I've been following up on the Venus Project for about almost a year now. Keeping an eye out for new bits of information. Lots of it is positive but you're going to run into detractors as well. One person I came across goes by the alias 'Anti-Cultist' and as the nickname suggests he's under the impression that the Zeitgeist Movement is a cult or has cultish tendencies. He runs a blog that you can find here. Here's how 'Anti-Cultist' explains why he dislikes Zeitgeist and the Venus Project.
"Group mentality is something that gets silly, people herd together for a cause and end up ignoring the rules of their group, and the rules of society. Most people start off with decent intentions, but get caught up in the chaos and excitement of their movement or cause, and lose themselves with in the group. The defensive nature of group members is quite interesting to observe and study, when it comes to pointing out factors that undermine their cause or their group identity. It is as if one had killed something they loved, or as if they were personally offended by the information due to too much emotional attachment. Members become over confident than they would be on their own and stir up all manner of troubles for “antagonists“, and that is where we come in, this blog is to point out the ridiculous nature of group mentality, the problems of groups, the underlying obviousness that is invisble to members of groups. They would call us group antagonists, You can call us anti cultist".
After reading the "why this blog?" post I'm not inclined to label him as "anti-cultist." That doesn't seem to grasp the real nature of his problem with TZM or TVP because the argument is pretty weak to begin with.
First, I wouldn't label TZM or TVP as a cult. Cults are almost exclusively associated with religion and/or religious figures. With TVP the focus is on science to solve social problems. That's something entirely different then faith.
Secondly, pointing out that there is a group mentality and that therefore the movement reeks of a cult, is also disingenuous. When people form a group, how can you not have a common set of goals and a group mentality in the long run? That's simply the social mechanics of the group moving forward. It has nothing to do with being cultish. By that same sort of reasoning members of the Republican party are in a cult. Fans of the New York Yankees. How about the people that visit all the different churches in the U.S.?
A group mentality is a natural thing. The cult label is used if such a group is way out of the (religious) mainstream. Is the Venus Project way out of mainstream? I don't think so. Many matters the Venus Project advocates are possible with todays standard of technology.
The question by anti cultist: 'why this blog?', still hasn't been answered in my opinion since the arguments I've seen so far are simply inadequate. Maybe we should take a look at his personal experiences post in order to find some real answers. And what do you know? Anti cultist was a Zeitgeist member. When reading that post you'll notice that he was dissatisfied with the approach the owners of the Zeitgeist forum took after Addendum came out. But first something else, which is very important in my book. Anti cultist writes;
"At the same time there were numerous anti members who frequented the site with various targeted ideas about how the original movie was a complete fallacy and a lot of the claims could not be proven, but there were also the more intelligent dissenting voices calling out for proof and evidence for the claims of the venus project as opposed to the movies."
You wonder why the forum took a different approach when 'anti members' joined and started targeting their own ideas? Anti cultist seems to neglect one important factor. There are those people who disagree and present their ideas in a respectful manner and there are those people who are disrespectful and drive their opinions home no matter what - even if it means to insult everyone in the process. These people don't want a dialogue, they want to dominate. I've been a moderator on forums for years and I've been through such incidents many times. People like that basically don't want to go along with the forum goals or give it some counter balance with well-thought arguments, they want it destroyed. This is why a forum takes on a new approach because there are selfish people out there that simply want to see it gone. That's also the reason why some 'anti members' join in the first place. . .
Reading anti cultist experiences on the forum it's obvious he was somewhat skeptical from the start, didn't like the changes in the forum while giving little attention to those folks out to create havoc. That part didn't seem to bother him that much. So what does it all boil down to? Here's an excerpt from the comments section where anti cultist expands on civil unrest after an economic collapse.
"While TVP and their followers somehow think that they will miraculously make the world great from collapse, I dont see this at all. I see mass aggitation and violence, selfish taking and stealing until there is nothing left and those that have things protect them. This is all of course speculative and futuristic, but people are animals first and social creatures second, we are social because it serves a purpose to group together cohesively for trade/profits and survival, take away everything and people will either stay in the cities and loot or run for the hills and survive."
And right he is. The bottom line is that people are selfish. People think of number 1 and do those things that benefit them the most. People work to make money which in turn enables them to buy food and have a roof over their heads. Our society works that way given the monetary capitalistic principle. Take that away and people try to survive by any means. Wait a minute. What does the Venus Project stand for? Sharing resources on a global scale so that everyone has all the necessities of life?
Selfish taking and stealing is something that happens when people live in scarcity. Why else would you steal in the first place? Doesn't the Venus Project advocate abundance?
Right, people are animals first and social creatures second, and people are social as a group in order to survive. Question anti cultist! Why would you criticize the Zeitgeist Movement, associate it with a 'group mentality' that is somehow "cultish" while you already provided the answer to the question why people band together and act towards common goals? Isn't that one hell of a contradiction? People often band together for survival. A cult has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Isn't the Venus Project one method which by survival can be achieved, maybe even guaranteed?
You're absolutely right when you say that people are selfish. People reason towards that which benefits them the most. That's probably the answer to the title in my blog post. People see something, some approach, and they just don't like it or doubt it will succeed. Why? I guess the answer to that one should be clear by now.