BuzzFlash Agrees: A Cult of Bush Worshippers Has Commandeered the U.S.

In an editorial up this morning headlined,”BuzzFlash Now Officially Declares Bushevism a Cult,” the editors of one of the most widely read liberal websites write:

Let’s face it, there are only three segments left to the much-vaunted GOP Base: the corporate profiteers who wouldn’t care if Satan was president, as long as they got their pockets lined with taxpayer funded no-bid contracts; the Stepford Evangelicals; and the Bush cultists…

After all, what is a cult? It’s a movement that is comprised of people who believe in a leader contrary to reality and the harm that the person does them.

That sounds like people who support Bush alright, except for the corporate profiteers (who will always be hanging around for the money, no matter who is in power.)

Last December, I had the same thought. It came to me while watching a glassy-eyed Ken Mehlman, the closeted gay chairman of the Republican Party, reciting GOP talking points on television. He reminded me of glassy-eyed defenders of the Unification Church back in the day when they were called “Moonies” — before they began publishing the rightwing Washington Times newspaper.

In Is Bush Worship a Cult, I posted a list of the traits that experts use to define a cult. Here it is again:

  • The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and … regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  • Mind-altering practices … are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
  • The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel…
  • 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).
  • The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
  • The leader is not accountable to any authorities…
  • 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…
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  • The group is preoccupied with making money.
  • Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
  • Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
  • 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.

I don’t know about mind-altering practices or the preoccupation with bringing in new members but the rest of it is an uncanny description of the cabal that is running our country.

16 Comments

  • Bill Arnett
    March 19, 2006 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Where’s the Catholic Church just when you vitally need an exorcism? Too busy molesting children or persecuting gays?

  • March 19, 2006 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Bill Arnett, did you know that more teachers molest children than do Catholic priests? I am not trying to exonerate those Catholic priests who molest children, I simply want to keep things in proportion.

  • March 19, 2006 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    If you want to criticize the Catholic Church, you should also criticize all Christian religions and all religions in general.

    Our religious leaders have been lying to us for thousands of years. They tell us to follow them because they claim to have a monopoly on the one true religion and the one true path to God. But they are all wrong and they are all hypocrites.

    It is up to each and every one of us to follow our own individual path to God. We must individually experience our own dialogue and connection with God, independent of any religion or religious leaders and their dogma.

    To empower yourself to experience God in this way is Spirituality and that is the truth path to God.

  • JoAnne
    March 19, 2006 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    see http://www.jesuspuzzle.org .. Earl Doherty is the best source for critical thinking o the NT and you’ll never hear it from the pu;lpit

  • March 19, 2006 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know, Earthling. Without trying to veer too far from the main subject matter here, I’m wondering what you base your statement on. I did a very quick Internet search just now, and found that at least 4% of priests have been formally accused of abuse, with probably many, many more victims remaning silent. Meanwhile, I found that no single agency tracks sex abuse of students by teachers, but at least 7% of students report it. So realizing that probably each of the teachers/coaches/etc. who tried to molest a student didn’t stop at one, I’m guessing more priests proportionally are abusers than are teachers. I’d be interested to see if anyone really knows though.

  • March 19, 2006 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Who’s counting?

    Certainly not the church>

  • March 19, 2006 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

    bush worship is ver much like a cult if not exactly like one. My impression is based on the Troll who does not challenge any negative but is always ready to dump on the ‘Crat commenter. Narrow minded and adhoring-kind of like Tweety and his adohartion of bush in his jock enhanced jump suit.

  • Kansan Keith
    March 19, 2006 - 7:36 pm | Permalink

    The cultish tendancies of the assorted right-wing loonies is something I noticed over 25 years ago at the beginning of the Reagan years. Talking and debating with them was great fun as they stood incredulous that somebody could dare to think differently than they. They reacted as true zealots clinging to a bizarre fantasy world of so-called facts. It was not only a political philosophy, but now a religion too! The current fiascso at the White House and on the Hill and their trouble with the fact based community only reflects their cultish ways. Supposedly, the great leader is praying and hearing God adice from the beard himself. Millions of decent Americans believe Bush is being given divine guidance. To disagree, in this light, is not only unpatriotic, but heretical, as well. This has given the current regime the excuse to start destroying our most basic constitutional rights in their alarming campaign and crusade against the so-called enemy, foreign and domestic. Fortunately, the majority of Americans don’t like the tragic turn our great nation has taken. They are not members of the fast shrinking cult of Bushism and have read the probverbial writing on the wall. How long can they last if the tide has truly turned?

  • The Oracle
    March 20, 2006 - 12:26 am | Permalink

    So, which is it? The Republican Party is a Cult or an organized crime syndicate?

    Actually, I believe they are both.

    They definitely have the feel of a Cult, and they also display many organized crime syndicate traits at the same time.

    Which means the current twisted incarnation of the Republican Party is utterly anti-Cemocracy, anti-U.S. Constitution and anti-Bill of Rights.

    And they’re all quite insane, too.

    I just wonder if our democracy can survive another year of this blatant stupidity emanating from the corrupted Republican Party…let alone three more years of Bush as a David Koresh/Jim Jones lookalike.

  • wtmoore
    March 20, 2006 - 1:37 am | Permalink

    the problem w/ the cult scenario is indexed, ironically, to the seperation of church and state. members of a cult of personality fail to see the symptoms. for them, a cult is indexed to religion….NOT politics. therefore, to blindly follow bush is a sign of patriotism, and not a sign of incestuous cultish behavior. noooo way….they have OTHER cult leaders to pacify that side of their sycophant stepford existence. the fact that those fauning belief patterns dovetail exactly with bush apologism is almost pavlovian. it’s as hard for them to grasp as it is for realists to understand why the bush loyalists can be such unmitigated idiots, completely dismissive of behaviors that would horrify them were they committed by anyone from the leader’s official list of percieved enemies.

    if anyone needs proof of this putrid fauning, look no further than media whore chris matthews….

    from chris’s observation that bush “practically glimmers” to his remark that bush “deserves to be on Rushmore” to his obtuse attempt to compare george to (ahem) atticus finch, if matthews ISN’T a bush cultist, he’s at least a little sweet on his favorite brush clearing simpleton….

    praise cheeses…

  • Michael D. Adams
    March 20, 2006 - 2:54 am | Permalink

    Having Buzzflash agree with you is not necessairly an honor but even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while. Good Work.

  • gtash
    March 20, 2006 - 7:00 am | Permalink

    I don’t know—I think much of what has been said here is good. But I can recall High School pep rallies that take on most of the characteristics described in this list too. My brother used to make fun of “School Spirits” for precisely the cultic behavior encouraged by the varsity.

  • terry
    March 20, 2006 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    The more you educate yourself, your family, your neighbors, your schools as to what is a cult, the better chance of soical, civil and moral survival we have; the key is education!
    There is reseach that indicates that most cults are like super-novas; they show up and then burst, forever scattered as dust through the universe. Most cults do not have or maintain numbers after a certain turning point of years as a group (17-25 years)…their numbers drop, recruitment fails, memebers drift off the dogma and the “roachs” crawl back under the cracks…however, this right-wing-religious-political-crime syndicate (yes, most cults turn into organized crime families because they cannot make it as legit) has been plotting their usurp of this nation for over 30 years and, have swindled their way in to key power seats…this group IS NOT TO BE IGNORED or considered under the super nova theory…they are a real, live danger to us and the world.
    Get a first class education on cults via Rickross.com
    Education, Education, EDUCATION! Pass it on…

  • Melissa
    March 20, 2006 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Want to see a cult? Watch the movie Jarhead. The movie made me feel sick.

  • March 20, 2006 - 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I agree, Melissa. I tried to listen to the audio book and that was bad enough. Talk about depressing…

  • rachael
    March 20, 2006 - 10:05 pm | Permalink

    The cult has a name, it’s GOP. The cult has recruiters on over 75% of syndicated radio shows. These recruiters target our citizens who are under-educated and usually poor; but not always. Sometimes very wealthy and in hence um, well ignorant and arrogant. Think about the mentality of someone who can listen to Rush Limbaugh and actually believe what he says (if u ever listened, his blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,… usually has no point and doesn’t make sense). He tries to spin things, but ends up sounding like an utter idiot. So, now the cult has it’s recruits: Ignorant public that VOTES. Yup, cult. Neo-conservative dummy recruiters. Shockingly similar to groups like al-queda. They recruit the very young and give them a sense of purpose, brainwash them, then send them out to do thier dirty deeds. I wouln’t be surprised if the Bush Administration has adopted alot of thier stragegies from cult-like groups. Dick Cheney keeps surfacing in my mind when I ponder…

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