WHY DO MEMBERS OF AMERICA’S NEW AGE RELIGIONS BUY PARANOID CONSPIRACY THEORIES?
I am agnostic; by that I mean that I wish that there is God but looking at the evidence there seems no God. However, because I was raised in a Christian household and attended Anglican schools, I like the company of Christians. Thus, on Sundays, without really wishing to become a Christian I go to any Christian church around me and savor their take on the Jewish chap called Jesus Christ. I like the company of Christians although I am not interested in believing in their Jesus.
A few years ago, I sampled new thought and new age religions (Christian Science, Unity Church, Religious Science, A course in Miracles groups, Seth Speaks groups and Robert Monroe’s out of body teaching). I read their basic books and, as usual, appreciated what is good in them and moved on with my nature, being agnostic.
I attended Asian religions worshipping centers, such as Hindu Temples, Buddhist Meditation centers Zen meditation centers and so on. I learned from each of them but none of them gave me any reason to discard my agnosticism.
A few years ago, I attended a local center where members invite people from different religions to come talk to them. These are new agers. They are an interesting bunch; they refuse to abide by the teachings of any traditional religions and seem to insist on their understanding of God. I admire those who do not like other people to tell them what to do so I attended their center and listened to those they invited to give talks; I learned a lot from those talks.
Then Donald Trump was elected the president of these United States of America. Many of the members of this center were proud of him and voted for him. I was shocked.
I had assumed that since they talk about love that they would not vote for an obviously unloving man. How could they vote for a hater, I asked?
I began emotionally dissociating from the people at this center; they suddenly seemed like idiots, like their man Trump is.
To me Trump is not even a human being. He is a racist who would not rent his apartments to Black folks. He has done everything that racists do and if he is that low in mental evolution, he is a subhuman being, he is not quite a human being yet, so those who support him, to me are not human beings.
I discovered something else. Members of this supposed religious center bought into the many paranoid conspiracy theories that followers of Trump believe in. None of the conspiracy theories make sense (such as their belief that Hillary Clinton fries and eats children and is a pedophile).
We had an election in 2020 and the clown called Trump lost. He would not accept defeat and sued, he had over sixty-five lawsuits and sued all the way to the US Supreme Court where six of the nine justices are Republicans, three of whom he appointed, and they all voted against him.
The clown (he speaks at nineth grade vocabulary level; his words consist of four letters, he has a tough time pronouncing many syllabi words; his level of intelligence is average, perhaps around 115).
The man to the present still refused to accept the election results. Finally, he planned to disrupt Congress to prevent it from certifying the election on January 6, 2021. We all saw the know nothing idiots that stormed the citadel of American democracy unfold on television.
I said to me, perhaps members of my local so-called spiritual center were among the know nothing folks that stormed Congress?
I began trying to understand why members of fringe religious groups tend to buy into brain dead paranoid conspiracy theories and not pay attention to the nefarious effects of their capitalist society.
If you have read the Bible, and I read it countless times when I was a teenager, to see if it makes sense to me, before I declared me agnostic at age fourteen, well, if you read the teachings of Jesus Christ, the only possible conclusion you would make is that he was a communist.
What did he teach but ask his followers to sell their possessions and give the money to the poor (he told wealthy Nicodemus that), he told them to provide health services to the sick in the parable of the Good Samaritan. He asked them to love one another and to do to one another as they would like to be done to, which is love and respect them.
Read the New Testament part of the bible and you must be a socialist. American so-called Christians bastardized Christianity and used it to justify slavery and other odious practices.
They did not start Slavery, it existed all over the world, my African ancestors had slaves, but do not try to justify it with Christianity.
Slavery was necessary in primitive agricultural societies, but Christianity did not approve it (the neurotic called Paul seem to have asked a Greek slave, Onesimus to obey his master but Jesus did not say that).
So, why do these new agers buy into paranoid conspiracy theories? Richard Hofstadter, in the 1960s wrote “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”. Paranoia has been the stable of America’s far right groups. The members of the John Birch society were mostly paranoid.
My observation is that members of the far-right groups were socialized to not even know what is good for them; they are yahoos exploited by the rich and fancy that they are free men and women. They were told to see minorities as the source of their poverty, not the rich who exploit them; they tend to believe that if you get rid of Black people and Latinos that they would be better off. They were brain washed by their Machiavellian capitalist society to redirect their anger to innocent groups and ignore those sticking it to them (these people are mostly uninsured; they are wiped out when they experience one medical emergency and must live in their cars or become homeless, yet they would not support public health care because someone told them that it is socialist and told them to hate socialism, even though all capitalist Europe and Canada have socialized medicine).
They have screwed up understanding of what it means to be free and individualistic. Anyone with an iota of reasoning knows that capitalism is the most productive economic system in the extant world. It is competitive and in competition people do their best to win. That is good. That same reasoning also tells you that when you get ten kids and place them on the track and say: on your marks, get set and go that one will win, and the rest lose.
Capitalism produces winners and losers. Our job is to figure out a way to do something about losers and not just ignore them. Thus, men of good will want to mix capitalism and socialism, use public taxes to provide education, at all levels, to all kids and provide health care for all people in the human polity. The Scandinavian countries are on the path to producing the most humane society in the world.
Instead, Americans behave like they are brain dead; they are always telling us the obvious, the virtues of capitalism but ignore its downside. They will keep doing so until there is a real revolution in the country where the poor rise up and guillotine the heads of the billionaires and millionaires that dot America.
One must be a pure animal and is bereaved of intelligence to not see what is in the cards for the uncaring society called the USA.
I will develop my thoughts on the future of the USA, in a long, thirty pages paper and publish it in an academic journal; for now, I just want to observe that Americans new age religionists have done away with their reasoning capability hence they embrace nonsensical ideas on God and politics and vote for bumbling idiots like Donald Trump. This is sad, incredibly sad.
March 31, 2022 Dr Osuji welcomes your thoughts on this essay. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org