People, or at least people like me, join a cult because the mainstream society does not have the answers, or the cultural values, that they find fulfilling.
I never joined a cult. I joined a minority religion that was not part of the mainstream. And at that time of my life, and for many years after, it was the best move I could have made for myself.
That the leadership turned out to be criminal had nothing to do with me – nor anything to do with the people around me in this minority religious pursuit I had openly and intentionally joined – despite everyone else’s milquetoast objections and warnings.
I’ve been out of my ‘cult’ for 20 years now.
And looking back on my life, I would not change any part of it. I am, literally, wiser for the experience.
I am not the only one who feels this way. But mainstream society constantly wants to make us feel ashamed and ‘brainwashed’ for our minority religious pursuit.
The word ‘cult’ is used to delegitimize a minority religion, and to dehumanize those who follow it.
While some members of a ‘cult’ may commit crimes – at the same rate members of majority religions do – the overwhelming majority of anyone involved in a ‘cult’ never harmed anyone and never would.
Cult is the “n word” for a minority religion.
And someday, in our free society, people are going to understand that.