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There have been bullshit artists from the dawn of time. As soon as one hominid figured out what other hominids wanted to see and hear, the first scam was soon born. Who knows what the first con artist’s prize was? Maybe it was free food. Perhaps it was sex with someone that was totally out of his league. But thanks to his skills in manipulation she totally bought into the idea that he was an up and comer with one of those new-fangled stone hammers.

Be assured that once the scam became public knowledge — spin doctors had not yet been invented — the other hominids looked at that victim and thought “Sucker! Got what they deserved.” Those who witnessed the aftermath felt very happy. Tthey were immune to such cheap tricks, and that no one could scam them. Hubris gave a sense of security. It made them feel good. And that hubris was something that made them weak. Stupid. Open to being scammed.

It’s easy to look at those who fall prey to televangelists and feel that hubris in our godless hearts. It’s easy to identify a scammer’s tricks when they are targeting prey who belong to another tribe. The methodology for a grift is developed to specifically work on a member of a particular group. For atheists, it is as plain as your own hand in front of you that someone preaching Magic Candy Mountain in a suit is going to squeeze you for money.  What isn’t clear are the specific Jedi mind tricks that a conman is going to use when they target members of the tribe you belong to. You can be sure of, however, that they will come to you in a form that is pleasing and say the words that will confirm your bias. You will want to defend those words and the person who said them. You will want to share them on social media with glee.

The Internet is full of tough guys.

They love to tell you how badass they are. What they’re willing to sacrifice. How not selfish they are.

I’m sorry.

I need to see your scars.

I need to see evidence of past sacrifice to take any assertion of future sacrifice seriously.

Otherwise, you’re just another “personality” trying to get attention.


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Andrew Hall escaped a childhood of religious indoctrination and is now a non-miserable human being. He's made millions of people laugh as well as angry. (He hopes he's made the right people annoyed.) Targets...