Is Bush Worship a Cult? According to International Standards Defining Cultism, It Apparently Is

Have you noticed how hardcore Bush supporters talk about the president like he is infallible — the way the Moonies used to talk about Reverend Moon?

Next question: How do we deprogram 100 million people?

This makes me wonder – is Bushism a cult?

Check out this list of defining characteristics of a cult from the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) and decide for yourself :

  1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and … regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
  2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  3. Mind-altering practices … are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
  4. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel…
  5. 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).
  6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
  7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities…
  8. 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…
  9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
  10. 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.
  11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  12. The group is preoccupied with making money.
  13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
  14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
  15. 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.

Next question: How do we deprogram 100 million people?


  • jkb
    December 29, 2005 - 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh… so it IS Ann CULTer!

  • December 30, 2005 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

    You’re work via your former moonie friend’s quest to move on, is admirable and, well-appreciated. But…no one, but no one in this country is willing to use the “C” word nor admit to the facts you have presented in your research/article.

    I have been involved in writing articles on cults, have participated in deprogrammings and, have counseled former members for over 10 years…you have left out a main element/ theme that is crucial to bring your case to the public; denial of the facts.

    No one among the general population wants to admit or face facts that we have been conned by a charismatic, evil leader who uses techniques learned at the knee of Rev. Moon. The Bush family has been in bed with the Moons for over 20 years. It comes to no suprise…this president and his staff are well schooled in Moonie’s techniques of mind control and money making. If people in this country had to admit to themselves that they have been lead by the nose down the path of a “lifestyle of oblivian” via religious fundamentalism, they would surely have to start coming to grips with reality. No one “wants” to look at or talk about that republican elephant in the room…that’s why we as a nation are in bigger “doo-doo” than imaginable. No one wants to stop buy bigger cars, care about our future, nor face the fact that a cult elitist is running the country. As long as a “lifestyle of oblivian” is kept “popular” (because we are brainwashed via commericals into believing that being popular is an important value), we are a sinking ship of fools…even if we “cut of the head” of the leader, the imprint of the mindset, the “cult management money makers” who do nothing but exploit the “cult memebers”, will not “kill the beast”. Traditionally, true believers only go under-ground and await a “new day” as in, take a look at the resurgence of the neo-nazi groups over the past few years.

    It is not that these kinds of true believers cannot be “stopped”, but that their tenicals have really taken root over the entire country. The best remedy is education. South Park did a great service to nation by exposing Scientolgy. There are more programs of this nature in the pilot stages…but I fear giving information as the “Busheviks” might be listening.

    We must keep turning the light on these “roaches” (cultist) that invade our “homes”…roaches hate the light and will scurry away everytime, but, in order to get rid of them, it takes time and effort…plus admitting that they exist and are destructive elements in our “homes”. We have to “clean up” our act (stay in reality and don’t deny facts), keep on top of their “growth” (talk about the facts and face fundamentalist with the education) and set traps so that they are “caught” (make laws/send the elitest who manage the cults to jail).

    Keep researching and doing the good work…
    TK, MA counseling psychologist.

  • December 30, 2005 - 6:38 pm | Permalink

    This explains Freepers.

  • Elaine Mueller
    December 30, 2005 - 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I tune in C-Span1’s Washington Journal almost every morning. An amazing number of callers begin by saying, “I support President Bush 100%—”

  • Jay Randal
    December 30, 2005 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Bushites are a cultist group! They adore their fool leader, nobody what he does wrong! They justify his Iraq War/Occupation no matter what! They tell anyone who dislikes Bush to drop dead or they wish to kill them too!

    They have a mental illness, but so did Hitler’s followers! They will never wake-up!

  • Jay Randal
    December 30, 2005 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    correction: no matter what he does wrong!(NOT nobody lol)

  • December 31, 2005 - 2:05 am | Permalink

    H O U $ E B U S H E L Z E B U B B A!

    Dubya-Tory Toadia WaR-Pharisees

  • December 31, 2005 - 3:09 am | Permalink


    NYT editorial / 11-18-05

    “There are many things Congress should be doing to protect the nation from terrorism.
    None of them
    involve dismantling the freedoms of ordinary Americans…”

    –Apologies to W.B. Yeats / The Second Coming

    ( The Second Coming — WB Yeats
    The Second Coming — WB Yeats. Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon
    cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; …)

    Turning and Spinning in the Widening Mire
    The Congress cannot hear the President;

    Things fall apart; the Party cannot hold;
    Sheer Conarchy is loosed upon Democracy,

    The freedom-gouging tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The Standing of America is downed;
    The best convictions are too polite, while the worst
    Are full of obtuse intensity.

    Surely some Reason is at hand;
    Yet there instead, the Patriot Act!

    The Patriot Act!
    Hardly are those words out
    When an Orwelled image out of Posse Comitatus
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in the martial curfews of this seminal Treachery
    A shape with oz-lion body and the head of a borne-again fool:

    An ‘Aye’ blank and clueless as the GOP itself

    Is moving its leaky Trojan Agenda, but who knew? while overhearing guffaws & careless cheering
    from the belly of the beast, that all about it now should
    gather threats of patriotic fillibuster, lighting & passing torchfire,

    …wounded cowardice drops again; but indignant courage
    finds unexpected stride, in the edifying irony
    that a Sitting President
    was on his Game afterall, as if afloat, fishing! entirely untorn,
    glued from National Nightmare
    to “My Pet Goat”

    And what Hellbent Vision Thing,
    its Truthless Power come round at last,
    Slouches towards Liberty
    to be Born?
    By-their-Fruits @ BadApplePiety_OverdueDiligence.Connexia

    The Thousandth Cut Coagulates its Omen @ IMPEACH
    A Better Angel Waits.
    (Truth is WILLING…
    BUT…the Editor is Weak)

  • jones
    December 31, 2005 - 4:19 am | Permalink

    It’s either one cult or another. Religious people are cultists by their upbringing and cultural heritage.

  • Texastherapist
    December 31, 2005 - 6:05 am | Permalink

    Excellent article and work. There are many great resources on the web available to many of us who grew up in the Southern Baptist/Bible Church cult. I’ve spent the last 2 decades trying to get it out of my head, and eventually realized that in our political climate it is my strength as compared to those who are so unfamiliar with their tactics, and can’t see what’s been happening to our beloved America since about 1980. Texastherapist

  • Snarkley
    December 31, 2005 - 7:11 am | Permalink

    Finally,I see something re: cults and Bush. This is long overdue. The “christian” tongue talking franchise holders(Ted Haggard, etc) need to be in the discussion as well as Sunny Moon.

    Cults vs. religions and cults and politics are touchy subjects but must be confronted as in, “no not me, I don’t belong to a cult”.

  • Stephen Kriz
    December 31, 2005 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    Some interesting responses on this thread…

    The Bush family has been close to the Moon clan for several decades. Neil was recently on an Asian tour with the old pervert himself, Sun Myung, just in the past couple months. DO a Google on ‘Bush Moon’ and you can find out a lot. Robert Parry has written extensively about the Bush/Moon connection. There is a lot there, to try to understand – why a supposed “born-again” evangelical Christian would want to make friendly with a Korean messianic sex fiend who believes he should be entitled to breed with any female he selects.

    Both the Bush family and Moon count on their followers to have blind faith and to believe, without questioning, everything that they say. And that is always dangerous….

  • Sensum Fidelium
    December 31, 2005 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    George W. Bush is the “Man of Sin” [II Thess. II: 3], the “Beast” [Apocalypse XI: 7] and the very Antichrist [I John II: 18].

  • Romelee
    December 31, 2005 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    The americaian people won`t beive any thing any one says look at Jones cult drinking the koolaid.Aren`t the Bushes Neil being very close to the Moonies? Look what thier doing about the leak case putting the press attack on where you get mind on someone else as always.

  • holly
    December 31, 2005 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    But why? Why do people worship a man that’s so mediocre? The guy needs cue cards. The guy needs people to whisper into his ear. I’m so confused. Really.

  • Lisa Fallin
    December 31, 2005 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Noone worhsips the guy. We elected him because we knew he would get Suddam Hussein. We knew he would have a tough military policy and we would be a lot safer with him in office rather than Kerry Who? He’s the closest we have to someone like Jesse Helms. That’s why we like him.

  • December 31, 2005 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    This is a fascinating analysis. I must admit I never thought about it this way. But if Bushevism is a cult, how can there possibly be so many stupid people following it?

    I think we need to differentiate from the stupid and malicious who follow Bush blindly, to the more traditional Republicans who simply don’t understand that this man is a raging fascist bent on destroying America and reshaping the world according to the neocon plan. For this we have to thank our complicit media, our pathetically lame Democratic “leadership,” but most of all we have to thank Karl Rove, who has masterfully manipulated the media and the election machine to create his “permanent Republican majority.”

    Click here to ask Barbara Boxer to lead the fight for fair elections!

    If we are to ever have any chance of restoring sanity to the US government and stop the American neocon regime, we must take back the stolen election system. Everyone please sign the petition urging Senator Boxer to get out in front on Election Fraud. Diebold is currently rolling into California and North Carolina just in time for ’06. Unless a prominent politician (NOT Kerry, ahem) speaks out and forces the mainstream media to address this issue, we’re all in big, big trouble. Boxer was the only senator to stand up against the seating of the electors in January. I believe she can be swayed. Urge everyone you know who cares about the fate of America to sign this petition.

  • Cult-De-program
    December 31, 2005 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    christianity in general is a cult and the bible is a hellfire , fear-mongering peice of literature to keep the “flock of sheeps” in line. Many who follow that hokey, obtuse religion do not even spend the time and effort to do any type of historical analysis on the very religion they use to reason all issues and matters. They then ,after absolutely no factual ground to stand on, try to impose thier cultist view point as science. This all plays directly into the hands of the Bushites who wishe for society to remain poor an ill-educated (cutting of student loan programs and medicaid). With “blind-faith” at the wheel guiding our national agenda we are all doomed to repeat the dark ages when religion ruled.
    the existance of religion and in particular christianity have wrought nothing but turmoil on humanity. Even in this day and age 2000 year after the mythical death of the christian religions mythical messiah, this so-called, religion of peace has brought nothing good or decent to humanity as a whole. We must expose the christian religion for the lie that it is.
    maybe then we can take our great nation out of the jaws of fascism.

  • lorraine grady
    December 31, 2005 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Those who obsess about anything are not thinkers. Their minds are closed. Nothing gets in. You cannot change their thinking once they get to a certain point. What to hope for (and work towards) is stretching minds BEFORE they set so that the mind always has a few doubts about everything, questioning, searching, seeking.Teach your children to question authority. Best gift you could give them.

  • nonny mouse
    December 31, 2005 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    100 million Bush zombies? Maybe I’m just overly optimistic, but that number seems rather high…

    …doesn’t it?

  • Bob Boyd
    December 31, 2005 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Lisa Fallin, Huh? Prior to 2002 nearly half of America wanted to get Saddam? WRONG! He became a priority when Bush made him one. America wanted him to get the terrorist Bin Laden. Bush didn’t do that and NEVER will. If you want people to belive you, try being honest. Many of us can remember how things were prior to 9/11. Your post seems to prove the point made in this diary.

  • Dano347
    December 31, 2005 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

    “Noone worhsips the guy. We elected him because we knew he would get Suddam Hussein.”

    And the author’s point about disregarding reality is aptly displayed.

    1. He was selected – not elected.
    2. He didn’t go after Saddam until we were attacked, so your claim that “We elected him because we knew he would get Suddam Hussein” is rooted in the same republican paranoid fantasy world as Drones of Death, Dr. Anthrax, “smoking gun” mushroom clouds, Yellowcake uranium from Niger – and every other tale they could think up to convince scared “piss-your-pants republicans” that three thousand deaths represented the end of American civilization.

    “We knew he would have a tough military policy and we would be a lot safer with him in office rather than Kerry Who? He’s the closest we have to someone like Jesse Helms. That’s why we like him.”

    Comment by Lisa Fallin — December 31, 2005 @ 11:25 am

    And that’s why the jihadists like him too – he’s such an effective recruiting tool for terrorists!

    Lisa, are you pleased with the fundamentalist Islamic theocracy your hard-earned tax dollars have bought?
    There is no “culture of corruption” without “cultists” like Lisa.

  • bill
    December 31, 2005 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Hey Lisa,

    Didn’t you mean get OSAMA BIN LADEN??? Why did you elect him to get Saddam? That was the biggest threat? A gelded dictator who was allowed to do harm to his own people for years until it suited the corprotocracy to change it for their own purposes?

    The fact that you still are wrapped up in your little fantasy is truth positive that you’re just a brainwashed little turd.

  • joji
    December 31, 2005 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Huge swaths of Americans quite simply loathe themselves down deep, can’t deal with that fact and so elevate their pre-fab veneers up to the floor-boards of heaven, then building inpenetrable bubbles around themselves, emphatically refusing any further discourse.

    These are the “true believers”, the “terrorists”, the neo-cons, and the “chosen ones” of every land.

    They pretend to be calmly pleased when they are stewing in the corrosive juices of cognitive dissonance and their consciences are floundering in DefCon One. Like the Germans of the 1920’s and 30’s, they’ll let their entire nation disintegrate into darkness before their very eyes just so they can feel like they’re part of something (anything) bigger than their tiny lives AND get a chance to sit on the sidelines of the winning team.

    Plus c’est change…

  • December 31, 2005 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Nonny –

    You’re right – 100 million skews high because it includes children. I got it by taking 40 percent – roughly the number of Americans who approve of the job Mr. Bush is doing – of 298,000,000, which is the total U.S. population.

    The actual result is 119,200,000 million. If we remove the under-18 population – the “spawn of the dead brains,” so to speak – which is about 25 percent – we are left with just 89, 400,000 adult zombies for Bush.

  • joji
    December 31, 2005 - 2:07 pm | Permalink


    Remember that polls rarely sample more than a few thousand people at most. Even the way they gather the opinions can skew the results.

    But mainly, keep in mind that only about 50% of all elligible voters came out these last two elections. And that’s with the multi-million dollar ‘get out the vote’ efforts being done on ALL sides.

    The truth is, 1/4 goes to Bush, 1/4 goes to those that hate his guts and 1/2 goes to those who are so disengaged, they couldn’t tell you who the vice-president is.

  • holly
    December 31, 2005 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I feel more Republican than many Republicans. For example, I believe in the constitution, fiscal responsibility, and states rights. Bush has borrowed 2 trillion dollars, which surpasses Reagan’s fiscal recklessness. And Bush has advocated for the first constitutional amendment that would restrict individual rights and sought to limit states’ rights. When are Republicans going to reclaim their party? When are they going to abandon politicians that practice fiscal recklessness? We’ve become China’s bitch by borrowing.

    Joji wrote: “They pretend to be calmly pleased when they are stewing in the corrosive juices of cognitive dissonance and their consciences are floundering in DefCon One. Like the Germans of the 1920’s and 30’s, they’ll let their entire nation disintegrate into darkness before their very eyes just so they can feel like they’re part of something (anything) bigger than their tiny lives AND get a chance to sit on the sidelines of the winning team.”

    That’s well-written, Joji, but gawd, I hope you’re wrong. But even today, those Nuremberg Rallies are seductive, eh?

  • Maggie
    December 31, 2005 - 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t need the list to know the followers of George have been inducted into a cult. All I had to do was look at the glassy eyed stare of the rapt. It was so obvious during the Republican Convention.

    I grew up in the 60’s, when cults were all the rage. The profiles that appeared on shows like 60 minutes were excellent in telling the stories of those caught up in a cult and their families desperate efforts to get them out.

    The reports set up the heirarchy of the “movement,” (selected) members were interviewed, brochures were read, and cameras rolled as parents had their family members kidnapped and then deprogrammed.

    It’s been obvious to me for a very long time that Bush Worship is a cult. I’m just not sure Bush is the leader of the cult. He’s definitely the front man. I think the real power of the cult lies with people like Rove, Rumsfield, Cheney and Delay. Bush is just the wooden dumby sitting on their laps as they move his mouth.

    Maybe I’m not giving Bush enough credit to have the mental capacity to engineer the workings of this particular cult.

  • jp
    December 31, 2005 - 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I do not “believe” in politicians, any of them.
    I despise lawyers — all of them.
    I do not trust ministers, banks, or businessmen.
    Religion disgusts me.
    Journalists have befouled their profession perhaps irremediably.
    Police, and prosecutors are pigs.
    The military frightens me and soldiers sadden me in the way they are continually fooled into sacrificing their free will and lives for phony “noble” causes.

    But I do believe that nobody deserves to be called a “turd,” especially if they’ve already been programmed into cultic lockstep.
    To worship power in a potentially free society suggests some prior psychic trauma, a mind rape of some sort.

    I hate violence most of all.

    Now, the “values” of the deepest ring of hell have captured the greedy imagination of the leaders of American government. If we are to confront this evil we must not use their attitudes and techniques of superiority against anyone: not even them.

  • December 31, 2005 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

    You are right on the money, as the cult already had a name in early 2005:


    Many months ago, this simple chap framed a simple concept, the “Bushian Warfare Cult” to describe a newly emergent and dangerous social phenomenon in America. Etymologically, the name is clear:

    * Bushian – Pertaining to the binary ideas espoused and personified by President 43.

    * Warfare – Waging conflict and disharmony.

    * Cult – “A group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control…. designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.”

    The cult was decribed as follows:

    Q: What is the “Bushian Warfare Cult”?

    A: The Bushian Warfare Cult (BWC) is an aggressive, quasi-religious, populist belief system that emerged in the United States in recent years. It began in 2001 and has mutated ever since. At the core of the belief system is a mass willingness to follow a hard power, preemptive ideology. This ideology has been propagated by a leader who has expressed several times that he believes that God has called him to power and has guided him to use state violence against perceived enemies.

    Q: What motivates the BWC?

    A: There are numerous, sometimes cross-purpose motivations held by members. For some, it is the perceived safety of belonging to a mass psychology group, an outlet for megalothymia, a way to allay fears of an uncertain world, to redress collective narcissistic injury or even a way to avoid taking personal responsibility for promoting actions that harm others. For the ideological elite who surf atop the vast human network of collective fear and their well-stoked desire for revenge, it is clearly a vehicle for channeling domestic anger for multiple corporatist objectives and personal power agglomeration.

    Q: How does it function?

    A: Fear and binary opposition create the social glue that holds the constituency of the diverse, loosely coupled network together. Through the use of fear, amplified external threat perception and sanctions on dissenting opinion, the network’s ideological leadership may redirect an otherwise normal society’s immense cross-purpose energies into a precisely channeled pulse to target the chosen foreign state or outgroup.

    Q: Who leads it?

    A: That is a good question. No one person has clear command-control over the organization. Although the group has placed their chosen leader on a pedestal, he is definitely not in control. Perhaps one could say that the group is directed by a vector summation of multiple, highly persuasive influencers.

    Since that time, variants of the brand appear to have caught on:

    Compare and contrast the Bushian Warfare Cult with Anatol Lieven’s recent writing from the London Review of Books. :

    “To understand how the Bush administration was able to manipulate the public into supporting the Iraq war one has to look for deeper explanations. They would include the element of messianism embodied in American civic nationalism, with its quasi-religious belief..”

    As of now, the power structure of Modern Rome’s Imperial Mansion is not besieged by Vandals and Visigoths from without, but from within Rome itself. The self-appointed manipulators of the public mind have found it hard to maintain cult-like discipline in light of diminished external threat perception. Simply put, the levers of public control are damaged. There are no tangible carrots – only sticks, and the stick of fear has worn out and lost it’s sting from overuse.

    As public fear has dissipated, free-market media enterprises have noticed the perception shift and subsequently redirected their inquisitive energy away from the previously-selected outgroups and toward the ruling ingroup. This has revealed glaring ethical breaches that are highly dissonant with the norms of public morality, especially with those whose morality is inseparable from religious faith. The American public is now rejecting the un-American heresies of the manipulative cult and is slowly returning to standard cultural norms.

    What the author of this piece loves about America is that its’ people are free to experiment with ideas, discard dangerous ones and build upon the ones that benefit themselves and society as a whole. The Bushian Warfare Cult, with it’s malignant, elitist, fear-based machinations has been thrust into the klieg lights of public fact-finding scrutiny. Its’ rotten deceptions are to be ultimately rejected by the truth-seeking citizenry and then cast into the dustbin of history.

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