The Gülen Movement does not have or seek to have private sacred texts exclusive to itself; it does not have or seek to develop special rituals and priestly functions, or special costumes or gestures or insignia, or other devices that help to form a closed identity for a group. It does not offer outcomes or rewards unattainable by the ordinary means of human effort in the real world. It does not seek sacral celebration of the self in an abstract and anachronistic paradigm. The Gülen Movement’s action is not directed against anyone, real or mythical: It has no fantasized “adversary” to blame if there is any shortfall in outcomes. Rather, any failure must be socially defined within the actors’ frame of reference and responsibility.
Instead of blaming other people or groups for social problems or individual failings, Fethullah Gülen identifies phenomena and personal qualities to be combated. He attributes all the trouble in modern Turkey to three things: ignorance, poverty, and internal schism (social disunity). He has commented, “Now to these have been added cheating, bullying and coercion, extravagance, decadence, obscenity, insensitivity, indifference, and intellectual contamination… A lack of interest in religious and historical dynamics, lack of learning, knowledge, and systematic thinking […] ignorance, stand as the foremost reason today why Turkey and the region is so afflicted with destitution and poverty.”