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Lie detection is like language; there is a learning window. Telling whoppers to small children seems to be a family tradition in many families.
If anyone wonders why the airlines are not doing well it is because flying has been made such an unpleasant and degrading experience.
I suspect that a substantial fraction of human problems in the world today, not just cults, result from the mismatch between the current environment and the environment in which we evolved.
I much prefer the modern world.
I can't think of anyone who is up on evolutionary psychology and related areas who is deluded enough to be called a utopian.
Humans have evolved to be exquisitely sensitive to changes in status.
High status males had multiple wives or additional mating opportunities in the ancestral environment.
Genetic studies in Iceland have found that many of the women who were the founding stock of Iceland came from England and what is now France. Some were probably captured and carried off in Viking raids only 40 generations ago.
Fighting hard to protect yourself and your relatives is good for your genes, but when captured and escape is not possible, giving up short of dying and making the best you can of the new situation is also good for your genes.
Evolution acts slowly. Our psychological characteristics today are those that promoted reproductive success in the ancestral environmen.
Even small cults are a serious cost on the world economy, to victims, their families, employers, friends, and credit-card companies.
Cults, or related social movements such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, result in massive military expenses.
Cult recruiting methods based on dosing victims with the brain chemicals released during capture bonding would make cults even more of a problem than they are now.
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