Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Life In A Cult

H/T to commenter Cassander. I came across the link to the article I've excerpted below in another link that he provided.

Right now I suspect many of us are feeling a bit groggy--a feeling induced by the bizarre carnival atmosphere of public life in America, in which established liars are suppressing truth in the name of ideological purity. It's as if we were living inside a cult, while resisting full membership in that cult. Already back in 1949 in his The New Science of Politics Eric Voegelin had described this feeling as characteristic of life in the modern West. 

The American republic was established on the basis of a civil theology that reflected a generalized Christian tradition that embodied a philosophically articulate vision of human nature. This generally accepted civil theology is what breathed real life into the institutions established in the paper document we call our Constitution. 

However, as the societal consensus that allowed for a common civil theology broke down, various liberal ideologies began warring to replace Christianity as the new civil theology--Libertarianism on the right and on the left a Progressivism inspired by Hegel's Neo-Gnostic ideology. Both of these ideologies rest upon a radical denial of human nature, and Progressivism has developed into an increasingly explicit gnosticism that espouses a Globalist order to transform humanity--the Transhumanist Global Reset. Their goal is to inform our constitutional institutions with the spirit of that radical denial, as a civic ideology rather than a civic theology (God having been removed from public consciousness).

Ideologies by their nature share characteristics with what we commonly call "cults." Above all, both cults and ideologies engage in a systematic denial of the objective realities embodied in human nature in favor of a desire driven effort to overcome reality and establish a new reality. This manifests itself as a type of libido dominandi in the political sphere, and naturally entails the suppression of WrongThink of every sort--censorship of any expression that contradicts the drive of ideology.

Since the motivation of ideology is to replace reality with a human construct, Truth in an ideological context becomes simply whatever narrative advances the cause. Or, to put it slightly differently, for the Progressive the narrative IS the truth--and can change depending on the needs of the moment. Thus, in our current political crisis, Trump can be fictionally accused of inciting street violence--while the history of Dem calls for violence, and actual practice of violence, are to be not merely ignored but erased from the collective memory of the Left: Media Are Accusing A Republican Lawmaker Of Insurrection For Quoting Nancy Pelosi.

Similarly, in the Covid Hoax we witness the suppression of science ... in the name of science! Tellingly, the motive behind such science suppression is explicitly driven by political ideological concerns of a distinctly totalitarian bent. For a thorough exploration of this theme (h/t commenter Dave) and the totalitarian fantasies that drive it, see this twitter thread: The CCP Global Lockdown Fraud.

In the context of these considerations, I offer below a highly edited version of C. J. Hopkins' The Covidian Cult. Please note that while Hopkins wrote with the Covid Hoax foremost in mind, the principles behind his analysis of our current cultural situation apply equally well to the cultish nature of our public life generally. What we see here is the replacement of our traditional civic theology by ideological cults that seek to impose their total control through a caricature of what we used to understand as true politics. Politics, formerly understood to be the practical effort in history to embody the meaning of human nature in historical institutions, has given way in 21st century America to an almost pure example of the Neo-Gnostic (Hegelian-Globalist) libido dominandi.

One of the hallmarks of totalitarianism is mass conformity to a ... totally delusional official narrative that has little or no connection to reality and that is contradicted by a preponderance of facts.

Nazism and Stalinism are the classic examples, but the phenomenon is better observed in cults and other sub-cultural societal groups. ...

... the delusional nature of these official narratives is glaringly obvious to most rational people. What many people fail to understand is that to those who fall prey to them ... such narratives do not register as psychotic. On the contrary, they feel entirely normal. Everything in their social “reality” reifies and reaffirms the narrative, and anything that challenges or contradicts it is perceived as an existential threat.

These narratives are invariably paranoid, portraying the cult as threatened or persecuted by an evil enemy or antagonistic force which only unquestioning conformity to the cult’s ideology can save its members from. ...


“The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. [E.g., settled science, or diversity, or ...] The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly selective, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. They become the start and finish of any ideological analysis.” — Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing” in China, 1961

If all this sounds familiar, good. Because the same techniques that most cult leaders use to control the minds of the members of their cults are used by totalitarian systems to control the minds of entire societies: Milieu Control, Loaded Language, Sacred Science, Demand for Purity, and other standard mind-control techniques. It can happen to pretty much any society, just as anyone can fall prey to a cult, given the right set of circumstances.

It is happening to most of our societies right now. ...

Most people cannot see that it is happening, for the simple reason that it is happening to them. ...


Their initiation into the Covidian Cult began in January, when the medical authorities and corporate media turned on The Fear with projections of hundreds of millions of deaths and fake photos of people dropping dead in the streets. The psychological conditioning has continued for months. The global masses have been subjected to a constant stream of propaganda, manufactured hysteria, wild speculation, conflicting directives, exaggerations, lies, and tawdry theatrical effects. Lockdowns. Emergency field hospitals and morgues. The singing-dancing NHS staff. Death trucks. Overflowing ICUs. Dead Covid babies. Manipulated statistics. Goon squads. Masks. And all the rest of it.

Eight months later, here we are. ...

The “science” argument is officially over. An increasing number of doctors and medical experts are breaking ranks and explaining how the current mass hysteria over “cases” (which now includes perfectly healthy people) is essentially meaningless propaganda, ...


I’m not going to go on debunking the narrative. The point is, the facts are all available. ...

Which does not matter in the least, not to the members of the Covidian Cult. Facts do not matter to totalitarians and cult members. What matters is loyalty to the cult or the party.

Which means we have a serious problem, those of us to whom facts still matter, ...

... What we are up against is not a misunderstanding or a rational argument over scientific facts. It is a fanatical ideological movement. A global totalitarian movement … the first of its kind in human history.

... Instead of the cult existing as an island within the dominant culture, the cult has become the dominant culture, and those of us who have not joined the cult have become the isolated islands within it.

I wish I could be more optimistic, and maybe offer some sort of plan of action, but the only historical parallel I can think of is how Christianity “converted” the pagan world … which doesn’t really bode so well for us. While you’re sitting at home during the “second wave” lockdowns, you might want to brush up on that history.



  1. Why, it's as if the nations of the world agreed with Hitler and Stalin, when they formed their short-lived pact.

    May this union of all things bad have a short life.

  2. Your readers may benefit from reading a post by philosopher Edward Feser (pronounced like "Phaser") on the exact same topic, with a rich background of the intellectual history:

  3. The public was scared in particular by the claim that COVID-19 was spread by asymptomatic carriers.

    What was the scientific basis for this claim?

    Asymptomatic people might test positive, but what was the proof that they might spread it to other people? There never was any proof.

  4. Disagree it has become the culture of the elites propagated thru public and elite schools that create overton windows of thought.

    >the cult has become the dominant culture

    The opportunity is when facts are introduced that shatter the Overton Window. Trump has done this numerous times.

    This explains is the reckless and short sighted rush to take away his channels of communication, not controlled by the elites, by the Tech Giants. Censorship is needed in order to keep the programming working.

  5. America's dominant ideology is like Lysenkoism on a cocktail of steroids, cocaine, and LSD. It would make Stalin blush (and laugh).

  6. They use the Denialist/Denialism tag because calling you a HERETIC betrays their religious cult for what it is.

  7. All the people I know who voted for Biden still think their enemy is the right. Which I suspect is the case for most liberals and ‘moderates’. However, I think they are going to find over the next 4 years that the left is the real enemy. At least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t despair.

    1. The MSM is the real enemy. My wife watched Lester Holt and the NBC evening news tonight. So much damn drama created by NBC it's ridiculous...

  8. "To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good... Ideology - that is what gives devildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors."
    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Tom S.

  9. I believe Eric Voegelin was taking a very direct shot at FDR and the neverending precession of the New Deal.
    Your reference to his book is a solid parallel to the history of social construct over the past 70 years.

    That history is why I sometimes say current events are simply our generations curb stomping.

    Covid, SCOTUS, election rigging, even packing the USSC are all just repeats of larger potholes left miles back in the road to hell we're on.

    FRD threatened the court over Wickard v. Filburn the same way liberal are today.

    History is just amazingly ironic.

  10. At ,
    the author helpfully stresses the distingtion between an epistemic bubble (when you don’t *hear* people from the other side), vs. an echo chamber (what happens when you don’t *trust* people from the other side).
    While dissing dittoheads, he admits "that there are plenty of echo chambers on the political Left".

    1. And, 3+ years ago, an ex-SJW wrote of how already,

      "I see increasing numbers of so-called liberals cheering *censorship*, and defending *violence* as a response to speech.
      I see seemingly reasonable people wishing death on others, and *laughing* at escalating suicide and addiction rates of the white working class.
      I see liberal think pieces written, in opposition to expressing empathy or civility, in interactions with those with whom we disagree.
      I see 63 million Trump voters written off as “nazis”, who are okay to *target* with physical violence.
      I see concepts like equality and justice being used, as a mask for resentful, murderous rage.
      The most pernicious aspect of this evolution of the left, is how it seems to be *changing* people, and how *rapidly* since the election...."

    2. And, Taibbi today on
      "In the late nineties and 2000s, we started to see a new type of personality among *younger* adults.
      It might be, a relative who couldn’t make it *five minutes* into a family dinner without starting an argument, or a cab driver who steered every conversation into litmus-test questions, about abortion or the Iraq war.
      They didn’t converse, but talked *at you*: “Don’t you think…?”
      Every line of discussion was a trap. You either fought or agreed, and if your agreement was insincere, they were expert at sniffing it out....

      The easygoing liberal, who once pitied right-wing media addicts, became one, unable to get through a conversation without *bringing up* Trump, and terrorized to the point of misery by partisan dramas....
      parental or marital love experienced for its own sake, without being channeled toward social change, is a suffocating, decadent indulgence....
      We’re in a cult of *hating* each other, and as with any cult, no vacations are allowed."