Well, we tend towards affinity groups.

Well, we tend towards affinity groups. Even Chris Chan. In a random search I just did to find real Sonichu / Chris Chan fans, they certainly exist.
“His comics make me nostalgic for a simpler time. I have struggles with my love life, as do we all.. not as bad as Chris but still… I have troubles finding a girlfriend. and I’m a NEET too. When I look at Chris I see a messed up version of me or what I could’ve become. A Peter Pan who refuses to grow up.
We’re all awkward and struggling.. we’re all confused about who we are and where we belong, well most of us. Sonichu is cute, childlike, mostly innocent and nostalgic cartoon that reminds me of the music of Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston. Reminiscent of the genres Outsider Art and Naive art. Even if you don’t A-log Chris Chan.. you don’t bully him, which you shouldn’t lets be honest. You just got to browse and drink it in. This weird legacy. Are we laughing at Chris or with Chris? Is his life and his comic just that fascinating?
Sonichu reminds me that it could be worse, my life isn’t so bad. Art is his passion and it’s mine too. He’s more famous than you or I and he did all.. on his own accidentally, he started a movement of weird art and sagas. Kind of made a community of bullies and admirers.”
 He is essentially a cult leader who is manipulatable by his followers.
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But not just them. My nephew spent an entire summer watching the whole documentary. He would come out and tell me things – some I knew some I didn’t.
The lore, the legacy, the drama: it’s a cult and Chris Chan is the leader.
And yes, leaders often do not have peers. I’d say they usually don’t. They are at the top of the pyramid.
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Oh you’re right. I was just expanding on it.
I find cults fascinating – mostly the people dynamics because it gets really odd. One can be entirely rational and reasonable until it comes to things related to the cult and the thinking and reasoning suddenly shifts.
I shared this in several places. This made several people very sad when I said, “It’s finally reached the end”. They invested emotional energy into Chris Chan. Followed the saga. Got into battles. Some even attempted to join in and become a part of the lore — which in the community they started to strongly suggest AGAINST as they long time followers of Chris Chan began to realize the dangers of this behavior while still being enthralled by this character.
That is, followers became self-aware and realized that what they’d been doing is objectively wrong but yet they still couldn’t stay away from their fascination with Chris Chan.
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Cults are fascinating. They take all forms.
I was raised in an era where “breaking up cults” was in the news a lot.

Apparently in the 1970s, when I was too little to know anything, huge cults were very common in all parts of the world. It was an era.

But by the early 80s when my awareness of the world started, a lot of children’s cartoons had explicit “anti cult” messages in them. In fact, almost all of my cartoons had morality messages within. Very explicit: they would hide them in the story then often explain them at the end.

Moral stories from cartoons. Moral stories from sitcoms. Everything had a moral. Everything was aesop’s fables but in 80s American TV style.

Adult news would also show big cults being broken up too. The biggest I remember was the Rajnesshpuram – Osho.

Interestingly, I got into Osho in the early 2000s after my 6 year fling with Eastern Orthodox Christianity – bought a bunch of books, eagerly ate it up – -having NO IDEA that it was the same guy that the cult in the West Coast USA was centered around until just a few years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajneeshpuram

That’s what’s fascinating about it from a cult point of view. All the same kind of cult-like behavior from the followers even though the central purpose was the collective mockery of Chris Chan, directly by a few, but by most talking amongst themselves, swapping stories and tales and trivia and attitudes.

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What do collective mockery and worship have in common?
Exaggerating traits.
Embellishing stories.
Documenting lore.
Gatekeeping orthodox from unorthodox behaviors.
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I’ve done my share of mocking QAnon too. They represent aspects of America that I’m a bit embarrassed by so by mocking I attempt to distance myself a little from it.
I didn’t expect it to take off as successfully as it had and especially did not expect to see it promoted from on high but it was — and continues to be.
To me, at first, it was just the culmination of taking every conspiracy and globbing it all together into one big master chart, starting with Ancient Aliens (harmless enough) moving through to every major historical event and many fictitious events, into a master “secret history of humanity”.
When I first encountered it, it was mostly apolitical: that is, it didn’t matter left or right or middle – there were baby blood drinkers in all levels of government around the world.
But then one day, the narrative shifted. Very dramatically.
It became American Patriot. It became TrumpBase. It became the “new face of the Republican Party”.
I watched soccer moms join in. To me, suburban conservative moms were as common as having your 3rd grade teacher mock your drawing (“not trying hard enough”) causing you to believe you’re “bad at art” for years: ie – very common.
But to see them in local forums everywhere mixing conspiracy and politics — well, I knew something really bad shifted.
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Oh I believe it. It’s such a successful cult and I am astounded by it. It feeds itself now. Politicians hook into it for votes — that’s politicians being politicians — just as they might say a prayer to show they’re religious, etc. Politicians always pander and that’s their normal.
But it’s how it stays alive among people that amazes me.
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Ah. I found it. 1981.
I was 9 years old when this aired on TV. Barney Miller was a police sitcom. Bored police dealing with weird people and everybody laughs.
Here, a man comes in talking about the Trilateral Commission – in this case, his character believes it’s run by Nelson Rockefeller (a man nobody hears about anymore) to set up a:
one world government that will erase national boundaries … etc
That was my very first exposure to conspiracy believers: in a fictional TV show.
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My grandmother “kept an open mind” about ancient aliens. This book hung around the house and I read it. The notion of ancient aliens visiting us seemed reasonable for a few years as a young teenager and then one day I abandoned the idea. Not against it just didn’t really fit.
I wouldn’t have been against the idea of being able to receive alien transmissions on telegraph poles.
But the idea of aliens being in contact with world leaders and such would have been nuts to me, then and now.
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 Yes yes. Well that’s their draw. “Everything makes sense now” (the classic phrase of someone who ‘gets it’) — and it does.
Masterfully written, logically cohesive stories that, when taken as a whole “outside of reality”, all fit together perfectly.
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The child trafficking angle I think is what helped the fire catch among rather surprising demographics.
After all, who would dare say anything that is “pro child trafficking”? So even if you thought the stories were bunk, you couldn’t well say so lest be branded some kind of evil.
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You’d think people would be wise to that by now.
What kills me is that when it actually *is* true, then people won’t believe it.
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It could’ve been anyone in his position I think. The fire was set before he was even running. The rise of far-right nationalist groups had been growing since the early 2000s in various nations and they were all in contact with one another online as “nobody was minding the store”.
If you remember, he joined in on it long before he was running that time. [that was his 3rd time running for President]
The bored wealthy eat this stuff up just as much as the bored poor. It spices up their dull lives – and as entertainment I wouldn’t really care.
But that they take it seriously enough to get physical about it is what’s so dangerous – and they’re changing governments now. Hungary’s Orban is a good example of this. The changes in Poland have had a couple of Polish friends of mine looking for new real estate.
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If Trump hadn’t won the primaries, Ted Cruz would have — and he would have won because after 8 years of a Democrat, a Republican would’ve gotten in, just as Democrats get in after 8 years of Republican. This has been a pattern for a while.
They call it “daddy / mommy / daddy / mommy” cycle of American politics.
And Ted Cruz stokes the QAnon fires just as much except Cruz lies and knows he lies. But Trump unfortunately believed what he said.
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Fair point. Sorry. I’ve been in a lot of arguments through the years and so my responses are patterned towards his supporters extolling his virtues, which you were not doing.
He’s very good at reading a live audience. This I’ll give to him. He follows a pattern of 3, which is a marketing pattern – repeat the same thing, three times, three slightly different ways to fix it in the listeners memory.
His way of doing this pattern is easy to spot — usually it’s a little more hidden but for his audience, it works well.
But what made him really shine in a live audience is he listened to what they were chanting. There’s always somebody chanting in these things.
He hears the chants and then he repeats it back. Doesn’t matter what it is. He doesn’t have to know anything about it. Listen, Mimic and amplify.
Instant rapport forms.
That’s where he shines.

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