virus: Re: Manipulation 101 Lesson 10

David Rosdeitcher (
23 Feb 97 00:12:36 EST

Lesson 10, Manipulation Through Notions of "Higher Authority" is presented at
the end of this discussion.
There is currently a discussion about whether or not the ongoing course of
"Manipulation 101" should contain live examples of manipulation from various
posts on this list, or just contain descriptions of manipulation in general.
Tim R wrote:
>Now, if you really want to re-frame this discussion, I'm all for it. It
>could prove a quite constructive use of our time. Why don't you, Tad and
>David, restate your "Lessons" in terms of how people attempt to influence
>others (for good or bad, after all, we use the same devices for both),
>leave off the examples (if we need 'em we'll ask)
In a situation like this, in which we, ourselves, like people everywhere, are
infected with various mind-viruses, understanding how manipulation and
propagation of these mind viruses occurs is best shown through live examples
from this list, as opposed to academic discussions. In situations where either
Tad or myself are, as Eva would say, "using you as a Horrible Example", anyone
is free to complain, especially if either of us is wrong. But, not that many
people should be intimidated by our references to recent posts, since, even
though most people, including me, are infected with virusus, there are very few
people who deliberately manipulate others through spreading those viruses.
These next few paragraphs explain that we are in an infected environment and
that live examples should be used to explain manipulation.

Tim wrote:
>This, David R., is why I grew weary. I see enough bratty name calling in
>my day to day life

The name calling is a reaction against people using manipulation by
spreading viruses. For instance, when I state that "memetics is bullshit", I'm
just responding to people who are using memetic ideas to spread viruses And when
I said that Richard's book was mediocre, I was just responding to him trying to
manipulate me.
Another example of not being detached from viruses: Reed wrote a great post
entitled "The Greeks Would Be Geeks". The essence of this post was that you
should not cling to the known terrain of anyone else's ideology or path, and to
blaze your own trail into unknown territory. Within this post, there seemed to
me to be an implication of a popular myth that "honest effort and individual
accomplishment is worthless". (To quote myself) Examples include comments like
"Objectivism will never overtake the net because objectivism died before the net
was born." and a couple of statements that seemed to put down the work of
Richard Dawkins. It was like the post was solid, but was infected at the same
I am contending that people on this list and everywhere else are infected
with mind viruses because there are people who are manipulating others by
purposely spreading such mind viruses. And, furthermore, these mind-virus
spreaders are successful because of weaknesses in people's belief systems.Some
of these weaknesses include contradictory beliefs and mystical ideas. A course
like Manipulation 101 is for the purpose of detecting such manipulation both in
and out of cyberspace. Because these viruses are being spread on this mailing
list, it is most effective to use live examples from the discussions in this
list since they are so relevant. Discussing these manipulations as if it were an
academic subject from which we are detached, would not have the same impact. To
demonstrate this, I am going to present Lesson #10 in 2 different forms: The
first one, "Example A", will be presented with a real live manipulation example
from this list. "Example B" will contain an academic type discussion by 2
fictional characters.

Manipulation 101 Lesson #10 Manipulation by Using Notions Of "Higher Authority".
Example A: Using Live Examples
A great technique to manipulate people is by suggesting to them that there
are higher powers than their own mind that can control their thoughts and
everyone else's. Imply that you have access to those higher powers. This will
induce in them a sense of fear and respect for you, as their latent tendencies
to follow and obey external authority are exploited to your advantage. Here is
an example:

>A dangerous notion. The Nazis didn't misunderstand anything. They were
>schooled in the Four Principles, which I never repeat, because anyone
>who knows them can easily create a runaway movement. But no
>misunderstanding is needed, just the right mix of memes.

Here is Example B, as 2 fictional characters have an academic discussion about
the role of higher authority in manipulation of others.
Professor Tim: People have tendencies to obey authority. It seems like some
people can manipulate others by playing to role of authority.
Professor Tad: Yeah, it is like most people will gladly surrender to another who
claims to be all-knowing or all-powerful. I can see this throughout history.
Professor Tim: Like the way the Church gains power by claiming to have
connections with an almighty God.
Professor Tad: Yes, even throughout the 20th century. The Nazis claimed to gain
power by saying they had an occult knowledge called "The Four Principles" and
today people are manipulated with various scientific-sounding popular beliefs in
higher power, ranging from the Gaia Hypothesis to Chaos Theory.

Which style was more effective--Live-Action Mode 'A', or Academic Mode 'B'?
What do you think? -David Rosdeitcher