Two topics I wanted to avoid writing about were politics and religion. And now, it seems my hand is forced to say something. I’ve been quiet for five years.
As a life-long Atheist / non-believer, many times I found myself confounded by those who are overly-religious, to the point that it rules every single aspect of their day. Even more curious are those who are willing to break the law, lose pieces of their lives or minds, or even die for charismatic leaders.
In reviewing how they got there, it might lend some clues into how to get them out. Fortunately, there are intelligent people online, including Theramin Trees. This video, which should start at around 29:51, explains this in elegant detail, while avoiding the big orange elephant in the room.
If it does not start at 29:51, please feel free to forward to that point, although the entire thing covers a variety of situations and relationships where people can fall prey to harmful people or ideas.