Forget tambourines and flowers, the new cults (and some of the old ones) are recruiting via social media.
The days of wearing hooded robes and waiting for initiates to slink furtively into your taffeta-draped S&M temple are, sad to say, long gone. As any cult’s social media manager (bear with us) will tell you, the easiest way to find new members for your crackpot cargo cult is to use websites like Facebook to spread your messages – however bonkers they might be.
The Cult Information Centre defines as a cult as an organisation which among other things uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members.
So who fits the bill? Well, I know they don’t like being referred to as a cult, but the Church of Scientology certainly uses Facebook to share “resources” to both its existing members and people who haven’t encountered the “church” before.
Videos such as “The Way to Happiness Video: Precept #8, Do not murder“ are classic Scientology doctrines thinly veiled as mainstream self-help guff. Why? Well, many cults are shying away from being open about their beliefs, preferring instead to produce generic instructional videos and motivational quote posters to lure in followers.