Many in recent weeks have been alarmed about the rising tide of religious intolerance and extremism on ATS and the sheer volume of Religious oriented
threads dotting the discussion boards.
Many others think it’s about time as they opine about the dangers of certain religion, religion itself or the importance of religious prophecy.
If asked many would say it’s a result of the Park 51 Community Center and Prayer Space proposed to be built within a few blocks of the former World
Trade Centers. Some would contend it’s the recent controversy over International Burn a Quran Day.
Others would say its end time prophecies and how people imagine they are coming to pass. Whether these are Mayan 2012, Hopi, Christian Revelations, or
Islam’s 12th Imam, some are urging us all to repent before it is too late, some to prepare and some to surrender ourselves and submit to what they
feel is ultimately inevitable.
Yet the truth is that it is really none of these things that is the core driving factor leading to the pervasive attitudes of fear and pessimism,
where hope, goodwill and trust is increasingly shorter and shorter supply.
While many of us passionately debate the virtues of religion, religious doctrine or lack there of, and whether it serves God, and those that follow
the many scriptures, gospels and commandments that have come from Judean, Christian and Islamic Sects, or the Powers that Be, the Patrician and
Corporate Oligarchs and Royals the tend to be the real force that drives most earthly events, most if not all of us can agree there are some
fundamental esoteric truths in religion.
All of the more recent events and stimuli mentioned above are but merely symptoms, as what really is driving all these events is Money, the root of
all evil, and specifically the lack of money in a recessed and depressed economy.
In this piece and discussion I intend to lay out the foundations for this notion for all to consider and discuss.
Religion the Opiate of the masses
“Die Religion… ist das Opium des Volkes” reads the original famous quote by Karl Marx, translated from his native German “Religion is the
Opium of the people”.
While Marx and his ideas of a Utopian Communist society have oft been both abused and misunderstood by those seeking to turn it into a pseudo religion
in it’s own right, Marx’s many believe his thinking to be sound in this regard.
While many people understand their own perceptions of religion and what it means to them, let’s stop for a moment for those who don’t understand
the qualities of opium.
Opium use is as old as religion itself dating back in recorded history to 4200 BCE.
Opium interacts with the brain causing it to shut down its own natural endorphin production while introducing a much larger supply of endorphins into
the central nervous system, creating a sense of euphoria and wellbeing.
While it’s possible to naturally ratchet up one’s endorphin production through strenuous exercise like a ‘Jogger’s High’ or self inflicted
pain of a masochistic or religious nature through practices like sado/masochism or those that flog, whip or crucify themselves to experience the
mythical Christ’s pain along the route to the cross and his crucifixion, even without these more strenuous and extreme activities, many people get a
natural endorphin release through religion, and meditation.
That sense of euphoria, and wellbeing and the sense of contentment and security that come along with it.
So though many might bristle at the notion, opium and religion can and often do produce very similar effects.
While many would argue for or against the virtues of one over another two things remain clear.
One is both opium and its derivative heroin as well as religion are very popular still to this day.
Two is unlike opium and its natural and artificial derivative which indulging can lead to very expensive addictions costing upwards of several hundred
dollars a day to someone in the full throws of addiction, religion itself is virtually free.
Entire societies like China’s have virtually collapsed through Opium addiction, its allure and use became so pervasive, while on the other hand
entire societies have succumbed to theocracies, a religious inspired government of all the people, that have often then led to collapse and
revolutions as well as those so inspired by their religion they have exported it to other peoples and lands violently.
Opium does have some real medicinal benefits when used in prescribed ways in careful moderation.
Religion does have some real spiritual benefits when used in the manner as put forth in the gospels.
Yet both Opium and Religion do have a tendency to be over abused by those who end up allowing them to entirely dominate their life, and open the door
to dealers and merchants of one, and priests and politicians of the other, who further exploit that in ways that are seldom to anyone’s benefit, and
While opium costs money and religion is free, there are a number of other things that make for a well entertained and happy society that cost money
For the most part we call them luxuries, but many especially in the Western First World Nations, even those in the lower and middle socio-economic
classes have long enjoyed some.
Dining out, going to the movies, a weekend get-a-way, or vacation or an impulse shopping spree, or sporting or other entertainment event, are things
many of us are accustomed to during healthy economic times.
Many like to work hard, then play hard too, enjoying the fruits of those labors in a well balanced life where entertainment, recreation, and work all
go hand in hand. Many find pride and joy in indulging their children’s pursuits of recreational and educational opportunities that cost money. Many
children anxious to socialize in the world and learn from it and explore it put a lot of pressure on parents to fund the expense and cost of doing
some of those things. When we can that makes them happy, and that makes us happy. When we can’t that makes them unhappy, and tends to make us
When times do get difficult economically, we all start cutting our expenses, luxuries go first, as needs are reassessed in favor of wants. Many soon
find that they are not only frustrated and bored from not being able to afford the economic cost of many forms of recreation and self indulgence, but
find a lot of extra time on their hands in absence to them to question what has suddenly happened that they no longer can enjoy these things.
Initially they look to politicians that typically provide some level of false hope, while asking for some patience. They are working on it, they have
assembled a team, legislation is pending, the finest minds are working on it, and things are improving blah, blah, blah.
Yet these words more often than not are hollow ones and the gestures empty, and while people want to trust in their leaders and authority they start
looking elsewhere for answers.
Some even flock here to ATS looking for the deeper and darker reasons why their standard of life is not well.
Some will turn to drugs like Opium if they can still afford to some how by hook or by crook, to escape an increasingly unpleasant and frustrating
Yet others, many others will turn to religion, that other opium of the people, for not just solace but answers. Answers that they typically find in
doom and gloom prophecies.
That normally would be a turn off for many people, but like our political leaders, and their own promises of better times, these prophecies off the
religious hope of much better times once a prescribed period of tribulation, suffering, repenting, and penitence has occurred.
In many ways religion is more powerful, while opium addiction comes with a certain stigma of being amoral or weak or overly self indulgent, religion
offers something of the opposite nature, a very powerful word and ideal called absolution.
Believe and obey, and all your wrongs shall be forgiven and you will stand in good stead when these tribulations are over.
There is now a real offer, of a tangible reward for accepting stoically one’s fate, and resigning oneself to accept dark days.
Whether you are a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim the faithful believe these things almost…
Three Card Monte and the Old Shell Game
Because each one of these three sects, offer absolution only based on following it’s scriptures, gospels and commandments, that means in many
practitioners eyes you only have a one out of three chance of getting that absolution and it’s all dependent on whether you picked you the right
sect to believe in.
No matter what sect you chose some fundamental aspects of human nature now come into play. First you don’t want to even consider being wrong when it
comes to such an important choice in theory. Two in order to be right, you have to accept the other two sects are then wrong. Three because you just
‘love’ everyone, you want to save the other two from them selves and promote your sect as the right one, in large part primarily to validate your
choice in it. Four because the other two are wrong, they can’t stand you are right, and because you have already been ‘saved’ by making the
correct choice, their concern that you have not been becomes a test of your own faith by ‘evil’ forces who don’t want you to receive absolution,
but want to dominate the world through a false and horrible doctrine.
Your religion of Love now either supports and some politicians and religious leaders would say demand such violent solutions as preemptive war, where
you do unto another, what you fear they intend to do to you first, or acts of violence to martyr yourself for your cause.
This all amounts to a game of Three Card Monte, or the Shell Game.
With three choices in play, you are literally staking your life on having selected the right one, and indeed for some they are willing to go one step
further and stake not just their own life that they have chosen the right one, but to take a life or lives of those they are sure have chosen the
Someone addicted to opium might opt to rob you to feed and pay for their addiction, but that’s only because they imagine you have the money that
will enable them to do that. Robbery and murder of course are two different things and no one offers violent thieving junkies absolution so they tend
to try not to kill anyone in this pursuit.
Those who have embraced religion though to the point of similar addiction tend not to be so particular though, because they all believe in theory
absolution can be had from their God.
Of course having two thirds of the earth’s population split three ways along these lines, and each equally insecure and intent to prove they are
right, certainly does provide an opportunity for those who would manipulate those fears and desires.
Each sect comes to fear the other, each sure the other wants to dominate them and eliminate them, for bad and evil reasons, each sure the other will
use violence in all its extreme forms to attain that end.
Many then see their sect’s survival and dominance as a numbers game that they then pursue in two different ways.
One is to recruit, recruit, recruit, to proselytize the virtues of your religion, the importance of its prophecies the euphoria, joy and contentment
and absolution it ultimately claims to offer.
Two is to use attrition to reduce the other sect’s numbers. Some see the way to do this as convincing the others theirs is the true religion and the
way to go. Others see a greater advantage through killing the members of another religion or driving them into Diaspora.
Making them flee their traditional homes and lands for safer greener pastures, and removing them from the environment.
While many see a spread of Islam into Western First World Nations and Cultures most perceive it as a purposeful act on part of Islam to spread its
influence to become the dominant sect.
Yet the real driving factors behind this started with the displacement of millions of Muslims by the reintroduction of the State of Israel in the 20th
Century, where now stateless Palestinians have travelled far and wide looking for new homes and economic opportunities.
Because Judaism is the least popular sect based on numbers of practitioners it has a lot tougher road to hoe in the numbers game, so attrition often
becomes the number one remedy by Israel in establishing security through dominance.
Maintaining a dominant sphere of influence becomes key and central to that goal, and that includes creating economic and political conditions that
make the Middle East an increasingly dangerous place to live as bombs and missiles rain on each side of the Muslim/Judean divide.
War causes refugees seeking safe haven, yet the presence of refugees in a save haven, when those refugees have a different religion and culture, tends
to make the pre-existing denizens of that save haven, feel insecure and worry about why they really are there, when it comes to who is going to have
those dominating numbers, that are required in a world that runs largely on a might makes right concept of morality and security.
This then tends to lead to even more approval of violent remedies which tends to then just lead to more refugees!
So while some see Islam spreading, I believe it’s more accurate to say it’s being displaced, in part by the presence of Israel, and the wars that
are often being waged, for oil and opium under the thin guise of Holy Crusades for those religious minded people who do see their own sect as being
the ‘right’ choice, and the superior one.
While of course the religious seek to profit off of this, which really profits of it, are military industrialists who manufacture and sell the
weapons, the bankers who lend the money to purchase them, and the opium dealers themselves!
Banks and the Powers that Be Understanding Three Card Monte and the Shell Game
While many people do see the hand of God or prophecy in the day’s current events, others see financial and economic manipulations of the Elite as
the real driving factor.
As any confidence artist, shylock or hustler can tell you the trick to Three Card Monte is keeping the Red Queen the object of the game is picking, up
your sleeve and the ball hidden under the three shells in the Shell Game in the palm of your hand.
All three options the player has gambled on are false ones. The game is not meant to be won, the game is meant to take you for a ride and fleece you
of your money.
Trillions have been spent on the Middle East Wars, much of it borrowed in the people’s names of the nations fighting these wars, so that bankers are
making a fortune in interest, and most of that borrowed money has been paid to a small amount of corporations that provide technology, weaponry and
contractors to assist in fighting the wars.
Primarily the Oil Companies have benefitted the most, because the turmoil and uncertainty makes for the security of trade routes being speculative,
based on a presumption they could be disrupted at any time by hostilities. Indeed every time the Israeli or U.S. Government comes out with a threat of
sanctions or military action against Iran the spot futures market on oil inches upward as speculators pay may for it in bulk in advance increasing its
price to consumers.
Gasoline is like a tax for most of us, our suburban sprawl lifestyle and desire to be independent in as many things as possible makes gasoline a
genuine need and not a luxury.
As its price goes up, it decreases our spending power in every other arena of life.
Yet it also increases further the prices for other necessities like groceries and basic life sustaining economies because most of them are produced
and packaged in oil intensive ways. When the price of oil goes up, so does the price of those commodities as the businesses pass that added expense
along to the consumer, thus decreasing one’s spending power further.
The less discretionary income a person has, the less entertainment time they tend to have as a result, the more they then focus on looking for answers
why and many do turn to religion.
Yet the number one supporters amongst the populations of all sides fighting in the Middle East are the people who support it for religious reasons!
Thus setting the conditions for the cycle to be perpetual where violence and the price of oil, and a decreasing quality of life and purchasing power
all go hand in hand.
Bread and Circuses
When times get difficult economically people still want entertained, in fact they want entertained more than ever to distract themselves from empty
wallets, empty stomachs, and empty and broken promises.
So even those who are not religious end up getting drawn to the spectacle of the religious infighting and the high drama it is known sometimes to
create. Will they dare to build a mosque there? Will they dare to burn a Quran? Will someone retaliate and how?
Intrigues breed drama and spectacle, and often the fears that lead to even more drama and spectacle.
Prophecies can in turn be made to be self fulfilling as the conditions for them to be are literally created by those who are sure they will come to
pass and want to see them come to pass.
With words like God and absolution involved, King and Country involved, it’s never the individual’s fault for gambling this is a good investment
of their focus and beliefs.
In a fear intensive atmosphere where people are already feeling insecure about how they will pay the rent or mortgage this month, while worried about
how they are going to fill up their gas tank to get to work in the morning, and feed their family tonight, fear and worry become a way of life.
Any fear it seems then becomes a valid one, everyone and anyone who things it differently a potential enemy.
More people are then willing to justify extreme and provocative remedies just further deepening the cycle and the crisis and perpetuating it as they
The drama and allure as entertainment to an impoverished group becomes consuming.
For those few who are profiting handsomely on it, manipulating its continuance becomes a necessity in their own mind.
Many would say the prophecies are the logical outcome in a sense of so much greed and stupidity.
Yet far too many would not change that even if they could come to believe the very real manipulations by the elite are behind it, because of that
powerful opiate like desire for religion to assuage their every fear, and give them feelings of security and contentment.
Restoring Economic Vitality
How to get off that ride? Living well they say is the best revenge and few could argue successfully at the present they are living well.
Money the root of all evil continues to be the root of the problem. Yet the fine art of making, earning or stealing money is usually more intensive
and harder than being entertained by the symptoms manifest when economic decay and a lack of economic vitality is present.
People as a result end up gravitating towards the things that will worsen and continue the cycle.
While the earth is not short of resources or a bounty capable of sustaining all in a much more quality life it is short of jobs and economic
In large that’s part because most of the resources are controlled and owned by very few people, the Powers that Be.
So jobs then become dependent on what kind of logistical infrastructure they see fit in running those businesses that mine, farm, craft and
manufacture, and then retail and service them and the products created by them.
Once they reach a certain quota they really need no more workers, or consumers, and since the resources are already locked up in their control, it
becomes very hard for anyone outside that very small group, to provide opportunities to the masses.
You now have worthless eaters, people who aren’t needed for any available work, people who aren’t great consumers because they have no money.
An excess of humanity that in large part became excessive through a numbers game of trying to attain dominance for their religious sect or nation.
There is strength in numbers or so it is believed, but that strength can turn into a liability when there is an excess that serves no real purpose to
the powers that be.
An excess that can easily be manipulated to be excessive in their perspectives and perceptions and the remedies they will support to lead to the
promise of a better tomorrow.
They become especially easy to exploit to the religion they turn to, to sustain themselves in the most difficult and uncertain of times.
It becomes so easy to manipulate them through prophecy to an end that just makes the rich, richer, the poor poorer, and the other guy, instead of the
big guy, the real guy, the fall guy.
While the religious see each rival sect as the enemy and the harbinger of doom, and nationalists and statists and those that subscribe to those
notions of identity as the rival nation as being the harbinger of doom, in reality it’s the Powers that Be, that very small group of international
corporate elitists and royals who manipulate the religious for their own profit who are the real enemy of the people of earth.
The people of earth who see themselves usually as any thing but, but a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew, or an American, German or Iranian, or a
Republican or Democrat, as they are first divided, then manipulated and then conquered using their own aspirations, desire for dominance, validity and
absolution as their ultimate undoing.
Creating a robust economy in all areas of the world so that everyone can lead a quality of life that is well balanced between work and play, the
physical and the spiritual, the sensual and intellectual is key to eliminating the appeal of Opium and Religion as an escape and the religious
fundamentalism and extremism that manifests itself in supporting fear based preemptive wars and acts of terrorism.
Focusing on the real enemy, scarcity and deprivation, caused by systems that many imagine once worked but are now broken that were in fact always
designed to promote scarcity and deprivation becomes the key in making the world a happy and safe place for everyone where no one feels threatened or
compelled, to turn to extreme forms of belief to justify violence, death, murder and rape, and being indifferent to the suffering and the needy as a
Understanding the world is first and foremost the most important step in then changing it!