I’ve decided I need to join a cult. After reading about how the Church Of Scientology is having conniption fits over the actions of some internet trolls (read here), I was left feeling like a spiritual Switzerland, with no dog in the fight. Sure, the guys who are attacking the Scientologists are nothing more than a coterie of jerkwads and the Church Of Science Fiction is little more than a pyramid sham with Tom Cruise as their unofficial spokesman. Sure, we have churches here in the Ozarks that want a copy of your W-2 for tithing purposes, just as we have plenty of nice, humble little places of worship all over, available in the denomination of your choosing. But these options are just not fringe enough for me these days.
You ever notice the fiery passion that cultists have? The wild eyes, the insane zealotry, the madcap desire for worldwide evangelicism of their faith? The fact that theirs is always the “chosen” religion, that their leader is the one who has been called to guide us heathens out of the abyss of mankind? And that most of those same cult leaders will demand at some point that their followers kill themselves? You never hear about a former cult leader now living a normal life and employed at a car title loan establishment. Hell no, when these guys call it quits, it often times involves a hail of gunfire or a raging inferno. At a bare minimum, grape Kool Aid and/or a subway system plot is involved.
I envy their conviction. Yes, yes, I understand that envy is one of the Deadly Sins and all that, but when it comes to cult life, I’m sure that these become more like flexible parameters than steadfast rules. Sort of like the whole plural marriage concept, or the assertion that Jesus would vote Republican, there are certain spiritual speculations that cult leaders find themselves uniquely able to justify and propagate. I can’t even declare the way The Wife’s customers drive on my lawn a sin, so I could use a dose of evangelical charisma if there’s a chance of making it into an off-brand religion.
The Wife has a friend, and I’m going to call her “Consuela” to protect her anonymity here, who is also feeling a spiritual void. She has tried 97% of the churches in the area with little satisfaction and was left feeling like there’s something wrong with her being a 35 year old divorcee. Consuela, in her quest for fulfillment has recently attended a mega church in the area affectionately known as both “Six Flags Over Jesus” and “The Jesus Christ Supercenter” and left there more than once crying. She reportedly cried because she felt worse about herself after the services; a couple of dates with other single parishioners ended with them telling her she wasn’t “Christian enough”. Ouch. I told her that in order to get churchy enough for those boys, all she really needed was to join me in my quest for a cult. And thus we were two.
All that Consuela and I are lacking is the kind of wingnut religious movement that will satisfy my spiritual needs, and those needs are as follows:
1. That our brand of religion is a zero-sum game. If I’m gonna move to some forsaken hell-hole like New Guyana or Los Angeles, then I want assurances that THIS is the team that wins. WE win. And everyone else loses. Sorry Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Scientologists; we win and you burn.
2. Harems. They were, apparently, quite popular in the Old Testament times; if they were ok with The Big Man way back when, then I see no reason why there shouldn’t be a return of that venerable institution.
3. Spaceship rides. Most of your higher-grade cults promise you at least one ride to the cosmos on either the tail of a comet or some other groovy form of space travel. Of course, this usually only occurs after the suicide, so there are some sticking points we might need to iron out.
I think those needs are reasonably basic, and as long as we can find a charismatic lunatic in oversize Coke-bottle glasses to lead us, I’d venture that we’d make damn good cult followers. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I need to troll through several late night cable tv channels that are offering spiritual salvation in the form of big hair, big jewelry and big promises. And if you don’t hear from me, chances are that Consuela and I have found the cult of our dreams. At the very least, I hope the Kool Aid tastes good.