Start up your own cult?” Instead of Jim Jones, think Dow Jones,” reports

Yes, for those who say, “How could anyone be stupid enough to join a cult”? Maybe you should look into the mirror. How many products do you consume with cult-like devotion?

Do you prefer familiar brands that have developed a “cult following,” such as Nike, Starbucks, Jello, McDonalds, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or Krispy Kreme donuts? Maybe you are part of the phenomenon of cooperate cult branding?

This is the focus of Geoff Williams analysis in his article “Develop your own cult following.”

What Williams offers is not only a “how to,” but a “how come?” inside look at the brand-driven consumer market, which is fueled by clever techniques of persuasion and influence through advertising.

What’s the difference between being “brainwashed” by Corporate America as opposed to “cults”? Well, there are some obvious distinctions. But clearly virtually everyone is vulnerable to persuasion, or companies wouldn’t waste their money promoting “cult followings” for their products.

And what about those destructive cult leaders?

According to leading cult expert and clinical psychologist Margaret Singer, “They’re all basically, really, the same, con men.”

Singer warns, “These sharpsters, when they’re very good at what they do, can get people to believe anything, You might think you’d never get taken in, but don’t bet on it.”

So the next time you are laughing at the Raelians or some other seemingly preposterous “cult” that accepts the bizarre claims of an apparent “con man,” think about the “sharpsters” who have taken you in. Starbucks anyone?


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