You know, I never signed up to be a cult leader. I never had dreams of learning evil recruitment strategies or getting a bunch of people to worship a damn comet. I mean come on…that’s ridiculous. I feel sorry for those poor fools who fall victim to that junk anyways. At least…I used to…
But something happened… (Something always happens)
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=”Introduction”] [/thrive_text_block]
I was innocently perusing the internet the other day and I ran smack dab into a really dark alley. The kind of dark alley that makes you want to get off the computer and go take a shower…or give up pepperoni pizza…
Yeah, that dark.
Anyways, it was an article about something called the “Dissemination Drill.” This was essentially a step by step go by for would be scientologist recruiters to bring new members into the fold. They accomplish this by “ruining” them.
Their words…not mine.
Well, that led me down the road man. I was a boulder tumbling down the hill of useless information and I couldn’t stop. Everything from Craigslist ad cult recruitment to e-meters and “going clear,” these Scientology boys…well they were on another level, let’s just put it like that.
Here’s one that you might like…
[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=”What you will learn
• How scientologist recruiters use marketing strategy to brainwash people and ruin their lives
• How you are probably doing the same thing with your marketing right now
• Why you should focus on only using your powers for good and not evil
• A bunch of other underlying pseudo-psychology that is probably really messing up everyone’s head…we just don’t know really know enough to get it.”] [/thrive_text_block]
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=”The Dissemination Drill in 4 steps (thanks Scientology, you evil bastards)”] [/thrive_text_block]
Step 1- Contact: Easy enough right? The first step is to make contact with the prospect. Whether they reach out to you or you reach out to them. The focus generally starts with benefit not feature. Sound familiar? They don’t ask you how joining a mega cult like religion that is designed to suck your money dry as you work your way through the funnel sounds…they offer a free personality or stress test.
As a marketer you might do this with paid advertising or by infiltrating a social media platform. Scientology recruiters take out craigslist ads and sponsor races. Not that much different really…actually wait a minute…it’s not different at all. It’s the same exact strategies we study religiously as marketers. (yeah I said religiously, recognize my pun game man)
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=”Step 2- Handle”] [/thrive_text_block]
The next step is to overcome any objections. In Scientology lingo it’s called “Handling.” They have counterpoints to any and all possible arguments against scientology. Sounds hoaky to you? Well this is really about personal development not about religion. You can’t afford it? It’s a free test, it’s only going to cost you a little time and besides…it might just change your life if it helps…what do you have to lose man? (BESIDES YOUR EVERLOVING SOUL BWAHAHAHA queue evil laughter)
Is any of this sounding vaguely familiar to you?
As marketers we do this on our sales page and in our campaigns. It’s usually towards the beginning of what you are doing. We address any doubts that are going to come up. We handle them before the prospect even has a chance to address them on their own. We leave no room to fill in the spaces between the lines. There have been entire books written on the subject of overcoming potential objections against a sale. It’s marketing 101.
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=”Step 3- Salvage”] [/thrive_text_block]
The definition of salvage is “to save from ruin.” Before you can save someone from ruin, you must find out what their own personal ruin is. This is basically what problems they are having in life at the moment. The ones that they perceive to really be holding them back. Maybe it’s not making enough money, or not having a beautiful girlfriend. Maybe it’s some deep seeded trauma inflicted from childhood, or hell…maybe it’s just plain old bad breath.
It’s hard to say what makes a man (or woman) feel as though they are being held back, but one thing is for sure, most people have that “thing” somewhere inside them. It must be a condition that is real to the individual as an unwanted condition, or one that can be made real to him.
Scientologist recruiters pride themselves on being able to pull that stuff out and get in your head.
This might just be one of the most insidious things that we do. Try to discover what the problems and pain points of people are in an effort to understand how they think and in doing so exploit them and manipulate their decisions.
I say this is insidious because if you have ever studied the art of copyrighting you will know that you can grab these known pain points and just paint awful pictures. Really, really run with that bottoming out point and take it low for a while…
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=”Step 4- Bring to understanding”] [/thrive_text_block]
Once the person is aware of the ruin, you bring about an understanding that Scientology can handle the condition found in Step 3. This is done by simply stating that it can, or by using data to show how it can. In essence, now comes the time when they pitch.
Now that we have them extremely introspective and concentrating on their own “ruin” it’s time for the solution right? All good salesmen have a pitch…even cult recruiters.
Whether that pitch is “Scientology can handle that!” or “Welcome To The NEW WAY Of Making Passive Evergreen Affiliate Commissions!” The end goal is the same. Bring the prospect out of ruin with a solution that you happen to have.
[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=”In Summary”] [/thrive_text_block]
As marketers we look for every possible advantage when it comes to selling things and getting people to pay attention to us. We like to think we are ethical in our pursuits and righteous in our causes.
To think how close basic marketing strategies parallel to something as insidious as the Dissemination Drill is off-putting. None of us want to be associated with something as misaligned as a cult. Nobody wants to feel like they are responsible for ruining others lives.
And yet, the fact remains…
To practice the art of marketing is to practice the art of manipulation.
Contact, handle, salvage, and bring to understanding. Nice easy steps, from the minds of one of the biggest cults in history that were designed to sell seemingly outrageous ideas to good honest people. Responsible for broken families, destroyed relationships, and ruined lives.
All in the name of…money.
The answer to 99 out of 100 questions.
[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=”Conclusion”] [/thrive_text_block]
Now if this article finds you on a dark and stormy night, and it leaves you feeling some kind of way, like maybe you need to go take a bath or call your mommy or something…just remember what ol’ Jack Burton says in a time like this…
“When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have ya paid your dues, Jack?” “Yessir, the check is in the mail.” – Jack Burton, Big Trouble in Little China
Anyways, I’m Kam Jennings, some people call me ZeroFatz and I’m off to read more about these damn cults. I’ll leave you with my favorite Jack Burton quote…
“Sit tight, hold the fort, keep the home fires burning. And if we’re not back by dawn…call the president.”
Kam (aka ZeroFatz)
4 thoughts on “You’re No Better Than a Dirty Cult Leader (or are you single?)”
In context, it is “off-putting” to think of yourself as no better than the cult leader. However, it all comes down to intent.
Let’s take a hammer. I can use it to build a house for the poor, or I can use it bash in a guys skull. Same tool, different intent.
In my limited experience, there are some cheats and crooks in IM, but the vast majority of the people I have dealt with (including you Kam), are about as fine a folks as I have ever known and I am proud to have them in my circle.
I would say that this is just proof that our ideas work! They’ve been co-opted by cults.
I see what you did there Casey Lindsey! lol kidding. Great point of view and feedback sir! 😉
I loved this article, Kam! It is so refreshing to know someone who brings out the good, bad, and ugly – and all with a sense of humor.
It’s true that marketing is a form of manipulation (and every religion does it – where do you think we all learned it in the first place?). Psychologists/psychiatrists, religions, and brainwashing techniques – all have similarities. I remember, back in the ’70s when I first had exposure to psychological techniques, thinking how it was yucky. Then I became a sales person, door-to-door type, and found that those techniques were what I was using to gain a sale. And that felt yucky.
And then, I held seminars to teach other people how to sell (women), and discovered that we all ‘manipulate’ – some do it by whining and some do it to help another person grow in themselves.
I agree with Casey that intent is an important factor, but the process is essentially the same. The difference, in my opinion, is in the intent. Are we out to simply gouge people and get them to send us money (to save their souls and to let us buy a private jet), or is there a goal of actually helping someone? Helping a marketer improve their business processes, or helping a newbie learn how to market effectively (not how to smarm), or helping someone overcome a real problem – these are laudable goals.
On the other hand, there is a responsibility that the buyer needs to take upon their own shoulders. For instance, how many acne solutions will you buy until you realize that none of them actually work? Weight Loss is another one – millions of diets are purchased and how many of them actually achieve results? I refuse to buy any of them because I also refuse to exercise – so why buy a program that tells me that is the solution? Anyway, you get my drift.
It seems no matter what I write about this, it’s still a form of manipulation. Is it ‘good?’ Is it ‘bad?’ Personally, I think it’s a concept that has had people debating this for centuries!!
awesome feedback Jan! Thanks for checking out the article! I agree with you and Casey. It’s a funny thing when you start talking about knowledge that can be used for good as well as evil.