An internet dictionary defines the technique of "bait and switch" as:
A sales tactic in which a bargain-priced item is used to attract customers who are then encouraged to purchase a more expensive similar item.It crosses my mind that spiritual endeavor is sometimes, if not always, a matter of bait and switch.
There stands the internet, hip-deep in one kind of spiritual invitation or another. Heaven, virgins, enlightenment, kindness, clarity, peace, happiness, wisdom, serenity, bliss, Nirvana, God ... the list goes on and on.
And between the lines ...
It's wonderful bait.
And then, for serious students not content with pablum alone, the facts begin to emerge: This business will burn your face off, cut off your ears, rip out your eyes and tie your entrails around your throat. And by the time a serious student might notice that s/he had been flim-flammed, it's too late: There's no place to hide and no pablum in the world can ease or elevate the situation.
The only difference between the snake oil applied to serious spiritual endeavor and the snake oil marketed in the old west is that this snake oil stands a chance of success ... or failure, take your pick.