bella_cavicchi's review

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informative mysterious medium-paced

4.0

What a fascinating dive into the language of cults, both traditional (Jonestown, Heaven's Gate) and not (MLM schemes, SoulCycle). Montell uses her references in such a way that it reads like a long magazine article, and so if I have one complaint, it's that I often felt that she was just skimming the surface of all there is to discuss (the rise of QAnon could have filled a whole book!). All the same, my linguistics-loving brain dug it.

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caseythereader's review

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dark emotional funny informative reflective medium-paced

4.0

 - CULTISH is a fascinating examination not only of what constitutes a cult in the modern world, but how these groups (whether technically a cult or not) use language to build their own worlds, draw people in, and keep them there.
- Particularly, the emphasis on the fact that someone getting tangled up in fringe religious groups or MLMs isn't necessarily a sign of stupidity or gullibility, rather that these organizations have carefully calibrated their pitches to bring in the most driven, committed people. 

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