Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults

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Algora Publishing, 2007 - Psychology - 310 pages
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Abgrall, a practicing psychiatrist and professional criminologist who won a case against the Scientologists in Europe, has spent 15 years researching cult phenomena. Well organized and readable. This book is recommended for public and academic libraries.
 

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Page 20 - The intent is to change a mind radically so that its owner becomes a living puppet — a human robot — without the atrocity being visible from the outside. The aim is to create a mechanism in flesh and blood, with new beliefs and new thought processes inserted into a captive body.
Page 16 - A cult may be more- or less-highly developed; it is a group gathered around a leader or an ideology, religious or non-religious. It functions according to a secret method that is closed to outsiders, but the free will and the identity of the follower is left intact. Coercive cults, which we will call "CC's" for convenience, are more constraining and result in a loss of freedom on the part of followers.
Page 17 - Religion presupposes freedom of thought without physical or mental constraint. In most cases, Churches aspire to be an integral part of society, even to be a dominant element (as in any State religion).
Page 19 - At this stage the initiate is dependent on the cult, cut off from society at large, and psychologically and physically bound by obligations that deprive him of his free will and of all social and economic freedom.

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About the author (2007)

Abgrall is Europe's foremost expert on cults, a practicing psychiatrist and a professional criminologist.

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