This past week, at the very time multiple reports show that our country’s high priest of “scientism” — his eminence, the grand and glorious Dr. Anthony Fauci — has been lying to us about everything from the effectiveness of his monastic lockdowns to the side effects of his sacramental vaccines, the “Branch Covidians” took to the airways to call anyone who dares challenge their false religion and its venerated spiritual leader, cultists.
Consider exhibit A: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, cohosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe Show.”
On Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, Mr. Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski, who clearly fancy themselves our betters, had this to say about the Canadian truck drivers who have gathered by the thousands to protest their child-king Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s draconian mandates:
“They [the truckers and all normal working-class people who support them] are enemies to themselves. … They’ve become what they hated because they’re so put upon for being asked to do what they’ve been asked to do — required to do — their entire lives. It’s a cult.”
Now, if Mr. Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski had even a high school-level understanding as to what a cult truly is, they would recognize that the brainwashed villain they’re mocking is not staring at them out the window of an 18-wheeler in Montreal but, rather, it is looking back at them from their own mirror.
The International Cultic Studies Association has this to say about what defines a cult:
A cult is comprised of members and supporters who are not fully aware of the extent to which they have been exploited.
A cult is characterized by an excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to a specific leader.
A cult is preoccupied with bringing in new converts into its ranks and disparages those who remain on the outside.
Cults discourage and even punish questions and dissent. They use mind-numbing techniques such as denunciation to suppress doubts. Cults dictate how members should think, act and feel. Adherents must get permission and direction on how to engage in daily life. Matters as mundane as what to wear, where to shop and when to work are subject to leadership approval.
Cultists are elitists, claiming an exalted status for themselves and their leaders. They claim to have a special mission to save humanity. They have a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the broader society.
Cult leaders refuse to be held accountable. Instead, they teach that their ends justify their means and promote values and behaviors that even they would have considered unethical before joining the group.
Cults use guilt as a means of control. The subservience of cult members to the group and its leader causes them to cut ties with family and friends. Cult members are encouraged or required to socialize only with other group members.
Before Mr. Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski go much further down this road of castigating all of us heartland rubes who dare question their insight, they might want to read this definition again:
“Excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to a specific leader.”
“Punishes questions, doubt and dissent.”
“Disparages those on the outside.”
“Dictates how members should think, act and feel.”
“Tells people how to engage in their jobs and even what to wear.”
“Claims elite status for leaders and themselves.”
“Has a special mission to save humanity.”
“Has a polarized us-versus-them mentality,”
“Attempts to induce guilt feelings in members in order to control them.”
“Requires members to socialize only within the group at the risk of alienating family and friends.”
“Comprised of members and supporters who are not fully aware of the extent to which they have been co-opted, brainwashed and exploited.”
Oh, and while they’re at it, these smart folks at MSNBC might want to crack open an old freshman psychology textbook and look up the definition of “projection” and is corollary axiom about the pot calling the kettle black:
“People tend to project because they have a trait or desire that is too difficult to acknowledge. Rather than confronting it, they cast it onto someone else. This functions to preserve their self-esteem, making difficult emotions more tolerable. It’s easier to attack or witness wrongdoing in another person than confront that possibility in one’s own behavior. How a person acts toward the target of projection might reflect how they really feel about themselves” (Psychology Today, 2022).
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery) and, most recently, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good.”
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.