Cult Leaders: Money, Sex, and Power.

Uploaded by MSLawdotedu on 06.08.2011

well i for me certainly one of the criteria uh... is that a cult has a
charismatic leader
now that leader may be dead
that doesn't mean that they're still not a leader in that his
or her
value system is still not in place
um... that these people are uh...
uh... charismatic in the sense that they are able to
uh... create a relationship with their followers where their follower believe they
are completely dependent on this person and the group formation can I interrupt for
just a moment and ask do the group members think of the leader as a prophet
yes i mean in my group it was a political group we thought
our leader was it was a woman
we thought she was the new lenin
she was our revolutionary hero she was going to take us into
the next level of political
enlightenment okay we could we could have used the very same
so that people believe that their leader has something special
and that only that person has it and you only get whatever that specialness is by
being around that person right and I'd say I'm sorry I just want to finish
and and why they do it
you know i think it's different with each leader it's usually a combination
of money sex and power
some combination of that not every leader is going to need or want the same things
but but depending on the leaders proclivities
that's what the group is going end up doing that's why you can have some
groups are celibate some groups are free sex some groups the leader has
ninety-nine rolls royces in another group the leader will live in a closet
i mean it really depends on what the propensity is in that persons mind but I'd put
power at the top of the list and those other things as sub things
because that's the one universal that I see and power becomes an addiction
and the more power you have the more power you want then the
the more you elevate yourself and people project that you're the greatest person
it and and that's where you can predict that destructive cults will get more
destructive over time because it's a it's a closed system of yes people going yes
and the human nature breaks down ultimately because no one's perfect
one last question before we take our break
why do cult leaders at least some cult leaders bring
their members to death
is it they're losing power
well i think again there's not one answer and i think what's complex about this whole
issue which gets back to what larry was even saying is that
there's not one answer to any of these questions it's such a complex
phenomenon but i think that
in many cases uh... i think we're seeing now a number of groups that have been
around for some time
and when you have a group that's sequestered
where the leader has had this kind of unbridled power
and if the leader has any kind of pathology any kind of tendency
to uh... act out in a destructive or self-destructive way
then when the conditions are such that he or she gets pushed to a corner
or or creates the corner for him or herself
then the suicides can happen now some of those suicides
have also included a lot of murders as in jonestown many of those people
were murdered they didn't willingly drink that suicide
same with some of the solar temple people some of them were murdered um...
heaven's gate you can say yes people
all willingly drank that that potion
on the other hand
there was incredible
group pressure
uh... in that closed system I mean once they made those videos and
said goodbye to everybody on t_v_
what were they gonna do stand up and say oh guess what gang i don't want to do it
no no honest good people don't do that
this excerpt is brought to you by the massachusetts school of law