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The weird - or possibly not so weird - thing about organised religion is how it always, reliably, seems to become associated with top-down power structures.

We all know how anti-progressive the Catholic church has been in Europe. But I suspect far fewer people realise that Tibetan Buddhism has always acted to maintain an essentially feudal system in Tibet, or that Zen Buddhism was closely associated with Japanese imperialism and fascism for much of its history. Many Hindu gurus have interesting links to the Indian political establishment.

And so on.

When you watch new cults being formed - the ones where self-styled gurus work hard to destroy everyone's ego, except their own - you can see how the process works from the ground up.

Sure, if you're in it, it looks real and believable. It's not until you can look at it from the outside that you can see what a bad joke it is, and how the spiritual, financial and sometimes the sexual benefits seem oddly limited to a privileged inner circle.

Unfortunately good faith may not be enough. Some people have it, but it seems that many don't.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 11:47:33 AM EST
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Indeed - organized religion gave us the word 'hierarchy'.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 11:49:24 AM EST
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many masochists looking for their own true love...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 09:24:40 PM EST
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