A sad phenomenon I used to encounter aplenty in World of Warcraft guilds, but also exists on the internet in general as a widespread thing, which expresses itself in a mindset I will picture in an artificial but representative example:
“The world is a shithole. And I believe I speak for everyone here when I say that we have all gathered here in agreement on that fact. Now you come and say it isn’t, and we find that very unsupportive. You should share our pain over the fact that the world is a shithole instead of being rude and uncaring.”
Sometimes comfort zones effectively are discomfort, and the path towards more comfort would require abandonment of the attachment to discomfort. But freeing oneself of that unhealthy emotional attachment can cause acute discomfort (basically a form of catharsis) that’s a lot worse than arranging oneself with the chronic level of discomfort. Thus, groups emerge where people are pampering their issues so that they can isolate themselves from healing impulses.
Just as forming a group with a noble aim can create massive empowerment, doing so with an ignoble aim can be massively disempowering. What it does empower though is pain, and more at the root, fear. And people who serve those masters are spreading their gospel.