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America's Cultic Milieu Two [Trenchant Edges] - by Stephen Fisher - The Trenchant Edges

"Cultic Milieu and You
In 1972, Colin Campbell published The Cult, The Cultic Milieu, and Secularization which coined the phrase.

He described it as an oppositional space where a community of seekers fed up with the mainstream searched for what you might call alternative facts. They form a loosely knit cultural underground of society, a kind of generalized Jungian shadow with all the ideas purged from polite society.

Let’s take it from Campbell’s own text:

The cultic milieu can be regarded as the cultural underground of society. Much broader, deeper and historically based than the contemporary movement known as the underground, it includes all deviant belief systems and their associated practices. Unorthodox science, alien and heretical religion, deviant medicine, all comprise elements of such an underground. In addition, it includes the collectivities, institutions, individuals, and media of communication associated with these beliefs. Substantively, it includes the worlds of the occult and the magical, of spiritualism and psychic phenomena, of mysticism and new thought, of alien intelligences and lost civilizations, of faith healing and nature cure. This heterogeneous assortment of cultural items can be regarded despite its apparent diversity as constituting a single entity—the entity of the cultic milieu. There are several sources of this unity."

 
 
 
 

Survivors of an International Buddhist Cult Share Their Stories | The Walrus

Standing by Trungpa’s deathbed was Thomas Rich, his spiritual successor. Rich was joined by Diana Mukpo (formerly Diana Pybus), who had married Trungpa in 1970, a few months after she turned sixteen. Also present was Trungpa’s twenty-four-year-old son, Mipham Rinpoche. While the cohort chanted and prayed, twenty-five-year-old Leslie Hays listened from outside the door. Trungpa had taken her as one of his seven spiritual wives two years earlier. After being called in to say a brief goodbye, Hays walked out into the evening, secretly relieved Trungpa was dying. She would no longer be serving his sexual demands; enduring his pinches, punches, and kicks; or listening to him drunkenly recount hallucinated conversations with the long-dead sages of medieval Tibet.