How to Make a Religion in 5 Steps
Hello everyone, and welcome to the lecture that may change your life. The following text is for the megalomaniac, greedy and charismatic leader and shepherd-types that wants to make a good use of their abilities as mind controllers and handlers of the masses.
As we all know, aprox. 90% of the world’s population believes, in one way or another, in a supreme being commonly known as ‘G O D’. This has been an absolute truth since the first humans were young, young and therefore afraid of the constant changes of a world they could not control nor understand. Under those circumstances, their only to cope up with their own helplessness in the face of a harsh and trying world, mysterious and seemingly all powerful in it’s nature, was to adore and worship all natural phenomena, such as the day and the night, rain and thunder, life and death, they had to anthropomorphisize them into shapes and forms recognizable for themselves, granting them identities and personalities with which they could relate to (or as many of you might be thinking, shaped to their image and likeness) so as to give an artificial sence of order to their world, and better yet, to adopt the delusion of control over the natural phenomena by means of gaining the favour of their respective deity. Thus the primitive rituals, offerings and beliefs that spinned arround these man made gods, the keepers of the elements, and the givers and takers of health, good wheather, of life and death itself, which latter on evolved into religions, were born.
It is indeed absurd for us to hear that people worship the day and the night in this modern day and age of the new millennium, specially since we posses the knowledge to explain them, yet if so, why is it that the fact that most people worship a “supreme being”, the omnipotent and omnipresent, the dictator over our destinies, the maker of miracles, the healer and destroyer, the giver and taker of life, the invisible man in the sky, does not seem absurd to us? Yes, it is almost a comedy to see the endless masses of faith addicted worshipers, all ready to lay life, limb and property, all in the name of some Lord, all clinging to this idea of a metaexistance with the same fierce, mad fear we’d had tens of thousands of years ago.
All for an idea, and ideal, a delusion. And this is where we come to the story. Some say we can’t be sure if this god of theirs exists or not. I say that’s inconsequential, I say if the people what a god so vehemently, give it to them, God for everyone I say, for a price. Yes, if they are so willing to devote all of their existence to a deity, they surely will be willing to fork over their material existence for the promise of an afterlife walking alongside perfection, God himself. The existence of god in inconsequential, the opportunity to capitalise off of it is not, and so, without further ado, I give you the basics to create your own tax free, money for nothing, suckers magnet money machine.
(A word of advice: Have a good dictionary handy while you read this text in order for you to have the definition of words such as ‘Hope’ and ‘Control’, because if you understand the exact meaning of the concepts, whichever they might be, you will be able to bend and/or change them for your purposes)
1.-CREATE A LEADER, A CHURCH NAME AND A GOOD LIE:
The easiest of the steps, provide yourself with a charismatic, good looking, and most of all, intelligent person (some knowledge of psychology and philosophy requiered) to be the leader of your church. All this is required since this leader shall be the Shepherd of your flock. This leader will be the one that will passes on the ‘Holy orders of God’ to the lesser humans, you are free to create a new God or use any deity wether in current use or of the past, yet I recommend you to derive one from a previous one, the more ancient and ambiguous the better, (The creator god El is a good choice) or those already cashing in from any particular God might charge you as an impostor, so as to keep their monopoly, this would only run counter to our purposes since we don’t want to create altercations between sects that would generate debate, doubt or any kind of critical or rational thought that eventually would lead our flocks to question the faith. You should seek more believers only when you have successfully established your church with some strength within a community. Do NOT get greedy and try to muscle your way into the faith business, sending door to door sales reps before you make a name for yourself (See step 3).
Once you have your God, His Holy comands are also yours to create and dictate to your followers. Also create a name and a symbol for your Religion, it’s the easiest way for everyone recognize it and thus familiarice with it (just like the cross or the many other icons like multi-armed elephants or six pointed stars. A word from the wise: “If Jesus would have not died in a cross, he would have never died”, a comment of Napoleon on the relevance of symbols). Last but not least, create the lie, this is, the promise of a better life for the people, provided of course, they first adopt your system of belief over any other. Trust me, is not hard at all, just create a story a child would both find calming and reasuring, and you got your religion.
2.-MAKING ‘THE BOOK’:
One of the most common ways to make the people believe is letting them have a physical manifestation of the ‘Holy orders of God’, or the good lie for that matter, this can be comprised in the way of a book. Make sure that your book contains a good set of stories to have them busy for a while, this stories must empower your religion as the chosen one, which can be acomplished by including your set of rules, directly or indirectly within the stories, as a ‘moral code’ of sorts. Do try to make this moral code of your making as acordingly to a form of “common sense” as possible, so that there’s not much problems for your flock to assimilate it. The best way to do so is to take any number of commonly accepted principles and platitude, such as “universal love”, “let’s all get along”, “happines over all” and so on, and incorporate them on your system of beliefs, rephrasing and presenting them so as to convey the impression that you’re the first one to have tought them out, or at least, that you are indeed god sent, as to have understood such simple yet so relevant principles, and yet to be able to transmit them to others so they can also grasp their true meaning.
Make sure that you make enough of your books to give them away to your first followers, and once the book is popular enough, market it alongside the icon of your church. Another thing to make yourself popular is using the very tool you are using right now, the internet, put the ideals of your religion and quote your book once in a while on a large scale web-site and the believers shall come to you like insects to the garbage (history example: Heaven’s Gate cult, formerly known as Higher Source).
3.-FINDING THE PEOPLE IN NEED:
It is widely known that people in direct and dire need will receive and accept any message of hope far more easily than any others. Take, for instanse, Ben Hinn or any other ‘faith healer’; each one of them spreads their message about the miracle of healing through faith and prayer, in one word, through the power of god. All the people that seek to them are in real need, desperate for a cure for their illnesses or at the very least, some relief from the relentless pain they suffer, indeed sometimes they have nothing left but to hope for divine intervention, for a miracle in which the healers, those blessed by god, act as the mediators between the needed and their loving heavenly father. But what do this “human angels” really do? Not healing them, I assure you, but they give them hope, for a price, of course, and it does not matter if the actual ‘healing’ doesn’t take place, the sick and desperate at least got their momentary placebo, 5 hours of hope for 200 dollars minimum per needed. This is something to be remembered.
Above all, it is indispensable to remember the fact that prophets, saviours and the like are only needed when the moral is low, to put it in a simple paragraph: “The need for a ‘savior’ is directly proportional to the moral-political-economical situation of the surroundings”, when things are bad, the need goes up (history examples: Christianity, when adopted by Constantine as the Roman Empire’s official religion, had the moraly decadent and religiously bored people of Rome, which, by the by, were quite curious as to new religions), even if things are only perceived as bad, which is why many, many religions always have advocated for the preaching of social problems, of “moral decadence”, of Armageddon, and so forth.. For more updated examples, take the foolish masses of Jim Jones’s ‘People’s Temple’, or those pathetically needed, humorously self-blinded scientologists, who will kill and die (and sue the world entire) before they give up their sci-fi based religion. If this need already finances such foolish trinquets as amulets, luck charms, and organiced religion, why not finance you?
Allow me to digress a little, for at this time I would like to adress the basis of the need to believe, so as to try to explain the phenomena. Many schools of psichology have proven to a very good degree that we, the rational animal, have both the need to give some form of sense (a sense to our perception) to the world we live in, and that we tend to give the world this sense by proyecting (in all the freudian sense of the word) an anthrophomorphic and anthrophocentric view to it, this means we sugarcoat the world with a vision created by ourselves, based and generated from ourselves, because we cannot deal with the prospect of facing the world such as it really is, for it is a cold, godless, purposeless existance. The only real purpose in this life is the one we create for ourselves, not one dictated by some supraexistencial vouyerist super-being. This of course leads to one logical conclusion: we are responsible for our own existance, and none other. No one is watching up there, no one is looking out for us, caring for us and babying us. We are alone, and all the weight of maintaining our own lives and personalities is carried by no one but ourselves. This of course is no task for the weak, and those too fragile to carry the weight of their own existance has to depend on crutches, least the weight of the human condition should bury them in the ground up to the neck. Call it what you will: hobbies, interests, life’s work, and make it out to be what you will, your ten thousand invaluable stamps collection, your hedonist little pleasures, the satisfaction of looking at the smiles of the children you’ve saved in the OR that drives you to dedicate your life to your work, all of these are nothing more than the things and actions we cling to in order to make sense of it all, in order to make a harsh life worth living. Yes, these are all crutches, some more deserving than others, but they are all crutches in the end. Religion, the belief of an omnipotent being always taking care of us is, in comparison, a motorised wheelchair.
This is by no means a new ocurrence; let us not commit the error which Nietzsche labelled as “the original sin of the philosopher”: to think the world has been exactly as we see it in our time. The world has changed, has evolved, and so have we. Thus let us imagine ourselves as we once were, little more than thinking chimpances, barely coming to our new species, more advanced in our capacity as to imagine what could things be, other than what they are: A stick of wood can be a spear, a rock can be a knife, and the fur of our preys can be fashioned to clothe us as well. Yet with the expantion or our brain, and the breaking of the chains of the world given (the world per se) and thus, making it now the world as we can made it out to be, came other set of chains.
Now that we favoured our capacity to imagine and shape the world as we saw fit, came those terrible “what if’s” and “why’s”. The day seased to be just the time in which we could see, and the night the time of no-see, the lighting bolt seased to be regarded with the pleasent indiference that any other animal enjoys, for now we saw more than meets the eye, wheter it exists or not. Now we saw things terrible in form, a storm was heaven set ablaze in anger, sending thunder into the ground so as to let it partake of it’s violent temperament, and for every thunder that struck ground, the earth bellowed and roared in pain, and in the midst of this war between the elements we screamed in fear for we didn’t knew what they were, nor what caused them, but we had to make it stop, we had to be in the grace of at least one of this titans, least they would be displeased and choose to destroy us.
Yes, we were helplessly terrified against these problems, which our mighty yet still developing brains could not yet grasp. And what do we do, even today, when we are in such distress? We give some explanation, any explanation, so long as it gives back to us the reassurance that we know our enviroment. Knowledge is power, regardless if it’s true, as long as we have it.
Evolution is nothing more than the survival of the species which adapt the better mechanism, the better strategy to endure over others less adapted, and thus lesser species, and if a mechanism proves itself quite efective, it will become a fundamental part of the species’ self, whether features mechanical in nature (wings, poison, color-changing atributes...) or, as it happends with the more intellectualy oriented creatures, mental. With whales, comunication by sound and affection towards each other and their cubs is a part of their behavior, with the human animal, the need to believe, being hope (as the maximum expresion of belief) a source of comfort, sense of self, sense of belonging, and a source of strenght to continue onwards are some of the best strategies of survival developed, in a world inherintly deprived of any other reason to live other than the perpetuation of life (life, like ouroburos, it’s self suficient: it consumes itself to spawn itself, only to perpetuate the cicle, and no more). Once the mind has become aware of it’s own existance, then aware of it’s own mortality and, finally, of the emptiness of the cicle it lives in (an usual chain of events which, after becoming aware of the lack of an inherent, intrinsic sense to life, has cost many a true philosopher sometimes sanity, sometimes life), once the minds figures life out, it fills the void of poetry with mistery and mith, with gods and monsters, and lastly, to counter the fear of ever becoming less than a concius being, creates an metalife, a supralife, away from toil and pain. Yet this is a fable, literally a child’s tale, to make children make their chores and be good when not supervised by their parents, for there is always someone watching them, who not only possess all power to reward or to punish, but every justification to dictate which behaviour is to be regarded as punishable or praiseworthy.
There are no universal commandments nor morals writen in stone, for morals are nothing more than a created code commonly agreed upon by any particular community (the proportion of it being irrelevant) as a general guidance, to set the limitations of aceptable behavior within the community, and since this codes are created by it’s members in order to adress their particular needs and / or beliefs, are thus as arbitrary and fluctuating as the beliefs which gives them their stone-writen status, for those beliefs are created and stablished in a very similar manner. If not, then explain why in the Spartan culture, it was both moraly acceptable as well as religiously commandable, that any male child that was determined, shortly after his birth as “inferior” in terms of his future capacity to become a warrior, to be “exposed”, this is, to be thrown off a cliff. This much proves the arbitrary nature of moral, the commandments of a community are the sins of another, and their beliefs are as equally arbitrary: A desert dweller believes the world was created as a desert, and god commands the sands, the sun is It’s chariot, and He hold sway over the snake and the scorpion; the people of the dragon-faced boats, dwelers of the snowlands believes that in the end of the world, an endless winter will cover the earth, and a great wolf will devour the land; And the people of the jungle worship the local jaguar, and the people of... and so on, and so forth. As you can see, any belief, whichever it might be, always satisfies the particular needs of the people who believes in it, and will always give that sense of order, that deluted security of being able to understand the world. Polytheism, Monotheism, Holy Trinities, Angels and Demons, Heaven and Hell, all but sophistications of the original belief, all but the originally primitive hu-hu-hu, ha-ha-ha and huga-huga’s of yore, more embelished, but still the same basic, esential need. I the end, we are still worshiping those mighty titans, least they destroy us. Yet we are here not to judge the primitive need to believe, such as it might be, but to learn how to take advantage of it, and so, to the next step.
4.-SPREADING THE MESSAGE, THE HERO AND THE ENEMY: Now that we know people have a natural need to believe, and that this need is intensified by the troubles and the demands that life impose upon them (and what more demanding and troubling times could we ask than these) it will be easy for you to con them with your pink preaches and sugarcoated lies.
But this alone is not enough, for if love and hope can bring people together, hate and fear can do so more rapidly, effectively, and with far more lasting effects. So, add something in which everyone can concentrate their hate and antagonism, a common Enemy to hate and fear, tell them that the weather is bad because of ‘IT’ or blame it for something that may be affecting them at the moment –war, famine, despair, desease, teen angst, lack of self-purpose...
I will not even bother to explain how efective a scape goat can be, but will only remind you, gentle reader, that the simpler, most straightforward explanation is usually taken by you, and me, and everyone else on a daily basis:
Why did the airport lose my baggage – incompetence.
Who killed JFK – Oswald.
Who crashed the towers – Saddam.
Keep asking questions down to the last ones: “Where do we come from; Why are we here; Where are we heading...” and you will mostly get the same type of answers from most people: plain and simple, quick and easy. Uncertainty is unbearable for the simple mind and that is the kind of mind every religion is looking for. Good thing that is the kind of mind that abounds, it pululates all over the world, so there’s enough to go around.
And if the simple mind wants the simple answer, the fool’s kind, fastfood, fate-comforting-and-self-reasurance-in-every-doses type of answer, then give it to them, in order to dull their already blunted minds and strengthen their blind hate (history example: Hitler, a more updated example, Bush), this will make them follow the anti-‘IT’, that is, the God that you are offering them to believe, and the message that you are spreading, which brings hope for the followers and fear to the non believers and any other unpure that does not have the qualities needed in order to enter your religion. Input punishments such as discrimination for the non believers (just like the Christian, Mormon and Methodist churches in the boy scouts of America, that when a kid turns out to be homosexual is hastily excluded of the organization) and create afterlife that differs from side to side (yes, such as hell or heaven, or being part of an ‘All’ and be part of an ‘Oblivion’) that shall scare the non believers, and keep the believers straight on the good path, yours.
This is the hard part, for some people, for others will be as easy as to count their followers, or their money for that matter (which is all that matters). I say this because the longevity of your church after you are gone to the celestial place that you chose (this means ‘death’, if you select this term for your believers of course; passing on is another one of my favorites) depends on how good you perform the part of the leader, if you were charismatic enough, every believer of yours shall tell your story, and therefore believe it, spread it, and enforce it to others, while protected by the law, (assuming there’s law that cares for that sort of matters in the land your sheeps are spreading the word, if the message is being given in less developed lands, just use the infalible formula used by christian missionaries: “god = food”)
However, if you were not succesfull in this regard, you will be forgotten, alongside your church, but this is only a problem if you are a megalomaniac that wants to be worshiped after your death, if not, then who cares? You played with the money, the beliefs, and the lives of your people all your life, so what does it matter?.
Notes.-I did not make this guide too complex, I want you people to think by yourselves about the details such as holydays, saints or icons, rules and so on.
I also want to say that most religions created in all of the recorded human history has been created under this bases, more or less, yet these are not exclusive to religion, for they are used in politics, institutions or any organization meant to be assisted by or to take advantage of the masses, such are the needs of the people....
Lenore, The Cute Little Dead Girl. Twice as good as Jesus.