ABC’s General Hospital is tackling an important topic with its Dawn of Day story: The dangers of being dragged into a cult.
According to Merriam-Webster, a cult is defined as a situation in which people admire and care about something or someone very much or too much.
Kristina Corinthos-Davis’ (Lexis Ainsworth) obsession with Dawn of Day and its leader Shiloh Archer (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) fits into the classic behavior of someone involved in a cult. Kristina has pulled away from her family and friends and immersed herself in all things Dawn of Dawn. Shiloh’s words and opinions have become gospel with Kristina beginning practically every sentence with “Shiloh says.” Her younger sister Molly (Haley Puollos) pointed out how her sister no longer had an original thought.
People involved with cults often take the defensive; they believe no one understands them or even care about them as much as their “cult family.” Kristina has adapted this too. Dawn of Day has become more important to her than her family. They also cut people out of their lives for not accepting their beliefs about the cult. Again, Kristina has started doing this. First with friend Valerie Spencer and soon after with her own sister (Molly) and mother Alexis (Nancy Grahan).
For people with low self esteem and a desperate need of belonging, getting sucked into a cult is a very real possibility. They may feel less than important if they’re not a part of something larger than themselves. And whereas your family or friends often tell you your shortcomings, cult members totally accept you. They aren’t about wanting what’s best for you, (even though their rhetoric says otherwise) they want you to put your faith and belief in them and for you to follow them down any path.
Lexi Ainsworth is portraying Kristina as someone who attempted to take charge of her life by taking stock of who she is and who she wanted to be. She was determined to become a better person and learn from her mistakes. Unfortunately, this left Kristina opened to Shiloh’s manipulation and made her prime to be controlled by Dawn of Day.
Parents, friends and teachers need to pay attention to the warning signs of someone being drawn to a cult. When a person no longer participates in activities they once enjoyed to focus on one group or organization that seeks to change them into part of a collective, red flags need to go off. Kristina’s sister Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) became suspicious of the influence Dawn of Day was having over for sister’s life an attitude. Sam alerted Jason (Steve Burton) to the situation. She decided to go undercover inside Dawn of Day in order to get her impressible younger sister out of it’s clutches as Jason’s methods involved something more illegal (like eliminating Shiloh).
Viewers learned teacher Willow Tait (Katelyn MacMullen) was once part of Dawn of Day’s inner circle. Shiloh has Narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is defined as a personality disorder with a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Willow explained to Detective Harrison Chase (Josh Swickward) how Shiloh manipulates with mind games:
If unchecked, social media can increase the dangers of getting involved with a cult. Parents should monitor their children’s internet activities. And if your child becomes a member of a group, take the time to learn more about it in order to assess whether it’s safe. Most people may believe that cults are scary religious sects. And in some cases, that’s true. However, a cult can be disguised as a cause for something worthwhile. When a loved one starts to become distant and obsess over a group, perhaps even dressing like its members or making large contributions to it, beware and confront them. By remaining silent you could be allowing someone you care about to get in over their head and put their life in danger.
This week’s General Hospital promo shows this danger Kristina faces:
Video Courtesy of General Hospital
General Hospital continues to educate viewers with stories that are relevant and important. The Dawn of Day saga should help viewers to identify the signs of cult involvement.
Whether you like or dislike General Hospital’s DOD story, there’s no disputing the topic of cult awareness is vital especially in the age of social media. Kudos to General Hospital for addressing it.
Photos Courtesy of ABC
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