Want to start a new religion? Here's how to do it:
1. Pick a name for your group-to-be.
2. Invent cool beliefs and rituals to differentiate yourself from any other group.
3. Come up with a set of classes teaching these beliefs. The beginning classes should be all full of goodness and light. Gradually ease into the dark side of it so when students get to the advanced levels they won't be surprised or shocked at all when they are told to sacrifice to fish or drink pig's urine or carry around dead people's thumbs.
4. Target mostly young wealthy women with time on their hands- they will form the social and financial base you'll need to sustain your organization.
5. Use your charisma to hypnotize them into thinking you are special. Act holy when they are around.
6. Tell them they are special too, which is why you chose them.
7. Tell them because they are special you want to teach them the supernatural secrets you know.
8. Get them to take the classes and enroll others before they are even half way through the first set themselves.
9. Teach that poverty and charity are virtues so they'll give you lots of money.
10. Swear them to secrecy on your more advanced teachings.
11. Let them feel that they have a special relationship with you and that it is a privilege for them to speak to you.
12. Give earlier members the power to teach later ones and keep them in line. Get them to spread the word that you are some kind of a prophet or messiah.
13. Make sure the new members are surrounded by other members of the group at all times and tell them that outsiders are inferior and associating with them will make them impure and stunt their spiritual growth. Once they are established they'll believe all outsiders are evil.
14.To minimize exposure to other influences encourage all members to marry within the group.
15. Set up schools for their children so they won't hear anything that goes against your teachings.
16. If someone expresses doubt, act hurt and call it heresy.
17. Get your elders to tell members that if they leave they will lose their friends and their families and will be abandoned by God Himself. Hell is always a good threat though not very original.
18. Get your group to terrorize anyone who does leave. If you have enough power, terrorize anyone who doesn't join.
Bingo- you have a new religion. You could be worshiped for thousands of years and have millions of people die for slandering your name. Of course with time your teachings will be hijacked by others and hideously distorted, but you won't be around so who cares, right?