20 February 2017

drink the koolaid

by Cecily
What with the end times being so nigh and all, I've been reconsidering and revising my old idea about how to rule the world (or whatever is left of it) as the leader of a new and innovative cult.

I learned how to design a cult in college: my year, the Junior Sem for Religion majors was all about cults and sects and evangelicals and schismatic groups, and what makes some of them turn into world-dominating religions and others of them retire to middle chapters of obscure textbooks. It turns out there are several things one needs to consider, when designing a cult. You need some ideology, first of all, and the ideology should be carefully positioned so that it is in a fair amount of tension with the mainstream world, so you can create a strong us-vs.-them atmosphere, but not TOO much tension or you'll never get off the ground. Same thing for some ritual practices and observances; you want some obvious visual and behavioral signals for the cult members to identify each other and be ostracized by everyone else, but they can't be so crazy that no one is willing to do them.

Then you recruit some lonely people who are far away from, or don't have, any strong support networks, and you give them lots of attention and love and tell them a program about how to advance higher and higher through the levels of the cult (did I mention you should have some levels? Your cult needs different levels of power and enlightenment.) and find a house or a compound or something, for everyone to congregate in, and boom. Cult!

Anyway MY cult is gonna be based around diet. I got this idea from two sources: the first was my roommate Alyssa who was eating vegan at the time, and the second is those Manichean Gnostics who contributed to the sorting of matter back into Lightness and Darkness by eating shiny things (like fruit) to absorb (or breathe out) the light and excrete the dark.

So obviously I can't use either of those specifically, because a successful cult needs to be a new and weird idea. So my cult is based on an anti-vegan diet, where you are only allowed to eat things that are animal-based. No plants. I haven't finished working out the ideology behind this, but I think something about consolidating animal energy? Or protecting and venerating plants? Or maybe just separating animal matter from plant matter. Like, when all the animal energy has been concentrated and separated from the plant energy, that's when the work of the physical realm will be complete and our spirits will released back into the garden. Or something. Like I said I haven't finished thinking about this part.

The part I like thinking about is the actual diet. It is so, so gross! The only kind of alcohol you are allowed to drink is mead. Bacon-infused vodka is not allowed, because the animal matter has to be an intrinsic part of the food. No putting a slice of cheese on a slice of apple. Throw that apple away! Instead, you would be allowed to have an apple-flavored, apple-shaped piece of jello, if you like. You can have a hamburger but the buns have to be pieces of fried chicken. (I'm expecting several American-based fast food joints to get on board with me relatively quickly.) No lettuce, though, and no pickles, and the ketchup has to have a beef stock base.

As you move up in the hierarchy of this thrilling new religion, you will gain some privileges related to vegetable consumption. It's mainly the entry-level neophytes who have to do the hard-core digestive work. Later there'd be a point system or something, like when the Pope used to let you buy indulgences.

Obviously the #1 position is taken, by me, but I prefer to work as the power behind the throne, and not necessarily as the object of any adulation myself. I envision myself more like Bannon, you know, less like Trump. So there are a number of high-level bishopric-level slots available, and I really think this is going to go places. In times of turmoil, people turn to leaders who have a reassuring list of What To Do Next for them. You and I, we can be those leaders. I'm almost done with the list, and the times of turmoil are upon us.

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