Essay:The Cult of Conservapedia

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Just for the heck of it, let's see how Andyland matches up with the Advanced Bonewits' Cult Danger Evaluation Frame.

1. INTERNAL CONTROL: Amount of internal political power exercised by leader(s) over members.

Inside CP: 10. In real life, 1.

2. WISDOM CLAIMED by leader(s); amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations.

9. Andy is an expert on all topics from ancient history to math to microbiology. (It's not a 10 because I think Andy _did_ actually admit to being wrong about something, once...)

3. WISDOM CREDITED to leader(s) by members; amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s).

CP members act like it's 9, except the soon-to-be-banned and occasionally PJR.

4. DOGMA: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism."

10. Andy's about as flexible as a ceramic teacup.

5. RECRUITING: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing.

0, as far as I can tell. Their active hostility towards would-be contributors is part of the reason CP's in such sorry shape.

6. FRONT GROUPS: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group.

0. Possibly one, if CP is seen as a front group for the Eagle Forum. (Which doesn't seem to be the case.)

7. WEALTH: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members' donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.

I get the impression Andy's not exactly leading the high life off of his homskolling fees, so I'll say 2.

8. POLITICAL POWER: Amount of external political influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members' secular votes.

Desired: 10. Obtained: 2. (And only that due to Phyllis back in the day.) Most of the CPers are too young to vote, thankfully.

9. SEXUAL MANIPULATION: of members by leader(s); amount of control exercised over sexuality of members; advancement dependent upon sexual favors or specific lifestyle.

Well, aside from the Schlafly-Spawn, I don't THINK Andypants has any control over his students. (I hope not.) That said, CP's pretty strict on abstinence and gay-hatin' as the One True Path, so I'll give this a 6.

10. CENSORSHIP: Amount of control over members' access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).

Again, Andy can't do squat about what his students do outside of lessons (I hope), but inside of CP, things are as locked down like a Soviet history class. Just try mentioning RationalWiki and see how long you last. 7

11. DROPOUT CONTROL: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.

No idea what his actual homeschollering classes are like, but at CP proper it's 0. "The less, the merrier" seems to be his motto.

12. VIOLENCE: amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).

Hopefully, 0.

13. PARANOIA: amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.

A nice solid 10.

14. GRIMNESS: Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

And another 10. Internets are Serious Business!

15. SURRENDER OF WILL: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Hard to say, really. Given Andy's lack of ability to keep idiots from running amuck, I'll put this at a 3.

16. HYPOCRISY: amount of approval for other actions (not included above) which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate group's declared principles for political, psychological, economic, or other gain.

And another big fat 10 for Andy "It's OK if a Conservative Does It!" Schlafly.

Grand total: In Real Life, 79 points out of a possible 160.


Despite Andy's best efforts at brain-squishing, he's got a long way to go before CP qualifies as a REAL cult. Maybe he could ask Ed Poor for some tips?