Sunday, June 3, 2012

Don't avoid dream-stealers (and beware of any one who tell you to)

I have encountered any so-called "leaders" in various schemes, and one common factor is their dismissal of any and all criticism as "negativity" to be avoided. (Unless, of course, they choose to address such criticisms by using one of the many fallacies and fake arguments discussed earlier.)

In order to deflect criticism and maintain a positive attitude toward their pet scheme by all their followers, such a leader will often issue an edict: "avoid the dreamstealers". To them, the dreamstealers are out to steal the dream of success from their members. The dreamstealers will always say no, and are a plague to be avoided.

This is wrong on so many levels, we'll discuss that in a separate article. However, there are a couple different aspects we need to address:

Failure to separate cynic from skeptic

One of the so-called negativity avoidance is reflexive dismissal of ALL questions as fear and doubt, even constructive criticism. In other words, skeptics are lumped together with cynics.

Leader: We will succeed!
Cynic: No you won't.
Skeptic: How will you succeed and why?

In the so-called leader's mind (and those of his followers), there is no separation between skeptic and cynic. It is "us" vs. "them". Reasonable questions are to be dismissed with emotion (indignance).

Is this a Cult or business?

Seeking positivity is also a sign of cult behavior, where the "leader"stops you from seeking information that does NOT validate the belief in some way. Criticism is forbidden. The leader / belief is always right.

The "us vs. them" attitude is also a cult characteristic. In a cult, everything is so black-and-white. Either you understand us or you don't. If you don't understand us, either join us or shut up.

Steven Hassan
Steven Hassan, cult expert
once said that MLMs are commercial cults
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Noted cult expert Steven Hassan calls multi-level marketing "commercial cults" with continual reinforcement to build itself up and not to seek outside info that may invalidate the belief. You may be in a cult and not even realize it.

Before you dismiss such a notion as nonsense, keep in mind that not all cults are destructive. However, scams can take on many of the same tactics as cults, and MLM, with its group nature, really do adopt many of the same tactics, albeit to a more benign (probably) purpose.

However, this also means that pseudo-MLM scams also adopted many cult tactics, called them "motivation speak", and are using them for far more nefarious purposes.

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