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Some people recovering from drugs or alcohol stay with the programs indefinitely, making the recovery program their family, a long-term source of attention rewards.
Primates will continue to play social games without the least insight into what is killing them.
People under the influence of cults is similar to that we observe in addicts. Typical behaviour for both includes draining bank accounts, neglecting children, destroying relations with family and losing interest in anything except the drug or cult.
People repeat behaviour that leads to flooding their brains with pleasurable chemicals. The short-term reward loop acts over hours to years, and the long-term reproductive success loop over generations.
People can undergo a sudden change of thinking and loyalties under threat of death or intense social pressure and isolation from friends and family.
Most of the suicide hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, a place not lacking in wealth. But due to rapid population growth, the wealth per capita has fallen by about half in a generation.
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.
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