Pastor Jakes continues to talk about what you can do to create your own religion.
Continued from Part 1.
I don’t like the word “religion”
Who does? It’s lumping yourself in with a whole lot of other deluded and stupid people. Why would you want to be considered religious?
My advice is to let the people know that your religion is not so much a religion, but a RELATIONSHIP with God. That will make your people feel that their religious rituals and rites are something special and not just plain old religion mumbo jumbo like every other religion. Even though they may continue to practice these rituals religiously (eg prayer, readings, baptisms, food and drink rituals), they can still say “Mine is not a religion! It’s a relationship with God!” They can feel good about it.
Nobody outside of your religion will take you seriously, but those who are part of it will believe it and insist upon it. That’s all that matters. It’s a sure way to make your people feel as though they are elite.
Use fear tactics
Any successful religion uses fear tactics to gain converts and you need to do the same. By incorporating, something like Hell into the religion will scare people. You can use that to threaten them to conform.
If you want people to dedicate their lives to you and give up everything, there needs to be a threat… more terror… more motivation to get them to follow you. You have to make Hell sound so absolutely horrific that it scares even the bravest of souls. You have to turn it into eternal suffering if you wish to scare people more effectively. Burning for all eternity is the most horrific of thoughts. This will also ensure that once your converts are under your control, they will be too scared to “quit” for fear of suffering your God’s wrath.
Sure, nobody will be able to claim your god is loving, but you’re not after love, right? You’re just after power, worship and riches. You want people to grovel at your god’s feet like every other god ever invented by man.
One other thing. Don’t consider people innocent until proven guilty. Consider them guilty until proven innocent. They are evil and sinful by DEFAULT! GUILTY by default! Just like with Jesus Christ. That is a much scarier thought.
Dealing with dissent
Sometimes even the threats of eternal damnation are not going to stop people from leaving your faith. When someone realises just how absurd and ridiculous your teachings are… when someone sees that it just can’t possibly be true, even threats of Hell aren’t going to frighten them, because they’ll see that as nonsense too, especially if your God is supposed to be loving and kind.
The biggest danger to any religion is apostates as they are the ones who have learnt first-hand what nonsense their religions are. If you are having trouble with apostasy it is very dangerous for your religion because people are more likely to take them seriously. You must quickly stomp out this threat and brand this person as evil… label him a sinner and someone who was never a true member of your religion to begin with. You must discredit them immediately. So tell all your congregation that he was simply a pretender and was never really truly of your religion. Make it quite clear that those who are not for you are against you and that this person is nothing more than an evil person who hates God and wants to sin. This person just wants to sully your good name and destroy the good work you are doing. DEMONIZE this person immediately!
What to teach your people about apostates:
Bringing in the supernatural
Some people think that bringing supernatural aspects into your religion, ie miracles is pretty much impossible and something only a true religion could do, but that is furthest from the truth. Miracles are actually quite easy.
You can easily stage tricks. For instance the old extended leg scam where you make a person’s leg grow before their eyes and claim it’s God healing them of their back problem that probably never existed. That is a very well used scam by charlatans. Just look it up on u-tube.
One of the best tricks to do is to claim that a person has an affliction that they don’t have. Then pray over them and make out that they have just been healed. Set people up in the audience to complain about made up disabilities, pray over them and then have them miraculously cured! These are techniques that the best faith healers use.
When it comes to giving prophecies and words of wisdom, be vague. People want these things to be real. Always rely on the gullibility of your congregation. They want to believe your nonsense! Take advantage of that gullibility.
It’s a lot easier than you think to fool the people into believing you are divine and are hearing from some kind of a god. Con-artists have been using techniques to fool gullible people for centuries. Mediums, astrologers, tarot card readers, psychics, even preachers and faith healers... all of them are clued up in the art of these tricks. When it comes to predictions, the best thing you can do is state the obvious. Something that is bound to happen, like it’s going to rain somewhere on the planet in the next day or two. You can then disguise things that would probably never happen among those claims of things that will inevitably happen (like rain), so it makes the unlikely prediction seem more plausible.
Passing the dirty work onto others
If you are finding that some of the tasks as leader of your religion are becoming mundane, repetitive or even irritating, It’s time to start creating positions in your church for other leaders. People who are below you, but high enough that they can do all the boring stuff that you don’t want to do. Like counselling and dealing with people who are hopeless and don’t know how to deal with their own problems. Maybe even put your most trusted and most gullible follower in the position of assistant pastor. Just give them the jobs you don’t want to do.
The beauty of it is that you don’t actually have to pay these people. Just make them believe that it’s a ministry and that they will receive great rewards in the afterlife. Do this and you get to take it easy while everyone else puts in the hard yards. You can be the celebrity, travelling all over the country and all over the world, while everyone else grovels at your feet trying to keep you and everyone else in your congregation happy.
Bringing in the holy spirit
You want people to believe that God is moving in your religion? Stirring you? Guiding you? I've dedicated an entire session on how to make this happen:
Part 3 coming later...