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From Rick Ross's Cult Education Institute -- Getting Started: See also the fascinating Objectivist Living topic, "Secret Objectivist Cult," a funny and intriguing thread started by Dear Leader seven years ago: I am a big fan of Tony Ortega's blog The Underground Bunker. Tony is former editor of the Village Voice, where he began his decade-long examination of Scientology. Some readers here may have seen him on various episodes of the Leah Remini cable series "Scientology and the Aftermath. Tony had a 'public service' announcement in an awful GQ article that dared to compare Trumpism to a cult ... It seems to me, rightly or wrongly, that the word cult gets flung around with wild abandon at the best of times. My first immersion into "cult studies" came in the mid-nineties, when a couple of trends in psychotherapy met and melded with moral panic into a belief that an intergenerational and international "Satanic Ritual Abuse" cult was stalking children and adults (sound familiar?). One of the many astute chroniclers of this time was Frederick Crews, whose "The Memory Wars" still stands out above the rest. I note in passing his most recent book, a stunning tour de force in my opinion. See Freud: The Making of an Illusion. I have mentioned his work a couple of times here on OL. He is the author of a book review just out, published at the online site of Skeptic Magazine, which is -- to say the least -- becoming massively controversial. See this critical blog entry to grasp the contours of the controversy. In a nutshell, the book reviewed suggests that Jerry Sandusky may be innocent ... Anyway, back to the main subject, cult warning signs, and what to do or say and how to behave if you suspect someone is trapped in cult-thinking or a 'High Demand Group.' Here's another PSA: -- finally (save for edits), what compelled me to post this rambling topic. NB: I have never, ever used the word "shithole" on Objectivist Living, to the best of my memory (which unfortunately, may not approach the 'best memory' of the US President). I much prefer "socialist hellhole."