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The Missionaries of Charity, the organization founded by Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, better known as the late Albanian catholic nun ‘Mother Teresa’ claims to have over 4,000 nuns enlisted worldwide. A detail, often overlooked and shrouded in secrecy is how most of these young women end up in this organization.
Young women are recruited, usually vulnerably in distress and are then plunged into a life of restrictions and deprivation of reality. In many cases (like in India and other developing regions of the world) they join the organization to escape poverty seeing that a constant meal and a roof over their head in return for some charitable work may not be a bad “deal” after all. Unfortunately many of them end up feeling trapped and stripped of their individuality and find it almost impossible to leave over the years.
Mary Johnson, a nun of 20 years who left the organization had plenty to say in her book An Unquenchable Thirst regarding the abuse, repression and humiliation she and many other nuns experienced daily inside the organization.
By the following definition/s, Mother Teresa’s ‘Missionaries of Charity’ is a prime example of being a cult. Studies performed by those who believe that some religious groups do practice mind control have identified a number of key steps in coercive persuasion:
– People are put in physical or emotionally distressing situations;
– Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized.
– They receive what seems to be unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group.
– They get a new identity based on the group.
– They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.
More about the characteristics of cults: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult