Monday, January 25, 2021

Episode 25: Cult Thinking

Is anybody still reading this blog? We’ve got a full front page with no comments now, which may be a first. Please comment!

And I reiterate, please review the podcast on Audible, where we have no reviews.  Click on “More Options”.

Meanwhile, here’s a new episode of the podcast! James presents an elaborate theory about how storytelling is like cult indoctrination, and I try to keep up.

Here’s that video essay about the movie Midsommar James talks about:

And here's the list he's discussing:

1. Find the vulnerable target
2. Invite the Target to an innocuous event
3. Cut the target off from outside influences
4. Lovebomb the target; dangle the Prize in front of the Target
5. Extract an agreement from the Target that they want the prize
6. Shut down dissent by threatening to withhold the prize, iterating between carrot and stick
7. Arouse guilt in them and lead them to self-betrayal
8. Bring the subject to a breaking point
9. Offer leniency and clear steps to make things right: compulsion of confession, channeling of guilt, action to be done.
10. Release of guilt through ritual or signficicant act
11. Progress and harmony
12. Final confession and rebirth into new community and identity

(I’m doubling up posts tomorrow so we don’t break our 31 days of BCI.)


Jordan said...

Hi Matt, I love 10:30s !! learning from you all I can. Thank you

Parker said...

I really liked the Harriet The Spy posts! Excited to listen to the new episode of the podcast.

Matt Bird said...

Glad you guys are enjoying the posts!

LMNtrees said...

I really liked the Parker Peevyhouse discussion. I agree with her about fight scenes: when one comes on, my brain goes: [fight scene]. They are my "break" to get a drink or a snack. I just don't care that much about them. My sons are the opposite. They fast forward to the fight scenes and watch them over and over. Sometimes if there's a really good one, we have to stop the movie because the younger ones get up and start running around acting out the fight scenes. On this interpretation, the real genius of Star Wars was the light sabers. I keep telling them it's all about the characters but they scoff at me.

Love your blog.

Friday said...

Ack! I've been checking in periodically and NOT COMMENTING. I was discussing head/heart/gut with someone this morning and came here to grab a link -- so excited for a new episode!

rockinlibrarian said...

I just listened to this episode and I think it's my favorite so far (unless it's the Laika story. Yes, I honestly loved that one!). I now feel mildly creeped out by the concept of getting sucked into a story though! :D But I wonder if you have it backwards, though-- what if it's not so much that stories work by making them cult-like, but cult recruitment tactics work because they make people feel like the hero of a story?