A recent Wired Magazine article posits the following about the inevitable nature of both a successful entrepreneur and a successful iconoclast: “A certain amount of megalomania is a prerequisite for any entrepreneur. You can’t believe you’re the world’s best answer to an important problem without at times coming off like an arrogant prick.”
No matter what stance you have when it comes to WikiLeaks, there is no denying that the project is something of a cult with Julian Assange as the leading figure, not unlike the counterculture icon Ken Kesey depicted in Tom Wolfe’s novelized non-fiction The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test or the cult of capitalism and its never-ending wonders depicted in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
Either way, these figures manage to get followers to drink the Kool-Aid, and get in line for their golden tickets. But these people do not have a magical hold on everyone. Followers could be impressionable, or they could be using their membership in a group to fulfill something in their own lives without the need to be in the centre of it. There’s always a co-dependency between cult leaders and their disciples.