The Cult of Mac

the cult of mac

The Cult of Mac is a book by technology writer Leander Kahney about fanaticism for the Apple product line. Professor of marketing Russell Belk argues that, like a religion, the Cult of Mac is a belief system that helps its followers understand technology and the world.

The attitude of Apple sympathizers and fans is viewed by many as being ‘cult-like.’ According to neurological research cited by the BBC on their ‘Secrets of the Superbrands’ documentary, the response from the brain of an Apple enthusiast when viewing the brand-related symbols and imagery is similar to the one of a religious devotee when exposed to religious symbols and images. Apple founder Steve Jobs is compared to a god figure and savior, and his life story is said to resemble Joseph Campbell’s heroic adventure myths. Jobs was often viewed as a saintly figure to Mac users.

Psychologist Dave Levine argues that the Mac community has a religious feeling, providing a sense of community and common heritage for those who have rejected religion. Mac users are frequently known to use religious language in describing Macs. Terms such as ‘evangelism,’ ‘persecution,’ and ‘martyrdom’ are used. Many users view their devotion as a battle between good versus evil, with evil frequently being Microsoft. However, Dave Arnott, author of ‘Corporate Cults,’ argues that devotion to Macs is no different than devotion to a car or rollerblading.

However, according to Belk, ‘The Mac and its fans constitute the equivalent of a religion. This religion is based on an origin myth for Apple Computer, heroic and savior legends surrounding its co-founder and current CEO Steve Jobs, the devout faith of its follower congregation, their belief in the righteousness of the Macintosh, the existence of one or more Satanic opponents, Mac believers proselytizing and converting nonbelievers, and the hope among cult members that salvation can be achieved by transcending corporate capitalism.’

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