Essay Example on a Psychological Aspect of a Cult

Published: 2022-10-10
Essay Example on a Psychological Aspect of a Cult
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Religion Social psychology
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 556 words
5 min read

A cult is defined as an unorthodox group whose followers alter the original principles of religion. In a Christian setting, a cult is referred to as a religious collection that disagrees with either one or more of the basics of biblical truth. It is, therefore, a group that teaches policies, if alleged, will lead to an individual remaining unsaved. A Christian cult denies some truth relating to Christianity while still claiming to be a Christian. A cult has various psychosocial aspects compelling authority which is the emotional tie between a leader and his fellow members. The main aim of charismatic power is in the provision of leadership. The members identify the person as one to be respected and special. Superior belief structure offers a comprehensive explanation of the present, future, and the past. Its aim is to offer a worldview that gives sense and purpose over an ethical imperative. Structures of control which involves governing mechanisms guiding the process of the group. It involves procedures, overt rules, and regulations that control and guide members behavior. The other aspect involves systems of effect which is a network of social effect and interactions residing in the groups' social relations.

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Aum Shinrikyo is a name meaning 'supreme truth', it began in the 1980s being a divine group mingling Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. The founder Shoko Asahara acknowledged himself being both Christ and educated individual since Buddha. The alleged mission was to yield upon the evils of the world claiming he could transfer divine powers to his members and take away the members bad actions and sins. Asahara drew a doomsday prediction including a third world war initiated through the United States. As the mission was to endure end times and spreading the word of salvation. Shoko Asahara identified the US as 'The Beast' foreseeing to attack Japan. Shinrikyo appealed that conveying about the end of the globe would reinstate Shoho.

The program was established by Shoko Asahara in an apartment in Tokyo, beginning as yoga and meditation class. The group officially gained its rank as religious firm in 1989, Aum having many members worldwide. Cult associates paid for rites which involved Asahara's bathwater and hair. Most of the Asahara's members in Japan were elites at various universities, originated from educationally worried backgrounds and the cult assured a more expressive life. Aum later became a suspicious doomsday cult and convinced that the world was collapsing into a 3rd world war and only its members surviving. It resulted in kidnapping, killing opponents and using biotic and biochemical agents in attacking others (Nehorayoff et al., 2016). The cult hibernated after 1995 attack but never vanished being renames Aleph or Hikari no Wa. Aum is a terrorist organization in the US while Aleph is legal in Japan. It still has supporters in the country and worldwide.

Social and societal consequences led to the death of Asahara's. Her wife suggested that he deserved that penalty. Very many people died in these activities. In 2000, the cult announced it had changed its doctrines. It also apologized to the wounded of the gas attack (Tanimoto et al., 2018).


Nehorayoff, A. A., Ash, B., & Smith, D. S. (2016). Aum Shinrikyo's nuclear and chemical weapons development efforts. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(1), 5.

Tanimoto, T., Ozaki, A., Harada, K., Tani, Y., & Kami, M. (2018). Involvement of doctors in Aum Shinrikyo. The Lancet, 392(10153), 1116.

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