I was all set for my big comeback article tonight. It was going to be good. I was going to write about a high-pressure fundie recruitment ploy that utilizes intensive sales techniques,Â a laÂ the dreaded timeshare sales pitch.
It turns out that isnâ€™t quite what they do, and it was a rather sucky documentary to boot.
The film I watched is episode one of an 8-part U.K. documentary series on religion, titledÂ RevelationsÂ (That page at the IMDb is like the documentary: Not really worth your time.).
The series was actually made back in 2009. Apparently itâ€™s in the process of being rebroadcast right now. Depending on where you live, you can watch a few of the episodesÂ online, but not episode one.
That first episode is titled â€śHow to Find Godâ€ť. Itâ€™s about a Christian recruitment program calledÂ The Alpha Course. Alpha was developed by a reverend in the Church of England, but itâ€™s used by churches of many denominations. According to the documentary, â€śthere are 30,000 Alpha courses runningâ€¦ in 168 countries.â€ť
The whole shtick here is that churches know theyâ€™re losing members. They donâ€™t want the golden goose (that allows them to avoid getting real jobs) to die, so they have to bring in fresh bodies. Like the tobacco industry, they donâ€™t want to steal parishioners away from some other church. That just means theyâ€™d be squabbling over the crumbs of a smaller and smaller