"Gullibility is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence." A definition taken from the Internet.
Credulity is "a tendency to be too ready to believe that something is real or true." A definition taken from the Internet.
When I was a young man (I am now 74), and in the military, I heard the "World Tomorrow" radio broadcast which was hosted by either Herbert W. Armstrong or Garner Ted Armstrong. At that time in my life, I was very inexperienced about the world in which we live. I readily accepted and believed that the voice of the World Tomorrow program was convincing.
In life there are innumerable voices that speak out and to the general public and very often those voices are convincing in what they have to say. Many human beings are by nature very gifted public speakers. Public speakers often have an uncanny ability to persuade those who listen to their speeches, or what they have to say. This is true not only in religious ideas, teachings and beliefs, but in politics, in advertising and in countless endeavors of life on earth.
I have come to the conclusion that a great deal of success in terms of having power and control over the minds of the general public, has to do with salesmanship. A commercial product can be sold to the public, as in the Home Shopping Channel or by say QVC (Quality Value Convenience), because the products are presented as the greatest, the best, the most advanced, the "you can't live without this", the most astounding, the "your life will be better if you buy this", only a few are left (implying you better call in and order now), these will never be available again, three payment plan, guaranteed or you have 30-days to return and so forth.
Religion is much the same as QVC or Home Shopping on television. Religion teaches that if you pay tithes, you reap a harvest, if you accept Jesus Christ you insure your eternal salvation, that if you go to church, submit to your pastors and obey those who have the authority over you, you are doing the will of God. If you attend annual "Holydays" you will be accepted by God. If you believe what your preacher teaches and says, you are living in the will of God. If you keep the Saturday Sabbath, God will smile upon you. If you think and believe "the Bible" is inspired by God, you are among the brethren, who also have faith.
Preachers "guarantee" your salvation "if" you believe what they tell you and you tithe. Preachers quote certain verses from the Bible, because those cherry picked verses equate to what they want you to believe. Preachers would have you believe that we are "living in the end times" (never mind that "end times", has been around for the last 2,000 years), Some preachers invent sayings such as "Manna Fest", "Revival", "Holydays", "Reformation", "Prophetic Ministry", "Slain in the Spirit", "Holy Laughter", "Last Days", "Gift of Supernatural Healing", "Infallible Bible" and endless other terms that seduce the naive and the gullible.
There is a great human weakness in common humans to believe charismatic public speakers, and yet 100% of those charismatic speakers will exist planet earth, the same as all other humans, and they will never be seen or heard from again. Why do people follow these men and women? Answer: GULLIBILITY!!!
Being gullible or naive is an unfortunate massive problem with human beings. The "news" media on public television is the single most lying institution on planet earth, closely followed by the movie industry. When the "news" speaks, it would be far better to turn the television off, because the propaganda is politically motivated with hidden agendas.
Personally I NEVER trust television "news" or even the movie industry with "truth." To think that preachers speak for God and represent God, is no different. A few preachers may have sincere motives, but their entire basis of what they believe is based upon INK on PAPER called "the Bible", which was 100% penned by human beings, very UNinspired by God, but who had motives that are little understood in the modern world.
How many thousands of years will pass before common people stop believing preachers? How many thousands of years will pass before common people stop paying tithes to preachers, who live in mansions and fly around the world in private jets and who make pretense that they are "anointed" by God? How many thousands of years will families sacrifice their children, their lives, their time and their pocketbooks to preachers?
There has to come a time in life on earth when the world stops believing preachers. Going to church is a social activity and indeed there may be friendships, but there is also a $price to pay. The one who reaps the $benefits of tithing, is of course the preachers. Human governments reap their tithes from taxation. Tithing is the twin of taxation. Both are inventions of those who rule by force, compulsion and fear-mongering. If you really believe you should tithe, why not put your check in an envelope and address it to "God in Heaven" and let the post office deliver it?
In time all church goers have to come to the conclusion that they have been deceived, because no preacher who ever lived has come back from the grave, nor has any other human. It is impossible to prove that there is life after death, it is just something all humans "hope" is real, and in an existence of paradise. Most things church members think are true are impossible to prove. To base ones whole life upon ancient writings of men, none of us know or have ever encountered is quite preposterous. Personally, I would have to believe that the so called "apostle" Paul was a man very much like Herbert W. Armstrong, who appointed himself an "authority" for God. There is absolutely no valid reason to believe in legends and myths as if God ordained those men, those writings or those circumstances.