How Churches Market Themselves

“Fundamentalism isn’t about religion. It’s about power.”

(Salman Rushdie)

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCEThroughout history the Vatican has tried many tricks to convince, impress, and make money from people. They’ve employed the world’s best architects, artists and composers to create the impression of their church’s grandeur with overpowering edifices, music that can move one to tears, and stupendous sculptures and beautiful paintings. These things may be magnificent, and the world would be a poorer place without them, yet they add nothing to the veracity of the Bible, or to validate God’s existence. Some of the world’s most fraudulent fiends own palaces and awesome art collections. (

Ever since the Middle Ages, the Vatican’s worldwide properties and other investments have surpassed the scale of nearly every other business in the world. Its finances are very complex and not transparent. The Vatican bank isn’t required to pay tax or fill out a tax return. The money comes in from the world’s share markets, businesses, and government taxes, thousands of dioceses, religious foundations, and fiduciaries linked to the papal state. Some commentators estimate the liquid assets to be worth over 50 billion US dollars. There are also probably hundreds of billions of dollars hoarded away in real estate and works of art. That, in my opinion, is not excusable from an organization preaching charity and humility. (,, ,

Concordat between Nazi Germany and the Vatican at a formal ceremony in Rome on 20 July 1933It’s a remarkable fact that much of the enormous wealth the Vatican owns today was originally obtained from taxpaying Italian and German citizens in the 1930’s and 40’s. People in those days often listened to priests when they were told how to vote. The Vatican got into bed with Mussolini and Hitler in deals that swapped cash for endorsement. This is one of the reasons the Vatican was loath to criticize Hitler. It’s been argued the Second World War may never have happened without the Vatican’s support for these fascist regimes.(

Riding the Gravy Train

Riding the Gravy Train

After the war the Vatican helped hundreds of key Nazis escape Germany in return for large cash payments. (

Ever since the 1950’s, right up to present times, the Vatican bank has had to fight off accusations of money laundering and deals with shady characters such as men from the Mafia. (

Today’s Catholics should be aware of one activity that has rendered much money to the Vatican’s coffers: canonizing saints. Throughout history the grounds for beatification have been theatrical. Kings, queens, the nobility, warlords and soldiers were sanctified as saints whenever it suited the Vatican. Ignacio de Loloya with his army of Jesuits, Dimingo de Guzman and his Dominican friars, and Jose M Escriva, who founded Opus Dei, each started societies that helped prevent Catholicism from financially floundering, and have been beatified for their efforts, as if a hypothetical god could care less about a corporation’s annual profit!

pray for the

The late Pope John Paul II was history’s greatest saint-maker; 484 new saints appeared during his papacy. All other popes in the twentieth century canonized a total of only ninety-eight. New saints keep the cash registers sizzling hot. Canonization means television rights, free advertising, visits to shrines, book sales, memento sales etc. People like saints, even if they don’t like their priests, bishops, or their pope, and are gullible enough to pay the Vatican for creating them.

John Paul moved a step closer to becoming a saint himself in 2011 when his successor attributed a miracle to him and announced that he’ll be beatified. In centuries past, the Vatican made a fortune trafficking indulgences; today they’re doing the same selling saints.

The true extent of the Vatican’s gravy train will one day be made public, Catholics will be shocked, and the greedy men at the center of one of the world’s longest-running scams will have nowhere to hide.

                                                            A Message to the Vatican 

Mr Pope and colleagues,

you have the audacity to claim that the Bible has the answers to the world’s problems, yet your church used to burn people for interpreting it. ( Your ideas, your “truths,” are fossils; nothing more than the fabricated remnants of a superstitious, credulous, bygone age. You firstYour book has been debunked and is immoral, yet you still promote it, and you rarely publically question your faith. How can you NOT have seen the contradictions, fallacies, the immorality and other bullshit in the bible? I think the intelligent ones amongst you are lying about your real beliefs.

Any cursory study of the verbose bulls and encyclicals published in the name of popes over the last 800 years reveals that your organization hasn’t cared about anything other than its own power and prestige, yet you still pompously preach to people and disguise your greed with a veneer of benevolent wisdom. (, – Important_papal_encyclicals).

How much longer will you pollute the world with your faith? You should keep your self-promoting, antiquated ideas private, and out of earshot of children, but you don’t. You use your schools, churches and the media to arrogantly poison progressive ideas and ethics. Children and students need to be prepared for real life, and to learn to think. They deserve only good sources of information, and to be shown how to solve problems rationally. You undermine all that to create clones who recite dogma without question, bow down to you, subsidize you, and turn to your imaginary god for help. You all were victims of this in your own childhoods, but does that give you the right to impose these ideas on the next generation? No. To do so is immoral.

When will you be real, not pretend, humanists, by genuinely embracing science, women, homosexuals and people of other faiths? When will you stop promoting prayer?

Your wealth is obscene. When will too much money be enough? Why don’t you follow your own script and share some of that money with people who are genuinely in need?

Your regime’s history is one of lies, greed, the pursuit of power, immorality and many other evils. It has defied the odds by surviving so long, but a day of reckoning is coming. Millions of informed people around the world agree with me. (

I’m calling your entire hierarchy out for your immoral practices, for still spreading lies and for feathering your own nests. There are many obstacles to peace and happiness in today’s world, but atheism isn’t one of them, nor is pre-marital sex, contraception, feminism, homosexuality, science, modernism, not going to church or not praying. One of the biggest problems out there is, in fact, YOUR CHURCH. ( (

types of robbers 

mind control                              

                                                          What about Protestant Churches?

church marketingEvangelical Protestant churches, an eclectic group, sell themselves using modern marketing techniques to attract the person with a wallet, the contributing customer.

Many have become media-savvy, owning television and radio stations. They open their doors to everyone and greet people with smiles. They have live music and choreographed sermons from charismatic, energetic, confident preachers. They want the people to feel there’s something vibrant and special going on, so there’s a manufactured buzz in the air. There’s a lot of talk about Jesus, who is sold as a package that’s the generic default solution to everyone’s search for meaning. That package contains some false and rather tired old ideas.

Jesus livesJesus loves youJesus lives…”

“Jesus saves…”

“Jesus loves you…”

“Jesus sacrificed himself for you…

What patronising claptrap! It’s not Jesus, but common sense, that’s been sacrificed. jesus died for youAnyone familiar with Jesus’ real history and Paul’s prejudices knows these beliefs are utter nonsense. They’re nothing more than part of an intricate scam to get people enrolled as financial members of the Jesus fan club. 

Consumers often believe the spiel, particularly if they’re impressionable or vulnerable. They’ve usually heard much of it before throughout their childhood, commonly from their parents, so it has a familiar ring to it. If they buy the spiel, they gain immediate acceptance and an instant circle of friends. Their social life gets a shot in the arm, but there’s a heavy price to be paid. They have less money in their pockets, and, more importantly, are bombarded with a raft of superstitious and prejudiced ideas that put their mental health at considerable risk.

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10 Responses to How Churches Market Themselves

  1. Friend of Ram says:

    Mark, I think you’ll find this worth reading. Something from a politically engaged Hindu perspective. The author once mailed this to Pat Robertson. You are kindred souls: he knows the Bible and takes no prisoners.

  2. Jodie says:

    Hi Mark – after reading this, thought you might be interested in Kevin Annett’s book Hidden No Longer. I read it a few weeks ago and it’s been very illuminating. Kevin has been doing much research and action on the churches’ roles in the treatment of Canada’s aboriginal people . He is a defrocked United Church minister – he was defrocked because he started asking questions…

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Hi Jodie, and thanks! I have been in touch with Kevin via email and have offered him my support. What a great guy! I have seen the documentary and will try to find some time somewhere to read his book. I do follow what he’s up to with the Vatican, and I encourage everyone reading this to support him. Please everyone have a look at his website to keep up to date. Thanks again Jodie, regards, Mark

  3. Invictus_88 says:

    The “Vatican Billions” trope?

    It’s extraordinary, the steaming bullshit a ‘rationalist’ will swallow if it appears to discredit the Church.

    So, rationalist. Any evidence for that (pretty strong) claim that doesn’t rest on Chick Tracts/Avro Manhattan?

  4. gavin downes says:

    I cannot wait for the church’s clergy to be held up in front of a secular judge and be tried for their crimes like any other person.
    if anything, they should be punished more because they should be held to a higher standard.

  5. Daniel Luce says:

    Thanks for providing another arrow to the quiver.

  6. lindy lama says:

    You forgot Franco. The three big defenders of the Roman Catholic faith were Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco.

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