Friday, March 3, 2017
Pathos in "The Sacrament"
For cult leaders, preying upon pathos is a unique and powerful method of controlling and attracting followers. Appealing to the sense of emotion is an especially important tool, as the way we feel truly does have the power to influence the way we act, behave and view the world. In The Sacrament (watch the trailer here), this is seen through the control of the commune’s leader, who goes by the hauntingly simple name, “Father”. Father has brainwashed his followers into committing heinous and exploitive acts because he has full power over their emotions. These followers feel that Father has given them a sense of hope and happiness, choosing to ignore the wrongful pain that he is inflicting on them and their loved ones. Another modern day cult in which an appeal to pathos is particularly present in is The Brethren (to learn more about this group, click here). This group has such a grip on the emotions of their followers that they are willing to give up all worldly comforts in exchange for membership. They have become so emotionally attached to the goals and teachings of the Brethren that they cut all outside ties, completely giving themselves to the group. Emotional appeal is one of the most powerful tactics because it allows for the formation of bonds, making followers incredibly vulnerable to the grip of their leaders.