FOMO: Brahma Kumaris exploiting the ‘Fear of Missing Out’

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FOMO: Brahma Kumaris exploiting the ‘Fear of Missing Out’

Post31 Dec 2018

Millenarianists - cultists like the Brahma Kumaris exploiting one of the old and greatest fears in the world, the fear of the End of the World and Judgement whether Godly or karmic afterwards - are just exploiting perhaps the greatest "Fear of Missing Out".

FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out, is a well-known concept in popular culture that is now being studied by academics and exploited by politicians and marketeers. Perhaps they've just learned what cultists and religionists have known forever?

Brahma Kumarism is sold on the fear of missing out.

For many, BK adherence is fear of missing out on their one chance at inheriting heaven on earth. For others, it is the fear of missing out on their one chance absolution of their sins, the "bad karmas" that are the imagined cause of all their misfortunes.

When, in fact, all it is is a human trait, part of our unconscious natural behaviour. No doubt just instilled during evolution by missing opportunities to advance our material interest, or by going hungry.

Psychologists, serving the marketing and advertising world, are exploring the difference between such 'self-initiated FOMO-driven behaviours' and 'externally initiated FOMO appeals';
    developing a taxonomy of FOMO appeals;
    establishing thematic maps of responses;
    identifing theories relevant to individuals’ responses,
    formulating operational response models; and
    proposing a future FOMO research agenda.
Stuff religious leaders have been refining and passing down for 1,000s of years.

How else can one survive living off a business that has no product and no real services?

This new academic research goes even further than just analysing out FOMO responses to working out how to counter our innate resistance strategies too;
    Contesting, and
So to, within Brahma Kumarism, we see how its leaders develop psychological strategies they call "yuktis" (methods) to circumvent or overcome both followers' and outsiders' resistances to its consumer acquisition. Within each generation, the BKs develop new strategies;
    to promote and capture market share,
    to disempower their victims,
    to neutralise critics and skeptics, and
    to ensure user commitment ...
to ensure ongoing adherence to the cult that the leaders can exploit to ensure their comforts and sustenance.

"Two to three years until Destruction", to quote what BK Jayanti Kirpalani has been indoctrinating followers with since at least the 1970s, is a perfect example.

Two to three years until the end of the world, two to three years until your chance to burn off all your bad karma is over, two to three years to earn material riches for 2,500 years ... your only chance forever, to gain access to the only heaven in existence! Is that not the ultimate FOMO?

Perhaps we should be studying more what advertising is learning in order to work out how we were hoodwinked into "grinding our bones" for, in order to keep the Brahma Kumari inner circle in the comforts they have become accustomed too?

For example, what they are calling "Persuasion Knowledge" ... such as in The Persuasion Code: How Neuromarketing Can Help You Persuade Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime.

It is said,
Our minds are shaped by our social environment, in particular the belief systems projected by those in power: monarchs, aristocrats and theologians ... Humans, the supremely social mammals, are ethical and intellectual sponges. We unconsciously absorb, for good or ill, the influences that surround us. Indeed, the very notion that we might form our own minds is a received idea that would have been quite alien to most people five centuries ago.

And I think this is an important element to consider regarding Brahma Kumarism.

BKism, for all the tweaking and polishing of it to make it marketable in the modern world, belongs to an older way of life. It does not encourage independent thought. It encourages submission and conformity to very narrow and rigid ideas, laid down unquestionably by its elders.

BKism does not teach tools of enquiry, to think independently, of resistance to such influences above; instead it teaches submission to them ... and then exploitation of others based on them. Just as they did back in the Bhaibund days of Sind.

(To join the "brotherhood", the family business, you had to submit, and then pay your dues in service while learning the tricks of the trade, before you became a "made man" and an equal in their world).

Within BKism, if you swim against the social current your standing is invariably diminished ... you are belittled, disparaged, denigrated and deprecated by the elders; and if that does not teach you, you are socially outcast.

An outcasting which in India, where there are far fewer safety nets within society, would at least mean a social death. If not an actual death. An option which a few have always chosen.

Within BKism, while in highly suggestible trance-like states of mind, we are subjected to constant influences, some of which we see, most of which we don't. I would argue their techniques have become more and more sophisticated as they study from influences outside of BKism to learn new tricks and apply them within.

A process which many leading, otherwise intelligent Western BKs take part in.

They look to see what is working in the "market place of ideas", in the religious and increasingly business world ... take and adapt it to promote BKism.

BKism defined as ... "a method by which their leaders of the cult sustain their comforts and sustenance". Nothing more. Ultimately, that is all we can be sure it is.

Sounds far fetched?
“We have the ability to twiddle some knobs in a machine learning dashboard we build, and around the world hundreds of thousands of people are going to quietly change their behaviour in ways that, unbeknownst to them, feel second-nature but are really by design.”

- child psychologist Richard Freed quoting an IT specialist

They call this "brain hacking" and it is even taken to the degree of trying to determine when targets feel insecure, worthless or stressed?

Is that not what the BKs do in their marketing? Are their campaigns not based on filtering in those who feel insecure, worthless or stressed in order to exploit them ... then work out tactics that can be used to counter or avoid resistance?
Among the “neutralising” techniques it highlighted were
    disguising the persuasive intent of the message
    distracting our attention by using confusing phrases that make it harder to focus on the advertiser’s intentions, and
    using cognitive depletion as a tactic for reducing consumers’ ability to contest messages

As with the BKs, academics researching how to "enhance and exploit the authentic persuasive appeal of a celebrity endorser", "constructing sincerity and genuineness" ... in a "magnificent exercise in inauthentic authenticity".

I suppose if we swopped the 'authenticity' for 'spirituality' we might have just defined BKism there?

Is it therefore a surprise that when we study the evolution of BKism within the West, and how it is feeding back to BKism in India, that we find corporate advertising and marketing men (eg the whole Mike George, Brian Bacon corporate coaching thing - Self Management Leadership) working hand in hand with academics and psychologists (eg Dianne Tillman, Judy Rogers, David Cooperrider thing - Appreciative Inquiry/Values Education).

No wonder the BKs don't document and make public their history and evolution.

It would be like con merchants teaching the world their tricks.
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Re: FOMO: Brahma Kumaris exploiting the ‘Fear of Missing Out

Post31 Dec 2018

Are the BKs a a cult or a religion?

What is the different between a cult and cultists, and a religion and religionist?

I'd probably say, one big difference is in the degree of their honesty and openness.

I think it's a question of the maturity in their development.

Cults and cultists tend to be more secretive and dishonest. They cannot afford to be too honest as they are still refining their product or trick; working out what works and what does not. They both make money out of nothing though and, largely, suffer from their own self-importance.

Most "religions" at least attempt some kind of accountability and acknowledge external authorities, eg the rule of law.

The BKs came out of an older, more primitive culture.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

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