Saturday, April 19, 2014

"All I have to do is humbly follow"

I recently listened to a 2009 TED talk by Diane Benscoter, a former Moonie turned anti-cult activist. Benscoter shed light on the mindset of cult devotees, likening cult ideology to a "viral memetic infection". At the 4:10 mark, she describes the appeal of cults, including their supposed answers to difficult questions and their promises of a better world. Benscoter's words could just as easily describe extreme forms of Christian fundamentalism.
"These easy ideas to complex questions are very appealing when you are emotionally vulnerable. What happens is that circular logic takes over. Moon is one with God. God is going to fix all the the problems in the world. All I have to do is humbly follow, because God is going to stop war, end hunger, all these things I wanted to do. All I have to do is humbly follow, because after all, God is the Messiah. He's going to fix all this. It becomes impenetrable, and the most dangerous part of this is that it creates us and them, right and wrong, good and evil. And it makes anything possible. It makes anything rationalizable."


  1. Right. It's all so easy. Of course when things don't work out as the cult leader promised, he can always blame his followers for not being obedient enough. Very disturbing.

    1. Donna -- Unfortunately, cults never deliver what they promise.


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