Are we a Cult?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Have we become a cult? We share a secret knowledge. We have our own Gurus. We try to educate others. Why not give flowers at the airports? We meet with frequency (via internet) Hell, we even advocate communes and survivalism. Perhaps I am like a lawyer. (I am not) Abe Lincoln is credited to have said, "I would like to meet a lawyer that does not have another hand" I find myself regarding friends and family who do not, "BELIEVE" as poor lost souls. I have, "cast pearls before the swine" My pearls have been rejected. Am I now permitted to feel luxurious with my private knowledge? Perhaps I can make money with this knowledge? Perhaps I can work for the Red Cross? I think not. (Ask any veteran) Maybe I can just sit back and rub my hands with glee when it all happens. Small consolation.
-- Bill Solorzano (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 02, 1998
I'm not sure if the above qualifies those who know about Y2K as a cult, but I wonder at times how any of us will be able to get correct information off of Y2K sites. Every one I've been to is characterized by many people stating their opinion, others flaming them, on and on.
Also, the other issue I'm beginning to wonder about: Is it worth "surviving" if there's nothing left? Just curious.
-- Julie Benjamin (email@example.com), June 02, 1998.
I would take my chances with the rollover if it were not for my wife and two sons. To them, Christ has chosen to make me accountable. For them, I must prepare.
-- zerad (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 02, 1998.
Who's "we"? I'd have said that people taking Y2K seriously are a very broad church, and most admit to very considerable uncertainty as to their predictive powers (unlike most cult leaders). The end-of-world prophets do sound a bit like cult leaders at times; Ed Yourdon and Ed Yardeni certainly don't.
Everyone knows (or ought to) that in contingency planning one should "prepare for the worst, pray for the best". One then tempers this with some cost-benefit analysis; few of us prepare for global thermonuclear war or asteroid strikes, because the cost is high and the risk (IMO) low. On the other hand, the cost of building a one-month food reserve is merely lost interest on the investment, because you eat that food anyway even if no troubled times arise. (You may even save money once you discover how much cheaper it is to buy in bulk!) Strike your own balance between the extremes -- whatever you feel happiest with.
Ed Yourdon's "Time Bomb 2000" is a very good starting point. Read it!
-- Nigel Arnot (email@example.com), June 03, 1998.
Y2K followers may constitute several cults. Christianity is, by definition a cult. What both are called is not important. Y2K, like Christianity, is the truth. The next question then becomes, within each, what specifics do you believe? Which of the specifics is true individually. With Y2K, you have a range of severity to judge. This effects your level of motivation to act. Those who expect irritation and recession will respond one way. Those who expect the literal fulfillment of a "Mad Max" movie will respond in another. In fact, a lot of what I read is starting to sound like "Death race 2000".
-- Rev. Stephen L. Bening (Gammadim@AOL.com), June 03, 1998.
I tried to submit an answer and I'll try again. This is a test.
-- Joe Danison (JDanison@aol.com), June 08, 1998.
In my opinion, to express an interest and a concern over the Y2K henonmenon is certainly not unnatural. And, for those of us who work in the field of electronics and software, it is certainly reasonable to discuss ways in which the problem can be alleviated or resolved.
However, when it comes to quitting one's job, relocating one's family, stockpiling food for years to come, and discussing how to violently defend oneself against one's neighbors, there is no question that these behaviors are extreme and out of the mainstream. Naturally, those who support these behaviors would argue that, even though they may be extreme, these behaviors are justifiable--indeed necessary--given the extreme circumstances. However, the "extreme circumstances" are only abstract thoughts, not concrete events, so the reaction to them is not "necessary" in the real sense, only as a response to a perceived threat that is expected to exist at some point in the future. For this reason, I think that many of these "extreme" behaviors are motivated by fear and not reason. But I don't think that fearful behavior in itself constitutes a cult, unless the environment of fear is being orchestrated by an individual or by an organized leadership. As far as I know (apart from Gary North, whose motivation and organization is unclear to me) all of the other Y2K responses that I have witnessed are willful decsions made by individuals and families; they are not responses made by people who have surrendered their will to some other authority.
-- David Auslander (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 08, 1998.
After reading answers to some of the other questions in this forum, I have sadly come to the conclusion that, yes, this is a cult. If not in true form, then in appearance.
While reading the responses (not all, but most), I hear much of the same vitriol I hear on AM radio. Someone even mentioned that while Y2K is real (and its resultant world annihalation?), the ozone hole and global warming are not. Sheesh, give me a break!
Others wonder why no-one takes them seriously when they warn of the end of the world and then turn around and say that there's a conspiracy of silence. Man-oh-man! Talk about stepping on the accelerator pedal and the brakes at the same time!!!
I think what we all need to do is take a little vacation, get some perspective, and come at this again. Y2K IS going to happen - but no-one, NO-ONE, knows what will happen. To wave our arms hysterically while yelling that the sky is falling and we alone know it, is...well, cult-like.
-- Ted Markow (email@example.com), June 09, 1998.
Dave, you say to "take a vacation". Been there, done that. All I could think of was scoping the place out for a possible Y2k retreat! Now I don't have enough $$ left for another vacation, what with all the food/clothes/water storage and relocation cost (bunkers are getting EXPENSIVE). ;)
-- Kay P (Y2kay@usa.net), June 09, 1998.