So, what's a cult?
Wikipedia says the word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. Cults use mind control and coercive persuasion to entrap new members and leave them isolated from the world about them, making it near impossible to leave.
Some people say the Church of Scientology is a cult, although they have a number of highly paid and extremely effective lawyers that say that they are not. And if you can't believe the word of highly paid and extremely effective lawyers, then who can you believe?
When my former wife fell in with Slimming World, I was convinced at the time that she had fallen in thrall with some sort of dieting cult. But I was wrong, she was merely a recruit - a footsoldier - in their ongoing war with those Weightwatchers types, and for that selfless sacrifice she should be praised and not condemned.
The same goes for Zumba. What else could it be but a cult? Willingly dress up in leg-warmers, pay money to prance around in a school hall, while the cult leader - also dressed up in leg-warmers - tells you what a great time you're having to a hypnotic beat. Then I realised that, compared with line-dancing, it could never be a cult.
Then I discovered Rock Choir™.
Or, at least, I ran into glassy-eyed followers of Rock Choir™.
These are grown people who are allowed to vote and live in general society with the rest of us, yet know all the words to the entire soft-rock canon. They sing "You Raise Me Up" and cheer at the end, as if it's a good thing. Their main weapons are close harmony, fear, a fanatical devotion to Rock Choir™, and a medley of the hits of Queen and Freddie Mercury.
I blame Glee.
"There's 15,000 of us," they told me, repeatedly, hoping to make it 15,001. Or crack open my skull and feast on my spicy brains, for this is the way to reach the trance-like state required to sing the harmonies for "Everything I Do, I Do It For You".
Some of them were doing Jazz Hands, and I knew it was time to make my excuses before acts of "Don't Stop Believing" took place in public.
I fled for my life, a terrifying, yet somehow uplifting version of the Phil Collins classic Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) following me down the street.
There is only one way to fight Rock Choir™. Join me in PUNK CHOIR™ , singing the best in punk, post-punk, Oi!, psychobilly, anti-folk and rastabilly skank. You don't even have to be able to sing.
We are not a cult. Honest.
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