Chapter One


He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake, He knows if you've been bad or good, So be good for goodness sake. - “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” lyrics

How would you convince an intelligent, free-thinking, well-adjusted adult that an all-powerful God is reading her thoughts, watching her every move? That this invisible, mysterious being will torture her for all eternity if she refuses to believe, but will reward her with immeasurable pleasure should she become a True Believer?

It would be a tough sell. Fortunately for “them” (yet unfortunately for “us”), the number of people who enter adolescence as free-thinkers is stunted by many influences, the first of which is often good old Saint Nick.

A four-year-old is unable to grasp the notion of gods, devils, hell, paradise, redemption and damnation, but he can understand the concept of toys and gifts as rewards for obedience. If his life is typical, his well-meaning parents have already seeded his mind with the idea of a jolly old man in a red suit who invisibly monitors his actions, even reads his thoughts, in order to determine whether he’s worthy of receiving gifts (like all the other good little boys and girls), or if his sins will instead merit a humiliating lump of coal.

Pleasure and pain, reward and punishment, heaven and hell. Most people will respond to threats of pain and promises of reward, and all but a hardy few will submit to a potent mix of blackmail and bribery.

Imagine you have witnessed a crime, and are subpoenaed to testify against a notorious crime family. Concerned relatives of the accused have offered you a choice: disappear in Europe until the trial has ended, with all expenses paid, and a generous cash payment to pad your bank account – or testify, and slowly endure the brutal murder of every person dear to your heart. I suspect the average witness would at least entertain accepting a European vacation, in order to avoid the slaughter of his bloodline.

This same type of psychological warfare is employed by virtually all denominations of the major Western religions. Believe and obey during your brief stint on earth, and enjoy eternal bliss as a reward - after this life has ended, of course. Refuse to believe in virgin births and crucified saviors (or whatever other stories your particular religion holds dear), and pay the price with unending torment for an infinity of years. Some denominations have dispensed with the fire and brimstone, but the fear of eternal death, while others live on, takes their place.

It is unlikely any sane, rational adult would capitulate to unprovable threats of eternal torture, or be bribable with promises of posthumous remuneration, unless her mind was already programmed with such tendencies. Once this concept is understood, the primary reason for Santa’s existence becomes clear: the pre-programming of infantile minds to uncritically accept far more sinister lies in the not too distant future.

Ho ho ho, and Merry Christmas.

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