Cults are on a continuum. Some can be relatively benign while others can be more destructive. A group can even change from day to day. What we research, are the more destructive and violent cults on the continuum. We will not provide a list of cults, although, you can explore the news feed. The news feed will have updated information on various groups. The information is not exhaustive. We invite you to read the thesis by Lisa Monroney on “Transitioning from a Cult back into Society”. The thesis contains information on the various cult definitions, sociological perspectives, and interviews from six former cult members. Cults come in many forms such as; bible-based groups, political groups, therapy groups, educational groups, etc. Cults can consist of two people or several thousand. There is no limit to the types or sizes of these groups.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are currently 954 hate groups operating in the United States. A few examples encompass neo-Nazis, white nationalists, anti-gay zealots, black separatists, racist skinheads, neo-confederates, and more. The SPLC has a hate map on their website. The map shows different extremist groups and their locations. The SPLC has a wealth of information on their website with current information on hate crimes, hate groups, and hate in general. The website is SPLCenter.org.
“Once found primarily in large cities, violent street gangs now affect public safety in communities of all sizes in rural, suburban, and urban areas. No region of the United States is untouched by gang activity.
Gangs are defined in many ways, but most definitions have similar components. A common definition of a gang is a group of three or more individuals who engage in criminal activity and identify themselves with a common name or sign. Gang, youth gang, and street gang are terms widely used, and often interchangeably, in mainstream coverage.
According to law enforcement reports and self-reported data, gang members commit a higher percentage of crime than non-gang members. In many communities, more than three-quarters of crimes are committed by gang members.” (https://www.ncjrs.gov/gangs/)
Many cities have their own gang task force to confront the criminal activities of gangs. Since our youth are so vulnerable to becoming a member of a gang, the whole community would benefit on the involvement of implementing different strategies to help with this serious issue. Recruitment can start at a very young age, as young as 9 years old. Youth, who are involved in a gang, many times are born into a gang. Our youth need to be welcomed into a community, and have healthy programs set up for them to dissuade them from becoming involved with a gang, or hopefully, to leave a gang.