I don't know if organized religion (link to India Uncut) turns people into "hateful lemmings", but I know this hoary analogy of suicidal lemmings deserves a Zidane headbutt. (Last documented usage of the headbutt joke in 2006. Thank you.)
This is what the all-knowing snopes.com has to say about lemmings:
Lemming suicide is fiction. Contrary to popular belief, lemmings do not periodically hurl themselves off of cliffs and into the seaRead the rest of the entry on lemmings and note that a film crew actually induced lemmings to fall off the cliff. (Werner Herzog could teach these guys a thing or two about truth in film-making.)
I bet the documentary film's director must have said something along the lines of "boy, if only we could photograph these damn critters falling off the cliff...it would make our film so much more shocking...think of how many more viewers we could attract!" and that's when a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed assistant must have rubbed his hands like Uriah Heep and whispered "boss, if them fellers don't fall, we can make 'em".
This sort of behavior is common in other professions too. Bad scientists fudge experimental data to fit their hypothesis. Bad accountants play with numbers so the quarterly results resemble the CEO's projections.
Just regular, intelligent people blindly following their ego and greed.
What is the word for such behavior? Damn, I have it on the tip of my tongue.
The news story on Elton John closes with him making an unintentionally funny remark about John Lennon, saying "If John Lennon were alive today, he'd be leading it with a vengeance". What is this "it"? Why, the peace movement, of course.
Yes, sir, John Lennon would be leading the peace movement with a vengeance.
And you could even get a bullet from the peace-keeping force.