March 18, 2020:

The wannabe cult leader wants to argue.

More realistically, she wants to tell others what's what without being contradicted, where her word is law because she's gifted with privileged access to truth.

So that, at times she touches peremptorily but incorrectly on topics I know expertly it's difficult for me to remain polite.

Chronologically the first was Freud. She repeated trivial pop culture errors, for example that Freud believed dream symbolism can be decoded with a dictionary or that he's concerned with "The Subconscious". If you look closely you'll note The Standard Edition on my shelves, marked and dogeared. I can promise you he mocks the notion of dream dictionaries, and that "The Subconscious" is nowhere to be found.

Later it's Gnosticism. She sits before the shelf with Jonas, Rudolph, Nag Hamadi, Pagels, and insists my very precise and accurate statements of history and doctrine are false. Instead she argues an interpretation projected from her personal subjective experiences. It's these she insists are privileged.

Much of the time she only partially remembers stories she's heard or books she's read. Yes, Alice Cooper is now sober. The point of his anecdotes is that he once was not. Things were so bad he broke his leg on stage and didn't know it, because he was too drunk to feel it. Talking only about his currently tea-totaling lifestyle misses the point he wants to make.

I suppose the examples which truly rankle are her misunderstandings of technology jargon. She doesn't know what "open" means, while vehemently insisting she's properly positioned to give others advice on systems choices combined with, of all things, Internet marketing, while practicing exactly the wrong strategies. For instance dropping-in to Facebook or Reddit solely to post updates to her blogs. When she makes pronouncements about "open" systems her knowledge and terminology are garbled — Windows is no more an "open" system than MacOS. When she insists her marketing practices use the media correctly she's repeating very bad advice she's found online. She seems to take it seriously, not because it comes from expert sources, but because it's confidently expressed. The aspect of her posturing which truly annoys me is this: what does she imagine I do for a living? I work with the people who are the inventors of these things. When I say I know the difference between "open" and "closed" systems, I actually do.

She reminds me of another, more successful cult leader: Ayn Rand. Like Rand she garbles details while insisting her positions are correct. Rand for instance was confused between Impressionism and Pointillism, while expressing strong but muddled judgments. Rand convinced legions of entitled white university students to take her dizzy ranting seriously by successfully manipulating 19th Century Romantic and elitist tropes which by the time she wrote were ubiquitous historical background to Western cultures. It was easy to consume them without close examination because they'd been repeated so many times in so many contexts since at least grammar school. Rand was effective because she re-arranged and re-purposed narratives her audience had heard a million times.

My cult leader wannabe has nothing similar to offer. She has only her opinions, her subjective experiences, and her six online followers.