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This quote hits the nail on the head when it comes to contemporary cults, especially of the hacking/techno-anarchism/LiberationTech/Information Freedom variety:

Nobody ever joins a cult.

One joins ‘a nonprofit group that promotes green technology, animal rights, or transcentendal meditation’.

One ‘joins a yoga class’ or ‘an entrepreneurial workshop’.

One ‘begins practicing an Eastern religion that preaches peace and forbearance’.

The first rule of recruitment, writes Margaret Singer, the doyenne of cult scholarship, is that a recruit must never suspect he or she is being recruited.

The second rule is that the cult must monopolize the recruit’s time. Therefore, in order to have any chance of rescuing a new acolye, it is critical to act quickly. The problem is that family and friends, much like the new cult member, are often slow to admit the severity of the situation. ‘Clients usually don’t come to me until their daughter is already to-the-tits brainwashed,’ says David Sullivan, a private investigator in San Francisco who specializes in cults. ‘By that point the success rate is very low.’

And thus we get the kind of bullshit in the hacking movement where a de facto posthumanist cult is described as “a media organization that oh just so happens to organize/participate in conventions”, and the gullible are sucking it all up like the desperate idiots that they are.


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