WHO IS VULNEABLE TO CULTS?
Everyone is vulnerable. Individual vulnerability factors matter much more than personality type when it comes to joining or staying in a cult or abusive relationship.
“Everyone is influenced and persuaded daily in various ways. The ability to fend off persuaders is reduced when one is rushed, stressed, uncertain, lonely, indifferent, uninformed, distracted, or fatigued…. Also affecting vulnerability are the status and power of the persuader….
No one type of person is prone to become involved with cults. About two-thirds of those studied have been normal young persons induced to join groups in periods of personal crisis, [such as] broken romance or failures to get the job or college of their choice. Vulnerable, the young person affiliates with a cult offering promises of unconditional love, new mental powers, and social utopia.
Since modern cults are persistent and often deceptive in their recruiting, many prospective group members have no accurate knowledge of the cult and almost no understanding of what eventually will be expected of them as long-term members.”
Many cults have flourished in recent decades, and changes in recruitment styles and targets have occurred. In the 1970s and early ’80s, primarily young adults, either in college or some other life transition, joined these groups. At that time, cults were extremely active (and some still are) on college campuses and in places where young people congregate.
Today, however, increasing numbers of people in their late twenties and older are joining cult groups or getting involved in abusive relationships.
In fact, the majority of inquiries to cult information resources involve new recruits or adherents who are in their thirties to fifties, or even sixties. Still no single personality profile characterizes cult members.