Is Marilyn Manson in danger of being the cult figure of his songs?
Is Marilyn Manson YOUR "Personal Jesus"?
Hero worship has existed when humans have a need to worship someone or something "greater than" or with more perceived authority than themselves. Whether people choose to worship a god-like supernatural figure (like Jesus), a political figure like Hitler, a musician like Marilyn Manson, a hero figure from a movie, or the movie stars themselves; the concept is the same. People want to look up to someone else who displays through actions or words, an ideal, a noble path or traits worth emulating.
I think this behaviour is basic and perhaps a genetic predisposition in herd animals. Herd or pack animals display complex hierarchies where individuals learn the pecking order. They learn the pecking order, change the pecking order, become social outcasts, or die.
Challenges to the hierarchies continually occur concerning the things which are of the most importance or status to the group. Consequently challenges to win the "hearts and minds" of those who exist within a group are crucial for individuals who wish to increase their status within the group.
Increasing your status means you have more access to the things which the group places value on, such as sex, power and money. Increasing your status may also lead to increasing your chances of survival and hence the survival of your genes.
If the meaning of biological life is the continuation of an individual's genes, then it behoves one to choose their cult/hero figures wisely. For example: Those who worship martyrdom lose in the genetic race for survival if they die before passing on their genetic code.
It seems plausible and realistic that we "worship", (or attempt to emulate our religious/cultural heros), because our heroes provide models of behaviour which may be beneficial for the good of the community or the society in which we live.
In hominid societies, it is the alpha male who seeks power over his fellow males and it is the characteristics of the alpha male which are the most valued. The authority of the alpha male (leading male) can always be questioned by an individual who seeks to usurp the dominant male in order to wield the power for themselves and their progeny. This competition for resources and power is potentially the most destabilising force on our planet.
A way to combat the constant bickering and quests for power and domination within a group, is to create an authority which is external to the group, whose authority can NEVER be questioned.
(An invisible alpha male, if you will, who embodies all the characteristics and laws of culture which the society trusts, values and aspires to.) This invisible alpha male becomes the ultimate and absolute authority and the ultimate in hero or cult worship. The creation of the invisible alpha male is an attempt to create "societal or cultural glue."
Internal disputes can be settled by appeals to the "wisdom" of this external invisible hero of worship. Appeals to the wisdom of this external invisible hero are usually made through human intermediaries.