So why not have fun? I sense an underlying dogma here
 to which I am not prepared to submit.- William S. Burroughs


A common value system based upon the principle of deliverance unites all the major faiths. In Christian thought this principle is called ‘salvation’ and Christ is The Saviour of the World. In the Indian-Vedic tradition this principle is called ‘enlightenment’ or ‘liberation’ from the World.

Clearly the notion of ‘deliverance’ depends upon the view that the world is a ‘fallen’ state. However, even though the material universe may be described as a hostile environment it is self-evident that the doctrine of the fallen world is not only an untenable assertion; it is also an ideological construct.

Prior to the emergence of this distinctive moral paradigm styles of worship were different and earlier forms of religion (animism, the religions of the ancient world) are often termed ‘pagan’ or ‘heathen’ in a pejorative sense by the followers of more recent faiths. All morality is ideology.

There are two main branches of post-pagan belief: there is the Indian-Vedic branch including Hindu and Buddhist teachings, and there is the Middle Eastern (or Abrahamic) branch comprising Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Historically the Indian-Vedic branch may count as the earliest form of world-renouncing, ascetic, flesh-rejecting salvation religion. These faiths which are often exceptionalist, schismatic, patriarchal and missionary in character have been labelled Axial Religions by some sociologists (Jaspers). Despite cultural differences the two main branches are variations of the same ascetic ideology of sacrifice and renunciation.

Dispassionate examination of Axial religious ideas and behaviour uncovers a number of features highlighting the negative influence of salvation religion on wider society:

All religious teachings are based on ethical and metaphysical claims that are false and without foundation. The false claims of the Axial Religions are (1) that there is an ultimate cause (2) that the world is ‘fallen’ or evil (3) that scripture is true revelation, and (4) that faith is good in itself. Such teachings inculcate ignorance and slavish submission among the weak and vulnerable.

Salvation doctrine is driven by sadomasochistic obsessions with sacrifice and atonement and is rooted in ideas of purity and death. Contrary to the claims of believers, these psychological compulsions have absolutely no ‘moral’ value, or ‘spiritual’ significance whatsoever.

The female reproductive system is the engine room of faith. This is why an often celibate priestly caste places such high value on The Family and why ‘family values’ are at the very heart of religions throughout the world. For the religious hierarchy paternity is an expendable factor while maternity is absolutely essential for continuity. Even though women have been called The Devil’s Gateway, they are defined by maternity because they are the breeding stock.

The rhetoric of ‘family values’ is a way of legitimising childhood indoctrination. The glorification of motherhood (the ‘maternal instinct’) is the misogynist basis of pro-natalist oppression and gender apartheid.

Most if not all true believers practice various levels of duplicity and deception in their dealings with the world – a world they despise. Where matters of ‘conscience’ are concerned politicians often mislead voters regarding their real evangelical objectives. ‘Conscience’ is usually an excuse to proselytise and is always a euphemism for prejudice.

Affluent semi-religious quasi-believers who take full advantage of the materialistic lifestyles and secular freedoms of developed industrial societies are hypocrites. Clearly the road to salvation is often paved with gold – faith-wash and bad intentions: the Protestant Spirit of Capitalism.

Religion operates behind an elaborate façade of mystification and pseudo-scholarly obscurantism. This smokescreen is designed to confuse both critics and followers alike particularly regarding such insoluble sophisms of Theodicy as ‘the problem of evil’ or vague issues like ‘the purpose of life’. The cultural kudos of high-mindedness associated with ‘profound’ ideas, ‘eternal values’ and the pernicious gravitas of ‘great’ religious art (propaganda) are further cases of this all-pervasive mystification.

Faith is never a civilising influence. Religion asserts that it is indistinguishable from civilisation because, over the centuries, it has deployed the power structure of ‘culture’ to negate individual autonomy. While popular culture may occasionally serve rebellious causes all culture is tyranny because it is permeated by reactionary religious ideas. Culture, particularly ‘high culture’, is the velvet glove of faith – theocracy is the iron fist.

Religious doctrine is propagated and enforced by techniques of indoctrination, conformist regimentation and cultural coercion involving traditional taboos, mandatory ‘parrot-fashion’ learning and rigid commandments. In civil society indoctrination is implemented via institutions such as the state, the family, the voluntary sector and the education system.

The function of religious teaching is the regulation of behaviour, typically in the realms of reproductive choice, sexual orientation, mortality, dietary practice, dress code and linguistic identity. The appropriation of linguistic identity in religious teaching is closely allied to a pernicious linkage of faith allegiance with ethnic and racial factors.

Religious teaching is the denial of choice and freedom of expression – camouflaged as ‘moral’ instruction, or ‘spiritual’ guidance, it is the antithesis of education.

Ecclesiastics and their apologists vilify their opponents to stifle criticism, seeking to denigrate alternative viewpoints as seditious, debased and depraved. This is the mechanism of witch-hunting, moral panic and persecution mania. It is the demonic world-view of book-burners everywhere – yet it is they who claim a monopoly of altruism and always take the ‘moral high ground’ on any issue.

The faithful characterise all criticism as persecution and intolerance, claiming ‘respect’ as a right, using the taking of ‘offence’ as a form of intimidation whilst complaining of ‘marginalization’. Furthermore, any challenge to belief is defined quasi-theologically as a temptation (the Devil’s work) or a test to be overcome, a watertight psychological stratagem impervious to rational argument.

Believers assert religion is beyond criticism and above the law but reserve the right to defame unbelievers, attack social mores and preach against idolaters and apostates at every turn. It is commonplace to find faith-leaders claiming that social problems are the result of immorality (the collapse of ‘core values’) and ‘godlessness’. Rabble-rousing messianic preachers find no difficulty in transforming this kind of moral assault into a militant cosmic war against evil forces, inciting hatred, causing resentment and stirring up millenarian mass hysteria.

One teaching of salvation is the idea that humanity is the source of everything bad. Conversely God is the source of everything good. In practice this allows religious believers to appropriate any positive social development, treating every ‘good cause’ as a bandwagon, or a crusade. Claiming credit for altruism (in fact a naturally-occurring form of animal behaviour), religious organisations argue ‘faith-based welfare’ is a better form of philanthropy superior to alternative approaches; beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Many naïve observers are taken in by idea that all charity is God’s work, even an act of worship whether recognised or not. Whereas religious charity (including missionary work) is actually a devious form of entryism; a ‘Trojan horse’ tactic – a way of infiltrating social services, patronising the destitute, exploiting the vulnerable and generating publicity – propaganda by deed.

In any faith community persecution mania is endemic and siege mentality the norm. This is why many religious believers think that the mass media is an atheist conspiracy, even though the media is infested with religious fellow travellers, pro-clerical sycophants and finger-wagging moralists. However, the dogma that glamour is idolatry or that entertainment is sin, is the real reason why puritans attack the media – the media is fertile ground for moral panic.

Salvation teaching invariably promotes self-righteousness and atavistic, elitist assertions of racial, cultural and moral superiority provoking sectarianism and other forms of social division rendering most theories of social conflict (e.g. Marxism) quite superfluous. The schismatic internal factionalism and megalomania within the religious sphere is self-evident, yet the self-contradictory notion that faith is a benevolent kind of ‘social glue’ is widespread.

All religious authorities use the puritan ideology of salvation morality, redemption and renunciation to hi-jack civil society and control all aspects of public and private life. Axial Religion is an authoritarian caste system driven by the pursuit of power and prestige for its own sake. The history of humanity is a war against theocracy – and the essence of theocracy is the arrogance of human exceptionalism.





AC Evans




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