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The ‘Sex Cult’ That Preached Empowerment - The New York Times

Nearby, a number of colorful sashes hung on hooks. Each color in the hierarchy was not only a higher state of self-awareness but also reflected a member’s ability to recruit more members. Some higher-ranked sashes have never been attained, Bronfman whispered. You don’t trade up directly to a new color of sash but first must get four silk stripes ironed onto your existing sash, a process known as “moving up the stripe path.” The rigid hierarchy and doctrinaire teachings pushed members to revere those with a higher level of sash, to whom they were encouraged to pay tribute in words and deeds.

When there's an audience, people's performance improves -- ScienceDaily

When participants knew an audience was watching, a part of the prefrontal cortex associated with social cognition, particularly the thoughts and intentions of others, activated along with another part of the cortex associated with reward. Together these signals triggered activity in the ventral striatum, an area of the brain that motivates action and motor skills. In essence, the presence of an audience, at least a small one, increased people's incentive to perform well, Chib said, and the brain scans validated this by showing the neural mechanism for how it happens. While people were watching, participants were an average of 5 percent better at the video game -- and as much as 20 percent better. Only two participants didn't perform better in front of others.