The Cause of Isolation in a Cult and Fake News

Charles Manson, Jonestown cult, Heavens’ Gate cult, Order of the Solar Temple…

Throughout History: Cults have been studied for centuries and there is so much to learn about how they happen, how the members become hopelessly mired in the stickiness of cult and there is so much written about how they all come crashing down sooner or later.

Some even argue that Hitler and Hirohito led cults.

It is an interesting study learning how cults die. More so, it is sad the many lives they take when they die.

Isolationism: What I’m writing about today is the aspect of isolationism in cults, how it happens, what impact it has on the followers, and how to avoid being trapped by it, and mostly, how it’s important to today’s America.

Cults require secrecy to survive. If the followers are constantly alerted to the risks and even the opinions of others, they will question the mistakes of the cult. They will question whether it’s sensible to murder your children and yourself with the same kool-ade or blow yourself up in a crowd.

Cults try to limit exposure to the outside world in order to survive. Sometimes it’s the cult leader who tells the followers to sever ties with friends and families, and sometimes it’s the followers themselves who don’t want to hear how their cult is dangerous.

How to Spot a Cult: This is a fundamental aspect of almost all cults. In fact, if you’re wondering if what you are seeing is a cult, ask yourself, am I discouraged from listening to people from the outside?

Fake News: America’s news industry has lost credibility over the past few decades chasing the glitzy shiny fluff pieces rather than actual researched stories. It’s been “infotainment” for the past 30 years. There is no wonder why people are giving up on them as a news source.

Used Car Salesmen: This lack of credibility in the news industry makes it easy for a politician to discredit actual facts. This is a disaster of the news industry’s own making. But it has been helped along by the demise of the Fairness Doctrine back in the days of Reagan and Clinton. This has also been worsened by the rise of political party propaganda, also a symptom of the missing Fairness Doctrine.

It’s a Cult When: The political followers gladly sever any connection with the non-propaganda news at the suggestion of their leader. This is the point at which a political party becomes a cult. At this point, facts no longer matter, morals (pedophile candidates) no longer matter, the principles of your friends and family no longer matter.

The Solution: Americans need to better recognize when they’re being manipulated. They need to watch for signs like party isolation. This should be something taught by our parents and taught in every school. But, more than anything, America needs a reliable news industry.

Russian Agents and Cyber Warfare

Anyone who even occasionally visits Twitter, is now seeing an avalanche of political posts coming from over seas. Trolls. I’m sure Twitter has enough in-house talent to prevent this but they better get on it.

We, here at JustSayWhy have seen an explosion of comment posts and attacks coming from Russian IP addresses and even more coming from VPN services. This is a real shame since we need to encourage the use of VPN to ensure Internet privacy.

Like Twitter, the VPN companies probably have the talent to stop nefarious activity from their customers, however, this might be a step too far for many who want total freedom to do anything they want and hide their real addresses.

To reduce the criminal behavior from the Russians polluting our discourse with Trump propaganda, JustSayWhy is now blocking all VPN traffic. It’s a shame to discourage a service as valuable as VPN, but we will not play this game.

What this means to you? Probably nothing unless you use a VPN company to hide your real IP address. More than that, though, is you now must be wary of any post and comments on any website you visit as the Russians are coming.

A Major Threat to Democracy

Leaders vs Representatives

I’m pleased to have the opportunity to be part of the JustSayWhy community. I’ve spent time reading through the earlier posts on this blog and have greatly enjoyed the well thought out and imaginative topics.  One theme I find here is the dangerous role Authoritarianism plays in our government.

I recommend all Americans to spend a few moments googling and reading about Authoritarianism. It doesn’t fit neatly into a few sentence description, but here are the aspects affecting governments:

  • Authoritarianism includes both leaders and followers
  • Authoritarianism has a strong leader, such as a father figure, church, politician, or gang leader to mention just a few
  • In Authoritarianism the strong leader rules with complete control and does not allow for dissent, even when they’re wrong or immoral.

But don’t take my word for it. Spend a few minutes reading about it.

So, let’s begin with Democracy. Authoritarian leadership at its pinnacle is a dictatorship. If the power is shared it’s a plutocracy or an aristocracy. None of the known types of authoritarian leaderships give up power without bloodshed. The founding of our country is proof of that.

In fact, America’s founding fathers were stringently non authoritarian. It’s sad that many who use the Bible as an excuse to do awful things have  never read or understood the Bible just like many who profess to love America have forgotten what the constitution says or what it means.

Nowhere in our constitution did our founding fathers use the word leader. Why do you suppose that is? It’s quite obvious in this context. They didn’t want a leader, they wanted representatives of the people. They had their fill of strong leaders (both church and state) and believed that the government should represent the people, not lead it.

Those who are now electing “strong leaders” tarnish the ideals of our founding fathers.

Authoritarian dictatorial regimes have always been brutal. There’s just no other way to say it. Once a “leader” thinks that he is beyond reproach, he becomes corrupted. The strong leader knows he can do no wrong, because that’s exactly what Authoritarian means. If I can do no wrong, I can do anything. Remember, even Hitler couldn’t have come to power without considerable bloodshed. “The Fuhrer can do no wrong.”

“He is right and can do no wrong.” You must admit, that sounds like today’s Trump supporters. This is not what a Democracy looks like.

Authoritarian families made sense in the cave man days. In prehistoric times the world was brutal and failing to respond quickly enough to your father could spell the end for any child. It made sense then, when we were but animals.  But, today is not the same. We can throw off the cave man Authoritarian. Children can and should grow up to question authority and Americans should do so as a civic duty. Authority has to come from the people.

Now that’s we’re civilized, we don’t need to allow our family, churches, or country to be ruled by an abusive authoritarian father. Remember, power corrupts.

Authoritarianism requires followers. Oppressive governments instill in their people that they must follow orders, unconditionally. People in those countries, like children in Authoritarian families seek the safety of the Authoritarian, even if it means pain and suffering. Authoritarian leaders would be nothing if not for the blind followers. Being a blind follower of a strong father figure does harm to both you and to the leader.

Authoritarian followers are easily exploited. Someone who seeks out the safety and dominance of the Authoritarian believes that no matter what, the leader must be right. When going to church, the Authoritarian follower can be told to believe or disbelieve anything, no matter how well proven or dis-proven. Being lied to is a normal occurrence and is not something that evokes the disgust reflex it does in non followers. This is the fundamental ingredient in most abusive relationships and families. “I promise, I’ll stop hitting you or the kids, I’ll quit drinking, I’ll quit cheating.” But they don’t stop, and you, deep inside, knew they were all lies.

Your church or leader/president might tell you that all “fill in the blank” people are evil, murderers, rapists… If you know in your heart that it can’t be so, you force yourself to believe it anyway because, hey, that’s the leader. This in-group against the out-group is what causes hatred, wars, racism, bigotry, and many of the problems this world is seeing today. This is also the tool many Authoritarians use to keep his flock of followers, hatred and fear of the “other.” The sad part is that two equally authoritarian religions opposing each other are completely unable to see how they suffer the same ailment, Authoritarianism.

As stated already, Authoritarian followers are easily manipulated. Bringing up your children to be follower means your children become followers who are easy to manipulate. That’s good for the strong leader, but bad for your children. America’s founding fathers challenged authority and built that right into our constitution. Teach your children to question authority.

Getting back to religion, churches that can go unchecked become evil. If you don’t believe that, just read history books. Unrestrained power always becomes corrupt, churches become evil. Islam is an example. Many Muslims are shedding the Authoritarian version of Islam but those who do not, are the fertilizer from which radicalism is nurtured. Don’t think that this is only a Muslim problem. The same has happened to Christianity many times in the past and we are seeing that in some Christian churches in America, today.

In conclusion, Authoritarianism creates and encourages bullies like abusive fathers, schoolyard bullies, and even presidents. It elevates people to unchecked positions of power, and power corrupts. Worst of all, it makes victims of the followers and the world they live in.

 

Does Trump Love America?

In my entire life I have never seen a politician or even a candidate for any office smearing America like Trump and his followers do.

How did we get to the point where the party that is in control of our government hate it so? Trump fills his cabinet posts with people who are against the purpose of the position.  This isn’t all that new. Reagan was good at filling positions like the Labor positions who were anti-labor and people to the education department who were against public education.

But never  has it been this bad, never in my lifetime. Trump bashes just about everything America from the media to the Democrats (you know, the majority of Americans) to the liberals to the justice department, to the FBI.

How could anyone vote for a party that hates America so much?

Did they really believe that there was going to be any draining of the swamp? I don’t believe so. Many people knew what kind of man Trump was before the election. His rants of “Fake News” and “Grab ’em by the p****” were  obvious clues.

So, the voters who supported Trump (including those who didn’t vote Trump or Hillary) all knew what they were getting but they voted for him anyway, all for the sake of getting entrenched political ideology out of the swamp.

The sad part of all this is many of those Republican voters would do it all over again.

So, you tell me, does the GOP really hate America like it appears or are they just capitalizing on the frustration voters have, not with the country, but with our government?

Recognizing the Tax Cut Shell Game

Pay attention to the tax cut shell game.

This tax plan that the GOP is putting forward contains cuts for almost everyone, according to them. However,  in reality this isn’t quite so. In fact, millions of Americans will see their taxes go up.

But, even for those who will see their taxes go down, this is not really a tax cut. You will have to pay all that money back with interest. How so?

These tax cuts are being paid by increasing our country’s debt. And, who pays the debt? The tax payers. With interest.

So, the GOP is giving you $100 with this hand while taking $110 with the other. This is not a tax cut for you and me.  In the long run, it’s a tax increase just like the increase for the millions I mentioned above.

The worst part of this is the damage that these tax cuts have on the economy. Think back to the previous three major tax cuts.

Bush’s tax cuts ended up causing the crash of 2008. This was the worst crash since Reagan. Before that, Reagan started the trickle down fairy tale  of the 80s and that created the biggest crash since the Great Depression.

Oh, and yes, the Great Depression. That crash was caused by tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy, creating the temporary bubble called the roaring 20s.

So, in a nut shell, the GOP is pretending to give us tax cuts while giving the super wealthy the real tax cut, the whole while risking our economy.

Most of us have been here long enough that these trickle down fantasies never work and cause more harm than good. But, there are still a lot of people who believe the propaganda. We call those people, Republican voters.

In order to prevent the Republican voters from destroying our economy and creating an increase in our taxes, we must get active. Only 20% of the country is still believing the conservative propaganda but they are a very active 20%. It will take every one of the rest of us to get mobilized and call our representatives and put a halt to the big give-away to the super wealthy.