David, your entire argument for calling us a cult was extremely weak. This was your first post, I have put some seriously erroneous statements by you in bold:
As I have been looking into The Zeitgeist Movement on these message boards, I have come across multiple issues that indicate that this group has already spiraled into a cult mentally. The picture attached shows that the moderators of this board are unnamed. This is a lack of transparently. Hence, lying, and is proof that TZM is now a cult.
If any of you really care about the genuine ideals behind this movement, the first thing that needs to happen is transparently. Nothing can be built on lies and deception. That means that all posts modded by these anonymous moderators, must be corrected to show who is actually censoring posts, banning users, etc. It also requires that who ever decided to make these moderator accounts must apologize and remove themselves promptly from any decision making. Failure to do so makes The Zeitgeist Movement a cult, with all the terrible abusive things that go along with it.
It’s time to wake up everyone. Having good ideas does not protect any organization from self imploding, and more importantly, becoming abusive to its own members.
There are rules that must be met in order for an organization to be a cult. TZM has already fallen into this hole. Quick, honest, transparent changes must occur or many will suffer, along with their families. Those not making these changes immediately are in fact, abusers of the human mind.
In addition to the requirements above, all financials for TZM must be posted publicly or again, it’s a cult. There must be a system in place, for removing abusive and misguided leaders, moderators, or any other person in a position to dictate policy. None of these conditions have been met to my best understanding. No one should be anonymous in a position of decision making.
Do you people really want to destroy lives with a good cause? It's now your choice. It is time to put down the TZM reading materials and learn what a cult really is, and how to identify it, and the people within it, that are clearly having difficulty in proper honest communication.
I suggest you all visit [culteducation.com] and spend the next two days reading cult education materials, or you are all doomed, to cause, and be the victims, of terrible human damage. These are facts, not opinions. TZM is now factually a cult. Please understand that, or many innocent people are going to get hurt.
It’s time to clean up this mess of abusing of people.
The people who made this decision to hide themselves need to admit who they really are and step down immediately.
So, the crux of your argument was the claim that we were a cult because we:
A. Have anonymous moderators.
B. Do not publish our financial information everywhere.
One of the problems with the concept of "cult" is that there are a lot of generalist "warning signs" that could apply to anything. By your definitions every single forum that has moderators that do not have their financial information posted and their full names exposed is therefore an instrument of a cult. And to be blunt, this is simply absurd. There are thousands of internet forums that use anonymous moderation to avoid retaliation from trolls on the moderators who have moderated them. And there are plenty of internet forums wherein the moderators do not have their financial information posted everywhere. If you want to audit the Zeitgeist movement, call the IRS. That's within your rights. Your going to find however that it's not going to uncover anything deep and insidious.
The reason for anonymous moderation is that we have people who actually engage in abuse against members of TZM for their own amusement. It has gone beyond just simple ridicule and has developed into cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying. Ironically many of the people accusing us of being a cult are practicing the same sorts of harassment techniques often employed by cults.
If you peruse this website you will see while he tries to claim he is pointing out "legitimate" concerns he actually spends an enormous amount of time taking people's personal photos, personal information, full names, etc. and using them for cyberbullying and cyberstalking. This I might add is why some of us don't give out all our personal information. Not because we are in some evil cult. But because we are tired of people making sport of our personal lives. Constantly calling people names etc. This individual follows us around the internet anywhere he can and spews insults and schoolyard quality content. Like many trolls he hides behind supposedly having some special cause or justification for what he is doing. But at one point he even posted a video of me playing with my three year old son. And then used it to state that my little boy was an idiot. Among other things. If you click on the "Zeittards" portion of his blog you see that at the very bottom he even took a photo of one of a little girl in the Zeitgeist film and used it to attack her. This person and people like him have done similar things with photos and names of other people's family members. This is not a website made by a concerned person trying to fight an evil group. It is made by a cowardly person intent on getting sadistic pleasure by hurting people from the safety of his keyboard. And needless to say, I have no interest in seeing him do this to anyone else. And the only way we can protect ourselves is not to make our information available. Some of these people have even gone after our family members, who have nothing to do with Zeitgeist and harassed them.
We have moderators for the purpose of protecting people from abuse. There is no abuse going on within the Zeitgeist movement. And banning people from our forums when they do things like the person I just linked above is not "abuse" on our part.
This is from the forum rules of THIS VERY FORUM that I had to agree to when I joined.
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Version: May 5, 2010
Now, let's compare this to the Zeitgeist Movement Forums.
Zeitgeist Forum Rules
The Zeitgeist Movement's Forum, IRC and Voice Chat are made available, for free, for Members of The Movement to share ideas. The term Member is defined as: A person who supports a social group and shares common values and initiatives. Please understand that this is not an "open-forum" environment and that these communication mediums are not intended for the expressions of any persons other than those who support The Movement and communicate in the context of issues related. While constructive criticism - with positive intent - is always welcome, it should be respectful of The Movement and its Users at all times. The definition of respectful lies with the judgment of the Moderators and Administrators based on the interpretation of our rules, etiquette and guidelines (see below).
We make this explicitly clear because, since the inception of this Website and its communication mediums, a relatively large degree of hostile opposition, harassment and spam has occurred. In order to keep our members/users free from being abused and have their time wasted, we must make it clear that anyone acting in an outright negative capacity against the social direction denoted in our materials will not be welcome here. If you are new to The Movement's ideas and are unclear; have questions or curiosities, then these communication mediums are not provided for your interaction until you agree to Membership/User status. This means that you have read the materials, watched the videos and honestly/sincerely support The Zeitgeist Movement overall, and would describe yourself as a Member to others.
These rules were written in an effort to assist/protect members in our communication mediums, to allow everyone to participate without prejudice or intimidation and encourage everyone to focus on civil communication methods.
Please note that all communications may be logged for reference.
1. Please treat everyone with respect. Insulting, derogatory and/or any other disrespectful discourse is inappropriate and unacceptable.
2. Please do not engage in personal attacks (arguing with and/or attacking the person instead of addressing the topic) and try not to respond to such attacks, except to redirect the discussion to the topic.
It is by no means an indication that we are a cult that we have forum rules that include not attacking each other. And it is clear our stated purpose is to protect membership from abuse. You claim there is abuse going on towards our membership but never provide any evidence of this claim and basically just draw up an appeal to fear fallacy. Kicking people off of our forums for misconduct is not abuse. You also insinuate in one of your later posts that we should not have moderators at all or we are a cult. By that definition this forum since it has moderators must also be a cult. Another extremely important point is there is no coercion to stay in the Zeitgeist movement. And ironically the people spending the most time on attacking us are people who were kicked out for abusive behavior, who are now engaging in cult-like harassment campaigns, all the while calling us a cult.
I spoke to the owner of this website today on the phone and will probably be having him on a radio show at some point to talk about this topic. But in a later post here I will be going over his "checklist" to point out why in fact the Zeitgeist movement is not a cult. One of the problems we run into is that we stated that our movement is not a political movement. But in function it is really a political activist movement that focuses on spreading awareness of government corruption, corporate corruption, and suggests an alternative economic system. We have no religious doctrine, and no coercive hierarchy. People who don't agree with what we are doing are free to leave. And people who stop going on the forums are never tracked down and told to come back. I would urge people using this forum to seek the other side of the story on this issue. Because almost without fail every person who has suggested this movement is a cult is generally doing so because of their own petty personal vendettas and little else. And I find that disgusting. As they are using the very real danger and the very real tragedy of cults to attack a group of people who rejected them for their destructive and abusive behavior. We are no more a cult then "Green Peace" or "Veterans for Peace". But because we don't feel the political system is ever going to effectively affect positive change we don't call ourselves "political".