Can Bullying Increase the Risk of Kids Joining a Cult like ISIS?

It's a question none of us want to be asking but should: can bullying increase the risk of our kids joining a cult like ISIS? Find out the scary truth.

Can bullying increase the risk of kids joining a cult like ISIS? This is a question we as parents don’t like to face, but in this day and age must get honest about. We have seen the proof of how bullying can adversely effect our children in the long run. Lasting emotional damage can create issues that carry into adulthood and lead to horrible choices.

Can bullying increase the risk of kids joining a cult like ISIS?

Bullying without support and counseling can lead to children joining any cult. While this post is specifically looking at ISIS, we must look at the fact that bullying can lead to joining any cult-like environment. A cult provides something that a person feels a need for. A place to belong and at times feel stronger or superior.

  • Cults provide a place to belong.
  • Cults often champion the weak and make them feel wanted and desired.
  • Cults prey on the weaknesses of those who are emotionally damaged.
  • Cults offer a place of safety and sanctuary with people of like minds.

Sadly, cults often give confused and hurting young adults a place to feel that they belong. There will be little to no judgement for physical or emotional traits they may have formerly been bullied over. There will be an acceptance and a feeling of belonging that could easily draw them in.

Educating our children about what cults are protects them. Cults are not as uncommon as we would like to believe. When you educate your children about bullies, abusers and those people or things they should avoid, you can easily include cults. There are several great resources that will show you what cult behaviors are like so they can learn to readily see these things for themselves. Psychology Today has an excellent non-secular article on the behavior patterns of cult leaders (and dangerous personalities in general). Explaining that any group that isolates its members from others an promotes violence is not okay.

Just as much as victims may feel led to a cult, so will bullies themselves. A bully enjoys the power they hold over their victim. Being given an opportunity to do so for a “righteous” cause, or with encouragement from others of like mind is often all it takes to encourage their behavior. Cults will not only offer a victim a place of solace, they can offer a bully a place of encouragement.

While the fear of your child joining a cult because of being bullied is valid, it is typically going to be a rare instance. This is something you have to educate them and yourself about. As a parent, it is your job to provide them with love, understanding and a safe place to come for support. If you do that and continue working with them and counselors throughout their journey, this should not be a fear or concern.

Do you think bullying increases the risk of kids joining cults like ISIS? How can we, as parents, keep our kids from falling under the spell of such dangerous groups?

13 thoughts on “Can Bullying Increase the Risk of Kids Joining a Cult like ISIS?”

  1. I am sure if a child feels alone they would find comfort in anyone that offers them companionship. It is a scary world we live in today.

  2. I think that as parents we can teach our children not only to think of others, (AKA know not to bully) but how to be strong and stand up for themselves and their beliefs. I am unsure that bullying leads to ISIS…

  3. I totally believe that bullying can lead kids to cults or even Gangs. Just anywhere that would make them feel welcomed, wanted, and have a support system. It is so important that we make sure we give that to our kids, so they don’t have to turn elsewhere. Whether they are bullied or not, our kids need that love, caring support system. But Especially when there is bullying involved.

  4. This is such an important topic. When your bullied you do look for love and comfort, it may help push them into cults but if the home life is caring and nurturing and teaches that cults look for victims not survivors then you can help change the strength of those terrible cults.

  5. I don’t think that bullying necessarily pushes kids into a cult, per say, but it definitely can make them want to search for acceptance somewhere. Bullying has become such a pervasive topic these days, but it’s not really anything NEW. I wonder if the lack of consistent moral guidance has also contributed to the rise in cult behavior.

  6. My brother was bullied as a child and I think that has had a major impact on how he “turned out.” He’s very troubled and pretty disconnected from our immediate family. It’s hard to reach out to him and have a meaningful conversation.

  7. Bullying is a terrible thing, and I can see how victims and bullies would be prone to joining cults. As our kid gets older, we try to teach her to openly communicate with us, so that she knows we are there for her through all the good and the bad. We also teach her to be kind to others. Treat others how you want to be treated.

  8. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I totally believe that people who are bullied can find comfort in a cult – where they feel accepted.

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