For Argyll has warned for some time that Scotland is being led to becoming a one-party state, a condition which can only alarm anyone who still retains the clear headed wit to remember that democracy is the antithesis of this situation.
During the pro-indy campaign we heard the then First Minister, Alex Salmond, offer an endless list of other countries that an independent Scotland ‘could be like’. Somehow he forgot to mention Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, the model we seem to be well on the way to adopting.
The situation, however, is close to being out of control, with the party and its fervid acolytes doing everything at hyperspeed to make converts to the case, sign them up and get them programmed. Decent people are being whirled off their feet with the thrill of physical communality and togetherness in the digital age.
They are unable to see that what is happening is no less than the formation of a cult; that they are unconsciously adopting a cult mentality. This can never be anything other than dangerous – for personal and civic well being.
Here, from an academic study of the phenomenon, is a list of the characteristics of a cult:
- ‘The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and [whether he is alive or dead] regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
- Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
- Mind-altering practices [such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines] are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader[s].
- The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel.
- The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader [s] and members
- The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
- The leader is not accountable to any [external] authorities [unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations].
- The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group.
- The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
- Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends [who may resist the movement], and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
- The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
- The group is preoccupied with making money.
- Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
- Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
- The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave [or even consider leaving] the group.’
Who knows what those already inside this movement have the remaining objective capacity to observe in themselves – but those still outside it and with that capacity to observe, will immediately see a relationship between every one of these characteristics and what we are all witnessing going on around us.
Local affiliation societies of various kinds are springing apace out of the ground, with assistance from central bodies; and poor Campbeltown, with a local authority by-election, coincidentally, coming up shortly in South Kintyre, is getting a shedload of them all at once – just like that.
Three different affiliated groups are beginning together, Kintyre Women for Independence, Kintyre Greens and Common Weal in Kintyre.
The press releases for each, which arrived together over a period of six minutes and from a single source, like a tsunami in the Inbox, make clear the nature of what is happening.
We reproduce them verbatim and in their entirety, since their purpose, as well as proselytising, was to let people know how to get involved with them – and while warning about the profound longer term dangers of this cultism, we do not choose to act as censors.
The irony is that this movement is the antithesis of the independence it supports – but seems to be indicative of the form of ‘independence’ Scotland is adopting in a headlong rush.
The concern is not about whether or not any individual supports Scottish independence. It is about the imperative of maintaining a healthy society. This – managed – fervour is sweeping us further and further away from reason and genuine independence of thought.
It really is time to stop and think before it’s too late. Everyone should freely vote for whoever or whatever they wish. That’s democracy But for heaven’s sake, don’t make a cult of how you want to vote yourself. That’s brain washing.
Kintyre Women for Independence Press Release
‘The independence referendum may have passed but that hasn’t stopped women in Kintyre from gathering to share their inspiring stories of going out canvassing for a Yes vote or talking about the referendum with their families, friends and work mates. Recently a new group of Women for Independence in Kintyre was started with many women feeling that their interest in politics and shaping a new Scotland really started this year.
‘Kathleen Caskie from the national Women for Independence group gave a summary of how the national body had started and what they had achieved. All the women were keen to meet again on issues like protecting the health service and stopping the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] that could see public services opened to the private sector, regardless of devolution powers.
‘The passion and laughter of the women, and the enthusiasm of the children present made for an enjoyable evening. The next meeting is planned for the end of January but in the meantime women interested in finding out more about the local group can join the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/womenforindependencekintyre .
‘Photo of Kathleen Caskie addressing the group.
Women for Independence; http://www.womenforindependence.org
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/womenforindependencekintyre’
Kintyre Greens Press Release
‘The Green Party in the Highlands and Islands is starting a new group in Kintyre. The first meeting of the group will be on Saturday the 29th November upstairs in the Argyll Arms Hotel in Campbeltown between 11am and 1pm for anyone interested in finding out about Green ideas.
‘The Scottish Green Party has had a surge in membership with an increase of about 400% in the last year and groups being set up across Argyll.
‘Marij van Helmond from the Argyll and Bute sub-branch will come along to talk about the national and Argyll wide activities and to meet local members. Interested members of the public are also welcome.
‘Meeting Venue: Upstairs Lounge, Argyll Arms Hotel, Main Street, Campbeltown
Date: Saturday the 29th November Time: 11am to 1pm
Scottish Green Party http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kintyre-Greens/346738282170964 ‘
Common Weal Kintyre Press Release
‘The Common Weal is a national organisation that came out of the Jimmy Reid Foundation looking at a different way to run Scotland. It looks at how we could change from a survival of the richest society to an all of us first society.
‘As part of an Argyll Tour, Liam O’Hare and Phil Connor from the Common Weal are coming to Campbeltown on Thursday the 27th November to talk with the community about how we can work towards change and get the local perspective on the Key Ideas laid out on the Common Weal website http://www.allofusfirst.org .
‘To coincide with the public meeting there is now a Facebook page to keep people updated on the developments and ideas of the Common Weal in Kintyre https://www.facebook.com/commonwealkintyre .
‘Meeting Venue: Argyll Arms Hotel, Main Street, Campbeltown
Date: Thursday the 27th November Time: 7pm to 9pm’
Try to laugh
Humour is a saving grace and the ability to laugh at oneself diffuses the inherent fervour of the zealot.
Included in one of the characteristics of the cult listed above, is ‘speaking in tongues’. Don’t worry if Scots Wha Hae is as far as you’ve got and you’ve never quite made it into that uncontrolled incoherence – yet. The state has help in hand for you.
The Scottish Government is prescribing – and the teaching profession is rightly resisting – that all children in school should be taught Scots Doric – the ‘Oor Wullie’ cartoon mode of speech.
With a recent major row following the BBC’s Countryfile choosing to put subtitles on an interview with a Northern Irish blacksmith, this move would breed generations of people who would be unable to progress in their personal lives and careers or to represent the interests of their country without interpreters.
That widespread need though, would breed a new swathe of pointless University courses and address the unemployment problem. Win win?
Even to consider using public funds to provide a compulsory universal service in teaching children a skill they will never need and which may impede them in earning a living – while numeracy abilities have been measured as is being in steep and speedy decline in our primary schools – is fully unhinged. It is, though, more evidence of the drive to ‘cult’ivate Scotland.
One also has to wonder how this compulsory Doric gig would work in the northern isles of Orkney and Shetland, where their cultural linguistic base is very different. Flotillas of Our Wullie’s wandering around Bressay and Papa Westray are hardly a neat cultural fit.