About the book:
What makes “cults” so intriguing and frightening? What makes them powerful? The reason why so many of us binge Manson documentaries by the dozen and fall down rabbit holes researching suburban moms gone QAnon is because we’re looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to join—and more importantly, stay in—extreme groups. We secretly want to know: could it happen to me? Amanda Montell’s argument is that, on some level, it already has . . .
Our culture tends to provide pretty flimsy answers to questions of cult influence, mostly having to do with vague talk of “brainwashing.” But the true answer has nothing to do with freaky mind-control wizardry or Kool-Aid. In Cultish, Montell argues that the key to manufacturing intense ideology, community, and us/them attitudes all comes down to language. In both positive ways and shadowy ones, cultish language is something we hear—and are influenced by—every single day.
Through juicy storytelling and cutting original research, Montell exposes the verbal elements that make a wide spectrum of communities “cultish,” revealing how they affect followers of groups as notorious as Heaven’s Gate, but also how they pervade our modern start-ups, Peloton leaderboards, and Instagram feeds. Incisive and darkly funny, this enrapturing take on the curious social science of power and belief will make you hear the fanatical language of “cultish” everywhere.
“At times chilling, often funny, and always perceptive and cogent, Cultish is a bracing reminder that the scariest thing about cults is that you don't realize you're in one till it's too late.” — Refinery29.com
Rebel Book Club Events will be Tuesday 25th July.
If you would like to join in, head to our membership page to sign up.
Sign up for our twice-monthly email and be the first to know about our events, membership offers + nonfiction news.
* Not only that, we're gifting Rebel Hacks subscribers a free xigxag audiobook voucher when you sign up for a membership *