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Prophets, Cults And Madness

Cult leaders inspire intense loyalty among their followers, yet they strike outsiders as half mad. Why are there so many of them? And why do they and their ideas proliferate? In this controversial study of the thin divide that separates cult leaders from madness, evolutionary psychiatrists Anthony Stevens and John Price argue that what schizophrenics and prophets share in addition to similar genes...

File Size: 1112 KB
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Duckworth Overlook (October 5, 2000)
Publication Date: October 5, 2000
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: ::::
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
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Format: PDF ePub TXT book

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“Seems to be told from an atheistic perspective. I am an atheist myself but some of the arguments I can find loopholes in if a theist were to challenge it....”

is the capacity for sudden, radical changes of belief. Depending on the circumstances, this capacity may propel one group into psychiatric care and another into the creation of a new cult. Citing examples from Abraham and Moses to Shoko Asahara and David Koresh, Stevens and Price reveal the vital role that such schizotypal prophets play when human groups split and how their behaviour not only reveals an important evolutionary mechanism but also holds the key to one of psychiatry's persistent mysteries.