Cult Leaders and the Power of Mind-Control:
An essay on the nature of mind-control, the mechanics behind it, and the people who use (and are used by) it.
Mind-control. The ability to use one’s own mind to control others.
Does something like that really exist?
Perhaps the power “mind-control” does exist, but not as the mysterious supernatural ability we perceive it to be, but rather as the combination of many different, smaller powers. These small powers of the mind, each individually remarkable, combine to form one seemingly supernatural ability.
Think. Who comes to mind, when you think “mind-control”?
Charles Manson? He’s certainly a popular example.
His Manson Family was not the largest cult around by any means, but his followers were so deeply in his thrall that they would do literally anything to serve him. They were his, through and through.
They would do anything for him. They would, and did, kill for him. And even to the day of his death, despite thirty-odd years of isolation in a maximum-security prison, he retained his death-grip hold on their minds.
Imagine that. Really, imagine it. Imagine reaching into someone’s mind, twisting their very being, and inserting yourself so deeply within their psyche that no force on Earth can ever bring them back to their former selves. They are yours, for good or ill.
Before I go farther, dear reader, allow me to preface my words with a warning.
I have dedicated a great deal of thought to understanding the ways that people control one another. I have read a great many books, practiced a great many hours, and have viewed the world through this lens for many years, all in an attempt to see the strings which yank upon humanity like so many marionettes. I do not desire great power, not truly. I merely desire to enlighten myself, so that you and I may escape the powers that seek to control us for their own ends.
Perhaps, in my studies, I have developed a bit of eccentricity on the subject. I have developed my own terminology, which you will find used and capitalized herein. Empathy, Charisma, and Occupation are three examples, the latter-most being one which I believe to be my single original idea in the field of psychology. Many great minds have long pondered what makes humans do what they do, this is true, and it would require great hubris to presume to be the first to realize any truth regarding our condition.
However, if you’ll allow me the privilege, I’d like to define these few terms which I have appropriated for the description of my ideas regarding the mechanics behind the pervasive manipulations of human consciousness which exist all around us.
-Firstly, we have Occupation. This is a term with many meanings, a few of which are quite meaningful already in the context of mind-control.
- possession, settlement, or use of land or property.
- the state of being, occupied, taken over, or settled.
- the seizure and control of an area by military forces, especially foreign territory.
- the act of going into and taking control of a public or private space, as a park or building, especially as an act of protest
You’ll see common threads here, if you’re paying attention. Our minds are our most precious property, and to control a mind is to Occupy that space. Therefore, broadly speaking, Occupation is the methodology for acquiring and retaining mental property, as well as the general state of being resulting from this.
Or, in layman’s terms, Occupation is what happens when someone “gets inside your head”.
Again, I ask you to forgive my liberal use of capitalization, as I believe my terminology to be sufficiently different from the dictionary so as to justify capital distinction.
Lest I drone on endlessly, and lest I distract from the meat of this essay, please allow me to briefly define a few more terms which deserve clarification.
-After Occupation, we have Empathy. This is (speaking broadly again, mind you), the ability of particular human beings to experience and profoundly understand the minds of others. This is a natural human ability, which we all possess, taken to the extreme.
-Following this, we have Charisma. This is the ability of particular human beings to sense the deepest desires of others, and to use that knowledge to influence them.
Now, either Charisma or Empathy alone are not particularly dangerous. Together, however, they may be used to control the minds of human beings to a frightening degree.
With Empathy, a manipulator may gain your trust and your love.
With Charisma, a manipulator may influence your beliefs.
-Lastly, I will be referring to practitioners of Occupation as Controllers. They seek to control you, your feelings, your beliefs, and your actions. They want to own you, and they will, given the chance. They are neither good nor evil, as I will exemplify below. But they will control you nonetheless.
When a person trusts you, loves you, and holds deep beliefs engineered by you, they are yours to do with as you please. This is Occupation. It is terrifyingly powerful, and it is at work all around you. My goal is not to teach you how to use this power, but simply to make you aware of it. Awareness of manipulation is the greatest step towards resisting its influence.
Occupation theory is rather complex, and one day I’ll write a proper book on the subject. For now, I hope this cursory preface has illuminated the key principles.
The Mechanics and Science of Mind-control
Now, my goal here is not to describe something mystical. It’s not some bullshit superpower. Manson, and those like him, are not comic book villains. They were not struck by a magical asteroid. They were not granted their power by a race of ancient aliens. They were not bitten by a fucking radioactive spider.
Their power was real, and it matters. It’s important that we understand how evil people are capable of controlling us.
Now, not everyone is vulnerable to Occupation. In fact, most people are generally resistant to mind-control, especially if they are otherwise happy and fulfilled in their lives. The weak-willed, those of us with no strong beliefs, who always look to others for answers… These types are the most vulnerable.
Regardless of the degree of susceptibility to Occupation, every human being can be controlled. Every human being has beliefs that can be manipulated. None of us are immune. If you believe you are immune to mind-control, or that mind-control is an impossibility, you are playing right into the hands of those who would control you.
Carl Jung, one of the greatest psychologists and philosophers of modern times, believed that all human minds were connected on a fundamental level. He believed there was a singular consciousness that united all of us. Somewhere, deep in our psyche, there is a primal aspect of true consciousness. This primal consciousness, this deep consciousness that connects all of us, is (perhaps) the mechanism by which practitioners of Occupation connect to the minds of their victims. By deeply understanding themselves, Controllers gain a deep understanding of others.
Science has not even begun to understand the nature of consciousness. Currently, science cannot prove that consciousness is anything more than a chemical reaction within primate brains. There are some among us, though, who have a greater understanding of their own mind, of their nature. These people understand human nature so completely, consciously or unconsciously, that they are able to utilize this understanding to control the very minds of those around them.
This is the first and most fundamental aspect of mind-control: to control a mind, one must first understand it.
To control a person, one must see into their hearts. To manipulate a soul, you must inhabit the being of that soul, experiencing it first-hand. This is Empathy of the highest order.
Empathy. Not only to understand someone, but to experience what it is to be that person.
Recall, if you will, what I said at the beginning. Mind-control is a “superhuman” ability, which is spawned by a fusion of other, smaller abilities. Empathy and Charisma, too, may be broken down into smaller components. And beyond those two aspects of Occupation, there are other aspects which may amplify the effect. But I digress.
Empathy alone, while not as potent as true Occupation, is quite valuable in its own right. To perfectly understand another person, to see within their soul, to feel their pains and their triumphs alike… This is a profound ability which few on this Earth possess. But Empathy is not control. In fact, Empathy is rather uncomfortable. Empathy is painful, and from this pain comes the next component of mind-control.
And that, dear reader, is Charisma. If Empathy is the true and deep understanding of another’s experiences, then Charisma is the true and deep understanding of another’s desires. Charisma allows you to pull the deepest desires from another person’s soul. The charismatic among us dangle our wishes before our eyes, singing songs of promised greatness. They promise Nirvana, and we believe they will deliver it unto us.
Belief. That’s the third key. Mind-control is a puzzle, and belief is the glue. First, the Controller seeks to know us deeply, to feel all that we feel, to desire all that we desire. The Controller promises us the world, and we give him our world in return. We make him into our world. All of what we previously believed breaks down, and all of what we are is what he has shaped us to be.
Occupation and Morality
Power, all forms of power, can be used for good or for evil. Mind-control is no different. Allow me to give two examples.
Ghandi was a powerful man. He incited one of the greatest revolutions in human history. He created a new era of peace, love, and understanding. He is single-handedly responsible for a profound reduction in global violence.
Hitler was basically the opposite of Ghandi. He made people believe we’re all different, that some people are superior, that violence is necessary and justified. He was single-handedly responsible for one of the most tragic periods of violence in human history.
These men were not perfectly good, or perfectly evil. Ghandi, for certain, had his own demons. He allowed his wife to die of a curable illness, for the sake of his own pride. Hitler, too, was not the pure embodiment of “evil” or “good”. He had the heart of an artist, and the dreams of a patriot. We remember him for his demons, just as we remember Ghandi for his better angels.
Someone who wants to control you is not automatically your enemy. Generally, people want to control others for personal gain, but there do exist genuinely altruistic manipulators. Perhaps their own beliefs are misguided, but there do exist Controllers who desire only to guide you to a superior path. These are in the minority, of course.
Macro and Micro Levels of Occupation
There are two levels at which one can seek to Occupy human minds. First, there is the macro level, which is to say the Occupation of large groups of people at once. Advertisements are the best example of this. “Public Relations” is a term coined by famed propagandist Edward Bernays, and it is the modern application of techniques that have been in use for thousands of years.
Macro level Occupation is rather superficial, compared to Occupying one person at a time, but in aggregate it can be quite powerful. Generally, it is used to persuade people to use and to like a particular product. However, it can be used to make people do or believe basically anything. Media can be used to control your political opinions, the way you see yourself, and the way you view the world. Given sufficient exposure, you can be made to do or believe just about anything, without even requiring the physical presence of the Controller. Imagine yourself strapped to a chair, your vision dominated by vivid screens, earphones blasting your ears with evocative sound… How long before your mind is altered? Every thought becomes dominated by the imagery which has been drilled into your mind.
We don’t see macro Occupation taken to this extreme very often, thankfully, but the principle holds. Everywhere you go, you are bombarded by visual stimuli which have been engineered to influence your mind. Every billboard, every commercial on TV, every brand logo in your home… These are all tools which have been specifically engineered to produce a desired result in your mind.
Occupation at the micro level is commonly called seduction. Now, seduction as a term is generally used in a sexual sense, and this is certainly one application of micro level Occupation. Micro level Occupation is about domination. It is about control, about influence. It’s about inspiring thoughts and feelings within another person. Seduction is practiced every day by car salesmen. We all know it. Their job is to make us believe that the product they are selling is good, and that they, as people, care about us. They are only trying to give us what they know is best, or so they would have us believe.
Friendship and love are forms of micro level Occupation, and are great examples of the fact that Occupation itself is not sinister. Our minds are dominated by thoughts of those we love, and mutual Occupation in this regard is quite healthy. However, when feelings of love and friendship are manufactured by a Controller, with the intent of manipulation, the result is anything but wholesome. Love, adoration, and respect are meant to flow in both directions. Controllers seek to create this Occupation in you without creating anything reciprocal inside themselves. This is dishonest, yet it is also extremely effective. Their minds are free from the burden of love, unclouded by emotion, and this allows them to act purposefully so as to create even deeper feelings within their victims. Sociopaths make natural Controllers, assuming they have capacity for Empathy, which many do not.
Micro level and macro level Occupation are quite related, but their goals are different. Micro level Occupation seeks to dominate a mind, to fill a mind with love, or with whatever other emotion is desirable for the Controller. Macro level Occupation is typically less ambitious, seeking only to influence your opinions or your short-term desires. Given sufficient time and exposure, however, either style of Occupation is enough to irrevocably alter your mind.
Every thought you have in your mind came from somewhere. Everything you read, everything you see, everyone you talk to… Everything in your life has an effect on your mind. This is natural. Occupation happens when these natural aspects of life are manipulated to control you. Mind-control is not like the movies, where a psychic can muck around in your mind directly. Real mind-control acts indirectly instead, controlling what you see, what you hear, and what you think. It controls your mind one tiny step at a time, until the mind you thought was yours is not yours at all.
This is the message: Controllers are everywhere, as are their machines of influence. Resist them. Stand firm. Choose what you believe for yourself, and hold onto your beliefs with an iron grip. Each day stand guard at the door of your mind. Choose carefully who you love, who you allow into your heart. Think critically about what media you choose to consume, and with whom you choose to consume it.
The only one who can control your mind is you. I merely ask that you look carefully around yourself. Where are the strings upon which you dance? Who tugs upon your life’s marionette? If you look around and can see no strings, this does not mean you are free. It means you are blind. Look closely, dear reader, for the Controllers in our lives are innumerable. Resistance is life. Apathy is death.