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Cultish : the language of fanaticism de…

Cultish : the language of fanaticism (edição: 2021)

de Amanda Montell

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1044208,100 (3.75)1
Título:Cultish : the language of fanaticism
Autores:Amanda Montell
Informação:New York, NY : Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2021]
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Para ler

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Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism de Amanda Montell


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Cultish- The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell is a 2021 Harper Wave Publication.

I have not read, ‘Wordslut’, so this is my first experience with Amanda Montell. As a person with a genuine concern, and curiosity, about cults, how they operate, and what draws people to them, this book was a no -brainer for me.

It did not surprise me one bit that language is a foundation upon which cults are built. In order to understand how the cult gains its momentum, one must look at the language employed to lure people into making a dedicated commitment to whatever activity, group, organization, or religion is being promoted.

Today, the word 'cult' is used in a variety of ways, and it doesn't necessarily conjure up a sinister connotation- Like 'cult' movies, for example.

I grew up in an age of cults-and the word was not tossed about so glibly. Cults got lots of press, for good reason, and it was serious stuff.

It's a phenomenon, under any guise, that never ceases to amaze me. A con man- like Charles Manson could convince people to commit murder, Jim Jones could coax, ( or force), people into drinking poison.

Now, though, as religion has diminished in our country, instead, of the usual cult behavior centered around a religious-like belief system, no matter how fundamental or far-fetched- that same cult-ish language is showing up in other places- like in exercise and fitness groups, online influencers, and QAnon, for example.

Other than language, the biggest lure is being a part of a group or filling a need for a sense of belonging. It’s also on some level a desire to better oneself – spiritually, intellectually, and physically.

Nxivm started out as a self-help group. Synanon started out as a drug rehab program. Today’s ‘wellness’ gurus and influencers zero in health and well-being.

People who ‘follow’ and participate in the rituals of these groups, teams, or clubs- spout off a specific jargon unique to them, they wear the clothes, eat the food, and adhere to rigid rules- all without realizing, in the moment, they are exhibiting the same cult-ish loyalty as those fanatical religious cults in the seventies.

This book makes a strong case for the way people fall into these patterns, how language plays a role, and the way the cult-ish vernacular has invaded seemingly innocuous groups or organizations- and are often heard in motivational or marketing speeches, in our everyday world.

While, in the past, we have often dismissed cult members as having been brainwashed- the author cautions against thinking in those terms. While I can see her point, I still think people can be mentally conditioned over time.

It’s a fascinating book, and certainly gives one pause. I still think people are searching for something – but are looking in the wrong places for it. I did learn about some disturbing behaviors I had not heard of and took into consideration some phrases we toss about that are offensive, if you think about it.

The author has recommended some further reading as well- so I’m off to look for Tara Isabella Burton’s ‘Strange Rites’- so stay tuned…

Meanwhile, I'll stick to self motivation- on my elliptical- at home- no instructor needed- and nothing cult-ish about it.

4 stars ( )
  gpangel | Sep 4, 2021 |
This book feels disorganized, uneven, superficial, and too pop-science for me. The author is way too hung up her own superiority and Trump-hate. (Seriously, I'm so tired of Trump. Why is it so damn hard to find books about current events or any type of social theory that does not constantly discuss Trump?) It also gets too much into general social philosophies that seem to overshoot the topic. ( )
  Aug3Zimm | Aug 8, 2021 |
This was a fascinating listen about the role of language and how its use can affect people so much that they may be part of a cult or just a “cultish” group. I’ve learned that apparently I’m way too grumpy to ever be taken in by a cult which is kind of hilarious and accurate as my BS detector and distrust level is sky high. ( )
  spinsterrevival | Aug 5, 2021 |
A pretty interesting, if a bit superficial, look at the language used by organizations you can call cult-adjacent and what it has in common with lexicon you can encounter in the actual cults.

I think a layman will take a lot more from this one than I did. Since I’m a linguist obsessed with cults I already knew a lot of the information covered here, but I did find the chapters about work-out “cults” and MLMs really enlightening.

The writing is fresh and breezy, and really reminds me of artificial candidness of fashion magazines, which is understandable, considering Montell’s writing roots.

Overall, I had fun, but didn’t learn that much. ( )
  tetiana.90 | Jun 22, 2021 |
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