We all have dreams and aspirations, and we often will do anything to achieve those dreams. Because I was not willing to listen to those with more wisdom I fell into a trap that has changed my life forever.
What's the difference between cults and religions? Mostly it's a matter of time and size. The longer a cult exists and the more followers it attracts the more legitimate it becomes despite its beginnings.
Are there phenomena within the cultic studies field that we might better understand if we considered brain research and theorizing? Two come to mind: (1) susceptibility to influence, (2) trauma.
If we are all capable of violence and submission -- especially when we are out of touch with our own shadows (and how could we tame them if we don't even know what they are?) -- then I too could be vulnerable to a cult.
I'm not foolish enough to say, either explicitly or implicitly, that mine is better than yours. I'm talking about fanaticism and criminality, not beliefs and opinions -- which are harder to judge and impossible to legislate.