Tuesday, July 19, 2022

cults, cultish behavior, lack of critical thinking, censorship

'Cult' and 'Cultish behavior' usually perceived as pejorative, but it shares many common problems with science and religious groups

Re: Bhikkhu Sujato: The Way to the Beyond: A Study of the Pārāyanavagga

Post by frank k » Mon Jul 18, 2022 2:54 am
Do you guys know what a cult is?
It doesn't have to be something obviously evil, like a Satanic cult that sacrifices animals and young children for example.

A very common kind of cult is where followers reflexively agree with the views and opinions of their charismatic and popular teacher without question.
In other words, cult followers tend to turn off their critical thinking and ability to reason, and adopt their teacher's position without question.
Often insisting that they are using independent thinking, denying that they're turned off their logic and reasoning skills.

Even in science, even in religions where critical thinking is valued and essential, there are plenty of cults and cult like behavior.

comment on Political cults

 In 1990, Lucy Patrick commented:[65]  

Although we live in a democracy, cult behavior manifests itself in our unwillingness to question the judgment of our leaders, our tendency to devalue outsiders and to avoid dissent. We can overcome cult behavior, he says, by recognizing that we have dependency needs that are inappropriate for mature people, by increasing anti-authoritarian education, and by encouraging personal autonomy and the free exchange of ideas.

10 characteristics of a cult, according to Cult Education Institute


  1. Absolute authoritarianism without accountability
  2. Zero tolerance for criticism or questions
  3. Lack of meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget
  4. Unreasonable fears about the outside world that often involve evil conspiracies and persecutions
  5. A belief that former followers are always wrong for leaving and there is never a legitimate reason for anyone else to leave
  6. Abuse of members
  7. Records, books, articles, or programs documenting the abuses of the leader or group
  8. Followers feeling they are never able to be “good enough”
  9. A belief that the leader is right at all times
  10. A belief that the leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or giving validation

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