Cults in Our Midst by Margaret Singer

Posted by Pecuniology 3 years, 5 months ago to Books
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It appears that Margaret Singer's Cults in Our Midst has never been discussed here. This is a shame. It was first published a quarter-century ago and was updated in 2003. It is perhaps more relevant now than when it was first written.

As she concluded in the Introduction to the First Edition:

Without a citizenry being aware of the power and control certain cults are wielding, democracy and freedom can be curbed one step at a time. Cults by their very structure and nature are not democratic, do not promote freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and are the antithesis of structures in which full human growth can develop.

There are cults in our midst, more than the average citizen realizes. And these powerful groups infiltrate many areas of our lives.

As Ayn Rand pointed out in Philosophy: Who Needs It?, whether they call themselves Marxists, Socialists, Pragmatists, Progressives, Existentialists, Postmodernists, Intersectionalists, or whatever they are calling it this season, their goal is always the same: a rejection of objective reality, reason, and logic that is intended to render its inductees unable to think critically and to indoctrinate them submit to the whims of the herd.

The anti-rational nihilism that permeates modern schooling—it hardly qualifies as education anymore—entertainment, and mainstream media has all of the hallmarks of a cult, and over the past century is has dug in deeper than an Alabama tick.

Whether a shadowy cabal is pulling the puppet strings from behind the curtain, or the leading clique of the Long March Through the Institutions is more like the headless Party in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four—an every-changing cast of back-stabbing 'thought leaders'—is unclear. However, either way, what Ayn Rand condemned in "The Comprachicos" a half-century ago has gotten only worse in the meantime.

While we will not be able to dislodge this anti-rational nihilist cult of envy in the short run, the better that each of us is able to understand its modi the better each of us might defend himself from its minions.

Literally, Margaret Singer wrote the book on this stuff, and it is well worth taking the time to read.

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  • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
    "Many former cult members report that certain classes they took late in high school and early in college contributed greatly to their bewilderment. They commonly describe classes, teachers, and experiences that they felt destabilized their views of the world, leaving them frightened by the complexity of making seemingly endless decisions. Feeling lost and alone, they felt a need to find affiliation and some simple ways to make their lives work. Without intending to make such a choice, they found themselves swept along into a group that offered simple and guaranteed paths to follow."

    The classes that one takes early in college are called General Education. They are required of all majors, and they typically include mandatory classes in Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology, each of which has become no more than fifteen weeks of Postmodernist/Intersectionalist indoctrination with the threat of a grade hanging over the young student's head.

    Later in the book, Singer points out that it is not unusual for the professors who have created the greatest confusion in the classroom to turn out to be cult recruiters outside the classroom, who offer simple solutions to the confusion caused in class by that same professor's floating abstractions, stolen concepts, anti-concepts, Hegelian doublethink, and outright lies.
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  • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
    "Today's cultic groups have so professionalized their approaches and techniques of persuasion that they are moving well beyond the fringe and into the mainstream."
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