Marilyn Manson? Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2275 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion


Davis feels that cults and other ethno-sociological problems are also the result of Los Angeles' totalitarian system. He writes, "Paranoia about nature, of course, distracts attention from the obvious fact that Los Angeles has deliberately put itself in harm's way. For generations, market-driven urbanization has transgressed environmental common sense... As a result, Southernern California has reaped flood, fire, and earthquake tragedies that were as avoidable, as unnatural as the beating of Rodney King and the subsequent explosion in the streets."(9)

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Davis accuses the city administration and its planner for all the problems that Southernern Californians are facing today including its fascination with occult. However this may appear to be slightly confusing for someone who has not read other book by Davis. For this reason, let us study the economic factors responsible for cult following in S. California. Gordon Melton in his 1998 address 'The Cult Threat: Real or Imagined' explained that the reason cults come to Southern California more often are purely economic in nature. Los Angeles is the place where foreigners choose to land and settle down when they decide to migrate to the United States. These people bring along new religions, many of which turn into cults since they diverge considerably from mainline practices and beliefs. Melton (1998) said, "The two most diverse places in the world now turn out to be Los Angeles and London...Los Angeles was America's doorway to Asia. It was the end product of western immigration through the country. So everybody from the East landed in Los Angeles. Twenty percent of all the Vietnamese in America live in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, two counties in Southernern California... A very diverse situation has developed there."

He further explained how this 'diverse situation' is giving birth to new ideologies:

TOPIC: Term Paper on Marilyn Manson? What Is a Assignment

The landscape in our own communities is still dominated by traditional churches. Walk down the street and you still see First Church on the corner, the familiar Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, and Lutheran churches dotting the landscape. But the space in between these churches is beginning to be filled by all sorts of different groups: new evangelical groups that were not around 30 years ago, religions from countries that we had only read about in our textbooks in school or in travelogues that we had seen. We don't know where some of the new religions came from. Some have strange names and strange behavior, and their members dress in strange ways."

Gordon Melton's analysis can be extremely useful in understanding the pervasive issue of occult following in Southernern California. He offers a simple answer to a complex problem and shows that more than its structure, it is the affluence and prosperity of Los Angeles and its ideal geographical location that invites cults to this city.

Southern California provides favorable conditions for the development and expansion of cults. This was probably the reason why Heaven's Gate cult decided to move from New Mexico to California somewhere in mid 90s. Thirty-nine members of this cultic group committed suicide in 1997 near San Diego.

Los Angeles and its neighboring counties have become havens for cult icons because the city nurtures their growth. This is where bizarre ideologies can flourish without too much hard work because Los Angeles teenagers may be financially secure but they are more emotionally confused than their counterparts in our cities. Their quest for meaning in this chaotic world around them is what makes them look for alternatives. What else could have driven 39 apparently intelligent and sane people to plan and commit mass suicide in San Diego? Psychologists agree, "People who are most vulnerable to cults are searchers, often intellectuals hunting for meaning in life in a stressful, chaotic world. They are looking for an orderly belief system that offers a modicum of control over life's uncertainties." (Hendrick, 1997)

Southern California thus offers its citizens refuge from this chaos and stress in the shape of gothic movements. This is how our golden part of our country helped MM become a phenomenal success.


Davis, Mike. Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster. New York: Vintage, 1999.

Gavin Baddeley, Dissecting Marilyn Manson: Plexus Pub April 10, 2000

Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph.D. with Janja Lalich, Ph.D., Jossey-Bass, Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives, San Francisco, CA, 1995

Billy Sloan, MARILYN MANSION Inside the lair of the rock star who boasts he is., Sunday Mail, 05-20-2001, pp 16,17

Bill Hendrick, Inside the cyber-cult, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 03-29-1997, pp 08A.

Gordon Melton, The Cult Threat: Real or Imagined, Institute for Study of American Religion delivered at the International Coalition for Religious… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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