Dangerous Game.  Whoever allows room in himself again 
        for religious feeling these days must also allow it 
        to grow: he cannot do otherwise.  Then his nature 
        gradually changes: it favors that which is dependent 
        on or near the religious element; the whole range of 
        his judgement and feeling is befogged, overcast with 
        religious shadows.  Feeling cannot stand still: be on 
        your guard!
                -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human
                   aphorism 121

     My indoctrination started in earliest childhood, so long ago I cannot 
remember when I first heard the words 'God' or 'Jesus.'  For those who haven't 
been indoctrinated there is simple curiosity, and there is also desire and 
hope, as well as fear, to attract new people to Christianity.  It starts as an 
invitation to read the Bible, or with the witnessing of Christians who invite 
you to come and see for yourself.  The prospective Christian wants to know 
what it is these witnessing Christians are about, and if they really know 
anything.  How many of us haven't, at one time or another in our youth, 
explored those realms of mysticism and religion, if only to make sure there 
was no reality behind someone else's outrageous claims?  Ask yourself what it 
is you felt.  These religionists and mystics offer forms of hope and knowledge 
that cannot be had in any other way.  
     Science and rationalism, by contrast, offer a very gloomy and pessimistic 
portrait of man's nature and fate.  Bertrand Russell captured the essence of 
this pessimistic view in his essay, "A Free Man's Worship." The essay can be 
found in Russell's book "Why I Am Not a Christian." 
     "...  Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they 
were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves 
and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that 
no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an 
individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the 
devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are 
destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and the whole 
temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a 
universe in ruins..." 
     It's a passage often quoted by Christian writers who wish to explain why 
they find atheism so unacceptable, and this let's us know what some Christians 
are really running away from.  This is the possibility of despair we must 
embrace in order to be atheists and I couldn't do that without shedding a few 
tears for all the lost hopes.  It's the only hell that Christian belief can 
save anyone from and in this, the hope market, there are a lot of competitors 
more vicious than ordinary Christianity is.  However, such despair is just as 
presumptuous as the unreal hope embraced in the Christian faith.  No man 
really knows what waits for us after we've finished our lives, but it's hard 
to scientifically or rationally support any speculation beyond simple 
non-existence.  We can only hope and dream.
     The toxic hope offered by any kind of mysticism, be it Christian or New 
Age, is more than just the conquest of death, it's the desire for a 
supernatural realm beyond this comparatively dull and mundane reality.  We all 
seem to have a profound yearning, a hope, for a magic method that will free us 
from realities that will not obey our wishes, from loneliness, from sorrow, 
from failure, from fears of the unknown, and from death itself, from our pain, 
and from our fragile human bodies that will rot in the earth after our 
dreaming souls have flown the coup.  Because of our ego-centricity we cannot 
accept the idea of death easily.  We want to be free of nature's seemingly 
cruel dictates.  It has been called the transcendental temptation, the siren 
call of mysticism, an escape from reality, and the theological seduction. It 
is a supernatural promise and it will not be kept.  
     Some Christians don't exactly know what kind of promise it is they have 
faith in, but they are sure it is better than rational despair.  Yes, it would 
be nice if we could live forever in some paradise.  It would be nice if there 
were a God watching over us and protecting us.  But merely wanting and 
believing in these things is not enough to make them real.  Hope and 
expectation is the bait that draws the seeker in, but the seeker is soon 
introduced to the fear of eternal damnation.  
     What goes into the Bible reader's imagination, those highly emotional and 
secretly irrational processes within the subconscious, may just be objectively 
collected there at first as he tries to determine for himself what the truth 
is.  The Bible reader tries to learn, but secretly wants to dream of a 
supernatural realm where his deepest desires might be fulfilled, and also 
where his darkest fears might come true.  Fantasy may be a natural and healthy 
way to explore our desires and fears, and so discover their nature, and then 
develope realistic plans for getting what it is we desire and avoiding what we 
fear, but Christian fantasy is almost totally detached from any contact with 
reality.  The desires and fears generated by the biblical texts are ambiguous, 
extreme, and unrealistic.  The Bible, and especially New Testament, is 
bewildering, difficult, obscure, and confusing.  The Bible creates an 
unhealthy uneasiness, it stimulates fear and hope with both subtle and direct 
threats and promises.  The New Testament aims to turn the truth seeker inward 
and work on his subconscious mind.  A seed is planted within the prospects 
subconscious.  Any objective determination about the truth or falsity of 
Biblical claims is difficult for those who do not understand the psychology.
The Christian finds that he is dependent on priestly authority in order to 
understand his faith.  The material that goes in to the mind, Biblical 
stories, rituals, impressive church structures, the herd instinct, mass media 
support, and peer pressure can be analyzed and so tell us something about this 
psychology and how the final effect is produced, and even something of the 
purposes that lay behind its design.   
     Supernatural fantasies are generated when the Bible reader speculates on 
the meaning of the text.  And these fantasies are given implicit support by a 
media that tells us our politicians, presidents, generals, and celebrities are 
mostly Christian.  A media that rarely contradicts the Christian assumptions 
of our culture.  As the Bible reader reads of miracles, the promise of life 
everlasting, supernatural powers, angels, transcendent realms, and magical 
healings his desire and fantasy, his fears and hopes, will motivate, develop, 
and grow as he continues his studies.  (One of the darkest aspects of 
religion's appeal to hope is its appeal to the desperate.  To the terminally 
ill who seek to be healed.)  Talk to any Christian and you'll find out that 
they've created a very personal vision, a private reality map that is uniquely 
their own.  While different Christian groups with different labels, such as 
Pentecostal, Fundamentalist, Charismatic, or Evangelical will advocate 
different interpretations of this supernatural fantasy each individual creates 
his own particular vision out of the mix of possibilities.  
     For some people, once the Biblical seed of unreal hope and uncertain fear 
has been sown, a process of desire, expectation, and imagination begins in the 
hidden workings of the unconscious mind, in a secret world of mystical ideas, 
a world of ignorance and enormous possibility.  The Bible reader begins to 
develope a murky image of his supernatural expectations and he seeks to 
clarify that image with further study.  Instead of having his murky ideas 
clarified he is instead drawn further and further in to the trap.  In time 
those things merely imagined, but still either feared or desired, may become 
part of our potential believer's reality map.  The ideas are no longer just 
possibilities and speculations he entertains in his mind but are now 'real' to 
him.  But 'real' only in the sense that they are emotionally loaded concepts 
that influence his desire and aversion behavior.  The believer can no longer 
imagine, comfortably, a world view without his faith, his illusions.  The 
emotion attached to these religious ideas is stronger than the emotion 
attached to the concepts and ideas in a more rational mind.  While I have 
little experience with it, there seems to be a drug like emotional kick of 
joyous expectation associated with this process.  At least this is what many 
Christians seem to claim when they talk about being 'born again.' 
     None of us use logic and reason alone to create our theories and reality 
maps, or even to solve problems.  The ideas seem to just come to us, popping 
into our heads, or picked up out of books we've sought out, or welling up out 
of some dark and mysterious depth within our minds.  Sometimes when this 
happens we want to scream 'Eureka!' because we have solved an important 
problem, as did Archimedes when he discovered a way to determine the purity of 
gold.  We use logic later, to check the work and put it in presentable order 
after the new ideas and insights have been attained.  This does not invalidate 
the use of reason and logic as tools for understanding our world because the 
insights and ideas must survive the checking and ordering process which makes 
them valid, at the very least, if not demonstratably true.   
     A gestation process seems to be involved in genuine conversion.  New 
insights, beliefs, concepts, and perspectives emerge days, weeks, perhaps even 
years after exposure to the information.  The fuel for the Christian 
transformation is obviously those deep seated hopes and fears that biblical 
psychotechnology exploits.  The computer programmer's jargon of "garbage in, 
garbage out" applies to the human mind as well.  Cram your head full of 
scientific data about a problem that needs to be solved and you'll arrive at a 
technological solution to the problem.  Cram your head full of Biblical 
mysticism and you'll find yourself with superstitious fears of damnation and a 
desperate quest for salvation.  It's the checking and ordering process that is 
often not carried out when it comes to religion, or if it is, it's carried out 
improperly.  In most cases, it's not even possible to carry out this checking 
process.  Much of the information given to us by our trusted authority 
figures, our priests and politicians, goes unchecked, for checking is a hard 
and time consuming process.  It's a lot harder to think for oneself than it is 
to just trust our culture's properly accredited experts, be they priests, 
politicians, or scientists.  The Bible discourages this checking process and 
asks for faith, and that's one good clue to its false nature.  

     Whether it's Christian belief or a New Age dream, it is all caused by 
the same hidden psychological rational; "if it feels good believe it." There 
may be a biological drive that accounts for our choice of hope over despair.  
George E. Vaillant, who heads a team of psychologists at Dartmouth's Medical 
School, (Omni mag, "Mental Muscle" May '92) has gathered data for over 4O 
years that suggests that men who have a bleak and cynical outlook on life 
suffer from more serious illnesses later.  Our outlook on life could have a 
direct effect on our immune system's ability to fight off disease.  The 
fantastic and extreme, but very unrealistic, hope offered by Christianity does 
feel good up to a point.  All of us feel joy when we have great and hopeful 
expectations.  However, we have to build up our hopes and goals here in the 
'real' world, we have to base them on rational evidence.
     If a person can convince themselves that they are one of the saved, or 
the chosen, then the emotional effect produced would logically be one of 
joyous expectation.  This joyous expectation feels good, it's one real motive 
for belief, but most Christians, it seems, only get that emotional kick once 
and it doesn't last.  The price paid for these fantastic expectations, 
however, is the acceptance of some very fearful expectations should the 
believer's faith ever falter.  At this point the true believer becomes 
emotionally committed to his religion.  The disillusionment involved in giving 
up these unreal hopes would be extreme now.  The believer has been locked in 
by the use of fear, by a kind of existential black mail, and the effects of 
dropping his faith are as painful as a drug addict quitting drugs.  The longer 
he continues, the harder it is to quit.  He knows his faith is real and 
powerful because he feels it.  He knows what it feels like to be without it.   

     A lot of different versions of Christianity have grown out of the long 
historical diversification and decomposition of the original Roman Catholic 
Church.  Not even the Catholics are what they once were.  However, at their 
root they all claim to base their faiths on the Bible.  It is the 
'interpretation' of that book that they all argue about, and it is their 
'interpretation' of that book that they base their faith on.  They all assume 
that there is at least honesty and wisdom there, if it's not claimed to be the 
revealed word of God.
     Liberal Christian leaders say many kind and sensible things in the public 
media, and they pretend that this is all that their religion is about.  This 
is mostly Christian propaganda and it is all based on a few scarce passages in 
which men are instructed to love, and to love one another.  This facade of 
being an institution dedicated to moral and ethical education, to good will, 
to hope, to social progress, to 'humanism,' and the biblical passages 
promising God's love is just a lure for the Christian trap.  It is nothing but 
the bait in a bait and switch scam.  
     Those who try to make Christianity into a mere institution for ethical 
and moral education are stuck with a Bible they can't allow themselves to 
interpret too accurately.  A good example of this kind of liberal Christianity 
can be found in bishop John Shelby Spong's books.  Spong's "Rescuing the Bible 
from Fundamentalism" is an attack on those Christians who take the Bible too 
literally, especially the televangelists and fundamentalists.  Spong, a 
Christian bishop, says that the fundamentalists are too ignorant of science, 
'modern' Biblical criticism, and 'correct' Biblical interpretation.  Yet Spong 
still finds the Bible to be of value as a message of 'love,' and as a call to 
humanism.  Spong is not able to make or find any kind of concrete 
interpretation of his message by use of the Bible, but can only tell us this 
'love,' this 'religious impulse,' must be felt and language is ultimately 
inadequate for the task of expressing it.  Christians are sure that whatever 
it is the Bible has to say it's important.  (It is!  But they're not going to 
like it.) 
     What liberal and humanistic Christians don't realize is that they are the 
inheritors of a philosophy based on rebellion against, and questioning of, the 
Bible's original purposes.  Martin Luther was the first to successfully 
challenge the Roman Catholic dominance, and its 'infallible' Pope, and create 
a new church.  Ever since then Christianity has been in a slow state of 
decline.  The kind, loving, philosophical, and modernist theology that has 
evolved out of this was designed to more effectively hide the original 
psychological poison, not to interpret the Bible correctly.  All the kindly, 
humane, and sensible things that Christian leaders say, even when directly 
quoted from the Bible, are not what Christianity truly stands for.  It is just 
the bait.  It is this desire and hope that draws people, who haven't been 
indoctrinated from childhood, in.  All religions use it.  
     The liberal Christian's imagination and desire for a utopian world of 
Christian brotherhood and fellowship is only a half truth.  It could never 
really exist, and what little tid bits of moral behavior, if any, Christianity 
has contributed to our culture are part of a very mixed blessing.  Spreading 
'God's word' will not spread any more tolerance and love than it already has.  
We've already seen the results.  More psychological poison will be spread than 
love, for the Bible is psychological poison.  This poison, whether it was 
created by Arrius Piso and his conspirators or not, was originally used to 
lure people into accepting slavery.  

     Jesus asked us to have faith and take 'no thought' for tomorrow for our 
heavenly father knows our needs before we ask him.  He thus lulls into a 
state of false security with his beautiful and hypnotic lies.  Just feel the 
"peace which passeth all understanding" and relax, trust God and everything 
will turn out alright.  Life will no longer be an anxious and uncertain 
struggle.  Take no thought for politics and you'll be asked to go to war for 
someone else's gain.  Take no thought for economic justice and you will become 
a slave.  Refuse to take thought for tomorrow and God will let you starve.  
We've already seen the results of leaving these things to 'God' and the 
Church, it was called the Dark Ages.  
     In Acts 4:32-37 the Christians are told to sell all they own, give the 
money to the church, and live together in what appears to be small communes, 
much like the Essenes did.  A little later, in Acts 5:1-1O, Anani and his wife 
Sapphira lose their lives because they kept some money for themselves.  
Apparently these early Christians were expected to turn over everything to the 
trust of their church.  What happened when they did this?
     This promise made to lazy minded believers, who were suppose to be of one 
mind, apparently backfired on the early church's leaders the first time they 
tried to use it.  Many of those who entered into this kind of community, which 
sounds so much like a modern cult, must have been a problem for later the New 
Testament authors added, in 2 Thessalonians 3:1O, "If anyone will not work, 
let him not eat."  Indeed, what kind of power could they have had over these 
people if they could starve them to get work out of them?  I suggest you read 
these passages in context and see for yourself.  The original biblical appeal 
to laziness of mind must have drawn in quite a few converts who were lazy 
about everything else too, or else they just weren't of one mind as Paul 
claimed, for they apparently had to starve them to get any work out of them.  
If they could be starved, then how free were people in these communities?  Had 
they been lured into some kind of slavery?  Work but don't think, for the cult 
leaders, will think for you, be an example unto you, and tell you exactly what 
God wants you to do.  Today the church does not ask believers to sell all they 
own and give it to the church, only the most obviously dangerous cults do that 
now.  Today the believer is more or less on his own, though in a mostly 
Christian world, and it is only suggested that he tithe 1O% of his income to 
the church.   
                                  THE END

     The above essay, 'Hope is the Bait,' is intended, along with the other 
essay, 'Fear is the Trap,' to be part of a larger work tentatively titled 
'The Dark Secrets of Religious Psychotechnology.'  My goal is to study the 
psychological purposes and intentions of the Biblical authors in light of
the theory presented by Abelard Reuchlin and John Duran that claims the New 
Testament is the work of Arrius Piso and his conspirators.
     This file is Dos ASCII text from PCwrite. 
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users to copy and distribute these files as long as the files are not 
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if my name and address are included, if I am credited as the source of the 
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     I intend to publish 'The Dark Secrets of Religious Psychotechnology,' 
first on computer disk.  If the responce is good I will have a booklet 
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