20 January 2007

How to Become a Cult Leader

Recently, a visitor found Meatiocrity by searching for "how to bcome a cult leader [sic]." I only know about this searcher what you can also determine from his or her query, and that our searcher apparently placed the query from a host and ISP in the control of Polo Ralph Lauren.

First, let me say that being a cult leader is no easy thing. Sure, there is power (so much power), control (so, so much control), and wives (so, so, so many wives). The life of a cult leader is one of incomparable narcissicism, unmitigated psychosis, and very probably, an early and self-induced death. You will face opposition from without which must never turn to dissent within. You will spend long hours brainwashing and manipulating those within and countless more preventing that practice from reaching the outside. You will perform the duties of a deity or specially chosen messenger with only the strength and stamina of a mere mortal. If you believe you are ready for the task, please continue.

How to Win Converts and Influence the Weak

The first quality a cult leader requires is charisma. You may be familiar with it thanks to the numerous quality role-playing games available today. In a corporate setting, it is the thing you lack which prevents you from usurping your boss' job. Charisma is necessary for attracting and maintaing a following, and for supplanting their wills with yours. As a bit of personal advice, learn to spell and type your search queries effectively. Unappealing linguistic skills will only become a detriment to the budding cult leader hoping to amass a rich and powerful personal army. Again, I strongly suggest you take stock of your corporate surroundings, which will afford valuable real-life examples of charisma and its application to the field of cult leadership. Remember, the more necessary your approval becomes to a person, the more terrifying the threat of your wrath will be.

Your Cult Leader Resumé

In the field of cult leadership, experience is often more valuable than education. A degree from either a well-known and prestigious university or religiously affiliated institution will provide sensationalism and scandal to your cult image and lend an edge against the competition in the world market. But what about the entrepreneur such as yourself who has yet to reach his or her full potential and still needs to develop a full-fledged cult of his or her own? You require something more foundational to your success: abuse, ill treatment, neglect, and trauma. You can use the handy acronym A.I.N.T. to keep these four pillars (explained below) fresh in your mind.

  • Abuse: Any form of personal abuse can help you learn the ways in which to abuse others. If you lack this necessary life experience, there are many individuals and institutions available (myself included, for a small fee) willing to administer it to you. But abuse alone is not enough to become a successful cult leader.

  • Ill Treatment: Ill treatment, though similar to abuse in some regards, is a broader concept. Think of it as the glue which holds all the aspects of cult leadership together. Fostering a victim mentality and, ultimately, a messianic complex, by being demeaned by your peers, insulted by your superiors, disrespected by your inferiors, and disliked by everyone can make or break a cult leader's career. Take care to take all criticism and correction as a personal attack and every compliment or thank-you as patronization.

  • Neglect: Neglect often goes hand-in-hand with ill treatment in a cult leader's social experience. When not mocking you, your associates would be best advised to shun you. Attempt to place yourself in situation where you will be painfully ignored. It is possible, working for a corporation as vast and as vain as Polo Ralph Lauren, that your monotonous cubicle life will allow growth in your feelings of neglect. It is often difficult to strike the appropriate balance between repulsiveness and merely being pathetic, but dilligence in discovering it will pay off in the long run.

  • Trauma: Trauma is the fuel which keeps the engine of cult leadership running. Without significant trauma, abuse, ill-treatment, and neglect are deadweight in the life of a cult leader. Trauma, unlike the first three pillars, cannot be acquired; it must be meted out unfairly by fate. Having a favorite pet die or being cut from the basketball team is insufficient. The mathematics involved are complex, but some more advanced students may be able to become cult leaders with lighter trauma. Having one's family brutally slaughtered , preferably by each other with one of many everyday household items perfectly suited for such a task, is a good starting point for beginners.

It will take time to develop, but once you begin growing as a cult leader with A.I.N.T., you will notice the process becomes more and more natural as you progress.

First Initiates

Now you're ready to find your first initiates! Look for someone loyal yet malleable, capable but unquestioning, sycophantic and weak-willed. You may have heard of this type of person referred to as a "yes-man." It is essential to develop in that person the notion that your will is to be followed at all costs at all times. Once able, allow that person to tell one impressionable friend, who will, at the time you decide, tell another impressionable friend, and so on until you've multiplied your unthinking sect to its full potential. But don't get ahead of yourself! Take things slowly at first. Haste may allow a follower to perceive a flaw or weakness in your ideology. Never let this happen.

Some Final Words

The mechanics and techniques of developing an ideology and maintaing an established cult, though often extensions of what we have already discussed, are highly nuanced and more fitting subjects, due to their dullness, for a different publication. The final days of any cult, however, should be addressed briefly in order to help orient yourself to the goals of all successful cult leaders.

First, ensure some mainstream media attention before attempting any form of mass murder or mass suicide. Always remember that, as a cult's leader, it is the place of your subordinates to do your dirty work. Also, ensure that you never die alone. If any government is attempting to suppress you, as you undoubtedly know they will, and nearly shutting you down, your followers should kill themselves for no readily apparent reason except their devotion and worship of you, their glorious leader. The apparent craziness of their actions and beliefs to outsiders is a good indicator of the success of a cult, which reflects the success of its leader. That said, the only way to reach your goal of becoming a cult leader is to start today!

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On the other hand, it occurs to me that this particular query may have been intended in another sense, such as the way in which a movie may become a "cult" classic. A "cult leader" would therefore be a prominent underground success. For this type of query, I'm afraid I have no advice to give.

1 comment:

tomtastic said...

brilliant.