All I’ve got in my head right now is that line from Spaceballs (see title of this review). I say that because every year I read a handful of books that I am just absolutely at a loss for how to review. This is my first one of 2022! I just want to say la la la la la and maybe read it again, but I’m expected instead to verbalize my thoughts about a book that covered so much and was so good and so interesting! There, that’s some helpful information for you.
(FYI if you want something actually helpful, here are some other recent CBR reviews! faintingviolet & )
Well, I guess I can say this book does what it says on the tin! It is an examination (a very interesting one) of the way that language is used in cultish environments to indoctrinate people or make them continue with pursuits or take part in organizations that harm them or are actively against their best interests, and that isolate them from their friends and families. She talks about infamous cults like Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate, as well as cult religions like Scientology, but she also covers MLM’s (my favorite part!) and the cultish atmosphere of modern day fitness programs like SoulCycle. She breaks down language concepts like thought-terminating clichés and the way cults and cultish organizations co-opt language to provide a moment of conversion.
What I really need to do is buy the hard copy and read it again. I did the audio, which was great, but doesn’t lend as well to highlighting and re-reading.
P.S. While I was reading this book, thanks to andtheIToldYouSos recommendation, I also listened to The Dream podcast, and it was so great, although listening to them both at once has led to some slight confusion because I keep forgetting which part was in the book and which was in the podcast. Highly recommend that one! And this book, obviously.