Cracked passes along "6 bullshit facts about psychology that everyone believes." On cults:
Studies show cult members are just as intelligent, if not more so, than the general public. And around 95 percent of cult members are perfectly sane (when they join up, anyway), with no history at all of real psychological problems. They're not stupid, and they're not crazy. Of course this only serves to make cults even scarier. How in the hell do these groups get people--who are every bit as sane and smart as your best friend--to join up?
As social animals we are hard-wired to want to belong to a group. It's a need as basic and real as hunger or sex. When we get cut off from our group--say we lose a job, or move to a new city, or break up with our girlfriend--we go a little crazy. Cults are very, very good at finding people in that exact moment of weakness, and saying exactly the right things. Those pamphlets that sound so corny and transparent to you, read like a glorious breath of fresh air to somebody caught in one of those rough spots