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NoME Part Three: Chapter 6: Session 846, April 4, 1979 5/33 (15%) Jonestown cult fallout reactor Mile
– The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events
– Part Three: People Who Are Frightened of Themselves
– Chapter 6: Controlled Environments, and Positive and Negative Mass Behavior. Religious and Scientific Cults, and Private Paranoias
– Session 846, April 4, 1979 9:30 P.M. Wednesday

[... 3 paragraphs ...]

(Jane was quite upset before the session this evening, and I’m the one who was responsible for her state. Somehow, after supper, we got on the subject of Seth doing a “quick book” about Jonestown and Three Mile Island, something that could be offered to the public very soon, instead of material that would show up in a regular Seth book a couple of years from now. We already had the perfect title for the book, one we’d jokingly originated following last Monday night’s session: Seth on Jonestown and Three Mile Island: Religious and Scientific Cults.

[... 13 paragraphs ...]

In scientific terms there was no fallout involved in the disaster at Jonestown. Yet there was of course a psychological fallout, and effects that will be felt throughout the land by people in all walks of life. The Jonestown situation definitely involved all of the characteristics that I have ascribed as belonging to a cult. There was fanaticism, a closed mental environment, the rousing of hopes toward an ideal that seemed unachievable because of the concentration upon all of the barriers that seemed to stand in its way.

Most cults have their own specialized language of one kind of another — particular phrases used repetitiously — and this special language further serves to divorce the devotees from the rest of the world. This practice was also followed by those at Jonestown. Loyalty to friends and family was discouraged, and so those in Jonestown had left strong bonds of intimacy behind. They felt threatened by the world, which was painted by their beliefs so that it presented a picture of unmitigated evil and corruption. (Pause.) All of this should be fairly well recognized by now. The situation led to the deaths of hundreds.

The Harrisburg situation potentially threatened the lives of many thousands, and in that circle of events the characteristics of a cult are less easy to discern. Yet they are present. You have scientific cults as well as religious ones.

[... 1 paragraph ...]

Granting that, however, cults interact, and so there is quite a relationship between the state of religion, when it operates as a cult, and the state of science when it operates as a cult. Right now your cultish religions exist in response to the cultish behavior of science. Science insists it does not deal with values, but leaves those to philosophers. In stating that the universe is an accidental creation, however, a meaningless chance conglomeration formed by an unfeeling cosmos, it states quite clearly its belief that the universe and man’s existence has no value. All that remains is what pleasure or accomplishment can somehow be wrested from man’s individual biological processes.

[... 10 paragraphs ...]

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