Cultish : The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell


Publisher: Harper Collins

Year: 2021

Format: Hardcover, Signed

Edition: First

Condition: New

The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power.

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 were looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to joinand more importantly, stay inextreme groups. We secretly want to know: could it happen to me? Amanda Montells 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 hearand are influenced byevery 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 Heavens 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.