Cult Attraction is Not a Problem of Logic

July 21, 2015

What are cults, and how do they work? Cults come in a great variety of forms: from the largely religious ones to terrorist groups that train suicide bombers; from right-wing to the ingrown “left” political groups that thrived in the 1970s and 1980s; and from get-rich-quick to personal growth...

Aum Shinrikyo’s Spiritual Journey From Meditation to Mass Murder

June 13, 2015

How did Aum Shinrikyo, which began as a peaceful Buddhist sect, devolve into violence? Twenty years after Japan was shaken by Aum Shinrikyo’s nerve gas attack on March 20, 1995, which killed 13 people and injured thousands, the last of the court proceedings are finally coming to an end. In...

How Do You Define Extremism?

June 13, 2015

Extreme ideologies, the “isms” that appear as bloodstained blots on the narrative of human history, take on many shapes and colors. Background In recent years, “extremism” has become a buzzword for global media, tied to the shadowy threat of terrorism and its rapidly changing faces. But...