Is it Right to Build Influence by Any Means?
The world is full of narcissist and greedy people who will do every evil thing to build influence anywhere they go. They love the money, power, fame this influence brings, and Robert Greene; the author of “The 48 Laws of Power” reiterated that in his book.
In the section of his book that talked about “how to create a cult”, Greene gave a guide on how easy it is for anyone who has great ambition to disingenuously use crude means to get what they want from this world.
When I first read that section of the book, I was intrigued about the ideas and steps given by Greene. For I thought only gullible people, illiterate and those with “issues” will fall for these gimmicks. But after the U.S election, Brexit and a host of other world affairs, I have realised how powerful such a guide is to create influence. Even among those we regard as more level-headed in their everyday approach to live issues, this manipulation can work wonders.
I believe the steps expounded by the author goes to the core of the basic psychology of man. The need to feel better about oneself and enjoy pleasurable living without putting in the hard work.
Here is a summary of Robert Greene’s steps on how to build influence anywhere:
Keep it vague, keep it simple:
Greene writes about how the cult leader should promise something transformational, inspiring but at the same breath, make these promises as vague as he or she can. No matter how old the idea or promise might be, always present it fresh and new.
Let them see the enthusiasm that burns within your eyes. It’s ideal to create new terms or words that appeal to them. Always act as if you have the knowledge or a secret to unlocking unlimited treasures about something you are yet to reveal to them, something that would change their lives. People love to hear how a simple solution can solve all their problems.
Appeal to the eyes and the various human senses rather than to the mind or the use of logic:
We are all aware of the fact that information that appeals to our various senses is more likely to stay with us longer than those which make use of logic. That is what Greene wants anyone creating a cult to feed on. Portray what your followers aspire to be rather than tell them. Dazzle them with visual richness, expose them to sweet scented environment and make sure when they’re around you, soothing music is all they hear or feel.
The constant exposure to these various neural stimuli would make them attached and emotionally connected to you and the presence you create. Whatever you say- even if it doesn’t make sense would be accepted and hailed as the truth.
Borrow the form of organised religion to structure the group:
I believe the human is a religious being no matter what form of views they hold. To cultivate followers loyal and dedicated to your cause, you need to fill whatever vacuum that was created when they decided to follow you. Create rituals, organise the group on hierarchical structures, making sure each position in the hierarchy goes with some fancy name or titles- give it a pious feel.
Let the group believe that those higher the hierarchy are closer to some form of enlightenment. This would persuade them to be more devoted to the group (as other members would want to attain such feat). Encourage them to give you their time and resources, which you would use to build influence and make yourself rich and powerful; possibly a demigod to your cult.
Disguise your source of income:
Never put yourself in a position where your followers think you need their money and the power it brings. Your followers want a simple and quick solution to their needs and desires. Most of them don’t want to go through the hard and painful way of acquiring what they want from life. Trying to be realistic with them about their expectation would just be in vain and push them away to someone willing to tell them what they would love to hear.
Hence, let them believe that just by following you, everything they desire would be on a silver platter. Never ever reveal how you made your wealth or let them know it is their money you are feasting on. Go all out to show the luxury which you bathe in: a proof that your beliefs are sound, works and you are a living proof of it.
Create an Us-Versus-Them Dynamics:
People out there don’t give a hoot about what real change is. Most people want to hear the sweet, romantic, easy way to change their circumstances. Why not give them what they want to hear? Create the impression of enemies out there, envious of what they are pursuing. Let your followers believe that they are part of a special group whose goal is divine and entitled and no one has the right to take what belongs to them.
This is a technique you use to let your followers focus on the perceived “Enemy” whiles you enrich yourself with all they have to offer. Another bonus to this approach would be: no accountability on your side as they would be busy protecting you from your “enemies” since you’ve being able to build influence among them.
Disclaimer: the above information is purely for entertainment purposes and also to inform us how various individual take advantage of our ignorance to achieve their selfish ambitions. Following any of the above steps is not only immoral but illegal in certain jurisdictions.