As for the blind, unquestioning, unblinking loyalty of followers, I would suggest following Rand with L. Ron Hubbard.
Because, why not model your approach to life after works of complete fiction in a cult-like fashion?
Or "The Bible."
*eyeroll that can be seen from space*
Yeah, complete fiction. Rand? You've got to be kidding...
I think Whittaker Chambers said it best, back in the day.
Who is Whittaker Chambers? A nobody. The only reason his name is mentioned today is in connection with his smears of Ayn Rand, who 50 years later still sells millions of books. If you want to have an opinion of a controversial author like Rand the only way is to read her works yourself.
I've read Rand. She's a third-rate novelist and a fourth-rate philosopher.
And Chambers is primarily known today for reasons that have nothing to do with Rand.
I always preferred Buckley to Rand. Apparently publishing Whittaker Chambers' review of Atlas Shrugged -- which WFB said went a bit too far -- in National Review caused a major rift between Rand and Buckley. They had some philosophical differences ... mostly that he didn't share her general disdain for all altruism, not just feigned altruism of the government variety.
Rand has her moments. She makes some solid points, and I generally like her work. But, there are limitations to her philosophy.
where the initiation of physical force is considered abhorrent
You may have missed her sex scenes.
Objectivism is basically the celebration of being a sociopath.
Sociopath is in style. Me first, always...