Bromley has also been touted as an “expert” on “new religions,” commonly called “cults,” by the so-called “new CAN” (Cult Awareness Network), a former anti-cult organization taken over by Scientologists.
Now the man Scientology looks to for cover, has been asked by Associated Press (AP) to explain “charismatic leaders,” and the people that follow them.
Hardly a reliable source on such subjects, Bromley held forth anyway about “cult” leaders like Tony Alamo (photo left), whose Arkansas and California compounds were recently raided by law enforcement.
The religious studies professor commented about the “intense commitment” of cultists, which many might otherwise describe as “fanaticism” brought about through “brainwashing.”
Bromley has chosen instead to call this the “hot stage.”
Alamo’s group is indeed getting pretty “hot,” as authorities investigate allegations of child abuse and pornography.
The media spotlight is likewise heating up, focused upon this “charismatic leader,” who was once convicted and sentenced to six years in prison on tax-related charges. Prosecutors say Alamo preys upon married women and girls in his congregation.
But Bromley says, “organizations [like Alamo's] may not be as strong as they seem.”
However, Alamo is a strongman, exercising dictatorial power over his followers. And in this sense his organization is essentially run like a ver tiny version of a totalitarian state.
Bromley also claims that cult “groups are much more diverse than they appear on the surface.”
However, whatever diversity is tolerated within Alamo’s compounds, which reportedly include armed guards, would be determined by Tony Alamo.
Bromley also attempted to dismiss the eerie clone-like appearance frequently associated with cult members.
The academic apologist tacitly admitted though that they often “look and talk alike.”
But Bromley concluded that they are nevertheless “enormously different” in their “level of commitment.”
Once again, this would depend upon whatever level of commitment men like Mr. Alamo might require.
Bromley opined, “people have different reasons for being there and that half are on their way in and half are on their way out.”
Maybe some adults can consider their options, but not the children. When kids are brought up within cults, their only choice seems to be to suffer through it.
Some children within the Alamo compound may be “on their way out,” but only because authorities have interceded and the courts will now ultimately determine their fate.
This may be the greatest tragedy associated with destructive cults, that is the suffering of helpless children.
But don’t expect David Bromley to talk much about that.