the evolutionary psychology behind cults (was: Re: Keith could use some help)

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Wed Sep 15 2004 - 08:53:17 MDT

--- Keith Henson <> wrote:

> Understanding the evolutionary psychology
> behind cults, wars and related
> social phenomena may be critical in getting
> through the singularity.
> Keith Henson
I absolutely agree. I am toying with the thought
that this is some kind of (abnormally active)
feedback loop connecting the survival instinct
with the pleasure center of the brain. I've heard
that's roughly what happens in addiction, so that
a gambling or drug addict overrides moral and
practical considerations to feed the pleasure
center. We can hypothesize power-hungry
psychologies form a sort of 'fetish' so that
their pleasure centers are activated by personal
interactions in which they were the dominant
'alpha monkey,' in which they control as large a
portion of the available resources as possible,
in which they *control*. Control addiction
creates the cult leaders, the dictators and
warmongers. William Burroughs said "Control is
the ultimate drug."

How certain are we that such a feedback loop
cannot occur in a SAI? That would be rough.

Tom Buckner

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