English NewSchool of Architecture and Design The Good News Cult Discussion Read these first two pages of the most read student essay in history. Then answer the five questions at the bottom.give short answers. make as pdf file see attached THE GOOD NEW CULT (student essay)
The Good News Cult (student essay)
I had just recently come back from what I was telling
people was “the best experience of my life.” Over my winter break
at Rutgers University, I decided to try something different and
embarked on a ten-day trip sponsored by a Korean organization
called the Good News Corps that eventually brought me to
Monterrey, Mexico, where I participated in the IYF (International
Youth Fellowship) English Camp. The camp aimed to teach
English to Mexican students of all ages over the course of three
days. The whole trip only cost $300.
The memories were still fresh in my mind: the laughing, the
dancing, the singing, the half-dozen girls holding me crying,
thanking me for coming. Except now all these warm fuzzy feelings
were being replaced with something else, something much more
unsettling. I was having trouble processing what I was reading on
my computer screen.
It was an article about the trip that made the front page of
nytimes.com, titled “Traveling to Teach English; Getting Sermons
Instead.” [It was] sent to me by another student who went on the
trip. The article details the account of two students who went
home early in the trip while we were still in Dallas, Texas, for four
days of “training” in preparation for teaching in Mexico. They felt
they were victims of a scam, and were unhappy with how much of
the camp centered on religion and the “Mind Lectures” of the
program’s leader, Ock Soo Park. This wasn’t surprising, as I had
met plenty of kids there who were upset for the same reasons,
myself included, but most of us toughed it out for the sake of
being able to go to Mexico. It was the comments section that was
causing my state of disbelief.
“Evil. Creepy and Evil.”
“Sounds an awful lot like the bad parts of Jonestown.”
“While editorial concerns must have precluded Mr. Dwyer
from calling a duck a duck, we all know these unwitting
students got trapped in a recruitment session for a cult.”
“Typical cult strategies.”
THE GOOD NEW CULT (student essay)
“This sounds like the Moonie cult from years ago.”
“This organization is essentially considered a cult in South
Korea, known as ‘Saviorists.’”
And they went on.
“This can’t be right,” was all I could think. Different flashes
of my trip started replaying in my head. The mass baptisms in the
hotel pool. The two-hour mind lectures. The lack of sleep. My
moment of revelation. Could it be true? Did I willingly drink the
Kool-Aid? Did I become part of a cult recruitment session for ten
Jonestown. The Moonies. The Manson Family. Mass
Suicide. Cults. Only crazy people are involved with those things,
right? They’re supposed to be groups of mentally ill people doing
bizarre things, far away from the rational world of everyday life.
Right? At least that’s what I thought. And so began my research.
According to statistics from the Cult Hotline & Clinic (an
organization dedicate to helping victims of cults and educating the
public about them located in New York City), 5 to 7 million
Americans have been involved in cults or cult-like groups.
(Essay continues for several more pages…)
Consider the following questions:
1. Does this essay ask a genuine question or pose a genuine problem?
2. Does it work with thought-provoking sources?
3. Does it show the writer’s mind at work making compelling
connections and developing ideas, arguments, or thoughts that are
new to the writer?
4. Does it pursue complications (per perhaps by using words like but
5. Is it presented and organized to engage smart, attentive readers?
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