Daily Archives: July 18, 2009

Church of David … Cult of David



Ever since I was lured to an event this week, which turned out to be a disguise for recruitment efforts into a cult, I’ve been googling for information on said cult.  It was a close call since the guy who invited me was awfully cute, and I was actually looking forward to getting acquainted with him.  Now that I know he’s mixed up with – ahem – a shady group of people, I have to breathe a sigh of relief that 1) I wasn’t particularly vulnerable when attending this event and 2) he wasn’t “David Archuleta cute” (otherwise there’s no telling how easy it might have been for him to reel me in).

Of course, when the cult leader was trying to convince me of the great and wonderful “revelatory” opportunities I would have if I joined their program, that I just need to open myself to the”a-ha” moments that exist in our world, I said, “Thanks, but I’m already open to the various a-ha moments in life.” He looked at me incredulously and asked me, “Really?  What could that possibly be?”  Instead of saying, “I have God,” I actually said, “I have art.”  Heh.

And had I really been bold, I might have said, “I have David Archuleta!”  So, I’m thinking of this because I actually did feel sorry for Mr. Cutie-can-I-have-your-number-Oops!-forget-it-you-belong-to-a-Cult.  I can only imagine how terribly alone or lost he might have been when these vultures descended on him and convinced him to spend $7,000 to join their little club (oh yeah, on top of everything else, they wanted me to write a big ol’ check).  I don’t think people start off crazy; no one ever decides to join a cult. They start by wanting to join a community.  I realize that I was not in that particular mindset to be sucked in because, really, I wasn’t lost and looking for self-revelation or “a-ha moments.” I really have been feeling quite content with my life, not least of which is nursing this ODD that’s got me keeping up this blog and participating in other fan sites like The David Chronicles, along with various other communities.

So, since this is my first venture into fandom, I’ve been wondering if our community of Arch Angels is more church like than cult like. How can you tell if your community is made up of devoted worshippers (and no, dear Christian folk, don’t take me literally as I’m not endorsing any worship of “graven images”; I’m being tongue in cheek here) who gather around similar interests (You Tube vids of David, following his twitter, getting the latest on his record sales, concert tour, and various appearances), or if they have gone off the deep end (i.e. certain dogma dominates, group think is the prevailing thought, and certain hierarchies abound in which an Internal group arbitrarily makes up rules while the external group simply follows along unquestioningly)?  Can fan communities devolve into cults?   How does one jokingly distinguish between ODD and straight up craziness? And, it doesn’t matter if the one we are organized around – David – encourages these communities or not, they just happen.  

What is the measuring stick for fans, who are by definition “fanatics”?  Do fans need a community to foster the fanaticism, or can a fan do ODD all by her lonesome?  My inquiring mind wants to know!