Once upon a time, there was a desert city that was situated along a rich trade route. Visitors from all over the land came to trade their wares and the people of the city were very happy.
One evening, a falling star was seen in the night sky over the city, and a bright flash was seen in the dunes not far away. In wonder, the people went to see what had happened, and they found a large black meteorite had fallen from the sky. They asked themselves what this could mean, and they decided that this stone must have been sent as a blessing to the city by the Moon God.
Happily, they dragged the stone back to their city and there built a shrine around the stone. They worshiped the Moon God in the shrine and established a priesthood to guard the shrine and to conduct them in the proper worship of the stone.
Traders from all around came to see the shrine, and made offerings to the Moon God in hopes that they would be blessed in their business dealings. The leaders of the town and the priests of the Moon God became very rich and the fame of the city and of the shrine increased.
So famous did the city become that the priests of other gods came to build their own shrines. Gods of the Sun, the Stars, the Rivers, the Seas; gods of the Air, gods of Fire, every god that the people could name, all had shrines built for them, and the people of the city welcomed them all, because they knew that their city would be blessed by all the gods, and enriched by the people who came to visit the shrines.
The priests of the Moon God, however, were very jealous of the other shrines; for they saw that many people no longer came to worship the stone that they served, and no longer made donations to the priests to pray for them. The shrine of the Moon God became neglected and poor, and the priests became thin and their robes threadbare.
The son of the high priest of the Moon God was a merchant, and in much need of money to finance his business. Though he married a rich old woman, still he desired more gold. So he decided to go out into the desert to think of ways to get money for himself.
When he returned to the city, he began to tell people that they should no longer worship at any of the shrines except at the shrine of the Moon God. He told them that only the Moon God was a real god, and that all the other gods were false. Only by worshiping at the shrine of the Moon God, and making donations to the high priest, his father, would people be blessed in their business dealings.
The priests of the shrines of the other gods all scoffed at him and called him names, but he persisted in preaching against their gods, and insisted that only by worshiping the Moon God would people be blessed. Many people were interested in what the man had to say, and started to worship only the Moon God, and to neglect the other gods. They made donations only to the high priest of the Moon God in order that they would be blessed in their business dealings. The shrine of the stone of the Moon God again became rich, and the son of the high priest had the money he needed to finance his business.
The priests of the shrines of the other gods complained to the leaders of the city. “This man, this son of the high priest of the Moon God, preaches against us! He wants us to remove our own shrines to the many gods and to only worship the Moon God! If this happens, people will no longer come to the city, and the city will not prosper! Instruct him to stop preaching in this way.”
The leaders of the city came to the son of the high priest of the Moon God and told him to stop preaching that only the Moon God was a true god, but the man persisted in his preaching. They argued back and forth for many months, and all the while the man’s business prospered and the number of his followers increased.
At last, the leaders of the town expelled the man and all his followers, because he preached against the many gods of the city. The man and his followers went to a neighboring city and continued to preach about the Moon God.
The man was again in need of the money, because when he was forced out of his old city he had left most of his wealth behind. So, he instructed his followers that the Moon God ordered them to become bandits, and to prey upon the rich caravans that traveled to the old city. They were very good at being bandits, even better than at being merchants, so they became very rich by attacking traders and stealing their goods. Bandits from all around came to join with them, and swore allegiance to the son of the high priest of the Moon God, so that they could share in the rich loot to be had.
So bothersome and dangerous did these bandits of the Moon God become, that finally the leaders of the man’s home city sent an army to destroy them; but, the number of bandits had grown so great that they easily overcame the army and killed them all. Next, the bandits descended upon the city and captured it, and they killed the leaders of that city who had exiled them.
The son of the high priest of the Moon God went to the shrines to all the other gods and destroyed them, so that there was only one shrine left in the city, the shrine to the rock of the Moon God. He then instructed the people that there was only one god, the Moon God, and that the man was the prophet of the Moon God. And the bandits followed the man and grew rich on the violence that he directed them to do.