Home » Law 27: Play On People’s Need To Believe To Create A Cultlike Following

Law 27: Play On People’s Need To Believe To Create A Cultlike Following

In the image: Mark Cuban is an American billionaire entrepreneur, television personality, media proprietor, and investor, whose net worth is an estimated $4.3 billion, according to Forbes and ranked #177 on the 2020 Forbes 400 list. Wikipedia

People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.

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How To Create A Cult In 5 Easy Steps

In the image: Steve jobs has almost a cult like following behind his brand – Apple

Step 1: Keep It Vague; Keep It Simple

  • To create a cult, you must first attract attention.
  • Do not do this through actions, which are too clear and readable, but through words, which are hazy and deceptive.
  • Your initial speeches, conversations and interviews must include 2 elements: the promise of something great and transformative, and total vagueness.
  • This connection will stimulate all kinds of hazy dreams in your listeners, who will make their own connections and see what they want to see.
  • To make your vagueness attractive, use words of great resonance but cloudy meaning, words full of heat and enthusiasm.
  • Fancy titles, use of numbers and creation of new words are helpful. All of these create the impression of specialized knowledge.
  • Try to make the subject of your cult new and fresh, so that few will understand it.
  • Your appeal should be simple. Most people’s problems have complex causes, and they want to hear that a simple solution will cure their problems.

Step 2: Emphasize the Visual and the Sensual over the Intellectual

  • Once people have begun to gather around you, two dangers will present themselves: boredom and skepticism.
  • You need to amuse the bored and fend off the cynics.
  • The best way to do this is through theater, or other devices of its kind. Surround yourself with luxury, dazzle your followers with visual splendor, fill their eyes with spectacle.
  • Not only will this keep them from seeing the ridiculousness of your ideas, it will also attract more attention, more followers.
  • Appeal to all the senses: use incense for scent, soothing music for hearing, colourful charts and graphs for the eye.
  • Use the exotic to create theatrical effects.

Step 3: Borrow the Forms of Organized Religion to Structure the Group

  • Create rituals for your followers
  • Organize them into a hierarchy, ranking them in grades of sanctity.
  • Give them names and titles that resound with religious overtones.
  • Ask them for sacrifices that fills your coffers and increase your power.
  • To emphasize your gathering’s quasi-religious nature, talk and act like a prophet.

Step 4: Disguise Your Source of Income

  • Your coffers are beginning to fill with your followers’ money. Yet you must never be seen as hungry for money and the power it brings. Disguise your source of income.
  • Your followers want to believe that if they follow you, all sorts of good things will fall into their lap. By surrounding yourself with luxury you become living proof of the soundness of your belief system.
  • Never reveal that your wealth actually comes from your followers’ pockets; instead make it seem to come from the truth of your methods.

Step 5: Set Up an Us-Versus-Them Dynamic

  • To keep your followers united, you must now do what all religions and belief systems have done: create an us-versus-them dynamic.
  • First, make sure your followers believe that they are part of an exclusive club, unified by a bond of common goals.
  • Then, to strengthen this bond, manufacture the notion of a devious enemy out to ruin you.
  • There is a force of nonbelievers that will do anything to stop you. Any outsider who tries to reveal the charlatan nature of your belief system can now be described as a member of this devious force.
  • If you have no enemies, invent one.


  • One reason to create a following is that a group is easier to deceive than an individual.
  • However, if at any moment, the group sees through you, you will find yourself facing not one deceived soul but an angry crowd.
  • When you play with the emotions of a crowd, you have to know how to adapt. If not, deal with someone one by one.


In the image: Friedrich Nietzsche

“There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.” 

Friedrich Nietzsche

We strive to find meaning in a world full of formless chaos. Hence most of us resort to the comfort of believing in unproven divine entities. Your quest for answers and your need to belong is used against you, whether for your recruitment as a mindless disciple or your loyal customership for a particular brand. 

Christopher Hitchens wrote:

“Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself.”

If someone claims to have all the answers, they are full of shit. Fall prey to them and all you are doing is giving more power to those who don’t have your best interest at heart. You cannot let others think for you. If something doesn’t make sense to you, perhaps like right now, feel free to dismiss it, but consider doing so on your own behalf.

About The Book

The 48 Laws of Power (1998) is a non-fiction book by American author Robert Greene. The book is a bestseller, selling over 1.2 million copies in the United States.

Buy The 48 Laws of Power or Listen to it for FREE on Audible