London Thinks has gathered experts in psychology, religion and cults to explore the idea of belief. Why do we believe the things we do? Are we genetically programmed to believe in the supernatural, or is belief socially imposed upon us from a young age? Were Abrahamic religious texts always considered to be the word of God or is religious literalism a modern invention? Samira Ahmed chairs as our panelists discuss these ideas and more in our first London Thinks of 2016.

Alex Stein

Alexandra Stein will discuss cults and brainwashing, focusing on the leadership, structure, ideologies and processes involved. These attributes are common to a variety of dangerous relationships, from one-on-one cults to extremist political groups. There is an urgent need to teach young people about these phenomena at all levels of education. This talk will include suggestions about creating a culture of awareness in order to prevent recruitment to these systems and to increase accountability of the abuses that occur within them.

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