The Inner Circle

J.C. LaCroix Power Tactics

At some point, it is an absolute certainty that you will develop enemies. If you are operating properly, these conflicts should be entirely manageable. However, all people make mistakes, if for no other reason that you are not omniscient. You may not even be aware of their existence. This makes you vulnerable. The ones you need to be concerned about, are the ones who wish your destruction or the disruption of your credibility and image to such an extent that you are outcast from society to such a degree as to be ineffective for a large portion of your life. Let us call these individuals nemesis, and let us call a full push against you by the nemesis a critical threat. Think of every figure in history who operated with complete devotion to their goals: Gandhi, Alexander the Great, Machiavelli, Henry Ford, John F. Kennedy, and even Jesus – they all died with enemies, with many dying because of their nemesis. The only person I have ever encountered who lived and died without a single enemy was the Buddha, and sorry, I’m not trying to walk around with a rice-bowl. It is a simple truth that the higher you ascend, no matter your beliefs or values, you will develop nemesis, if for no other reason than they conflict with your goals, or resent your success.

The insurance policy for this eventuality is the Inner Circle.

Most people already have one. The reason: Humans are naturally tribal by nature. Once people leave their families, or even as they remain at home, they instinctively develop a series of base friendships that last for long periods of time. Those without family ties, such as myself, do this even more fiercely. Often, the Inner Circle, with time, comes to supersede the family, in terms of devotion and loyalty. Of course, this is because people will always prefer what they have chosen to what they have inherited (ask any trust fund baby once the honeymoon period has worn off). Street Gangs operate according to this concept, which is why we usually avoid conflict with them. People in the upper echelons of financial and political power absolutely operate with this mindset, which is why they survive and even thrive in an environment that is always producing critical threats. What this article will do is show you how to step-back, take conscious control of this instinct and harness it for maximum benefit.

First, let us look at what you are giving to the Inner Circle:

  • You are, above all, giving genuine loyalty and devotion to the members. You will not lie, cheat, manipulate, steal, harm, infringe upon, or dominate them. Resist all instincts to become alpha of the group. Refuse it, if offered. Of course, this makes you vulnerable, but we will deal with that. The utmost rule is that these people are sacrosanct.
  • You are offering them your assistance in the event of a critical threat.
  • You are giving your knowledge and expertise to them, in whatever sectors you have it to offer.
  • You are giving what time and energy you can to their company, to maintain connection.
  • You are not projecting image to them. As best you can, acknowledging that you change over time, you are acting as the real you. Of course, you do not have to directly speak about being a Darkworker, but you can if you like – anyone who cares will know anyway, even if they don’t have the vocabulary to describe it.

Now, let us turn our attention to what you are receiving:

  • You are establishing a social safe-zone. As you walk the path, you will see that there is a tendency towards increasing isolation, which leads to a stagnancy I will call social rot. While not powerful, this is an antidote. If you do not walk the path, then you will find that times when you simply feel apathetic in general can be rapidly treated by spending time with these people.
  • With the loyalty being reciprocated, you have a hidden reserve in the event of a critical threat. If your Inner Circle is exposed to the nemesis, their cost of action will be higher, giving you more time to discover and prepare for their assault.
  • By being genuine, you are guarding against diffusion. Often, we have to wear masks in the world – be it by conscious choice, or because our environment (workplace, for example) expects a certain type of behavior. If you do not have a place where you can act genuine, you will succumb to diffusion, a sense of loss of self. Guard against it here.
  • You are gaining access to their knowledge and expertise in areas that you otherwise may not have the time or interest to develop. While it seems ancillary, this is often one of the most powerful aspects of the Inner Circle.
  • Finally, you are gaining a sort of social anti-anxiety medicine. As you develop confidence in different spheres, this will fortify you as the reality lags behind the desired self-image. For example, it is easier to risk your job if you know there is a place where you can hole-up for a while. Effectively, this is an artificial expansion of your comfort-zone, which you can leverage.

Which brings us to the most important part of all: Induction. This is where people go wrong. Most of the time, they simply allow anyone they feel a personal connection to into their Inner Circle. This is a mistake. If you feel that sort of inner-ping with someone, then by all means, be friends with them, and treat them accordingly. But, don’t just slap it on someone who tickles your fuzzy-button. The inner circle is a holy thing, act as thought it is such. Membership must be earned. Of course, if you find a lifetime partner, they should be Inducted. After all, if you can’t Induct them, why form a lifetime commitment with them? It is as much your love and respect for them as for yourself that drives this requirement. Here, I will show you the criteria that I have refined up to this point, and using these will help you avoid some common pitfalls:

  • You must know the person for at least one year, no exceptions. This allows you to separate what you feel from what you think about the person. Further, it gives you time to observe, and in that observation gain knowledge of the person’s true self.
  • The person must exhibit the character trait of loyalty, especially if you can discover their Inner Circle and evaluate how they treat them. When evaluating this, go by what they do not by what they say.
  • The person must demonstrate that they are not overly needy, or prone to constant drama in their lives.
  • Try to select individuals who will yield a moderate to small time and effort requirement.
  • Everyone has major, external goals (things they want to do or achieve in the world) that do not change, or change slowly. These should not overlap yours, so as to prevent potential conflict in areas where you cannot yield. Likewise, this should be true of all members of the circle, to prevent conflicting loyalties, and it helps to diversify spheres of influence.
  • Through observation, try to determine the person’s top three values. You must share at least one. The mutual expression of this value will maintain the connection, even if the other two conflict.
  • The person must have knowledge and expertise in some area which I value, but have neither the time nor interest to develop. In short, the person must generate, at minimum, one form of intellectual leverage. This also satisfies the respect criterion, that you must respect the members of your circle.
  • The person must not annoy me more than one-quarter of the time that I spend with them. While it sounds obvious, most people go wrong here, a lot. As a tip, remember that people naturally take the path of least resistance most of the time, and generally try not to annoy other people. If you are being annoyed more than this, you are probably being manipulated by the other person, consciously or subconsciously.

The person must pass the tests, which I call your gauntlet (see below).

These are a minimum criteria, and you should create your own. I am picky, you should be as well. Be flippant with the Inner Circle at your own risk. As a general rule, try to limit this to no more than 12 people, unless you have significant time leverage. Anything more than that will collapse or weaken. Worse yet, you will be seen as disloyal, which is an aspect of your reputation which you must guard with everything you have.

Finally, that brings us to the gauntlet. I am a strong proponent of the social school of psychology. This sub-field says that the best way to test and evaluate a person is not to give them a stupid written essay, survey, or quiz. It is to replicate the situation and see what they actually do. Brilliant idea, if you ask me. Keep in mind, as soon as I am even courting someone for the Inner Circle, I make them Sacrosanct immediately. After all, someone worthy enough of the Circle will be testing you back as well. This means that I do not create these situations, I simply wait as long as it takes for them to occur.

  • Gateway Bond Test: You are trying to ascertain that the other person has bonded with you enough to see how they will treat a comrade. In short, you have to make sure you’re high enough on their ladder for them to give a fuck. Otherwise, the results of the Guantlet are invalid. Now, I use sex. The compulsion for sex is powerful, and its very nature is to cause people to over-ride their value systems. So, I wait for there to be a person we are both meaningfully interested in, I declare my claim very loudly, and see how they respond when I fail with that person. If they retract from persuit, they pass. Of course, if the person is into males on a sexual level, then I find what their chief non-sexual vice is and tempt against that. They only have to succeed once, even if they fail other times, to pass. Remember, this test is for the bond, not loyalty. And, failing this test does not reject someone from courtship. The bond might not have matured for them yet.
  • Investment Test: I wait until the person is swamped or distracted, and make a demand on their time. However, be prudent with this – if a demand on their time would cost them their partner or job, wait for a better time. You’re looking for companions, not slaves. If they give when it is inconvenient, they pass. If not, they fail.
  • Sacrifice Test: Knowing this person, I know what their major goals are, and what their minor goals are, and how much those goals mean to them. Knowing me, they know the same. So, I wait for them to have to help me with a major goal in some way, versus the pursuit of a trivial goal for theirself. If they sacrifice or temporarily delay a trivial goal for my major desires, then I know I have earned their respect.
  • Value Test: If I have values that are incongruent from theirs, given that we have a shared value, then I highlight all these values, including the shared one. I do this until the bond-test repeats. This test is often missed, but critical. Failure of this test often means future disloyalty.
  • Brotherhood/Sisterhood Test: Here, I wait for us to face some mutual obstacle or problem, and simply see if they carry their weight the entire way though.
  • Crisis Test: Here is the culmination of the gauntlet. I simply wait for one of my critical sectors (home, job, major goals, primary relationship, or life etc) to be threatened. Then, I ask for their help. Usually, I wait until I have passed their crisis test before putting out my call. This eliminates any doubt they may have about reciprocity. Allthough, it is important that in their crisis, they actually ask for the help. This can take some time. If they pass this final scenario, they are fully Inducted.

Now, at this point you must communicate the Induction. Dear God, do not say “You, my brother/sister, have been chosen to be part of the Inner Circle. We will sacrifice many a goat and dance in celebration, you have but to accept”. That is mother-fucking gay as all hella-shit. This communication does not have to be literal, but it must be open and direct. For example, I call my Inner Circle members Roadies, and tell them they are family to me. I also add that any threat to them is a threat to me. Simple. Honest. Not lame. I swear, if I actually hear that you use the phrase Inner Circle when you induct someone, I will make a special trip to burn dogshit on your doorstep.

Of course, this raises the issue as to when to remove people from the Circle. I will remark more on this later, but as a general rule it should only be done when they fail you during a critical threat, repeatedly show minor to moderate disloyalty, or change to such an extent that they now violate a majority of the selection criteria. Remember, if you cannot hold fast through incontinent times, your Inner Circle isn’t really a Circle at all. If you are applying the criteria and test properly, this should not be a constant problem. Also, do not rush to get members if you don’t have a Circle. These bonds are like a rich, aged wine. A Circle which truly adds to your power takes time, and patience. Remember the Third Ethic: Restrain Yourself. The reward for good path-walking at this point cannot be understated. My own inner circle has only four members, has saved me from the brink more times than I can count, and I would trade it for nothing.

Finally, to wrap this up, I’d like to take a moment to discuss a few common types of Inner Circles: the cabal, the ring, and the dynasty, with examples of each.

Cabal: This is a group of Lightworkers or Darkworkers who have openly announced their path-walk to each other. And, they share some goal common to their respective paths, and their loyalty is generally limited to the pursuit of that goal. No matter their polarity, these groups tend to achieve power very rapidly, but ultimately degenerate into temporal power. This happens because the goal begins to rise up and become more important than the bonds. I call this the fanaticism phase. With the bonds subsumed, islands develop within the cabal of those who have differing outlooks on the goal itself. These groups then fight amongst themselves, starting the dominance phase. Eventually, one group takes relative control, while the struggle still flares up. At this point, the group that sits in power must pursue its agenda and also fend off the other groups. So, they reach for temporal power, and now the goal is subjugated to the pursuit of influence. I call this the machine phase, and it can last for a very long time. Usually, the group collapses when it is either destroyed by infighting, or achieves enough influence to be perceived as a threat or corruption by the society at large. On the Lightworker side, an example of this is the Red Cross; On the Darkworker side, an example of this is the WTO. Again, this is why ideally, members should not share major goals. I strongly advise against both the founding of these groups, and active membership.

The Ring: In this Inner Circle, the group is typified by a strong alpha-figure, who no matter the goal of the group, ultimately has yes-no power on all new entrants. The key problem here is that the group is loyal to the leader first, and the other members second. The alpha-problem arises. This type of group is very powerful, but that power has a ceiling because it is concentrated on the leader. It is very vulnerable to infighting, because the leader is the only one who can resolve internal conflict. Splinter groups form in a predictable way as the power rises, similar to the way we can predict the advance of computer processor technology. And, if the leader is struck, the group is weakened, a lot of times, beyond repair. The main problem here is that the danger is too high that you can become a sacrificial lamb. Mainly, this happens because the critical threats to the leader automatically trump your own. This is precisely why you want to avoid being the alpha of your Inner Circle. Examples include the Crypts, the Bloods, the 700 Club, and working for Mel Gibson.

The Dynasty: This is an Inner Circle that is based on family members. Obviously, if you come out of a Sacrosanct vagina, you’re in for life. Although, every Dynasty does open up to non-family members. Usually, these are either very good, or very bad, depending on one trait. Does the family encourage its members to pursue a similar goal? If they do, do they rotate-out which family member is actively pursuing this goal, and encourage the others to pursue other goals as they wait their turn? Finally, if the family requires that the members must maintain a public image, do they privately encourage moments of free action that are monitored and controlled? If the above answers are yes, then this Dynasty can become nearly unstoppable, and more stable than Peter North’s wood. If not, then this Dynasty will generate and collapse just like a cabal, because that is what it becomes. The prime example of a successful dynasty is the Bush family. Notice that Colin Powell is in the Bush Inner Circle, and even though the address to the United Nations went against all his values, he still remained loyal. Their Kung-Fu is strong, I say. On the flip-side, an improperly formed Dynasty was the Kennedy’s. Again, watch that overlap, and make sure you’re reliving image-stress and diffusion, otherwise one of your kids will drown a girl in a river and you’re all screwed. If properly formed, I strongly recommend founding and membership. If not, run like all hell.