Kings of Confusion
In order to establish a workable degree of mind control over somebody, you need to distort their sense of reality.
This can be done in a number of ways, of which "theism" is the most prominent. Either way, the objective remains the same: Guide the focus of your victim towards things that are unknowable - because this will deplete as well their natural zest for life as their intellectual self-confidence - and you may, when he or she has "ripened" to a sufficient degree, present whichever solution of "faith" that you are peddling.
A good definition of 'superstition' might be to say that it is a pathological mental state characerized by the patient holding excess "beliefs" as a bulwark towards something dreadful, real or imagined; such as death, the loss of self-consciousness (insanity), or imaginary forces of a supernatural persuation. The operator in this mind game is someone who's claiming to hold "answers" that will soothe or ease this sense of dread, and it always implies submission to a set of "statements" which it is taboo to question.
Although theism is by far the most virulent form of such rackets, it is perhaps no longer the most common.
In our post-modern age of deconstruction we have a veritable smorgasbord of synhesized memes which is commonly referred to with the umbrella denomination of 'new age'. But new age mumbo is of course nothing but old age jumbo, recycled and streamlined for the modern mind's naive idea that there must be something more to life than the economical mechanics and consumer nihilism of our contemporary times. So people go on a spirit quest. They make a journey to a parallel world of healers, chanters, astrologers, alchemists, suburban shamans and crystal ladies, who all speak of ancient wisdom. Memories of an imaginary past golden age where people lived in peace and harmony, communicating with the fairies of nature, occupied only with the noble pursuit of being and doing "good".
But life is of course no dance on roses. It never was and it never will be.
Life holds pain and suffering, disappointment and grief. Then you die.
It takes courage to face the music without wearing any protective filters of superstition and ideology. Perhaps more courage than most people are able to muster. It seems offensive that we can think and speculate about so many things - and yet ultimately know so very little about them. Consequently, we aren't attracted to the ones that - honestly - state that we just don't know. We want the quick fix. Because we can feel that there must be something more to life. Something... grandiose. Something ultimate and definitive, something that can alleviate this terrible feeling of existential ambiguity.
Enter free will's deliberate suicide as a token offering to the allmighty vice of presumption.
Exit intellectual honesty and emotional moral standards. It works like a drug - and you know you need that fix.
"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)