 Ways Normal People Are Turned Into True Believers

Could You Join a Cult?

I doubt you’ve ever worried about inadvertently joining a cult. “Only whack-o’s join cults,” you say, “I could never be like that …”

Of course, to be sure, who could be like that? The notion you might abandon your sense of self, adopt a doctrine of unquestionable beliefs, and in the course, cut ties with friends and family from the outside to become a card-carrying, kool-aid drinking cultist … Not gonna happen!

Because cults are for crazy people.

Except that’s not quite right. Cults make crazy people. Cults take normal people—that is, as normal as any of us are—and upend how they understand the world. They change how individuals process reality, ultimately converting well-adjusted individuals into glossy-eyed true believers.

Maybe it could happen to you.

And maybe that’s what makes cults so very terrifying.

But maybe you’re not ready to believe me, so try to see it from a different angle.