Unfortunately religion has been and always will be a means to control the masses, but that is not to say that there is not something valuable to be gained from them. I think they are there for a reason, and some of us are meant to break free from them while others are not. It is unfortunate that a number of them are fear-based, which I equate to the very evils they proclaim to save people from. Do this, or else. Do that, or else. Might as well put on red horns and a cape and just poke me in the butt with a pitchfork.
We are all equipped to discern truth from lie, and within us is that undeniable burning sensation when we know something is wrong. However, sometimes when we try to tell someone such as a priest, they deny it, brush it off, etc. This of course depends on the person you are talking to and not their title.
Those with the eyes to see past the symbolism can benefit from the knowledge contained therein, but who has the knowledge that allows you to see the symbolism for what it really means? Whose arse do you have to kiss to get that knowledge, and why isn't it available to just anyone? Maybe because you have to have the will to question authority, and maybe it is that proactive approach that gets rewarded. Too often most people are reactive instead of proactive. They wait for something to go wrong and then fix it, rather than taking preventative measures.
Anyway, I do see your point, but in order for the world to become free, a stronghold must first be established, protected, and then the generation of freedom can originate from it to expand outward, along with the protection, until it covers the entire earth. The trouble is, creating a space with the kind of protection necessary is nearly impossible. I imagine it would have to be a place in nature, far removed from anything close to human civilization, and well-hidden from all of mankind's technology (even the really advanced stuff we haven't even heard about yet).
America could have been that place, if (1) we didn't kill off all the Native Americans and desecrate the land by spilling the blood of innocent people, (2) we were already free from the corruption of religion, and (3) holes weren't made in the original founding legislative documents that allowed banks and corporations to seize control. To this day, no laws have been made to sufficiently curb their power- which has only increased.