Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Thanks to Kaleboel for bringing the latest reappearance of the Partit Humanista / Partido Humanista / Humanist Party to general attention; they've got their own blog now. The Partido Humanista is a front for a cult run by an Argentinian Marxist mystic who calls himself Silo whose magnum opus is a pile of gibberish called "Cartas a mis amigos"; this link demonstrates the connection between the Partit Humanista de Catalunya and Silo.

Here's a piece I wrote more than a year ago on the Silo cult on the old Homestead site:

Cults in Barcelona, Part II
Mar. 2, 2002: The Humanist Movement seems to follow me around Barcelona. When I lived over in Virrei Amat about seven years ago, they had a center in my apartment building. Now that I live in Gràcia, I discover that they have a center on my street. Their technique of gaining adepts is the same now as then: they post flyers around the neighborhood looking for contributors to a "humanist magazine" and for people who are against war and capitalism and other stuff like that to come to meetings. They also pose as people taking a survey and stop passers-by to ask them three questions: "What's your opinion about our current society?", "Do you think it needs to be changed?", and "Do you feel that your actions and your beliefs are coherent?" If the interviewee expresses dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, he is invited to a meeting.

The founder of the group is Mario Rodr?guez Cobos, better known as Silo, who calls himself "The Messiah of the Andes". The organization was founded in Argentina in 1969 and soon expanded to the rest of Latin America and to Spain, Portugal, and France. It is made up of three different sections: The Community, The Movement, or the Humanist Movement, which is the group itself, the Humanist Party, which is its political arm, and the now-defunct Green Ecologist Party, an attempt to hijack the legitimate Green movement. The political party's purpose is largely to take advantage of the campaign laws which cede TV airtime just before elections, which the Community uses to run ads promoting themselves. The political party received as many as 22,000 votes in the 1989 European Parliament elections in Spain.

Siloism is a confusing mess of quarter-baked hippie philosophy and a totalitarian-style organization. Silo is always right and so he controls everything through a very strict hierarchy. The organization's exclusive purposes are to promote Siloist thought and so glorify Silo, and to raise money, half of which goes to the "World Fund" and the other half of which goes to the national organization. Members pay dues which can be very high, and are required to devote a great deal of time to the organization, sometimes so much that they quit their jobs. We wonder where the local DA's Fraud Squad is.

The Community and Siloism have been around long enough that there are several sites in Spanish critical of them, such as ,, and There are also thousands of pro-Silo sites on the web. The Community is apparently not active in the United States.

Here's a link to a site run by a group of ex-Silo cultists, with further links to a variety of pieces in various languages on Siloism. Most of them are in English, Spanish, or French.

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