“Because of religion, more human beings have been murdered, tortured, maimed, denigrated, discriminated against, humiliated, hated and scorned than for any other reason in the totality of the history of man.” – Bill Jenkins, former abc talk show host.
There appears to exist some sort of mass delusional belief, that there was a crucifixion and subsequent resurrection in which a man named Jesus rose from the dead, after three days and then suddenly “the word” spread rapidly throughout the world and people just promptly embraced the new religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. It took centuries for the church to become established, and this was done not through peaceful propagation of the “teachings of Christ,” but by violent, bloody, and horrific torture, conquest and warfare. In fact, the Catholic Church invented and/or adopted the most sickening torture devices and methods ever conceived. People were converted to the new faith by the most inhumane means imaginable. This information concerning the Roman Catholic Church’s conversion methods is truly disturbing and is enough to turn the stomach. However, as grotesque as it is, it is important to point out, so that an understanding can be reached as to how the church has operated through history. The criminal activities of the Catholic Church continue to the present day, as with the widespread abuse of children and financial crimes. You might want to grab yourself a sick bag for this segment.
I was raised and indoctrinated within the Catholic tradition. Thankfully, my parents weren’t all that strict with it but my brothers and I were still made to go through the motions, i.e. church on Sunday, religious classes, communion etc. Even as a young child, I never identified with what seemed to me to be very silly traditions and customs. Even as a kid, the stories of the Bible were to me, obvious fables and I could not understand why we were meant to take such stories literally. Whenever I would ask questions seeking clarity, I was shot down time and again by the adults that always seemed to encourage me to “just believe.” I got a kick out of neighbors that hated one another shaking hands in church and saying “peace be with you,” and going right back to hating one another as soon as the sermon was over.
I was about 28 when I became very curious of the history of the church, and thanks to a few scholars whose work I discovered, I was able to look at my own religion with an academic and objective point of view. I had questions: who was this man I was encouraged my whole life to worship, 2000 years after his alleged time on Earth? What was the history of the Catholic Church? Could I really expect that a loving god would cause me to burn for an eternity, simply for asking questions? It was these, and so many other burning questions that drove me to study the history of the Catholic Church and when I discovered the atrocities, the bloodshed, the intolerance, the torture, the hypocrisy, the greed and especially, the rampant and continuing child abuse scandal, it was more than enough for me to purge the final remnants of this poisonous ideology from my mind, heart and spirit once and for all! I consider myself a recovering Catholic.
From the mid-14th century, until the end of the 18th century, the use of torture was common. Inhumane practices, for the use of extracting confessions, were sanctioned and utilized as an official part of legal proceedings in most of Europe, and especially practiced by the Roman Catholic Church, which had approved its use during perhaps the Church’s most violent period, the Spanish Inquisition, as punishment against heresy.(1)) For heresy, see: anyone that rejects the rigid dogmas of the church or thinks differently. The word heresy literally means: “contradiction of a dogma.”(2)) Officially commissioned in 1478, Pope Sixtus IV authorized the Spanish Inquisition, which would last just under 400 years! The first grand inquisitor was Thomas De’ Torquemada, whose tenure, according to official history and statistics, saw around 2,000 people burned to death.(3)
Elaborate, public celebrations known as the Auto-Da-Fe’ were carried out to root out heretics. Those convicted of heresy, were awarded no trial, no legal council, no due process, and in effect, the inquisitors acted as judge, jury and executioner. Many were jailed, tortured or brutally murdered on suspicion alone. Those convicted of heresy had their property confiscated by the church, which added to its enormous wealth. People that reported others as heretics were often rewarded by the church. Church and government were not separate; therefore, the church had the authority and ability to call upon the power of the crown to use against those convicted of heresy. The cross and the crown have been two symbols of tyranny and subjugation throughout history. There were many inquisitions as the church spread including in Portugal, Mexico, Peru and parts of Africa.
Joseph Wheless states in Forgery in Christianity:
“When the Christians were weak and powerless and subjected to occasional persecutions as ‘enemies of the human race,’ they were vocal and insistent advocates of liberty of conscience and freedom to worship whatever God one chose; the Christian ‘Apologies’ to the Emperors abound in eloquent pleas for religious tolerance; and this was granted to them and to all by the Edict of Milan and other imperial Decrees. But when by the favor of Constantine they got into the saddle of the State, they at once grasped the sword and began to murder and despoil all who would not pretend to believe as the Catholic priest commanded them to believe. When today the Church screams ‘Persecution!’ and ‘Bigotry!’ at every criticism and every attempt to restrict it in some of its presumptuous usurpations, let it recall a few of the laws of intolerance, plunder and death which it procured and enforced from the moment it got the prostituted power, so long as that power lasted.”(4)
And Acharya S states:
“Over a period of more than a millennium, the church would bring to bear in this ‘purification’ and ‘conversion’ to the religion of the ‘Prince of Peace’ the most horrendous torture methods ever devised, in the end slaughtering tens of millions worldwide. These ‘conversion’ methods by Catholics against men, women and children, Christians and Pagans alike, included burning, hanging and torture of all manner, using the tools described in Fourth Maccabees. Women and girls had hot pokers and sharp objects slammed up their vaginas, often after priests had raped them. Men and boys had their penises and testicles crushed or ripped or cut off. Both genders and all ages had their skin pulled off with hot pincers and their tongues ripped out, and were subject to diabolical machinery designed for the weakest parts of the body, such as the knees, ankles, elbows and fingertips, all of which were crushed. Their legs and arms were broken with sledgehammers, and, if there was anything left of them, they were hanged or burned alive. Nothing more evil could possibly be imagined, and from this absolute evil came the ‘rapid’ spread of Christianity.”(5)
There were many varying methods and devices the church utilized to enforce their expanding power. I’m not intending in any way to glorify torture here, nor am I doing this for shock value. I think it’s important to point out the mentality that has been, and is still behind religions. The Catholic Church is a historically violent institution, and again, its criminal activities continue to the present day. The church’s “conversion methods” consisted of forcing conformity through absolute fear and abject terror. Particularly during the times of the centuries-long inquisitions, the church became devilishly creative in its methods for extracting confessions. Among those methods and devices:
• The Strappado – Prisoners convicted of heresy would have their wrists bound together behind their back. They would then be hoisted into the air by their wrists, and dropped, stopping the body before it hit the ground with a sudden jerk. Weights were often placed on the victim’s body, to ensure that the shoulders would be effectively dislocated.
• The Cat’s Paw – This instrument was a razor-sharp claw, roughly the size of a large human hand. The victim would be hanged by the wrists, stripped naked. The inquisitors would then rake the naked victim’s body, tearing the flesh off.
• The Copper Boot – A copper boot was fitted around the bare foot of a victim, and then filled with boiling oil, or molten led. Sometimes the boot was filled with cool water, and then boiled over a fire, causing untold agony to the victim.
• Wooden wedges, sometimes heated with burning sulfur, were driven into the quick of the toes of victims, to pry off the toenails.
• Breast crushers – Two large, spiked boards were used to crush women’s breasts that were placed between them.
• Crocodile shears – An iron device resembling a large pair of scissors, was heated red hot, and used to tear off the penis of the victim. Children were not spared, and of course this was done to the victim while they were still alive.
• The tongue shredder – This was a specialized device consisting of a blade with serrated edges. The victim’s mouth was forced open, and the tongue was slowly shredded to pieces.
• The water torture device – This was a specialized restraining device that enclosed the victim, so that only the head remained exposed. The nose was pinched off, and then several quarts of water were forced down the victim’s throat through a funnel. Sometimes vinegar, or even urine or feces were used in this horrific punishment.
• The Rack – The rack was a commonly used living horror show. This device was an expanding table with restraints on either end, and a large wheel connected to a pulley system, that could be slowly turned to gradually stretch the prisoner. Joints and bones would pop as the unfortunate “heretic” was slowly and agonizingly stretched. All in the name of the Christian god of love of course. Hallelujah.
• The Breast Ripper – An elongated iron device, the Breast Ripper was heated red hot and used to rip the flesh off of the breasts of women and young girls.
• The Garroting Chair – This lovely piece of equipment was designed to restrain the victim by the throat, with the back of the neck placed firmly against the sharpened point. The turning screw at the back of the device was then tightened slowly, driving the point into the cervical area of the spine.
• The Pear – The pear was a device consisting of 3 sides, with razor sharp points at each edge. The sides could be spread simultaneously by turning the screw at the top of the device. The pear would be inserted into the mouth, rectum or vagina of the victim and then slowly spread open to ensure indescribable agony. The cervix, throat or anus of the victim was shredded to pieces, often ending in quick fatalities.
• The Judas Cradle – This sickening device consisted of a large, sharpened point upon which the victim was dropped from a distance. The sharp point was inserted into the victim’s anus, and the prisoner was restrained in a way that he/she could be rotated around the point, causing indescribable agony.
• Sawing in half – This sickeningly cruel torture was conducted by hanging the victim upside down by the ankles, with legs spread apart, and stripped naked. A large two-man saw was placed at the genitals and the victim was sawed in half.
• Thumbscrews – a clamping device, the thumbscrew consisted of toothed, iron spikes between which, the prisoner’s thumbs were placed, and slowly crushed.
• The wheel – A prisoner’s bones were broken, and then woven between the spokes of a large, wooden wheel. The contorted victim was then raised up into the air and left to his/her fate, often simply starving to death, as the crows would pick at their dying bodies.
The torture death and absolute horrors of the Roman Catholic Church were not some brief dark point in the church’s history; this went on for literally centuries and the church claimed hundreds of millions of victims. Once Catholicism became the official state religion, the bloody reign of death was spread throughout Europe, exterminating Christians and pagans alike. Over time, the torture methods and devices of the church became increasingly inhumane, and countless men, women and children’s lives have been destroyed in the name of the Christian god with merciless and reckless intolerance.
The most popular method of extermination during the times of the Spanish Inquisition was burning at the stake. People accused of heresy were often brutally tortured, almost to the point of death, and then burned alive. Again, I’m not pointing this out simply to shock people; it is important to realize that Christianity was spread by the Catholic Church through these violent means, and to understand that Catholicism under the authority of Rome was a political movement, using the Christian religion to subjugate and enslave, claiming literally hundreds of millions of lives worldwide. This reign of death went on for centuries, claiming innocent lives everywhere.
When Columbus and crews sailed to the new world, not as missionaries, but as conquerors, they brought with them something that would devastate the indigenous populations, the Smallpox disease. Before slaughtering countless millions, Smallpox had effectively wiped out roughly two-thirds of the native population. Millions of those that survived Smallpox were exterminated by the sword, in the name of the church.
In a detailed internet essay titled: Victims of the Christian Faith: Wonderful Events that Testify to God’s Divine Glory,(6) the author points out the staggeringly high amounts of deaths and atrocities caused by the church through the centuries. I’ve chosen just a few from the list, which is sourced pretty heavily, and claims that it lists: “only events that solely occurred on command of church authorities or were committed in the name of Christianity.”
• 782 C.E. – 4,500 Saxons unwilling to convert were beheaded.
• 5-27-1234 C.E. – Between 5,000 and 11,000 people that were unwilling to pay church taxes were massacred near Altenesch, Germany.
• 1456 C.E. – 80,000 Turks slaughtered at the Battle of Belgrad.
• Approx. 1098 C.E. – 100,000 Turks murdered. Women considered enemies had lances forced through their bellies.
• 1099 C.E. – More than 60,000 Jews and Muslims killed in the conquering of Jerusalem.
• 1099 C.E. – 200,000 slaughtered in the Battle of Askalon.
• 1209 C.E. – 20,000 – 70,000 slaughtered in Beziérs (France) under the edict of Pope Innocent III.
• 1484 – 1750 C.E. – during the era of “which hunting” modern scholars estimate that several hundred thousand people were burned alive or hanged; at least 80% of them were women.
• 1572 C.E. – Approx. 20,000 Huguenots slaughtered in France on command of pope Pius V.
• 17th century C.E. – Magdeburg, Germany: roughly 30,000 Protestants were murdered. Poet Friedrich Schiller claimed that: “In a single church fifty women were found beheaded, and infants still sucking the breasts of their lifeless mothers.”
• 1290 C.E. – approx. 10,000 Jews murdered near Poland.
• 1348 C.E. – 2,000 Jews near Basel, Switzerland and Strasbourg, France were burned.
• 1389 C.E. – 3,000 Jews massacred in Prag.
• 1492 C.E. – roughly 150,000 Jews were expelled from Spain, many of which died as a result.
• 1648 C.E. – Poland, approx. 200,000 Jews massacred.
• Hispaniola – 50,000 natives murdered during the times of Columbus. Survivors were enslaved, raped or murdered.
• 1492 – 1496 C.E. – native population of roughly 8 million had declined by at least ½. Columbus and the Spanish armies decimated the Native populations in the name of the church.
• It is estimated that by the end of the 16th century, some 60 million natives had perished as a result of the Spanish conquistadors.
• 1624 C.E. – 800 Native American men, women and children massacred by armed British troops.
• 1500 – 1900 C.E. – An estimated 150 million Native Americans perished. Roughly 50 million of those natives were destroyed directly because of violence and conquest, while the other 100 million by smallpox and other epidemics.
• 11-29-1864 C.E. – Colonel John Chivington, a church elder, and former Methodist minister, ordered an entire Cheyenne village of about 600 shot to death, this despite the tribal chief waving a white flag in surrender. The death toll was placed at around 500, most of which were women and children.
• 1942 – 1943 C.E. – extermination camps in Croatia killed an estimated 300,000 – 600,000. The camps were run by Catholics and many of the killers were Franciscan Friars. Apparently, the pope of the time knew of the existence of these camps and did nothing.
• 1994 C.E. – several hundred thousand massacred in Rwanda. Catholic clergy were involved in the massacres.
Again, these are but a few examples of the staggering brutality visited upon humanity in the name of religion.
One of the reasons that I deiced to present this section in the way that I did, was not only to point out the completely inhumane atrocities committed by the church but to also demonstrate briefly, that this death and destruction of human life was not just some fleeting, dark moment in church history; it is its modus operandi. I assure you, the aforementioned is but a brief summary. Also, the reason I chose to focus on Christianity, is because those are the beliefs I was indoctrinated with as a youth growing up; therefore, they are the most familiar to me.
Fundamentally, it appears to me that all major, organized religions seem to function as vehicles to control and limit or to outright suppress.Humanity’s conscious evolution is bound by the chains of religion.
Islamic fundamentalism imposes strict laws upon those subjugated by it, particularly women. In fact, most religions suppress the feminine and cause extreme imbalance. In areas of the world where Sharia Law is practiced, such as, Saudi Arabia, people are still put to death for crimes against the religion, and brutal, capital punishment is practiced openly. Over 100 people were publicly beheaded in Saudi Arabia in 2014.
Religious literalism, that is, the taking of these ancient mythologies as historical fact, causes some people to do very wacky things. For example, certain sects of Shiite Muslims, commemorating the death of their prophet’s grandson, engage in what is called the Ashura Ritual. In this masochistic practice, groups of people will slice their heads and faces open with machetes and let the blood flow all over them as they take to the streets. Many will even involve their children in such acts, as according to their beliefs, their sadistic god looks favorably upon such brutality and self mutilation.
In the Philippines, there are certain groups of Catholic literalists that also engage in brutal, masochistic, self-torture. Every Good Friday, these misguided souls will literally nail themselves to crosses and be hung up to imitate Jesus and in their minds, their god looks favorably upon such practices. What kind of god would look upon such brutality and sadism to the self as a holy practice?
In certain, ultra-orthodox, Judaic traditions, there is a ritual called, Metzitzah B’peh, in which, the rabbi will suck the blood from the penis of a newly circumcised child. Although this barbaric practice is rare, in a few incidents, infants have contracted herpes, and one even died as a result of catching it from an infected rabbi in Brooklyn, NY.(7)
In many countries, mainly in Africa, female, genital mutilation is practiced. Often very young girls will be the victims of this cruel and barbaric religious practice and in many cases, no anesthesia is used as these poor girls have their genitalia mutilated, all as a part of backwards, sick, religious practices. Different procedures are used in different countries and according to which method is used, health effects can include: fatal bleeding, cysts, recurrent infections, child birth complications, inability to get pregnant or fatal bleeding.
Hinduism enforces its caste system, forcing people into specific classes for their entire lives; Orthodox Judaism promotes superiority and strict adherence and of course, the list goes on. At least the Eastern/oriental religions i.e. Buddhism and Shintoism appear a bit more enlightened, but ultimately, I feel that there is something fundamentally flawed with all worldly religions when they are taken literally and not as mythology. In one way or another, religion encourages followers to give away their personal power, either to an external deity, an ideology or both. The time has arrived for humankind to transcend these limiting concepts, recognize them for what they are, and evolve spiritually and consciously. While religions have brought people comfort, and in some cases enlightenment, they have done vastly more harm to the world than they have ever helped to resolve the world’s problems, and it’s about time that humanity transcends these limitations that we have allowed to be imposed upon us.
The Vatican Money Laundering Scandal
In 2013, it came to light that the Vatican bank was to be used in a smuggling operation that involved $20 million Euros. ($26 million US dollars). Corruption and money laundering scandals have been connected to the Vatican for decades, but what else would you expect from a criminal enterprise? This was reported all over the mainstream press and in an article by Bloomberg Business Week we read:
“In its announcement Monday, the Vatican said that Ernst von Freyberg, a German lawyer who was named president of the bank earlier this year by former Pope Benedict XVI, would serve as interim general director. He replaces Paolo Cipriani, who-along with the bank’s former president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi-was placed under formal investigation in 2010 by Italian prosecutors for alleged money laundering. That investigation continues.”(8)
It’s business as usual within the Vatican. Remember also, the P2 scandal, in which, the Vatican was involved with laundering money for the Mafia.
In 2014, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a high level official within the Vatican, was served with an arrest warrant on suspicion of money laundering and making false statements. Fifty-two others were also being investigated.(9)
In 2012, it came to light that priest Father Ninni Treppiedi, was removed from his position, after a series of transactions involving millions of Euros, caught the attention of anti-Mafia prosecutors. Treppiedi was suspected of laundering millions for a Mafia godfather.(10)
The Vatican is a cesspool of corruption and criminality as it always has been. Its trail of blood and misery spans the centuries, and in my eyes, the most appalling criminal activity and expression of evil has been the rampant and ongoing child abuse scandal. This disgrace has rocked the Vatican and has been all over even mainstream press for at least a decade, and yet, droves of apologists will willingly deny or look away from this painful truth. Such is the power of a fully programmed and conditioned mind.
The Catholic Child Abuse Scandal
In my studies of the history of this incredibly corrupted institution, what disgusted me and turned my stomach the most, was the discovery of the ongoing child abuse scandal that has rocked the church in recent years. Most likely, it is because this is still occurring that I was so affected by discovering this atrocity and also because to me, that is perhaps the most evil crime one can commit. When a child’s innocence is destroyed in that way, they carry it for life and it is very difficult to heal from.
I’ve found that curiously, some Catholics will get extremely angry with me for bringing up such topics as child abuse, money laundering or other church crimes; they simply do not want to hear it and refuse to look at it. They will willingly turn a blind eye to the truth, I suppose because it is too much of a shock to their thoroughly ingrained, deeply indoctrinated belief system. Such is the power of religious ideology over the minds of devotees. For our entire lives, human beings are encouraged to seek, and give away their power to some perceived, outside authority. The god of religions is the ultimate, authoritarian, big daddy archetype. Worship or be destroyed. Believe or die. Obey or be forgotten. What an amazingly powerful tool to be in the hands of oppressors wouldn’t you say? The clergy and priestly classes have wielded this power for centuries and have entwined its twisted snares throughout the consciousness of humankind for far, far too long. Of course this was done hand in hand with the monarchs, kings, rulers and governments throughout the ages.
I’ve even heard one or two make the claim that: “it’s just a few bad apples.” Really? If by “bad apples,” they mean despicable creatures, then I disagree, because it’s way more than a few! To date, the Catholic Church has paid out some $2.7 billion(11) in litigation and other costs, such as therapy for victims, legal fees, etc. It’s estimated that there were 100,000 victims in the US alone, spanning back to at least the 70s!(12)
In reality, child abuse has been a part of the church basically since its inception. A few bad apples? It’s rampant and the actual scope and magnitude of these crimes is just completely fucked up! How many children have had their childhood and their lives destroyed?
In 2012, in an article titled: “Vatican abuse summit: $2.2 billion and 100,000 victims in U.S. alone,” The National Catholic Reporter, outlined a study conducted by two experts named Michael Bemi and Pat Neal, which outlined the scope of abuse committed by the church:
“On the financial dimension of the crisis, Bemi and Neal noted that in the United States alone, a 2004 John Jay study estimated that $472 million had been paid out at that point on sex abuse claims, and there’s been an estimated $1.8 billion paid in the period since. Those estimates are likely low, they said, for a variety of reasons, including that some dioceses and religious orders have made confidential settlements whose dollar amounts may never be known.”(13)
“The John Jay study identified 10,667 victim allegations made in the period from 1950-2002, which number increased to 15,235 employing data through 2009. In that it is a well-known and accepted phenomenon that many victims of sexual assault never report their victimization, some observers have estimated that there may be as many as 100,000 total victims in the United States alone.”(14)
I will never understand, how in light of this information, many Catholics will simply turn a blind eye and still go to church, get on their knees and fill the collection plates with their hard earned money. The information concerning the rampant and disgusting abuse of children has been all over mainstream and alternative press for at least two decades. In my eyes, if a person willfully ignores such information and still willingly goes and gets on their knees and gives money, then they are complicit with this evil; they are giving their consent. I have mentioned the abuse scandal to a few Catholics over the years and usually I’ve been met with either blank stares or fierce opposition and denial, sometimes even anger. It’s amazing to observe the reaction of a fully indoctrinated and conditioned mind. You could present these types with stacks of documents proving your case and they will look away in denial and get upset with you simply for pointing out the truth of this ongoing scandal. I think you’d have more luck finding God in a public toilet, than in the average Catholic church these days!
The church has an appalling track record of simply transferring pedophile priests and clergy to different parishes where they simply continue their criminal activities. Rather than deviant “men of God” being prosecuted for their crimes against humanity, they are in many cases protected and their crimes are swept under the rug, and there are numerous examples of this. In March of 2010, the New York Times reported:
“Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope and archbishop in Munich at the time, was copied on a memo that informed him that a priest, whom he had approved sending to therapy in 1980 to overcome pedophilia, would be returned to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment. The priest was later convicted of molesting boys in another parish.”(15)
In April of 2010, CBS reported:
“In an investigation spanning 21 countries across six continents, The Associated Press found 30 cases of priests accused of abuse who were transferred or moved abroad. Some escaped police investigations. Many had access to children in another country, and some abused again.”(16)
These are not simply a few isolated incidences; this happens all of the time. The stunning hypocrisy displayed as church leaders take the moral high ground is truly stunning to say the least!
It was discovered that protocols were in place in Philadelphia, to protect pedophile priests for over 50 years.(17) This happens all over the world as in Ireland, where cover-ups as recent as 2009 were shown to be conducted with approval from the Vatican.(18)
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, helped to fund a $1.8 million study of sex abuse, which in part stated that puberty begins at age 10, that the rise in pedophilia is partly due to the counterculture of the 1960s, and that “the abuse crisis is over.”(19)
The abuse crisis is far from over, as there is no ending in sight to pending lawsuits. What is the actual number of children that have had their lives destroyed by deviant, pedophile priests?
Pope Benedict resigned in 2013 amidst allegations of complicity in the cover-up of abuse crimes, when he presided as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He was the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years!
Following the attacks in France, on the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo satirical Magazine, which was, according to official reports, carried out by Muslim extremists, Pope Francis claimed that freedom of speech has limits, when it comes to criticizing religions.(20) The pontiff also stated:
“If a good friend speaks badly of my mother, he can expect to get punched, and that’s normal. You cannot provoke, you cannot insult other people’s faith; you cannot mock it.”(21)
All I can say to that is: hey Frankie, your mother! Please punch me! I could use the cash! Interestingly, the pontiff made these statements when he was visiting the Philippines, where just prior to his arrival, homeless children were placed into detention centers alongside adult criminals, in an effort to clean up the streets upon Frankie’s arrival.(22) Of course, the good pontiff had nothing to say about this horrific treatment of children, but would you expect him to?
The Catholic Church has left a legacy of abuse, blood, intolerance and evil that has spanned the centuries. The Vatican is a den of iniquity and a cesspool of lies and corruption. Although I shun religious literalism, I do consider myself to be a deeply spiritual person. I know that sounds like a contradiction to many, but I think that religion and spirituality are vastly different things; I do not equate the two. I feel that religion blocks one from a true spiritual understanding. It complicates simple truth, encourages collectivism and instills fear. Collectivism, blind obedience, fear and obfuscation of truth have nothing to do with spirituality.
Religion has been a powerfully effective tool of the Consortium, to divide man from one another, to promote belief in some external authority and to basically ensnare the consciousness of humanity for a long, long time. It separates one from one’s own self, with its erroneous belief in external salvation and has stifled the inner spark of those that have bought into the literal interpretations of esoteric knowledge. It has left its miserable mark upon this Earth with its centuries of war, intolerance and misery that has left a trail of blood spanning the centuries. There is so much more that can be said about the crimes of the church, enough to fill entire volumes, again, the aforementioned is but a brief summary. Until mankind can free its consciousness from the snares of religion that have so effectively bound the minds and spirits, mankind will never be free.
 Encyclopedia Britannica, standard edition, 2001, 2003 software version.
 This is the Webster’s definition, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991.
 Encyclopedia Britannica, standard edition, 2001, 2003 software version.
 Forgery in Christianity, reprinted at www.infidels.org the specific address is: http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/joseph_wheless/forgery_in_christianity/chapter_7.html
 The Christ Conspiracy: the Greatest Story Ever Sold, Acharya S. Adventures Unlimited Press, 1999. Pg. 9.
 I’ve found this essay at various sites on the internet. One link where it is archived is: http://truthbeknown.com/victims.htm This essay contains multiple sources, and was compiled by a person named Kelsos, in 1996.
 National Catholic reporter, 2/8/2012: http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/vatican-abuse-summit-22-billion-and-100000-victims-us-alone
 The New York Times, 3/25/2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/world/europe/26church.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
 CBS News, 4/14/2010: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/predator-priests-shuffled-around-globe/
 Rolling Stone, 9/6/2011: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-catholic-churchs-secret-sex-crime-files-20110906