Moonies of Bethesda

Highly recommended for Friday: Michael Eisen on "Is the NIH a cult?"

The NIH has several national indoctrination programs, but the most dangerous and effective is something known as the Training Grant. These NIH cells, found on most university campuses across the country and always led by an established grantee, prey on impressionable youths just out of college and eager to shed the structure of their parents worlds. The NIH takes them under its wing and gives them a generous personal stipend and a structured program of research and experimentation. They dangle the carrot of one day becoming a grantee, but they do not tell them about the lonely, grueling years to come, or that only a handful of them will actually make it to the point where they are even allowed to submit their first application for membership. By the time they are done with this program, most have drunk the NIH Kool Aid, and can think of nothing they want more than to become a grantee. And those who do not feel they have sunk too much of their time and energy into these first steps along the grantee path to give up.

The "charismatic leader" section is not to be missed.