​A Cult for All Time

July 26th, 2021

Ed Raymond

fargogadfly@gmail.com

29 July 2021

This Is About the Religious-Rich-QAnon-White Supremacist-Trumplican Cult

There are hundreds of thousands of cults in countries and societies around the world that have played or are playing a role in the formation or disintegration of a group or government. Therefore, the definition of a cult has to be quite broad: A cult is a group of people with extreme dedication to a certain leader or sets of beliefs that are often viewed as odd by others, or is an excessive and misplaced admiration for someone or something, or is something that is popular among a certain segment of society.

It may also be a group of people with a religious, philosophical or cultural identity sometimes viewed as a sect, often existing on the margins of society or exploitative towards its members. There are quite a number of religious cults that may express reverence, religious ceremony, and ritual. There are cults that share esoteric, artistic, or intellectual interests.

There are cults with a dozen or millions of members. One of the smallest cults in the Divided States was the Manson Family, a California commune formed by Charles Manson that committed nine murders in an attempt to start an apocalyptic racial war in 1969. Manson and several members were sentenced to prison for the murders. As a representative of the macabre, violence, and insanity, Manson was sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. His parole hearings always made the daily news. He died in prison in 2017. Charlie’s cult is covered in the book Helter Skelter.

What is the difference between a religion and a cult? Most historians will say it is time and whether the cult has survived its founder and leader for a “respectful time.” Mormonism has been called a cult by many, but founder Joseph Smith was lynched in 1844 and now has over 14 million followers in the world.

The Tennessee Snake Handlers have passed muster as a religion and certainly have passed on thousands of members to the Trump Cult. The founder was a minister who wrapped poisonous snakes around his neck while doing a two-step shuffle dance to religious hymns.

At one time there were at least 125 Pentecostal churches in six Appalachian states that followed these lines in the Bible: “They shall take up serpents; and they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them, they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” There are no records of how many men have died from the bites of timber rattler, copperhead, diamondback, rattle, cottonmouth, and even imported cobra snakes. The Snake Handlers believe the word of God and preach the gospel to send all demons packing while speaking in unknown tongues and curing people of diseases by laying on of hands.

There are no records of women ever tossing snakes to each other, wrapping big diamondbacks around the neck, or drinking poison, but they do provide the music and speak in tongues. In…

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