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How and Why Religions Control People

Before you buy into any religion, ask yourself, are they selling you something, or are they trying to buy you?

They say that Ignorance is bliss, that a dumb person is more likely to be happy than an intelligent one. Unfortunately they also say that its easier to lead a dumb person than to influence a smart one.

Now I am not saying that people who blindly follow religion are dummies, many have been brainwashed since childhood and are too scared to look beyond what they have been taught, after all they have been schooled under the threat of hell for entertaining other thoughts and questioning what they have been told.

How?

Religion is manipulative, and the biggest manipulation device they use is the reward of a pleasant after-life and the threat of horrid one. In Christianity these are known as heaven and hell. Most every religion has some sort of reward/threat system to control people. People are even threatened that if they explore other options they are going to suffer eternal damnation.

The second manipulation technique is forming rules. Some people find comfort within this system, just like many people born into military families find it much easier being told what to do and when to do it. Many people, after having their lives controlled, being told when to wake up, how to make their bed, and so on, find it difficult to live outside those rules, and many cannot even establish rules for themselves, or live without rules. This is exactly what happens to people within religion. They become accustomed to the control it has over their lives.

The third is offering a father figure. Even in abusive situations people often still try to find love and approval from their father. Religion is no different. Religions offer a father figure, in Christianity, God is even referred to as “the Father”, “our Father”, etc. Nobody wants to disappoint their father.

The fourth manipulation device is brainwashing. Although nobody likes to think of it as such, in most religions it is clear that this is taking place. Brainwashing is described as any effort to instill certain attitudes or beliefs into a person. In brainwashing people are broken down and then rebuilt. The same thing happens in most religions as people are told they are nothing, born into sin, and so on, BUT by accepting their religion, they can be saved. To learn more about how brainwashing takes place in religion, especially in children in the Evangelical Christian church, see the movie Jesus Camp.

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  1. ken bultman

    On July 2, 2009 at 6:24 am


    Well thought out and written article. I agree will all premises presented.

  2. Daisy Peasblossom

    On July 2, 2009 at 8:56 am


    I’ve always been in favor of informed faith. Hence, I’m pretty sure that there is Something that holds it all together–the Cosmos has so many interactive patterns, it seems beyond coincidence. However, I don’t put faith in any mortal being, living or dead, to be able to decide right or wrong for me. Having said that, I am the product of my mother’s and grandmother’s firm and systematic “brainwashing”. Things like, “Don’t hit your younger cousins; if you can’t clean the whole house, sweep the floor and wash the dishes; animals and small children first; don’t kill anything unless you plan to eat it; don’t eat your own species; don’t put more on your plate than you plan to eat. The list could go on quite a while–raising kids is necessarily brainwashing. Small humans are not born civilized. Religions tend to be parental in approach. I figure I got parented plenty–now I have to raise myself.

  3. PR Mace

    On July 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm


    I have seen this in many churches and with my husband retired Navy we have gone to many churches. Loving God should be a joy and something you want to do , not something you are forced to do.

  4. Ruby Hawk

    On July 2, 2009 at 8:55 pm


    B,I agree with you entirely. Religions and churches have too much influence in our society. They have too much power in politics and they take in too much money and pay no taxes. I don’t blame the people who have been led to believe the religious mumbo jumbo.It’s brain washing pure and simple. I have no use for religion but I do believe our universe and everything was created by some sort of intelligence and there is a reason and plan that will be discovered someday far in the future when we have the intelligence to understand. I believe we are no more than an insect struggleing to understand the universe. But struggle we must and not be led by pretenders.

  5. postpunkpixie

    On July 3, 2009 at 4:51 pm


    Organised religion is a dangerous and frightening thing. As usual, I agree with you, especially after watching Jesus Camp (painful viewing or what?). I’ve thought for a long time that spirtuality and personal experience is a lot more important than old books and priests.

  6. Conner Good

    On July 5, 2009 at 8:20 pm


    VERY interesting article…throught-provoking…

  7. Linley Clark

    On July 7, 2009 at 6:09 am


    An article that persuades other people.. a person who doesn’t strongly believe in his religion may easily be provoked by this..

    everything you have written is all about your opinion..

    but for me religion does not control you.

    First of all, haven’t you seen a BIBLE before? My friend, no one is forced to join any religion especially if it is against that person’s will.

    Brainwashing? Oh no, truly a NO. In my religion, brainwashing is not applied. maybe to some religions yes.. but writing the people are born into sin is plain wrong.

    I can only give you an advice, listen well..
    Seek the TRUTH that will calm you and give you a peace of mind.

  8. Mark Gordon Brown

    On July 7, 2009 at 9:05 am


    Well, I can honestly say Brainwashing definately takes place big time in Christianity, especially the fundimental forms of it.
    I have not seen ONE religion where people do not try to influence their childrens choices through early brainwashing/programming. I was born into it and later saw through it. For a time I even partook in it myself (I taught Sunday School).

    I have not seen one parent NOT try to influence their childs religious decision.

    Jesus Camp is an awesome movie!

  9. Allison West

    On July 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm


    This is a great article, so intelligent with wonderful insights. I’m pondering religions vs. spirituality at this point in my life, so this was helpful for me, thanks for writing this.

  10. Joseph Petro

    On December 14, 2009 at 9:51 am


    Incredible article. You not only know it does so but you understand why with facts. Any one who does not agree with this piece is clearly posessed.

    “My friend, no one is forced to join any religion especially if it is against that person’s will.’ Use common sense. Religuous people raise their kids which forces them to be brain washed in lies while growing up. The mind has the full capability to decide what it wants but not if it was grown to do so.

    Faith is making a blind devotion out of not thinking.
    Watch Religulous by Bill Maher.

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