The Line Between Advertising and Manipulation

There shall be no compulsion in religion.

— Quran, 2:256

There was always the question of what separates a cult from a religion. And the answer is fairly straightforward. It’s compulsion. Deceitfulness and isolation of members. Arm-twisting.

The goal of the manipulator differs from the advertiser. The manipulator wants to suck you in, make you read story after story about the same thing until you believe that it’s everywhere.

Take vaccines. It tells a story. Beautiful kid gets a vaccine and everything changes. Suddenly they have this disorder. It could happen to anyone. Protect yourself: read the same story over and over. Because more information is the only protection, and with a dearth of information, repetition is the only way.

Same with anti-immigration. They aren’t publishing the millions of immigrants, legal or not, who ate a nutritious breakfast. That’s for damn sure.

Same with this wave of stories about free speech on campus. You’re on the mailing list. You have to know the latest outrage about how some kids who are neck-deep in debt didn’t want to pay for to a cultist to have a soapbox. Boo hoo.

This is a pattern. You get fed the same story over and over. Crooked crooked crooked Hillary Hillary Hillary. E-mails e-mails Benghazi e-mails e-mails.

Repetition is a key to learning. Repetition is a key to learning. Repetition is a key to learning.

  1. Identify a fear. Examples: autism, crime, suppression of speech, loss of guns, public corruption.
  2. Attach the fear to something. Examples: vaccines, immigrants, college campuses, Democrats/Obama, Hillary Clinton.
  3. Repeat it a lot. Forever.

Cults also make you feel like you belong. These manipulative causes make you feel like you’re red-pilling a bunch of sheeple with your guantlet of truth. Like share reply subscribe. Like share reply subscribe. Like share reply subscribe.

Because they don’t know, man. They are going about their lives sipping their Starbucks and they don’t “know what the queers are doing to our soil!” (The Dead Milkmen, “Stuart”) Being important feels good. You’ve got your little mission. Gotta keep up with the movement.

Don’t get me wrong. There are causes worth pursuing. But being a footsoldier is not the way. Supplanting your identity with a cause isn’t healthy, no matter how worthy the cause.

Advertisers are fairly open about the fact they want your money. They hope you enjoy their product so you’ll buy more, but they don’t want to hang out. They don’t hold meetings. Multi-level manipulators hold meetings.

The manipulators, they want you to hang out. Bring a sleeping bag and a sack lunch. We’ll provide the Kool-Aid. They want your money. But it’s in support of the cause. It’s the cause first. You were called. You were chosen. You alone can fix it.

God, what a waste of potential.