As we have recently observed, during the Covid 19 Lockdown protests, cults and conspiracy theorists are rampant.
The Q-anon cult following is alarming enough of itself, never mind the thousands of others prevalent, particularly in lands where cult-like leaders are prone to run for office.
Catastrophe is seen as opportunity in the cult world, where vulnerability is the most precious of commodities. We have seen an alarming number of covid deniers, the ‘plandemic’ documentary and numerous fake covid cures being sold at unbelievable prices to fervour and fear induced followers.
I recently had a David Icke and Alex Jones fan from a Christian sect angrily insist that Donald Trump has been chosen by God to bring the Satan worshippers to justice, whilst he pointed out ‘chemtrails’ above us ‘poisoning the masses’.
It can be noticed that cults and their members tend to believe in and spread conspiracy theories.
Brought up in these paranoid circles, I also once prescribed to the notion that authorities are only here to lie to, poison, murder and enslave us. I believed nothing from authorities, I didn’t watch Tv or check the news or even get check ups at the doctors. I read only material that supported my paranoid biases. The level of paranoia I experienced was all encompassing. Friends making a passing comment, could expect me to jump in with some far-fetched, wide-eyed theory.
Indoctrination into a cults unfounded beliefs and creating the ‘us vs them’ mentality necessary amongst followers, requires that their mainstream sources of information be invalidated, ridiculed and in turn, distrusted.
The usual targets would be media, journalists governments, education, science, medicine and anybody else deemed to have the potential to expose or oppose the cult practices and beliefs as not grounded in reality.
For instance, in scientology writings, Hubbard gets his readers to perceive all journalists as ‘merchants of chaos’, psychiatry and psychology as murderous pseudo-sciences and pharmaceutical medicine, as a dangerous money making racket, which in hindsight, epitomizes ‘the pot calling the kettle black’.
Not to say that all conspiracy theories are unfounded, some have proven out to have been factual to varying degrees, however, we also find, JWs, Narmdhari Sikhs, Mormons and numerous Muslim and Christian sects and cults to adhere to a wide array of conspiracy theories from 9-11 to Flat Earth, all invariably purported to try to conceal the truth, thought to be known, usually only to the cult members and leaders.
It seems evident that a conspiracy mind-set is an essential ingredient to the recipe that slow cooks one into a psuedo-cult identity and post-cult counsellors may find it beneficial to their clients mental health to spend some time covering conspiracies picked up whilst among cult members that may not necessarily relate directly to the cult.
Many who have managed to leave a cult setting seem to still passionately embrace their paranoid conspiracy mind-set and in my opinion, they may not be as ‘deprogrammed’ as they feel they are.
One can readily observe ex-cult members, though now speaking out against cult abuses, still locked on to the paranoid conspiracy mind set with the same emotional biases that impeded their critical thinking as when they believed in their cults doctrines.
Could it even be possible, that most all of our wonderfully colourful conspiracy theories, originated from cult groups, constantly seeking to realise their warped view of reality.
After all, we all know what they say of both cults and conspiracies- that they have been around forever.
Sarb Sandhu (AKA Culthopper)