As a sociology major (University of Oregon class of 1995) I studied new and old religious movements (also called by some as "cults"). I find group thinking to be fascinating, intriguing, scary and bold). Most people do not join cults, they join causes, religions, like-minded "groups." The washing of the brain is gradual...usually along the lines of us vs. them. Below are a few of the more famous ones (Synanon, Heaven's Gate, Christ Universal and Triumphant, Solar Temple, Jim Jones, Manson, Baghwan Shree Rajneesh), but there are many more out there. Some as small as a handful of people...to giant ones like the church of scientology, the unification church (moonies) and the mormons.