Caveat Emptor

Comforting falsehoods are an infinitely easier sell than inconvenient truths…

So beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that promises much, but requires little.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that promises benefits without burdens, rights without responsibilities, forgiveness without contrition, prosperity without industry.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that hands you easy “answers” before you even know what the right questions are.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that requires you to pledge your allegiance before the age of reason.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that denies anyone the freedom to doubt. And be even more wary of any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that bestows upon anyone the “freedom” from doubt.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that is threatened by your uniqueness–or by the uniqueness of others.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that makes a fetish of the words “Thou shalt…” or “Thou shalt not…”


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise whose business model is to collect more followers, not to inspire more leaders.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that flatters the believer in you.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that teaches you that it’s okay to feel better without having to be better.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that allows you to feel special without having to do special.


Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that would hold you to a lower standard than you would hold yourself.


In summary, beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that puts salvation in a can and sells it.

13 thoughts on “Caveat Emptor

  1. Interesting couple, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. Their pitch used to be part of my daily life before my divorce. They give me the chills.

    1. They give me the chills too, Georgia. I can’t imagine how you survived such insanity.

      The Copelands are particularly detestable in their blatant exploitation of the desperate and vulnerable. Alas, such is big business. Just ask the Osteens, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, Creflo Dollar, Oral Roberts, Paula White, T. D. Jakes, Joseph Prince, Mike Murdock, and Les Feldick, to name but a few.

      By the way, I did not intend to single out the Copelands or prosperity preachers. For they are not the only culprits. So many other “authorities, creeds”, and enterprises are guilty to various degrees. On that spectrum, I include mainstream churches, politicians, new age gurus, Hollywood, the NFL, NBA, and PGA, Madison Avenue, Wall Street, TikTok, the professional atheists, left and right wing political movements, promise of overnight success, American “exceptionalism”, and authoritarian regimes everywhere (I probably missed a few).

      1. You are definitely well aware of the current televangelists who prey on a vulnerable public. Years ago, Jim and Tammy Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell and others filled the ranks. Oh, and Ernest Angley, who served almost as a parody of the others.

        You are also well studied in your larger subject. All of those entities that push an ideology to which people fall victim to the extent that their lives are defined through the entity’s lens.

        1. Thanks for adding to the list of perpetrators, Georgia

          Here’s hoping that we all learn to trust our own eyes and ears more than the pronouncements of the powers that be.

  2. “Beware any “authority”, creed, or enterprise that requires you to pledge your allegiance before the age of reason.” Thank you for this. I’ve been saying this for decades and no one gets it. Simply brainwashing. I’ve noticed a little bit of this in christianity too. LOL

    1. Indeed. It blows my mind that people don’t understand the insidious nature of childhood indoctrination. THAT is how deep the brainwashing goes.

      And as you say… Although not as egregious as the prosperity preachers, most mainstream churches are also guilty of such to various degrees. I know this. Because I went to Catholic school, was an altar boy, and was even the choir director once upon a time. I was fortunate to be awakened before it was too late.

      Thanks & Peace.

  3. Well, Frank, I read all your posts linked below. I hope you are right about item #27 in Ode to Science ( in particular.

    Your clarity of thought and expression are most admirable. I was not categorizing you by my suggestion you might find the WP article of interest. I appreciate your devotion to Socratic inquiry and much else. Keep writing!

    1. No worries, Gerald. I didn’t feel like you were pigeonholing me in the least. My response below was intended more for the lurkers.

      That said, I appreciate your most most kind words of appreciation and encouragement and am heartened to know we are both pulling in the same direction.


  4. I am not at all in disagreement, Frank. You might have read an October 3 opinion piece by Kate Cohen in the Washington Post. The subject is Atheism and its value.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Gerald.

      To be clear, I am not touting atheism in the least. In fact, I reject “atheist” as just a seven-letter word. I do advocate a liberal Socratic education and reject the indoctrination of innocent children in all forms.

      The God of Abraham was killed off a long time ago–not by atheists, but by LOGIC & LOVE.

      It’s time that we all caught up by becoming moral adults… not by becoming atheists, but by becoming POST-theistic by outgrowing the need for magical rescue by superstitious beliefs.

      Here are a few mostly short posts that I hope might convey what I affirm regarding such matters…


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