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Total posts: [14]
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How does someone get followers for a religion?:

Wannabe Comedian
Well, I had this idea when I was looking up weird religions. The book is called "Religion inc: Exploiting Miracles for Profit". It's a satirical comedy and it revolves around a businessman who's life is going to hell as his business is declining, and his wife took half of his money during their divorce. He encounters an old friend of his who has turned into a conman, who tells him that people are often willing to blindly throw their money at any religious group. They then start their own church/religion and somehow get enough followers to become a very powerful organization.

The problem is, I don't know how realistic this plot sounds, how someone starts their own church, or how someone gets followers for said church.

edited 20th Oct '11 8:35:36 PM by Gringoamericano

if I had enough money, I would donate a bunch of coloring books to the blind.
Shadowed Philosopher
Don't call it a religion at first. Don't follow the usual formulas of the big religions; those are pretty much occupied right now. Might look at scientology for an example; they preach this odd belief system that's really off-the-wall, then prescribe real-life methods based on this belief system that are supposed to help people do...something. It kind of eases them into it in the guise of a standard self-help system.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
 3 Oh So Into Cats, Thu, 20th Oct '11 8:42:47 PM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Read Stranger in a Strange Land.

It's basically a how-to guide.
"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
 4 nrjxll, Thu, 20th Oct '11 9:25:06 PM Relationship Status: Not war
[up][up]At the risk of treading into dangerous waters here, I think that Scientology is a particularly poor example of how to start a religion - yes, it 'worked', but the price was becoming the butt of jokes - at best - by pretty much everyone else, and I suspect the "self-help" stuff has no small part in that.

With your character's motives, though, this may not actually be that much of a problem.

 5 annebeeche, Fri, 21st Oct '11 7:55:05 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Send missionaries to talk to people who have fallen on hard times.

Talk to them about how they're actually a sinner, because everybody is a sinner—be like a psychologist and allow them to share and cry about their sins, and tell them that by accepting Christ your deity they can be saved from punishment.

Which is essentially what the missionaries of Christianity did, and still do.

So basically, get them when they're emotional, by either inducing the emotion yourself or getting them when they're already emotional.

Also, you start with the royalty. Once the royalty is converted, the religion slowly trickles its way down to the common people.

edited 21st Oct '11 7:56:37 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
You do not want to know my negative opinions on how people convert others. The entire super-set of religions I belong to almost completely, and universally detests proselytizing.

Though I must say [up]summed it up nicely. And recognized churches are tax exempt in the U.S., so all he would need to do then is dip into the tithes.

In fact, I saw the financial records for my dad's church when they went over the finances. It seems to me that many pastors/priests live completely on tithes. That church in paticular had a quarter of a million income per year; and the pastor's gross income was something like 30-50k a year if I remember correctly (though they did support some missionaries and were paying off part of the building too).

So duplicate that a few times over in your story and wa-la! He can skim into the funds and get a couple of million easily.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
 7 annebeeche, Fri, 21st Oct '11 6:02:43 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Eh, I don't really care as long as cultures are not being destroyed and people are allowed to worship what they please.

I also frown on using religion to make profit and to control other people.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 8 Oh So Into Cats, Fri, 21st Oct '11 11:01:19 PM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Well, fear doesn't really help get new followers. It can, but a lot of time it doesn't help, because the thing that is feared (such as, well, Hell), is not well-established as a thing to be afraid of.

What can get a lot of converts though is (perceived) enfranchisement of disenfranchised groups. This is why women were often the first to convert to new religions, because often the newer religion made things better for women than they were at the time. However, this might be difficult in modern day because we believe that people "should" be equal already, even though that doesn't often happen in practice.
"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
 9 annebeeche, Fri, 21st Oct '11 11:52:40 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
[up] Ah, that explains why Anglo-Saxon king whats-his-name's wife was the first to convert, and she converted her husband.

(I'm a terrible armchair historian, sue me)
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 10 jasonwill 2, Sat, 22nd Oct '11 2:06:43 AM from West Virginia
promise them happiness, meaning, and love.

go for emotional people and people on their last ropes; have your character exploit their weak positions by giving false promises he knows he probably cant fulfill in any tangible way.

picking the people who are weakest first would probably get his church some raw numbers, and therefore, credibility in the beginning. After getting vulnerable people in his religion he can then start a slow snowball effect and make it a doctrinal point for his followers to share their faith and try to expand the faith.

as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
 11 Dec, Sat, 22nd Oct '11 3:33:59 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
Being a good public speaker with a charismatic personality seems to help a lot when it comes to bullshitting.

edited 22nd Oct '11 8:40:32 PM by Dec

Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
Deviantart.
 12 jasonwill 2, Sat, 22nd Oct '11 4:54:00 PM from West Virginia
[up]

dang it, how did i forget that part?

yes charisma is very important for pretty much all social endeavors
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
Rainbows hurt.
Yeah, I think Anne summed it up in Post 5. Converting usually works when people are at their lowest in life. It usually helps if you can promise and prove the results of the religion when one is converted.

Think of religion as selling a product. If a person is in a store, why should he pick your product over the other more popular ones? Why would this person want to join this brand new religion rather than become a Muslim or Christian? You point out how the other ones haven't worked for people, and enhance their flaws (how the main religions lead to conflict). Then, in the same manner that people at stores give demonstrations (in that snake-oil salesman manner), planted actors say how "X" changed their life.
(屮≖益≖)屮 彡 ┻━┻ F*ck yo' table; Go read my book! —> http://goo.gl/mtXkm
 14 jasonwill 2, Sat, 22nd Oct '11 9:48:41 PM from West Virginia
[up]

Pretty much it.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
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Total posts: 14
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