One of the small time cult leaders approached an ad agency supremo with an unusual request.
“The world is fed up of existing religions. I think it deserves a new one. Can you help me start one”.
The supremo was taken in by the request and the challenge therein,
“Yes sure, what would be the main value proposition. What service would you want to deliver? If you study competition they typically promise either nirvana from this world or a fair trial for your deeds, reinforced with reward or punishment of heaven/hell or rebirths. So what would your brand promise be ” He asked.
The cultist thought for a while and said “Space Travel. We will neither offer them a final resting place or involve them in rebirth iterations but offer endless adventure in roaming and explorations”.
“That sounds good.”The supremo agreed. “I can already think of its punchline : “Taking you places.” Now what about its form. Would you want to have one diety to worship as in monotheistic religions or Many Gods as in polytheistic ones”
“I am not hung up on forms”. The man replied. “whichever is easier to promote”.
“See typically Monotheistic ones are easier to float and propagate as they create less confusion in minds of people. Also conversion into them is easier.So we can have that, however there is a catch. For a monotheistic religion to catch popular fancy its originator, Messenger or Messiah, has to be prosecuted for upsetting the current order.That is what gives it enduring appeal. So I hope you would not mind sacrificing yourself to give this new religion longevity.
“Well I can consider that, if you can tell me what would be the other steps” the cultist replied.
“Ok starting a new religion is typically a five step process.
1) as I have pointed out, the originator has to be prosecuted.
2) then couple of wars need to fought to protect faith against assaulters/infidels/renegades. There is no stronger bonding towards faith than a good war.
So with steps 1&2, the faith is established and its passion popularized. However it does nothing to operationlize the faith on a day to day basis, for that you need steps 3&4.
3) A workable doctrine needs to be created and codified in form of a book or sacred text( doesn’t matter what the overall doctrine is as long as it is something exotic….it can be even worshipping Pluto as Supreme God).
4) A hierarchical clergy needs to form to institutionalize the doctrine of the new religion however this clergy has to be given powers of salvation or damnation to make them powerful.
Lastly a new religion has ebb and flow in its fortunes initially before the start up becomes stable. So one to create a stable funding source so that :
5) 20-50 human generations can pass without the creed dying out. If it ebbs, we can throw in a war or more propaganda to keep the flames stroked.
The cult leader was impressed. The ad agency supremo had mapped the new religion formulation strategy well. So he really was the man for the job. Now there was just one issue that needed to be settled .
“So what would we call this new religion” The cult leader asked.
“Oh that is simple” the supremo replied “Lets call it Plutoism”.