5 Reasons Why Minimalism Is NOT a CULT

I’m not exactly sure how it happened, which is probably how everyone starts their sentence when they realized they may have accidentally joined a cult, but I found the Common Cult Podcast and started to binge listen a couple weeks ago.  Eryn and Heather previously hosted The Practical Minimalists Podcast which I also binged and LOVED.  When I found the Common Cult Podcast, the topics intrigued me.  Is Crossfit a cult?  What about veganism?  MLMs?  What are some characteristics of a cult? Are you a cult leader if you are charismatic?  I was hooked!  I had to learn more!!!

The Common Cult Podcast discussed minimalism as potentially being a cult.  When I say cult, maybe you are thinking about Heaven’s Gate or maybe Charles Manson.  I’m not going to point fingers but Heaven’s Gate and Charles Manson seem a little bit cult like to me.  But is minimalism really cult like?  I don’t think so and here it why.

  1. There are no official rules of engagement or some absolute certainty. There are some minimalists that live with less than 100 items and other minimalist that love their 3,000 square foot home and others somewhere in between.
  2. There is no official charismatic leader. Sure there are The Minimalists, Marie Kondo, and Joshua Becker, to name a few minimalists, with their own official decluttering methods and ways. But there is not one single official leader over the whole minimalist movement.
  3. There is no suppression of doubt, dissent, or disbelief. I don’t see minimalism suppressing my emotions, thoughts, or feelings. Sure there are some extreme minimalist that will try to bully you into following their way but that’s just a small group. Who really cares what they think?
  4. There is no us vs. them mentality. Yes, there are varying degrees of minimalism and some judge-y extreme minimalists, but politics has a whole lot more us vs. them mentality than minimalism does. Most minimalists that I listen to or read are all about accepting yourself and doing what’s best for you.
  5. There is no mind altering behavior. While you do experience a mental shift when you declutter the physical stuff, the shift occurs at your own pace. No charismatic leader is depriving you of sleep and food simply to break you down and build you up the way they want you to in minimalism.

There you have it. I don’t think Minimalism is a cult. Or do you think it might be? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



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