As I’m sure most of you are well aware, the world changes.
When I was younger, life was different. We described things we enjoyed as “groovy” rather than “rad” or “bitchin'”; we had a devil-may-care attitude about beef and fried foods, which we ate with gay abandon. There were no paedophiles, only tv presenters. I’m not claiming it was a better time, just a different one.
We didn’t relate to each other in the same way either. We would get together for “rap sessions,” where we shared our true feelings and a decent amount of bodily fluids with people who gathered together to celebrate and challenge the world around us.
I was a part of a community named the Sunshine Happiness Alliance Group with whom I briefly lived in a large barn in the middle of a dense woods hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the comfort and familiarity of Trenton, New Jersey. There were about forty of us in the “family” — we each held responsibilities (work and emotional) to ensure the group’s success; we grew, made and smoked everything we needed to stay healthy, happy and really, really high.
There was nothing untoward about our little group; the fact that six weeks after I left, the rest of them committed mass suicide I’m sure was purely coincidental. However, these days — these different but not necessarily better or worse days — though, some humans have evolved into borderline beasts who willingly abuse others through mind manipulation and control, which are surprisingly easy to master.
These people create cults, and you may be a member of one.
Do not panic. Keep your face completely neutral: they’re probably watching you right now, and any look of concern on your face is going to raise suspicion among the cult’s leaders. Stay cool, Jack, and read on.
First, we need to be sure. Consider these questions about the group with whom you identify:
- Do the leaders use trickery, seduction or military tactics to recruit new followers?
- Do they demand loyalty?
- Do they use symbols and expect you to worship these symbols as sacred?
- Do they treat people outside the group as aliens?
- Do they manipulate logic, even to the extent of contradicting themselves?
- Do they encourage you to challenge them or their ideas?
- If you do question anything, do they exclude you, call you a traitor or threaten you?
If you’ve answered yes, you may be in trouble. Again, DO NOT PANIC. Now we’re going to look at how you can break free and rid yourself of any residue of brainwashing.
- Interact with people outside the group — even if they look, think, worship or do sexy-sex in ways you do not.
- Drink at least a litre of water a day.
- Stop watching Fox News and reading the Daily Mail.
- Decide what you think is right and good, and be loyal to that.
It is nice to be a part of a group. In fact, not only is it nice, it’s also good, because people who are only ever on their own can tend to be a bit on the creepy side. Whether your group is based on politics, lifestyle or mutual admiration of a sports team, actor, musician, writer or hobby, there’s a real sense of warmth when you are with those with whom you have things in common.
But remember that you are an individual with the ability to think critically, and you must never let no one take that away from you. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.
On a completely unrelated note, have you joined the thousands who have already purchased my newest book? Don’t be like those other losers; what are you, a traitor or something?