Some people want to be figures of authority. They want others to look up to them, to see them as having amazing skill, as a direct pipeline to God, as someone with Ultimate Wisdom, or as someone with supernatural powers.
Even in martial arts, there is no shortage of people who will bow down before a "master." Students might play along with their "chi master" teacher and fall down when he waves his hand. Or they will jump and hop away when their tai chi "master" touches them lightly during push hands. They will talk about their teacher as if he (it's almost always a "he") is god-like.
Nobody wants to admit they belong to a cult.
Louis Martin is the author of "The True Believers," a book about his experience in a martial arts school with cult-like tendencies. It is an interesting story for anyone in martial arts. Follow this link to find the book on Amazon.
Louie is the guest on the latest Internal Fighting Arts Podcast. Here is the link to the podcast. You can listen online or download it to listen to later.