Online Cults & Millennials

Finding Salvation with an Online Cult” — Vice, 2019, 19:03

Most cults function as total institutions controlled by an authoritative individual. This cult, however, is different. Not only is it largely based online, but Unicult appears to function more as a support group for disenchanted millennials. The group provides members with an outlet to attempt to transcend the overly-rational structure of society, and while it’s certainly “out there”, it doesn’t appear to be based on an ego-centric leader with control issues. So, could we call this group a religion? What seperates a religion from a cult, and what separates these from self-help groups? Even more importantly, does ideology really matter? I think we’re too quick to label things “cults” nowadays. I think this group operates on the principle of providing an all-welcoming, positive space for people shut out of mainstream avenues of emotional support. Perhaps this could be interpreted as spiritual, but I think it’s something of an alternative lifestyle rather than a cult. What do you think?

From the video’s description: Unicult is not your typical cult. Founded in 2012 by self proclaimed pop-spiritual leader Unicole Unicron, this mostly online group and its millennial following studies everything from crystals to aliens and seeks to empower each other to seek joy on earth.