What if they sold houses like the true believers sell heaven?

My father’s house has many rooms, but you need to pay the first and last

Photo Illustration by David Jayne

David Payne is a Reno-based freelance writer and can be reached at his Web site, www.holywar2.com.

What if they sold houses like the true believers sell heaven?

I’m always amazed that people buy into the God/religion biz and its promise of heaven for the true believer. There are more than 2 billion true believers in the Abrahamic God, and the religious belief in him spawned Christianity, Islam and Judaism. And they all have some form of a heavenly afterlife that will come to them after death. That’s assuming you pick the right religion, sect, cult, etc., to begin with, but that’s another essay.

Try this out. You are invited to a seminar on buying a house in the Heavenly Housing Development for only 10 percent of your income! Well, that’s a great price for most people, so you go. Boy, this is some kind of seminar, lots of people there who are singing the praises of this Heavenly Housing deal as well as the development the houses are in! And then there are the real estate agents who are selling these houses! They are so full of enthusiasm and fervor for the housing development and its CEO! They are singing the praises of the company and the CEO, who is the greatest CEO who ever lived! And the company is tied to the greatest salesman in history, who wrote the greatest sales book ever written, which praises his father, the greatest and only true CEO!

This model house is the perfect house, at least on paper! It is maintenance free, and there is no yardwork unless you want to do it! But there is more! You never have any bills to pay! Ever! Free electricity! Free water! Free air conditioning! Free heat! The weather is always just what you want it to be, and the landscaping is well, heavenly! At least that’s what the sales book says.

You never have to worry about food because the refrigerator is always full of your favorite foods. And all your favorite entertainment options come with the house, and, of course, they are all free! As for the neighborhood, it is perfect! All the neighbors are either your family or your friends—providing they all bought into the exact same housing development you did—or people who will instantly become your friends when you meet them! And the best part is, it only costs 10 percent of your income! Just sign on the dotted line and swear to follow all the CC&Rs in the sales book, and it’s yours!

So you get ready to sign up, but you have a few questions first.

“How long do I have to pay 10 percent of my income for in this deal?”

“For the rest of your life, but its only 10 percent, you can easily handle that, right?”

“Hmm, aren’t there some other deals out there like this?”

“There are some who say they can match this deal, but they are lying! We have the only true paradise subdivision there is, the rest are imposters who say they offer what we do, but they don’t really! Don’t be fooled by their smooth-talking con men. We have the real deal and the real CEO, and they don’t!”

“How long have you been selling these houses for?”

“For over 2,000 years now and not one dissatisfied customer yet!”

“Really? Boy, that’s a long time. So could I talk to a few of your satisfied customers?”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible, you see once you move in, you are not allowed to come back here or talk to anyone here. It’s all in the CC&R’s sales book, but don’t worry, once you are there you won’t want to come back anyway, no one ever does, trust me!”

“Well, could I look at a few models?”

“I’m afraid you can’t do that, we have none to show you here, but they are just like the drawings you’ve seen in the sales book.”

“Well, that’s a bit strange, you’re selling these prefect houses, but no one can look at them before they buy them. I’ve never heard a sales pitch like that. Are you sure that your development is approved by those in power?”

“Absolutely, in fact our development has been around for more than 2,000 now, and it’s been run by the best, kindest, just and most powerful CEO in the entire universe! There isn’t anything he can’t do!”

“Really, so can I meet him?”

“Oh, you will believe me, just as soon as you move in, you will meet our CEO, and it will be a blessing for you and your entire family! He is the most wonderful CEO anywhere, and he cares for each and every one of his true believers that have bought into his housing development and follow the CC&R’s in the great sales book you have in your hands!”

“So is this CEO of yours around here?”

“He is everywhere, but he doesn’t show himself to the public, he is a very private being. You can only meet him in person after you move into the heavenly development. But trust me, you’ll love it!”

“Hmm, I’ll have to think about that some.”

“If you don’t act now, I’m afraid that you will have to move to the worst neighborhood in town with the worst house and the worst neighbors, and a landlord who is well, the worst landlord ever. He will make your life a living, well, hell, and you don’t want that do you?”

“OK, I don’t want that to happen. I’ll buy a house in the development, but when can I move in?”

“Well, you don’t get to move in until after you die, but it’s paradise believe me, so sign here on the dotted line, start paying that 10 percent and take an oath to follow the CC&Rs in the sales book forever and pledge your undying obedience to our CEO, and its yours!”

“Really? Boy, that’s some kind of strange deal.”

If you tried to sell that house and housing deal, you would be arrested for consumer fraud in almost every nation on Earth. But if you change the name of the deal from housing deal to heavenly deal, no one could stop you, and you will make billions and billions of dollars doing it every year. After all, the three Abrahamic religions do make billions and billions of dollars every year with this sales pitch for the afterlife, don’t they? And they never have to prove that their housing development (Heaven) even exists, though they all swear to God it does.