Would You Join A Cult?

I have been watching cult documentaries with fervour. I love them so much and every time I do I always wonder if I could be susceptible enough to join one. I do not think anyone is above joining one by the way.

Now, given that I am not religious, it limits the number of cults that I could join. However I recently I watched Seduced and The Vow about NXIVM which is a cult based on self help/personal growth and new age/empowerment/spiritual rhetoric. Cults are evolving y’all.

But let me not get ahead of myself. What is the definition of a cult? According to dictionary dot com the definition is a variety of things but the basic tenets are that there is an ideology that brings people together, object or person of devotion, existence of rites and ceremonies and then the things that separate it from organised religion – isolating people, requiring loyalty, worship of one specific person among other things (Read this).

I think NXIVM really hit me was because it is a self help organisation. They have the wording of self help and then once you are deep in, it goes off the rails. I mean, they preached productivity, calorie control, gyming and physical activity and also things like you didn’t need 8 hours of sleep. Watching these documentaries was truly something.

And this makes it different in that if you aren’t religious, it is easy to avoid the religious based cults. However we are almost always looking for ways to improve ourselves, to find purpose, to be better, to grow. And this can lead you into a cult.

Especially now as things are tough and statistics are showing we aren’t as religious, we are looking for other ways to escape and find ourselves and community. It could be easy to join a group of people on the path to better yourself and the next thing you know, you are being asked ORDERED to have sex with the leader. Whew.

And you know the thing about these leaders is that when people watch these documentaries you wonder how people would follow them. And I think in underestimating them is one way people fall into the trap. I mean look at Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, Bikram, Gwen Shamblin – all of them. They are truly fascinating.

All this to reiterate that I think we are almost always susceptible to joining a cult. As one of the ladies said “We all want to believe”. And as the cult expert said, the mind is a fragile thing and we are all subject to influence.

Finally let’s remember that capitalism is a cult so we are all participating in one albeit for some of us begrudgingly.

(You know, it’s sad in a way because behind all this, we are looking for meaning and purpose because the truth is, the world as it is doesn’t make sense).

Random Things That Irk Me

When people say they are at brunch but there is no lunch food. If it’s only breakfast food then it’s breakfast. Time doesn’t matter. You are eating breakfast food at almost lunch time.

When Kenyans extol virtues of rich people. I will not be elaborating.

Kenyans who talk about politics of the country at face value without digging deeper into the whys and how’s and even how colonization and capitalism affects us. It all seems like what we have masking as punditry is purely reactions as if to a reality show.

Stores that only have clothes up to a size 16 and call themselves plus size.

People who cross right under a bridge. My inner thoughts always make me want to speed up.

How Nviiri pronounces some words when he sings.

Online Kenyan Adverts

SWVL has the best and worst online adverts. The space ship ones?? Absolutely good. The ones with various celebs? So annoying. Pascal especially is what people should point to when asked how a cheers baba person talks.

The Jiji Matchmaker ones are so cringe. Like I don’t know why there is need to make them have that sexual innuendo vibe. It’s so yikes.

Jury is still out on the Juicy Fruit one (the interview one), it gives me the ick though to be clear.

I have never watched the Copia one until the end because it already irks me in the few seconds I do have to view it.

Bold and Glovo are doing way too much its honestly a turn off.

Strong Opinions

I completely agree that it helps to unfollow celebrities on social media – and even influencers if I am being real. I would even add mental health pages to this list (even temporarily). There is a lot we internalise (that isn’t necessarily helpful) from how much time we spend online consuming other people’s lives and words and opinions and I think telling people to reduce how much time they spend online isn’t as easy as opposed to telling them to curate who they follow.

I was listening to Death, Sex & Money and hearing people say they have children to ease their loneliness is weird to me. Like think about yourself, do you believe/think you are easing, have eased your parent’s loneliness? I think sometimes people think being busy means they aren’t lonely.

I absolutely believe that if we stopped being wowed and glorifying displays of wealth, it would be better for us all. Stop giving and paying attention to these things and people who act like acquiring wealth is what we should aspire to.

Opioids

I was on YouTube watching this

And it made me think about how aggressive Cipladon is marketing itself as a pain killer. I obviously don’t think it is on the level of oxycotin or fentanyl but it is still so weird seeing influencers pushing medicine on social media. Especially given how consumer protection in this country is non existent and how reactive regulators in various sectors are.

It is certainly off-putting to have a non medical profession tell us about medicine that much is true.