I Am Starting An (Imaginary) Cult

Over the last few years I’ve had several people say some kind of variation of this to me:

The people who said this range from acquaintances to members of of my immediate family. I’m not sure why this happens. Could it be the secretive nature of being a magician combined with my analysis of persuasion? Perhaps it’s something I’ve yet to fully grasp. Either way, it’s made me wonder what would a Kazam cult look like. If I decided to start a cult, what would the core beliefs and rules be? Would I use it for good or to fleece people out of their hard earned cash?

This will be the first in a series of posts; a thought experiment in which I lay out the beliefs and rules of a cult that doesn’t exist.

Rule 1. You Must Leave the Cult.

As soon as you join the imaginary Kazam Cult you must select a date in the future within 10 years that you’ll leave. On this date you’re expected to go, otherwise we’ll throw you out.

Can you imagine supporting a sports team for your entire life and then making a cold, logical decision to switch to another team? Perhaps you’re a lifelong member of a political party, a religion or social club. Being a member of this group is a core part of your identity. It’s in your blood. Imagine the strength of will it would take to disavow this group and maybe even join a rival one.

Some people look at lifelong loyalty and devotion to a collective as an admirable quality. Sometimes that can be true. The imaginary Kazam Cult however does not hold this behaviour in high regard. The more you become ingrained in a group identity, the harder it becomes to shake the influence of that group on your beliefs and decisions.

Here is a real life example using two friends of mine who will remain nameless. The following is 100% true.

One is a member of a right-leaning political party, the other is in a left-leaning party.

We all know the drill on Facebook when a mass shooting happens. Those with the most polarised views share memes, stats and attacks on their enemies who they believe to me the source of the problem.

My right wing friend shares endless pro-gun social media posts. My left-wing friend shares endless anti-gun posts.

By now you’re probably thinking, “big deal, that’s what you’d expect.”

Here’s the twist:

The right-wing friend does NOT own a gun.

The left wing friend DOES own a gun. Not only that, he purchased it illegally.

I’m sure they have their own reasons for their decisions. Yet this example illustrates that some people are more loyal to their group than their own mind.

A fundamental mission of The Kazam Cult is to expand the consciousness of all members. We want you to be free to understand yourself and the world around you. A self-imposed deadline forces faster learning. Leaving will create a strength in your mind when joining other groups in the future. If you decide to leave early you are welcome to return, but the original deadline remains in place.

We can only enlightenment through the eventual destruction of the cult itself. This may take thousands of years but it is the ultimate end goal.

So remember, if you want to join you have to promise to leave.

Keep an eye on this blog for the next rule. If you’re interested in cults you should book me for a persuasion show because it might prevent you from joining one. Especially mine.