Cults, Power & Trafficking
Master Manipulators run rampant throughout the crime world. They come from a variety of backgrounds, ways of life, and religions, but they all manage to manipulate others for their own purposes. This exhibit will explore different examples of manipulation and the methods through which these criminals exploit their victims for personal gain, such as:
Abuse of Power and Circumstance:
Power can be dangerous in the wrong hand. Some individuals abuse the power they have been given, whether they fill a trusted position within society, have expansive wealth, or even have circumstantial power. Many cases of abuse of power also involve the coverup of the crime after it is committed. This exhibit will feature stories such as the sex trafficking ring run by financier Jeffrey Epstein and his colleague Ghislaine Maxwell, as well as the systemic abuse perpetrated by former U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Cults and Extreme Beliefs:
America hosts a multitude of personal and religious beliefs and has since the first European settlers arrived. Over time, some groups have taken their beliefs to the extreme, resulting in catastrophic consequences. Every cult is different, but many share similarities such as a manipulative and charismatic leader and an intense separation from the outside world. Groups such as NXIVM and the Branch Davidians will be featured in this display.
Some may believe that human trafficking is a crime more commonly seen internationally than on the home front, but trafficking is a huge problem in the United States. In 2019 alone, there were over 40,000 reports of domestic sex trafficking, with many cases going unreported. This exhibit will share the signs of human trafficking, what efforts are currently being made to fight trafficking domestically, and how to get involved in the fight.