The Cult of Trump? What 'Cult Rhetoric' Actually Reveals

The Cult of Trump? What 'Cult Rhetoric' Actually Reveals
AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter

In August, Anthony Scaramucci—the former White House director of communications turned Trump critic—called for the political left to approach the Trump administration the way that concerned individuals would approach a cult. "When you're trying to deprogram people from a cult, one of the first things you have to do is allow them to change their mind," he explained on Fox News. He amplified this rhetorical move a few days later, tweeting a comparison of Trump to Jim Jones, infamous leader of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown, a religious cult that famously ended with mass suicide and murder. He also compared White House staffers to hostages suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, an alleged psychological condition wherein captives come to support their captors. Scaramucci implied that Trump acts like a cult leader and that those supporting him are brainwashed and in need of rescue.

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