What Religion DOESN'T Use Fear Tactics and Threats?

by Nate Merit 41 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Nate Merit
    Nate Merit

    Fear of the Unknown (and certainly death is the great unknown) is the primal motivator in religion. Those who clue into this learn to manipulate others through fear of punishment and promise of reward. Yes, it is in fact THAT childishly simple. "Believe this nonsense and you'll go to heaven when you die, reject this flapdoodle and you will burn in hell!" (Or be destroyed in Armageddon, or wind up in a hell-bardo, or be reincarnated as a sex slave in Buggerland)

    I was quite good at this as a pentecostal Baptist minister. Scare the beejesus out of them because people love being scared if the threat is not immediate. In other words, the danger is not real, like enjoying a roller coaster ride or a spooky movie. It isnt a real threat, we're safe, we aren't cut and bleeding, so we can relax and enjoy the scary show. We love being scared because we arent in danger. Then, dangle the Big Carrot in the Sky in front of them. In the JW''s this is the paradise earth. In mainstream Christianity it's Heaven. In Buddhism it's the extinction of selfish desire and the sense of a seperate self.

    So many people here threw off the chains of bondage around their minds and spirits, stepped into Freedom, only to become fearful and uncertain of all that Freedom and promptly scurried into another form of bondage. Another form of Christianity, where the threat is even worse than in Jehovahland: hellfire and eternal damnation. I too did this and was a mainstream Christian for 15 years. My brain FINALLY kicked in and I bailed out.

    The fact is, though, that Jehovah Madness was still in me when I left the JW's. I still believed in the Bible, that I am a sinner in need of "salvation" etc. So naturally I hooked up with more religious lunacy. I was AFRAID of DEATH, UNCERTAIN. I feared life without my Invisible Friend Mister God. I feared death without my Invisible Fiend...er, Friend.

    FEAR! (Oh no! Here comes Mister Monster! )

    PUNISHMENT! (OOOOO them nasty ol' bad guys are gonna GET it! Heah cum de JUDGE!)

    REWARD! (All this! And heaven when I die!)

    EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS WITHOUT PROOF! (There was a Talking Snake and a Magic Tree in the middle of an Enchanted Garden, then Mister Jesus got up from his deader place and he flew off into the sky and rode a cloud to Glory, and if you believe in that with all your heart..close your eyes and repeat it after me and we can all save Tinkerbell..I belive I believe I believe...Mister God will set you up in a Mansion in the Sky with streets of Gold!)

    APPEALS TO THE CHILD IN ALL OF US! (You hafta become as a gullible child sans critical thinking skills to be born again! "Unless a man be converted and become as a child he shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven")

    EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS W R O N G! (Yes the world LOOKS like a closed system, but really, axeheads float and all sorts of miraculous things happen. I heard about a guy who knew this gal whose second cousins's brother was in the service with a dude whose grandmother knew a preacher whose sainted grandfather actually shook the hand of a guy who knew someone who had heard of someone raised from the dead! So see, the world ISN'T a closed system, even though you don't see any of this stuff happening! The world is really invaded EVERYDAY by Things From Beyond)

    Whatever. Peeps gonna do what peeps gonna do.

    Yours NOT in Joe Hovah,

  • AuldSoul

    Well, defining religion as "way of worship; an approach to worship" instead as an instiutionalized crede I would say Christianity doesn't. Neither does Buddhism.


  • diamondblue1974

    There isnt a religion that doesnt use fear tactics, guilt of some description in which to control its members.

    The witnesses always slate Catholicism on account of their belief in eternal hellfire and they are often quoted as saying 'a loving creator wouldnt do that to anyone'; but when you think about it the witnesses are worse; your fear comes not from a fear of something that might happen in the distant future but from something close with such a proximity that it causes the worst kind of fear ever thought capable.

    The fear of losing your family, the fear of losing your friends; the fear of losing your business; the fear of losing your social status.

    I have a great deal of trouble trying to work out which one of the two is the more powerful; fear of hellfire or fear of exclusion; see if you can work it out!


  • Nate Merit
    Nate Merit

    Hello Auld Soul

    I was a Buddhist priest for 12 years. In the single largest group of Buddhists on the planet, Pure Land/Sukavati. Fear plays just as large a role in Buddhism, unless you personally AuldSoul have chosen to reject the fear-mongering parts of Buddhism. If so, good for you! I did too, when I was a Buddhist!

    Fear of ending up in a hell-realm (a temporary purgitive "hell", a bardo), or fear of being reincarnated in terrible, painful, horrendously suffering circumstances, is also used in Buddhism. I wrote an essay demonstrating that originally Buddhism lacked any teaching of reincarnation or of any sort of afterlife, based on the complete absense of and rejection of the caste system on the part of early Buddhists. Gotama was of the Indian race, and emerged from that culture, not 21st century America. Reincarnation was the justification for the caste system, that's all. To reject the caste system was to reject it's justification as well. There is much more to it than this, but that's the best I can do in a sound byte.

    As to Christianity, even one's own free-wheeling noninstiutional Christiianity, there is the legitimate question as to whether the Bible teaches hellfire or eternal destruction. Either one is a source of fear, and are of course fear tactics on the part of the Bible writers, whoever they were.

    Whether you belong to an Org or not, the Bible dangles a carrot of reward of God's love and Heaven, and also uses threats of divine wrath and hell/destruction. These have nothing to do with any Christian religious institution, they're in the Bible.

    Have a great day AuldSoul.

  • Nate Merit
    Nate Merit

    Hi Diamond

    If one ceases to be, one is not dangling in the dark going "Oh No! I've ceased to exist!" There is no suffering in cessation. How was life for you one hundred years ago? You did not exist, so there was no suffering, for you were not. When you cease, again you will not be. It will again be as it was 100 years before you were born. No you, no suffering.

    In hellfire, you are conscious of an idescribable agony and sense of loss.

    I opt for cessation.

    Have a great day Diamond.

  • JamesThomas

    "Religion as practiced today deals in
    punishments and rewards. In other words,
    it breeds fear and greed -- the two things
    most destructive of spirituality."
    -- Anthony De Mello

    I suggest reading his wonderful little book: The Way To Love


  • diamondblue1974

    When you think of it rationally though nate which of the threats hanging above your head is most likely...

    a) hellfire that no one can ever prove exists?

    b) Fear of being rejected by family and friends?

    I would suggest that b) is the most likely and the most real out of all the threats above and so therefore is the most powerful in term of its ability to command your participation in the religion.


  • sf

    {F}alse {E}vidence {A}ppearing {R}eal.


  • Nate Merit
    Nate Merit

    Hi James

    Thanks for the post.

    I already read more books in a year that most people do in three decades. I'm all read-out right now, and tired of furthering thecareers of other authors by buying their books. I have my own things to say based on personal experience, not based on readily available books and aricles on "How To Write Religious or Spiritual Articles and Books."

    They all follow a formula.

    At 52, my life experiences in all facets give me plenty to ponder already.

    Have a great day!

  • diamondblue1974

    Nate when I was initially reading your post I did wonder about whether Buddhism used fear and threats and I guess you have answered the question; however can you provide any examples as to how they do this; A friend of mine and I were debating this very point some time ago...he was of the opinion that Buddhism is unique in that it doesnt use such tactics...I didnt know enough to follow this on but perhaps you can shed some light on this?



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