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For you guru-wannabees out there, pay attention!

The sound is crap in the video below, but look how social proof works.

First you soften people up with familiarity and persistence, then they start joining in. After a dork (like the fat guy) gets on board, it's all over.

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Apparently, this was spontaneous, but you can easily get the ball rolling with a ringer or two.

Now, if I can only figure out how to do this with Rachmaninoff...

:)

Michael

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For you guru-wannabees out there, pay attention!

The sound is crap in the video below, but look how social proof works.

First you soften people up with familiarity and persistence, then they start joining in. After a dork (like the fat guy) gets on board, it's all over.

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Apparently, this was spontaneous, but you can easily get the ball rolling with a ringer or two.

Now, if I can only figure out how to do this with Rachmaninoff...

:)

Michael

Hmmm… So fear of looking dorky by participating evaporates when the Dork-in-Chief takes a social risk? Or what?

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Jonathan,

I suggest Robert Cialdini's work on influence as a start to understanding this. Specifically the part about social proof.

Then there are the mirror neurons.

Monkey see, monkey do has more neuroscience meat to it than meets the eye.

Michael

Thanks for the Cialdini tip. I just googled the dude:

Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. See conformity, and the Asch conformity experiments.

Primate-see-primate-do, of course, could not be "knowledge" (or it would be an instinct) so it must be some kind of neural phenomenon which manifests as desire. I can buy that.

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  • 8 months later...

Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me.

Is that the Song of Solomon or Aleister Crowley?

Hmmm, I found this interesting enough to post here... quite absurd but hey, every cult has to have some messiah right? I found a connection of mystic origin to Rand's first name and her general attitude on this site while surfing the interwebs: VigilantCitizen

and it quotes Aleister Crowley “[baphomet] is ‘The Devil’ of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is Baphomet the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection … He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is ayin, the Eye, so that he is Light; and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty.”

- Aleister Crowley, Magick Book 4 (emphasis mine)

Now, I read on wiki about the possible origin of Rand's first name Ayn is suggestive of the word "Ayin" as it is said there (since she was of Jewish descent) and well, this was an "Ah, that makes a bit of sense..." moment - in the mythos context of Rand's life.

Edited by David Lee
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  • 1 month later...

Wait, how would you sell the idea Michael? What voodoo jedi mind-trick would you use that hasn't been offered out there on the shortcut to happiness/salvation market?? Remember, copyrights and patents... Damn, I could be sued for mentioning voodoo and jedi mind-trick... blink.gif

These are not the questions you're looking for.

Hey -- These aren't the questions we're looking for !
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just as soon as I start losing interest in forming my Objectivist cult, look what happens.

Here's a dude doing the Jesus thing and doing it well.

Inside Australia's chilling new cult

Guest reporter: David Millikan

Producer: Tim Wise

Date: 18 September, 2011

Yahoo!7

From the article:

Cult experts have warned that a 47-year-old Queensland man and self-proclaimed “Jesus” is in the early stages of developing a dangerous religious sect comparable to WACO, which ended in mass-suicide, Channel 7’s Sunday Night has reported.

Former real estate developer, Alan John Miller, from Kingaroy in Queensland, is the leader of Gods Way of Love. He has an estimated 100,000 DVDs in global circulation and financially survives on collecting donations from followers. He also uses donations to acquire property for sanctuaries - in preparation for doomsday.

. . .

“He is surrounded by people who have walked out of marriages and businesses. They have forsaken all to follow Jesus,” Millikan said.

“Neuroscientist Dr Louise Faber left the Queensland Brain Institute to buy a property next to Miller in O’Dea Road, outside Kingaroy. I asked her if she believed Miller was Jesus. She said: “Oh yes, David, I know he is Jesus”.”

Ross said: “Basically Miller sets himself up as God, he is Jesus Christ, he is a God man and if you disagree with him you disagree with God so if you have a spouse or a family member and they are critical of Miller they have come against God and therefore they are not spiritually right for you.”

“Mr Miller seems to use his position as Jesus to get sexual favours from women that he is attracted to...

Who can beat a deal like that?

Dayaamm!

He's even getting folks from neuroscience.

Here are the videos of the show (a little over half an hour all total)--these people did a great job on producing the show, so I highly recommend it:

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<div><object width="576" height="324"><param name="movie" value="http://d.yimg.com/nl/australia/site/player.swf?vid=26647455&repeat=0&browseCarouselUI=hide"></param><param'>http://d.yimg.com/nl/australia/site/player.swf?vid=26647455&repeat=0&browseCarouselUI=hide"></param><param name="flashVars" value="vid=26647455&repeat=0&"></param><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed width="576" height="324" allowFullScreen="true" src="http://d.yimg.com/nl/australia/site/player.swf?vid=26647455&repeat=0&browseCarouselUI=hide" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" flashvars="vid=26647455&repeat=0&"></embed></object></div>

When I see a dude like this prospering, it makes me think I'm really sleeping on the job.

Did you see how normal everyone looked? Yet they are totally on board with the Miller/Jesus. I think some of them would die for him. Look at how they let their bad vibes hang out for public cleansing with all that shaking. And all those memories from past lives...

Dayaamm!

I know, I know, the reincarnation schtick ain't flyin' here in O-Land, but the John Lennon wannabe Miller/Jesus showstopper goes to show ya' that anyone can do this. If this dork can, hell, I know I can.

Rand's way even has one huge advantage over religion. Can you think of anything better to get disciples to move to a compound and cut themselves off from the rest of the world than a Strike of the Enlightened Ones?

Let's do this, folks. With your help, "dear reader," we'll all get to Galt's Gulch on earth in our lifetime.

I know Ayn Rand ain't around to show us the one true path anymore, so ain't chu glad I can do it for her?

:smile:

Michael

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Cult experts have warned that a 47-year-old Queensland man and self-proclaimed “Jesus” is in the early stages of developing a dangerous religious sect comparable to WACO, which ended in mass-suicide, Channel 7’s Sunday Night has reported.

So Janet Reno's tanks slamming into the sides of the compound and setting it on fire had absolutely nothing to do with any of the deaths?

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Adam,

LOL...

I noticed that when I read it, but then I let it go because I wanted to get to the video. On making this post, I just copy/pasted without rereading it, merely skimming it instead. Otherwise, I probably would have said something.

So... I guess the Channel 7 folks didn't do that good of a job in all the details. (And apparently, neither did I... :smile: )

Still, the topic of the video is a hell of a thing. Well worth seeing.

The entangled emotional impact when you first see Jesus with an Australian accent is an unrepeatable experience...

Michael

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Michael:

I wish the interviewer had pushed him on the water to wine and the walking on water, but he did not.

The interesting aspect is that he is very convincing and appears to believe what he says. He is a left handed person. I want to watch his eyes when he is questioned by that interviewer.

I will watch these again tonight.

Fascinating.

Adam

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I know Ayn Rand ain't around to show us the one true path anymore, so ain't chu glad I can do it for her?

:smile:

Michael

Suppose Rand were still alive, saw this new self-proclaimed Jesus make a huge fortune in the capitalist market by clever investments, and telling her that capitalism is a "moral ideal".

What could she have replied ?

Edited by Xray
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Ross said: “Basically Miller sets himself up as God, he is Jesus Christ, he is a God man and if you disagree with him you disagree with God so if you have a spouse or a family member and they are critical of Miller they have come against God and therefore they are not spiritually right for you.”

The fact that this guy sucessfully sells his nonsense to so many people leads me to question the tenet of man as a "rational' being .... :wacko:

“Mr Miller seems to use his position as Jesus to get sexual favours from women that he is attracted to...

Clever cookie, one has to give him that. :D

From the article:

<....>

“Neuroscientist Dr Louise Faber left the Queensland Brain Institute to buy a property next to Miller in O’Dea Road, outside Kingaroy. I asked her if she believed Miller was Jesus. She said: “Oh yes, David, I know he is Jesus”.”

Looks like the lady, when leaving the Brain Institute, left back her own brain there as well ...

Such extreme reactions by followers could indicate that brainwashing techniques factor in as well.

I wish the interviewer had pushed him on the water to wine and the walking on water, but he did not.

The interesting aspect is that he is very convincing and appears to believe what he says. He is a left handed person. I want to watch his eyes when he is questioned by that interviewer.

Miller looks the (Jesus) part, and also seems to have (like all gurus) charismatic qualities.

Pushing him on the 'wonders' thing would have been quite smart indeed.

As for watching his eyes: I'm interested in your assessment.

He mostly looks the interviewer straight in the eye, also does not blink his eyes more often than normal.

He confirmed that his mother wanted to commit him to a psychiatric ward, so maybe he really does believe he is Jesus.

Edited by Xray
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I'll rephrase it then to: "What what do you think she would have replied?"

Xray,

Obviously she would have said to ask Michael what he thinks about it.

:smile:

On a more serious note, there's a difference between a standard and a goal. It is entirely possible for a person to use an effective standard to pursue a very bad goal. A standard merely gives you something to measure against within specific confines. A goal is the actual concrete (or concrete experience) in your own life you pursue. (NB has a recent article on this somewhere.)

So Michael says: the Miller/Jesus uses the donation and communication aspects of the free market well enough to achieve his goals. He's within the free market ideal since he is not using force, but instead, merely offering his services in the marketplace of ideas. However, his goals are really wacko. God bless him.

If the standard (the ideal) had been "favor in the court of the (enlightened) dictator" or something like that, and he had gained such favor, he would have been able to achieve his goals that way. This is how Wahhabi did it over in Saudi Arabia in years gone by.

Note that Michael says such, and so be it. Michael does not say what Rand would say.

And please stop. You're blowing my cult leader gig with this constant wondering about what Rand would say.

I'm the dude, Xray, not Rand.

She's dead now.

Dayaamm!

:smile:

(btw - What are your thoughts on tithing? I gotta work this into my plans somehow... :smile: )

Michael

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The fact that this guy sucessfully sells his nonsense to so many people leads me to question the tenet of man as a "rational' being .... :wacko:

The tenet does not mean every human is rational all the time. For example, Aristotle divided the soul into three parts -- rational, appetitive, vegetative (e.g. see here). Plants have only the third. Animals other than humans have the latter two. Only humans have all three. That still means humans are partly "irrational." Of course, irrational for Aristotle does not meaning acting counter to reason, but simply lacking reason. It is no more "irrational" than an irrational number is "irrational." Another perspective is that rationality is a potential not always actualized.

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I know Ayn Rand ain't around to show us the one true path anymore, so ain't chu glad I can do it for her?

:smile:

Michael

Suppose Rand were still alive, saw this new self-proclaimed Jesus make a huge fortune in the capitalist market by clever investments, and telling her that capitalism is a "moral ideal".

What could she have replied ?

As Dr. Leonard McCoy often said to Capt. Kirk: She's dead, Jim.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Here's some technique to chew on.

Peer Pressure 101

smile.gif

Michael

It was a cruel experiment to use social pressure on the victim to get him to "electrocute" the third line on the right.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The fact that this guy sucessfully sells his nonsense to so many people leads me to question the tenet of man as a "rational' being .... :wacko:

The tenet does not mean every human is rational all the time. For example, Aristotle divided the soul into three parts -- rational, appetitive, vegetative (e.g. see here). Plants have only the third. Animals other than humans have the latter two. Only humans have all three. That still means humans are partly "irrational." Of course, irrational for Aristotle does not meaning acting counter to reason, but simply lacking reason. It is no more "irrational" than an irrational number is "irrational." Another perspective is that rationality is a potential not always actualized.

Merlin,

My post was meant to be understood as a sarcastic comment.

Of course humans have rationality as potential, but it makes me angry how easy it is for 'soul seducers' like Miller to deactivate rational thinking in their followers.

The soul seducers focus on the needs of the individual, and needs (like e. g. the need to be accepted, appreciated and loved) are no conscious choices. And cult leaders know how to use these human needs to their advantage.

Edited by Xray
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On a more serious note, there's a difference between a standard and a goal. It is entirely possible for a person to use an effective standard to pursue a very bad goal. A standard merely gives you something to measure against within specific confines. A goal is the actual concrete (or concrete experience) in your own life you pursue. (NB has a recent article on this somewhere.)

So Michael says: the Miller/Jesus uses the donation and communication aspects of the free market well enough to achieve his goals. He's within the free market ideal since he is not using force, but instead, merely offering his services in the marketplace of ideas. However, his goals are really wacko. God bless him.

Michael,

In case N. Branden's article can be accessed online, if you could give a link, TIA.

A standard and goal are differenent things, no question.

So a person having a 'wacko' goal can still 'rationally' make use of standards to promote the goal.

And please stop. You're blowing my cult leader gig with this constant wondering about what Rand would say.

You are right. :D

For the cult thing is not going to work with all that hypothesizing, questioning, and "what if" scenarios. :wink:

So let's concentrate our mental efforts on the cult thing again. Somewhere upthread, you have already provided a list of necessary ingredients for a successful cult.

The main obstacle I see in creating an Objectivist cult is the 'pleasure' part. Some cults practise 'bacchantic' celebrating in all its forms, but since people tend to becme pretty 'irrational' during such bashes :smile:, this can be no option because it would go against the standard of rationality required.

The same goes for other kinds of extasy often practised in cults like shaking, trembling, banging one's head against the floor, etc. Again, a no-go area for an Objectivist cult.

Instead Objectivsts are required to always remain in a state of fully conscious awareness, they constantly have to assess their thinking and actions in terms of rationality, etc.

All that sounds a bit, well, pleasureless, and I think one would have to work at least some kind of pleasure factor into the Secret Objectivist cult thing, but have no idea what it could be. Any suggestions?

:smile:

(btw - What are your thoughts on tithing? I gotta work this into my plans somehow... :smile: )

Working tithing into the Secret Objectivist cult plan should pose no problem because one can use rational arguments here.

I have been an advocate of tithing ever since I came across the financial advice to save one tenth of my income ("Pay yourself first", it said in a book I bought on handling money). The book assured me that, with a little adjustment, I could live well on the remaining 90 per cent. Although I was bit skeptical because I'm not very thrifty, I thought I might give it a try. To my surprise, it worked.

It was actually the best financial advice I ever acted upon. Highly recommendable!

So all you have to do is to rationally convince potential donors that they will be able to live well on their remaining 90 per cent while giving a tenth of their income to a great cause of supreme value, and you will see the bucks accumulate on the SOC account. :wink:

As they are donations, they may even be tax deductible for the followers, so there's another incentive. :smile:

Edited by Xray
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  • 3 months later...

On a more serious note, there's a difference between a standard and a goal. It is entirely possible for a person to use an effective standard to pursue a very bad goal. A standard merely gives you something to measure against within specific confines. A goal is the actual concrete (or concrete experience) in your own life you pursue. (NB has a recent article on this somewhere.)...

Michael,

In case N. Branden's article can be accessed online, if you could give a link, TIA.

Xray,

Sorry I took so long. I mis-remembered. NB discussed the difference between standard and purpose (which is almost the same thing as a goal, but slightly different). This made it hell to find in the search engines. But I finally found it.

Egoism & Benevolence by Nathaniel Branden (dated August 18, 2011).

Here's the pertinent quote.

... the Objectivist ethics is a set of abstract principles, of which the purpose is the life and well being of the individual – here is where egoism comes in – but of which the standard is that which serves man's life as a rational being. To quote Ayn Rand: "The difference between a 'standard' and a 'purpose'... is as follows: a 'standard' is an abstract principle that serves as a measurement or gauge to guide a man's choices in the achievement of a concrete, specific purpose. 'That which is required for the survival of man qua man' is an abstract principle that applies to every individual man. The task of applying this principle to a concrete, specific purpose – the purpose of living a life proper to a rational being – belongs to every individual man, and the life he has to live is his own." (The Objectivist Ethics) What I want you to note here is that Objectivism says, in effect, that which is rational, in a given context, will serve your self-interest. It does not say that which you decide serves your self-interest is the rational. Self-interest, or happiness, is the purpose, not the standard. People destroy themselves every day by pursuing paths that they feel are to their self-interest. Self-interest, per se, is not and cannot be the standard; it can only be the purpose. Otherwise, the question is left open: By what standard do you determine what is to your self-interest?

In the Objectivist Ethics, reason has the last word, not "self-interest" – where "self-interest," in effect, hangs in a void.

Now... how to use this for my cult?

Thank God "self-interest" isn't the standard. That makes things a lot easier from my end. It allows me to prey on people's vulnerabilities like a vulture without impediment as I induce them to exchange "self-interest" for "best interest of the group."

Oops... that sounds too collectivist for an Objectivist cult.

What to do? What to do?

How about a vague adjective?

Woah...

I got it.

"Higher self-interest."

Bingo!

:)

Michael

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  • 2 weeks later...
... the Objectivist ethics is a set of abstract principles, of which the purpose is the life and well being of the individual – here is where egoism comes in – but of which the standard is that which serves man's life as a rational being. To quote Ayn Rand: "The difference between a 'standard' and a 'purpose'... is as follows: a 'standard' is an abstract principle that serves as a measurement or gauge to guide a man's choices in the achievement of a concrete, specific purpose. 'That which is required for the survival of man qua man' is an abstract principle that applies to every individual man. The task of applying this principle to a concrete, specific purpose – the purpose of living a life proper to a rational being – belongs to every individual man, and the life he has to live is his own." (The Objectivist Ethics) What I want you to note here is that Objectivism says, in effect, that which is rational, in a given context, will serve your self-interest. It does not say that which you decide serves your self-interest is the rational. Self-interest, or happiness, is the purpose, not the standard. People destroy themselves every day by pursuing paths that they feel are to their self-interest. Self-interest, per se, is not and cannot be the standard; it can only be the purpose. Otherwise, the question is left open: By what standard do you determine what is to your self-interest?

In the Objectivist Ethics, reason has the last word, not "self-interest" – where "self-interest," in effect, hangs in a void.

Now... how to use this for my cult?

Thank God "self-interest" isn't the standard. That makes things a lot easier from my end. It allows me to prey on people's vulnerabilities like a vulture without impediment as I induce them to exchange "self-interest" for "best interest of the group."

Oops... that sounds too collectivist for an Objectivist cult.

What to do? What to do?

How about a vague adjective?

Woah...

I got it.

"Higher self-interest."

Bingo!

:smile:

Michael

"Higher self-interest" Hey, this is an excellent bait for prospective followers! The loftier the chosen terms, the better. To make the whole thing watertight, all you need to do after that is to tell them that the "higher" self interest can of course only be the "rational" self-interest, which means that not joining the Secret Objectivist Cult cult would be irrational.

Should they still be hesitant to join, you could play the ultimate trump card by asking them: "Or are you going to tell me that A is non-A?"

Bingo!

:)

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  • 2 years later...

Just when I thought I had all the answers, I came across this.

I am in awe.

I wonder if this guy gives private lessons behind the scenes...

Notice that a change occurred in the false prophet, too, based on his story.

Not even Stephen Colbert could get him into "let's mock and snark about religion" mode. (See the following link.)

Vikram Gandhi (on Colbert)

They made jokes, but they just didn't go there.

You can see Gandhi (what a name! :) ) has respect for regular people who seek answers and, by his presence and attitude, managed to keep Colbert from mocking believers in religion in the same manner Bill Maher does, even though a couple of times it seemed like Colbert really wanted to go there.

This is definitely something serious to think about for a cult leader aspirant like myself.

:smile:

Michael

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