Religion: Fine tuned manipulation

Looking back it is hard for me to understand how I ever believed in a specific religion/god. I feel stupid for ever falling for it and going against my innate natural moral compass for it. Today I will be covering religious missionaries tactics for getting more people and make them get more people creating this infante loop of influence and manipulation.


Avi Shore

5 min read

Consider this: how is it that in this day and age, despite the existence of countless known religions across the globe, people cling onto the notion that the religion they're born into is unequivocally 'The One'? Strangely enough, we conveniently overlook the fact that a person's place of birth predicts their religious affiliation about 95% of the time. It's quite a coincidence, isn't it? Or maybe it's a divine plan. Either way, it makes you wonder, doesn't it?

What's more, even within individual religions, we find countless schisms. For instance, within Judaism, we have Reform, Orthodox, Ultra-Orthodox, and many more, each splintering into its own subgroups. Some might call them different branches of the same tree, but I'd say it's more like they're trees in their own forest. After all, each subgroup has its own unique doctrines, traditions, and interpretations. And let's not forget, they all claim to be the "chosen ones". So, who's really right here?

Now, let's talk about the elephant in the room: religious manipulation. Yes, religion can be a great tool for control. I mean, imagine getting people to suppress their desires, abandon their dreams, and devote their lives to an unseen entity based on an ancient book. Sounds pretty nifty, right? Just sprinkle in grand promises, some fear, guilt, and social pressure, and voila! Instant control. It's Marketing 101, really.

A critical point of manipulation is the selective use of evidence.

For example, religious leaders might share scientific discoveries that vaguely support their narrative while blatantly ignoring anything that contradicts it. A classic case of 'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose'.

Let's take the popular claim that nature endorses heterosexuality, for instance. Sure, let's pretend for a moment that's true. But then, why do we only follow 'nature' when it suits us? Last time I checked, cats weren't exactly seeking consent before mating, yet I don't see that being encouraged (or maybe it is?). It's a cherry-picking fest, and we're all invited.

When it was discovered that homosexuality exists in a broad range of animals, they found a solutions: today's humans have impacted animals globally, acting as their example, as suggested in Genesis 1:26 God(s?) said"Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground"

I remember when I was a kid, a teacher told us that scientists had found ancient Egyptian coins in the middle of the Red Sea. he said "scientists say this is proof that the sea had parted as the story in the Torah. I was amazed by this story for many years, until I realized that it didn't make sense. According to the bible, entire armies, covered in gold, chased the Jews through the Red Sea. So, shouldn't there be more than just a few coins in the sea? But no such evidence has been found, which makes the whole story questionable.

One striking contrast between science and religion is this: science observes and draws conclusions based on evidence. Religion, on the other hand, holds preconceived notions, twisting any found evidence to fit its narrative. Cognitive bias at its best, folks.

The social pressure within religious communities is also nothing to scoff at. As a child, I quickly learned that some questions were better left unasked. Despite claims of embracing inquiry, challenging beliefs or narratives was often met with raised eyebrows. But then again, why make it easy to question, right? It's almost like it's part of a divine plan or something. Although it all changes if you stop being religious anymore.

In my experience, those who leave the religion are often greeted with an overwhelming amount of faux love and concern. It's like being a recovering addict suddenly surrounded by enablers offering you your drug of choice. Before you know it, you're back where you started. It's a sad, vicious cycle.

Let's not forget the ultimate carrot on the stick: immortality. The human desire for eternal life has been prevalent since time immemorial. And religion? It masterfully capitalizes on this fear of mortality, promising an eternal, blissful afterlife. It's like cheating death without really trying.

Religion is indeed a powerful drug. It offers an easy way out from life's harsh realities, numbing the pain and uncertainties. Imagine everyone around you praising the drug, claiming it solves all problems. How tempting would that be? But at the end of the day, are the problems really solved or just conveniently swept under the divine rug?

Life is a series of choices. It's human to seek the path of least resistance. Religion often provides that comfort, the proverbial opiate to dull life's harsh realities. However, like any addiction, this solution often masks the problem rather than solving it.

Tactics of manipulation may come in many forms, such as:

1.Fear of Damnation

Religious texts are loaded with scary stories of punishment for those who question their faith, keeping folks on the straight and narrow out of fear.

2.Claiming Exclusive Truth

Every religion says it's the best, causing people to stick to their own kind and be scared of different beliefs.

3. Character Assassination

If you start questioning your religion, prepare for a finger-pointing and name-calling which discourages others from asking the same questions.

4. Use of Guilt and Shame

Religions are good at making you feel guilty for your actions, and the only way to feel better is by following religious rules, keeping you in a loop.

5. Exclusivity and Elitism
Some religions make their followers feel special and chosen, making them less likely to question their faith and interact with others with different beliefs.

In conclusion, religion is a master of illusions. It tells a compelling story, backed by selective evidence, emotional manipulation, and grand promises. My journey through my faith has been challenging, but I'm glad that I've learned to see through the illusions. I now live with an open mind, and I hope my story will inspire you to think critically about your own beliefs.

Overcoming the chains of manipulation was a struggle. But the journey has led me to a place of greater understanding and acceptance. I now gaze at the world with clear eyes, hopeful for a future that fosters critical thinking and fosters a sincere quest for truth.