Become A Quasi-Mystical Multi-Millionaire in 10 Easy Steps!
A friend of mine recently announced his latest grand plan: marketing the ultimate spiritual-woo product. He made me sign an ironclad non disclosure agreement, so I can’t share the details — but let’s just say its the equivalent of selling bottled sparkling air via electronic download. It is brilliant, I have to admit.
Since I’ve made a casual study of psuedo-scientific-psuedo-mystics, I thought I’d jot down a few tips for him on how to best tune up his image for his new role.
1. Adopt An Ancient Culture.
Associate yourself with an Ancient Culture, and you gain instant credibility. Be sure to do your research — it’s ooh-so-awkward when the descendents of your chosen culture crop up out of no where, start screaming about your misrepresentation of their great great great grandparents.
No worries, though… you can always just point out how far they’ve fallen from their family tree, and how disappointed their ancestors are in how they’ve turned out. (You ARE in otherworldly contact with their ancestors, right? Get out that Ouiji board, son!)
2. Cultivate a Fatherly (or Motherly) Demeanor.
Study Parental Archetypes. Watch old episodes of Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and Happy Days. Alternatively, you can watch Sylvia Brown and Deepak Chopra — they have this one down pat.
Strive to project an air of paternal indulgence, with a side order of unchallenged authority. Be someone who isn’t afraid to send a child to bed without supper: stern, but tolerant. Your goal is to inspire trust, loyalty and love from your followers. Like any parent, you are all about their growth. (And their worship of you. And their money.)
3.Mention Quantum Mechanics.
You don’t need to understand Quantum Mechanics (no one really does, anyway). Just mention it, casually, as supporting your theories. The combination of “Cutting Edge Science” with your “Ancient Culture Connections” provides you the true Alpha and Omega of authoritative wisdom.
Sure, a few scientists will turn up now and then to give long winded explanations of how wrong you are, but no one will really understands what they say anyway. If they really start causing problems, you can break out the Ouiji board again and tell them how disappointed Einstein and Tesla are in how they’ve turned out.
4. Promote Your Own Ignorance
This may seem a bit contrary at first, but it works! Tell everyone that don’t know how the mind/body/spirit/universe really works. No one does. It’s all a big mystery, and to claim otherwise is arrogance, arrogance I say!
This proves you are wise, because you know how much you don’t know… and it’s an easy answer to those critics who will say you don’t know what you’re talking about. Of course you don’t!! You’re wise enough to know that!
5. Overuse Exclamation Points!!!!
Get the point! Use it often! And then use it again!
I can’t stress this enough!!!!
6. Flatter Your Audience: Dismiss Science
Cluck cluck at the childish notions of science that seem to contradict your teachings. Make your audience feel that THEY aren’t stupid for not understanding science, it’s the SCIENTISTS who are stupid!! Your audience is SMART for not buying into that scientific bunk… the see through the smoke and mirrors of all those nonsensical formulas and proofs!!
In fact, you’ll do well to patronize anyone with more education or a higher IQ than you. (Do not, however, patronize those with larger bank accounts — you need their support!)
7. Appeal to Science
Science, on the other hand, can be your best-friend. Don’t be afraid to twist and mangle it to get the results you want. Your explanations should be vague and over simplified, and toss in a lot of mixed metaphors. The Creation Science folks are great at this one, so use them as your model.
Oh, and be sure to mention Quantum Physics again.. Toss in a photo of Star Trek’s Cheif Engineer, now and then. I know I do.
8. Debunk/Recruit the Competition
Whether its other other gurus, religious experts, science, or skeptics, point out the holes in their arguments to your audience. Suggest that they are power hungry, or have a vested interest in You’ll seem more sincere if you’re interested in exposing “the truth” — and you’ll reduce your competition!!
But don’t get too carried away with the debunking — pick out a select few of your competing gurus for a high powered summit circle. You can trade bookjacket blurbs, reviews, interview each other, be guest speakers at one another’s seminars, defend one another against criticisms, and occasionally go on group benders with them known as “enlightenment summits”. Who says being a mystical guru means you can’t have fun?
9. Create a Conspiracy Theory
Everyone loves a great conspiracy theory. The information you’re selling has been suppressed and repressed and conspired against by Those In Power, no doubt for thousands of years. Your customers are rebel fighters, struggling for the rights of common man, battling the forces of evil greed!!
Your customers will feel like noble insiders. With their 29.95 book purchase, they are becoming a rebel weapon against the Evil Empire of Suppression. But more importantly, they will be too focused on the greed of the conspiracy against you to notice your own greed.
Everything you do to this point is prepwork for your Oprah appearance. Once you’ve sold yourself to the big O and her enlightenment-loving over-spendingbaby-boomer audience, you’ve gone viral, baby!
Pop the cork on the champaign, gather your circle of guru peers, and go on a celebratory “enligtenment summit” Paint the mountain-top red, ’cause you are now an official Millionaire Psuedo-Mystical Guru!!
MindTWEAK: “The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” –Carl Sagan