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Psychological induction into the large-group: findings from a modern religious sect
Am J Psychiatry 1980;137:1574-1579.
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Abstract

The author studied the psychological aspects of religious conversion during structured 21-day workshop sequences designed to introduce people to the Unification Church. Subjects were given a battery of tests at different times during the sequence. After the initial 2-day workshop, 71% dropped out; the 29% who chose to continue had greater affiliative feelings toward the group and greater acceptance of the church's creed than these early dropouts. The 9% who ultimately joined the church had weaker outside personal ties than the later dropouts, although their beliefs in and cohesiveness toward the church were the same as the late dropouts. These results are also compared with long- standing members of the church and matched nonmembers. The induction procedures used by the church are discussed with regard to those used by large therapeutic groups, such as self-help organizations.

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