Elite and religion
For the masses, religion is the frame for life. It gives clear orientation and tells you how to behave. For the elite, religion is a tool to control the masses. The things which are valid for the masses are not valid for the elite. The elite has a higher and also a different education than the masses. The elite is in a different position, at the top of the pyramid. The elite is in control. And the elite is always busy with esoteric teachings which are hidden and forbidden for the masses. The esoteric teachings offer freedom and self-responsibility. The exoteric teachings bind the people with threats of hell and damnation in a system of rules of “lawful” behavior. The masses are not free.
One interesting point is to examine religious teachings about artificial, evil chapters which are set by the elite for control over the masses. Let´s imagine there is a positive spiritual or religious leader who starts to teach people. As he is authentic and positive, we can assume that his teachings are also positive and liberating, maybe not really esoteric as people lack of understanding but maybe good and simple. The elite gets to know this leader and his teachings and simply adds some evil points which allow them to stay in power and to keep control.
I think that this has always happened in history and in all religions. The task for the future is to detect such evil teachings and to take them out so that only the positive part is kept by.
Certainly people can and should maintain the wonderful parts of their religious traditions as they are aspects of their history and identity. God has realized so many beauty in a great diversity which is inspiring for everyone.
We should honor and praise the divine beauty in diversity while we should neglect the darkness.