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Throughout our history thousands of American citizens have divorced themselves from the primary culture and sought life in a closed community. We will study the reasons for such a choice, whether ideological, financial, personal dependency, or attachment to a charismatic leader who makes all decisions for the group. Specific cults and sects studied will include Shakers, Mormonism, Heaven's Gate, the Manson Family, Branch Davidians, Jonestown among others.
Group Leader: Margaret Watson is a product of the Big Ten, having received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan and then pursuing further graduate study at Ohio State University. She is Professor Emerita from Quinsigamond Community College, serving both on the faculty and the administration in her thirty six years tenure there.
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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609