To one degree or another, any political party operates like a religious order. There is a holy text — its constitution and the ideology that underpins it; the party faithful, zealots and true believers alike; and, inevitably, the messiah, the chosen one who will lead the party to the promised land: national victory and power. Along the way there are prophets and miracles and all the accompanying component parts of any religious belief, re-interpreted in political terms. In this way, each political party moves inexorably towards a terminus, just like those monotheistic religions of old — the end of days, and the world rebuilt anew. Of course, in strictly religious terms, the end of days necessitates much death and horrible revenge before the realisation of any paradise is possible. Most political parties tend to try an avoid this in favour of some imagined utopia. Cults, however, put the apocalypse front and centre as not just inevitable but desirable. And death cults, in particular,...

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