The Cult of Persuasion

statue depicting a sad woman in recoleta cemetery, buenos aires - argentina

We would all like to believe that we are independent free thinkers that can formulate original ideas and assess the validity of the opinions’ of others but I have found much of this to be an illusion and contrarily this foretold claim is not present in most people I’ve encountered.  Do you know someone that belongs to a cult?   The answer may surprise you!

If you shut down debate by emotionalizing an argument, or if you appeal to the many ways of false ad hominem arguments, then you are effectively letting your bias interfere with your critical thinking.  These techniques are numerous in social media and conversation today.

 See various common forms of fallacious arguments:(


Mirriam Webster

Definition of cult

  1. 1 :  formal religious veneration :  worship

  2. 2 :  a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also :  its body of adherents

  3. 3 :  a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also :  its body of adherents

  4. 4 :  a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>

  5. 5 a :  great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially :  such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b :  the object of such devotion c :  a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

The overlap of cults and culture

Cult, which shares an origin with culture and cultivate, comes from the Latin cultus, a noun with meanings ranging from “tilling, cultivation” to “training or education” to “adoration.” In English, cult has evolved a number of meanings following a fairly logical path. The earliest known uses of the word, recorded in the 17th century, broadly denoted “worship.” From here cult came to refer to a specific branch of a religion or the rites and practices of that branch, as in “the cult of Dionysus.” By the early 18th century, cult could refer to a non-religious admiration or devotion, such as to a person, idea, or fad (“the cult of success”). Finally, by the 19th century, the word came to be used of “a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious.”

In my observance of everyday conversation in social media I have noticed trends in the structure of assertions others make in their communications.  Because of my own educational background, I have found problematic logical anomalies in these common assertions that seem to sway the beliefs of the unsuspecting participants.  This is unfortunate because after studying these exchanges of dialog, it is clear some people fall into the trappings of these logical fallacies that persuade many others despite the flawed reasoning.
The “hive” mind is observed in a conversation that often resorts to using misrepresented data points to further an argument.  If you vet the source of the statistical inferences, carefully look at the data, then it is possible to clear the argument of bias and strip it down without convolution of the premise.  Much of what we find today is loaded with misleading false narratives that are designed to sway you by lacing the argument with an emotional bias and sophistry.

One can easily recall the advertising industry to see countless and baseless examples of using fallacious and emotionalized narratives to sell their products.  Actually you can find many examples in how our own government agencies use language and semantics to further a cause.  Look at money and our current financial economic policies.  Banking regulations, fiat currencies, and legal jargon prevent many people from understanding its design and is used against them all the time.  It was written not for the people, but rather is written to benefit the private bankers, financiers who authored these systems.  Simply look to the federal reserve; a private bank in control of deflating and inflating our currency backed by nothing, (fiat currency) which has usurped the constitution altogether.

When we bring in the debt of printing this fraudulent currency waged against the people, we invent a non-ratified, unappropriated tax on our labor to help pay for this unconstitutional agency called the Federal Reserve which controls the Internal Revenue Service.  Since we have been duped into believing that we have to pay this tax, (amendment) people usually do or risk of having house and home taken away.  Our culture is full of this kind of bureaucracy that has poisoned the wells of the intellectually free minded citizens.  Scores of educational controversy has taken root in our school systems.  The subversive takeover of our children’s minds has historical precedence in many countries around the world.  In the country we have dealt with “no child left behind”, and “common core” among earlier infusions of propagandizing the “red scare” to our school children.

Persuasion itself is not under attack in this piece.  Rather, the logical fallacies that are used to persuade people is!  Debate is something I believe to be a healthy productive activity, but when you are diminished by being called a fascist, racist, or some other explicative; under false premises, than I think we have a problem.  The trend for foggy thinking is unprecedented in current times.  (Simply look at the 2016 presidential election).  This is clear especially when other people do not like what you stand for if it does not agree with their world view.  They will simply refute without paying attention to what you are saying if it is contrary to their beliefs.  People without a healthy cognitive grip use the narratives that only support their world view.  They tend not to use critical thinking skills to uncover the dust of confusion and propaganda that was designed to hinder their thinking in the first place.

Ask yourself this question.  How many people do you know on your social media feeds that spend a great deal of time posting about political memes and articles that intend to further a cause?  They don’t post much about their own family, yet they consume much of their time commenting on politically charged articles that beg to engender some kind of sympathy towards their post.  I see these posts all the time and I am distressed by their diminished capacity for critical thinking when reading these pieces.  All political parties take part and no one social group is excluded.

Social control in a society is a very difficult venture.  The more control the state has, the less the people can do other than a revolution.

Image result for democratic party cult memes

My problem with many of my associations is that I look at the argument from a philosophical viewpoint.  I look at the structure of the argument before I usually make a judgement on the meaning and beliefs about the argument.  I use my filters before I render a decision.   Maybe this is why I see so many abuses of language, semantics, logic, and thinking in others who wish to tell me their opinions that it makes me a bit saddened.  I am disheartened  after reading many of these posts from even my own family members.

I must admit the most atrocious posts tend to rely on the ignorance of those believing in them.  If we look at the current political climate, I tend to find that the Democratic party (USA) is the most tenacious and ruthless group of people bent on the domination and oppression of people.  I’m sure one can find many examples of both parties corruptible attributions in their expression, but if I were to focus on one, than the Democratic party and the mainstream media in the United States is by far the worst I have ever seen.

If you look at the social posts of today, and with a corruptible mass media that is telling the lie over and over again, (i.e. climate change, dividing us group by group by calling us racist, ad infinitum), than maybe we are falling for this political paradigm that is misleading us away from the constitution?

There are countless memes used to shut debate.  The assumptions made in many of these memes are fallacious and ridiculous, but on the other hand many simple-minded people tend to fall for them.  I hope not to offend any readers.  I myself am peeved by the outrageous claims that others do not share my belief system, yet we are exposed to the same set of data points and arguments made to us by educators, family and friends or business associates.  Heck, the internet alone if used properly can be a useful tool if you know the pitfalls, along with fully researching the information.

In conclusion I claim that the cult like activities seen in protest rallies around the USA in 2016 are full of propaganda.  The George Soros funded events around the globe were designed to plunder the outcomes of those that globalists oppose to gain credibility in these false scenarios.  If you read the Wikileaks emails, if you “think for yourself” and not allow others to think for you, you have half of the problem solved in the critical analysis of information that is highly politicized in this day and age.  I happen to believe that the democratic party (and much of our government), has sold us out, and does not believe in the constitution.  The democratic party demonstrates it’s policy in communicating like a cult!  Look at the voting record through-out history and see how the democratic party traditionally voted.  If you look it up on the voting record the party voted against civil rights legislation, they are the party that supported slavery, they are now against the 2nd amendment, and against the 4th amendment in the previous Obama administration.  They are against the 13th amendment, among many others that they have spun to impune their opposition and suggest the other party are the ones that are against the people.  I am completely open to agree if there are truths about these claims, yet I find little evidence to support them despite some differences in modern-day political party corruption cases.  Yes it does happen in both parties.  Yes, I try not to be partisan, but I find many cases used as examples of my thesis in this claim that are overwhelming and complicit in the evidence mentioned.

If you would like more examples, just pay attention to your local social media feed, or turn on the television and watch the news.

The historical accounts of propaganda are definitely home grown.  Before Hitler and others, there was Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, can be considered the father of public relations and propaganda. Bernays literally wrote the book on propaganda, public relations, and manipulating public opinion.  Yes, Bernays was born in Vienna, and later moved to America becoming an American publicist.  His notorious book written in 1929 was Propaganda.

Reception and Impact
Despite the relative significance of Propaganda to twentieth century media history and modern public relations, surprisingly little critique of the work exists. Public relations scholar Curt Olsen argues that the public largely accepted Bernays’ “sunny” view of propaganda, an acceptance eroded by fascism in the World War II era.[12] Olsen also argues that Bernays’s skill with language allowed terms such as “education” to subtly replace darker concepts such as “indoctrination.”[13] Finally, Olsen criticizes Bernays for advocating “psychic ease” for the average person to have no burden to answer for his or her own actions in the face of powerful messages.[14] On the other hand, writers such as Marvin Olasky justify Bernays as killing democracy in order to save it.[15] In this way, the presence of an elite, faceless persuasion constituted the only plausible way to prevent authoritarian control.[16] Concepts outlined in Bernays’ Propaganda and other works enabled the development of the first “two-way model” of public relations, using elements of social science in order to better formulate public opinion.[17] Bernays justified public relations as a profession by clearly emphasizing that no individual or group had a monopoly on the true understanding of the world.[18] According to public relations expert Stuart Ewen, “What Lippman set out in grand, overview terms, Bernays is running through in how-to-do-it-terms.”[19] His techniques are now staples for public image creation and political campaigns.[20]



Cult Behaviour: An Analysis



An Insiders Point of View


The phrase “speaks with a forked tongue” means to say one thing and mean another or, to be hypocritical, or act in a duplicitous manner.  In the longstanding tradition of many Native American tribes, “speaking with a forked tongue” has meant lying, and a person was no longer considered worthy of trust, once he had been shown to “speak with a forked tongue”.  This phrase was also adopted by Americans around the time of the Revolution, and may be found in abundant references from the early 19th century — often reporting on American officers who sought to convince the tribal leaders with whom they negotiated that they “spoke with a straight and not with a forked tongue” (for example, President Andrew Jackson told the Creek Nation in 1829) According to one 1859 account, the native proverb that the “white man spoke with a forked tongue” originated as a result of the French tactic of the 1690s, in their war with the Iroquois, of inviting their enemies to attend a Peace Conference, only to be slaughtered or captured.


It is naive to think that those in positions of authority will act in an ethical way when they give a decision to act upon issues at hand.  I grew up thinking that many of our authority figures in business, government, and other societal institutions have at least a moral code that guides their decisions they make in everyday occurrences.  But after a half century of observations and encounters with people in authority positions, and ordinary everyday situations with regular people, I have found the evidence of many disparaging and acrimonious directives issued.

I saw this inequity in my early childhood, which to this day has shaped my conceptions of the world.  The relationship dynamics we learn from our families interactions, with our friends, within the neighborhood communities, within the schools, and within other social functions where people will gather has given me much to contemplate.  I have witnessed much good, and to my dismay much disillusionment.  Perhaps this is the fundamental reasoning that impelled me to pursue a degree in philosophy and advance my studies.  My first love was psychology.  I found a world to explore that may explain much of my discontent growing up thinking I was somehow cognitively deficit in some way listening to comments directed towards me.  After awhile I had an understanding with myself to meet the world by educating myself the best I could as to make the best possible decision to lower my dissatisfaction with the world.  Firstly I thought I could become a self-actualized person studying humanism and the works of Abraham Maslow.  After being inspired to transform my life by an understanding of the human mind, I could then better understand my place in the world.

It was then after my first exposure to philosophy that changed my life forever.  I had now found a field that spoke directly to me often asking the questions I too was asking early on as a child.  So obviously the natural course of action was to double major in both psychology and philosophy.  My quest was not really for any job, but was rather initiated to educate myself that would best serve me in life.  Ironically, identifying and classifying the world, cutting up the world using different analytical methods, and being able to explain organizational behaviors and ethical sociological systems will not protect one from misuse, abuse, and inequities that may befall one in life.  The politics of being human has an insurmountable conflict before it.  Humanity is by far the single most convoluted organism on the planet.

I truly want to believe that people are by nature good, that they want to do the right thing, and that they will act without prejudice of self-interest.  Unfortunately, as much as we would like to believe in this fiction even though it does exist among many of the populace, we may find much to the contrary in our connection with the world.  I am but a faint voice that speaks out about such matters.  I am far from being an exemplary citizen, and continue on my path making mistakes as much as the next average Joe, yet I feel compelled to think about these matters as I have a deep heart-felt disconnection to those that wrong us in our lives, and especially those who continue to practice habitual misdeeds and live by a code of immoral execution whether they know it or not.

When you find this behavior existing and thriving in an organization, you begin to wonder how this is allowed to continue with such frequency not having the checks and balances that one would think would not allow these behaviors to perpetuate.  Denial, and poorly derived false arguments based on ad hominem and other logical fallacies are often employed to prove the actions of many in the managerial roles within a company.  This dynamic can work in two different ways.  On one hand to hold those dis-favorable members to a higher standard of accountability then you would to the favorable members, and on the other hand, selecting the favorable members not critiqued with as much tenacity or integrity, and purporting them as worthy of moving up.  If you single out select few, that are performing on par or better than their peers, and on the contrary, if you single out a select few who are not doing well, yet support them via proxy favorable associations with those in authority positions, then the corruption of core values like accountability, integrity, honesty, inclusion, and respect are thrown out the window.

Managing chaos seems to be the modus operandi from an employer that ironically creates much of this chaos in the first place with its conduct of the personnel of the organization.  Aside from the daily business practices that much of us have championed in our attempts to better ourselves both with our customers and with our personal relationship practices within the company, there is a leadership dilemma that often speaks with a forked tongue.  Within large corporations there exists the temptation to appease those who wield the most influence over the group.  If the leadership of the organization does not follow the core values, or if they selectively choose when they will follow and when they will not follow these moral codes, the credibility is forever lost.

In the case of nepotism, I have witnessed first hand from the inside of a very large organization the very disconcerting abuses of this operating criterion.  Nepotism at work can mean increased opportunity at a job, attaining the job or being paid more than other similarly situated people.[47]  Arguments are made both for and against employment granted due to a family connection, which is most common in small, family run businesses. On one hand, nepotism can give stability and continuity.  Critics cite studies that show decreased morale and commitment from non-related employees,[48] and a generally negative attitude towards superior positions filled through nepotism.  An article from Forbes magazine stated “there is no ladder to climb when the top rung is reserved for people with a certain name.”[49]  Some businesses forbid nepotism as an ethical matter, considering it too troublesome and disruptive.  Nepotism describes a variety of practices related to favoritism; it can mean simply hiring one’s own family members, or it can mean hiring and advancing unqualified or under-qualified family members based simply on the familial relationship. The word nepotism stems from the Latin word for nephew, especially the nephews of the prelates in medieval times. While attitudes toward nepotism vary according to cultural background, nepotism is a sensitive issue in American business. Many companies and individuals consider the practice to be unethical, largely due to its conflict with traditional American values of self-reliance and fairness.


In Western societies nepotism raises legal concerns. Although U.S. laws do not specifically prohibit hiring one’s relatives, studies show that between 10 and 40 percent of U.S. companies maintain formal policies prohibiting such a practice.  Many of these anti-nepotism rules were instituted in the 1950s with the aim of preventing the hiring of incompetent male relatives of male employees.  In the 1960s and 1970s the same rules applied but failed to reflect the change in the workforce as more women entered the job market; females were often the victims of these rules, however, and many were forced to quit.

Nepotism is also tied to discrimination issues and pragmatic concerns.  There is substantial debate over whether employers with any form of biased preferences for hiring, including nepotism, can even survive in the business market, ethical issues notwithstanding.

Once again, I am but an observer to a world gone mad drowning is a sea of discontent.  How does one disconnect from the anguish?  Do they focus only on the loving things in the world, do they replace the suffering by manifesting only the good they can muster?  Perhaps the Christian notion of turning the other cheek, or the Buddhist doctrines work for many of the disenchanted?  Balancing on the tight rope, finding the joy in life in an unjust world is definitely a task to undertake in our current malevolence of spirit seemingly stained upon the souls of the untrained human being.

I look forward to my journey in this world unraveling the antagonisms I will occasionally meet.  I think it is likely that I will not change so much, trying to greet the world with a smile, knowing that I can only change myself.  I want to emerge out of the jungle, using the forces in alignment with me and against me as gateway to my Zoetic.