Public Speaking H
3 March 2015
Cult Following: “How To” The word “Cult” has become a very unnerving colloquy in modern society. The thoughts and images associated with such terminology is not pleasing and makes many uncomfortable. Just the other day I was speaking to a teacher about my topic, and just using the word I saw a visible change in their body and level of comfort each time I used it. They even said quote, “That is a scary word, I do not like it” this proves to me that if someone of high intelligence, and respect as they are, does not like the word “cult” it shows that there are most likely people all over the world who dislike the word, and have no idea that they themselves take part in these cult like practices without thinking about it.
Now I don’t mean, pray to some god, or drinking blood, or witchcraft or any of that nonsense, but simply everyday routines that have us brainwashed, into thinking our lives are normal, and the things we do are practical. What is the first thing almost all of us do when we wake up in the morning, we check our phones. How many people in this room have an iPhone? I do as well, I’m sure peter would be able to regurgitate non-stop facts about the almost TRILLION dollar industry right from his very head. Peter is the perfect example for this, he is infatuated with the company, yet he simply owns the products, and of course paid one hundred dollars to become an apple developer, if that’s not dedication then I don’t know what is, what these major corporations do is hire amazing marketing strategists. They create what are called “Cult Brands” the definition of a “cult brand” is this, “A benign group of individuals rallying around a brand’s lifestyle.” (Bueno& Jeffery) what one famous psychologist named Carl Jung called it simply the “participation Mystique” these different brands ignite a little spark or light within their customer, to embrace a certain way of being, aligned to their own thoughts and beliefs. What Apple has done to peter is what Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Xbox, Disney and many other companies have done to us. They make us need them, want them, crave it so strongly we are willing to spend money to have it. I know many people who only drink Starbucks, any other type of coffee tastes disgusting to them. This is the participation mystique at work, one of the busiest people on earth can go from running around all day, but once they step inside the Starbucks, or Dunkin donuts, they can relax have their coffee, and take a breath. These companies design their entire network, and company design to make their customers have what is called B-values when they shop, these b- values are emotions inside you such as, wholeness, uniqueness, goodness, truth, richness, effortless, simplicity, etc. and when you buy their product they want you to feel something, that is how they draw you in, and how they keep you a returning customer. Apple users may have an awakened sense of uniqueness, Frozen fans may have an awakened sense of beauty, aliveness, playfulness, and uniqueness. When you can connect to a product, as a customer you don’t want to let go, you want it, and you need it. And in that moment you buy it.
But in order for me to tell you how to create your own following, you need to know both sides of the coin. “Cult” has two sides, one is a business side, of how companies use these strategies and psychological ideals on their customers, and another is the legitimate use of the word, a cult, a new religion, or a sect. “An adolescent vampire cult in rural America” (Miller) sounds interesting right? Well it truly is, but I won’t bore you with the fine details of the case study I read for my research. The article goes into detail about a cult of young adults living in an isolated town in America. The cult partakes in “games” or rituals such as sacrifice, bloodletting, drugs, and group sex. These rituals are often used for initiation, and other times just for fun.