Blog: Falling in Love...with a Cult - 2018-10-18
I've spoken on this channel about how cults recruit new members, but there is an aspect of this I have not discussed before which I think might shed some light on not only how smart people can fall for stupid things, but how almost anyone is susceptible to cult recruitment. Why? Because falling for a cult is a lot like falling in love.
Physiologically, I think our brain responds to cult recruitment the same way we respond to a new love interest. Despite what many of us think, our feelings and emotions are what drives our thinking. It's been theorized that our entire thinking process evolved just to rationalize our feelings, rather than the other way around. But regardless of where our feelings and emotions come from, it is an empirical fact that we are predominantly emotional creatures and we let our emotions guide our decisions. We think, and are often told by movies and salesmen and advertisements, that if it "feels good" or "feels right" than it is right and we should just go with it.
So what happens when we fall in love? Well, a lot of things. Here's a breakdown from a Psychology Today article by Maryanne Fisher, an associate professor of psychology at Saint Mary's University in Canada: