Beach Cult

Nobody Joins A Cult On Purpose: Former Cult Member Explains

I didn’t understand that phrase for a long time: nobody joins a cult. Well, of course, they do. People join cults all the time; if they didn’t, I wouldn’t have so many groups to obsess over. The only reference I had as a kid was David Koresh and the Branch Davidians (which I referred to as the Waco cult from Texas – I didn’t understand that Waco was a town in Texas; I legit thought it was the term “wacko,” but said with a Texas accent. Hey, I’m from the East Coast, and I was a child! I know better now.). But no matter how I referred to them, I knew they had a showdown with the FBI and that women and kids died in a big fire. Back then, I thought the FBI was always the good guy, and anyone who fought them was the bad guy. I didn’t quite understand life or human nature yet. With that as my only example, and due to my limited understanding, I wondered why anyone would join a cult.

In time and with age, I would come to understand no one joins a cult. People join a community, an organization, or a movement. People join with other like-minded people, often in a grand delusion, to create change. But nobody joins a cult. Nobody went to Jonestown to die; nobody joined NXIVM to be branded with the initials of their sex-obsessed leader. Nobody joins a cult.

Now that I’ve seen and read a lot of material on various groups and cults, I can honestly say I get it. I understand the need to seek out people with similar goals who want to make a difference somehow. Those kinds of experiences can be healthy and good for you. Listen as former NXIVM cult member Sarah Edmondson explains how to spot a cult in the video below:

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