How doomsday believers cope

“If you have a strong leader, the group survives,” DiTommaso told LiveScience. “Sometimes the group falls apart. Most often, the answer given by the group is that the prophecy is true, but the interpretation was wrong.”…

“The more people have connections outside of the group, the more likely it is that they’re going to stop looking to [Camping] as the mouth of God on Earth,” Hassan told LiveScience. “Information control is one of the most important features of mind control.”

In his experience, Hassan said, about a third of believers become disillusioned after a failed prediction, while another third find reason to believe more strongly. The remaining group members fall somewhere in between, he said.