“Religious cults and personal development seminars mainly try to get money from people. To do that, they perform a rather crude form of brainwashing. We’re different. If we did something that questionable, top corporations wouldn’t agree to work with us. Using drastic measures, forcing people to do things—we’re not into any of that. You might get impressive results for a while, but they won’t last. Driving the idea of discipline into people’s heads is important, but the program you use to do it has to be totally scientific, practical, and sophisticated. It has to be something society can accept. And the results need to be long lasting . We’re not aiming at producing zombies. We want to create a workforce that does what their company tells them to do, yet still believes they’re independent thinkers.”
“That’s a pretty cynical worldview,” Tsukuru said.
“I suppose you could see it that way.”
“I can’t imagine that everyone who attends your seminars allows themselves to be disciplined like that.”
“No, of course not. There are quite a few people who reject the program. You can divide them into two groups. The first is antisocial. In English you’d call them ‘outcasts.’ They just can’t accept any form of constructive criticism, no matter what it is. They reject any kind of group discipline. It’s a waste of time to deal with people like that, so we ask them to withdraw. The other group is comprised of people who actually think on their own. Those it’s best to leave alone. Don’t fool with them. Every systems needs elite people like them. If things go well, they’ll eventually be in leadership positions. In the middle between those two groups, are those who take orders from above and just do what they’re told. That’s the vast majority of people. By my rough estimate, 85 percent of the total. I developed this business to target the 85 percent.”
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage
Haruki Murakami 2013