Launched in January 2019, Sects Sell is my weekly opportunity to explore a cult and experiment with a mid-century-ish, retro style of advertisement. New pieces are posted every Friday on this page and on Instagram – follow this and other work at @bridgetmakesstuff.
This was such a fun one to work on, y’all. The iconography is based on Atomic Age design. There was a huge boom between the 1940s and 1960s in architecture, ad design, and interior decoration in art that reflected the major concerns of the times. This period roughly aligns with the Cold War and centers atomic science, nuclear warfare, and the Space Race.
I was super excited to learn that, because it ties directly to a conspiracy theory attached to this belief system.
A super famous example of Atomic Age art is the Atomium in Brussels, which I saw last fall in person! Here is a gratuitious selection of cool pictures I took of it:
Anyway, an element of this era is The Jetsons! And actually I discovered that there is a TON of incredible texture in the 1960s version of the show!
Look at that! Building from that aesthetic, I went into some prevalent mediums from the era and I decided it was time to experiment with fake Gouache. I used the digital Gouache brushes from Retro Supply Co on Creative Market for all of the texture on this piece! (Full disclosure, I’m a new Creative Market partner, so I get a small portion of the proceeds if you purchase those brushes at no extra cost to you!
This is our first non-traditional cult, so I wanted to take the opp to talk a bit about how I’m choosing what goes into this series. The thing that interests me most about the fringes of society — whether that’s cults, or serial killers, or child prodigies, or people that sail around the world for five years — is that they’re extreme. This series is specifically about when that extremism becomes destructive.
I think there’s a lot to learn about society and the human psyche about the ways in which things go wrong.
So flat earthers are an extremely sect of society even though they’re not a formal body with a compound or a leader.
Flat Earthin’ is pretty much what it sounds like. I spent quite a bit of time on the Flat Earth Society website and oh my god. Rather than sharing a summary, I’d like to share my favorite parts of the site.
This is the first FAQ and it’s my absolute favorite.
This section is the most indicative of the lunacy of this system of belief. So I’ll go ahead and annotate that for us.
Why would People Lie About The Shape Of The Earth?
The million dollar question.
There are three common explanations for this, but in the end without toppling the Planar Conspiracy there is no real way to know.
The Planar Conspiracy is the name of my new all-women punk band. I am the drummer. Watch this space for our new single dropping soon.
Okay, remember 11 seconds ago when we talked about the Cold War?
- To Maintain Legitimacy: During the Cold War we faked the moon landing. Shortly after they realized the reason they could not reach the moon was due to the flatness of the Earth. They were stuck in a lie, and had to continue it or lose legitimacy of our governments. Even today we would still hold onto this lie due to role Science plays in our ruling government.
Our government is so full of fucking religious bullshit and the current administration is decimating our natural resources bc ~*~*feelings*~*~, but okay, bud.
- To hide the truth of the Bible.
Here’s that sweet, sweet cult bullshit. Elsewhere in the FAQs it says, “it would be impossible to deny the strong historical ties with Christianity by past Presidents of the Society.” which, obviously.
- To Gain Power and Money: By siphoning off the space budgets and denying the world the resources of the Antarctic they gain a considerable amount of power and wealth.
This is fucking incredible. We are cutting the space exploration budget real hard – with the obvious exception of the space force star wars galaxy quest bullshit we got goin’ on rn – so what money even would that be? And what benefit could Antarctica have to us if it just drops tf off the planet into space? Space oil?
In fact, elsewhere in the FAQs it says:
As evidenced by the logo of the United Nations the Earth is a round disk of infinite dimensions. The geographic North Pole is located in the center of the disk, and the Antarctic lies around the outer edges.
How can there be edges of a disc with infinite dimension?