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Is Donald Trump a cult leader?
#1
[color=rgba(2, 20, 31, 0.85)]Take It From a Former Moonie: Trump Is a Cult Leader
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ONLY I CAN FIX IT

[color=rgba(2, 20, 31, 0.85)][size=medium][font=Georgia, Times,][color=#6c6c6c][size=medium][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]It might seem an outrageous proposition to compare Donald Trump to a murderous cult leader. And yet there are alarming parallels.

On the afternoon of Nov. 18, 1978, Jim Jones called his followers to the central pavilion of Jonestown, a sprawling outpost in the jungles of Guyana, and ordered them to drink a lethal mixture of cyanide and fruit punch. Over 900 people perished that day, more than a third of them children. As he lay dying of a bullet wound to the head—a less painful way to go than cyanide and one that he probably orchestrated—Jones told his followers that it was “all the media’s fault. Don’t believe them.”    
Those words, uttered so long ago, sound disturbingly familiar as we approach the 41st anniversary of Jonestown. We have a president who regularly disparages and blames the media, calling it “fake,” “false,” and “phony,” and who calls journalists “enemies of the people”—epithets that seem especially frenzied in the wake of the whistleblower complaint and the launching of the House impeachment inquiry. It might seem an outrageous proposition to compare Donald Trump to a murderous cult leader. And yet there are alarming parallels. Like Jones and other cult leaders, Trump exhibits features of what psychologist Erich Fromm called “malignant narcissism”—bombastic grandiosity, a bottomless need for praise, lack of empathy, pathological lying, apparent sadism, and paranoia. In short, he fits the stereotypical psychological profile of a cult leader.

I have seen that profile up close. Over 40 years ago, while a junior in college, I was recruited into a destructive mind control cult, the Unification Church, popularly known as the Moonies after its leader, Sun Myung Moon. I rose rapidly through the ranks and was invited to attend meetings with Moon and his top aides, where we knelt and bowed to our leader Moon. Two years later, after three days straight of leading a fundraising team—selling flowers on street corners—I fell asleep at the wheel and woke up as I plowed into the back of an 18 wheeler. Fortunately, I survived. My family hired deprogrammers and, after five days, I realized I had been brainwashed.

Of all these tactics, the “us versus them” mindset is probably one of  the most effective. From the moment you are recruited into a cult, you are made to feel special, part of an “inside” group in opposition to unenlightened, unbelieving, dangerous “outsiders.” Playing on ancient human tribal tendencies, cult leaders extend this “us versus them” mindset outwards to an almost cosmic struggle.

Many campaigns—political, military, athletic—pivot around the idea of conflict between parties. Even in literature there is a hero and a villain. But cults take this human habit of viewing the world in binary terms and infuse it with a kind of all consuming passion, which they reinforce in the minds of followers using cliches, platitudes, lies, and endless repetitions. You come to believe that you are superior to the rest of the world. In fact, everyone who is not in the group is, at some level, in the words of the eminent psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, dispensable.
“As did LaRouche, Moon, and Jones, Trump sees a world teeming with enemies.”

In the Moonies, we were told that we were heavenly soldiers engaged in a great struggle to take the world back from the forces of Satan, which included godless Communism and human-centered Western democracy. Our ultimate goal was to replace these godless human-centered forms of government with a god-centered theocracy, under Moon’s leadership. 

Jones, a self-professed Marxist, told his followers—who were often poor, black, and disenfranchised—that the enemy was racism, capitalism, and the American government. He took his followers to the wilds of Guyana to escape the clutches of the U.S. government, which was evil and out to get him.

For Hubbard, the enemy was psychiatrists and governments, and also non-Scientologists. He used a racist term to describe the latter—wogs—and essentially argued that they were inferior to true believers. For LaRouche, it was a global conspiracy consisting of the Queen of England, Wall Street, Jews, and various intelligence agencies, such as the CIA. He and his followers wanted to defeat this evil cabal that was destroying the world, which only LaRouche could save.

Trump paints his enemies with a much broader brush. At rallies, he bounds on stage and tell his audiences how special they are—“I love you Indiana”—but it soon becomes clear that he has no “love” for anyone but Trump supporters. During his 2016 campaign, he would single out members of the audience—and even journalists—who he perceived as hostile and eject them, often to deafening cheers from his supporters. Shunning, humiliation, and ostracism are common methods for demonstrating who counts as “us,” and what needs to be done about “them.”

[url=https://www.thedailybeast.com/take-it-from-a-former-moonie-trump-is-a-cult-leader]https://www.thedailybeast.com/take-it-from-a-former-moonie-trump-is-a-cult-leader
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#2
Trump is a cult leader and a fascist. And he has a 40% loyal following of cult believers.

Jason Stanley appeared on Amanpour and Company yesterday and outlined how the USA is becoming a fascist country as part of a larger world trend that includes such leaders as Bolsonaro, Modi, Putin, Orban, Duterte and so on. It's getting to be a long list, and many have been voted in democratically. Today Erdogen celebrated with older people in Turkey the restoration of the museum at Hagia Sophia to the status of a state-imposed religion in its right-wing culture war and its imposed fascist state, democratically elected by a deceived Turkish public by a small margin and facilitated by repression and demonizing.

The traits of fascism are focused on power, loyalty, demonization of "the other" (often defined as another race, nationality, ethnic group, religion, etc.), corruption of democracy, creation of chaos for political purposes, and loyalty to the leader rather than the interests of the people. Everything is defined in terms of the threats of the enemy, and a strongman is needed to represent "us" and protect us from the enemy. This is cultism, entertainment, reality show, and constant war as in 1984 against the enemy.

https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/amanpo...us-q8l4ww/





We like to pick on our favorite "American" Trumpist here, Classic Xer, and he obliges us with his posts that live up to our stereotype. I think he is a perfect representation of the trend toward fascism in the USA. "Fascism" can be an extreme label to pin on people to create polarization, but it can also be an accurate one. According to Classic Xer, the enemy is those who are not "American." But he does not define this term, and I conclude that what it refers to is opposition to criticism of the country. We have seen that since the sixties when critics of the Vietnam War were told to love it or leave it, and George Wallace ran against the critics screaming "stand up for America" across the country. Now we have a president who offered to "make America great again" and put "America First."

Trump has proceeded to routinely fire anyone in his administration who was not loyal enough to him and/or did not carry out policies of enabling corrupt business authority to abuse their power without the oversight that administrations provided through their agencies. Trump has stoked fears, prejudice and hatred of non-Americans, setting up concentration camps on the border, and now is bringing these security forces to cities run by "left-wing Democrats" in order to put down protests in the name of restoring law and order.

Jason Stanley points out that this invasion by unidentified security forces of our cities is not protecting law and order, but creating lawlessness. When police are shooting poor blacks on the street, that is not law and order, it is lawlessness and chaos. When new institutions set up to protect the state from enemies are used to demonize immigrants and repress protesters, this is lawlessness, not law and order.

Our USA has become a backward, helpless giant full of problems. We are loaded with an out-of-proportion prison population. Our health care system is the most expensive and least effective in the world. Our rate of infant mortality is worse than other developed countries. We have a culture of gun obsession that makes our country by far the leader in gun violence and crime among developed nations. We have systemic racism, racial profiling and police brutality. We are the country that most contributes to climate change. Inequality of opportunity has become instituted. Our democracy itself faces threats such as voter suppression and money domination. We have a dominant political philosophy of trickle-down Reaganomics that entirely handcuffs the effectiveness of our government to handle and implement solutions and challenge the power of those who abuse the people. Our current government is merely a group of loyalists to the fake president.

The Classic Xer types reply to this necessary critique and its call for solutions by labeling it un-American. Those who voice these concerns are called the "liberal culture" that is the enemy of "the American culture." This indicates that Classic Xer, and those like him, are fascists, because this "American culture" is simply the defense of the country as it is and opposition to those who criticize "America." "America" is the authority who must be protected against its "enemies" who criticize it. The "enemies" are anyone who voices dissent, who seeks solutions and who wants to advance our country forward. Classic Xer offers no other definition of this "American culture" except this repression of dissent and defense against "the other." The "other" is a combo of lazy welfare recipients, immigrants, non-whites and well-educated liberals.

I must admit that I also think the Republican Party as it exists today is illegitimate. But I want a truly democratic government and a new set of political parties rather than a monolithic Democratic Party to emerge from our 4T crisis that we are now in the middle of.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#3
(07-24-2020, 07:38 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Trump is a cult leader and a fascist. And he has a 40% loyal following of cult believers.

Jason Stanley appeared on Amanpour and Company yesterday and outlined how the USA is becoming a fascist country as part of a larger world trend that includes such leaders as Bolsonaro, Modi, Putin, Orban, Duterte and so on. It's getting to be a long list, and many have been voted in democratically. Today Erdogen celebrated with older people in Turkey the restoration of the museum at Hagia Sophia to the status of a state-imposed religion in its right-wing culture war and its imposed fascist state, democratically elected by a deceived Turkish public by a small margin and facilitated by repression and demonizing.

The traits of fascism are focused on power, loyalty, demonization of "the other" (often defined as another race, nationality, ethnic group, religion, etc.), corruption of democracy, creation of chaos for political purposes, and loyalty to the leader rather than the interests of the people. Everything is defined in terms of the threats of the enemy, and a strongman is needed to represent "us" and protect us from the enemy. This is cultism, entertainment, reality show, and constant war as in 1984 against the enemy.

https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/amanpo...us-q8l4ww/





We like to pick on our favorite "American" Trumpist here, Classic Xer, and he obliges us with his posts that live up to our stereotype. I think he is a perfect representation of the trend toward fascism in the USA. "Fascism" can be an extreme label to pin on people to create polarization, but it can also be an accurate one. According to Classic Xer, the enemy is those who are not "American." But he does not define this term, and I conclude that what it refers to is opposition to criticism of the country. We have seen that since the sixties when critics of the Vietnam War were told to love it or leave it, and George Wallace ran against the critics screaming "stand up for America" across the country. Now we have a president who offered to "make America great again" and put "America First."

I ordinarily challenge Classic X'er with the question, when he tries to claim that there is one set of ideological beliefs that define one as American and that everything else is not American... "What does it mean to be American?" So far as I can tell, he has not yet said what "American" means.   


Quote:Trump has proceeded to routinely fire anyone in his administration who was not loyal enough to him and/or did not carry out policies of enabling corrupt business authority to abuse their power without the oversight that administrations provided through their agencies. Trump has stoked fears, prejudice and hatred of non-Americans, setting up concentration camps on the border, and now is bringing these security forces to cities run by "left-wing Democrats" in order to put down protests in the name of restoring law and order.

Jason Stanley recognizes the similarity between mob bosses and dictators. Competence does not matter, and obedience is everything. Bad leaders depend heavily upon fear, without which they are helpless. Good leaders develop consensus among people who can get things done and get desirable results for people other than themselves. There's nothing subtle about Mafia style.
   


Quote:Jason Stanley points out that this invasion by unidentified security forces of our cities is not protecting law and order, but creating lawlessness. When police are shooting poor blacks on the street, that is not law and order, it is lawlessness and chaos. When new institutions set up to protect the state from enemies are used to demonize immigrants and repress protesters, this is lawlessness, not law and order.


Of course it is the chaos that a dictator uses as a pretext for a complete clampdown to bring genuine safety. 


Quote:Our USA has become a backward, helpless giant full of problems. We are loaded with an out-of-proportion prison population. Our health care system is the most expensive and least effective in the world. Our rate of infant mortality is worse than other developed countries. We have a culture of gun obsession that makes our country by far the leader in gun violence and crime among developed nations. We have systemic racism, racial profiling and police brutality. We are the country that most contributes to climate change. Inequality of opportunity has become instituted. Our democracy itself faces threats such as voter suppression and money domination. We have a dominant political philosophy of trickle-down Reaganomics that entirely handcuffs the effectiveness of our government to handle and implement solutions and challenge the power of those who abuse the people. Our current government is merely a group of loyalists to the fake president.

When Trump is gone, will such remain so?

OK, the economic elite uses poverty as a tool to ensure that wages be low and that workers be in abject fear. Is that necessary for economic success for us all or can we have something else?


Quote:The Classic Xer types reply to this necessary critique and its call for solutions by labeling it un-American. Those who voice these concerns are called the "liberal culture" that is the enemy of "the American culture." This indicates that Classic Xer, and those like him, are fascists, because this "American culture" is simply the defense of the country as it is and opposition to those who criticize "America." "America" is the authority who must be protected against its "enemies" who criticize it. The "enemies" are anyone who voices dissent, who seeks solutions and who wants to advance our country forward. Classic Xer offers no other definition of this "American culture" except this repression of dissent and defense against "the other." The "other" is a combo of lazy welfare recipients, immigrants, non-whites and well-educated liberals.

We liberals have been around for a long time, and we will be around long after Donald Trump. Sometimes it takes a critic to improve us. It would be a bad music teacher who allowed us to play music out of tune or to play wrong notes without correcting us. Trump has done things that 43 other Presidents (that's to avoid counting Cleveland twice) have never done not for a lack of imagination but instead out of contempt for old decencies in American life. 

Quote:I must admit that I also think the Republican Party as it exists today is illegitimate. But I want a truly democratic government and a new set of political parties rather than a monolithic Democratic Party to emerge from our 4T crisis that we are now in the middle of.


What happened when the Federalists died? The big-tent Democratic Party split because it was too unwieldy. What happened when the Whigs disintegrated? A few years later the Republican (Free Soil) Party formed. 

Maybe we end up splitting between Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. Maybe we end up with a political system with a structure more like that of Germany than like what we now have.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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