Religious Extremism


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Religious Extremism

  1. 1. RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM Gina Tansill Carter Humanties 2020, Section 14178
  2. 2. There are two types of Religious Extremism: TERRORISTS Osama bin Laden Al-Queda founder CULTS Jim Jones Jonestown founder
  3. 3. What are Religious Terrorists? <ul><li>Religious Terrorists… </li></ul><ul><li>Are willing to murder because they embrace beliefs that allow violence in the service to God. </li></ul><ul><li>Have no sympathy for their victims, because they view them as enemies of God. </li></ul><ul><li>Are ready to sacrifice their own lives because they expect afterlife rewards in return for “martyrdom”. (Iannaccone 1-2) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Example of Religious Terrorist: <ul><li>Tokyo, Japan </li></ul><ul><li>March 20, 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>The group Aum Shinrikyo (“Supreme Truth”) attacked Tokyo’s subways with sarin gas killing 12 and injuring more than 5,000. This has the distinction of being the world’s first mass-scale chemical terrorist attack. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Example of Religious Terrorist: <ul><li>United States </li></ul><ul><li>September 11, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>2,974 people died in a series of coordinated attacks on America by al-Queda followers who hijacked planes that crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A third plane destined for Washington D.C. was taken over by passengers and crew who willingly sacrificed their lives in order to divert the attack. </li></ul>
  6. 6. What are Religious Cults? <ul><li>Religious Cults… </li></ul><ul><li>Are a religious sect whose people are controlled by a manipulative organization or individual. </li></ul><ul><li>Require absolute loyalty from its followers. </li></ul><ul><li>Entirely remove members from their prior lives including jobs, families, and homes. (Religious Cults - One Perspective ) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Religious Cult Example: <ul><li>Jonestown, Guyana </li></ul><ul><li>November 18, 1978 </li></ul><ul><li>More than 900 people followed the orders of their leader, Jim Jones, killing themselves by drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. (Grigsby) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why did followers join? <ul><li>ACCEPTANCE </li></ul><ul><li>Members followed Jim Jones because he accepted all races. He controversially integrated blacks into his congregation and adopted black children. </li></ul>Jim Jones with his adopted children, dubbed “The Rainbow Family”.
  9. 9. Religious Cult Example: <ul><li>Heaven’s Gate </li></ul><ul><li>March 26, 1997 </li></ul><ul><li>38 members plus leader, Marshall Applewhite, were found dead lying in their beds by ingestion of Phenobarbital mixed with vodka along with asphyxiation from plastic bags around their heads. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why did followers join? <ul><li>SEEKING ANSWERS </li></ul><ul><li>& ACCEPTANCE </li></ul><ul><li>The followers were intellectual types who were looking for answers. Their beliefs were originally based on Christian beliefs but focused on the book of Revelation, believing that the world was ending and they had to evacuate their bodies prior to the end of the world. The evacuation had to take place prior to the arrival of the Hale-Bopp comet. The followers lived in a tight knit community and shared all their possessions. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Personal Perspective <ul><li>Religious Terrorists </li></ul><ul><li>I believe these groups have deep hatred for those they terrorize. In an effort to justify their hatred they adapt their religion to fit their violent actions. By doing that, any guilt they might otherwise feel regarding their violent act is removed. This frees them to continue and even accelerate their acts of hatred and violence. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Personal Perspective <ul><li>Religious Cults – </li></ul><ul><li>It seems that individuals who are seeking a deeper meaning in life as well as those who might be seeking acceptance and love have a higher tendency to join because cults prey on their uncertainty. When the individual finds acceptance and commonality with the others they are eager to join. Once entrenched in the cult they are manipulated by leaders and sometimes even brainwashed. Most of these groups use fear to control followers. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Personal Perspective <ul><li>I have always had difficulty understanding why people join Religious Extremist groups. Some of these groups have such laughable beliefs that it makes me wonder what type of weak minded individual would fall for them. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Personal Perspective <ul><li>Others of these groups are so blatantly violent and full of hatred that it makes it difficult to believe that anyone except the pure evil could ever be involved. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Significance <ul><li>Whatever their reasons are for joining, history can help us to recognize these extremist groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Many people are searching for something: </li></ul><ul><li>-a deeper meaning in life </li></ul><ul><li>-a sense of belonging </li></ul><ul><li>-love and fulfillment </li></ul><ul><li>People will always be searching, so it is important that they are educated on what to look for while on their quest for discovery. </li></ul>
  16. 16. 10 Warning Signs that it might be a Religious Extremists group <ul><li>“ Obsession about group or the leader putting it above most other considerations. </li></ul><ul><li>Member’s individual identity becomes increasingly fused with the group, the leader and/or God followed by the group. Cloning of the group members or leader’s personal behaviors. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional overreaction when the group or leader is criticized. Seen as evil persecution. </li></ul><ul><li>Belief that the group is &quot;THE WAY&quot; and they have a mission </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing dependency upon the group or leader for problem solving, explanations, definitions and analysis, and corresponding decline in real, independent thought. </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive hyperactivity and work for the group or leader, at the expense of private or family interests. Drifting away from family and old friends </li></ul><ul><li>Preparedness to blindly follow the group or leader and defend actions or statements without seeking independent verification. </li></ul><ul><li>Demonization of former members or members of alternative groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to be praised for doing the right thing and fear of public rebuke </li></ul><ul><li>Unhealthy wish to be seen with or aligned publicly with the leader(s) of the group.” (“Staying Clear of Recovery Cultism”) </li></ul>
  17. 17. 5 Warning Signs to look for in the Leader <ul><li>“ Authoritarian approach and intolerance of questioning or criticism. Lies about and insults opponents. </li></ul><ul><li>Leader shows anxiety about the world, speaking of threats or conspiracies against the group. </li></ul><ul><li>Leader regularly accuses dissatisfied members who leave of having something wrong with them, having personality disorders or being transgressor and deserters. </li></ul><ul><li>Ex-members have similar stories of abuse and ill-treatment by the leader(s).  </li></ul><ul><li>The group/leader is always right and followers never feel they can be &quot;good enough&quot;.” (“Staying Clear of Recovery Cultism”) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Works Cited <ul><li>Iannaccone, Laurence. &quot;Religious Extremism: The good, the bad, and the deadly.&quot; Public Choice (2007): 1-2. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Religious Cults - One Perspective.&quot; All About Cults (2002) 1. 21 Nov 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Grigsby Bates, Karen. &quot;'Jonestown': Portrait of a Disturbed Cult Leader.&quot; Day to Day 20 OCT 2006 1. 21 Nov 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Jim Jones.&quot; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia . 21 Nov 2008, 00:59 UTC. 21 Nov 2008 < http:// = Jim_Jones&oldid =253098460 >. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Heaven's Gate (religious group).&quot; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia . 20 Nov 2008, 18:42 UTC. 21 Nov 2008 < http:// =Heaven%27s_Gate_(religious_group)&oldid=253028531 >. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Works Cited continued <ul><li>Robinson, B.A.. &quot;Heaven's Gate: Christian/UFO Believers.&quot; Religious Tolerance 07 MAY 2006 1. 21 Nov 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Morehead, John W.. &quot;Apocalypse Now: Armageddon Enters the New Age of Terrorism.&quot; Watchman Fellowship (2005) 1. 21 Nov 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;September 11 attacks.&quot; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia . 21 Nov 2008, 09:54 UTC. 21 Nov 2008 < http:// =September_11_attacks&oldid=253160555 >. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Staying Clear of Recovery Cultism.&quot; Recovery Connections Web Page (undated) 1. 22 Nov 2008 <>. </li></ul>