You want to take your game to the next level. You have the intelligence, the connections, and you are willing to work hard. However, there is just one thing...you love being the smartest person in the room. You love it so much that you will do whatever it takes to ensure that this is always the case.
In other words, you surround yourself with people whom are nowhere near your level of intelligence. They think that you are freakin' genius and constantly turn to you for advice. You love your role as their "cult leader". Their admiration of you keeps them emotionally and psychologically tethered to you.
You glean your power from their sheep-like admiration of you. You perform enough random acts of kindness to give yourself the appearance of being a benevolent leader. No one in your social circle ever suspects just how manipulative you really are. Until, a new person joins your social group. This new person is just as intelligent as you are. Perhaps, even a little more. He politely challenges you on some of your viewpoints.
His open skepticism of you encourages the rest of your flock to question your viewpoints as well. Pretty soon, you are at a crossroads. Your flock has started to turn against you. You have a couple of choices. You can either seek to destroy the credibility of the new person in the group or you can find a new flock of sheep to manipulate.
You decide to recruit a whole new flock. You also vow to be stricter about allowing newcomers into your social group.
Why not just hang out with people of your same intelligence level? Well, they would be more likely to pick up on the inconsistencies of your rambling philosophical arguments. They are also more likely to challenge you on said rambling philosophical arguments.
Your ego is much too fragile for any type of intellectual challenge from anyone. You feed off of the naive energy of your flock.
Whenever, I encounter cult leader wannabes, I make sure to gently question them on their viewpoints. I do it in a really kind way. I make sure to keep to my voice sweet and unassuming. My goal is not to kick down their house of cards, but just to have a little fun at their expense.
During my younger years, I dated a couple of cult leader wannabes. Of course, I did not realize they were like that until later on into the relationship. Once said cult leader wannabe realized that I had a mind of my own, they usually made a run for it.