And the Truth Shall Set You Free
— John 8:32, from the Jubilee Bible 2000.
Santa Claus plugs Lucky Strike cigarettes in a 1951 advertisement. The good old days, when America was great. Image uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Bobmarleyyea.
1 – Obsessiveness about Santa Claus results in the exclusion of practical considerations.
2 – Individual identity blurs with Santa Claus and the group surrounding him. In the follower’s mind, personal identity becomes fused with Santa Claus as involvement continues and deepens.
3 – Criticism or questioning of Santa Claus regarded as persecution.
4 – Stilted and programmed speech, mannerisms, and behavior in imitation of Santa Claus.
5 – Dependent on Santa Claus to solve problems, and to provide simple answers for complex questions without meaningful reflective thought. Unable to think independently or analyze situations without involving Santa Claus.
6 – Devotion to Santa Claus’s agenda, overriding personal goals and individual interests.
7 – Loss of perspective and sense of humor about Santa Claus and anything pertaining to him.
8 – Estrangement from family and friends who are not similarly enthusiastic about Santa Claus.
9 – Anything Santa Claus does is justified, no matter how ugly or hurtful.
10 – Former followers of Santa Claus considered evil and susceptible to bad influences. They cannot be trusted and must be shunned.
A classic Marx Brothers bit from their 1935 film A Night at the Opera, with Chico and Groucho Marx.