Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 300-500 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions with your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

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In this assignment, you will investigate concepts such as conformity, compliance, and obedience. Each of you has probably seen a story on the news about someone joining a cult or gang. As you watched the news story, you may wonder why that person would conform to the strict requests made by the cult or gang. For example, a cult in 1997 called Heaven’s Gate convinced all 39 members to commit suicide. A group called the Moonies (Unification Church) would convince its members to cut contact with anyone outside of the group (family and friends) and donate all of their money to the church. Why would anyone willingly join one of these groups?

Discuss the following:
Identify chosen gang or cult and summarize their mission. Describe how that gang or cult outwardly recruits someone.
Define conformity, compliance and obedience in your own words. Discuss how the group uses these types of social influence to keep members in the gang or cult (please use course materials to help you define these concepts to support your response).
Discuss why it would be difficult to leave a gang or cult and explain reasons that prevent them from leaving?

Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with a reply of 100 words about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. Pick two fellow classmates who picked a different group, gang, or cult.
Are there any similarities in the gang or cult’s mission compared to the group you chose to discuss for your primary post? If so, discuss the similarities.
Are there any differences in the gang or cult’s mission compared to the group you chose to discuss for your primary post? If so, discuss the differences
Did your classmate’s gang or cult’s employ similar or different tactics when trying to keep a member from leaving? Explain.

Reading and Learning Materials
Use these resources to help you complete this assignment:

Why I Left an Evangelical Cult
How Cults Rewire the Brain
Why do people join cults?
I was an MS-13 gang member. Here’s how I got out
Why Join? Gang Participation Motivational Factors Among Adolescents

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