In this text, "Humaginetics" is a fictitious name of the author's own making and does not describe any real "Humaginetics," should one exist.

Doing Hard Time on Planet Earth

1. Susceptibility

2. Breaking through Natural Barriers

3. The Program

4. Eliminating the Competition

5. Psychological Addiction

6. The Technology of Verbal Camouflage

1. Susceptibility


Over two hundred years have passed since humankind started its transition into the Industrial Age. The hand-held tools of yore which were originally used to create the machines of the Industrial Age have gradually been replaced by the same, fickle machines they created. The calm, attentive state of mind used by the original craftsmen has long been giving way to the rush to obtain yet bigger machines. The once sought-after goal of achieving God-like serenity is being replaced by a demonic frenzy for more power.

Power for the new machines was to come from soulless sources like steam, combustion and finally electricity. Performance came to be measured less in terms of the skill of the craftsmen and more in the power and speed brought to bear by the operator. Skill has been replaced by efficiency. Peace of mind has given way to anxiety.

It should come as no big surprise then, that humankind has been turning away from peaceful qualities in favor of relentless performance. We have been awed by modern science which is ever more rapidly achieving the unthinkable. Technological breakthroughs no longer happen randomly, but are more the product of an irreversible timetable. Ultimately, creation, the one last realm of God, came to be undone by modern technology.

One day a half a century ago, scientists stood in the New Mexico desert and watched as matter violently vanished into a mushroom cloud. The atomic bomb was born. Up to that point, machines had been the answer to everything. Any problem had been able to be solved with a bigger, better machine. Now, suddenly, people started to worry en masse about what was going to happen once the "button" was pushed which could send all of them and their machines into nuclear oblivion.

Partially in response to this mass reaction, new religious and psychological movements have sprung up. Each one promises to perish this thought of impending doom from the minds of its adherents, or at least to divert attention from their fate and their money long enough to become a commercially viable business.

Initial Contact - "The Road to Happiness"

The title sounded like one of those Bing Crosby/Bob Hope movies from the good old days: "The Road to Happiness." I sent in a couple of dollars expecting to get back some never-to-be-forgotten quotations or nostalgic photographs of the comedic pair, or maybe even Dorothy Lamour. Instead, the postman delivered a little booklet of writings that looked like a curiously relaxed version of the Ten Commandments. A few of them read something like this:

"Honor your father and mother, if possible.

Do not ever get caught in a lie.

Do not steal it if you can do without it."

Under each "commandment" there were several paragraphs explaining why a person could, for example, do without stealing. There seemed to be a moral to each point, but it was impossible to entirely grasp what was written. It seemed completely harmless, yet compelling in its own, vague way.

I was mildly interested in learning more about where all this was supposed to lead, so I filled out and mailed back the post card which had come with the booklet. Within a week, I received a hand-written letter asking me to stop by a "Humaginetics" Service Center in the nearest larger city (Humaginetics was some sort of abbreviation for "human engineering genetics"), and an order form for the basic Humaginetics book. I decided to play it safe and just order the book for $4.50 plus postage and handling. It arrived several days later.

First of all, I was informed from my new reading material, we human beings all have strange feelings which we cannot explain. Furthermore, we do not know where these feelings come from. They seem to appear out of nowhere. Of course this is something which everybody knows, but Humaginetics seemed to think it very important that this particular concept be established as an indisputable, scientific fact. Apparently it is not that this mere fact will get a person anywhere in particular all by itself, but that Humaginetics has established a good many of these facts and has put them together in such a way as to produce a result which nobody else has yet been able to achieve. A new way of thinking was said to have been evolved in this manner, spiralling upward more and more along routes which had previously been overlooked simply because it was thought they were insignificant.

That thought appealed to me. I had felt before that there must have been a thousand things which could have been of some use to me, but which I was overlooking.

The lesson went on to state that what we wanted was not off in some distant, unreachable place, but right here in front of us. Furthermore, it was not a matter of knowing what to look for, but of recognizing where we are and what we are dealing with. Once we knew that, according to Humaginetics, we had already taken our first step out onto the Road to Happiness. Naturally, there were a few bends in the road.

My interest was piqued by this, but I still did not care to visit the Humaginetics Service Center. For some reason I could not quite put my finger on, I still had nagging doubts. So far it all sounded plausible, but I had not yet noticed any changes for the better in myself although the promised transformation was already supposed to be taking place. I assumed that I was on the Road to Happiness, but could not see any actual changes due to what must have been the fishbowl effect. I was on the inside looking out, not on the outside looking in. However, neither did the people around me make any comment which would have indicated that they knew I was on the path to greater ability. Maybe it was just one of those things like the book said: it was in front of them, but they just could not see? I ordered the next book in the series: "Practical Humaginetics for the Working Person."

Practical Humaginetics

It was not until after I had begun work on the Practical Humaginetics volume that the Road to Happiness really started taking shape. This book contained the basic "Teachings" of Humaginetics. The scientific facts which comprised the intermediate teachings were listed in detail, along with how to experience some of their relationships with each other. I could tell now that the previous books I had read on the topic were just written as step-by-step introductions to lead up to this one. This was the one which would show me the way. Now I could finally buckle down to see for myself where the Road would take me.

According to Humaginetics, there is a source for these feelings which we all have but do not know where they come from. According to what was said to be years of research and hundreds of case studies, there is a hidden pocket of consciousness within ourselves. Due to several built-in mechanisms which render this hidden awareness incapable of being identified by our rational awareness, it has hovered, undetected, in the background of every human being since the beginning of time. Humaginetics called this pocket of subconsciousness the "Irresistible Mind."

The main mechanism which serves to hide this mind from us was said to be that it only comes alive to the extent that we, ourselves, are unaware or unconscious. Here is how it worked. In normal, waking moments of consciousness, we control what we are doing. It is in the moments of obliviousness that the Irresistible Mind, unbeknownst to us, takes control of our thoughts and actions. The degree of our own unawareness was proportional to the degree of irresistible control.

That is why we cannot see and thus are not aware of certain things which are right in front of us; these things are in the realm of the Irresistible Mind. This hidden mind was called "irresistible" for good reason. It was one of the driving forces of our lives, but we just did not realize it. Apparently, through evolution or whatever, it had formed as a sort of fall-back mind to look after us during moments of pain or carelessness. The only reason this separate mind was discovered at all was because the people who travelled up the Road to Happiness became aware of quite a few things which the rest of us innocents were not.

One of these previously overlooked, but rather important, phenomena was that the Irresistible Mind is an unknown source of woe for the human race. This mischievous mind, since it came about, more or less, by accident, was not geared to perform with our best interests at heart. Moreover, not only did it take over our thoughts without our knowledge, but also our feelings, emotions and actions.

Therefore, two of the prime purposes of Humaginetics was to neutralize the bad effects the Irresistible Mind and to train it to behave in a pro-survival manner. The Humaginetics Teachings claimed to tell me how to do this, but there was a warning. Not only were the Teachings copyrighted, but used in the wrong hands it was claimed they could bring about dire results.

After a short period of reflection, I decided to be brave and take a chance. First, I carefully read over each step of the outline. Then I pictured myself going through the various actions before I performed any one of them. I religiously repeated the steps the book told me I was to take. Finally, by using the Teachings, I got to a point where I could see, clearly and distinctly, the Irresistible Mind, or what I thought was the Irresistible Mind.

The Resistible Mind

I was following a checklist of questions as outlined in chapter 7 of book 2 of the Practical Teachings. It had to do with finding a spot I was comfortable with. My spot was sort of hazy at first, but slowly it took shape. Then it turned around and said,

"Oh, hi, I didn't see you. What's up?"

"Are you my Irresistible Mind?" I asked, hopefully.

"No, sorry. There must have been some kind of a mix-up. You'd probably better start over."

This was frustrating. I did not want to stop. Neither did I want to start over. I had already spent over forty dollars on various books to get this far.

"I really don't want to start over, and since I've already gotten this far, could you help me out a little here? You obviously are a part of my consciousness which I have previously been unaware of. I was hoping, since I have already spent a bundle of money, that you could tell me some things which I did not already know."

"Like what, for instance?"

"For one thing, who or what are you?"

"I'm your Resistible Mind. I know some of your deepest, most intimate secrets, but you don't have to pay any attention to anything I say."

"Are you here because of Humaginetics?"

"No, Humaginetics is a commercial cult that wants your money, hopes and dreams. The Humaginetics operators want control over part of your subconscious as a back door to your own brain. Since you never knew a back door existed in the first place, you would never have suspected anything like this could have happened."

"That's crazy," I responded.

"You're talking to me, aren't you?"

"Ok, ok, enough already. What's your name?"

"You can call me Swatron."

2. Breaking through Natural Barriers

Timeless Truth

Swatron and I eventually became steady acquaintances. Even though he knew my innermost secrets, that was balanced out by the fact that I could, at any time, resist anything he said. It was frightening, at first, having somebody or something that knew things about myself which I had never had any intention of revealing to anybody else. I soon found through experience, though, that with this new version of my innermost consciousness, I was in complete control and could change the subject any time I felt like it.

At one point it occurred to me that, following the Teachings, I should have invoked an Irresistible Mind instead of a resistible mind. Did I really want what I had? What would be the consequences of keeping this up and of communicating to my resistible mind? Swatron answered that I would be better off dealing with something I could resist rather than something I could not. I had a tendency to agree.

It was enough of a challenge for me just having a different being inside or around me which actually spoke or somehow communicated thought back to me. Knowing that I could resist this being gave me comfort and assurance that I was not just being swept up with the tide, especially with this disturbing idea of a back door to my brain. I tested Swatron out one day.

"There's no such thing as brainwashing," I challenged him.

"Call it 'Re-education' then."

"What, like going through the 1st grade again?"

"Not again, but for the first time. The purpose of re-education is not to introduce a system to a person, but to induct a person into a whole new system. It is a whole new way of looking at the world, but it is not based on logical coexistence through reading, writing and arithmetic. That was the old system. The new system is based on absolute timelessness and plausible truth."

"Whoa, there! What do you mean, "absolute timelessness"? I have a tough enough time just thinking up to the end of this afternoon!"

"OK, I'll put it to you in terms you can understand. Do you have ten dollars?"

"What do you want to know that for?"

"Look, I'm just a mind, and resistible at that, I can't spend your money. OK, do you have five dollars?"

"Suppose I do?"

"How long are you going to have that five dollars?"

"Until I spend it."

"Suppose you spend it, but you still have five dollars?"

"Then I'd be rich, because I could keep on spending that five dollars until the end of time."

"Now you have the idea. Just think of timelessness as your own survival until the end of time. If you truly had unlimited time, you would have ample opportunity to solve all your problems. If you had all eternity, you could come up with a way not only to solve all your problems, but to neutralize all your enemies. You are only lacking one thing: the belief that you will live for all time."

"I already sort of believe that to begin with, but not really. I'll just live until I die, and for me that will be the end of time."

"That's a start. A movement like Humaginetics is geared up to indoctrinate you into basing your life on the concept of timelessness on the one hand, while asserting that this timelessness is something which you can lose. It's a carrot-and-stick routine. If you're good you get the timeless carrot; if you're bad you get the truth stick."

"So timelessness is the end-all and the be-all?" I commented.

"Surviving the bomb and the end of the world is what it's about," replied Swatron. "In order to get you closer to believing in your own timelessness, you are told that you have to contribute more time and/or money. This, in certain people, can actually turn into a timeless, addictive cycle in which Humaginetics keeps constant tabs on their time and money.

"What kind of people can be addicted like that?" I asked.

"Anybody who can be contacted, involved and persuaded on a pre-programmed issue. The extent to which people are involved in a certain topic is the degree to which they can be controlled. Therefore, the first problem Humaginetics has to face is getting people involved. That is the purpose of the inane little 'Road to Happiness' booklet. Why did you pay money for that?"

"I don't know. It wasn't that much."

"That was just to get you interested. That is normal. What is not normal is the idea that you have a mind which is in control of you when you are not."

That thought deserved a little bit of contemplation. I resisted Swatron, my Resistible Mind, and went for a walk through the park. It was a beautiful day and the clouds were what I call playful. Some were the cotton ball variety while others looked like outstretched feathers. Wherever my mind was, it was nice to be able to take a break from it.

The Brain's Back Door

Several days later I once again conjured up my comfortable, imaginary spot. Swatron did not show up immediately, and when he did, it looked like he had been sleeping. This struck me as funny, since it seemed incongruous that a seemingly all-knowing mind should have to take a break, the same as I.

"What are you laughing at?"

"You. You look like you just woke up. Look, I have a question. How did I get you, anyway? I was following the Teachings just like I was supposed to. I bought the book. I followed the instructions. I did exactly what I was told to do. The end product of that drill was supposed to have been some sort of swirling mist which was trying to cloud up my comfy spot. Then you showed up. Why?"

"Did you really believe that an evil, swirling mist would come in and cloud up your mind?"

"Not really," I said. There are moments in which I am less aware of what is going on around me. However, I do not really believe that there could be a single, ethereal source which secretly causes those moments of unawareness. The very idea of a solitary something which causes unknown personal problems, in fact, gives me a picture of a grinning monkey sitting on my shoulder, just waiting for a moment of weakness so he can get up to some kind of mischief."

"When I am feeling out of it," I continued to muse, "I just think of the reasons why that kind of feeling could happen: am I tired, hungry, suffering from information overload or lack of information? Things like that usually make me feel light-headed or slow. If I cannot figure it out, I take a break and it will come to me if it was important, if not it will go away. If I do not stop feeling dizzy or whatever, then I go see a doctor."

Swatron grinned bashfully.

"That is not true for everybody, though," I said, exploring new territory now. "The reason why I take the time to figure out my own feelings is that I have seen the effects on people who act on bad information.

Take, for instance, a child who is having a minor tantrum over some perceived upset, just bawling his eyes out like there was no tomorrow. A concerned uncle may first ask the child the reason for his behavior, then reach his hand to the back of the child's head to produce a coin. 'Look what just came out of your ear!' he might say. The child suddenly stops his crying and looks in surprise at the coin which seemed to appear out of thin air. If he laughs and goes on to something else, no harm has been done. If, however, he really believes that the coin came out of his ear, that child is eventually going to be disappointed, if not publicly shamed.

The same thing can happen to adults. Suppose I formed a conclusion in advance that the Irresistible Mind really does appear like a monkey on my back during moments of giddiness. Then I really would have believed that anything which I experienced during my Humaginetics drill was actually the Irresistible Mind, due to my own anticipations."

"Instead I appeared," Swatron said glumly. Then he brightened up. "How do you know I'm not the swirling mist which was trying to cloud up your comfort zone? Maybe I'm just softening you up for the real thing."

"You mean the Irresistible Mind? How would I know it when I see it?"

"You won't be able to resist it."

"Any other helpful hints?" I asked, not very reassured by this painfully obvious clue.

"It would have to sneak up on you without your realizing it," said my resistible mind, "otherwise you could resist it. How could a corporate program sneak up on a person?"

I puffed out my cheeks and widened my eyes. I think that gives me inspiration, although my brother thinks it makes me look like a goldfish.

"Ok, I already have some control over every part of my own life which I am responsible for. For the purpose of controlling me, Humaginetics could invent a mind I was not aware of: the Irresistible Mind. To further make me believe that I was personally involved in this mind which suddenly appeared behind my head like a coin out of well-meaning uncle's hand, this allegedly subconscious mind could be given charge of important chunks of my life which not only I am unaware of, but which were supposed to control me without my even knowing it!

In other words, I could be led to believe that a part of me was already acting on its own without my knowledge, without my control, and was taking charge of my behavior in times of stress when I could least afford it. To firm up this control the Irresistible Mind could be privy to my innermost thoughts; it would seem a part of me almost more so than I am. Then the plot complication: instead of having my own interests at heart, it would to act more like an evil stepmother so Humaginetics could step in and 'rescue' me."

"That sounds like the Irresistible Mind is an actress in the play of your personal life," interjected Swatron.

"'Could be', not 'is'," I corrected him, "but that is a good analogy. Humaginetics is the producer of the play and supplied me with the script in the form of the Teachings. Which I then blithely applied with myself as guinea pig," I added wryly.

My resistible mind pursued the line of thought I had started, "The Teachings are a series of programs designed to control your Irresistible Mind. First you had to believe that you have an Irresistible Mind. If you concluded that your unknown feelings and thoughts were the product of this mind which you did not know about, then you would be positioned to accept the next line in the program. If you do not come to that conclusion, then you are only a few dollars poorer when you walk away, but none the wiser about the way Humaginetics does business."

"For those gullible or adventurous, self-seeking souls who are willing to give Humaginetics a try," he went on, "it becomes a matter of putting two and two together. The Irresistible Mind controls the self-seeker. The Teachings control the Irresistible Mind, which after all, is only a figment of the Teacher's imagination. The Teachings, therefore, control people through an artificial machine which nobody else is even aware of, but which is now a very real part of their lives."

"That's not what 'Practical Humaginetics for the Working Person' said!" I broke in.

"Naturally, that is not the way Humaginetics presents the Teachings to the Road to Happiness or the Irresistible Mind. Each concept is carefully camouflaged to look like something else. That is an art unto itself."

That was enough for me for a while. I spent the next several days catching up on my day-to-day routine, but I also managed a stop by the public library. A concept Swatron had mentioned, the art of camouflage, intrigued me.


I found that much material about camouflage is not widely distributed. After all, the purpose of camouflage is to operate without being seen, and if you tell the whole world how you are hiding your operations, then your actions are not very well hidden, are they? Fortunately I found some books by an organization which is very open about camouflage and security - the Army.

One of the "common tasks" a soldier has to learn is how to camouflage a person or object. There are three aspects to visual camouflage: outline (silhouette), texture (color) and brightness.

The silhouette of a soldier's helmet is broken up by twigs or leaves which are inserted into webbing wrapped around the outside. Change of texture or color is provided by those splotchy green and black or brown and black clothes which are worn in the field. Finally, the facial features are turned around by inverting brightness: the dark camouflage stick is used to color the shiny portions of the hands and face like the forehead, knuckles, bridge of the nose and cheekbones, and the lighter shaded stick is used to accent the darker, hollow portions.

While this may have been interesting enough to hunters, I did not quite make the connection as to how this would be able to disguise something as ethereal as intent. How was Humaginetics intending to use my Irresistible Mind on me to indoctrinate me with the idea of timelessness?

Once I thought it over further, though, it did make sense to me that a cult would want to disguise itself. Look in the telephone book under "cult," and see how many entries you find. Something also clicked with the coin-out-of-the-ear analogy. If seeming to pull a coin out of a child's ear could have an immediate, perceivable effect on behavior, what effect could be caused by pulling a far more menacing "Irresistible Mind" out of one's own imagination?

Before I paid more money for the next book, I thought it might be a good idea to get as much background as I could on my own. At this point, I could not really decide if Swatron was helping or hurting my case, but I had nothing at all against listening to what he had to say. I just made sure that one thing he said remained true: I absolutely had to be able to resist anything he said. At any time, I wanted to be able to interrupt and ask questions, change the subject for the sake of comparison or walk out without threat of reprisal - all without having to explain a thing or being made to feel like I was breaking any promises. My goal was to gain specific awareness, but not at the expense of cutting other communications lines which I used to stay mentally alert.

In short, I wanted to raise my own higher level of consciousness, and not just narrow it to fit someone else's concept of what I am. That was a big plus point in Swatron's favor: he was strong enough to be able to give in to my requests and listen to my side of the story. He did not feel that a different point of view would detract from discussion; he gave the impression that a variety of viewpoints made for a more complete picture. Most of all, he did not try to impress me with any sort of urgency that I would lose money or time if I did not agree with his perspective right away.

3. The Program

"Initially, the Irresistible Mind only fulfills the function of an imaginary blank circuit board," Swatron started out. "It subsequently becomes more real as more parts of it are revealed and added to the board by Humaginetics. "Think of the Irresistible Mind as fulfilling a function of control. It is used as a channel to bypass your normal, built-in protection mechanisms.

The usual situation is that you would justifiably question the idea of being controlled by some unknown, outside presence. The idea, though, that this presence does not stem from true outside control, but from within yourself, somewhat alleviates the unease. It gives a temporary sense of reassurance to think that those passing qualms which you get are not from somewhere outside of yourself. They just have this nagging little habit of not being consciously controlled at all times. That nagging little bit of anxiety eventually and imperceptibly causes an altered state of consciousness. True, recuperative relaxation becomes less frequent.

The Irresistible Mind is said to be constantly lurking, just waiting for the opportunity to further embarrass you or even to mislead you into making what could possibly be your last, fatal miscalculation. This idea that it could lead to a fatal mistake is especially alarming. The blank circuit board is said to have no rhyme or reason. It just supposedly programmed itself, haphazardly, down through the ages, to take everything it sees or hears literally, in a zombie-like manner.

Once Humaginetics, however, starts rearranging the circuit board, it wants to make sure that its tried-and-true program stays in place. This requires mental 'solder' to keep its components from falling out. In the case of the Irresistible Mind, the soldering elements are self-justification, shedding of past responsibility and guilt.

Self-justification is a closed loop. It shuts out any outside influence by giving a pre-determined explanation. The explanation, however, does not answer any questions, but merely loops around and around within itself in response to questions. Example: the Irresistible Mind causes unawareness, therefore any lessening of awareness is caused by the Irresistible Mind. Feeling tired but had enough sleep? It's that Irresistible Mind. Have a hard time concentrating? It's the Irresistible Mind again. Can't get along with your parents? Guess who? Humaginetics' explanation is used as a one-size-fits-all answer for any question.

Self-justification eventually leads to a gleeful feeling, a shedding of past obligation and responsibility. Failed your test? It's not your fault, just the old Irresistible Mind acting up. Feeling ill or have a headache? That monkey on your back is pounding on you. Did you trip because you did not look where you were walking? Old Reliable is still there. The cult remedy for the obvious fallacy in this thinking is to create another closed loop in the form of a standing instruction:

any misfortune which befalls its members is their own fault, and not the fault of the program.

In this way, any snag which will predictably happen as a result of the program is to be considered the responsibility of the person who is vainly trying to follow instructions."

"Remember when you were following the instructions in your Humaginetics book and you got me instead of your Irresistible Mind?" Swatron asked by way of example. "What was the first thing you thought when you realized that something else had happened instead?"

"I thought I had not followed the instructions properly," I replied.

"That was the whole idea," said Swatron. "When you failed it made you want to try harder. Humaginetics encourages that feeling, and people who do not get past this stage are disparaged by the cult as 'not being able to follow simple instructions.'

Now, being under the impression that they are totally responsible for any failure of the Humaginetics instructions, regular members will feel a continual sense of guilt and shame. Could anybody else know that the Teachings did not have the predicted results? Humaginetics only presents smiling faces of people who say they have gained success after success from using the Teachings! By now the answer has always been presented in one form only: the closed loop. The closed loop becomes subconsciously identified with "real," solid explanations which make everything so simple by the process of shutting out the possibility of any alternative.

The closed loop itself is eventually subconsciously identified as the 'proper' way to experience a feeling of rightness. The only other condition is that the content of the closed loop come from the Teachings

This concept bears repeating. The user of this concept is dependent upon a psychological crutch by which perceived personal responsibility can be manipulated. This alteration of personal responsibility can then be used as a staging point for another powerful motivator-justifier: guilt.

Because it may be unsettling to think of oneself as being controlled by an external force, the artificially induced guilt can be temporarily relieved by acceptance of the cult's closed-loop explanation system. This is the turn-around point in favor of the cult.

Seeking relief from guilt from the program which caused the guilt will only result in more guilt. The cult fully anticipates this secret feeling that something has gone wrong and offers a variety of explanations from which to choose.

One explanation offered by the cult is that the instructions which supposedly originated from within the Irresistible Mind can be intercepted and turned around to your own good - but only with the aid of the cult, and only if you pay the price, in advance.

With the intent of forming an instant alliance with you, this notion is framed in the context of a conspiracy between the cult and you against the supposedly unsuspecting Irresistible Mind. What was irresistible to you as a person is presented merely as a target which will yield to modern psychological or spiritual counselling. The complex bureaucracy of the religious or psychological corporation, in this respect, is viewed by the customer as an ally.

If you join this one-sided alliance without doing some comparison shopping, then the thought of doing comparative evaluation will probably not come up when it comes to seeking assistance in overcoming this new impedance of the Irresistible Mind. When you then trustingly give complete control of your 'Irresistible' Mind over to the cult, you have also delivered a device by which you can be controlled."

All I had heard from Swatron about the cult was that one simple trick after the next would be used. If the first trick did not work, the prospective customer would not make it to the second.

"That serves to conceal the program from those people who do not accept it," Swatron replied. "Acceptance of one step is a pre-condition of going on to the next step. Each step is not harmful by itself, but takes a normal, rational human being a little closer to dependency upon the organization."

"I'm still waiting to hear where all this leads."

"From here on in there are truly an endless number of programs. Once a person has accepted the idea of an Irresistible Mind, and has also accepted the idea that Humaginetics can de-program the Irresistible Mind, the next step is to introduce the true programs of Humaginetics."

"You mean everything up to this point was just an introduction for what is next?"

"And the next and the next. The feeling of constant re-discovery helps to motivate the customer to hand over more money. It is a larger amount each time. The idea is to create a trend of obligation which can only increase. That helps to produce the general mind-set that importance itself is increasing and that the goal being pursued has no limits. (The reality of the matter, though, is that the goal is just never reached.)

All this may seem like child's play now that it has been laid out, but quite a bit has been accomplished up to this point. At this stage of the game, the prospective customers:

In view of the fact that each of the above steps in itself is quite simple - as simple as advertising on a billboard, for instance - that is quite a bit of progress for such a simple system. The system appears simple only because the individual steps are put together in such a way so as to mean something much more taken together than they do individually.

The prospects of getting a person who has done all the above to continue with a program are much higher than those of someone who just glances at a billboard on the way to work in the morning. This may not seem like a big deal if you only look at one person, but when you consider the entire group of people addressed, that narrows down the numbers and the work considerably."

4. Eliminating the Competition

Absence of Competition

"If the business is just one trick after the next, that cannot be too good for business in the long-term," I said.

"People who are in for the long-term have been subjected to many programs and have had their judgment altered in numerous ways," replied my new-found consciousness, "and people who realize a trick is being played on them just leave because they are not prepared to deal with the gigantic legal entanglement in which they have found themselves. Besides that, many are just ashamed at having been taken in by such childish measures, and take their loss as one of life's bitter lessons. That is not a major concern for a relatively unknown, tax-exempt organization which deals primarily with one-time customers in large numbers.

Therefore, the big problem is that the basic instructions which the prospective customers are to follow be unfolded in such a way that they will be acceptable. Since long-term competition is not a concern for this type of corporation, the easiest, most direct way of getting something accepted is to present it as having already been accepted, preferably by an authority foremost in the field. This establishment of authority gives people a type of lightning rod to which they can direct blame and responsibility in the event that something goes wrong. This step is even more effective if the authoritative acceptance can be coupled with time-honored tradition. This can be yet more convincing if any opposing voice is regarded with disbelief and/or scorn.

Notice that these methods of getting something accepted are no longer based on principles of logical coexistence or ethical competition. They are now based on the semi-secret Teachings of absolute timelessness and plausible truth. These methods are used to present apparent proof that the Teachings are, indeed, superior to the old system of coexistence. This exploits the fact that sometimes people will accept apparent authority, tradition and a feeling of superiority without independent, critical evaluation.

These are similar to psychological and sleight-of-hand tricks used by merchants in the old travelling carnivals. Those unethical salesmen used the fact that people got worked up enough by the carnival atmosphere to overcome their natural reserve. A modern-day corporation, though, is not going to be out of town the day after. Therefore, the flow of customers is approached in a different way. This often includes the signing of a legal contract in which the customer absolves the religious or psychological corporation, in advance, for any harm which comes of its practices.

The Program of Elimination

Each instruction which is funneled through the imaginary Irresistible Mind builds the base of that which immediately follows. Sequence is essential to the operation.

The instructions are unfolded, one step at a time, to the customer. The customers first see them presented authoritatively as scientific fact. The customers are then led to believe that each item has been observed as fact for a long, seemingly endless, time, and will be continued to be observed as fact for an equally endless time. The customers are invited to draw their own conclusion from a given list of alternatives about what this could mean. This process is a little program used to restrict the customers' perceptions to certain, selected areas.

How does an unethical group block out information it does not want its customers to see? It must set up a procedure whereby it can be concluded by the new members that they have looked at new information, they have put it to the test, and the results of these new tests are accurate and true. The test is rigged, but those using it must believe it is infallible.

This is where a group starts making conditions and requirements. The customers are not allowed to gain something without giving something up, especially something which is supposedly so valuable that it will be good for all time. That means the receivers of this so-called timeless truth will have to experience an initially small loss. This is seen as a perhaps tantalizing bit of discomfort which becomes associated with the process of gaining "timeless truth." The loss is often in terms of money, but more frequently it is a concession of judgment.

That's how the endless cycle works. Each time the new members mention to their Humaginetics representative that they are not quite sure as to whether they are on the Road to Happiness and timeless truth, they are told that in order to follow the instructions they already have, they need to pay for more instruction and/or counselling.

The more money they invest, the more deeply involved they get. The involved they get, the more they are able to be controlled. The more they are controlled, the less they can resist."

"If that were really the case, then we'd all be slaves," I said, happy to resist this gloomy outlook. "We are not all slaves, so therefore that is not the case."

Enslavement is Legal

"We were not all slaves back when slavery was legal, so why should we be now?" Swatron replied, "Besides, the act of psychological enslavement, by itself, is not illegal. It is the buying and selling of slaves which is illegal. That means that a corporation cannot legally claim that it has ownership of a human being.

In order to understand how enslavement works, it may be helpful to relate a couple of historical legends about two forms of enslavement which do not use force. Instead, both of these episodes rely on physical drugs for creating the psychological condition necessary for enslavement. One legend is on the origin of zombiism. The other is based on a presentation made by a vice cop on illegal drug providers and their involvement in crime. Even though these two examples are based on physical drugs, the end result of enslavement, which is the total submission of a human being, is psychological, and can be achieved without drugs.

Zombiism is defined in the dictionary as a belief in a supernatural force which can re-animate the dead. Here is a legend of the origins of zombiism:

Have ever you seen one of those colorful puffer fish on the deep-sea adventure shows on TV? When the fish feels threatened it puffs up so as to look bigger than it actually is. Not only do some of them puff up, but they also have razor-sharp spines which protrude out when the fish inflates itself. To complicate matters even more, some are poisonous, and their spines are deadly to the touch.

In Japan, Africa and the Caribbean, people have found a way of preparing this type of fish so that it can be eaten even though it is lethally poisonous in its native state. The processing takes most, but not all, of the poison out of the fish. Just enough is left in the flesh to have a certain effect upon whomever consumes the fish. As the fish is processed in Japan, the effect is to give the fish eater a "high." If the fish is processed too much, not enough of the poison is left in it and the person who eats it feels no different than if he had eaten any other fish.

If the fish is not processed enough, however, too much of the poison remains. If the unlucky person does not die from an overdose, his vital signs can slow down to the point of seeming death. That is the secret of a type of zombiism.

In ritual zombiism there was a person who knew how to prepare this usually lethal fish so as to leave the proper amount of poison in it. Of course this was done in secret. The zombie candidate would then be fed some of this fish. He would fall unconscious and his vital signs would nearly stop. He would be quickly buried by the mastermind of the operation, allegedly to keep some lethal, fictitious disease from spreading. A funeral would be promptly held and the coffin duly buried.

Later that night the coffin would be dug up by the cohorts of the person who prepared the poison fish and the person who fed it to the victim. The target person, waking up from his drugged trance, would be taken off to a prison camp with the other zombies. This system of enslavement was used to a certain extent and it actually worked, but there was one, delicate condition to it.

The whole process would only work if the target person who was drugged previously believed in zombies. When the believer awoke from his trance, he would think that everything he had heard about zombies was actually coming true: that he had actually risen from the dead, that he was now a zombie, and he now had to do whatever he was told.

In contrast, a person who did not believe in zombies simply walked away when given the chance. That is the reason zombiism does not continue today: the secret leaked out. Nobody believes in it anymore.

Even though a drug was used to bring about a physical effect upon the zombie, the drug by itself cannot be seen as the source of the enslavement. It was only the belief in zombiism, and nothing but that belief, which made people susceptible to the psychological trap. The next episode is different in this respect in that it features a drug which is used to create psychological susceptibility to enslavement. The drug everyone knows about in the drug world is heroin, but how many people make up their minds in advance that they want to get addicted? Not many, but some people are pre-disposed to psychological addiction.

First there has to be a person who moves out among people who are not addicted, but who may be susceptible by reason of a recent emotional or social upheaval. This scout provides a sympathetic ear, approaches people in need and offers them some kind of solace, something to take the edge off their worries. This has to happen not only once, but repeatedly, so that constant contact is kept up. The drug provider gets more and more possessive of his addicts. Unlike the trafficker, he is not in it for the money; he is in it for the power over people, to actually enslave them.

He will case out potential burglary sites for the men and work as a pimp for the women. His enslaved people have to do what they are told or they do not get their supply. The pusher knows where his people are and if they do not show up once every four hours to get a fix, there will be consequences. After all, he is the one who gives them their shots and if someone is disloyal, their next shot may contain the lethal dose.

If an addict does die as a result of overdose, then the pusher killed the addict. Nobody can prove that the pusher killed anybody, but all his addicts know it as they were actually there when the deed was done. The event is taken as a lesson as to what can happen if they try to break the enslavement. Even thought heroin users are physical addicts, the physical addiction alone does not suffice to illustrate the psychological intensity which is being experienced.

The laws directed against this sort of activity are directed at drugs, burglary and prostitution, but the action which actually takes place is that of psychological enslavement."

5. Psychological Addiction

"Due to the fact that chemicals have been used as a means to enslave people, countermeasures have been developed against drugs used for this purpose. These countermeasures include batteries of tests designed to determine whether or not an individual has ingested drugs. These are 'litmus' tests which indicate whether people may be under the influence of drugs, and this, in turn, indicates the presence of a potential for excessive control by others.

The ability to deny control is a primary concern for manipulators in a democratic society when dealing with people external to their own control system. That is because it is only when their means of control have been detected that their power over others can be identified and evaluated. Therefore, corporations which do not wish to have their methods of control evaluated have strict regulations about maintaining secrecy and security. Drugs are contrary to security in that they provide physical evidence.

In the search to avoid leaving an identifiable trail, refinement in the process of manipulative control has resulted in a practically drugless system. This refinement has led to the introduction of certain methods used by psychological cults. A cult may enslave people, not by making them chemically dependent, but by making them psychologically dependent.

Psychological dependency is established by setting up a progressive cycle by which an addict repetitively depends upon a provider for a unique effect. This unique effect is something which addicts are drawn towards to the exclusion of constructive activity in their own lives. In addition, it is something which only the provider can give them under the circumstances which they need to obtain the desired effect.

In commerce, there is a time limit put on inventions so that the inventor has enough time to gain back the time and money he has invested in research and development of the product. That time limit does not hold for copyrighted and trademarked psychological products.

Outside activity can be downplayed as being a temporary, and thus unworthy, pastime. Timeless truth, as provided by a cult, is presented as something which adds to the uniqueness for which there is no substitute. In getting this feeling of absolute, timeless superiority over to new members, both physical and psychological methods may be used to set up progressive cycles.

Physical methods used in conjunction with timeless truth which can be used by cults to produce a unique effect upon members include changes in: nutrition, sleep, sex, public involvement, spending habits, and socialization. Psychological methods include the shedding of responsibility and the formation of an enemy picture. The physical methods should be self-explanatory; the psychological methods need some discussion.

When responsibility which has been held since childhood is shed, that can bring about a strong feeling of relief. It is comparable to giving up worries. We worry too much; it makes sense, therefore, if we worry less. Why waste all that energy worrying about what people think of us?

This may produce an immediate feeling of relief and may even have a short-term beneficial effect, if, and that is a big 'if,' a person happened to be worrying too much in the first place.

Take the idea of having a separate mind which was responsible for feelings and thoughts which we have, but of which we are not fully aware. Imagine the feeling of relief you might experience if you suddenly realized, justifiably or not, that this 'separate' mind was the single source of all the unwanted, bothersome ideas which had ever flitted about your head when you were trying to concentrate on something important. If you succeeded in doing that, you may have experienced a psychological rush of well-being (or confusion). This feeling of exhilaration was not brought about by a drug imbalance of the type experienced by heroin addicts, but by a psychological imbalance similar to a sudden realization that one is truly and really a zombie, just like the legend said.

Upon experiencing an artificially induced rush, some cult members can become willing to make sacrifices in their personal, physical and psychological habits in order to obtain more of this seeming timelessness. When the sacrifice continues on a regular basis and when it begins to outweigh the benefits, the cycle of destructive addiction has set in.

Another psychological means of supporting a psychological addiction is the acquisition of an enemy image. An enemy image is a set of criteria which obviates the need for critical evaluation and rational reaction to pre-determined external actions. For instance, the Teachings may instruct the followers that since enemies are critical of the Teachings, then the mere criticism of the Teachings is an indication of the presence of an enemy. In this sense, an enemy would be anybody who disagreed with the movement. This method serves a dual purpose in that it can maintain the delusion of the timelessness of the Teachings, and it can also keep the now tractable adherent from being influenced by others.

Psychological dependency does not happen all at once, but is the product of a sequential process. Certain steps are necessary in order for it to work. First the contact needs to be made. This can be done in a simple advertisement, or as part of a purported social activism campaign. A certain percentage of those contacted maintain their contact to the organization, which then works to establish susceptibility of their customers to systematic control programs. The people who do not leave are then guided towards acquiescence and an initial turnover of personal control. Once that all-important threshold of control has been crossed, two more programs are installed. One is a program for the uncritical acceptance of apparent truth. The other is a program for the rejection of outside evaluation.

Only a certain number of people make it from one step to the next. That means in order to actually get people through the entire program, a huge throughput is required. Of the total number of people who fill out the first application or buy the first book, only a small percentage will end up turning over all their money and dedicating the rest of their lives to the cult. Once people get that far, though, keeping them there is much simpler than getting them there. All they need at that stage is a meaning to life and an enemy picture which threatens life's meaning.

Thus it appears to the outside world that the primary activity of the organization is putting people through its programs. This is, in fact, the source of most of the cult's money. The significance of the underlying purpose of culling members who are subjugated by this process is thereby minimized. However, it is the underlying activity which provides the cult with the lion's share of its dedicated members, and its dedicated members are the ones who guide the throngs of humanity through the programs. These programs can be understood as a set of filters, each one of which works in conjunction with the others to filter out self-determined thought.

Along the way, though, the result of unethical practices eventually manifest themselves: lawsuits, illness due to neglected medication, and health problems due to the strenuous activities needed to bring about an adequately high level of zealotry. A good summary of legal difficulties a cult has gotten into is contained in its initial service contract. This is a multi-page, legally binding contract of legal disclaimers which the member has to sign as a condition of acceptance.

Some indications of prior legal difficulties would be: a true photocopy of the contract is not furnished to the signer, the contract states that the signer agrees not to sue the provider, the contract states something other than what the signer was told verbally, the signer is discouraged from seeking outside counsel.

As Americans, we would not tolerate this sort of behavior from a food or spirits establishment. Imagine having to sign a contract at a restaurant saying that you will not sue if you should get sick from the food. We are much less discriminating, however, when it comes to poisoning a healthy mind than we are about poisoning a healthy stomach. Nevertheless, when signing a contract giving up rights is carried out under the guise of religion, it will not only be tolerated, but it can also be tax-exempt. Critical evaluation of corporate religious contracts can actually bring about accusations of bigotry."

"I only wanted the Road to Happiness!" I shouted.

"You got it," said Swatron.

"But I'm not happy! This Road just keeps on getting narrower with a longer stretch around every bend."

I had to admit, though, that the idea of "timeless truth" was starting to take hold of me. Even though I did not personally feel that I was affected by it just by understanding it, I could see that if this would have been fed to me subconsciously, I could have had some problems.

"What is the common link," I wondered aloud, "which ties this all together?"

6. The Technology of Verbal Camouflage

Framing and Associating Concepts

"Something does, indeed, tie this process together," remarked Swatron. "Although these events have been presented as a seemingly random series of actions which could be viewed as being necessary for business, they are not at all chance occurrences."

"Then what are they?"

"Up to this point, I have been describing the exercise of the art of magic," stated Swatron triumphantly, "staged by a magician of the mind. Instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat to the applause of an audience, the showman has pulled an Irresistible Mind out of your own imagination for the benefit of the cult money collectors. Those are the people who are waiting to greet you and your money at the nearby Humaginetics Service Center. Once they lure you in, cult psychology operators at the service center have the next set of tricks all lined up to snag as many people as possible. They also use deceptive tricks which can be rigged in the same manner as the Irresistible Mind. This entire process has been legitimized to the outside world, including the Internal Revenue Service, by redefining it as a new form of religious conversion."

That short summary took my breath away. I had a hard time believing that one person would ever have put all this together. How could it have been done?

I could see that the number of ways people can be manipulated is limited only by their own imagination. The number of organizations which engage in manipulative activity would be difficult to calculate, though, because the criteria needed for calculation are purposely suppressed. How many cults list themselves in the telephone book under "Cults, psychologically manipulative"?

Organizations which have been identified as using unethical standards of control merely dissolve to form elsewhere under new names, but with the same core management. Therefore, rather than write a multi-volume work describing all cults, which would be outdated as soon as it was written, it might be more helpful to look at a method of identifying systematic deceptiveness, rather than the individual organizations which use systematic deceptiveness, and which would only characterize their unfavorable description by non-members or former members as "stigmatization."

What could be identified collectively which would adequately cover groups which use deceptive means to bring about changes in personality? This question triggered off an idea which had come up before. "What about camouflage?" I asked.

"Behind camouflage," said Swatron, "lies the intention to operate without being detected. The best defense the person or group who is hiding something can have is to divert attention altogether. That way their camouflage need never be put to the test.

One of the first resorts used by groups of this type is the attempt to deflect attention by baseless recrimination. Recrimination is a factor which is common to groups which use a systematic, deceptive force to influence their members' judgment. Remember the whole magical, enslavement process above redefined as 'religious conversion'? As a result of that redefinition, any person who questions the procedure can be condemned with accusations of 'religious bigotry.' It would be like the magician who pulled a rabbit out of a hat damning anyone who dare suggest that he pulled the rabbit out of a false bottom for being narrow-minded.

When the issue at hand is avoided and the individual critic is attacked, then that should immediately send up a red flag that something has gone wrong with the process of rational discussion. However, it is only when the evader fails to divert attention altogether that the art of verbal camouflage is employed."

"To grasp the whole idea of camouflage," Swatron got to the point, "think of one of those pictures which has another picture poised inside of it. The inside picture does not have to have anything at all to do with the outside picture, which merely serves as a medium. For instance the outside picture can be of a water glass filled with ice cubes, while the inside picture, set amongst the ice cubes, may be anything at all: an animal, a human form or a specific person, for instance.

An additional consideration in the realm of mental camouflage is that the human mind automatically tries to associate things which have been placed in proximity to each other. For instance, if you see a human form set in ice cubes, you will have an irresistible notion that the human inside the ice cubes is cold. Goosebumps may even result.

So camouflage has two purposes: 1) to hide what it is you are not supposed to see, and 2) to present to you what you are supposed to see in a manner which makes you think that what you are being presented with is really the natural state of things."

"Honor your father and mother, if possible," I said.

"What's that?"

"'Honor your father and mother' is one of the Ten Commandments. But when it is included in an entirely different sentence, it takes on a meaning which is different from what was originally meant. 'Honor your mother and father' means exactly that, whereas 'Honor your father and mother, if possible' sounds like something which should be done, but only if it is convenient for some other purpose."

"Since you recognized that as one of the Ten Commandments," pointed out Swatron, "then you would see the true connection right away. But someone who did not know what the Ten Commandments were may have unintentionally made a connection between the simple wisdom of that statement and the commercial organization which printed the booklet. An involuntary association would have been made between Humaginetics and the practicality of parental obedience."

"On the other hand," I took up a different aspect of the picture, "a person who recognized that phrase might have already had some prior disagreement with it. After all, who wants to honor their parents all the time, especially after an argument? In that case, the 'if possible' serves as a back door out, a way to claim you're following the guideline, but not actually making the commitment. Either you are or you are not."

"That brings me to the three aspects of conceptual camouflage," said Swatron. "A mental magician can influence his audience in three different ways - by altering 1) definition, 2) context and 3) importance. Conceptually speaking, silhouette, texture and light in the visual world are analogous to definition, context and importance in the verbal environment.

Definition (Silhouette)

Definition relates to the structure of a word or concept. Definition gives a pre-accepted outline of what we mean. It is a condition of language. Without definition, we could not speak to each other, much less peacefully co-exist. Definition is one of at least three ways we can use to identify an object or idea. Like the visual silhouette of a physical shape, definition gives external form to a word or to a concept.

Truth in definition is completely different from truth in the material world. Truth in the material world is true by virtue of the fact that it can be proven, over and over again. When you drop a pencil, it will always go down. This happens again and again. Conceivably, there are exceptions. If you happen to be standing above a powerful updraft, for example, the pencil you drop may travel upwards, but only at first. Even if it is picked up by a tornado, though, we accept one thing as being inevitable; the pencil will eventually come down somewhere. Therefore we say that it is true that whatever is dropped will always fall down.

Truth in definition, while also meant to be predictable, is not predictable in the physical sense of the word. The outcome of truth in definition is predictable only if the definition has been accepted by everybody who is using it. For example, if two people are told to sit down in a chair, both of those people will sit down in a chair only if they both have accepted the same definition of what a chair is. The way we have agreed upon this mutual acceptance of definition is by accepting the authority of a dictionary. The dictionary is, by tradition, the final authority on the definition of a general-purpose word.

The important thing to remember in this is that truth can be obtained in at least two, separate and unequal ways. One is by observable, unalterable fact, the other is by mere acceptance of a definition.

Context (Texture)

Those are two lines of thought which are used for establishing truth in reality and in definition. To establish a disguise, however, it is not necessary to change the truth itself; it may be sufficient just to alter the observers' perception of known idea."

"Like introducing the idea of being controlled by a second mind to explain feelings or thoughts which are not understood," I commented.

"Right. The thoughts and feelings which you have but which you do not understand may exist, but they do not originate from a separate mind just because somebody who claims to be an authority defines them that way.

You need to do comparative shopping and to evaluate different ideas to make a sound decision. For instance, those disassociated ideas you have may just be little bits and pieces of thought which you have not had time to sort out. They may have come about through the complexity of our environment. For instance, people in a busy environment do not make sense out of every single thing they see or hear nor do they resolve every impression they get. If things are getting too busy, most people will have the innate sense to take it easier and slow down a little. That, however, does not always happen, and there are groups who make their living off of the confusion of others."

"Can't you tell definition by context?" I asked.

"That is one of the things which context can be used for," replied Swatron. "Context is another specific aspect of intellectual camouflage. While definition is the relationship of a word to its own meaning, context is the specific relationship which a word or concept has to its environment. Context, by virtue of association, will have a tendency to pin down the specific definition which is intended.

The word 'coke,' for instance, may have a different definition depending on whether the context is that of a coal mine, a drug deal or a soft drink. Regardless of definition, however, anything which is associated with a coal mine will also be associated with dirt, anything associated with a drug deal will have connotations of illegality, and anything associated with a carbonated drink brings to mind commercial advertising.

If you want something to take on the flavor of religion, you have only to associate it with something which has already been religiously accepted."

"Like the Ten Commandments."

"Yes. Now here is a plot complication. Definition and context can be positioned so as to reinforce each other. If you want something to have the feeling of a definition, you only have to associate it with something which has been previously accepted as an authority on definitions, like a technical dictionary. A technical dictionary is different from a general dictionary in that the meanings it contains have not necessarily been universally accepted.

Therefore, an organization which intends to hide the meaning of what it is doing will redefine common household words to mean something which, at first, appear only slightly different from the definitions which are normally accepted for those words. Let's take the word 'truth,' for instance. As noted above, truth can be established either by observation of the real world or by agreement.

A group which presents itself as being superior will also have a 'superior' definition of truth. Truth will generally be used in the context of that which has been agreed upon, like a definition, or it will also be used to mean that which is contained in the Teachings. This particular context will be used to gradually increase the meaning of truth in the Teachings. First the Teachings are true some of the time, then all of the time - over the course of months and years, it is finally learned that nothing is true unless it is contained in the Teachings. The cult does not want to 'overwhelm' its members with too much 'truth' at one time.

A general example of the use of context is the idea that if everyone in the world would only agree that a pencil would fall upward instead of down, that is what would really happen. The context of this is that everything we see in front of us is a product of the group's power of agreement. Naturally you are reassured that the group would never have a pencil fall upward out of consideration for others. But look at what has happened. It has been assumed without question that the power of the group takes precedence over natural law. The definition of truth, which was originated by the group, was specifically based on the context that the group controls everything we see. The conclusion that the group controls everything we see further reinforces the idea that the definition of truth, as originated by the group, is based on fact."

"Using a closed loop to cross a threshold!" I said, thinking back to a previous discussion.

"Also known as a merry-go-round," murmured my resistible mind.

I said, "People must have been doing this for a long time. If you want to make emotions seem scientific, just talk about them as though they were science. If you want to make random thought appear philosophical, just categorize it into conceivably similar categories. If you want to make anything seem artsy, put it to music or paint pictures of it. Each one of these aspects you're bringing up may make some sense unto itself, but how does it all fit together?" I asked.

Happy to oblige, Swatron replied, "All this only fits together to the degree that it is personally important to you. Definition is how the word relates to itself, context is how it relates to what is around it, and importance is how it relates to you or what you perceive as important."

Importance (Light)

In visual camouflage, I thought, light shows importance. Shades and brightness let the observer know where the objects portrayed are in relation to the source of light.

"How could any of this be important to me?" I asked smugly.

"You answered the ad. You sent in your money. You ordered the booklet. You bought the book. You tried hard to follow the instructions. If the instructions would not have worked, you may have eventually gone into the Humaginetics Service Center."

"Then what would have happened?" I asked.

"You may have agreed to give up money to the organization just because they suggested you could increase your ability by doing so."

"That's crazy!"

"But it would have been included as part of 'the big picture.' You would have been told you were taking courses or getting counselling."

"What would I learn?"

"That the evil Irresistible Mind was not only larger than you had originally been led to believe, but getting bigger. The longer you did nothing to contain it, the more it would keep on growing, growing, growing to take you over. Not only would the concept of the Irresistible Mind cover this lifetime, but soon it would go back into past lifetimes, too. Then the Teachings expand it into sort of a universal Irresistible Mind which infect all 'right-thinking' people."

"Is that all?" I asked, knowing that was not all.

"Keep in mind that you, yourself, have not personally invested thousands of dollars, years of your life and ended relationships with your friends and family (who thought you were strange to give all your money away) to get this far. The Road to 'Happiness,' which brings you through the Irresistible Mind, eventually leads you to see irresistible beings in different universes."

"Space aliens!" I blurted out in disbelief.

"Space aliens doing hard time on Planet Earth," Swatron completed the picture.