Jeff Jacobsen
Rel 591
ASU Spring 1989

  Strange Cults and Utopias of 19th-Century America chronicles the history of Brook Farm. Brook Farm was a six year attempt by a group of dedicated people to prove the values of a socialistic community. George Ripley was one of the main members and enthusiasts for this communal movement:

It was no "picnic" or "romantic episode" or chance meeting "in a ship's cabin" to him. His whole soul was bent on making a HOME of it. If a man's first-born, in whom his heart is bound up, dies at six years old, that does not turn the whole affair into a joke [emphasis in original] 1.

   George Ripley was a follower of the theories of Dr. William H. Channing. He took Channing's theories on social­ism and religion and "was bent on making a HOME of it' by putting the theory into practice. Another way to state this, and to state the crux of this paper, is that Ripley became a convert by performing the myth of socialism and making the myth his HOME. Simply accepting the myth did not make Ripley a true member of Brook Farm. It was his entering into the myth through his performance that made him a true convert, and gave him a new home.

   I propose in this paper to seek to understand just what it meant for George Ripley to make a HOME of his newfound ideology by accepting a myth and performing that myth in his life. I suggest that myth and performance are together necessary to mark someone as a member of a culture or community. I will develop this argument through research done on conversion, which will explain that the criteria needed to indicate who is a convert are in fact myth and performance. The studies on conversion will be shown to be applicable to members raised in a culture as well.


   There is a common phrase in English when we speak of some­one who seems to be quite different from most people in our society. We say they are " in their own 1itt1e world." This idea of different worlds is also common in academic writings. For instance, Peter Brown writes in The Cult of the Saints, "to compare the miracles of healing, and especially of exor­cism performed by Martin, with the recipes for cures con­tained in the work of Marcellus, is to enter another world."2 Jonathon Z. Smith, in an explanation of religion, states that "what we study when we study religion is one mode of con­structing worlds of meaning, worlds within which men find themselves and in which they choose to dwell"3 The point of this paper is to show that myth creates worlds, performance is behaving according to the myth, and HOME is living in those created worlds.

   I want first to clarify these important words before delv­ing into the subject at hand: HOME, myth, performance, and conversion.


   Jonathon Z. Smith's "worlds of meaning" above is quite similar to Peter Berger's social theory in The Sacred Canopy. According to Berger, "Every human society is an enterprise in world-building."4 Since man does not have a biologically en­coded social structure, he has to create one. This creation, passed from generation to generation, then becomes accepted as reality by those within the culture: "The social world in­tends, as far as possible, to be taken for granted."5 Living within such a social world thus gives a person a structure to be at home in. I will not get into Berger's theory on alien­ation as it would steer this paper into a wide detour here.

   This humanly created but objectified social structure then becomes a person's HOME. By using the capitalized word HOME I mean the cosmology and culture that the person chooses to live within. Some alternative words used in academia would be Reality, world, or world view. Thomas C. Blackburn defines world view as "the explicit and implicit beliefs held by a s ociety about the nature of man, of the universe, and of man's relations to the universe and to his fellow man."6 I prefer to use the word HOME because it conveys comfort in living as well as effortlessness, or in other words, taking little or no thought concerning one's assumptions about life derived from the world view.

   This notion is used by Bernad Haring in his discussion of conversion. In explaining the origin of the term conversion, he states

It has, however, still another tone if one knows that the word in the Septuagint was the rendering for 'schub', or returning home. So the sermon of Jesus, preached in Aramaic, was not a direct summons to penance in sackcloth and ashes, ' but the good news of the already begun era of the great return home.7

B. Myth

   A dictionary definition of myth is "a traditional story of unknown authorship ... serving usually to explain some phenom­enon of nature, the origin of man, or the customs, institutions, religious rites, etc., of a people..."8 Myth is com­monly seen as having a ring of untruth to it. For instance, David Bidney states that "myth may be described as belief, usually expressed in narrative form, that is incompatible with scientific and rational knowledge."9 In anthropology we see examples from around the world of strange stories that far off cultures actually seem to accept as true, yet to us they seem obviously false. But the validity of myth is not important for our definition, since we are looking at the function of myth in a culture, rather than verifiability.

   For this paper, myth is defined as the story or group of stories of a community or culture that define and transmit Reality to the members of that community or culture. Reality here means the cosmological understanding of how the universe is designed and how it works, or alternatively, the world that the members live in. The stories that are told at im­portant events in the community, that convey the community's basic assumptions about life, that are taught to children as explanations of the world or models for behavior, and that are reenacted in ritual make up the myth of a culture. They explain to the community member the way the world works, where the member fits in that world, and the type of behavior expected of the member.

   Myth is the story that grounds the individual in his world. As one of Clyde Kluckhohn's informants told him, "Knowing a good story will protect your home and children and property. A myth is just like a big stone foundation - it lasts a long time"10 This is not to say that myth is carved in stone, however. Kathleen M. Sands (1982)11 demonstrates that myth is a process of incorporation and adjustment from external as well as internal sources. The point is that myth acts as a foundation for life, as the source for basic as­sumptions about the world. If the world changes (as with the cargo cults, for example), then the myth will change to ac­commodate the new world.

C. Performance

   Richard Bauman writes about performance of a presentation of myth or folktale as an "artistic action" or an "artistic event."12 He is concerned with the acting out of a cultural story, and he makes many good points in this area, but per­formance of myth involves more than reenactment. It involves all aspects of a person's life. Performance in relation to myth is herein defined as conforming one's behavior and activities to that prescribed and assumed from the myth, without necessarily entailing an allegiance to the myth. When a person makes his HOME in the universe delineated by a myth and lives his life accordingly­- following prescribed behavior, making the members of his community the primary affinity group, participating in the rituals- then he is performing the myth. This, then, includes not only ritual and reenactment but activities of normal life as well. It is the way we live our entire life that places us in our myth. This includes the type of clothes we wear, the foods we eat, and the relations we have. As Clyde Kluckhohn has pointed out, "myth also supports accepted ways of secular behavior,"13 such as the way women are supposed to sit.

   The connection, then, among myth, performance, and HOME, is that when a person accepts a myth and makes it his HOME, then his performance will be the proper behavior prescribed by the myth in all areas of his life. It is possible to ac­cept a myth on a more superficial level where it does not be­come a person's HOME, and that would not necessarily result in proper performance. It is also possible to have proper performance without completely accepting the myth. These possibilities will be discussed in the studies of conversion below.

D. Conversion

A.D. Nock's definition of conversion is widely used. It is:

The reorientation of the soul of an individual, his deliberate turning from in­difference or from an earlier form of piety to another, a turning which implies a consciousness that a great change is involved, that the old was wrong and the new is right.14

Nock distinguishes between "conversion" and "adhesion", which is adding a religious viewpoint as a supplement rather than a substitute.

   Richard Travisano, in an often quoted definition, calls conversion "a radical reorganization of identity, meaning, life."15
This "radical reorganization" or "great change" involves more than simple intellectual agreement. It also is more than a change in behavior, since it is one's sense of identity which has changed. It is instead moving from one HOME to a different HOME.

   This move can be accomplished in several different ways. John Lofland and Norman Skonovd (1981) list six types of conversion; intellectual, mystical, experimental, affectional, revivalist, and coercive.16 Regardless of the type, the effect is the same.


   In order to illuminate the above definitions of HOME, myth, and performance, I intend to review pertinent research done on conversion in order to indicate who is a member of a religious group or culture. This study should indicate that conversion, that is, the transformation of a person who has found a new HOME, demonstrates that myth and performance (as defined above) are together necessary and sufficient to indicate the membership or nonmembership of a person in a culture or community. As Kluckhohn has pointed out, "What is really important... is the intricate interdependence of myth (which is one form of ideology) with ritual and many other forms of behavior."17

A. Who is a convert?

   Since we cannot see into a person to get at the actual motivations within, we must rely on that person's own explanation of his inner motives, and on his actions. The following studies are based almost entirely on interviews and observation.
Conversion suggests that the convert has found some deficiency ln his preconversion life. James V. Downton, Jr. studied 41 converts of the Indian guru Maharaj ji, and from these members of the guru's Divine Light Mission, he discovered one major reason people converted was that they didn't seem to fit in to their old social community.18 Some typical excerpts from converts;

Helen -  "A lot of my high school experience was pretty unhappy. I didn't fit into the life style and I didn't know why."19

Matthew - "I found the only way I could relate to the university community was as a loner. I just got totally into that role again, going to events, standing off to the side and watching, and not being a part of things."20

Walt - "I went to my temple a few times hoping to get some­thing out of it, but there was nothing there for me."21 "I was always pretty isolated from the world."22

None of these people felt that they had a HOME, so they were open and sometimes actively seeking a new way of life before joining the Divine Light Mission.

   When someone does choose to join a religious group or some community, there is of necessity a need for the community to determine that that person has indeed become a convert before he is accepted into the fold. In The Nature of Conversion, Albert Gordon explains why the major religions make a point of confirming new converts:

The requirements for ecclesiastical conversion differ widely, not only among the three major faiths but among the various divisions, denominations, and sects within each. All are agreed, however, that there is need to ascertain the sincerity of the candidate for conversion, for it is this above all else that ultimately spells enrichment or decay and disintegration of church and synagogue and the spiritual view of life to which each adheres.23

   Gordon demonstrates that each of the faiths require education into the teachings (myth) of the religion, as well as a public declaration that one has rejected the old and accepted the new faith and practice.24 Acceptance of the myth implies a change in behavior towards the required performance assumed from the myth.

   Whether a person is merely performing the part without really adhering to the myth is hard at times to discern. The motivation behind performance is sometimes a tricky thing to know. Robert W. Balch became a participant observer in a UFO cult run by Bo and Peep to investigate this problem.25

The first step in conversion to cults is learning to act like a convert by outwardly conforming to a narrowly prescribed set of role expectations. Genuine conviction develops later during the course of the typical member's career. Many cult members never became true believers, but their questioning may be effectively hidden from everyone but their closest associates.26

   This poses a problem for researchers because these people "looked tuned in, appeared committed, but were simply playing a role that concealed their real feelings, even from other mmembers of the cult."27 Balch's solution is:

Don't be deceived by appearances. I believe that social scientists need to adopt the model of investigative reporting to discover what cult members say and do when they are not "on-stage" in front of the public or, if possible, even their peers. Only then we can penetrate the wall of secrecy, that normally separates the nature of the psychological and behavioral changes that occur when someone joins a religious cult.28

   Balch is not completely correct here since it is not applicable to all types of conversion (it does not apply, for example, to St. Paul's mystical experience on the road to Damascus), but it does indicate that performance is not the total picture behind conversion. A person who is performing correctly but hasn't made his new community his HOME is not yet a convert. One of Balch's subjects, a piano tuner by trade and considered one of the most devout members by others, in fact had secretly kept the tools of his trade in his car trunk in case the UFO did not actually arrive to spirit them away.29 Balch himself was a proper performer but he had no intention of becoming a true convert.

   In "Conversion or Commitment? A Reassessment of the Snow and Machalek Approach to the Study of Conversion", Clifford L. Staples and Armand L. Mauss attempt to corne up with a method of demonstrating who is a convert. "There is one underlying assumption upon which most researchers would seem to agree, and that is that 'conversion involves a radical change in a person's experience.'"30 They take as a model the Snow-Machalek (1983; 1984) system of 4 indicators; biographical reconstruction, adoption of a master attribution scheme, suspension of analogical reasoning, and embracing a master role.

   The first indicator is "biographical reconstruction."31 This "refers to the idea that individuals who undergo the radical change of conversion reconstruct or reinterpret their past lives from the perspective of the present. In a very real sense, the past is created anew."32 To test the Snow and Machalek model, Staples and Mauss interviewed 15 members of a "Jesus-Freaks" organization in their locale. Four of the fifteen people interviewed "denied ever having a conversion experience" because they considered themselves life-long Christians. The biographical reconstruction indicator, then, seems to be useful in marking converts from those who have not had a major shift in their world view, but it is not a useful test for conversion.

   The second is "the adoption of a master attribution scheme."34 "When asked to account for the state of the world, self, or others and their actions, converts inevitably resort to one attrbibution scheme"35 rather than a variety of schemes as an average person might.

   The third indicator is "a suspension of analogical reasoning", 36 which comes from the following idea: "Since the use of analogy is meant to indicate that 'one thing is like another', it is contrary to the basic motive of religious belief to suggest that an equivalence exists between one's own beliefs and those of some other group."37 This move keeps one's ideas about the world insulated from any ideas that may compete with the ideas that corne from the myth a person holds.

   The final indicator is "embracing of a master role."38 "The convert comes to see him or herself almost totally in terms of the role as convert and member of a particular group", and is thus a Christian first, then a student, athlete, or whatever. He sees himself mainly in relation to his myth.

   Staples and Mauss only see the first, biographical reconstruction, as indicative of conversion since it indicates a radical transformation. All four, however, are for them indicators of commitment. Commitment is still quite useful for our purposes, however, in that it indicates who has made the group his HOME.

   Now, to review Staples and Mauss in light of myth and performance, I will consider each of their four indicators. "Biographical reconstruction" involves a new way of interpreting one's past through the new myth. A member may now see his move from one city to another, as an example, not to get a better paying job but instead as the hand of God directing him to come in contact with his new Family and HOME. The myth is assumed to have been working even in his past.

   The "adoption of a master attribution scheme" runs clearly in line with acceptance of the myth. One now makes his as­sumptions in life based on the myth rather than from a variety of options. This would indicate for Balch's apparent converts, for instance, whether they were experimenting or committed (or perhaps, more troublingly, great performers). "Suspension of analogical reasoning" also indicates a commit­ment to the myth, since it assumes that there is nothing com­parable to or above the myth.

   If a stranger would ask, "Who are you?", a person would more than likely answer based on his or her master role. Staples and Mauss's informers all indicated that they were Christians first and foremost. Their self-perception is based on the myth that they embrace.

   Thus, in essence, Staples and Mauss provide indicators for commitment that involve myth-based explanations of the world (adoption of a master attribution scheme, suspension of analogical reasoning) and myth-based self-interpretation (biographical reconstruction, embracing a master role). And were we to distill this even more, we may say that making the myth one's HOME is the indication of commitment. What their study has shown for our purposes is that the indication that a person is a member of a culture or community is that he is living in the myth. While they did not delve directly into performance, other than the verbal performance at the interviews, I propose that when a person is living within a myth, or has made that his HOME, proper performance goes hand in hand with this.

B. Myth and Performance Equals Conversion

   Of course it makes sense that if someone wants to convert another, they are hoping to do more than just get that other to accept a particular story. Certainly, some type of behavior is expected to result from this acceptance. It is interesting to note that some recruiting organizations attempt to "sell" their myth and assume performance will follow, while others seek through altering performance to instill the myth. This indicates that myth and performance are assumed to go hand in hand.

   Fundamentalist Christian organizations stress their stories to potential converts through preaching, witnessing, radio and TV programs, revivals, tracts, and other methods. The main stress is for converts to adhere to the myth. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16) is the battle cry for Christian proselytizers, calling people to believe in the myth of Christ. In Conversion, Walter E. Conn's collection of essays on the subject, one strains to find any place where the Christian essayists address just what performance is expected of the convert. What is noted continually is that when one accepts the myth of Christianity, he becomes a new man, but little mention is made of what the behavioral consequences of this entail. Karl Barth, one of the essayists, states that conversion literally revolves around the acceptance of the myth:

The difference between the life of the one who is engaged in conversion and that of others is not that the former moves itself, but that it has an axis on which to turn. It is properly this axis which makes this man a new man...39

   While not delineated, newness of character is assumed from conversion in these essays. A great change has taken place in the convert's life which is expected to have profound impact and lasting positive value.

   There is another type of conversion which follows the contrary theory that proper performance will instill the myth. This is coercive conversion. Robert J. Lifton's study of forty "graduates" of the Chinese re-education camps during the late 1950's is the seminal work in this field. Mao Tse-tung initiated the re-education camps to change wrong-thinking people into model citizens. "We must also carry our various effective measures to transform the various evil ideological conceptions in the minds of the people so that they may be educated and reformed into new people."40 The re-education camps were simply prisons where several men shared a cell. The daily routine involved confession of one's own faults and criticism of one's fellow "schoolmates." A cell chief would observe the progress of each "schoolmate" and report it to a superior. Each prisoner's every move was observed and recorded to show whether he was beginning to see things from "the people's point of view." Progress was dependent upon how the superiors translated the behavior and confessions of each. If progress was not made, more pressure was applied, including physical beatings, deprival of sleep and food, and ridicule by fellow "schoolmates" until the proper behavior or confession occurred. Often if there was no progress after several weeks, the prisoner was shot.

   When one looks at the four indicators of Staples and Mauss explained above, it is plain from Lifton's work that the re-education consisted of attempting to implant all four indicators into each prisoner. "Biographical reconstruction" is plainly evident in the confessions of past misdeeds. "You have committed crimes against the people, and you must now confess everything,"41 a judge told a new "schoolmate." "Hate your past, and you will find your way for the future"42 was a slogan at a university in Yenching.

   "Adoption of a master attribution scheme" was constantly pushed onto the prisoners. "Each had to learn to express himself from the 'correct' or 'people's standpoint' applied not only to personal actions, but to political, social, and ethical issues."43 When a prisoner had over an extended time exhibited the fact that he saw the world from the "people's point of view" then he was reIeased. "Suspension of analogical reasoning" was carried to an extreme. The government was seen as above all and immune from imperfections. When Dr. Vincent, a new prisoner, declared his innocence at his initial hearing, the judge said sharply "The government never arrests an innocent man."44 After weeks of trying to maintain a rational confession, under constant torture and sleepless interrogation, Dr. Vincent finally broke down:

You are annihilated ... exhausted can't control yourself, or remember what you said two minutes before. You feel that all is lost ... From that moment, the judge is the real master of you. You accept anything he says. When he asks how many 'intelligences' you gave to that person, you just put out a number in order to satisfy him.45

   "Embracing a master role" is taking on "the people's point of view." One becomes a fellow communist first and foremost. In a coercive environment, there is only one choice available for the future: "He is likely to be drawn to a conversion ex­perience, which he sees as the only means of attaining a path of existence for the future."46

   The point of forcing performance, again, is to instill the myth by which the communists wanted the "schoolmates" to live by. Myth and performance again go hand in hand. Parenthetically, there were marginal successes in this, but generally when the extreme milieu control was lifted, a majority of prisoners returned more or less to their old way of life.

III. Application of the Myth/Performance Unit

   This study has hopefully explained that myth and performance are the ingredients that make up membership in a culture or community. A person who has incorporated the myth into his life to the extent, as Berger states, that "it has acheived that measure of objectivity that compels the indi­vidual to recognize it as real,"47 has made the myth his HOME. His actions and behavior will be patterned according to the myth. Regardless of whether a person was raised in a myth or converted in some manner, if the myth is his HOME, then he is a member of that culture.

   A person can accept a myth without making it his HOME. Equally, a person can perform according to the prescribed manners of a myth, yet not accept the myth in any way. These two cases are guarded against by the community at large because the person is not grounded in the myth well enough to be immune from nonmythic ideas and behavior, and could infect the community's world. It is for this reason that converts are carefully scrutinized before being allowed into the fold (and, I would suggest, so children raised in a culture are also scrutinized through training and ritual). It is important for the community to know who is and who is not a member. It is also important for the academic world to make this demarcation as well. The Staples and Mauss article is a good representation of how academics is straining to find a way to discern actual membership from peripheral experimentation, acting, and other degrees of participation in a culture. I would suggest that the myth/performance model is beneficial in this type of research.

   A question that arises from this research is, just where are the seekers, those people who have found discomfort their current HOME? They have basically rejected their old world and still haven't found a new HOME yet. It appears that they are in a liminal state. Victor Turner's The Ritual Process explains that the liminal state is when a person "passes through a cultural realm that has few or none of the attributes of the past or coming state."48 The liminal state in this case seems to be a dangerous, unsettling time where one's orientation is missing. As Berger says, "radical separation from the social world, or anomy, constitutes such a powerful threat to the individual ... In extreme cases, he loses his sense of reality and identity."49 No wonder there are stunning testimonials of effusive praise when a person finds a new HOME after wandering without direction.

   The research for this paper has shown to me that using the myth/performance unit to study cultural membership opens up ripe areas for study and insight. It makes the criteria for who is a member easier to comprehend and apply than the more unwieldy attempts without it. And it demonstrates the commonality of experience within intercultural studies, where the basis of a culture is seen to be coming from a similar foundation.

   The study of conversion can be greatly aided by keeping myth and performance in mind. In today's religious and cul­tural marketplace people have a myriad of choices should they decide to find a new HOME. It would be useful for people to understand that when they convert to another culture, they are in a sense moving into a new world. This is a radical step and one that should not be taken lightly as it seems many people do. They should understand the myth clearly, and also what performance will be expected from them before they decide to commit to any new culture.

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Lofland, John, "'Becoming a World Saver' Revisited", AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST, July/August 1977 20(6) :805-818.

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Richardson, James T., "The Active vs. Passive Convert: Paradigm Conflict in Conversion/Recruitment Research" J.S.S.R., 1985 24(2) :119-236.

Sands, Kathleen M., "The Singing Tree: Dynamics of a Yaqui Myth", AMERICAN QUARTERLY, Fall 1983 35(4) :355-375

Sarbin, Theodore R. and Nathan Adler, "Self-Reconstitution Processes: A Preliminary Report", PSYCHOANALYTICAL REVIEW, 1970 599-615.

Smith, Jonathon Z., IMAGINING RELIGION: FROM BABYLON TO JONESTOWN (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982)

Snow, David A. and Richard Machalek, "The Sociology of Conversion," AMERICAN REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY, 1984 10: 167-190

Staples, Clifford L. and Armand L. Mauss, "Conversion or Commitment? A Reassessment of the Snow and Machalek Approach to the Study of Conversion", J.S.S.R., 1987, 26(2) :133-147. P.135.

Travisano , Richard in G.P. Stone and H. Farberman (eds.), SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY THROUGH SYMBOLIC INTERACTION, (Waltham, MA: Ginn-Blaisdell, 1970), quoted in Lofland/ Skonovd (1981: 375) .



1 John Humphrey Noyes, STRANGE CULTS & UTOPIAS OF 19TH-CENTURY AMERICA (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1966), p.108.

2 Peter Brown, THE CULT OF THE SAINTS: ITS RISE AND FUNCTION IN LATIN CHRISTIANITY, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1981), p.113.

3 IMAGINING RELIGION: FROM BABYLON TO JONESTOWN (Chicago: University of Chicago,Press, 1982), p.290.

4 Peter Berger, THE SACRED CANOPY, (New York: Anchor Press, 1967) p.3.

5 ibid. p.24.

6 Thomas C. Blackburn, DECEMBER'S CHILD: A BOOK OF CHUMASH ORAL NARRATIVES (Berkeley:University of California Press, 1975) p.63.

7 Walter E. Conn, ed., CONVERSION; PERSPECTIVES ON PERSONAL AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION (Staten Island, NY: Alba House, 1978), p.220.

8 WEBSTER'S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY, THIRD COLLEGE EDITION (New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1988), p.898

9 David Bidney, THEORETICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, (NY: Columbia University Press, 1953), p.295.

10 Clyde Kluckhohn "Myths and Rituals: A General Theory", Harvard Theological Review, date unknown (class handout), p.74.

11 Kathleen M. Sands, "The Singing Tree: Dynamics of a Yaqui Myth", AMERICAN QUARTERLY, Fall 1983 35(4) :355-375.

12 Richard Bauman, "Verbal Art as Performance" AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST, 1975, 77:290-311.

13 Kluckhohn, p.61.

14 A.D. Nock, CONVERSION (London : Oxford University Press, 1933), p.7.

15 Richard Travisano in G.P. Stone and H. Farberman (eds.), SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY THROUGH SYMBOLIC INTERACTION, (Waltham, MA: Ginn­-Blaisdell, 1970), quoted in Lofland/Skonovd (1981:375).

16 John Lofland and Norman Skonovd, "Conversion Motifs", JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF RELIGION 1981, 20(4) :373-385.

17 Kluckhohn, p. 54.

18 James V. Downton, Jr., SACRED JOURNEYS: THE CONVERSION OF YOUNG AMERICANS TO DIVINE LIGHT MISSION, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979).

19 Ibid. p.31.

20 ibid. p. 49.

21 ibid. p.79.

22 ibid. p.80.


24 ibid, p. 25

25 Balch, "Looking Behind the Scenes in a Religious Cult: Implications for the study of Conversion", SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS 1980 41,2:137-143.

26 ibid. p.142.

27 ibid.

28 ibid. p. 143.

29 ibid. p.141.

30 ibid. p. 134.

31 Clifford L. Staples and Armand L. Mauss, "Corrver s i.on or Commitment? A Reassessment of the Snow and Machalek Approach to the Study of Conversion", J.S.S.R., 1987,26(2):133-147. p.135

32 ibid.

33 ibid. p.142.

34 ibid. p.136.

35 ibid.

36 ibid. p.136.

37 ibid.

38 ibid.


40 Robert J. Lifton, THOUGHT REFORM AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TOTALISM, (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1963), p.14.

41 ibid. p.21.

42 ibid. p. 345.

43 ibid. p.26

44 ibid. p. 21.

45 ibid. p.23.

46 ibid. p.434.

47 Berger, p.12.

48 Victor Turner, THE RITUAL PROCESS (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1969), p.94.

49 Berger, p. 21.