October 23

Origin of Christian Holidays – Halloween Myths – Part 5 of Several

So now that I’ve gotten some traditions and history of Halloween out of the way I think we can get into some of the propaganda and garbage that is inevitably floating around about Halloween.

Is Halloween/Hallowmas “The Devil’s Holiday?”

Certainly not. This is ridiculous. It does not now, nor has it ever had anything to do with the devil, demons or hell. As from my last three articles you can see that the current traditions surrounding October 31st to November 2nd are almost entirely Christian in origin. What pagan traditions happen to surround that time of year aren’t about human sacrifice, worshiping the devil or any of that nonsense. The Celtic Samhain was about making sure you were prepared for winter, moving livestock, and celebrating the end of summer, and the beginning of their new year. While the Roman Lemuria was about appeasing the dead, it took place during a totally different time of year, and Hallowmas may or may not have anything to do with it.

The devil, demon and witch costumes are, oddly enough entirely Christian conceptions of devils, demons and witches. I would find it odd if actual evil ancient pagan cults bore any semblance at all to them. There are hardly any evil pagans, pagan religions and any pagan religions that might have been evil were probably wiped out by their pagan neighbors a long, long time ago. They probably didn’t worship anything remotely like a Christian concept of the devil, much less have anything much like a pointy hat wearing old crone.

If you are a Christian and that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable, remember, all the silliness is fairly new. Most of it isn’t ancient tradition, it goes back to the late renaissance at best, some of it is even new world tradition that goes back to the middle ages. If you want to “Take back Halloween” go back to 609 and remember what Hallowmas was supposed to be. Take back those real thousand year old traditions. Light candles, put them out on your porch and hold the vigil for the dead. Tell your children stories about their dead ancestors. Take them to the cemeteries on All Souls day. Remember the dead, this is the time for it. That’s what the early Christians did.

Do the spirits of the dead really roam the world during Halloween?

I was surprised to find out that this was in fact a Christian belief. It seems to not have been borrowed from pagan traditions at all. There seems to be a lot of thought that it was the other way around, somewhat like the jack-o-lanterns and candles might have been borrowed from Christians by Pagans.

However, this could be a holdover from Lemuria. Though, again, it’s possible that this is a legitimate early Catholic, or early Christian belief, that at certain times the saints might be able to communicate with or be seen by the living. For my fellow Protestants consider the dead rising during the crucifixion and the idea of Lazarus talking to Abraham from hell. While I’m not a believer in this idea, I find it interesting that this is not in fact a borrowed belief. I think most Christians, Catholic or not have probably forgone this idea today though.

Do Satanists practice human sacrifices on Halloween?

I tend to think not. Your basic modern Satanist is either a teenager wanting attention, or a humanist. Either way they aren’t likely practicing human sacrifice. The great “Satanic Panic” of the 80’s and 90’s was a huge load of horse crap. You can check out some resources here and see for yourself.  Even if it were true, why even worry about it? Do you know any hardcore devil worshiping cultists that sacrifice people, and animals? That sort of thing tends to draw attention.  If so please tell local law enforcement immediately. Human sacrifice is murder, period. Fortunately it’s almost unheard of.

Do pagans practice weirdo rituals on Halloween?

Probably. Some neo-pagans, and practitioners of your western non-mainstream organized religions (I’m referring to the big ones and their variants: Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism) might have some things they do during the season. Lots of Wiccans, and other neo-pagans, and shamanistic practitioners will have some ceremonies and stuff they do during the season. Don’t bother them unless they’re doing something illegal in your particular jurisdiction.

I’ve heard of people doing animal sacrifices and stuff during different parts of the year. This is not typical. I would contact law enforcement if you see this sort of thing going on. It depends on your region, and whether it’s on private property. It might fall under animal abuse, or it might not. Again, for most neo-pagan groups, this isn’t normal and they don’t do this, and you’d have to be pretty brazen to sacrifice chickens or whatever right in the open. I’m all for religious expression, but there are some lines you really shouldn’t cross, at least in public.

Frankly, Christians do weirdo ceremonies this time of year what with masses, church services, candle vigils and prayer groups. The Wiccans doing a circle or whatever in the park or around their home isn’t any different. Go watch, sometimes it’s pretty interesting.

Did that small girl/teenager/hooker get eaten by that axe murderer/snake/wolf/dog/rabbit on Halloween back in ’34 in the haunted house?

Every town has these awesome urban legends. My own town has this amusement park called “Wonderland” that has one of those scary house rides called the “Fantastic Journey” that was built by the original owner (By hand! He bent the rails himself!). When I was a kid the story was that someone’s pet python once had gotten lose in the ride and you could see it slithering around in bottom of the ride, and it would occasionally kill people and eat them during the ride, especially on Halloween night. Occasionally someone would say they saw two people go into the ride and one come out, or there’d be an empty cart come out of the ride. The same story would be told as a murderer or even “Jason” from the Friday the 13th movie series.

Now while the snake story is totally true in our case, it’s never true anywhere else. The Jason thing is made up, but I swear I saw that snake once. People tend to associate scary things with  Halloween, because it’s a scary night.

Check out my other articles on Halloween debunking some of the other nonsense:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

 

 

October 22

Emergency Smart Phone Preparedness In the Urban Landscape

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was this cold! That was falling water in the summer!

Thought I’d diverge from the Geeky Faith stuff for a while. Stuff depresses me sometimes. Get back to good old geeky electronics and techno-survivalism. Thought I’d relate a story that my fiance and I went through about a year ago in Edmonton, Alberta.

I was up there visiting during the winter and we decided to go out to eat one really cold evening. It was about -20 C outside, which is a respectable 0 to -2 or -3 in non-heathen units. Might have been colder, once it starts getting down that cold in Canada you cease caring about actual degrees and just start gauging temperatures in “Negative Jesus’s”. Which is basically when you get up in the morning, look at the weather to see how much coat you need and say, “Oh it’s negative.. Jesus Christ that’s cold.” The more expletives between Jesus and Christ is roughly how many layers a non-Canadian will feel like they need to wear.

So we finally decide to go to Famosa’s, which is a really great pizza place in the Alberta area. Have us some great pizza and realize it’s pretty late, and aren’t sure if the bus runs at one in the morning, and we’re on the other side of town. We can’t check the cell phone because mine doesn’t work in Canada and hers is almost dead, and screws up sometimes anyway. I figure no problem  because my tablet is in her backpack and has a USB port and she carries a spare cable. No luck, because no cable. Can’t use the restaurant phone to call a taxi because they are jerks, so we’re about half freaking out. Can’t swap SIM cards because different sizes, and the aggravation goes on and on. Just to add to the annoyance, no payphones anymore that we can find. So we figure we’re basically stranded in a cold, unforgiving Canadian parking lot with half drunk Edmontonians doing donuts on the ice in their gigantic pickup trucks if the public transit isn’t running.

The story has a happy ending because the buses ran for a few more hours and we caught one back to where we needed to go. There was a good fifteen minutes of utter uncertainty though. I made it a point to make sure neither of us were in that position again. Getting stuck either in the extreme cold of Canada or the heat of the Texas Panhandle sucks, and if you have  your smart phone it might not be a survival situation so much as a find the information you need situation. It’s really the little things that cause the problems, not the big things.

First thing I did was came up with some protocol to avoid the situation in the first place.

Smart Phone Protocol

  1. Make sure cell phones are at least mostly charged before heading out for more than a few hours, especially somewhere using public transportation.
  2. ALWAYS carry a cable and a means of charging in purse, backpack, pocket, coat, wherever.
  3. Make sure any information that’s needed is pulled up on the web browser or written down somewhere just in case there’s no signal before it becomes a problem. A little piece of paper in the case is pretty handy.
  4. Know basically how long your cell battery lasts from a full charge until dead under normal use.

The Tech

The second thing is that we had a way to charge the phone if we had a cable but what it was pretty bulky and we might not have always had that tablet with us. If we had just a cable and a wall charger it might not have helped much because there weren’t any outlets anywhere convenient. So having an alternative energy source would have been super handy. The very first thing I did when I got home was research external USB batteries. What I found is that there are a few types.

The simple kind are just a battery with two ports. One charges the battery up, and the other charges the device. The other kinds have two means of charging. They can either be charged through the USB port or through some other means like solar, or mechanical energy. I like this type the best.

Either kind of these batteries can be carried in a purse or backpack. Most of us guys tend to walk out the door with just what we have in our pockets so maybe this isn’t super practical if all you’re wearing is jeans and a white Hane’s t-shirt. However, in the dead of winter, you’re probably wearing a jacket, I’ve carried mine in my Scottevest hoodie.

Opteka BP-SC4000

This one has pretty good reviews, comes with a TON of different charger tips, including a lot I don’t recognize, and you can put any cable you want in it. It charges with a regular mini-USB so if you have any gear that uses those, it can use that cable. It also charges solar as well. I’ve tested this thing with all kinds of light conditions, it will charge slowly in dim light indoors, sunlight, and by shining a bright flashlight on it. It does take a long time to charge via solar (something like ten hours), but you can attach a lanyard to it, put it on the outside of your backpack on a sunny day or whatever and let nature take its course.

It’s 4000mAh, though I’ve seen a tear down somewhere showing at least a few have bigger batteries. My HTC One gets almost a complete charge from it. My Windows Tablet won’t charge, but will run off it and my camera will charge from it just fine. I got about two charges from it on my Galaxy S2 and an iPhone 4 seemed to charge about once from it. I was also able to charge it from my tablet.

Basically it works a bit better than the manufacturer advertises. The only problem I’ve had with it is the power button on mine doesn’t always seem to turn it off when you hold it down. I’m not sure why. But it might be because I’ve dropped it. The other one we got works flawlessly. Both have charged to 100% or very close to it off of solar in the sun.

The “Lipstick Battery”

This is the other style battery I’ve seen that might be better for people who don’t carry around a bag. Like I mentioned before, most guys just go out with almost nothing on them but a wallet, keys and a phone. I personally take more crap with me if I’m going out a while, especially if I’m somewhere my car isn’t available. While these things aren’t super small, they’re a lot smaller than the solar charger above.

Anker® 2nd Gen Astro Mini

This one seems to be fairly small, and charges with a micro USB cable, which it comes with. This is probably what your devices use anyway. It looks like it’ll charge a few of the more popular phones today to 100% capacity and the Galaxy S4 to about 80%. Not bad for something so small. The same company makes a few higher capacity battery packs too that might be worth looking into. I’ll probably be purchasing one of these very soon to stick in my ScotteVest hoodie for an EDC during the  fall/winter months since my solar one is a bit big for that.

August 12

Thoughts on Recent News Stories in the Middle East

(Photo: Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah)

(Photo: Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah)

I read a story this week where a group of people from a foreign country invaded their neighbors and started killing the infants and children because they felt God had commanded them to do so, for no other reason than they had an opposing religion. It’s was widely posted all over the internet and practically every Christian heard the story. They didn’t stop at just one city, but killed hundreds, if not thousands of innocent victims all over the Middle East.

After these invaders would crush the military resistance they’d go in and kill all the women, children and livestock before occupying the city. Sometimes, they’d keep all the young, virgin girls and force them into marriage to their unmarried men if their weren’t enough of their own women to go around.

Fortunately recent journalism, satellite photography and digging around in the Middle East has brought forth some strong evidence that none of this actually happened and it was just made  up for whatever purpose, probably propaganda.

Unfortunately, a lot of people were  upset at the news and did everything they could to discredit everyone involved and prove that, in fact the mass murder of infants in the Middle East did happen.

I’m talking of course of most of the stories in the book of Joshua. Though it does sound a lot like some of the stuff being told about the so-called ISIS militant group in Iraq today. What got me thinking about this was this quote from C.S. Lewis I saw posted on Facebook. I felt the strong irony here.

Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, `Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything – God and our friends and ourselves included – as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”

– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I find it amusing that so many people’s knee jerk reaction to the claims of beheading of Christian children in Iraq by Muslim extremists today is one of shock, horror and calls for violence. They’ll slap the Arabic nun on their Facebook profile, post the same dubious articles all over social media and cry for the U.S. to go back to crush these militants. I know I took it seriously too for a while until I saw some that most of the sources were no better than internet tabloids.We then find out that ISIS isn’t really beheading children as far as anyone can find, and heck if we can find photos of anything but houses being branded with Arabic N’s.

What’s equally amusing is that these same people will read the book of Joshua, 1 Samuel and other place describing the wholesale slaughter of women, children and infants at God’s command and be just fine with that. I know, I used to be one of them! In 1 Samuel, King Saul was punished for not killing everything in Amalek. Not because he was merciful and didn’t kill the women and children, mind you, but because he didn’t kill all the animals and let the king live!

There are no stories where the Israelites were merciful to a bunch of children. When they were, it was virgin girls for wives for their unmarried sons. Which was kind of against their own laws. But we’re fine with that, because, “God commanded it of the Israelites.” Lest anyone accuse me of antisemitism here, this is from their own stories. We’ve all got our baggage.

The funny thing about this to me is that the same Christians have this huge sigh of relief that ISIS isn’t beheading Christian children in Iraq, they aren’t relieved when archaeology tells us the same thing about the ancient Israelites. One less thing to justify about a loving God and yet the fight for total Old Testament inerrancy continues.

Is this not exactly what C.S. Lewis was talking about? You find out this story in print wasn’t as bad as it said, or might not have been true at all and on the one hand you breathe a sigh of relief at the fanatics, but get angry at the archaeologist for daring to claim the genocide of the Canaanites didn’t actually happen?

Shouldn’t we be happy when we find out that genocide likely didn’t happen? That God didn’t command it, and that no one actually did it.

ISIS is doing terrible things in Iraq right now. They do need to be stopped. But, do not let your critical thinking be shut off by these events. Do not say, “This ancient genocide was excusable because God said so,” and “This modern genocide is not excusable because they only think God is saying so.” That’s hypocrisy.

July 9

Guns, Flags, and Sacred Texts

So this stupid picture has made rounds on the ol’ social media feeds lately and I can’t help but look at the sheer stupidity of it all.

who-holly-fisher-holly-hobby-lobby

 

I’m your average mostly libertarian Christian with HEAVY gnostic and deist leanings. I stress this because I don’t want anyone to think this is going to be the rant of some run of the mill Southern Baptist redneck from Amarillo trying to defend this whole thing. I do not like either of the mainstream political parties too much though I do tend to have more right-wing political leanings most of the time.

I do not know exactly who the woman in the right hand picture is but it’s been suggested that it might be a woman named Reem Saleh Al-Riyashi. She was a wealthy Palestinian woman who blew herself up in 2004 and killed four Israeli soldiers and wounded several more. She left behind two children. 

The woman on the left in Holly Fisher, an American woman whose husband is in the military. Apparently she’s got a kid who’s cardiologist was not covered under the new healthcare act here in the US and some other stuff. So she took that picture of herself and another one that’s been making rounds with herself outside of Hobby Lobby.

I notice something about both pictures though. They’re both doing things that their culture deems proper as methods of expressing their patriotism. But you know what I never see anymore? Pictures of people actually reading their holy books?

Used to the pictures of American life you’d see were these men sitting on their porch with the shotgun propped up against the house with a beverage of some sort on a table.  They’d have their boots off, maybe their wife just had finished cooking supper and a pie was cooling in the window. Both of them would be taking a well deserved break from the hard work of the day. Maybe both of them would be smoking a pipe, maybe just the man. There’d be a Bible alright, but it’d be open, worn and one of them would be reading it. It wouldn’t be brand new, clutched tightly and used like a talisman to ward off the liberals. The flag? It’d be on a pole, where it’s supposed to be.

 

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April 14

Blood Moons! End of The World! Oh No!

I’ve been posting a lot of sort of religious stuff here lately and for those who read my blog and are a bit turned off by this, I apologize. Book reviews forthcoming! I am kind of a religion nerd especially where traditions, ritual and odd beliefs are concerned. I find it endlessly fascinating. Sometimes, something religious has something to do with natural phenomena and things get really weird. When English speaking people are concerned it gets weird, arrogant and just a little stupid. This whole blood moon thing that’s going around on Facebook and everywhere else shows English speaking arrogance in spades, and how dumb some people can be when they don’t think past their own noses.

What’s A Blood Moon?

For centuries in the English speaking world, possibly thousands of years, there have been creative names for celestial events. Some of them ominous sounding. I used to be pretty heavy into astronomy and never heard the term “Blood Moon” applied to a lunar eclipse (though the moon does appear red sometimes after one). There is however a “Blood Moon” that occurs every year, once a year according to folklore. When someone told me there’d be four Blood Moons in a year, my immediate question was, “So four Harvest moons? Neat.” I had mistakenly thought the Harvest Moon was just a low, full moon that appears orange or red, and usually happens late in the year. So what I had considered was that there was some weird circumstance where there would be a full or nearly full moon four days in a row. Of course this makes no sense.

The actual common lunar event called the “Blood Moon” is just another name for the “Hunter’s Moon” which is the full moon after the Harvest Moon. So it’s the second full moon after the Fall Equinox. However some preacher here in Texas has hijacked the term, and started calling all lunar eclipses “Blood Moons”, jacking up who knows how many centuries of tradition to sell books.

Why Would Lunar Eclipses Be The End of the World?

Well these lunar eclipses fall in a tetrad, meaning four total lunar eclipses in a row. They’re also fairly close together which isn’t uncommon in the grand scheme of things, it at least sounds unusual.

What’s special about these is that they fall on the Jewish holidays of Passover and Tabernacles. There’s also some solar event happening on another Jewish holiday in between somewhere that a few of these prophets of doom have stuck in there. They have a lot to say about how, “God controls the earth and moon and has made this all line up. In the past five hundred years this has only happened a few times and when it has it’s been important for the Jews.” Well, OK. Let’s look at this objectively before we start getting all scared because of a few lunar eclipses. Here’s some data points.

  • The Jewish Calendar is a Lunar Calendar. Each day starts and ends at night.
  • Each month begins and ends on the New Moon.
  • There’s a special 13th month every so often to ‘reset the calendar’ (all lunar calendars have to do this).
  • Total Lunar Eclipses always occur during full moons.
  • Passover starts on the fourteen day of the Jewish month of Nisan. Tabernacles starts on the 15th day of Tishri.
  • The fourteenth and fifteenth day of any lunar month in the Jewish calendar falls on the full moon.
  • Passover and Tabernacles, always, always, always start on a full moon. On purpose.
  • Thus, a lunar eclipse is bound to happen on Passover and Tabernacles at some point.

So when you have a lunar tetrad the Jewish holiday cycle is just set up begging to have lunar eclipses on their holidays, since they practically all start on the night of a full moon. So is it God manipulating the orbit of the moon and planet? Simple coincidence? Or is it when you set up a lunar calendar and put all your holidays on full moons it’s inevitable this is going to happen?

Spoiler alert: It’s the last one. It’s inevitable. These lunar cycles are predictable. You can predict them far into the future, and far into the past.

This eclipse cycle falling on Passover and Tabernacles has happened eight times in the past two thousand years. And regular one off eclipses falling on Jewish holy days has happened hundreds of times since they’ve been celebrating them.

So It’s Inevitable, It’s Happened Before, And Every Time It’s Been Bad For The Jews.

It’s happened before, eight times in the last two thousand years. It’s happened quite a lot before that too, but I can’t be bothered to look at NASA’s charts and try to figure it all out pre-1AD. I think the past two millennial is enough to make my point. So let’s look at these grand omens that happened in the past and how it related to the Jews and how precise God was with warning them.

1492 – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand tell Jews to get out of Spain if they don’t convert to Roman Catholicism. Forty thousand to two hundred thousand Jews not wanting to convert to Roman Catholicism get the hell out of Spain. Learning of their hardship Sultan Bayezid II (A name they should be teaching in school) of the Ottoman Empire sends out his Navy to make sure they get safely to the lands he rules. They end up mostly in Greece and Turkey.

Columbus “discovers” the New World.

1493 – 1494 – God manipulates the orbit of the moon and earth warning the Jews of their expulsion from Spain a year earlier by making four lunar eclipses in a row on their holy days. Thank goodness!

1948 – Israel basically becomes an independent country! They kick the British out! USA! I mean ISRAEL! This is widely regarded as a mistake and makes a lot of people very angry. Kicks off the Arab-Israeli war. Also sometime in here kicks off a war with Syria. Israel also gets its first President, sadly he won’t start his term for a while.

1949-1950 – God manipulates the orbit of the moon and earth warning the Jews of the bad times they’re about to have with their neighbors a full year after the fact by making some lunar eclipses occur on their holy days four times in a row. Thank goodness for that. Fortunately they end the war with Syria after nineteen months, so there is that.

1967 – The famed six day war in Israel. A bunch of crap happens between Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Israel. A war that lasts six days starts. Israel basically wins.

1967-1968 – God manipulates the orbit of the moon and earth warning the Jews of the bad times they’re about to have with their neighbors. Well actually it’s right on time this time, and the main conflict lasts six days. It actually didn’t suck too bad for them this time. It’s mostly over before the eclipses are though.

So that’s what happened the last three times. Yeah there were some things that happened to some populations of Jews,  but as you can see it didn’t actually happen the years the tetrads happened. Except in 1967. So what about the four times before 1493?

162-163 – Nothing of note seems to have happened to any significant Jewish population. The Armenians did get stomped by the Romans though. The Armenian Jews were probably not super happy about this.

795-796 – Nothing of note seems to have happened to any significant Jewish population. Some Vikings did invade Ireland though. Not sure of any significant Jewish population in Ireland at the time.

842-843 – Nothing of note seems to have happened to any significant  Jewish population. There was a big fire in China, and the Saracens on Crete kicked the crap out of a Byzantine army though. Might have been some Jews on Crete? Maybe there were some Byzantine Jews getting stomped by the Saracens?

860-861 – Nothing of note seems to have happened to any significant  Jewish population. Some Proto-Russians laid seige to Constantinople though. I’m sure some Jews were affected.

This is an example of cherry picking your data. The reason the fear mongers only went back five hundred years, is because the previous 1500 years had nothing of any note happen to any significant Jewish population on years with lunar tetrads on their holy days. There were a lot of times between 1 A.D. and 1492 that Jewish populations got royally screwed, just with no astrological signs matching up. Yeah, 70 A.D., not a good year, no lunar tetrad, at least not on the dates required though. So you just ignore all the times nothing happened, even though there were more tetrads before 1493 where nothing happened than after.

Since you know most people listening to you and buying your book won’t even look this up you just say, “This has happened several times in the last five hundred years and every time it’s coincided with something terrible  happening to the Jews.” As if five centuries is a terribly long time in the grand scheme of things.

But, The Tetrads Have Occurred on these Holidays Three Times in the Last Hundred Years! This must mean something!

This is just sheer coincidence. How many times before 1 A.D. did this happen? Probably a lot. It’s utterly predictable. Complex but predictable. It seems like it will happen again in 2033 and 2061 if I’m reading things correctly. After this it will lengthen out and the tetrads will only match up with the holidays every several hundred years or so.

It’s cyclical. Like just about everything else in astronomy.

So Is the World Going to End Or Not?

These same people have had a different world ending scenario every few years since basically forever. Go look at their track record. There’s no reason to think so. Its the problem with these prophecy things, they never work out. I assume the world will end one day or something bad will happen at some point, and one of these guys will have made some prediction and say, “Look, see! I was right! My asteroid flyby in 2019 was totally predicted by some obscure Bulgarian prophet and the Bible. World’s gonna end!”

Reality is for every time they throw something at the wall and something sort of sticks, there’s a thousand things that don’t. But hey, they’ll sell a ton of books and make money in the process. So I will reveal the formula on how to do this so you too can get rich off of end of the world scenarios.

Formula For Writing a Best Selling Doomsday Book

Step 1 – Pick a religion. Christianity is good because there’s a built in doomsday scenario. It doesn’t have to be Christianity, any religion with an apocalyptic scenario will work. Having over 1/3 of the world’s population as members gives you a good customer base.

Step 2 – Research it well enough to be considered an expert. Maybe go get yourself one of those doctorates in metaphysics or something.

Step 3 – Pick some world event or something and tie it in with your religion’s holy scripture. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make any sense at all. Most people in the religion haven’t read the scripture so they won’t know any better, and most prophetic texts are fairly vague and you can find a translation that will work. Heck you can use multiple translations of said texts to make it work. It can actually be something described in a completely different religion that you tie back into your picked religion. If you do that, you can make stuff up because how many Southern Baptists in Tennessee have even read the Bhagavad Ghita right?

Step 4 – Write a book on it, self publish on Amazon and market the crap out of it. Alternatively there are dozens of religious publishing houses that will gladly publish your work for you, it’s easy.

Step 5 – Pick every kind of pop culture thing that happens, write a blog article about it and tie it into your book. Use social media, religious radio shows, new media, whatever. Also a good reason to pick Christianity because there’s someone out there who will agree with you 100% with a listener base that will read what you’re writing.