RELIGION–A TOOL FOR MIND CONTROL BY THE ELITE
THE CHALLENGING FACTORS
Tool for Mind Control by the Ruling Class
In the previous Chapter I had to go through a detailed but necessary exposition of the difference between Religiosity, Churchianity and Christianity. This is because what I am about to propound in the remaining part of this book will be shocking for many, especially due to the fact that I am a clergy man. But I want you to understand clearly why Africa is poor and as far as I am concerned, religion has played a terrible pivotal role in perpetuating this poverty.
Going forward, we are going to be looking at two key factors, how religion is a tool for control of the masses and how kingdoms and empires are sustained by it to the detriment of the masses but the benefit of the elite.
THE CHALLENGING FACTORS
Unfortunately, even I as a Christian realize the challenge we face when it comes to true faith and spirituality as we live in a fallen world, and that world has manipulative people seeking power to dominate and control, to their own selfish benefit, and even within the church of Christ are such wolves posing in sheep’s clothing, seeking which sheep to devour.
What follows then is the perhaps the most harmful way in which religion (even within the Christian faith’s clergy) has become a millstone around the necks of people and as such has perpetuated poverty in Africa.
By my personal observation, religion is the foremost factor in propagating poverty more than all the other four factors. If the list were to be arranged in order of harmfulness from the most to the least, then it would be religion at the top of the list, then culture, geography, poor governance and finally weak institutions. Let us look at precisely how religion does this in Africa.
RELIGIOSITY = POVERTY
The first big surprise is that there is a very interesting correlation between religious countries and poverty. Did you know that the top 30 richest countries in the world are the least religious whilst the bottom fifty poorest countries are almost 100% religious? What is it that causes poverty to work hand in hand with religiousness? As you may know, there are a few exceptions to this above ‘fact’ namely the USA, Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and quite a number of other countries that if we dug further; are generally religious but rich as nations. We will pick and examine the USA in a moment, but firstly, why is this so?
The poor nations’ religions biggest negative teaching emphasizes the ‘pie in the sky’ paradigm (mindset). You remember my detailed breakdown on mindset in the 10th Chapter of this book under the “Mindset” subheading? I demonstrated that this is by far the most harmful factor in culture and religion is the most powerful tool for the shaping of mindset. Consider this scripture below,
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender
Proverbs 22:5-7 (New King James Version)
Verse 5 mentioned thorns and snares and also speaks of “guarding the soul”. Any decent theologian will tell you that the soul is where the ‘mind, emotion and will’ are found. Isn’t that interesting? If the mind is in the soul and this passage speaks of ‘guarding’ it, then what is the implication of not guarding it? The answer is in the next verse… It states that if the child is trained in the way it should grow (especially in the formative years – between 3 and 10 years) then it shall become ‘set’ in that way and not ‘depart’ from it.
So, if ways can be ‘set’ or as the Bible declares ‘trained’, then it stands to reason that the mind is open to whatever the adult ‘teaches’ it. If they (the adult) are perverse (inexplicably irrational, stubbornly unreasonable) in nature and mind, then that perverse ‘mindset’ will be the reality of the child trained by that person or environment when they grow up. The opposite is also true, if that person is virtuous (moral integrity, chaste) then we can expect to see this ‘mindset’ pass onto the next generation.
Off course there are exceptions that prove the rule, but this entire premise is generally true. It’s the reason why certain nationalities and ethnic groups seem to have a particular ‘characteristic’ trait about them.
Some will state that I am stereotyping, but then, ask yourself, where does stereotype come from? Why is it that certain groups of people seem to be predisposed to business, others music, others dancing, others sport, others acrobatics and so on and so forth? Why is it that certain families are able to carry on a particular profession across generations? So you know when we say Jews generally become business persons that run multinationals, Indians are shopkeepers, Boers are farmers, Blacks excel in sport and music.
Yes its stereotyping but here is a truth – it comes from that passage I shared above in Prov 22:5 – 6!
Now here is an aspect that is depressing. Look at verse 7 again…
7 “ The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.”
Do you see that? What is the implication of this particular verse? It states that if the previous two verses are executed in life, the result is verse 7! I want you to keep this passage in the back of your mind as I continue to breakdown this truth for you to see.
No one will like this, but it’s a fact – African countries generally fulfil that passage to the tee! Firstly, many of the poorest nations are here at present. Secondly these countries are in debt (they borrowed heavily) and lastly, the rich are now ruling over them (the poor) as is evidenced by the treatment of many Africans as second class citizens in their own nations.
One of the most powerful illustrations of just how heartless the multinational corporations can be (thus fulfilling this scripture of the rich ruling over the poor) is exemplified in the well-known case in Honduras (another very religious third world country in South America) where the government intended to privatize water supply to the Hondurans. This was met with solid resistance as the capital city became the scene of an enduring citizen’s protest against the government and the private water utility company. Although the price in human lives was high, the people resisted until they finally prevailed – but not without a great cost to the entire nation and city in lives and damaged property.
Why would this multinational want to charge people for a resource freely given by God and make profits out of it? This fulfills the earlier passage. The rich will rule over the poor and turn the poor into slaves because of debt.
So then, what do these mindsets like the ‘pie in the sky’ tell the African believers who hold onto it? It teaches people that you are not responsible for all that happens on earth; that you simply ‘resign’ to your fate and best of all, that there is a better life ahead in the afterlife. The emphasis is in being fatalistic in outlook. There is a phrase in Nyanja (one of the main Zambian languages) that states, “Vonse tavisiya mu manja ya Mulungu” which transliterated literally states “we live everything in God’s hands”! That is the mentality I am speaking about.
A deeper study also shows six profound reasons which I outline in a study at the end of this book, further justifying why these levels of poverty we see at present – in short many (not all) Africans are praying wrong!
On the other hand, the rich nations stopped being fatalistic (as wrongly taught by religious establishment) and instead believed in their capacity and then went out to execute what they believed and even continue to do so to change their future through their own efforts (talents, gifts, skills, efforts, abilities, resources etc.). This has then seen them overcome great odds, identify their weakest points and then collectively work to eliminate these factors.
The USA/Israel/UAE/Bahrain Anomaly
Their type of religion emphasizes a ‘here and now’ mindset besides the ‘hereafter.’ As such the paradigm emphasized is the utilization of all talents and abilities for the betterment of their livelihood today. Interestingly, we are now seeing this form of ‘prosperity gospel’ being preached in many developing countries as well, the only challenge being that religious dogma has still a great stranglehold on many people’s mindsets that they either totally reject the truth taught within it, or else, embrace it believing it’s a panacea to wealth without the factors for wealth creation of time, skilled effort and value.
The saddest part is that the vultures that stand behind religion know that the poor are the most vulnerable and thus susceptible to being fleeced out of their hard earned resources, and so use religious dogma as a vehicle to amass wealth. I tackle this fully in coming chapters.
Tool for Mind Control by the Ruling Class
Above all else, religion has been and continues to be the most powerful tool that is being used by the establishment as a tool for mind control. With religion the ruling class can justify war, oppression and even downright slavery.
In case you did not know, Jesus Christ was the most anti-religious person to ever get credited for starting a movement that has spread to the entire world and have the most lasting influence ever. In spite of the fact that religiosity has been born out of his teaching, that is not what He taught – for He loathed any form of religiousness – period. He taught and emphasized spirituality through faith in Him, not men’s institutions with the Kingdom of God at the core.
He was so anti-religious that he tells them off and shows why they are so empty and burdensome. You can read his entire speech in Matthew 23 where he calls them out for what they are – control freaks! I challenge you to read that entire chapter and see for yourself what he says. He actually called them among other things frauds, hopeless, arrogant, snakes and hypocrites! These are certainly very strong choices of words to use to describe what were the religious leaders of the day, not so? Remember that as He spoke these words, he was what you would today call a young adult (a youth) 33 years of age, and yet was rebuking men old enough to be His father. But He spoke not as a human being, but as God with His authority against what was obviously a very oppressive and terrible blight on the people of Israel.
He saw what I am now tackling here. He saw how many religious leaders hid behind their flowing robes and pious looks. He saw the seeking for honor and glory among men and kings, but abandoning the poor, the sick and the suffering. He saw how they would be so focused on serving God whom they don’t see, and dishonor their own parents who are their second gods on earth! His biggest issue was the hypocrisy! Religion becomes a place of actors and actresses playing to the gallery and in the process fearing men more than God! He had enough of it.
And do not forget that He also went into the temple and overturned all the money changer’s tables. These traders who sold animals for sacrifice were inflating the prices because they knew people had no choice in a bid to get the right animal or bird for sacrifice. It became a means to fleece and exploit worshipers. And don’t forget that these ‘traders’ had to cut deals with the priests and those in charge so that they could be allowed to ‘operate’ from this ‘prime spot’ where they could make a ‘killing’ off worshipers. I guess that they probably would inflate prices after being told that the animals they went with were not ‘up to standard’ and they needed ‘purer’ ones instead!
Consider this passage from the Bible…
12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
Matthew 21:12-14 (New King James Version)
One can see that He is inferring that the entire system was designed to ‘steal’ from worshipers hence His calling it a ‘den of thieves’.
What those ancient religious custodians did then is going on in many churches today. Many clergy have taken serious advantage of those seeking God and through pure manipulation, fleeced them of their hard earned moneys.
Are you surprised then that it was Religious leaders that ensured Jesus was murdered through the worst punishment of the time – crucifixion. He was ‘messing with their game plan’!
Meantime, bear in mind that with religion, the ruling class can and still do justify inequitable wealth distribution using the five key seeds which I will cover extensively in the remaining chapters of this book but for the sake of understanding,
I will list them. These are…
1. Control of the Masses – Religion has been used throughout history as a means to control the poor. It instills a mindset that suits the ruling elite’s agenda
2. Justification for Kingdoms and Empires – Religion also promoted their leaders as being gods or God’s representatives on earth and thus imposed a ruling and slave class system upon the populace. Nobility suggests that the ruling class have special blood (sacred blue bloods) and thus rule over the “commoners” who serve the elite. They are the “anointed of God”
3. Justified Slave Trade – It is one of the darkest chapters in the history of the world. The ruling class usurped authority from Africans, forced them to convert to religious Christianity and then had them enslaved for forced labor. Both the Transatlantic and Arab slave trades were justified by religion. The whites and Arabs had a right to rule and blacks had no rights but be slaves.
4. Colonialism – This was the “back end” of Christianity as a religion. When missionaries came to preach the gospel, the came with the three C’s namely Christianity, Civilization and Commerce. The idea was convert, modernize and then exploit.
5. White supremacy – It gets its greatest advocacy in religious Christianity. Unfortunately Christianity has been used as a Trojan horse that carried this terrible seed of exploiting people of color and as such, are still being affected even now in the 21st Century!
I shall now delve deeply into each one of these five key seeds or major causes that have perpetrated poverty in Africa even today.
I had the privilege of giving a TED talk at a TEDx platform in Lusaka September 26th 2020 on the subject entitled “5 Major Reasons Africa is the #1 Cause of Poverty in Africa”. You can view the 17 minute video by following this link https://youtu.be/DfBzEAieaAM in order to get a feel of the remaining chapters. The talk has since gone viral and has triggered much conversation around the said subject. If you can, leave a comment to add to the conversation and share in your networks!
The talk obviously is too short to delve deep enough and that is why this book has been written, to address what are very serious concerns and insinuations raised by the subject herein.