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Prophets – Part I – Pattern Recognition

March 7, 2009

Has it ever occurred to you that there is *something* about those selfless saviours of distressed humanity(a.k.a “prophets”, “holymen”, “babas”, “avatars” etc) that we ordinary mortals never seem to get?

In fact, I am absolutely certain there is something abysmally deep about them that dazzle the eyes yet numbs the brain and drowns the intellect of believers. Something so utterly profound, that dimwitted wicked atheists like me cannot even comprehend.

I have noticed that most believers have this almost pathological tendency of investing immense amounts of unquestioning faith in religious authority figures. They have this firm belief that the holy men in their religions are either themselves God or are a tiny delta below God !! Is it a small wonder then that the stock market of religion with its individual prophetic enterprises have never ever faced a recession since the dawn of civilization?

This pathological tendency in some is so fanatical, that it almost borders on psychosis.  Like little kids with imaginary friends, these believers sometimes see and talk to their prophets and feel a burning need to protect them from any critical enquiry or slander.  Point one unholy critical finger at those hallowed beings and you will quickly find the Santas-of-death at your doorstep, gleefully ready to deliver that much coveted present, with torches lit and daggers drawn (Muslim extremists seem to be most prone to this disease but there are large number of Jewish, Hindu and Christian extremists who are no less affected by it).

So what is it about these prophets that make their followers so desperate to protect them? Is there a pattern to their lives by which we can know them better ? Let’s take a look.

Prophets: Our Super Best Friends (via churchofreality.org)

Prophets: Our Super Best Friends (via churchofreality.org)

*** Pattern 1 ***

For those amongst us who take some idle time off in studying the lives of prophets or holy men immediately realize that there is a patternto their lives. No matter where they originate – be it the dumb deserts of the Middle East or the slippery slopes of the Himalayas – all of them come off as extremely versatile beings. They are the quintessential friend, philosopher and guide – all rolled into one. In fact, in most cases they are much more than that. They are the selected representatives of the one and only supreme sky daddy, the panacea for the minutest of our problems and the only clinically-insane/legal charlatans that are worthy of our blind unquestioning devotion and fierce enraged protection.

These prophets peddle hope, love, success and seek power, unflinching devotion and/or money. They boldly claim to have direct, uninterrupted, unhackable access to the omnipotent, omnipresent ” King Kong” and act as sole gate keepers of that imaginary paradise up in the sky. But strangely, unlike most upright gate keepers they desperately want you to get in. Oh yes, they want to hand over those much coveted keys to you and only you.

But, don’t just naively assume that their magnanimity comes without any strings attached. Didn’t your father tell you that everything worth having comes at a price?  So, if you are ready to pay the right price, just go home and chill. No, I take that back. Why waste your time on earth enjoying life? Go blow someone up or burn someone at the cross. That will fast track your application to heaven. In fact, the prophets will make sure you have no problems getting the secret password to access the ‘father’ up in the sky. However, if you choose not to be so pro-active and need an easier access, just be ready with a fat wad of cash or a check- book and acquiesce to their dictatorial edicts and I guarantee you that all your prayers will be answered ( Oh crap ! that was my own delusional, self-realized half talking again ).

*** Pattern 2 & 3 ***

But, this evokes a curious question – given the obvious dictatorial tendencies of prophets and their gross misuse of power, why do the poor sheep willingly walk into the wolf’s lair ? Even when that cuddly little voice inside their ginormous heads scream – RUN FOR YOUR LIVES !! – Why do the faithful willingly flap their wings and jump into the fire? The answer may be found in the bottomless depths of our human psyche. In the desperation of our own fragile existence. The desperation that blindly goads us into trusting unknown people with ample charm, charisma and confidence. The belief, that it’s not us but only them, who can solve the problems of our miserable lives with a swish of their magic wand. And somewhere there is the next pattern we associate so easily with prophets – their abundant charm and charisma.

A charismatic, confident personality is the basic requirement to graduate with a degree in Quackery from the special ‘School of Imposters’ in Charlatansville. This is a special school which all budding prophets attend. But, don’t assume for a minute that these prophets are handed down degrees freely without them moving a muscle. There these fraudsters undergo rigorous training and have to work incessantly to develop a ‘godly’ persona and create an aura of divinity around them. There they also develop a keen insight into human psychology. They learn exactly which buttons to push and which keys to turn. They are taught how to smile, how to walk, how to look and what to say that can win hearts and make them seem ‘god-like’.

Then, once they graduate, these imposters start putting their knowledge to work . If you study how each and every prophet rose to Elvis-like stardom you will surely notice another pattern. These rockstars-of-religion first charm a small group of weak, stupid or needy but zealous followers with their feigned compassion, nauseatingly cliched homilies and platitudes and their cheap parlor tricks (oops !! I meant wondrous ‘miracle powers’). This is followed by a brainwashing ceremony where they convince the gullible followers that they have sent to this world by God Almighty, for the express reason of saving our battered souls. In fact, they are nothing less that the fat-free butter, the non-lactose milk or the the seedless watermelon we all have been earnestly searching our entire sinful lives. In short – “The Real Deal “.

Once the initial brainwashing is complete this core group of zealots, now intoxicated by the manna from heaven, go around spreading their leaders message like well-trained parrots enrolling other dumb parrots ( often deliberately cooking up mythic stories and attributing magical ‘powers’ to their leader to create a cult of personality). Once the movement reaches critical mass, the fantasy stories become viral – traveling from mouth to mouth often distorted or embellished by the imagination of the next follower in the link. This in turn leads to hero worship, where the person (the prophets) is slowly transformed from a normal human being to divinity on earth and every action by the prophet is considered to carry some divine meaning and every word is written down as words of the living God. This story telling continues even after his ‘physical’ death till the group disbands or run out of resources to propagate their false message. But here we have to remember, like any other business, the business of prophet-hood also follows the first mover advantage, in which the first prophets get the largest segment of follower market share. Is it any wonder then that the big four prophets have been difficult to dislodge, in spite of hundreds of so-called prophets after them?

*** Pattern 4 ***

I don’t know about you, but I have noticed an eerily funny thing about prophets (a pattern again!!). Most of the prophets, for some reason, never seem to bump into God at public places. For some reason, God seems to be extraordinarily adept at dodging his representatives whenever there’s someone around. It is always either in a desert or in a cave or high up in the secluded mountains (how convenient !!).

The very God, who wants his prophets to spread his message of ‘divine love’ to all humanity, somehow doesn’t seem to trust the other idiots in the room. He has this morbid fear of public places and his fanatic need for privacy. Now, one would imagine that being an all-powerful entity, he could have easily thundered his message to all His children. Even better, he could have easily written his words of wisdom on the sky, like stock-market ticker symbols.  But nooooo !! He somehow likes to sneak in his messages when others are not looking. Like pedophiles preying on young children, he always needs an isolated place to pass his “message of love” to His messengers.

Why is that, you ask?

No reason.

He does it just because He CAN !!

via nakedpastor.com

via nakedpastor.com

*** Pattern 5 ***

The bread and butter of every prophet are to assure dimwits like us that as long as we follow theirversion of the encrypted laws from above, we have nothing to worry about. As soon as our invisible ‘souls’ kick our mortal flesh goodbye we will have free tickets waiting for us at a paradise counter nearby, for a safe trip to that Hawaii up in the skies . And then it’s sandy beaches, cool breeze, free food and voluptuous virgins. Woo-hoo !! After all who can resist those 72 virgins, right ? (Sorry ladies, inside sources tell me that those 72 virgins are in fact avowed heterosexual females. God seems to be another of those despicable male chauvinists after all !!)

And, even if we choose not to follow their laws during this lifetime – no worries. As long as we prostrate in front of those kind egomaniacal beings and bribe them with dollops of sweet sound bites like “O Lord, Our Saviour” or “Sallallahu ‘Alaihe wa Sallam ” or Jai Gurudev, Jai Deva ” they can intercede on our behalf and convince the celestial ‘bouncer’ to let us enter that widely popular heavenly discotheque. Nice proposition, huh?

But hey, how did they know they are really God’s messenger?

Duh ! Don’t you see ? God just told them. Stupid.

Of all the billions of people on this earth God had to find someone, who could not only convince himself that he exists but who had the right mix of delusion, stupidity, fanaticism and paranoia (and in certain cases sexual profligacy) to follow his imaginary commands blindly. But, please for God’s sake, don’t think it was easy task for God? He not only had to wait patiently millions of years for humans to evolve fully (I am not sure if dinos had prophets too)  but had to throw an elaborate and rigorous American-Idol-style interview process before he could finally select the best spokesperson to represent His case. But, again we forget to ask – why would God want to use someone to present his case. Why couldn’t he do it Himself? Never mind the answer because it would be hocus pocus anyway. So let’s move on.

Now, can someone show me a prophet who did not claim his prophet hood or his messenger-of-God status himself (surprise, surprise, a pattern again!!)? If I am the messenger of God, why would I need to let others know? Wouldn’t God make sure that everyone on earth knew about it instantly? Or is it that, God wants to make the lazy prophets learn the fruits of hard labor and squeeze every bit of penny he has paid them to do His work? Humility and modesty, it seems, are not essential virtues of charlatans. Just as charlatans beguile weak and insecure people and like to live off their insecurity most prophets were(are) nothing more than parasites living off the fear and greed of their weak hosts. But, the most ludicrous aspect of this relationship is that they actually manage to convince their host that he/she is benefiting from that relationship ! Wow !! Isn’t that a sweet deal?

*** Pattern 6 ***

There is another thing prophets are big on (pattern, pattern !)  and that is shameless ostentatious displays of  a special type of hallucinating drug called ‘MIRACLES’ !!  Like former East German athletes guzzling buckets of anabolic steroids, followers of every prophet drink gallons of that drug everyday to reinvigorate their beliefs and to desperately hold on to their imaginary worlds of fairies and evil overlords. The moment they find it slipping away from under them, one swig of that ‘miracle’ potion and voila ! – back they go to their imaginary world of human parasites and imaginary friends. In fact, the more personal the imagined miracle, the longer lasting the delusion.

The story surrounding prophets are often accompanied by stories of miracles or of supernatural powers displayed by these prophets. This is often done to elevate them from the plane of mere mortals and to imbue them with God-given powers. The very people who believe in the fantasy stories of Moses parting the Red Sea, Krishna lifting the Govardhan mountain, Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life or Burak carrying Mohammed to heaven, would find the fantasy stories of Superman or Harry Potter ludicrous.  Yet, they can never find a plausible reason for accepting one as truth and rejecting the other. What makes one set of stories believable and the other not? What makes them so sure that the former are not works of fiction, embellished by successive generation of story tellers? How do they know these alleged miracles were not elaborate hoaxes or magic tricks ? I don’t think they have a convincing answer to any of those. If everything written in books is to believed, why don’t they believe in Harry Potter or Superman? Or maybe they do?

Now, it is imperative to ask these followers who advertise the miracles of their prophets as proof of their divinity – why would these prophets perform small silly miracles to show God’s power? Why try to show one’s powers by conjuring natural calamities, violating laws of physics, materializing objects or healing a few people. If they truly want to show God’s powers, why not extirpate the “seven deadly sins” from the human mind. Why not eradicate poverty, disease or illiteracy from this earth entirely? And if God, doesn’t want to do that for eternity, since that would seriously conflict with His “divine plan”, why not perform it just for a day to show that He can? Ok, maybe I am being too tough on them. Why not give them something easy to work on. Why not just ask them to grow an amputated limb for a change? That would truly be a miracle don’t you think? I doubt, if any prophet will take me up on that challenge.

via cafepress.com

via cafepress.com

***X***

So, next time you see some or most of the above patterns in someone. Be very careful. In fact, be very very worried. Hold onto your wallet, your intellect and run for your life. Run as if they are about to be stolen. Because, chances are …sooner or later….

They will be !!

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2009 12:38 pm

    Some points overlap, but they’re still spot on! It sums up, as you wrote, that if God wanted us to do what they claim, He’d just tell it to us infidels.

    Nice post.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 7, 2009 2:04 pm

      Thanks. Yes, I agree. Some of the the points do seem to overlap as they are related.

  2. March 7, 2009 7:23 pm

    and one more thing, most of the prphets are a lot of “old wine in new bottles” in that their basic injunctions are rarely very different from the prevalent predominant religion of the place they come from. And the packaging- the “ancient art of..” he “talks” et al et al.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 7, 2009 11:17 pm

      @Allytude

      yep, I agree. That’s what I alluded to when I mentioned ” nauseatingly cliched homilies and platitudes “

  3. March 9, 2009 12:14 am

    A few good men were also there like Lord Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yoganada and the all time great OSHO 🙂
    Although the running monkeys which teach us YOGA nowadays and all the spiritual gurus who more or less look like gays are a funny lot 😀

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 9, 2009 10:47 am

      @tarun

      Vivekananda was less of a prophet and I don’t think he ever claimed himself to be one..I respect him as a great social worker..As for Yogananda, I read his autobiogaphy of a yogi and i don’t agree or believe many of his claims there ..osho however is the exact type of person I have tried to point to in this post..a person who distorts religion to gain power and riches..same as satya sai baba..

  4. March 9, 2009 10:04 am

    The Buddhists are supposed to not believe in God, but in a form of mental enlightenment. Buddhism is essentially atheistic, but surely not rationalist.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 9, 2009 10:49 am

      @philramble

      Yes, I agree with you although I wasnt sure if I alluded to buddhism in this post..:-)

  5. March 10, 2009 2:33 am

    See, in one of your posts, you talked about fatwah’s maulvi’s hindu fundamentalists and all that stuff, now you are saying that OSHO distorted Religion, now how can you say that??
    What did he do? Just because he did not start any social campaign, just because he did not do any charity or just because he tried to talk about the things less known and less talked about??
    As far as Yogananda is concerned, I don’t know which claims you are talking about, which couldn’t convince you.
    And lastly, Lord Vivekananda never did social work, he tried to awaken the individuals, in which, unluckily he failed because “masses” never change.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 10, 2009 7:06 am

      tarun,

      Pardon my lack of intelligence but I have no clue what you are talking about…it might help if you clarify..

      btw..which books about osho, yogananda and vivekananda have you read from which you are making your claims…maybe we can compare notes…because when you claim that vivekananda never did any social work means we are definitely not reading the same books 🙂

  6. March 10, 2009 9:31 pm

    The same books you have read are read by me, the only difference is that you see it as “Social Work” and I see it as “Individual Awakening”.
    No need to ask for my forgiveness, it happens [:D] sometimes.

  7. March 12, 2009 5:14 am

    There is a major flaw in the assumption that it is the prophets are the ones morally corrupt. There are some self proclaimed prophets these days who may be so, but you cannot generalize it with every religion! Who ever may have started with the idea of love and kindness or what ever (warm cuddly squishy thing it was they preached) probably had their heart and mind in the right place and in tune with the contemporary times. Surely there is a possibility that there is one man or woman in a million who ponders over the fate of humanity, and decides he can offer a solution! (especially when the times seem to get darker for the common man ) What corrupts an opinion is the process of institutionalization of an opinion. Take Christianity, what ever is being preached is merely an interpretation of what Christ is supposed to have said, by is disciples! Every grand religions idea became famous by the influence of power and politics any where in the world. Be it the saints of our reformation times, or saints who became prophets of important religion. When power over- powers an idea it corrupts it to suit its need. And religion only becomes an advertising face much like how today’s media use women!

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 12, 2009 7:04 am

      @thoughtroom

      Thanks for the comment. I agree with you that many good opinions are corrupted by institutions as I pointed out in my post (patterns 2&3) and I am not against teaching love or kindness. But my bone of contention, is with people who claim that God directly talked to them and asked them to preach love and kindness. Anyone who claims that God has asked him/her to preach love and kindness is a blatant liar as I think that God (if he really exists) could have done it much better and without the help of prophets. I also don’t trust people who claim to have miracle powers and consider them charlatans.

      There are thousands of social workers in this world who are teaching and living the message of love and kindness without attributing such messages to God or without claiming that they have God-given miracle powers. And, If I am allowed to use the word ‘prophets’ loosely, I might actually consider them to be the real prophets.

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