Doomsday cults are nothing new. Extinction Rebellion are just the latest in a long line of Doomsday Cults that have come and gone over the past 50 years or so. They may be the first to use climate to sell their ideology, but their actions closely follow the patterns and behaviours of many other Cults and we are seeing nothing particularly new in ER. Cults, from Heavens Gate to David Koresh’s The Davidians (see what he did there?) all used either the Bible, Aliens, or a mixture of the two as the basis for their cults. Although Extinction Rebellion don’t use these particular themes they are a Religion nevertheless. Their religion is that of fake science, myths and wild stories.
A cult always picks on two main groups of people: the easily impressionable young, and the mentally fragile. We saw dozens of examples in the recent Extinction Rebellion protest, both in Cambridge University and at Parliament. The teenager, replete with braces, who was so sure that her knowledge on complex issues was superior to that of anyone elses she laid under a car to prove it, and the grown man who showed a picture of his two children and then cried, like a schoolgirl who’d been dumped for the first time, over 'bad weather'. The man, talking in his distinct middle-classed home counties accent about how we had to save the world for his two children, completely missing the irony that having children in the first place is the biggest cause of pollution by a factor of ten. Both the teen and the emotional father see in ER what they could easily have found in any number of other cults; Scientology, the Moonies or Charles Manson's Family. If any of these cults had been promoted by Mainstream Media in the way Climate Change has, then these people would have probably joined them instead.
The second thing that Cults do is tell you that everyone else is lying to you. That they, and only they, know the 'truth'. A common theme for all ER protests is a demand for the Government to 'stop lying about Climate Change'. At every protest speaker after speaker shout the Government(s) are lying to the public. They also profess that they, and only they they, have the answer. Textbook cult behavior.
For many, this type of group gives them a purpose in life, like a substitute for getting a personality, and there are more than a few wrestling the Narcissistic Personality Disorder too. The pink haired girl, white man with Dreadlocks and clown-like trousers all shout ‘look at me, look at me, I'm so interesting’ in a nauseating display of self-congratulatory exhibitionism. ER also do ‘hymns’ complete with “Hallelujah” at many of their events, weird pseudo religious ceremony and chants, lots and lots of chants. Like the very best of doomsday cults we have ‘End of Days’ prophecies, and, of course, the pillaring of the ‘heretics’ for anyone who disagrees.
Does this really matter? Do these people not have a right to believe whatever they like? Worship whoever or whatever they want? Yes, of course they do. But like any religion its beliefs and practises should not adversely affect other people’s lives, and, at the moment it does.