Scab Cult – By @ConorHamill4
I recently watched a ted talk by Diane Benscoter where she outlined the 7 simple steps needed to set up a cult. It got me thinking how SCA 2.0 would fair if assessed against this rubric. Let’s find out.
1) Begin by creating your own reality. You do this by keeping your members away from outsiders. An isolated farm in the middle of Idaho is good but if such a retreat isn’t available, impose a form of self-censorship
This seems to apply to SCA in a certain sense as we spent the last month of lockdown as the only living people wandering around the punkish and imposing structure that is POP Brixton. Lockdown meant that the only people we were exposed to each day were the intake and the visiting mentors. However, there was no form of self-censorship, so far so good.
2) Next set the leader and his/her inner circle up as the only link to paradise… only they hold the keys to the kingdom.
Well…… I mean the mentors do hold the key to the creative kingdom that we all want to attain access to. The gatekeepers of a mindset which seems akin to nirvana once achieved. The mentors do not hold this link to paradise exclusively, however, within our commune in POP they do.
3) Remember to make increasing demands. Start small but keep it going and eventually you’ll have your followers standing in line to turn over all their worldly possessions.
Demands have exponentially increased over the first ten weeks. Starting at scamp briefs that take only a day to three or four overlapping briefs which each could take a month if we wanted. Despite this increase in demands I haven’t yet been asked to hand over my worldly possessions. Yet.
4) Keep turning out stories about the greatness of the leader. The more unbelievable the more they will be believed. Your members have already been conditioned from the time they were children to accept things like coming back from the dead and walking on water.
Marc as the leader does possess many stories which show his greatness as a creative guru. However, these stories are supported by the work he has produced and the students he has moulded over the last ten years so they are completely credible. I can also confirm that he has never claimed to have risen from the dead or to have walked on water.
5) Remember to use your converts to bring in still more converts. This has the double advantage of picking up new disciples and (even if that doesn’t always work) the mere act of proselytizing will further cement the commitment of those already in the fold.
This one is scarily accurate I must say. The applicants to SCA are largely informed about the greatness of the school by alumni or people who have just heard the myth. I have found myself already waxing lyrical to almost anyone I can about the magic of the school in a hope that others too will join and see the light.
6) Keep everybody busy. This doesn’t allow time for potentially critical thought. Let the minds of the masses wander and who knows, they might put two and two together. For this reason, long sermons — the longer the better — and interminable work shifts are essential
We are all undoubtedly kept incredibly busy. Between briefs, masterclasses and visiting lecturers we have very little time to critically think about much else other than the work we are set. However, unlike a cult these ‘sermons’ are all delivered with a specific and driven purpose in mind and are not solely given to waste our thinking time. I think we are all good.
7) And finally, keep your flock fixated on the carrot. The payoff is just around the corner and only they will be the ones paid off. The clouds will part and they will be raptured up and then, boy-oh-boy, won’t all those non-believers be sorry.
I think this one speaks for itself. Portfolio day.
So, there we have it, SCA falls quite close to being defined as a cult. This doesn’t particularly worry me though as I have always been fascinated by cults and what they must be like to be a member of so this suits me quite well. And if I do say so myself, I think it’s the best cult around.