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The psychology of conversion…

The psychology of conversion...

One journalist — he was a rare case because journalists don’t go to heaven, cannot go to heaven — by some accident reached heaven. But on the door he was stopped by the gatekeeper, and the gatekeeper said, “All vacancies for journalists in heaven are full. In fact, we have ten journalists and they don’t have any work. In heaven there is no newspaper, no television, no radio, because there is no news; here, nothing happens. Just angels go on playing on their harps, ‘Alleluia, alleluia.’ How much news can you make out of that? You go to hell! There is tremendous news… so many papers, so many networks of television, radio.”


But the man said, “I have come here: at least give me twenty-four hours, just a chance to visit the place. And have mercy on me — if I can convince one of the journalists inside heaven to go to hell, then there will be a place vacant, and you can give that place to me.”


It looked logical. The gatekeeper allowed him, but said, “Remember, only twenty-four hours!”

After twenty-four hours the journalist came to the gate. The gatekeeper said, “You cannot go out.”

The journalist said, “Why?”


The gatekeeper said, “All the ten journalists have left. You created such a rumor — that a new newspaper is going to start in hell. It needs a chief editor, a Sunday editor, and all kinds of journalists, and it is going to be the biggest newspaper — so they all have left. You were lying. There is no newspaper like that which is going to happen.”

The man certainly had been lying to the journalists; but when ten left, he said to the gatekeeper, “Please let me go. Perhaps there is some truth in it.”


The gatekeeper said, “But you know already that you were lying!”

He said, “I know. But if ten people can believe in it, there must be some truth in it. I cannot remain in heaven anymore.”


This is the psychology of conversion. People convert others to Catholicism, to Hinduism, to Mohammedanism, for the simple reason that they don’t have any authentic experience of their own. They are shaky inside; they know that they know not. They want to be certain. This is the easiest way: to convince people. In convincing people, they are convincing themselves. And the more people are converted to their path, the more certain they become that they are on the right path.



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