I have often jokingly exaggerated my status as a cult leader. I do it for several reasons, namely, because religion is important but largely misunderstood, and so it gets ridiculed a lot. If I take a stance that is self-effacing, I not only disarm the reticent with humour but also take away their ability to successfully ridicule me. The main reason I do this (asides from a personal preference for theocracy), is that I am attempting to teach people the fact that all systems of human governance are computationally equivalent to theocratic dictatorships.
There is a popular quote nowadays that “politics is downstream from culture” (Andrew Breitbart). While there may be some truth to this idea, the deeper truth is that culture is downstream from state theocracy. The theocracy is that which gives the sociocultural edicts, and so must be the fundamental “content creator”. Even a state which is allegedly “secular” (as with the USA and India), never truly is. Someone’s religious values are always being promoted by the state. It’s simply a matter of whose religious values.
Maybe your emotional reaction to this theory is bad, but if you try to falsify it, you will not succeed. In fact, the more you investigate it, the more obvious it becomes. Humans are hierarchical and hierarchies are always based on some value judgement(s). The ideals are thus idols (of said religion), hence the similarity in the words. Culture and cult share the same root, and so are in some sense: inseparable.
Below, I will give some insights as to what I believe makes a good cult leader.
Many people fall victim to some degree of pandering in their career as a thought leader. While the words of soothsayers can be appealing, inconsistency in leadership ultimately undermines one’s authority. Before attempting to become a cult leader, one should always ask themselves: am I doing this to serve mankind and uphold truth or because I want people to love me? The former strategy works. The latter strategy may seem to work temporarily, but will ultimately make you a laughingstock with Stockholm syndrome. Like Luke Ford. Luke please. IQ isn’t the holy grail you think it is. Smart people all agree on this. Adamantly defending IQ to the exclusion of all other theories is yet another instance of the Dunning Krueger effect!
If you want to lead successfully, you must be consistent in your judgements. Succumbing to sophistry does nothing but undermine your own objectivity and associated capacity to lead.
Seek to Know What are the Yearnings of Man
People have spent lifetimes trying to answer the question of what is the nature of man’s desires and still have come up short, so don’t kid yourself into thinking you know all things. No human can know all things. In order to experience localised consciousness intrinsic to human life, we must necessarily cut out some elements of the total field. Thus, your I-am ness, the thing that allows you to precisely determine the nature of experiential phenomena is the very same thing which prevents you from perceiving it in its totality!
In the time I’ve spent doing outreach work, I’ve noticed one common thread in all people. They want to be known. They want someone to lovingly peel away all of the layers of their false persona, gaze upon the residual and be acknowledged. Everyone wants to be known. However, the ego is a shield against the extremely dangerous outer world, and so the ego will always resist deeper wisdom. This is the fine line you must walk as cult leader. You must peel away layers of your devotees’ false personas but you must not do it in such a manner as to cause trauma, for that could regress them into a state of lower awareness than they originally possessed.
The ego is (again: paradoxically) also the vehicle that you use to achieve deeper wisdom. So your mind is basically a machine containing two motors driving in opposite directions: the lower ego recoils in terror and clings to the materialism it is comfortable with while the higher will gently nudges the ego incrementally closer to the source of consciousness.
It should come as no small shock that the most dangerous people are those who have achieved a considerable level of psychic attainment, but have stopped short of achieving the primal source of consciousness. As you learn to still your mind, you will also learn to more effectively distend it along your desires. The abilities forthcoming from a strong and controlled mind have traditionally been called “siddhis“. Many people make the mistake of thinking the beginning of the attainment of siddhis/psychic powers is actually the end. For instance, you may have had some psychic experiences in your life. Maybe you knew someone was going to call you before the phone started ringing. Maybe you had a dream that later came true. While interesting and special, these abilities do not qualify you as a “zen master” or any other thing. It only means you have the POTENTIAL to begin the path that will eventually (in a long time, probably even more than one lifetime) lead to the attainment of higher spirit power. The attainment of higher spirit power will also ONLY BE THE DOOR to the final realisation of perfect consciousness.
Note also, that one does not have to be a channel to be a devotee. In this life, I have not developed channeling power, because I understand that its risks are not worth its rewards at a time when most people are “psychic vampires”. Enabling channelling also enables others to parasitise your spiritual energy and this is not worth it at this time. What is important for one to have is a mixture of imagination and discernment (while always remembering that discernment is more important). You must be able to try new things and also tell the difference between what is a good and true thing and what is not.
Those who are a channel (having naturally occurring psychic power) may begin the path to reign in their conscious ego. Then when said conscious ego is reigned in, they may begin to experience the fruits of this labour. These realisations however do not mean you have reached the end of the path. The end is much further away and if you make the mistake of identifying lower tier psychic realisations as higher ones, you will start down a horrible path. A path that ends in loss and despair, in darkness and ridicule: in complete and utter failure. You must never feel that you have arrived, only that you are constantly journeying. Then, when you arrive at the supreme source of consciousness, you will still journey. However, that inner pearl, that supreme source of light will not move. It will become your centre. All subsequent journeys will occur relative to this point. Before you achieve this point, all journeys occur without a centre, you wander aimlessly for a long time. Then a few rays of the light of supreme truth touch your face. Maybe at first, you ignore them, because you are habituated to the darkness and cold. But after you have experienced a sufficient amount of darkness, you will decide that the light is all that matters. That is: a few rays of pure light are worth more to you than all of the material you have collected in the dark world. Then your perspective will shift. You will become a servant of the light. The interim between the first step on this path and the final realisation of the goal is where you become dangerous to others and yourself. There are infinitely many ways to get it wrong, and only one way to get it right. If you spend a long time following a wrong path, you will have to spend just as long de-conditioning yourself from this before starting anew on the right path. However, once you reach that place of supreme bliss and light, you will never return. You may do the same activities as before in a manner which is superficially indistinguishable, but you will never again lose the knowledge that such a supreme bliss state exists. You will not, as many believe, become inert in such a state. You will still perform action. Indeed those who recoil from society in a desperate gambit to achieve liberation from rebirth are neglecting their duty of action in defence of their beliefs. Work is not to be avoided, but rather done in a peaceful state of mind. The suffering of your countrymen is not to be pushed away from the field of your awareness but rather embraced, for only then can you heal them, only then can you give peace to all living things, only then can you enjoy the bliss of panpsychism (awareness of the conscious states of others) that your higher will has given you. You must never eschew your duty to action.
We are humans, we like to take trips. Whether that is a week in Barbados or a lifetime in a new country and culture, change is the only thing we are able to measure, and we crave it. We are after all, quantum mechanical computers and quantum systems cannot be observed without interference. Indeed there is an equivalence between observation and interference in Quantum Mechanics. Adepts do not attempt to defy this universal law, they simply seek to optimise their functioning therein. This identification with the primal consciousness rather than the eigenstates of ego has been shown many times to represent a path towards a better state of consciousness, better health and an overall better life: who could deny the benefits?
Crazy people, that’s who.
It is this supreme state of consciousness that many try to reach by skipping steps. The Hollywood pseudo-cult attempts to nullify the ego as a means of transcending it. This always fails; it is like intentionally making a hole in your ship before setting sail.
However, we must remind the reader that psychic attainment is a lot like climbing a mountain. Though the terrain may be different at the bottom, in fact so different as to make you think you have nothing in common with another seeker, who has started his journey from the opposite end as you. But as you both ascend, you will find that the terrain varies less and less from one region to another, that it is all indeed the same mountain and when you reach the top you will see that it is unique. And you will learn to recognise all others who have made a similar attainment. You will also be able to recognise when people are taking a bad path, they are the ones walking down the mountain, or around it in circles. You will yearn to cry out to them: “stop! you are only hurting yourself!”. However, they will not hear you, for they have not yet achieved the faith required to start climbing upwards. All of your pleas and bargaining will fall on deaf ears until they achieve sufficient faith as to gaze upwards. Until then, you can only be a good example to them, stop others from following them and patiently wait until they change their mind. You cannot force them to change their mind and attempting to do so is a violation of the vow of non-violence.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Thinking You “Know it All”
While its good to have confidence and pride in one’s own knowledge, it is a mistake to think that you will be able to answer every question you are ever posed. While many people can master basic boolean logic, most cannot debate on meta-logic or the measurement limit. And these ideas will need to be invoked in debate much more frequently than you might initially realise. It is important to remember that never at any point in history have commoners been able to take part in debates on this subject. It has always been a tiny, insular elite who have performed debate. The greater society simply follows their edicts.
Seemingly paradoxical statements always emerge when one starts to reach the boundaries of what is able to be known. All things which are known are things which must be measured and the very fundamental rule of this Universe is that no measurement does not change the waveform it is measuring! Thus pushing the limits of knowledge of causality often precipitates seemingly contradictory statements. This is not because knowledge itself is somehow imperfect but rather: because we are.
Consider the statement: all is a quantum mechanical field. It can easily be verified that this statement is logically true. Even solid objects are not truly solid, because when you zoom in far enough, you realise that the spacing between atoms is much larger than the atoms themselves and the atoms themselves aren’t themselves solid. Moreover, every object has a natural frequency, that is: they can be made to move as waveforms, if the proper frequency is applied. So, “all is a quantum mechanical field” must be a true statement. However, in the day to day life, such a statement would seem to have very little practical applicability. Our entire external lives consist of material objects, which appear to us as having a definite shape: they don’t look like quantum mechanical phenomena. Thus the supreme truth eludes us because of how we experience the world. Practically, it is only a combination of knowledge of the fundamental quantum mechanical nature of causality AND the phenomenological world which is useful to the cult leader. Causality (that effects follow from causes) and the Measurement Limit (the fact that we exist in a Universe with 3 space-like and 1 time-like dimension) are transcendent truths and thus are go-betweens for you to use to help people reach greater awareness of the fundamental nature while still rooting your teachings in materialism (and by that I mean entities which are material, not having a collection of 475 Beanie Babies).
Don’t Let Defamatory Attacks Get You Down
If you are bothered by attacks on your persona, then you are not strong enough to lead a cult. If you are being attacked, you should take it as a compliment and use it to your best strategic advantage. In the minds of the vain, all insults stem from a slight to their ego. Your personal excellence has reminded someone else of their own failures and, rather than take responsibility for this, they spew bile in an attempt to bring you down to their level. Misery, as they say, loves company. Use the insult to learn what hurt you have caused them and then dump a truck’s worth of salt onto it.
All great leaders have faced tremendous opposition. Enjoy the process. And if you cannot, gracefully bow out so that someone more competent can take your place. There is no shame in serving a better leader and sometimes, that is the only choice you have.
Submission or assimilation.
Fame and infamy go hand in hand when one speaks truth against an empire of lies. Thus fame and infamy will surely follow anyone who dares speak unwavering truth. You must learn to be no more attached to the love of your devotees than you are averse to the attacks of your enemies. As a human, you will always be subject to emotions, but you must learn to balance the attachment and aversion, cherish both and ultimately seek a pleasant state which encompasses both yet is separate from each.
Remember that many seek fame and most of them live to regret when and if they do achieve it. You will still have all the problems you had before you were famous, the only thing that will change is that you will have the additional awareness that tidal waves of attention won’t give you the long term happiness you seek.
Honour Your Opponents
Many would rather just pretend that their ideological opponents simply do not exist, and endeavour to censor them by any means necessary up to and including genocide. This however, is not my tradition. While I won’t rule out any means necessary to deal with those who would seek to undermine truth, I also prefer to honour those who oppose me. I do that by acknowledging their works and being willing to speak to them.
Reward Loyalty & Punish Dissent
People are hierarchical by nature. As such, they (subconsciously) seek a system which will reward their virtue and punish their wickedness. You must put as much energy into rewarding loyalty as you do stomping out dissent, and only then will you have a happy cult dictatorship where people feel comfortable expressing themselves but not so comfortable as to put others ill at ease. It is a fine line to walk, but it is a good goal to have.