Cassandra Does Tokyo is a former hedge fund manager and ex NY Trader, who is now living abroad.
Does Your Financial Guru or Doomster Resemble A Cult?
Does your financial Guru or Doomster resemble a cult? To satisfy your curiosity, it might be worth taking simple test that will give you an idea whether what you thought was innocent objective altruistic financial advice and unbiased analysis is actually something more nefarious that wants to control your mind, your trades, and empty your bank account.
1. Does your Guru always make out like he’s right?
2. Does you Guru paint a picture that the other [non-disciples] are always wrong?
3. Is there any exit from the Guru’s philosophy without following the philosophy?
4. Does the Guru’s group use its own “Cult-speak”?
5. Does “group-think” dominate, suppressing dissent and enforcing conformity of thinking?
6. Is Guru’s advice irrational at times, contradicting previous or other tenets of Guru advice?
7. Does Guru’s philosophy suppress disbelief?
8. Does Guru’s philosophy denigrate competing ideas, schools of thought, and other Guru’s?
9. Does Guru make personal attacks upon critics?
10. Does Guru believe non-followers need “fixing”?
11. Does Guru insist that his interpretation is the only correct way?
12. Does Guru and his disciples make you feel that by following you are “special”?
13. Is Guru’s philosophy an unquestionable dogma, sacred science, or infallible ideology?
14. Does Guru’s philosophy appeal to perceived unquestionable authorities ?
15. Does following Guru confer a feeling of “instant community”?
16. Is your Guru inconsistent and does he speak contradictory messages?
17. Does your Guru use personal testimonies of the success of earlier converts to validate advice?
18. Is your Guru self-absorbed?
19. Are there potential dual purposes, hidden agendas, ulterior motives, in Guru’s advice?
20. Does your Guru readily admit when he is wrong?
21. Does your Guru undertake deceptive recruiting and/or aggressive promotion?
22. Does your Guru’s ideas implant phobias and self-doubt into your psyche?
23. Is Guru and his disciples money grubbing?
24. Are you pressured to change your beliefs and adopt the Guru’s beliefs?
25. Does your Guru hold ideology and dogma higher than experience, probability and logic?
26. Does your Guru ascribe unexplained or contrary events to mystical manipulation?
27. Does your Guru demand your faith, trust (and money?)
28. Does your Guru use thought-stopping language and thought-terminating cliches and slogans?
29. Does Guru use affiliate front groups, hidden promoters, or disguised propagandists?
30. Does your Guru imply his belief equals truth?
31. Does your Guru make use of double-binds?
32. Is your Guru held accountable for his performance?
33. Is your Guru a charismatic leader?
34. Does your Guru prevent you from trusting you’re own mind?
35. Does your Guru claim to have the panacea for market problems or all market conditions?
36. Does your Guru see he world through permanently tinted lenses?
37. Does your Guru make you think you can’t make it without his advice?
38. Does your Guru use unchallengeable sources of information?
39. Does your Guru inflate his experience or make bombastic grandiose claims about performance?
40. Does your Guru employ black and white thinking?
Add up your “yes” answers and compare to the table below.
1 to 8 Probably Safe and reasonably selfless like Gandhi
9 to 17 Heard of one Werner Erhard & EST? Self-improvement with a dark twist.
18 to 26 Think of L. Ron & Scientology – Weird and NSFW.
27 to 35 Jonestown…plausible fringe idea gone horribly horribly wrong. Watch what you drink…
36 to 40 Put on your trainers & trackies and prepare for a Slim Pickens ride on Hale-Bopp