Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Doom and gloom - the best of times for religious enterprise!

Now is a great time to start a business! As evident in the raft of information "products" being churned out by that well of reliable factoids, Philippine Mainstream Media, doom and gloom sells like lechon manok in an ignorant medieval society such as the Philippines. The earthquakes that recently struck Japan and New Zealand, the prospect of a "big one" striking the Philippines itself, the spectre of radioactive clouds descending upon most of East Asia, civil war in the Arab world displacing thousands of henceforth unemployable Filipino Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs), "super moons" unleashing super storms and even more natural disasters over the face of the planet, even alien species threatening to overrun the archipelago -- the possibilities and opportunities are infinite!

The Philippine Government itself is caught up in a bit of its own soul-searching as it -- for that matter, we -- come to terms with the stark reality that Manila is staring with glazed eyes at a monumental disaster waiting to happen. It's like the feeling a schoolboy gets having come to school with homework undone. You just know you're gonna get it bad.
Sen. Loren Legarda said that the Senate should look into the state of earthquake preparedness of Metro Manila, and the actions taken to reduce the earthquake risk.

Such a review, she said, was critical in view of the 2004 Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMIERS) which said that a big inland 7.2-magnitude earthquake could happen anytime in the metropolis as an offshoot of the movement of the West Valley Fault.

[...]

The study provided a glimpse of the devastation wrought by such a powerful quake: 169,000 homes destroyed, and 340,000 other homes damaged; collapse of seven bridges, and the resulting deaths of 34,000 people, and injuries to 114,000 others, she said.

The ensuing fires would result in an additional 18,000 fatalities, while power and telephone lines would be interrupted, Legarda added.

Desperation is creeping up upon Pinoy sensibilities. Hollow-headed text messages carrying wrong information being forwarded around by the equally hollow-headed morons who receive them are symptoms of a society starved for something to latch on to.

So yes folks, where there is a need -- a desperate one, no less -- that can be satisfied with very primal emotional hooks, there abounds lucrative business opportunities. And what better way to take full advantage of ignorance, fear, and rampant misinformation than to set up a religious enterprise.

Religion as a business makes perfect sense. Profits are non-taxable, and revenues are almost entirely realised in cold cash. There are no government regulatory bodies that scrutinise the impact on public wellbeing of "services" delivered by religious institutions. The industry, in short, is entirely unregulated. As such, religious enterprises pretty much have free rein to "develop" all sorts of mind-altering "products" -- entire philosophical and dogmatic frameworks can be cooked up and disseminated via a network of profitable information channels: books, magazines, television, and radio; and marketed through mind-imprisoning rituals, seminars, and "assemblies" -- through schools even!

Best of all, the Philippine market for religious products is vast. 100 million ill-educated, misinformed, misguided and superstitious folk is a customer base for a religious enterprise that simply cannot be ignored. And with the current market leader -- the multinational corporation to end all multinational corporations, the mighty Roman Catholic Church -- currently suffering a credibility and relevance crisis, the industry is ripe for the entry of fresh competition!

7 comments:

  1. Yes!

    This ignorant folks you have mentioned is right on the spot!! Most of the people i talked to everybody does tell the line "It looked like a movie".

    The weather modifications(chemtrails) and the HARRP is definitely in place now, and the 2012 hype will start its claws to embrace the whole world including the Phillipines.

    The elites game of chase security was now at hand. "ORDO AB CHAOS" order after chaos. And chaos begins not tomorrow not next month or next year!! It begins now, and expect it to be worse!! Polar shifts, Alien Abductions, Incredible Super Storms, Solar storms, Nuclear radiation, Poison Rain, And Let us not forget " GLOBAL PANDEMIC FLU".

    All of the Above mentioned... Happened where??? "MOVIES". And we are programmed to accept, fantasy gone reality but in fact they are all, planned and manufactured!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KIYlVM7ul4
    watch: PNOY SURROUNDED BY PINOYS!

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  2. I had filipino Jehovas witenesses ring my doorbell to preach how it was the end of the world, and asked if i have been watching the world news including the chunami.

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  3. The capitalization of 'information products' sold under the guise of relgious material is as a serious matter. It is definitely an issue that needs to be discussed in the Filipino community! However, I just can't get through your article without squirming in my seat with the amount of condescending language towards "Filipino people".

    First of all, I don't think you can generalize and assume that every single Filipino participate in the consumption of these "products".

    Secondly, There is a reason why there are "ill-educated, misinformed, misguided and superstitious" filipinos (although I cannot say there are 100 million of them). By blaming it on these "ignorant Filipinos", you are taking away from the issue you wish to shed light on; not to mention the institutional and systemic factors that allow for the proliferation of ill-educated and mis-informed Filipinos.

    Your analysis of the issue seems elitist and downright arrogant. You want to call Filipinos superstitious? hollow-headed morons? argue the existence of an ignorant medieval society? You might as well have assisted in writing the White Man's Burden. Just a thought.

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  4. ". . . the industry is ripe for the entry of fresh competition!"

    Actually, the Catholic Church has significant competition here. New, highly visible and modern churches are springing up across the land. Joe Smith’s Mormon Church, Seventh Day Adventists and Engliches de Crisco have invested heavily in the Philippines. They do considerable missionary outreach and are entering the political spectrum, too. Filipinos who want a shared spiritual experience but see the Catholic Church as burdened by backward doctrine, superstitious ritual and bad moral practices (pedophilia) are easily attracted away from the heavy handed and obtuse Catholic Church. Evidently the cardinals and bishops don’t grasp the concept of creeping irrelevance.

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  5. @Anonymous: Indeed I generalise (which is the best one can do when making overarching commentary about an entire society). But don't confuse generalising with asserting something about "every single element". So to clarify, I did not do the latter.

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  6. benign0 not a moran!! Yes moron with a "A". He thinks objectively that is why almost all of the time he is flawless.

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  7. I agree. Benign0 effectively uses controversial words, such as "hollow-headed morons" in order to provoke a strong response from the audience. Obviously, he doesn't think that of every Filipino. His goal is to make his words stick in the minds of his readers. At that, he is very successful. Well done, sir.

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