The 2014 trailer of “The Sacrament” aims to mirror the events of the Jamestown massacre. With this allusion, the producers target an audience who fears cults and sees them through a unfavorable lens. It is prevalent that the producers want the audience to see the evils behind cults through their use of rhetoric. To start off, producers create the initial bias for the audience by categorizing the film in the “horror” genre, which immediately elicits an audience who find these movements haunting. However, individuals who are not opposed to cult activity might find this piece of rhetoric as offensive. It is obvious that the creators of this piece did not consider them within the population they wanted to reach. Unlike some other contemporary cult pieces, such as the Scientology promotional video, The Sacrament aims to steer people away from this cultural deviation.
Scientology’s website brings in a entirely different audience than “The Sacrament” with its light-hearted, utopian spin on the cult life. Within their promotional video on the front page of the site, they show glimmering faces of happy and healthy families, their lives looking as if they are near perfection. It is evident that Scientology wants to capture the attention of potential new members. However, I personally found their website to be extremely vague. This is how they lure people in. In a sense, it’s a brilliant use of rhetoric. By making people feel a lack of inclusion, they will be more inclined to join the movement to find out what they are missing. The lack of knowledge consumes people, causing the type of response Scientology wants to happen.