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« "Relativism Died on January 31, 2002" | Main | Can the Bible Be Trusted? »

July 07, 2007


I like the old show biz opener:

"But enough about me...what did *you* think of my performance?"

Isn't that just another version of accidentally on purpose leaving something at a girl's house so you'll "have to" go back and get it?

I'm always paranoid that I'm being a pest and that somebody's going to read something into my motives if I keep finding reasons to have to interact with them. The last thing I want is to be a pest or a burden to somebody.

Personally, if you started out asking me for directions, and then went into a proselytizing routine, I would assume that your initial approach was a ruse. But that’s because I’m familiar with Christian street evangelism. Also the Church of Christ people used to ALWAYS do that to me when I lived at UCSD. They’d come up to you asking about some other topic and then transition to jesus. It gets pretty annoying after the third time it happens to you. I got to the point where I just assumed any stranger trying to talk to me on Library Walk was a jesus freak.

That said, bait-and-switch approaching can be very effective if done right. But I suggest some changes. You should conduct your approaches in front of a local restaurant (a little before lunch time). Try to make conversation with a single person of the same sex. If you’re male, approaching breeding age females will be much trickier and will dampen your proselytizing yield – as they are biased to find strange men suspect.

Approach your target as they are walking toward the door. This way, if you can hook them, and they want to hear more, you can venue change from a standing position to sitting in a booth (in the restaurant) – allowing for more intimate conversation.

Also, you should angle your conversation so that you are building a “yes ladder”. – a psychological phenomenon in which an agreeable response is more likely to follow a previous agreeable response.



Proselytizer: Hi do you live around here?
Infidel: Yes.
Proselytizer: Oh good. Hey can I ask you, is this a good place to get a cup of coffee?
Infidel: Yes, the coffee at Mel’s is pretty good.
Proselytizer: Mel’s huh. Do you know if they serve lunch too?
Infidel: Yes, they got everything.
Proselytizer: Oh great thank you so much. Gosh you live in such a lovely town.

[Now at this point. Try to have a mini conversation about what you do and bring up a little bit of Jesus but not too much. If your target appears psychologically malleable, then continue…]

Proselytizer: Hey so I think you’ve sold my on this place Mel’s Diner. I’m gonna go inside and get a cheeseburger. You are hungry too right? You’re going inside? You can come get lunch and talk?

Infidel: Yeah ok let’s go.


Notice how we extracted three initial “Yes’s” from our target before getting down to the nitty-gritty. You’ll want to choose questions that you pretty much already know the answer too. This will help in getting our subject into the “yes” mood.

Now in your final close, notice how the last three questions are not really questions at all. “You are hungry too right? You’re going inside? You can come get lunch and talk?” You’re making statements that can potentially come off as questions, but the voicing that you use here should be more “statement-like” than “question-like”. Here, you’ll be using a bit of NLP to get the target into a state in which they will realize they really are hungry, and going inside, and would love to chat with you.

During your routine, you should try to get the target to help you with something. For example, ask him nicely if he could hold your keys while you fold a map. This too aids in building rapport and trustworthiness.

Click over to youtube to see the master of human behavior Derren Brown conduct an “I’m lost” routine and illustrate many of these techniques flawlessly:

I'm not much for these "tactics" as in my opinion the bottom line is they are nothing more than manipulations. Some are simply more polished than others.I'm not convinced that it is a good idea to start an interaction with such far reaching possibilities with a deception no matter how well intended.

I have to admit such show people have an obvious adgenda, we should live according to God's agenda.

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