When someone believes in something, and someone else pokes a hole in that belief, one of two things happen. On the one hand, the opinion holder will calmly, rationally question or answer the hole-poker. Then either validate or disagree with what the hole-poker said. No harm no foul.
On the other hand, the opinion holder might get defensive. They’ll attack the other person. They’ll use ad hominem or other fallacious attacks.
It can also happen the other way around.
Such is the case when someone disagrees with me or Copiosis. Sometimes I’ll pose a question which supposes a break from logic in the hole-poker’s belief. Other times I’ll confront their perspective directly with my own assertion.
I get both kinds of reactions. Sometimes the person offers a calm, rational rebuttal and we part agreeing or disagreeing. But other times, the person loses their shit.
Enter the “C” Word
Out of their mouths come some of the worst possible thoughts. They might attack me, or Copiosis, or both. The person lost control of their thinking, and their belief took over. Their belief felt threatened, thus must defend itself. So it literally takes the human being over.
Every once in a while, someone losing their shit will bring up the “C” Word. The person will call me a “cult leader” or compare Copiosis to a “cult organization”. This especially happens when I confront something they believe is, for them, a Truth. Their belief expresses what they think is Truth about the way life is, or the way life should be.
Often the way life is or should be relates to some kind of fear, insecurity, hatred or sense of injustice the shit-loser feels.
They fear climate change is going to destroy the planet and render humanity extinct. Or they worry about far right or far left factions and fanatics focused on extreme negative perspectives. Such groups will render certain countries into fascist states or worse, they say. Some worry false information, conspiracies and secret cabals jeopardize peoples’ freedoms.
Staying rational while experiencing fear, worry or insecurity isn’t easy. Lots of reports detail what happens when people are scared, worried, stressed or insecure. One collection says:
People in fear can’t see straight or think straight. Their behavior often becomes erratic. In my opinion, erratic behavior includes labeling something a cult that clearly isn’t.
Optimism creates what many lack
Fear, worry or insecurity doesn’t engender the stable, rational space born of an optimistic life view. Such an understanding creates clarity, certainty, and confidence. That confidence and optimism allows a power so complete, the person can literally make possible what many think impossible.
Copiosis, for example.
That’s why I’m creating, endorse and support a culture for the Copiosis implementation organization based on a practice which produces highly stable, optimistic perspectives. Copiosis will meet an extreme amount of resistance. If people helping it to become the dominant economy on the planet have a tendency to lose their shit, how are they going to weather the resistance we’ll face in the future? Resistance which might include stalkers and death threats?
An optimistic person, on the other hand, confidently and assertively knows everything unfolds perfectly. When an insecure person meets someone like that, the insecure person will lose their shit. That’s because their shaky Truths can’t stand up to someone clear, stable and optimistic.
Their only alternative then, is to launch attacks meant to defend their shaky Truths.
Copiosis requires people working on it who benefit from stable and optimistic – radically optimistic – attitudes. In other words, people with a highly developed internal locus of control.
When a person calls Copiosis a cult, or me a cult leader, what they’re saying says more about what is going on in them, than anything about me or Copiosis.
In the future people likely will still sling the “C” word at me and Copiosis. So, let’s examine whether Copiosis qualifies as one. And whether I qualify as a cult leader.
What is a cult?
The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a secular, nonprofit, tax-exempt research center and educational corporation. It also is a recognized expert organization on helping people learn about cults.
According to the ICSA, the common core of all cults is “deception”. It offers two checklists offering details helpful to cult detection. Both checklists offer extensive information. I’ll summarize, but feel free to visit the link if you’re interested.
A cult is an organization formed around a charismatic leader with intentionally concealed purposes. That main purpose usually involves raising money. The money usually comes from people the cult manipulates (members) into sociologically separating or isolating themselves from their networks, families and society.
Cults, then are always focused on two things: signing up members, then taking their money. If Copiosis is focused on getting money from members, I’m doing a crappy job as its leader. Copiosis too is failing as a cult. No one can become a “member” of Copiosis.
The Implementation Organization called Copiosis, for which I’m the Chief Visionary Officer, doesn’t have members either. The people in it will be employees, all of whom will be paid very good salaries.
According to ICSA, rather than focus on a beneficial organizational mission, cult members, and their organization, focus almost exclusively on their leader, who demands unquestioning commitment. Anyone who participates in the Copiosis social group, or our online video calls will realize I encourage everyone to be their own leader, as per stigmergy. Everyone is free to share their opinions. But that doesn’t mean anyone, including myself, must accept that opinion. It also doesn’t prevent me, or anyone else from challenging opinions thought bogus, flawed, or based in fear or insecurity.
ICSA says cults discourage or even punish questioning, doubt, and dissent. The Copiosis social group represents the only thing resembling a “membership”. We encourage dissent, questioning and doubt and treat them with dignity. But again, that doesn’t mean such doubts, questions or dissent will get endorsement or support, especially if they come based on inaccuracies, false information, or baseless opinion. Fear or insecurity based doubts or dissent receives respectful treatment: We address them, but they don’t change much.
To my knowledge the social group’s “ban” feature gets rarely used. So no evidence exists\ that likens Copiosis to a cult or me a cult leader as far as suppressing thoughts goes.
About controlling people
The one ICSA criteria I disagree with is this one, which I’ll quote directly:
Core group leaders, and future Copiosis employees are not required to meditate. However, all core group leaders, I think, will agree meditation offers huge benefits. Instead of a “mind-numbing technique”, meditation does the complete opposite. It sharpens the mind, making it a more clear, focused and capable tool. Any internet search on “the benefits of meditation” makes this clear.
Copiosis’ fundamental philosophy doesn’t advocate “suppress[ing] doubts” either. What it does is recognize doubts for what they indicate, and encourages people with doubt not to dwell there. It says the same about insecurity, fear and other negative emotions.
The next criteria might also sound similar to our fundamental philosophy. But pay particular attention to the part in parentheses:
I do encourage, and will encourage in the implementation organization culture, that people think, act and feel radical optimism and a sense that things unfold perfectly all the time. But no one need work in the organization I’m creating. As for personal decisions such as marriage, what to wear, where to live and disciplining kids, all that is none of my (or Copiosis’) business.
God like leaders?
My clients (from Positively Focused and The Transamorous Network) will attest to this. They possess better and far more intimate experience with my thoughts on thinking and acting than anyone following Copiosis. They will tell you I always emphasize them making their own decisions. I encourage them to rely on their internal guidance. And when I suggest they do something, I always tell them “Watch what happens when you do it. If it works, do it more. If not, drop it.”
It’s true should you visit Positively Focused you’ll discover I claim that I am god in human form. But I also say and know everybody is god in human form. Furthermore, I share with my clients how they can realize this without trusting me telling them. In other words, I’m, again, specific about pointing people to their inner knowing rather than following or doing anything I say.
So when the ICSA says the following, I don’t believe it applies either to me or anyone else leading Copiosis:
Our mission at Copiosis involves freeing people from economic domination. We don’t “save” humanity because we don’t believe humanity needs saving.
ICSA says cults thrive by establishing an “us vs. them” mentality putting “members” in conflict with greater society. As most know, I disagree with any division of any kind. Copiosis, the economic system, eliminates such division to the degree it can by making wealth something possible for everybody without taking from anyone. “Everybody” includes the rich. So if cults create conflicts based on division, then Copiosis can’t be a cult.
Other gray zones
The ICSA offers another criteria one might think applies to me specifically. It says cults are lead by a person with no accountability to anyone else. The organization offers military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations as examples of those held accountable to others.
The only one I’m accountable to is myself, my conscience and that which is Copiosis, coming through me. That can confront many people, and often does confront some. The only thing I can say about that is this: what results am I producing and do those results unethically enrich me alone (or at all?)? Or do they move forward Copiosis’ mission?
So while some could claim because I’m accountable to no one, I am a cult leader. But that single criteria doesn’t necessarily make me a cult leader, or Copiosis a cult. One must judge that in the context of what I create. I would argue, as I have before, that I am proving to be the best person to usher Copiosis into the world…so far.
ICSA then asserts that cult groups justify shady and unethical practices by saying their exalted purpose merits such practices. I personally won’t say our practices are 100 percent ethical. We screw up. But we don’t take those acts and justify them by claiming Copiosis is so special the ends justify the means.
The ICSA then says cult leaders use guilt and shame to control members, demand members cut ties with families, give up personal goals and activities and devote “inordinate” time to the group, while living and/or socializing only with group members.
Again, I refer anyone seriously concerned about the status of Copiosis as a cult or me as a cult leader to my clients. They’ll tell you I encourage them to give up guilt and shame. In their place I show them how to create self-confidence, joy and a sense of freedom no matter what external conditions they face. Since “members” don’t exist in the economic system or the implementation organization, who is it we’re controlling, demanding they cut ties or give “inordinate” time quantities to the organization? No one attempts to control another. Instead, I encourage individuals exert self control.
That wraps up ICSA criteria defining a cult. While a couple gray areas exist, I think, clearly, Copiosis is not a cult. Nor am I a cult leader.
Closing the circle
Which brings us back to people losing their shit. Why do people invoke the “C” word when I confront them on their fear, insecurity, flawed logic, plain old erroneous views or their version of Truth?
The stable, calm, secure optimist knows that as many truths exist as human beings. Therefore, optimists don’t stand in a “truth”. They stand in “knowing“. That knowing breeds a level of confidence that when expressed gets expressed with assertiveness.
There’s a saying:
Few people stand in confidence, and fewer still prioritize themselves. A person who doesn’t lose their shit when another asserts their opinion, or confidently states something they know, doesn’t come around every day. So when they do, other people tend to lose their shit when they speak.
It’s incredible people attack someone who is optimistic and happy and determined to create something that will vastly improve nearly everyone’s life. Even those attacking that person. Why would someone freak out about a person encouraging others to see the world positively, when it’s clear doing so will make a person happier than when focused on negative things or things they fear or make them insecure?
I think it’s because the attackers would rather be right than happy. I’d rather be happy. Call me a cult leader and Copiosis a cult. I know the difference between a cult, what I’m creating and who I be.
Seriously: why not happiness?
And since I’m the faucet through which Copiosis flows, it’s on me that it flow properly. That can’t happen if the team ushering it in contains people who are afraid, insecure, negatively judgmental of anyone, pessimistic, or pessimism’s cousin; “realistic”.
That’s why I encourage optimism for people interested in Copiosis. One, they’ll feel better about the future. Two, they’ll see Copiosis happening everywhere, which will further fuel their optimism and soothe their pessimism.
At least a couple of times in online exchanges, people accuse me of wanting everyone to “think like I do“.
The funny thing is, everybody’s inner knowing thinks more alike than different, in the sense that all of our inner knowing knows that everything is always working out, nothing is going wrong ever, and we enjoy life as eternal beings. We are all spiritual beings enjoying a human experience. Not the other way around.
This is easily demonstrated and clients who work with me discover that rich, stable, confidence-inspiring perspective.
Copiosis doesn’t go after people. It doesn’t control anyone. We are not asking for them to give us a bunch of money either. We invite them to do so, but we’re very upfront about it, and we have no hidden agenda.
What’s more, our mission stands out on our Facebook page and on our website home page. All the information about Copiosis is clearly laid out in our materials. We do encourage happiness. Because happiness feels good.
And when a person stands in good feelings, they can’t help but feel good about the future.
Isn’t that the best place to welcome the future? I think so!