The Wrong Way Home: Uncovering the Patterns of Cult Behavior in American Society

Arthur J. Deikman, Author Beacon Press (MA) $19.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8070-2914-5
Members of political or spiritual cults exhibit conformity, a yen for dependence and susceptibility to authoritarian leaders. The same behavior, Deikman argues, can be observed in ordinary people--in relationships, the workplace and family life. For example, in the ``corporate culture,'' this California psychiatrist has found threats of censure and expulsion, and an inhibition of active strategies and dissent--all favorite cult tactics. Other examples of cultish shenanigans cited include politicians' cultivation of a benign, powerful parent persona; military leaders who ``imagine enemies where there are none''; the complicity of a subservient news media in supporting the status quo; and the humble compliance to God's will urged by religions. Although Deikman sometimes stretches the analogy of cult behavior too far, his provocative book uncovers a psychopathology of everyday life in a discerning analysis. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 978-0-8070-2915-2
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