in Allah and Mohammed. The Buddhists
Bidden cut him off again, Big deal. Besides the names of their
prophets, whats difference between them? Aside from their logos
and architechure and silly hats, of course.
I dont know, really, he confessed. He had never really thought
Then let me be the first to tell you: nothing. They all offer the
same exact product: identification within a group and a simplistic
worldview that provides peace of mind and self-esteem. Each religion
is just a brand name, like Biddenbrooks or The Coffee Vine. The
details dont matter. As long as they have good salesmen and nice-
looking franchises they can profit handsomely and grow just like any
business. Were no different from them. Still, some are more popular
than others. Its all purely tribal, goes back to our oldest instincts.
People used to identify themselves by scars or body paint. Then they
did it through religions and flag-waving. Now they do it with their
cars and individualized espresso drinks. If youre losing money its
only because people dont particularly like your brand. For whatever
reason. Its not your fault. Look at the Zoroastrians. Look at the Jain.
Look at the Mayans. Even the Jews. Good religions. Bad marketing.
Thompson was now practically shaking. What Bidden said to
him was offensive on so many levels that he had half a mind to storm
out of the meeting. But he still had his stockholders to think about.
Were only losing money because youre intentionally stealing
our customers! Thompson snapped.
And youre stealing ours, Bidden replied, Its a two-way
But we cant compete. Youre too goddamn big.
You dont have to compete with us. Let us convert you. Then
well both benefit and we wont have to fight any longer. You know,
everyone always talks about what a shame it is that religions are
fighting each other all over the world. Wouldnt it be nice if there was
only one creed? Wouldnt it be great if the world was all one country?
There wouldnt be any wars and life would be much simpler. This is
what everyone is working towards arent they? Science is now the
universal explainer. The United Nations, the European Union,
NAFTA, ASEANcountries are slowly becoming agglomerated into
great multinational wholes. Why should businesses be any different?
We dont need twenty brands of coffeeshops. We only need one.
And that would be Biddenbrooks, Thompson said.