changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Striving

 

Techniques > Conversion > Striving

Creating hope | Unattainable perfection | See also

 

A way that members of groups are retained is by assuring that they never reach completion, and that they are constantly striving for more.

Creating hope

Jonathan Swift said, 'It is better to travel hopefully than arrive'. Hope is a key part of striving, along with a belief in better things to come for those who strive.

Ultimate promises

The group typically dangles a carrot in front of the person in the form of the promise of enlightenment, riches, being 'saved' and so on. Framing what the person once thought as unattainable as now a real possibility awakens a deep longing in them. The thought of escaping the drudgery or demons of their everyday existence to a perfect paradise is amplified by the group who, initially at least, make these ultimate goals seem realistic and attainable.

Early success

Early successes serves to bond the person further into this goal and serves to amplify their hope. This may often be created by a self-fulfilling prophesy - if you believe in something enough, it is surprising what you can achieve. The 'low hanging fruit' of early wins are particularly useful in building hope, whilst it is forgotten that later wins are increasingly difficult. Even mystical experiences can appear as prayer, mediation, fasting and a poor diet lead to hallucinations. Extreme groups have even been known to feed their members hallucinogens.

A sequence of rewards

A more controllable form or reward is given with promotion within the group to higher levels, for example by giving them a new status name (acolyte, traveler, master, manager, director, etc.) or by giving them new authority within the group. At each level, they may be given new secrets or taught more of the group's special language. They thus may join the game of playing 'more perfect than you' with lower orders in the group.

Unattainable perfection

Individuals are constantly encouraged to constantly push towards this ultimate but unattainable perfection.

The leader knows perfection

The leader of the group is the ultimate judge of what perfection is and how well or badly the person is progressing towards it. Thus their strivings and even real achievements may be downplayed - not enough to completely put them off, but still enough to frustrate and reframe the hope. The leader may also be framed as embodying perfection. Thus they can do no wrong and their word cannot be challenged.

Imperfection into punishment

The unattainability of the ultimate perfection can then used to induce guilt and show the person to be sinful and hence sustain the requirement for confession and more ardent obedience to those higher than them in the group's order of perfection.

Not being perfect may be seen as deserving of punishment, which may be meted out by the higher members of the group or even by the person themselves, who are taught that such atonement and self-flagellation is a valuable method of reaching higher levels of perfection.

See also

Higher purpose, Special language, Blind obedience

 

Conversion Books

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |

 

You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Look inside

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
* Brand management
* Change Management
* Coaching
* Communication
* Counseling
* Game Design
* Human Resources
* Job-finding
* Leadership
* Marketing
* Politics
* Propaganda
* Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
* Sociology
* Storytelling
* Teaching
* Warfare
* Workplace design

Techniques

* Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
* Conditioning
* Conversation
* Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
* Happiness
* Hypnotism
* Interrogation
* Language
* Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
* Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
* Questioning
* Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
* Self-development
* Sequential requests
* Storytelling
* Stress Management
* Tipping
* Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

* Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
* Beliefs
* Brain stuff
* Conditioning
* Coping Mechanisms
* Critical Theory
* Culture
* Decisions
* Emotions
* Evolution
* Gender
* Games
* Groups
* Habit
* Identity
* Learning
* Meaning
* Memory
* Motivation
* Models
* Needs
* Personality
* Power
* Preferences
* Research
* Relationships
* SIFT Model
* Social Research
* Stress
* Trust
* Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

About
Guest Articles
Blog!
Books
Changes
Contact
Guestbook
Quotes
Students
Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

© Changing Works 2002-
Massive Content — Maximum Speed