Cults, Religion, and Violence
David G. Bromley, J. Gordon Melton
Cambridge University Press, May 13, 2002 - Religion - 249 pages
This explores the question of when and why violence by and against new religious cults erupts and whether and how such dramatic conflicts can be foreseen, managed and averted. The authors, leading international experts on religious movements and violent behavior, focus on the four major episodes of cult violence during the last decade: the tragic conflagration that engulfed the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas; the deadly sarin gas attack by the Aum Shinrikyo in Tokyo; the murder-suicides by the Solar Temple in Switzerland and Canada; and the collective suicide by the members of Heaven's Gate. They explore the dynamics leading to these dramatic episodes in North America, Europe, and Asia, and offer insights into the general relationship between violence and religious cults in contemporary society. The authors conclude that these events usually involve some combination of internal and external dynamics through which a new religious movement and society become polarized.
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actions Al Qaeda anticult movement apocalyptic apocalypticism Asahara Aum Shinrikyo Aum's BATF beliefs Bo and Peep brainwashing Branch Davidians Breault Bromley CAGs charismatic authority charismatic leaders charismatic leadership Church commission Belgium 1997 commission France 1996 conflict confrontation control agencies cult cultural opponents CWGs David Koresh death developed devotees Dramatic Denouements dynamics edited escalation external extreme factors followers former members gov't commission Belgium gov't commission France governmental Hall and Schuyler Heaven's Gate human ideology incidents initially internal Islamic Jim Jones Jonestown Jouret Listed as dangerous Mambro mass suicide ment millennial Mount Carmel movement—societal murder Muslim narratives NRMs opposition organization organizational persecution perspective polarization police political prophecy prophetic Qaeda radical raid relationship religions religious groups religious movements religious violence ROGs role sect social order society Solar Temple spiritual Syracuse threat tion totalistic Treasury Department 1993 U.S. Treasury Department University Press violent episodes Waco Wessinger