“Cults” go “Phishing”
December 22, 2000
Since the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995 another band called the Phish seems to have filled the void that the Grateful Dead left behind.
“Phish heads” have largely replaced the cult following of the “Dead heads” that once wandered nomadically from concert to concert devoted to Garcia’s band.
Phish concerts are typically sold out far in advance due largely to the phenomenon of their cult following.
For many fans the Phish have taken on an importance usually reserved for religious devotion. Chris Hedges mines this mystery in his article “A quest for rapture leads a ‘Phish head’ astray,’ recently run in the New York Times.
But one aspect of both the Grateful Dead and “Phish head” phenomenon that has not been reported about is the often well-organized effort by groups called “cults” to recruit amongst the rock bands faithful.
Recognizing the vulnerability of nomadic youth searching for meaning some “cults” seem to think proselytizing at concerts is like “shooting fish in a barrel.”
Some groups called “cults” that once followed the Dead and/or now go Phishing are Krishna, Twelve Tribes, and the Chabbad Lubavitch.
Another group altogether might catch “Phish heads” as they continue to follow their beloved band.
One concert might be the last for some unlucky “Phish heads,” unless they are later sent out to go phishing too.