I´m a Believer: Idealism and Cults in California
California, situated along the West Coast of the United States, is the third largest state of the area 423, 970 km2. Californian diverse culture is influenced by immigrants such as Latino Americans. As regards it´s popularity, California has always been seen as an ideal world of the sunny weather and full of generous citizens. Marais (2001) states, " Californians are different" (p.5). The statement confirms that Californians differ from other Americans. They are more open-minded, easy-going and helpful. On the other hand, everything can not be perfect and Californian mentality has a dark side as well. They can become susceptible to believe in vicious thoughts of others and thus, California provides an opportunity for mentally ill and dangerous individuals who create cult groups, control their followers and ruin their lifes. Cults are known as new religious movements holding beliefs that are far outside of the mainstream. The leaders of these cults are charismatic, authoritarian and successful at manipulating others. Their demands on the member´s lifestyle are strict.
Jim Jones and the People´s Temple
Jim Jones was born in 1931 in Indiana and died in 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana. He wanted to create a better world. For instance, he did not accept a racism and he supported the Afro-Americans. He also helped others with their diseases through the rituals. In 1956 in Indiana, as a leader he established the People´s Temple with the socialist thoughts. In 1966, Jones moved to California with about sixty-five families. They seemed like an ideal religious group because they tried to help disadvantaged part of society, anyway the reality was a different. Jones took drugs, suffered from paranoia and furthermore, his thoughts became more communistic. In 1977, The People´s Temple moved to self-built Jonestown in Guyana. Since that time, Jones was intolerant and the members had to live in the...