Sunday, July 5, 2015


With social proof in play, who, then, starts the snowball rolling?

Dr. Cialdini, in his book Influence, used the Jonestown tragedy as an example. First, Jim Jones moved his "flock" to the jungles of Guyana, removing them from familiar surroundings and forcing the cult members into a situation where the only people they were able to look to for guidance in uncertainty were others like themselves.

With unrelenting propagandizing of how the outside world was their enemy, he further isolated his followers and instilled in them irrational paranoia.

This culminated in his final order to "commit revolutionary suicide" by drinking the poison-laced drink. Who went first? Sadly, a mother and her baby did. She was the bellwether that started the ball rolling. That first person to obey was crucial.

“Since 95 percent of the people are imitators and only 5 percent initiators, people are persuaded more by the actions of others than by any proof we can offer.” Cavett Robert

Berg, also, seemed to have a knack for enlisting that 5% of people who were inclined to be initiators, and he used them to promulgate his wishes. On the Home level, these people were actually called bellwethers, and, like their counterparts in the sheep world, they were to lead the flocks of believers by their actions.

As well, Berg had people in his Home write publications that illustrated correct behavior. "Life with Grandpa" was a comic series that showed daily life in Berg's household so even TFI children could see firsthand how we should behave. "The Story of Techi" was written by the caretaker for Techi, Zerby's daughter by a TFI leader, showing how she cared for little baby Techi.

Without a doubt, though, the pièce de résistance had to be "The Story of Davidito." This was hailed as the supreme guidebook on how to raise children. It used Berg's step-son, Prince Davidito, as prime example, TFI, after all, being "the best place in the world to raise children." The sad reality was that it was a horrendous book that outlined abusive behavior, written by Berg's step-son's childcare worker. The oft-quoted Biblical premise, "Train up a child in the way he shall go, and when he is old he will not depart from it," proved to be bitterly and poignantly ludicrous in the aftermath of "Davidito's" murder of one of his former childcare worker/abusers and his subsequent suicide in 2005 at the age of 29.

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