Is America in a Cult?
It seems to me that our President-elect assumed once he won, scrutiny on his past, his finances, his behavior, his political and business interests, and his personal life would simply go away. Somehow the American people would cease to question anything he says or does. Blind faith. You know, like what you would expect a cult leader to believe. No room for dissent or opposition.
When I came to this realization it occurred to me that Mr. Trump might actually be a cult leader. Has almost half of the American voting population become “brainwashed”? Is he the Jim Jones or David Miscavige of the cult “Make America Great Again”? If so, don’t cults unravel eventually? The answer is yes, they always do. Here are some consistencies I have noticed among the cult leaders I mentioned and the new leader of the free world. Wait, that sound more like a cult name….. “Church of the Free World”.
Cult leaders need to manipulate their followers to gain loyalty.
He was well read on the history of world leaders, including Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Mahatma Gandhi, and Adolf Hitler. Making sure to understand and note their strengths and weaknesses. He used this knowledge to manipulate his followers and was successful in gaining their trust. He was able to convince over 900 people to leave everything behind and follow him to Utopia.
He is the undisputed leader of Scientology, like their Pope. There is a fundamental understanding that he cannot be wrong. He has the knowledge they seek and is the link to their salvation. He will often distort or misrepresent facts to deepen his followers’ beliefs and keep them active in the church.
He is quick to point out strengths and weaknesses of others, whether these are real or imaginary, and use them as political ammunition.
He will work a negative situation to his advantage by deflecting and blaming. He cites vague sources to legitimize his claims. He and his surrogates are masters of the pivot.
Cult leaders have the ability to speak to the hearts of followers.
He was an impassioned public speaker, as most cult leaders are. He was charismatic and full of love. He identified with the lost souls, the down trodden, and outcasts. So much so, that political activist and gay rights leader Harvey Milk praised him for the spiritual “high” he was on after hearing him preach. His parishioners had a spiritual hole and he filled it.
When Scientologists get together it is a big deal. Miscavige will make unbelievable and inaccurate announcements about the “good work” they are doing with a wow factor as big as a Hollywood movie. He will stand alone on the stage so there are no distraction from his message.
He speaks to the regular guy. He feels the pain and financial woes for them and knows how to fix it. He holds “huge’ rallies to gauge the sentiment of the people and then uses that sentiment as his platform. He identifies as a political outcast and outsider just like his followers. Once he finds a rally cry he will repeat, repeat, and repeat.
Without separation cult leaders can’t keep outside influences at bay.
He moved his church from California to Guyana to have a “sanctuary” away from negative influences. The media, former members, and family of current members in San Francisco scrutinized the leader and church practices. When allegations of abuse were circulating he knew the only way to keep his dream of a Utopian community alive was to separate from the world.
Using the teachings of his predecessor L. Ron Hubbard (who is believed to have had a mental disorder) the Church of Scientology preaches separation and requires it of anyone who questions the practices of the church. Miscavige took this to the next level when he physically isolated top members of the organization for more than a year. Essentially kidnapping them when he feared they had betrayed him personally.
His platform for the Presidency was based on isolationism. He proposed the U.S. build a wall to separate America from the job stealing, criminals who are a drag on American financial, social, and judicial systems. He believes in banning Muslim refugees and immigrants. He also believes the U.S. should remove itself from the United Nations. “America First” is actually “America Only”.
Loyalty and blind faith are essential to keep a cult going.
He understood that faith and loyalty were important. He kept a façade up for many years and was able to bring in new parishioners when they were still in the US. However, if he brought you into his inner circle he demanded loyalty and silence. Not only was he physically and verbally abusive but he also abused drugs which often led to altercations. If this news spread he knew it would be over, which is what lead to the mass poisoning in 1978.
In Scientology there is no questioning the practices or teachings. This “religion” takes a hard line when it comes to naysayers. There is no questioning Miscavige either…not at all. If you violate any of their rules you are punished. Either physically, verbally, socially, financially or all four. You can be thrown out and shunned by everyone you are associated with, including family members. If you dare to then speak out, there is nothing they won’t do to smear you.
He is of the philosophy if you aren’t with me you are against me. Anyone who has spoken out against him is a liar, a loser, or any myriad of adjectives he likes to use. No one is safe. He will praise someone he feels is loyal to him but if they criticize him they become a target. Twitter is the best route to get him immediate gratification and he needs that to maintain the illusion of his greatness.
What does this mean? Is America is in a cult? No I don’t think so. But, I do think President-elect Trump is trying to use the same kind of mind control techniques to rule the country? What do we do about it? Unlike cult followers the American people have a say in how the country is run. We have many channels to make our voices heard.
During this administration we must use those channels to check deceptive tactics and not allow him to act as a dictator with absolute control. Let’s show this narcissistic, immature, braggadocios, thin-skinned, despot that we will not be dominated.