Success & Prosperity Blog

Brainwashing Cults…

By Randy Gage in Critical Thinking, Success, Prosperity.

One of my guilty pleasures is watching The Following.  Probably the creepiest, scariest show you’ll ever see on network TV.  James Purefoy turns in a chilling performance as a deranged cult leader orchestrating a string of murders.  Yet a real-life situation taking place this week is much scarier…

Away from the prying eyes of the public, a sect of the world’s largest cult is in a secret meeting as you read this – selecting a new leader to direct the cult.  This cult has already brainwashed millions of followers, leaving behind a legacy of torture, child abuse, and death.

Of course I’m talking about the papal conclave.

In 2006 I wrote, Why You’re Dumb, Sick & Broke, and How to Get SMART, HEALTHY & RICH!, a book which explored memes (mind viruses), and how they control our behavior.  One chapter, titled “Hope, Dope and the Pope” stirred up quite the debate.  And since Wiley just reissued the book in paperback, and the Vatican is electing another Pope, I thought this would be a good time to revisit the issue of mind control and brainwashing by organized religion.

In his 26-year papacy, Pope John Paul II touched the world like none before him.  He introduced computers to the Vatican, traveled to 129 countries, and harnessed the power of television and technology to reach every corner of the globe.  He used his visits to shake up right wing dictatorships, give hope to the poor, and shine a spotlight on the afflicted.  By all accounts, he was a well-meaning and deeply committed man.

However, none of that will change the legacy of poverty, ignorance, and despair he left behind for his followers…

I don’t think he did this because he was an evil man.  He impressed me as a very spiritual and caring human being.  A human being who was infected with so many common mind viruses, he had no idea of the desolation he was creating.

The Pope fought Communism in his native Poland and around the globe. But I believe he was still infected with the Communistic belief that it is noble to be poor, and money is evil.  He came to the U.S. seven times, and denounced American materialism each time, castigating Americans for not sharing more of their wealth with the world’s poor.  In fact, he scorned the effects of capitalism at every opportunity – except when the collection basket was going around.

Historically, no one has done negative program better than organized religion.  And of course the Vatican is usually near the top of the list.

Of all the people I have coached in removing their prosperity blocks, these unworthiness issues created by religion are the hardest ones to bust.  That’s because religion is so emotional for most people, and core religious beliefs are usually hard wired by the time you are five or six years old.

Pope John Paul II reached out to other faiths – while never missing a chance to let them know that the one door to salvation was going to be slammed in their face in the moment of truth.  He was forceful in his rejection of homosexuality, birth control, divorce, remarrying after divorce, and women and married men in the clergy.  And because he appointed 95 percent of the Cardinals who chose his successor, his rigid Orthodox theological vision was continued with Pope Benedict.

Even now, another generation of kids in church Sunday Schools and private Christian schools are getting infected with self-loathing, guilt, and worthiness issues, as the church marches on.  More Gay teens will take their lives, believing they have been forsaken by their God.  More women will receive the message that they are second-class citizens.  More people will stay in marriages they never should have been in, living their entire lives in dismal resignation.

Of course since the death of John Paul II, things in the Vatican have only gotten worse.  Pope Benedict was an active theologian, but paid very little attention to the vast bureaucracy of the Vatican money machine.

The documents leaked by Pope Benedict’s butler, which made their way into the daily papers and a bestselling book, offered a glimpse into the petty infighting and blatant corruption of the institution.   There were accusations of officials illegally rigging construction bids for public works, and exposed that many high level church officials were actually involved in for-profit business opportunities around Italy, and even possible money laundering by the Vatican bank.

Some of the more militant cults like Scientology get lots of media scrutiny.  But the Catholicism cult receives mostly media fawning.  The reason of course is so many members of the media from Pat Buchanan to Piers Morgan, Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, are actually members of the cult.  So just like the last time, the media is awash in breathless sensationalism, chronicling the process of 115 old men, appointing a new spokesman to disseminate their mind viruses.

Building on our discussion from the last post, you have to ask why people would willingly follow a mind control cult – let alone one as perverted as the Roman Catholic Church? The only answer can be the self-loathing mind viruses the church has infected their followers with.

Most of the 1.2 billion members of the Catholic cult believe the Pope has mystical curing powers from God.  They believe a blessing from him will cure diseases and save lives.  They still believe this, even though Pope Benedict just resigned – because of his own poor health.

Meanwhile the Vatican continues missions in sub-Sahara Africa teaching the people in the remote villages there that condom use is a sin, condemning millions there to die of AIDS every year.  Think how long the Vatican has condemned  condom use to prevent HIV even between married partners when one was negative and the other positive.  This is not an organization that cares about alleviating human suffering, but one simply concerned with propagating its dogma.  And people who buy into that dogma, doom themselves to a life of lack and limitation.

And let’s not just single out the Catholicism sect or the parent Christianity cult… 

The same type of brainwashing is happening in many other temples, mosques and synagogues around the world.  Organized religion is responsible for the largest share of negative mind viruses and limiting beliefs circulating the globe today.  Millions of children in many faiths are right now receiving mind control programming that will relegate them to lives of poverty, suffering, and fear.  Funny the difference a postal code or two can make…

Five Iranians who converted to Christianity will go on trial this week in Iran’s Revolutionary Court. They were arrested when security forces raided an underground house church and caught them committing the crime of praying to Jesus.

Under Islamic law, a Muslim who converts to Christianity is considered to be waging war against Islam.  The Constitution there allows judges to rely on fatwas for sentencing on crimes not addressed in the Iranian penal code.  In cases such as this, these allow for everything from lengthy prison sentences to death.

That’s another really fascinating thing about these religious cults:  They think the non-cult members face damnation, but they get really vengeful when one of their own leaves the cult.

During the inquisition when the Catholic Church was torturing and killing “heretics,” they were primarily concerned with the behavior of their members and converts, and didn’t pay as much attention to Jews and Muslims.  (Although try explaining the definition of “as much” to the families of the Jews and Muslims who were tortured and killed if they didn’t “be saved” – figuratively and literally – by switching to Christianity.)  Likewise, all minority religions in Iran face persecution from the current theocratic regime.  But those who convert from Islam face the toughest vengeance.

Now some of you may think that I’m writing this to insult you or your beliefs.  That is simply not the case.

The reason for this post is to question whether the dogma of your faith is causing you to self-sabotage your own prosperity and happiness, because you’ve been programmed to believe you’re not worthy. 

And if the premise of your core foundational beliefs is based on superstitions and myths, everything that comes off of that premise is suspect as well.

There are people who believe Noah carried two dinosaurs on the ark, Indra was born fully grown from his mother’s side (though they can’t agree if he had two or four arms), Buddha was born and instantly took seven steps to proclaim, “I alone am the World-Honored One!,” and Jonah swam around in the belly of a large fish for three days before popping out and buying a timeshare in Key West.

The problem with all of these captivating myths is they can’t keep the story straight, and so they don’t stand the test of reason to any rational, critical thinking person. 

Buddhist scholars acknowledge that story of Buddha’s birth may have borrowed from Hindu texts of the birth of Indra from the Rig Veda.   After Alexander the Great conquered central Asia there was extensive intermixing of Buddhism with Hellenic ideas.  There is also speculation that the tale of the Buddha’s childbirth was “upgraded” when traders returned from the Middle East with stories of the birth of the baby Jesus.

The Buddha birth myth certainly sounds like a story about the birth of a God.  But even Buddhism says the Buddha was not a god.  And the bold pronouncement “I alone am the World-Honored One” is in direct conflict with the Buddhist teachings on nontheism and anatman.

There are about 1.5 billion people who believe the Bible is the literal word of God, even though there is no evidence to support this (at all), and is in fact, great evidence to disprove this – even in the Bible itself.

Of course there are about 1.5 billion other people who know the Koran to be the perfect word of the Creator of the universe.  And the Prophet Mohammad explicitly stated that Jesus was not divine.   So one thing is certain:  of these three billion people who are certain about their truth – at least half have to be wrong.

Likewise, the Veda, which many believe is sanctified, is the product of many authors and shows numerous signs of having undergone considerable revisions over time.

I certainly have no problem with anyone believing any of this.  Just as I have no problem with the people who believe Elvis is alive, we didn’t really land on the moon, or in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny.

Of course a rational person in control of their mental faculties couldn’t believe any of these things.  But of course that leaves us almost four or five billion others who are irrational, not in control of their mental faculties and believe some or all of these things.  And fascinatingly enough, the postal code they were born in, is the biggest determination of knowing which of these conflicting beliefs is the one “true” way and why the others are doomed to damnation with gnashing of teeth.

If you have a religious belief that serves you, I’m happy for you and have no desire to challenge it.  I’m not one of those “militant atheists” Deepak Chopra has been ranting about recently.  I glibly describe myself as a fundamentalist agnostic.  I really don’t know how the universe was created and often wonder about some intelligent design or supernatural power that could be responsible for it all. I remember sitting in my church on a Christmas Eve, singing “Silent Night” by candlelight with the congregation and thinking, “If all this is simply a crutch man made up for his own peace of mind – it’s a pretty good one.”  But I’m also a rational man and my beliefs must pass the sanity test.

And if YOU want to be healthy, happy and prosperous, your beliefs have to pass the sanity test.  And they also must be beliefs that empower you.  Not beliefs that program you that you are unworthy. 

Most of the dogma in today’s organized religions are built on the premise that you are meant to suffer here, to demonstrate your worthiness for the afterlife – which is when the really good stuff comes.  And depending on the religion, if you prostrate yourself enough, beg for forgiveness enough, say enough “Hail Mary’s,” ambush enough coalition soldiers, rub enough rosary beads, pray to Mecca enough times each day, blow up enough abortion clinics, kill enough Jews, or send enough money to the televangelist – you will be saved.

Most of the world’s major organized religions are set up as cosmic frequent flier programs. 

If you collect enough points, you win the free trip to paradise.  Whether we look at the Christian concept of original sin, the Buddhist 8-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish Covenant, or the Muslim Code of Law, they all are set up with the basic presupposition that you are a flawed being who needs salvation.

And if that’s what you are taught beginning at four or five years old, is it any wonder that you would grow up with worthiness issues?  Low self-esteem, fear-based consciousness, and a tendency to self-sabotage?

One of the greatest steps you can take to become healthy, happy, and prosperous is to do some serious critical thinking about your religious beliefs.  Think about what the subliminal messages are from them, and what you were exposed to as a young child.  There you will find many clues on what has caused you to create the results you have in your life right now. 

The sad truth is, billions of people are members of a mind-control cult and don’t realize it.  Some are more benevolent than others.  Some do a lot of good.

Some of my dearest friends in the world are Mormons.  I can’t even begin to tell you how impressed I am with their faith and the good they do.  I was wowed with the service they did here in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew.  And since I have come to know so many so well, I am immensely impressed by the way they live their lives.  Hell, if it weren’t for the restrictions against swearing, drinking, drugs and pre-martial sex, I’d probably be a Mormon too!  (Although I’d probably be in the sect that allows polygamy.)

Just because a religion teaches compassion or service to others does not make all the myths about it true. Personally I believe the Bible is a great metaphysical textbook on the principles of prosperity.  The parables are great lessons on living a prosperous life.  But to take it as the literal word of God would require a leap of craziness I’m simply not interested in.  This is the same book that promotes slavery, teaches to beat your children, to kill them if they talk back, and stone others for everything from heresy to homosexuality, sorcery to working on the Sabbath.

And please don’t try the argument that these things are only in the Old Testament and they were somehow countermanded in the New Testament.  They were not.  There are numerous places in the New Testament where Jesus and his apostles endorsed Old Testament law.  I have read it all the way to the end:  There is no place where God suggests that once we create a civil society that you can forgo the slavery, stoning, and other barbaric savagery.

The Bible certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on beating women and killing the non-believers.  The Koran holds its own in this regard.   Here are a few quotes, direct from the Creator of the universe:

“God’s curse be upon the infidels!” (2:89)

“[We] shall let them live awhile, and then shall drag them to the scourge of the Fire. Evil shall be their fate” (2:126).

“Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage. . . . [I]f they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded: but if they desist, God is forgiving and merciful. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil-doers”(2:190–93).

“As for the unbelievers, neither their riches nor their children will in the least save them from God’s judgment. They shall become fuel for the Fire” (3:10).

“Never think that those who were slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord; pleased with His gifts and rejoicing that those they left behind, who have not yet joined them, have nothing to fear or to regret; rejoicing in God’s grace and bounty. God will not deny the faithful their reward” (3:169).

An objective reading of this book by a rational person reveals that the people who take it literally are very dangerous to the rest of the world.  It exposes a chilling revelation of the Muslim beliefs on jihad and martyrdom.  Is it any wonder that this Holy book is used for validation to fly planes into buildings, plant bombs and kill people?

Whatever religion you follow, it behooves you to question it with a critical mind:  Do those beliefs empower you or tear you down?  Are they coming from love or fear?  Did you come to those beliefs by critical analysis and rational thought – or because they were programmed into you as a child, based on the postal code you were born in?  Like me, you probably have a deep desire to know more.  But it doesn’t get us anywhere to pretend to know things we really don’t know.  If you want to be healthy, happy, and prosperous – you have to stay in touch with objective reality.

Want to know what kind of mind viruses you’re infected with and if they’re holding you back from success?  Then read, or re-read Why You’re Dumb, Sick & Broke, and How to get SMART, HEALTHY & RICH!   You can get it at B&N or Amazon.

Want to debate me, explain why I’m going to rot and burn in Hell, or pray for my salvation?  Before you do, please read, Letter to a Christian Nation from Sam Harris.  Certainly one of the most thought-provoking and brilliant books I’ve ever read.

If you come to the belief that your religion serves and empowers you – great.  If it is what you think it is – it will survive the scrutiny of a healthy skepticism.  But if you’ve blindly accepted the doctrines and dogma and they are programming you to be a victim – your life will never improve until you blow up and replace those limiting beliefs.

If there is a power greater than us, the greatest gift it bequeathed upon us is the power of the rational mind.  What a sin it would be not to use it.

All mind control cults use many manipulative techniques:  social proof, peer pressure, propaganda, even abuse, sensory depravation, torture and violence to control their members.  And if you don’t think most organized religions are cults, you either don’t know the definition of the word, or you don’t know the history of organized religion.

But one thing I can promise you is this:  No one can control your mind – unless you allow them to.

So the Cardinals are meeting and the world is breathlessly waiting on each puff of smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney.  But what the church really needs – what the world really needs – is leaders who will lead for our highest good, not to protect fear-based dogma – from spiritual consciousness, not Iron Age superstitions – from rational thought, not irrational craziness.

We need religions that can celebrate their faith without persecuting those that don’t share it.  Religious leaders who respect for all humans, including Lesbians, Gays, Transgender and Bisexual people.  Who respect women and people with other beliefs as equal citizens.

We don’t need religions that program us that we are contemptible, unworthy beings and sorry sinners.  We need religions that build us up.  Religions that exhort us to do new and greater things, to walk the path of enlightenment – which is simply becoming the best we can possibly be.  That’s my kind of religion.

-RG

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167 comments
PavelVanhara
PavelVanhara

Great article!!! And I recommend the book as well!!

Maree
Maree

Doesn't it say in the bible that God is the truth and the light. So faith in God just means faith in truth and not mind viruses. I think it also says Satan is the master of disguise deceit and lies in other words mind viruses. Gosh Randy that sounds like something you'd say. lol. Then it says to fear God, does that mean I should fear the truth I'm not religious, but there are some things in these religious books that I find valuable and some things that aren't. They are just books and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. When Jesus heals the blind man, he tells him to wash the muck out of his eyes and he'll see. Well if he's talking about spiritual blindness or psychological blindness, then if my therapist can help me achieve that he may perform the same miracle, and then there's the death and resurrection of Jesus was it a physical death and resurrection or a spiritual one, after all isn't it a spiritual book. If it's spiritual, then I've been there and back a few times. Jesus is the son of a loving God, but if we are all God's children then I must be his daughter. A person with brutal parents might find that quite comforting. I think it would be a shame to discard these ancient books but instead value them for what they are - books written a long time ago. I have come across people that say they believe what's in them or don't believe what's in them but have never read them or questioned them. Also many people that claim to be religious don't believe in a God. The bible says you shall have no other Gods before me but in our society we have heaps of Gods. People believe the Pope is God or their leader is God or their dysfunctional parent is God and then they use religion as an excuse for their crimes. It's a bit like saying alcohol is responsible for accidents on the road, but I've never seen alcohol drive a car. If I were a person that was angry or hateful enough to want to hurt someone then I'd have to pick on someone that was a different religion or a different colour to make it valid. If everyone were the same religion and the same colour I'd have a problem but then I could always hurt someone with a different political belief or perhaps someone with different coloured hair or maybe a different make of car.


Vad572
Vad572

Thank you. You forced me thinking. In fact, I see that I have a lot of mems that control my mind. The question: how to escape that control?

Dougjov Larson
Dougjov Larson

I encourage people to not believe in Jesus because they believe in the Bible, but to believe in the Bible because they believe in Jesus. In my view, the Bible is inspired to serve as the foundation for what we believe, but it was never intended to be the foundation for why we believe. In my view, the Bible is far too vulnerable to serve as this foundation. That is, there are far too many problematic aspects to Scripture to make our faith dependent on this book. It should never be the case that a person’s faith hangs in the balance on whether or not (for example) the conquest narratives are anchored in history, or whether or not the story about Samson is historical or legend (or a thousand other disputed aspects of Scripture). By contrast, the case for believing that the historical Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God is very compelling (on this issue, see P. Eddy, G. Boyd, The Jesus Legend [Baker, 2007). When a person’s faith depends on Scripture, every one of Scriptures problematic features becomes all-important and the foundation of their faith is constantly vulnerable as a result. But when a person’s faith depends only on the historical Jesus, the problematic aspects of Scripture become irrelevant.

dennijordanrealtor
dennijordanrealtor

Great blog Randy. I totally agree. I am half Jewish, half Christian but consider myself to be a Pantheist now. I respect everyone's beliefs but encourage people not to blindly accept things without questioning anything. In college, I went through a difficult time and became a born again Christian for awhile.

 

 As a woman with a strong personality, a brain and a love for business, I knew when I was a teenager that my calling was never to be a wife and mother but to be a career woman. I was told by the church that I must pray for the desire to submit to a man and that God wanted me to settle down, get married and have a family. I lived in the closet for years as I was told it was wrong for a woman to be as ambitious as I was. It took me years to let go of the limiting beliefs these people placed on me and am now very against organized religion. I believe it causes separatism instead of unity in the grand scheme of things.

 

 At 41, I am happy to say I got rid of the mind viruses and am a successful business woman who owns two businesses.

Matt Shorty Wells
Matt Shorty Wells

I'm wondering how many people started to read this one but didn't finish it. 

Great post! 

1Marc
1Marc

The success of the message uf unworthiness and the rich bashing is simple. It takes away all individual responsibility. If I am trash, and if evil rich keep me poor, my responsibility to change is zero. Best I can do is ask someone else to do it for me. I can do nothing on my own. I am poor and hopeless. Perfect reciepy for the lazy bum....and don't forget that if you screw up bad, there is alwasy the devil to blame for what you did. Who wants to hear that everything in my own reality is my own doing? You try to stop the first person on the street and tell him that what he is earning is the result of what he thinks he is worth, not more not less. Better duck because you'll get a punch in the face for sure.

Martin Dean
Martin Dean

This form of brainwashing has gone on for centuries and will be hard to change. Change comes from one person saying I'm going to changed and the other people changing their ways in a concius decision.

Bob Choat
Bob Choat

Napoleon Hill was attacked for his stance as well.  When he mentioned that religious fanaticism helped create The Fear of Death, many in the religious community despised  his words.  He stated in 'Think and Grow Rich' he mentions that today's educated young men and women were able to think and understand through science that "Fire and Brimstone" was something left over from the past and doesn't apply to the present.  This was 1937.  Even today, many preachers still spout "Fire and Brimstone" when they preach.

 

Hill goes further in other areas regarding the wealth (or lack of) mindset. Today, I see even more of the poverty mentality.  From religious organizations to the government, people are being programmed to think that money is evil.  We see the wealthy being attacked for not giving their fair share (even though the great majority of taxes paid are from wealthiest).  I wonder what Hill would think about today's world?

candacemountain
candacemountain

Historically I understand the importance of religion to life humanity from a violent past towards a more civilized age.  However, I am really beginning to believe that we have moved past the need for organized religion as science and social media begin to connect us on a level that religion failed to as it segrated us in factions.

BernadetteRA
BernadetteRA

A bright paper coming from a bright, gifted person.....Re the new religion you want to be founded , better name it UTOPIA. Is that really possible?....Is it also possible for man-leader/s to successfully bring that perfect society/religion of yours about? (Whoever would pose to be so, better name him 666.) Man or men as they are, don't you think they will just behave as badly eventually against the multitudes who would bring opposition? Use mind controls also or manipulative techniques thru rituals, superstitions & propaganda to make members stay? I think the ancient leaders of today's organized religions were in their right, wise minds to have founded them around GOD, not around men really.  They started really well, the present is another story. In the modern times, they just need to be reformed & redirected back to God-worship. Kudos to the popes & other religious leaders for all their efforts to serve their faiths WITH GOD IN THEIR MINDS & HEARTS.....To all of you, PEACE, NOT WORLD WAR.

Will
Will

My name is Will, I'm 15 years old, and I just recently subscribed to "Randy's Rants".

I was questioning your blog's prosperity consciousness from the beginning. I mean why call it rants? It's such a negative word, and it implies you are irritatedly talking on and on about negative subjects. But then I read this post and was absolutely horrified because that's exactly what you are doing, ranting on and on about how evil organized religion is and how evil the pope is (or at least their teachings). This is not what I had hoped to read from you Mr. Gage. I was looking for occasional positive insights, your newest ideas, tricks, and prosperity breakthroughs. Talking about all the newest millionaires, great vacations your friends or yourself went on, even things as simple as your $1000 leather shoes which you flew in the Concord at supersonic speeds to get. Please improve the prosperity consciousness level of your writing.

ngiaconia
ngiaconia

Brainwashing is all around us. Consider the value of a dollar, talk about being brainwashed.

Vaclav Cermak
Vaclav Cermak

Standing ovation! Brave, challenging, yet not offensive - and so true. I spent few years within the Christian nation and it is exactly as you describe it. Big words, promises for a distant future and miserable present time. When I tried to inspire Christian to use their mind/brain, I was banned, lol. So thick is the wall of ignorance.

Sanjay sharma
Sanjay sharma

this post has many question that i want to ask and same many answer that i wanted to know . great post

RevampYourMind1
RevampYourMind1

Hey Randy what would you call the government ?  after all don't they brainwash all of us

1Marc
1Marc

Good post Randy. Don't expect to win a popularity contest with it though.

The Pope has been elected and to add insult to injury it is a person that was involved with the Argentinian military responsible for over 30,000 death after days of torture. His pretences of spirituality are as bad as his Italian.

I agree that all religion teach rich to be evil and poor to be virtuous, and that is the poison that keeps 95% of people poor or broke or both. 

The 5% who succeed do so only because they have figured out that it is only by valuing abundance that one can be part of it and that scorning it will turn it away. 

I have stopped listening to preachers who want to tell me how to live my life and assure me I have to stop working for "material things" yet extend their hand to grab the [dirty] money I have earned with wisdom and effort. 

I am tired of schizophrenic messages that tell me I must resigne myself on Sunday yet have to work to pay the mortgage the rest of the week and that what I do from Monday to Saturday is wrong yet what they do on Sunday is right, yet they can only do that and live and eat and be housed all year around because of my unworthy dirty activities from monday to saturday.

 

Religion in it's current form is poison for the mind. I don't know if there is a good religion. If there is I have yet to find it. 

paulg
paulg

Randy---

            I love and respect your work and have benefited tremendously from it and from a Prosperity mindset, which I largely cultivated based on your teachings. But I have to say I was dismayed by this post which, frankly, comes across as ignorant and arrogant.

            Let me explain:

            I myself was born, raised, and educated Roman Catholic, but in my last year of college I did my own bit of critical thinking and decided I could no longer remain a practicing Catholic. I just could not believe the “story” than “Man” is originally sinful and that God the Father, the all-knowing, all compassionate, all-wise,  all-powerful Creator of the Universe would have to send his “son” to endure a horrific self-sacrifice on the Cross to “redeem” sinful humanity. So I left.

            That said, I did see an amazing amount of GOOD done by the Catholic church all over the world. Your assertion that “this cult has already brainwashed millions of followers, leaving behind a legacy of torture, child abuse, and death” is  totally DEVOID of the critical thinking you pride yourself on. Has the institutional Catholic Church and some of its members done bad stuff---certainly!  And for many centuries bad stuff has happened. But have you ever stopped long enough to consider how much GOOD the Catholic church has done?? Obviously not…

            I was in a unique position to observe the GOOD. My late father was a close personal friend of John Paul II and also a close friend and associate to the heir of an  iconic American company  whose name anyone would recognize in an instant.  This man, while starting another business and investing a small portion of his fortune  to support himself and his family ended up going around the world for several decades donating the greater part of his fortune building villages, wells, schools, etc. for people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

            I do think one thing he failed to do was have someone teach Prosperity Consciousness to these people. Still, when someone is living in a tin and cardboard shack, eating a single bowl of watery gruel on a good day, I imagine Prosperity Consciousness has to take a back seat to a real roof over their head and  a few garden tools and seeds.  Typically the man I refer to would buy building supplies for the people, so they could build their own villages, dig wells, etc.

          Because of this work my father was involved in,  our house during my young years saw a constant stream of Catholic priests and monks visiting and reporting on their activities.  Did any of them do bad things to kids? I’ll never know…But what I do know is that more than a few of them (mostly Europeans from “good families”)  donated their fortunes (some of them quite considerable)  and their time, and literally their sweat to building the aforementioned villages and wells.  They used their own money, and funds from the iconic heir. As a young college student, I was quite impressed because many of these priests were basically European bluebloods most of whom had quite profund intellectual attainments. It was evident to me that they could have enjoyed cushy professorial positions in nearly any Catholic university in the world.  Heck—maybe a few of them could have even become evil Cult leaders to leave behind more “torture, child abuse, and death.” And maybe you would say they were “self-loathing” and gave away their money because of guilt, but what I saw was intelligent and dedicated  men whose eyes and faces radiated with Spirit and who were on a mission.

            Yes—the death, wars, dissolute popes, abuse, Inquisition all happened.  But there has been so much good as well. You see, as one of my teachers once told me “The vast majority of people are silently begging to be led.”

            I think the truth of that statement is obvious and instantly observable. (Note the Cult of Obama…) Not everyone can even “get” Prosperity consciousness, much less the higher teachings of Catholicism.  And yes, there are some AMAZINGLY high teachings in Catholicism—mostly centered around Divine Love, unity with Divine Consciousness, etc. And some of these filter down to the people, and hopefully  that process with accelerate very soon. The world is ready.  But historically,  most people have wanted to be led, and so any “religion” has to provide a relatively simple framework of do’s and don’t’s   until people are ready to be their own teachers.  And some people never will be ready in this lifetime.

            But all religions do have their higher levels for those who are ready…

            Jesus Christ: “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.”

            Buddha:  “Be ye lamps unto yourselves.”

            Lao Tze: “When you reach the state of  Creative Emptiness, you will see the Inner Mystery of things”

            So, Randy, it’s not all about mind-control it’s about levels of teaching and who is ready for each level.

            “Most of the 1.2 billion members of the Catholic cult believe the Pope has mystical curing powers from God.  They believe a blessing from him will cure diseases and save lives.”

 I have NEVER heard that in all my 16 years of Catholic education. In the canonization process of any saint (and JP II) is in that process now, the Church looks for so called “miracles” or cures which supposedly can be attributed to that individual. But, to my knowledge, it has never been a Catholic belief  that the Pope is endowed with “mystical curing powers from God.” And let’s be honest, your comment about Ben XVI was pretty snarky.

            “Meanwhile the Vatican continues missions in sub-Sahara Africa teaching the people in the remote villages there that condom use is a sin, condemning millions there to die of AIDS every year.  “   True, and sadly so, until recently, but Benedict XVI began to change all that; Still,  diehards and Neanderthals in the church continue to dig in their heels.

            OK, I’ll end this epic rant now…notwithstanding the mind-control, and centuries of bad stuff perpetrated by the church, the Church has still patronized and been responsible for some of the most inspirational architecture, art, and music on the planet.

            There is Yin and Yang, good and bad in everything, but real critical thinking would see both sides. Thanks for reading--all in the tone of "spirited debate."

 

Bob Choat
Bob Choat

Let's get back to the premise of what Randy had wrote about... And what he's always written about... The mindset... It's about the wealthy mindset versus the poverty mindset... You can argue all you want... Yet, without wealth, religions could not exist.  It takes money to build churches, right?  Where does that come from?  Not from the poor... 

 

I don't really care about one person's belief versus another person.  My family is all over the place.  I have a sister who is a Mormon and previously she was a Catholic... My mother was a Buddhist turned Lutheran turned Baptist... I have another sister who is Pentecostal... My Japanese family are all Buddhists... My relatives in the Ozarks are Pentecostal... I have friends from all religions and beliefs...

 

It is about how each believes.  My family in the Ozarks live very poorly and some have been on drugs.  They have one kind of attitude that doesn't suit me personally.  I have friends who do go to church and are wealthy...

 

It is all about the attitude regarding money.  There are those that say money isn't everything and won't get you happiness.  That may be true, though it makes it easier to live and give better choices.  Additionally, having more wealth will enable you to better help others... Warren Buffett was once asked (as he was at the beginning stages of his wealth) to contribute to charities.. He refused, saying that he knew how to better use the money he had then the charities that asked for it.  And he certainly did.  Had he gave his money away, Berkshire Hathaway would never have existed.  And he finally was in a position to help a greater amount of people then earlier in his life... 

CatherineLuense
CatherineLuense

In my personal view, the Catholic Church has played a huge roll in censoring what we are told. We are not getting the whole story and I for one do not believe in organized religion of any kind. There is a good reason why only 7% of all Americans are Catholic and the majority of that 7% is from immigrants from Latin America. We are free to think as we like and we are not fooled by religious leaders. Been there, done that, and will never go there again!

jillagogo
jillagogo

I'm with you 100% about the dangers of religion. . . Especially about not persecuting those that don't share yours. And about opening the tent for all; that we're all equal. Unfortunately, you cheapen this by joking that you could be a polygamist Mormon.

Udembaozoh Uche
Udembaozoh Uche

Religion is a subjective issue. It arouse a lot of controversy and hate when discussed in an environment like this, Randy. For the sake of your better than good sense of professionalism, kindly desist from posting religious articles on your most sought after blog and page. I pray you get this admonition.

RKR
RKR

Each and every one believes in what they choose to believe in...letting your beliefs stand in the way of rational thinking is hmmm not very ok...but to sound as if there is no God is what I find totally absurd...I am a Christian, totally believe in and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ...but as the Bible clearly spells it out, work out your own salvation...Phil 2:12...so at the end of the day, it is YOU, Yourself and YOU...

lusundraeverett
lusundraeverett

I'm a preacher's kid, so I was always on my way to hell! People have misinterpreted things and taken them to the extreme! I thank God, I'm free of that. I encourage each person to read their own religious book - whether the Bible or Koran to see what it says FOR YOURSELF, instead of just listening to the crap being said from the pulpit.

John R
John R

Randy,  Your fixation on material gains is sad.  The vast majority of people, certainly by the time they reaching your age, have realized there are higher purposes, higher callings in life,  than just material gains.  Perhaps, deep down, you realize that you "missed the bus", failed to "make the cut", yet your ego blocks you from dealing and solving the issue like a full man so you strike out at virtually any and all other beliefs or purposes beyond just money.  You seem much like the skinny grade school kid who has to continually make fun of the fat kid, poor kid, disabled kid, to compensate for a lack of self value or worth...All the time failing to realize you have a big booger hanging from your nose and its you that everyone is laughing at, feels sorry for, but certainly won't forget becasue of it.

Take care

malejagonzam
malejagonzam

I agree and now that I have really opened my mind to the religion topic, I am aware of all the memes I was raised with. Thanks for sharing this true and will surely end up on a very interesting controversy. Thanks for talking about this topic. You rock!!

I have my faith and faith on the creator who wants me to be prosperous, happy, worthy and that is what I say to my daugther everytime she says that she wants to be "a god servant" by praying and following the 10 Commandments. I say the best way to serve God is to do good, be wealthy, be prosperous and help others to do the same.

Bob Choat
Bob Choat

Question to all: How has the story of your life and those that came before you led to where you're at now?  That includes your beliefs, values and so forth... 

 

More questions: Do you live the kind of life you want?  Or are you still struggling with it?  

 

Remember, your beliefs do have an affect on everything you do.  If you haven't gotten to where you want to get to, it's your beliefs that led you to where you are at now.  If you are poor, then it is your beliefs that created it.  If you are rich, same thing.  If you are healthy and fit, beliefs...  And in every other area of your life.  Beliefs even enable you to deal with challenges, including resiliency...

 

Are your beliefs serving you at the highest and best way possible?

DigitalWheelie
DigitalWheelie

Awesome.

 

I just wish you mentioned how "the bible" that cling to (AKA The King James Bible) is a politically motivated translation. The Aramaic version is quite different...

Teresa de Grosbois
Teresa de Grosbois

Randy, this is seriously the most courageous blog post I have ever seen.

 

Thanks for being an icon for discussing the tough topics!  Am deeply inspired by your stand.  

Rafiu Oluwagbenga
Rafiu Oluwagbenga

Randy, you have done a lot but you can't be known everything. Concerning religious i will advice you to not say much about it.

visualriot
visualriot

Randy - I have read and re-read Why You’re Dumb, Sick & Broke, and How to get SMART, HEALTHY & RICH!  It was my first introduction to your work. I agree that organized religion is a great enabling power BUT as you relate in your first chapter People have to take responsibility for themselves as you took responsibility for you getting stabbed and for the mistakes at the hospital.  

Leeloo
Leeloo

I wonder with "whom" or "what" you clicked to write this post EXACTLY the same day the new pope was elected!?!?!

I better don´t wonder ;)

Edward D Devero
Edward D Devero

After reading these quotes from the Koran, I really can't see any fault in blowing people up if they don't believe what you do. Makes perfect sense to me. Doesn't seem unreasonable at all.

Debbie Falconer
Debbie Falconer

Shame on you, Randy. I will pray for you, even though…..

Oops, sorry about that. I am a recovering Catholic, but fell off the wagon there.

It's either make a little joke, or continue to be angry about how religion got in the way of my faith.

AronTerrell
AronTerrell

Good job getting traffic. This would certainly do it. I read it as a critical thinker...did some serious inquiry into my beliefs...and I still follow Jesus and the Word. I believe religion is man's way of trying to get to God. And Christianity is all about God reaching man.

 

I am a Christian. And while I don't agree with many things people do or say, including most of this post, I don't persecute. I strive to love like Jesus did. That's how I want to live. Yes, speak out against sin. Against hatred. Against things leading people to death. But always love. Jesus was either lying, He was crazy, or He was telling the truth. I don't believe He was lying or that He was crazy. I have no other choice than to believe that He is who He says He was, the Christ, and I follow Him. I do believe the Scriptures, completely. And I'll leave this comment with some of my favorite Scripture:

 

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:37-40

mel1206
mel1206

It is interesting - I was struck by the thought of teaching us, or the Pope saying, that as Americans we are greedy and should give more.  I have always felt America is the opposite of that; we give TOO much, as a people and as a country. At least, we give inappropriately.  I am all for giving to those less fortunate - but with the intent of creating a situation in which they can become more fortunate; not to perpetuate their feeling of worthlessness.  What is that old saying?  'Give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he can eat for a lifetime.'  What is the point in giving if you aren't solving the base problem.

 

 

Anyway - I digress and really should get back to your post and give it the attention that it deserves. :-)  I need to pass this on to my husband, he will thoroughly enjoy your point of view.

Lea Sedan
Lea Sedan

Someone said to everyone that he is atheist  ,than someone else asked him:

If you want to be atheist than you have to be sure that there isn't God at all,

Did you search the God in any place, all over the universe and didn't find him?

How you can be sure that God isn't exist?

Tolstoy said that the" Religion  is like opium for the people",may  be he was right

MarkReynolds
MarkReynolds

Randy, I'm a fellow atheist with lots to reflect about regarding the impact of religion, religious leaders, and religious ideas and ideals on people's lives - and I agree with many of your observations.

 

Generally, though, I keep my thoughts to myself unless someone engages me in a conversation about these topics.

 

There are many who have a deep faith and find that it serves them well.  There are many religious organisations who do a lot of good in this world.  My own personal opinion is that their philosophical base is deluded, but that's just my opinion, and again I'll leave them alone in this unless they wish to engage me in a conversation about these things.

 

BTW, my primary degree is a Bachelor in Theology, with enough additional topics for nearly a theological degree twice over and very close to full ministerial training, as well as 15 years of extensive experience in full-time religious involvement.

 

I have changed, but when I did I vowed I at least wouldn't change from being an evangelist for the faith to an evangelist for atheism.

 

While I'm not at all suggesting that those of us who think differently should just keep our opinions completely to ourselves (after all, there are plenty of highly opinionated and vociferous exponents of religion), I do think that when we engaged in such topics, we need to do so with some carefulness and sensitivity to the beliefs and opinions of others.

Dejan Ivanovski
Dejan Ivanovski

I was stop reading after 50 word , because i dont like to be brain washed , i dont like to read for pops and tv's show or else i do what i wont to do, NO ONE WILL TELL ME WHAT TO DO , eve you Randy !!!

Jonathan Okanlawon
Jonathan Okanlawon

Randy, i respect you as a successful leader of leaders and inspiring person, but to be candid, i disagree with you on this post. Just because you are a rational person does not mean you should ever facet of religion under the bus. What do you believe in? this world is not our final place, i hope you know that. we are just actors in the stage of life and when your performance is over, you leave the scene. Have you ever thought of Life after Death? did this world come by accident? what keeps the planets, solar system in check? have you thought about that. Is it rational thinking No. Now i KNOW there are some who use religion as a cloak to perpetrate their selfish means and use religious books as a crutch to brainwash people. But there are some people who have hinged their entire lives on this. Do not insult people's intelligence. Amen. I rest my case. Cheers

Steven Hamberg
Steven Hamberg

Stoking the fire and stirring the pot, very nice job of creating a piece that is so debatable.

passerini
passerini

A good one Randy. Nothing new to me, just agreeing and liking how you put things down. Now we have a new Pope, white smoke, from Argentina… He has got a hell of a lot of work to do, do I think he is up to his job? I hope so, I doubt it. 

Ron
Ron

I've always wondered whether people whom I subscribe to like to know when I am removing them from my newsfeed...  I am totally anti-religion, but brother you have made some large generalizations and have "thrown the baby out with the bath water".  I can see you have a very humanistic approach and understand your core beliefs from this post.  Live long and prosper.

Gutenmaher
Gutenmaher

I must admit I'm shocked! This kaleidoskope of ideas is misleading because one cannot see the wood from the trees! People where raised praising their faith not because they where meant to stay poor! They just have to learn empathy and compassion! Maybe someone which is very rich will consider answering here in order to have an appropiate view!

Trackbacks

  1. […] the kerfuffle from the last post on how organized religion brainwashes people in ways that lead to self-sabotage and de…   Lots of comments from people who think I’m out to get religion, or failing to recognize the […]

  2. […] the kerfuffle from the last post on how organized religion brainwashes people in ways that lead to self-sabotage and de…   Lots of comments from people who think I’m out to get religion, or failing to recognize the […]

  3. […] you didn’t see the extensive post I did on that subject, find it here.  Lisa Jimenez raised an interesting question on that original post.  She wants to know what the […]

  4. […] commenters on the earlier posts on this subject have chastised me for being judgmental or as dogmatic as the brainwashed religious […]

  5. […] commenters on the earlier posts on this subject have chastised me for being judgmental or as dogmatic as the brainwashed religious […]

 

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