I have known enough people myself who had nice lifes, no trauma at all, and no empty space that needed to be filled by some faith, and they ended up in some weird religions.
So how (not why) does that work?
How do people get convinced about things that everyone else would reject?
Here a case that happens exactly like that hundrets of times per day.
- At some point you might talk to a person that says things that may sound logical to you and fits your world fiew. And you might even disagree on some matters and the person will say things like "yes i understand what you say, but did you ever think about this...?"
- You might have a very interesting conversation and then suddenly get an invitation "look, i have a few friends who think the same. We meet for discussions every week. If you want, you can come, too."
- And because you found it so interesting, the person knew so much and was so friendly and understanding and seemed trustworthy, you might come for one of those meetings.
- You will find a group of maybe 10 - 15 people and a few "newbs" that came just to look, just like you did.
- Someone will introduce you and show or tell you some things that sound convincing.
- You will drink / eat together.
- You will find one or more people that seem interesting in what they say and you might talk with them a bit.
- You will experience a groupdiscussion about a generally interesting topic.
- You will maybe see some lists, scedules, books, signs and get explanations for those things.
- You might meet or see the leader and talk to him or at least see a picture or a video of the leader.
- You will maybe be invited to spend the night there (wherever that meeting is) or at a house of a nice member.
- You will definitely be invited to come again.
- You found the evening nice and you decide to come again.
- So at some point you are there every week.
- You make friends with group members.
- You get invited to intern meetings because you are considered "worthy" (exchange "worthy" with whatever word you might find suitable)
- You decide to take a look at that intern meeting
- Someone explains you why it is important that things from the intern meetings stay intern. You might even have to sign something that says, you will not carry any information outside.
- You might get something like a contract that makes you an official member.
- You will have new discussions about topics you never thought about.
- You will be carefully observed but you will not notice that.
- Everyone keeps treating you nicely until you say something that doesn't fit into the "teachings / dogma".
- Someone will explain you logically and with some pseudo-science why your opinion was wrong and the opinion of the group was correct.
- It was logical, so you will believe it.
- This will happen more and more often and you will not notice how these "logical" things become more and more unreasonable.
- At some point you totally agree with all the teachings, you will accept the dogma.
- You will not understand why some friends started to keep distance.
- You will not understand why other friends or your family are worried.
- You will not question a statement like "well maybe you should just break the contact with your friends. They don't wanna understand you anyway."
- And you will think about it and then break contact with good friends, with family.
- Maybe you will move somewhere else.
- By now you already started paying real money into the movement you joined and it will be absolutely no problem for you.
- You might get "enlightened", join courses, buy books.
- There is nothing more or very few to learn for you left.
- You get the offer to start your own disussion group or you get offered a job inside the movement.
- You will do voluntary work for the movement.
- You will spend much time with your new friends in your spare time.
- You will spend about no time with all the people that are worried about you.
- You will lose more money for uniforms, books, events, vacations, etc
- You will be in charge of some things, that makes you feel important
- People will now come to you and ask for explanations or help
- You will now be the nice person, that talks to a stranger and be understanding
- You will finally invite people to meetings
Little last statement:
What I wrote above did happen. It happened to someone who used to be my best friend, and it also happened to other people i used to know, and sadly enough it happened even to me.
I, unlike many others but also like many others, found my way out and am by now able to see all the signs. Prevent myself from getting into something again.
If you want to get out of a religion or want to help someone with it read "How to get out of a religion" on this blog.