Blog: What is it With Cults and Punctuation? Nxivm and Scientology Spelling Scams Revealed - 2018-05-19

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F379.png What is it With Cults and Punctuation? Nxivm and Scientology Spelling Scams Revealed May 19, 2018, John P. Capitalist, Reasoned.Life

I've been following with interest the implosion of the Nxivm cult, an Albany, New York-based group that saw its founder arrested for charges of sex slavery and brought back from hiding in Mexico.

There are some parallels between Nxivm and Scientology, in terms of a charismatic founder run amok, harnessing of celebrities to recruit, and an insatiable thirst for more money. We've already covered one set of parallels between the two groups, in an earlier look at childhood education "breakthroughs" to solve common educational problems and instill super powers in the minds of the kids. But there are also key differences. The core purpose of Nxivm seemed to be to serve as the "babe farm" to supply sex partners to founder Keith Raniere, and while money was important, it was not the be-all for the group. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard appeared to be relatively if not completely faithful to his wife Mary Sue while he was involved in Scientology. Scientology seems to be more about the cash, as has been extensively documented everywhere; they seem to leave few stones unturned in an attempt to exact every last penny possible from members. But perhaps most of all, Scientology is about control of the minutiae of the lives of members and, especially, of staff, whose lives are controlled to the utmost degree.

Today, we'll look at an amusing coincidence: how punctuation forms the basis of major money-raising campaigns in both Nxivm and Scientology. Why is punctuation so fascinating to cults, especially in an era where punctuation skills seem to be in steep decline in the world at large?