Black Mirror Reflection: Glory Cult

By Jeffery Patton

Today, being religious requires going to church and hearing a pastor live and in-person. In 2045, the religious experience in America has evolved, and physical pastors are no more since 2040.

Americans still attend a church, but going to church has lost its emotional element and has become a routine going in on Sundays and being fed the word or message through a screen.

Churches now only include pews and two large screens at the front of the church. No choir stand, musician section, or additional rooms are churches now, just screens.

The common perception of any religion is that they are brainwashing the people that believe in them. In 2045, this has become a reality. Through these screens, the messages that are being put into the congregations’ head are in fact brainwashing materials.

The way these screens work is they have a hypnosis substance within the screen that locks in each person and subdues them to do whatever there are being told. What is also different about church now is that the messages are not as “holy” as you would think. They are actually the reverse, tempting and encouraging them to be vindictive, evil, and sometimes killers “in God’s name.”

In this episode of “Black Mirror,” a young boy named James is part of this congregation and has been in this new system of church since he was 10. One Sunday during service, the hypnosis of the screens doesn’t work on and James, and he sits and watches the people be brainwashed and how the pastor maneuvers different from everyone after service. James is starting to regain his sense of having a conscious and noticing what evil and good is.

As the episode continues, his family and peers are pushing him to contribute to the evil doings that the church has put in place. The more James refuses, his family and the rest of the congregation are plotting to kill him if he does not get with the program.

James ultimately must find a way to undue the hypnosis the church has created before he is killed.

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