By ALEXANDER DOLITSKY
Most people believe cult members are mentally unbalanced or are misfits who live in remote places, like the doomed devotees of Jim Jones and David Koresh; or various far-left cult members, including “Climate Change” activists, “Black Lives Matter,” “ANTIFA,” and some “World Peace” organizations that are calling for cease-fire in Gaza.
We take comfort in the fact that the influences of cults are far removed from our everyday lives. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In her book, Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in our Everyday Lives (1995), Margaret Thaler Singer (MTS for short in this article), outlined several key categories of cults and their followers. Here are some excerpts from her book, with my editorial comments:
“Today, nearly 20 million people have joined about 5,000 cults in the United States. Often a cult is disguised as a legitimate organization, and anyone, especially our young, could be susceptible to the covert and seductive nature of a cult. During periods of traumatic life changes, people are especially vulnerable to these masterful manipulations.” (MTS)
It is imperative, therefore, to prevent the spread of cults’ influence the way our society prevents the spread of racism, neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination of minorities. In order to prevent the spread of cults’ influence, one has to clearly understand the characteristics cults have in common. What are cults? Who are the people most likely to join cults?
“There are several major types of cults in the United States: (1) Neo-Christian religious; (2) Hindu and Eastern religious: (3) Witchcraft and Satanist; (4) Spiritualist: (5) Zen philosophical-mystical orientation; (6) Racial orientation; (7) Flying-saucer phenomena orientation; (8) Political.” (MTS)
…and, more recently: (9) Climate Change; and (10) Black Lives Matter.
“The label cult refers to 3 factors: (1) The origin of the group and role of the leader; (2) The power structure or relationship between the leader and the followers; (3) The use of a coordinated program of brainwashing.” (MTS)
… and (4) Indoctrination of our youth by far-left social activists, media and radical educators in our public schools and universities.
“Cults and cultic groups normally refer to any one of a large number of groups that have sprung up in our society and that are similar in the way they originate, in their power structure, and in their governance. Cults range from relatively benign to those that exercise extraordinary control over member’s lives and use brainwashing to influence and control members. Cult denotes a group that forms around a person who claims that he or she has special mission or knowledge, which will be shared with those who turn over most of their decision making to that leader. The process of brainwashing or mind control is the route by which the cult leader gains control.” (MTS)
This process of brainwashing is strikingly similar to the strategy and information’s manipulation of the far-left media, which is controlled by a powerful elite class.
“Eventually, cult leaders and their most close followers subject other members to mind-numbing treatments that block critical and evaluative thinking and subjugate independent choice in a context of a strictly enforced hierarchy. A cult leader’s motivation is to harass, to financially destroy, and to silence criticism. Cult leaders keep the focus of love, devotion, and allegiance on themselves. In many cults, for example, spouses are forced to separate, or parents are forced to give up their children as a test of their devotion to their leader.” (MTS)
As a rule, cult leaders claim to be breaking with a tradition, offering something novel, and instituting the only “viable” system for change that will solve life’s problem or the world’s challenges—e.g., advocating for neo-Marxist ideology, White Privilege doctrine, Critical Race Theory, Black Lives Matter standings and, most recently, anti-Semitic pro-Palestinian movement.
“Cults tend to require members to undergo a major disruption or change in lifestyle. Many cults put great pressure on their members to leave their families, friends, and jobs to become immersed in the group’s major purpose. In this closed system of logic, one is not allowed to question or doubt a tenet, or rule, or call attention to factual information that suggests some internal contradiction within the belief system, or a contradiction with what one has been.” (MTS)
…very much resembling a totalitarian regime, with a brutal dictator and an “inquisition-type “of justice system in charge of the masses, similar to the Soviet socialist-style of governing.
The far-left “Climate Change” activism is, historically, one of the most recent cult-type movement. Indeed, it is a political instrument of the radical groups and progressive social activists who are attempting to create a fear among people by manipulating and exaggerating environmental data.
Most professional prehistoric archaeologists or paleo-environmentalists are aware and able to present cyclical cooling and warming periods, and environmental changes that took place on Earth for millions of years prior to the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries (from about 1740s to 1860s AD).
Ironically, it seems that Juneau and Anchorage in Alaska have been suffering from the climate change for several weeks this winter. In fact, this year (2024) Juneau just broke a record for snowiest January ever with more than 76 inches. But for the far-left Climate Change activists, no matter whether it’s unusually wet or dry, hot or cold, snow or rain, or any “unusual” weather event is attributed to global climate change these days. And for the Climate Change cultic activists, “unusual” means simply anything more uncomfortable than average.
Certainly, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and beliefs to all citizens. But it also guarantees to minors the rights to choose their own ideological and spiritual path. Our educational and legal system should recognize that minors should not be subjected to any forms of intense indoctrination or brainwashing by the far-left progressive educators in our public schools; nor should minors have to live in an environment which manipulates their choices and desires.
I encourage our educators to objectively and impartially discuss the subject of a cult in school. Furthermore, our legal and political authorities must recognize dangerous effects of a cult’s environment and the far-left woke ideology upon the development of our youth. The far-left cults are more pervasive than ever before.
Covert far-left political groups are targeting the elderly, young, family, and the workplace world-wide, including our country. Be alert, anyone can become a victim of a far-left cult.
Alexander B. Dolitsky was born and raised in Kiev in the former Soviet Union. He received an M.A. in history from Kiev Pedagogical Institute, Ukraine, in 1976; an M.A. in anthropology and archaeology from Brown University in 1983; and was enroled in the Ph.D. program in Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College from 1983 to 1985, where he was also a lecturer in the Russian Center. In the U.S.S.R., he was a social studies teacher for three years, and an archaeologist for five years for the Ukranian Academy of Sciences. In 1978, he settled in the United States. Dolitsky visited Alaska for the first time in 1981, while conducting field research for graduate school at Brown. He lived first in Sitka in 1985 and then settled in Juneau in 1986. From 1985 to 1987, he was a U.S. Forest Service archaeologist and social scientist. He was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Alaska Southeast from 1985 to 1999; Social Studies Instructor at the Alyeska Central School, Alaska Department of Education from 1988 to 2006; and has been the Director of the Alaska-Siberia Research Center (see www.aksrc.homestead.com) from 1990 to present. He has conducted about 30 field studies in various areas of the former Soviet Union (including Siberia), Central Asia, South America, Eastern Europe and the United States (including Alaska). Dolitsky has been a lecturer on the World Discoverer, Spirit of Oceanus, andClipper Odyssey vessels in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. He was the Project Manager for the WWII Alaska-Siberia Lend Lease Memorial, which was erected in Fairbanks in 2006. He has published extensively in the fields of anthropology, history, archaeology, and ethnography. His more recent publications include Fairy Tales and Myths of the Bering Strait Chukchi, Ancient Tales of Kamchatka; Tales and Legends of the Yupik Eskimos of Siberia; Old Russia in Modern America: Russian Old Believers in Alaska; Allies in Wartime: The Alaska-Siberia Airway During WWII; Spirit of the Siberian Tiger: Folktales of the Russian Far East; Living Wisdom of the Far North: Tales and Legends from Chukotka and Alaska; Pipeline to Russia; The Alaska-Siberia Air Route in WWII; and Old Russia in Modern America: Living Traditions of the Russian Old Believers; Ancient Tales of Chukotka, and Ancient Tales of Kamchatka.
A few more of Dolitsky’s past MRAK columns: