This has been on my mind for a while, and I just wanted to reach out and give you a chance to stop me before I do this thing. What thing do you ask? Well, starting a religion, obviously. A lot of things have to go wrong for a new religion to fail, I think, so, to balance the cosmic scales, I would hereby offer a few suggestions on how you could stop me, before it gets out of hand. This will ensure that if this thing ever takes over the world I can always point to this letter and say, “Hey, I warned you. Too late to stop me now! My followers are hooked like Captain H—.” Basically, this is my idea of karmic cleansing.
The first one is easy. Just leave en masse. You don't need to stay through the homily, hearing my impassioned cries for unity and conformity to doctrine. Go ahead, stand up, shuffle down the aisle, and scoot as far away from the area as possible. Once you're a healthy distance away from me, there will be no one to support my Multi-Level Marketing Religion* (MLMR).
Tell me to “cut it out”
I want to be reasonable, so here's another freebie. I'm a very conscientious individual. If you think I'm doing something wrong by shepherding these people into a highly manipulative and controlling ideology, just say so! I'll close up shop immediately.
Wouldn't it be hilarious if the only reason my religion spread through the lands like airborne poison ivy was that nobody just walked up to me and said, like the Microsoft Word Clippy, “Hey, it looks like you're trying to start a cult. Could you mind not doing that?”
Be more into my religion than I am
Seriously, half the reason I'm doing this is for the attention. Nothing is a bigger turn-off than when someone takes your ideas and becomes a bigger cheerleader for them than you are. All it would take is one of you to latch onto my ideas and start acting like a zealot. I don't want to see myself in any sort of fun-house mirror.
Besides, I hate you all, and if you like my ideas, how good can they really be?
Dig up my past
A lot of my success as a cult leader hinges on nobody realizing my job history is more like a convicted felon than a prophet. I've carefully removed all my social media posts from the internet, but I know the information is still out there. Should any of you do even a modicum of sleuthing, you would find it hard to follow a guy who used to like Naruto memes on 4chan and who has extremely strong opinions about Wendy's frosty flavors. I know for a fact that you can look up my gaming history on the web and discover I have played over 10k hours of a game called League of Legends and never broke Silver. You really think I have all the answers?
Not give me all your money
You think I'm doing this out of the goodness of my heart? I have bills to pay. That offering plate starts to lighten up I'm pulling the rug faster than a shady YouTube crypto scammer. Here I am, offering you hope. That's priceless, literally. The least you can do is fund my crippling online poker gambling habit.
Oh yeah, that's another thing you could easily discover. My username, after all, is PasterDan'sBigBlindFollowers.
Call me out
I will not handle disagreement. My third-grade teacher will attest to this. I never wavered on Pluto's legitimacy as a planet, even if science waffled worse than IHOP's lesser-known breakfast food. Besides, the scriptures I wrote on a cocktail napkin at Marcy's bar one Tuesday night are flimsy at best. Even a child could spot several logical inconsistencies a mile away.
One way to stop me from starting a devastating religion would be to approach me and ask me to elaborate on one of my less thoroughly baked tenets. “It's a miracle!” I'll say, ‘You CAN read.' Get the heck out of here with using your brain. I'm asking you to use your heart. What in Gord's name are you doing? What's that? Who's Gord? Haven't you been paying attention at all in church?”
Try to add more services
Forget it. Ain't no way I'm adding a Friday evening vespers, early Saturday morning service, or Saturday evening Evensong. You think I have time for that? I have League of Legend matches to play. Besides, I was up all last night trying to come up with a different way of saying, “Good people naturally enjoy giving their hard-earned cash to good causes, and what better cause is there than the Gord Almighty's?”
I know you church types. Once you're entrenched, you like to tinker. First, you wanna add services, then you don't like the carpet, and the lighting is bad. Of course, the lighting is bad! We're in an abandoned warehouse! I picked this place for one reason and one reason only: I have the landlord blackmailed. The faded apricot shag carpet is here to stay. Why was it here in the first place? That's a mystery. And so are our core theological principles.
Make it just dudes
Stop it with that non-inclusive, old-school garbage. We need more women in here! Look around you! Wieners as far as the eye can see. We're a total sausage fest. Maybe the reason we can't get any chicks in here is because of how you are all dressing. You look like a biker gang who just got out of bed, and the bed was on fire, and you are all ugly.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to start a harem or anything. I'm just saying if one more Phil, Tom, or Bobby joins this doomsday cult before a Betty, Agatha, or Priscilla, I'm calling the whole thing off. That's a promise straight from the pinky.
At the very least, bring a couple of moms to a service!
So, there you have it. I'm this close to starting my new religion that will surely wreak widespread havoc and ruin countless lives.
Don't you dare doubt me. My oration skills are top-notch. This thing is going to catch on. I guarantee it. So, this is basically your last chance to stop me before I get freaky with this cult.
On the other hand, if you're interested in joining me, the first service is next weekend. Make sure to bring your Cataclysm Hats. Oh, you don't know what those are? You'll find out when you reach level 7.