Cult Project

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Cult Project Assessment
Step 1: You and your partner will be researching the purpose, methods and structure of a cult. You will be able to choose from one of the following cults:

Religious Groups & Cults

Children of God


Church of Euthenasia

Branch Davidians

The Moonies


Church of Bible Understanding

Heaven’s Gate

Aum Shinrikyo

Nuwabian Nation of Moors

Church of God with Signs Following

Los Narcosatánicos (Adolfo Constanzo)

The Church of the Brethren

Order of the Solar Temple

Church of Satan

Our Lady of Endor Coven

The Fellowship of Friends

Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints

Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments Of God

Political Cults of Personality

Francisco Macias Nguema (Equatorial Guinea)

Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan)

Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenistan)

Enver Hoxha (Albania)

Nicolae Ceausescu (Romania)

Benito Mussolini (Italy)

Josef Stalin (Soviet Union)

Kim Family (North Korea)

Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire/DRC)

You need to respond to the following questions for your assigned group. You will be presenting these to the class so make sure to research thorough answers. Consult the book for any new terminology.

  1. Creation: Why was the cult created? What societal forces caused it to form? Where and during what time period did/does it exist?

  2. Beliefs: What does the group believe? What are their norms/taboos, values? How do these differ from mainstream society and/or American culture?

  3. Socialization: Discuss how resocialization and/or desocialization were used by this cult. How did the group overcome the self-concept of its members? Explain how members were conditioned or coerced to be followers.

  4. Structure: Describe the structure of the cult. Are there specific statuses and roles that exist in the cult? What rights or obligations do the members of the cult have?

  5. Images: A minimum of 6 appropriate images are included in the presentation.

  6. Sources: Cite any and all sources you found useful (minimum three).

Step 2: Groups will deliver a presentation to the class. The presentation should be 4-5 minutes long.

  • Use your answers to the questions as a guideline.

DISCLAIMER: Many of these cults are involved in morally and legally unacceptable behaviors. It is sometimes not possible to separate the cults from these actions. While conducting research and especially while presenting your findings it is expected that sensitive issues are dealt with in a sensitive manner.



Maximum Points

Earned Points


Includes information on…

  1. Group’s founder (1)

  2. Reason for formation and societal forces (4)

  3. When & where it existed (1)



Includes information about…

  1. Main beliefs of the group (3)

  2. How the beliefs differ from mainstream society (1)

  3. Norms, taboos & values (3)

  4. How these norms and values differ from mainstream society (1)



Includes information about…

  1. How desocialization and resocialization techniques were used in the cult. (6)

  2. Explores role of self-concept and coercion. (2)

  3. Includes specific examples (2)



Includes information about…

  1. Group statuses and roles(2)

  2. Group rights and obligations (2)



At least 6 images are included



At least three cited sources



  • It is clear that the students are “experts” on the topic

  • It is clear that the students put time and effort into completing the presentation

  • Students use an effective visual aid

  • Students speak with confidence and are easily understood by the class

  • Both students participate equally in the presentation

  • Presenter shares material NOT located on the visuals (avoids simply reading to the audience




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