Wednesday, May 21, 2008

fad religions

Post 8

'Scientology, Xenos, Kabbalah, New-Age and other 'fad religions''

There will be a follow of this posted on Friday, dealing with the groups that go after these religions. I am in no way attempting to take a view on the religion itself, only on the method that it uses and what it says to do (outside of it's actual preachings). Furthermore, in the future, I will also be posting entries on the specific religions that I have listed here. Before you accuse me of bias, please make sure to read Fridays posting.
Also, On Monday I will have the circle topic posted, please check back then as well.
*End of Note*

Before I start this entry I need to say that this post in no way is meant to imply that all believers in these religions, or any other religion that falls under my definition of 'fad religion', do not truly believe in their respective religion. In this post I am merely talking about persons who change their religion, don't know much about their religion, and/or jump week by week (not literally) to a new, usually popular, religion. Good, that taken care of (along with the waiver in the note), I shall continue on to the actual post.

Tom Cruse jumps on a couch! Madonna has special diet needs and drinks special water! News headlines scream the latest news of our beloved celebrities, often including mentions of their religion (or, in both of the above cases, mentioning effects/duties of their religion). These reports and stories increase the perception of these religions. Ranging from Scientology (for the record, I do recommend Hubbard's sci-fi, he was a good author) to Xenos to Kabbalah to born-again to all sorts of new-age religions ( religions are having celebrities flock to them in mass, and in public. Religion, at least those of celebrities, seems to have become common knowledge, a well talked about thing.

Along with the herds of celebrities the masses have been playing the lemming. A cultural leap towards these newly-popular religions seems to be appearing. That is, the religious movements in this country seem extremely fad based, and seem to alter often. Now, some of the people jumping ships might actually find their true religion, might actually find peace, and might actually be happy. However, it seems, more and more often that the lemming effect is in play. Really, this does bother me, as it means that people are not properly thinking. If it is something as important as your religion I think that you should be thinking fully about the choices you are making.

One of the biggest issues that I have with these groups are the fact that they seem cult-like almost. No, I am not calling them a cult (though I reserve the right to do so in a future), just that they, in many aspects, look/feel like a cult. The way that people join these groups (do to a charismatic person), the way that these groups hold people in, and the way that they treat those outside of themselves clearly shows this. However, I do not blame the groups for these people joining. In fact, I blame the celebrities. When you are in the public eye you clearly have a duty to make sure that you do not mislead or harm the public. The celebrities need to fully educate themselves about what they are getting into (AND what the public gets into in the same group (some groups (Scientology) have different rules for Celebrities and the masses)). In the end I think that people need to put down their drinks and think before jumping ship. Find a religion you can join, relate to, and believe in. Then stay there. Celebrities, do the same, and don't make your religion such a big deal.

I bet you thought this was going to be an attack on religion. Let this be a lesson, leave your assumptions at the door (the attack on certain religious groups will come much later).

As always, please leave any comments, no matter how large or how small about the contents of this blog post. Also, please leave any comments/suggestions about this site/post as a whole.

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Hajile said...

I have nothing to say.


LisaRenee said...

Interesting post, I don't disagree with you at all on the theory that celebrities should take more care/responsibility when it comes to promoting religion or a behavior. It's clear most don't which does I believe call into question some of our behavior.

Too many of us give celebrities more power in swaying thought/opinion than should happen. The fan mentality plays into the fad mentality.

Barga said...

Lisa -

You know, even though I comment on your blog I did not expect you to show up here, let alone comment.

That said, I think that the reason we care so much about celebrities is that we are trained to. When Ledger died that was all that was on CNN. Come on now. It is a huge industry (cue link to girlfriends blog about that specific point (

Furthermore, take this to politics. It is big news when Sprinstein, Ford, Hanks, etc. endorses somebody. Why? Who the hell knows

Jesus Girl said...

I think I can make a defense for those who jump around. While I do not like the fact that they move so easily between them.

I am a firm believer in faith being more important than religion. Religion is a way to gather with people of similar beliefs as you in the world. Some people just don't know exactly what they believe in, thus they jump around, hoping to find the right one. What they should do, however, is do their research before they make such a huge change. And some people won't find it in a religion. Their faith may be unique, unlike anything any religion has ever seen.

Barga said...

I support the idea of changing religion due to changes in the self (or evidence) and I believe that I said that in the posting. However, the people who just jump around for no reason whatsoever except the popularity aspect is what i was more aiming at


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