A disturbing journey into the secrets of a dangerous brainwashing cult
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When Maggi turns eighteen and realizes that she has nothing to show for it, she looks for meaning by joining a church of people called “Enlightened Ones,” led by the enigmatic John Cronus. As she is pulled deeper into this organization, the stories of its people are unveiled and how they all joined the church seeking their own form of fulfillment. The followers give up all their worldly possessions to start a commune on a distant island paradise. Will they find the utopia they seek, or will they get pulled into a menace that is even darker than the lives they left behind?
“So what does computer programming have to do with society? You mentioned something about it when we met, something about decoding . . .”
“Society is just a computer program. We’re taught this language, and it permeates everything in our lives. It influences our culture, morals, what we think is or isn’t important. Bring in another language, and we have to change everything we’ve been brought up to believe. Think about it—why do you think it’s so difficult to learn a foreign language after the age of ten? There’s just too much deprogramming that goes with taking in a whole new culture. If you hack into a computer program, you’ve got to know its language. Then you manipulate it. You use that language to convince the program that everything is normal, but really, you are controlling it. That’s what our media, advertisers, and politicians do. They use code words that are found in our language to hack into our minds and control us. They’re like passwords.”
“So how do you stop them from controlling us?”
“Antivirus.” JC giggled at this and Cliff noticed his reaction. He smiled and continued. “Let me explain. There are certain words or phrases that rile up emotions in you. They stand for things that you believe very strongly in like ‘patriotism.’ ‘God’ is a big one; so are ‘power’ and ‘money.’ When you hear these words, don’t let them bother you. Turn on your antivirus. Take the word out of its context. Listen to what is being said without the word being spoken. If it doesn’t make sense, then you know it’s a bug. I say, even if it does make sense, further investigation is required. See, most people only hear the key words and not the context because our emotional reaction to these words overrides our intellect.”
JC nodded. He noted the word “God.” Oh, how that word riled up Maggi the night they were in the cave. It made her angry, but JC still couldn’t understand how John could have controlled her by making her angry at him. Yet he knew that hatred was a powerful thing, and Maggi wasn’t the same after that. But if she decided that she hated John Cronus too much to ever listen to him again, how could he possibly control her? He felt that Cliff still had a lot of revising to do with his thesis. He thought of mentioning the situation to him, but decided against it. He would rather keep the subject away from such examples that were too close to home. He preferred sticking to the abstract, to the art of hacking, and the rules of the stars.