The question of “Cults”.

As written by Marius Silverwolf Heath

(Copyright Reserved)

If we look into the culture of cults, how they have applied to communal life throughout history and the impact that it has had we will find that there are many similarities that surrounds such a grouping of similar minded people or organizations.

 What is a cult:

Let us look at the Wikipedia description of a Cult as below:

cult is a religious group or other organization with deviant and novel beliefs and practices. However, whether any particular group's beliefs are sufficiently deviant or novel enough to be considered a cult is often unclear, and thus establishing a precise definition of cults based on these criteria is problematic. In other usage, the word has been used to refer to any group voluntarily joined which engages in excessive control of its members, unquestioning obedience to its leaders, and separation of its members from the outside world without allowing for means to easily leave the group.

The term 'cult' was originally used to describe a group of people who worshiped a deity. The term was first used in the early 17th century denoting homage paid to a deity and borrowed via the French culte from Latin cultus (worship), from the adjective cultus(inhabited, cultivated, worshiped), derived from the verb colere (care, cultivate). The English term often carries derogatory connotations and is used selectively by proponents of "brainwashing" theory.

Reading the above we can see the basis and a short reflection of the origin of the word and it’s application. If we go deeper and we extend into the inner driving force of a “cult” it can become a word that can be applied to many past and current groups or organizations.


What drives a Cult:

The very basis or core drive-train of a cult is the age old concept of fear, control by instilled fear. Either fear of reprisal of non-obedience or a fear instilled within a particular social or political condition. Since the time of the birth of the human being fear has been a controlling factor that has been used on a daily basis in the more direct interactions between individuals for many reasons, extending this “weapon” when placed in the hands of people with the desire to expand beyond their immediate surrounding and create a “following” if you will of adherents to a perceived or created situation giving the inspiration or main factor of this fear factor.

Not only within a religious understanding but so too within almost every facet of life we will find that “fear” in some form or manner is the instrument that is yielded by those that desires control. We must not lose sight that we cannot contribute such a fear factor in order to maintain stability within a community to be wrong in all aspects. Yes in certain conditions, when corruption is rife and the higher echelon of “control” is lost, corrupted or lost the result will be that this “fear” will change from a correct status to one of misuse and abuse and the result would be anarchy or mayhem if control isn't re-established.

Therefore as can be realized that when “fear” as an instrument is applied within the context of law and order which is just, and instilled to maintain security to the benefit and well-being of the community with the necessary control built in to ensure that corruption does not infect this structure we basically have a government responsible for the well-being of a community. A positive situation. However the “cult” that these writings intends to address is more so the cult that exists as a result of using the fear factor in order to advance either a personal agenda of an individual or the collective within an organizational structure, a condition where the adherents is conditioned to a mindset of:

“So All People Religiously Adhere” 


When looking back into history many such Cults will be evident. Not only within the religious context but so too within other aspects in the history of man, as far back as recorded history situations and organizations such as this can be found.

From the bizarre through to the more seemingly, on face value, politically or communal acceptability, from the militant organizations throughout history to the religious and political, financial, governmental structure that utilizes fear in a manner that lends itself to personal gain, organizational gain, gain of a directive with potential harm when carefully dissected.

Quite often, in fact in most cases such a form of fear control leads to situations such as the destruction of a community, race, religion, country, etc. such control and the misuse that continually grows as the situation or organization grows within these misconceived guidelines the damage increases and can, and historically always leads to damage.


How the momentum is maintained in a cult:

Mental conditioning is a key word within such a framework.


It is a well known fact that visual stimulation is a key factor, to continually bombard people with the factor of fear that you intend to instill in order to gain control and adherence without question. Prior to the internet invention other forms of visual stimulation was used, banners, newspapers, flyers, etc. then came the internet and a large scale possibility opened up, to the extent where visual stimulation took on a whole new era of possibilities and the enhancement of this stimulation.


Within this framework inciting people into support is essential; making people believe that there is “the greater cause” that has to be dealt with. Many will instill this in a manner of “the war against” some factor either created by a combination of related events that when thrown together in the cauldron and with a mix of two of ownership applied, this then becomes the identity of the fear factor that forms a reality within the minds of its adherents.


The two factors above must continually be stimulated by the verbal interjection by those that want to manifest the fear and instill the needed action resulting from this fear. Historically, such as the most recent large scale cult form of design in true form was Hitler. He continually personally addressed the mass, and within these meetings there was always without fail the stimulation of the two above factors, creating with every meeting the visualization of the “seriousness” of the situation and combining that with the stimulation brought on as a result, the incitement to action. With the invent of the internet this form of stimulation has brought about a form of intensity that although rather silent in approach has the result of stimulation done in a whole new arena of the mental conditioning of the mind. The internet has a very powerful influence on the human mind as all these factors are at play all the time. 


A display of anger in the manner that is intended to inspire people as to the “seriousness” of the matter at hand is a tool that has its rightful place within the larger picture. Within the display of such anger the inspiration takes place and as people are incited into anger themselves many of the blatant factors in relation to the fear factor that will disprove the manufactured fear, is overshadowed by the heightened sense of “anger”.

Conspiracy theories:

This factor with the availability of the internet has reached new heights. One singular rather small conspiracy has the ability to grow to scales unimaginable but a few years ago. By taking events, combining them within the cauldron of deceit, adding to the mix not only above factors but now relating this whole mixture to events or perceptions within a community and creating an air of “hidden factors” sitting behind all these events, and continually feeding this with the above and using the fear in people and the promise, of impending danger as a result of such a conspiracy, low and behold you have the recipe for mayhem.



The human being, although complicated in creation has the inherent weakness if you will, of falling pray to an instilled fear. Fear in reality has it’s rightful place within a community and has the twisted ability to maintain order as mentioned earlier in these writings, however, utilizing such fears in combination with the factors of a cult and the inspiration behind such a cult historically and I may add, also within the foreseeable future of mankind will have the continued influence that that it has always had.

In relation to paganism in this country (South Africa), such a situation has manifested. A fear factor, fed and heightened to the extent where “So All People Religiously Adhere" to without question has manifested among the adherents subscribing to this. A fear advocated by the few, infecting the many. By utilizing the very same factors as mentioned above this sense of impending danger has been cultivated. 

Such a fear has some people, in this case Pagans, walking their daily lives fearing the discovery of their religious status, some will hide, some will provoke to test ground in an attempt to justify these fears. We should be looking at people elsewhere that does not enjoy the freedom of practice to the extent that we do and place our energies more so into those peoples lives rather then walk in the perception that a war, already won, is still being fought. To an extent a similar mindset exists in many other avenues such as in some political organizations for one. I love the analogy of the good wolf and the bad wolf, which one will survive, the one you feed. Paganism has been accepted in South Africa as a religious body, let it not degenerate into a cult.

To end this writing, a cult, within my interpretation is a grouping of people utilizing fear, and the hopes and dreams that people have, purely for their own gain, whatever such a gain is, it is almost always a selfish gain that ends in harm and destruction.

Is such a practice always seen to be a cult?

No, not always, but many utilizes the same methods within an organization of proper structure to gain whatever the gain is perceived to be.

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