Most religions are control mechanisms and this applies to all the "big ones" and not only to modern "cults". The people are fed largely untrue notions about deity, the universe and his relationship to these, and they are forced to accept, adhere to and promote these ideas under the threat of duress or worse. Much religion to this day is still characterized by arguments, fighting and outright warring. It is often a matter or "power" - power over the lives, thoughts and actions of others. One group "believes" their notions implicitly and demands everyone else accepts them or else. Various "reasoning", "spiritual posturing", excuses and justifications are used. Again, it all makes sense within each unique religious belief system. You see an example of this almost every day in the media. Remember, ideas and concepts are largely in Man's mind alone. This is no less true for religious ideas. The fanatical religious person may claim his basic axioms and assumptions are true, but he should have no right to enforce them on anybody in any way. It is up to you to decide just how much of some religious idea has anything to do with any objective reality or fact. You should be granted the right to freely decide and choose. You rarely are. It's not that "religion" is bad. We would, for the most part, feel a large emptiness without it. It is the "use" of religion which has too often been badly practiced. These are two majorly different things.
Psychiatry & Materialism
"Science", modern psychology and psychiatry function as modern "religions" in that they are firmly believed and enforced on everyone else whether you agree with them or not. As psychiatry obtains greater and greater government support, this becomes even more true. Psychiatric views have infiltrated the legal, various social, governmental and educational systems. It is heavily funded and your tax dollars support it (whether you like it or not).
Psychiatry also possesses the tools of enforcement and social control which modern governments adore. But, ultimately it is only just another belief system, quite arbitrary and very false, once again allied with governments (the State) and used to oppress the public. Strangely the humanist will understand this idea completely about traditional religions throughout history, but fail completely to see how this applies to psychiatry and it's pretended association with modern science.
Religions have a historical tendency to align with sectarian powers (i.e. governments - the State). Whenever this has been done, the State has often promoted one religion above all others, and tended to suppress differing religious views. This is why the 1st Amendment to the Constitution was written:
Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This was designed to prevent the State from supporting one religious view over others. The government should be separate from any religion (separation of Church and State), but it should also be kept separate from ANY belief system - materialism, psychiatry, behaviorism, eugenics, genetics, biopharmacology, and biochemistry included! No government funds should go to any belief system, religious or scientific.
"Religion" and "science" differ only in name - ultimately they are each only unique belief systems. They exist in different places on the "belief spectrum". Enforcing either one on the public has negative results. Personally, I don't want my children forced to study, and believe, either the theory of evolution or the theory of creationism, both of which are incorrect as far as I am concerned. It's not one against the other. It's not religion against science. More often than not they both act to deny Man's inherent nature as a thinking, conscious mind, and Man's rights. One needs to rise above the false ideas and apparent dichotomies, and learn to see from a "higher ground". You should have the right to believe either, if you choose, but neither should be mandatory. Public schools, supported by the government, promote the materialistic approach. They shouldn't, just as they shouldn't promote any specific religious approach.
Any Rand said it well in discussing the traditional battle between the extremes of rationalism and empiricism (spiriualism vs. materialism; religion vs. science):
In the title essay of For the New Intellectual, discussing modem philosophy's concerted attack on man's mind, I referred to the philosophers' division into two camps, "those who claimed that man obtains his knowledge of the world by deducing it exclusively from concepts, which come from inside his head and are not derived from the perception of physical facts (the Rationalists) -and those who claimed that man obtains his knowledge from experience, which was held to mean: by direct perception of immediate facts, with no recourse to concepts (the Empiricists). To put it more simply: those who joined the Witch Doctor, by abandoning reality - and those who clung to reality, by abandoning their mind.
This has been the established defined boundaries of the "battle" within traditional philosophy and western culture. It is a barren playing field as it gives complete loss and failure whichever side one chooses. It's either "all-mind" in a mystical muddle of conceptual absurdities, or it's "all-physical matter" in a materialistic mindlessness of biological superiority and temporal hedonism. And in the end both resort to force to secure acceptance and adherence. The modern behavioral psychologist and psychiatrist are avid proponents of the second school - empiricists - they have totally abandoned the mind. A "science" of Man can never achieve or excel when it denies the very thing which creates any "science" - Man's mind. Modern psychology, which by definition is "the study of the mind", ignores and denies the very object of it's own subject!
Materialism, the "scientific approach", humanism, realism, pragmatism, or whatever you want to call it are simply ideologies, containing a unique combination of ideas and beliefs, and more often than not, orthodoxies - demanding that one conform to certain traditional or currently accepted beliefs and ideas.
Materialism, just as any religion, is a unique set of axioms, assumptions, opinions and beliefs about the nature of Man, the universe, and how Man relates to the universe. It is a system of concepts about reality, and nothing more.
The constitutional amendment written to separate Church and State should have been written to keep ALL belief systems away from government acceptance, subsidization and support. Currently the governments of the United States and Europe are so tied up with these other interests that it may be impossible to separate them. The intent of this amendment was to allow people, through their own conscience, to decide what to believe and support. I don't want to pay taxes which fund studies or organizations which drug children with Ritalin, encourage electric shock of the elderly, or act to degrade Man's view of himself into that of an animal. But I am forced to support the modern religion of materialism. I hope some bright constitutional scholar and lawyer will someday, soon, take this to the courts and straighten this out.
"Modern" educated people think they have risen above "the absurd and childish beliefs of past religions", but, in fact, they have not risen anywhere. They have simply switched to another, equally absurd and flawed, set of beliefs. Of course, they don't, and cannot see this, much less understand it, because they are believers too - just as were the religious folks in past centuries. The materialist or psychiatrist is equally convinced of his possession of the "truth", just as was any well-educated priest of the Spanish Inquisition (and the Priests were often very highly educated, in fact, more than anyone else). There is no difference in how either functions. They each have a unique package of opinions, beliefs, and convictions about Man and the universe, they each believe they are "right", and they are willing to happily force everyone else to believe the same things as they do. They are both totalitarians. They are both the victims of their own over-active conceptualizing, which they each take much too seriously and attribute far too much importance to.
Psychiatry and modern psychology, functioning as materialistic interpretations of Man and life, act as a unique set of opinions and beliefs about man and the universe, just as any religious or philosophical system. Each is a unique set of axioms, assumptions, opinions and beliefs about the nature of Man and the universe. They are logical and well-organized structures of concepts and ideas only, but factually, very far removed from any actual correspondence to existing realities. If you honestly read through these pages, and follow up with some of the reference books, you will come to understand how this is so. But if you don't, you will stay fixedly set in your own very limited conceptual framework of reality. What most of us think about reality is not what is, but only what we conceive it to be. The two are, more often than not, worlds apart.
Religions, in the past, allied with governmental powers to forward their beliefs, through force and oppression. This is what the first constitutional amendment was designed to prevent for reoccurring. This is what should be separated from the State:
-- ANY set of beliefs regarding Man, the universe and his relationship to it. "Materialism", "psychology" and "psychiatry" are exactly this. The "religion" of materialism is very much connected to the State, and promoted by the State. It shouldn't be. It functions as a "religion" in exactly the same way as anything usually called a "religion".
A "religion" is only a unique sub-category of a larger category - any ideology or philosophy concerning Man, the universe and Man's relationship to the universe. The amendment should have read, or should be changed to read:
Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of any ideology or belief system, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The religious proponents in the past believed their ideas completely and justified their oppressive actions because it was "truth" (to them). The proponents of "materialism", psychiatry, psychology and modern "science" believe completely, and in exactly the same way, that their ideas are "modern" and "correct", and also similarly justify their destructive actions because it is the "truth" (to them). Neither ever thought they were doing anything wrong, and in fact, both believe they are doing the most wonderful of things! This was and is complete delusion. It was true then, in the past, with religious persecution, and it is true now with modern behavioral psychology and psychiatry.
There is no difference between the two. None at all. This is often difficult for "modern people" to see, because one tends to become "stuck" within their own strictly defined belief system (which they don't recognize as a belief system but instead, see as their own perception of "truth"), but it is completely true nonetheless. Sadly, the Constitutional fathers of the this country didn't perceive the first amendment in this larger framework, and the amendment wasn't written in this broader context, otherwise the current abuses could have been prevented.
It is sad that every period of history, including our own, is characterized by people who consider themselves supremely intelligent, in-the-know, aware of "the truth", smarter, and who are completely willing to enforce their beliefs and opinions upon everybody else (whether in the name of "religion" or "science"). The modern materialist, in the form of the psychiatrists and psychologists, are doing this more than it has ever been done before - in both quantity and quality of abuse.
Hopefully the realization and application of this doesn't come too late.
Most governments are controlled by people who think they know what is best for everyone else, or who use governments to implement their own personal social, financial, or religious ideas on the general public and on other countries. Again, examples appear daily in the media, although usually never delineated clearly as to true causes. The US government was used by large commercial interests to fight the Gulf War. This is only one example of many where governments are actually pawns of the true powers which use them for their own ends. Almost every president, cabinet member, and government leader is controlled by (supported and bought) or an existing member of large financial or corporate interests. Where do you think their true allegiance lies? Usually, most government people go back to work for or begin to work for the corporate entities they have been supporting all along while part of any government.
The FDA (food and drug administration), a government agency, monitors, approves, and controls "drugs" and supposedly is concerned for the safety of the public. Many members of the FDA Board are past executives of major drug companies, and often go to work as executives (with big salaries) in major drug companies when completing their stint in the FDA (as a reward). Is it any wonder drugs continue to be promoted despite obvious dangers and harms, and alternative, yet often safer, practices continually undergo severe attacks and suppression? The FDA is a promotional and enforcement arm of the major drug companies, and NOT an honest public service group of objective citizens. This tendency is true throughout all aspects of modern governments, although very much hidden from the public's perception.
Communication versus Force
Here's another slant on the whole thing. Each person and group anywhere basically has their own unique views and ideas and wants to get these accepted by others. This can be anything from a personal like for a music group, to ones infatuation with an artist, to religion, to politics. Why? I don't know. They just do. Its part of the nature of sentient beings. A being's idea or belief, when accepted by others, obtains more agreement and thereby becomes more "real". Its just his way of creating something, putting it "out there", and giving it more "staying power" - it lasts longer when more people agree with it. So everyone is trying to get everyone else to agree with them and to contribute to their ideas, whatever they may be. There's nothing wrong with that. That's the nature of life. Ideally, sane, decent and capable beings would communicate with others with an intention to bring about an understanding and agreement with what they believe in the other person. It would all be very "above boards", voluntary, and freely accepted or not. No one would get mad if you didn't accept and contribute to the idea.
But apparently that is much too difficult for most people and groups on this planet, because instead, what is largely used is force, in the form of guns, threats, condescension, ridicule, controlled mass media, social control, brain washing, slanted indoctrination, covert intelligence operations, military action, deceit, sly persuasion, electric shock, drugs, lobotomies, brain microchip implants and all forms of manipulation. People and groups fail with communication and then resort to force, deceit and trickery. These exist in various forms to some degree in personal lives, business, relationships, government, religion, and all aspects of society. Volumes of books could be written on specific examples. Any patient and honest observer can find many examples of each. It has been the modus operandi for most of Earth's history.
It would benefit anyone to sit down and spend a few hours examining this. Start with the area of personal life, and locate a few examples where someone has failed at getting another to think or do (behave) as they desired, and then resorted to force or deceit in some form to attempt to realize their wishes. Many male-female relationships provide ample substance for this. Do the same for the areas of business, government, and religion.
Force is applied to get others to think, behave and believe as others want them to. This tendency continues unabated. It has been with us all throughout human history and it is with us now. In fact, with modern mass media, technology, drugs, behavioral techniques, and thought manipulation it is continuing at an ever expanding rate. If you don't see it, or don't see the magnitude of it, it simply means they have done their jobs well, because part of the modern methods include the desire to remain hidden and anonymous. But it is happening just the same.
While most everything is "only ideas and concepts", there are ideas and concepts which more closely align with actual events and situations. All concepts are not equal as to their accurate relationship to the things, events and relationships they refer to. What has just been described is not an illusion like most people's understanding of "gravity". The ideas discussed here have a close association with actual situations and events. The mind of man exists as described here. The current cultural problems exist. Materialism is the primary culprit. These exists no matter what your opinion or concept about them may be. You can choose to believe that 1) Man's mind doesn't exist, 2) consciousness and human activity is biochemical or stimulus-response in nature, and 3) is meaningless as a factor in anything, but all you will be doing is exercising a function of the very mind you deny to exist - the capability and tendency to create belief. There are real situations occurring on the planet now. Take the time to find out for yourself what these are. They are not what you have been led to believe.
About the Author
I graduated in 1973, about 30th in a class of over 600, with very high honors (3.65 grade point average), from a major American engineering college (Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass.). I received a degree in electronics engineering (one of the "harder" engineering majors) and also double majored in psychology at Clark University (a major American psych college in Auburn, Mass.). I didn't spend much time studying - I did when I needed to so I could "ace" the tests. I never followed a career in engineering or psychology, because I wasn't interested in building missile guidance systems for the government, and I thought almost everything I had "learned" in psychology was a complete farce. Other B and C students went to major corporations or eventually started their own businesses, each developing rather large incomes. They generally agreed with all they were taught, never questioned any of it, and "succeeded". They fit right in. While I didn't understand all of what I am discussing in this essay at the time, I did sense something off kilter about modern society, understanding and beliefs. I relate my past academic performance to show that I am not "anti-intellectual" or "anti-science" and also that I could do it quite easily and well. I am not talking about something I am completely unfamiliar with.
I have since studied, primarily as a hobby, but continuously over the past 25 years, various subjects of history, philosophy, religion, mysticism, economics, politics, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, nutrition, health, medicine, and numerous "fringe" subjects such as the occult, magic, visualization, numerous New Age topics, aliens, UFOs, Science of Mind, Scientology, theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Yoga, meditation, and more. I have tried to cover it all so I could develop the ability to look at the entirety of modern civilization as a sociologist might look at a 17th century country community. Also, I haven't only "thought" about the information, but have attempted to try out, use and apply as much as possible. What I discuss in this essay is not simply derived from philosophizing and intellectual shenanigans of playing with "concepts" and "abstractions". My studies aren't over, but I am well on my way.
Psychiatry, as an application of materialism to the subject of Man, in itself and as a
tool of self-conceived world manipulators, is one of the most destructive belief systems
and practices currently in operation on the planet. Take the time to learn about it
yourself. LOOK, OBSERVE, and don't listen to their PR and arguments. As discussed in this
essay, anything can be presented in a way to have it "make sense" and appear
"logical". Logic implies nothing but internal consistency with fundamental
axioms, nomenclature, definitions and ideas. Don't fall for it and . .