On the Edge: Political Cults Right and Left

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M.E. Sharpe, Aug 30, 2000 - Political Science
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This is the first book to document the extent of political cults on both the right and left and explain their significance for mainstream political organizations. The authors outline the defining characteristics of cults in general, and analyze the degree to which a variety of well-known movements fall within the spectrum of cultic organizations. The book covers such individuals and groups as Lyndon LaRouche, Fred Newman, Ted Grant, Marlene Dixon, the Christian Identity movement, Posse Commitatus, Aryan Nation, militias, and the Freemen. It explores the ideological underpinnings that predispose cult followers to cultic practices, along with the measures cults use to suppress dissent, achieve intense conformity, and extract extraordinary levels of commitment.

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I wonder about these authors. They criticize a lot about the "cults". They point out endless negatives, and few if any positives. They tell us cult leaders are wrong because they want attention and recognition, but so do the authors. The authors want lots of people to buy their books, and I imagine they want to be recognized for their work. The authors strongly condemn authoritarianism, but they should realize that it can be a very positive force, a force that is in our society. For example, the military is authoritarian; would the authors call the military a cult? I sure hope not, and if they do, I side with the military. An interesting, but closed minded work.  


The Nature of Cults
Cults in Politics
Groupthink Big Brother and Love Bombing
Cults on the Right
Christian Identity A Heritage of Hate
Soldiers of God
The Travels of Lyndon LaRouche
Fred Newman Lenin as Therapist
Synanon Utopia as a Game
Marlene Dixons Little Army
Gerry Healy Guru to a Star
The Lonely Passion of Ted Grant
The Many Faces of Gino Perente
Politics as a Religion

Therapy Cults and Politics
Scientology Maoism and the Reevaluations of Harvey Jackins

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Page 4 - A group or movement exhibiting great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing, and employing unethical manipulative or coercive techniques of persuasion and control (eg isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical...
Page 3 - ... of a jigsaw puzzle assembled by magic at one stroke. There is now an answer to every question, doubts and conflicts are a matter of the tortured past — a past already remote, when one had lived in dismal ignorance in the tasteless, colorless world of those who don't know. Nothing henceforth can disturb the convert's inner peace and serenity — except the occasional fear of losing faith again, losing thereby what alone makes life worth living, and falling back into the outer darkness, where...

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