Thursday, July 28, 2016

Who could have the Nuclear Rocket codes?

The United States of America is a great state bounded by the US Constitutionratified in 1790, checked and overseen by the balance between three divisions of the federal government and its people, one nation of people.  One man or woman can not make it or break it, but a nation of people could if they ignore the foundation that the state is built upon.  Do not ignore who is slated to be the head of our protection and military as commander in chief.  Take the time to read what he was said and what others have researched about him.  I endorse no candidate and unhappy with the available choices. 

Holding the codes to our nuclear weapons is a very crucial responsibility.  Read about our many soldiers and citizens that were exposed to an over zealous individual.  We need to understand and predict the President's decisions on this toxic serpent of nuclear weapons.

Author Eric Schlosser, Sept 13, 2016 discusses "emotional unstable" President ending up with the nuclear codes.. plot out of a science-fiction film

Quote from Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe on August 3, 2016
“Several months ago, a foreign policy expert went to advise Donald Trump,” Scarborough said. “And three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons — three times he asked. At one point, ‘If we have them, why can’t we use them?’”
Trumps Misunderstanding of the Nuclear Triad (strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles) GOP debate 12-2015 asked by Hugh Hewitt:
Trump was asked to offer his opinion on which leg of the nuclear triad, decried by many as outdated, he believed was most crucial to update. The Republican frontrunner did not appear to understand the topic.
In his original answer, Trump said it was important to have a strong leader with sound judgment during perilous times. He then trailed off to talking about opposing the Iraq War and how important limiting nuclear proliferation is. The response did not touch on Hewitt’s question, so he asked again.
“I think for me nuclear – the power, the devastation is very important to me,” Trump said in his second attempt
Biden Once Again Mentions Military Aide Carrying Nuclear Codes
in Newsmax and Washington Free Beacon  

Trump has suggested America use nuclear weapons to bomb Islamic State. He has proposed that Japan and maybe even Saudi Arabia build their own arsenals. And he may have weakened the deterrent effect of nuclear bombs in Europe by suggesting a Trump administration would not come to the aid of NATO members who owe the alliance money. 

“It’s been shock therapy for the American public,” said Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, which promotes nuclear disarmament. “Up until last month, most Americans did not even know a president could launch a nuclear war on their own authority.”
Regardless, Trump has plunged into an issue presidential candidates gently sidestepped for years. U.S. policy for when and how nuclear arms should be deployed has been one of the rare points of bipartisan foreign policy agreement. Yet it doesn’t fit neatly into Trump’s unique ideology, which is driven by challenging existing orthodoxy on everything.
In a phone interview, Brown vividly lays out a scenario Perry warns about in which terrorists could smuggle a crude nuclear device into the center of Washington and use it to wipe out the president, key Cabinet members, most of Congress and tens of thousands of people..setting off mass panic and descending the nation into chaos.
“The only way people talk about [nuclear weapons] is as if Trump might get his hand on the button,” Brown said. “Whether he does or not, we have these catastrophic dangers lurking out there. And leaders that should be worrying about it are sleepwalking.”
Trump won't Outline Plans for North Korea in Tampa Bay Tribune, September 9, 2016 from Associated Press
Trump also suggested Clinton and others are wrong to outline their national security policies, because doing so could help the nation's enemies. "Maybe we shouldn't be so honest when it comes to military strategy," he said.
But at a crowded rally Friday night in Pensacola, Trump said he'd order an attack on Iranian boats if they harassed the U.S. Navy.
D. T., Cold War Nuclear Negotiator in the National Review of a repost from 1984 in the Washington Post, Donald Trump Holding All the Cards: the Tower, the Team, the Money, the Future.
"This morning, Trump has a new idea. He wants to talk about the threat of nuclear war. He wants to talk about how the United States should negotiate with the Soviets.
He wants to be the negotiator.
He says he has never acted on his nuclear concern. But he says that his good friend Roy Cohn, the flamboyant Republican lawyer, has told him this interview is a perfect time to start.
"Some people have an ability to negotiate," he says. "It's an art you're basically born with. You either have it or you don't."
He would know what to ask the Russians for, he says. But he would rather not tip his hand publicly. "In the event anything happens with respect to me, I wouldn't want to make my opinions public," he says. "I'd rather keep those thoughts to myself or save them for whoever else is chosen...
"It's something that somebody should do that knows how to negotiate and not the kind of representatives that I have seen in the past."
He could learn about missiles, quickly, he says.
"It would take an hour-and-a-half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles... I think I know most of it anyway. You're talking about just getting updated on a situation... You know who really wants me to do this? Roy... I'd do it in a second." "
Trumps Nuclear Experience Advice for Reagan, in 1987 he set out to solve the world's biggest problem by Ron Rosenbaum reprint by Slate Mag in 2016
"Donald Trump with the power to destroy life on earth. At the heart of the near hysterical (and mostly justified) Fear of Trump that escalates as he approaches the Republican nomination is the Fear of Trump With the Trigger. That explosive temperament combined with that explosive capability.
But it has largely been forgotten that Trump is not new to nuclear matters. He has been thinking about how he’d handle nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation for more than a quarter-century, at least since 1987, when he claimed to me that he was “dealing at a very high level” with people in the White House (that would have been the Reagan White House) on doomsday questions...
“He told me something a few years ago,” Trump recalls. “He told me, ‘You don’t realize how simple nuclear technology is becoming.’ That’s scary. He said it used to be that only a few brains in the world understood it and now you have a situation where thousands and thousands of brains can easily understand it, and it’s becoming easier, and someday it’ll be like making a bomb in the basement of your house. And that’s a very frightening statement coming from a man who’s totally versed in it...”
Still, Impatience, combativeness, impulsiveness—not exactly what you’re hoping for when it comes to the guy in charge of the nuclear trigger. The combo makes one uneasy.
-Would you be willing to have the U.S. be the first to use nuclear weapons in a confrontation with adversaries?
TRUMP: An absolute last step. I think it’s the biggest, I personally think it’s the biggest problem the world has, nuclear capability. I think it’s the single biggest problem. When people talk global warming, I say the global warming that we have to be careful of is the nuclear global warming. Single biggest problem that the world has. Power of weaponry today is beyond anything ever thought of, or even, you know, it’s unthinkable, the power. You look at Hiroshima and you can multiply that times many, many times, is what you have today. And to me, it’s the single biggest, it’s the single biggest problem.
-Could you give us a vision of whether or not you think that the United States should regularly be using cyberweapons, perhaps, as an alternative to nuclear? And if so, how would you either threaten or employ those?
TRUMP: I don’t see it as an alternative to nuclear in terms of, in terms of ultimate power. Look, in the perfect world everybody would agree that nuclear would, you know, be so destructive, and this was always the theory, or was certainly the theory of many. That the power is so enormous that nobody would ever use them. But, as you know, we’re dealing with people in the world today that would use them, O.K.? Possibly numerous people that use them, and use them without hesitation if they had them. And there’s nothing, there’s nothing as, there’s nothing as meaningful or as powerful as that, and you know the problem is, and it used to be, and you would hear this, David, and I would hear it, and everybody would hear it, and — I’m not sure I believed it, ever. I talk sometimes about my uncle from M.I.T., and he would tell me many years ago when he was up at M.I.T. as a, he was a professor, he was a great guy in many respects, but a very brilliant guy, and he would tell me many years ago about the power of weapons someday, that the destructive force of these weapons would be so massive, that it’s going to be a scary world. And, you know, we have been under the impression that, well we’ve been, I think it’s misguided somewhat, I’ve always felt this but that nobody would ever use them because of the power. And the first one to use them, I think that would be a very bad thing. And I will tell you, I would very much not want to be the first one to use them, that I can say.
-What they’ll say to you is that Russia is resurgent right now. They are rebuilding their nuclear arsenal. They’re [unintelligible] Baltics. We’ve got submarine runs, air runs. Things that have at least echoes of the old Cold War. The view is that their mission is coming back. Do you agree with that?
TRUMP: I’ll tell you the problems I have with NATO. No. 1, we pay far too much. We are spending — you know, in fact, they’re even making it so the percentages are greater. NATO is unfair, economically, to us, to the United States. Because it really helps them more so than the United States, and we pay a disproportionate share. Now, I’m a person that — you notice I talk about economics quite a bit, in these military situations, because it is about economics, because we don’t have money anymore because we’ve been taking care of so many people in so many different forms that we don’t have money — and countries, and countries. So NATO is something that at the time was excellent. Today, it has to be changed. It has to be changed to include terror. It has to be changed from the standpoint of cost because the United States bears far too much of the cost of NATO. And one of the things that I hated seeing is Ukraine. Now I’m all for Ukraine, I have friends that live in Ukraine, but it didn’t seem to me, when the Ukrainian problem arose, you know, not so long ago, and we were, and Russia was getting very confrontational, it didn’t seem to me like anyone else cared other than us. And we are the least affected by what happens with Ukraine because we’re the farthest away. But even their neighbors didn’t seem to be talking about it. And, you know, you look at Germany, you look at other countries, and they didn’t seem to be very much involved. It was all about us and Russia. And I wondered, why is it that countries that are bordering the Ukraine and near the Ukraine – why is it that they’re not more involved? Why is it that they are not more involved? Why is it always the United States that gets right in the middle of things, with something that – you know, it affects us, but not nearly as much as it affects other countries. And then I say, and on top of everything else – and I think you understand that, David – because, if you look back, and if you study your reports and everybody else’s reports, how often do you see other countries saying ‘We must stop, we must stop.” They don’t do it! And, in fact, with the gas, you know, they wanted the oil, they wanted other things from Russia, and they were just keeping their mouths shut. And here the United States was going out and, you know, being fairly tough on the Ukraine. And I said to myself, isn’t that interesting? We’re fighting for the Ukraine, but nobody else is fighting for the Ukraine other than the Ukraine itself, of course, and I said, it doesn’t seem fair and it doesn’t seem logical.
SANGER: So we talked a little this morning about Japan and South Korea, whether or not they would move to an independent nuclear capability. Just last week the United States removed from Japan, after a long negotiation, many bombs worth, probably 40 or more bombs worth of plutonium or highly enriched uranium that we provided them over the years. And that’s part of a very bipartisan effort to keep them from going nuclear. So I was a little surprised this morning when you said you would be open to them having their own nuclear deterrent. Certainly if you pull back one of the risks is that they would go nuclear.
TRUMP: You know you’re more right except for the fact that you have North Korea which is acting extremely aggressively, very close to Japan. And had you not had that, I would have felt much, I would have felt differently. You have North Korea, and we are very far away and we are protecting a lot of different people and I don’t know that we are necessarily equipped to protect them. And if we didn’t have the North Korea threat, I think I’d feel a lot differently, David.
SANGER: But with the North Korea threat you think maybe Japan does need its own nuclear…
TRUMP: Well I think maybe it’s not so bad to have Japan — if Japan had that nuclear threat, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us...
SANGER: For that reason, they may well need their own and not be able to just depend on us…
TRUMP: I really believe that’s true. Especially because of the threat of North Korea. And they are very aggressive toward Japan. Well I mean look, he’s aggressive toward everybody. Except for China and Iran.
See we should use our economic power to have them disarm — now then it becomes different, then it becomes purely economic, but then it becomes different. China has great power over North Korea even though they don’t necessarily say that. Now, Iran, we had a great opportunity during this negotiation when we gave them the 150 billion and many other things. Iran is the No. 1 trading partner of North Korea. Now we could have put something in our agreement that they would have led the charge if we had people with substance and with brainpower and with some negotiating ability. But the No. 1 trading partner with North Korea is Iran. And we did a deal with them, and we just did a deal with them, and we don’t even mention North Korea in the deal. That was a great opportunity to put another five pages in the deal, or less, and they do have a great influence over North Korea. Same thing with China, China has great influence over North Korea but they don’t say they do because they’re tweaking us. I have this from Chinese. I have many Chinese friends, I have people of vast wealth, some of the most important people in China have purchased apartments from me for tens of millions of dollars and frankly I know them very well. And I ask them about their relationship to North Korea, these are top people. And they say we have tremendous power over North Korea. I know they do. I think you know they do...
SANGER: But the other day, I’m sorry, this morning, you suggested to us you would only use nuclear weapons as a last resort.
TRUMP: Totally last resort.
SANGER: And what did Douglas MacArthur advocate?
TRUMP: I would hate, I would hate —
SANGER: General MacArthur wanted to go use them against the Chinese and the North Koreans, not as a last resort.
TRUMP: That’s right. He did. Yes, well you don’t know if he wanted to use them but he certainly said that at least.
SANGER: He certainly asked Harry Truman if he could.
TRUMP: Yeah, well, O.K.. He certainly talked it and was he doing that to negotiate, was he doing that to win? Perhaps. Perhaps. Was he doing that for what reason? I mean, I think he played, he did play the nuclear card but he didn’t use it, he played the nuclear card. He talked the nuclear card, did he do that to win? Maybe, maybe, you know, maybe that’s what got him victory. But in the meantime he didn’t use them. So, you know. So, we need a different mind set. So you talked about torture before, well what did it say — well I guess you had enough and I hope you’re going to treat me fairly and if you’re not it’ll be forgotten in three or four days and that’ll be the story. It is a crazy world out there, I’ve never seen anything like it, the volume of press that I’m getting is just crazy. It’s just absolutely crazy, but hopefully you’ll treat me fairly, I do know my subject and I do know that our country cannot continue to do what it’s doing. See, I know many people from China, I know many people from other countries, I deal at a very high level with people from various countries because I’ve become very international. I’m all over the world with deals and people and they can’t believe what their countries get away with. I can tell you people from China cannot believe what their country’s, what their country’s getting away with. At let’s say free trade, where, you know, it’s free there but it’s not free here. In other words, we try sell — it’s very hard for us to do business in China, it’s very easy for China to do business with us. Plus with us there’s a tremendous tax that we pay when we go into China, where’s when China sells to us there’s no tax. I mean, it’s a whole double standard, it’s so crazy, and they cannot believe they get away with it, David. They cannot believe they get away with it. They are shocked, and I’m talking about people at the highest level, people at — the richest people, people with great influence over, you know, together with the leaders and they cannot believe it. Mexico can’t believe what they get away with. When I talked about Mexico and I talked about they will build a wall, when you look at the trade deficit we have with Mexico it’s very easy, it’s a tiny fraction of what the cost of the wall is. The wall is a tiny fraction of what the cost of the deficit is. When people hear that they say “Oh now I get it.” They don’t get it. But Mexico will pay for the wall. But they can’t believe what they get away with. There’s such a double standard. With many countries. It’s almost, we do well with almost nobody anymore and a lot of that is because of politics as we know it, political hacks get appointed to negotiate with the smartest people in China, when we negotiate deals with China, China is putting the smartest people in all of China on that negotiation, we’re not doing that. So anyway, I hope you guys are happy.
Trumps Misunderstanding about the US Constitution before members of US Congress Republicans 
Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg asked Trump what his understanding is of Article I (which enumerates the powers of Congress). “I think his response was, ‘I want to protect Article I, Article II, Article XII,’ going down the list. There is no Article XII,” Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) 
National Review article, Donald Trump's Constitution of One by Josh Blackman states
  • Free speech? He will “open up the libel laws” to allow public officials to sue the media, and use the Federal Communications Commission to fine critics. 
  • Private property? To Trump, eminent domain is a “wonderful thing” and is not actually “taking property” because the owner can move “two blocks away.” (don't forget about the discourse at homeowners around his Aberdeen, Scotland golf course)
  • Faithfully executing the law? His harebrained scheme to make Mexico pay for the border wall ignores the clear text of a statute and unilaterally prohibits foreign commerce. 
  • Serving as commander in chief? Trump has already pledged that he would violate international treaties and domestic law. The military “won’t refuse” his illegal orders. “Believe me,” he promised. 
  • Protecting our national security? Trump has lauded FDR’s internment of Japanese Americans, one of the darkest hours in the history of our Republic. 
  • About the Supreme Court? Assuming he keeps his promise to appoint conservative jurists — and that this promise is not merely a negotiating tactic — Trump’s approach would likely mirror that of George W. Bush: appoint justices who will defer to bold assertions of federal power. Judicial minimalist, thy name is John Robert
  • Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) pointed out, “if you are going to kill the families of terrorists, realize that there’s something called the Geneva Convention we’re going to have to pull out of. It would defy every norm that is America.” He’s right. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions — which the United States Senate ratified, and is part of our “supreme law of the land”, mandates that people who are taking no active part in the hostilities “shall in all circumstances be treated humanely.” That means you can’t kill innocent family members.

Donald Trump thinks that tactical nuclear weapons may be worth using in the war against the Islamic State.
With Mark Halperin and John Heilemann of Bloomberg, the Republican presidential frontrunner refused to rule out using tactical nuclear weapons in the war against ISIS.
“I’m never going to rule anything out—I wouldn’t want to say. Even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t want to tell you that because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use them,” he said.
Unpredictability on Nukes Among Trumps Keys to Muslim Respect in Bloomberg, 3-23-2016
..leaving open the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons against the Islamic State. 
“I'm never going to rule anything out—I wouldn't want to say. Even if I wasn't, I wouldn't want to tell you that because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use them,” he said. 
“We need unpredictability,” Trump continued. “We don't know who these people are. The fact is, we need unpredictability and when you ask a question like that, it's a very sad thing to have to answer it because the enemy is watching and I have a very good chance of winning and I frankly don't want the enemy to know how I'm thinking. But with that being said, I don't rule out anything.”
Yet Trump followed up his bellicose rhetoric with positions unfamiliar from those of past Republican standard-bearers, such as questioning America's involvement in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “I think NATO may be obsolete. NATO was set up a long time ago, many, many years ago. Things are different now,” Trump said, adding, “We're paying too much. As to whether or not it's obsolete, I won't make that determination.”
Tony Schwartz, Co-Author of The Art of the Deal says
"I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization," Tony Schwartz told Mayer.
Watch Trump on NBC talking about foreign affairs with NATO, IRAN, JAPAN

Watch the documentary of The Mad World of Donald Trump

Documentary by Selina Scott Meets Donald Trump, June 1995 ITV, censored by NBC (runs Trump's show, Apprentice).  Who bought the video and all the extra footlage?

His Tax Returns and Tax Rate in the NY Times, 5-13-2016

What did William F. Buckley think about DT in 2000? In the National Review,
DT calls his lies "Truthful Hyperbole"
What Sort of Man Is Donald Trump? published in the New Yorker

Read Transcript of Washington Post interview or listen below
STROMBERG: Don’t good businessmen hedge against risks, not ignore them?
TRUMP: Well I just think we have much bigger risks. I mean I think we have militarily tremendous risks. I think we’re in tremendous peril. I think our biggest form of climate change we should worry about is nuclear weapons. The biggest risk to the world, to me – I know President Obama thought it was climate change – to me the biggest risk is nuclear weapons. That’s – that is climate change. That is a disaster, and we don’t even know where the nuclear weapons are right now. We don’t know who has them. We don’t know who’s trying to get them. The biggest risk for this world and this country is nuclear weapons, the power of nuclear weapons...
RYAN: You [MUFFLED] mentioned a few minutes earlier here that you would knock ISIS. You’ve mentioned it many times. You’ve also mentioned the risk of putting American troop in a danger area. If you could substantially reduce the risk of harm to ground troops, would you use a battlefield nuclear weapon to take out ISIS?
TRUMP: I don’t want to use, I don’t want to start the process of nuclear. Remember the one thing that everybody has said, I’m a counterpuncher. Rubio hit me. Bush hit me. When I said low energy, he’s a low-energy individual, he hit me first. I spent, by the way he spent 18 million dollars’ worth of negative ads on me. That’s putting [MUFFLED]…
RYAN: This is about ISIS. You would not use a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS?
TRUMP: I’ll tell you one thing, this is a very good looking group of people here.  Could I just go around so I know who the hell I’m talking to?
After last election DT was on World Wrestling Federation and fake wrestle another man.

Decades Later Disagreement Over Young Trumps Military Academy Post written and published in Jan. 2016 in the Washington Post

Convicted child sex offender Jeff Epstein. "If you talk to Donald Trump, a different Epstein emerges.
His Family and their Health Care:
  • Lost Tycoon by Harry Hurt III, referenced rape and ripping out the hair of Ivana Trump, his first wife, and reading Hilter's book, and Harry overhearing Fred Trump Sr to his longtime secretary/mistress 'hoping that it crashes' refering to Donald's plane 
  • TrumpNaton by Timothy O'Brien who was sued by Trump when he wrote that he was not a billionaire. O'Brien won the case and Trump had to release financial records proving likewise.  
  • Never Enough by Michael D'Antonio, about Trump's childhood 
  • Trump, Deals and the Downfall, in 1991 by Wayne Barrett, said the only signature on contracts that mattered was Fred Trump Sr   
  • The Trumps by Gwenda Blair, three generation, wrote about his grandfather's business in the Klondikes, where sporting ladies” could “entertain” miners
  • Trump and Me and Character Studies, Encounters with the Curiously Obsessed by Mark Singer (of the New Yorker, Trump Solo 5-19-1997) visits from the "fear monster" and "little freak-out." "From there it was only a short leap to saving the planet. What if, say, a troublemaker like Muammar Qaddafi got his hands on a nuclear arsenal? Well, Trump declared, he stood ready to work with the leaders of the then Soviet Union to co√∂rdinate a formula for coping with Armageddon-minded lunatics.", DT wrote to the editor of NY Times 
  • Trump Revealed 8-23-2016, by Washington Post journalists, Marc Fisher and Michael Kranish 
  • How the End Begins, the Road to a Nuclear World War III by Ron Rosenbaum, inserted interview with Donald Trump
Fake alias of DT, John Barron or John Miller to the media to skirt unpaid illegal workers suing him for pay in Vice and Washington Post

Trump a War Criminal in the Making published in Rolling Stone.

Criminal activity:
Son in law, Jared Kushner, of the NY Observer and real estate owner, whose father was convicted felon Charles Kushner (found in Business Insider).  Also found in Gothamist 3-30-2016, Jared Kushner Not Good, owns 50 pieces of property

DT Friends with David Pecker, CEO of National Enquirer, The Star, Shape (tabloid grocery mags) printed article in NY Times, Roger Stone, Roger Ailes former CEO of FoxNews, and DT campaign guy, 4-19-2016 about Paul Manafort

Remember the Dunning-Kruger Effect about illusory superiority and lack of metacognitive ability to assess one's own ability.

Ten Signs of a cult leader and followers from cult expert Rick Ross
  • Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.   No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry. 
  • No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.
  • Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions. 
  • Says no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil. 
  • Former members relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances. 
  • There are records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports that document the abuses of the group/leader. 
  • Followers feel they can never be "good enough". 
  • Group/leader is always right. Claims to be the smartest, best at everything
  • Group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
Recruiting styles and brainwashing: Love bombing by the leader and members, sleep deprivation, over work you, treat you like children, only the leader can save you, you must show immediate and unquestioning obedience to rules and regulations which maybe arbitrary, petty or pointless to ensure allegiance and obedience, they offer simple, clear messages in an increasingly complex world, opposition is evil and the worst

Seven Signs that You Are a Branch Trumpidian by Steve Berman 4-16-2016

Sign #1:  You seek out friends who also love Trump and reject those who don’t
People like friends who share their beliefs.  That’s only natural.  As you get older, you make new friends, and lose some old friends.  That’s natural too.  When there’s a pattern, where all your new friends believe just like you do in the same doctrine, church, or group, and there’s no dissension at all, that’s a sure sign of a cult.  When those new friends start to pressure you to drop your old friends, because they don’t believe, that’s a big, red, flashing sign reading “warning: cult ahead!”

Sign #2:  Nobody questions authority; your loyalty is required
Most groups have some authority structure in the form of a leader or guiding principles.  Even anarchist groups have leaders—anonymous and hidden though they may be.  A group without a leader is a drinking club, but still someone has to buy the booze and pour.

Sign #3:  The source of authority is vested in a person.
Living or dead, most cults have their genesis rooted in an individual, whose special skills, revelation, or understanding have a unique, exclusive quality and magnetism to which people are drawn.
Trump claimed in an interview with the Washington Post that he can clear up American’s $19 trillion debt in 8 years. The only source of this claim is Donald Trump.

Sign #4:  There is no independent evidence of that person’s authority
I am declaring myself the world’s coconut bowling champion.  Nobody is better at coconut bowling than me.  I know this to be true.  That’s because I just invented coconut bowling.  I am making up the rules as I’m writing this.  If you have your own version of coconut bowling, it’s not the authentic coconut bowling since I am the authoritative source of all knowledge for coconut bowling.

Of course, I’ve never tried coconut bowling, and I’ve never written down the rules.  Until I do, you have no reason to trust my authority to determine who the champion is (it’s me though).  My point is that genuine authority cannot be claimed unless it’s independently witnessed and testified to.

Trump says he’s a conservative, because he says so. But conservatives all over America (National Review devoted an entire issue to this) disagree with his statement. Thousands of Twitter and Facebook followers, many accounts which are in themselves suspect or of unknown origin, support Trump. Suddenly, groups of people who have never attended a single GOP meeting, never supported a single candidate, never taken up a political cause, say they are true conservatives, because they support Trump.

Sign #5:  Doctrine must not be questioned
When you are criticized for even questioning, that’s the sign of a cult.  Knowledge and learning thrive on questioning and challenging what is known and what isn’t known.  When what is known directly contradicts what’s being taught, or just doesn’t line up with the group’s doctrine, it’s time to ask questions and challenge doctrine.

Authentic groups welcome the challenge in any form.

Sign #6:  Secrecy and excommunication
Trump makes all his employees and staffers sign non-disclosure agreements. He thinks it’s a good idea for government too. Yes, if you handle secrets, an NDA is necessary, but for everyone? Only if you work for Trump.

Sign #7:  Ideas are supported by reality

This last sign is fairly easy to understand.  Going back to Zorg, if the only reference to Zorg and Org and the Orgians came from me, you’d correctly count me crazy.  That’s because there’s no basis in reality for me to make this claim.  Only slightly more reality-based is a cult called Heaven’s Gate, who you might remember suffered 39 suicides in 1997 when the promised spaceship trailing the Hale-Bopp comet failed to beam them up.

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