Cults' Impact on Children, Youth and Families
Parents' involvement in cults can literally destroy a family. Individuals in cults do things willingly under the influence of mind control which they previously may have detested, for the sake of the group's "higher purposes." Reports of members of diverse cults committing illegal and reprehensible activities are widespread. Child abuse in cults is common, and children are often cults' most devastating casualties. Of the 912 People's Temple members who died in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, 276 were children. Of more than 80 who died at Waco, 25 were children. Even children not harmed physically rarely receive formal education or develop correctly on emotional, social, and cognitive levels.
Similarly, young adults who have been recruited into cults can tear a family apart as parents, siblings, and friends struggle to understand and help. Studies report that the majority of cult members are recruited during high school or college years. Preventative steps can be taken by parents as well as schools.
FACTNet presents the following information on cults' impact on children, young adults, and families in the hope of helping reduce the harms cults cause to these groups.
What is Mind Control? for information on mind control and how it works.
Who Uses Mind Control? for information on specific cultic groups.