How do you know you are in an end-time cult?
When you won’t accept the complete and utter failure of your prophecies when they come a cropper.
So, am I talking about the classic Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, and Stanley Schachter study in social psychology, When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World? In that work, social scientists infiltrated an eschatological cult to see how they would react when their prophecy of end times failed.
What did the cultists do?
Many doubled down, tweaked their original prophecy, and continued in their previous beliefs but with greater fervor.
But no. I am not talking about that, not directly.
I refer to the Mueller Report.
“For years, every pundit and Democratic pol in Washington hyped every new Russia headline like the Watergate break-in,” writes Matt Taibbi in “It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD?” Noting that while the story as it was hyped from the beginning was about espionage, a “secret relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian spooks who’d helped him win the election,” the biggest thing to come of it has been “Donald Trump paying off a porn star.”
Now that the Mueller Report has come to a fizzle, proving nothing very interesting or relevant, our reaction to the news that the President is not Putin’s puppet should be jubilation.
To shed a tear and get all choked up, like Rachel Maddow? That should signal the end time for the cult.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.