Misattribution and social control in the children of god

  title={Misattribution and social control in the children of god},
  author={Stephen A. Kent},
  journal={Journal of Religion and Health},
  • S. Kent
  • Published 1 March 1994
  • Philosophy
  • Journal of Religion and Health
This article argues that deviant religions use supposedly godly justifications for their punishment systems by establishing theologies in which members misattribute divine authority to leaders whom they relate to emotionally as to demanding parents. These misattributing theologies “sanctify” the harsh suffering that members often experience. Illustrations of the theoretical points come from texts published by the Children of God in its early period (the 1970s), supplemented by accounts given by… 

The uses and misuses of attribution theory

  • R. Hutch
  • Psychology
    Journal of Religion and Health
  • 2006
This article is based on the view that attribution theory in the psychology of religion does not offer for use, or imply, the evaluative methodological position of “misattribution” that is assumed by

Flirty Fishing in the Children of God : the sexual body as a site of proselytization and salvation

The Children of God [now called The Family] emerged as an apocalyptic new religious movement in the late 1960s. By the late 1970s, the group had engendered a great deal of academic and popular debate

Becoming a God: Max Weber and the social construction of charisma

This article seeks to demonstrate that implicit within Weber’s writings on charisma are tools that can enable a processual, social constructionist understanding of charismatic formation. A corollary

The Children of God Who Wouldn’t, but Had To

Writing about groups that are typically branded as cults is like walking a high wire; except everyone wants you to fall. The group you choose to examine will certainly never consider itself a‘cult’

The History of Credibility Attacks Against Former Cult Members

0F1 For decades, academics have discussed apostates, but in the late 1970s a number of prominent sociological researchers began defining them as unreliable information sources who intended their

An Expansion of the Rational Choice Approach: Social Control in the Children of God during the 1970s and 1980s

Using primary documents from the Children of God and interviews with current and former members, we argue that commitment to this deviant Christian group during the 1970s must be understood as a



Social control in alternative religions: a familial perspective

This article highlights the pervasiveness of family models in both the theological self-conceptions of alternative religious organizations and the sociological scholarship on them. We argue that

Living in the Children of God

At the height of the religious ferment of the 1970s, David Van Zandt studied firsthand the most vilified of the new radical religious movements--the Children of God, or the Family of Love. First

The Economy of Love in Religious Commitment: The Deconversion of Women from Nontraditional Religious Movements

This paper examines the characteristics of female religious commitment by focusing on conversion to and disaffection from nontraditional religious movements. The seventeen subjects in the study

The "Moonies": a psychological study of conversion and membership in a contemporary religious sect.

The authors discuss correlates of an improved emotional state following conversion and employ attribution theory, drawn from social psychology, to put the conversion process into a psychiatric perspective.

The Effects of Ritual Healing on Female Victims of Abuse: A Study of Empowerment and Transformation

This research analyzes the effects of ritual healing on women who have been victims of abuse, including incest, rape, and battering. The study was conducted through participant observation of a

A General Attribution Theory for the Psychology of Religion

A formal theory demonstrating the applicability of attribution concepts and research findings to the psychology of religion is developed and discussed. First, an overview of attribution theory is

The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion

1. The Belief in a Just World.- 2. The First Experiment: The Effect of Fortuitous Reward.- 3. The Second Experiment: Observers' Reactions to the "Innocent Victim".- 4. The Third Experiment: The

Have the Social Sciences Been Converted

Once considered hostile to religion, the social sciences are now considered friendly. Historians of religion consider contemporary social scientists kindred souls. The reason is not that social

The Spirit of God: The Exegesis of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the Pneumatomachian Controversy of the Fourth Century

This volume provides a fascinating insight into the way that the theological concerns of two important fourth-century Greek Christian authors, Athanasius and Basil of Caesarea, shaped their exegesis