How to Start a Cult
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard somebody whine, ?I wish I had a cult of my own.? I would be so incredibly rich now that I could buy Hollywood celebrity types to spread my word. Well, I don?t want the hassle; there?s enough trouble dealing with the LibertyBob Fan Club and those damned Mindiacs. As a result, I?ve decided to tell you, the LibertyBob.com visitor, how to start a cult of your own.
There are several steps to starting a cult. The first, and probably most important, is deciding what you are going to claim. This important step is where most wannabe cult leaders get stupid. It?s not about creating things to explain; it?s about explaining things that already exist. Let me clarify with an example. If you claim that, last Tuesday, the sky developed the image of a chicken which then spoke in a booming voice to tell everyone for miles around, ?Gather ye all the yarn of wool that is colored yellow and dress thy children in it or they will all turn into cumquats by half past five on Wednesday night,? then you are not likely to be believed.
Why is that, you ask? Simple, you twit, everyone will say, ?You know, I was out golfing on Tuesday and not once did I experience an apparition, poultry related or otherwise.? Then the friend will reply, ?Yea, and I didn?t dress my children in yarn and they?ve been fine all week. I don?t think any of the kids in the neighborhood got killed as a result of not wearing yarn.? The first will counter with, ?Well, I think the Wilkens kid didn?t make it through Thursday afternoon.? Then the second will say, ?But that?s the Wilkens kid. He was always getting his head stuck in fences and sewer grates so it?s not any surprise that he?s dead. It was just a matter of time.? The first speaker will then nod agreement and open another beer.
What should you have done instead? That?s easy. Take a situation that actually did happen and then explain it in the terms of your cult. To use the same example, you know that the sky was perfectly clear blue back on Tuesday. Everyone in your area experienced it. Now you just have to tell everyone that the blue sky is a sign of impending doom and that they need to take preparations.
The first response from them will be, ?But the sky has always been blue and nothing bad has ever happened.? This is where you play your trump card. You say, ?In ancient times the sky was not blue. There was a big battle between (your guy) and (his opposition). And when (your guy) won, the sky was turned blue in celebration. But now the time of peace is coming to an end and the Eggs of Abundance are about to join the Quiche of Doom.?
It may take a while to get others to believe you, but you just have to keep repeating yourself. They?ll say things like, ?I don?t believe any of your crap and I?m not going to follow your teachings.? Then you say, ?That?s why you have bad luck in life.? Then go on to point out any bad things that have happened to them.
The next step is to get some followers. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the quality of your followers. If your followers are gullible, it?s good. If your followers are so stupid that they walk into walls for no apparent reason, that is bad (but amusing). You want to have people who add to your cause without being a drain on your time and other resources.
If you?re shy about followers, start small. Try gathering to yourself a group of stuffed animals. Once you feel that you have really earned the loyalty of the plush crowd, get a pet or two. After that, you may graduate to a following of the mentally ill or possibly some preschoolers. Though they are hard to control at first, you may consider getting your self some drug addicts. Junkies will believe anything but they are a bit unreliable.
Now that you have believers, you have to keep them busy doing something. If you don?t, they may spend the free time thinking. You would really prefer that they only think what you want them to and not just anything that might pop into their heads. Left to themselves they may wonder things like why the leader gets to use the good towels or why the Chosen One gets to eat fast food while the followers are allowed only oatmeal. More importantly, they may wonder why they always have to service you when you obviously don?t care about their needs and wants.
To help you, here is a list of things that can keep your followers active. The list is not exhaustive so feel free to add your own.
- Building idols
- Martial arts training
- Hard labor in the fields
- Hard labor in the salt mines
- Hard labor at the coffee shop (you may need to locate a coffee shop on every corner across the nation)
- Going door to door to drum up new followers.
- Professional wrestling
- If you have an infinite number of them, you can put them in a room with an infinite number of type writers to see if you can get advance copies of works by Don Harstad.
Eventually, a young upstart may try to usurp your position. (?Usurp? means to steal, but it usually only used in conjunction with positions.) (The positions I mentioned earlier are social or political positions, not the ones you were imaging.) (No, really, stop imagining that.) When that happens, you have three options. The first is to try to befriend the upstart and take him or her under your wing. You?ll find that under the wing is a spot very vulnerable to daggers. I recommend against this option.
The second option is to get rid of the upstart. You can send this offender out on a quest. You can kick them out of the cult. You can ?sacrifice? them (check the laws in your locality). You can get him or her a spot on a reality television show, the most evil of all the options.
The best option is to tell your followers that you have reached the next level and must now go on a special, divine quest. Leave someone other than the upstart as your replacement to get that extra twist of the knife. Tell them that you will return and that they will know because of the signs. Make up some vague but unlikely signs of your return. (There is still a small group out there awaiting the purple eagle to signify my return. If not for federal laws regarding endangered species and food dye I could be back there now.) Then disappear.
That?s all there is to it. You can have your own cult. Just remember that if you want to be tax exempt you will probably have to create a not for profit corporation and fill out butt-loads of paperwork. If you can get wealthy followers, the paperwork will be worth it. If you type up your prophesies, make sure to self publish through some place like iUniverse.com. It?s cheap and your kick back on the sale of each book is pretty good.