Self-actualized people are impossible to herd. We will act against our own natures if we are brutalized and confused – but only for a while. The greatest lie that we have been told, and told frequently, in hundreds of thousands of ways, is that we’re stupid and really can’t know whom we are.
But cults exist because people can be persuaded away from their own knowing. It started happening from the day we were born. Much of that persuasion was benevolent, and the care we were given was usually enough to keep us alive. But we were persuaded that “la port” meant “the door,” or, “Boys like guns, and girls like dolls,” or whatever was our culture. In order to live in a group, even with just one person, we have to be able to be persuaded. We were persuaded into almost everything we believe. Being persuaded so often feels comfortable, “at home.” So we take to it because we had to when we were young and helpless.
And if someone makes us feel helpless, we fall back into being persuaded.