Updated: Jan 15, 2019
After two months, I’ve finally pulled myself from the rabbit hole that inspired the Kayfabe blog and served as research for a bizarre erotic novella I’m writing. This particular rabbit hole was filled with YouTube videos and articles on mind control experiments, perception vs. reality, and best of all, cults. Fascinating and scary stuff! I hope my fictional stuff is as entertaining. Before I walk away from these controversial topics, I’d like to have a little fun by sharing an odd connection that popped into my head. Hopefully you’ll chuckle along with me, but maybe it will also give you something serious to contemplate. Something that might help you out in 2019 if you want to finally keep those New Year's resolutions. But if it upsets you instead of entertaining you, please remember: it’s all Kayfabe 😉
For starters, after watching Temple of the Godmakers, as suggested by Nick Cato, I began wondering if it’s possible that we’re all in a cult. Some more than others, of course. Maybe that’s why we call the social systems we belong to “culture.” People tend to surround themselves with others who share similar beliefs, customs, and traditions. We see the world through the lens of this cultural paradigm and it’s hard for us to understand other viewpoints that contrast too sharply with our own. Yes, I understand the term ‘cult’ is reserved for organizations that can cause serious harm and even death, but if you’re gonna benefit from this post in terms of new year’s resolutions, fall down the rabbit hole with me just a bit.
Don't worry, this isn't really discussing definitions or arguing over cults themselves. It's more of a weird observation about perception and how the techniques used by cults, governments, religions, and organizations around the world can actually be harnessed to improve ourselves in positive ways. Crazy, you say? Maybe. But here, try some Kool-aide and let’s discuss...
With the dawn of a new year, we are presented with the tradition of starting fresh. We make resolutions to improve ourselves and start a new path with the best of intentions. But it seems like the bulk of us are doing it all wrong. If you really want to change your life forever, don’t get so hung up on the ‘action’ needed to achieve your goal. Yes, massive action is required, but all action comes from thoughts first. Everything begins in the mind. Even your automatic nervous system is trained and conditioned to a point by our past experiences.
So how can we apply cult techniques to goal achievement? Well, it seems like the most successful cults go to work on a person’s mind. Change the mind first, the very essence of how a person thinks, and then you can get them to act in new unbelievable ways. So perhaps, to achieve the success you desire in 2019, you must start with your mind. Otherwise, the change is temporary.
This life hack has been employed since the dawn of mankind. It has been at the root of all religions, governments, and secret societies because it works. We all seem to know this, but we don’t often discuss the greater implications of it. It’s like marketing. We all laugh at the ridiculousness and annoyance of corporate commercials and ads. We all say marketing doesn’t work on us…and yet, advertisers spend billions each year, because it does work. And it shapes the minds of millions worldwide…as a result the actions and buying habits of those millions change too.
It’s like casting a glamour spell. Maybe the spell doesn’t work on everyone. But let’s face it, how many people really do their own conscious thinking? The majority of us are programmed by the subtle yet often repeated messages. Marketing works. Propaganda works. Talking Heads in positions of Public Relations now have the most effective ways of pushing propaganda and marketing so that most people don’t even realize they are being targeted. And whoever has the most money to best saturate the market, has the ability to control the perception of large swathes of cultures. Like I said, this isn’t new. Every great teacher of religion and industry have all cautioned that humans are shaped by their dominating thoughts.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re correct.” – Henry Ford.
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” - Proverbs 4:23
“You don’t get in life what you want, you get what you believe.” - Oprah Winfrey
That last one from Oprah, is really important. You have to believe it. That ties back in to cults too. A cult member engages in certain actions because they literally believe the doctrine. Whatever you want to accomplish in 2019, you have to believe without a shadow of a doubt that you will succeed. That’s the hard part. The brain tends to get stuck in negative experiences and expects things to go wrong. A great biological tool for survival—be aware of danger and be ready to respond—but when danger is all we look for, we end up training our brains to miss great opportunities. We fail to believe that we can achieve the goals we set because we know all too well how unlikely the odds of success are. Convince your mind first, then the action needed to succeed will come automatically. Act as if you can’t fail. Believe in your success the way you believe in gravity, and then you’ll act accordingly 😉
Hopefully you can see why I fell down this hole and you’re open-minded enough to come just a little deeper with me. I promise, I’ll pull you back out by the end of the article.
The human brain is basically a computer. It needs a program to run off. Your perception of the world, what is and isn’t possible, becomes the default program for your brain. You become a bundle of neural connections and memorized emotions triggered to respond to certain stimuli: people, places, situations, etc. Those programmed responses make sense to us. We justify them to ourselves no matter how toxic they truly are. Our perception becomes our personal story. Our identity. And we act accordingly. But it’s all in our mind. A good example is a person who is beautiful, but when that person looks in the mirror, all they see is ugliness. Do you know how hard it is to get someone to believe they’re beautiful if they don’t see it? Can you imagine how hard it would be to take the action steps necessary to find the love of your life, get a new job, etc. if you believe people are repulsed by your ugliness?
The best cults—did I really just write that? I mean, the most effective cults from ancient and modern times all seemed to know this, and as a result, they operate on the level of the mind. They alter perception without using physical force in the beginning. They work on a person’s identity. They brainwash you. While cults do this with down-right devious techniques, including mental abuse and inducing PTSD, is it possible to achieve an identity change using positive techniques? Can we rewire the brain and alter our identity without harm? I think we can. I’m no doctor, but after all this research, I’m confident there’s a way to safely replace old paradigms and memories with new stories and images and embed these new beliefs deep into our subconscious mind. Once that is accomplished, then the brain’s neurons will fire differently. And when your brain responds differently, you will act differently. You see the world differently. In effect, your brain has been washed clean of the old ways and you are born again.
Did I go to far? Did I tell you to brainwash yourself? If you aren’t bothered yet, let’s talk about how to alter your mind in a positive way.
At the end of the day, if you’re trying to lose weight, but your identity, your self-image, doesn’t match with that of a person who treats their body as a temple, then you’ll never change permanently. It’s like a poser in high school. Remember them? The kid who pretends to be something they are not, but because their deepest thoughts don’t match with their external actions, everyone eventually discovers they’re a poser and they eventually go back to the way they were before. In the weight-loss scenario, you will try to do your best, but over time your will weakens and like the high school poser, you return to who you are in your identity, not the two months you pretended to be healthy.
Repetition is a good first step to replace something embedded into our subconscious mind, our identity center. Here’s a trick: Take a piece of painter’s tape and put it on every faucet in the house. Whenever you turn on the faucet, say an affirmation or goal that you want to believe. I am full of energy. I have a great job. I am calm and think before acting. I am healthy. You could even just say, I am grateful for water. Whatever you say, try to feel the emotion that goes along with the belief you want to embed. If you do that for a month straight, you’ll find that every time you use water—even when you’re not at your house with the painter’s tape reminder—you automatically say the affirmation without realizing it. You might even feel the emotion you linked with it.
You can boo-hoo it all you want and remind me that positive thinking and prayers and thoughts don’t change reality. Yet every day we see subconscious programming pushing society to act in certain ways. Just Google Edward Louis Bernays or Carl Jung to begin to understand the power of identity and the subconscious mind.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with anyone’s identity, some of us are inadvertently hurting ourselves by reinforcing opposing beliefs to our goals. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t post memes about pizza. If you’re building self-confidence, don’t joke about being ugly. True, it’s good to laugh at ourselves. But it’s never just one joke. All those little things you post and say and think, secretly sabotage yourself. It subconsciously trains your mind that this New Year’s resolution is a temporary fix. You’re not really healthy, happy, rich, confident. That’s not your identity, you’re just pretending. And your brain knows this. When the goal gets too tough, you’ll go back to the default identity.
Let’s look at one more technique to help you brainwash yourself into success. I believe, Hannibal Lecter once said: “We covet what we see every day.” Every day, as best as you can, surround yourself with the goal you want most. That job. That home. Whatever type of life you want. Put up pictures and drawings, maps of where you want to travel to, anything that triggers the desire of that goal. Carry a coin or token in your pocket to help remember something beautiful and inspirational whenever things get tough. Do this in conjunction with the repetition technique.
Remember, we’re all programmed. We didn’t get a say in the events that caused our PTSD as children and made us who we are today. But as conscious adults, we can start to retrain our minds and take our power back. If you’re struggling with resolutions, if your will is lacking and the actions aren’t coming. Consider starting with your mind. If there are facets of ourselves that we don’t like and we can trace them back to the cause, then we should do everything in our power to erase those negative memories. Let them go. I can understand why many of us can’t—I could do an entire essay on the psychology of that. I struggle with it myself and it’s a daily battle. That’s why our goals must be repeated just as consistently and why we must surround ourselves with our positive new paradigms. It’s what a cult leader would do 😉
If you’re on medication or have a mental health diagnosis, talk with a doctor. Don’t go brain washing yourself just because I made an observation on my blog. This is meant for entertainment…mostly. And shameless plugging of my new book, which I really hope gets picked up by these guys. It's sexy girls, cult knowledge, simulated universe… it should be a fun ride. But in all seriousness, I do wish all of you a fantastic 2019! I hope you become the person you want to be, safely and on your own timeline.
Stay weird. Stay kind.