Cult R Us ;-)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Will we soon be featured as the Cult of YourDoneEres? This ABC article cracked us up: fill in the blanks.
Apocalypse Really Soon
Apocalypse Really Soon
Is it the End of the World as We Know It?
Look below to see a list of some of the best-known -- and potentially most dangerous -- millennialist groups. (ABCNEWS.com)
Jan. 5 As the year 2000 creeps ever closer, millennialist cults are becoming ever more frenzied.
Many of them are convinced that the world will end or transform itself soon after next Jan. 1.
Israels decision this week to deport 11 members of a Denver-based cult called Concerned Christians shows how seriously the authorities there take the fervor. The group, whose members were holed up in Jerusalem apartments, allegedly planned mayhem that would unleash the second coming of Christ.
And Concerned Christians is not alone.
Back in the United States, according to a 1997 Associated Press poll, nearly 25 percent of adult Christians more than 26 million people believe that Jesus Christ will return to Earth in their lifetimes and set in motion the horrific events laid out in the biblical books of Revelation and Daniel. These include a vivid description of men being scorched with fire, complete darkness and a turning of the seas to blood.
Some of those Americans join religious groups fixated on the end.
People who expect the world to end soon do a lot of very strange things, writes Ted Daniels, director of the Millennium Watch Institute, who has more than 1,200 cults in his database.
They reject and even contradict the rules of common sense that keep the rest of us sane and feed our lives. They destroy the things they need to survive. They provoke fights they cant possibly win, and they talk about things that obviously wont happen.
Nope, we're not listed yet! It's funny but more skewed information to make the sheeple equate 2000 rollover concerns with dangerous wackos. We've seen definitions and discussions of "cults" used to intimidate ppl on all sides of the fence.
Who says our present imbalanced dollar idolatrous lifestyle isn't a strange culture? It sure has its enjoyable aspects, but the fall won't be so nice. Any of you had to deal with the "cult" issue?
Ashton & Leska in Cascadia, thinking about the Addamms Family
xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx
-- Leska (email@example.com), January 07, 1999
Yes, Leska. I lived in a "Cult."
We called it a commune, or "Intentional Community." There are actually quite a few of these around the country. Mostly benign. Occasionally one of the whackier groups does something stupid, like kill themselves, and gives everybody a bad name.
The one that I lived in for four years, in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco, I'll call a cult because we did the following:
We shared all income and expenses. We all lived together (About 30 people. It varied as people came and went) We owned and operated our own business (selling Macintosh computers). All revenue went back into the business, or into a common fund. We operated a non-profit organization to study group living. We created our own state chartered religion. We created our own cosmology. We created our own psychological system. ("Utopian Psychology" loosely based on Gestalt). We raised the children together. (the most well-balanced kids I ever met) We practiced group marriage. (Polyfidelity).
Unlike the traditional image of the evil cult, people did not have to donate everything they owned (though some chose to), and we were not forced to stop communicating with family and old friends. (in fact it was strongly encouraged, in order to have the best relationships possible with people in your life.)
I also lived for a couple of years in a less intense Community here in NYC, of all places. On the whole, the happiest, healthiest and most interesting part of my life (so far)...
-- pshannon (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 1999.
pshannon, that sounds so fab! Do your communities still exist? Do you still communicate with your past brethren? Why did you leave? Why did they disperse? Why do good things come to an end? It was nice hearing about good 'cult' experiences, simply because we're all contemplating post-Y2K tribal regroupings. Maybe there's silver linings, minus the silver bullet.
Ashton & Leska in Cascadia, enjoying the growing YourDoneEre community ;)
xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx
-- Leska (email@example.com), January 07, 1999.
Leska, the one in NYC is still going strong, and although I moved out of it a couple of years ago, I still hang out with folks there occasionally. The one in SF blew apart, for a variety of reasons. Mainly because we were working too hard. I left that lifestyle because I had never lived alone, and have a need to do that for fuller life experience. Also to play the big city rat-race game, which is kinda fun.
I fully expect to have to use my commune skills and experiences post- Y2K in the small town where my family will be gathered. Hopefully, "it'll just be a blip," in which case I plan to move to one of three or four rural communes that I'm familiar with by 2001, in order to more fully round out that life experience by living on a farm!
-- pshannon (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 1999.
pshannon, well-rounded multi-skilled indeed! You are blessed with a non-boring life, with more interesting times up ahead. Maybe you and Diane can compare notes for our edification. Sounds like you have several options and friends to fall back on. Bet you survive. Good luck! Thanks for responding, makes us chew on the community idea more.
xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx
-- Leska (email@example.com), January 07, 1999.
Excerpt from Apocalypse Really Soon The bold
People who expect the world to end soon do a lot of very strange things, writes Ted Daniels, director of the Millennium Watch Institute, who has more than 1,200 cults in his database. They reject and even contradict the rules of common sense that keep the rest of us sane and feed our lives. They destroy the things they need to survive. They provoke fights they cant possibly win, and they talk about things that obviously wont happen.
The groups themselves are often secretive and hard to track down. Nevertheless, ABCNEWS.com has put together this quick guide to some of the more prominent millennialist groups:..."
How much effort, how much energy is ABCNEWS.com putting into helping the issue of Y2K social transformation?
To be effective, prominent Y2K groups sometimes reject and even contradict the rules of common sense that keep the rest of us sane and feed our lives.
-- Critt Jarvis (Wilmington, NC) (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 1999.
wait no more! we are officially a cult - or cult like group!
last week - can't remember day, time, channel or affiliate (sorry to say) - i caught a little newsblip related to these y2k groups. the piece lasted about a minute - minute and a half at tops. they used the word "survivalists" to describe those who believe y2k may be serious and made a lot of effort to portray the one example of a "y2k survivalist" - a man living in the middle of ohio somewhere - as a little looney. we were privy to a video scan of his cupboards - full of canned foods - 3 months supply. we were also privy to a lot of editorial comments about these survivalist groups. government is cracking down on survivalist groups, the journalist says.
no, the word cult never was used. but other extremist words were. i laughed out loud. although i do not give it justice here, it was very amusing to see how others are being taught to view me. to view me from their eyes.
-- Christine A. Newbie (email@example.com), January 07, 1999.
Then why not say that the whole www and those that particapte on any bb, chat room, etc., can be view as the www cult particpant.
-- wwwcultmember (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 1999.
pshannon was not in a cult, it was a commune. there is no comparison. how to know the difference? it's really simple. a cult does not allow you to have outside friendships/relationships. it is total control, and specific mind control techniques are used. i helped an acquaintance get out of a REAL cult and it was such hell for me that i would never do it again except for family and very good friends. thank God that hasn't been necessary, as i have an unusually sensible extended family.
keep in mind as we go thru this weird year, that just because you're in a group that some people consider eccentric, flaky, strange, etc doesn't mean you're in a cult. according to my personal definition of a cult, (no freedom of thought/speech/action and no freedom to LEAVE), some countries could be considered a cult, also some businesses and even more than a few marriages.
-- jocelyne slough (email@example.com), January 08, 1999.
Have I missed something?
I've always thought most humans were rather attached to surviving, ergo "survival." Many do it from paycheck to paycheck. Barely. Seemed pretty American, even globally universal for most.
Haven't had the experience yet, pshannon, but think a commune may be somewhat empowering, especially on a big farm come Y2K. Always considered cults as disempowering and controlling. Thankfully no direct experience jocelyne, just some very dear friends with personal "stories" to tell.
Freeing communities rather than restricting ones sort'a seem, well, smarter somehow.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 1999.
sounds similar to my experience with the Quakes in Central NY. We survived in the 70's on the results of apple picking at a number of sites, and the good offices of the people who chose to leave some money with us. Of course, our raison d'etre was a bit different, as we were a "rest and recharge" place for young Friends who were traveling in the ministry. If this rings a bell from your NY community, we may have mutual (F)friends, since some of our folks were last heard from (about 8 momnths ago) in a community in the general area (which I understand is like saying "I understand you are Canadian. Do you know Annie Storer?" hihi).
-- Chuck, night driver (email@example.com), January 09, 1999.
Polyfidelity? Is that the same as wife-swapping or an orgy? hehe ...and Rome fell!
-- PnkPantha (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 12, 1999.
Had a couple family members in a cult for a while, a few years back. Jocelyne's right, it's nothing like the lovely commune pshannon describes. Real cults are psychologically abusive, and very traumatic to leave. If you're interested in the specific psychological techniques used, an excellent book is Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan, a former Moonie turned exit counselor.
-- Shimrod (email@example.com), January 12, 1999.
Doomsday cultists vanish
[ For Educational Purposes Only ]
Up to 60 members of a Colombian doomsday cult have gone missing in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada in Northern Colombia.
They were due for an alleged rendezvous with a spaceship, and nothing has been heard of them since the weekend, despite a continuing police search.
The members of the Stella Maris Gnostic church were hoping to be carried off by extraterrestrial beings before what they believe will be the imminent end of the world at the turn of the Millennium.
Police checked the sect's half-finished temple in the Caribbean city of Cartagena, but found no clue as to where the cult has gone or what their intentions were.
Mariela Tovar, whose 23-year-old daughter Patricia is among the disappeared, said the group's failure to return prompted worried relatives to contact the police.
The head of the sect apparently assured followers that the Sierra Nevada - a sacred territory to indigenous Indians - was where they could contact a spaceship.
According to their interpretation of the Bible, the sect believes that extraterrestrials will take 140,000 people from the earth before the end of the world - a sort of second Noah's Ark.
The authorities have not discounted any theory about the disappearances and are exploring the possibilities of a mass suicide, mass kidnapping or a lift from a passing UFO. ------------------------------------------------------------------
Now when the BBC entertains the possibility of a "lift from a passing UFO" while most news glosses over Y2K, the all-too-real technical mechanical scientific technological error upon which the entire global carrying capacity is riding, we know strange times have arrived.
xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 08, 1999.
-- Lisa (email@example.com), July 08, 1999.
While this thread is fascinating in many ways, I cant help but suggest that the light hearted way in which Yourdonites are taking the suggestion of a cultish behavoir pattern on this forum is simple brave-facing. In fact, having recently read several recent threads musing endlessly on the motivations and beliefs of the Trolls, it may provide some of the less programmed forumn members with pause-for thought to redirect the beam of your spotlight upon some of yourselves. I offer the comparison below as an illustration of what I mean.
NOTE: Originally I intended to reference each of my evidential examples with a URL link to the thread in which the specific example is best illustrated, but . . the time factor proved prohibitive, and after all, anyone who spends any time here and is able to honestly and objectively read my examples will surely find them resonant to countless threads past and present. If however someone would like to do the donkey work, and has the time, then feel free.
Exerpt from "Identifying a Cult" Copyright 1985, 1995 Jan Groenveld
Reproduced for Educational Use Only.
(My Comments italic in parentheses)
Some Abuses Of Rights And Freedoms:-
1. Abuse Of Individuality: They adopt a groupness mentality. They are not permitted to think for themselves apart from the group and only accept what they are told.
"Evidence the term "Yourdonites", the "in-jokes", the rallying round when a member experiences "doubts" or "questions the assumptions".
2. Abuse Of Intimacy: Relationships with friends, relatives, spouses, children, parents etc are broken or seriously hampered.
Evidence postings alluding to My family think Im a nut, and They dont want to listen and Im the local Y2K loony, also posts detailing strained personal relationships, many suggesting I feel more at home here lately than when talking to my DGI family.
3. Abuse Of Finances: Pressure to give all you can to the group. In non-communal groups, members usually live at the lower socio-economic strata, not because of a lower income level, but because they are always giving money to the group for some reason.
Evidence postings alluding to Ive done all I can afford to do, and If I only had the resources to do more and Since I started prepping Ive been running up my credit card. Many posts refer to financial strain due to being a GI.
4. Us Versus Them Mentality: Isolation from the community in general. Anyone and everything outside the group is seen as of the devil or unenlightened etc. Their enemies now include former friends; the Christian church; governments; education systems; the media - the world in general. Those who are involved with these in any way see such involvement as a means to an end.
Evidence the treatment of dissenting voices on the forum. Also the ubiquitous and popular theory that Trolls are Government paid operatives sent to disrupt our group. There are shadows behind every wall for the average Yourdonite.
5. Abuse Of Time And Energy: The group controls and uses almost all the members time and energy in group activities. They are usually in a constant state of mental and physical exhaustion.
Evidence postings claiming I spend SO much time on this forum, and My preparations are wearing me out and Im fried. Also exhortations from forum leaders / personalities to work ever harder, with dire consequences for those who do not comply.
6. Abuse Of Free Will: They must unquestioning submit to the groups teachings and directions and their own free will is broken. Their will actually becomes the groups will without their realizing it. This is done either by coercive methods including low protein diets and lack of sleep, or over a period of time through intimidation. Both methods make heavy use of guilt.
Evidence constant urging from forum hardliners / elders to Not let up with the preps, and to spend every spare moment checking your stores and especially The blood of your family will be on your hands if you dont get it done now. The assumed burden of duty which a GI takes upon themselves is repeatedly validated on this forum by way of guilt-trip reminders.
Results Of This Abuse
1. Personality Changes Relatives will say they no longer recognize the person. From a warm, loving personality will come heaped abuse, rejection and feelings of hate. The cult member sees himself as righteous in comparison and this comes across in their attitude toward all outsiders.
Evidence aforementioned My family think Im a nut, and My partner is a DGI and hates what Im doing and Since I Got It Ive split from my DGI husband/wife/partner. Also suggestions in postings that Im getting tired of being seen as the neighbourhood Y2K weirdo
2. Loss Of Identity They cannot see themselves as individuals apart from the group. Some even change their name as a rejection of their former life.
Evidence posters adapting writing style to suit their chosen handle, whether in humour or in seriousness (eg. The cult of Dog-ism). Also the identification (and ranking within the heirarchy) of posters with Y2K-oriented names. The degree to which one is able to refer to external sources, and echo the mantric standard rebuttals is also used as a badge of rank.
3. Paranoid - We Are Being Persecuted Any time you say anything negative about the group, whether justified or no, it is regarded as persecution. Any criticism of the individual is also seen as persecution only because they are the true Christian or enlightened one - not because they, as an individual, have done the wrong thing. However, at the same time they will feel free to criticise whatever you believe, say and do because they are the only ones who are right.
Countless evidence of conspiracy theories. The Government, the paid Trolls, the dumb public at large, the big corporates, the illuminati, the bildenberg group, the democrats, the liberals, the terrorists, the NWO. Everyones out to get you.
4. Social Disorientation They lose their ability to socialize outside the group. This can go so far as to not being able to structure their time or make simple decisions for themselves when they leave. Their world-view alters and they perceive the world through their leaders eyes. They become very naive about life in general.
Evidence postings alluding to I spend so much time on this forum, and I dont socialise as much as I used to because I spend so much time on my preps and I miss the old carefree days before I got-it.
5. Severe Guilt Complexes They are made to feel guilty of everything they did before entering the group and are to strive to be good and worthy for eternal life. Misdemeanors are made into mountains so that members are in a constant state of guilt for infringing even the most minor rules. Guilt comes because they arent doing enough; entertaining doubts or questions; even thinking rationally for oneself. This guilt is piled upon pile with new rules constantly being laid down about what is sinful and what is not. Illness may be seen as lack of faith - more guilt. Emotional illness may be seen as proof of sin in your life - more guilt.
Evidence postings alluding to I wish I had more time for my preps and I wasted so much time before I got-it and If only Id found out about all this earlier I could have done more, and I hope Ive done enough, and I fear for all those friends who are DGIs when TSHTF, if ONLY I could have reached them.
Summary Not all these points will be found in every cult, but all cults will have some if not most of them, although these may vary to some degree.
Im sure that this will provoke a rash of accusations, flaming, insult, and the usual cries of "Paid Government Troll". Whilst I do not really expect anything else (Im sure if I walked into a Scientology meeting and pointed this out the same thing would happen), the fact remains that the volume of invective thrown at me after this post will not be a valid measure of the falsity of my observations. Only logic and counter-argument can achieve that.
-- W0lv3r1n3 (W0lv3r1n3@yahoo.com), July 08, 1999.
Thanks for posting the cult red-flag watch points. Historically, peer pressure has created some interesting-study groups.
Fortunately, this Forum is a free-for-all of independent thinkers, strong-willed individuals, a variety of highly-skilled specialists, and diverse outlooks on Life Now Near the Turn.
Unlike other philosophical musings, our questions/expectations/curiosity/fears/hopes will be answered within one year, more or less. Time Will Tell! This group of thinkers/preppers/naysayers is sparked by a verifiable design error in the cold hard scientific mathematical technology of computers.
While other factors feed into, intersect, impact, and ripple domino the results of the computer flaw in the global carrying capacity mechanism, the core kernel of this Forum remains Y2K, still.
Working in Subduction Zone Earthquake country, our preps will be peace-of-mind insurance for many years to come. The generous shopping tips from threads and eMail have changed our spending habits and lowered our expenditures. And, this Forum has reinforced our long-held awareness and desire to live in the beautiful peaceful countryside and be self-sufficient. The recent news about fuel cells becoming popular and economically feasible is encouraging!
Again, having been explosed to cults in the past, and watched from a distance, we want to thank you again for posting the warning signs. These days, with the possible collapse of society in its present structure, it is good to have some knowledge of how to guage a group before dipping one's toes into their culture.
xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xx
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 08, 1999.