The power of suggestion
really. especially in groups. that's when people get really stupid.
think about it. all the major cuckoo clans that you hear about... the heaven's gate group, the taiping rebellion, branch davidians... most of us (religious or not) would admit that all three of those groups were fucking bat-shit nuts... that each group's members were sucked in by having weak minds and being susceptible to suggestion.
well, the major religions of the world are no different. the craziness has just been around longer, and most of those involved have never been allowed to think for themselves. ever. those who joined later on in their adult lives, well, they probably never realized they even had a choice (when they had it!), or were simply just susceptible to the power of suggestion of a bunch of looney-tunes who look and act like they really know what's going on.
even though they're clueless.
yep. it's the biggest fucking lie ever told in the history of the recorded universe.
and like they say, ya can't fix stupid.