[Fredric Rice, The Skeptic Tank: The authorship of these files on
cults has his or her own motivations for providing them and will
contain his or her own bias. What I find typical is that
individuals and organizations which report on cults are usually
themselves a competition cult yet like to think of themselves as
"a religion, not a cult." In actual fact, _ALL_ religions are
cults by the primary, secondary, and terciary usage definition of
the term. Some of the information you find here is inaccurate and
contains urban legend -- take what you find with a grain of salt.
If you wish to acquire a copy of the Law Enforcement Guide on
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A lesbian 'Utopia-in-the-making' based in New Mexico which turned
cultic before disbanding in 1993, Wildfire was typical of many
small, short-lived cults that spring up around one figurehead.
Set up by a radical feminist called Sonia Johnson, Wildfire was
initially meant as a penis-less sanctuary with appropriately fierce
rally cries from its founder:
"I don't need one more fucking second of the destructive
hateful, ugly shit that men have done."
Johnson won the unquestioning devotion of the followers who joined
her in New Mexico. One woman said:
"She is so articulate. She is brilliant with concepts,
with words, with her intellect."
Another supporter said:
"She is rapturous. She is like an aura - and she
preaches. And we fall in love with the preacher who
lights our fire."
Money was decreed a tool of patriarchal sadomasochism at Wildfire
and all funds and property deeds were pooled. Johnson also used a
'spirit woman' at meetings who would dance in a trance-like state
and 'channel' decisions and comments on the day- to-day arrangements
of the commune. Other members have described the escalating terror
of Johnson's leadership as 'the nightmare of my entire life'. Some
have accused Johnson of 'brainwashing' and most now view Wildfire
as having turned into a cult. Eventually all but one devoted
follower left the sanctuary.
Johnson still hopes to create Womantown, a female-owned, female-run
town in which women would forge new rules of community and economics.
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