A SHALLOW SISTER’S TAKE ON RELIGION PART IV - CULTS
I should begin by defining cult: an organization thought up by nutters, run by nutters who recruit nutters.
OK that sort of incorporates all religions but let us say that cults are religious organizations and non-religious organizations (gurus) who were put together sometime in the ‘30’s when the word ‘cult’ became a cult word.
Two extreme cult groups come to mind. Charles Manson’s horrendous Cult family, who murdered, raped and grew bad facial hair. The People’s temple run by the madman Jim Jones. It always fascinates me that nut leaders have such innocuous names.
Some cults have become so large they have moved into acceptable religious groups i.e. The Mormons (Joseph Smith (see)) and Scientology (L Ron Hubbard). Astoundingly Ron picked his second name so he could sound innocuous rather than his first (Lafayette), which is flamboyant and worthy of being a name of a cult matinee idol.
Have you noticed that most cults appear to be born out of America? I have a theory on this. Us British, sent our criminals and other interesting people to Australia (hence ensuring some sanity and adventurers from the land of the didgerydoo). But to America went our lunatic fringe in the form of puritans and the religiously intense. Thus it’s not hard to see that gene propagate and spurn such madness as cults.
The 60’s, 70’s and 80’s saw Gurus' in some unpronounceable Indian names coming forth (also with bad facial hair). They promised enlightenment, which did often take place in your pocket, as you gave willingly and freely to their yacht fund. So many were lost in the west, looking for themselves. We didn’t have war and abject poverty to occupy us so we turned inwards looking for spirituality. Psychosis’s had been born and we all wanted to understand stuff like: ‘why we bite our nails,’ ‘why we don’t orgasm vaginally’, ‘why we are afraid of spiders.’ etc. Some made a huge financial killing over that time. Some cults were very well organized and turned their business into other businesses.
Remember the one called ‘Programmes’? First you paid a fortune to spend the weekend being ripped apart and put together.Then you could not function with anyone normal around you. You were robotic in your fragile happiness and thus you went to work with them doing such work as telemarketing. You were paid a pittance and sold double-glazing and life insurance.
I watched some friends get sucked in but I never feared I would. Why? Because I am not nuts for one!
Remember the Christian Cult group who distributed pamphlets outside train stations? The ones’ called 7 something Christian something or other? There was this cute guy who I would chat too and I even tried to seduce but it was a thankless task since one of their deadly sins was ‘dirty dreaming’. How do you even begin seduction when they can’t even allow their subconscious to roam freely?
How do people get sucked in by religious groups? Usually low self-esteem is a factor. Those in emotionally distressing situations are great victims of the ‘we can save you’ line. Their problems are often reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeated ad nauseam for brainwashing to take place. They are accepted by others and given love and attention. The cult has a charismatic leader. You get a chance to reinvent yourself. You might even get a new hippy name. Information of the outside world is limited. Isolation from friends and family. Financially dependent upon the group. Never left alone. (Sounds like most marriages really).
We creatures appear to have a need to belong. We are pack animals. We like symbols and dogma and family. Hence we have football teams we support; religions we practice; groups we go to meet.
There are few individuals in this world. I am one of them and it is my duty to inform you of the nutters out there and convince you of your own self-belief and power to be responsible for yourself. To Dance to your own music and discover your own journey without falling into the pit of nutters feeding off the vulnerable.