So you want to get rich by founding a new religion, but don’t know how? Just follow these easy steps and you are all set. Feel free to try it at home.
1. Establish an eschatology. This has to be detailed, deadly, and scary. It also has to be in a future that is remote enough that you will never live in it. Jake Tapper to Senator Rand Paul (paraphrasing) “But in the year 2,100 the sea levels will rise five to ten feet! You realize what that means, right?!!!
2. Establish a universal sin that advances the end of days. By making sure that everyone is a sinner and that sin is synonymous with life you expand your potential market to all of humanity. Carbon dioxide is the byproduct of life. Unless you are a plant you exude it every time you exhale. Since this gas is the harbinger of the end days, every human is a sinner from the moment of birth.
3. Establish mechanisms through which sinners can atone for their sins by paying you money. Make sure to have mechanisms that work for rich and poor alike. So called carbon offsets are a direct rip-off from medieval indulgences sold by the Roman Catholic Church, so why reinvent the wheel. The rich like their internal combustion engines and air conditioning; make them pay for their sins! For those less fortunate, get them to give you their votes, which in turn gets you to where you can plunder their tax dollars at will.
4. Establish a priesthood that has a monopoly on predicting the date of the apocalypse and on ways of appeasing the deity and postponing the inevitable. In the past, priests went into the holy of holies, which was forbidden to everyone else and came out with pronouncements from the deity. Today they go to their “computers” and consult their “models”, which they then share among the initiated at exclusive junkets in Hawaii.
5. Make sure to make predictions that will most definitely happen and assign them the role of harbingers of impending (but far-off) doom. Thaw in January? We predicted it! It’s climate change! Skiing open in Vermont in June? Told you so! Climate change! And yes, there WILL be a hurricane in the Caribbean this year! Just you watch.
6. Establish a system of obligatory indoctrination in your religion from a very early age. Parish schools? Religious schools? Weak, very weak. Climate change dogma is taught in EVERY school, K – 12. Public, private, parochial, or charter.
7. Establish a system for identifying heretics and making their lives a living hell. Conversely, reward the devout. 97% of climate scientists, so we are told, support manmade climate change. The remaining 3% must be uniquely brave individuals indeed. Shunned by their own faculty, unable to get research grants and fund laboratories or get grad students, excluded from international conferences, ridiculed in the media, they live an existence that must be close to the back end of purgatory.
8. Find a bunch of idiots who for various reasons are popular for the public at large and get them to appear smart by promoting your creed. We’re all familiar with the likes of Leo DiCaprio. Is he capable of critical thinking? Of course not! Does he like to be loved and coddled by the High Priesthood of the Church of Climate Change? Sure he does! Are there people out there who confuse his talent for acting with having half a brain? You bet you!
9. Create a symbiotic relationship with the real powers that be. Any church needs to be protected and supported by the temporal power of the time. Since elected officials in the West have small and diminishing power, bribing the lifetime bureaucrats is where it’s at. How do you bribe them? Give them what they crave the most: an unlimited mechanism for taxation without representation, and voila! They are yours for life. The Paris Climate Accords are a true masterpiece of this that will never be exceeded because they create a taxation mechanism for more money than the universe has ever had or in fact will ever have till kingdom come.
10. Finally and most importantly, exempt yourself from any silly restrictions on your lifestyle that your sin avoidance propaganda may imply. It is well-known that the Borgia popes had more women and more bastards than Las Vegas pimps. Be like them! Flaunt it! Is it time for that new 1,500 horse power mega yacht? Yes, it is.