“Growing Up Cult”
This week is “Fall at the Book” on campus. So far, my favorite reading has been Jayanti Tamm‘s, from her book “Cartwheels in a Sari” (a book I now plan to pick up as soon as I see it in my normal price range of five dollars or less. oh well).
I just saw this editorial she wrote for the Washington Post on the current 60s nostalgia and thought I’d recommend it. It’s perspective is certainly authentic, and yet not as unique as we might want to think: Cultural historians today portray the ’60s as a unique time. I hope they are right. That is, I hope that the cast of corrupt opportunists — gurus, prophets and messiahs — who profited from others’ naiive belief is indeed a unique ’60s phenomenon, safely encapsulated in those glossy anniversary books. Youch! Yeah, about that…
While I know people who have gotten involved in religious organizations that border all-too-close on cult-like tendencies, it would seem to be another thing altogether to be born believing that you’re the pre-ordained disciple of the avatar of God himself. (then again, Calvinists…?) Regardless, I am amazed at her story and those of other people who are taught one way to think their entire life and then choose another.
I am grateful that in my life, when I questioned things, my family (and often my community at large) was often right there questioning along with me…or at the least, encouraging my questions and not ever shoving blind faith/obedience on me.