project started with finding a cult, which was easy because I was already more
or less part of one: the Cult of Benrik
. It was an interesting group to research, not
only because of the surprising devotion of the members, but also because of the
humorous nature of what belonging meant.
I realized that one of the key factors keeping the
obedience of the cult members was that the ideology was open and honest about
its purposes The task was to design something for a society in which our chosen cult was the norm. What I decided to explore was the idea of honesty as a method for manipulation.
When someone was raised in a society dominated
by the Benrikian ideology, they would only ever be able to rebel against it
that originated within the constraints of that ideology. What fascinated me was that if
complete openness and honesty was a requirement for approval within that
ideology; would one have to be open and honest when criticizing that ideology? If so, how would the propaganda look?
To create the sense of the "Benrikian Society", I also designed some product packaging that set the context of such a society.