if you was to create a successful religion how would it be? note SUCCESFUL not ethical or moral.
Let's come up with a'super-religion' that can somehow trick people into giving their souls, their lives and most importantly...................their WALLETs
Would your religion have one divine being or multiple? I would have one, so not to confuse people. I would let him be seen so that we could sell pictures of him, statues, t-shirts, portraits, replica's etc. Having a religion which forbids images is not conducive to the good of the religion.
Religious text for people to refer to ? one thick book for everyone, also a limited/deluxe edition version would inspire and fill up pockets. It would have to be very long and have a creation theory. A moral code should be set down too. Also stories about how people who followed your moral code were blessed and people who didn't died horribly.
A couple of characters with flaws, but ultimately teach us about how to live our lives according to these beliefs ? some central influential figures and messiahs to look up to are a must, with stories of great heroism and how they overcame hardship struggles and hurdles against all the odds. Some superman like powers to perform miracles also helps to create an 'aura'. Every religion needs a prophet, some one to idolize and look up to.
Fear mongering/consequences on what will happen to you if you fail/refuse to follow the beliefs we have established ? heavy punishments, however our religion is merciful and you'll eventually get forgiven. Also we need a believable story and we need to have a way of disproving other religions and showing this is the right one.
Prizes/Rewards for following the religion ? endless supply of women/food/material possessions is a great motive to join any religion. Emphasize HEAVILY the rewards of joining our religion and how the hardships are small in comparison to the rewards.
Emphasis it's advantages: Keep on repeating AND repeating it's advantages. Every religion has to continuously publicize it's advantages to exist. If they don't no religion stop itself perpetuating. We have to keep putting our ideas into people's heads to make sure people base their entire lives, being and actions around the religion. Let's make them think they can't exist without it, make them think it's a necessity. Once we do that we can hit them where it hurts .. YES their WALLETS...
Our religion will have a dedicated marketing department.
Equality? the religion sees everybody as equal. Political correctness is very attractive proposition, especially in the 21st century.
What's forbidden ? pork and red meat. Our religion is health conscious. 'A holier healthier alternative' would be a great slogan. Also once that swine-flu pandemic gets cracking again people will really begin to flock to us. Weed is legal: advocate the use of marijuana as a way to reach a higher level of spirituality since the movement to legalize marijuana is gaining more and more steam. Discourage excessive alcohol consumption and heavily promote how it's gonna stop '1000 drink driving accidents a year'.
Festive Holidays? At least 3 a year, where we encourage mass consumerism and buying lots of presents to show how you love for your friends/family by buying them expensive presents. Our religion is also gonna boost the economy. Also inventing products which somehow attach significant to that festive celebration.. ie eggs to signify the birth/creation of the religion.
For the kids ? possibly a cartoon character, a colorful and bright lovable singing, dancing cuddly Santa Claus like character to suck the kids in.
Anal sex will be forbidden. Anal sex exposes participants to infections and physical damage to the anus and the rectum due to their vulnerability. It is generally understood that penetration can be painful
How would you mould your religion ?...there's some creative, smart people on here. Let's see what we can come up with