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How to Start a Cult

May 16, 2009

Many of you may have already watched this video. In spite of it’s satirical tone, the video is quite insightful and shows pretty accurately how most cults operate. As someone who was once a member of a cult himself – The Art of Living Foundation – I can totally relate to the video especially between mark 6:00 to 7:20.

While watching this video, we have to remember that all parts of the video does not apply to all cults as each cult comes with it’s own innovative idea on how to brainwash it’s followers. But, the video is right on the money when it comes to exposing their goal and their modus operandi.

If you or someone you know were ever part of a cult and would like to share your/their experiences, I would be very interested in hearing from you.

Viewing time – 12:35 mins

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2009 12:04 pm

    Cult the word itself is quite explanatory 🙂
    and thank you! for saying that the Art of Living foundation can be called a cult!(have seen too many friends go ga ga over it)
    I mean I used to think so but never said it as such…

    nope!:D never been a part of cult..school/college and thats about it 😀

    and oh! been a fan of some Rock groups that had a ‘cult following ‘
    that counts too ? 😀
    the word has different connotations at different times doesnt it? 🙂

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 17, 2009 8:54 pm

      Oh AOL foundation is a cult. It has all the signatures of the classic cult phenomenon. I do not necessarily see them as a problem since they try to do lots of charity work but I don’t think Ravi Shankar is god/prophet as many people see him to be. I may post some interesting stories on them later.

      been a fan of some Rock groups that had a ‘cult following ‘

      Yes i guess we can say so:-)

  2. May 17, 2009 6:07 pm

    This is excellent.
    An aunt of mine and their entire family are Mataji Nirmala Devi Followers. And they every one of the activities described- the chanting, the alienation, th consecration of children and the rest. It was like watching them.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 17, 2009 9:00 pm

      I can totally relate to the video. Not only from my experience but from experiences of a lot of my family members. Even though I am aware of Nirmala devi I have never stuided her Sahaja Yoga method in details and cannot comment on them. But given my understanding of those so- called spiritual movements, I have no doubt what it actually is.

  3. May 17, 2009 10:12 pm

    Fantasticssssssss 🙂

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 18, 2009 6:21 am

      Hey Tarun..long time no see? Hope you are doing well.

  4. Badz permalink
    May 18, 2009 5:11 am

    LoL! The thing shown in the video seem so familiar. I joined a cult group. Well paid the fee BUT never went. I joined the Hindu Society at University BUT never actally ended up going to any meetings. Firstly because I has a death in the family (my dad’s sister passed away) then my work load got a little too much. After watching that video, I’m glad I never went. I’m not saying those things are bad, BUT I personally would have gone cookoo with all the things that are taught.

    I even met this lady on the plane recently, after returning home from India. She was encouraging me to join this group to learn about how to control the atmosphere around you, to do certain things on controling the stars and learning to use them for your own benefits, etc. I believe she was the leader of the group or the “guru”. I was even considering it for a while just for the experience. Now, after learning about all this, I’m having second thoughts. 🙂

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 18, 2009 6:27 am

      I am glad you didn’t. The purpose of these videos is exactly to expose their methods and techniques so that people like us are cautious about them.

  5. May 18, 2009 7:21 am

    Yes. Well I think i’m quite gullible and naive in that content. That if someone tells me something, I will believe it at the time. Then realise later that I was a fool for not questioning it and falling for all that crap.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 18, 2009 9:36 am

      😀 Thats OK. As long as you realize it is crap !! LOL 😀

  6. May 19, 2009 11:24 pm

    How did I miss the post! Guess, got too caught up with the election-thing! “Too” because–good or bad–the government’s to stay for 5 years.

    Sad, can’t watch the video 😦

    As such, I’ve already told you about my blog ‘Communalism’, which deals with similar issue, but the important difference being, the basis of bond in Communalism is by luck (birth), whereas of cult is by choice.

    Do you think atheists are bordering on becoming a cult in the West?

    TC.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 20, 2009 5:37 am

      How did I miss the post

      You may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. That way hot, healthy and delicious posts will be served to your reader, free of cost, every time I post on my blog. 😉

      Communalism is by luck (birth)

      I think communalism is by choice too. We can be born to a particular community but whether we choose to join it’s meaningless jingoism is our choice, isn’t it?

      Do you think atheists are bordering on becoming a cult in the West?

      I think it depends on how we define it. If we go by the most common negative connotation of cult, IMHO, The atheist movement is far from a cult. Simply because no one is brainwashing us. Their is no one who is asking us to follow their command unquestioningly or forcing us to pay our money or give our lives for a cause.

      • May 20, 2009 11:12 am

        Yes, you’re right…rejection of an affiliation is by choice. I didn’t think of that. 🙂 But such rejection also requires a lot of encouragement from those around, which is lacking in most places. In fact, if such support were to exist, communalism, as used in India, wouldn’t exist at all.

        My query on status of atheists vis-a-vis cult practice was not at all a rhetorical one, just in care if there’s a margin for misunderstanding. I’d asked you about it as you’re my only source of information on such matters. 🙂

        TC and thanks.

  7. myminddroppings permalink
    May 20, 2009 8:47 am

    Great Video NN and great post (as always).

    I have always felt that a product is a reflection of the market. In that sense, the wide proliferation of swamis, gurus, babas, peers, matas, devis….. is an acute indictment of Indian society.

    The amazing thing is that educated elite are foremost in following such scam artists. In fact, their devotion is held up as “Exhibit A” in asserting the holiness of the swami-dude. I’ve been told numerous times that “even so-n-so is a devotee of Swami such-n-such which proves his true holiness. If such an eminent person could be swayed by the Swami don’t you think he truly divinely gifted?”.

    Aaaargh!!!

    • May 20, 2009 11:02 am

      You’re very right. Even, Nitwit had just done a post on such ‘Exhibit A’ 😦

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 21, 2009 5:59 am

      Thanks Rohit and I totally agree. That’s what I have pointed out in my comments to Ketan in my post “A slave to God”

  8. jerod permalink
    February 17, 2010 1:26 pm

    Basically your also describing why people get jobs. Jobs=Cults. Corporations, Military,Schools. They all have many of the qualities. Even the internet itself. Even society! In fact just describing a cult in this way has effectively made a cult. Your making people afraid to join cults or gangs. divide and conquer ? The fact is, there are good and bad cults. Being afraid of them does what? Perhaps understanding them is better then fearing them and hating them. Just a thought.

  9. yoyo permalink
    June 1, 2010 7:03 pm

    @Jerod

    “Basically your also describing why people get jobs. Jobs=Cults. ”

    Jobs don’t (or shouldn’t) purposely induce fear/guilt/paranoia/trance states/self hypnosis, should not deceive you or withhold information, or lie to you.

    I think you’ll find there are a lot of differences…

  10. thinfree permalink
    September 24, 2010 6:40 pm

    This video explains how the Art of living gult works. Ex. AOL teachers and volunteers express views on AOL cult in the blog below

    http://aolfree.wordpress.com/

  11. October 21, 2010 3:40 am

    As an ex-aolite, I can honestly say AOL fits the bill, it is a cult by any definition.

    http://www.letusreason.org/culteac.htm

    http://www.prem-rawat-talk.org/forum/uploads/CultCharacteristics.htm

  12. free will permalink
    September 17, 2012 2:05 pm

    I completely dislike AOL, they are rude.

  13. free will permalink
    September 17, 2012 2:27 pm

    I saw the video, poor answers from Ravi Shankar with tricky smile and “Risus abundat in ore stultorum” – laughter abounds in the mouth of fools –

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