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meme plague

meme plague: n. The spread of a successful but pernicious
   meme, esp. one that parasitizes the victims into giving
   their all to propagate it.  Astrology, BASIC, and the other guy's
   religion are often considered to be examples.  This usage is given
   point by the historical fact that `joiner' ideologies like
   Naziism or various forms of millennarian Christianity have
   exhibited plague-like cycles of exponential growth followed by
   collapses to small reservoir populations.