Perspectives: Let’s start a cult that brainwashes us into thinking for ourselves

Composite image. Left image by lolloj/iStock/Getty Images Plus. Right image by leremy/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

OPINION — I recently made the mistake of sitting down and watching the evening news while visiting my elderly mother. As luck would have it, it was the day a deranged high school student in Texas allegedly murdered 10 people.

As expected, the media narrative followed the predictable mantra that holding accountable the person who actually causes the harm isn’t enough. We’re supposed to believe that the authorities possess sufficient wisdom and power to ensure that such a problem never happens again.

This fanatical faith in the power of officialdom to save us from our fears has become disturbingly normalized.

So much so that it is presumed that no other solutions exist and anyone who deviates from the one-size-fits-all mentality, can expect to be ostracized by the true believers.

A cultish mindset of control can be seen in far more areas of our lives than simply private gun ownership. Its dogmatic believers fervently cling to the notion that the collective powers of the state are the answer to any expression of individual liberty.

That includes what we eat or drink, how we wish to educate our children, how we choose those with whom we wish to associate and how we may use our private property. There is no aspect of our personal lives that cannot be perverted into a political issue.

The ideology of pathological control has overtaken virtually every level of government, academia and even business. It’s proponents passionately believe there is no problem or catastrophe that cannot be preemptively avoided with enough coercive constraint of other humans.

What’s remarkable is how many people have become so thoroughly conditioned to the sociopathic idea that the threat of official violence is the only legitimate way to affect change in the world. The uncritical thinking that results from this obsessive attachment to control is now deeply rooted in the American psyche.

We’re conditioned from childhood to embrace the false reality that anything not under the control of the state is, by definition, out of control. The fact that much of that conditioning takes place in state-run facilities under the direction of those who work for the state should be a clue for anyone who’s paying attention.

A sociopathic need to control of others is what leads us to give unquestioning allegiance to the beguiling people who aspire to rule over others, no matter how many lies they tell us.

It never occurs to the supplicants begging politicians to “Do something!” that bad things will still happen because we live in an unpredictable world where some things will remain beyond our control. No matter how well we prepare, certain risks will always exist.

Butler Shaffer offers a refreshingly rational perspective on the risks we all face:

Most of your life is – and will continue to be – spent in peaceful relationships with others. But there will be the occasional thug with whom you may have to contend. Your ability to defend yourself will always depend upon the actions you take, with the resources you have available. You are more likely to prevail if you have disabused yourself of the notion that the state – or any other established system – will be there to prevent such threats to you.

Perhaps it’s time to start a different kind of cult – one that brainwashes its adherents into thinking for themselves.

Instead of seeking charismatic leaders to direct our thinking and our lives, this new cult could help us better understand that we don’t need gurus or specialists to tell us what to do. We can appreciate and respect those who have something to teach us, but we don’t need to worship them or put them on a pedestal.

The better measure of the truth of what they teach is whether we can assimilate those good ideas and then make the world a better place through our own actions.

It’s not about becoming more obedient followers; it’s about learning how to improve ourselves in ways that cannot happen when we’re swallowed up in a group identity.

Perhaps this new cult could teach its members that, although bad things can and do happen to any of us, the choice to adopt a victimhood mentality is the worst thing we can do. It is an attempt to absolve ourselves of personal responsibility and to think of ourselves as passive objects who are controlled by others.

This is an example of fashionable but illusory thinking that makes it easier to blame and seek to control others rather than raising the integrity of society by focusing upon our own individual integrity.

The one thing over which we have complete control is the choice of how we will respond to our circumstances. The most inspirational people you’ll ever meet have figured this out.

A cult built on such ideas would quickly cease to be a cult in the traditional sense. It could, however, set the stage for authentic tolerance and tranquility in a way our current cultish thinking doesn’t allow.

Bryan Hyde is an opinion columnist specializing in current events and liberty viewed through what he calls the lens of common sense. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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16 Comments

  • DRT May 21, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    This “protected by the government” mentality is a direct result in the “dumbing down” of our country and her citizens. Couple that, with the never having to responsibly answer for your actions, that is and has been for several generations taught in the public schools.
    This, coupled along with the emasculation of our male population is leading us into catastrophe.
    There are lots of things that Mr. Hyde says that I disagree with, but I think his column today is right on the money.

  • SSTEED May 21, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I’d take a cup of that cool-aid.

    • NotSoFast May 21, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      STOP SSTEED!
      Don’t you know that cool-aid has a addictive/ make you fat additive in it? Sugar. And it may be one of the reasons causing global warming. Don’t think for yourself, Just follow what your told. OK?

      • SSTEED May 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm

        Not this cool-aid. It comes with two cups of cocaine.

  • wewillseeaboutthat May 21, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Nice to have some conservative input. Seems like SGnews has taken on the roll of LGBTQXV promoter for the area. I would like to have some news without the constant influence of the depraved few. Further more, I would have never thought that the mayor of St.George would be sitting in on one of these events. Seems shameful to me.

    • HerePliggyWiggy May 22, 2018 at 8:11 am

      The depraved minority is now the main focus for these libs. It’s going to come back to bite them in the ass. Of course they’ll love that, and create a support group for it.

    • Lee Saunders May 22, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      Did it ever occur to you that perhaps, just maybe, you’re not right? No, I didn’t think so.

  • Maggie May 21, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Totally not like the LDS church at all!

  • Wolverine May 22, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Oh the irony.

  • John May 22, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Thinking for yourself and seeing crap for what it really is?….What a concept! The MSM should try it sometime!

  • Lynn May 22, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Everything is always blame government,. Doesn’t that sound familiar?? Government is like a Gun a force for good or evil,. All depending on who’s hands we put it in. As for influences in your life that again is not government but pop culture,. A combination of internet, tv, radio, movies, religion and. And local and national movements in the shaping of everybody’s mind. Government is just this inert social ontract between people who we appoint or has the means to control pop culture in painting the scene they want you to belong too. Very little independent thinking especially in the west,. Where they have built fantasy on movies and their collective beliefs that only they understand freedom and the Constitution and law and history. In reality it is nothing more than the Dunning-kruggar syndrome brought on by years of conspiracy , paranoia, and lack of real education. Our founders would be rolling in their graves if they could see us today

  • Lynn May 22, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Over the years looking thru the lens of common Sense have told us,. The sun goes around the Earth,. The world is flat,. The moon was made of coal. , Electricity was either magic or Satan. It has only been thru the lens of historical records of fact and scientific method of study have we gotten to the realistic truth of matters and moved us forward in life’s improvements. Common sense is unreliable and is risky and let man into very destructive actions. Such as beliefs in idealogys.

    • John May 22, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      And Bill Nye is a real scientist in your world too, I’ll bet!

  • jaybird May 22, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    I like the headline, especially relevant in Utah, which seems to run on mob rule mu h of the time

    • comments May 22, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      I didn’t read the article yet, but the title is kinda ironic considering bryan is an LDS.

  • Lee Saunders May 22, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Hey, yeah, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s hold the shooter accountable. Let’s either slam his butt in prison for the rest of his life or execute him-after a trial, of course. Yeah, and then after the next school shooting, let’s do the same thing. And then after the next shooting, do the same thing. And then, for something different, after the next one, let’s do the same thing one more time. Maybe what will really stop these shootings is if the shooter shoots himself or the police shoot him. That’s the ticket! History has shown us that that’s just about as effective for solving the school shootings as “thoughts and prayers”. This article was supposed to be about thinking for ourselves. What hypocritical “thinking”.

    And while we’re at it maybe if we just bad mouth the MSM a little more, (Oh, my god, this includes Fox News!) this problem will solve itself, along with that nasty alternative lifestyle “crisis”. With the current political environment, that is, the power of lobby money over the government officials, it’s pretty clear that it will take a voter revolution to ever come up with a solution to this crisis. By the way, that may be coming sooner than one might think. And don’t forget to stock up on ammo, folks.

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