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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 667)...

    It's been over a decade since Ishmael was published. My question is, how are we doing? You once described the potential for exponential growth of the ideas in Ishmael. Has this been the case, or do you think there may come a time when "Quinn-changed minds" are relegated to the ranks of cultish idealists? My friends and family have put me in such a category for years... I'm starting to believe them.

    ...and the response:

    Personally, I feel we're doing "better than expected." I've been very impressed with the ever-increasing awareness of our situation that reveals itself in books, graduate-school theses, publications of all kinds, and in every medium. To my way of thinking, a "Quinn-changed" mind is ultimately always a "self-changed" mind. It's very different in a cult; a "cult-changed" mind is NEVER "self-changed." The cult process is specifically designed to stop people from thinking for themselves and to adopt a group mind that conforms to the cult dogma. In a cult, you're not supposed to think, you're supposed to shut up, believe, and obey; that's not at all what I want my readers to do (and in fact it's not what they give any sign of doing). A cult leader wants submissive, worshipful followers who will take his word for anything and do whatever he tells them, without question or argument. Jim Jones is a perfect example; in 1978 he told his followers it was time for them to die--and 911 of them meekly swallowed the poisoned Kool-Aid he'd prepared for them. Not my style.

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