Cults Quotes

Quotes tagged as "cults" Showing 1-30 of 92
Dan Brown
“Professor Langdon,' called a young man with curly hair in the back row, 'if Masonry is not a secret society, not a corporation, and not a religion, then what is it?'
'Well, if you were to ask a Mason, he would offer the following definition: Masonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.'
'Sounds to me like a euphemism for "freaky cult." '
'Freaky, you say?'
'Hell yes!' the kid said, standing up. 'I heard what they do inside those secret buildings! Weird candlelight rituals with coffins, and nooses, and drinking wine out of skulls. Now that's freaky!'
Langdon scanned the class. 'Does that sound freaky to anyone else?'
'Yes!' they all chimed in.
Langdon feigned a sad sigh. 'Too bad. If that's too freaky for you, then I know you'll never want to join my cult.'
Silence settled over the room. The student from the Women's Center looked uneasy. 'You're in a cult?'
Langdon nodded and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. 'Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh.'
The class looked horrified.
Langdon shrugged. 'And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.'
The classroom remained silent.
Langdon winked. 'Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.”
Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

Rowan Atkinson
“As hatred is defined as intense dislike, what is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion, if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked?”
Rowan Atkinson

Dan Brown
“Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh. ...And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.”
Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

“Scientology always has been a game of power and control. L. Ron Hubbard was the ultimate con man, and it's hard to figure out how much of Scientology was an experiment in brainwashing and controlling people, and how much of it was truly intended to help people.”
Jenna Miscavige Hill, Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

Christopher Hitchens
“Obviously, there must be some connection between the subordination of actual individuals and the grotesque exaltation of symbolic ones like Kim Il Sung.”
Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“I was hungry when I left Pyongyang. I wasn't hungry just for a bookshop that sold books that weren't about Fat Man and Little Boy. I wasn't ravenous just for a newspaper that had no pictures of F.M. and L.B. I wasn't starving just for a TV program or a piece of music or theater or cinema that wasn't cultist and hero-worshiping. I was hungry. I got off the North Korean plane in Shenyang, one of the provincial capitals of Manchuria, and the airport buffet looked like a cornucopia. I fell on the food, only to find that I couldn't do it justice, because my stomach had shrunk. And as a foreign tourist in North Korea, under the care of vigilant minders who wanted me to see only the best, I had enjoyed the finest fare available.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Zeena Schreck
“Among [Applewhite's] other teachings was the classic cult specialty of developing disdain for anyone outside of the Heaven's Gate commune. Applewhite flattered his would-be alien flock that they were an elite elect far superior to the non-initiated humans whom he considered to be deluded zombies.[...]Applewhite effectively fed his paranoid persecution complex to his followers to ensure blind loyalty to the group and himself while fostering alienation from the mundane world. This paradoxical superior/fearful attitude towards “Them” (i.e., anyone who is not one of “Us”) is one of the simplest means of hooking even the most skeptical curiosity seeker into the solipsistic netherworld of a [mentally unbalanced] leader's insecure and threatened worldview.”
Zeena Schreck, Straight to Hell: 20th Century Suicides

Steven Hassan
“Certitude is not evidence of truth. Nor does repetition make it true. If anything, repetition should make you suspicious. Truth always stands up to scrutiny on its merits.”
Steven Hassan PhD, The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control

Alexandra Stein
“It is, in fact, a healthy response to atomization to seek to join up with others. As humans we are social animals. We have a fundamental need to join with others to seek solutions to the problems of survival. The danger arises if, in that effort, one encounters a totalist group that seeks to isolate and control its members - then one's own survival, and potentially that of others, is put at the gravest risk.”
Alexandra Stein, Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems

Alexandra Stein
“[A] public realm that works in our fragmented society [is] one that does not yearn for an idealized past and a closed vision of community, but looks forward to an open, welcoming, safe and diverse, pluralist view of community life where children are valued, universal human rights are valued and varied cultural expressions that respect these rights are valued.”
Alexandra Stein, Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems

Steven Hassan
“[Cult] members learn a new vocabulary that is designed to constrict their thinking into absolute, black-and-white, thought-stopping clichés that conform to group ideology. (“Lock her up” and “Build the Wall” are Trumpian examples. Even his put-downs and nicknames—Crooked Hillary, Pocahontas for Elizabeth Warren—function to block other thoughts. Terms like “deep state” and “globalist” also act as triggers. They rouse emotion and direct attention.)”
Steven Hassan, The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control

Steven Hassan
“Members are indoctrinated to believe that the Training Routines will help them be more effective in their lives—earn more money, be better communicators, get better jobs. Later they are told that by performing these routines they will help clear the planet of poverty, crime, disease—indeed, of all of humanity’s problems. At the highest level, members are told that they can control matter, energy, space, and time. The truth is, they are the ones being controlled.”
Steven Hassan

Steven Hassan
“Thought Control
* Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
* Adopt the group’s “map of reality” as reality
* Instill black and white thinking
* Decide between good versus evil
* Organize people into us versus them (insiders versus outsiders)
* Change a person’s name and identity
* Use loaded language and clichés to constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts, and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzzwords
* Encourage only “good and proper” thoughts
* Use hypnotic techniques to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking, and even to age-regress the member to childhood states
* Manipulate memories to create false ones
* Teach thought stopping techniques that shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts. These techniques include:
* Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
* Chanting
* Meditating
* Praying
* Speaking in tongues
* Singing or humming
* Reject rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
* Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy
* Label alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful
* Instill new “map of reality”

Emotional Control
* Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings—some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong, or selfish
* Teach emotion stopping techniques to block feelings of hopelessness, anger, or doubt
* Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault
* Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as:
* Identity guilt
* You are not living up to your potential
* Your family is deficient
* Your past is suspect
* Your affiliations are unwise
* Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
* Social guilt
* Historical guilt
* Instill fear, such as fear of:
* Thinking independently
* The outside world
* Enemies
* Losing one’s salvation
* Leaving
* Orchestrate emotional highs and lows through love bombing and by offering praise one moment, and then declaring a person is a horrible sinner
* Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins
* Phobia indoctrination: inculcate irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority
* No happiness or fulfillment possible outside the group
* Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc.
* Shun those who leave and inspire fear of being rejected by friends and family
* Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly, brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock and roll
* Threaten harm to ex-member and family (threats of cutting off friends/family)”
Steven Hassan

Anthony Storr
“Critical examination of the lives and beliefs of gurus demonstrates that our psychiatric labels and our conceptions of what is or is not mental illness are woefully inadequate. How for example does one distinguish an unorthodox or bizarre faith from delusion? Gurus are isolated people, dependent upon their disciples with no possibility of being disciplined by a church or criticised by contemporaries. They are above the law. The guru usurps the place of god. Whether gurus have suffered from manic depressive illness, schizophrenia or any other form of recognised diagnosable mental illness is interesting, but ultimately unimportant. What distinguishes gurus from more orthodox teachers is not their manic depressive mood swings, not their thought disorders, not their delusional beliefs, not their hallucinatory visions, not their mystical states of ecstasy. It is their narcissism.”
Anthony Storr, Feet of Clay: A Study of Gurus

Steven Hassan
“In the Moonies, I was taught to suppress negative thoughts by using a technique called thought stopping. I repeated the phrase “Crush Satan” or “True Parents” (the term used to describe Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han) whenever any doubt arose in my mind. Another way to control thoughts is through the use of loaded language, which, as Lifton pointed out, is purposely designed to invoke an emotional response. When I look at the list of thought-controlling techniques—reducing complex thoughts into clichés and platitudinous buzz words; forbidding critical questions about the leader, doctrine, or policy; labeling alternative belief systems as illegitimate or evil—it is astounding how many Trump exploits. As I have mentioned, one of the most effective techniques in the thought control arsenal is hypnosis. Scott Adams, the creator of the cartoon Dilbert, described Trump, with his oversimplifications, repetitions, insinuating tone of voice, and use of vivid imagery, as a Master Wizard in the art of hypnosis and persuasion.”
Steven Hassan, The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control

Steven Hassan
“At a 1937 conference of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, Stalin’s people applauded him for eleven consecutive minutes, fearing that the first to stop would be killed or sent to prison. Finally, one man stopped, the director of a paper factory. “To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down,” writes Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago. That same night the director of the paper factory was arrested and sent to prison for ten years.”
Steven Hassan, The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control

Aldous Huxley
“Unless you're steadily and unflaggingly cynical about the solemn twaddle that's talked by bishops and bankers and professors and politicians and all the rest of them, you're lost. Utterly lost. Doomed to personal imprisonment in your ego- doomed to be a personality in a world of personalities; and a world of personalities is this world, the world of greed and fear and hatred, of war and capitalism and dictatorship and slavery. Yes, you've got to be cynical, Pete. Specially cynical about all the actions and feelings you've been taught to suppose were good. Most of them are not good. They're merely evils which happen to be regarded as creditable. But unfortunately, creditable evil is just as bad as discreditable evil. Scribes and Pharises aren't any better, in the last analysis, than publicans and sinners. Indeed, they're often much worse.”
Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan

Steven Hassan
“In my practice, I’ve helped to creatively engineer all kinds of physical separations—bringing a cult member home for a holiday, family celebration, or even a funeral. It might seem manipulative, but it is a critical first step to helping a person free themselves from the clutches of a cult—one that has become increasingly difficult with 24/7 access to the internet through smartphones. In the case of Trump, there are also the continual tweets and right-wing and Christian right programming through radio and television. The relentless programming streaming from both ends of the political spectrum is pushing supporters ever deeper into Trump country.
This brings me to an important point and a key aspect of my approach. By attacking or belittling Trump’s followers, political opponents and traditional media may be helping Trump to maintain his influence over his base. In my experience, telling a person that they are brainwashed, that they are in a cult, or that they are following a false god, is doomed to fail. It puts them immediately on the defensive, confirms you are a threat, possibly an enemy, and reinforces their indoctrination. It closes their mind to other perspectives. I’ve seen this happen over and over again. It happened to me when I was in the Moon group. It immediately triggers a person’s mind control programming—including thought stopping and us-versus-them thinking, with you being the “them.”
Steven Hassan PhD, The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control

“Some of the middlemen who claim to be closer to God than all the rest of humanity realise that they can outwit their followers by making them believe that the more you serve them, the more you are pleasing God. Needless to say, many folks throughout history bought this codswallop.

For those followers, having an authority figure like a middleman, teacher, cleric, or guru becomes their only way to add spiritual significance into their lives and to feel whole. As a result, they throw away that responsibility by counting on another entity outside of themselves. Depending on such hand-holding renders them mentally, emotionally, even spiritually immature — losing their freedom and critical thinking in the process while never achieving wholeness.

On the other hand, propelled by the exhausted rules, dogmas, and hierarchy they embody, when “the false prophets in sheep's clothing” notice the submission of such followers they often begin taking advantage of it. Now bow down and kiss my feet to reach Nirvana! Wash them first.

But as Allan Watts seamlessly put it: “Anybody who tells you that he has some way of leading you to spiritual enlightenment is like somebody who picks your pocket and sells you your own watch. Of course if you didn’t know you had a watch, that might be the only way of getting you to realise.”

This all echoes with even more striking words by Bob Dylan: You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Simply Know Thyself; the rest shall follow.”
Omar Cherif

“As long as we are trapped in endogroups, people have proved throughout history that there is no atrocity or horror they will not normalize and justify.”
Heather Marsh, The Creation of Me, Them and Us

“The most dangerous time in any endogroup occurs on its destruction.”
Heather Marsh, The Creation of Me, Them and Us

Thomm Quackenbush
“In a small community, alien takeovers, portals to Hell, and demonic murder cults can better establish a foothold.”
Thomm Quackenbush, Holidays with Bigfoot

Jean Baudrillard
“The condemnation of sects is, like any witch-hunt, disgraceful: 'mental deficiency', 'cult of the guru', 'suicidal drive' etc. As though all these things were not standard in the normal sphere of conventions and the social order. This is reminiscent of the charge of 'cowardice' made against suicides.”
Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories V: 2000 - 2004

Philip Wyeth
“Modestianity exists today because there was a pressing need for a philosophy that looked at the present in order to face the future, rather than looking backward for guidance today.”
Philip Wyeth, Reparations Mind

“The modus operandi of every cult is to convince you there's something wrong with you and only they can fix it.”
Marty Rubin

William Kent Krueger
“Finally Albert whispered, "Listen, Odie, what does a shepherd eat?"
I didn't know where he was going with that, so I didn't reply.
"His flock," Albert told me, "his flock.”
William Kent Krueger, This Tender Land

Terry Schott
“Chapter 57
“Sounds like a strange grouping,” one marketing expert said from beside Nadine. “Cults, revolutions, and religions. All very different creatures.”
“Not at all. The only significant difference is the motivator for the action. A cult is a religion that doesn’t gain popular acceptance. Revolutions follow a government or policy instead of a god. Religion centres around a god that becomes accepted by enough people to gain credibility.”
Terry Schott, The Game
tags: cults

“People in a cult don't know they're in a cult. But everyone else can tell.”
Oliver Markus Malloy, Introvert Comics: Inside The Mind of an Introvert

Amanda Montell
“Without language, there are no "cults".”
Amanda Montell, Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism
tags: cults

Amanda Montell
“Without language, there are no 'cults'.”
Amanda Montell, Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism
tags: cults

« previous 1 3 4