Followup to the previous entry
One of the main themes of this blog is examining our more irrational motives and how those in power manipulate our irrational sides.
Purple Koolaid, of course, refers to the fate of the followers of cult leader Jim Jones, founder of the Peoples Temple. In this video clip, a follower underscores what made Jones so attractive to his flock. He offered to fill the role of their "friend... father... God..."
Such promises appeal to people on several levels by offering comfort, guidance and protection. Humans being tribal by nature, we instinctively seek an "alpha leader" to direct us -- most usually someone with an exceptional level of outward confidence and vision. A charismatic "alpha" leader will appeal to a population even if they're complete psychopaths underneath the surface, because their outward display of confidence and chutzpah suggests they would maintain a certain strength and stability in times of crisis.
Fortunately, most charismatic leaders aren't psychopaths, but it's worthy to examine the reasons behind why large numbers of people might be drawn to certain kind of individuals, even if that person might otherwise be diagnosed with various psychiatric disorders on the couch. Politicians, preachers, actors, and anyone trained to address crowds of people learn to exude a certain kind of power and energy that automatically draws attention.
Some articles on charisma:
The X-Factors of Success