We’re back and we’re preparing for Ascension. All right, we’re not entirely sure what Ascension involves, but it certainly sounds exciting. Our glorious leader, the beacon of effulgent wisdom that he is, assures us that the flame of enlightenment awaits us all. We merely have to follow his instructions precisely and question nothing. We have faith that this can only lead to wonderful things. Um. Yes. Wonderful things. Now, where’s that smell of smoke coming from?
Main Topic: Cults part 1
This is the first of a multi-episode look at cults in the real world and how (and even if) they relate to what we see in Call of Cthulhu. Over the course of this series, we will discuss what kind of person forms a cult, how cults recruit, how they indoctrinate their members and what kinds of things they might believe.
This episode is largely taken up with trying to pin down what a cult is. Trying to do so proved contentious, especially as “cult” is such a loaded term. No organisation in the modern day would willingly call itself a cult, and some fight hard against the label. But why is it such a pejorative term? And are people right to be afraid of organisations they consider cults?
Once again, the lockdown means we recorded this episode remotely. We hope that we’re getting the hang of making this sound all right. It’s far from the biggest problem current circumstances have presented, but it’s still a challenge.
Things we mention in this episode include:
- Religion in Call of Cthulhu
- Cults podcast
- Heaven’s Gate
- Grounded With Louis Theroux
- Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults by Jean-Marie Abgrall
- Spying in Guru Land: Inside Britain’s Cults by William Shaw
- Cargo cult
- The Witch-Cult in Western Europe by Margaret Murray
- Wild Wild Country
- Peoples Temple
- Anti-Cult Movement
- Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France
- Order of the Solar Temple
- How Cults Work
- The anti-vaccination movement
- Manson Family
- Aum Shinrikyo
- Branch Davidians
- Children of God/The Family International
- Malignant narcissism
The Blasphemous Tome Issue 5.5
We are currently putting together issue 5.5 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is an interim digital edition of the fanzine we publish for our Patreon backers. Issue 5.5 will contain a number of pieces we couldn’t fit into our last print edition, along with all-new articles and artwork. It will also feature a new Call of Cthulhu scenario by Scott, titled “The Murder Shack”. Anyone backing us at the time of release (expected to be early July) will receive a PDF copy.
More Lockdown Specials
We are still releasing fortnightly lockdown specials, discussing films, books and television you might find inspirational in your gaming lives. If you are backing us on Patreon, check your feed. Otherwise, backing us at any level will grant you instant access to the back catalogue.
Matt on Roll to Save
Matt recently appeared on the latest episode of the Roll to Save podcast, discussing his love of Vampire: the Masquerade. He will also be returning in a later episode to discuss Paranoia. We assume he means the RPG. At least that’s what they tell us.
The Good Friends of Jacks-Con Elias
Our wonderful listeners over on our Discord server are putting together an online gaming convention in our honour! The Good Friends of Jacks-Con Elias will take place over the 10th-12th of July, with game slots running around the clock. Everyone is welcome to come and join in.
You can find out more details on this very website, or, better still, join our Discord server and take an active role. Thank you very much to Orbital Axolotl for coming up with this and bringing it together, and to everyone else who has chipped in with logistical support, ideas and games!
Scott in Trebuchet Magazine
Scott has an article in issue 8 of Trebuchet Magazine, due out in July. The theme of the issue is Contemporary Surrealism. His article, titled “Lovecraft, Artificial Intelligence, and the Limits of Human Imagination”, is a playful piece about the role AI weirdness might play in bringing Lovecraftian madness into the real world.
If you would like to try a digital issue of Trebuchet, simply order one from their website and enter the code CORONA2020 at checkout to get it free of charge. Assuming this impresses you as much as we think it will, you can then pre-order a print copy of issue 8 at a discount — £10 (instead of £14) in the UK and £15 (Instead of £19.50) everywhere else. This is a 180-page, full-colour arts magazine, and promises to be a thing of beauty.
New Kult: Divinity Lost Kickstarter
Matt has a scenario in the upcoming Screams and Whispers anthology for Kult: Divinity Lost. This book, along with many other goodies, is currently being Kickstarted by Helmgast. The campaign finishes on the 2nd of July, so act quickly if you would like to back it!