Friday, April 22, 2016

I'm starting a cult! Want in?

Ah, religion.

Long ago in a section of California far away, Francis Ford Coppola was advising a young George Lucas after the latter's massive 1977 success. Coppola believed there was a gold mine in Star Wars yet to be tapped. No, not the merchandising. Lucas already had that locked up. It was the Force itself.

"Sure, movies make money," Coppola said. "But religion is power."

That's right. He thought Lucas should play up "the Force" as a legit religion. Probably would have worked too. George wasn't into it, but why not me? I could start a cult.

Stop laughing. It could work.

I'm thinking I'll start in the suburbs somewhere. Those are usually localities of conspicuous consumption and the residents are used to being marketed to. That materialism is also indicative of insecurity and a void in life so that's a "foot in the door"for my cult. At least that's what this article says. According to it, I also need to provide a stepladder of sorts for my converts. Opportunity for advancement. You start here now, but in a few years, you could help run the joint. Again, the very lingo and existence of the suburban middle management/sales force crowd.

There's obviously a good deal of conformity that has to go on as well. And self-justification. And magical thinking. Well, we're all about those things, aren't we? I listen to people all the time, performing all manner of verbal and mental gymnastics to justify why they are the way they are and why they do what they do. I do it myself. It really is amazing how human beings will, even after being confronted with sizable evidence, go through all manner of intellectual prestidigitation to keep from negating one or more of their cherished beliefs.

As it did for Jim Jones, as did for Rev. Moon, and frankly as it did for Jesus, so might it do for me. If all else fails, I'll distribute mushrooms and biota of strange, far off places.

This could catch on, folks.

So what would my cult believe in?

In light of the template above, I think the better question is: does it even matter?

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