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Miscellaneous Musings

Handbook for the Guru WannaBe
Humor, in a Serious Vein

View and present yourself as the authority of something. For true guru status it is best to be the One who hears the voice of Some Big Authority: God, MotherGod, ET's, Angels, whatever will work, but it's best to have The Big Authority be something noncorporeal. The reason for this is that ... they're not here! You can claim The Big Authority said virtually anything to you and she/he/they aren't here to dispute whatever you decide to dish out. As the right hand of The Big Authority, you can then say any opposition to you is opposition to the true divine authority.

One good psychological ploy is to feed your message to one or two carefully-chosen potential followers, and appear to be reluctant to share, reluctant to set yourself up above others. The tactic here is to let your followers elevate you, by THEIR belief in your authority. But if your personality doesn't allow this kind of backseat driving, full-on authority claims will work as well.

Develop your own Words of Wisdom. This is an important factor in your rise to true guru-hood. Your Message is what will let people know that you are really and truly the very best guru and the closest to The Big Authority. Here are some tips:
  • Use some special words or unusual words or phraseology that will set you apart from all the other false gurus out there.
  • Steal judiciously from other sources, including other works of "god" such as the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc.
  • Keep your Message as broad and cryptic as possible. Your followers are then free to interpret your words in any way they like (within your carefully guided limits, of course) and you don't have the bother of having to make sense. The strongest glue that will bind your followers to you is their belief that you can fulfill their needs. Therefore it's important that your message be broad enough for them to interpret as fulfilling their needs, whatever those are. Love, salvation, rescue, ultimate truth, power, relief from pain... whatever it is they most desire, that is what you are promising. Without actually saying it, of course. Tricky? Yes, but nobody said being a Guru was going to be easy.
  • Dish it out in small portions. Keep some of the Message a secret. See below: The Importance of Secrets. Offer a tiered program where your followers have to advance along levels and "prove" themselves ready for the next level. For a good example of this, look at how L. Ron Hubbard did it.
  • Along the same lines... don't do too much preaching in public. If you give your Words of Wisdom out to too many, there will always be someone in the crowd who will dispute you. (See also: Damage Control.) Give to a few, and make sure they're converted before going too far or too deep. The more converted and loyal they are, the less your words have to make sense. Let them know they have to be prepared for the deeper wisdoms, or get to the more advanced level before they'll be ready to hear your advanced truths.
  • Never EVER give your whole Message to any one person. If you're making it up as you go along, that shouldn't be a problem. However, we recommend having a plan. Remember as you develop your Message that the point here is to keep your followers looking to you for wisdom. If you dole out your entire wad in a single book or to a single person, they are then free to take the message and go on without you, which is entirely unacceptable!
  • A Note About Special Words: Some words can conjure up a negative image/response so watch your audience carefully. For example, take the word "Submit". Although this is indeed what you want your followers to do, use of this particular word may cause an automatic resistant response in some people. If you notice any hardening of the eyes, or withdrawing of enthusiasm, try using alternative words, such as: Surrender, Give Over, Relax Into. These words generally help people move into a more passive, and less resistant place. "God" is another possible trouble word, depending on your Message and your audience of course. Try using "Deity", or "Universal Power", or "All That Is". The important thing here is to watch your followers and adjust your Message to have the maximum impact with a minimum of resistance.
The Importance of Secret Knowledge, and Inner Circles. This is an extremely important part of your strategy. Your followers will be immeasurably more loyal if they believe they are now part of a special group, that they are being given special secret information, that they are now privvy to something that others in the world don't have, and won't be able to get easily. If you don't believe this, try telling someone a secret, a really big secret (it doesn't have to be real, make something up). Give it a big buildup, seem reluctant to share, but finally, cough it up. Watch the person swell up, see how their eyes start to shine, and their face takes on an avid expression.

Even better are secrets that will "Save Mankind". If your followers believe they are holding the golden keys to saving mankind, they will don their mantle of martyrdom for you willingly, gladly, eagerly! They will believe themselves to be serving the world, and will feel themselves to have utterly loving intent. They'll do almost anything in this state, never questioning their own intent or yours.

Managing this portion of your campaign will be a little difficult, because people do talk, and secrets you share with one person will probably be passed around to others. As long as you remember not to share all your secrets with any one person, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. The likelihood that your followers will all get together and compare notes to reach a full understanding of anything is very small. And since they will WANT to believe in you, and in your infallible wisdom, almost any explanation you give them for inconsistencies and mistakes will be swallowed. There will be those, however, who will continue to question. See below: Damage Control.

Let your followers speak for you. Whenever possible. Let them precede you into any group or forum. They can tell magnificent stories about you and your wisdom/healing ability/closeness to The Big Authority, which will carry much more weight than if you blew your own horn. Also, let your followers fight your battles for you whenever possible. Remember, the true guru doesn't need to get their hands dirty messing with the unwashed lower beings. If you have people who disbelieve or doubt you, let your followers argue with them.

Use your natural talents for the cause. If you are musical, play an instrument, sing, etc., use that as a way to draw people in and keep the group together. The singalong, or group music-making is a GREAT way to generate a group mentality. If you're not musical, use whatever talents you do have, and be assured you do have something special about you or you wouldn't want to be a guru. Try your hand at writing. Poetry, stories, whatever. The best gurus have a combination of talent and speaking ability. Find ways to let your natural charisma shine through. Find whatever your talents are and let them magnetize others to you.

Keep your followers loyal. It's important to use these tools consistently, but on a somewhat varied schedule. (Irregular reinforcement is much more addictive than regular reinforcement.) This should be a judicious mix of praise and punishment. Cultivate favorites, but change favorites at intervals. Let one or two know how special they are. Let the others see your favorite then fall from grace and move to a new favorite. This will generate fear of your disapproval in a much more powerful way than directness.

Let your followers know that by their loyalty to you, they are getting closer to The Big Authority. Offers of or hints of sex to come is a good way to keep them interested for very long periods. If you use this tool, try not to actually have sex for a while. Sex itself can be used as glue also (see below), but in this context it is only a carrot. Occasional use of fear or threat of loss of love is always a good tool for keeping followers loyal. Guilt is an excellent tool. But learn to snap the line gently. Too strongly and they may become disillusioned and leave. Then you have a whole new problem - the disaffected follower - and they can require a lot of damage control. (see below: Damage Control)

Sex. Sex. SEX. In addition to emotional rewards and coercion, sex can be a powerful tool for getting and keeping followers. Especially if you are bisexual, or can at least persuade yourself to temporary bisexuality for brief periods. If you can't do that, then you can still have sex with opposite sex partners, and be sure to let them know that by submitting to you, they are getting closer to The Big Authority. And for the same sex followers, let them know that if they are good and follow the right path, they might someday aspire to being like you. You can even reward them by eventually giving them the partners you tire of. Let them know that The Big Authority has chosen them for each other, so they don't feel like they're getting your cast-offs.

Note: Let your followers know that The Big Authority has told you that sexual relations should be unlimited and free-flowing and with more than one partner.

NOTE: This rule only applies to you.

Enemies. Very Important. You must have a common enemy, more than one if possible, to give yourself and your followers a cohesive Reason for Being. Satan/Lucifer is a good one, as is the government. But be aware that your followers will need something tangible. Visible. Auditory. Something to point to and possibly argue with. Not only must you have a common enemy, but you must be seen as the answer, the one with the solution, or at least, access to the divine solution. That's why Satan and the Government are good enemies, because they are large and seemingly all powerful, and require divine intervention to defeat. Of course, when you start accusing others of satanic acts, it will confuse people and make them uncertain when there are true evil acts going on, but that's not your problem and is in fact, a situation you can use to your advantage.

Martyrs make excellent glue. If you can manage to create a martyr within your group (you if possible, if you can manage it without actually getting killed) you will have increased the loyalty and number of your followers by a measure of 10. Their rage at the injustice of it all will be brought to support you, their sympathy and desire to "save" others from the evil enemy will strengthen your power base.

Damage Control. Disaffected followers can cause a lot of trouble. Unlike the average person who might disagree with you, these people know a lot about you and the inner workings of your group. Tattletales. Nasty little sneaks!

First, let the group know that this person has greatly displeased The Big Authority, but that he/she MIGHT be able to get back in the deity's good graces if they turn from the negative path and get back on the right path (yours). In some cases it might be worthwhile to denounce them angrily, but the best tactic is to take a stance of aggrieved parent who still loves the erring child who has hurt them so badly. Let your followers see your hurt, and that will help generate anger in them. Then, as stated above, let them do the fighting for you.

If necessary, if the person is truly threatening you, take measures to publicly discredit them. Lies will work, it doesn't have to be truth. Use all the various communication mediums... hints about the person's drug use, criminal activity or past psychiatric imbalances will usually be enough, but go as far as necessary to completely discredit them.

What To Do When Challenged or Asked for Clarification: Some twits will actually EXPECT you to make sense. It's a problem. Here are some tools you can try:
  • Smile cryptically, or give them a sad look that lets them know they've missed the boat by questioning you.
  • Allow some of your followers to interpret your words for you, and dole out praise for those whose interpretation casts the best light on you.
  • Hint (or outright say) that for true understanding of your words, they have to have reached a certain level of growth, and maybe they're just not there yet.
  • Tell them that to give more direct or specific answers might damage them, hinder their growth.
  • Tell them that your cryptic language is a sign of your nearness to The Big Authority, that you're just vibrating too fast to be coherent or limited to puny words.
  • Let them know that you may need to withdraw, because being in the presence of the doubters is exposing you to harmful energies, and you need to keep yourself clear. This will trigger your followers into fear (that you'll leave them), and anger (at the doubters who are damaging you) and will almost always cause some kind of argument to break out, which you of course, do not take part in.
If none of these things works, withdraw. Practice your martyr face for these occasions. You will need to look and sound aggrieved, hurt, deeply wounded, but not angry. You need to present the face of one who has been innocently trying to bring The Message to the world, and is being misunderstood, and persecuted. Learn to hang your head without crossing the line into cartoon martyrdom, and leave the situation.

Believe In Yourself. The more you can believe in yourself as the Ultimate Guru, the more you can forget that you are using any of these tactics, the better guru you will be and the more loyal followers you will have. I don't mean just believe it. I mean BELIEVE it. The best liars believe their lies wholeheartedly. Not that you're a liar, of course not. You're actually doing a service to the planet! You're giving people a purpose, a direction, a group to bond with and that is a noble thing!! You ARE The Ultimate Guru Who is Closest to The Big Authority and Speaks the Ultimate Truth. And don't you forget it!

We hope you've found these tips amusing. But on a serious note, if you find yourself entangled with a guru or cult type group, and are having trouble discerning what is true and what is not, we recommend the following:

   º Dealing With Manipulative People - An Excerpt from In Sheep's Clothing
   º How to Know What's True? Mind / Spirit vs. Intuition or Soul Knowing
   º Self, Ego and Boundaries

And see the links page for more links on cults and cult information...

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