Re: virus: Why religion?

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Tue, 22 Oct 96 10:27:00 PDT

Maybe teaser ads would be useful. There is an entity of some sort
that has been running ads for the last few months on the billboard-
style back page of the New York Press, using the name "Rettep"
and a variety of odd assertions. What I wonder is when, if ever, they
plan to offer contact information, even in the form of a PO Box number
or AOL email address. But we might borrow from them: pick a few
memes that make sense by themselves and fit in a sentence or two,
and run them in newspaper ads. It might or might not be explicit
CoV recruiting; the alternative would be just to get the ideas out there.
Of course, this requires someone to spend actual money.

From: owner-virus
To: virus; virus-game
Subject: Re: virus: Why religion?
Date: Tuesday, October 22, 1996 2:21PM


Sorry for the cross-post but I want to reach everyone with this.

On 17 Oct 96 at 19:35, KMO prime wrote:

> If we want the Church of the Virus to assuage people's anxieties and
> fill the same needs that religion fills, then we'll need to build
> some church buildings and provide people with a social setting in
> which to interact with other people who are on the same
> developmental path. Sure, the virus list does that to some extent,
> but you must admit that reading an e-mail message doesn't pack the
> same punch as getting dressed up, going to an ornate structure with
> a few hundred like-minded people, singing songs, and listening to a
> charismatic and articulate speaker eloquently extol your virtues and
> condemn those of the conspiring shadow armies of heathens, liberals,
> secular humanists, and media elites who threaten to lure your
> children into lives of perversion.

Excellent. "And todays sermon is brought to you by KMO prime whose
lesson is taken from Dawkins ch4 v7-10. Take it away KMO."

> If we don't want to go that route, maybe we should set up some
> personal growth seminars to teach people how to avoid being
> manipulated or having their brains hijacked by mind viruses. How
> about producing some videos to show on public access cable channels,
> or how about a Church of the Virus rave? I'm only half kidding
> here. I get a lot out of this discussion list even though it bears
> very little resemblance to a church.

Great ideas. Meeting like-minded people can do a hell of a lot for
meme-reinforcement (take Amway as a perfect example, I went to a
couple of their meetings to witness first-hand cultish
mind-manipulation techniques in a relatively safe environment.
Scary.). I see a major problem being one of promotion though. The
people on this list probably don't need that mass gathering, how do we
reach others who might? The obvious answer is to advertise; leaflets,
classified ads, notices in newsagents windows etc. all combine to
provide a cheap and easy way to reach large numbers of people (by our
standards anyway) but we would need to construct these adverts quite
carefully. They'd have to be short and snappy yet convey enough of
what we're about to attract interested parties (but perhaps not too
much at first, we don't want to trigger every immune system we
encounter). Another potential problem (from my own point of view) is
the probable lack of existing members in the UK. I've requested a list
of members for both lists from majordomo which I'll parse for UK and
European domains but that still leaves all the .COMs etc. so as a
slightly more inclusive approach I might take a census of the
geographical location of members (both lists). If this has any
potential value for anyone else out there I'd be quite happy to
maintain a database of this (and indeed any other) information.
Before I start could I have some initial reactions to this?
Is it a worthwhile exercise? What sort of information should be

BTW, If you are replying to this could you please just reply to the
VIRUS list (where the thread originated).

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