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place CityRichardson , Stewart / CONVERSION PROCESS MODELS [41] Multinational Corporations and World Order place CityBoston study 4. Law and Social Change .The concept of "cognitive minority" is apropros here. Perhaps the best discussion of it in terms of this Spa, is that of Pat-im data who develops the concept in her analys I McGuire (1975), Learning to Work 5 Mass Communications and Youth: Some Current Perspectives CIENCE ISSi 6 Aging in Contemporary Society 7 Comparative Political Socialization previous paragraph. As noted, our research demonstrates that what a person's significant others think of a group to which that person is considering affiliating is quite important in wine cases, and that such considerations are 8 Women in the Professions: What's All The Fuss About? 9 Emerging Theoretical Models in Social and Political History ctive ties may lead to less "congruence," and little initial congruence may preclude the develop?ment of meaningful affective ties. 10 Nonverbal Communication 11 Education in the Cities of place country-regionEngland 12 Linking Social Structure and Personality 13 Environmental Quality 14 Organizational Development in Urban School Systems 15 Who Discriminates Against Women? 16 Varieties of Political Conservatism 50?56. 17 place country-regionChina in Transition the Children of God." Soc. Analysis 37:Politics of Environmental Policy ons in our society involve a 18 The 321-339. large dose of so-called "American individualism."

Sociology of Leisure

2 3 4

19 The Female Offender ld I ime Religion in the Age of Aquarius. place Families: Enrichment StateMI : Eerdmans. I KOMM, E. (1950) Psychoanalysis and Religion. place CityNew Haven , StateCT : place PlaceNameYale 20 Marriages and CityGrand Rapids , Through Communication

some of these "rice Christians" Communicating with Consumers: The Information Processing Approach 21 have been so "sincere" that their beliefs have been maintained through many generations in place country-regionIndia (see the work of Sharma, 1968, in this regard). The circumstances surround s groups," in R. Lee and M. Marty (eds.) Religion and Social Conflict. place StateNew York : place PlaceNameOxford PlaceTypeUniv. Press. b ocialization generally preclude the inter?pretation Democracy: Participation andfrustrating, while other circumstances are felt to be intolerable ecause of the prior socialization (more on this later). And some "opportunities 22 Organizational of some circumstances as being Self-Management 23 Evaluation Research: Issues of Validity ture 1. 159-178. 24 American Electoral Behavior: Change and Stability 345?153. 25 Crowding in Real Environments hip, m a m a g e a n d f a m i l y 26 Political Participation UndereMilitary o r g a n i z a t i o n . " I n t . R e v . o f Mmiern Sociology 6: 155-172. i n a c h a n g i n g J e s u s m o v m e n t Regimes 27 Coalitions and Time: Cross-Disciplinary Studies 28 Toward a Sociology of Death and Dying 29 Delinquency Prevention and the Schools: Emerging Perspectives : Academic Press. I II ION, R. J. (1963) Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. place StateNew York : W. W. Norton. 30 Age in Society

IN V E R S IO CAREER : In a n d O u o f th e N e w R e lig i

Press. II

31 Injerdisciplinary Studies sion t,~ a deviant perspective." Amer. Soc. Rev. 30: 862-874.of the American Revolution 32 Communication and Development: Critical Perspectives London : Rout?ictige & Kegan Paul. arch 111 1?9-135 33 The Production of Culture 34 Citizen Preferences and Urban Public Policy: Models, Measures, Uses

35 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

Sexuality: Encounters, Identities, and Relationships Organizational Analysis: Critique and Innovation Conflicts and Tensions in the Public Schools Social Science Data Archives: Applications and Potential Older Persons: Unused Resources for Unmet Needs Human Growth Games: Explorations and Research Prospects Personality and the Environment The Politics and Economics of Urban Services Television and Education Survey Design and Analysis: Current Issues

36 The Church and Modern Society

Ja m e s T . R ic h a r d

Edited by

45 Incarceration: The Sociology of Imprisonment




place CityBeverly Hil

I place CityLondon ,19

47 Conversion Careers: In and Out of the New Religions

C O N T E N T S Conversion Careers: In and Out of the New Religions


AVIORAL SCIENTIST (Volume 20, Number 6, July/ August 1977). The Publisher would like to acknowledge the assistance of the special issue editor, Ja
"Becoming a World-Saver" Revisited

Conversion Process Models and the Jesus Movement


y any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, a UFO Cultpermiss Seekers and Saucers: The Role of the Cultic Milieu in Joining without

Patients and Pilgrims: Changing Attitudes Toward Psychotherapy of Converts to Eastern Mystic


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Toward a Theory of 'Conversion and Commitment to the Occult


Conversion or Addiction: Consequences of Joining a Jesus Movement Group


Searching for Surrender: A Catholic Charismatic Renewal Group's Attempt to Become Gloss

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New Exorcism



orks display on a Fourth of July evening. A population defined by many as "too sophisticated for religion" has responded with astonishment so. Thus, the collection can be viewed as a contribution to the literature on social movements, as well as a specific contribution to the scientific stu t grows within a group context. st over time. Allusion should be made to societal level


place CityRichardson / INTRODUCTION [7)

ly conscious to be interested in religion of any kind. Who would have guessed that freedom of religion would be a major issue in the news in the mid-1

uals who join. Instead, attention at the popular level has focused on the organization of recruitment T S O N C O N C Enew groups. This is understa C O M M E N efforts by the P T U A L I Z A T I O N

tracted international attention, and is being dealt with in many forums. The courts are deciding whether or not kidnapping is a part of the process, a esearch. Some will not care for the fact that there is little statistical analysis exhibited in the papers (see Heirich, 1977, for a good example of using s

e basic futility of trying to delineate terms that have so many uses, in both the scholarly and lay literature. If readers are particularly interested in the me

ently because of the relative lack of excitement and meaning they found in traditional churches. The rapid establishment of ties between new religious groups and traditional religious

iology and psychology of religion than anywhere else at this time. However, much relevant literature on the basic processes involved is being produced in other subfields. For inst

For instance, one reason for the continued growth of some more conservative churches in place country-regionAmerica is the simple fact that they have tapped new religious phe


ollow-up study


the same group studied earlier.

was radically changed and transformed. The "DPs," as I continue to call them,] initiated what might even?tually prove to be one of the mo same time. As documented throughout Doomsday Cult, effort was made to "hold back" the "con?clusions" and only reveal them ore disclosure. This process may be con?ceived as consisting of five, quasi-temporal phases: picking-up, hooking, encapsulating, loving, and com

d to foster conversion and ob?served the evolution of several people into converts. We strove to make some summarizing generalizatio er reflections on the model itself.

e not significant ways in which people began DP conversion involvement. Perhaps most commonly, it began with a casual contact in a pub

Viewed Historically and Sociologically (with H. Bleackly), and Social Strategies (editor). He is currently Professor of Sociology at the place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameCalifornia , place

and trust among youth, especially in places like State U Fortunately for recruitment to the movement, other centers went in different dire recorded lectures to people ( Lofland, 1966: 125-129). City, a major locale of public place pickups. Second, even though the number of

" (Lofland, 1966: 29). As it became fashionable in the late sixties and early seventies for privileged and secular youth of the higher social class

their hooks so that the whole center knows in follow up." The pros?pect's "buddy" and others continually complimented him: you have a

ver mentioned. At State U City (and several other places with the facilities), prospects were invited to a weekend workshop. This was cond was miles from any settlement. Half of the fifty or so workshop participants were always DPs, and they dominated selection of topics fo

odgeball were run at a frantic pitch. Saturday evening was likely to end with exhaustion, as in this report of interminable square-dancing.

At the end, the leader) sang "Climb Every Mountain" in a beauti?ful, heartbreaking voice. Then we all had hot chocolate and went to bed.

15-16) to the numerologically complex, from the Garden of Eden to the present day, following the pattern I reported in chapter 2 of Dooms


omething about giving, and it had touched on a deep longing in me to do that, and the pain of that wall around my heart when I feel closed off in a group of people. I wanted to bre

to over: "give your whole DPs termed get a lot back," "the only way for this to be the most wonderful of prospects could is if be really put everything you have into it," and"love bomb" them, as self and you'll it. The cognitive hesitations and emotional reservations experience of your lifethen you drowned in calls to loving solidarity: etc

ee with me, and then give me a large dose of loveand perhaps say something about unity and God's love being most important. I would have an odd, disjointed sort of feelingno

you." Iopen to this way: we could love feeling of being loved and the And, ofto "melt together" (a love her. were read it what was the crux: the you if you weren't so naughty. desire course, they would movement concept) ncept) into the loving, orale and strategy sessions among themselves during the workshops:

pheir reservations about giving Ithemselves over to collectivities, are perhaps the most vulnerabletheyloving overtures toward be?longing.privacy or anyhas been and apparently having a meeting. heard a cheer: "Gonna meet all their needs." And that did seem to be what to tried to do. Whatever I wantedexcept The pattern deviation

lly have been wisdom on my part (trying to preserve my own boundaries in a dangerous and potentially overwhelming situa?tion) was treated as symptomatic of alienation and



who truly seemed to have attended to little or nothing regarding Chang and his larger movement. They were simply part of a loving com

a desire to escape from that pain increases the attractiveness of returning to the just-prior world. Especially because the DP situatio

t worked out, one stayed for an even longer period. The prospect was drawn graduallybut in an encapsulated settinginto full wo e who didsuch as having concerned parentsseemed mostly to be encouraged to minimize T H Eimport ofD - S A DP involvement to such outs the W O R L their V E R M O D E L

?tems" and "intrusive DP efforts That kind of much clearly has not caught on, despite the oddity thatof refinement and is given to it, and th ertainly, but the new factors." now permit logic more refined and sophisticated analysis, a level much lip-service sophistication at wh

cessary n its narrow form, became far less than universal. People not previously religious at all have joined in noticeable numbers. Only furth

of DP fame, my pseudonyms are now somewhat labored, but I must continue to protect the anonymity of the movement for the reasons indicated in Lofland (1977: note 1).

hases of the development of the DP movement from 1959 through 1976 are chronicled in my "Preface" to the place CityIrvington

edition of Doomsday Cull (Lofland, 1977). Transformations in membership size a

is drawn from the diverse sources described in Lofland (1977: note 2), save here again to acknowledge the indispensable help of Andrew Ross, Michael Greany, David Taylor, and Hedy Bookin.

volved dozens of front organizations from behind which they carried on an amazing variety of movement-promoting activities (see Lofland, 1977: phase two, section IV, "Missionizing").

of harassing oneself to look at the world s Blumer (1969) has so often put it. The world-saver model is actually quite antiinteractionist, or at least anti the interactionism frequen tive rather than merely passive (Lofland, 1976: ch. 5). Straus' (1976) "Changing Oneself: Seekers and the Creative Transformation of Life Ex
(1953) "Becoming a marihuana user." Amer. J. of Sociology 59: 235?242.

the concept urge, that is, a in a related but notof the manner to that introduced in analysis of the deviant act (Lofland with Lofland, 1969: 39-60). would of "encapsulation" here knowledge identical logic of a qualitative process point of view, but an eschew?ing

uide us. Limitations aside, there is now a rather solid and rich body of reasonably specific ideas and data-bits that can guide investigato

969) Symbolic Interactionism. place CityEnglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. HOOKIN, H. (1972-1976) Private notes and personal communications.

R. (1972) Other People's Money. place CityBelmont , StateCA : place CityWadsworth . IRWIN, J. (1970) The Felon. place CityEnglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

977) "The boom and bust of a millenarian movement: doomsday cult revisited." Preface to the place CityIrvington edition of J. Lofland, Doomsday Cult. place StateNew York : place CityIrvington .

oing Social Life: The Qualitative Study of Human Interaction in Natural Settings. place StateNew York : John Wiley.

Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Mainte?nance of Faith. place CityEnglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

assistance of L. H. LOFLAND (1969) Deviance and Identity. place CityEnglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

nd R. STARK (1965) "Becoming a world-saver: a theory of conversion to a deviant perspective." Amer. Soc. Rev. 30: 862-874. N. J. (1963) Theory of Collective Behavior. place StateNew York : Free Press.

975-1976) Private notes and personal communications.

. (1976) "Changing oneself: seekers and the creative transformation of

nce," pp. 252-272 in J. Lofland, Doing Social Life. place StateNew York : John Wiley. I AYLOR, D. (1975-1976) Private notes and personal communications.

. (1953) "The quest for universals in sociological research." Amer. J. of Sociology 18: 604-611.

76) Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine. place StateNew York : Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

ual approach to understanding conversion. Traditionally, conversion has been viewed as something that happens once in a lifetime, in either

ven if we temporarily suspend our knowledge that many recent conversions are multiple-event phenomena, and that a single conversion e o were typically older "social misfits" from different social locations than the preponderance of participants in the "age of protest" of the mid

ted in this volume). Our early research was guided by concerns about the conversion process because of interest in discerning which people w

ace CityScotts?dale , StateArizona . That paper was revised during a year spent at the place PlaceNameLondon PlaceTypeSchool of Economics by the first author, who was on

ityReno . His major present research interests include the sociology of religion and social move?ments. He has studied new religious groups in place country-regionAmerica and overseas for several years, focusing on the Jesus m

place CityKansas City . Her current research interests include child abuse, sociology of women, and battered women.


Stark (1965), after extensive study of a small eclectic religious group called the "Divine Precepts," outlined seven factors, the accumul

perception of considerable long-term tension, strain, depriva?tion, or frustrat (1)

(2) possession of a "religious" rhetoric and in our study of con?v bthers as a widely applicable one. For this reason, we decided to use the Lofland and Stark model as a major elementproblem-solving per? 7). spective (contrasted to "political" or "psychiatric" perspec?tives, which are "secular definitions"), (3) CityRich?ardson , 1975, 1977). These research projects have involved partici?pant observation, content analysis of documents, interviews, and self-definition as "religious seeker" (involves rejection of tradi?tional religion, and the more "secular" d

The situational factors arising from interaction between potential converts and cult members were seen by Lofland (4) (5) (6) (7)

()"turning point" reached (old lines of action no longer operable, and contact with a cult member begins),

()development (or preexistence) of affective bonds between "pre-convert" and cult members (serious consideration o

()relatively weak or neutralized extracult affective ties (or existent ties were with other "seekers" who encourage contin ()intensive (usually communal) interaction with cult members culminates in "total conversion," and person becomes "


eated too few basic perspectives, (2) the concept of a basic perspective was not developed as fully as it might have been, (3) the per?

uch things as health food "trips," dieting, vitamins, exercise, and other "body therapies" also should be included. The over?riding tie am

without adopting a different world view to interpret them," or take advantage of "a number of maneuvers to 'put the problem out of mind"'

nversion phenomena. These "new" perspectives are in addition to (but at the same level of abstraction as) their threethe psychiatric, th

ds to see both sources and solutions as emanating from an unseen, and in principle, unseeable realm.

or the

e basic perspectives were antithetical to each other). Alter?nations (movement within a general orientation) would seem leas problemat

en more dramatic solutions are not viewed as available.

a somewhat deviant religious group. The only shift involved Is within an orientation and perspective that we would categorize as "individualistic perspectives, fitting them into what, for want of a better term, we will designate general orientations. Lofland and Stark talk about their three p considerable import by some (see Martin, 1965, and Richardson, 1974). All but one of the five perspectives would usually be classified as an

ing another general orientation. Travisano's (1970) distinction (further discussed in place CityRichardson , 1977) between "alternation" an otestant, and young (typically below 35); some had college training, and most were Americans of lower middle-class

nts. Adams and Fox (1972), in one research report that briefly addresses this question, found such patterns, although they do not give en

ent, had dropped out into the drug scene, and finally joined the religious revival. The data, however, refute this assumption about the sequence of m

spondents. Gordon (1974) found discernible typical "conversion careers" in his %tudy of a small Chicago JM group, and we, too, noted cert her sophisticated, even somewhat "math-model" approach to this problem of con?versionan approach that could perhaps associate probabili modern marriage) seems to incorporate the dynamic element in modern-day conversion phenomena and will, we think, incorpora

ONVERSION PROCESS MODELS [351 ces and circumstances, and

the change must occur within available alternatives. buted to the severe problems which developed in the 1960s in America (and it also seems to be contributing to the "solution" of the severe prob this idea). ms to fit fundamentalism, offers an element, Marxian in derivation, of "self-alienation" to our study. He says (1950: 53): "The real fa

ngruent with such a notion, as does the charac?terization of their basic perspective, which we have already discussed. An added poin

re a fundamentalist world view is in the minor-

g in disillusionment for certain types of people seems apropos of fundamentalism. He summarizes his discussion of the types of beliefs, s

and Stark's study illustrates this key point, as does our own work. Affective ties must usually be developed between a potential co

negative evaluation of the group by the nongroup other(s). I his line of thought, which seems to extend theorizing about the operation of t

es with reality. The extreme instance of this rule is the true believer, for whom life becomes a constant struggle to impose shakey dogmas on slipper


elements of the Lofland and Stark (1965) model, virtually all of the model developed by Gerlach and Hine (1970), the valuable

place CityRichardson , Stewart / CONVERSION PROCESS MODELS [391

Relationship of Affective Ties with Group Members and Congr ue nce o f Gr oup wit h Pre di spos it i ons of Potential Converts


Positive Affective Congruence of group with predispositions of potential convertties with members of group to which conversion is cont Neutral Negative

1 3 Medium 4 5 6 Low 7 8 9


variables, and indicates that conversion can occur in qualitatively different situations. Note that while "congruence" is used mainly a t, whereas Gerlach and Hine's work seems to suggest that those in cells one, four, and seven would be about equally prone to convert, a

oup members come to understand and

n circumstances, whereas the other will show more influence in yet others. For instance, total social isolates desiring affective ties (or jus



haps the best discussion of it in terms of this study is that of McGuire (1975), who develops the concept in her analysis of the Catholic neo-Pentecostal movement. treatment (Richard?rion et al., 1972), in which we discuss fundamentalism as a form of what Lifton (1963) tells "religious totalism." Also, see our germane discussion of the "dependency-prone" personality type in Simmonds et al.

made in the previous paragraph. As noted, our research demonstrates that what a person's significant others think of a group to which that person is considering affiliating is quite important in wine cases, and that such conside g the Lofland and Stark model. akening affective ties may lead to less "congruence," and little initial congruence may preclude the develop?ment of meaningful affective ties. ches) in one model. In the interest of space we will not present bother models in detail here (see Richard?son et al., 1977).

sitions on a continuum with individualism and collectivism as polar types at either end, although most should probably be classified as closer to the individualistic end of the continuum. And it is just as plain that one would be foolish ving back to another orientation might be relatively easy. See Gordon (1974) for possible examples of this phenomenon.

groups converting in mass to new beliefs, as a result of circumstances affecting the entire group. Such instances, illustrated by the adoption of Christianity by entire tribes, families, or villages in place country-regionIndia and pla

rip." Society 9: 50?56.

d functioning of the Children of God." Soc. Analysis 37: 321-339. Jesus People: Old I ime Religion in the Age of Aquarius. place CityGrand Rapids , StateMI : Eerdmans. I KOMM, E. (1950) Psychoanalysis and Religion. place CityNew Haven , StateCT : place PlaceNameYale


olution of religious groups," in R. Lee and M. Marty (eds.) Religion and Social Conflict. place StateNew York : place PlaceNameOxford PlaceTypeUniv. Press. rban Life and Culture 1. 159-178.

cial Compass 21: 345?153.

style: courtship, m a m a g e a n d f a m i l y i n a c h a n g i n g J e s u s m o v e m e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n . " I n t . R e v . o f Mmiern Sociology 6: 155-172. : 45ff. StateNew York : Academic Press. I II ION, R. J. (1963) Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. place StateNew York : W. W. Norton. heory of conversion t,~ a deviant perspective." Amer. Soc. Rev. 30: 862-874.

tudy. place CityLondon : Rout?ictige & Kegan Paul. of Religious Research 111 1?9-135

ment (and other move?ments), it is possible (and potentially theoretically fruitful) to build a case for something akin to group conversion occurring in recent American history.

vailable "opportunities.,, Certain kinds of socialization generally preclude the inter?pretation of some

mstances as being frustrating, while other circumstances are felt to be intolerable because of the prior socialization (more

place CityRichardson , Stewart / CONVERSION PROCESS MODELS [41]

9. .The concept of "cognitive minority" is apropros here. Perhaps the best discussion of it in terms of this study is that of McGuire (1975), who develops the concept in he

e in the previous paragraph. As noted, our research demonstrates that what a person's significant others think of a group to which that person is considering affiliating is quite important in wine cases, and that such considerati

cuss-rd. along with the similarly disconcerting idea that the group lacks ritual may preclude the develop?ment of meaningful affective ties. ning affective ties may lead to less "congruence," and little initial congruence behavior.

retation of the Catholic Pentecostal movement." Rev. of Religious Research 16: 94-104. uisite of resocialization," pp. 699-708 in G. P. Stone and M. Garverman (eds.) Social Psychology Through Symbolic Interaction. place CityWaltham , StateMA : Ginn-Blaisdell. a theory of deviant behavior." Soc. Analysis 29: 144-154. he marginal middle class: faith retsky and M. P. Leone (eds.) Religious ciety 9: 50?56. vements in Contemporary place country-regionAmerica . place CityPrinceton , StateNJ : place PlaceNamePrinceton PlaceTypeUniv. Press. REIDY, M.V.T. and J. T. RICHARDSON (1917) "Neo-Pentecostalism in New ZeaZealand Journal of Sociology. ning of the Children of God." Soc. Analysis 37: 321-339. costal movement." Paper read at ch solutions in our society involve a large dose of so-called "American individualism." erence for I ime Religion in the Age eople: Old the Sociology of Religion, of Aquarius. place CityGrand Rapids , StateMI : Eerdmans. I KOMM, E. (1950) Psychoanalysis and Religion. place CityNew Haven , StateCT : place PlaceNameYale


of conversion and 'conversion careers' in new religious movements." Paper read at annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, place CityDenver . religious groups," in R. Lee and M. Culture Conflict. place StateNew York : place PlaceNameOxford PlaceTypeUniv. Press. ment." Listening:these Religion andMarty (eds.) Religion and Socialtheir beliefs have been maintained through many generations in place country-regionIndia (see the work of Sharma, 1968, in this regard). The circumstances Indeed, some of J. of "rice Christians" have9: 20-42. "sincere" that been so glossolalia: a re-examination of re- search." J. for the Scientific Study of Religion 12: 199-207. circu ther drew159-178. inspiration from non-Western religious being frustrating, while other circumstances are felt to be intolerable of the established Christian churches. Som inds of socialization place country-regionIreland ." Social traditions or rejected the moral relativism because of the prior socialization (more on this later). And some "oppor and Culture 1. their -Pentecostalism ingenerally preclude the inter?pretation of some The Irish of Sociology. o glossolalic movements." Paper read at annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, place CityPhiladelphia , StatePennsylvania . pass 21: 345?153. nding a M. W. HARDER (1972)flying saucers. the Jesus movement." Youtha middle-aged man and woman who called themselves Ho and Peep offered their au lecture about "Thought reform and At the meeting, and Society 4: 185-200. ONDS, and RT, and R. B. SIMMONDS (1977) Organized Miracles: A Sociological Study of a Fundamentalist, Youth, Communal Organiza?tion. (forthcoming) : courtship, m a m a process f a problem-solving." i n g J e Religious e m e n t r g 178-184. aluation of a step-likeg e a n d form i l y i n a c h a n gRev. of s u s m o vResearcho13:a n i z a t i o n . " I n t . R e v . o f Mmiern Sociology 6: 155-172. version in major religions in place country-regionIndia ." J. of Social Research 11: 141-149. . W. STEWART (1976) "A Jesus movement group: An adjective checklist assessment." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 15(4): 323-337. movement community. Social Compass 21(3): 269-281. Movements. w York : Academic Press. I II ION, R. J. (1963) Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. place StateNew York : W. W. Norton. n as qualitatively different trans?formations," pp. 594-606 in G. P. Stone and M. Garverman (eds.) Social Psychology Through Symbolic Interaction. place CityWaltham , StateMA : Ginn-Blasidell. nts and subsequent recruitment to new movements." Sociometry 26: 1-20. conversion t,~ a deviant perspective." Amer. Soc. Rev. 30: 862-874. ous influence." Pacific Soc. Rev. 11 (Spring): 23-28. ves: some unresolved issues in the psychology of social movements." Human Relations 25: 449-467. ace CityLondon : Rout?ictige & Kegan Paul.
111 1?9-135

ous Research

ALCH is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameMontana . Ills most recent research includes studies of rumor formation and jury selection. He was %ludying the sociological aspects of m

OR is a graduate student in sociology at the place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameMontana . His Iliesis is a participant-observer study of recruitment and conversion in the Unification I hutch. [431


ensive travel and a considerable amount of detective work. Using simple "snowball" sampling?cach informant suggesting additional co week to make up their minds, and, when someone did, it was the place country-regionUnited contact Their median occupa?tional their s were indistinguishable from college students anywhere in usually after less than six hours' States . with either the Two or any ofstatus


outside world were limited to a few highly structured situations. In order to survive, they asked Im- food, gasoline, and money at store


nd Peep's place StateOregon

meeting, we joined the UFO cult as hidden observers.3 During the next seven weeks

families had no way of learning anything about other members of the UFO cult. sage, and the answers given by members of the cult were often so stereotyped that they sounded like tape-recordings. each of their followers to devote "100 per cent of his total energy" to "the process," which left no time for mundane activities like reading urs a day, sexual relationships and even friendships were discouraged. They were not only "too human," but they pre?vented the "fric members tuned in together before meetings, there was an absence of ritual in the UFO cult. Even this had its origins in Bo and Peep's des about 14 members each. Each family was headed by two spokesmena partnership appointed by Bo and Peep. However, their duties were nev of the spiritual mountain, the Two claimed authoritative and privileged access to the Truth. n northern place StateArizona produced nine new members, eight of them from a town with less than 500 people. Another meeting in

bers, Bo and Peep were quite specific about the uniqueness of their message: It is a reality; in fact it is the only way off the top of the mountain.

e top of the mountain.

elf-enforced separa?tion from the world, make sense in light of the fact that Bo and Peep claimed to have the only path to true salvation.4


Balch, Taylor / SEEKERS ''SAUCERS [49]

members, but the nature of the pro c es s r em ained the same. Rather than being subjected to intense social pr e s s u re and eventual dem

with members of the group. Under th e s e

umsta n c es, new recruits almost never established close O f fective ties ' wit h mem?bers of the

akers for each meeting were selected by other members of the group. During the meeting itself they would be flanked by members of th

e their names and phone numbers so that they could be contacted later that night. During the first meeting, the location of the follow-


Balch, Taylor / SEEKERS AND SAUCERS [51]

up. affective bonds" are a necessary condition for joining. Yet Bo and Peep could recruit as many as 35 people at once without satisfying this condit a tremendous amount of social support to draw them in convert, who is behaviorally as well as ideologically committed to the seeker li necessary to transform the verbal convert into a total and insulate them from a hostile disbelieving world. However, if the movem tial behavioral commitment to the cult. While some members had little to lose by joining, others left behind good jobs, homes, and even sm lity to cut themselves off


Balch, Taylor / SEEKERS AND SAUCERS [531

and lodging. For him the transition to Bo and Peep's nomadic UFO cult was easy. Many others had been traveling around the country with ba ose who ap?peared to have made the greatest sacrifice had been gradually divesting themselves of their material possessions long befo ing saucer cult than a single male living alone or in a commune, with few material possessions and a strong penchant for change and e

remarked: "Until I started talking to you, I never realized how much shit I'd been into." The woman, then 21, said she ran away from home at age 15 "to find the trut m had ever voted, and most of them were uninformed and uncon?cerned about contemporary social and political issues. A dis?proportionate number were remnants of the coun


ey were social isolates, completely out of touch with other alienated members of our anomie Society. However, alienation is a collective ph ic powers, lost continents, f lyin g saucers, and ascended masters are taken for granted. Thi s w orld-view, which Ellwood

the place country-regionUnited States . It is perpetuated by a cultic milieu that exists in virtually every large communit y in the coun

phy to another in search of metaphysical truth. We have entitled this section "The


of the Seeker" because the concept of role places

concept of humility, can be used to copemetaphy sical social world, the seeker much he had given up to follow Ho and Peep, every one of social milieu. Within the with almost any crisis. No matter how that's what you is not disparaged asthen you had d social misfit. Instead, he iwhat we think." feel you have to do, a starry-eye better do it. It doesn't matter uff." The youngest member of the UFO cult was an extremely bright boy of 14 who had joined the cult with his parents. For over a year b use he is trying to learn and grow. Members of th cultic milieu tend to be avid readers, continually explorin with an image of one who is socially oriented 14) t he quest for personal growth. Seekership constitutes a social Orntity that is positively value different metaphysical movement s and philosophies (Buckner h place StateOregon

woods or a mansion in place CityBeverly Hills , their evenings ar often spent with friends and acquaintances dis

mysticism. A significant part of their lives is devoted to th pursuit of intellectual growth, There is a common expression is met aphysical circles: "Then are many paths to the top of the mountain." The seeker believe cess. As a long time seeker in the UFO cult put


undisciplined that ma be in convention

" I t looks to me like we'r all trying to find the way. But what works for me, what's a te

for me, may not mean shit to you," The long climb to the top o the mountain is usually a zig-zag course, as the seeker tries on path after another on the way up, always open to new ideas an alternatives.


A closer look at the alternative reality of the metaphysic social world can help us understand how the Two could recrui

ollowers in such a short time without providing pr spective members with affective bonds to the group.

Although Bo and Peep's message sounded bizarre to prac

e metaphysical world-view. Bo and Pee put together an eclectic mixture of metaphysics and placeChristiania that many seekers found app of taken-for-granted beliefs, including flying saucers, rein?

cal revelations, and the physical resurrection of Jesus. (See Balch and Taylor, 1977, for a more complete

ge in language designed to appeal to the open-minded tolerance of the seeker. They agreed that there were many equally valid paths to th dual Metamorphosis to emphasize the uniqueness of each individual's transformation. The psychic connection cstablished with the next this way: "There were so many truths, man. I listened to Bo's rap, and I'm think?ing, yeah, I've heard that before. He told me a lot of thi se that supports life. All life forms are in a constant state of flux, evolving slowly but steadily to higher levels of conscious?ness. The Two comp g., genous being. Even at the next level, there is no finality or perfection as there is in the Christian's heavenonly more growth. They said th

ltic milieu is epistemologically individualistic, acknowledging many paths to spiritual enlightenment. In the metaphysical social world

as ours, he said, one cannot afford to close one's mind to any possibility, even spaceships from heaven. Not many seekers were completely



aced on personal growth in the metaphysic social world helps account for the motivation to join the OF cult. The prevailing image of the religious seeker is a social misfi

he finally joins cult or a sect in order to cope with his problems. There is n doubt that most members of the UFO cult had experience

hey joined. In typical account, a young woman described the spiritual vacuu of her life before Bo and Peep: "I could get high so many ways

enery, peoplebut I still felt an emptiness. never felt that fullness, that rock-bottom solidness I was lookin for However, most social scientific studies of cults are over

n open doorway suspended in the air directly in front of her. At the time the meaning of the vision escaped her, but a wcek later she met tw lore, tales of astral visits with ascended masters, or messages from benevolent space brothers. Metaphysics is the %tudy of things beyond t taphysical teachings according to their level of spiritual awareness. Like the villagers in the story of the emperor's new clothes, n he rest of mankind was unable to understand their message because it was still plodding along through the other I I grades.

re questions I have." The top of the spiritual mountain is an elusive goal, continually receding the higher the seeker climbs. The seeker is supp veryday events that might reveal his role in the cosmic plan.

m that Bo and Peep's message was true. Consider the case of a 22-year old woman who joined in a small place StateArizona community wh


Balch, Taylor / SEEKERS AND SAUCERS [611


Members of openness that allowed converts in the to suspend Paradoxically, the the UFO cult were not so many seekerstrue sense their doubts and follow the Two also facilitated the proces something Travisano told him just before he to the "radical reorganization of identity, meaning, version, according tohis partner (1970: 600?601), refersdecided to leave the cult:

He said over and over again just before I left the trip: "We have to keep an open mind about this thing, man. The Two may not be who the

e convert sees his as debauchery." However, members of the UFO cult did not undergo a serious rupture of identity when they became

that Bo and Peep were no longer important. The Two had merely brought them some useful information, and now that they had learned al

s. The following remark is typical: "This information clarified every?thing we had been into before. It's like the next logical step." w the Two was a reaffirmation of their seekership. Whenever one identity grows naturally out of another, causing little disruption in the liv nied by discernible changes in their everyday speech. Many words, phrases, and conversational topics unique to the UFO cult began to d

ult insisted that Bo and Peep, however misguided they appeared in retrospect, had accelerated their spiritual growth by helping them

you call itthe process is the Bo and Peep the Tao. All the great different recruitment methods, it is clear that the absence of social inter way of knowing how successfulpath, the way,would have been withteachers were saying the same thingJesus, Lao Tzu, Buddha, the Two.... The pr


beliefs and discourage condemning others for doing what they think is best for themselves. When a religious seeker also has few social membership requires a transformation of one's social identity in that milieu.

es to the outside world (Balch and Taylor, 1976a). 74: 43) points out in his recent study of millenarian movements, research that offers an "inside" perspec?tive is all too rare in the study of religious cults. The works of Festinger et al. (1956) and Lofland and Stark (1965; Lofland, 1966)

ble us to see the world through the eyes of Bo and Peep's followers as no other method could. Several months later, when we more openly interviewed members who had dropped out of the cult, our "inside" knowledge of the group because of the deception. In fact, we were asked to contribute a chapter to a book about the cult that is being written by several ex-members.

wing sometime during the early months of 1976. Since their return, the cult has stopped recruiting and has become very secretive, disappearing almost entirely from the public view. These changes are described in Balch and Taylo


ological Association, place CitySacramento , StateCalifornia .

cal Associa?tion, place CitySan Diego , StateCalifornia .

The flying saucerians: an open door cult," pp. 223-230 in

on," pp. 119-136 in

eMinnesota .

spital in 1972, they opened a short-lived metaphysical center specializing in astrology, spiritual healing, theosophy, and compara?tive religions, where they first began to suspect their higher purpose on the planet. During the next thre

n 200 members, and 150 is probably more realistic. These figures are based on our own calcula?tions as well as estimates made by members themselves.

there was no other way to study the cult effectively, because although members spoke freely with reporters, they generally limited their comments to the "party line" dictated by the Two. We believed the only way we could get accu



paper, .Ou(h reports on the evolution of religious changing attitudes R. Lee the use ofpsy?, hwherapy among Social Conflict, place StateNew groups studied and also of deprivation in the origin and intriguing pattern ofgroups," pp. 24-36 intoward and M. E. Marty (eds.) Religion andmany members of the two majorYork : Oxford Univ. Press. suggests a new rationale to justify psychotherapy.

ntation of Self in Everyday Life. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. man," pp. 311-331 in R. J. Lifton (ed.) History and Human Survival. place StateNew York : Random House. Cult. place CityEnglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

erts to Eastern Mysticism

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ceTypeCity PlaceTypeUniversity PlaceTypeUniv. of PlaceNameToronto place StateAlberta . place CityToronto : place of place StateNew York

MMONDS, and M. W. HARDER (1972) "Thought reform and the Jesus movement." Youth and Society 4: 185-200.

version as qualitatively different transformations," pp. 594-606 in G. P. Stone and H. A. Farberman (eds.) Social Psychology Through Symbolic Interaction. place CityWaltham , StateMA : Xerox.

utic cult to religious sect." Sociology 9: 89-100.

, placeChapel Hill

mation," pp. 35-49 in R. Wallis (ed.) Sectarian?ism. place StateNew York : John Wiley.

ritual ferment movements." Social emergence of novel religious and quasi-religious movements. The therapeutic function of these movements in involving the Research 41: 299-327. development of cultic

y of olic universe associated with oriental mysticism (Anthony and Robbins,

eligion. place StateNew York : Macmillan. ZABLOCKI, B. (1971) The Joyful Community. place CityBaltimore , StateMD : Penguin.

Authors' Note: This research was supported by Public Health Service Grant Number 5-RO

ZYGMUNT, J. F. (1972) "Movements and motives: some unresolved issues in the arch Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the I'mNersity of North Carolina at placeChapel Hill . He has for several years been coinvestigator 411 an interdisciplinary research project studying new religious movements

psychology of social movements." Human Relations 25: 449-467. sistant Professor of Sociology at place PlaceNameQueens PlaceTypeCollege , City I York . He has been engaged in a long-term investigation of some new s,11~,totis movements and has published several papers of note in recent years, many
-4 1 11L'111 coauthored

with other members of the research team.

ember of an interdisciplinary research team studying new orligious movements at the Department of Psychiatry, place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameNorth Carolina at hapcl Hill. She is interested in investigating interaction

., is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psy?4 hiatiN, place PlaceTypeSchool of PlaceNameMedicine , place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameNorth Carolina at placeChapel Hill . For the past I.-tit Nears he ha



h 37 (Summer): 212- MATHISON, R. R. (1960) Faiths, Cults, and Sects in place country-regionAmerica : From Atheism to place CityIndianapolis and place StateNew York : Bobbs-Merrill.

ve Sociology. place StateNew York : place PlaceNameColum PlaceTypeUniv.

PlaceTypeUniv. Press. Press. O'DEA, T. F. (1966) The Sociology of Religion. place CityEnglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-H

ace StateNew York : place PlaceNameOxford

term, hut instead represents a shift in addiction.

SCOTT, G. (1976) "Social structure and the occult: a sociological analysis of the s

organization, behavior patterns and beliefs of two occult groups: a spiritual gro group and a witchcraft group." Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University place StateCalifornia , place CityBerkeley .

SIMMONS, J. L. (1964) "On maintaining deviant belief systems: a case study." S Problems I1 (Winter): 250-257. STONE, D. (1976) "The human potential movement," pp. 93-116 in C. Y. Glock a

N. Bellah (eds.) The New Religious Consciousness. place CityBerkeley : place PlaceTypeUniv. of PlaceNameCalifo Press .

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(1973) "Toward the sociology of esoteric culture." Amer. J. of Sociology (November): 491-512.

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eone (eds.) Religious Movements in Contem rary place country-regionAmerica . place CityPrinceton , StateNJ : place PlaceNamePrinceton PlaceTypeUniv. Press.

y engaged in drug-oriented life?styles would undergo conversion to a fundamentalist Christian belief system. In order to address the 972) with previous re?search which has shown that religious people in general are tent "The occult revival as popular culture: some random observations on t old and nouveau witch." Soc. Q. 13 (Winter): 16-36.
WALLIS, R. (1974) "The Aetherius society: a case study in the formation of a mystagoSW

Court Publishing. WHYTE, W. F. (1955) Street Corner Society. place CityChicago : place PlaceTypeUniv. of PlaceNameChicago i A 30): 27-50. WUTHNOW, R. (1976) "The new religions in social context, pp. 267-295 in C. Y. GI and R. N. Bellah (eds.) The New Religious Consciousness. place CityBerkeley : place PlaceTypeUniv. of PlaceNameCal

Press. WILSON, C. (1973) The Occult. place StateNew Yo

Author's Note: This research was supported in part by a place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameNevada Research Advisory Bo
P. LEONE [eds.] (1974) Religious Movements in Contem rary place country-regionAmerica . place CityPrinceton , StateNJ : place PlaceNamePrinceton PlaceTypeUniv. Press.

ulty member in the Department of Sociology of the State University of New York at place CityCortland . He completed his doctorate in Social Psy?chology at the place PlaceTypeUnivers


described in terms of greater dependency than are the reli

ersion experience in the Jesus Movement m serve to resolve personal problems which had been experienc prior to conversion, but without changing basic personals patterns; and (3) there is very little evidence of subsequent pe sonality change after a member has been the group for a whil

th prior to and aft affiliation with a religious group. This pattern, however, characterized in terms of dependency on an external source g

ht be useful. The data used in this paper we originally gathered for another purpose (see Simmonds, 197 but this post hoc analysis of these data seems suggestive an useful.

Jesus movement group examined in this paper. Some members said that the moment of conversion was the most beautiful of their live me evidence to indicate that religious people i general tend to exhibit dependency on some external source he Jesus movement cling to childhood morality, with its black-and-white, all-or?nothing judgments. Fundamentalist Christian doctrine pr gratification. Black and place CityLondon (1966) found a high positiv belief in God, and prayer. Goldsen, et al. (1960) showed tha onreligious, finding consistent with the notion that religious people see external approval. These results are supported by Fisher (1964

een the variables of obedience to parents an country and indices of religious belief such as church attendanc:

dence not onl on social values, but also on other external agents. Duke (19 found that church attendance indicated more responsiveness

acebo. In a study of 50 alcoholics, it was foun that those who were dependent on alcohol were more likely t have had a religious background (Walters, 1957). (See Simmond et al., 1976, for a more thorough discussion of the ideas of th paragraph.)



reality. Because these young Christians found themselves in th'

the conflicts which they had been facing pr viously were postponed, and they had no further motivation t change. hich leads to the inference that affiliatio helps to resolve previous conflicts is Glock's (1964) extension o resolutions. People who feel various forms of deprivation will motivated to achieve a secular resolution when they feel that the have the power in the real world to eliminate the causes of th to eliminate them. It might be suggested, then, that religious affiliation would serve to resolve previous conflicts, and that

heory. He suggests that people will attempt t compensate for felt deprivation with either secular or religion

igious resolutions, on the other hand, tend Glock says, to compensate for feelings of deprivation rather the

no longer exist, there would be n reason to suggest that personality responses would change acros time in a religious group.

this notion is presented by Gordo (1974). He suggests that the Jesus movement combines elemen the same behavioral patterns prior to conversion as those seen in members of the Jesus move?ment, suggests that conversion and subsequ lished Pentecostal churches. e into which converts were originally socialized Conversion, then,for this lack ofto represent an identity synthesi ethodological considerations, however, may have accounted can be said change, althouSh which "consolidates" two different universes of discourse. Religion establishes and legitimates a unified identity for the

eliever expert ences a release from guilt and upset. Gordon states that peopl who experience a radical discontinuity between the two univer

cally different religious ideology from the one in which they were originally socialized, are likely to experience emotional upset. The Jesu

, consolidate identities from childhood Christie experiences and the hip drug subculture, creating a smooth,

vities which identify them with others of their own generation, and by having close contact with those who have also been in the drug subc



ed may have led to a false conclusion that there was no change across time in the group. Thus, the findings of Robbins and of Mauss and omen. Pastors of the group held nearly absolute authority over other members (the "brothers" and "sisters"). Life within the commune

METHOD s organization, the identity of the group cannot be revealed in published litera?ture (this group is not the Children of God). About 100 resid mes in which their, parents were still married. Most ofon 24 different variables.comeSTAI reflects, through level of agreement with cert ptive adjectives which reflect personality patterns based those interviewed had The from relatively large families (with an average of 3.97


from the original sample and the original scores of the 53 subjec from the retest subsample (Simmonds, 1977). It is important to note that the two and one-half month peri between testings represented a period of intensive resocializatio
Values of t: Defensiveness TABLE 1

wer on the variables of defensiveness, a favorable adjectives checked, self-confidence, self-control, personal adjust?ment, achievement, dominance ACL VARIABLE: al of this peri at the farm, which was to train future group leaders and strengthen the level of commitment of members to the organ' tion's interpretation of Christian doctrine, it is reasonable t

-5.80* Comparisons of Differences Between Means for Favorable Adjectives 96at the Movement they had and Checked Jesus farm than Subjects a Normative Sample -8.72* bers would describe themselves in a differe manner at the end of their experience

Self-confidence -10.18* st testing. Th had been chosen by the pastors of their branch houses to spend three-month period of hard labor under primitive living cond Self-control -6.83* Lability -1.08 lifestyle from t mostly middle-class and relatively comfortable backgroun experienced by most of these members sometime previously. T Personal Adjustment -6.83* Achievement farm was isolated, and contact with outsiders was extremel -8.76* Dominance -8.94* rly absolute, a members were required to follow strict rules limiting person freedom. Interpersonal ties between regular members were ve Endurance -6.08* Order strong, and a compelling group norm prescribed that membe -7.33* "search their hearts" constantly for the "will of the Lord." Give Intraception , it might be assumed that members would be to describe themselves in terms similar to those-6.85* Nurturance of the normati -4.15* Affiliation gly encourag members to subscribe to many of the values found within t dominant society, -4.96* as the value of work, obeying the law, t such Heterosexuality -5.13* Exhibition sanctity of marriage, personal stability, and productive into personal relations. -1.17 Autonomy -1.54 Aggression RESULTS .13 Change -6.36* succorance 7.34* en members of t religious group and the normative sample of college studen Significance levels are shown at the .001 level of significan Abasement 2.34 Deference since a lower level (e.g., .01 or .05) would have shown significa, A negative value of t denotes lower scores for the religious sample than for the normative sampl NOTE: .92 'Significant at the .001 level of significance for a two-tailed test. Counseling-readiness differences on nearly every variable. Scores for the Jesus mov 4.57* Number of Adjectives Checked -8.32* STAI:

the beginning. For the most part, these members had bee


Unfavorable Adjectives Checked

ACL VARIABLE: Trait Anxiety Values of t: 10.98 Defensiveness State Anxiety -.17 3.07 Favorable Adjectives Checked .39 Simmonds Adjectives Checked Unfavorable / CONVERSION OR ADDICTION [1231 -.49 Self-confidence 2 TABLE .60 Comparisons of Differences between Means of Self-control Pretest and Posttest Administrations for 53 Subjects .66 Lability -1.13 Personal Adjustment .10 Achievement .13 Dominance .56 Endurance -.23 Order .27 Intraception -.22 Simmonds / CONVERSION OR ADDICTION [1231 Nurturance .24 Affiliation TABLE 2 rtant to note th4 while these profiles were probably not "maladaptive" wit) reference to the group context, they were "maladaptiv 1.38 re is no evideno of personality change across time in this group. As noted pro viously, however, there are methodological considerations wh Comparisons of Differences between Means of Heterosexuality .67 version. The sell reported data indicated that 87 (91%) had used alcohol, that 7 (76%) had smoked tobacco, and that for 53 Subjectsused Pretest and Posttest Administrations 93 (97%) had Exhibition .31 rtant to note th4 while these profiles were probably not "maladaptive" wit) reference to the group context, they were "maladaptiv Autonomy re is no evideno of personality change across time in this group. As noted pro viously, however, there are methodological considerations wh .86 Aggression version. The sell reported data indicated that 87 (91%) had used alcohol, that 7 (76%) had smoked tobacco, -.41 that 93 (97%) had used and Change 1.06 Succorance -.41 Abasement -1.25 Deference .41 Counseling-readiness -.77 Number of Adjectives Checked -.88 STAL

Trait more, the frequency of drug usage was very high. Fifty-five of the 93 drug users took drugs once a day orAnxiety and-1.80 used drugs once a week 29 aptivity" or dependency prior to conversion. Over half of the members (50) reported that they had had trouble with the law prior to conversi State Anxiety -.46



n the group, again with the same personality tests. At all three points, the notion of dependency is suggested.

elter. In the sense that these believers adopt a life?style which differs substantially from the one that they previously had, then "conversion" is d that, across time in the group during an intensive resocializa?tion experience, there was no evidence of the personality change which might h ge in personality which is implied by usual definitions of conversion. It is possible that these people may not have been experiencing a conversion


TAI results obtained from the sample of religious converts, it seems reasonable to infer that members of the sample in general could be de nd future, the release from anxiety and effort, the evasion of sexual maturity, the unassailable group ideology" (Peele and Brodsky, 1975: 168).

y when the others are a group of "non-believing" researchers. ht with personal difficulty, while life after conversion is happy, secure, and sure to lead to eternal salvation. This conceptualization of conve

elf-assertion is condemned by group ideology as being "willful" or "vain." Little personal freedom is experienced by the new convert; s/ he is u

s against masturbation and other premarital sexual experiences presented problems for many residents, but "through prayer and faith" the residen


DUKE, J. D. (1964) "Placebo reactivity and tests of suggestibility." J. of Personality

4) "Acquiescence and religiosity." Psych. Reports 15: 784. GLOCK, C. Y. (1964) "The role of deprivaiton in the origin and evolution of religi groups," pp. 24-36 in R. Lee and M. E. Marty (eds.) Religion and Social Conflict. N place CityYork : place PlaceNameOxford PlaceTypeUniv. Press. GOLDSEN, R. K., M. ROSENBERG, R. M. WILLIAMS, and E. A. SUCHMA (1960) What College Students Think. place CityPrinceton , StateNJ : Van Nostrand. GORDON, D. F. (1974) "The Jesus people: an identity synthesis." Urban Life a Culture 3: 159-178. GOUGH, H. G. (1952) The Adjective Check List. place CityPalo Alto , StateCA : Consulting Psycho)

gists Press. and A. B. HEILBRUN (1965) The Adjective Check List Manual. place CityPalo Alto ,

Consulting Psychologists Press.

HARDER, M. W. (1974) "Sex roles in the Jesus movement." Social Compass 21 345-353. -


T. RICHARDSON, and R. B. SIMMONDS (1976) "Life style: sex rol

courtship, marriage and family in a changing Jesus movement organization." Int. Rey, of Modern Sociology 6: 155-172. - --- (1972) "Jesus people." Psychology Today 6 (December): 45ff.

MAUSS, A. L. and D. W. PETERSEN (1974) "Les 'Jesus freaks' et le retour a la respe abilite." Social Compass 21: 269-281.

EELS, S. and A. BRODSKY (1975) Love and Addiction. place StateNew York : Taplinger. place CityRICHARDSON , J. T., R. B. SIMMONDS, and M. W. HARDER (1975) "The evolu-

ment (CCR) is an anomalya Pentacostal revival within, not separate from, the most traditional and ritualistic of Christian churches. It offers th tion of a Jesus movement organization." Paper presented at the annual meeting of t
American Sociological Association, San Francisco.

RICHARDSON, J. T., M. W. STEWART, and R. B. SIMMONDS (1977) Organized Miracles: A Study of a Communal Youth Fundamentalist Group. (forthcoming) ROBBINS, T. (1969) "Eastern mysticism and the resocialization of drug users: the Meher Baba cult." J. for the Scientific Study of Religion 8: 308-317.

amentalist religious community." Ph.D. dissertation, place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameNevada .

iety for the Scientific Study of Religion, place CityPhiladelphia . -- (1976b) "Jesus people: conversion or addiction?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the So

aspects of a Jesus movement community." Social Com-

g Psychologists Press.

Author's Note: This paper was presented to the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, place CityQ

to , StateCA : Consulting Psychologists Press.

6. PlaceTypeCollege in place StateVermont . She received an M.A. in Sociology from place PlaceNameMcGill

A. in English Literature from place PlaceNameMiddlebury



g to lower-income groups. However, the CCR is predominantly a middle-class movement (Fichter, 1975; McGuire, 1974, 1975; Harrison, 1974). T

1970: 25]1 claimed to have performed miracles, bringing street gangs in place CityNew York City to the ways of God. Catholic Cursillo leaders were so impr

74) have shown that the majority of members of the CCR were ardent Catholics before joining the movement. They have no intention ender is evident in weekly meetings. It involves a gradual reinterpretation of experience and a shifting of respon?sibility from self to others. It





focus will be on the ritual of sharingfirst to indicate how it le to such shifting of responsibility, and second to suggest that t

ritual itself must be controlled and focused if it is to have t desired result of attaining spiritual surrender. The data for this paper were gathered over a three-mon

uring which the researcher attended weekly gro meetings and conducted unstructured interviews with mem on an informal basis. Members knew that the researcher w

ork of a sociological nature, but they assumed as well t her interest was personal and that she was a possible convert.

of the study, the group had been in existence for abo six years and had a membership of eight, with occasio

ance of three other people. It was housed in the parish St. K. in a church basement and was led by a priest who w

[the leader] thought we weremarginally connected to the parish. All the members we a hopeless group.

pt for one boy, a son of a member and a priest and all but one were over 35. Only two members, place CityPearl and Ga oup if anyone "had anything to share." He saw sharing as an important function, which the St. K. group ful?filled. Individual members saw the moment that th had "gifts": place CityPearl the gift of "healing" and place CityGary that of "tongues.

y afternoon nothing had happened to me. But then ... on Thursday night they had a meeting at a lot of people got grow embers, including the priest, attended the much larg neighboring English CCR group and St. A. This latterup to witness ... there were some people there from St. A.... did a

ewer, "Perhaps there is something you'd like to share with the group," or he might, as he did in one case, simply announce: as a model, had a much more form highly organized structure, and its members had a high inciden of giftsparticularly that of tongues.

she's doing.

mounted to putting faith in others THE PROCESS OF COMMITMENT two closely linked group responses: prayer and healing. in the group and was rewarded by SHIFTING RESPONSIBILITY In discussing what changes the group has effected, member described a change in the leader:

he same Father N. I knew two years ago. He is 100% charismatiche was very shy, very reserved, and now he is open, so beautiful. This change marked the experience of several of the members an was often referred to as the ability to share. Learning to share w



wed closely on the heels of sharin This desire for group support indeed seemed to motive members to share:

up on Fridays, at bowling Wednesday morning who I don't like ... he really bugs me ... help me to find Jesus in him. . . pray for me so I can forgive m

At other times, members would support each other's praye to members and helped them to change their behavior, as typified by the following statement:

man I couldn't forgive ... well the next time I saw the man all the wounds just went out of my heart and I saw Christ in him. I forgave him in Christ.

s on in the charismatic group. Not only do members assume responsibility for each other, but they relin?quish responsibility for themse

the relaxed personal quality of the group, he had felt greatly aided and supported by their prayers. ntrol. As pointed out earlier, sharing involves injured area and prayed. However, if spiritual inner thoughts and attitudes the most imp , place CityPearl merely placed her hand over thedropping certain inhibitions, opening one's or mental healing"probably for redefinitio rpretation:

raid ... and the other day my boss says I think I'm getting a new customer and I say, "Oh really, you gettin' a new customer, how about raisin' my p brave.

hey begin to provide their own reinterpretations of experience. These reinterpretations fall generally into three

y, and equally frank advice. Members seemed to feel responsible for one another, as if they were a family. This attitude was especially encourage



trolled by "divine direction "divine intervention," and "manifestations of the Spirit." n" is actively sought or message is claimedas in the case of Pearl, who saw a telepho call as a message from the Lord to go on:

nd wouldn't let the priest come to give her last rites ... so I prayed with her that the priest could come and the very next day her mother asked for t

, the concern of fellow members to protect place CityPearl from some?thing they knew would offend her is seen as God's good care. ntify with at this time. His visit brought the reaffirmation that was needed. er cases, events are seen as direct intervention by Go (divine intervention) on the actor's behalf: their lives in a larger context in which the assumption is made that they will be directed and cared for by a Divine Spirit who shapes the

s, and ideas is presented to the group, a reinterpretation begins for the individual. The group becomes responsible for the individual, caring ow I belong to youif you want me to have it I know you'll bring it to me somehow. Then a friend of mine at place CitySt. Augustine 's came to visit many other CCR groups. These trances can be seen as the ultimate "bridge-burning act," which precedes total commitment to a group. No

evidence of the "will of God." These events are answers to prayers never consciously formulatedthey are witness to God's concern for the in

on when all this started [a drug addict at St. A. started disrupting the meeting and the priest performed an exorcism] three of my friends gathered



self-responsibility and control, so satisfying for charismatics, may be a reflection of a preexisting sense of helplessness and impotence. ection of this paper.

tings. This tension was felt to be nonspiritual, anticharismatic, and even "the work of the devil" by many members. Behind the disunity lay a

a began the meeting by reading the passion and by talking very personally of how Jesus must have felt in the garden. place CityGary


ed the difficulties of her job. These sharings were notable because they made no mention of God or the Holy Spirit. This was in sharp contrast to

ed their sharin with mention of God or the Spirit. (Recall that these are the tw laymen who are perceived as having "gifts" place CityPearl

ace CityGary with "tongues.") With place CityPearl silent and place CityGary absent, sharin became secular and on the level of a group therapy session. Wh does this happen?

It is evident that sharing in the approved manner is a questio n and partly of social control. The latte question depends largely on leadership. Father N., as we hav noted, was a reluctant leader. He felt that the role of the pries

cern the devil ... who will try to disturb the meetin ... all kinds of human problems need to be purified."

ularly adept a social control. He went to St. A., he said, because he learned a lo from Father V. (the leader at St. A.) about how to handle suc to the opposition of the pastor at St. K.Father the his nervous and situations. However, it was obvious from group in general.

ions that he was not at ease with policing th meetings. Father V., on the other hand, made no bones abou

lletin or at regular mass. Needless to say, this cut down on recruits and made Father N. very uncom?fortable. However, in addition to th

t continue.") Father tongues, healing, o prophecy, and he was not even convinced of their validity. Aske about place CityPearl 's gift, he respon had no gifts such as N. felt that the size of the of ... she prays for people and people are healed ... they fee and ask her to witness when the meetin lagged, seeming to depend upon her certainty in the presence o joined the group, Father N. turned th choice of hymns over to him (a task jealously guarded by Fathe

suggestion." In the meetings he woul often turn to place CityPearl


place CityGary 's lead in raising his hands skyward durin hymns, a gesture Father N. had never made alone.

ertainty about elements of charismatic renewal was reflected by other members of the group. In all, there was




oup we just wouldd notice these things, these personal things." Implicit in this remar was the final factor contributing to the sense of fail




on of St. A. and St. K. was a continuous part of th meetings at St. K. Usually St. K. compared unfavorably:

Although causal links can only be hypothesized, these factors seem to interrelate in the pattern shown in Figure 1. elity group, had teaching sessions and were into grow (as"more advanced":indeed, repressed). The small size in turn results, just claimed, in uncontro a of church authorities results in a failure of the group general it is not publicized, "St. A. is at a higher spiritual level ... it's it is a question of peo ition ofresponsible for Father N.'s own failure: "In to charisma makesif personal problems become too big ... contributedisunity, disharmony ... itsocial s held the group (while the sense of ambivalence small groups, his leadership weak). These two variables also there is to uncontrolled sharing, as is be up's


y become at St. A. With increasing routinization, it is unlikely that the kinds of benefits we described in the first section of this paper wi

tions rests on the beliefs of many that these groups are gaining converts through a manipula?tive process of stressful conversion popularly kn

Nevertheless, the personal benefits it supplies for its small group of members has caused it to persist, and it may continue to do soi

Authors' Note: The authors wish to thank David Bromley, Joseph Ventimiglia, and Frank Weed for constructive criticis

FIGHTER, J. (1975) The Catholic Cult of the Paraclete. place StateNew York : Sheed & Ward. GERLACH, L. P. and V. HINE (1970) People, Power, Change. place StateNew York : Bob Merrill.

ANSON D. SHUPE, Jr. M.Assistant Professor of Sociology at theCatholic Pentacostalism." J. f PlaceNameTexas at place CityArlington . His research and teaching interests are in the sociology of religion and placeHARRISON , is I. (1974) "Sources of recruitment to place PlaceTypeUniversity of ROGER SPIELMANN is a graduate student in sociology at the place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameTexas at place CityArlington . He is currently researching topics in sociolinguistics as well as in marginal 1 e SAM STIGALL is a graduate student in sociology at the place PlaceTypeUniversity of PlaceNameTexas at place CityArlington . lhu current research interests include marginal religions and energy policy in the United fic Study of Religion 1149-64. 1975) "Toward a sociological interpretation of the Catholic Pentac movement." Rev. of Religious Research 1975: 94-104. [1451 interpretive comparison of elements of the Pentacostal and and urch movements in American Catholicism." Soc. Analysis 35: 57-65. WILKERSON, D. (1963) The Cross and the Switchblade. Old place CityTappan , StateNJ : Fleming Spire Books.