sir82, that was a beautiful illustration. I can build on that.
How about if there are still some seats available and there are people waiting in line to go in?
Would the fact that the movie sold out change the fact that the theater is on fire?
What if the movie is excellent, a hopeful saga about redemption and everything winds up happy in the end, does that mean the theater isn't on fire?
What if the ushers, security, and management are very attentive to their responsibility to throw out anyone who creates a stir, does that mean the theater isn't on fire?
What if they are particularly watchful of anyone who calls attention to the smoke, the heat, the sizzling and popping sounds, and the flames that prove the theater is on fire? If the ushers, security, and management are very quick to throw out those who point out that the theater is on fire, will that mean the theater isn't on fire?
I think I'm going to work this into a simple illustration to make the point. I think this little story I have playing in my head could be very compelling for explaining the cult dynamic to people who've never been in it.