Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Are you in a cult?

A winding and twisty road unfolds in this post.  Be forewarned.

I saw an article in The Atlantic entitled "The Seven Signs You're in a Cult."  In it, a man describes his involvement with a college prayer group that disintegrated into madness and sadly even the death of one of its members.  Cited in the article are seven ways one can discern a cult from a religious community as formulated by the founder of the International House of Prayer (yes, they do abbreviate as "IHOP."  How is that even a thing?)  Among these attributes are:

-Opposition to critical thinking.
-Emphasizing special doctrines outside of scripture.
-Seeking inappropriate loyalty to their leader.
-Isolating members and penalizing them for leaving.

"Sheeee-oot," I thought.  "This could describe any number of religions."  But I digress...

That's when I started thinking.  I was reminded of something Francis Ford Coppolla allegedly said to George Lucas.  He said that Lucas should seriously consider starting a religion based upon the concept of The Force from Star Wars.  "Movies make money but religion is power," Coppolla is said to have gushed.

He's right.  So maybe I should start my own cult?

From just a quick Google search, I found that there are plenty of self-help resources out there to help one do just that.  I especially like this one from the Huffington Post as it distills the process into seven easy steps (again, seven seems to have numerological appeal to the quasi-spiritual set.)  Here they are:

-Create your own reality in an isolated location.
My Grandma has a farm in the middle of nowhere Ohio.  Check!

-Next, set the leader (that's me) as the only one with the keys to paradise.
It says the leader also has an inner circle.  I'm drawing up a short list of names.  'Nuff said!

-Keep making increasing demands of followers and have them turn over all their possessions.
I can do that.

-Keep turning out stories about the greatness of the leader.  The more unbelievable the better.
This could be tough as I'm very self-deprecating.  However, I have one hell of an imagination.  Maybe I can embellish a few of my true life experiences.  Bullets bounced off of me in Haiti, a Montana grizzly bear ran in fear from my presence, Natalie Portman uncontrollably disrobed immediately upon meeting me (in reality it was Ernest Borgnine), etc.

-Have the cult members recruit more converts, growing your numbers and solidifying their commitment.
Well that's just basic Amway logic.

-Keep everybody busy.  The busier they are, the less time they have for critical thought.
That's easy.  When they're not doing the grunt work necessary to keep up the compound, I'll have them watch daytime TV.  I'll also limit food intake.  People don't think well when they're peckish.

-Keep the flock fixed on the carrot.  The payoff is just around the corner.
Hmmm.  I'll have to figure out what kind of "rapture" these people will receive.
Hell, I guess the old standby of "the spaceship is coming to pick us up" will fit the bill.

I think this could work.  The International Alliance for JN will grow in power and influence.  Its members will work their way into the highest levels of the government, the legal system, the media, pro sports, and breweries.  Conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones will claim to expose my evil plan of dissolving Congress, suspending the Constitution, and ruling by decree.  He'd actually be quite perceptive for once as that would be my plan.  No matter.  I'll be sitting on a throne before he knows it, wearing my black robe and telling him "Everything that has transpired has been so according to my design."

I for one believe you should welcome your new geeky transhuman overlord.

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  1. On FB, Pete said: " I'm creating a cult called Lovely Noodles. Every day I, King of the Universe, and my people will sit down and eat noodles and talk about the Creation of the Universe and of how great I am. And of course, we will eat plenty of noodles. Fried noodles, noodle soup, wonton with noodles, etc, etc. The food will be served by my best looking female followers. They can dress like Eve."

  2. And I would gladly serve in your order, Pete!


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