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On Amway and Crypto, 6/24
ya gotta believe. . .or else
all of the natural energy and moral devotion that fresh recruits would normally devote to their religious observances was swiftly redirected into Amway. And people who weren't naturally super observant in their religion found themselves "getting religion" for the first time in their lives and (allegedly) got swept up in it. It felt great to (allegedly) be a part of something bigger than yourself, and hey, we're all gonna (allegedly) get rich doing it! Soon you (allegedly) found yourself attending a never ending series of functions, rallies, and seminars and buying lots of tools from your upline. And now you're always listening to motivational tapes in the car–any driving time not spent doing this is wasted, you're (allegedly) told. Your life is now Amway, Amway, Amway, 24/7.
Some features that I have noticed about cults:
You no longer feel any affinity with people who are not fellow cult members.
You don’t laugh at things that other people find funny. Your sense of humor is at best distorted and at worst nonexistent.
Back in 1979 or 1980, when I first saw an Amway presentation, the presenters struck me as having these personality flaws. I did not buy into it. And I did not have to experience anyone close to me becoming involved. Doucet was not so fortunate.
To put it bluntly, just as Amway exploited, hollowed out, and ultimately replaced the sacred values of Christianity, Web3 has done the same with the core values of early crypto enthusiasts.
Doucet’s interpretation of Amway is worth reading and absorbing.
I think that a lot of crypto projects are like pyramid schemes. But if crypto’s billionaires use cult-like indoctrination to persuade participants, I have not seen it. And Doucet does not provide enough examples and evidence to convince me.
The meme-stock phenomenon (Gamestop, or now Revlon) seems to me to require some psychological manipulation, but I have not looked at it up close. I don’t know any of the participants, so I don’t know if they lost their normal sense of humor or stopped having any affinity for people outside of the meme-stock world.
One possibility to consider is that it is not just crypto or meme stocks where people have been gulled into falling for what might turn out to be a pyramid scheme. Maybe the various “unicorns” and listed companies with market values in the billions and hardly any profits to speak of are as phony as a chain letter. If there is an “everything bubble,” then the collapse could be one of the biggest financial traumas in history.
But do investors in crypto and “unicorns” sacrifice their souls in the way that some people did to Amway? I’m guessing not.