What not-so-obvious movements do you think are cults?

Really. Maybe not the creepy sexual part (although it would not surprise me) but they hit on every other point.

The parallels between Amway and Scientology are remarkable. Both exist as pyramid selling organisations as their prime purpose. After that it gets ever more uncanny. As if one was reading from the other’s playbook.

Well, of course not. The break room couch is always more comfortable. Gotta put the custodian’s ‘out of service for cleaning sign’ blocking the dooor though.

I worked in a fishbowl and never saw any sex in any break rooms, glass walled conference rooms etc. I worked with software engineers who seemed almost neutered. They hardly even laughed at anything. They were machines. Of course I’m 55 years old and not a babe anymore.

RickJay goes to an Amway recruitment seminar, surreal insanity ensues.

Another great book is Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner. It was published in 1957 but has great examples of cult movements from before that time. The Wikipedia actually has its chapters listed with links to subjects discussed in each one.


Marie Kondo. I’m just waiting for “If it doesn’t bring you joy, dispose of it!” to be applied to family members and other people.

I see you’ve met my daughter.

The Cult of Peloton.

Not sure about the sex, but who has time for that? You’ve got to do another hunderd miles. Get going!

An excellent book. I used to own a copy, until someone “borrowed” it.

I may be stretching something past the breaking point, but …

I work & share off-duty time with lots of 25-35 yo people, mostly women. A surprising number of them have the relationship attitude of “Mr. Perfect might or might not exist, but Mr. SlightlyLessThanPerfect is totally not worth the hassle. I’d far rather be single/unattached/BF-less for life.” I hear some of the same from the men, but from fewer and with less vehemence. This from people in the prime “get married, settle down, and be a family” age group.

And then there’s this article from the UK Guardian. Most of the people mentioned are UK of course, but the article says the same is occurring in the USA and other countries; there’s no reason the practice won’t spread to any culture where it works. At least at first.

There are cultish aspects to the antivax movement. They include charismatic leaders given a near god-like status (Andrew Wakefield), programmed beliefs that have little to nothing in common with reality, extreme suspicion and fear of contradictory ideas and shunning of renegades.

"One American mother, a member of Facebook groups such as “Great Mothers Questioning Vaccines”, was eventually convinced that she had been misguided in not vaccinating her two daughters. But Megan Sandlin recalls that she lost more than 50 friends within a fortnight of “coming out” about her new pro-vaccination status on Facebook.

“People who had cheered me on and supported me through my home birth, who had told me countless times that I was an awesome mother and an inspiration, just dropped me like we’d never been friends at all,” Sandlin wrote in a post titled “Leaving the Anti-Vaccine Movement” on the Voices for Vaccines website.

Sandlin was removed from groups, blocked by strangers, accused of being brainwashed and warned that her daughters would get autism now that they’d been vaccinated. “It hurt,” she wrote. “I now view the anti-vaccine movement as a sort of cult, where any sort of questioning gets you kicked out.”

Closer to home, parents who live in known anti-vaccine cluster areas are so fearful of the wrath of their community they won’t say whether their kids are immunised or not."

The “ammosexual” class of gun owners definitely have cultish characteristics.

I would say most MLMs are close.

The Iglesia ni Cristo or Church of Christ founded in 1914 in the Philippines by Felix Manalo. As proof they are the true church of Christ, look at their name.

If you haven’t listened to it yet and like podcasts you might find this 6 part look at gun rights advocates, the Dorr brothers interesting. I’m a shooting enthusiast but had never heard of these guys until I listened to this. Certainly cultish IMHO.

My daughter sold Mary Kay cosmetics for a short time. When I asked her why she quit, she gave me a succinct answer: “It’s a cult.”

(blink blink) Um, you consider it “cultish” for young people to prefer singlehood to a relationship that they consider unsatisfactory?

Frankly, the trend of young people uncoupling, so to speak, their life goals of personal fulfilment and even parenthood from the practice of mandatory monogamous marriage seems to me like a pretty predictable and natural one.

it also seems a lot healthier for people to accept that they might have happy lives as single people, or might be happy in “nontraditional” relationship or parenting situations, than to spend their twenties and thirties frantically trying to find “the one” and bemoaning the fact that they’re not married yet.

This is my go-to reference guide whenever I hear of some antiquated discredited woo concept being rehabilitated by the young and gullible. It’s still in print, about $15 on Amazon.

By the way, there was a poster on this board many years ago who was raised in a family of William Reich followers, with the box and all. Remember him?

What happens when one cult goes up against another, more powerful cult? You get Falun Gong vs the government of China.

Not at all. As I said in my opener, I may be stretching a point too far. And further, I was replying to the semi-hijack of somebody else about Marie Kondo’s “throw away everything imperfect” motto being applied to family life. IMO the young folks mentioned in the article are Kondo-ising their lives to an unusual degree. That’s the connection, nothing more.

I agree as a general matter. I married late and never had kids by choice. It has worked very well for us, but was at least a bit non-traditional for our generation. As in some of our various parents were real unhappy we didn’t create grandkids for their benefit. Screw that noise. I/we also spent years in the “friend zone” long before that term existed. That gives us a powerful bond many other married (or formerly married) couples our age seem to lack.

Some people who unthinkingly live out a rigid cultural standard will be happy doing so. Many won’t. Better to do whatever you do deliberately and consciously rather than blindly and automatically.

Arguably in fact what the folks in the article are doing is avoiding the need to later dispose, Kondo-style, of things that no longer give them joy (e.g. divorcing) by not expecting them to give joy in the first place.

I just found the idea of entering into a 20-year “contract” (“compact” might be a less value-laden term?) to raise a child with someone you’re socially indifferent to be an odd inversion of priorities. And one quite likely to fail IMO when the strains of real-world parenting get large and there’s nothing else to fall back on.

Then again, that reflects my personal priority that a loving SO and life companion is a vastly more important priority than any offspring. [aside]Nothing in that sentence necessitates one and only SO; that just happens to be how my life worked out. So far.[/aside]

For damn sure lots of people marry for lust, not love, and discover later that’s nowhere near enough for long term fulfillment. If this movement helps people avoid that mistake and think rather than simply give in to raging hormones it’ll be to the good.