Saturday, November 19, 2011

carrots and cults

At the open air market held on Saturdays, I sometimes buy from a certain group of farmers who live about an hour and a half south of town.  This morning, I purchased some carrots and a winter squash.  I've wondered before who they are, as they seem to be some sort of commune.  Non-traditional Mennonite, maybe?  (Because a few of the men have beards.)  That didn't seem quite right, though, so I eagerly took home a booklet of "reading material" when they offered it.

Folks: if you are looking to write up a 46-page handout in order to prove without a doubt that you ARE indeed a religious cult, you should be sure to include the following.

#1: an article on why you are not brainwashing members, depriving them of sleep or working them round the clock.

#2: an invitation to join their community because all serious Christians realize that going to church only once a week will inevitably lead to spiritual death.  (be sure to use the phrase "spiritual death" and maybe make up a word to describe those church-going so-called Christians.  Like, for example: "churchites.")

#3: be sure that there is a healthy sprinkling of these themes in your articles: that the wealthy and comfortable of the world will be first in line at hell's door, that the lukewarm in faith will be sent to hell, that those who laugh at or ignore you and God are bound for hell, that those who are addicts and drunkards and who are living immoral lives are going to hell.  That everyone outside of your door is suspect, and especially those who refuse to join you and that they are probably all going to hell.

#4: plenty of articles about the wrath of God and how it is going to be "poured out" on unbelievers and sinners and fornicators and all the other "rebellious" out there.  Oh and there will be plagues and diseases too, probably.

#5: a condemnation of all the "religious systems set up by men" and idolatry in various forms.  Beware of false spirits and false gods.

#6: an emphasis on the spirit rather than the body.  As in, "turn away from carnality and sow in the spirit so that you can reap in the spirit." (not an exact quote, but it's the main idea.)

#7: a piece entitled: "Hour of the Spirit's Call."  Because it captures the urgency, exclusivity and importance of the cause about as succinctly as possibly, and besides it's catchy!

#8: include a clarification regarding Communism, what it is and what it's not and how it relates to communal living and ownership.  (hint: that was a tip for cult leaders from the 1970's, for any who might happen to be reading along.)

#9: 2% of the pamphlet should be promotional and recruitment-oriented, and 98% for the transcriptions of your prophet's visions and/or sermons (for extra extreme boringness).

And here's a free bonus tip: use "thee" and "thou" because God (and King James) did and it makes what you say sound timeless and cool and authoritative.


In all seriousness, this is a very sad phenomenon.  I looked them up and found out that this particular group is thirty years old; they've spent almost twenty of them locally.  I cannot imagine how they recruit new members with materials like the one they handed me but the man I spoke with today looked about my age.  Then again, maybe he just grew up in it and doesn't know any different?  Either way, it is heartbreaking.
He and the others don't look nearly as happy or relaxed as they should have (if they'd really been Mennonite) and that should have tipped me off from the start.  Instead they look tired, and tense, kind of like they work too hard and don't get enough sleep. 

Anyway, they grow great carrots.  The kids and I used their veggies to make carrot-and-orange juice in the juicemaker and it was dee-lish.

Stay tuned for more installments in my series on cults, identification and recovery; I've got a couple more posts on that subject in the works.  In the meantime, won't you please say a prayer for all the folks trapped by cults--the leaders and the followers.  It's just a sad, sad business. 

1 comment:

  1. eating their carrots is the section 7 page 13 story.