The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Douthat: "The Cult Deficit"
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Ross Douthat in the NYT riffs on the topic of esoteric knowledge (which I discussed recently in Taki’s Magazine):

The Cult Deficit
SEPT. 27, 2014

… From the 1970s through the 1990s, from Jonestown to Heaven’s Gate, frightening fringe groups and their charismatic leaders seemed like an essential element of the American religious landscape.

Yet we don’t hear nearly as much about them anymore, and it isn’t just that the media have moved on. Some strange experiments have aged into respectability, some sinister ones still flourish, but over all the cult phenomenon feels increasingly antique, like lava lamps and bell bottoms….

Twice in the last few months I’ve encountered writers taking note of this shift, and both have made a similar (and provocative) point: The decline of cults, while good news for anxious parents of potential devotees, might actually be a worrying sign for Western culture, an indicator not only of religious stagnation but of declining creativity writ large.

The first writer is Philip Jenkins, a prolific religious historian, who argues that the decline in “the number and scale of controversial fringe sects” is both “genuine and epochal,” and something that should worry more mainstream religious believers rather than comfort them. A wild fringe, he suggests, is often a sign of a healthy, vital center, and a religious culture that lacks for charismatic weirdos may lack “a solid core of spiritual activism and inquiry” as well.

The second writer is Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder, venture capitalist and controversialist, who includes an interesting aside about the decline of cults in his new book, “Zero to One” — officially a book of advice to would-be entrepreneurs, but really a treatise on escaping what he regards as the developed world’s 40-year economic, technological and cultural malaise. …

Thiel’s argument is broader: Not only religious vitality but the entirety of human innovation, he argues, depends on the belief that there are major secrets left to be uncovered, insights that existing institutions have failed to unlock (or perhaps forgotten), better ways of living that a small group might successfully embrace.

This means that every transformative business enterprise, every radical political movement, every truly innovative project contains some cultish elements and impulses — and the decline of those impulses may be a sign that the innovative spirit itself is on the wane. When “people were more open to the idea that not all knowledge was widely known,” Thiel writes, there was more interest in groups that claimed access to some secret knowledge, or offered some revolutionary vision. But today, many fewer Americans “take unorthodox ideas seriously,” and while this has clear upsides — “fewer crazy cults” — it may also be a sign that “we have given up our sense of wonder at secrets left to be discovered.” …

Do we have fewer cults or do we just not notice them?

Today, for example, it seems obvious that Freudianism was a cult, but it was treated with immense respect in post-WWII America. Vladimir Nabokov had the aristocratic self-assurance to scoff publicly and repeatedly at Freud, but how many other men of reputation dared?

For example, few called Stephen Jay Gould a cult leader, but the man who told his followers — “Say it five times before breakfast tomorrow; more important, understand it as the center of a network of implication: ‘Human equality is a contingent fact of history’” — can perhaps be understood as the type of soothsayer who tries to hijack the prestige of science for his own anti-scientific purposes in the tradition of Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Ayn Rand, and L. Ron Hubbard.

Then there’s also the issue that highly successful cults stop seeming like cults and start seeming like inevitabilities. For example, consider the rise of the Harvard-Yale cult. In Presidential elections from 1900-1984, the major party nominees possessed 9 degrees from Harvard or Yale between them, or 0.20 per nominee. But as higher education spread in America, the opposite of what you’d naively expect happened: from 1988-2012, the 14 Presidential candidates had 15 Harvard or Yale degrees, or 1.07 each.

Indeed, five of the last 14 Presidential nominations have gone to old Bonesmen. In 2004, both nominees were members of Skull and Bones, the most cult-like oogah-boogah cult within the Harvard-Yale cult: the most famous relic within Skull and Bones’ windowless shrine/fortress on the Yale campus is the skull of Geronimo, which is there because it was grave-robbed by the ancestor of two Presidents.

The whole point of Skull and Bones is to create a tiny self-perpetuating elite within the small elite of Harvard-Yale insiders: e.g., Secretary of State John F. Kerry (Class of ’66) was one of the Bonesmen who tapped the Class of ’67 Bonesmen who tapped President George W. Bush (Class of ’68). Thus having both Presidential nominees be Bonesmen is just the fulfillment of the plan.

But mentioning this only proves you’re some kind of wacko conspiracy theorist: everybody knows that any domination of Harvard-Yale alumni over Presidential elections is just one of those things that is and ought to be.

But in the intellectual realm, the stagnation he identifies seems readily apparent, since whole swaths of political, ideological and religious terrain that fascinated earlier generations have been mostly written off in ours. As Mark Lilla noted in a recent New Republic essay, it’s not just that alternatives — reactionary, radical, religious — to managerial capitalism and social liberalism are no longer much embraced; it’s that our best and brightest no longer seem to have any sense of why anyone ever found alternatives worth exploring in the first place.

Perhaps the sacrifice is worth it, and a little intellectual stagnation is a reasonable price to pay for fewer cults and Communists.

Or maybe the quest for secrets — material or metaphysical, undiscovered or too-long forgotten — is worth a little extra risk.

Or maybe the real secret is the one you find out inside the Skull and Bones fortress of elitism: It’s now what you know, it’s who you know.

One reason we aren’t as aware of cults is that they have become much more open about promoting themselves. Consider the evolution of cult-like conspiracies among the rich and powerful from the Bilderbergs to Davos. For the last 60 years, the Bilderbergs have been a secret society of billionaires, hereditary monarchs, and intellectuals who get together periodically in luxury hotels for secret discussions of major trends in world affairs and how they can mold them for the good of people like themselves.

But the covert Bilderberg kind of conspiracy seems so James Bond Era-ish. In contrast, Davos is a post-modern conspiracy based on massive publicity: rich people invite journalists to lecture them and then the journalists write articles about how wonderful and forward thinking and open to important new ideas the rich people are, and everybody posts online their selfies with each other. Lately, even the Bilderbergs have started to publish their invite lists to get in on the publicity.

Similarly, consider two cults that grew out of the Golden Age of Science Fiction: the modern cult of Scientology and the postmodern cult of transgenderism and transhumanism, as exemplified by my old MBA classmate Martin/Martine Rothblatt, a founder of satellite radio, and now promoting his/her book Virtually Human about downloading your brain to a computer so you’ll live forever.

L. Ron Hubbard was a hack sci-fi writer with a winning manner who impressed more impressive friends such as editor John W. Campbell (who promoted Hubbard’s Dianetics as a low cost alternative to the Freudian talking cure) and author Robert Heinlein (who, perhaps apocryphally, is said to have given Hubbard the idea to convert Dianetics into a tax-exempt religion).

In the Scientology cult, the exoteric ideas sound pretty plausible (you have various psychological issues weighing you down and you should talk to a trained listener about them), but the esoteric ideas that are finally revealed (it’s the fault of the space alien Thetans!) mostly seem to pass muster with people with a talent for playing make believe (Tom Cruise etc.)

The modern transhumanist movement, including the phenomenon of domineering masculine heterosexual guys suddenly announcing they are women, has ties to Golden Age sci-fi as well. The urge to leap the bounds of sex and death was an esoteric theme that popped up now and then in Heinlein during his long prime, 1939-1966 (e.g., his last short story “All You Zombies”). It then came out of the closet after the societal constraints came off at the end of the 1960s and he returned to writing in the 1970s after major cerebral health problems. (Heinlein was too sane and reasonable a guy to found a cult like Hubbard or Rand did, but you can imagine the temptations.)

But transhumanism always seemed like kind of a wacky egomaniacal libertarian white guy thing. Now, though, it’s edging toward being fashionable via transgenderism as a way for egomaniacal white guy libertarians to get in on the victim parade by standing up for fellow egomaniacal white guy libertarians like Dr. McCloskey. (Is the world “fellow” transphobic?)

But this rising system of nutty belief is structured the opposite of Scientology, which tries to lure you in first before unloading the esoteric crazy stupid stuff. Transgenderism demands that you assent to the crazy stupid stuff upfront:

“Remember that guy you went to MBA school with who was obsessed with space exploration and already had a passel of kids and was supersmart, but was just a giant dick to anybody he thought wasn’t as smart as him (which was everybody)? Well, now he’s the highest paid female CEO in America because, it turns out, he was always actually a woman and you have to call him “her” when reminiscing about him. Oops, I’ve should have said ‘She was always actually a woman and you have to call her “her” when reminiscing about her always being a giant prick.’ I don’t want my career flushed down the toilet like that poor guy in Grantland for getting on the bad side of the Trans Power and their vast numbers of volunteer enforcers.”

In today’s world, the real esoteric cult knowledge, the kind that you have to come to obscure corners of the Internet to learn, is that this is sci-fi libertarian wackiness.

If you want to be a new L. Ron Hubbard, you should put your craziest craziness out in public and dare anybody to prove themselves a low brow bigot by scoffing at it. Don’t hide the Thetans away until Tom Cruise has spent years being prepared to learn about them. Instead, make the Thetans a victimized minority about whom awareness must be raised. Assert that a tiny percentage of humanity (i.e., your followers) are the descendants of a supersmart alien race, and that this poor minority has always been oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers.

Something like that just might work.

 
Hide 142 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Bill M says:

    There’s also the gay cult that Thiel should be familiar with:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/peter-thiel-on-gay-executives-2014-9

    We asked Peter Thiel, one of the very few business executives to have publicly come out as gay.

    Thiel wanted to be careful with his comments, pointing out that “It’s always a very personal decision.” But he said one of the main reasons for the lack of gay CEOs — at least in public — could be a “perception of discrimination.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /isteve/douthat-the-cult-deficit/#comment-724166
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. countenance says: • Website

    I think there’s an even more simple explanation, for the decline of cults as well as the decline of a lot of other similar things:

    We’re not allowed to be loyal to anything except for the whole of humanity. Because, *-ism and *-phobia.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  3. Jefferson says:

    “… From the 1970s through the 1990s, from Jonestown to Heaven’s Gate, frightening fringe groups and their charismatic leaders seemed like an essential element of the American religious landscape.”

    “The decline of cults, while good news for anxious parents of potential devotees, might actually be a worrying sign for Western culture, an indicator not only of religious stagnation but of declining creativity writ large.”

    Blaming the Jonestown tragedy on Western culture, when technically the vast majority of Jim Jones followers were not Westerners in the strict traditional sense. The vast majority of Jim Jones followers were Black and thus of African descent. Africa is not part of the Western world.

    But if you are using the word Westerner more broadly to include all pre-1965 immigration act Americans regardless of race, than I guess you can say Jim Jones brainwashed Kool-Aid drinking African American followers were “Westerners”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  4. “the postmodern cult of transgenderism and transhumanism, as exemplified by my old MBA classmate Martin/Martine Rothblatt, a founder of satellite radio, and now promoting his/her book Virtually Human about downloading your brain to a computer so you’ll live forever.”

    Now that would be cool if it could actually work. But then go one step further: After some years of having the brain in a computer, whenever a humanoid body /robot etc is finally technologically feasibly constructed, the brain is then uploaded into the humanoid body. With freedom of movement, range, etc it is a virtual human in all forms with the possibility of immortality on earth. The same ol’ brain as before but with a new and improved “body” that will never age, decay, or fade away.

    Wonder if that plots been written before? That would be cool.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys' software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "the postmodern cult of transgenderism and transhumanism, as exemplified by my old MBA classmate Martin/Martine Rothblatt, a founder of satellite radio, and now promoting his/her book Virtually Human about downloading your brain to a computer so you’ll live forever."



    Now that would be cool if it could actually work. But then go one step further: After some years of having the brain in a computer, whenever a humanoid body /robot etc is finally technologically feasibly constructed, the brain is then uploaded into the humanoid body. With freedom of movement, range, etc it is a virtual human in all forms with the possibility of immortality on earth. The same ol' brain as before but with a new and improved "body" that will never age, decay, or fade away.

    Wonder if that plots been written before? That would be cool.

    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys’ software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    Read More
    • Replies: @advancedatheist
    Suppose the revival capability arrives in, say, the 24th Century. The people in that society would have their own version of cryonics, or its successor technologies, in case they suffer from illnesses or injuries that 24th Century health care providers don't know how to treat. So they might have to take the metaphorical ambulance ride across time to the more capable health care system of, say, the 27th Century. Given the reciprocal logic of this process, they would see the obligation to try to revive people from earlier times. Who know, the guy from the 21st Century you revive in the 24th Century might wind up reviving you in a later century as a recognition of this obligation.

    As for the new bodies problem, we have a real, emerging technology now called organ printing. Push on its development hard enough, and you could print a new human body from around the brain all the way down to the feet.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/03/tech/innovation/3-d-printing-human-organs/
    , @Alcor Member
    It won't take vast sums of money once we figure out nanotech, plus given Moore's law the cost of running my brain on a computer 100 years from now will be tiny, enough that hopefully a grandchild would be willing to pay it. Also, Peter Thiel is a member of cryonics provider Alcor.
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    So you're saying that Ted "The Splendid Splinter" Williams will not be re-entering the future anytime soon by way of reattaching to a new and improved body?

    Shame, because it seemed to work so well in Jeff Bridges' movie Tron. Before being destroyed, the Master Control Program gave all his functions to the humanoid computer chip.

    Ford's problem was that he didn't make it a condition for the Foundation to continue to receive his fortune. (e.g. If the Foundation which I started doesn't continue to promote my values after I'm gone, no more cash flow). Somehow, I tend to think that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will put in safeguards to make sure their foundations continue to parrot what they're expected to.
    , @Enderby
    Back in the 80's my brother had a textbook from some 'futurism' class that said the exact same thing - people in the overcrowded future would be highly unlikely to expend their resources reviving cryo-frozen head dudes. Ain't gonna happen indeed.

    Funny about the Ford foundation. As Jerry Ford might have said "If Henry Ford was alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave."
    , @TWS
    You might get the genealogy bugs of 2215 to unfreeze gr-gr-gr grandpa Smith to hear old family history and all about how he was fighting wolves in the streets of Seattle in 2014 or whatever.
    , @Lurker

    Not going to happen.
     
    Who, whom?

    If the technology was available and ready to go right now and if we had the likes of say Isaac Newton on ice (or even Paul Walker) wouldn't there be the will to defrost them?
    , @Pat Boyle
    I think you're wrong on several points.

    First of all I knew someone who did this sort of thing. I took a class on gerontology at UC Berkeley from a professor who had frozen the head of his colleague's daughter who had died in a car crash. He was making the best response he could to an unexpected tragedy. He hadn't calculated the odds of her being revived.

    Secondly consider all the attention paid nowadays to a Denisovian's tooth. It's likely that the scientists of the future will be as fascinated by ancient artifacts and bodies as we are now. Most frozen heads will be lost like Tacitus' book on Caligula. Those that manage to survive will be rare and pricy. What do you suppose a copy of 'Caligula' would bring at Christies? Money isn't going to be an issue.

    So who would be interested in my head and it's contents? Probably no one will much care about all the technical knowledge I've tried to cram into my noggin. But someone might want to feel what I felt that morning in the barracks when someone was playing their transistor radio too loud and I first heard the 'Beatles'. I can imagine 'thought impressions' from long dead people could become a new art form. People pay a lot of money for what they consider art.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. Jefferson says:

    “The modern transhumanist movement, including the phenomenon of domineering masculine heterosexual guys suddenly announcing they are women,”

    The ACLU will be the first to defend the right of domineering masculine Heterosexual guys who announce they are women, to use the ladies public restrooms and their right to be incarcerated in a women’s prison and get to shower with other female inmates if they commit a serious crime just because they put lipstick on, a wig, and some high heels.

    You will definitely see a major increase in prison rape at female prisons if you start sending Tranny thugs to women’s prisons.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  7. iSteveFan says:

    OT, Steve more news about your favorite inner ring suburb of St. Louis. A cop was just shot.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  8. Jefferson says:

    These new generation of White male cross dressers want to have sex with mostly if not entirely only women. Which differs from the more “traditional” Trannies you see in Philippines and Thailand who prefer to have sex with men.

    To me it never made sense for a guy to want to be a “woman” if he is a Heterosexual who prefers to have sexual intercourse with women. It makes more sense to want to be a “woman” if you are a Gay male, especially a Gay male who is a flaming queen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Northwestern psychology professor J. Michael Bailey's book The Man Who Would Be Queen roughly divided trans-sexuals into two categories: very effeminate gay men (as you might expect) and then this odder group of quite masculine men, often with children. The first group didn't have much of a problem with Bailey's book, but some super-aggressive and smart members of the latter group, such as computer scientist Lynn Conway and economist D. McCloskey, went berserk over Bailey spilling the beans about their cover story and tried to destroy his career:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/health/psychology/21gender.html?pagewanted=all

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. FredR says:

    “Assert that a tiny percentage of humanity (i.e., your followers) are the descendants of a supersmart alien race, and that this poor minority has always been oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers.”

    The author of the blog below has been arguing for years that he and his fellow neanderthals have spent thousands of years being “oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers,” and yet he seems to be doomed to obscurity. Are his radical views just waiting for the right salesman to come along?

    http://vault-co.blogspot.com/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  10. An individual living forever is the opposite of sexual reproduction – or asexual, for that matter.

    Different species, and not one likely to have much success, given that all extant species die/reproduce.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  11. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys' software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    Suppose the revival capability arrives in, say, the 24th Century. The people in that society would have their own version of cryonics, or its successor technologies, in case they suffer from illnesses or injuries that 24th Century health care providers don’t know how to treat. So they might have to take the metaphorical ambulance ride across time to the more capable health care system of, say, the 27th Century. Given the reciprocal logic of this process, they would see the obligation to try to revive people from earlier times. Who know, the guy from the 21st Century you revive in the 24th Century might wind up reviving you in a later century as a recognition of this obligation.

    As for the new bodies problem, we have a real, emerging technology now called organ printing. Push on its development hard enough, and you could print a new human body from around the brain all the way down to the feet.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/03/tech/innovation/3-d-printing-human-organs/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. Jefferson says:

    “OT, Steve more news about your favorite inner ring suburb of St. Louis. A cop was just shot.”

    I bet the perpetrator who shot a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri was either Amish or a Hasidic Jew, you know how thug life those people are.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  13. Robinson says:

    Transhumanists don’t believe in a soul, so they want to encapsulate the human personality in a more rugged and efficient vehicle. That’s not really that strange. Steve, put in an application to the Singularity University. If you get in, report back. http://singularityu.org/faq/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  14. @Jefferson
    These new generation of White male cross dressers want to have sex with mostly if not entirely only women. Which differs from the more "traditional" Trannies you see in Philippines and Thailand who prefer to have sex with men.

    To me it never made sense for a guy to want to be a "woman" if he is a Heterosexual who prefers to have sexual intercourse with women. It makes more sense to want to be a "woman" if you are a Gay male, especially a Gay male who is a flaming queen.

    Northwestern psychology professor J. Michael Bailey’s book The Man Who Would Be Queen roughly divided trans-sexuals into two categories: very effeminate gay men (as you might expect) and then this odder group of quite masculine men, often with children. The first group didn’t have much of a problem with Bailey’s book, but some super-aggressive and smart members of the latter group, such as computer scientist Lynn Conway and economist D. McCloskey, went berserk over Bailey spilling the beans about their cover story and tried to destroy his career:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/health/psychology/21gender.html?pagewanted=all

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. Lot says:

    My theory on why Kerry beat Dean and Edwards in 2004 is a lot of people thought some of Kerry’s wife’s $500 million Heinz fortune would get spent. In fact that didn’t happen.

    Same with with Romney in 2012. They were both selfish dicks. Middle class people running for school board or rural county commission often spend 5-10% of their net worth on their campaign, but they couldn’t do the same when they had more money than could be spent in 10 lifetimes while running for President of the United States.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Ross Perot spent his own money in '92 just to get 19% of the vote. If he had gotten one of the two major parties nominations and had spent his own money, he could've possibly won the election or thrown it into the House of Representatives, thereby giving Clinton the election anyway.
    , @Ed
    This is off the topic but an interesting point. Perot was the same as Romney. Though he his famous for spending his way into two strong third party showings, he really didn't spend that much money compared to his fortune.

    Bloomberg, on the other hand, spent national presidential campaign (at least for the primaries) levels of money to become Mayor of a city of eight million of people. I don't think all of that went for ads.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. Robinson says:

    Did you ever consider that men might change gender because they are plagued by sexual appetites that might be much more perverse and stigmatized than even announcing you were always a woman? If that’s the case, they will never reveal their true motives. I know I would much rather live next to a tranny than a NAMBLA member. Don’t hear much about NAMBLA anymore; I bet many members have opted to become tranny. I think most HBDers will agree that humans don’t choose their appetites.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  17. Dizzy D says:

    There are still a few libertarian cults kicking around out there on the internet. I was actually part of one for a while that was called “freedomainradio”.

    The exoteric knowledge is the vague assertion that violence is wrong and libertarian principles will save the world. Conveniently, once you accept this knowledge, all that’s needed to save the world is to give “freedomainradio” some money.

    The esoteric knowledge is that all violence is, in fact, caused by abusive parents and that you need to cleanse yourself of this abuse by leaving your parents and family forever, quitting your job, and giving all your money to the cult leader.

    It’s an odd cult by modern standards because it’s mainly kept afloat by well meaning libertarians who mainly only ever hear the exoteric story portrayed on youtube and rarely, if ever, get into the cult far enough to know what it is really about. It also follows the same Freud/Franz Boas/Ayn Rand cult model where you have one shining intellectual in the center who is apparently the greatest mind in history of the world worshiped by a bunch of teenagers and 20 somethings who don’t know any better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Carl
    Stefan Molynuex makes youtube videos from a libertarian perspective. That's a cult now?! The guy is not my cup of tea but come on, get a grip. Oh and painting it as some sort of money grabbing scam is just pathetic dishonesty.

    Steve, you need to reassess your original post. There are apparently now more cults than ever before! To readers of the NY Times HBD is a sick racist cult, and iSteve is definitely a cult.

    Anything you don't like is a cult now. Yet the word "cult" retains impressive heft.
    , @gu
    "The exoteric knowledge is the vague assertion that violence is wrong and libertarian principles will save the world. Conveniently, once you accept this knowledge, all that’s needed to save the world is to give “freedomainradio” some money.

    The esoteric knowledge is that all violence is, in fact, caused by abusive parents and that you need to cleanse yourself of this abuse by leaving your parents and family forever, quitting your job, and giving all your money to the cult leader."

    I thought Stef was kidding. He wasn't you people are really THIS stupid.

    I do not agree with many of his views but you are a dishonest liar. He never said any of those things.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. @Steve Sailer
    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys' software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    It won’t take vast sums of money once we figure out nanotech, plus given Moore’s law the cost of running my brain on a computer 100 years from now will be tiny, enough that hopefully a grandchild would be willing to pay it. Also, Peter Thiel is a member of cryonics provider Alcor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Why? Most young people today don't see much of a reason to see their living grandparents. Any society advanced enough for cryogenics is going to be a society that despises old people enough to have no interest in reviving them. I much prefer a world with doting grandfathers and loving grand kids, but you cyrogenics nerds should at least embrace the atomized, social capital depleted world your vision leads to.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. “Assert that a tiny percentage of humanity are the descendants of a supersmart alien race, and that this poor minority has always been oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers.”

    There you go complaining about the Jews again.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  20. Whiskey says: • Website

    I don’t know about Gnostic Cults — they seem everywhere to me. Global Warming, “secret” knowledge, an elite few guiding humanity to save the planet? Or, well JIHAD! That is pretty Gnostic, and you have plenty of takers (interestingly, mostly women in the West, NOT White guys, suggesting that White guys know pretty well that they are the losers in the JIHAD! game). Then there is the various cults of Apple, the diversity cults, the Black Muslims.

    The high visibility Hare Krishnas and Heaven’s Gate White guy cults panhandling in airports or committing suicide (or the EST guys screaming) have gone away, but the proliferation of Muslim cults in particular seems mind boggling.

    The writer just did not want to look at certain things.

    Which makes Thiel’s point. We have a certainty, a smug religious viewpoint that all the ideas held by the Hollywood, Wall Street, Government, and Media elite, are correct. This is made worse by the fact that they are all married or related to each other. It even exists in professional sports, for example the number of professional football, basketball, and baseball players who are the sons and even grandsons of professional players is fairly large, far greater than say twenty years ago.

    Much of this certainty is a function of high intermarriage among elites; and a lack of churn among them (i.e. old elites are not cast aside, made poor, and replaced by new elites). Hollywood had far greater creativity when most of the writers, directors, and producers were first-generation Hollywood, having come to it from ordinary life. Even if the acting for the most part was not as good. We just don’t have that churn anymore, where elites got replaced by technology: the Rockefellers and Carnegies being replaced by the Fords etc. What is even worse is the intermarriage between Hollywood, Government, the Media, and Wall Street.

    I have never seen such smugness in public life before, and IMHO it is due to intermarriage almost entirely. Elites are not afraid or hungry. And that must change.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  21. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    But Steve, you miss out the glaringly obvious nutty cult of the 21st century, a cult – really that word should be spelt with an ‘n’ that has an enormous following amongst the credulous, swivel-eyed loon fanatic devotees, and rabid supporters in high places, not only preaching the word but imposing the word and militantly and self-righteously fighting for the word.
    By this, of course, I mean the cult of ‘equality’, which means in the modern parlance PC on steroids is strict ‘race, ‘gender’ and ‘sex orientation’ imposed precedence and privilege combined with a fanatical devotion to ‘open borders’ and mass immigration.
    I mean if this cult had Tony Blair, George W. Bush etc etc on board, then it really did have some powerful ju ju.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  22. @Lot
    My theory on why Kerry beat Dean and Edwards in 2004 is a lot of people thought some of Kerry's wife's $500 million Heinz fortune would get spent. In fact that didn't happen.

    Same with with Romney in 2012. They were both selfish dicks. Middle class people running for school board or rural county commission often spend 5-10% of their net worth on their campaign, but they couldn't do the same when they had more money than could be spent in 10 lifetimes while running for President of the United States.

    Ross Perot spent his own money in ’92 just to get 19% of the vote. If he had gotten one of the two major parties nominations and had spent his own money, he could’ve possibly won the election or thrown it into the House of Representatives, thereby giving Clinton the election anyway.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. @Steve Sailer
    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys' software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    So you’re saying that Ted “The Splendid Splinter” Williams will not be re-entering the future anytime soon by way of reattaching to a new and improved body?

    Shame, because it seemed to work so well in Jeff Bridges’ movie Tron. Before being destroyed, the Master Control Program gave all his functions to the humanoid computer chip.

    Ford’s problem was that he didn’t make it a condition for the Foundation to continue to receive his fortune. (e.g. If the Foundation which I started doesn’t continue to promote my values after I’m gone, no more cash flow). Somehow, I tend to think that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will put in safeguards to make sure their foundations continue to parrot what they’re expected to.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  24. Zeno says: • Website

    I must respectfully disagree. Freudianism was not scientific, but it was not a “cult” either. Neither were part of a cult Stephen J. Gould’s ramblings, although today’s progressivism is getting closer and closer to being a cult.

    Transhumanism is not a cult yet but has the potential to grow into one, most of its proponents are whackos anyway, including this Martine Rothtard person, who seems indeed interested in creating a kind of techno-religion out of that.

    I think I’d rather die than live inside a computer; actually, I think I’d rather die than live as a human in the progressive utopia.

    Maybe the Unabomber was right, and technology will be the death of humanity as we know it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chubby Ape
    "Maybe the Unabomber was right, and technology will be the death of humanity as we know it." Yes, for better or for worse Ted Kaczynski , aka the Unabomber , is a piece in this puzzle. Here's something from Kaczynski's Wikipedia entry that relates directly to the topic at hand:

    In a Wired article on the dangers of technology, titled "Why The Future Doesn't Need Us", Bill Joy, cofounder of Sun Microsystems, quoted Ray Kurzweil's The Age of Spiritual Machines, which quoted a passage by Kaczynski on types of society that might develop if human labor were entirely replaced by artificial intelligence. Joy wrote that, although Kaczynski's actions were "murderous, and, in my view, criminally insane", that, "as difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in this single passage. I felt compelled to confront it."
     
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski#Related_works_and_influences

    Kaczynski was a professor at U.C. Berkeley in 1968. He had this to say in his manifesto on the permissive society:


    Modern society is in certain respects extremely permissive. In matters that are irrelevant to the functioning of the system we can generally do what we please. We can believe in any religion (as long as it does not encourage behavior that is dangerous to the system). We can go to bed with anyone we like (as long as we practice “safe sex”) We can do anything we like as long as it is unimportant. But in all important matters the system tends increasingly to regulate our behavior.
     
    http://editions-hache.com/essais/pdf/kaczynski2.pdf

    Berkeley and the rest of the Bay Area is where so much of this stuff got going and all got entangled and interconnected. Berkeley seems to have been the test track or proving ground for this weird fusion of technocracy, sexual self-invention and militant narcissism. There are several interesting interconnections between Berkeley, Kaczynski and Aldous Huxley. Here's the moderator's introduction to Huxley's 1962 speech at Berkeley entitled "The Final Revolution":

    Aldous Huxley, a renowned Essayist and Novelist who during the spring semester is residing at the university in his capacity of a Ford research professor. Mr Huxley has recently returned from a conference at the Institute for the study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara where the discussion focused on the development of new techniques by which to control and direct human behavior.
     
    http://ce399.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/aldous-huxley-at-uc-berkeley-1962-transcript/

    Here's a link to and audio recording of the full speech and some Q&A at the end:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RX-iUfPJ9I

    I get the strong impression that these Bay Area think-tankers invited Huxley over because they saw his "Brave New World" far more as an instruction manual than as a warning. The fusion of "fordism" and consumer hedonism seems to have attracted rather than repelled them. Huxley on the other hand ended up very indirectly encouraging the Unabomber. How? Huxley recommended Jacques Ellul's critique of technocracy, “The Technological Society” to an English publisher “and thus brought it to English readers. Ted Kaczynski had a copy in his cabin and said he read it several times—his "manifesto" addresses similar themes”, according to Wikipedia and others. Maybe Aldous Huxley, Jacques Ellul and Ted Kaczynski will be remembered by the transhumanist-transsexual movement as hate figures? Every movement needs hate figures. I'd recommend they add José Ortega y Gasset to their list of people “who just didn't get it”. His “Revolt of the Masses” turns out to have been an excellent critique of the self-satisfied tech nerds of our time.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. Priss Factor [AKA "chicken with hot pepper"] says:

    If Chinese had enslaved blacks

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  26. Enderby says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys' software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    Back in the 80′s my brother had a textbook from some ‘futurism’ class that said the exact same thing – people in the overcrowded future would be highly unlikely to expend their resources reviving cryo-frozen head dudes. Ain’t gonna happen indeed.

    Funny about the Ford foundation. As Jerry Ford might have said “If Henry Ford was alive today, he’d be spinning in his grave.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. Thank you for the ‘”—All You Zombies—”‘* link. Good story. It’s nice how, in the Steve Sailer cult, good culture is laced with the toxic political content ;-)

    A movie adaptation of the story starring Ethan Hawke is coming out in January.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination_(film)

    It’s directed by the Spierig Brothers, German-born Australian film directors who made the rather nice “Daybreakers”, set in an inverse world where vampires are normal and humans are hunted down. Ethan Hawke plays a vampire hematologist whose world is turned upside down as Willem Dafoe shows him it’s possible to become human again. Vive la résistance!

    * Pedantic title correction but kinda cool, via Wikipedia:

    The title of the story, which includes both the quotation marks and dashes, is actually a quotation from a sentence near the end of the story itself (taken from the middle of the sentence, hence the dashes indicating edited text before and after the title). In this way it mirrors the life of the protagonist, whose life is a “quotation” from itself.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  28. Bliss says:

    It seems to me that the appearance of the web browser in the 1990s and the start of the Internet Age can explain the decline of cults.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  29. Create the cult, steve. you may get more donations that way. you live in LA so that should help , too

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  30. Gilbert P says:

    “plus given Moore’s law the cost of running my brain on a computer 100 years from now will be tiny, enough that hopefully a grandchild would be willing to pay it.”

    Are you sure you want to delete this person? To send permanently to the recycle bin, click OK.

    Whoops. Gives a new gravity to Dr Disk.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  31. EriK says:

    Lot,
    Mittens had already blown a sizable fortune running for Senator (beat by Splash Kennedy), Governor (winner) and President by the time 2012 rolled around. He may indeed be a selfish dick, but not contributing his own money to his last campaign is hardly evidence of that.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  32. Bill P says:

    There will always be cults, because as soon as people start to figure things out and understand that there is “nothing new under the sun,” they die shortly thereafter to be replaced by the young and naive. The reason we’re not seeing many of them out in the open these days is that the Branch Davidian incident and other crackdowns from that era are still relatively fresh in our minds, and they genuinely scared people. Starting a cult seems like a much higher-risk enterprise than it used to. But now that people who were born after that are entering adulthood, the fear will dissipate.

    In retrospect, I think the 90s will be seen as the beginning of a very repressive period in American history.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  33. Mark Caplan says: • Website

    Mormonism, which controls a state, and Hasidism, which will soon control a country, are obviously cults. Radical Islam, another cult. Also, Fundamentalist Christianity and Pentecostalism. And as has already been mentioned, Objectivism (Ayn Randian philosophy).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  34. josh says:

    The New Atheists are a kind of cult, I suppose.

    Also, in terms of the kind of New Age cults the author is thinking of, by sheer number (rather than number of adherents) I think there was pretty clearly a cult bubble in the second half of the 20th century, most of which seem to have grown out of a few related movements (theosophy, thelema, certain branches of freemasonry). Today fewer people attend cult meetings probably for the same reason fewer people attend mass, the atomization of American society and its corollary that mass media culture becomes the only culture. In terms of values, the thelemites live on (‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’), in world that almost nobody seems to remember that pride is actually a sin (a word which sends eyes rolling). Yoga and ‘transcendental meditation’, which grew out of the post-theosophy cults are now part of mass culture. Even these giant mega-Churches seems to promote Christian-flavored thelema. Everybody (well, women at least it seems) are “spiritual but not religious”. These movements haven’t actually declined, they’ve been commercialized and packaged for the 21st century consumer. There have never been so many Gnostic cultists as there are today.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  35. […] Steve Sailer ponders the latest from Ross Douthat. […]

    Read More
  36. Carl says:

    So now speculating about the distant future is wacky cult behaviour. So much for conservatives-as-custodians. Steve thinks it has something to so with chopping your penis off, so he blithely dismisses the whole field as nutty. Wow, that’s really edifying! This is while offering his own opinion on cryogenics, of course. He’s allowed do that.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  37. Carl says:
    @Dizzy D
    There are still a few libertarian cults kicking around out there on the internet. I was actually part of one for a while that was called "freedomainradio".

    The exoteric knowledge is the vague assertion that violence is wrong and libertarian principles will save the world. Conveniently, once you accept this knowledge, all that's needed to save the world is to give "freedomainradio" some money.

    The esoteric knowledge is that all violence is, in fact, caused by abusive parents and that you need to cleanse yourself of this abuse by leaving your parents and family forever, quitting your job, and giving all your money to the cult leader.

    It's an odd cult by modern standards because it's mainly kept afloat by well meaning libertarians who mainly only ever hear the exoteric story portrayed on youtube and rarely, if ever, get into the cult far enough to know what it is really about. It also follows the same Freud/Franz Boas/Ayn Rand cult model where you have one shining intellectual in the center who is apparently the greatest mind in history of the world worshiped by a bunch of teenagers and 20 somethings who don't know any better.

    Stefan Molynuex makes youtube videos from a libertarian perspective. That’s a cult now?! The guy is not my cup of tea but come on, get a grip. Oh and painting it as some sort of money grabbing scam is just pathetic dishonesty.

    Steve, you need to reassess your original post. There are apparently now more cults than ever before! To readers of the NY Times HBD is a sick racist cult, and iSteve is definitely a cult.

    Anything you don’t like is a cult now. Yet the word “cult” retains impressive heft.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys’ software simulations…”

    These guys should leave trust funds to bribe… I mean make campaign contributions… to politicians to fund a Federal revival program. Or maybe they could just tuck it under a current program; Head Start might be a good fit.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  39. WhatEvvs [AKA "Cookies"] says:

    “Maybe the Unabomber was right, and technology will be the death of humanity as we know it.”

    Yes – just look at “assisted reproductive technology.”

    I can’t be bothered to look it up, but somewhere Thiel said (admitted) that the biggest obstacle to libertarianism was the existence of women. Give the guy credit for honesty.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  40. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Anne Lawrence has a new book, Men trapped in men’s bodies: narratives of autogynephilic transsexualism.

    I remember back in the day Firing Line and other conservative shows were sponsored by the John M Olin foundation. A year or two ago I thought that I hAdn’t heard that name in years and wondered why. Turns out Olin wisely thought that the endowment should spend all the money within 25 years of death because the original intention would be lost as society continues to evolve. Cryonauts never grasp this principle.

    Read More
    • Replies: @David R. Merridale
    From Lawrence's book:

    Blanchard’s idea that nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals could develop
    something resembling pair-bonded relationships with their idealized images of
    themselves as female-bodied persons might sound bizarre to anyone who has not
    experienced autogynephilia firsthand, but Blanchard was not the first investigator to
    make such a suggestion. Buckner ( 1970 ) had previously observed that the typical
    heterosexual transvestite also “acts toward himself in a way that a normal person
    acts toward a socio-sexually significant other” (p. 381). Buckner added that

    "When a male adopts this pattern [of masturbation with articles of feminine clothing] and
    elaborates it into an entire feminine identity, he finds it gratifying in both sexual and social
    ways. When it becomes fixed in his identity, he begins to relate toward himself in some
    particulars as if he were his own wife." (p. 387)

    I know it's a harmless paraphilia (harmless to others, that is), and people with this condition deserve a certain amount of compassion when they're not being raging dicks.... but still, this is pretty f*ckin' LOL.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  41. But today, many fewer Americans “take unorthodox ideas seriously,”…

    This must be why current writers like Dan Brown are so obscure and never sell any books.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  42. Steve, did you review the Johnny Depp film “Transcendence?”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  43. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    What is left of Western Civ is the Jim Jones cult writ large, or basically one charismatic figure surrounded by busy body white libs professing to some idiot idea of human sameness while raking off the skim.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  44. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    How come the Global Warming Cult has not been mentioned?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  45. CThoms says:

    Though it doesn’t appear in either of Patterson’s bio’s, Heinlein definitely had some kind of brush with the Saint Germain Foundation. Lost Legacy reads like he considered joining it, spent a week at Mount Shasta, went through a few sessions where they were trying to figure out how much money he had, then saw through it and decided he’d make some money off them instead by writing a short.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  46. george says:

    “transgenderism as a way for egomaniacal white guy libertarians to get in on the victim parade by standing up for fellow egomaniacal white guy libertarians like Dr. McCloskey. (Is the world “fellow” transphobic?)”

    What the Ts want is exclusivity. These days the barriers to entry to homosexuality social stigma(none), being highly cultured(not necessary), and impeccably dressed(why bother) are too low. Having your thing cut off is pretty hard core, actually just wearing high heals is enough to keep the masses out.

    Your discussion of cults has me thinking about what happened to the cults of my youth. The Orthodox Jews especially Chabad are now mainstream, in fact Chabad is sort of the lead group now. Wicca is now completely accepted and as far as I can see has mainstream couples having families. The Unification Church publishes the US militaries newspaper the Washington Times, I think they are basically a main stream church now. Christian Evangelicals, which New Yorkers thought were a cult, are now the dominant for of Christianity and apparently are the non intellectual backbone of the US military eventually took over the Air Force. Being non intellectual probably helps you in the military, but unfortunately, as the continuing F-35 fiasco shows, there are some things in this world that only smart people can do. Marxists eventually got control of the intellectual military. Elizabeth Clare Prophet kept it going until she got alzheimers. Scientology, mainstream. I guess I could throw the public school system in as the nations oldest cult starting from when the Puritans mandated everyone had to pay taxes to employ Puritan holy persons as teachers.

    Heaven’s Gate web site lives on:

    “Under the guise of the TELAH Foundation (a name they still go by, and an acronym for the ever-aspired-to “The Evolutionary Level Above Human”), Mark and Sarah supposedly acted as a “communication and clearing house” for the group’s various public appearances and interactions, which became increasingly more prominent towards the end of their time on Earth.”

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2014/09/the-online-legacy-of-a-cult-and-the-webmasters-who-stayed-behind/

    I forget the rest of them.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  47. Chiron says:

    Even when I have been disenfranchised from God and synagogue, I have always been culturally proud to be a Jew. A source of that pride is the Jewish tradition of helping the oppressed, and our involvement in social movements such as labor and civil rights.

    Until I saw the documentary “The Revolutionary” at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, I mistakenly thought that China during the revolutionary period was one country that had not felt the Jewish embrace. In fact, 85 to 90% of the foreigners helping the Chinese at the time of the Communist takeover were Jewish. This included the daughter of the founder of the brokerage firm Goldman Sachs, who left the comfort of her Park Avenue home to assist the Chinese.

    “The Revolutionary” tells the story of Southern-born Sidney Rittenberg, the only American that has ever been admitted to the Chinese Communist Party. The Mandarin-speaking Rittenberg, who was initially sent to China by the U.S. Army at the time of Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, became an influential advisor to Mao Zedong and to the first premier of the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Enlai. His pivotal role at the Broadcast Authority, explaining the Communist Chinese point of view to America, earned him a higher salary than Chairman Mao.

    Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/the-arty-semite/159051/a-jew-in-maos-china/?#ixzz3EcOS0HbX

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  48. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The existence of obvious cults is a worrying thing but then the lack of them is also something to worry about. Can’t make him happy one might suppose.
    Not to worry though. The PC-religious cult is alive and well and has become part of the mainstream. It’s now at the point where it’s being spread through force and heretics are being hunted down and persecuted. The areas of the non-believer holdouts are shrinking and are being encircled. Not only that the PC-cult is being exported worldwide. The anti-Christ Hillary was forcing gay pride parades onto unwilling countries whose subservience was being rubbed into their nose by making them host and protect them. Degenerates from around the western world would fly in and join up with local deviants to march down the streets of the capital city with their banners showing everyone in the country who is really in charge. In the news of today it’s reported that Belgrade had a gay pride parade today forced upon them by the EU bosses. According to AP, it advanced for only several hundred meters through empty streets, shops were closed, public transport was stopped and was protected by thousands of anti-riot police with shields, water-cannons and armored vehicles. Only minor skirmishes occurred as a result. The mayor marched along with several foreign diplomats and the affair was praised by the head of the EU mission to Serbia Michael Davenport. This has probably only whetted the appetite of the PC-cult masters who’ll want yet greater compliance with every passing year. Western civ at this point seems to have become quite contaminated giving a new meaning to the old chant of Hey Hey Ho Ho Western Civ Has Got To Go.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  49. @Zeno
    I must respectfully disagree. Freudianism was not scientific, but it was not a "cult" either. Neither were part of a cult Stephen J. Gould's ramblings, although today's progressivism is getting closer and closer to being a cult.

    Transhumanism is not a cult yet but has the potential to grow into one, most of its proponents are whackos anyway, including this Martine Rothtard person, who seems indeed interested in creating a kind of techno-religion out of that.

    I think I'd rather die than live inside a computer; actually, I think I'd rather die than live as a human in the progressive utopia.

    Maybe the Unabomber was right, and technology will be the death of humanity as we know it.

    “Maybe the Unabomber was right, and technology will be the death of humanity as we know it.” Yes, for better or for worse Ted Kaczynski , aka the Unabomber , is a piece in this puzzle. Here’s something from Kaczynski’s Wikipedia entry that relates directly to the topic at hand:

    In a Wired article on the dangers of technology, titled “Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us”, Bill Joy, cofounder of Sun Microsystems, quoted Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines, which quoted a passage by Kaczynski on types of society that might develop if human labor were entirely replaced by artificial intelligence. Joy wrote that, although Kaczynski’s actions were “murderous, and, in my view, criminally insane”, that, “as difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in this single passage. I felt compelled to confront it.”

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski#Related_works_and_influences

    Kaczynski was a professor at U.C. Berkeley in 1968. He had this to say in his manifesto on the permissive society:

    Modern society is in certain respects extremely permissive. In matters that are irrelevant to the functioning of the system we can generally do what we please. We can believe in any religion (as long as it does not encourage behavior that is dangerous to the system). We can go to bed with anyone we like (as long as we practice “safe sex”) We can do anything we like as long as it is unimportant. But in all important matters the system tends increasingly to regulate our behavior.

    http://editions-hache.com/essais/pdf/kaczynski2.pdf

    Berkeley and the rest of the Bay Area is where so much of this stuff got going and all got entangled and interconnected. Berkeley seems to have been the test track or proving ground for this weird fusion of technocracy, sexual self-invention and militant narcissism. There are several interesting interconnections between Berkeley, Kaczynski and Aldous Huxley. Here’s the moderator’s introduction to Huxley’s 1962 speech at Berkeley entitled “The Final Revolution”:

    Aldous Huxley, a renowned Essayist and Novelist who during the spring semester is residing at the university in his capacity of a Ford research professor. Mr Huxley has recently returned from a conference at the Institute for the study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara where the discussion focused on the development of new techniques by which to control and direct human behavior.

    http://ce399.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/aldous-huxley-at-uc-berkeley-1962-transcript/

    Here’s a link to and audio recording of the full speech and some Q&A at the end:

    I get the strong impression that these Bay Area think-tankers invited Huxley over because they saw his “Brave New World” far more as an instruction manual than as a warning. The fusion of “fordism” and consumer hedonism seems to have attracted rather than repelled them. Huxley on the other hand ended up very indirectly encouraging the Unabomber. How? Huxley recommended Jacques Ellul’s critique of technocracy, “The Technological Society” to an English publisher “and thus brought it to English readers. Ted Kaczynski had a copy in his cabin and said he read it several times—his “manifesto” addresses similar themes”, according to Wikipedia and others. Maybe Aldous Huxley, Jacques Ellul and Ted Kaczynski will be remembered by the transhumanist-transsexual movement as hate figures? Every movement needs hate figures. I’d recommend they add José Ortega y Gasset to their list of people “who just didn’t get it”. His “Revolt of the Masses” turns out to have been an excellent critique of the self-satisfied tech nerds of our time.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. panjoomby says:

    “…Scientology, which tries to lure you in first before unloading the esoteric crazy stupid stuff.”

    same with mormonism, & for that matter, christianity & all the other big time religions – they all started as cults. even major league sports :-0

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  51. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    This post brings to mind Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. From pp.663-665 in the Penguin paperback:

    Ever since reading about Benjamin Franklin in an American propaganda leaflet, kite, thunder and key, the undertaker has been obsessed with this business of getting hit in the head by a lightning bolt. [...]

    What the leaflet neglected to mention was that Benjamin Franklin was also a Mason, and given to cosmic forms of practical jokesterism of which the United States of America may well have been one. [...] Nor does he want to write a classic of anthropology, with the lightning-struck grouped into a subculture, even secretly organized, handshakes with sharp cusp-flicks of fingernails, private monthly magazine A Nickel Saved (which looks perfectly innocent, old Ben Franklin after inflation, unless you know the other half of the proverb: “… is a stockpile of nickel.” Making the real quote nickel-magnate Mark Hanna’s: “You have been in politics long enough to know that no man in public office owes the public anything.” So the real title is Long Enough, which Those Who Know, know. The text of each issue of the magazine, when transformed this way, yields many interesting messages). [...]

    But does the Polish undertaker in his rowboat care about busting this code, about secret organizations or recognizable subcultures? No, he doesn’t.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  52. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Peter Thiel and “trailblazers” today are creative (angling) merchants. Thiel is a lawyer who started a dotcom commerce site with other people, he didn’t create an antigravity machine.

    And who’s to say the decline of cults is due to a decline in wonder rather than socio-technological change or the work anti-cult/cult awareness groups?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  53. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  54. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:

    Are cons more honest or less creative?

    Cons are less likely to pretend to be what they’re not to infiltrate the other side and subvert it from within.

    But Libs seem to shameless in this. So many pretend to be good Catholics and Christians, enter religious institutions, and Alinsky it from within. They use Zeligish means.

    Is it because the Libs are dominated by Eskimos and homos who have a long history of infiltration and subterfuge?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Is it because the Libs are dominated by Eskimos and homos
     
    Eskimos, eh? Well, I suppose that it is marginally better than Scots-Irish. On the hand, I don't quite get the aversion to just saying Jew....
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  55. The Z Blog says: • Website

    Post-80′s liberalism is certainly a religion and it sure looks like a cult to a lot of us. it lacks the charismatic leader we usually associate with cults, but it certainly has its idols and prophets. Look at how they treat their heretics. Juan Williams was literally excommunicated.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  56. What about the cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  57. Ed says:
    @Lot
    My theory on why Kerry beat Dean and Edwards in 2004 is a lot of people thought some of Kerry's wife's $500 million Heinz fortune would get spent. In fact that didn't happen.

    Same with with Romney in 2012. They were both selfish dicks. Middle class people running for school board or rural county commission often spend 5-10% of their net worth on their campaign, but they couldn't do the same when they had more money than could be spent in 10 lifetimes while running for President of the United States.

    This is off the topic but an interesting point. Perot was the same as Romney. Though he his famous for spending his way into two strong third party showings, he really didn’t spend that much money compared to his fortune.

    Bloomberg, on the other hand, spent national presidential campaign (at least for the primaries) levels of money to become Mayor of a city of eight million of people. I don’t think all of that went for ads.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  58. […] Sailer wonders if there might be a connection between transgenderism and transhumanism. So does Jack […]

    Read More
  59. Gato de la Biblioteca [AKA "Icepick"] says:

    We’re seeing people in the West become enamored with Islam. How are the new L. Rons going to compete with sawing the heads off co-workers and infidels?

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    No, we are seeing certain types of people in the West become enamored with Islam:

    1. People who have immigrated from Islamic countries, often second or so generation offspring of such people, and

    2. Blacks who want to kill white people.
    , @AnotherDad

    We’re seeing people in the West become enamored with Islam
     
    But which "people in the West"? In the US i see mostly blacks, maybe a few Mexicans, and the tiniest smattering of screwed up white people--the kind who a generation earlier might have been in some cult, maybe Moonies. I see essentially *no* movement of any normal white people to Islam. It's just not very interesting.

    I'm not on-the-ground in Europe. (Haven't been there for any substantial period of time for almost a generation.) But my impression is that white people have no interest in joining Islam, and their cultist behavior is mostly "denial"--pretending it isn't there (in their daily lives, zero association with moslems). If made to notice, pretending that moslems will naturally integrate to the wonders of modern European post-Christian liberalism. And most of all, pretending that their countries aren't being lost.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  60. Luke Lea says: • Website

    Here is a cultish idea which isn’t (though perhaps should be) esoteric: Capital is the re-incarnation of Christ.

    I would describe it as a quasi-analytic apriori proposition.

    One the one hand it is a logical syllogism, true by defintion: Jesus taught an ethic of self-sacrifice for the sake of the future. Modern capital is the accumulated crime and sacrifice of centuries, plus interest, and most definitely a product of Christian societies.

    On the other hand, capital has certain empirical properties that fit what we would expect the re-incarnation of Christ (the spirit Jesus’s teaching and example) to look like:

    It is the tree of life (whose fruit is livelihood).

    It come through the sky with great glory (my favorite example being when the Challenger returns to earth, but also modern aviation in general: men can actually fly!)

    It is brighter than the sun (H-bombs! Let’s get literal folks.)

    It eclipses the moon (Apollo missions).

    It is instantaneous over the whole earth (modern telecommunications)

    It rules nations (capital is the king of kings).

    It is the only new thing under the sun (contra Ecclesiastes).

    It is a pearl of great worth (a terrible human price was paid to build the modern world)

    It is the philosopher’s stone (though made of base metal it is more valuable than gold, producing the things that give money its value).

    It contains all knowledge dug from the bowels of the earth (modern science and technology, which are embodied in capital)

    I could probably go on in an exercise of the mytho-poetic imaginination but will instead close with a link to the first statement in history of the law of capital market which today we see operating on Wall St. in the form of mergers and acquisitions, to wit, Jesus’s Parable of the Talents.

    Call it madness if you like, but I say that if the shoe fits wear it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    Luke: Brilliant, though evangelical Christians won't like the analogy of God and money, and libertarians won't like the Christianity.

    BTW, were Freud and Gould really *cult leaders*? Freud had an actual discovery (the unconscious) which he took way too far, but the cult came later. I don't think Gould ever set himself up as a cult leader--was Edward Bernays a cult leader? He lied to a lot of people, but he never created a cult of personality.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. SFG says:
    @Luke Lea
    Here is a cultish idea which isn't (though perhaps should be) esoteric: Capital is the re-incarnation of Christ.

    I would describe it as a quasi-analytic apriori proposition.

    One the one hand it is a logical syllogism, true by defintion: Jesus taught an ethic of self-sacrifice for the sake of the future. Modern capital is the accumulated crime and sacrifice of centuries, plus interest, and most definitely a product of Christian societies.

    On the other hand, capital has certain empirical properties that fit what we would expect the re-incarnation of Christ (the spirit Jesus's teaching and example) to look like:

    It is the tree of life (whose fruit is livelihood).

    It come through the sky with great glory (my favorite example being when the Challenger returns to earth, but also modern aviation in general: men can actually fly!)

    It is brighter than the sun (H-bombs! Let's get literal folks.)

    It eclipses the moon (Apollo missions).

    It is instantaneous over the whole earth (modern telecommunications)

    It rules nations (capital is the king of kings).

    It is the only new thing under the sun (contra Ecclesiastes).

    It is a pearl of great worth (a terrible human price was paid to build the modern world)

    It is the philosopher's stone (though made of base metal it is more valuable than gold, producing the things that give money its value).

    It contains all knowledge dug from the bowels of the earth (modern science and technology, which are embodied in capital)

    I could probably go on in an exercise of the mytho-poetic imaginination but will instead close with a link to the first statement in history of the law of capital market which today we see operating on Wall St. in the form of mergers and acquisitions, to wit, Jesus's Parable of the Talents.

    Call it madness if you like, but I say that if the shoe fits wear it.

    Luke: Brilliant, though evangelical Christians won’t like the analogy of God and money, and libertarians won’t like the Christianity.

    BTW, were Freud and Gould really *cult leaders*? Freud had an actual discovery (the unconscious) which he took way too far, but the cult came later. I don’t think Gould ever set himself up as a cult leader–was Edward Bernays a cult leader? He lied to a lot of people, but he never created a cult of personality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    The idea that Freud "discovered" the unconscious is cult history. He and Jung just repackaged ideas that were current in the mid to late nineteenth century as detailed in Ellenberger's "The Discovery of the Unconscious". Even now when the fever of Freudianism has broken, it is not generally appreciated how mendacious, self interested, and conniving Freud was.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. Corn says:

    The whole “freeze your dead body and get revived a few centuries later” thing always struck me as a non-starter. Historians or anthropologists may revive a few for interviews but why do you think people in the future would want to have you around?
    I often hear “in the future consciousness will be uploaded to an android body”. That is better than old age and death to be sure, but what a dry, mechanical existence. Could an android mouth enjoy the taste of food? Could a robot penis enjoy sex? A long life but perhaps not a very sensual one.
    If immortality is to come I hope it comes because genetics/nanotech has found ways to rejuvenate our existing bodies.

    As an aside, anyone hear ever read John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War? In that book the government takes a tissue sample, clones you, they somehow accelerate aging so the clone goes from infant to circa 20 years old in a few months or a couple years, then your consciousness is transferred from your old body to your clone.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel doesn't seem to want his father Benjamin Emanuel around, and the old guy's still alive.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. I’d just add to my long post above that the Q&A portion of Aldous Huxley’s talk at Berkeley is just as interesting as his prepared speech. His brother Julian’s views on eugenics and population control are brought up, as is the question of how an oligarchy running such a “Brave New World” society could avoid being corrupted and degenerated itself. Charles Darwin’s views on the matter are discussed as well.

    Aldous Huxley also touches on the topic of great interest to the transhumanists: human consciousness and the mystery of how it relates to the physical brain. As I said, there’s a whole bunch of things in that talk of his at Berkeley back in 1962 that relate directly to what we’ve been discussing lately.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  64. I hate to make yet another post but just now spotted the fact that it was Aldous Huxley’s brother Julian who came up with the term “transhumanism” in the first place: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism#First_transhumanist_proposals

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  65. Luke Lea says: • Website

    Errata: make that a quasi analytic a posteriori proposition. (Forgive me, I’m an old man.) Anyway, here are a couple more empirical examples:

    Like a thief in the night (it came but nobody noticed or rather recognized it for what is was).

    Like a grain of mustard seed (the law of compound interest).

    I proffer this as the answer to a riddle obviously, and like the riddle of the sphinx the correct answer cannot be proven but only recognized.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  66. josh says:

    Speaking of Ben Franklik, Steve appears to be quite the fan, but his recent esoteric/exoteric stuff never mention Freemasonry or the Royal Society or for that matter any of the occult secret societies. These were obviously quite important historically and I would like to hear Steve’s thoughts, as he is usually more inciteful than I am.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Masons weren't that esoteric in the U.S. because here the Masons, like Franklin and Washington, won.
    , @syonredux

    Speaking of Ben Franklik, Steve appears to be quite the fan, but his recent esoteric/exoteric stuff never mention Freemasonry or the Royal Society
     
    Of course, the Royal Society was something of an anti-secret society, seeing as how their goals entailed a commitment to transparency and the spread of knowledge. Indeed, it's interesting to note how that commitment even involved a change in prose style:

    They have therefore been most rigorous in putting in execution the only remedy that can be found for this extravagance; and that has been a constant resolution to reject all the amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style; to return back to the primitive purity and shortness, when men delivered so many things almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressions, clear senses, a native easiness; bringing all things as near the mathematical plainness as they can; and preferring the language of artisans, countrymen, and merchants, before that of wits or scholars.

    Thomas Sprat, History of the Royal Society
     
    To one long accustomed to the thick verbiage of Lacan and Derrida, it's enough to bring tears to the eye.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. Assert that a tiny percentage of humanity (i.e., your followers) are the descendants of a supersmart alien race, and that this poor minority has always been oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers.

    But enough about the Jews!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  68. Ted says:
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  69. Boomstick says:

    Douthat is a consistently interesting writer, which is a rarity in the modern Times. A distressingly high percentage of the rest seem to mostly be engaged in agenda-pushing, or are just pretty dim.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  70. @Anonymous
    Anne Lawrence has a new book, Men trapped in men's bodies: narratives of autogynephilic transsexualism.

    I remember back in the day Firing Line and other conservative shows were sponsored by the John M Olin foundation. A year or two ago I thought that I hAdn't heard that name in years and wondered why. Turns out Olin wisely thought that the endowment should spend all the money within 25 years of death because the original intention would be lost as society continues to evolve. Cryonauts never grasp this principle.

    From Lawrence’s book:

    Blanchard’s idea that nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals could develop
    something resembling pair-bonded relationships with their idealized images of
    themselves as female-bodied persons might sound bizarre to anyone who has not
    experienced autogynephilia firsthand, but Blanchard was not the first investigator to
    make such a suggestion. Buckner ( 1970 ) had previously observed that the typical
    heterosexual transvestite also “acts toward himself in a way that a normal person
    acts toward a socio-sexually significant other” (p. 381). Buckner added that

    “When a male adopts this pattern [of masturbation with articles of feminine clothing] and
    elaborates it into an entire feminine identity, he finds it gratifying in both sexual and social
    ways. When it becomes fixed in his identity, he begins to relate toward himself in some
    particulars as if he were his own wife.” (p. 387)

    I know it’s a harmless paraphilia (harmless to others, that is), and people with this condition deserve a certain amount of compassion when they’re not being raging dicks…. but still, this is pretty f*ckin’ LOL.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  71. syonredux says:
    @Priss Factor
    Are cons more honest or less creative?

    Cons are less likely to pretend to be what they're not to infiltrate the other side and subvert it from within.

    But Libs seem to shameless in this. So many pretend to be good Catholics and Christians, enter religious institutions, and Alinsky it from within. They use Zeligish means.

    Is it because the Libs are dominated by Eskimos and homos who have a long history of infiltration and subterfuge?

    Is it because the Libs are dominated by Eskimos and homos

    Eskimos, eh? Well, I suppose that it is marginally better than Scots-Irish. On the hand, I don’t quite get the aversion to just saying Jew….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill

    Eskimos, eh? Well, I suppose that it is marginally better than Scots-Irish. On the hand, I don’t quite get the aversion to just saying Jew….
     
    Is that because you are posting behind a chain of twelve proxies or because you are retired?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  72. SF says:

    According to Public Policy Polling, about 5% of the US population believes the government (or somebody) has been implementing a massive aerial spraying program, to counteract global warming, or to reduce the population, or to benefit Monsanto’s aluminum resistant seeds, or to benefit crop speculators, or to increase wildfires to implement agenda 21′s goal of getting more people to live in cities, or to develop weapons to use against enemies in war, or to hide the coming of the death planet Niburu, or to tranquilize everyone so we won’t notice how oppressive the government is. This makes the cult of chemtrails pretty large. I hope the survey was biased by the conspiracy cultists tending to self select as respondents.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  73. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Gato de la Biblioteca
    We're seeing people in the West become enamored with Islam. How are the new L. Rons going to compete with sawing the heads off co-workers and infidels?

    No, we are seeing certain types of people in the West become enamored with Islam:

    1. People who have immigrated from Islamic countries, often second or so generation offspring of such people, and

    2. Blacks who want to kill white people.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  74. Mr. Anon says:

    There is today no shortage of conspiracy theories (to use that imperfect term) – there is a certain cult-like aspect to many of those.

    Another thing we don’t seem to see much of nowadays (compared to the 70s and 80s): serial-killers – at least the kind that become famous enough that they get their own distinctive moniker.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  75. rod1963 says:

    When I think back to when cults were really going strong, it seems to be tied in to the economy. When people are well off economically, cults do well. from the 50′s -90′s there were all sorts of cults out there from UFO, Yogic, Magic to various psychotheraputic cults.

    Since the economic decline of the upper and middle-class. These cults have either shrank or vanished. Though the New Age, Buddhist and psychotherapy cults are still doing okay but they don’t have the sort of following the Moonies or Clare Prophet’s did at their height. But then again they largely appeal to upper class whites who have a lot of disposable income. Put another way these cults don’t want poor or middle-class people with limited incomes. They want people with money.

    The new cult I see on the ascendance is Socialism and Islam. Socialism is already for many the secular religion of choice. The state is god and Santa Claus, the purveyor of manna from heaven so to speak. It takes care of you from cradle to grave and is your mother and father. Every sort of sexual deviancy and degenerate behavior is embraced by the state and it’s agents as being acceptable. It’s attractive but breeds a very weak and worthless sort of human.

    It’s only competitor is Islam which is a self-contained political and religious ideology rolled into one nasty package. It refuses to be assimilated into the materialistic/nihilistic culture of the West and instead dominates the parts of Europe and the U.S. where it has political say so. When confronted by Socialism, it assimilates it and then controls it.

    My money is on Islam becoming the dominant culture in the West within 30 years. With Christianity dying and Socialism being little more than a Potemkin religion for layabouts and a shady ruling class. There isn’t much preventing Islam from overtaking a rotting and supine West.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  76. PapayaSF says:

    I hope the “trans” in both transgenderism and transhumanism does not confuse people about the link between the two. While the former is a topic within the latter, it’s not really a central or major issue. Most of transhumanism is about expanding human life and abilities in other ways.

    And transhumanism isn’t much of a cult. A cult has to be more than a group of people with common interests. Cults need to have strong leaders and dogma: e.g., Ayn Rand could be said to be a cult, but libertarianism in general would not be. Transhumanism doesn’t really have either. There’s too much disagreement, and while Ray Kurzweil (the most visible Top Man in the field) has plenty of followers and admirers, he’s not much of a cult leader.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  77. @Alcor Member
    It won't take vast sums of money once we figure out nanotech, plus given Moore's law the cost of running my brain on a computer 100 years from now will be tiny, enough that hopefully a grandchild would be willing to pay it. Also, Peter Thiel is a member of cryonics provider Alcor.

    Why? Most young people today don’t see much of a reason to see their living grandparents. Any society advanced enough for cryogenics is going to be a society that despises old people enough to have no interest in reviving them. I much prefer a world with doting grandfathers and loving grand kids, but you cyrogenics nerds should at least embrace the atomized, social capital depleted world your vision leads to.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alcor Member
    "Any society advanced enough for cryogenics is going to be a society that despises old people enough to have no interest in reviving them."

    No, we will probably get reverse-aging tech before successful cryonics revival.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  78. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Ross Doughfa, er, Douthat could use some time in the low-carb cult.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  79. @Gato de la Biblioteca
    We're seeing people in the West become enamored with Islam. How are the new L. Rons going to compete with sawing the heads off co-workers and infidels?

    We’re seeing people in the West become enamored with Islam

    But which “people in the West”? In the US i see mostly blacks, maybe a few Mexicans, and the tiniest smattering of screwed up white people–the kind who a generation earlier might have been in some cult, maybe Moonies. I see essentially *no* movement of any normal white people to Islam. It’s just not very interesting.

    I’m not on-the-ground in Europe. (Haven’t been there for any substantial period of time for almost a generation.) But my impression is that white people have no interest in joining Islam, and their cultist behavior is mostly “denial”–pretending it isn’t there (in their daily lives, zero association with moslems). If made to notice, pretending that moslems will naturally integrate to the wonders of modern European post-Christian liberalism. And most of all, pretending that their countries aren’t being lost.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gato de la Biblioteca
    Another Dad, I largely agree with your comments. But as the social and economic rot spreads in the west, I expect to see more and more screwed up white people. And more and more of them won't be able to afford the transhumanism and objectivism that enamors the better off.

    Islam has the appeals of absolute certainty, a heavenly reward, and strict rules for living. I suspect that as times become more turbulent you'll see more whites grab onto it, though hopefully the numbers will remain small in the absolute sense. But it doesn't take that many to really much things up.
    , @Lurker
    I'm on the ground in Europe - you are correct.

    Whites who go Muslim - random alienated nutcases, thugs in prison and finally dim witted white women (maybe not dim witted but addled by the media multicult) who marry Muslims and convert via that route. And then there are blacks who go Muslim - alienated nutcases and prison thugs.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. Sunbeam says:

    Paypal.

    What kind of intellectual achievement was this? Like most of the internet companies: Ebay, Amazon, Google even, it’s an obvious idea anyone slightly clued in mulled over in a bar circa 1995 or so.

    Obviously it was an achievement of a sort to get the kind of financing to launch these businesses. Now you might point to Google in particular, with Google Maps, the search algorithms, the self driving cars as an example of a company that had to jump some hurdles to come about.

    But most of that is stuff they work on because they have lots of money, and nothing better to do.

    The other companies are classic Bigger Hammers.

    Just saying, why is Thiel an expert on anything?

    Paypal. It’s not even interesting like Bitcoin.

    Funny thing is I kind of agree with Douthat on this one. It sure seems to me that Western culture/civilization, whatever you want to call it is running out of steam, a la Spengler (and not the fake one that writes columns for the Financial Times or whatever it is called).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chubby Ape
    "Funny thing is I kind of agree with Douthat on this one. It sure seems to me that Western culture/civilization, whatever you want to call it is running out of steam ..."

    I think so too, it seems, so do more and and more commentators; that article from the New Republic that Douthat linked to is a good example.

    It's funny that our era marked by cultural stagnation and a lack of fresh ideas and yet there's a growing interest in being able to freeze or store human consciousness like just some more leftovers. What if people from our time are finally thawed out and are found to be inane, obnoxious and dull by our descendants? Will someone in the distant future be standing next to the old cryogenic freezer saying "oh don't thaw out one of those early 21st century tech trannies, they're soooooo boring and creepy!"

    , @syonredux

    Funny thing is I kind of agree with Douthat on this one. It sure seems to me that Western culture/civilization, whatever you want to call it is running out of steam, a la Spengler (and not the fake one that writes columns for the Financial Times or whatever it is called).
     
    Barzun made a pretty good case for our era being an epoch of decline in From Dawn to Decadence.
    , @Mike
    Exactly.

    I remember sitting around in '97 or '98 trying to figure out payments on the internet. It was such an obvious need. If I was doing it, so were about 100,000 other guys, most of them smarter and harder working than me.

    That at the end of the tournament we have a company, PayPal that dominates the market is not surprising.

    That anybody thinks Thiel is something more than just another hard working smart guy is surprising.

    Survivorship Bias. It affects both the winners and losers of these winner takes most tournaments.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  81. TWS says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys' software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    You might get the genealogy bugs of 2215 to unfreeze gr-gr-gr grandpa Smith to hear old family history and all about how he was fighting wolves in the streets of Seattle in 2014 or whatever.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. I could imagine that if the “transhumanists” succeed, they’ll be a “blade runneresque” type police force of normals to track them down and eliminate them. The moral principle: You only get one go. The future belongs to future generations.

    There’s probably a movie script–pretty derivative–in there somewhere.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  83. @Sunbeam
    Paypal.

    What kind of intellectual achievement was this? Like most of the internet companies: Ebay, Amazon, Google even, it's an obvious idea anyone slightly clued in mulled over in a bar circa 1995 or so.

    Obviously it was an achievement of a sort to get the kind of financing to launch these businesses. Now you might point to Google in particular, with Google Maps, the search algorithms, the self driving cars as an example of a company that had to jump some hurdles to come about.

    But most of that is stuff they work on because they have lots of money, and nothing better to do.

    The other companies are classic Bigger Hammers.

    Just saying, why is Thiel an expert on anything?

    Paypal. It's not even interesting like Bitcoin.

    Funny thing is I kind of agree with Douthat on this one. It sure seems to me that Western culture/civilization, whatever you want to call it is running out of steam, a la Spengler (and not the fake one that writes columns for the Financial Times or whatever it is called).

    “Funny thing is I kind of agree with Douthat on this one. It sure seems to me that Western culture/civilization, whatever you want to call it is running out of steam …”

    I think so too, it seems, so do more and and more commentators; that article from the New Republic that Douthat linked to is a good example.

    It’s funny that our era marked by cultural stagnation and a lack of fresh ideas and yet there’s a growing interest in being able to freeze or store human consciousness like just some more leftovers. What if people from our time are finally thawed out and are found to be inane, obnoxious and dull by our descendants? Will someone in the distant future be standing next to the old cryogenic freezer saying “oh don’t thaw out one of those early 21st century tech trannies, they’re soooooo boring and creepy!”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. @josh
    Speaking of Ben Franklik, Steve appears to be quite the fan, but his recent esoteric/exoteric stuff never mention Freemasonry or the Royal Society or for that matter any of the occult secret societies. These were obviously quite important historically and I would like to hear Steve's thoughts, as he is usually more inciteful than I am.

    The Masons weren’t that esoteric in the U.S. because here the Masons, like Franklin and Washington, won.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Exactly. In Catholic countries with a strong clerisy like France and Italy, it was a different matter. But in the US, there was nothing really special or sinister about the Masons.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Skull & Bones won too, no?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Tim Malone said:

    What about the cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson?

    You heard that bit of news about him recently? He’s been caught making stuff up, specifically quotes.

    Washington Post (9/22): Does Neil deGrasse Tyson make up stories?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  86. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:

    Cultism had a certain cachet when there was a powerful and dominant mainstream(in power, morality, values, attitudes, culture, etc) and a near-monopolization of the media & information by the elites.

    Today, there are so many internet outlets that cultism is dime-a-dozen. Every crackpot has his website. So, there are more cults than ever. It’s just that no one cares anymore since it’s everywhere you turn.

    Of course, what Douthat is talking about is cultism among the powerful and influential. He’s saying there’s less of that, and he’s right to a degree.
    To the extent that cults have tended to be contrarian, alternative, counter-establishment, and even subversive, there’s a reason why key groups like Eskimos and homos are less cultish today than they were in the past. When straight wasps ruled America, cultism could be used against the establishment. But since the Eskimos and homos are the new elites, they want consensus thinking than controversial-thinking–at least among the elites and the intelligent set who really dominate society. As for the ordinary schmoes in the street, it doesn’t matter what they think or feel since they have no power and without power, they are without consequence.

    So, Eskimos and homos mainly target thought-culture in elite institutions, government, media, Hollywood, and etc. to enforce the consensus. (In some ways, the elite pressure for consensus has grown even stronger because of the internet. Because there are so many alternative sources of news and information, the elite Narrative can face many challenges. So, at least among the elites and those aspiring to be elites, there’s greater pressure for them to toe the line than to proffer alternative views that might upset the Narrative. Get Stephanie Grace! Nip the likes of her in the bud.) And counter-power cultism is out. There was a revival of such during the Bush II presidency somewhat but the media, academia, and Hollywood have been all hurrah-hurrah about the Obama presidency made possible by Eskimo power and money.

    So, even though there might be more cultism among the masses–due to the internet with so many alternative sources of information–, there’s more consensus than cultism among the elites. (In some ways, the number of cults and subcultures in the internet also helps the elites since all such cults have a fragmenting and atomizing effect on the masses. There’s the Star Trek cult, neo-pagan cult, ass tattoo cult, lip pierce cult, slut pride cult, so many videogame cults, etc, etc.)
    Also, as money, power, and privilege are all that really matter in today’s world, every smart person wants to make it and will therefore be far less likely to say, do, or join anything that might be controversial and ban him or her from the upper echelons. (Internet allows expression of countless cults, but it also allows access to information about all sorts of people. Because it’s so easy to dig the dirt about anyone via the internet, those who seek power and privilege have to be extra-careful about what they say or do, especially on the internet. For example, if it comes out that someone even visited VDARE frequently, he could be nixed from consideration in being allowed into the elite club. As NSA spies on websites and news sources visited by just about anyone, people in power or people-seeking-power have to be very careful about not only what they say and do but even something as inane as their choice of internet sites to visit. Even if NSA won’t publicly divulge the information, those with access will pass the information to the powers-that-be that decide who is allowed in and who is kept out. So, suppose there’s a Congressman who’s up for consideration for a certain post. But suppose NSA found out that he’s been a frequent visitor of American Renaissance. The word will get around the ‘proper channels’, and the Congressman soon finds himself out of the running in consideration for the post. Of course, he’ll never know why since the Jewish-controlled agencies that did the spying on him will keep quiet as what they did was illegal. Furthermore, even if the Congressman figures out what happened, he will remain mum because it will be even more damaging if it becomes public knowledge that he’s been a visitor to American Renaissance website.)

    In the past, there was a greater respect and dignity for achievement in spheres without money and power. A lot of smart people followed their muse or bliss for the sake of ‘meaning’.
    There were two sides to Steve Jobs. One side was willing to give up everything for truth and meaning. Another side was all about power and money. The other side won. Same with George Lucas. Of course, they clung to the conceit that they never lost their ideals, but they aint fooled us.
    In the 60s, if you made no money but found some ‘truth’, you got respect from your peers. Today, you’re a ‘loser’ if you don’t have the power and privilege.

    And no one wants to risk his chances of gaining power and privilege. Politicians have to pledge their allegiance to ICEPAC of Eskimos. They must also bend over to homos. Thus, the decline of cultism. (It seems Douthat has a courage deficit as he’s afraid to mention the key significance of Eskimo power in all this. Me, I call it like it is and hide nothing. I know for certain Eskimos have a big role in this.)

    That said, there’s another meaning to cultism, and one could argue that the reason for the decline of cultism is paradoxically due to the great success of certain cults–as suggested above in the article. When a cult becomes the establishment, it is no longer deemed strange or odd. With all that power, the cult remakes itself into something ‘mainstream’, respectable, dignified, the ‘new normal’. But its essence still remains cultish because it doesn’t represent or embody the real interests of the majority of the people. Rather, its power and privilege rest in cultish ‘new normal’ ideas of right and wrong that serve a tiny elite and go against the norms, nature, and sense of most sane people.
    ‘Gay marriage’ is a cultish notion of marriage. But it’s been sold as the ‘new normal’, and so many suckers have fallen for it even though it doesn’t do them any good and, if anything, harms the majority for it degrades the meaning of marriage that has been so morally and socially crucial to humanity for as long as we can remember. ‘Gay marriage’ is totally strange and perverse, but so many Americans are blind to its foulness because they all ‘drink the kool-aid’ through the mass media that are owned and controlled not by a broad ethnic representation of Americans but a cultish cabal of Eskimos. (But as Nazism and Maoism demonstrated, the masses can be tricked into hysteria and lunacy too.)

    Cults are like gangsters and radical movements. One cult tries to beat out all the other cults. Just like Stalinism wiped out all other ideologies–even other ‘heretical’ brands of communism(and Maoism did the same in China)–and just like a criminal organization tries to wipe out other gangs to take over the entire territory, cults try to do the same and rule as the new kid on the block. A radical movement tries to wipe out the existing order and all other radical movements until it is the ‘new normal’. So, even sicko crazy ideologies like Stalinism, Maoism, Castro-ism, Pol-Pot-ism, Kim-Il-Sung-ism, Honeker-ism, and etc. became the ‘new normal’ ideologies.
    Likewise, the Corleones in THE GODFATHER tried to wipe out the rivals and take over the criminal enterprise. And then, as the top dog or sole winner, it used its power and influence to remake itself into a ‘legitimate’ organization. Or, it’s like how Max wiped out his buddies and remade himself into a ‘Wasp-faced’ man of respect in Once Upon a Time in America.
    The desire of every cult is power. More than the desire to figure something out or ferret out a hidden truth, it seeks dominance and power.

    Did cultism among the elites fade in America because it grew tiresome or because one particular cultish group or clique gained most of the power and wiped everyone out… like the Corleones did.
    Consider what Buchanan said of William Kristol, the Neocons, and the purge of the ‘Arabists’.
    Neocons used to be a cultish branch of American Conservatism. It joined the movement as a sidekick organization, but it was aggressive and feisty. And in time, it went from a cult to the ‘new normal’ in the GOP.

    http://buchanan.org/blog/how-bill-kristol-purged-the-arabists-5085

    On the surface, the domination of Neocons would seems to have ended cultism on the American Right since there’s so much consensus about how American Conservatives should all take advice from the likes of William Kristol and Jennifer Rubin. About how they should all grovel before AIPAC. About how they should all travel to Israel, put on yarmulkes, and stand by the Wailing Wall.
    But one could just as legitimately argue that this is the ultimate triumph of cultism. Paradoxically, cultism declined because one particular cult grew so powerful that it ‘legitimized’ itself as the New Normal.

    Though all cults may be intellectually curious and adventurous in the beginning, what is intellect ultimately for? It’s to figure out how the world works to gain power/dominance over it. So, if a cult grows more powerful and arrives at a crossroads where it must choose between more power/control and more freedom/inquiry, it will go for the former. Initially, neoconservatism was curious and on the side of more debate. But once it tasted more and more power, it sought to become THE controlling voice of the American Right. Thus, it went from cult of curiosity to cult of control, and it sought to demolish all rival cults.

    But Liberal Jews think and act the same way. They’ve Jew-and-homo-ized the American Left to the point where it’s about the cult of ass worship than clash of class interests. But since Jewish-and-homo domination is so powerful–though nothing compared to Eskimo power that controls most of everything–, such cultism is sold as the ‘new normal’. Saul Alinsky taught young radicals how to turn political cults into respectable ideologies by wrapping them in the American flag and serving them alongside Apple pies.

    That said, not all cults are the same. I would not dismiss Marx and Freud as mere cultists. Wrong as they were–and Marx’s influence was downright disastrous–, they were giants. Great ideas don’t have to be right/correct/true to have value. Their value lies in the processes involved in bringing them to fruition. Most philosophers of history can be discredited in so many ways with new arguments and new discoveries. But we still cannot deny their originality and depth.
    We can reject everything about Plato and still recognize his greatness as a thinker. We don’t have to agree with the ideas or logic(or illogic) of Kant, Descartes, or Nietzsche to recognize their importance. It could be that the view of human nature and morality in Dostoyevsky novels are fundamentally wrong or twisted. They still have value as literature.
    Freud is one of those thinkers whose ideas are still fascinating even if they are factually/scientifically wrong. He was clearly onto something even though he made the wrong conclusions. It’s like Columbus was both totally wrong and totally great. His ‘India’ didn’t turn out to be India at all, but his journey took him to new interesting places.
    Freud opened up a can of worms, and even if he pulled out the wrong worms, there is no denying the wiggling-ness of the worms inside.
    Same goes for Marx. His radical insistence on his theory blinded him to other factors, but he was onto something about history, society, and humanity.
    So, it’d be too simplistic to dismiss them as cults.

    It’s like comparing John Waters with Alfred Hitchcock(or Stanley Kubrick). There’s been cultish devotion around all three. But Waters cult–like that around Tarantino or von Trier–is shallow and stupid. It’s a childish call for attention, just some scuzzy pranksterism. It has no lasting value.
    In contrast, it doesn’t matter if the view of human motivations or human nature are correct or incorrect in films like VERTIGO, PSYCHO, 2001, or A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. They really tapped into something deep in our psyche.
    Stupid cults fade away. Great cults turn into classics.
    And Marx and Freud entered the pantheon of great thinkers–even if Marx was an arrogant hypocritical prick and Freud was devious & even sinister son of a bitch. Even if the product of their thoughts were ultimately wrong, if we follow the trail of their thought process, there’s no denying their tremendous intellect, brilliance, originality, and depth.

    Third rate cultists become demagogues or nutjobs. Clear away the smoke-and-mirrors and the obfuscation, and there is nothing there. There is nothing in Jim Jones, David Koresh, Rev. Mhoon, L. Ron. Hubbard, Larouche, and etc. of any intellectual interest.
    Many more cults were created for reasons of obfuscation than search for the hidden truth. For every cult that took the contrarian route to challenge the Establishment version of the truth, there were many more cults that just stirred up a lot of smoke-and-mirrors to fool mental midgets to believe in the greatness, holiness, or invincibility of egotistical losers like Koresh, Mhoon, or Jim Jones.

    In contrast, even if we were to clear away the mindless adulation around Freud and Marx, there’s no denying the value and power of their thought-processes and theories. When cultists have genuine worth, they attain the status of prophets. After all, even when one assiduously discredits most of Marx and Freud’s theories, the ideas still retain much of their power. Even bunk can be awesome bunk, and the awesomeness has a way of outliving ‘mere facts’. Of course, in science, facts really do matter, but in the realm of the ‘prophecy’, the power of vision matters more than ‘mere facts’.

    To be sure, some cults are totally ridiculous but gain longevity through the luck of circumstances. Take Mormonism. The New Testament and even the Koran are fascinating outgrowths of the Jewish religion, but the Book of Mormon is just silly. So, how did Mormonism flourish? Isolation, homogeneity, and relative freedom to do as they wished in the wilderness of the West. If Mormonism had to compete with other cults and ideas out in the open, it never would have had a chance. As for Scientology, it lucked out because of the counterculture 60s and its cynical appealing to dumb-vain celebrities with inferiority complex.
    But if Marx and Freud(and even Rand) are interesting despite their wrongness, L. Ron Hubbard’s stuff is just dull, dull, dull. Dianetics should be called Idiotics.

    “If you want to be a new L. Ron Hubbard, you should put your craziest craziness out in public and dare anybody to prove themselves a low brow bigot by scoffing at it. Don’t hide the Thetans away until Tom Cruise has spent years being prepared to learn about them. Instead, make the Thetans a victimized minority about whom awareness must be raised. Assert that a tiny percentage of humanity (i.e., your followers) are the descendants of a supersmart alien race, and that this poor minority has always been oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers.”

    ROTFL. Gee, I wonder if it hasn’t already worked.

    The formula is more or less correct. People don’t like victim-victims, and people tend to be wary of victor-victors. Victim-victims are deemed as hopeless losers, and victor-victors seem to lack the noble-tragic element to justify their power or struggle for power.
    People like the victor-victim or the victorim.

    Suppose blacks were just small weaklings with voice like Guillermo. Even if they’d been slaves and etc. there wouldn’t be much sympathy for them. The Mexican Indians were conquered, enslaved, and still live in misery, but how come there is no sympathy for them? Because they are victim-victims. They just seem like a bunch of losers.
    Suppose millions of Jews were killed but they have the IQ of 80 and hardly good at anything. Would there be so much interest in Jews as victims?
    No, there’s great interest in black victimhood and Jewish victimhood because of their respective victorhoods. Blacks won in sports, pop music, boom box oratory, and conquering white women sexually. Jews won in intellect, finance, business, and elite institutions.
    Since they are seen as naturally superior people–silently if not officially as PC says we are all equal–, their suffering seems more tragic than the suffering of loser races. So, if a bunch of short stubby-necked indians in South America ended up horribly due to Spanish invasion, diseases, genocide, and slavery, well too bad. It’s all very sad and all, but hey, there are bunch of natural losers and losers are supposed to lose in history.

    But since blacks have demonstrated their prowess in sports, music, and humping ho’s, there’s a lot of fear and fascination for them among whites. So, whites feel especially sympathetic toward blacks. It’s sympathy mixed with worship.
    Same goes with Jews. Indeed, the very nature of the Holocaust suggests the greatness of the Jewish people. If Jews weren’t so great, would the Nazis have gone to such extremes in dealing with them? And even after that calamity, Jews took over the US, UK and much of EU. And Israel kicks everyone’s ass in the Middle East. So, the great sympathy for Jewish victim-hood cannot be divorced from the greater worship of masterful Jewish power.

    It’s like Jesus. If Jesus had just gotten beat and died, He would have been seen as a loser-loser. But He not only suffered and died horribly but triumphed over death and returned to mankind to show how invincible He is. So, mankind’s pity for poor suffering Jesus cannot be divorced from its worship of His Godly power.
    So, for a cult to really catch on, it has to bundle victim-hood with victor-hood. There has to be something like the Triple Package formula theorized by Chua and Rubenfeld.
    People naturally admire and worship power, but if the power is only powerful, they feel envious and fearful. But when the power also puts on a sad tragic face, people appreciate the opportunity to feel sorry for the power. They feel empowered for to feel pity or sympathy for something means to have power over it. Also, tragic power seems morally justified and spiritually redemptive. In association to it, you can have the cake and eat it too. It’s like America’s super-elites have all the privilege & money but by waving the MLK flag, they also feel morally justified in their power and privilege. Social Darwinism is out. Moral Darwinism is in. Libs would have us believe that ‘good decent progressive’ folks are naturally favored to succeed and win more in society. Why are so many Jews and homos so rich and powerful? Because they are so very good. History just works that way.

    But the success of cults owes to ‘who has the power’ and the alignment of power. Consider the ANC, PLO, and IRA.
    Though US, as a close ally of the UK, officially condemned IRA terrorist violence, it was far more balanced in its criticism of the conflict in Northern Ireland because lots of Americans are Irish, and Irish-Americans made a powerful bloc in America.

    As for the ANC, they got special treatment in the US media because America has lots of blacks who’ve been key political allies of Jews who run the media and the Democratic Party. ANC was a communist-terrorist organization, and it didn’t choose peace UNTIL whites decided to surrender all their power to blacks.

    But the PLO got no respect from the US since Palestinian power was zilch in the US. If Palestinian-Americans were as numerous as American blacks or Irish-Americans, but they had little representation in the US, and so the PLO only got bad press as a ‘terrorist’ organization’ whereas Zionist terrorism against Palestinian got full backing from the US and European nations.
    As Tony Montana said, ‘first you gotta get the money, then you get the power, and then…’
    (The outlier was Edward Said whose book ORIENTALISM had a profound impact on American academia that lingers to this day. If one Palestinian-American intellectual superstar made such a difference, how might things have been if there had been more Palestinian-American scholars of his credentials?)
    All this transhuman/trans-gender stuff would have gotten nowhere if not for the fact that many homos, especially with the support of Jews, had amassed tremendous power. Trans-gender community is closely aligned with the homo community. Homos are naturally hissy, fussy, complain-ish, and control-freakish.
    A bunch of straight guys are natural slobs. Some may be ambitious, but most are not. But even ordinary homos are so fussy-wussy and have to have things their way. If some guy enters a room wearing crappy clothes, most guys don’t notice. But a homo’s mind will kick into gear and think of 100 things the guy could do to look more presentable. With such a hissy-fussy nature, homos were bound to be more control-hungry. Fashion, after all, is all about the control of looks.
    This is why homos are especially dangerous attack dogs of PC. More than even feminists and Negroes, they are so fussy and hissy about things that are ‘incorrect’ in their eyes. They just gotta snip and cut out everything that isn’t a part of their design. I mean PC, as bad as it was, was never such a pain in the ass before homos became its main commissars. Homos wanna work on our brains like a homo hairdresser works on a woman’s hair. Our brains must be surgically PC-cut just right. Homo DNA doesn’t understand live-and-let-live. Like a fussy/bitchy homo fitting a model with his dress, homos insist on dressing our minds and attitudes with their design. And we better ‘wear’ it or they’ll alert their Jewish bosses who will then use the power of media, finance, and government to destroy anyone who won’t bend over to homos. As far as Jews are concerned, ‘homophobes’ are ‘existential anti-semites’. As ‘homophobes’ refuse to bend over to elite rule by a cultish minority, they probably have problems with Jewish power as well… so think the Jews.

    Anyway, though the current changes in social values and politics seem very fast and dramatic, they’d been in the making for many decades. Even when Jews and homos didn’t seem very powerful decades ago, they’d been working obsessively to amass the money, infiltrate the institutions, form the alliances, collect intelligence(with which to blackmail people), and control the academia and media. It’s like blowing up a bridge. It may happen instantaneously, but it took a long time to place the explosives and set the charges. Jews and homos had been planting the explosives for many many years before they finally blew up the support system. Once the columns crumbled with the explosion, the entire edifice of the traditional system came tumbling down… just like the walls of Jericho.

    Also, Eskimos have been working on both the moral ‘guilt’ and moral vanity of Wasp elites and white folks in general. Indeed, it’s that combination of shameful guilt and narcissistic vanity that is dangerous about PC. If PC only attacked and berated whites(especially the elites)for ‘historical crimes’, whites would soon get angry over being pissed at night and day. But PC showers white elites who confess their guilt with all sorts of candies and prizes. So, while white masses suffer from PC, white elites like Ken Burns is honored and feted around for making all these documentaries that present wasps as a bunch of shitters and Negroes as a magic race. Thus, white elites get vanity prizes from PC by shitting on whiteness and on ‘bad white people’. It’s as if they’ve been baptized of evil ‘racist’ whiteness and are aglow with a clean kind of whiteness whose grand goal is to demographically destroy the white race through massive race-mixing and massive immigration. Of course, they need not worry about the negative social impacts of this since they’ve been admitted to the elite community whose gates are controlled by Eskimo and homo elites.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    Blacks won in sports, pop music, boom box oratory, and conquering white women sexually. Jews won in intellect, finance, business, and elite institutions.
    Since they are seen as naturally superior people–silently if not officially as PC says we are all equal–, their suffering seems more tragic than the suffering of loser races.
     
    Who else besides blacks and jews do you consider naturally superior people and who else besides the amerindians are the loser races?
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Holy tl;dr, Pizza!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  87. @Corn
    The whole "freeze your dead body and get revived a few centuries later" thing always struck me as a non-starter. Historians or anthropologists may revive a few for interviews but why do you think people in the future would want to have you around?
    I often hear "in the future consciousness will be uploaded to an android body". That is better than old age and death to be sure, but what a dry, mechanical existence. Could an android mouth enjoy the taste of food? Could a robot penis enjoy sex? A long life but perhaps not a very sensual one.
    If immortality is to come I hope it comes because genetics/nanotech has found ways to rejuvenate our existing bodies.

    As an aside, anyone hear ever read John Scalzi's Old Man's War? In that book the government takes a tissue sample, clones you, they somehow accelerate aging so the clone goes from infant to circa 20 years old in a few months or a couple years, then your consciousness is transferred from your old body to your clone.

    Bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel doesn’t seem to want his father Benjamin Emanuel around, and the old guy’s still alive.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  88. There is of course an old method of superseding your mortality–you have kids.

    You have children and pass on your both your genes and your culture–which you work to protect and enhance. This is work that is both incredibly meaningful and intensely rich and rewarding.

    It’s not just technological possibility driving transhumanism. It’s no real surprise that its precisely when the West has been badgered to death with an ideology of blank slatism and hostile minoritarianism (diversity!, multiculturalism!) where a straightforward desire to pass on your race and culture is treated as significantly more scandalous than say someone admitting they like to bugger men up the ass. that we get this cheesy, narcissistic, utterly empty “transhumanist” quest for immortality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Howard
    Good points... Except I don't think people ever had a desire to pass on their race or culture, they just did it as part of becoming an adult and doing what they were supposed to do. Even that idea has been scandalized, no one is supposed to marry or procreate just because they are supposed to, they are supposed to want to now, and that has turned reproduction on its head. The only people that think it's important to want to marry and procreate are people who can't just do it, ie, single women and gays. They've essentially made it scandalous to do what was totally normal, out of spite.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  89. Robinson says:

    It is unlikely that something that is probably a heritable characteristic , zeal, would diminish significantly in a generation. We are probably just missing where young people are directing their zeal, because it’s happening on reddit not IRL. The internet might be a sink for zeal the same way it is for sex drive.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  90. syonredux says:
    @Sunbeam
    Paypal.

    What kind of intellectual achievement was this? Like most of the internet companies: Ebay, Amazon, Google even, it's an obvious idea anyone slightly clued in mulled over in a bar circa 1995 or so.

    Obviously it was an achievement of a sort to get the kind of financing to launch these businesses. Now you might point to Google in particular, with Google Maps, the search algorithms, the self driving cars as an example of a company that had to jump some hurdles to come about.

    But most of that is stuff they work on because they have lots of money, and nothing better to do.

    The other companies are classic Bigger Hammers.

    Just saying, why is Thiel an expert on anything?

    Paypal. It's not even interesting like Bitcoin.

    Funny thing is I kind of agree with Douthat on this one. It sure seems to me that Western culture/civilization, whatever you want to call it is running out of steam, a la Spengler (and not the fake one that writes columns for the Financial Times or whatever it is called).

    Funny thing is I kind of agree with Douthat on this one. It sure seems to me that Western culture/civilization, whatever you want to call it is running out of steam, a la Spengler (and not the fake one that writes columns for the Financial Times or whatever it is called).

    Barzun made a pretty good case for our era being an epoch of decline in From Dawn to Decadence.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  91. Gato de la Biblioteca [AKA "Icepick"] says:
    @AnotherDad

    We’re seeing people in the West become enamored with Islam
     
    But which "people in the West"? In the US i see mostly blacks, maybe a few Mexicans, and the tiniest smattering of screwed up white people--the kind who a generation earlier might have been in some cult, maybe Moonies. I see essentially *no* movement of any normal white people to Islam. It's just not very interesting.

    I'm not on-the-ground in Europe. (Haven't been there for any substantial period of time for almost a generation.) But my impression is that white people have no interest in joining Islam, and their cultist behavior is mostly "denial"--pretending it isn't there (in their daily lives, zero association with moslems). If made to notice, pretending that moslems will naturally integrate to the wonders of modern European post-Christian liberalism. And most of all, pretending that their countries aren't being lost.

    Another Dad, I largely agree with your comments. But as the social and economic rot spreads in the west, I expect to see more and more screwed up white people. And more and more of them won’t be able to afford the transhumanism and objectivism that enamors the better off.

    Islam has the appeals of absolute certainty, a heavenly reward, and strict rules for living. I suspect that as times become more turbulent you’ll see more whites grab onto it, though hopefully the numbers will remain small in the absolute sense. But it doesn’t take that many to really much things up.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  92. syonredux says:

    But since the Eskimos and homos are the new elites,

    Still beating the Jew=Eskimo drum, eh? Well, it does have the virtue of rhyming with homo, I suppose.

    RE: Jews and Homosexuals,

    Not really discrete categories, though. Many leading Jews are homosexual (Tony Kushner) and many leading homosexuals are Jewish (Masha Gessen). For that matter, there is a lengthy list of distinguished homosexual WASPs (Cole Porter, Gore Vidal, etc).

    I suppose that it’s a matter of sifting the data, figuring out which one best fits into which box (“MMM, was Gore Vidal more of a WASP or more of a homosexual?”).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  93. gu says:
    @Dizzy D
    There are still a few libertarian cults kicking around out there on the internet. I was actually part of one for a while that was called "freedomainradio".

    The exoteric knowledge is the vague assertion that violence is wrong and libertarian principles will save the world. Conveniently, once you accept this knowledge, all that's needed to save the world is to give "freedomainradio" some money.

    The esoteric knowledge is that all violence is, in fact, caused by abusive parents and that you need to cleanse yourself of this abuse by leaving your parents and family forever, quitting your job, and giving all your money to the cult leader.

    It's an odd cult by modern standards because it's mainly kept afloat by well meaning libertarians who mainly only ever hear the exoteric story portrayed on youtube and rarely, if ever, get into the cult far enough to know what it is really about. It also follows the same Freud/Franz Boas/Ayn Rand cult model where you have one shining intellectual in the center who is apparently the greatest mind in history of the world worshiped by a bunch of teenagers and 20 somethings who don't know any better.

    “The exoteric knowledge is the vague assertion that violence is wrong and libertarian principles will save the world. Conveniently, once you accept this knowledge, all that’s needed to save the world is to give “freedomainradio” some money.

    The esoteric knowledge is that all violence is, in fact, caused by abusive parents and that you need to cleanse yourself of this abuse by leaving your parents and family forever, quitting your job, and giving all your money to the cult leader.”

    I thought Stef was kidding. He wasn’t you people are really THIS stupid.

    I do not agree with many of his views but you are a dishonest liar. He never said any of those things.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  94. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Steve Sailer
    The Masons weren't that esoteric in the U.S. because here the Masons, like Franklin and Washington, won.

    Exactly. In Catholic countries with a strong clerisy like France and Italy, it was a different matter. But in the US, there was nothing really special or sinister about the Masons.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  95. syonredux says:
    @josh
    Speaking of Ben Franklik, Steve appears to be quite the fan, but his recent esoteric/exoteric stuff never mention Freemasonry or the Royal Society or for that matter any of the occult secret societies. These were obviously quite important historically and I would like to hear Steve's thoughts, as he is usually more inciteful than I am.

    Speaking of Ben Franklik, Steve appears to be quite the fan, but his recent esoteric/exoteric stuff never mention Freemasonry or the Royal Society

    Of course, the Royal Society was something of an anti-secret society, seeing as how their goals entailed a commitment to transparency and the spread of knowledge. Indeed, it’s interesting to note how that commitment even involved a change in prose style:

    They have therefore been most rigorous in putting in execution the only remedy that can be found for this extravagance; and that has been a constant resolution to reject all the amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style; to return back to the primitive purity and shortness, when men delivered so many things almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressions, clear senses, a native easiness; bringing all things as near the mathematical plainness as they can; and preferring the language of artisans, countrymen, and merchants, before that of wits or scholars.

    Thomas Sprat, History of the Royal Society

    To one long accustomed to the thick verbiage of Lacan and Derrida, it’s enough to bring tears to the eye.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  96. Cults? They’re now a mass phenomenon, led by the West’s death wish.

    OT (sorry, sorry) but am I the only person who doubts the veracity of Nick Kristof’s account (“Stranger Danger and Guns”, today’s _Times_) of his heroic confrontation with the man who stole his cell phone? A Scarsdale resident drives to a sketchy neighborhood at night and pounds on a door?!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Kristof doesn't actually say in his column the neighborhood he drove to is sketchy, just that he'd never been there before and it's 15 miles from his home (Scarsdale), and the house looked "creepy."

    Kristof doesn't actually say in his column the neighborhood he drove to is sketchy, just that he'd never been there before and it's 15 miles from his home (Scarsdale), and the house looked "creepy."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-stranger-danger-and-guns.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region

    It's about 15 miles from Scarsdale to Chappaqua, so maybe the man who had his phone was Bill Clinton?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  97. @International Jew
    Cults? They're now a mass phenomenon, led by the West's death wish.

    OT (sorry, sorry) but am I the only person who doubts the veracity of Nick Kristof's account ("Stranger Danger and Guns", today's _Times_) of his heroic confrontation with the man who stole his cell phone? A Scarsdale resident drives to a sketchy neighborhood at night and pounds on a door?!

    Kristof doesn’t actually say in his column the neighborhood he drove to is sketchy, just that he’d never been there before and it’s 15 miles from his home (Scarsdale), and the house looked “creepy.”

    Kristof doesn’t actually say in his column the neighborhood he drove to is sketchy, just that he’d never been there before and it’s 15 miles from his home (Scarsdale), and the house looked “creepy.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-stranger-danger-and-guns.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region

    It’s about 15 miles from Scarsdale to Chappaqua, so maybe the man who had his phone was Bill Clinton?

    Read More
    • Replies: @International Jew
    Thanks. And I overlooked another key point: he doesn't say the phone was stolen, only that "Earlier this month, my iPhone vanished". OK, Kristof maybe just forgot his phone at a Starbucks and the guy who had it picked it up as a good samaritan. (I've picked up forgotten cell phones at least twice on the commuter rail and, using them to contact the owners, invited them to come pick it up from my house.)

    So considering that the rest of his op-ed is about crazy racist gun-nuts, I guess the point of the opening scene is to reinforce the message that as a white man, he has less to worry about. White privilege again.

    Judging from many of the comments, Kristof was successful in conveying the idea that he took a great and courageous risk (without actually ever out-and-out lying to us).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  98. Interesting post Steve. The only cult that interests me is the band “Cults”. Madeline Follin’s voice could command me to do anything. Sweeter than Monster and more addictive. They don’t tour enough though.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  99. Bliss says:
    @Priss Factor
    Cultism had a certain cachet when there was a powerful and dominant mainstream(in power, morality, values, attitudes, culture, etc) and a near-monopolization of the media & information by the elites.

    Today, there are so many internet outlets that cultism is dime-a-dozen. Every crackpot has his website. So, there are more cults than ever. It's just that no one cares anymore since it's everywhere you turn.

    Of course, what Douthat is talking about is cultism among the powerful and influential. He's saying there's less of that, and he's right to a degree.
    To the extent that cults have tended to be contrarian, alternative, counter-establishment, and even subversive, there's a reason why key groups like Eskimos and homos are less cultish today than they were in the past. When straight wasps ruled America, cultism could be used against the establishment. But since the Eskimos and homos are the new elites, they want consensus thinking than controversial-thinking--at least among the elites and the intelligent set who really dominate society. As for the ordinary schmoes in the street, it doesn't matter what they think or feel since they have no power and without power, they are without consequence.

    So, Eskimos and homos mainly target thought-culture in elite institutions, government, media, Hollywood, and etc. to enforce the consensus. (In some ways, the elite pressure for consensus has grown even stronger because of the internet. Because there are so many alternative sources of news and information, the elite Narrative can face many challenges. So, at least among the elites and those aspiring to be elites, there's greater pressure for them to toe the line than to proffer alternative views that might upset the Narrative. Get Stephanie Grace! Nip the likes of her in the bud.) And counter-power cultism is out. There was a revival of such during the Bush II presidency somewhat but the media, academia, and Hollywood have been all hurrah-hurrah about the Obama presidency made possible by Eskimo power and money.

    So, even though there might be more cultism among the masses--due to the internet with so many alternative sources of information--, there's more consensus than cultism among the elites. (In some ways, the number of cults and subcultures in the internet also helps the elites since all such cults have a fragmenting and atomizing effect on the masses. There's the Star Trek cult, neo-pagan cult, ass tattoo cult, lip pierce cult, slut pride cult, so many videogame cults, etc, etc.)
    Also, as money, power, and privilege are all that really matter in today's world, every smart person wants to make it and will therefore be far less likely to say, do, or join anything that might be controversial and ban him or her from the upper echelons. (Internet allows expression of countless cults, but it also allows access to information about all sorts of people. Because it's so easy to dig the dirt about anyone via the internet, those who seek power and privilege have to be extra-careful about what they say or do, especially on the internet. For example, if it comes out that someone even visited VDARE frequently, he could be nixed from consideration in being allowed into the elite club. As NSA spies on websites and news sources visited by just about anyone, people in power or people-seeking-power have to be very careful about not only what they say and do but even something as inane as their choice of internet sites to visit. Even if NSA won't publicly divulge the information, those with access will pass the information to the powers-that-be that decide who is allowed in and who is kept out. So, suppose there's a Congressman who's up for consideration for a certain post. But suppose NSA found out that he's been a frequent visitor of American Renaissance. The word will get around the 'proper channels', and the Congressman soon finds himself out of the running in consideration for the post. Of course, he'll never know why since the Jewish-controlled agencies that did the spying on him will keep quiet as what they did was illegal. Furthermore, even if the Congressman figures out what happened, he will remain mum because it will be even more damaging if it becomes public knowledge that he's been a visitor to American Renaissance website.)

    In the past, there was a greater respect and dignity for achievement in spheres without money and power. A lot of smart people followed their muse or bliss for the sake of 'meaning'.
    There were two sides to Steve Jobs. One side was willing to give up everything for truth and meaning. Another side was all about power and money. The other side won. Same with George Lucas. Of course, they clung to the conceit that they never lost their ideals, but they aint fooled us.
    In the 60s, if you made no money but found some 'truth', you got respect from your peers. Today, you're a 'loser' if you don't have the power and privilege.

    And no one wants to risk his chances of gaining power and privilege. Politicians have to pledge their allegiance to ICEPAC of Eskimos. They must also bend over to homos. Thus, the decline of cultism. (It seems Douthat has a courage deficit as he's afraid to mention the key significance of Eskimo power in all this. Me, I call it like it is and hide nothing. I know for certain Eskimos have a big role in this.)

    That said, there's another meaning to cultism, and one could argue that the reason for the decline of cultism is paradoxically due to the great success of certain cults--as suggested above in the article. When a cult becomes the establishment, it is no longer deemed strange or odd. With all that power, the cult remakes itself into something 'mainstream', respectable, dignified, the 'new normal'. But its essence still remains cultish because it doesn't represent or embody the real interests of the majority of the people. Rather, its power and privilege rest in cultish 'new normal' ideas of right and wrong that serve a tiny elite and go against the norms, nature, and sense of most sane people.
    'Gay marriage' is a cultish notion of marriage. But it's been sold as the 'new normal', and so many suckers have fallen for it even though it doesn't do them any good and, if anything, harms the majority for it degrades the meaning of marriage that has been so morally and socially crucial to humanity for as long as we can remember. 'Gay marriage' is totally strange and perverse, but so many Americans are blind to its foulness because they all 'drink the kool-aid' through the mass media that are owned and controlled not by a broad ethnic representation of Americans but a cultish cabal of Eskimos. (But as Nazism and Maoism demonstrated, the masses can be tricked into hysteria and lunacy too.)

    Cults are like gangsters and radical movements. One cult tries to beat out all the other cults. Just like Stalinism wiped out all other ideologies--even other 'heretical' brands of communism(and Maoism did the same in China)--and just like a criminal organization tries to wipe out other gangs to take over the entire territory, cults try to do the same and rule as the new kid on the block. A radical movement tries to wipe out the existing order and all other radical movements until it is the 'new normal'. So, even sicko crazy ideologies like Stalinism, Maoism, Castro-ism, Pol-Pot-ism, Kim-Il-Sung-ism, Honeker-ism, and etc. became the 'new normal' ideologies.
    Likewise, the Corleones in THE GODFATHER tried to wipe out the rivals and take over the criminal enterprise. And then, as the top dog or sole winner, it used its power and influence to remake itself into a 'legitimate' organization. Or, it's like how Max wiped out his buddies and remade himself into a 'Wasp-faced' man of respect in Once Upon a Time in America.
    The desire of every cult is power. More than the desire to figure something out or ferret out a hidden truth, it seeks dominance and power.

    Did cultism among the elites fade in America because it grew tiresome or because one particular cultish group or clique gained most of the power and wiped everyone out... like the Corleones did.
    Consider what Buchanan said of William Kristol, the Neocons, and the purge of the 'Arabists'.
    Neocons used to be a cultish branch of American Conservatism. It joined the movement as a sidekick organization, but it was aggressive and feisty. And in time, it went from a cult to the 'new normal' in the GOP.

    http://buchanan.org/blog/how-bill-kristol-purged-the-arabists-5085

    On the surface, the domination of Neocons would seems to have ended cultism on the American Right since there's so much consensus about how American Conservatives should all take advice from the likes of William Kristol and Jennifer Rubin. About how they should all grovel before AIPAC. About how they should all travel to Israel, put on yarmulkes, and stand by the Wailing Wall.
    But one could just as legitimately argue that this is the ultimate triumph of cultism. Paradoxically, cultism declined because one particular cult grew so powerful that it 'legitimized' itself as the New Normal.

    Though all cults may be intellectually curious and adventurous in the beginning, what is intellect ultimately for? It's to figure out how the world works to gain power/dominance over it. So, if a cult grows more powerful and arrives at a crossroads where it must choose between more power/control and more freedom/inquiry, it will go for the former. Initially, neoconservatism was curious and on the side of more debate. But once it tasted more and more power, it sought to become THE controlling voice of the American Right. Thus, it went from cult of curiosity to cult of control, and it sought to demolish all rival cults.

    But Liberal Jews think and act the same way. They've Jew-and-homo-ized the American Left to the point where it's about the cult of ass worship than clash of class interests. But since Jewish-and-homo domination is so powerful--though nothing compared to Eskimo power that controls most of everything--, such cultism is sold as the 'new normal'. Saul Alinsky taught young radicals how to turn political cults into respectable ideologies by wrapping them in the American flag and serving them alongside Apple pies.

    That said, not all cults are the same. I would not dismiss Marx and Freud as mere cultists. Wrong as they were--and Marx's influence was downright disastrous--, they were giants. Great ideas don't have to be right/correct/true to have value. Their value lies in the processes involved in bringing them to fruition. Most philosophers of history can be discredited in so many ways with new arguments and new discoveries. But we still cannot deny their originality and depth.
    We can reject everything about Plato and still recognize his greatness as a thinker. We don't have to agree with the ideas or logic(or illogic) of Kant, Descartes, or Nietzsche to recognize their importance. It could be that the view of human nature and morality in Dostoyevsky novels are fundamentally wrong or twisted. They still have value as literature.
    Freud is one of those thinkers whose ideas are still fascinating even if they are factually/scientifically wrong. He was clearly onto something even though he made the wrong conclusions. It's like Columbus was both totally wrong and totally great. His 'India' didn't turn out to be India at all, but his journey took him to new interesting places.
    Freud opened up a can of worms, and even if he pulled out the wrong worms, there is no denying the wiggling-ness of the worms inside.
    Same goes for Marx. His radical insistence on his theory blinded him to other factors, but he was onto something about history, society, and humanity.
    So, it'd be too simplistic to dismiss them as cults.

    It's like comparing John Waters with Alfred Hitchcock(or Stanley Kubrick). There's been cultish devotion around all three. But Waters cult--like that around Tarantino or von Trier--is shallow and stupid. It's a childish call for attention, just some scuzzy pranksterism. It has no lasting value.
    In contrast, it doesn't matter if the view of human motivations or human nature are correct or incorrect in films like VERTIGO, PSYCHO, 2001, or A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. They really tapped into something deep in our psyche.
    Stupid cults fade away. Great cults turn into classics.
    And Marx and Freud entered the pantheon of great thinkers--even if Marx was an arrogant hypocritical prick and Freud was devious & even sinister son of a bitch. Even if the product of their thoughts were ultimately wrong, if we follow the trail of their thought process, there's no denying their tremendous intellect, brilliance, originality, and depth.

    Third rate cultists become demagogues or nutjobs. Clear away the smoke-and-mirrors and the obfuscation, and there is nothing there. There is nothing in Jim Jones, David Koresh, Rev. Mhoon, L. Ron. Hubbard, Larouche, and etc. of any intellectual interest.
    Many more cults were created for reasons of obfuscation than search for the hidden truth. For every cult that took the contrarian route to challenge the Establishment version of the truth, there were many more cults that just stirred up a lot of smoke-and-mirrors to fool mental midgets to believe in the greatness, holiness, or invincibility of egotistical losers like Koresh, Mhoon, or Jim Jones.

    In contrast, even if we were to clear away the mindless adulation around Freud and Marx, there's no denying the value and power of their thought-processes and theories. When cultists have genuine worth, they attain the status of prophets. After all, even when one assiduously discredits most of Marx and Freud's theories, the ideas still retain much of their power. Even bunk can be awesome bunk, and the awesomeness has a way of outliving 'mere facts'. Of course, in science, facts really do matter, but in the realm of the 'prophecy', the power of vision matters more than 'mere facts'.

    To be sure, some cults are totally ridiculous but gain longevity through the luck of circumstances. Take Mormonism. The New Testament and even the Koran are fascinating outgrowths of the Jewish religion, but the Book of Mormon is just silly. So, how did Mormonism flourish? Isolation, homogeneity, and relative freedom to do as they wished in the wilderness of the West. If Mormonism had to compete with other cults and ideas out in the open, it never would have had a chance. As for Scientology, it lucked out because of the counterculture 60s and its cynical appealing to dumb-vain celebrities with inferiority complex.
    But if Marx and Freud(and even Rand) are interesting despite their wrongness, L. Ron Hubbard's stuff is just dull, dull, dull. Dianetics should be called Idiotics.

    "If you want to be a new L. Ron Hubbard, you should put your craziest craziness out in public and dare anybody to prove themselves a low brow bigot by scoffing at it. Don’t hide the Thetans away until Tom Cruise has spent years being prepared to learn about them. Instead, make the Thetans a victimized minority about whom awareness must be raised. Assert that a tiny percentage of humanity (i.e., your followers) are the descendants of a supersmart alien race, and that this poor minority has always been oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers."

    ROTFL. Gee, I wonder if it hasn't already worked.

    The formula is more or less correct. People don't like victim-victims, and people tend to be wary of victor-victors. Victim-victims are deemed as hopeless losers, and victor-victors seem to lack the noble-tragic element to justify their power or struggle for power.
    People like the victor-victim or the victorim.

    Suppose blacks were just small weaklings with voice like Guillermo. Even if they'd been slaves and etc. there wouldn't be much sympathy for them. The Mexican Indians were conquered, enslaved, and still live in misery, but how come there is no sympathy for them? Because they are victim-victims. They just seem like a bunch of losers.
    Suppose millions of Jews were killed but they have the IQ of 80 and hardly good at anything. Would there be so much interest in Jews as victims?
    No, there's great interest in black victimhood and Jewish victimhood because of their respective victorhoods. Blacks won in sports, pop music, boom box oratory, and conquering white women sexually. Jews won in intellect, finance, business, and elite institutions.
    Since they are seen as naturally superior people--silently if not officially as PC says we are all equal--, their suffering seems more tragic than the suffering of loser races. So, if a bunch of short stubby-necked indians in South America ended up horribly due to Spanish invasion, diseases, genocide, and slavery, well too bad. It's all very sad and all, but hey, there are bunch of natural losers and losers are supposed to lose in history.

    But since blacks have demonstrated their prowess in sports, music, and humping ho's, there's a lot of fear and fascination for them among whites. So, whites feel especially sympathetic toward blacks. It's sympathy mixed with worship.
    Same goes with Jews. Indeed, the very nature of the Holocaust suggests the greatness of the Jewish people. If Jews weren't so great, would the Nazis have gone to such extremes in dealing with them? And even after that calamity, Jews took over the US, UK and much of EU. And Israel kicks everyone's ass in the Middle East. So, the great sympathy for Jewish victim-hood cannot be divorced from the greater worship of masterful Jewish power.

    It's like Jesus. If Jesus had just gotten beat and died, He would have been seen as a loser-loser. But He not only suffered and died horribly but triumphed over death and returned to mankind to show how invincible He is. So, mankind's pity for poor suffering Jesus cannot be divorced from its worship of His Godly power.
    So, for a cult to really catch on, it has to bundle victim-hood with victor-hood. There has to be something like the Triple Package formula theorized by Chua and Rubenfeld.
    People naturally admire and worship power, but if the power is only powerful, they feel envious and fearful. But when the power also puts on a sad tragic face, people appreciate the opportunity to feel sorry for the power. They feel empowered for to feel pity or sympathy for something means to have power over it. Also, tragic power seems morally justified and spiritually redemptive. In association to it, you can have the cake and eat it too. It's like America's super-elites have all the privilege & money but by waving the MLK flag, they also feel morally justified in their power and privilege. Social Darwinism is out. Moral Darwinism is in. Libs would have us believe that 'good decent progressive' folks are naturally favored to succeed and win more in society. Why are so many Jews and homos so rich and powerful? Because they are so very good. History just works that way.

    But the success of cults owes to 'who has the power' and the alignment of power. Consider the ANC, PLO, and IRA.
    Though US, as a close ally of the UK, officially condemned IRA terrorist violence, it was far more balanced in its criticism of the conflict in Northern Ireland because lots of Americans are Irish, and Irish-Americans made a powerful bloc in America.

    As for the ANC, they got special treatment in the US media because America has lots of blacks who've been key political allies of Jews who run the media and the Democratic Party. ANC was a communist-terrorist organization, and it didn't choose peace UNTIL whites decided to surrender all their power to blacks.

    But the PLO got no respect from the US since Palestinian power was zilch in the US. If Palestinian-Americans were as numerous as American blacks or Irish-Americans, but they had little representation in the US, and so the PLO only got bad press as a 'terrorist' organization' whereas Zionist terrorism against Palestinian got full backing from the US and European nations.
    As Tony Montana said, 'first you gotta get the money, then you get the power, and then...'
    (The outlier was Edward Said whose book ORIENTALISM had a profound impact on American academia that lingers to this day. If one Palestinian-American intellectual superstar made such a difference, how might things have been if there had been more Palestinian-American scholars of his credentials?)
    All this transhuman/trans-gender stuff would have gotten nowhere if not for the fact that many homos, especially with the support of Jews, had amassed tremendous power. Trans-gender community is closely aligned with the homo community. Homos are naturally hissy, fussy, complain-ish, and control-freakish.
    A bunch of straight guys are natural slobs. Some may be ambitious, but most are not. But even ordinary homos are so fussy-wussy and have to have things their way. If some guy enters a room wearing crappy clothes, most guys don't notice. But a homo's mind will kick into gear and think of 100 things the guy could do to look more presentable. With such a hissy-fussy nature, homos were bound to be more control-hungry. Fashion, after all, is all about the control of looks.
    This is why homos are especially dangerous attack dogs of PC. More than even feminists and Negroes, they are so fussy and hissy about things that are 'incorrect' in their eyes. They just gotta snip and cut out everything that isn't a part of their design. I mean PC, as bad as it was, was never such a pain in the ass before homos became its main commissars. Homos wanna work on our brains like a homo hairdresser works on a woman's hair. Our brains must be surgically PC-cut just right. Homo DNA doesn't understand live-and-let-live. Like a fussy/bitchy homo fitting a model with his dress, homos insist on dressing our minds and attitudes with their design. And we better 'wear' it or they'll alert their Jewish bosses who will then use the power of media, finance, and government to destroy anyone who won't bend over to homos. As far as Jews are concerned, 'homophobes' are 'existential anti-semites'. As 'homophobes' refuse to bend over to elite rule by a cultish minority, they probably have problems with Jewish power as well... so think the Jews.

    Anyway, though the current changes in social values and politics seem very fast and dramatic, they'd been in the making for many decades. Even when Jews and homos didn't seem very powerful decades ago, they'd been working obsessively to amass the money, infiltrate the institutions, form the alliances, collect intelligence(with which to blackmail people), and control the academia and media. It's like blowing up a bridge. It may happen instantaneously, but it took a long time to place the explosives and set the charges. Jews and homos had been planting the explosives for many many years before they finally blew up the support system. Once the columns crumbled with the explosion, the entire edifice of the traditional system came tumbling down... just like the walls of Jericho.

    Also, Eskimos have been working on both the moral 'guilt' and moral vanity of Wasp elites and white folks in general. Indeed, it's that combination of shameful guilt and narcissistic vanity that is dangerous about PC. If PC only attacked and berated whites(especially the elites)for 'historical crimes', whites would soon get angry over being pissed at night and day. But PC showers white elites who confess their guilt with all sorts of candies and prizes. So, while white masses suffer from PC, white elites like Ken Burns is honored and feted around for making all these documentaries that present wasps as a bunch of shitters and Negroes as a magic race. Thus, white elites get vanity prizes from PC by shitting on whiteness and on 'bad white people'. It's as if they've been baptized of evil 'racist' whiteness and are aglow with a clean kind of whiteness whose grand goal is to demographically destroy the white race through massive race-mixing and massive immigration. Of course, they need not worry about the negative social impacts of this since they've been admitted to the elite community whose gates are controlled by Eskimo and homo elites.

    Blacks won in sports, pop music, boom box oratory, and conquering white women sexually. Jews won in intellect, finance, business, and elite institutions.
    Since they are seen as naturally superior people–silently if not officially as PC says we are all equal–, their suffering seems more tragic than the suffering of loser races.

    Who else besides blacks and jews do you consider naturally superior people and who else besides the amerindians are the loser races?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "Who else besides blacks and jews do you consider naturally superior people and who else besides the amerindians are the loser races?"


    Most people fall into that category.
    Take the Laotians and Kurds.

    Laos has had a very tragic history in the second half of the 2oth century--Cambodia too of course.
    It was caught between US and communist forces during the Vietnam War. Commies infiltrated its borders and commie Pathet Lao waged war to take over.
    US dropped tons of bombs and who knows how many people got killed. US also trained the Hmongs, many of whom got slaughtered when US retreated and Pathet Lao took over. It's an incredibly sad story, but who the hell gives a crap about them? Why? Laotians are nothing. They never achieved anything. So, they may be objects of pity but with pity also comes contempt.

    Same with Kurds. A handsome people to be sure. But they got a raw deal from the Western Imperialists and Turks. A nation of their own should have been carved out for them, but Kurds ended up as minorities in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and etc. They got clobbered all around by all sides.
    But who the hell ever cared about them? They finally got sort of lucky because US invaded Iraq to get rid of Hussein,and so there is a kind of Kurdistan now. But for so long, they got a total raw deal from history. But whoever gave a damn about them? And why not? Because they never were special in anything.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  100. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    The Masons weren't that esoteric in the U.S. because here the Masons, like Franklin and Washington, won.

    Skull & Bones won too, no?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  101. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Priss Factor
    Cultism had a certain cachet when there was a powerful and dominant mainstream(in power, morality, values, attitudes, culture, etc) and a near-monopolization of the media & information by the elites.

    Today, there are so many internet outlets that cultism is dime-a-dozen. Every crackpot has his website. So, there are more cults than ever. It's just that no one cares anymore since it's everywhere you turn.

    Of course, what Douthat is talking about is cultism among the powerful and influential. He's saying there's less of that, and he's right to a degree.
    To the extent that cults have tended to be contrarian, alternative, counter-establishment, and even subversive, there's a reason why key groups like Eskimos and homos are less cultish today than they were in the past. When straight wasps ruled America, cultism could be used against the establishment. But since the Eskimos and homos are the new elites, they want consensus thinking than controversial-thinking--at least among the elites and the intelligent set who really dominate society. As for the ordinary schmoes in the street, it doesn't matter what they think or feel since they have no power and without power, they are without consequence.

    So, Eskimos and homos mainly target thought-culture in elite institutions, government, media, Hollywood, and etc. to enforce the consensus. (In some ways, the elite pressure for consensus has grown even stronger because of the internet. Because there are so many alternative sources of news and information, the elite Narrative can face many challenges. So, at least among the elites and those aspiring to be elites, there's greater pressure for them to toe the line than to proffer alternative views that might upset the Narrative. Get Stephanie Grace! Nip the likes of her in the bud.) And counter-power cultism is out. There was a revival of such during the Bush II presidency somewhat but the media, academia, and Hollywood have been all hurrah-hurrah about the Obama presidency made possible by Eskimo power and money.

    So, even though there might be more cultism among the masses--due to the internet with so many alternative sources of information--, there's more consensus than cultism among the elites. (In some ways, the number of cults and subcultures in the internet also helps the elites since all such cults have a fragmenting and atomizing effect on the masses. There's the Star Trek cult, neo-pagan cult, ass tattoo cult, lip pierce cult, slut pride cult, so many videogame cults, etc, etc.)
    Also, as money, power, and privilege are all that really matter in today's world, every smart person wants to make it and will therefore be far less likely to say, do, or join anything that might be controversial and ban him or her from the upper echelons. (Internet allows expression of countless cults, but it also allows access to information about all sorts of people. Because it's so easy to dig the dirt about anyone via the internet, those who seek power and privilege have to be extra-careful about what they say or do, especially on the internet. For example, if it comes out that someone even visited VDARE frequently, he could be nixed from consideration in being allowed into the elite club. As NSA spies on websites and news sources visited by just about anyone, people in power or people-seeking-power have to be very careful about not only what they say and do but even something as inane as their choice of internet sites to visit. Even if NSA won't publicly divulge the information, those with access will pass the information to the powers-that-be that decide who is allowed in and who is kept out. So, suppose there's a Congressman who's up for consideration for a certain post. But suppose NSA found out that he's been a frequent visitor of American Renaissance. The word will get around the 'proper channels', and the Congressman soon finds himself out of the running in consideration for the post. Of course, he'll never know why since the Jewish-controlled agencies that did the spying on him will keep quiet as what they did was illegal. Furthermore, even if the Congressman figures out what happened, he will remain mum because it will be even more damaging if it becomes public knowledge that he's been a visitor to American Renaissance website.)

    In the past, there was a greater respect and dignity for achievement in spheres without money and power. A lot of smart people followed their muse or bliss for the sake of 'meaning'.
    There were two sides to Steve Jobs. One side was willing to give up everything for truth and meaning. Another side was all about power and money. The other side won. Same with George Lucas. Of course, they clung to the conceit that they never lost their ideals, but they aint fooled us.
    In the 60s, if you made no money but found some 'truth', you got respect from your peers. Today, you're a 'loser' if you don't have the power and privilege.

    And no one wants to risk his chances of gaining power and privilege. Politicians have to pledge their allegiance to ICEPAC of Eskimos. They must also bend over to homos. Thus, the decline of cultism. (It seems Douthat has a courage deficit as he's afraid to mention the key significance of Eskimo power in all this. Me, I call it like it is and hide nothing. I know for certain Eskimos have a big role in this.)

    That said, there's another meaning to cultism, and one could argue that the reason for the decline of cultism is paradoxically due to the great success of certain cults--as suggested above in the article. When a cult becomes the establishment, it is no longer deemed strange or odd. With all that power, the cult remakes itself into something 'mainstream', respectable, dignified, the 'new normal'. But its essence still remains cultish because it doesn't represent or embody the real interests of the majority of the people. Rather, its power and privilege rest in cultish 'new normal' ideas of right and wrong that serve a tiny elite and go against the norms, nature, and sense of most sane people.
    'Gay marriage' is a cultish notion of marriage. But it's been sold as the 'new normal', and so many suckers have fallen for it even though it doesn't do them any good and, if anything, harms the majority for it degrades the meaning of marriage that has been so morally and socially crucial to humanity for as long as we can remember. 'Gay marriage' is totally strange and perverse, but so many Americans are blind to its foulness because they all 'drink the kool-aid' through the mass media that are owned and controlled not by a broad ethnic representation of Americans but a cultish cabal of Eskimos. (But as Nazism and Maoism demonstrated, the masses can be tricked into hysteria and lunacy too.)

    Cults are like gangsters and radical movements. One cult tries to beat out all the other cults. Just like Stalinism wiped out all other ideologies--even other 'heretical' brands of communism(and Maoism did the same in China)--and just like a criminal organization tries to wipe out other gangs to take over the entire territory, cults try to do the same and rule as the new kid on the block. A radical movement tries to wipe out the existing order and all other radical movements until it is the 'new normal'. So, even sicko crazy ideologies like Stalinism, Maoism, Castro-ism, Pol-Pot-ism, Kim-Il-Sung-ism, Honeker-ism, and etc. became the 'new normal' ideologies.
    Likewise, the Corleones in THE GODFATHER tried to wipe out the rivals and take over the criminal enterprise. And then, as the top dog or sole winner, it used its power and influence to remake itself into a 'legitimate' organization. Or, it's like how Max wiped out his buddies and remade himself into a 'Wasp-faced' man of respect in Once Upon a Time in America.
    The desire of every cult is power. More than the desire to figure something out or ferret out a hidden truth, it seeks dominance and power.

    Did cultism among the elites fade in America because it grew tiresome or because one particular cultish group or clique gained most of the power and wiped everyone out... like the Corleones did.
    Consider what Buchanan said of William Kristol, the Neocons, and the purge of the 'Arabists'.
    Neocons used to be a cultish branch of American Conservatism. It joined the movement as a sidekick organization, but it was aggressive and feisty. And in time, it went from a cult to the 'new normal' in the GOP.

    http://buchanan.org/blog/how-bill-kristol-purged-the-arabists-5085

    On the surface, the domination of Neocons would seems to have ended cultism on the American Right since there's so much consensus about how American Conservatives should all take advice from the likes of William Kristol and Jennifer Rubin. About how they should all grovel before AIPAC. About how they should all travel to Israel, put on yarmulkes, and stand by the Wailing Wall.
    But one could just as legitimately argue that this is the ultimate triumph of cultism. Paradoxically, cultism declined because one particular cult grew so powerful that it 'legitimized' itself as the New Normal.

    Though all cults may be intellectually curious and adventurous in the beginning, what is intellect ultimately for? It's to figure out how the world works to gain power/dominance over it. So, if a cult grows more powerful and arrives at a crossroads where it must choose between more power/control and more freedom/inquiry, it will go for the former. Initially, neoconservatism was curious and on the side of more debate. But once it tasted more and more power, it sought to become THE controlling voice of the American Right. Thus, it went from cult of curiosity to cult of control, and it sought to demolish all rival cults.

    But Liberal Jews think and act the same way. They've Jew-and-homo-ized the American Left to the point where it's about the cult of ass worship than clash of class interests. But since Jewish-and-homo domination is so powerful--though nothing compared to Eskimo power that controls most of everything--, such cultism is sold as the 'new normal'. Saul Alinsky taught young radicals how to turn political cults into respectable ideologies by wrapping them in the American flag and serving them alongside Apple pies.

    That said, not all cults are the same. I would not dismiss Marx and Freud as mere cultists. Wrong as they were--and Marx's influence was downright disastrous--, they were giants. Great ideas don't have to be right/correct/true to have value. Their value lies in the processes involved in bringing them to fruition. Most philosophers of history can be discredited in so many ways with new arguments and new discoveries. But we still cannot deny their originality and depth.
    We can reject everything about Plato and still recognize his greatness as a thinker. We don't have to agree with the ideas or logic(or illogic) of Kant, Descartes, or Nietzsche to recognize their importance. It could be that the view of human nature and morality in Dostoyevsky novels are fundamentally wrong or twisted. They still have value as literature.
    Freud is one of those thinkers whose ideas are still fascinating even if they are factually/scientifically wrong. He was clearly onto something even though he made the wrong conclusions. It's like Columbus was both totally wrong and totally great. His 'India' didn't turn out to be India at all, but his journey took him to new interesting places.
    Freud opened up a can of worms, and even if he pulled out the wrong worms, there is no denying the wiggling-ness of the worms inside.
    Same goes for Marx. His radical insistence on his theory blinded him to other factors, but he was onto something about history, society, and humanity.
    So, it'd be too simplistic to dismiss them as cults.

    It's like comparing John Waters with Alfred Hitchcock(or Stanley Kubrick). There's been cultish devotion around all three. But Waters cult--like that around Tarantino or von Trier--is shallow and stupid. It's a childish call for attention, just some scuzzy pranksterism. It has no lasting value.
    In contrast, it doesn't matter if the view of human motivations or human nature are correct or incorrect in films like VERTIGO, PSYCHO, 2001, or A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. They really tapped into something deep in our psyche.
    Stupid cults fade away. Great cults turn into classics.
    And Marx and Freud entered the pantheon of great thinkers--even if Marx was an arrogant hypocritical prick and Freud was devious & even sinister son of a bitch. Even if the product of their thoughts were ultimately wrong, if we follow the trail of their thought process, there's no denying their tremendous intellect, brilliance, originality, and depth.

    Third rate cultists become demagogues or nutjobs. Clear away the smoke-and-mirrors and the obfuscation, and there is nothing there. There is nothing in Jim Jones, David Koresh, Rev. Mhoon, L. Ron. Hubbard, Larouche, and etc. of any intellectual interest.
    Many more cults were created for reasons of obfuscation than search for the hidden truth. For every cult that took the contrarian route to challenge the Establishment version of the truth, there were many more cults that just stirred up a lot of smoke-and-mirrors to fool mental midgets to believe in the greatness, holiness, or invincibility of egotistical losers like Koresh, Mhoon, or Jim Jones.

    In contrast, even if we were to clear away the mindless adulation around Freud and Marx, there's no denying the value and power of their thought-processes and theories. When cultists have genuine worth, they attain the status of prophets. After all, even when one assiduously discredits most of Marx and Freud's theories, the ideas still retain much of their power. Even bunk can be awesome bunk, and the awesomeness has a way of outliving 'mere facts'. Of course, in science, facts really do matter, but in the realm of the 'prophecy', the power of vision matters more than 'mere facts'.

    To be sure, some cults are totally ridiculous but gain longevity through the luck of circumstances. Take Mormonism. The New Testament and even the Koran are fascinating outgrowths of the Jewish religion, but the Book of Mormon is just silly. So, how did Mormonism flourish? Isolation, homogeneity, and relative freedom to do as they wished in the wilderness of the West. If Mormonism had to compete with other cults and ideas out in the open, it never would have had a chance. As for Scientology, it lucked out because of the counterculture 60s and its cynical appealing to dumb-vain celebrities with inferiority complex.
    But if Marx and Freud(and even Rand) are interesting despite their wrongness, L. Ron Hubbard's stuff is just dull, dull, dull. Dianetics should be called Idiotics.

    "If you want to be a new L. Ron Hubbard, you should put your craziest craziness out in public and dare anybody to prove themselves a low brow bigot by scoffing at it. Don’t hide the Thetans away until Tom Cruise has spent years being prepared to learn about them. Instead, make the Thetans a victimized minority about whom awareness must be raised. Assert that a tiny percentage of humanity (i.e., your followers) are the descendants of a supersmart alien race, and that this poor minority has always been oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers."

    ROTFL. Gee, I wonder if it hasn't already worked.

    The formula is more or less correct. People don't like victim-victims, and people tend to be wary of victor-victors. Victim-victims are deemed as hopeless losers, and victor-victors seem to lack the noble-tragic element to justify their power or struggle for power.
    People like the victor-victim or the victorim.

    Suppose blacks were just small weaklings with voice like Guillermo. Even if they'd been slaves and etc. there wouldn't be much sympathy for them. The Mexican Indians were conquered, enslaved, and still live in misery, but how come there is no sympathy for them? Because they are victim-victims. They just seem like a bunch of losers.
    Suppose millions of Jews were killed but they have the IQ of 80 and hardly good at anything. Would there be so much interest in Jews as victims?
    No, there's great interest in black victimhood and Jewish victimhood because of their respective victorhoods. Blacks won in sports, pop music, boom box oratory, and conquering white women sexually. Jews won in intellect, finance, business, and elite institutions.
    Since they are seen as naturally superior people--silently if not officially as PC says we are all equal--, their suffering seems more tragic than the suffering of loser races. So, if a bunch of short stubby-necked indians in South America ended up horribly due to Spanish invasion, diseases, genocide, and slavery, well too bad. It's all very sad and all, but hey, there are bunch of natural losers and losers are supposed to lose in history.

    But since blacks have demonstrated their prowess in sports, music, and humping ho's, there's a lot of fear and fascination for them among whites. So, whites feel especially sympathetic toward blacks. It's sympathy mixed with worship.
    Same goes with Jews. Indeed, the very nature of the Holocaust suggests the greatness of the Jewish people. If Jews weren't so great, would the Nazis have gone to such extremes in dealing with them? And even after that calamity, Jews took over the US, UK and much of EU. And Israel kicks everyone's ass in the Middle East. So, the great sympathy for Jewish victim-hood cannot be divorced from the greater worship of masterful Jewish power.

    It's like Jesus. If Jesus had just gotten beat and died, He would have been seen as a loser-loser. But He not only suffered and died horribly but triumphed over death and returned to mankind to show how invincible He is. So, mankind's pity for poor suffering Jesus cannot be divorced from its worship of His Godly power.
    So, for a cult to really catch on, it has to bundle victim-hood with victor-hood. There has to be something like the Triple Package formula theorized by Chua and Rubenfeld.
    People naturally admire and worship power, but if the power is only powerful, they feel envious and fearful. But when the power also puts on a sad tragic face, people appreciate the opportunity to feel sorry for the power. They feel empowered for to feel pity or sympathy for something means to have power over it. Also, tragic power seems morally justified and spiritually redemptive. In association to it, you can have the cake and eat it too. It's like America's super-elites have all the privilege & money but by waving the MLK flag, they also feel morally justified in their power and privilege. Social Darwinism is out. Moral Darwinism is in. Libs would have us believe that 'good decent progressive' folks are naturally favored to succeed and win more in society. Why are so many Jews and homos so rich and powerful? Because they are so very good. History just works that way.

    But the success of cults owes to 'who has the power' and the alignment of power. Consider the ANC, PLO, and IRA.
    Though US, as a close ally of the UK, officially condemned IRA terrorist violence, it was far more balanced in its criticism of the conflict in Northern Ireland because lots of Americans are Irish, and Irish-Americans made a powerful bloc in America.

    As for the ANC, they got special treatment in the US media because America has lots of blacks who've been key political allies of Jews who run the media and the Democratic Party. ANC was a communist-terrorist organization, and it didn't choose peace UNTIL whites decided to surrender all their power to blacks.

    But the PLO got no respect from the US since Palestinian power was zilch in the US. If Palestinian-Americans were as numerous as American blacks or Irish-Americans, but they had little representation in the US, and so the PLO only got bad press as a 'terrorist' organization' whereas Zionist terrorism against Palestinian got full backing from the US and European nations.
    As Tony Montana said, 'first you gotta get the money, then you get the power, and then...'
    (The outlier was Edward Said whose book ORIENTALISM had a profound impact on American academia that lingers to this day. If one Palestinian-American intellectual superstar made such a difference, how might things have been if there had been more Palestinian-American scholars of his credentials?)
    All this transhuman/trans-gender stuff would have gotten nowhere if not for the fact that many homos, especially with the support of Jews, had amassed tremendous power. Trans-gender community is closely aligned with the homo community. Homos are naturally hissy, fussy, complain-ish, and control-freakish.
    A bunch of straight guys are natural slobs. Some may be ambitious, but most are not. But even ordinary homos are so fussy-wussy and have to have things their way. If some guy enters a room wearing crappy clothes, most guys don't notice. But a homo's mind will kick into gear and think of 100 things the guy could do to look more presentable. With such a hissy-fussy nature, homos were bound to be more control-hungry. Fashion, after all, is all about the control of looks.
    This is why homos are especially dangerous attack dogs of PC. More than even feminists and Negroes, they are so fussy and hissy about things that are 'incorrect' in their eyes. They just gotta snip and cut out everything that isn't a part of their design. I mean PC, as bad as it was, was never such a pain in the ass before homos became its main commissars. Homos wanna work on our brains like a homo hairdresser works on a woman's hair. Our brains must be surgically PC-cut just right. Homo DNA doesn't understand live-and-let-live. Like a fussy/bitchy homo fitting a model with his dress, homos insist on dressing our minds and attitudes with their design. And we better 'wear' it or they'll alert their Jewish bosses who will then use the power of media, finance, and government to destroy anyone who won't bend over to homos. As far as Jews are concerned, 'homophobes' are 'existential anti-semites'. As 'homophobes' refuse to bend over to elite rule by a cultish minority, they probably have problems with Jewish power as well... so think the Jews.

    Anyway, though the current changes in social values and politics seem very fast and dramatic, they'd been in the making for many decades. Even when Jews and homos didn't seem very powerful decades ago, they'd been working obsessively to amass the money, infiltrate the institutions, form the alliances, collect intelligence(with which to blackmail people), and control the academia and media. It's like blowing up a bridge. It may happen instantaneously, but it took a long time to place the explosives and set the charges. Jews and homos had been planting the explosives for many many years before they finally blew up the support system. Once the columns crumbled with the explosion, the entire edifice of the traditional system came tumbling down... just like the walls of Jericho.

    Also, Eskimos have been working on both the moral 'guilt' and moral vanity of Wasp elites and white folks in general. Indeed, it's that combination of shameful guilt and narcissistic vanity that is dangerous about PC. If PC only attacked and berated whites(especially the elites)for 'historical crimes', whites would soon get angry over being pissed at night and day. But PC showers white elites who confess their guilt with all sorts of candies and prizes. So, while white masses suffer from PC, white elites like Ken Burns is honored and feted around for making all these documentaries that present wasps as a bunch of shitters and Negroes as a magic race. Thus, white elites get vanity prizes from PC by shitting on whiteness and on 'bad white people'. It's as if they've been baptized of evil 'racist' whiteness and are aglow with a clean kind of whiteness whose grand goal is to demographically destroy the white race through massive race-mixing and massive immigration. Of course, they need not worry about the negative social impacts of this since they've been admitted to the elite community whose gates are controlled by Eskimo and homo elites.

    Holy tl;dr, Pizza!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  102. Bliss says:

    Maybe Siri or Google or Cortana or ? could evolve into future cult leaders when the AI passes a tipping point?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  103. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:
    @Bliss

    Blacks won in sports, pop music, boom box oratory, and conquering white women sexually. Jews won in intellect, finance, business, and elite institutions.
    Since they are seen as naturally superior people–silently if not officially as PC says we are all equal–, their suffering seems more tragic than the suffering of loser races.
     
    Who else besides blacks and jews do you consider naturally superior people and who else besides the amerindians are the loser races?

    “Who else besides blacks and jews do you consider naturally superior people and who else besides the amerindians are the loser races?”

    Most people fall into that category.
    Take the Laotians and Kurds.

    Laos has had a very tragic history in the second half of the 2oth century–Cambodia too of course.
    It was caught between US and communist forces during the Vietnam War. Commies infiltrated its borders and commie Pathet Lao waged war to take over.
    US dropped tons of bombs and who knows how many people got killed. US also trained the Hmongs, many of whom got slaughtered when US retreated and Pathet Lao took over. It’s an incredibly sad story, but who the hell gives a crap about them? Why? Laotians are nothing. They never achieved anything. So, they may be objects of pity but with pity also comes contempt.

    Same with Kurds. A handsome people to be sure. But they got a raw deal from the Western Imperialists and Turks. A nation of their own should have been carved out for them, but Kurds ended up as minorities in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and etc. They got clobbered all around by all sides.
    But who the hell ever cared about them? They finally got sort of lucky because US invaded Iraq to get rid of Hussein,and so there is a kind of Kurdistan now. But for so long, they got a total raw deal from history. But whoever gave a damn about them? And why not? Because they never were special in anything.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  104. attilathehen [AKA "Rose"] says:

    “Remember that guy you went to MBA school with. . .Well, now he’s the highest paid female CEO in America because, it turns out, he was always actually a woman and you have to call him “her” when reminiscing about him. Oops, I’ve should have said ‘She was always actually a woman and you have to call her “her” when reminiscing about her.’ Just start referring to people like this as “its.” I.e., “I knew Chaz Bono when IT was a she.” “I knew Rothblatt when IT was a he.” I do. This trannie stuff is pure nonsense. And even if it is “psychological”, it just means things like Chaz and Rothblatt are mental evolutionary defects. Modern science has given them the ability to physically mutilate themselves, but it doesn’t change the fact that Chaz was born a girl, Rothblatt a boy. So if they insist on mucking up things, then they are its. As a woman, I don’t want Rothblatt intruding on my “turf.” Radfems/TERFS also do not accept trannies as women. They consider them part of the “patriarchy.” This is the only point on which I can agree with them.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  105. Retired says:

    Thiel has had his 15 minutes. He’s Gladwell II, a little smarter but with no wisdom to accompany it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    Thiel is several billion dollars richer than Gladwell. That gives him an edge in time allotment. In fact, as many as he likes. If he were to lose his money he would turn into an asshole overnight. But I don't expect that to happen.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  106. @Sam Haysom
    Why? Most young people today don't see much of a reason to see their living grandparents. Any society advanced enough for cryogenics is going to be a society that despises old people enough to have no interest in reviving them. I much prefer a world with doting grandfathers and loving grand kids, but you cyrogenics nerds should at least embrace the atomized, social capital depleted world your vision leads to.

    “Any society advanced enough for cryogenics is going to be a society that despises old people enough to have no interest in reviving them.”

    No, we will probably get reverse-aging tech before successful cryonics revival.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lurker

    No, we will probably get reverse-aging tech before successful cryonics revival.
     
    Exactly. The whole point of cryonics - to outrun the conditions which did for you in the first place.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  107. WhatEvvs [AKA "Cookies"] says:

    No cults? How about the football cult?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  108. As If says:

    Jeeze some of you people have the fortitude of a tweak fiend. Declaring the end of Christianity when Islam cqn’t even reconcile itself with the modern age. Point me at the Cordova Caliphate knocking at our doors. Oh wait you can’t. You think because the current culture is all about tranny rights and sexual hedonism Christianity is dead? Do you people not read history? Show me the Borgia Pope, or Pope and Anti Pope leading armies against each other.

    Things renew. Other than the ridiculous attempts at intellectual one upsmanship the other most annoying thing about the alt right is this “we’re doomed!” masturbatory navel gazing. For people who like to name drop obscure figures from history, you think they would have some perspective.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  109. Overt religion and social organization in general has declined. Some people consider the 70s to be a sort of “Fourth Great Awakening” with the rise of evangelical Christianity, and the various “gnostic” leftist cults which have either died out or taken over mainstream leftish thought.

    All societal “authorities” are much weaker with the populace than they used to be. Alternative and quasi-revolutionary politics used to be a big thing: not any more. It’s all been absorbed into beige leftism, vaguely controlled by the media academic complex.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  110. About 20 years ago in the dawn of Internet chat–primarily Usenet–I had a run-in with a UFO cultist. A former meteorology professor, James Deardorff, became a devotee of the Billy Meier-UFO phenomenon, which had a strange Dan Brown-like sideline involving a lost (and found) first-century Aquarian gospel called the Talmud Jmannuel. When I pointed out that the letter “J” wasn’t invented until the Middle Ages and was an obvious pseudo-archaism, he proceeded to tell me that it wasn’t a “J” but rather a symbol from the language of the aliens who wrote Talmud Jmannuel. And so it went.

    But Deardorff was no fool. He published at least three papers in medium-hard science journals in which he, in a hypothetical fashion, raised the issue of alien visitations. It was a clear Trojan-Horse strategy, inserting his nutty theories, though posed as hypotheticals, into scholarly works that he could then cite back as proof of the seriousness of the issue. Apparently, he took early retirement from Oregon State so that he could become an autodidact biblical scholar with the intention of proving that Talmud Jmannuel is the original gospel. It was New Age meets form criticism.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  111. Mike says: • Website
    @Sunbeam
    Paypal.

    What kind of intellectual achievement was this? Like most of the internet companies: Ebay, Amazon, Google even, it's an obvious idea anyone slightly clued in mulled over in a bar circa 1995 or so.

    Obviously it was an achievement of a sort to get the kind of financing to launch these businesses. Now you might point to Google in particular, with Google Maps, the search algorithms, the self driving cars as an example of a company that had to jump some hurdles to come about.

    But most of that is stuff they work on because they have lots of money, and nothing better to do.

    The other companies are classic Bigger Hammers.

    Just saying, why is Thiel an expert on anything?

    Paypal. It's not even interesting like Bitcoin.

    Funny thing is I kind of agree with Douthat on this one. It sure seems to me that Western culture/civilization, whatever you want to call it is running out of steam, a la Spengler (and not the fake one that writes columns for the Financial Times or whatever it is called).

    Exactly.

    I remember sitting around in ’97 or ’98 trying to figure out payments on the internet. It was such an obvious need. If I was doing it, so were about 100,000 other guys, most of them smarter and harder working than me.

    That at the end of the tournament we have a company, PayPal that dominates the market is not surprising.

    That anybody thinks Thiel is something more than just another hard working smart guy is surprising.

    Survivorship Bias. It affects both the winners and losers of these winner takes most tournaments.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    True, but Thiel was a smart guy from before Paypal:

    The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford (Independent Studies in Political Economy) Hardcover – July 1, 1996
    by David O. Sacks (Author), Peter A. Thiel (Author), Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (Foreword)

    http://www.amazon.com/Diversity-Myth-Multiculturalism-Intolerance-Independent/dp/0945999429/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411966846&sr=1-4

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  112. @Mike
    Exactly.

    I remember sitting around in '97 or '98 trying to figure out payments on the internet. It was such an obvious need. If I was doing it, so were about 100,000 other guys, most of them smarter and harder working than me.

    That at the end of the tournament we have a company, PayPal that dominates the market is not surprising.

    That anybody thinks Thiel is something more than just another hard working smart guy is surprising.

    Survivorship Bias. It affects both the winners and losers of these winner takes most tournaments.

    True, but Thiel was a smart guy from before Paypal:

    The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford (Independent Studies in Political Economy) Hardcover – July 1, 1996
    by David O. Sacks (Author), Peter A. Thiel (Author), Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (Foreword)

    http://www.amazon.com/Diversity-Myth-Multiculturalism-Intolerance-Independent/dp/0945999429/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411966846&sr=1-4

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  113. @SFG
    Luke: Brilliant, though evangelical Christians won't like the analogy of God and money, and libertarians won't like the Christianity.

    BTW, were Freud and Gould really *cult leaders*? Freud had an actual discovery (the unconscious) which he took way too far, but the cult came later. I don't think Gould ever set himself up as a cult leader--was Edward Bernays a cult leader? He lied to a lot of people, but he never created a cult of personality.

    The idea that Freud “discovered” the unconscious is cult history. He and Jung just repackaged ideas that were current in the mid to late nineteenth century as detailed in Ellenberger’s “The Discovery of the Unconscious”. Even now when the fever of Freudianism has broken, it is not generally appreciated how mendacious, self interested, and conniving Freud was.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss
    It was only 3 to 4 decades ago that Marx, Einstein and Freud were still being touted as the troika of jewish intellectual triumphalism. Now only Einstein remains. Hard science rules...

    Worth noting that none of the three subscribed to judaism the religion...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  114. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:

    “The idea that Freud “discovered” the unconscious is cult history.”

    Yes, but most people know this.

    “He and Jung just repackaged ideas that were current in the mid to late nineteenth century as detailed in Ellenberger’s “The Discovery of the Unconscious”. ”

    This is where you are wrong. They didn’t just ‘repackage’ it. They re-imagined and re-envisioned it.

    It’s like Eisenstein and Welles didn’t invent editing but they elevated it to whole new level.

    Freud and Jung were incredibly creative and inventive in their theories of the subconscious.
    Scientifically mostly wrong, we know now, but still powerful as literature and modern myth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Leaving Jung aside (I think he was more honest than Freud and I don't know enough about him ) all you are saying is that Freud was a more erudite L.Ron Hubbard. The state of the art of Freud criticism has moved on from Masson's misguided lionizing of the early Freud (After initially believing his patients,Freud betrayed the patients who told him stories of molestation by advocating for the seduction theory that claims these are are fantasies of the patient) to Esterson's revelation that it was Freud who told his patients these stories rather than the reverse , to Scharnberg's credible claim that the patients in question are fictional in the first place. I don't think even now the depths of Freud's mendacity is appreciated. You are arguing he should be accorded the respect due an artist like Lovecraft, but Lovecraft never claimed to be a scientist hence we can appreciate him as a novelist. I think Hubbard is the better analogy. Hubbard only destroyed the lives of relatively few <Freud has much more to answer for.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  115. Bliss says:
    @kaganovitch
    The idea that Freud "discovered" the unconscious is cult history. He and Jung just repackaged ideas that were current in the mid to late nineteenth century as detailed in Ellenberger's "The Discovery of the Unconscious". Even now when the fever of Freudianism has broken, it is not generally appreciated how mendacious, self interested, and conniving Freud was.

    It was only 3 to 4 decades ago that Marx, Einstein and Freud were still being touted as the troika of jewish intellectual triumphalism. Now only Einstein remains. Hard science rules…

    Worth noting that none of the three subscribed to judaism the religion…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Ok, so we can substitute von Neumann and Feynman.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  116. WhatEvvs [AKA "Cookies"] says:
    @Retired
    Thiel has had his 15 minutes. He's Gladwell II, a little smarter but with no wisdom to accompany it.

    Thiel is several billion dollars richer than Gladwell. That gives him an edge in time allotment. In fact, as many as he likes. If he were to lose his money he would turn into an asshole overnight. But I don’t expect that to happen.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  117. WhatEvvs [AKA "Cookies"] says:

    Elizabeth Fox-Genovese was nuts. She and her hubs, Eugene, were Marxist pro-slave, pro-black, then swung into pro-Lost Cause Southernism, but they never relinquished their former beliefs so they kind of became Rainbow Confederate sympathizers. Along the way EFG swung from rad-fem to anti-rad-fem, and got sued by a female grad student for sexual harassment.

    These people live in a wholly imaginary world.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  118. Lurker says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys' software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    Not going to happen.

    Who, whom?

    If the technology was available and ready to go right now and if we had the likes of say Isaac Newton on ice (or even Paul Walker) wouldn’t there be the will to defrost them?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  119. Lurker says:
    @Alcor Member
    "Any society advanced enough for cryogenics is going to be a society that despises old people enough to have no interest in reviving them."

    No, we will probably get reverse-aging tech before successful cryonics revival.

    No, we will probably get reverse-aging tech before successful cryonics revival.

    Exactly. The whole point of cryonics – to outrun the conditions which did for you in the first place.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  120. Lurker says:
    @AnotherDad

    We’re seeing people in the West become enamored with Islam
     
    But which "people in the West"? In the US i see mostly blacks, maybe a few Mexicans, and the tiniest smattering of screwed up white people--the kind who a generation earlier might have been in some cult, maybe Moonies. I see essentially *no* movement of any normal white people to Islam. It's just not very interesting.

    I'm not on-the-ground in Europe. (Haven't been there for any substantial period of time for almost a generation.) But my impression is that white people have no interest in joining Islam, and their cultist behavior is mostly "denial"--pretending it isn't there (in their daily lives, zero association with moslems). If made to notice, pretending that moslems will naturally integrate to the wonders of modern European post-Christian liberalism. And most of all, pretending that their countries aren't being lost.

    I’m on the ground in Europe – you are correct.

    Whites who go Muslim – random alienated nutcases, thugs in prison and finally dim witted white women (maybe not dim witted but addled by the media multicult) who marry Muslims and convert via that route. And then there are blacks who go Muslim – alienated nutcases and prison thugs.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  121. Fozziet says:

    Of course, one mustn’t forget the eldest cult of all…the cult whose existence today is still only spoken of in hushed tones…

    ….Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn…..

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  122. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  123. Bill says:
    @syonredux

    Is it because the Libs are dominated by Eskimos and homos
     
    Eskimos, eh? Well, I suppose that it is marginally better than Scots-Irish. On the hand, I don't quite get the aversion to just saying Jew....

    Eskimos, eh? Well, I suppose that it is marginally better than Scots-Irish. On the hand, I don’t quite get the aversion to just saying Jew….

    Is that because you are posting behind a chain of twelve proxies or because you are retired?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  124. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    True, but Thiel was a smart guy from before Paypal:

    The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford

    Intolerant bastard! And to think, here I was supporting this monster when I bought some car parts off eBay!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  125. “My theory on why Kerry beat Dean and Edwards in 2004 is a lot of people thought some of Kerry’s wife’s $500 million Heinz fortune would get spent. In fact that didn’t happen.”

    This is actually the smart way to go. It’s better to spend other people’s money and not your own, lest you be accused of “buying” the election.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  126. @Steve Sailer
    Kristof doesn't actually say in his column the neighborhood he drove to is sketchy, just that he'd never been there before and it's 15 miles from his home (Scarsdale), and the house looked "creepy."

    Kristof doesn't actually say in his column the neighborhood he drove to is sketchy, just that he'd never been there before and it's 15 miles from his home (Scarsdale), and the house looked "creepy."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-stranger-danger-and-guns.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region

    It's about 15 miles from Scarsdale to Chappaqua, so maybe the man who had his phone was Bill Clinton?

    Thanks. And I overlooked another key point: he doesn’t say the phone was stolen, only that “Earlier this month, my iPhone vanished”. OK, Kristof maybe just forgot his phone at a Starbucks and the guy who had it picked it up as a good samaritan. (I’ve picked up forgotten cell phones at least twice on the commuter rail and, using them to contact the owners, invited them to come pick it up from my house.)

    So considering that the rest of his op-ed is about crazy racist gun-nuts, I guess the point of the opening scene is to reinforce the message that as a white man, he has less to worry about. White privilege again.

    Judging from many of the comments, Kristof was successful in conveying the idea that he took a great and courageous risk (without actually ever out-and-out lying to us).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  127. Bill says:

    On the uncreativity of modern cultists, what’s with Erich von Daniken? Every television show on cable TV is devoted to his lunacy now. There is a whole coterie of bizarre, low-grade con men (each with his own, unique bad hair style) who write books and make TV shows about ancient aliens. What is with that? Is the audience aging Boomers who want to relive the retardation of their youth?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  128. Pat Boyle says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The have-your-head-frozen guys assume that people in the future will care about them enough to pay vast amounts of money to thaw out their heads and reattach them to bodies. Same with the download-your-brain-to-a-computer guys: they assume that future people will constantly pay for systems maintenance on old dead guys' software simulations.

    Not going to happen.

    For example, look how the Ford Foundation is devoted to the ideals and values of Henry Ford.

    I think you’re wrong on several points.

    First of all I knew someone who did this sort of thing. I took a class on gerontology at UC Berkeley from a professor who had frozen the head of his colleague’s daughter who had died in a car crash. He was making the best response he could to an unexpected tragedy. He hadn’t calculated the odds of her being revived.

    Secondly consider all the attention paid nowadays to a Denisovian’s tooth. It’s likely that the scientists of the future will be as fascinated by ancient artifacts and bodies as we are now. Most frozen heads will be lost like Tacitus’ book on Caligula. Those that manage to survive will be rare and pricy. What do you suppose a copy of ‘Caligula’ would bring at Christies? Money isn’t going to be an issue.

    So who would be interested in my head and it’s contents? Probably no one will much care about all the technical knowledge I’ve tried to cram into my noggin. But someone might want to feel what I felt that morning in the barracks when someone was playing their transistor radio too loud and I first heard the ‘Beatles’. I can imagine ‘thought impressions’ from long dead people could become a new art form. People pay a lot of money for what they consider art.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  129. The most successful cult in America, and certainly in Hollywood, is the 12 step cult.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hare Krishna
    AA and NA are the big cults nowadays.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  130. John Howard says: • Website
    @AnotherDad
    There is of course an old method of superseding your mortality--you have kids.

    You have children and pass on your both your genes and your culture--which you work to protect and enhance. This is work that is both incredibly meaningful and intensely rich and rewarding.

    It's not just technological possibility driving transhumanism. It's no real surprise that its precisely when the West has been badgered to death with an ideology of blank slatism and hostile minoritarianism (diversity!, multiculturalism!) where a straightforward desire to pass on your race and culture is treated as significantly more scandalous than say someone admitting they like to bugger men up the ass. that we get this cheesy, narcissistic, utterly empty "transhumanist" quest for immortality.

    Good points… Except I don’t think people ever had a desire to pass on their race or culture, they just did it as part of becoming an adult and doing what they were supposed to do. Even that idea has been scandalized, no one is supposed to marry or procreate just because they are supposed to, they are supposed to want to now, and that has turned reproduction on its head. The only people that think it’s important to want to marry and procreate are people who can’t just do it, ie, single women and gays. They’ve essentially made it scandalous to do what was totally normal, out of spite.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  131. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Bliss
    It was only 3 to 4 decades ago that Marx, Einstein and Freud were still being touted as the troika of jewish intellectual triumphalism. Now only Einstein remains. Hard science rules...

    Worth noting that none of the three subscribed to judaism the religion...

    Ok, so we can substitute von Neumann and Feynman.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  132. D. K. says:

    When I was a PBR (post-baccalaureate registrant) in Psychology, thirty-five years ago, one of the program’s most successful alumni was a failed football player from Detroit, who had taken his B.A. out to the still-Golden State and started his own religion, the Church of Hakeem. He managed to bilk his followers out of something like $20,000,000.00 before his Ponzi pyramid imploded on top of him, courtesy of the federal government.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  133. @Priss Factor
    "The idea that Freud “discovered” the unconscious is cult history."

    Yes, but most people know this.

    "He and Jung just repackaged ideas that were current in the mid to late nineteenth century as detailed in Ellenberger’s “The Discovery of the Unconscious”. "

    This is where you are wrong. They didn't just 'repackage' it. They re-imagined and re-envisioned it.

    It's like Eisenstein and Welles didn't invent editing but they elevated it to whole new level.

    Freud and Jung were incredibly creative and inventive in their theories of the subconscious.
    Scientifically mostly wrong, we know now, but still powerful as literature and modern myth.

    Leaving Jung aside (I think he was more honest than Freud and I don’t know enough about him ) all you are saying is that Freud was a more erudite L.Ron Hubbard. The state of the art of Freud criticism has moved on from Masson’s misguided lionizing of the early Freud (After initially believing his patients,Freud betrayed the patients who told him stories of molestation by advocating for the seduction theory that claims these are are fantasies of the patient) to Esterson’s revelation that it was Freud who told his patients these stories rather than the reverse , to Scharnberg’s credible claim that the patients in question are fictional in the first place. I don’t think even now the depths of Freud’s mendacity is appreciated. You are arguing he should be accorded the respect due an artist like Lovecraft, but Lovecraft never claimed to be a scientist hence we can appreciate him as a novelist. I think Hubbard is the better analogy. Hubbard only destroyed the lives of relatively few <Freud has much more to answer for.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  134. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  135. Mr. Blank says:

    Wow. I might have to try your suggestion, Steve. :)

    I’ve always wondered about how self-aware L. Ron Hubbard — clearly a very sharp guy — was about “starting his own religion.” Did he know it was a con, or did he honestly believe it? Or (as that movie “The Master” seems to suggest) was it a little bit of both?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  136. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I blame the end of the Cold War. Everybody laughs at Francis Fukuyama’s idea of the “end of history” – but everyone believes it anyway. With the crushing of the USSR and Communist parties all over the world, liberal market democracy is the only game in town. People in the USA in particular think that any political idea that actually changes the material world is “totalitarian” – doesn’t matter if it’s Left or Right (in fact, from this POV there’s no real difference). We basically are living in a new Victorian era – just like how the world became boring, stagnant, and repressed after the French Revolution descended into terror, the same thing happened after the Soviet Union.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  137. Boomstick says:

    I suspect cults have been replaced by conspiracy theories. 9/11 Trutherism has the same appeal to those who wish to possess esoteric knowledge as the older cults did–wake up, sheeple!

    Every time there’s an event in which more than ten people die there’s a ready-made conspiracy theory crowd ready to go.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  138. @Hare Krishna
    The most successful cult in America, and certainly in Hollywood, is the 12 step cult.

    AA and NA are the big cults nowadays.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  139. The 12 step cult has spread like wildfire. Probably as a part of what Charles Murray wrote about in Coming Apart, about the increasing abstemiousness and repression of the SWPL elites. Temperance redux

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  140. Twinkie says:

    I would like to posit another possibility for the “cult deficit” that has less to do with any alleged creativity deficit.

    I think cults arose in greater numbers in the past, because young adults were unhappy with the lot of their parents. They felt that the religions of their parents and grandparents trapped them into repressed, unhappy lives, along with other “reactionary” forces in life. They ever so optimistically looked to new things in life – drugs, California, cults, etc.

    I suspect that a large number of young people today do not feel this way about their parents and grandparents and may even feel a nostalgic envy about the security (both economic and social) and the support their parents and grandparents enjoyed at least in part from the religious community they had, along with other communitarian and even paternalistic influences. There is a palpable sense among them that their parents and grandparents had it rather good.

    My mother-in-law told my wife when she was a young adult that it was going to be very difficult for her to replicate the lifestyle her parents provided for her. That turned out to be an inaccurate prediction in her specific case, but was certainly true of many of her peers. For the generations that came of age after my wife and I did, that prediction is probably doubly true.

    I think this is why there is increased popularity of past-oriented, retrospective TV shows and films that, under the disguise of critiquing the less “progressive” past, in fact celebrate it with nostalgic envy.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  141. […] Thiele, and Douthat need not worry. There is no deficit of cults these days, they simply tend to sell themselves in the “science” market rather than the […]

    Read More

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation