In this list, we’ll delve into these modern “belief systems” & explore what makes them feel like religions/cults, despite being very different from the traditional faiths we know.
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For some, Herbalife isn’t just a health and wellness brand; it’s a way of life. Many users agree that the Herbalife community can feel like a tightly knit group, where people enthusiastically advocate for the products and lifestyle. It’s not just about shakes; it’s a belief in a healthier existence.
For others, Herbalife is as controversial as some religious cults. Many say that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme, where recruiting others to sell these magical supplements is the only way to continue making money.
“I don’t want your kidney-destroying shakes.”
Speaking of pyramid schemes, Herbalife is just one example of Multi-Level Marketing companies, which often create fervent communities of distributors and sellers. While they may not be religious institutions, the sense of belonging, shared purpose, and hierarchy can make MLMs feel like a different kind of devotion. It’s not just a business; it’s a way of life for some. Chances are that you’ve already been approached by someone who is sold on the Amway, Avon, Forever Living or Jeunesse lifestyle and want you to join them. While some are legitimate companies, the disciples follow these MLMs like a religion.
“The funniest one was I was coming back from Colorado one time and two older women across the aisle on the plane from me were wearing t-shirts that said “Disney S**t” on them. I had to restrain myself the entire flight from just busting out laughing.”
Disney’s magic doesn’t stop at entertainment; for some, it’s a full-fledged way of life. Users suggest that Disney and its theme parks can serve a purpose similar to religion, providing a sense of wonder, community, and shared experiences. The most dedicated Disney enthusiasts proudly wear their love for the House of Mouse on their sleeves.
“So much fan art and fan fiction written about them too just like religious figures.”
K-pop fandoms are a world unto themselves, and for some, they might as well be religions. Some users note that fans’ unwavering dedication to their idols, coupled with intense loyalty and even conflict with rival fanbases, resembles the fervor of religious zealots. It’s not just music; it’s a lifestyle and identity.
“ESPECIALLY college football. For some reason, people are ridiculously toxic fans of school teams that they didn’t go to the school they represent.”
Football in many parts of the United States isn’t just a sport; it’s a way of life. Many users concur that the fervor and devotion of fans in the South can be akin to religious fervor. From tailgating rituals to dressing in team colors, football is more than just a game—it’s a cultural institution.
Some people don’t just exercise; they live and breathe fitness. Users describe those who are deeply immersed in diet, workout, and lifestyle regimens as having transformed their entire lives. Their dedication can feel like a religious commitment to health and wellness.
Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization that has helped countless individuals on their path to recovery. While their mission is noble, some users draw parallels to the structure and rituals of AA meetings that can feel somewhat cult-like. Coffee and cigarettes become their communion.
“I’ve tried to explain to burner friends why it’s too religious for me: it’s a pilgrimage to a desert where YOU BURN AN EFFIGY as part of a whole ceremony.”
Burning Man isn’t just a festival; it’s an annual pilgrimage for many. Users agree that the event’s emphasis on radical self-expression, community, and spirituality makes it feel like a unique kind of gathering—a temporary religious experience in the Nevada desert.
Cryptocurrency has its zealous advocates who passionately believe in the power of blockchain technology. Users point out that the crypto community has its own language, rituals, and devotion that can feel like a digital faith. It’s not just currency; it’s a movement.
“Agreed they’ve even made up their own language, ‘corporate speak’. Reminds me of 1984 new speak just more idiotic.”
Some employees don’t just work for a company; they immerse themselves in its culture and all they talk about is work. Users suggest that company culture can become so immersive that it feels like a belief system. The mission statement becomes a kind of creed, and company values are akin to religious dogma. Do you work with people like this?
Apple fans take brand loyalty to a whole new level. Users note that the Apple ecosystem has a devoted following that treats the tech giant’s products and ethos as a belief system. Many Apple devotees won’t even date or befriend Android users.
“I like her songs but when I meet people who like her, they go crazy insane. And it’s the only music they listen to 24/7. I met one fan who had 2k left in her savings and still spent it on a Taylor Swift concert. All her money is gone. And if someone ever makes bad comments about her, the fans go bonkers.”
Taylor Swift has a devoted fan base that goes beyond simply enjoying her music. Users suggest that Swifties, as they are known, exhibit a level of devotion that feels akin to a religious fervor. It’s not just a fan club; it’s an identity.
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