Seminar Compares Terrorist Groups To Cults

Experts Said That Both Groups Use Mind Control

NewsNet5/October 23, 2001

Independence -- Many experts believed that the topics of terrorism, mind control and cults would make for a fascinating seminar.

NewsChannel5's Paul Kiska reports that one such seminar, held Saturday in Independence, shared some insight comparing cults and terrorist groups.

Counselors, police, professors and sociologists came to the seminar to learn similarities between cults and terrorist groups from experts like court-certified cult expert David Clark and psychologist Paul Martin.

Martin runs Wellspring in southeast Ohio, a treatment facility for people who have left cults.

"The profile of people who are in cults and those in terrorist groups is similar," he said.

Martin said that leaders of terrorist groups gain mind control by demonizing the rest of the world and controlling or spinning incoming news and information.

Experts at the conference compared Osama bin Laden to Jim Jones, whose Jonestown followers committed mass suicide because they had blind faith in their leader.

"A fanatical mindset will poison people with cyanide," Martin said. "A fanatical mindset will fly people in (the) World Trade Center or send anthrax through the mail."

Other experts compared bin Laden to Hitler, saying that Al Qaeda training camps recruit young boys who are taught never to question their leaders and to assume everything that they're told is fact.

"One of the major missions of Hitler was to get them young and take away their individuality to create group identity," Clark said.

The experts stressed that most cults do not advocate terrorism, but that terrorist groups use similar recruiting techniques as cults -- they're usually seeking the young and impressionable.

More intellectual members are sometimes recruited from college campuses where students are away from home for the first time.

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