, 12 tweets, 4 min read
Over ten years ago, @guardian published a story about cults and their charismatic leaders. They included a list of behaviors that should be warning signs of an unsafe group or leader.

I'll list them in this thread, along with sample news stories about Trump that align with them.
1) Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

Hitler, Mussolini, and Mao Zedong curated dysfunction in their respective governments, in order to gain power.

2) No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

Trump's constant railing at the impeachment process itself betrays his intolerance for critical inquiry, as discussed in this Situation Room clip.

3) No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.

He famously promised to disclose his returns, and then fought like a rabid animal to prevent their lawful disclosure to Congress.

4) Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

The resident has regularly promoted thoroughly-debunked conspiracy theories. Some more outlandish than others.

5) There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

Don McGahn is just one example in a long list of targets for Trump's ire.

6) Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

Some went on to write their own books (like the infamous op-ed "resistance" author), and others contributed to accounts like this one:

7) There are records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports that document the abuses of the group/leader.

I'll just refer you to the brilliant "What the Fuck Just Happened Today", which aggregates all that fuckery daily.

8) Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

I'll admit, I couldn't find any specific examples of this one in the news.

I spent some time looking for Fox and Friends sycophancy in action and decided that worked. So, you know, watch their show. I'm not linking to it.
9) The group/leader is always right.

See replies to Trump tweets, and the endless parade of surrogates breathlessly defending even his most ridiculous gaffes.

Oh, and Lindsey Graham.

10) The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Remember this one? "What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening."

Original story from @Guardian, dated May 27, 2009:

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