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Join Me

5 August, 2004 6:33 PM

Has anyone out there read Join Me?

Someone gave it to me for a bit of a fun read a week or so back.

It is fun and I have read it and would recommend you get yourself a copy and do likewise. Its a true story about a guy (Danny Wallace) who probably had a little too much time on his hand one day and put an ad in a local paper that simple said 'JOIN ME' and invited people to do so by sending him a passport photo.

At the time he didn't really have much idea of what he was inviting people to 'join' but join people did. At first it was one but if you check out his Join Me Website you'll see that his 'joinees' number in their thousands.

In time Danny worked out he needed to have some sort of mission for people to participate in and so initially it became to 'make old men happy' which later was expanded into Random Acts of Kindness every Friday.

The book is wittily written but also indirectly (so far) says quite a bit about human nature - particularly about the desire people have for community, to make a difference and working together. I'm intrigued by the story and would recommend you check it out.

Comments

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Let's see if this works.

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I was saying that I was aware of this, and the thought it leads me to is if people are so willing to join very little, then what is it about Christianity that is offputting? when Jesus holds the keys to life and freedom for the world.

Lucy

Lucy » 6 August, 2004 3:17 AM

Man, that's my kind of cult! :) The story is completely inspiring - I think I gotta find the book now.

Michelle » 6 August, 2004 8:09 PM

Well! I detect a sign of the 'cult' in Join-Me.
I have visited their website and been viewing their forum.
It seems there is the banding together of members to defend their philosophy and also the use of coercion to recruit and retain members.
The very name and phrase "Join-Me" speaks volumes; slightly mysterious and inviting, promising the revelation of more things when a person has joined - along with the appearance of offering association with a group interested in making the world a better place. Who could resist or fail to be fascinated?

I have now read some of their forum topics and was struck particularly by the sense of a "family" here, with an ever-growing acceptance of a new thought and outlook replacing previous ideas and notions. I found out you have to sign an "agreement" to conduct kind acts on a Friday. Thus there is some control or regulation evident. What is the Gold, Silver and Platinum hierarchy but controlled 'approval' by rewarding members with a higher status?
I discovered odd games, obscure activities and strange phrases abound ostensibly to strengthen morale. (More likely these are devised to induce loyalty and promote obedience)
Then there are the so-called 'Atlantean' members at the heart of Join-Me who claim to have lived on the fabled lost continent in a previous life whose mission is to guide and direct the members from 'within'....

I don`t think I`m going overboard when I state that 'cults' desire people who are intelligent, idealistic, educated, intellectually curious and not too old. I saw many joinees who fall directly into these categories 'within' Join-Me. I have found it pays to be watchful.
Even the leader, the one with the "Big Idea", a youngish man with a trendy, modern image and untarnished reputation appears to have carefully groomed and fashioned his appearance to appear pleasant and plausible for the publicity machine and also identify and gel with an unsuspecting and green younger generation. He probably made a fortune out of this book I just finished reading. But hey! good luck to him.

It wouldn`t surprise me that the strange group gatherings and 'meets' are when the pressure tactics come into force. This seems a most likely time for the pyschological assaults, or the 'love bombing' to manifest itself together with any financial obligations or money soliciting...

I accept that I may have got it all wrong, I hope I have. It`s just that it all seems to 'pat', too simplistically clever if you know what I mean, too good to be ringing entirely true. ;)
I know I wouldn`t want to give up my education, my hopes and my ambitions to follow a RAINBOW.

MetalAngel. :)

MetalAngel » 15 August, 2004 8:59 PM

'Join Me' is not a cult, they expect nothing of you other than to be nice, you sign nothing, pay nothing.

Just read a book and be nice. Simple.

a joinee » 26 August, 2004 2:06 PM

The silver/gold/platinum thing was invented purely as a way to recognise and thank the most active/obsessive/busy Joinees for the time and effort we put in. I certainly didn't get my "Gold Joinee Hidden Secrets and World Domination" handbook when I was gilded back in June - maybe it got lost in the post?

You don't have to give up anything to be a Joinee. It slots in really easily around whatever else you do, and it seems to be compatible with pretty much every major religion. We *Do Not Have* the "answer to everything" (42!) or path to eternal life/happiness/chocolate/etc. All we've got is an idea for an unusual hobby, and a very disorganised Leader who is also quite a good writer of comedy travelogues (see previous book "Are You Dave Gorman?").

(oh, and MetalAngel = "Atlantis Aten". some anonymous troll who haunts the Join Me forum sporadically. Apparently not a Joinee, nor has he ever been to a Meet. Typical meet = drinking session, btw.)

Gold Joinee Matt Fowler » 1 September, 2004 6:39 AM


Join Me is non relgious and non political which is why it appeals to people who are not relgious minded.

It's a bit of fun and shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Gold Joinee Smith » 3 September, 2004 1:24 AM

Join Me is bleedin' brilliant. I've met some of my best friends through it, and there IS NO obligation!

What's the worst that could happen??

PS you look great today!

Silver Joinee Bee » 3 September, 2004 6:33 PM

Oh Atlantis you scamp... I feel like a member of the groovy gang...

Join Me is great... I echo Matts thoughts..

Can't wait to see the guys again... just to clear something up.. I am a twenty something professional, I have a wide and varied circle of friends, a good job and am a definate Happy Chappy. Join Me is a hobby, its fun and well thats it... It makes people smile.. and well makes me smile.

Silver Joinee Bonathan » 3 September, 2004 6:55 PM

Love-bombing? Beer-bombing, perhaps.
Cult? No way. Any more than flash mobs are a cult activity. Join Me is just a group of nice people who do random acts of kindness then go for a drink.

Joinee Kate » 3 September, 2004 7:26 PM

Join Me rocks. I've become friends with an awesome bunch of people and in no way do I feel "controlled" by it. I think I can quite safely say i am still in charge of mt own thoughts. And the leader didn;t even have to tell me to say that. (that last bit was a joke, just in case you were confused and about to send someone to rescue me)

Joinee Buckley-Reynolds » 16 November, 2004 7:13 AM

Im a joinee,

I joined because it was not political or religious.
You dont sign anything or pay anything. If you want to you can do good deeds on a friday,.... or any other day really,..... I think it has grown above and beyond anything that words could possibly describe.

It is filled with loving, kind hearted people of all different religions, race and any ethnic background you can think of!

Danny is not trying to be a god or anything of the sort, he is a man who kinda got outa his depth very quickly. Its good that he is there but join me has become 'self propelling'. Even if he retired or moved on, it would still be there, it would still grow and good deeds would still be done.

Its a way of life and a good club to be a part of. There are no commitments, you dont have any riturals to complete (well, there is the drinking part). All you have to do is make anyone happy, this could be just a smile in a corridor or opening a door for someone.

I have been happier as a joinee than ever before. you will too if you join.

Andy

PS, the dictionary also describes cult as:

Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
The object of such devotion.

An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.

Joinee Andrew Sweeney » 16 November, 2004 11:15 AM

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