- Your ship is a generation ship that has traveled to the stars.
- The trip has taken ten generations (or more!) to complete.
- Religion plays a crucial social engineering role in keeping the ship maintained for the flight (how it works is up to you).
- The ship is nearing the end of its journey.
Do not feel you must accept my interpretation of what's happening but I'll layout a scenario for you to explore.
Do you begin explaining to the current crew exactly what is happening or has arriving at the destination and colonizing the planet always been part your religion?
If the answer is "begin explaining/reveal the religion as social engineering":
- When do you start?
- With whom do you start?
- Do you keep a portion of your religion or do you make the planetary colonization a "New Testament" addition to the original religion?
- How do you prevent schisms?
If you answer above was that this has always been part of your religion:
- How do you pass on the necessary sciences & engineering required to begin the new colony
- Do you plan for your religion to continue onward forever or do you plan to deconstruct it at some point with well placed hints or actual records?
- Do you think some of the first generation crew/colonists might have planted several social bombs designed to "blow-up" the religion at some point and reveal the truth?
If you think this question has become too broad, let me know what aspects bother you and I'll do some skillful pruning of the topic. If I need to prune too much, I'll cut out portions and ask another question.
I figure which ever way the engineers decide to go, some portion of the crew will elect to believe the religion is not real while others will continue to believe the religion and that the reveal is heresy. If you care to do so, expand on this schism.