• Jessica Taylor Yates

Are You In A Cult And You Don't Even Know?

Kmart, T.Swift, F45, AFL...are you triggered yet?

If you go here, spend money here and are trying to get to the next 'level’...well...Source: F45 Training


So, for loyal followers and listeners (thanks, our mums) you'd know that while Nikki and I have our differences, we have these three things in common: we love anything about large almond lattes, cults, and MLMs. Nik did a great deep dive on the podcast episode Cults, and you can read about our other hot cult topics below if you're just as intrigued as us (which you are, cos you clicked on this one):

Cults generally all have the same characteristics, some of which include:

  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause

  • Being dictated on how members should act, think and feel

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality

  • Devoted time to the cult

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means

Source: International Cultic Studies Association


For example, Scientology:

  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: Obviously, how they all follow the teaching without question of the founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: Scientologists believe that 'Xenu' was the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy who brought billions of his people to Earth 75 million years ago.

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: Scientology is literally all about your mindset - you are frequently put in auditing sessions to change the way you think and feel, disconnected with your family, made to leave your family for years at a time, and not to question anything in the church.

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: Think Tom Cruise and his kids, how everyone says it's healed them and those who leave are labelled 'Suppressive Persons', and are not to be spoken to and are totally cut off.

  • Devoted time to the cult: In her memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini stated that all her time was devoted to Scientology - she would race form the set of King of the Hill to practise, day and night.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: They prey on celebrities, new members, and of course, your money for new courses to bring you enlightenment. In the doco Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, it is assumed the church is worth billions of dollars (tax free, naturally).

So, we all love reading about them, watching them, listening about them and thinking, shit, what nuts! That could never be me! But is it possible that you yourself are in a cult and you DON'T EVEN KNOW? Is it possible that you have inadvertently joined...

The F45 Cult

Just another cult leader! Source: GiPHY


Guys, luckily I noticed this was a cult and got out quickly, but the same could not be said for Nik, who was trapped for some time. But this place seriously is a cult. Think about it:


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: You have a fearless cult leader who may or may not also be a trainer. RED FLAG.

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: They encourage you to wear and buy merch, and bring others into the fold.

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: If you can't do it or don't turn up, you let everyone and yourself down. You're not good enough. If only you were better, like everyone else in F45...look how well they are all doing...

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: They start brainwashing you into thinking no other fitness is as good as F45. Being a part of it is being elite.

  • Devoted time to the cult: You are expected to devote countless hours to attending and partaking in everything F45.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: You pay an obscene amount of money upfront for a 'challenge', and ongoing if you want to stay in it and get yourself 'to the next level'. Plus, they have their own 'sects' all over the world

Get out now!


The Kmart Cult

This me. Fuck! Source: SmartCompany


Nikki and I are unashamedly members, and we so don't care, we are not brainwashed, you are! Kmart lifted its game on the home front in the last few years, and we, like thousands of people around the country, are loyal followers. Without question, I know I have the following traits:


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: Click 'add to cart' and give Kmart my money when they tell me how I should style my home because Kmart says so.

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: I will defend Kmart to the bitter end.

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: Apparently we should be excited when there are sales! And we should feel privileged to make appointments, and be excited when new sects pop up around the country! Okay!

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: I believe people who don't know how good Kmart is are morally inferior.

  • Devoted time to the cult: I will make an appointment in my free time to just hang out at Kmart with other like-minded Kmart people.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: Spend an inordinate amount of time trawling Kmart online, joining Kmart Facebook groups, going to Kmart, spending lots of money in Kmart, and spreading the gospel of Kmart...for free.


The Influencer Cult


They can only do this because of their loyal 'followers'. Source: Jaggad


Not really for mine, but many may have fallen victim to listening to a particular influencer who probably failed high school but has a good butt, so has decided to spend their time telling you about your nutrition, what jackets to buy, to read their book and to keep - red flag here - FOLLOWING them. Maybe you are in this cult if you do the below:


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: You follow your Influencer religiously, and like or 'love' button what they do to show your unwavering support.

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: They may not have any qualifications and have a questionable history, but it doesn't matter cos you like, just love them!

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: You aim to live like your leader - their house, their car, their clothes, their partner, if only you could be like them!

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: You find other people crazy when they don't have the same devotion to your Influencer that you do.

  • Devoted time to the cult: You share and promote their pictures, quotes and products - for FREE.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: You hand over your money to your leader - their activewear, make-up, a (ghost written) book, their show; despite them having no real experience in these areas.

The Taylor Swift Cult

Guilty. Source: GiPHY


Again, I am a proud member. Those of us who are part of it just get it. We are elite. For instance:


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: We are Swifties, and don't talk shit about our Kweeen Taylor!!!

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: I mean okay there was that phone recording with Kim K that kinddd of called her our but we don't care! it was a set up! A hoax! Fake news!!

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: We send snake emojis to her enemies, were firmly Team Taylor in her various (many) feuds, and have decided we don't want Scooter Braun to own her catalogue cos that's what she said we should think so it must be true.

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: You guys just don't get real music, that's fine. We are sad for you.

  • Devoted time to the cult: Spending an entire work day listening to Folklore? We're not crazy, you are!! Cease and desist!!

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: Um what, like you don't go to the concerts for our founder in your T. Swift shirt? Guess you're not a real fan and won't make it to the VIP level backstage...


The Bali Cult

Fuck I am in so many cults... Source: GiPHY


These people worship Kuta. Hardcore members won't even go anywhere else, this is it, and they make sure they get to their Mecca once a year:


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: Bali forever. You will always holiday here and it will always be your favourite destination.

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: There's some questionable laws around sexuality, a real first and third world divide and the selling of counterfeit goods but ooh, a Louis Vuitton bag for $10!

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: You haven't been to Bali? What is wrong with you? Were you neglected as a child? That is so. WEIRD.

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: Thinking people who don't like Bali are snobs or idiots and are totally missing out. They just don't 'get it' like you do.

  • Devoted time to the cult: Annual trips to your conventions on villas, and the odd #throwbackthursday post to show your support for their grand cause.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: You think everyone should go to Bali. You buy people merch, you buy products there, you give recommendations on what to see, buy and do, where to go, you use all your leave and pay to go frequently and tell anyone who will listen that they simply must go, they'll love it.


The Hamish and Andy Cult

The Prophets. Source: Domain


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: You listen to them every week, follow them on Insta and think no-one else compares. Radio is lost without them. Hamish and Andy forever!

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: Whether it is following the band of questionable talent, starting a failing CHUMS website, being into Horg's ideas, listening to Hamish's outrageous purchases and schemes and sitting through the banter-like ads, Hamish and Andy can do no wrong as cult leaders.

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: You roll your eyes at The Simpsons Guy, think Andy needs to get over his birthday and quit smoking, and that Jack needs to find that bitcoin password. You are INVOLVED.

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: You don't know what the Perfect Drop is? Or Power Moves? Um, do you live in a bunker?

  • Devoted time to the cult: You make sure you listen to all episodes, have watched all their shows, trawl their socials and go to their events. You're trying to become #1 fan, J. 'The Machine' Knight, just like Scientologists want to be as good as Tom Cruise.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: You have purchased a Hamish and Andy loyalty card (red flag), a Power Moves book or Chicken Wars shirt to show your devotion and undying loyalty.


The Anti-Masker Cult

Wake up sheeple! Source: GiPHY


We know the characteristics by now:


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: The leader isn't so much a person as a sea of people and their ideas - think Pete Evans, M.I.A, Madonna - everything they say is shared and treated as FACT despite no evidence.

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: These people may be musicians, chefs or actors, but in this cult, they are also doctors, revolutionaries and scientists, no question!

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: Members believe that corona is a hoax, 5G causes corona and cancer, vaccines are a conspiracy to microchip us and various other theories you can read about in our post on Curses and Conspiracies here.

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: Wake up Sheeple!! Everyone else just 'trusts' the mainstream media and are dumb! When will they wake up like you?!

  • Devoted time to the cult: Whether it is attending protests, making signs, researching what to tell cops when you get told off for not wearing a mask or deep dives on the net, being in this cult takes WORK.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: Purchasing of merch like Free Melbourne shirts, payment to the influencers who make them (naturally) and sharing thoughts with the masses so they can finally wake up and see the light like you!


The Politician Cult

"I invented this dance, ok? I have done more for dance than any dancer, ever." Source: GiPHY


This really could be a range of different leaders, but let's use the most prominent cult in today's media:


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: Okay, so Donald Trump wants to 'grab 'em by the p*ssy', but he also wants to Make America Great Again so like, whatever!

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: He has no qualifications but his rallies are like, so fun!

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: Build the wall! The election was rigged! Crooked Hillary! Obama isn't an American!

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: Fuck the Libs!

  • Devoted time to the cult: Attendance at rallies and conventions, deep dives and shares on social media, a vote to keep your leader in power, and an expectation to keep up with all their musings in news and current affairs, or other members will realise you are not as good a follower as they are.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: Whether it is donating to a campaign, purchasing of promotional goods, promoting their campaign or working at an election, you feel it was your calling to spread the word of your beloved cult leader - even if they don't know who the fuck you are!


Note: I am in this one, but my Cult Leader is Dan Andrews #getonthebeers


Private School Cult

My husband thinks I'm just a salty public school girl. I think he's just showing which cult he aligns to. Source: GiPHY


  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: You are a member of a great old institution and regard your standing as a privilege- that you deserve.

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: So, they take public funding and have questionable morals, sometimes about sexual and gender issues, but this doesn't matter, they can do no wrong!

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: You are told you are lucky to attend, you have better contacts, opportunities and facilities. You will end up in greater places in society than those not involved with the cult...just keeping paying those fees...

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: Public school people are like...fine...private is just, like, a better education, and you would never end up with someone from a public school lol!

  • Devoted time to the cult: You frequently went to or aided in fundraisers, sports events, Old Boys meet-ups and have great affection toward your time with the cult.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: Donations are mandatory and the more you give, the more you get (Steinberg Science Wing, anyone?)


The AFL Cult

The fearless leader. Source: GiPHY

  • Exceptionally loyal following to the cult leader: You would die for your team. You know all the members, the stats, going back years, you have memorised the history of the cult to show just how much of a VIP follower you are. You may love it more than your family, and nothing can get in the way between you and your team- your wedding, the birth of your child, nothing. Watching is a religious experience that can NEVER be missed.

  • Zero questioning of the leader or cause: Your team may not have won a Grand Final, but they are still the greatest!

  • Being dictated how members should act, think and feel: You hate your team's main rival with a passion, are convinced the umpires are totally rigged against your team and that other players should have been kicked off for what they did to your team.

  • An Us Vs. Them or Elitist Mentality: People who go for other teams are weak, have bad taste and are therefore terrible human beings who cannot be trusted. Particular teams/sects also have traits that you do not want to be associated with.

  • Devoted time to the cult: You attend or watch every game, keep up with all the news and socials, and find all you can talk about is your cult.

  • An expectation to either bring in new members, money, or other transactional means: You're either a member, pay to go to games, for merch, or for premium channels to show your devotion to your cult each and every week.


Did we miss one? Do you relate? If so, GET OUT NOW! (Unless it's Kmart or T. Swift. See you at the next convention).


Edit: We’ve heard there’s a Thermomix and MLM cult. GET OUT NOW!


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