MEMETICS: Evol. psych. connection between drugs and cults

Robin Hanson (
Sun, 29 Dec 1996 20:17:59 -0800 (PST)

Kieth H writes:
>Successful cult memes induce behavior (typically focused attention)
>between cult members which trips the "improving status" detectors.
>Tripping the detectors causes the release of reward chemicals without
>having much (if any) connection to "real world" improvements in
>reproductive success.
>Examples of focused attention are "love bombing" in the Moonies and
>"auditing" in Scientology.

This is the one idea with real content in Kieth's post. But it needs
to be fleshed out a lot more. If focused attention makes us go gaga
so, it is a puzzle why more other social institutions don't find some
way to trip this detector more. Why don't we see more analogues to
"love bombing" without all the other destructive behavior?

Robin D. Hanson