posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 06:10 AM
Well, as for ALL religions being businesses, I can't comment because I know very little about the innerworkings of any religions except for one. For
sixteen years of my life, (and as far paperwork is concerned, even up until now), I was a member of the Mormon church. I was a big believer in all of
their doctrine and everything. Eventually I left, (or tried to leave), and that led me to start doing some research and investigating on the religion
I had been born into and raised in and believed in all my life.
I did some math, and came to the conclusion that the Mormon "religion" is in NO way different from a business. It is not only the RICHEST church in
the world, but also the fastest growing.
Members are required, "by God", to give ten percent of all their earnings to the Church. Each month they are supposed to skip three meals, and give
the money they saved from not eating to the Church. The "sacred" underwear, known as "garments", that each member is required after receiving
their Endowments, (another topic altogether), and that special underwear also costs money. The Church also owns the company Deseret Book. As a
Mormon I used to buy books on religion from a small store by my house. I was cautioned by my church leaders NEVER to buy from ANYone except Deseret
Book, which I thought was weird even at the time. Later the Prophet of the church, President Hinckley, (yes, he is referred to as the President more
often than as the Prophet), was speaking at the annual General Conference, which is broadcast via sattelite to millions of members around the world,
said that we should only buy books from Deseret Book. And that is just a short list of the way the Church rakes in the dough.
My uncle, (who left the Church when I did but rejoined since), used to work with some of the General Authorities, (members of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles, or one of the Quorums of the Seventy, and sometimes even of the Presidency), and he told me that every single one of them is a well-to-do,
Paying ten percent of your earnings, known as tithing, is considered a commandment from God in the Mormon church, although it's never listed along
with the original ten given to Moses. However, the commandment of tithing is the ONE AND ONLY commandment that EVERY member of the Church is required
to show up once a year for what's called "Tithing Settlement". Basically the Bishop in every Ward calls your whole family into the same room, then
asks you in front of all of them if you pay your tithing. I have been to numerous tithing settlements, and there's a lot of pressure with your whole
family there. They know if you do or don't pay your tithing, and it's all very uncomfortable. It's the ONLY commandment that they require you to
do anything like this.
If you do not pay a full ten percent, you are not allowed to enter into the Mormon Temple and do the "work of God". (Don't get me started on the
It is also considered a commandment to have kids. There's a ridiculous amount of pressure on people to get married as soon as they are of age, and
even more pressure to have kids immediately after a couple is married. My aunt told me that her and my uncle were actually called in by their Stake
President the week after they were wed, and he put a lot of pressure on them to start having kids immediately. Today she has five kids. It seems to
me that this may or may not go along with the Church trying to make money. More kids mean more people paying more tithing, buying more books from
Deseret Book, buying more special underwear, paying Fast Offerings, etc.
I also have heard a rumor that most if not all of the money the Mormon Church makes is tax-free, since it is considered a non-profit organization.
I could go even more into it, but this is already way too long. I'm actually wondering if I didn't go off on a tangent and this information I just
typed is completely irelevant to the original topic. :p In conclusion, though, if the Momron religion, it is by far one of the most brilliant
business ventures in human history. To have people giving their money away for a product called "salvation" which may or may not exist, and all the
little fees on the side. Not to mention the fact that people are commanded to procreate and give birth to more "customers". And the two year
mission men are required to go on at nineteen where for two years they are forced to recruit/convert more "customers". On top of which some if not
all of it is tax-free! A brilliant business if I do say so myself!
[edit on 25-11-2004 by an3rkist]
[edit on 25-11-2004 by an3rkist]