Cracked has been on a real tear lately. Traffic on our website continues to climb, we've just launched a hilarious and successful web sitcom, and we've still retained our reputation as one of the world leaders in producing failed magazines. But where do we go from here? How can we top the incredible achievements we've made to date? That’s right. We get stupid, make bold claims, and go several steps too far.
Like Coca Cola or McDonalds, we here at Cracked make an incredible product that is universally popular, and when enjoyed in moderation, a part of any healthy diet. But unlike those companies, we also have an intense craving for the world's population to erect towering ziggurats in our honor. Within our bones we know that everything we've worked for will come to nothing, if the story of Cracked isn't shouted from the rooftops and tattooed onto people's faces for the next twenty thousand years. That's why we're starting a cult.
After analyzing all the best cults, sects and otherwise shifty organizations, we’ve selected the defining features that made them what they were. Adapting those techniques to suit our own purposes and distinct style, we've created the plan which is outlined below. We’re publishing it here because as you'll plainly see, our methods are unstoppable. Even if our plot is common knowledge, all the world's presidents, newspapers and NCIS units will be powerless to stop us.
Step 1: We're going to need a better Origin Myth
If you thought Cracked originated as a variety magazine directed at the youths and feeble-minded of the 1950’s, you couldn’t be more wrong. You horse’s ass. No, here's the real story…
Forty thousand years ago, when man was still living in nests and burrows, aliens from the rogue planet Dangleon visited Earth. Their first contact with humans occurred at a small settlement, and as they landed around midday, most of the residents were already out, hunting and gathering food. The only humans left to greet the visitors were those too weak or ineffectual to do any work; these pitiful folk lived off the scraps provided by the others, and mainly busied themselves by running around, giggling, and pinching each other’s asses. The Dangleonians assumed that these idle fools were the elite class of humans, and over the next four hours taught them the ancient secrets of the Universe, which turned out to not be that complicated.
In the afternoon, after the Dangleonians had left Earth forever, these blessed few decided to keep their knowledge a secret from the fit and able bodied humans, and only use the information in the direst of circumstances or to impress women. They eventually passed their secrets on to the children they were finally fortunate enough to have, and over the generations this practice of secrecy was codified into the rules that formed the basis of our organization. Although we are most widely known in the current era as Cracked, throughout history we have been known by many names, including the "Knights Templar," the "Guhldan", and "Kelloggs."
Famous members of the Cracked organization throughout history include Alexander the Great, both Jesuses, Abraham Lincoln, and Matlock. Every major turning point in human history (except for the Crimean War; that one kind of got away from us) was orchestrated by our organization. Similarly, nearly every major advancement in technology has come from a Cracked initiate, from the steam engine right up to Fruit Roll-Ups (which are way more important than you ever imagined).
Step 2: Recruitment
To grow from our current size to a world spanning force of awe and stupidity, we'll need to expand our membership roles somewhat. To this end, we'll soon be holding open recruitment sessions for people who want to join the Cracked community. Whether you want to access the source of all power in the universe, or hear our eight sure-fire ways to bed exotic women, this is an incredible opportunity, and you would be a mouth-breathing piece of stool to not take advantage of it. And, just a reminder that as we're launching the mother of all pyramid schemes (we will be building several actual pyramids) it pays to get in early.
The other key element of building up a cult is enticing wealthy, attractive, or influential people to join. Is that you? Well, if you're reading this on a computer, while sitting in a kind of dumpy looking office chair, then no, it isn't. Sorry buddy, hope we weren't the first to tell you. You're still welcome to join, but you won't get one of the cool celebrity perks, like the pen or the zeta-particle massage chair. Those enticements go solely to the A or B-list celebrities who join, who will hopefully help attract others to the organization.
Our web stats tell us we don't have any celebrity fans yet, although we have made several of them enemies (Eat a dick Phil Donahue.) However, we do have some leads; apparently the guy from Chuck clicked on one of our links accidentally. He sounds like a good place to start; we've heard he's pretty lonely.
Step 3: Brainwashing
Brainwashing has gotten a bad reputation, which is unfortunate. All it really means is wiping a person’s entire persona away and replacing it with an empty shell of an existence, so as to better abuse them and transform them into a willing slave. That’s all.
The techniques for brainwashing are pretty straightforward, and we won't mess with them too much. By isolating new recruits from the outside world, placing them in stressful situations, and pummeling them with childish insults, we will break down their existing mental defenses in two two-hour sessions. After that we fill them with just enormous quantities of psychotropic drugs, and start with the reprogramming. All the important assets a Cracked initiate is expected to possess will be impressed upon them at this time, such as a sense of irony and a detailed knowledge of 80's breakfast cereals.
Once we've got then all kitted out with their new brains, our members will be given new outfits to wear. Many cults help enforce the isolation of their members by adopting specific fashions, to distinguish them from the outside society. Eventually we anticipate being able to provide all new Cracked initiates with the silk corsets and assless leather pants that will make up our new regalia. But until we get our finances in order, all members will be asked to purchase a yellow t-shirt and shin pads out of their own pockets, and wear them. Exclusively. In the winter months, they will also be allowed to wear gloves.
Step 4: Fund raising
As we transform from a benign to malevolent cancer on society, we're going to be diversifying away from this whole business of giving away content while scraping together advertising revenue from T shirt and Fleshlight manufacturers. To support this, all new members will be asked to make small donations to the cause. To encourage new members, fees will start out at the token amount of $5 per year, but will go up to several thousand dollars per year by the third day. We believe that this kind of commitment will be easier to digest once our members see the truth of Cracked’s message (it is so beautiful). Obviously, truer versions of the truth will be reserved for those who are brave enough to donate more, with the truest truth (provided on a complimentary USB thumb drive) bestowed upon anyone who becomes a member of the Eldar Platinum Reserve Club.
Step 5: Great Works
What will life be like in the coming Cracked-topia? Every day another dreary mass suicide to attend? Ha, no it won't be too bad. It definitely won’t all be oral sex parties and boutique-vodka tastings though - there will be quite a lot of the old back breaking labor. But it's honestly no worse than what you'd find working at a call center.
Cracked apostles will specifically be assigned to work on one of our great projects. Since before man began recording time we have been secretly working to prepare the world for the "Great Transition." This cataclysm is predicted to happen sometime between now and 8 million years from now, so don't even bother trying to pin us down on an exact date mister skeptic-pants.
Three things must be accomplished before this great day comes:
1: Cover the planet with our seed.
We're still a little unsure what the Dangleonians meant by this. It could mean placing Cracked worshipers in every part of the globe; having every living man, woman and child worship at our hilarious alters. Or, it could be masturbation related. Which is pretty nasty. Either way, we'll need a lot more dudes in our ranks, so our recruitment and growth plans will remain the same.
2: Build an Ark to convey the high priests to the promised land
Not as big a deal as it sounds. Cracked scholars have recently determined that the promised land is Cabo San Lucas. We'll definitely need a couple vans, but that shouldn't be an issue for a world-spanning mega-cult.
3: Destroy the moon
The Dangleonians fucking hated the moon, and were really insistent that we take care of it. We're hoping that moon destroying technology really takes a leap forward in the next couple centuries, otherwise a lot of you are going to have to do a lot of tedious work in a vacuum with pick axes and assless leather pants.
As for what the Great Transition is, the Dangleonians explained that it would mark a new phase in man's evolution; when the burdens and limitations of our kind are finally shed, and we evolve into the highest of all possible races, Elves.