History Main / ScamReligion

2nd Dec '17 12:43:20 AM sgamer82
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* ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' had the Luud cult.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': The Church of Leto, led by [[SinisterMinister Father Cornello]], who gathers followers in Lior by convincing them he can do amazing miracles with power given to him by the sun god, Leto. In reality he's just a regular alchemist (and not even a particularly talented one), albeit one with a Philosopher's Stone that enhances his alchemy. Edward uncovers the scam very early on in the manga. Much, ''much'' later, we find out he was going to [[LifeEnergy use his followers' souls]] as part of the GambitPileup orchestrated by the BigBad.

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* %% ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' had the Luud cult.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
**
The Church of Leto, led by [[SinisterMinister Father Cornello]], who gathers followers in Lior by convincing them he can do amazing miracles with power given to him by the sun god, Leto. In reality he's just a regular alchemist (and alchemist, and not even a particularly talented one), albeit one with one, who has a Philosopher's Stone that enhances his alchemy. Edward uncovers the scam very early on in the manga. Much, ''much'' later, we find out he was going to [[LifeEnergy use his followers' souls]] as part of the GambitPileup orchestrated by the BigBad.



* ''Literature/TheTatamiGalaxy'' has a combination religion/pyramid scheme.

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* %% ''Literature/TheTatamiGalaxy'' has a combination religion/pyramid scheme.



* A Catholic priest ([[spoiler:who is actually an impostor]]) manipulates a group of hidden Christians to this end as the main plot of the ''SamuraiChamploo'' episode "Unholy Union". There's a whole scene of him showing off all the extravagant pieces of art and other items he bought for his own enjoyment using alms given to him by the actually faithful Christians, naming each item and how much they cost.

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* A Catholic priest ([[spoiler:who is actually an impostor]]) manipulates a group of hidden Christians to this end as the main plot of the ''SamuraiChamploo'' ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'' episode "Unholy Union". There's a whole scene of him showing off all the extravagant pieces of art and other items he bought for his own enjoyment using alms given to him by the actually faithful Christians, naming each item and how much they cost.



* ''ComicStrip/{{Fables}}'': in The Great Fables Crossover, [[UnwantedFalseFaith the belief in Blue Boy]] temporarily turns into this as Jack takes over as its shepherd.

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* ''ComicStrip/{{Fables}}'': in In The Great Fables Crossover, [[UnwantedFalseFaith the belief in Blue Boy]] temporarily turns into this as Jack takes over as its shepherd.



* In ''FanFic/WithStringsAttached'', the ruling religion of Ketafa is quite clearly fake, though it isn't portrayed as a bad thing overall; it encourages good works by the populace. However, the Idri'en Tagen used it to sway the Ketafans to support them by setting up a fake Vasyn, claiming it restored the gods to the formerly godless continent, and encouraging its treatment as a holy object.

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* In ''FanFic/WithStringsAttached'', the ''FanFic/WithStringsAttached'':
** The
ruling religion of Ketafa is quite clearly fake, though it isn't portrayed as a bad thing overall; it encourages good works by the populace. However, the Idri'en Tagen used it to sway the Ketafans to support them by setting up a fake Vasyn, claiming it restored the gods to the formerly godless continent, and encouraging its treatment as a holy object.



** [[spoiler:Of course, this backfires ''magnificently'' in the long run.]]

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** %% [[spoiler:Of course, this backfires ''magnificently'' in the long run.]]



* Bokononism in ''Literature/CatsCradle''. Quite openly.

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* %% Bokononism in ''Literature/CatsCradle''. Quite openly.



* In Literature/TheHanSoloTrilogy of the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse, the T'landa T'il can produce a state of complete pleasure in a person. This state of pleasure is highly addictive. Normally it is used to attract T'landa T'il females, but instead the self-appointed clergy use it to lure their victims to Ylesia. They go from planet to planet and recruit people. People who experience it and are not strong enough to resist it are drawn into it and become addicted. The pilgrims become slaves in the Ylesian spicemines. The revival is a major part of their day where the pilgrims get their daily fix. These poor slaves are completely brainwashed and can not live without their drug. The faux religion that the T'landa T'il have established is just a ploy to get free slaves and spice. The whole operation is owned by the Hutts. When the slaves are brainwashed and dependent enough they get shipped off to the spice mines of Kessel or sold as sex slaves in a brothel.

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* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends''
**
In Literature/TheHanSoloTrilogy of the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse, ''Literature/TheHanSoloTrilogy'', the T'landa T'il can produce a state of complete pleasure in a person. This state of pleasure is highly addictive. Normally it is used to attract T'landa T'il females, but instead the self-appointed clergy use it to lure their victims to Ylesia. They go from planet to planet and recruit people. People who experience it and are not strong enough to resist it are drawn into it and become addicted. The pilgrims become slaves in the Ylesian spicemines. The revival is a major part of their day where the pilgrims get their daily fix. These poor slaves are completely brainwashed and can not live without their drug. The faux religion that the T'landa T'il have established is just a ploy to get free slaves and spice. The whole operation is owned by the Hutts. When the slaves are brainwashed and dependent enough they get shipped off to the spice mines of Kessel or sold as sex slaves in a brothel.



* ''VideoGame/FableII'' features [[FunWithAcronyms T.O.B.Y.]], the Temple of Business and Yodeling, also known as the Temple of Benevolent Yokels. A quest in Bloodstone involves you running errands for the founder, Toby, but you eventually find out it's just a front for Toby to find suckers he can con into buying useless crap or running errands for him.
** And hookers. Don't forget the hookers.
** In the first game, the backstory reveals that both Avo the God of Good and Skorm the God of Evil are fakes invented by an enterprising merchant as a way of collecting money from the donations of followers. The scam works because their temples are built over places of very strong naturally occurring magical energy, so the power itself is real, even though the deities themselves are not.

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* ''VideoGame/Fable''
** In ''VideoGame/FableI'', the backstory reveals that both Avo the God of Good and Skorm the God of Evil are fakes invented by an enterprising merchant as a way of collecting money from the donations of followers. The scam works because their temples are built over places of very strong naturally occurring magical energy, so the power itself is real, even though the deities themselves are not.
**
''VideoGame/FableII'' features [[FunWithAcronyms T.O.B.Y.]], the Temple of Business and Yodeling, also known as the Temple of Benevolent Yokels. A quest in Bloodstone involves you running errands for the founder, Toby, but you eventually find out it's just a front for Toby to find suckers he can con into buying useless crap or running errands for him.
** And hookers. Don't forget the hookers.
** In the first game, the backstory reveals that both Avo the God of Good and Skorm the God of Evil are fakes invented by an enterprising merchant as a way of collecting money from the donations of followers. The scam works because their temples are built over places of very strong naturally occurring magical energy, so the power itself is real, even though the deities themselves are not.
him.



* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has the Church of Yevon. It teaches that Sin was a divine punishment for using machina, that machina weapons are evil, that Sin will go away with enough prayer and repentance, and that the Final Summoning can free the world from Sin. While it's true from one point of view that machina brought about Sin (Bevelle won the war because of their superior weaponry, and Yu Yevon created Sin as his revenge), they are not inherently evil and Sin is not divine; the church uses this lie to keep the populace under control (no advanced weaponry = harder to overthrow the church). Sin will not go away with any amount of prayer or repentance, and the Final Summoning is actually how Sin is reborn; this lie is used to give the people false hope and keep them ignorant of the true state of things. It's made very clear that the Maesters are fully aware of the continued lies they spread. The church also has no compunctions using machina themselves--Bevelle's temple uses machina transporters, their soldiers wield machina rifles, and they use machina war machines even more advanced than the Al Bhed's.
* The main plot of "VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics" revolves around this starting from the end of the second chapter [[spoiler:when you discover that the zodiac braves revered by the church are actually demons, and Saint Ajora was the worst of the lot bent on world destruction. The main character gets branded as a heretic in order to prevent this truth from coming to light, and the author of the in universe book, the Durai papers, upon which the story of the game is drawn from is burnt at the stake to prevent the truth from being revealed]]

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* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
**
''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has the Church of Yevon. It teaches that Sin was a divine punishment for using machina, that machina weapons are evil, that Sin will go away with enough prayer and repentance, and that the Final Summoning can free the world from Sin. While it's true from one point of view that machina brought about Sin (Bevelle won the war because of their superior weaponry, and Yu Yevon created Sin as his revenge), they are not inherently evil and Sin is not divine; the church uses this lie to keep the populace under control (no advanced weaponry = harder to overthrow the church). Sin will not go away with any amount of prayer or repentance, and the Final Summoning is actually how Sin is reborn; this lie is used to give the people false hope and keep them ignorant of the true state of things. It's made very clear that the Maesters are fully aware of the continued lies they spread. The church also has no compunctions using machina themselves--Bevelle's temple uses machina transporters, their soldiers wield machina rifles, and they use machina war machines even more advanced than the Al Bhed's.
* ** The main plot of "VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics" ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' revolves around this starting from the end of the second chapter [[spoiler:when you discover that the zodiac braves revered by the church are actually demons, and Saint Ajora was the worst of the lot bent on world destruction. The main character gets branded as a heretic in order to prevent this truth from coming to light, and the author of the in universe book, the Durai papers, upon which the story of the game is drawn from is burnt at the stake to prevent the truth from being revealed]]



* ''[[VideoGame/EarthBound EarthBound's]]'' [[ChurchOfHappyology Happy Happyism]] is a prime example. The leader of the cult, Carpainter, [[spoiler:is essentially high on the presence of the Mani-Mani statue. In fact, the Mani-Mani statue, through which the BigBad Giygas works his evil will, is the source of evil in the form of false beliefs and {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s where ever it goes.]]
* In VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}, [[spoiler:the Ethos is revealed to be a mere front for a Solaris operation, much to Billy's dismay]].

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* ''[[VideoGame/EarthBound EarthBound's]]'' ''VideoGame/EarthBound's'' [[ChurchOfHappyology Happy Happyism]] is a prime example. The leader of the cult, Carpainter, [[spoiler:is essentially high on the presence of the Mani-Mani statue. In fact, the Mani-Mani statue, through which the BigBad Giygas works his evil will, is the source of evil in the form of false beliefs and {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s where ever it goes.]]
* In VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}, ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', [[spoiler:the Ethos is revealed to be a mere front for a Solaris operation, much to Billy's dismay]].



* Unitology in the ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' series is an unholy (heh) cross between a doomsday cult, this, and terrorist extremism (at least in the third game).
* The White Mantle in ''VideoGame/GuildWars Prophecies'' was engineered by the [[GodGuise Mursaat]] in order to gain control of Kryta and use them to prevent the Flameseeker Prophecies from coming to pass. Most Mantle honestly believed in the divinity of the Mursaat and that the associated nastiness was necessary.

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* Unitology in the ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' series is an unholy (heh) cross between a doomsday cult, this, and terrorist extremism (at least and, in the third game).
game, terrorist extremism.
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars:'"
**
The White Mantle in ''VideoGame/GuildWars ''Guild Wars Prophecies'' was engineered by the [[GodGuise Mursaat]] in order to gain control of Kryta and use them to prevent the Flameseeker Prophecies from coming to pass. Most Mantle honestly believed in the divinity of the Mursaat and that the associated nastiness was necessary.



* Movementarianism from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' (which is also Happyology).

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* %% Movementarianism from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' (which is also Happyology).
22nd Nov '17 6:12:52 AM Someoneman
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* In ''Videogame/Yakuza0'', one of Majima's sidequest has him rescuing a young woman from a shady cult extorting it's members for money and planning to make a harem from it's women by infiltrating the cult and beating the crap out of the leader.

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* In ''Videogame/Yakuza0'', one of Majima's sidequest has him rescuing a young woman from a shady cult extorting it's its members for money and planning to make a harem from it's its women by infiltrating the cult and beating the crap out of the leader.
15th Nov '17 7:55:16 AM ashlay
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Added DiffLines:

* Literature/ReleaseThatWitch: The witch hunting Church in the story was actually created ''by'' witches, as a means to capture and sacrifice any witch deemed to have lost the SuperpowerLottery to make more magical {{Super Soldier}}s for the coming TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
23rd Oct '17 7:21:53 AM Jeduthun
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TruthInTelevision to some extent: there have been "religious" or "spiritual" movements throughout history that were primarily focused on relieving their followers of their money, and some people will use the concepts of religion to promote financial scams (e.g. the "affinity scam" where a person operating a non-religious scam like a FourOneNineScam or a {{Ponzi}} scheme markets it to churchgoers using religious jargon).

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TruthInTelevision to some extent: there have been "religious" or "spiritual" movements throughout history that were primarily focused on [[AFoolAndHisNewMoneyAreSoonParted relieving their followers of their money, money]], and some people will use the concepts of religion to promote financial scams (e.g. the "affinity scam" where a person operating a non-religious scam like a FourOneNineScam or a {{Ponzi}} scheme markets it to churchgoers using religious jargon).
jargon). Also compare FakeCharity, which similarly uses a seemingly worthy cause as TheTale for a con.
3rd Oct '17 1:13:55 AM Emperor_Oshron
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* A Catholic priest ([[spoiler: who is actually an impostor]]) manipulates a group of hidden Christians to this end as the main plot of the ''SamuraiChamploo'' episode "Unholy Union". There's a whole scene of him showing off all the extravagant pieces of art and other items he bought for his own enjoyment using alms given to him by the actually faithful Christians, naming all of each item and how much they cost.

to:

* A Catholic priest ([[spoiler: who ([[spoiler:who is actually an impostor]]) manipulates a group of hidden Christians to this end as the main plot of the ''SamuraiChamploo'' episode "Unholy Union". There's a whole scene of him showing off all the extravagant pieces of art and other items he bought for his own enjoyment using alms given to him by the actually faithful Christians, naming all of each item and how much they cost.
9th Sep '17 9:24:58 AM Hanz
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''Videogame/Yakuza0'', one of Majima's sidequest has him rescuing a young woman from a shady cult extorting it's members for money and planning to make a harem from it's women by infiltrating the cult and beating the crap out of the leader.
28th Aug '17 11:39:02 AM BeerBaron
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', this was the case for the so-called "Priests of Nocturnal". Nocturnal is the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] of [[TheSacredDarkness Darkness and the Night]], who is also associated with Thieves and Luck. She is the patron of the ThievesGuild and the only mortal servants she actually seems to care about are the Nightingales, who have pledged to serve her in life and in death, protecting her Twilight Sepulcher and the Ebonmere, a conduit between her [[EldritchLocation realm of Oblivion]], Evergloam, and Mundus, the mortal plane. The "Priests" set up in the Twilight Sepulcher and claimed to have Nocturnal's favor, but they were really just a scam set up to prey on the gullible. Nocturnal herself didn't actually pay them ''any'' attention or care ''what'' they did, as long as they didn't interfere with the Nightingales or threaten the Ebonmere.
4th Aug '17 2:12:43 PM Caps-luna
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'''[[Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease No Real Life Examples]], please. There is a reason that this trope is the example used on that page.'''

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'''[[Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease No Real Life Examples]], please. There is a reason that this trope is the [[MedalOfDishonor example used on that page.''']]'''
14th Jul '17 9:57:51 PM KidDynamite
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/WhatsHappening'' had an episode where Rerun joined a cult that worshiped a head of lettuce named Ralph. The couple behind it are scam artists who tell their new "followers" to give up all their possessions to them.
4th Jul '17 11:05:34 AM MikeK
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* The ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "The Case of the Cola Cult" has Gadget half-heartedly attempt to join a soda-worshiping cult of mice. The evil second-in-command of the cult was taking all the belongings new members gave up and keeping them.

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* The ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode "The Case of the Cola Cult" has Gadget half-heartedly attempt to join a soda-worshiping cult of mice. The leader of the cult is benevolent and genuinely believes in what he says, but his evil second-in-command of the cult was taking all the belongings new members gave up and keeping them.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ScamReligion