Crazy Cults: Tips for the aspiring cult leader
Clothing. Make sure your wardrobe appropriately reflects your beliefs and instills confidence in your followers. Flowing white robes are out (and hard to keep clean) and weird hats will just make you look crazy. Try for a blend of worldly and sophisticated chic—maybe with a pair of intellectual-looking glasses. If anyone talks shit about your fashion sense, string him or her up in the common room and make an example out of the situation. Daily compliments will start rolling your way. If only Gadhaffi had thought about his daily garb a little more, he might have been able to ditch the “crazy guy” reputation and been able to turn the Libyan people into his loyal followers instead of his hateful detractors.
Companions. If you’ve got a loving supporter by your side (or, better yet, a harem of loving supporters) the legitimacy of your cause will be bolstered. A dynamic young fox next to you on the podium can only led to your credibility. Because those closest to you will be able to smell your bullshit, make sure to have them heavily drugged or thoroughly bribed.
Compound. Choose the right venue for your craziness. Too far out in the woods and you won’t get anyone to come; too close to an urban center and you draw unwanted attention.
Cause. Your message has to resonate on some level, and the more you can appeal to the broadest possible population the more sympathy you’ll receive from the media when the Feds eventually kick down your door or bomb your ass to oblivion.
Craziness. A little crazy is an interesting character trait; but too much crazy (e.g. violent mood swings, nonsensical rantings, etc.) can push your followers away and lead to snitching. To avoid harassment by the authorities, co-opt someone in charge, such as the head of the FBI—though if you’ve hit this juncture, you’re probably leading a full-blown conspiracy movement, in which case you’ll want to go underground or initiate a campaign of disinformation that distracts the public from your true intentions.
Creativity. Keep your followers entertained and on their toes. If you can keep them marveling at your latest anti-establishment innovation, they won’t notice how bat-shit crazy you are.