A Secret Society or a Conspiracy Theory….?

Mastering Manipulative Magic – part 2.

Yesterday Brian Campbell wrote a shocking letter to of all those people who believe they can succeed in using social media but are not yet part of the secret alliance that has established itself on Facebook and other similar sites.

Dramatic Sales Letter

If you are reading this post and you don’t know what I am talking about then I guess you should check out this link first, this is where Brian pulled out all the stops and went in everyone’s face with a very dramatic sales letter

A Secret Society

Before I analyse what Brian is up to I would like to start with a story, one that dates back almost 1000 years it tells how a small group of people transformed the world forever. They were very secret and highly organised and no one really knew how they managed to get so successful so quickly and how they suddenly had the power to bring down kingdoms and left a legacy that still has people wondering even today. They are of course the Knights Templar. A secret brotherhood who exploded onto the scene in Europe and dominated the political and economic situation for nearly 200 years. They communicated through secret codes and symbols that only those who were initiated understood, they set up the foundations and structure for what later became the modern financial system known today as banking.

Threatening The Existing Structures of Power

How did they grow such a huge network starting from nothing? How did they become so powerful so quickly? Why is it that the Kings and Barons of the time were powerless to stop what they were doing and had no choice but to join forces? Why did they threaten the power of the Roman Catholic church so much and make the King of France conspire to have them arrested and killed? Why was it that they then continued to operate hidden and underground to this day and left a trail and legacy across several continents and their secrets still remain a mystery?

The Puppet or the Puppet Master

One thing about secret organisations is that they know something others don’t, and they use that knowledge to their advantage. Stockbrokers call it insider trading. They act on information that is shared only in their network and this gives them a competitive edge over everyone else. Some people call these groups cartels or even mafia. They know how the system works and they play it like a puppet , pulling hidden strings and all you ever see are the effects you never know who the real puppet masters are.

Conspiracy Theory

Brian just released his modern day conspiracy theory, trying to motivate people into taking a certain action. Right now it is just to join his group and post on its wall. Do you know what the viral effects of 100 people posting on one wall does on facebook and how far that can spread? P.R.I.S.M. members are probably the only people who truly understand how to harness the power of viral marketing with social media, and are also the ones who know how to use it most effectively. “Prism is defined as a transparent glass that disperses light into a spectrum. Like prism, the knowledge we get from P.R.I.S.M. will be dispersed to help the many others succeed in Social Media. “(Ed. Tamondong Jr.)

Brians Communication

Lets take a look at the copy Brian uses in his letter and maybe we can learn what he is trying to communicate . He is using a very clever technique that amplifies the fear and pain of being the odd one out, the outsider, the one who struggles in vain, swimming against the tide.

They are many, you are only one.

They know the secrets, you hope to get lucky.

They control the social network, you react to it.

They are the lense through which opportunities pass.

They work effortlessly, while you constantly struggle.

You are powerless against them.

They exist, although you resist the truth.

They can’t be matched, you’re powerless to compete with them for any resources they want to control online.

Their secrets are so amazingly powerful, they aren’t leaked out and taught anywhere else.

They exist and I can PROVE it!

As another clear but more subtle example of this technique take a look at another email and see if you can spot the similarities this is one that Martin Allsop used on exactly the same day to his group members.

Coincidence or Collusion

Why are two of the major players on facebook coming out with Identical tactics on the same day?

Brian clearly stated that Martin was one of the people who helped him the most when he was first getting started on facebook. Here is what Martin wrote, I’ll let you judge for yourself.

Remember when you were in school and there was always something you didn’t get told or some secrets you didn’t get to find out?

In those early years there was always someone who knew more who you could learn from and yet they didn’t think you should know what other people know.

Didn’t that make you feel curious?

The Same Message Repeated

Now Martins approach is a bit more subtle and softer that Brian’s and is not as direct and in your face but it effectively says the same thing, i.e there are people who know things you don’t and they are making you feel inferior, weak and left out. Of course each of them are offering a way out of the dilemma, being such kind hearted gents they wouldn’t want you to suffer or be left out in the cold. Here they show that the doors are open, you can see the warm fire blazing in the hearth and the others who are already inside are enjoying the banquet. You are hesitant, not sure if you want to join them or if you want to keep on your lonely cold journey alone. Going inside might take you on a whole new direction . Are you ready for the challenge? Are you ready for the success that is promised by crossing the threshold?

Ooops, I just caught myself doing the same thing, sorry about that I was supposed to be explaining how and why this technique works not testing it out on my unsuspecting readers. Back to the analysis….

Amplifying the Pain

Amplifying your pain is a marketing tactic that is hugely effective and is taught as standard to most sales people. First identify the prospects biggest problems and challenges. Now turn up the volume , increase the pain, amplify it by giving a lot of negative examples and place the prospect in the position of the person who is suffering. By doing this you tend to induce an unpleasant emotional response you are hitting them in their weakest spot, you are playing on all their fears and insecurities. Next the salesperson shows that there is a way out of this problem and offers you the solution. Now if you have a good salesperson they will recommend the solution that is in your best interests and not just their own. Because they know their reputation is at stake and they want customers coming back, satisfied customers give great referrals to their friends. Just check out a few of the testimonials if you don’t believe me

Another Modern Day Example

I will give you a more modern day version that I experienced last year when I bought my girlfriend a new computer. The sales guy was great, he had manoeuvred us into buying the best laptop they had by some careful persuasion and we were just about to pay when he started trying to sell us insurance on top. Telling us about all the bad things that could happen like spilling a cup of coffee on the keyboard or dropping it etc,etc. I won’t tell you the outcome but I was impressed with his persistence even when there was a long queue of people behind us.

An Old Strategy

This is not a new technique it has been practiced for centuries by all the influencer and persuaders throughout history. One of the earliest examples of this type of salesmanship was done by Guatama the Buddha when he stated his 4 noble truths. He Identified the nature of suffering , he showed the origin and cause of the suffering , he showed the cessation of suffering , and he showed the path to the cessation of suffering. I don’t want to go into further details because you can follow the links if you want to know more, what I wanted to point out is that this technique is not good or bad in itself, it is just a very effective technique to get people motivated to take action. This is what Buddha wanted. He said you had to work for you own enlightenment, you didn’t just get it wallowing in self pity and suffering. Equally Brian is making a call only to those individuals who feel they have what it takes and are willing to take the necessary steps.

Don’t Sit on the Fence

He has promised me that he is not going to be subtle any more so if you are on one of his mailing lists, expect to be bombarded these next few days with all the powerful sales techniques he has in his arsenal. If you are sitting on the fence be prepared to get knocked off.


  1. I love your blog!
    Very insightful.

  2. deborahbeatty says:

    Here here! I read Brian’s post and immediately forwarded a copy to the powers that be at Facebook. This is definitely against the guidelines he agreed to when he created an account!

    I, too, have seen the rise of the same few everywhere. I actually contacted a member of one of the groups that was sending me an average of 4 emails a day telling me how to grow my group. I wrote to her asking her to join mine and received a very curt answer that she only was interested in joining groups where there were more than 500 members already.

    Looks like the social networking sites are either going to have to toughen their membership standards or those of us who are committed to ethical business practices will have to start our own using joomla or ning and refuse admittance to those who would capitalize on their memberships.

    Makes me a bit sad.

  3. Soliloquise music says:

    Deborah, what exactly is Brian doing that is unethical and against guidelines?

    We all capitalize on our memberships, that is the point of facebook and other such sites !
    Social networking !

    The very fact that you have a group that you asked someone to join means you were ” capitalizing ” on your account in the very same way that you are criticising Brian for!

    Except of course Brian does not need to invite anyone, people are coming to him.

    Brian has a great track record and is providing very useful info to those of us who seek to develop our marketing techniques. I am grateful for what he has shared so far.

  4. AnitasPen says:

    Am I missing something or is Deborahbeatty not understanding the purpose of what Brian is doing?

    My understanding is that Brian is teaching everyone who wants to learn, how they too can market on Facebook and yes, even other social networking sites.

    Brian is teaching a system that works, and if you are willing to listen and learn, you won’t be left out in the cold.

    I for one, have been witnessing Brians success as an Internet Marketer and am looking forward to learning more from him.

    I’m sure Facebook has been more than aware of Brian Campbell, what he is doing and what he is offering and teaching. I don’t see that he is doing anything wrong.

    The idea behind Brian’s PRISM group is that he is selecting the members he is willing to work with selectively and to teach them what he already is teaching to others. He is only taking on so many members at a time.

    If you want Brian to teach you, he is asking that you show your interest by participating in the PRISM group.

    I don’t see anything wrong with that, and I am excited by it.

  5. Jim Marsh says:

    Great blog post. How do you come up with this stuff. Even the time to put that much thought into it. I commend you on your analytical approach to your blog.



  6. cf perez says:

    Sooner or later we are going to be leaving the arena of actual marketing and find ourselves in product or service sales where these tactics abound.

    It’s how gangs are started: Be A Part of Something!

    But we are all gangs, and these tactics are but new memes restyled from the old, “crowd consciousness” which makes unwise decisions for us when we imbibe the “kool aid.”

    How far does a person need to be inducted? What motivates a person to join?

    Why is it that these circles of friends (which sound so promising!)
    must rely on negative impulses to trigger a response?

    There are other means of gathering a crowd to ones’ side. They operate more slowly perhaps, but they perform as a long-run affiliation.

    I have read these appeals and do not find them compelling, perhaps because I am comfortable with the slow growth of my own Facebook account.

    And, I have had major success, not by marketing to large numbers of people, but by finding individuals whose alignments were close to mine, and sending a personal message.

    Naturally, I had to explain how aligned we were before making any pitch, but that has been 100% successful in my marketing efforts.


  7. Conspiracy stories are legion. The Knights Templar’s came to a bad end. A fascinating story, though. While they were the bankers of kings and popes their inside knowledge saved many from torture and death. Their leader was not so lucky. Jacques DeMolay was burned at the stake on March 18, 1314. Their fabled fortune was never found. See Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Baigent,Leigh and Lincoln.

  8. Oh my, how they fall into line. Kinda reminds me of lemmings rushing into the sea.

    Good post.

  9. Sophie Hovdekorp says:

    I can very well relate to the description of how a reader would react to a campaign like Brians.

    I went along, joined up and listened to the first call he send out.

    It blew the whole campaign. All I heard was a guy rambling on and on for nealy an hour without saying anything.

    So. There may be a trick or two to home people in on the game – but if you suck, people will leave at once.

    I actually saw that several of my higher end friends left right after me.

  10. cf perez says:

    The point of our marketing efforts in the new age of Web 2.0 is to enter into a conversation.

    Now, at a party where several individuals are unacquainted, there is a process.

    But one of them usually is not, “Hey you could belong with us if only [insert condition here].”

    And as many who understand the social issue of the street gang member, vulnerable and wanting to belong, joining means a commitment away from the previous fears of not having a brother (especially one with a gun).

    Gang members who are interviewed in jail after a horrific crime spree always talk about the need to belong, to feel themselves a part of something.

    But that (we suppose) is a gang member’s desperate psychology.

    And then we come across it again in this language of belonging invoked in the Brian Campbell pitch.

    A lot of other people on the Internet do not suffer the same level of depravity (for attention and love) as a typical gang member.

    So, it will not fly with us. We want genuine reasons, each of them personal… or at least within our experience level… and this pitch is too “high-pitched” to reach the serious person who has navigated all the waters of commitment and still get around a hedge without stealing anything. Desperate pitches will attract desperate people.


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