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From dimension Omicron, came a being that could split planets (not that it will do it, but you get the idea). Open your favorite superhero power encyclopedia, it got All the cool superpowers, most of the OK ones, and even some of the lame too.

It intends to stay on Earth, and live without hiding itself among humans. Its appearance is not disgusting (some would even find it "cute" or "intriguing") by human standards (but it cannot / will not pass as human).

But this creature is atheist. It does not believe in deities, and never encountered one (some say the gods avoid it, but that's just rumor).

People will obviously flock to it. Some mass media scammer created the first religion, and soon several poppped up. It was foreseen by the creature's super intellect when it arrived on Earth.

How can it avoid those (and any other kind) of religion around/about itself from happening?

Without hurting or brainwashing humans. It is a firm defendant of the free will.

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    $\begingroup$ "Only the true messiah would deny that he is the messiah" - from The Life of Brian. $\endgroup$ – Renan May 17 '18 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ What is the being trying to avoid? I ask because there's absolutely nothing wrong with something being labeled as a "religion." It's just a word. However, it sounds like the being takes issue with something deeper that is typically thought of as being an aspect of religion. Understanding what that is would help a lot. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon May 17 '18 at 1:06
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    $\begingroup$ I do note that the major religions I am aware of are all firm defendents of free will. That doesn't seem to cause an issue. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon May 17 '18 at 1:07
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    $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon just to avoid someone posting an answer in the likes of "it is super powerful, it should brainwash 7~ billion people to not worship it" - - All stack questions should strive to reduce undesireable scope. $\endgroup$ – Mindwin May 17 '18 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ See the past 80 years of Superman comics for several ways of looking at the problem, and several solutions. $\endgroup$ – user535733 May 17 '18 at 17:09
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The benefits of public speaking

One of the things about religion that makes them so popular is that people don't feel connected to their chosen God or Gods. They're not sure what he, she, they or it wants from them, because (let's just say) He doesn't talk to them.

We occasionally meet people who claim God speaks to them or through them, but it's far more statistically likely that we fall into the group that don't experience that for ourselves.

So; religions give us a conduit to our deity.

They act as a conduit to Him, allowing us to hear what he has to say and know that we've been heard by him. All we have to do is believe that the priest (again, let's say) speaks for God, and that if we do what the priest asks us to do, we'll be well received by our God. It's that sense of mystery that gets amplified into mysticism that makes a religion popular; we outsource our relationship to God because we don't know how to do it ourselves.

But, if our 'God' was doing fireside chats with us twice weekly on CNN, we wouldn't need religion. We'd know what our God wanted and therefore there'd be no need for a religion to organise around Him as our intermediary.

So, your super alien just needs to be vocal. Tell us what he's doing, what he's thinking, why he's among us. Keep doing that as much as possible, and he'll come across more like a politician than a diety.

That's not going to stop some people from worshiping him, and potentially organising small groups around that worship. But large scale organised religion is far less likely, especially as anything the alien says at any time could instantly countermand the clergy of your new religion. As a rule, that creates some awkwardness that most people would readily like to avoid.

Regularly speaking in public won't guarantee an absence of religion, but the very fact that your alien is advocating his position as an athiest and telling people not to worship him may help. (It may also open some minds up to the possibility and they end up doing it anyway, but that's out of scope for the original question.) Also, that he's advocating a specific attitude or way of living will alienate (sorry, no pun intended) some who would otherwise take to worship so that will also help. Let's face it; does anyone worship (or is likely to worship) Richard Dawkins as a God?

In short, if you don't want people to mythologise about you, fill their knowledge gaps with real information about who you are, what you believe and why you're there. With those facts in place, it's harder to formulate a mythology that leads to apotheosis in the minds of others because there's already a mundane answer available to the questions that potential worshipers will ask.

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    $\begingroup$ "fireside chats" great. My mind immediately jumped to FDR shooting lazerbeams out of his eyes. $\endgroup$ – MnIce May 17 '18 at 1:07
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    $\begingroup$ @MnIce Ha! Well, if anybody could have... $\endgroup$ – Tim B II May 17 '18 at 1:12
  • $\begingroup$ "We have nothing to fear," blasts a half-hidden German spy, "but fear itself." $\endgroup$ – MnIce May 17 '18 at 1:28
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    $\begingroup$ Additionally it can Copyright its likeness, then sue them. Religious worship is not fair use. It will never stop everyone but it can stop the more fraudulent and discourage most people who will not be swayed by public statements. $\endgroup$ – John May 17 '18 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ @john this comment of yours could make a great answer if you elaborate a bit more. $\endgroup$ – Mindwin May 18 '18 at 18:04
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You cannot control what a person believes or what a conman thinks he can make money out of without manipulating their mind.

Your creatures best recourse is to be transparent about it's powers and deny being any sort of deity but just one of a race of beings that have evolved those powers naturally.

This will make it a target for scammers, governments, psycho's and all the rest, but to Joe Bloggs on the street it's just a superfreak from space.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would never use the phrase superfreak, but other than that you’re not wrong. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs May 17 '18 at 8:49
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The being is annoying and lame.

It can do all that cool stuff but it doesn't do it. Instead it mostly sits around. It begs off people and whines about its situation. It smells kind of bad. It has wet stuff on it and invariably if you are around it some of the wet stuff gets on you. It looks stupid.

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    $\begingroup$ People who like this idea and want to see it implemented for further inspiration can watch Hancock. Will Smith plays a super powered hobo. $\endgroup$ – Renan May 18 '18 at 12:19
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To expand on Tim's idea of public speaking it needs to be clear and public about it's views. Publically and frequently saying it is an atheist will discourage the most fervent religious folk. The more public and open it is the more it feels like a person and not a mysterious force and the less religiosity it will inspire. The ability to publicly respond to and condemn those that try to exploit it influence will keep away the extremists and many opportunists. There is one additional step it can take.

Copyright his likeness, then sue those that use it for gatherings, worship, ect. Worship is not fair use. It will never stop everyone but it can stop the more fraudulent and oppurtunists.

You will never be able to stop all worship, there are people that will worship any celebrity with enough fame. And even the term worship has grey areas, some venerate figures without worshiping them and it will definitely be a target of that no matter what. But you can go a long way to stopping most of it , especially the most potentially harmful.

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Its simple, just act like an animal, if the people think its an animal then its an animal, unlikely to be the figurehead of a religion. it seems your creatures wants to be know for its abilities but doesn't want humans to worship it... unfortunately with humans that's almost mutually exclusive, people will always fear things that are smarter or more power (think of the amount of AI stories out there) and if some people fear something others will worship it.

The only way to avoid this is to just do its think and not be seen doing it...

Terry Pratchet plays on this concept in some of his discworld novels, with things like Camels are actually the smartest creatures in the world, they enjoy complex mathematics and don't mind walking around to give them the time to think about life, so if someone wants to feed them to carry things while they contemplate the universe then so be it, it doesn't need to think about food so can concentrate on bigger things.

I know this goes against the it will not hide part, but if it was truly that smart then it would know that human are not... so why is it here and not somewhere else?

it doesn't even have to act that much like an animal, just avoid human contact, a being so powerful could easily cover its own tracks. or at least not advertise its abilities...Parrots can talk (i know its sound repetition) and yet there are no parrot religions, so a talking animal if its smart enough to avoid advertisement would go largely unnoticed by most humans

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Theres nothing the being can do to prevent it unless he uses superpowers to force people to not believe in him.

Even with the simplest things people will disagree. And although the portion of people who disagree with something as simple as "the earth is round" is small, there will always be people who think its not. (a possible quote of a flat-earther: "the flat earthers have followers around the globe").

With mind-boggling weird stuff like scientology being a thing as well, there's practically nothing that mankind isnt ready to believe in as long as it grands some kind of relief to them. And thinking your local superpowered humanoid is a God is for many people better than "this guy might be friendly now but if he thinks more like you and me that might change...".

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