Many people have described to me what their personal experience is with
religion that identifies to them it is true. Some LDS friends point to the
"burning in the bosom", other Christians have mentioned the "feelings of
enlightenment" they receive. Others say they believe because they believe,
still others believe because they were "brought up to believe it."
This is a curious phenomenon. These feelings of enlightenment appear to
people of all faiths. Why? Why would a God confuse people with such feelings
if they were involved with the wrong faith? Born-again Christians believe that
millions and possible billions of people are going to hell because they don't
belong to their faith. Are these feelings nothing more than self-induced
euphoria? What distinguishes the euphoria of the Budhists from any other
Drug addicts sometimes make claims about "getting close to God" through the
use of narcotics or hallucinogenics. Self-induced addictive euphoria accounts
for a wide range of other habit-forming behavior including eating, sports,
music and, in my opinion, religion. Some people go to incredible lengths to
attend church and make unusual efforts to do so even when vacationing.
Observe the reactions of people in their religion; the trances, the speaking
in tongues, the dances, and the looks of "vacant contentment." Are we
witnessing a hypnotic state in action? Have we not frequently seen masses
throughout history addicted to groups both good and bad with the same
similar characteristics? And more often than not, with a hint that a
supreme being is supporting them? Have you ever watched the "revivals" of
Amway or Herbal Life? Some become addicted to the meeting and suffer
disenchantment when they leave to go out and push the product. How about
The feelings of euphoria usually abandon most people when they return to work
Monday morning. They can easily be brought back, however, by retelling
"inspired" stories. These feelings are also similar in form to the elation
received when hearing certain music, expressing love, reading certain novels,
or watching certain events. The difference between them is only a matter of
degree and is not effectively distinguishable or only "the true" religious
body would gather all the members. Tolerance can develop. Some people never
get enough of religion and devote most of their lives to it.
I submit that anyone in such a state has compromised their objectivity to
some degree. To abandon their religion is to abandon their drug and the
withdrawal from any euphoria-producing item is painful. Addicts usually
rationalize their addiction by masking the truth that they are doing harm
to themselves or others.
We have many examples of evil masses in our history propelled and consumed
into "highs" from what can only be described as evil persons such as the
Rev. Jim Jones, Hitler, Rameses, Alexander, Napoleon, etc.
Gregory Giles of Connellsville, Pennsylvania cut off his arm and pulled his
eye out of its socket with a serrated kitchen knife after reading Matthew 5.
Lenier McRay of Richmond, Virginia sawed off his right arm with a hacksaw
and hedge clippers after reading the same passage. Rodney Lundberg from
Logan, Utah sacrificed his 11-year-old son after National Bible Week was
declared in 1981. Now, of course, all these people were insane, but their
insanity was undoubtedly programmed into them since birth.
In Kentucky and Tennesee "The Holyness Branch of the Church of God" has its
members test their faith on the words of Mark 16. (In that sickness is
caused by devils). At the height of their ceremony, a box of snakes is
produced and they pass them around while dancing and confessing their sins.
When someone gets bitten they refuse medical assistance because the Bible
says "they will recover." When bitten people die, no doubt the follower's
faith masks any doubt they may have.
Religion can be harmful and suppressive. There are a great many people whose
brain's are scarred from indoctrination in the same way a heroin addict's
arms and legs are disfigured. Personal experience of enlightenment cannot
be used as adequate demonstration of truth in religion or any other group -
it is simply to deceptive. Some forms of religion can induce euphoria,
feelings of well being, tolerance, dependence and withdrawal. All the classic
effects of a Schedule II narcotic.