When I was a little kid I started a club. It was kind of small, only four members including me. Nonetheless I was the leader and I made the rules. The only rule I actually remember was very simple, and very childish. The rule stated that no club member could believe that super heroes were real...except for my favorite one at the time...Spiderman. Who would have thought that at age 7, I actually understood the foundation of all religions..."your personal favorite fairy tale is the only one in which you may believe."
For those who do not know the definition of "cult," here you go...
Cult (kŭlt) n.
- a. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
b. The followers of such a religion or sect.
- A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
- The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
- A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.
- a. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
b. The object of such devotion.
- An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.
This pretty much defines every single religion on this planet.
In some dictionaries you may find that the stated difference between popular religions and cults is that popular religions are exempt from the definition. There are even definitions that state that the only difference between cults and religions is that if a large number of people believe in something it is accepted as a religion.
The only key difference between cults and religions is that religions are "accepted" by significant portions of the population.
In other words, if enough people believed in the tooth fairy, Toothfairyism would be accepted as a valid religion.
My definition of religion is pretty simple: it is a fairy tale wrapped in a circus. I mean really...did you ever see a Catholic mass? Who made that stuff up?
Do people know how enormous the universe is? Do you know how many stars and planets and galaxies are out there? Do you have a clue? Well here is something to think about...something that NONE OF YOU LEARNED IN YOUR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS: there are more than 70 sextillion stars in our universe! That's 70,000 million million million, or 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars of all sizes. Now, out of all those stars and out of all the planets that surround many of those stars...do you really think you...human beings...are it? You guys are some God's focal point? Out of the 70 sextillion stars and their associated planets...you people are some God's image and his sole concern? That can not be considered much of an accomplishment when taken in context. Pretty shabby work if you ask me, especially since you can not even agree on what your God is all about. And to be honest...you have to have powerful delusions of grandeur to place yourself at the focal point of in a universe of this magnitude.
On another note: did you ever think about the similarities between religions and street gangs? I did...here they are...
|Gang Signs||Gestures like crossing one's self|
|Colors||Garb - Yarmulkes, crosses, burkas|
|Clubhouses||Houses of worship|
|Patches||Jewelry (crosses, stars of David)|
Both gangs and religions have the following in common:
1. They hate the other groups
2. They fight for total domination
3. They kill indiscriminately in the name of their group
4. They need lots and lots of money
5. They are tax exempt
6. You can not park in front of their club houses (in the case of the gang...it is not the law but it is a good idea to park elsewhere.)
What gangs do not have in common with religions:
1. Gangs don't fool their members into joining. You know what it is all about and there is no question that the reason for joining exist. There is no mystery.
2. Gangs do not require you to to have faith in them. They deliver on their promises to you. You toe the line and you get your share.
3. Gangs have tangible verifiable deliverables. They promise money, power, protection, whatever...if they tell you it is part of the deal, for the most part it is. You don't have to wait until you are dead in order to cash in or verify their claims.
Anyway...if you don't think religion is just simply ridiculous, just attend a religious ceremony of some other religion...one drastically different than your own. Then keep in mind that your rituals look just as silly to anyone who has not been indoctrinated...and it is.
The Ultimate Mind Fuck
Religion is the single most powerful destructive weapon when used against the human mind's ability to think critically. It conditions young forming minds to accept "truth" from an authority figure no matter how little support that "truth" has in the material world. It conditions you to believe the words of people who can then get you to believe one unbelievable thing after another...you know...idiotic things like that "terrorists want to kill you because they don't like your freedom!" Do you really believe that nonsense? Have you ever actually heard anyone on this planet threaten any American because they opposed our freedom? How many of you believe that? Why? I will tell you why...it is because one of your trusted authorities (TV news person, politician, clergy), told you to believe it...and your religiously broken critical thinking process did not kick in and make you ask for verifications or simply see that idiocy for what it is...unverified, illogical, unsubstantiated, childish idiocy!
If you want to understand how religion was nothing more than a hijacking of the true, yet primitive understanding of our universe...watch this...