A surprising development has occurred in the sleepy North San Diego County City of Carlsbad.
People are talking about a mysterious cult that has been attracting a number of residents; prompting concern that some type of intervention is required before the cult grows too large, or possibly even impacts the functioning of the city government.
The prophet of this cult appears to be a Los Angeles billionaire with vague assurances of delivering a new “Promised Land.” He’s tapped into many residents’ need to “believe in something.” His influence causes new disciples to conduct ritualistic defense of their leader’s plans, and make sacrifices for the good of the movement. Concern is growing as some fear the prophet’s powerful exploitation; some followers are reportedly exhibiting zombie-like episodes.
Several leaders working with the prophet visit the townspeople, cajoling them with promises of a “heaven on earth” right in Carlsbad. Devotees host recruitment sessions in their homes; flyers and invitations, paid for by the prophet, are blanketing the City. Meetings for those who already “believe” are conducted where new members of the cult are often brought to tears as the group hums in unison in a melody only they seem to understand.
Potential new recruits are offered prophet-sponsored pilgrimages through hours-long traffic to visit “Gifts,” shrines complete with statues of the prophet’s family that he has bestowed upon the earth. One devotee, named a “super volunteer,” reported becoming mesmerized by shiny objects including rings polished to high-gloss by the workers at the prophet’s devotion centers.
Members of the cult are seen on online message boards, posting in comment sections below news articles, and other venues where they defend the cult and its prophet whenever any critical comments are found. Members volunteer their time by attending local community meetings to interject and “speak the truth,” if negative words are spoken about the prophet.
So what is this “Promised land,” this “Heaven on Earth” that the prophet promises? Fanciful artist renderings picture an oasis of nature. A young blond girl poses as temptress in one commercial promoting the proposal, compelling viewers to join her Eden paradise.
But really, what is this? A mall! With a Nordstrom’s! To be built on land that the community voted years ago to preserve as a strawberry field and natural open space. But preserving wild open space is not what this cult desires. Another mall is needed, they assert, to satisfy the hunger of the “needy” – those looking for fulfillment at the temple of retail commerce. They will fight through the resultant traffic and celebrate their deliverance to a holy place, promised by the Los Angeles billionaire prophet.
Local concerned citizens have called for an intervention, to free their neighbors from this cult. Will the entire community join together to resist this invasion? Can the infection be stopped, or is it too late?! Much is at stake, and the burden to decide the fate of our community rests on our City Council resisting the prophet’s temptations.