Okay, so other folks have started using the ‘little tin cults’ tag, and a couple others have asked me about it, so here’s where the name comes from.
When we were in high school, we really liked a book called Pyramid Scheme, by Flint and Freer. The plot and content of the book is irrelevant, but at one point, there’s a joke where a bunch of academics are called “little tin gods,” because they expect the military staff around them to understand their field and resulting importance.
I started using the phrase to refer to anyone who were considered big fish in a very small, rather piffling pond. And well, cult leaders who run these fandom/plural cults are stellar examples of the type. They very well may be the center of their followers’ universe, and have a vastly bloated sense of their own importance, but outside their tiny circles, they really are nothing. I mean, Scientology and Sun Myung Moon have been heard of outside their circles; they have a place in pop culture. But these little guys don’t even rank among THOSE malcontents. Even by cult standards, they’re unimportant!So little tin gods have little tin cults.