Dependence on religion arises from the spiritual needs of man, such as his need to believe in or to worship transcendent beings. Religion is a means to satisfy these needs within a structured orthodoxy, as apposed to mysticism which is abstract and unstructured, and even condemned by certain religious. Also, because of the inadequacy of pure materialism to satisfy man's need for spirituality and his idea of a 'better life', many people depend on religion as on a device whereby the injustice of the existing materialist social order is made tolerable to them.
Religion can also be a process addiction, with particular stress on the "quick fix" religions, those that avoid thoughtful prayer, meditation and dialogue, and claim to have all the answers. The religious addict is very different, inside and out, from the person who is involved in spiritual growth. The religious addict loses touch with personal values and develops behaviours that are the same as those of the alcoholic or drug addict – judgmentalism, dishonesty and control. Use moves into abuse.
The worldwide Islamic fundamentalist revival demonstrates more powerfully than any other trend in today's world the overwhelming power of religion to mobilize masses of people. No nonreligious movement in modern history has demonstrated its strength or ability to change mass behaviour. There is no parallel experience in contemporary Western civilization.