How to Make A Godman: A Five-Step Starter Guide


How to Make A Godman: A Five-Step Starter Guide

Illustration: Cleon Dsouza


What would make you submit yourself to a man who holds the world record for “most people waving while wearing wristbands”? Or one who is an actor, singer, musician, producer, writer, editor, set-and-costume designer, and rape convict all at once? What if this man told you he’d help you find inner peace and contribute to the betterment of the world, on the off chance that he castrates you in the process? Would you be convinced?

 As Gurmeet Ram Rahim takes over imaginations and timelines, the question we’re left asking is: How did this man get millions of seemingly normal people to believe that spreading peace and all-inclusivity involves setting fire to things that don’t belong to them, and splicing people they disagree with?

 The marketing statistics like “saved 6 crore people from drugs” (…by killing them), or “has 53 world records dedicated to humanity” (…such as most candles on birthday cake) must have helped, I suspect. As did the dozens of “fact-based” YouTube videos that “reveal the truth”. When all else failed, there’s always scope for a full feature film starring a hairy man riding this pink contraption.

 The history of mankind is replete with the same story: Someone’s found “god”, or a “son of god”, or a “messenger of god” in a field somewhere that has made people go batshit. Once upon a time, there was the charming Rajneesh teaching you how to open doors within yourself, and forgetting to close the doors when he was being intimate. He gathered a following of millions. None of these people cared that the ashram had hidden a few attempted murder and other criminal cases. They were too busy buying chappals and red robes.

 So how do these cult leaders get a person to go from being perfectly normal to one who circles an idol at a Rajinikanth temple? As an expert on reading about cults online, I can give you a basic outline to the method in this madness.  

1. The first step is the brainwash. This begins harmlessly enough, with a barrage of information about the particular belief system appearing on the internet, or on TV ads, or personally delivered at a train station. Explain to the recruits why you and your *insert godman/alien here* have the answers to the questions that they have sought all along. Do what you must to get them to come to a meeting. The Church of  Scientology in Delhi once offered me a “stress test” at a stall in Dilli Haat while I was eating momos. The stress-testing contraption basically looked like a highly evolved weighing scale, and told me nothing about myself, but I appreciated their effort to make the whole recruitment process a little more interactive. Be like the Scientology Church. Make a game out of it or something.
2. Once you rope in a few candidates, thanks to your natural charm and glowing skin, it is time to plan some group activities, because nothing says cult like a good old satsang. If you’re a new-age guru with rockstar aspirations, then this satsang takes different forms. Rajneesh was into swirling to Sufi music like a dervish, while Gurmeet delivers pep talks to a DJ’s beat on a magically revolving stage. The satsang game has really upped itself and future godmen should duly note that a sitar and harmonium will no longer pull in the right crowds.

How does a man with a doctorate from the university of world records, get thousands of people to riot over three states for him?

3. Isolation comes next and plays a vital role in the making of a cult follower. Tell the potential recruit that to get closer to the god/alien in question, they’d have to pretty much cut off all contact with most of the world around them. They must instead immerse themselves in obsessive meditation and prayer. In the case of Dera Sacha Sauda every television screen and tablet inside the Dera, plays “pitaji’s” sermons on loop to the point that only “pitaji” is allowed into their dreams.  This comes with the benefit of allowing you to sexually abuse your followers under the name of “Pitaji Ki Maafi”.

4. Now that you have easily taken complete control of a few thousand people, you really start to have fun. At this point, playing up the “us vs them” situation will complete the process and teach the sheeple that anyone who isn’t in a cult is the enemy. Rajneesh’s followers once just casually thought that a perfectly legitimate way to win an election was carrying out a bio-terror attack on unsuspecting townspeople. The more savagely you attack the outsider, the closer the insiders come to thinking of you as god. The logic is flawless..

5. The last and final step for an obedient flock is injecting them with all kinds of mental issues, throwing in some guilt, and making them fear for their lives. Sanity does not make for a good “Insaan”. The recruits should be brainwashed to the point that all their expressions become vacant and their posture stiffens. That way, if their annoying friends and family begin to suspect something’s up, you can chalk it down to good old enlightenment.

If you have followed all the tips above, your cult is now ready to mobilise. Set up base in a desert somewhere, where you wage war against normie fools, and escape the pesky law. You are now the hottest cult leader in your area. Wasn’t that easy?