How could a person commit such an act of inhumanity, of barbarity, of evil?
People who would do such a thing cannot be in their right minds.
This is the perennial question asked and tentative conclusion drawn when the world faces an atrocity committed by a group of people, whether it is the bombing of the World Trade Centre or the bombing of the Bali nightclub, the mass suicide of the members of Heaven’s Gate, the Waco standoff of the Branch Davidians, or the release of Sarin gas by the Aum Shinrikyo.
Although not all terror or extremist groups are cults, ( and not all cults advocate violence) nevertheless, patterns of cult behaviour, precede and underlie the use of terror and extremist violence.
Cults use and rely on psychological manipulation which can be so intense and thorough, that not only are victims not in their right minds, their minds are no longer their own. Victims can therefore commit unspeakable atrocities.
In GOLDENROOM’s research, the majority of terror or extremist suspects have serious mental health problems, with experts describing how followers of terror or extremist groups are manipulated and psychologically harmed.
A complex issue, with multiple human rights facets, this article pushes forward our understanding of extremism and terrorism.