Opiate of the Masses: Richard Dawkins’s Brilliant Analogy

Opiate of the Masses (Excerpt)

by Richard Dawkins

It is a highly addictive drug, but governments everywhere encourage its use…

I came across this excellent piece by Richard Dawkins on 'Gerin Oil' recently. It serves as an excellent analogy for the dangers of religion. So good is this article that I thought I would share it here in the hopes that I could get just one person who is addicted to this drug to kick the habit:


Gerin oil (or Geriniol to give it its scientific name) is a powerful drug which acts directly on the central nervous system to produce a range of characteristic symptoms, often of an antisocial or self- damaging nature. If administered chronically in childhood, Gerin oil can permanently modify the brain to produce adult disorders, including dangerous delusions which have proved very hard to treat. The four doomed flights of 11th September were, in a very real sense, Gerin oil trips: all 19 of the hijackers were high on the drug at the time. Historically, Geriniol intoxication was responsible for atrocities such as the Salem witch hunts and the massacres of native South Americans by conquistadores. Gerin oil fuelled most of the wars of the European middle ages and, in more recent times, the carnage that attended the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent and, on a smaller scale, Ireland.

Read the rest of the article here:

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