When neuroscientists identified the exact neural pattern associated with religious fervor, we at pharmaceutical powerhouse, Jones, Swallow & Jones-Moore, thought “how can we make this available to our customers at a reasonable price?”
Thus, the Biblical-age-old question, “Is there a God?” has an answer: “Yes. And it now comes in pill form.”
The people who brought you Phallus-eze™ (for male enhancement), Preoquel™ (for synthesized nostalgia), and Hipsterone™ (for trendiness and irony-deficiency), now bring you Praylenol™, a pill that reproduces the effects of religion on the brain. Through widespread testing in poor, uneducated communities, we have shown that Praylenol improves mood and modifies behavior.
Do you want to feel holier than thou are currently feeling? Then Praylenol could be for you.
Subjects seeking a sense of wellbeing, purpose, community, or general escape from the rigors of reality, have felt generally better when taking a capsule of Praylenol before each meal, before going to bed, and whenever their sports team was close to losing. Furthermore, Praylenol reduces feelings of sinfulness by stimulating serotonin production in the brain and blocking neural receptors associated with memories of past misdeeds (Disclaimer: Does not cure original sin. See your local clergyman about upswings in guilt or judgy-ness). And, while other painkillers carry the danger of increased tolerance to their own effects, users of Praylenol have become, if anything, less tolerant over time.
So, in the same way that most prescription pills provide the benefits of feeling healthy without the hassle of healthy living, Praylenol provides the benefits of feeling like a good person without the hassle of living a moral lifestyle.
Do you covet your neighbor’s car? Do you covet your neighbor’s wife? Then you will covet Praylenol and its many behavior-modifying effects, including reduced cravings for everything other than more Praylenol.
When combined with a 12-step program, Praylenol has been shown to reduce addictive behavior. When combined with prison, Praylenol has been shown to reduce criminal behavior. When combined with abstinence, Praylenol can be used as a substitute for birth control (studies have yet to confirm this). When used as an anti-psychotic, Praylenol has no impact on behavior, but makes that behavior more socially acceptable. When combined with Western medicine, Praylenol may heal illnesses but not amputations.
Though Praylenol has not been shown to outperform a placebo, faith in the effects of Praylenol caused subjects given the placebo to experience all of the positive effects of Praylenol. Therefore, Praylenol is the ultimate placebo, outperforming placebos of other medications in every regard.
Talk to your doctor about Praylenol and then ignore everything he (or especially she) says about it. After you have begun taking Praylenol, talk to your friends and family about it, regardless of how uncomfortable this makes them.
Side effects of Praylenol include slobbering, chanting, a sense of male superiority, increased fertility, and a fear of books/empirical evidence (especially concerning sciences that deal with anything that is more than 5,000 years old). Warning: Do not take Praylenol if you are pregnant and don’t want to be. Do not take medications that mimic the effects of Praylenol (for example: Devoutid, Zealoft, Cath-lax, and Methodisdone). Side effects of those medications include aggressiveness, confusion, and unacceptable lifestyle choices.
Thus, Praylenol can replace dependence on other prescriptions, substances, activities, and social ties. So, when we say “Thou shalt have no other medications before Praylenol,” we are not telling you to take them afterwards.
F.D.A. Announcement: Praylenol Banned, Classified as a Controlled Substance
While the Food and Drug Administration had previously approved of the over-the-counter use of Praylenol—so long as it was not provided or funded by state agencies—Praylenol has now been linked to a number of dangers.
While Praylenol was designed to avoid the addictive effects of increasing tolerance, the pill actually produces the opposite effect—producing in-tolerance, specifically, of people who are not taking Praylenol. As a result, the sense of community that is synthesized by Praylenol has produced xenophobia, paranoia, rabid-nationalism, and overdoses have occasionally led to martyrdom.
Thus, the F.D.A. has now classified Praylenol as a controlled substance, available only under the direction of medical professionals.
Powerful High on a Higher Power: Looking Back on Praylenol
Associated Press: On the sixth day, God created humankind and saw that it was good. Six years ago, humankind created God (in pill form) and saw that it was not up to F.D.A. standards.
Initially touted as miracle drugs, pills such as Praylenol have produced strife and unrest on par with the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition. While previous drugs-of-abuse caused addictive, drug-seeking behaviors in individuals, this new class of illegal substance have caused users to become “addicted” to making everyone else take their brand of fervor-inducer.
This reverse-drug-trade resulted in dealers giving away their prescriptions, users going on “missions” to underdeveloped countries to distribute rather than grow these drugs, and parents pushing these pills on their children as if they were ADHD medications. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies such as Jones, Swallow & Jones-Moore have been lobbying government officials with all the power and ethical standards of drug cartels combined with theocracies.
Representatives of organized religions have come out in consistent opposition to these medications, arguing that the pills create a sense of devotion and unity without the philosophical underpinnings of religion. However, because critics have been saying the same thing of organized religion for centuries, it is likely that these churches just resent the competition.
Treatment and recovery options for these pills remain under development, with the most promising substitute medication—Agnosticet—producing results that are merely uncertain. If only there was a convenient way to feel hopeful in the face of such adversity and uncertainty…
Nathan Witkin’s fiction has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in Schlock!, The Horror Zine, Exiles Magazine, Black Petals, 365 Tomorrows, and Another Realm. His non-fiction has been published in the Middle East Journal, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, and Harvard’s Negotiation Journal. Nathan’s time that is not spent writing is divided between practicing law in a small Rust Belt town, and MMA cage-fighting.