Working for the company I do, I interact with quite a few people from the same industry but different companies. I was having a conversation with someone the other night and we were talking about one of my companies competitors. The person I was talking to worked for another company, but there was one that we both agreed had a cult like following. I won't say which large tech company it is, but to describe this company. In the city I live most of the employees live in the area around the offices. When at work they are really into the company. When not at work they hang out together to the point of pub crawls together, evenings at each other's houses playing games, having parties, etc. During these times they spend most of it talking to each other about work items. And of course they date and marry one another.
I've spent a lot of time with one of the people who work for this company because one of the points of conflict between us is my inability to swallow the cool-aid, and lack of desire to spend time with these people participating in the discussions.
Now, before someone responds pissed off at my attitude. I'm not saying these are bad people. In fact most cult members are not bad people, they just tend to get caught up in this world and it becomes their lives. The people I know in this cult are all very nice, intelligent, good hearted people. But then again, most of the members of Jim Jones's cult were good people as well.
a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing
a small group of very devoted supporters or fans
a group whose beliefs and practices were considered bizarre or extreme
associated with mind control, brainwashing and undue manipulation of followers
I found this Cult 101 Checklist
Lets use Facebook as an example though, there are others with the same mindset.
- The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law. - Check
- Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished. - Check
- Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).- Check
- The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
- The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity). - Check
- The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.- Check
- The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
- The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
- The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.- Check
- Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.- Check
- The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
- The group is preoccupied with making money. - Check
- Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.- Check
- Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
- The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.- Check