Is ‘Zeitgeist’ a cult?

Because of the “Zeitgeist” film series being associated in the mainstream media and blogosphere with Jared Loughner, the disturbed individuals who committed the heinous murders and injuries in Tucson, Arizona, the Zeitgeist Movement is now being deemed a “cult” by various writers on the internet. But is the Zeitgeist Movement or “TZM” as it is officially abbreviated, really a cult?

Let us look at the definition of “cult“:


1.a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies. instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.

3.the object of such devotion.

4.a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

5.Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.

7. the members of such a religion or sect.

8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

Using one or more of these definitions, a case could be made that practically every group could be construed as a “cult.” Even people posting like-minded comments and thumbs up on a blog could be deemed a “cult.”

Do members of the Zeitgeist Movement act cultish? Yes, from my experience some do. But so do members of churches, mosques, synagogues and atheist groups all over the world. Moreover, entire political groups such as Republicans and Democrats also act cultish, as do conservatives and liberals. The followers of politicians from the left and right both act cultish – and they are often guilty of verbally and/or physically attacking people who disagree with them.

As I say in my essay “What is a Cult,” using the criteria presented here, we can categorize virtually any group of individuals with shared ideology as a cult, and that includes all religions and organizations known to mankind. Let’s keep that fact in mind next time someone starts shouting, “Cult! Cult!” He or she may be a cult unto him or herself.