Aesthetic Realism is a cult founded by Eli Siegel in 1941. It is based in New York City, where their "educational non-profit" foundation is headquartered. It has round 100 members.
It is based on three core principles:
- The deepest desire of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis.
- The greatest danger for a person is to have contempt for the world and what is in it—contempt defined as the false importance or glory from the lessening of things not oneself.
- The study of what makes for beauty in art is a guide for a good life: "All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves."
The organisation is very anti-gay, and has produced various gay cure literature and books. In the 1980's they ran a conversion course to cure gays, claiming to have "cured" over 150 people.