To help you tell the difference between the hash and a cult, here are the eleven signs that you are in a cult, with explanations in parentheses:
1. Mandatory, regular attendance
Mind control techniques and hypnosis don’t last forever, but they don’t have to: All they need is a couple of hours a week to reinforce the training. (Hashes meet every other week, so we’re not a cult.) (OK, sometimes we meet every week. We’re still not a cult.)
2. Hierarchical leadership
Every cult has a hierarchical leadership structure. Many cults won’t allow you to officially join until you undergo a ritual that symbolically changes you from a member of the lost, miserable outsiders into a saved, superior member of the in-crowd. (Wouldn’t happen at a hash. There are no rituals involving sacred beverages and vessels and that sort of rubbish.)
3. Charismatic leaders
The biggest red flag you might be involved with a cult is if the organization revolves around charismatic leaders. (Hashes have no leaders, or at least no one you’d follow down punishing trails to the point of exhaustion and wonder why you’re doing it. Do we?)
4. Trance stimulation
Hymns and chants are common rituals for cults. Combined with the thrill of performing an action in unison with other members of the in-crowd, chanting or singing will work you into a trance state that will make you susceptible to hypnosis. (Of course, the hash doesn’t work anyone into a trance state through chants or songs – then we would be HEADing toward cultdom.)
5. Repetitive drills (and consequences for nonconformity)
In addition to singing, a good cult would require its victims to perform rote physical drills. The moment you participate in a drill you’re being obedient. (OK, hashes might qualify as physical drills, but hey, they start at a different place every time, so they’re not rote. No rote!)
6. Separating the believers (the in crowd) from the non-believers
It’s common practice for cults to tell their recruits that the world can be divided into two kinds of people: those who are inside the group and those who are outside the group. (As if we’d label non-hashers as muggles or something! Who does that? Not us!)
7. The charismatic leader manipulates your emotions
Charismatic leaders will try to mesmerize you with the way they dress and talk. They guilt trip you. They make impossible promises and horrific threats. (The hash wouldn’t pressure anyone into wearing anything out of the ordinary, like dresses, or skirts, or large Viking horns. I think I’ve heard impossible promises from hares before, though…)
8. You’re given an ultimatum
The point of every cult service is to build up to the moment where the charismatic leader makes a call to action. The call for action is to either give money, take your commitment to the cult to the next level, humiliate yourself or at least honor those who do. This is brazen manipulation, and it works. (Wait…at hashes, we do take your money, and we do honor people who humiliate themselves…who wrote this list, anyway?)
9. You’re encouraged to humiliate yourself and mimic others
If a cult leader can convince his flock that he has more spiritual authority than them and they are unworthy, then his control over them is almost guaranteed, Then the followers will have total trust in their leader. (Dang mismanagement! We are unworthy!)
10. Socializing with the in crowd
The trick is to keep your in-group together as much as possible and get them to willfully ostracize themselves from the rest of society as much as possible. (Aren’t we looking for special deals from local restaurants for hash practice? Why can’t we just fit in with society? What’s wrong with us?!?)
Cults need a constant stream of new victims. You know what’s going to happen, and it only ends well for the charismatic leader…assuming he doesn’t get too drunk on power and do something crazy. (Drunk? Crazy? New virgins? Er, I mean victims? OH MY GOD, WE ARE A CULT! Get away from me! Help! Aaskljsdsgsd
So, you can clearly see . . . it’s NOT a cult!
Here’s what you need to know for the hash on Saturday:
You might get your feet wet if we decide to bring forth the rain, so bring a change of shoes/socks.
You’ll need cranial illumination when we blot out the sun (weather permitting).
(Seriously, bring a light and dry shoes/socks. Yes, a light for a 4pm hash. You’ve been warned.)
So come drink the Kool-Aid with your hares, Guru White Lightning and Guru Nuns Shall Pass!
Starting from the IU Cyclotron (or whatever it’s called now) parking lot, waaay at the back. $7 for the previously hypnotized, free for first-time ritual victims.
When: Saturday, 10/10 at 4:00pm
Where: IU Cyclotron parking lot (way in the back)
2401 N Milo Sampson Ln, Bloomington, Indiana 47408
How much: $7, virgins are free