Most people believe cult members are mentally unbalanced or are misfits who live in remote places, like the doomed devotees of Jim Jones and David Koresh; or various far-left cult members, including “Climate Change” activists, “Black Lives Matter,” “ANTIFA,” and some “World Peace” organizations that are calling for cease-fire in Gaza.

We take comfort in the fact that the influences of cults are far removed from our everyday lives. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In her book, “Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in our Everyday Lives (1995),” Margaret Thaler Singer outlined several key categories of cults and their followers. Here are some excerpts from her book, with my editorial comments:

“Today, nearly 20 million people have joined about 5,000 cults in the United States,” Singer writes. “Often a cult is disguised as a legitimate organization, and anyone, especially our young, could be susceptible to the covert and seductive nature of a cult. During periods of traumatic life changes, people are especially vulnerable to these masterful manipulations.”

In this closed system of logic, one is not allowed to question or doubt a tenet, or rule, or call attention to factual information that suggests some internal contradiction within the belief system, or a contradiction with what one has been.

It is imperative, therefore, to prevent the spread of cults’ influence the way our society prevents the spread of racism, neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination of minorities. In order to prevent the spread of cults’ influence, one has to clearly understand the characteristics cults have in common. What are cults? Who are the people most likely to join cults?

“There are several major types of cults in the United States: (1) Neo-Christian religious; (2) Hindu and Eastern religious: (3) Witchcraft and Satanist; (4) Spiritualist: (5) Zen philosophical-mystical orientation; (6) Racial orientation; (7) Flying-saucer phenomena orientation; (8) Political,” Singer notes.

More recently, we could add (9) Climate Change; and (10) Black Lives Matter.

“The label cult refers to 3 factors: (1) The origin of the group and role of the leader; (2) The power structure or relationship between the leader and the followers; (3) The use of a coordinated program of brainwashing,” Singer explains.

Add to that: (4) Indoctrination of our youth by far-left social activists, media and radical educators in our public schools and universities.

As a rule, cult leaders claim to be breaking with a tradition, offering something novel, and instituting the only “viable” system for change that will solve life’s problem or the world’s challenges — e.g., advocating for neo-Marxist ideology, White Privilege doctrine, Critical Race Theory, Black Lives Matter standings and, most recently, anti-Semitic pro-Palestinian movement.

Singer points out, “Cults tend to require members to undergo a major disruption or change in lifestyle. Many cults put great pressure on their members to leave their families, friends, and jobs to become immersed in the group’s major purpose. In this closed system of logic, one is not allowed to question or doubt a tenet, or rule, or call attention to factual information that suggests some internal contradiction within the belief system, or a contradiction with what one has been.”

This very much resembles a totalitarian regime, with a brutal dictator and an “inquisition-type” of justice system in charge of the masses – similar to the Soviet socialist-style of governing.

Far-left “Climate Change” activism is, historically, one of the most recent cult-type movements. Indeed, it is a political instrument of the radical groups and progressive social activists who are attempting to create widespread fear by manipulating and exaggerating environmental data.

Most professional prehistoric archaeologists or paleo-environmentalists are aware and able to identify cyclical cooling and warming periods, and environmental changes that took place on Earth for millions of years prior to the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries (from about 1740s to 1860s AD).

Ironically, it seems that Juneau and Anchorage have suffered from climate change for several weeks this winter. In fact, this year (2024) Juneau just broke the record for snowiest January ever with more than 76 inches of snow.

These days, far-left Climate Change activists attribute any “unusual” weather event – whether it is unusually wet or dry, hot or cold, snow or wind – to global climate change. To these cultic activists, “unusual” simply means anything more uncomfortable than the average.

Certainly, the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and belief to all citizens. But parents have a right to teach children their own philosophical and/or spiritual path. Our educational and legal system should recognize this and not subject children to any form of intense indoctrination or brainwashing by the far-left progressive educators in our public schools. Nor should minors have to live in an environment which manipulates their choices and desires.

I encourage our educators to objectively and impartially discuss the subject of cults in school. Furthermore, our legal and political authorities must recognize the dangerous effects of a cult’s environment and the far-left woke ideology upon the development of our youth.

These movements are more pervasive than ever before. Covert far-left political groups are targeting the elderly, young, family, and the workplace world-wide, including our own country.

Be alert, anyone can become a victim of a far-left cult.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

WARNING: Anyone can become the victim of a far-left cult

Alexander Dolitsky
The writer was raised in the former Soviet Union before settling in the U.S. in 1978. He moved to Juneau in 1986 where he has taught Russian studies at the University of Alaska, Southeast. He is now director of the Alaska-Siberia Research Center and has published extensively in the fields of anthropology, history, archaeology, and ethnography.


  • Lucinda says:

    Hello Trump cultists! Check this out: “Steven Hassan, another former cult member (also a Moonie), published his book The Cult of Trump in 2019, … Hassan told me that the MAGA movement checks all the boxes of his “BITE” model of cult mind control—behavior, information, thought, and emotional control. Like all cult leaders, he argues, Trump restricts the information his followers are allowed to accept; demands purity of belief (beliefs that can change from moment to moment, as per his whims and needs); and appeals to his followers through the conjuring of primal emotions—not just fear but also joy.

    His rallies, as so many have reported, are ecstatic events; people cheer and laugh as their various enemies are condemned and insulted. Hassan will be the first to tell you that being part of a cult means you’re empowered, special, one of the elect, close to the person who has all the answers/will lead us to paradise/will “make America great again.” That, in fact, may be the greatest disincentive to turn away from Trump: Nothing is more fun than knowing that you and your friends are the ones who are right about everything.” – The Atlantic

  • Joel says:

    “In this closed system of logic, one is not allowed to question or doubt a tenet, or rule, or call attention to factual information that suggests some internal contradiction within the belief system, or a contradiction with what one has been.”
    Sounds a lot like Christianity

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Please tell me all you know about Christianity!!!!!

      • Joel says:

        If I were to tell all I know of Christianity and it’s many internal inconsistencies and intolerance for any doubt or questioning it would take far too long. A great place to start though is the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, another shining example of Christian love for their fellow human.

      • Joel says:

        If I were to tell all I know of Christianity and it’s many internal inconsistencies and intolerance for any doubt or questioning it would take far too long. A great place to start though is St. Bartholomew’s Day and the Huguenots , another shining example of Christian love for their fellow human.

    • Coliseum in the Snow says:

      Oh my!
      I’ve questioned the tenets of my Catholic faith all my life and always found them in perfect conformity with human reason. Contrary to desperate opinion, faith and reason do not contradict one another.

      • Joel says:

        Explaining away the obvious nonsense with “god did it through his magic powers” doesn’t count. There are many parts of the bible which do not conform to any logic or reason. For example explain how Noah and his family repopulated the entire earth. The inbreeding alone sounds horrible. Not to mention Adam and Eve, are we to believe their kids had relations with one another ?

      • Daddio says:

        Explaining away the obvious nonsense of “nothing exploded and created everything” doesn’t count. Are we to believe the first humans dragged themselves form primordial sludge and had relations with one another? Your hypocrisy is astounding.

      • Joel says:

        Daddio I never mentioned evolution, but since we are talking it, no 2 humans did not drag themselves out of some primordial sludge and then have their children repopulate the earth through incest, that only seems to be the bible. Evolution refers to group change ie there was no one first human, but only a first group of humans, as evolution is simply genetic changes in a population over time.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

    This commentary is clearly an effort to deflect attention Donald Trump’s cult of personality. A cult of personality, or a cult of the leader, is the result of an effort which is made to create an idealized and heroic image of a glorious leader, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Historically, it has developed through techniques of mass media, propaganda, patriotism, and demonstrations and rallies. A typical Trump rally is eerily reminiscient of the Two Minutes Hate described in George Orwell’s 1984: “The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      You are spouting the latest lefty talking points Chuckie. When did you get your talking points? Yesterday or Sunday?

      • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

        Throughout human history cults of personality have arisen around charismatic figures. It never ends well.

  • Joanne Meyers says:

    “World Peace” organizations that are calling for cease-fire in Gaza are far-left cultists? Right off the bat you lost all credibility!

    • Alexander Dolitsky says:

      To Joanne: Direct quote: “…some “World Peace” organizations that are calling for cease-fire in Gaza.”

  • Joanne Meyers says:

    Fair enough. But you are linking those seeking peace in Gaza with cultism, perhaps not directly.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    That was interesting but honestly, not very productive! Please consider reading the Bible! I am confident Joel, that if you seek God, you will eventually find Him! Drop the sarcasm and give it a try. What do you got to loose! You actually have everything to gain!

    • Joel says:

      Dave have you heard the good news that krishna can give you eternal life as well ! Maybe you should try being Hindu, you’ve got nothing to lose and only everything to gain.
      For real Dave there are hundreds of different religions and cults on this planet which claim to have some secret to the afterlife, and each one claims to be the one true religion. The fact is none of them have any more evidence then the rest.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Ok then

  • James says:

    There are more than a few cults in this state. State senator Shelley Hughes helped start a compound for “The Move” , Vennie Kocsis wrote a book about those people. There’s “The Body”, from Nikiski which was discovered by a journalist from Minnesota because the ADN was too busy making that TV show that got cancelled. Alaska is the perfect place for it. Very remote, easy to isolate people and do weird stuff to them. It’s the kids who are raised in these groups that the public should be especially worried about, because I’ve heard horror stories.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Joel product of socialism in schools!

  • Friend of Humanity says:


  • Friend of Humanity says:

    A message to the kabal.