Story interpreted from a dream in three parts. Recovered/copied from where I originally wrote it, a wiki maintained for my own creative writing.
Suppose a technologically advanced alien civilization does somehow accidentally interferes in the development of another culture. They are forced by circumstance to rescue it from annihilation — a rogue individual sets himself up as a world dictator, or some such disaster, a disaster which could in fact be their fault. The damage is done and the worst happens: the aliens (or their agents) begin to be worshipped as gods. The culture’s development shifts focus to them instead of keeping any semblance of forward momentum. The mentality of a cargo cult sets in.
Then the only moral thing for those aliens to do would be breaking the culture of its dependency; the only way to do that is to further interfere. Very methodically they must instill the idea that god has limited resources, that [a] god isn’t omnipotent. To do so such that seems it’s been this way all along. Offerings to the gods might come in the form of donated energy. CCTV cameras are the way to watch over worshippers and guard holy places. The central idea is for the “contaminated” culture to indulge its obsession and work through it, to raise its collective self-esteem by doing as much for the gods as the gods have shown they can do for themselves. Outwardly it may appear as an oppressive and subjugated society, but the ultimate goal internally is to subvert the entire artificial structure.
The deals with a few things: how oppressive societies contain the seeds of their own destruction, but also how [human] nature inherently desires order, explanation, even its own subjugation. It also deals with the pace of enlightenment, in that the artificial boundaries are only crossed when an individual chooses to cross them. It contains the hope that, even with senseless repression, some good may come of it.