One of my passions (you may have figured out) is the technology of communication. It seems to me that all people are programmers and computers at the same time. We come with certain programs built in and then build new programs for ourselves and others through persistent and repeated application of viral programming techniques. We develop new, hopefully beneficial, behaviors, as we see them in others and we also seed others with ideas that can then modify their behaviors as well.
This TED talk by Noah Feldman reminded me that Religion and Democracy are technologies used to control groups of people. I'd extend the metaphor to specifically say that they are programming frameworks that set parameters for conversation and transmission of ideas in the pursuit of group communication and control. Understanding these frameworks as technologies then effects how you approach their manipulation.
It's probably time to re-read The Diamond Age.