Are we in a cult?

I’ve been listening to a podcast called “Was I In a Cult?” Funny stuff. But over and over it strikes a nerve. Many of the cults, especially the family cults, have a lot in common with shipping (and my employer). How many of these applies to your company?

Copied from: How Do You Know If You're In a Cult? The Telltale Warning Signs

Here’s a small sampling of the many practices that are listed under each subcategory… Any group member who encourages or enforces these behaviors should raise major red flags.

Behavior Control
A group member dictates where, how, and with whom the member lives and associates with, or isolates them from others.

They manipulate a person and deprive them of sleep.

They practice financial exploitation, manipulation or dependence.

They impose rigid rules and regulations.

Information control

They practice deception (by deliberately withholding or distorting information, and/or lying).

They minimize or discourage access to non-cult sources of information (TV, internet, former members, and so on).

They make extensive use of cult-generated information and propaganda (YouTube, newsletters, movies and other media).

Thought control

They require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth (black-and-white, good vs evil thinking).

They change a person’s name and identity.

They use loaded language and clichés which constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts, and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzz words.

Emotional control

They manipulate and narrow the range of feelings—some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong or selfish.

They teach emotion-stopping techniques to block feelings of homesickness, anger, doubt.

They make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault.

They instill fear, such as fear of the outside world, enemies, leaving or being shunned by the group.

We are in a cult!


You are confusing cult with wife.


How dare you besmirch the name of Dear Leader!

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If you have to ask …

I kinda figured that out when I ran into a 1970’s Domer and he asked me to recite the Sallyport Saying. Then I realized this was a half-assed secret knock (as if anyone really pretends to have graduated Throgs Neck Tech…)

But a profession with a reputation for consumption in the eyes of the general public is my kinda cult!

Most of the classes of '78 to '80 would fail that “knock.” We all forgot that the day after IDO week, even though we walked under the damn thing several thousand times. But things regressed soon after then.

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All I remember was it started with “But men and officer’s must obey…” and that I believe it was a quote from Andrew Jackson. I’d be impressed if it was still over the sallyport with the current climate of cancellation.

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Stonewall Jackson… even better :joy:


I never got the fixation on the “Sallyport Saying.” A far better one to memorize would have been [alumni] Riesenberg’s “The sea is selective…” But if the goal is indoctrinating new cult members to blind obedience, then I guess Jackson is the guy.


I don’t remember a single word of the saying, but I remember who said it.

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The study of impact of linguistics on society and culture is deep and wide. Look up Christopher Hutton for a start. Or a work more pointedly relevant to today’s situation, Doris Gorr.

Most authoritarian regimes were (and still are) masters at manipulating their subjects through seemingly uplifting phrases, remember how “work will set you free” ?

2019 Integrationism and the Self. Reflections on the Legal Personhood of Animals. London: Routledge

I’m sure it’s a good read. :joy:

“But men and officers—for discipline presses as hardly on the officers as on the men—must obey, no matter at what cost to their feelings, for obedience to orders, instant and unhesitating, is not only the life-blood of armies but the security of States; and the doctrine that under any conditions whatever deliberate disobedience can be justified is treason to the commonwealth.”

Stonewall Jackson and the AMERICAN CIVIL WAR by Colonel G. F. R. HENDERSON, C.B.

Or perhaps this line from the same book that starts the same (unquestioning obedience) but concludes differently (questioning the origin of the orders)?

“But men and officers, instead of grumbling when they were roused at untimely hours, or when their marches were prolonged, without apparent necessity, obeyed with alacrity, and amused themselves by wondering what new surprise the general was preparing. “Where are you going?” they were asked as they were turned out for an unexpected march: “We don’t know, but Old Jack does,” was the laughing reply. And they had learned something of his methods. They had discovered the value of time, of activity, of mystery, of resolution. They discussed his stratagems, gradually evolving, for they were by no means apparent at the time, the object and aim of his manœuvres; and the stirring verses, sung round every camp-fire, show that the soldiers not only grasped his principles of warfare, but that they knew right well to whom their victories were to be attributed.”

Hutton situates Nazi linguistics within the politics of Hitler’s state and within the history of modern linguistics.

Go and work for Maersk and then ask if you’re in a cult! They’re unbelievable.


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All Hail Big Blue!

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