By: Lawrence Johnson | December 12, 2022
“Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality.
I know your anger- I know your dreams,
I’ve been everything you want to be-
Oh, I’m the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy, I’m the cult of personality,
The cult of personality, the cult of personality.”
In 1988, those lyrics by American rock band Living Colour were the opening of their biggest selling single to date, “Cult of Personality”. Its cryptic title came from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 anti-Stalin report, “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences.”
Forty years after the song’s release, guitarist and writer Vernon Reid explained its meaning this way: “The whole idea was to move past the duality of: That’s a good person and that’s a bad person. What do the good and the bad have in common? Is there something that unites Gandhi and Mussolini? Why are they who they are? And part of it is charisma.” For many, our Achilles’ heel is that we are drawn to the charismatic qualities of persons or things but are blinded to their detrimental aspects. Based on these principles, cults have and will always exist.
For Pharmaceutical company heiress Melinda Rockwell, her ‘cult’ experience hit home after her daughter Annabella began attending Mount Holyoke College in 2011; a $60,000-a-year all-women’s institution of higher learning. Most of her fellow-first-year attendees assimilated easily to Holyoke’s gender-fluid programs and practices- but not Annabella.
She focused on her studies and buried herself in her courses. It wasn’t long however, when she herself noticed subtle changes in her own behavior. In an interview with the New York Post, Annabelle, now 29, explained how she slowly lost control: “This professor tells me about the patriarchy,” Rockwell said.
“I barely knew what the word meant. I didn’t know what she was talking about. I wasn’t someone that into feminism. I just knew that I felt I had always been free to do what I wanted. I never experienced sexism. But I was told there’s the patriarchy, and you don’t even understand it’s been working against you your whole life. You’ve been oppressed, and you didn’t even know it. Now you have to fight it. And I just went down this deep rabbit hole.”
Deep Seeded Changes
After graduating from the college, Annabella was clearly no longer the same: “I left school very anxious, very nervous, very depressed and sad. I saw everything through the lens of oppression and bias and victimhood. I came to the school as someone who saw everyone equally. I left looking for injustice wherever I could and
automatically assuming that all White men were sexist. My thoughts were no longer my own.”
According to the Post, Melinda believed her daughter had been brainwashed. She also felt that if she pushed Annabella too hard, she might lose her forever. Not knowing what else to do, she took drastic measures to free her daughter from this prison of indoctrination. She decided to use a $300-a-day deprogrammer, and Scott Williams, Rockwell’s former tennis coach, to fight the Svengali-type hold that, “was no different than cults like the “Moonies” and the” Children of God.”
Annabella had no idea how apropos her mom’s comparison of Holyoke was. As a result of the “deprogrammers” methods she is now free and credits her mom’s relentlessness. Melinda learned a lesson just in time that far too many parents learn too late: the desire to control the minds of students is much more sinister, prevalent, and rampant than you think.
A Young Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
The online site, mindingthecampus.org unveils a much more nefarious, surreptitious plot to snare the minds of our children. In addition, it also reveals the broad scope of their ideological attack. “The alliance between the public education establishment and the march of “progressivism” is as natural as anything could be,” states George Leef in his article “A Racially “Woke” Agenda Is Now Hardwired in Public Schools.”
“Public education depends on the power of government: to tax, to build schools and hire teachers and administrators, to compel student attendance, to minimize or even prohibit competition. As the poor quality of many public schools has become increasingly evident over the last several decades, the education establishment has become an utterly slavish ally of the political left. It depends on the coercive fist of government.”
At the same time, the political left has become ever more reliant on the education system (K-12 through college and beyond) to inculcate statist ideas in people. If voters were inclined and able to think through the harmful consequences of “progressive” policies such as minimum wage laws, welfare payments, the Green New Deal, government-run health care, wealth taxes, and so on, they would toss the leftists out of office.
It’s far better for those politicians if as many voters as possible are conditioned to support candidates who mouth clichés about the evils of capitalism, the need for compassionate government, the imperative of transforming America, so it will be a just society, and many others.”
These are the new cults. Contrary to how they appear, there is little daylight in comparison to the ones you’ve heard of from the not-so-distant-past. Today’s cults are just as mesmerizing, and just as deadly. In the examples to come, you will see how the cults of the past hold the keys to avoiding or even escaping those of the present-and the future.
Come back Thursday for Part 2 of this exploration of the modern day cult.