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I have just finished reading Raphael Aron’s book Cults: Too Good to Be True (out of print now, I think, but his Cults, Terror, and Mind Control is still available). The introduction begins with this quote from Konrad Lorenz, Nobel Prize winner and animal behaviourist:

Some human beings seem to be driven by an overwhelming urge to espouse a cause, and failing to find one, may become fixated on astonishingly inferior substitutes. The instinctive need to be a member of a closely linked group fighting for common ideals may be so strong that iot becomes inessential what these ideals are and whether they possess any intrinsic value.

Some of the defining qualities of a cult are emotional manipulation, especially of the young or otherwise vulnerable, the definition of those who question the cult’s values and beliefs as on the side of evil, material benefits (money, sex, adulation, etc) which accrue to the leader/s, claims of knowing the only path to salvation, and prophesies of imminent doom for an evil and unbelieving world if it fails to heed the warnings of the cult and take the actions it demands.

Al Gore and the IPCC are the increasingly wealthy high priests of the cult. Their problem now is that the prophesies are not coming true. The seas are not rising, and world temperatures are stable or declining. We are more likely to be facing much colder temperatures than much hotter temperatures over the next century.

Nothing especially nasty is happening. They must be terribly disappointed.

In related news, a Russian former traffic cop has proclaimed himself the reincarnation of Jesus, and attracted about 5,000 followers. Well, why not?

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