A gentleman named Peter Anspach created a marvelous website a few years ago called Evil Overlord, Inc. The top feature of the site is Peter's Evil Overlord List, dedicated to the top 100 things he would do if he were an Evil Overlord. It lists all the stupid things villains do in books and movies that lead to their undoing, and indicates how to avoid making those mistakes and be a effective Evil Overlord. Check out the list. It's fun.
The Evil Overlord List was augmented at some point with the addition of some guidelines for the cultists who exist to serve evil overlords. This list has been in my ya-ha files for years, and I don't remember where I originally found it, so I don't know who gets the credit...unfortunately, it's not me. Bummer...
How To Be A Cultist
Recently, the Society For Evil Overlords has noticed a regrettable decline in the availability and quality of fanatical henchmen, evil priests, and willing sacrificial victims. We wish to correct this growing problem by submitting the following general guidelines for Cultists.
1. Pick one faith and stay with it. Dilettantism is the mark of the amateur.
2. Avoid needless embarrassment. Practice the correct pronunciation of your deity's name in the privacy of your own room before chanting it in public. Flash cards are often helpful.
3. Never invoke anything bigger than your head.
4. Avoid all cabalistic jewelry over ten pounds in weight-- it attracts unwelcome attention from tourists, policemen, various supernatural creatures, and can be downright dangerous during thunderstorms.
5. Citronella candles may not be used in rituals. I cannot stress this enough. Pastel-colored candles in the shape of cute animals are like beacons to the Powers of Darkness.
6. Always keep your kit with you: candles, chalk, incense, silver knife, Thuggee cord, service revolver, garlic, Yellow Sign, cab fare, condoms, and change.
7. NEVER be the cultist that goes to rough up the hero(es). Ransacking hotel rooms is probably safe, but going 'round to beat up the good guys is a sure route to the bottom of the Thames.
8. When the Black Mass goes awry, stay away from the Evil Priest. Enraged demons always go for the pompous.
9. Don't gloat.
10. If you can't resist gloating, don't reveal your plans.
11. If you do gloat and reveal your plans, don't leave the hero(es) to die slowly. They don't.
12. If you gloat, reveal your plans, and leave the hero(es) to die slowly, don't have the audacity to look surprised when they turn up at the last moment to foil your evil plot.
13. The hero (or heroes) will always show up at the last possible moment to foil your plans. With this in mind, start half an hour early-- they hate that.
14. Plan ahead by selecting ceremonial robes that are easy to run in while still affording ample concealment.
15. Never screw anything whose genetic structure you are not absolutely comfortable with.
16. Never admit to screwing anything whose genetic structure you are not absolutely comfortable with.
17. When a religious artifact begins emitting light, CLOSE YOUR EYES. Thousands of cultists could be saved every year if they'd just remember this simple safety tip.
18. When mutilating cattle, avoid the ones with testicles.
19. During ritual sacrificing, taking bits home for later is now generally considered "bad form."
20. Blood tests are now required for all sacrificial victims before the ritual. The effects of HIV+ offerings on the average malefic deity have never been witnessed by anyone living, or even intact.
21. Contrary to historical belief, drugs and invocations do not mix. When the shit comes down, it is vitally necessary to be able to discern between the gibbering monstrosity to throw the holy water on and the gibbering monstrosity that will fade away after a few hours, some B-complex, and a good hot bath.
22. Never play strip Tarot.
23. Piety and belief are powerful things, and few forces in nature can stand against one who is true to his faith, his God, and his own soul. However, it is also true that the Gods tend to side with the heaviest artillery, so be prepared change sides at the drop of a hat.
24. For those situations where a fresh, living sacrifice is just not feasible (or even possible), the lower ranks of demons can be fooled by microwaving a previously-frozen chunk of ex-victim and cleverly jiggling it. However, a mock victim sculpted from Spam(tm) is not appropriate.
Don't thank me - consider it a public service. And if you ever become an Evil Overlord and need an opinionated blogger to flack for you, I'm always here. Just call. Too bad about #22, though.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.