Monday, July 8, 2013
Cult or Culture - Culture or Vulture?
Here is a post and some responses from the BlueBoard that are worth repeating. The spark was a suggestion that Null's operation and some aspects of WBAI itself may be a "cult." The author uses the telling handle, Former Listener, Member, Volunteer, and if ever the nail was hit on the head...
I added a couple of interesting responses at the bottom and hope that you will add your own. Faction feuding having prevented a real dialogue from taking place on the BlueBoard, I hope you all know that all reasonable (i.e. not frivolously venomous or trollish) comments are welcomed here—and there are NO UNMENTIONABLE NAMES! Apropos this old forum, it's good to see that keenly observed, intelligently worded truth is surfacing here while infantile trolling seems to be in decline.
Former Listener, Member, Volunteer: My experience with listening a few times to the laughable "Dr." Gary Null show, and having the distinct displeasure of taking pledges from his desperate, terrified zombies begging (in tears) for me to ship the premiums even if they couldn't afford the "price" all at once... I think that he and his listeners/worshipers have many cult aspects. I will never forget or forgive those painful moments at WBAI. Preying upon NYC's multitudes of desperate people with smooth-FM-delivery of such a toxic message. No, I'll never forgive that. Never.
On a lighter note, here are some obvious-to-anyone-with-a-brain off-the-cuff observations re Null as Cult:
2. Null's near-constant refrain of "I - and only I - know something that 'they' won't tell you, and 'they' are persecuting me for it." You know, awesome truths like HIV doesn't cause AIDS... so buy my Berry Boosters! I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life! Talk about quality educational radio!
3. Charismatic media personality attracting desperate people in search of healing and meaning. Gary's FM radio voice stylings make me nauseous, but apparently they are nectar for some people's ears. Demographic analysis suggest that the loons are disproportionately white, affluent, and feel very VERY entitled to eternal life.
4. Enablers and leeches like WBAI-FM and Pacifica who will, in turn, tell you that it's Gary's ability to bring in that $$$, his sacred free speech, all that $$$, and the holy factional revenge required after his due process was ignored by the devilish other-faction head Bernie, plus all that $$$, - and did I mention the $$$? - that are of paramount importance, instead of the Pacifica Mission statement. No, the Pacifica Mission statement is irrelevant in the face of apocalypse, factional jollies, smooth FM radio marketing, and all that $$$. Of course, Pacifica was never smart enough (or perhaps this was purposeful) to realize that for every $ you got with "Dr." Null, there's no telling how many $$$$$$$$ you lost from sane listeners. Who could possibly tell their friends to listen to a station with Gary Null on it? No, excuse me, where Gary Null is the - far and away - NUMBER ONE ATTRACTION, often played and replayed ad nauseam (literally) to extract the last cent from his worshipful flock. Even if the "scare away" effect from garbage offerings and programming wasn't enough - did it EVER OCCUR TO ANYONE that all of WBAI's/Pacifica's eggs shouldn't be in one basket? Of course not, because... you see...
It's a cult.
But please don't take my word for it...
"... there is a quick and cost-free solution to WBAI's (and Pacifica's) worsening financial crisis. And that is to invite Gary Null back to WBAI --." - Steve Brown, on this very Blueboard, Wednesday, 28 May 2008, at 11:41 pm
HAAAHAAHAHAAAHAHAHAAHAHAAA!!! Please, please, that last part again! "." - Oh, please again again! - " ." - - More, more!!! - " ."
Oh now, maybe I'm being a bit rough on the whole Null faction. Perhaps we should ask an outstanding judge of broadcasting quality and character.
"Gary Null Is Almost OUR ONLY HOPE for SAVEING Our OWN NATION = As WELL as THE WORLD !!!!!" - Monroe Litman, de facto Program Director of WBAI for decades, on this very Blueboard, Monday, 31 October 2011, at 4:34 pm.
Bigger than JESUS, I tells ya! BIGGER THAN JESUS! Steve says he'll save the station (obviously, that worked!) and Monroe says he'll save America and the World (5 exclamation points... if only there had been a sixth, I would have believed him.)
You know, now that I look back at my post, I do regret the anger. Not at "Dr." Null and the Null faction or even WBAI generally, but at listeners I wrongly called "loons" and "zombies." I have been in desperate places, and I have been open to and fallen for artful deception as well. More than once. That didn't make me stupid or bad. I regret my moral error and apologize.
Many WBAI boosters will tell you how "powerful" radio is... only to forget that radio is, indeed, powerful.
IndigoPirate (another astute observant) responded:
With respect: Even though you may have used those words, I felt your empathy for their desperation was clear, and that your anger was not directed at them but at the horror of their situation and the fact that it would be taken advantage of by a fraud-scam-meister like Null.
Tank Hankerous (rarely, but occasionally, cantankerous) added:
I think it was earlier this year or late last year, he was calmly screaming (as only he can) about solar flares. Solar flares are coming, he said, he knew "experts" who said that "the big one" was coming down any day now and it would be THE END OF EVERYTHING ELECTRONIC. Donate now and you would receive a survival kit that would prepare you for every eventuality in this post-electronic world which would be bereft of phones, the internet, TV, and radio.
That's correct, no radio. So what the fuck was the point in making a donation to a facility that was going to be fried in the upcoming apocalypse? Talk about a shitty investment strategy. He doesn't care. No one at the station cares.