I have just finished season 2 of The Devil you Know. It has been extremely interesting and made me think.
Season 2 looks at the internet cult around Sherry Shriner. What made this show interesting for me was how a person created a cult that is wholly on the internet! People go searching for answers online – to “google” has become a common verb in English. And, as the show points out, the algorithms on social media sites, and especially on YouTube, place people into a filter bubble – a context of confirmation of their assumptions. A person who watches a clip of a particular theory while be directed to other clips that confirm that theory.
What really made me think is that “cult” have worked out how to use this, why haven’t the people of God? Instinctively Shriner knew how to built community online and how to control people through that community. And how to use confirmation bias to move people to action. Yet the church is stuck in trying the same old things and wondering why it does not produce new outcomes!
I think this is worth exploring further!