Milgram's Cults: A Case Study

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Cults are groups usually started by a very charismatic leader. Many cults begin because of they do not want to have to conform to the standards of society. The members of the cults remain obedient to the leader of the cult and do anything that is demanded of them by their leader. The Manson Family was a cult ran by the infamous Charles Manson. Charles Manson led the followers of his cult onto a bloody path that ended with a jail sentence. In 1967, Charles Manson began a cult that was known as “The Family” to the public. He brought the family together through the idea that they needed to prepare for the apocalypse. Manson told the family that a “Helter Skelter” was going to occur and that it was going to be a racial war. In…show more content…
Since Charles Manson was the leader, he ordered the members of the cult to do the things he wanted done so he would not have to perform the tasks himself. The members of the Manson Family followed his orders without much question. The members committed all of the murders themselves so that Manson never had to do any of the killing himself. The willingness of the members show some similarity to the experiment performed by Stanley Milgram. Milgram’s experiment required a person to fill the role of the “teacher” and give the “learner” electric shocks at the command of the experimenter (Myers 2013). The person in the “teacher” role would continue to give the electric shocks at the experimenter 's command without much question. The members of the Manson family were much like the “teachers” in Milgram’s experiment and Manson was the experimenter. Conformity can also be found where the day of the trials began when Manson placed the “X” on his head the other members followed him by putting the mark on their foreheads as well. The members did this so that they could continue to fit in with the actions of the rest of the cult. Also, the cult formation was surrounded by the idea that the apocalypse was going to occur so certain events needed to take place. All of the followers conformed to this idea in order to be a part of the

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