Friday, August 7, 2009

Herd mentality

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Remember Jonestown, Guyana? It was the settlement of a California cult, The Peoples Temple, led by the charismatic lunatic Jim Jones. On November 18, 1978, 909 cultists died in the settlement after Jones encouraged them to drink cyanide-laced Kool-aid.

Herd mentality is alive and well in America today. Examples of herd mentality include the early adopters of high technology products such as cell phones and iPods, as well as stock market trends, fashions in apparel, cars, home d├ęcor, and retirement communities. Herd mentality is the failure to act as an individual, with intellect and reasoning.

The Jonestown propaganda of retirement communities today comes in sales rhetoric and slick self-serving publications. It comes from developer-imposed websites that carefully control information that is given to residents. It comes from strictly controlling what can be placed in our private lower mailboxes. It comes from developer-approved, propaganda-filled emails that are sent to all in the community.

Herd mentality prevents us from thinking for ourselves. It prevents us from looking rationally at situations and from determining the truth. It makes us slaves. We don’t think for ourselves. We don’t speak for ourselves. We simply follow the herd, right into the slaughterhouse.

An extreme analogy? Or, is it?

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