Re: virus: Cult of Personality.

Duane Daniel Hewitt (
Fri, 20 Oct 1995 12:54:27 -0600 (MDT)

On Tue, 19 Sep 1995, David McFadzean wrote:

> At 02:56 PM 9/14/95 -0600, Duane Daniel Hewitt wrote:
> It turns out that Hoffer (author of "The True Believer") agrees with
> you. "Once the stage is set, the presence of an outstanding leader
> is indispensable. Without him there will be no movement. The ripeness
> of the times does not automatically produce a mass movement, nor can
> elections, laws and administrative bureaus hatch one."

Now what characteristics of the times and qualities of the leader are

> > >Are all mass movements constructive rather than destructive?
> Which mass movements would you consider to be constructive?

Good question. Constructive movements would be those that have achieved
positive ends.

To differenct extents the Civil Rights movement, the Feminist movement
and the Darwinist movement would qualify.

> >Are some born out hope rather than despair?
> According to Hoffer, every mass movement needs both. A necessary
> precondition for a mass movement is a hatred of the present, and
> a belief that the movement somehow own the keys to a better future.

Is it necessarily a hatred or could it be as mild as dissatisfaction with
the present.

> >A cult of personality does not necessarily advocate submission of
> >individuality. As I understand the term it refers to a leader figure
> >being the centrepiece of a movement and the driving force behind it
> >either intellectually or symbolically.
> So all mass movements are cults of personality but not vice versa?

It probably works both ways for most cases. Someone has to sew the seeds
for the movement

> >Is Virus going to have multiple vectors and who will these vectors target?
> I believe it will. Many people have commented that the symbolism of
> orthodox Virus (the Biohazard, skulls, Lucifer, etc.) are a bit too
> severe for mass consumption. Someone will have to create a vector
> with a "nicer" front.
> What other vectors should we pursue if we want to target intelligent,
> creative individuals?

Maybe some sort of Research institue devoted to memetics as Sean has
mentioned like the Zetetic(sp) Institute.

> >Is Virus only for the already rational or
> >will it attempt to make converts of the irrational (most sucsceptible first)?
> Personally I've had no luck dealing with irrational people. Logical
> argument simply doesn't work on them and I'm not willing to stoop
> to deceit or coercion.

Some people are quite rational but due to laziness or lack of exposure to
rational philosophies they go through the motions of accepting irrational
personal belief systems. These are the people that should be targeted and
no deceit or coercion should be necessary.

> On the other hand, I think one of our best potential markets is
> adolescents who are just beginning to question their religious
> upbringing. Call them prerationals. One of my main motivations for
> creating Virus is I wish I had found something like it when I
> was 18. I would be years ahead of where I am now intellectually.

Let me offer my sister as an experimental subject. She is 17. Better
hurry though, she is reading Rand.

> >Why are some leaders followed to obviously self destructive ends? (Jim
> >Jones, David Koresh)
> Remember that it is only obvious from outside and/or later.

Is it. I would think that there is a pattern to such leaders that can be

Duane Hewitt