Cover image for The cultic milieu : oppositional subcultures in an age of globalization
The cultic milieu : oppositional subcultures in an age of globalization
Kaplan, Jeffrey, 1954-
Publication Information:
Walnut Creek : AltaMira Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
353 pages ; 24 cm
The cult, the cultic milieu and secularization / Colin Campbell -- Diggers, wolves, ents, elves and expanding universes / Bron Taylor -- The historical communal roots of ultraconservative groups / Timothy Miller -- Neo-shamanism, psychic phenomena and media trickery / László Kürti -- The gothic milieu / Massimo Introvigne -- Black and white unite in fight? / Mattias Gardell -- The idea of purity / Heléne Lööw -- Thriving in a cultic milieu / Frederick J. Simonelli -- The postwar paths of occult national socialism / Jeffrey Kaplan -- The modern anti-cult movement in historical perspective / J. Gordon Melton -- "Who watches the watchman?" / Laird Wilcox.
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Table of contents

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BP603 .C835 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In 1999, a seemingly incongruous collection of protestors converged in Seattle to shut down the meetings of the World Trade Organization. Union leaders, environmentalists dressed as endangered turtles, mainstream Christian clergy, violence-advocating anarchists, gay and lesbian activists, and many other diverse groups came together to protest what they saw as the unfair power of a nondemocratic elite. But how did such strange bedfellows come together? And can their unity continue? In 1972--another period of social upheaval--sociologist Colin Campbell posited a 'cultic milieu': An underground region where true seekers test hidden, forgotten, and forbidden knowledge. Ideas and allegiances within the milieu change as individuals move between loosely organized groups, but the larger milieu persists in opposition to the dominant culture. Jeffrey Kaplan and Helene Loow find Campbell's theory especially useful in coming to grips with the varied oppositional groups of today. While the issues differ, current subcultures often behave in similar ways to deviant groups of the past. The Cultic Milieu brings together scholars looking at racial, religious and environmental oppositional groups as well as looking at the watchdog groups that oppose these groups in turn. While providing fascinating information on their own subjects, each essay contributes to a larger understanding of our present-day cultic milieu. For classes in the social sciences or religious studies, The Cultic Milieu offers a novel way to look at the interactions and ideas of those who fight against the powerful in our global age.

Author Notes

Mattias Gardell is a researcher with the Center for Migration Studies (CEIFO) at Stockholm University
Massimo Introvigne is Managing Director of CESNUR, the Center for Studies on New Religions, in Torino, Italy
Jeffrey Kaplan is an assistant professor of Religion at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
Laszlo Kurti is professor of political science and social anthropology at the University of Miskolc, Hungary
Helene Loow was appointed to the National Council of Crime Prevention in Stockholm, Sweden
J. Gordon Melton is the director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, California and a research specialist with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Timothy Miller is a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas
Frederick J. Simonelli is currently associate professor of History and chair of the Department of History And Political Science at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles
Bron Taylor is Oshkosh Foundation Professor of Religion, and director of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
Laird Wilcox is founder of the Wilcox Collection on Contemporary Political Movements in Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas

Reviews 1

Choice Review

These essays were inspired by "The Cult, The Cultic Milieu and Secularization," a 1972 article by British sociologist Colin Campbell. Campbell argues that although cults tend to be ephemeral, new ones are born as soon as the old ones die. To explain the persistence of cults, he argues that there is "a cultic milieu," an ethos that nurtures new cults, as a constant feature of society. Campbell's essay uses terms such as "underground," "unorthodox," and "deviant" to describe people at odds with the dominant culture. The style of the cultic milieu is shaped by "seekers," who are never content with the majority status quo and who tend to be indifferent to values of the larger culture. The 11 authors of the present volume extend Campbell's thesis to explore more extreme expressions of political, economic, and ecological positions on both the Left and the Right, such as those of racist neo-Nazis, World Trade Organization protesters, and radical environmentalists. Campbell sought to understand religious cults; his probing essay has opened for these sociologists a way to explain the style of protest and dissent at many levels of society, both religious and secular. This book is a provocative and useful contribution to understanding pluralism. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and above. W. L. Pitts Jr. Baylor University

Table of Contents

Jeffrey Kaplan and Helene LoowColin CampbellBron TaylorTimothy MillerLaszlo KurtiMassimo IntrovigneMattias GardellHelene LoowFrederick J. SimonelliJeffrey KaplanJ. Gordon MeltonLaird Wilcox
1 Introductionp. 1
2 The Cult, the Cultic Milieu and Secularizationp. 12
3 Diggers, Wolves, Ents, Elves and Expanding Universesp. 26
4 The Historical Communal Roots of Ultraconservative Groupsp. 75
5 Neo-Shamanism, Psychic Phenomena and Media Trickeryp. 110
6 The Gothic Milieup. 138
7 Black and White Unite in Fight?p. 152
8 The Idea of Purityp. 193
9 Thriving in a Cultic Milieup. 211
10 The Postwar Paths of Occult National Socialismp. 225
11 The Modern Anti-Cult Movement in Historical Perspectivep. 265
12 "Who Watches the Watchman?"p. 290
Indexp. 344
About the Contributorsp. 352