The Illusion Of Truth
Those declaring themselves as to having no “No Religion” topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity. Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University and a Baptist pastor, found that 23.1% of Americans now claim no religion. The rise of those declaring themselves as non-religious began in the early 1990s and has grown 266% since 1991, Burge said.
Robyn Blumner, executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, said she saw the change as a generational trend driven by millennials -“We are seeing the rise of a generation of Americans who are hungry for facts and curious about the world,” she says.
The number of people in Britain who identify as being non-religious has also increased by 46% over the past seven years, according to the Office of National Statistics
So why is there a rising change between millennials in regards to religion, compared to previous generations?
Well, in the world of psychology there is an effect known as the “illusion of truth”, where a lie is repeated often enough that it becomes considered the truth. A team led by Lisa Fazio of Vanderbilt University conducted tests to see how the illusion of truth effect is directly involved with our prior knowledge, using true “known” statements and false “known” statements.
The above article states ‘The team found that people frequently rate items seen before as more likely to be true, whether they were or not, just because the information was more familiar… But Fazio and her team actually found that the biggest influence on whether a statement was considered true was if it actually was true, so the repetition effect couldn’t mask the truth. With or without repetition, people were still more likely to believe the actual facts as opposed to the lies, if they knew them. So repetition does have the power to make things sound more true, even when we know differently, but it doesn’t over-ride that knowledge.’
So if something sounds legitimate, is it because it is the truth, or is it something which has been repeated over and over again in society?
When a lie regarding information that is not known is repeated often enough, it can become perceived as the truth, especially when complex details behind the claim are not easily accessible to the majority of people; politicians have regularly taken advantage of this weakness of human psychology, using different forms of propaganda. Steve Alvarez, an author who writes about propaganda, says “The channels to communicate to the masses were controlled by select groups, so ultimately messages were effectively communicated.”
When certain information is controlled by select groups, sometimes in a position of power, it can be used as a powerful psychological weapon. But what has all this got to do with millennials’ views towards religion? As Robyn Blumner said, millennials are hungry for facts about the world, and most now appear to view religious stories as myth or just plain ridiculous.
Millennials are right to think of religious stories as untrue, and the Christian stories/claims are no exception. Studying the facts behind religious claims is primarily the job of historians and scholars. When presenting the results of their research, they need to provide references for where their information came from which led to their conclusions. Their job is to question everything they hear or read and never take information at face value, making sure the information they’re working with is true. They must also take in all sides of an argument and gather as much information as they can before forming an opinion. Scholars need to be willing to change their mind when they get new information that challenges their previous views, which is one of the most important skills to develop.
The history which has been presented to society regarding the beginnings of Christianity has to be one of the biggest lies ever told, but why?
Apart from what I have investigated and written about in regards to new information concerning the true and dark history behind this religion, Philosophers, and theologians, since approximately the 1600s, have sought to investigate the claims presented in the Bible, and Biblical criticism continues to this day. When I began studying this subject, one question kept repeating in the back of my mind, a question rarely asked but which should be asked considering the Bible is ‘a work of religious and social literature that has a huge impact on Western culture‘, to use the words of Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou, senior lecturer in the Hebrew Bible at the University of Exeter.
The question was – If highly educated academics question the authenticity of the Biblical story, and there is not one word explaining how these scriptures were obtained or proving their honest origin, why then is this religion fully endorsed by those who are in positions of power, Government/Royalty.
To me, it seemed very odd that the same institutions which implemented our laws, which requires witnesses to be identified if those laws are broken, and rules which require a plethora of research and evidence to allow them to be set in place, would require literally no evidence to endorse this religion.
In the book ‘Creating Christianity-A Weapon of Ancient Rome‘, I believe that question has been answered. The evidence points to the gospels as being a complex lie and a satire based around a war which took place between the aristocracy of Rome and the Jewish group called the Pharisees, that war is known as the Roman-Jewish War. The Pharisees were against slavery, which was what the Roman aristocracy became powerful upon, and were battling with two powerful Roman/Jewish families, the Calpurnius Pisos and the Flavians. These two families were descendants of Herod the ‘Great’, and they created a powerful oligarchy when they gained control of the empire; an oligarchy is a small group of people having control of a country.
Sir Ronald Syme, a long associate of Oxford University, who is widely regarded as having been the 20th century’s greatest historian of ancient Rome, stated-
“The composition of the oligarchy of government […] emerges as the dominant theme of political history […]; it is something real and tangible, whatever may be the name or theory of the constitution.” ― Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution
To study this subject properly, you have to leave any opinions about faith at the door and realize that you cannot use the Bible as a reliable historical source. You must read the literature from the time with the knowledge that it is very one-sided and was created in a time of war. Doing so made me realize that the families in control of the empire were losing their power over the people, because they were joining the Pharisees’ fight for a fairer society, and the use of force to control them wasn’t enough. The New Testament emerged after this war and was created to subtly undermine the beliefs of the Jewish people, by using the Judaic religion against them, but the plan didn’t work during the Pisos’ and Flavian’s lifetime.
Christianity became a new syncretistic religion, and, as is known in history, Emperor Constantine and his brother Theodosius I made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. These two individuals were descendants of both the Piso and Flavian families, which means that Constantine and Theodosius would have understood the political reasons for their ancestors creating this new ‘universal’ religion, especially considering the political and religious unrest happening in the empire at that time.
When Constantine formed the Church and the Council of Nicaea in Bithynia, they were deciding whether or not to include the Book of Revelation into the Christian canon, because of what the Book of Revelation contained. Instead they opted to change the number ‘666’ to ‘616’, the reason was because the first person in history to use the number 666 was the individual known as ‘Flavius Josephus’, and when 666 is totaled up, it spells Christ/Flavius Josephus, when ‘616’ is added up in Greek it spells Christ/Piso.
But another very important discovery, which I shall end this article on, shows another clear reason for this religion being supported by royalty. That discovery comes in the form of the genealogy of King James I, which shows him as being a direct descendant of the Piso family.
As is generally known, he sponsored the translation of the Bible into English, which would later be named after him. If King James I was a direct descendant of the Calpurnius Piso family, that means that the current royal family is also descendants of the Piso family.
More information on who Flavius Josephus really was, King James’ descent from the Calpurnius Piso family, and the book ‘Creating Christianity-A Weapon Of Ancient Rome‘ please visit www.henrydaviscc.com