Anyone out there remember the weird cults of the '80's and '90's? I do - and I REALLY remember wondering: Why would all these seemingly normal people follow someone preaching such a bizarre doctrine?
After a while, I figured out the followers weren't your usual run-of-the-mill folks - oftentimes, they were former drug addicts, formerly incarcerated folks, and generally misguided souls. So, why were these particular types of people so attracted to what we most of us consider a "whack job"?
The more I learn about psychology, the more I understand this concept: Turns out, when some of us start to lose faith in our OWN judgement (after we seriously mess up, for example), we often long to "be told" what to do. In other words, if we don't have a moral compass and can't trust ourselves to make the right decisions, we'll seek-out someone to make those decisions for us.
Now, not all people in search of morality end up in cults, of course. Some explore more traditional religion and find healthy ways to find their moral compass. And, still others, regain their center through meditation or self-discovery.
And, even if we do trust our own judgement, sometimes it's still nice to have someone tell us what's right and wrong. It's simply human nature.