World of the religious. Worship of corpses.

 Torah scholarship undoubtedly moves in fads, and  much of the literature has received less attention than it deserves. The general rule of thumb about the Rishonim (mediaeval authorities) is quite true--that they form the backbone of explaining the Torah. 

While some Achronim (later authorities after 1520) are very valuable, but a lot of trash got thrown into Torah thought in since the times of the movement the Shatz. [That is from around the time of 1660.]

While to some degree bad cults are weeded out over time, but sometimes not. Sometimes they just change form.

Nowadays to find out what authentic Torah thought says the worst place to go is to the religious. The world of the religious has sadlly become an epi-phenomenon of the Shatz and in fact uses the Torah as a cloak to disguise their anti Torah teachings and demonic essence which is Worship of corpses.  ["Kivrei tzadikim"]

The main problem with the cult that the Gra put a Cherem {חרם} excommunication on is idolatry. That is: people have a natural tendency to worship some idol. It does not really matter which one it is. That cult made worship of its leaders as a kind of supposedly kosher idolatry and created a sophisticated system to show how it is kosher based on the kabalah and also used ideas from the Shatz and also makes sure to look kosher in dress and rituals to try and get away with this fraud. 

[There are some islands of authentic Torah like Ponovitch in Israel and the NY yeshivas Mir, etc. But as a rule of thumb it is best to stick to Mesorati or Conservative and Reform in  order to avoid the kelipot (demonic forces) that fill the world of the religious.]

Mesorati means Conservative but it is roughly the same as Religious Zionism or Mizrachi or Bnei Akiva.--All very good.

Rishonim means the great sages from the time after Rav Hai Gaon until the Beit Joseph.
Achronim means from the Beit Joseph and on. That period in itself ought to be divided into two. The achronim before Reb Chaim Soloveitchik and after him. The reason is that after Reb Chaim Torah scholarship shifted in a way I can not describe but you can see easily if you compare  the achronim before him and after him. All the great yeshivas after Reb Chaim teach in more or less the basic approach of Reb Chaim.

I want to add that borrowing or finding the same themes and ideas does not mean identity nor does it mean conscious borrowing. The fact that the religious teach the doctrines of the Shatz does not mean they are doing it with intention nor that there are some variations. For example no one could consider Reb Nachman anything but  as  completely sincere and devoted to God and the holy Torah. Sincerity however does not mean there are no mistakes.  But Reb Nachman is the exception, not the rule and was not in fact under the excommunication of the Gra at all as you can see by reading the original documents.

The problem tends to be circumvention of the Torah. Most often what people in power are doing is finding ways of getting out of keeping the Torah according to its simple meaning. In general the text of the Holy Torah and the Talmud is perfectly clear.The religious in order to get out of things  they do not like simply ignore the Torah. In Torah we do not trust those in power and we always check the text. That is what the text of the Oral and Written Torah is for.
There seems to be some kind of equilibrium point where you maximize the בין אדם לחבירו ובין אדם למקום. For we see groups that are not religious at all. Then there are groups that are more religious and then even more until you get to the ultra religious. And the measure of menshichkeit/human decency seems to take a nose dive according to the degree people are religious.