The Sect and the Sectarian

Ellsworth Faris
University of Chicago


The isolated religious sect offers unutilized data for the study of the sociology of institutions and also for the investigation of personality. The sect arises in a period of disorganization and is a phase of the redintegration of the community as a whole. The particularistic causal statements are all inadequate since every sect is the result of a unique constellation of forces. The original cadre grows by accretion, and often the distinguishing characteristics of the sect are later additions. The sect does not select any one temperament for its members. The conflict resulting and the inevitable changes are productive of characteristic types in each case. The sect is analogous to a primitive tribe and the personalities are the subjective phases of the group life. Experience is creative. The motives for carrying on the life of the sect may differ greatly from those which began it. The polemic arguments in defense of the sect correspond to the dérivations of Pareto. In addition to the derivations it is possible to study the inner attitudes which are reminiscent of the residues of Pareto. A sect may unite members who are moved by a wide variety of residues.

Social origins have rested so far chiefly on a foundation of ethnology. Primitive peoples were assumed to represent earlier stages of the life which we are living, and from Comte and Spencer till now men have sought to answer fundamental questions about our own religion, morals, art, and economy by collecting facts regarding savages. But the results have been disappointingly meager. The ultimate origin of any of our basic activities is lost in mystery The answer to the question of origins which seemed at first be promised by ethnography has actually been sought by an appeal to psychology, and since the psychology of primitive man is a matter of inference, the net result of nearly a hundred years of writing is little more than a collection of theories of the origin of institutions, not one of which can be disproved, but each one of which is unproved and indeed unprovable. The curtain rises in the middle of the drama—sometimes, indeed, toward the end of the last act—and the process by means of which the past has been reconstructed differs in no essential respect from the most primitive of mythology.

There exists a contemporary phenomenon, relatively neglected,

( 145) which offers brighter promise of success. The religious sect, and particularly the modern isolated sect, has many advantages which ethnography does not afford. In many cases all their history is accessible, since the date can be found when the sect was not dreamed of, and the whole evolution can be traced. If sociologists cared to give the same careful and detailed study to the foot-washing of the Dunkers or the dancing of the Shakers as they do to the totem dances of the Australians or the taboos of the Bantus the material would not only be found equally interesting but in all probability more fruitful.

The religious sect is a valuable field for the study of sociology as distinguished from social psychology, since it furnishes a body of facts concerning the rise of institutions. The current notions of the origin of institutions include the theory that they developed from a fixed set of instincts, the theory that they are determined by the geographic environment, and the theory that the whole phenomenon arises out of the conditioning of the infantile reflexes. Now psychology is very important and there are many problems which are essentially psychological, but the sociology of institutions can be studied without positing any foundation of psychology, and indeed need no more depend on psychology than on astronomy or geology. There are questions that need to be answered, facts that can be gathered, hypotheses that can be tested, and conclusions that can be arrived at when institutions are studied with the essential abstraction which all scientific inquiry demands.

Nevertheless the religious sect is also a valuable field for the study of social psychology. The sect is composed of sectarians and the sectarian is a personality. Moreover, his personality issues from the life of the sect and can only be understood if we take into account the social matrix in which it took form. The relation of the individual to the group and of institutions to the instinctive equipment, as well as the problem of the relation of inherited temperament to institutional organization—all these and other psychological questions can be profitably studied in considering the sectarian and his sect. If we assume that human nature is not a fixed or constant or hereditary thing, but on the contrary results from the presence of, and contact with, one's fellows, the sect af-

(146) -fords a field for the study of personality in its development which, in cases where the group is cut off with relative completeness from outside influences, gives a situation analogous to a laboratory setup where the conditions are controlled and the variables studied.

The relation of individual personalities to institutions is apparently reciprocal. The members of a religious sect are shaped and fashioned in accordance with the traditions and world-view which prevail within the group. To ask why a man who has lived from infancy in a Mormon community looks at life from the standpoint of Mormonism is to ask a very easy question. His life has been defined within the given social whole. But if we become curious and inquire how the institution of Mormonism was constituted the question is more complex. For the sect has its roots in the far-distant past, besides having differentia that mark it off from any other institution. If it be true that the sectarian has been too often studied in isolation from the sect it is even more apparent that the sect has been studied with too little regard for the other

i groups with which it was in contrast and conflict. The telescopes have had too small a field of. vision. The conventional accounts include a certain description of the times and conditions, but the sect is usually set off rather too sharply against a definitely opposing group. Indeed, one may think of the sect in a figure. Arising at a time when the fixed order is breaking up, or tending to break up, the sect is the effort of the whole community to integrate itself anew. It is the order arising from social chaos, though the order may not be overstable nor the chaos a condition of utter disruption. If we examine the organization of a large number of sects such as Quakers, Shakers, Mennonites, Dunkers, Perfectionists, and Amanas, what appears upon close scrutiny is that at a crucial moment in the history of a society a situation occurs which is literally unique, never having been present before in any group of people anywhere in the world at any period of time. And since the situation is unique and since the personalities of the members form a unique assemblage of forces, interests, and ideals, the solution of the difficulty has also a certain uniqueness about it.

The student of the literature becomes familiar with a priori assumptions and the explanation by general principles, but these

( 147) do not stand the test of a comparative study. One writer remarks that it was quite natural that Ann Lee should found a celibate community since she had such a disastrous married life. But many women have had disastrous married lives who did not found celibate communities, and many celibate communities have been founded by those who did not have disastrous married lives. Indeed, Ann Lee did not begin' her sect with celibacy. The feature was a later addition. One writer has explained a colony of communistic celibates as response to their environment. They were in the wilderness in Pennsylvania shut off from associations and in a physical milieu very much like an ancient Egyptian sect that was celibate and communistic. The proof offered of this causal statement is that when civilization conquered the wilderness their distinguishing doctrines were given up, which forces the remark that there are many settlements in the isolated wilderness that were neither communistic nor celibate, and, moreover, that some communistic sects persisted, and some still persist long after the whole surrounding community has been conquered by civilization.

It is therefore impossible to say of any given region that it will produce a definite type of religion. The set forms of the constitution of a sect vary so much that the details must be regarded as chance or accidental. The problem here is very similar to the problem of an invention, differing chiefly in that the sect is a collective affair while an invention is individual. Of course the various members of a group are not equal in influence, and usually the fate of a whole religious movement will be modified by the biographical details of some important early leader. As is well known, polygamy was not the original program of the Mormons, but came in in response to an attempt to solve a particular emergency. The Amana community has practiced communism for nearly a century, but they had many years of continuous existence before communism came into their mores. It all happened when, after one of their migrations, it developed that the poorer members who owed the more wealthy ones large sums of money for their lands seemed to be hopelessly in debt. Whereupon, after some divine inspirations and much conference and objection, it was at last agreed that they should hold all things in common. But, having so decided, this

( 148) feature became an integral part of their society and has remained unquestioned for generations.

There are many instances of the traditions of a group being affected for long periods by the experience and influence of a single man. The Disciples, who form one of the larger denominations, have a peculiar inconsistency in their treatment of non-members. Baptism by immersion is a sine qua non for membership, but those who are not baptized are freely admitted to the intimacies of the communion table. The problem is completely explained by the experience of their leader, Campbell, who began as a Presbyterian and practiced open communion, later affiliated with the Baptists, and finally organized an independent sect. This variety of religious experience caused him to advocate the inconsistency which, being adopted by the small group and retained when it began to grow, has endured for a hundred years and been the occasion of much friction and at least one division.

The sect is originally constituted, not by non-religious persons, but by those who have split off from existing organizations. Christian Science grows largely by accretion from former adherents of organizations which are older, and this is typical. The condition of unrest and confusion loosens the bonds of union and sometimes a few kindred spirits find each other and a nucleus is formed. It is very rare that the original motive is separation, but when the divergent nucleus excites opposition and achieves group consciousness the stage is set for a new sect. The first stage is then typically a stage of conflict, though the methods of warfare vary according to the standards of the times. Many of the organizations are short-lived, and it would be highly instructive to have an exhaustive study of the small sects that did not survive. When group consciousness and morale characterize the original company or cadre of the sect, there is often a more or less rapid growth by accretion or attraction by others. Just why they are attracted is a very interesting problem. It is often assumed that the chief appeal is to men of like temperament. Perhaps this is what Giddings means by consciousness of kind, men outside the sect join themselves to it because they feel a consciousness of kind, that is, they are similar in temperament and regard thmselves as being like-minded. The

( 149) question is not easy to decide, but there are facts which make this a doubtful explanation. Thomas Edwards, writing in 1646 about this very problem, gives a long list of motives which in his opinion are leading men to join the hated sects about him, among which are the following: some were needy, broken, decayed men who hoped to get something in the way of financial help from the new sect; some were guilty, suspected, and obnoxious men who were in the lurch and feared arrest or indictment, and to these the sect was a sanctuary; some, he claimed, had lawsuits and hoped to find friends to help them in their litigation; others he thought were ambitious, proud, covetous men who had a mind to offices; still others he insists were libertines and loose persons who seek less restraint than the older communities insisted on; another class he calls wanton-willed, unstable persons who pretend to be convinced, while others he calls quarrelsome people who like to stir up trouble; and still others include those who have quarreled with their ministers or had some trouble about their church dues and thus go off disaffected.

Even if we make a liberal allowance for the bitterness of the controversies of the seventeenth century it seems necessary to conclude that the new converts were men of many types. To join a group it is not necessary that you regard yourself as like them; it might be more accurate to say that you have an ambition to be like them and therefore want to change. In the histories of most sects it is possible to describe a period of relatively intense conflict, and j here the necessities of comparative study are the greater. For the conflict is modified by the opponents. Men learn the art of war from their enemies, and when they start out they are rarely as extreme as they come to be under the stress of the fighting. The Amanas attacked the clergy for immorality and laxity; they refused all military services and did not send their children to the public schools; while in their turn they were beaten, harassed, and imprisoned. William Penn's plea for religious freedom he justified on scriptural grounds, calling it natural, prudent, and Christian, finding in the Bible justification for loving one's enemies and refusing to employ human force. Tolerance he regarded as prudent because the Scripture says "no kingdom divided against itself can

( 150) stand." But the opponents of Penn are necessary if one is to understand the position he takes, a position which at that time was new and revolutionary. In Edwards' Gangraena there is a seventeenthcentury expression of the view of the dominant group; toleration was wrong since "a kingdom divided against itself could not stand." Edwards regarded tolerance as a great evil, as the following quotation will show

Toleration is the grand designe of the Devil, his Masterpeece and chiefe Engine he works by at this time to uphold his tottering Kingdome; it is the most compendious, ready, sure way to destroy all Religion, lay all waste, and bring in all evill; it is a most transcendent, catholique, and fundamentall evill for this Kingdom of any that can be imagined: As originall sin is the most fundamentall sin, all sin; having the seed and spawn of all in it: so a Toleration hath all errors in it, and all evils, it is against the whole streame and current of Scripture both in the Old and New Testament, both in matters of Faith and manners, both generall and particular commands; it overthrows all relations, both Politicall, Ecclesiasticall, and Oeconomicall; and whereas other evils, whether errors of judgment or practise, be but against some one or few places of Scripture or relation, this is against all, this is the Abaddon, Apollyon, the destroyer of all religion, the Abomination of Desolation and Astonishment, the Libertie of Perdition (as Augustine calls it) and therefore the Devil follows it night and day, working mightily in many by writing Books for it, and other wayes, all the Devils in Hell and their Instruments being at work to promote a Toleration (Thomas Edwards, Gangraena [London, 1646], pp. 121-22).

The conflict unites the sect, creates esprit de corps and heightens morale. Usually, but not always, if the conflict be too se ere so that confidence is lessened, dissentions may arise and f ctions appear. Conflict united the German people for four years, but when they began to feel that the cause was lost the conflict broke up the unity of the nation. In the sect, however, a conflict can be with the "world," which is a subjective image, and it is possible for a sect to survive, great disasters since they are so certain of ultimate success. The sect therefore has always some degree of isolation and is more apt to have a high morale when they succeed in securing a location shut off from the rest of the world. There are, however, devices of cultural isolation which overcome lack of physical separation, as can be observed in the present state of the Christian Science church. In this case isolation depends upon a

( 151) separate vocabulary and particularly upon the admonition not to argue or discuss the matter with outsiders. The Masons, and to some extent the Mormons, achieve isolation by secrecy.

In this conflict period of the life of the sect the tendency is toward exclusiveness wherever feasible. Certain economic relations with the "world" are necessary, but the cultural life is protected. There is always a tendency to be an endogenous tribe. Sometimes to marry an outsider is to forfeit membership in the group. Yet the time always comes when this is difficult to enforce, for from the beginning of time the sons of God have looked upon the daughters of men and found them fair and desirable. Intermarriage never becomes general until disintegration has set in, and it is always a destructive influence, for queens make good foreign missionaries and no child can easily despise the religion of his mother.

A highly interesting aspect of the development of a sect is found in the tendency to divide and become two sects, typically more bitter toward each other than toward the "world" which they formerly united in opposing. There appear to be two types of divisions. Sometimes it merely represents a stage in the process of reabsorption into the larger society from which they came out. In this case the progressives or innovators want to change the old customs to conform with what is being done outside. The Disciples split on the question of whether an organ should be used in church, the organ party wishing to imitate the outsiders while their opponents wanted to maintain the older tradition. Another type of division seems to give no such clue. It is apparently a differential interpretation of an ambiguous constitutional phrase. The bunkers had an issue concerning multiple foot-washing; one party insisted that each person should wash the feet of only one other, while their opponents contended that each should wash the feet of several. There are other examples of ambiguity of the initial statement or doctrine, and unless there is an adequate machinery, or supreme court, which can settle the matter, divisions may result.

But whether the group divides or not, a period arrives when the isolation begins to disappear and the customs of the outside world with its beliefs and practices, even its ideals and doctrines,

( 152) begin gradually to penetrate the group. When two people live side by side they always influence each other. The Boers in Angola smear their floors with fresh cow dung, which picturesque custom they acquired from the savages around them. These tendencies are slow in coming and are often very strenuously resisted. In 1905 the annual meeting of the Old Order Brethren solemnly decided that it was unscriptural for any of their members to have a telephone. The Dunker authorities have solemnly ruled on erring brethren who attend animal shows, played authors, bought county bonds, served on juries, bought pianos, used sleigh bells, wore neckties, used fiddles, wore standing coat collars, erected tombstones, and joined the Y. M. C. A. All this was many years ago and the process starting then has gone on until many of the progressive Dunkers smile at what they now call old-fashioned objections.

If we turn now to the question of personality and the light which a study of sects can give us on this problem it is clear that the sect in its collective life produces the sectarian. The sectarian is therefore a type, and types of personality turn out to be the end-products which issue from the activities of a group. Types can be studied with reference to the morphology of the human body. Thus men can be divided into the fat and round, the lean and slim, and any other discoverable groupings. They may be divided into introverts and extroverts, though nearly all the people you meet are neither one nor the other, but rather mixed. These and many other classifications are of value and should be encouraged; but they fail to meet all the needs, and it becomes apparent that the social life men live is more relevant than the physical constitution they inherit. There is a typical Mormon and his personality can be described. He is in favor of the highly centralized institutional organization; he is ruled by a characteristic system of theology; he believes in private property controlled to a certain extent by a theocracy. Likewise, there is a typical Shaker; but the Shaker holds private property to be undesirable and even against the will of God. Moreover, to the Shaker all sexual intercourse is immoral, and there is a long list of definite statements that could be applied to this typical individual. There is also a typical Dunker, neither

(153) communistic, like the Shaker, nor ruled by â central hierarchy, like the Mormon. He belongs to the one true church, as most sectarians do, but each sectarian belongs to a different one true church than the other sectarians. The Dunker regards it as obligatory to be immersed in water three times, facing forward each time. He must ceremonially wash his brother's feet and give him a holy kiss of love, keeping himself unspotted from the world.

Each of these sects and all closely organized sects have a peculiar vocabulary, a fixed tradition, and a specific and peculiar way of regarding God and man, the world and the hereafter. The sect then is analogous to a primitive tribe, and the primitive tribe has long been recognized as productive of specific types of personality. There is more difference between a Shaker and a Dunker than between the equatorial Bantus and the South African Zulus. And this difference exists in spite of essential similarities in race, language, and geographical similarities in environment.

These types are the result of social heritage and breed true socially for long periods of time. They cannot be explained by geographical environment, for the Dunkers and the Amanas and many others live in the same kind of environment, cultivating the same soil and surrounded by neighbors who are alien. Nor can appeal be made to physical heredity, for the sects are constantly acquiring members from outside the line of descent. The Mormon missionaries traveled all over America and Europe seeking and finding new recruits for the community in Utah. The cultural life produces the mores, and the mores are irresistible when skillfully inculcated into the young and into the new recruits.

Moreover, as time goes on new and often important variations in the mores arise. Neither for the group nor for the individual are all moments equally important. Life does not consist of unaccented rhythms, but rather in periods of uniformity followed by important moments of decision, and from these later issue changes which may determine the course of the group for generations to come.

In this connection it becomes necessary to refer again to the assumption frequently made that there is a temperamental uniformity which explains the group. They are all assumed to be

( 154) like-minded; new converts come in because of a consciousness of kind. The group is assumed to select those of a certain temperament. This interpretation fails to meet just criticism. An examination of the membership of the sect and the phenomenon of division and dissention forces the assumption that many varieties of temperament are included in the membership of the sect. The hypothesis here advanced is that the new convert does not come in because he was of like mind, but that he comes in because he changes his mind. He makes it up in a different way. The sect attracts him because he wants to be different and it takes him and makes him into a different type as he comes to enter into the cultural life.

In support of this notion several types of facts seem relevant. First, the sect arises in a time of disorganization which is always a period of unsettling. Men are thus ready for a new stable or organizing influence. They do not join because they are like anybody; they join because some solution is offered to their unrest. Second, the descendants of the members of the sect can be assumed to be of different temperaments, and this assumption is borne out on investigation. In spite of the difference in temperament the typical sectarian in each case can be accurately described and is held to loyal membership until it begins to disintegrate.

The third group of facts are more important and more conclusive. It has been shown that the history of the sect shows a typical progression. The period of extreme isolation, conflict, and high morale is followed by a more irenic era when conformity with the outside world gets increasing approval. The end result is the disappearance of the sect as a separate conflict group and the lessening importance of their differences when considering the influence of these on the personality of the sectarian. The typical sectarian is, therefore, a different person in the different stages of the life of the group. The assumption of the temperamental uniformity is difficult to hold in the light of the progressive alterations which are demonstrable. A combative, exclusive, non-conformist who dresses differently from those in the society in which he lives is a very different personality from him who joins with others in their associations and enterprises and who comes to be a patriotic and regular member of an American political unit. Since the sectarian

( 155) is the individual aspect of his sect, he changes when his group changes and his group changes with a changing set of relations. The changes in the sect are not dependent on the temperament of the members, and the changes in the sectarian reflects the collective life. Therefore the temperament of the sectarian is a varying element and the theory of the temperamental selection seems inadequately founded.

Those who appeal to temperament as a causative factor do not always keep in mind that temperament is an inference and not a fact. Temperamental qualities are abstractions. A definition of temperament would include those factors in the personality which determine the mode of behavior and which are innate. Since, however, temperament does not become important until the personality is formed, it is always a matter of inferential abstraction. The temperament can be shown to change, and arguments about inherited temperament ought to be made with the greatest care.

Experience is then creative. The sect is not safe refuge where the temperament and desires of an outsider can be comfortably expressed and realized; it is rather a formative force or set of forces; and the motives which lead a man to join a sect may be quite different from those which assure his continuance in it. No one on the outside can fully know what the experience on the inside is. Being a sectarian may be more satisfying than was at first imagined, or it may be less so, but it is certainly never exactly anticipated. The motives which lead a woman to the altar in marriage may be quite different from those which make her decide to endure to the end. The reason a man takes up smoking is rarely the motive which makes him continue the habit. The sectarian is therefore in some sense a new creature. He may regard himself, and quite accurately, as entirely made over. Very commonly he refers to the new existence as a rebirth.

If we attempt to analyze the personality of the sect in terms of attitudes we have available the theoretical discussion of W. I. Thomas and Znaniecki. An attitude is stated to be a process of individual consciousness set over against a corresponding value. R. E. Park in discussing attitudes is concerned with the relation of attitudes and the wishes and opinions. The attitude is said to be

( 156) the mobilization of the will. Psychologists, among whom Allport and Thurstone may be mentioned, have attempted to investigate attitudes by questionnaires and inquiries regarding verbal assent or dissent. The assumption is that the attitude corresponds to the verbal expression of it.

In the work of V. Pareto there are distinguished three elements which we may roughly force into some kind of relation with the preceding points of view. There are C, the customs, convictions, and principles which the members share; these he calls the dérivées. The second element, B, is the verbal expression when the first is questioned or challenged and represents the need to be logical or the desire to appear reasonable. These he calls the dérivations. There is a third element, A, relatively invariable, arising from the sentiments and interests which may be admitted, but which is often concealed. These are spoken of as the résidues.

The social attitude seems to correspond to the résidues, but there is also an attitude of a more general sort corresponding to the dérivées. The résidues, or attitudes, are never the object of direct perception. They must be inferred, but the inference is a necessity. Thus Mormon polygamy was at one time an accepted practice; it was a dérivée, in class C. The re" s assigned for the practice in debate, argument, and propaganda belong to the class B. They are highly variable and a premium is placed on ingenuity and originality in the inevitable forensics. But the inner motives and deep-lying attitudes arising out of their instinctive cravings and sentiments, class A, may be very different from what would be admitted. Without going into detail here it is apparent that sexuality is involved to a degree to be determined by whatever methods are at hand.

Now the origin of social forms, the creation of new mores, need be uniform in a given group only in class C. The elements B tend to have more uniformity, but are still quite various, while the element A admits a far wider variety. Some people join the Dunkers for economic security; others, to avoid military service; others, out of disgust for the state religion; and so on through a great variety. The dérivations, or class B, among religious sects are often taken from Bible texts, and it sometimes happens that the same dérivation will be used by opposing sects to justify contradictory

(158) practices. "Suffer little children to come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven" is quoted by Baptists to show that infants do not need to be baptized; it is quoted by Paedo-Baptists to justify the baptism of children.

"Every kingdom divided against itself cannot stand." This dérivation is quoted by Quakers to prove that sects should be tolerated, and by Edwards to prove that they should be suppressed.

"In Heaven they neither marry nor are given in marriage." This is a favorite proof text for the Shakers to show that there should be no sexual intercourse, and was the central text quoted by the Perfectionists to justify the form of free love which they called complex marriage.

The number and nature of the attitudes, the résidues, is large and bears upon the question of like-mindedness and similarity of temperament. As already pointed out, there may be a score of varying motives which bring people into a common organization.

But now comes the most important consideration. The attitudes in class A, the résidues, are continually being reformed. They are created as emotional experiences multiply and result from later dérivations and new objects and new loyalties. The common experience in the sect tends to make widely varying résidues more nearly common and identical.

Pareto points out the necessity for caution in assuming, as Allport and Thurstone do, the correspondence of dérivation and résidue. The literature of the Shakers abounds in ascetic sentences and repeated assertions that sex is an unnecessary evil, but sometimes the Shakers worked all day and danced all night, and in the early period the men and women were nude and danced together. It seems necessary to assume a far greater interest in sex than their opinions and principles express. One cannot understand a sect by merely studying its creed.

The study of the sects which survived needs supplementing by a knowledge of those which died. In certain periods of disorganization there were many small aberrant attempts at organization which did not live and many doctrines which did not take on. One .John Boggis who became a preacher of note in seventeenth-century England is quoted by Edwards as refusing to say grace at dinner where the meat was a shoulder of roast veal, scornfully asking "to

( 158) whom shall I give thanks, whether to the butcher, the bull, or the cow." Such extreme divergence failed to take on.

In every time of disorganization there is always a certain disorder in the sex mores. This happens in political revolutions and also in a time of religious unrest. The new sects are very often accused of sex practices contrary to the mores. Some of these accusations are probably exaggerated because the enemies are rarely restrained in their statements, but it is easy to point out a certain trend toward sex liberty among many of the sects. Edwards quotes a certain scriptural argument. One of the sects insisted that since death dissolved the marriage bond, and since the Scripture teaches that sleep is a form of temporary death, it is no sin to engage in sex intercourse if one's husband or wife is asleep. In such an instance there is a clear indication of a strong attitude and an example of the ingenuity of the dérivation, or, in this case, the rationalization.

We conclude, then, that the sect is the result of collective forces that surround it and to which its own life is in part a reaction. The sect produces a type which comes to take on certain attitudes, to be devoted to certain objects and values, and to define life and the world in the way that is p roved. The most fruitful field for study would seem to lie in the securing of complete and adequate life-histories of sectarians, including new converts to the sect, members who have always been in it, and dissidents and deserters who have gone out from it. For the intimate life-histories will give light on the actual product that the sect is responsible for and afford material for the accurate answering of some of the problems at present unresolved.

The purpose of this paper has been to call attention to a field of study which has not been wholly neglected but which has not yielded the results which it might yield if the material were studied with diligence. It seems not too much to say that the sect and the sectarian, if adequately investigated, could throw a flood of needed light upon one of our oldest and most perennial problems: the relation of society to the individual, the leader to his group, the relation of institutions to instincts, which is the same problem that interested Plato when he discussed the relation of the one and the many.


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