An interesting read, found via a recent Scientology article on kuro5hin:

Sex, Drugs, and Cults. An evolutionary psychology perspective on why and how cult memes get a drug-like hold on people, and what might be done to mitigate the effects

Perhaps there might be an opportunity to “vaccinate” against those with more vulnerable dopamine systems with modern technology. It’s interesting to read about the human ability to absorb and transmit memes. It makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: as our genes encode less genetic behaviour, we need to make up for it in some way. Memes end up being a second set of genetic coding – though one that isn’t permanent .

Here’s a bit from the abstract:

In the aggregate, memes constitute human culture. Most are useful. But a whole class of memes (cults, ideologies, etc.) have no obvious replication drivers. Why are some humans highly susceptible to such memes?

Note that the term meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene.

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