July 17, 2010

"I cannot discuss it. Do not ask."

I was watching Oprah the other day. Be quiet. I watch it so you don't have to. Well, sometimes I do. Anyway. She had on the son of Jim Jones. Yeah, that guy. The Kool-aid Murderer. You know, this is the first time I have considered how unbelievably bad that whole association must have been for Kool-aid. Not to take away any of the horrific pain it caused for the families of the dead (over 900 in the Jonestown massacre), but I'd never stopped to consider the impact on Kool-aid . Gotta hate when a mass murderer co-ops your brand. Anyway. I was watching his son.

As I'm watching them re-cap the whole horrific thing (I was a kid - I remember it, but not with much current detail), I keep coming back to the whole cult thing. How the hell? How do hundreds of people across a broad spectrum of ages, races and backgrounds all buy into the thinking of a madman? I know, I know, Hitler, Manson et al. I get it. But I don't. I understand someone being loony enough to be that guy, but not to follow him. But I live a sheltered life, so there's that.

I was sitting on my back swing today reading Vanity Fair. Angelina is on the cover. Girl is hot. When it started to rain, I actually wasn't that upset at having to trundle my flabby arse back into the house. Looking at pictures of Angelina when you're contemplating starting an exercise program - tomorrow - is not for the faint of heart.

I started reading an article about this shyster guy in France who conned this noble, shabby old family. Mostly what they had, these de Vedrines, was a name and an old house. Big ol' house, but old. Anyway. After centuries of being aristocrats, they were somewhat discombobulated. As the family of 4 siblings and their assorted offspring struggled for solvency, they played into the hands of a brainwashing guru - Thierry Tilly. He convinced them that Freemasons were gonna get them. He got them all to hand over bank accounts, assets, even the house. And he got them to move to England and take on menial jobs and give him the money. He convinced them Freemasons were out to get them, and he allegedly kidnapped and tortured one of the women for months at a time. This went on for years.

If some of these other historic freaks can convince hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands to follow them, it isn't surprising that one could convince a family, extended or not. But again I found myself asking the same old question. "How? What does it take, what do you say, to get people to serve you and turn over all their worldly goods to you?" I am not wondering idly. I really, really want to know. I can no longer watch Lotto649 ads where a nervous young thing makes a phone call to say she's won. I do not win. I am curious about going the other route.

The Vanity Fair article revealed all. I can't link it - it's kinda a boring read, actually. Too long. Needs an editor. But the link I gave sums it up. Anyway. VF reveals what Tilly apparently said to convince his victims that he was the real deal. When asked what line he worked in, he reportedly said 'espionage'. And he followed it up with the power clincher. "I cannot discuss it," (raises a hand) "do not ask."

There it is. This is my new line. Whenever someone asks what I do, I shall whisper, "espionage". And before they can retrieve their jaw from the floor, I shall hold up a hand and declare, "I cannot discuss it. Do not ask."

Money should start rolling in by Tuesday.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard on a Stuff You Should Know podcast that they didn't actually drink Kool-aid in jonestown. it was flavor-aid i think. But everyone says and thinks Kool-aid

July 17, 2010 3:56 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Maybe it was Freshie. Remember that, with the toucan on the pouch?

My little sister Gilly used to make Kool-Aid with too much sugar. Kid would just keep chugging in sugar until my Mom yelled at her to stop.

This is also when I discovered that for some unknown reason, blue would forever represent raspberry flavoured stuff.


July 17, 2010 3:58 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

The cult mystique works well on certain types of personalities. (Here is where I don my flameproof suit) The usual cult victim is someone suffering from low self esteem, may have relationship issues with significant others and tend to be somewhat gullible compared to an average person. The other type of cult joinee is someone who aspires to gain control over someone else. They have a sense of superiority which could be disaplacement action covering poor self esteem. The cult leader will likely have a messiah complex, is usually a sociopath and often is a full blown pyschopath or suffering from psychosis. The leader is an expert at manipulation, body language and laying patterns down to make people think a certain way. Yes, they are dangerous.

July 17, 2010 3:58 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Awesome. Buzz has now supplied me with the rest of the tools I need to commence mind domination over my minions.

Rich ones.

July 17, 2010 4:00 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

LOL, Just as soon as you sign the title to your house over to me and your bank account.

July 17, 2010 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Alysha said...

I'm convinced. Who should I write the check out to?

July 17, 2010 11:05 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

Is it just me or is she becoming a little skinny, drawn and gaunt, even?

July 19, 2010 3:32 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I don't think you're skinny, drawn or gaunt. So no, it's not you.

Angelina on the other hand, is pretty much spectacular.

July 19, 2010 3:39 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

You? Starting an exercise program? Tomorrow or next century... matters not. When the Pope starts doing pelvic thrusts to Madonna I'll start looking for you running the trails of Burlington. Until then, my bet's on Oprah.

July 19, 2010 4:43 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

Spectacular? Really? And Brad? Dollars to those round deep-fried things you find him attractive, too.

July 19, 2010 6:22 PM  

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