It’s natural to think of cults as being filled with gullible people bamboozled by a charismatic confidence man. It’s popular to portray the cult leader as a deeply cynical, maybe even evil, person, who is using his flock to inflict harm or make himself rich. The Nazis are often described as the quintessential cult and Hitler as the ultimate cult leader. The implication of this way of looking at things is that the people who get caught up in a cult are dupes, fools or gullible innocents. Because they were well-intentioned, they can be forgiven, to a point, for falling in with a bad crowd.
The truth is a bit different. The true believer seeks out movements to join. They don’t need convincing. They are filled with self-loathing so they seek out groups to join in order to swap out their identity with that of the group. By immersing themselves in the movement, they obliterate their sense of self and assume the identity of the group. It’s why within five minutes of meeting a vegan, they tell you they are a vegan, because it is, literally, their identity. It’s also why cult members ferociously defend the group. It’s self-defense.
Being in a mass movement or a cult only works if the logic and beliefs of the cult explain the world to a satisfactory level. If the cult says the world is going to end tomorrow, it better end tomorrow. Otherwise, the cult collapses as it fails to comport with observable reality. Since reality never fully comports with the worldview of a mass movement, there has to be a method to deal with dis-confirmation. This either means filtering out contrary data or finding a method to fold it into the beliefs of the group.
A good recent example is the Afghan Muslim, who shot up the gay club in Orlando. For the modern liberal, Muslims and gays are always victims of bad whites. Therefore this event creates a paradox for the Cult of Modern Liberalism as it means two of their beliefs are mutually exclusive. To resolve this, they created a backstory claiming the shooter was actually gay and this was gay rage. The extreme homophobia of the bad whites finally sent this poor gay Muslim over the edge. Therefore, he is just another victim of the bad whites.
It did not take too long before it was clear that this guy was not gay or struggling with being gay-curious. Because the liberal media kept promoting the idea, the FBI eventually had to announce that they found no evidence to support the claims. It was also clear that Mateen was a Muslim lunatic with ties to other Muslim lunatics. None of that mattered as the Cult had their narrative and every Lefty now believes this had nothing to do with Muslims. It was all the fault of white America, homophobia and Islamophobia. The dis-confirmation was turned into confirmation.
Normal people wonder how it is that liberals so quickly cook up these weird theories and then agree on the story, as if it is coordinated. Look at how quickly they came up with the gay rage stuff and how every liberal was saying the exact same lines within hours of the incident. Well, look at a school of fish. There’s no head fish calling the shots, but they move in concert, responding to perceived dangers, as if they are under a uniform command. The school swarms in one direction and then, in an instant, veers in another direction, as a big fish approaches.
Liberals work similarly. They are always looking to one another for signals as to how they should respond. As soon as one lefty pulled the gay rage card, the rest started repeating it as it felt like the path away from danger. It’s why they watch the same shows and read the same news sites. They are constantly watching one another for cues as to which way to swarm. Being in a mass movement is first and foremost about blending seamlessly into the whole. Again, the adherent is there to swap their identity for that of the group so they are hyper-sensitive to the direction of the group.
When faced with dis-conformation, the members of a mass movement will first look to one another in order to reinforce their beliefs. This “circle the wagons” instinct is clear with the reaction we are seeing to the Brexit vote. Instead of wondering what they did wrong, the Remain crowd is blaming it on the moral degeneracy of the Leave voters, calling them racists and xenophobes. The Remain people are locking shields to clearly set themselves apart form the evil Leave voters. Their instinct is to first defend the faith, and then look to each other for the correct response.
You’ll also note something else in the response to the vote. They are blaming it on old people. We see this in the States after every Democratic loss. When they win, it is young people who carried them to victory. When they lose it is those grubby old racists, who were driven by fear and hatred that defeated them. Mass movements make a fetish of the youth. At least a dozen times since the vote in Britain I have heard a liberal say “the delusions and fears of an aging population have thrown away the future of the young in Britain.”
What’s going on here is the process of turning contrary evidence into proof that their cause is righteous. Further, they are turning the loss into a reason for hope. After all, those horrible, racist old people will be dead soon. Then the young and righteous will inherent the earth and usher in the promised utopia. Since there can be no doubt about the validity of their beliefs, focusing on the alleged weaknesses of their adversaries inspires the faithful to keep up the fight. And they always keep up the fight. They never quit. They never change their minds. They just keep at it until they get their way.