Friday, April 22, 2011

Cultism = Death: This Is Happening On Purpose

Ever since Jayanti Tamm, the author of the cult novel Cartwheels In A Sari, did a blog on The Huffington Post called "What Is a Cult? Recognizing And Avoiding Unhealthy Groups", I've been telling you I was going to do something on the cult phenomena, and, I guess, it's time for me to deliver.

I want to be clear that I'm not writing this because I think it'll do a thing to stem the tide of cultism (as a matter of fact, I'm convinced, it'll be no more effective than anything else that's been done). No, I'm writing this because - like a Jew during the Holocaust, leaving a note in a buried bottle for someone, anyone, in the future to find - I realize the rampant cultism we live under is probably killing me, merely because I'm aware of it, and the country - merely because it is not - so I want to have something out there that said not only that I lived, but that I knew what and who my, and my country's, killers were.

Here's how I regarded Tamm's article when it originally came out:
Read it. I'm going to blog on it at length, in my next post, because it's completely outdated information. Actually, it's even worse than that:

It's about as wrong as wrong can get.

Here's your first hint about how deceptive it is:

It's coming to us from The Huffington Post.
So, how wrong are Jayanti Tamm's observations, and how do mine differ? Her first paragraph in The Huffington Post piece started off with these words:
Who in our over-stimulated, media-saturated, hyper-connected world would ever go and knowingly join a cult? The answer is no one.
That's now an anti-cult or post-cult mantra, and probably sounds about right to most people, painting the appropriate image of someone who's been duped into doing something they never intended.

But the important phrase here is "the appropriate image", because - just as the Mystic Bourgeoisie's Chris Locke observed that "nobody wants to be seen as New Age because nobody wants to be seen as irreparably stupid" - very few will admit they willingly joined a cult, for that and other reasons.

Proving, right from the start, that Tamm's column is a bunch of deceptive and outdated mind mush is this quote from an expose' on award-winning director and recent Scientology defector, Paul Haggis:
Haggis was born in 1953, and grew up in London, Ontario, where his father, Ted, had a construction company. He decided at an early age to be a writer, but after leaving school, he drifted, hanging out with hippies and drug dealers.

He fell in love with Diane Gettas, a nurse, and they began sharing a one-bedroom apartment. One day in 1975, when he was 22, Haggis was walking to a record store when a young man pressed a book into his hands. "You have a mind," the man said. "This is the owner's manual." The book was Dianetics: The Modern Science Of Mental Health, by L Ron Hubbard, which was published in 1950. By the time Haggis began reading it, Dianetics had sold about 2.5m copies. Today, according to the church, that figure has reached more than 21m.

Haggis opened the book and saw a page stamped with the words "Church of Scientology". He had heard about Scientology a couple of months earlier, from a friend who had called it a cult. The thought that he might be entering a cult didn't bother him. In fact, he said, "it drew my interest. I tend to run toward things I don't understand."
So much for "no one" knowingly joining a cult.

The truth is, in our want-to-be-rebelious post-Boomer culture, people will and have joined all kinds of weird cults by the billions - and, waving their freak flag, they're proud of doing so - if not always honest about it.

The Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington was a member of the Rajneesh, a so-called "dangerous cult".

The Rajneesh practiced open sexual intercourse amongst it's members and attempted to poison an entire town in Oregon for political purposes. Huffington once described her time in the cult to The Washington Post as "like knowing there was another dimension to life and that I wanted to experience it, knowing that nothing else mattered as much. It took me over completely.”

Without ever having renounced her cultism, Huffington is now a major player in American politics.

Of course, she could describe her cult experience positively because no one has ever seriously questioned her about it in an informed manner.

For instance, compare her answer to that of the Rajneesh cult's second in command, Sheela Birnstiel AKA Ma Anand Sheela (above, center) after she was recently questioned in the Swiss town of Basel:
"I am labeled a criminal. It is stamped on my forehead. I have been punished. Leave me alone."
Sheela - a power mad cultist who committed heinous crimes in America - is now a successful Swiss businesswoman.

Arianna Huffinton, one of Sheela's devoted disciples, is now a successful American businesswoman - one now allowing Jayanti Tamm to publish wrong and misleading information about cultism on her website - the very phenomena the power mad Huffington is (still) involved in.

So Jayanti Tamm also isn't doing too badly for herself, either, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, I am now suffering the effects of the cultism people such as they have unleashed around me.

Considering I've never joined a cult, that's something which no one can say is right,...but, being only vaguely aware of what's happening, the country also isn't standing up and saying it's wrong, either - nobody's actually, actively, stopping the cultists - whatever the manner or effects of the cultism they're profiting from.

And as I've said, I don't hold out much hope they're going to stand up anytime soon, so my fate - and, yes, I think the country's - is probably set:

We will die, together, as the victims of cultism.

Next up: Surrounded - Cults (And Cultists) Hiding In Plain Sight.


  1. I have to tell you that your vision of the future is too gloomy.

    I work at a mid-sized university in Texas and all of the young peope I meet are very optimistic about the future and what they are going to do.

    The next generation will always reject the failures of the previous one. It's called "rebellion" by the current people in power, but it's really just the way these things go, and it's a good thing.

    Cults, given the reality of generational change, will always be self-defeating entities and cause themselves fail, and it will cost lives.

    Oh, my... I've got a vision of the future that is quite gloomy.

  2. Anga,

    When I see a quote like this, I see the effect of cultish thinking. To me, it's as clear as day. But it equally makes the world unfathomable. And unlivable. I can't work in this malicious Alice In Wonderland. And you know the old saying - if you can't work, you don't eat. If it wasn't for donations,...

    Anyway, ain't no young people give damn about any of that - they'll beat you down in the streets, grooving on the same upside-down cult impulse. That ain't "gloomy", that's a fact:

    What's "gloomy" is the answer to all this is right in front of us - destroy the cults and their networks - and we not only don't see it but no longer have the balls to do it if we did. So we're doomed.

    Doomed, I tell ya, DOOMED! LOL!

  3. "Then can I walk beside you
    I have come here to lose the smog
    And I feel to be a cog in something turning"

    -Joni Mitchell's Woodstock

    This song was a love song for Paradise, the desire to crawl back into the womb. It starts off with "Im going to try an get my soul free", but then it soon contradicts itself with the desire to become a cog, to surrender oneself, quite the opposite of freedom. It's all so very Christian, while at the same time ignoring the core theme of Christianity, which is the expulsion from the garden as a consequence of freedom, which in turn is simultaneously a mistake made by man and a gift given from G-d, the point being that the journey away and back to G-d is the narrative arc of mankind.

    My best definition of a cult is a membership in a group that one cannot exit without extreme repercussion, coercion in other words. It's strange that a secular mind would kraft such a religious concept, a Christian one at that. But then again, maybe it's natural. Wasn't it Chesterton who said that "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing — they believe in anything." Maybe this can be modified into something about the tendency to recast every worldview, including secularism as a variation on Christianity or its antecedents.

    One variation of the Judeo-Christian tradition is Islam, and this can be defined as a cult, given the apostasy law that mandates death for those who renunciate Islam. This is an extreme variant on Christianity, since that those who ultimately don't believe are cast into hell, according to most versions of Christianity. So Christianity can be broadly grouped into the definition of a cult in passive aggressive terms. Accordingly, Islam would be an active aggressive system by this train of thought. And to thread all of these ideas together: the secularism of the 60's and 70's might be a covert religion with cultish overtones. One of its names is the politically correct, or mutliculturalism.