When he was 22, Andy's mother joined a suicide cult. She didn't realize it was a suicide cult at first, of course, or even that it was a cult at all. Susan just needed a place to belong, and to escape to. She'd read enough Facebook posts that made the things she was taught at her church seem downright logical. After a while, though, she did delete her Facebook account, as instructed.
What people often do not appreciate about cults, even suicide cults, is that if any of its members thought they were part of a cult, of course they wouldn't be there. If they knew that drinking poison was the final goal of their organization, they probably would not have chosen to be a part. Self-preservation instincts are strong. They must be tricked into thinking that the poison is just the next logical step along this path on which they have been led.
The first step is the feeling of acceptance. The feeling that, finally, one belongs. The next step is the teachings. Of course that is why things are the way they are, it is so obvious now. Then comes the isolation. Those outside this circle of knowing, it's not their fault, but they can't be trusted. Then the behaviors. When each new behavior is so much like the last, the change is imperceptible. But each takes a small step towards the gallon jug of laced iced tea.