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The Pathway to Suicide - Essay Example

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The first part of this essay deals with the historical development of cults from ancient times to present day, followed by the cult's beliefs and practices, similarities and dissimilarities. The final part deals with the conversion of normal men into devoted members who are not hesitant to give up their life for a cult cause.
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The Pathway to Suicide
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Download file to see previous pages llenistic era, reflecting a deep pessimism about future and presence of evil and suffering in the near future associated with ultimate divine justice for the sins committed by the mankind. The Apocalyptic revelations goes back to Babylonian and the times of prophets Zachariah, who emphasized divine intervention at the time of trouble and crisis and predicted the arrival of Messiah. These writers demanded strict form of purity and developed their own theology to describe God's power. Apocalyptic writers introduced a different vocabulary into their theology and turned to nature and all its wonders to illustrate God's power (Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology, 2001).
The Christ second coming became more demanding in the period of social unrest with rise in many local prophets claiming to the harbingers of new age. Many local prophets have arisen in troubled times predicting a new age, promising their followers utopian dreams, but in reality with their own semi-political goals. For example, the Camisards in the early 19th century in France or the self styles messiah of Monte Amiata South East of Tuscany in late 1860s. The New Religious movements (cults and sects) today have become a worldwide phenomenon, especially after WWII in the West. Majority of these sects manifest he characteristics of prevalent religions, but with complex theories and doctrines diluting the mainstream religion (Zellner, P22, 1998). In 1985 there were 417 sects and 501 cult movements in America alone, raising the figure to 7 million or 3 percent of America total population, while in 1989 the figure rose to 5 percent composing mainly of young people. Since 19th century there have been various Christian cults such as Church of Jesus Christ (1830), Spiritualism in (1848) and Jehovah's Witness (1872) the...
Cult members normally join a cult in the time of crisis in a belief that by devoting themselves to the leader they can get freedom from the real world problems. Tragically they put their hopes on a mistaken leader who through his teaching and brainwashing leads his members to death and destruction. The cult practice makes them “dagger in the hand of leader” that often brings an end to their fate. From the above discussion it is clear that cult members become suicidal due to cults destructive teaching and resort to suicide to achieve the imaginative ideal of the cult for which they are prepared for years. For centuries man have waited for real and imaginary Messiah to deliver peace and happiness and restore order in the chaotic world. The world always had its problems and will have problems; cults will flourish, as long men believe in some external redeemer.
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