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The Ayn Rand Cult - Jeff Walker If you would like to know why you should probably read *about* Ayn Rand and her Objectivist philosophy rather than joining it, you can't go wrong with this book. It provides extensive and seemingly correct information on why Objectivism fits perfectly into the definition of "cult" and why Ayn Rand can fairly be called an intellectual bully and tyrant.
Based on the picture of Objectivist leaders' behavior, I can easily imagine current Ayn Rand Institute director Leonard Peikoff stridently condemning this book as irrational! irrational! irrational!, probably without having read it. (The author notes cases of Rand and her students bashing philosophers and/or books that they have little or no firsthand knowledge of.)
However, it is too bad that for some reason there aren't that many anti-Rand books out there (that I know of), because I would rather have gotten this critical information on Rand/Objectivism from a different author. What most of the other reviews say is true: he is dreadfully abrasive. He is described as an investigative journalist, but his analysis is not conducted with a semblance of detachment or professionalism. Rather, he very much gives the impression of having a personal axe to grind with the Objectivist movement. The back of the book states that some of the publications he has worked for are Free Inquiry, Skeptical Enquirer and Liberty. I am wondering if he might be a libertarian, in which case his tone would be understandable, because according to him, Rand and her Objectivists hated (still hate) libertarians for not wholly accepting Objectivist philosophy. Or possibly Walker is a former Objectivist student who suffered 'excommunication' for developing incorrect ideas. (The Objectivist leaders' standard procedure in this matter is ugly.)