Why Cults Like to Dress Alike

The red ties that bind

Kevin Donovan
4 min readJun 5, 2024
Photo by Allen Beilschmidt sr.

The recent Trump hush money trial has given us still another glimpse into conventional cult behavior.

Cults thrive on their ability to control information; what comes in and what goes out is critical to controlling the behavior and beliefs of those within the cult, aka, the members. Cults strive to create an impenetrable information bubble around their members, and the methodology is always the same:

Create incentives to limit information consumption to a single set of sources that will tell the members what they want to hear.

Delegitimize other sources of information by repeatedly claiming they are part of a conspiracy of mass deception.

Enlist the members to stigmatize any wavering from the cult-created reality, up to and including threatening the lives of the squishy and their families.

Applaud the dehumanization, denigration, and humiliation of those outside the cult.

Display and reward loyalty. Ridicule and purge disloyalty.

Through these actions, each member strengthens the cult and pays tribute to the leader.

One of the noteworthy elements of a cult is its uniform. The uniform serves several purposes; in sports, it is used to distinguish the…

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Kevin Donovan

Where there is great fear, there is no empathy. Where there is great empathy, there is no fear.