Historical Reprints Religion Profits of Religion, The

Profits of Religion, The

Profits of Religion, The
Catalog # SKU1106
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Upton Sinclair


The Profits

A Study of Supernaturalism as a
Source of Income and
a Shield to Privilege

Upton Sinclair

This book is a study of Supernaturalism from a new point of view -- as a Source of Income and a Shield to Privilege. I have searched the libraries through, and no one has done it before. If you read it, you will see that it needed to be done. It has meant 25 years of thought and a year of investigation. It contains the facts.


When the first savage saw his hut destroyed by a bolt of lightning, he fell down upon his face in terror. He had no conception of natual forces, of laws of electricity; he saw this event as the act of an individual intelligence.

Today we read about fairies and demons, dryads and fauns and satyrs, Wotan and Thor and Vulcan, Freie and Flora and Ceres, and we think of all these as pretty fancies, play-products of the mind; losing sight of the fact that they were originally meant with entire seriousness -- that not merely did ancient man believe in them, but was forced to believe in them, because the mind must have an explanation of things that happen, and an individual intelligence was the only explanation available. The story of the hero who slays the devouring dragon was not merely a symbol of day and night, of summer and winter; it was a literal explanation of the phenomena, it was the science of early times.

Men imagined supernatural powers such as they could comprehend. If the lightning god destroyed a hut, obviously it must be because the owner of the hut had given offense; so the owner must placate the god, using those means which would be effective in the quarrels of men -- presents of roast meats and honey and fresh fruits, of wine and gold and jewels and women, accompanied by friendly words and gestures of submission. And when in spite of all things the natural evil did not cease, when the people continued to die of pestilence, then came the opportunity of hysterical or ambitious persons to discover new ways of penetrating the mind of the god.

There would be dreamers of dreams and seers of visions and hearers of voices; readers of the entrails of beasts and interpreters of the flight of birds; there would be burning bushes and stone tables on mountain-tops, and inspired words dictated to aged disciples on lonely islands. There would arise special castes of men and women, learned in these sacred matters; and these priestly castes would naturally emphasize the importance of their calling, would hold themselves aloof from the common herd, endowed with special powers and entitled to special privileges.

They would interpret the oracles in ways favorable to themselves and their order; they would proclaim themselves friends and confidants of the god, walking with him in the night-time, receiving his messages and angels, acting as his deputies in forgiving offenses, in dealing punishments and in receiving gifts. They would become makers of laws and moral codes. They would wear special costumes to distinguish them, they would go through elaborate ceremonies to impress their followers, employing all sensuous effects, architecture and sculpture and painting, music and poetry and dancing, candles and incense and bells and gongs---

Softcover, 5 x 8, 225+ pages


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