Before the 60's fascination with crackpot religions there was a warning
Hoffer argues that all mass movements such as fascism, communism, and religion spread by promising a glorious future. To be successful, these mass movements need the adherents to be willing to sacrifice themselves and others for the future goals. To do so, mass movements often glorify the past and devalue the present.

The reason few people heeded the warning of Hoffer was that there was an opposite tendency. Nietzsche had glorified authenticity and this somehow became a part of the young American mentality. So people that were interested in joining a cult  simply ignored questions of truth and preferred authenticity. And then when they get disappointed and leave they are still fascinated by authenticity instead of truth. The Mentality of the Fanatic never changes. So they become obsessed with attacking what they believed in. The truth is the great books of Talmud and Mishna are good books. Abuse does not cancel use.
The Old Testament [Torah], and Talmuds, the Babylonian and Jerusalem, connect one to a plane of existence-- an "a priori" transcendental plane of moral and numinous value.