Religion: slow torture of false hope

Because church attendance is based on office policy, an old joke aptly describes both—
Eight monkeys are locked in in a room. In the middle of the room is a ladder to an extra bunch of bananas hanging from the ceiling. Each time a monkey climbs the ladder; all the monkeys are sprayed with a fire hose. Then whenever any monkey attempts to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys beat him up. Soon, none of the eight monkeys ever attempts to climb the ladder. One-by-one, each of the original monkeys is replaced by a new monkey who tries to climb the ladder. All the other monkeys beat him silly. He has no idea why, but he no longer attempts to climb the ladder after that. Then when all the original monkeys are replaced and each new one has gone through the initiation, none of them will ever be sprayed because none will attempt to climb the ladder. And so it starts.
Everyone has his/her personal idea of what religion is. For purposes of this section, Religion is best defined by Bertrand Russell as—
A set of beliefs held as dogmas dominating the conduct of life, going beyond or contrary to evidence and inculcated by methods which are emotional or authoritarian, not intellectual.
And by the observer as—
  • a lifestyle purported to enact spiritual changes through material means; and, 
  • the long, slow torture of false hope.
Neither of God nor for God, as God has no religion nor responds to any, the format of religion makes everything it tells you to do ultimately all about you in the end, no matter it's philosophical intent. Especially when it turns you toward calling on ways and means outside your mien, like prayer, which has you summoning Lucerific avatars to perform magic for you. Such actions effectively paint you into corners of destruction.

Therefore the observer analogizes religion as similar to carnivals built on the footpath to God—
Let's say God is at the end of a long, narrow mountain-top pathway. Hard to find at first but increasingly widened and paved and well lit, near its end you'll encounter an assortment of entertainment-oriented organizations similar to Nevada's casinos, who all offer assistance up the remainder of the narrow foot-path to God—despite that none have ever traveled that path—with each ready to entertain you about what they think the path is like, including testimony from hopefuls who believe their organizations version of the pathway to God, is the best way.
No one you meet of course have ever finished the path or met God, but all do their best to convince you to stay with them, and worship their version of the Godhood believed to exist at paths end.

Thus after sojourning with any of the organizations on the path to God, you find their intent all along is to keep your attention on themselves so you'll never complete the path, but be forever studying and arguing their humanist interpretation of God against everyone else's. And of course they all want your money to live off of, no matter how the need is couched.

And so you find yourself in a religion.