As a follow-up to last week, I will be reading the chapter after the excerpt I read last! Both from my book Hunt Manual: 21st Century Demonology & Forteana. Last week was mostly about serial killers and some cult leaders, and this week will mostly be about cult leaders and then some serial killers -- and of course, this will all focus on their occult obsessions, and we'll attempt to analyze these stories from a Jungian perspective.
Discussing names and cults like Jim Jones and Marshall Applewhite, Adolfo Constanzo, Lori Vallow, Teal Swan, the Order of the Solar Temple's strange story, and we even happen to get into the stories of Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski. Although not a cult leader or follower, his tale is woven in as a carry over from last week -- and in a curious way, his connections to the Genovese crime family wound up borderline-esoteric and cultish at times, especially when it came to his "friend" Roy DeMao of the "Gemini Lounge".
What are some of the symbolic, psychological underpinnings of the most heinous and charismatic cult leaders? Why might they do what they do, and how do reasonable, educated people fall for these things? It's much more complicated than using a blanket-diagnosis of mental illness. Certainly mental illness is at play here more often than not, but doesn't nearly everyone these days have some sort of diagnosis? How mentally ill must you be to fall susceptible to a cult? While we might be able to point out clear-cut cases of extreme scenarios, the grand scheme is not nearly as black-and-white.
One thing however is for certain: whether people are cult leaders or followers, they are all desperately searching for something, and our willing to do whatever it takes to find it.
This week's excerpt is not posted on my website or anywhere else, so if you'd like to read it you'll have to grab a copy of my book, but feel free to read last week's excerpt right here.
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