IRREGULAR TIMESFive Easy Steps to Divinity

from the offices of Crabbe, Scuttle and Associates

"We Package the Prophets, You Pocket the Profits"

As a management firm at the forefront of spiritual client management, we have over two thousand years of experience in distilling the divine for what can at times be a peskily demanding target audience. You may not have seen our clients -- Jesus "Christ" of Nazareth, Madonna, Mohammed, Gautama Buddha, Hanna Baker -- but we're sure you've heard a great deal about them. Our clients want what every aspiring messiah or godhead wants: name recognition, market saturation and product longevity.

Here at Crabbe, Scuttle and Associates, we know all too well that divinity creation and management can be an arduous and time-consuming activity, best handled by a professional. Still, with a largely credulous audience it's easy to get started. Tapping into our experiences across time and place, we have identified five simple but crucial steps to the creation of a positive faith environment:

  1. There's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity

    Whatever gets your name out there works. As every juvenile knows, even negative attention can achieve positive results. To brand yourself well, we suggest injecting your name as a phrase of common speech. Our most successful work in this vein has been on the "Oh, God!" and "Jesus Christ" campaigns, with which we're sure you're familiar. Every time someone gets a stomachache, accidentally hits their thumb with a hammer, or hears an especially ludicous piece of relationship advice, the name of Mr. Christ or his supervisor is invoked, saturating the theonomical market with brand awareness. Given a later opportunity to choose a supernatural affiliate, consumers are predisposed to select the more familiar product. Hence a typical client outcome: Jesus is Lord of Northern Ohio.

  2. Tailor Your Message to Your Audience

    One of the trickiest tasks in properly branding religious attachment is satisfying a diverse consumer marketplace. Some individuals are looking for bedroom advice, others require assistance in making morally righteous fashion decisions, while others are searching for someone new to persecute. Even those individuals focused on the same question may be looking for different answers: headcovering, no headcovering, short skirts, low hemlines, love, hate. How can one figurehead simultaneously satisfy these divergent tastes? We suggest pandering early and often, but as vaguely as possible. Contradict yourself enough and everyone will find a part of your deification that they can live with.

  3. Develop a "Secret Formula"

    Kentucky Fried Chicken cannot afford to have everyone doing chicken right; people buy their original recipe because they assume there must be something special in the batter to keep it a mystery. If you want your audience to think you've got something special, you've must be similarly mystifying.

    No one believes an aspiring deity who lays all his or her supernatural skills on the table. One of our least successful clients, Mick Mickeldsin, ignored our counsel and told an audience of 400 that he could levitate tables and lower mortgate rates. Naturally, members of the audience asked him to follow through, and ... well, you haven't heard of the Great God Mickeldsin, have you?

    On a more positive note, we can report great success with a certain Mediterranean sect. We cannot divulge this sect's name due to contract obligations, but we will tell you that pointy hats are involved. After centuries of being pestered about the late arrival of a missing messiah, this sect followed our advice and introduced their own secret formula: the Mystery of Faith. When adherents expressed impatience, asking why they should keep paying money upfront for an absent landLord who kept missing appointments, the High Priests merely murmured, "ah, the Mystery of Faith!" What does this utterance mean? That itself is part of the Mystery. This "secret formula" approach has been sufficiently befuddling to work with only a few revisions for over a Millenium now (indulgences notwithstanding).

  4. Nurture Brand Exclusivity

    The worst mistake any of our clients has ever made has been to embrace universal acceptance. Moglick of East Rutherford had a good thing going until a disciple asked whether she might skip Thursday's lizard beheading for a bit of fun at the corner Beltane. "Sure, why not?" are Moglick's last documented words.

    The hard truth is that you've not only got to give your adherents reasons to stay with you; you've also got to give them reasons not to leave. Tell them that, if they waver, their palms will get hairy, their bank accounts will go bust, their second cousin's willie will wilt. Hope can only get you so far. Fear seals the deal.

  5. Counter Your Critics

    Of course, fear by itself only works for so long. The road to divinity is littered with the relics of religious icons who took their teachings too seriously and refused to get brutal when the times required it. This is when we return to the lesson of item number 2: "contradict yourself." It is fine to teach peace and love, but the mob must sometimes be disciplined. Show them how mighty is your power, and they'll bow down. Cat O' Nine Tails? Burning at the Stake? Holy War? Whatever gets your audience down on its knees and passing the plate.



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