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A confidence man knows he’s lying; that limits his scope. But a successful shaman ropes himself first; he believes what he says — and such belief is contagious; there is no limit to his scope.

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Customs, morals — is there a difference? Woman, do you realize what you are doing? Here, by the grace of God and an inside straight, we have a personality untouched by the psychotic taboos of our tribe — and you want to turn him into a carbon copy of every fourth-rate conformist in this frightened land! Why don’t you go whole hog? Get him a brief case and make him carry it wherever he goes — make him feel shame if he doesn’t have it.

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Who said I was wise? I’m a professional bad example. You can learn a lot by watching me. Or listening to me. Either one.

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I’ve never been able to understand ‘faith’ myself, nor to see how a just God could expect his creatures to pick the one true religion out of an infinitude of false ones — by faith alone. It strikes me as a sloppy way to run an organization, whether a universe or a smaller one.