There was a large room full of lost and confused people.
Everyone seemed to have amnesia.
They just wanted to know what was outside, and why they were there.
It drove many to the point of insanity, but no-one had any answers.
There was, in the room, an accomplished actor.
Being a man untroubled by conscience, he decided to try out a little experiment.
He pretended to know the answers, making up imaginative stories about what was outside, about what it all meant, and how they should behave.
He told it with such impassioned zeal that the others mistook it for the truth.
His stories spread through the room like wildfire.
They gave people hope.
The others flocked around him and bowed to his command.
Even he was staggered by their reaction, but this thing was bigger than him now.
He had to take on other actors to meet the demand.
He had to give it a name, an emblem, and a book.
The strangest thing though…
No-one seemed to notice the glaring inconsistencies in his explanations, which changed over time to cater for alliances, trends and popular opinion.
No-one seemed phased by the contradictions between how he said they should live and how he himself lived.
No-one seemed threatened by the nepotism he employed or the self-promoting power structure he put in place.
No-one seemed bothered that his answers always seemed to translate to them
handing over their best stuff,
handing over their wives and daughters,
handing over their power.
Unquiet consciences were strangled.
Better judgement was silenced.
Eyes were gouged out with spoons.
They needed to believe in the lie more than they needed the truth.