Gosh, it's hard to believe that people would treat Perl like a *cult*, go on *crusades* to promote Perl, start *religious wars* about it, etc. After all, here in the *monastery*, the *monks*, *saints* and *gods* would never stoop to such metaphors.
Here's the upside though - like any religion or philosophy, Perl provides a model of the world, a way of thinking about things, a non-tangible force whose use makes tangible changes in the material world. Levi-Strauss (the anthroplogist, not the pants maker) said that there are many myths about food because food is "good to think with" - the change in state from raw to cooked is a physical transformation that can serve as a metaphor for spiritual and social transformations. Well, Perl is also "good to think with" in that sense.
The idea that Perl is only one of MWTDI, is a threat to some and a challenge to others. The Parrot project and Ingy's FreePAN (multi language CPAN) are some manifestations of the latter.