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Psychiatrist gives insight into rise of religious groups like Qahal Yahweh

Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Geoffrey Walcott
 
A psychological perspective has been shared about the circumstances under which groups such as the St. James religious organisation the Qahal Yahweh operate, and some of the features they exhibit.
 
Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Geoffrey Walcott has observed that based on what is available in the public domain, there are similar characteristics with the group and other organisations in the past.
   
Attention has been placed on Qahal Yahweh since the police raided the compound and removed six children.
 
The police say the raid was based on complaints received about the standard of care received by some of the children living on the compound.
 
Some persons who are former members of the group have alleged that as part of their commitment to communal living, members are required to give their property to the organisation.
 
Dr. Walcott believes that the features as reported are similar to other groups even outside of Jamaica.
 
"They are drawn in with a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. Usually the factors are multifaceted where you have persons who are disillusioned or disenfranchised with society's cultural norms or their own religious seekings, would then look for some level of connectivity and belonging to a specific group. They usually have low tolerance for ambiguity. They are looking for answers and they want concrete answers...and then the organisation itself tends to be filled with leaders who are either charismatic or persuasive," he reasoned. 
 
Dr. Walcott, who was speaking Thursday on RJR's Beyond The Headlines, said periods of intense societal stress, destruction or economic strife usually give rise to groups such as Qahal Yahweh. 
 


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