Do religious cults ruin people's lives or change them for the better?

Dissatisfaction with the main Christian churches can provide cults - or new religious movements, with opportunities to attract new recruits.

Some people believe cults are evil and sinister groups who brainwash people and ruin lives. Others who have joined cults say their lives have changed for the better.

People shopping in Dublin’s Ilac Centre give their opinions on whether there is any harm to religious cults. Some people interviewed believe cults are very dangerous, associating them with satanic rituals, witchcraft and black magic.

One woman admits she does not know much about cults but fears,

They brainwash everybody and take their money.

Another woman thinks cults are prey on intelligent, successful people who need to fill a void in their lives,

I think people should be very wary.

A man who says he is a Catholic has a relaxed attitude to what people chose to believe,

I think everybody is entitled to whatever religion they would like to adopt.

However an elderly woman is entirely dismissive of cults,

Catholics don’t go in for them things you know.

'Gerry Ryan Tonight’ (GRT) is an Irish chat show hosted by Gerry Ryan that aired live for three series on Network 2 between 1995 and 1997. The studio-based light entertainment show featured guest interviews and live music. It was produced by Charlie McCarthy.

This episode of ‘Gerry Ryan Tonight’ was broadcast on 23 October 1996. The presenter is Gerry Ryan. The reporter is Hilary Fennell.