James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Want to Lead a Cult

When I say that I want to lead a cult, I don't necessarily mean I want to be the Cult Leader, although I could be. The main thing is to be the lead opinion-maker and "police chief" of a movement, and to be the most influential person in the "inner circle" of that movement and enforce its Orthodoxy, even if somebody else is the figurehead.

I want to always be so convinced I'm right that I can, with clear conscience, accuse critics as people with moral failings and bad character.

When we (the Cult Leader and/or the Inner Circle) screw up, we will admit that some mistakes were made, but then focus on accusing the accusers of wanting to destroy the movement.

The substantive criticisms of our organization will be lumped together with the trivial and inaccurate criticisms, so that we can dismiss them all out of hand.

Litmus tests will be given to determine who is really part of the movement, and who is a fraud or heretic. Enthusiastic agreement with the ideals of the movement won't suffice; one must also agree with the particular doctrines and strategic vision of the Inner Circle, which is Orthodoxy. Everyone who disagrees just alittle bit should be treated with suspicion, and those who disagree a little bit more will be branded a heretic.

When others seem to act in ways that contradict their stated ideals, we will dismiss any explanations they may have and call them hypocrites. But when we appear to deviate from our Orthodoxy, we will have perfectly legitimate reasons, so we won't be contradicting ourselves at all.

Okay, so I don't really want to lead a Cult. I don't really want to be so full of myself that I grow blissfully disconnected from reality. But I've seen Cult-like behavior in some otherwise worthwhile movements, and it's possible that even when the figurehead leader is an honorable person, the bullying tactics of his "defenders" end up tarnishing his name and their cause more than their critics ever could.

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