It’s deeply interesting to me that the religious corruption cited here is largely, to me, indeed a corruption of religious traditions themselves, and by the most visible/vocal religious adherents themselves. This is what gave rise to Nietzsche’s announcement that, “God is dead.” And it is the corrupt God-following zealots who killed God—who corrupted the wisdom on which the greatest traditions were built.
To me, it is a misrepresentation of perennial wisdom traditions to say that they are founded on bribery. But it’s not unfair to say that that is how those traditions have been corrupted. What I mean is that the best of these wisdom traditions do not have at their heart a message of asking God for what one wants. Instead, they are rooted in the surrender of those wants and the discovery of a loving contentment with who one is, and what one has, already.
I’ll also offer partial agreement to the notion that the most religious youths grow up to be the most corrupted, in terms of their attempts at bribing God. Only partial agreement, because if those zealots continue growing, typically into middle-age, they are made aware of their own corruption in various ways. These authentic wisdom traditions hold up very, very few heroes who came into their own before middle-age. As success is built on failure, love is built on suffering. One must suffer enough before one knows what authentic love is. And only to the extent that one knows authentic love can one know God, uncorrupted. Within one’s soul.