USA vs USA: The Armageddon Cult

For almost two years I’ve been watching the news as people bash the current administration and more specifically the president. I’ve seen something I think is worth mentioning. The left-wing press and pundits rail against statements the administration makes - trying to make sense of ‘The Madness’. Using logic and reason, they try to debate and debunk arguments, propositions and statements made by the current administration. But alas… It’s pointless. Their intellectual prowess is met with denial, lying and obfuscation.

I want to draw a comparison that might be helpful. As has been stated by a number of experts in the field of Cult Awareness and casual observers (see further reading at end of this blog), the administration seems to operate somewhat like a cult.

In her book Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic CultsJanja Lalich says...

Cults are frequently totalistic and separatist. Some cults are totalistic when they are exclusive in their ideology (sacred, the only way) and impose upon their members systems of social control that are confining and all-inclusive (encompassing all aspects of life). Some cults are separatist when they promote withdrawal from the larger society.

People in such cults tend to:

  • Espouse an all-encompassing belief system

  • Exhibit excessive devotion to and dependency on their “perfect” leader

  • Avoid criticism of the group, its leader(s), and its practices

  • Have an attitude of disdain for non-members

Given my experiences in life so far, I consider myself well-seasoned when it comes to my exposure to cults. Why the analogy to cults? Because talking to a Cult Member about their belief system and attempting an objective, reality-based discussion, rarely works. In fact, it may leave you exasperated and confused. No matter how much logic and reason you employ, they are listening to the beat of a HOLY drum, one which drowns out your words and ideas. Nothing you say makes any difference. You might as well be in two different universes.

Recently I picked up Jeff Sharlet’s book: 

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The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power

The book is described as: 'A journalist's penetrating look at the untold story of christian fundamentalism's most elite organization, a self-described invisible network dedicated to a religion of power for the powerful.'

They are the Family—fundamentalism's avant-garde, waging spiritual war in the halls of American power and around the globe. They consider themselves the new chosen—congressmen, generals, and foreign dictators who meet in confidential cells, to pray and plan for a "leadership led by God," to be won not by force but through "quiet diplomacy." Their base is a leafy estate overlooking the Potomac in Arlington, Virginia, and Jeff Sharlet is the only journalist to have reported from inside its walls. - Harper Collins

I confess I have not yet finished the entire book, but thus far I can say it makes for absolutely fascinating and terrifying reading. You see, something has been gnawing at me for almost two years now. What are all the pundits, intellectuals, scholars and opinionistas missing? Well, they are trying to have a RATIONAL conversation. But, have failed to realize that what we are dealing with in the USA is… an ARMAGEDDON CULT.

We are in the middle of a HOLY WAR.

Many decisions currently being made in our government are for a future mystical event: The Second Coming. The great prize is for Jesus to return. When does that happen? After Armaggedon. The end times MUST happen for RESURRECTION to occur. We are dealing with the equivalent of cult members, who’s eyes are fixed on a distorted ‘heaven’… not on the irrelevant affairs of us mortal women and men.

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All this concern about the environment, children in cages, a leaders sexual escapades, collusion, theft on a grand scale…?

None of it matters!

There MUST be destruction before the rebirth. Their moral compass is aligned to a PROPHECY. Anything that will bring about the Second Coming is GOOD. Even if the sky is filled with soot, the children are dying, the poor are starving… what comes AFTER is most important. And, lying and deception are not a problem either! (See my blog on Heavenly Deception)

As a filmmaker friend of mine (Albert Lopez - who is making a film about his own experiences growing up in a cult-like church) said to me recently:

"Yes Mark. We are in a Death Cult. No-one wants to recognize it. But that’s what we are dealing with."

I myself was raised at first in the NGK (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk - Dutch Reformed Church) so I learned the fire and brimstone prophecy of the end times - early in my life. Believe me, it’s some scary shit.

We currently have policy makers in power who think like zealots… and while we are all thunderstruck at their apparent lack of empathy or ecological thinking, we have missed the point! They want, more than anything, to bring about the end times… and bask in the glory of the Second Coming! Nothing else is more important!

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So. What’s to be done? Well, I think it may be valuable for us all to really grock their perspective. To them, the prophecy of the mystical second coming is more important than THIS life we are currently worried about.

Every time the press tries to have a valid discussion about crazy, delusional, cult-like behavior, it normalizes ‘the crazy’. The pundits’ attempt to find logic and reason in response to fanatical rantings makes ‘the crazy’ seem like a plausible thing to debate. We’re dealing with people who believe in a vengeful imaginary friend and want to bring about the end of the world as we know it. '“On earth as it is in heaven”.

If the pundits are going to challenge this insane rhetoric, it’s good to know WHAT the battle is. We may all think we’re fighting a war of reason… we’re not. It’s a HOLY war. A kind of Jihad. While there are so many forces at play in the political landscape, there is this hidden yet ever-present threat to open-mindedness, evidence-based decision-making and democracy. It’s the Cult of Armageddon.

Powerful fanatics… focused on the glory of the rapture.

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Further Reading:

The Christian Right and the Rise of American Fascism

What makes a Cult?

As a former member of an American cult, I know why so many white Christian women fervently support Trump

Televangelists are telling their followers the President is Divine

It’s Time to Start Calling Evangelicals What They Are: The American Taliban

A distorted brand of evangelical Christianity created our political crisis, and it's time for revival

The Cult of Trump

And… the obligatory disclaimers.

  • No, I’m not talking about ALL of Christianity.

  • No, not everyone in the administration thinks this way.

  • Yes I agree, belief in something you can’t see doesn’t automatically qualify it as nefarious.

  • Yes, I have a bone to pick with religions and groups that abuse.