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View Diary: The Quasi-Cult Behind "The Path To 9/11" (48 comments)

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  •  Cultism Is Less About Beliefs Than About Practices (1+ / 0-)
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    Coherent Viewpoint
    First off, I need to re-emphasize this point.  Your last paragraph is true, but it misses the point.  It's one thing to have a Manichean worldview.  It's quite another to have it drilled into every cell in your body.

    For example, in the first three seasons of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, the show apparently had a fair number of religious right fans.  It boggled my mind when I discovered this.  I discovered it in season four, when Willow came out as a lesbian, and all those fans freaked out.

    Now, Buffy from the very beginning was incredibly anti-Manichean.  Sure, the whole vampire/deamon world setup was inherently Manichean, but that was, at one level, Joss Whedon's whole point: to take a reactionary genre and honor its conventions in the process of subverting them.  He did it beginning with the very first scene in the very first episode.  This was the very essence of the show.  Yet, a fairly sizeable number of rightwing people just didn't get it.

    Now, yes, I know that they're stupid in a way. But if they were really, deeply indoctrinated at a cellular level, then I think that it would have been well neigh impossible for them to miss the fact that the show was attacking their worldview.  Their brains might not have realized it, but the marrow of the bones would have known.

    Second, I need to stress that this is only one aspect of the constellation factors mentioned.  And most of the others are even more explicitly about control of thought and behavior.  And this control is far more effective in a controlled groups setting.  Which is what you have in a self-contained religious community--almost any self-contrined religious community.

    Of corse, not all such communities try to control thoght and behavior.  But if they do, they are far more effective at it than anyone can be in influencing people who are out in the world alot.

    Third, you write:

    "The YWAMers didn't seem particularly isolated, anti-social, incapable of independent thought, etc.
    I would say the same of most of the scientologists I've met who are beyond the neophyte stage.  Doesn't mean they aren't in a cult.

    Fourth, you write:

    However, I never attended a DTS, so I can't speak to that or what kind of techniques might have been employed there.
    And that's where the rubber meets the road, according to what I've read so far.
    •  Greatly delayed response (0+ / 0-)

      Didn't get back to the diary, sorry.  I hope this shows up in your comment list, if you check.

      Just to be clear, I didn't mean to say that YWAM is perfectly normal, can't be a cult, etc.  I was just offering my own experience, which is just that - an experience, not data.

      He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression. -- Thomas Paine

      by Leslie in CA on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 11:49:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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