Cult eh c, p.1
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       Cult-eh-c, p.1

           Darrel Miller
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  Darrel D. Miller

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  Copyright © 2014 by Darrel D. Miller

  This is a free satirical essay arguing a silly premise, so take everything I write in here completely seriously and get mad about it. That's right I spent an absurd amount of time on an absurd argument – enjoy.

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  A few years ago I decided to break off my engagement with a cult. In an effort to deal with the break-up I read a bunch of material about cults on the internet. Fortunately the internet was very helpful, while I waited to deal with the emotional trauma. What really helped was a book about cults by Arthur Diekman “Them and Us”:. That author shows how cult behavior is a spectrum (isn't everything these days) and involves four distinct activities, that can be more or less intense but are still cultic.

  The first is compliance with a group. Cults encourage no deviance in behavior. Secondly the cult makes its members dependent upon the leader for their identity. Third no disagreements are allowed, but never directly there are ways of avoiding the disagreement. Finally those outside of the group are devalued, the cult members are told the people “out there” are lost, worthless, “just don’t understand me.” Its like the cult is a teenager, who needs to be sent to his room.

  As you can see these all are at odds with the values of America, where we pride ourselves on freedom of thought, including freedom from thought. Not only do we like to think, or not think, we like to be able to express our thoughtlessness freely. As mentioned previously, this is discouraged in cults. This is unacceptable in America. Here we must demand that every citizen conform to the American Values we all love: Freedom of Thought and Expression. So, they must stop being so closed minded, and be open to new things, and if they don’t we should force them to do things they don't want to do, until they want to do them, no questions asked.

  I know all about this because a few years ago, as I alluded to earlier, I was in a cult. I realize this makes me far more interesting to you than I was previously, but your interest is misguided. I hope to re-guide it correctly, then you can be appropriately interested in me once again. You see I was young, and as often goes with young - dumb. I thought I could save the world by refusing to eat meat, and yelling at them about God. I was 18, it seemed like a great idea - so did drinking myself stupid, but I figured the former was cheaper. Boy was I wrong.

  It should be pointed out that my parents tried, repeatedly, to disabuse me of the notion of being in a cult, but they failed, until they were successful. Finally I caved and admitted it was a cult and got out. Even at the time I knew they were right, they were always right, but I wanted to explore the world, and figured the best way to do that was by leaving it. Eventually I got it out of my system, and all I lost was the 90s. I consider it an acceptable trade off. If you've seen anything from the 90s you'd consider me lucky.

  This cult started in the 1950s when a young Australian named Fred T. Wright decided that the Seventh Day Church was going off the rails. Most of the debate was very technical, and very theological, but the leadership managed to make it even more pointless and useless to the everyday parishioner than it already was. He believed that the boogeyman of self righteousness was going to overtake the world, and no one would listen to him. He talked to all the leaders in the Church, but they would not heed his warning. And his message to the Seventh Day Adventists was they were not appropriating Jesus’ Righteousness in the correct steps. That is because, according to F. T. Wright, being saved is like putting together an exercise bike, and the instructions are in English, but translated by someone who doesn't speak English.

  Needless to say this did not go over well with the establishment, so this intrepid soul went around to talk with people in the Australian countryside, trying to convince them that they were in danger by practicing the wrong way to love Jesus. You see, he wanted the Seventh Day Adventists to be ready for Space Jesus when he arrived. And of course Space Jesus is a dick which demands that people do all kinds of things to prove that they really love Him. F. T. Wright only claimed to be saying what the Prophet Ellen White had always been telling the Adventists. She saw visions and stuff where God told her what was good and what was bad.

  While the list of prohibitions was exhaustive here are the highlights: no eating meat, drink only water, memorizing scripture, no masturbation, and women had to wear dresses. These things would make Christians ready to be taken up to Far Away Heaven Land when Space Jesus came back. Not only would they be ready for this space time trip (in space no one can hear you masturbate), these things would make Space Jesus want to come back sooner. After all, Space Jesus needs to know we love him before he’ll love us. With these theological points firmly in place F. T Wright launched his own, much improved escape pod from planet Earth, also known as a Church.

  F. T. Wright was fairly successful through the 70s and 80s. It all fell apart in the 90s when people found him eating meat and wearing dresses, but then new leadership took over and made sure to pull it all back together. They were German so it is no surprise, those folks have a lot of history tightening up the reins of flagging organizations. Just look at the marvelous work they did as the Nazi party.

  Into this trash basket I fell. I was a young fellow who was trying to answer life’s questions, and I was looking for a multiple choice test. Fortunately I found it in the Sabbath Rest Advent Church. The place occupied about ten years of my life from my Junior year in Highschool, till my first child’s second birthday. At that point they wanted me to sign a paper saying I would not have sex again with my wife without filling out the proper church paperwork. Needless to say the paper work outweighed the benefits and we left.

  I realize this makes me very interesting. Not many people you will meet can say they have been in a cult and survived. But I did, through no small feat of my own. Literally. It was no big deal, this cult was not very culty as cults go. There were none of the, exciting, sexy things, you usually associate with cults. Like secret sex rings with the leaders or other powerful members. But that is because there were no leaders in the Church but God, at least until the Germans showed up. These guys made sure we understood that we Americans were soft, and Space Jesus would not tolerate our flaccidity any longer. They had a plan and they were here to shape us up.

  The first step in preparing us for Space Jesus was hydration. That is right. Space Jesus wants his people to be properly hydrated, so the Germans initiated - Water Talks. We would sit and listen to an hour or two hour lecture about water, then we would split up into small groups to talk about water. The topics ranged the gamut of deep water issues: the type of container to put your water in: glass, appropriate times to drink water; hint: not when you’re thirsty, or eating. The best water filtration systems to use to maintain nutrients: dirt.

  But the most hotly contested water topic was temperature. It appeared that the German Leaders believed cold water was next to godliness because they insisted that we all start taking cold showers. I chose to believe they were just a bunch of horny foreigners. When that did not go over well, because we lazy Americans like hot showers, they toned down their rhetoric. Taking a different tactic they told us that if we did not start taking cold showers we would go to Hell. At the time I thought, “At least then I could get a hot shower.” Sure it wouldn't be hot water, but by then, what the hell.

  While water was a continual subject at the meetings, we also talked about a couple of other controversial subjects that the Germans insisted were near and dear to Space Jesus’ heart: Dress and Belts. These discussions were no small matter, and stretched the limits of good will.

  You see the issue with Dress was this: Woman had to wear them, and men coul
d wear whatever they want, just as long as it did not include dresses. But it didn’t stop there, you couldn’t just wear any old dress, you had to put each dress you chose through a rigorous theological process to ensure it was just what Space Jesus wanted. These guidelines were very specific and engendered, from only one gender - the ladies - a lot of confused discussion.

  Among the various requirements that I remember was length. They started with a set length, like 45 inches, but soon found that women do not all come in the same size. So they tried to amend the length to something more flexible, without angering Space Jesus, who seemed to be very intent on the 45 inches. What they came up with after much agonizing was anatomical. The dress had to fall below the knees. This was determined to be useful for all women who had kneecaps, which seemed to be most of the women in the church.

  This spawned additional concerns. How far below the kneecap? This controversy raged for at least a couple of years as each of the sides
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