I am a big fan of YouTube for random learning, and I subscribe to a lot of educational channels. But sometimes I just stumble upon random pockets of fascinating information and whole communities devoted to a particular topic.
This rabbit hole started with cults, which are a perennial fascination for me.
I stumbled on a video about Heaven’s Gate by Fundie Fridays, which was very thorough and well-researched.
So then I watched a lot of her videos which cover topics like:
- The various TLC shows about fundamentalist families like Plathville and the Duggars (19 and counting), Sister Wives.
- The “quiverfull” movement, which a lot of these fundamentalists subscribe to, which involves having as many children as possible to “raise an army for God”. Here’s a good video from a woman who was raised in it but who got out.
- IBPL, a cultish organization that seems devoted to teaching fundamentalist Christians how to abuse their children (for God of course).
- Conservative fundamentalist religious organizations like Focus on the Family, Jerry Falwell, the Moral Majority.
- Other religious figures like Dave Ramsey, Tammy Faye, Kenneth Copeland, Mike Pence.
- Shows like Duck Dynasty.
- Cults and cultish leaders like Warren Jeffs, the Moonies, Gloriavale.
I also watched a few of Without a Crystal Ball‘s videos which are mostly celebrity gossip about the fundy TLC shows, but I did find her story of why she started her channel fascinating: How I Accidentally Joined a Cult.
The goal of a lot of this content is to raise awareness and critique fundamentalism and cults, but there are also a couple of other subgroups.
- The FundieSnark community on Reddit who often make fun of or harass fundie families, or fight amongst themselves about how much it’s appropriate to do that.
- People genuinely trying to leave cults and fundamentalist families (a process called “deconstruction”, like the Exvangelical subreddit. I’m really glad these kinds of spaces exist.