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Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism
Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism | Amanda Montell
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
review
Kimberlone
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Mehso-so

I was pretty disappointed with this. I did enjoy when it focused on the actual premise (cultish language), but the author goes on a lot of tangents with personal anecdotes that really distract from that in an only 300 page book. The author also seemed more interested in vilifying cultish aspects of MLMs like AmWay & making a connection to subcultures like SoulCycle and CrossFit than exploring the cognitive dissonance inherent in true cults.

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TamTracy
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Pickpick

I‘ve always had a weird fascination with cults and the psychology behind them. I loved reading about the impact language has. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The_Book_Ninja It starts with a “fascination”…. 1w
58 likes1 stack add1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
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Mehso-so

This was interesting, but not surprising. Maybe I‘m just more skeptical than your typical American, but so much of this information seemed pretty obvious to me. The book focuses on the power cults and cultish groups have over others in the language they choose.

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Eggbeater
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Pickpick

The author seems to have compassion for people who become embroiled in cults and also to recognize that there is varying degrees of harm. I feel more enlightened as to why people join. We're all more susceptible than I would have thought, Littens. 🤣

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kimmypete1
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Pickpick

Utterly fascinating.

britt_brooke Love her books! Do you listen to her podcast? Sounds Like a Cult. It‘s pretty entertaining! 3mo
27 likes1 comment
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Rachel.Rencher
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Listening to this one while I work the bookshop today 🎧

54 likes2 stack adds
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Amandakay
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Pickpick

Interesting

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ChrisBohjalian
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Bedtime reading. Good-night.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 5mo
38 likes1 stack add1 comment
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nitalibrarian
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My library just got Hoopla, so I'm trying it out with this audiobook.

#audiobook

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MarshmallowAdventures
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Pickpick

An eye-opening read that balances being aware of the language utilized by cults to lure people to follow them and the need for genuine human connection.

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steph_phanie
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I love anything that analyzes how the use of language has a very real impact on our daily lives, our decisions, and our way of viewing the world. Overall, this book did not disappoint. I was fascinated by Montell's comparison of actual cults to cult-like organizations such as MLMs and exclusive gyms. I may be slightly rounding up to 4 stars, but I'm cool with that.

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TheLudicReader
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Pickpick

Not as quick a read as I was thinking it might be, this was still an interesting look at all the different “cults” that exist…including “cultish” groups that we might not have realized use the same rhetorical language as religious cults do to “hook” their members.

44 likes1 stack add
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Scochrane26
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Pickpick

Not sure, but I think I found this through a friend on GR. Audio version was great. Learned new info & was gratified that I was proven right about my opinion of MLMs (specifically Mary Kay because a couple of friends were involved years ago). Definitely recommend.

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Amie
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Pickpick

Interesting. Examines the language that cults and other groups use.

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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

A fascinating look at how language can persuade someone to join a group. The word “cult” has multiple connotations, used to describe fitness groups, financial trends, movie fans, any subculture interest group, and of course extreme religious cults. The author explores all of these, with her focus on the words that may tempt one to get involved.

Read for a bookclub, and loved it.

TheLudicReader I really want to read this book. I think it might be perfect for a grade 12 class that focuses on rhetoric. What do you think? 13mo
Soubhiville @TheLudicReader I think it would. Students might learn to recognize language that is trying to persuade them. 13mo
96 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ManyWordsLater
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The bookworms were sick and now I‘m sick. This is not how I meant to spend Father‘s Day. But it‘s how the cookie crumbled this year.

Ruthiella Hope you feel better soon. 🥴❤️ 13mo
Soubhiville I just started this on audio. Fascinating so far. (Hope you‘re feeling better now) 13mo
56 likes1 stack add2 comments
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AReedCollett
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Next row of my #readinglogsnake is for a #rplbooksandbrews read - Cultish by Amanda Montell. This book doesn't just examine notorious religious cults, it also examines the language used by MLMs and extreme exercise groups. I found this to be a very fascinating read and recommend this to anybody anyone who wants to examine the 'why' people join cultish groups. 4/5 ⭐️ #BooksAndCrafts #ARRCReads

ElizaMarie I love your snake!!! 🐍🐍🐍🐍 14mo
9 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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amyrohn
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Mehso-so

Cultish aims to examine the linguistic aspects of cult groups and the nature of fanaticism in general, and how language can be used to organize and control. It‘s very readable and written conversationally, but for that reason it felt kind of shallow, and didn‘t actually focus on the language as much as I thought it would. I did learn some new things and enjoyed it overall, but was left wishing it went a little deeper.

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amyrohn
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My current read feat. Miss Eloise 🥰

WorldsOkayestStepMom 😻😻😻 1y
45 likes1 comment
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sarahgreatlove
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Pickpick

Fascinating listen about cults and groups that aren‘t cults but kind of act like them - cult ish. Definitely makes you second guess everything you belong to 😅 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Cazxxx
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🎧 Currently listening 🎧

mcctrish I really enjoyed this 1y
Cazxxx @mcctrish I‘m almost done and have really enjoyed it too 😊 1y
mcctrish Have you read/listened to wordslut? Also by her 1y
See All 6 Comments
Cazxxx @mcctrish Not yet, it‘s been on my wish list for ages! Have you read it? 1y
mcctrish Yes and I‘m officially “will read anything by Amanda Montell forever and ever” 1y
Cazxxx @mcctrish This makes me want to get around to her other work soon! 1y
47 likes1 stack add6 comments
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JenReadsAlot
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this! My #bookspin for March @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
39 likes1 stack add1 comment
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bookandbedandtea
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Mehso-so

I'm not completely sure how I feel about this. On the one hand I found it interesting on an entertainment level. But on the other hand, the book seems to be more about the author than about the various "cults" she examines & there didn't seem to be much scholarship about the language used. She relied heavily on comparisons and personal anecdotes where she regularly congratulates herself on being above being taken in by any inclusive language. ⬇️

bookandbedandtea ⬆️ Again, entertaining but not necessarily informative. I have been very interested in reading Worslut by her but now I'm not so sure. 1y
26 likes1 comment
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DinoMom
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My favourite of the year so far! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟

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JenReadsAlot
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Really excited for my #bookspinbingo picks this month! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
33 likes1 comment
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Robotswithpersonality
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Pickpick

While I picked this up primarily for the focus on language, what really grabbed me was the effort the author went to to temper the black-and-white, moralizing interpretations and usage of words like cult and cult followers, detailing the dangers of those assumptions. 1/?

Robotswithpersonality While she starts with the most destructive and dangerous examples of cults and language used in such, over the book the author builds up evidence for the important distinction between the presence of cultish language and the oversimplification that it will always lead to dramatically negative outcomes. 2/? 1y
Robotswithpersonality Alongside this are surprising conclusions from research on qualities more likely to leave one more susceptible to cult rhetoric, i.e. it's not whom you'd first assume. Impressively smooth reading experience, just enough history on whichever cult or cultural phenomenon is the basis to provide context for the linguistic analysis being discussed. 3/?
1y
Robotswithpersonality It's helpful to see multiple exemplars of the similarities in how use of language seduces, isolates, converts, coerces, and stops questioning in the toxic and dangerous types of cult, even when the code words per cult are different, it reinforces and clarifies for the reader the 🚩 difference between a relatively benign sales pitch or spiritual practice and something darker, feeding someone else's power, wealth and ambition. 4/?
1y
Robotswithpersonality What stood out most here is what I already loathed as the diet culture trump card: The insistence that if you're not gaining the promised result it's your fault, not a failure of the cult/lifestyle movement/fitness plan/nutrition regimen. AKA total responsibility-dodging BS that points out how completely fake their whole system is. 5/6

1y
Robotswithpersonality The latter section feels particularly relevant, addressing cult language in the 21st century, online in social media.
This book has since spawned a podcast called Sounds Like a Cult, and I can't wait to dive in.
I will also definitely be picking up Montell's other book, Word Slut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language
⚠️Suicide, abuse, SA 6/6
1y
7 likes5 comments
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Robotswithpersonality
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👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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Robotswithpersonality
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Context! 😬

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Robotswithpersonality
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"The most important thing to remember is that if something is legitimate, it will stand up to scrutiny." ?

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Robotswithpersonality
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Etymology goodies!

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Robotswithpersonality
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I'll just leave this here. In case anybody needs it.

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Robotswithpersonality
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💅

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Robotswithpersonality
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Memorable alliteration.

SamAnne Hah! 1y
7 likes1 comment
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Robotswithpersonality
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Aaaaaand here's where I piss off everybody except my fellow atheists.

6 likes1 stack add
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Evita
Pickpick

3 out of 5

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WorldsOkayestStepMom
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Pickpick

This book was fascinating to me! I stayed up all night to finish it and don't regret the lack of sleep. I used to sell essential oils for one of the companies named in this book and Montell absolutely nailed the tactics the company promoted.

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mcctrish
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Pickpick

This is a totally captivating audio book that spans Scientology and Jones Town to Peloton and Multi Level Marketing and all the in between uses of Cult Speak. Humans are hard wired to want to belong to something and many a charismatic person has founded a company, ‘religion‘, organization to gather them into.
This is really a book that makes you go “hmmm”

44 likes4 stack adds
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mcctrish
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“A cult is like porn, you know it when you hear it”

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mcctrish
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Still working on my Haunted Mansion

49 likes1 stack add
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TheDaysGoBy
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Pickpick

I listened to this on audio. Overall I enjoyed it. I‘ve always had an interest in cults so the discussion was often engaging. I was particularly interested in some of the MLM stuff as I‘d had exposure to that thanks to my sister trying several of them for a while

#nonfiction #NFNovember

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Larkken
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After the very fun, and very fast-paced (for me) #scarathlon, I need a little bit of a reset! I have a bunch of partly-started books to clear off my list, some challenges to clean up (so many #roll100! eep!)... and in general, I'd like to try slowing down and savoring my eyeball-reading a little more. Free spaces reserved for the audiobooks that I blast through during data entry ;)
#bookspin #doublespin #bookspinbingo @thearomaofbooks

Larkken bahaha. searched for the bookspin/doublespin numbers, and realized I don't have a number nine! Retroactive nine assignment = A Prayer for the Crown Shy. It seems like a good palate cleanser, and was on my audiobook list! :D 2y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Enjoy!!! 2y
16 likes2 comments
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Tkgbjenn1
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Pickpick

Interesting look at the use of language in cult like behavior. It not only discusses cults like Jim Jones, Heavens Gate, and the Branch Davidians. But also movements that you wouldn‘t consider to be cults like fitness crazes, social and political movements, conspiracy theories, diets, religious movements, charity groups. social clubs (even beneficial clubs like AA) which all use Cultish language. You‘ll learn to recognize such language.

27 likes2 stack adds
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Emilymdxn
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Mehso-so

I liked this book tho I felt frustrated sometimes when I wanted it to go deeper on a topic and it felt quite surface level sometimes. I think I‘d have enjoyed a longer book with more academic language. Some chapters felt really well researched and thought provoking and others felt thinner - the stuff on online fandoms could have been fleshed out a lot more imho.

ETALTON I just finished this book and I completely agree. I‘m pretty into cults (I read the books, watch the documentaries, listen to the podcast) so I know a bit about many of them, and this book didn‘t give me anything I didn‘t already know. I was a little disappointed. 2y
57 likes1 comment
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BeeMagical
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Pickpick

Book 143🎧 4⭐️

Had a bit of a break due to wedding season😂 but I‘m back at it!

If you are interested in how‘s and why‘s of people and cults - definitely give this a listen!

From the extremely well known, to one‘s you may not have even considered “cultish”😉

Chelsea.Poole Love this one! 2y
28 likes1 comment
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5feet.of.fury
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Pickpick

Oddly enough, I follow this comedian on insta &was at ~75% in Cultish & commented that according to this book the rise of fitness cults is directly related to the decline of organized religion &people trying to find a modern sense of belonging. Also that our healthcare is trash. So 💯 accurate😂

I enjoyed the mix of linguistics, sociology &psychology research to analyze cult followings of religious cults, political figs, MLMs& New Age figures.

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5feet.of.fury
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This is due back soon, so I‘m trying to make some headway. It‘s very good, I just hadn‘t been prioritizing it.

What speed are you listening to audiobooks at? Anything higher than 1.5 sounds like chipmunks to me 🤣

jlhammar 1.5 is what I go for most often. Sometimes 1.75 if a slower reader. The Obamas and Susan Orlean read so slowly that I had to go 2.0 for them. 2y
19 likes1 comment
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Maria514626
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The tagged audiobook kept me company as I got this cinnamon babka ready for the oven. #audiobaking

The book and reader are so good! She emphasizes how groups use language to suck in and control followers. It goes way beyond groups like Jim Jones‘ Peoples‘ Temple and Heaven‘s Gate. (She doesn‘t try to scare you though.)

mabell Looks yummy! 2y
Maria514626 @mabell It was! It didn‘t last long. 😆 2y
19 likes2 comments
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Erinreadsthebooks
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Pickpick

🎧 I‘m trying to work audiobooks into my reading. I‘ve had success with nonfiction, and this was no exception. This is a look into the language that‘s used by companies and crazies to sway people into buying a product or “drinking the koolaid,” respectively. A good listen.

32 likes3 stack adds