Missionaries, monetary funds, and marketers make strange bedfellows. The paradisal visions that they promote appear quite distinct. It seems to slander some more than others to label all three as pimps. And despite the phenomenon of serial addictions, the religious zealots, impoverished wretches, and compulsive consumers of the world seem to form mutually exclusive, if not mutually hostile, groups. Nevertheless, missionaries, international monetary funds, and other marketers all strive to incite passionate longing toward something far better, for which those seduced must pay a price. All three seek to fan the fires of fanaticism with promises of a future paradise, immediate or distant. And all three threaten hellish punishments for those who reject these promises. There are, I contend, more similarities than differences among the conversion tactics and promises of these three panderers to human fears and longings. By examining the overlapping manner in which each purveys promises of paradise, we may better understand the tap roots of human emotion that each seeks to incite.
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