The theory of thought infection and the support mode of heaven’s gate

The theory of thought infection and the support mode of Heaven's Gate

How are convictions spread?

Aaron Lynch, originally a physicist, has with "Thought Contagion" One of the first books about the new theory of Memetics, which has many trailing in cyber culture. Inspired by Richard Dawkins, who in his book "The egoist gene" Lynch is looking for the concept of the MEMS in analogy to that of the gene, people are infected as people as a host of Memen to make plausible. Especially the apocalyptic new sects could be a good example of the spread of Memen, which sometimes dead dead. Aaron Lynch discusses the case of the Sect Heaven’s Gate in his contribution, whose members believed that with the comet Hale-Bopp had a UFO that they take to another world. In order to take the journey in the next level, you mobilize your earthly in a mass suicide "Container" kill.

The theory of thought infection arises from the turn of the ancient question, as people come to their convincing by asking how convolutions find people. Some convictions bring their trenders to have more children, others drove to a better imitation by the children. Some convictions let their trail translate them to their friends, and other terror before they tell them. If conventions play such an active role in the recruitment of new attachments, they are called the new name Meme. This is a term that developed 20 years ago from evolutionary biology. Some convictions showed their disclosure better, and they are more prevalent by achieving a broad supremacy. If one goes out of this evolutionary approach, one achieves a scientific understanding of phenomena that appear otherwise like random cultural currents. The new theory is called Memetics, a familiar concept for those who say Richard Dawkins, Douglas Hoftstadter and Daniel Dennett.

An example under the title of family values is the belief that some mutual work "masculine" and other "Female" be. If you have these ideas, you are under the prere to turn fast and marry because it means be alone to cook and take women to take a nail. Therefore, these traditional role notifications are an order to marry faster, and in the episode you start faster to have children and raise them. With every additional generation, the host population becomes a little more numerous. And over hundreds of generations thereby becomes a MEM that was rare to a majority phanomena.

A good example from the area of religion is the idea of the dissemination of the "Word" to give a mystical meaning, as is the case in the Johannes Gospel: "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." Of course, faith spreads with coarse power, if one does not pay his appendants that the spread of the word means giving giving God himself. Do you spell that "WORD" Rough, so it is no wonder that the Bible knowledge has a rough dissemination itself in a modern knowledge society.

Another familiar MEM from the field of religion is the idea that incredients are suffering in the severe torment. This idea brings the trend to continue their belief in friends and relatives so that they are not separated from each other and they are punished for all eternity. If you still add the idea that "the end is close", Receive a combination that conveys attachments to "hurry" and spread the word. Together with the idea that you should love your next as yourself, the number of people extends beyond the family and friends, in order to make their elevation you donate, and ultimately one ends everyone. This, of course, speeds up the transfer of faith even further.

There are many other memes that overpower the missionary effects of heaven and severe. They have developed so that they spread in a synergetic combination. A fairly subtle MEM, which often conveys the non-host in the US, is the threat of Holle, is the Protestant joint performance, only as "Christian" Instead of seeing someone who "Catholic" or "Lutheran" is. To call oneself only one Christian, sounds peaceful, but in many contexts, the tacitly one will end, that everyone who, who is a confessional or "religious" Name used, no Christian and therefore the dam is healing. That may have helped that the number of Americans who are merely as "Christians" designate, has risen quickly in recent decades.

At Heaven’s Gate and other new sects, the winning of appendages usually do not happen as subtle, but it is often accelerated from faith, that for the trail "the time ends", To convert all people around which they are worried about. Anyone who believes in the youngest court becomes those who do not do that with a similar conviction force to draw their side. An important factor in the thought infection behind the sensational ideological events is that the faith in the youngest day around comets, eclipses and millennium turns.

Faith that "the end is close", can even bring some of his hosts to convict "We have to accelerate the end", like the Heaven’s Gate, unearthly at the Japanese Aum sect, the "Branch Davidian" from Waco, Texas, and others the case. If the end threatens and the credans play a certain role, finally only a small spiritual step to the idea that the credans have the task of starting to start with the end. However, the idea of a role for the credans during the final time lists this belief that their status as a crediot gives them a special knowledge about the exact time. That in turn dieting the practice that the trail must receive a well-visible sign that the time is not only close, but really very close, whereby the subsequently linked the following supports and their increase in spade 20. Century as well as other special features can be explained in determining the time better.

At the Sect Heaven’s Gate was the "sky" one "higher level", The messengers of the youngest court were extraterrestrial beings and the "sign" Was a comet. Other groups will have other ideas from the sky, the end and sign, but the principles of thought infection will work very similarly and drove further mass self-macers in the coming years.

The additional imagination that in 1947 an extraterrestrial spaceship in Roswell, New Mexico, was stunted, reveals some more principles of thought infection. When a government employee said that a spaceship was stunted, the a very contagious rope releases. The idea was so fascinating that the credans further thought about it. People usually talk about what they think, if it is not too personal. Oberdies realize this MEMS that she received a stopped attention from anyone to tell the story again. Since most people long for such attention, the typical trend is often paid for the story enough to cause rapid distribution. Others such as reporters or UFO business markers make this because of the economic or financial benefits that brings attention. A rough number of those who horn such a story are also recoverable, which owes itself to the emotional broadcast of the idea that we visit well-being caretry, and the idea contained therein that humanity expects an ever-gross future.

When government agents announced that no spaceship was stunted, the natural selection found its own way to handle it. Some, maybe even most are simply dropped the MEM from the Roswell spaceship. People are listened to Dauber often reflect or to consider history as a good opportunity to gain social attention for social attention. The prosaic report on the events in Roswell was therefore only very weak replicate. However, those of the government MiBtrauten as they absorbs the crash of a spaceship, all originary drives for dissemination are maintained alive and continue to tell the story together with their explanations, why the government said the truth and the second time a luge for the first time. With the official dispute of a spaceship crash, an infectious advantage of Roswell history and secrecy strategies of Roswell history, and further sharp compensations on the part of the government were only the evolution of strong-acting Roswell conspiracy mems. Such conspiracy memes also have as I am in "Thought Contagion" Executed, an internal self-preservation mechanism: Anyone who argues against the MEM is easily accessed as a victim or party of the conspiracy.

Not even the government’s religious skeptics have joined the attempt to demiscify the Roswell-based payment, but they did not succeed. Although some Roswell credes rose, but with the steady bonds, their belief in the spaceship is more strongly interpreted in their world view and therefore more resistant to criticism. And their memes can develop a stronger strut for disclosure than the prosaic explanation of the skeptics. The problem is compensating for the evidence of bacteria with ever stronger antibiotics: Resistant lines developing stronger than non-resistant distributions.

After decades of natural selection unite the "fittest" Roswell spaceship mems a high degree of transferability, recharity and longevity that form a coarse and smooth thought infection. Therefore, the Roswell Memgrupgroup became powerful enough to infect Marshall AppleWhite in the 1970s, to ask his missionary zeal and those of his appendants – and to add to his faith and many others to an extremely conspiratory US government.

From the exclusivity, the Heaven’s Gate of the Core Group, which itself "the class" called, tie, but creates an obvious mechanical paradox. Like in "The New Yorker" (14. April 1997, S. 33) was noticed, the exclusivity is the movement like one "Anti-MEM" appear. Being a member is not the same thing to be a credible. Even if people of "the class" Nevertheless, the members of the core group continued to play the role of specialists for dissemination by providing the principles of teaching in incredible records. That strikes in making aspects of the school of the Cardinale, which removes most of the recording seekers and never become someone member, just because he is converted to Catholicism.

As a form of social stratification, the exclusivity is acting "Great" also as a kind "proof", That there is at least a high level than just those of the credo. That’s even in Catholicism, in which always higher levels exist both in the sky and on earth. To highlight the rising levels on earth helps people to convince people of even higher levels, which are beyond the time range, and creates the impression that you can lift your own status if you take over the faith and expand it more intensively. If one transfers such a distinction to the distribution specialist, then that can "ordinary" Pendant Befully put more mess in your own efforts of preaching. AppleWhite may have supposed the presentation of an exclusive priest class from the established and widespread religions. But Heaven’s Gate do not manage it, unlike the old religions, the "ordinary" Creditors to convey a regulated form, practicing or expressing the faith. That could have limited the long-term dissemination with or without suicides.

Heaven’s Gate was by no means the first group to visit spaceships, the threatening youngest dish or one "higher level" believed, which is reserved for credes, but it is an example of another principle of the Memetics: the educational rates for recombinated bundles of faithfulness depends on how well the ideas have already previously widened. Because forms of faith on UFOs, astrology, Apocalypse and the sky for credo in 20. Have been so well distributed in the century, it became almost the wife that these faith forms spread in a single host like AppleWhite in a new combination. And since new combinations of faith forms often cause new types of influences, we could see AppleWhite at the unusual conclusion that it was at him, "the end" to initiate.

Heaven’s Gate and many other extreme belief systems also drove the conviction that they have to secruding socially from almost all, apart from the purpose of the prosecution, which, above, plays a role for the transfer of faith. The ideologically secreting experience has a lower infringement of his belief system, which for a long time of "infection" worried. For the long someone wearing a thought infection with him, the Ooper he will continue to transfer them. Of course, the separation of the members still lost the members of the contact with the secular realitat and is a spiritual "inbreeding", What leads to the training of even more extreme ideas and riskier behaviors.

Some members of Heaven’s Gate were castrated, but it remains unclear what meaning this had. However, it could have contributed to the maintenance of social secretion or to that of the faith system as the only circumferential bonds, for which the train may live and die. In any case, Belief, that eunuchen is particularly close to the heaven, has its original in antique religions and love its early replication to a factor in modern support. Because of the early spread of the Eunuch Mems, there is now a Bible verse, which is attributed to Jesus and who speaks in favor of those who speak "to eunuchen around the sky rich." (Mattehaus 19:12; Note therefore MUB have helped the far-reaching replication of biblical Christianity to provide AppleWhite the KatSrationMem. The rough spread of the homosexuality tab can also have played a big role as it gave one of the sexual competitors of AppleWhite the Machiavelle means in the hand to drive him from a profession and his relationship. Absolute repression seems to have been the lesson that AppleWhite was taught by the experience.

Beleably there are factors that hold such supports in chess. One factor is the normal will to live. Another consists of the fact that historically suicide has ended the possibility of credans to spread their apocalyptic faith. Unfortunately, the modern media illicit such events that can produce imitators. And such media such as newspapers, broadcasting, television and the Internet now make it possible to the socially secreted person possible to preach their message thousands of possible attachments. Therefore, not the "end of the world" go, but in the next we should expect a continuous increase of apocalyptic thought infections and mass self-assets.

The traditional social sciences have also contributed a lot to our understanding of Heaven’s Gate and other ideological phenomena. But the theory of thought infection represents a crucial missing connection stuck.

Aaron Lynch is a Memetics Specialist and previously worked as a physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. He belongs to the Advisory Board of the Journal of Memetics and is the author of the book Thought Contagion: How was Spreads Through Society, the first book that Richard Dawkins has agreed. Richard Barbrook and Aaron Lynch in Brain Tennis at Wired.

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