Imagine a famous person who delivers dogma that other people follow too closely. A follower might study and take as the whole truth everything he says or references. The follower might obsess and second guess his own independent thoughts in favor of this other person he trusts more than himself. Is there an english word to describe the action of being blind to independent thought and handing over the reigns to another persons ideas?

I am trying to succinctly describe the importance of NOT doing that thing. So a word(s) that would make sense in the blank would be the ultimate goal.

"Its important to not ___________ [pledge allegiance to] another man or his ideas"

Pledging allegiance is the best I could come up with, perhaps there is another word to describe the person or specific action I am looking for.

  • 1
    From the title: tailgating... ;-)
    – Jim
    Mar 21, 2019 at 20:43
  • 1
    How about fanatism?
    – Gustavson
    Mar 21, 2019 at 20:44
  • 2
    @Gustavson +1 Provided you meant fanaticism... :-)
    – Jim
    Mar 21, 2019 at 22:24
  • @Jim Yes, that was a typo. Thank you.
    – Gustavson
    Mar 22, 2019 at 1:38
  • 1
    @Nigel J Semantically, spot on of course. But the word has been debased so much that its primary meaning is 'really admire' rather than 'slavishly devote oneself to the ideas / instructions of'. Aug 19, 2019 at 14:14

3 Answers 3


That word is ape (implying imitate blindly).

"Its important to not ape another man or his ideas"


Imitate (someone or something), especially in an absurd or unthinking way.

‘The guy's just aping his mentors, ill-equipped to blaze his own path.’
‘Incidentally, the kids are only aping the behaviour they witness in real life.’


In order to convey the concepts of 'following too closely' and 'obsessing' and 'being blind to independent thought' I would choose the word 'idolize'.

trans (broadly) to love or to admire to excess

Merriam Webster

to admire and respect someone very much, often too much



I would probably pick terms referring to religious fervor such as:


intransitive verb

1 : to induce someone to convert to one's faith 2 : to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause

transitive verb

: to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause

Of course, the above term refers to the actions of your "famous person" relative to his followers. The followers might be referred to as disciples. If you look up "disciple" in a thesaurus you will find several terms for the followers, and they may give you a hint for other terms to use.

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