1. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    A Moral Revolution

    Discussion in 'Research' started by stormcat, Jun 29, 2015.

    Historically, Revolutions have taken place when a majority disagrees with the ruling party's policies. Be they economic, social, political, or they just can't stand their leader any longer. For the most part, the revolutionaries are "secular" meaning that no major religion backs these revolutionaries. The Communist revolution saw forced secularism in russia, the french revolution tried to bring about a secular france, and even the founding fathers of america thought that to best protect the individual citizen's religious identity, the government must remain secular.

    What I'm looking for is a historical case of the opposite. Where a religious group stages a coup to overthrow a secular government and implement a theocracy based on their own relgion. I know this has happened in the middle east, but all I really know about the Iranian revolution I've learned from reading "Persopolis". I'm also incredibly fuzzy on the rise of the Taliban. I need to know a few things before starting my theocratic takeover of my fictional religion.
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    The rise of Islam in the first instance. Mohammed was essentially a local aristocrat in Medina, went into the desert and then became a prophet. His supporters then took his message - quite forcibly - to Mecca...and then on through most of North Africa, through much of Spain, and taking the East of the Mediterranean into Hungary, and across the islands of the Med. until they were stopped in a memorable siege at Malta.

    Check out Knights Hospitaller and Knights Templar (before all that Dan Brown nonsense!) and the rest of the crusades for the Christian response.
     
  3. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    The only problem I see with that is that Mohammed took over a relatively "ignorant" populace, while my religion is trying to overtake a society that has already made incredible scientific advances. If Mohammed tried to pull the same stunt in 1889, I don't think he'd get very far.

    I need an example that's a bit more modern.
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ayatollah Ruhollah Moosavi Khomeini (Persian: روح‌الله خمینی‎, [ruːholˈlɑːhe χomeiˈniː] ([​IMG]listen), 24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989) was an Iranian Mujtahid, revolutionary, politician, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran who was supported by the United States. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei.
     
  5. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    Yes! I need more information about this guy and other folks like him.
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's just the first paragraph from Wiki.
     
  7. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    after a bit more research into what came before the Iranian revolution, it looks like the Pahlavi rulers were no saints. But they were still muslims (just not the "right" muslims according to the revolutionaries) and I'm dealing with a religion where a wholly secular government is overthrown by a religious theocracy.
     
  8. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then I think you'd need to go back an awfully long way, probably before there was any religion.

    After all, ISIS is merely overthrowing the wrong, backslid, muslims.

    Mohammed was merely supplanting another religion with Islam.

    Constantine was replacing the pantheon of earlier gods with Christianity.

    Martin Luther wasn't trying to replace Catholicism with Protestantism, he just wanted to reform what he perceived as a Catholicism that had become corrupt.

    It seems that the history of the Catholic church is periods of backsliding interspersed with periods of reformation and a return to its roots.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think perhaps studying the Iranian revolution will shed light on the complexity of events that led to that most atypical of revolutions, but it won't really show you how such a thing could happen other than to show that it's no one simple thing.

    You could even look at modern Russia as a kind of example where a technologically modern People were made to live under a system that, amongst other things, demanded a secular State. That system fell apart and numerous different things have come into play that have caused a resurgence of religious thought (which was never eliminated, only silenced) to come to the forefront.

    Just as an example, a leader could take advantage of such a zeitgeist trend, for initial reasons other than establishing a religious revolution, but lose control of that trend in the end since it naturally answers to very emotive dynamics, and the trend, which was a tool, now becomes the thing itself. The details of how that happens is where your story writing comes into play.
     
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  10. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    I guess what I'm trying to do is develop a timeline for the government takeover of this religion. I've already got points set up for establishing the religion itself (which still needs a few tweaks) but I'd like to write a brief history showing how the idea became popular with the masses, and then slid it's way into politics and suddenly everyone who was not a member of this religion found themselves being persecuted and executed.

    I think The main turning point shall be when the King establishes the role of "Spiritual advisor" who is of course the leader of the evil religion, but he needs to get boosted up high enough for the king to even notice him.
     
  11. Norm the Robot
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    Norm the Robot Member

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    Can't think of a real world example. What about Frank Herbert's DUNE?
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If we go to fictional examples, The Handmaid's Tale is the one that's most on the nose, IMO.
     
  13. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Scientology was only invented in the 1950s, but the church is already so accepted by the world at large that their crimes are being romanticized as a righteous crusade against persecution by secular governments.

    It doesn't have to take very long.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  14. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    We must get our news about $cientology from different sources. Not once have I ever seen $cientology romanticized like that. I keep hearing from Ex-cult members warning others to stay away from the likes of Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
     
  15. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Revolutions generally don't happen when you have a well-functioning government. Good rulers who take care of their people usually don't inspire massive street protests allowing someone nasty to fill the vaccuum - whether that someone is theocratic, tyrannical, communist, fascist, or whatever. Every revolution or takeover by radicals is going to be preceded by a period of very bad government that caused people to lose faith in the established order.

    When decent governments get overthrown, it's usually by military force, not popular revolution.
     
  16. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    One example you might look to is Henry VIII - who broke England away from the Catholic Church. In that case you had a totally self-interested despot with totally self interested reasons for shoving it to the Pope - he wanted his marriage annulled, the pope said no. He then served his own ends by taking advantage of the rising Protestant zeitgeist - forming the Church of England ostensibly on moral Protestant grounds but largely out of self interest so that he could do what he wanted without asking the pope.

    If your fake religion is going to weasel it's way to the top rather than taking over militarily - the best way of doing that is to have a corrupt ruler who thinks he/she can manipulate a moral revolution to further their own power (and then loses control of their own monster). This happens not just in life, but also in fiction, a prime fictional example being Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones where not one but two potential claimants tho the throne get in too deep with religious movements they don't fully understand (Stannis Baratheon with the Red Priestess, Cersei Lannister with the High Sparrow).
     
  17. ChubbyHubs
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    ChubbyHubs New Member

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    Something else I would consider is the process Christianity used in re-educating Europe to the point that most descendants of Europe today only identify through Christianity. While the Norse may of had gods, they also had organized leadership which was undermined through the Christians teaching their way of life. The Norse Godhood is also the only one which is substantially mocked through the use of media. Whereas most other belief systems have been left alone. Christianity is also well documented with regards to over throwing a local communities belief system with their own, and is one of three religions which seeks to convert all other belief system to theirs.

    Really look at Christianity as an example, and allow it to challenge you, because they did not have a military before they took Rome’s. Where the Romans could not destroy the pagan north, Christianity converted the disenfranchised. Who undermined the non-converted in power.
     
  18. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    This is all very true, unfortunately, It took hundreds of years. I'm hoping for something that takes at maximum ten years to convert everyone.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The thing I'm having an issue with on your OP question is most religious conversions in governments were more about a power grab than a moral awakening.

    It's not a religious revolution but watching the PBS documentary on The Abolitionists in the US leading up to the civil war certainly has the elements you are speaking of. You can watch it free online. Part three in the series was especially about how the abolitionist movement led to the Civil War.

    Constantine and the growth of Christianity might have some elements you are looking for. I only know the Bible school version of the story so you'll have to check into it to see.
     
  20. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Senator Palpatine.
     
  21. ChubbyHubs
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    ChubbyHubs New Member

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    And there’s the story.

    If you look at the process of Christianity, but move it to the context of Hubbard. Well I think that it's your story and you could do what ever you had to do to make it a good one.
     
  22. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Revolutions can be engineered by demagogues, usurpers and other power elites.
    There's a whole craft dedicated to harnessing the will of the people.
     

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