In tonight’s season finale of Actual Time with Invoice Maher, the host invoked the case of New York-based intercourse cult Nxivm in suggesting a option to deal with Donald Trump supporters who consider the election was stolen.
“The problem for us is, how do you get folks out of a cult?” Maher requested. “Particularly when each time you current proof of what’s apparent actuality, they take it as proof of you being in on a conspiracy to destroy them?” A latest ballot discovered that 88% of Trump voters consider he received the election, he famous, and their conviction may cleave a big swath of America from the workings of democracy and society.
For a residing instance of the way to rise to such an existential problem, Maher saluted Catherine Oxenberg. The previous Dynasty star’s dogged work to free her daughter, India, is depicted in two documentary sequence, HBO’s The Vow and Starz’ Seduced: Contained in the Nxivm Cult.
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Maher performed a sequence of clips exhibiting the unbridled admiration of followers of Nxivm chief Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years in jail final month, and Republican leaders lavishing reward on Trump. Maher discovered many factors of comparability between Trump and Raniere, who gave himself the nickname Vanguard. “They needed to have that one queen bee round them, who they deputized to recruit others into their sick video games,” he quipped. “Vanguard had Smallville actress Alison Mack. Trump has Lindsay Graham.”
In making an attempt to battle a “cult” that has grown tens of tens of millions robust, he added, “you’re not simply combating the leaders, however all of the enablers. They see you as an enemy. Fact is a menace to them. That’s why what Catherine Oxenberg did was so instructive. You’ve heard the expression, ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner.’ Properly, she practiced, ‘Hate the cult, love the cultist.’ She didn’t scream at her daughter that she was silly. She didn’t minimize her off. She simply saved making an attempt to remind her of who she was once.”
Particularly as America heads into the vacation season and faces a brand new period within the new 12 months, these on the opposite aspect of Trump ought to observe Oxenberg’s instance, Maher mentioned. With Trump — and his QAnon supporters — coming to phrases with defeat, there is a chance to “raise the scales from their eyes,” Maher mentioned. “Nevertheless it’s not going to occur by mocking them or calling them silly.”
As a substitute, Joe Biden backers ought to attempt to perceive that Trump followers “have been by lots. Their savior, their ‘strongest, manliest hunk of a pacesetter who ever lived’ simply received his ass kicked by the two,000-Yr-Outdated Man. Don’t gloat, don’t even attempt to argue, as a result of arguing with cult folks solely makes it worse.”
Recalling the lengthy historical past of non secular and cult leaders who’ve made inaccurate prophecies, he cited preacher William Miller, who incorrectly predicted the second coming of Jesus and the tip of the world in 1844. “While you stake your complete faith on one all-important prophecy that doesn’t come true, the logical response from followers must be, ‘Properly, that was a bunch of bulls–t,’” Maher mentioned. In actuality, Miller’s followers doubled down, enshrining that date as The Nice Disappointment.
After getting in his remaining digs at 2020 (talking of nice disappointments) — together with a video message to his future, 100-year-old self recalling a 12 months of audience-free exhibits in his again yard — Maher vowed to return on January 15.