I visit Ethnic Fest in my city today and encounter an end times, sign toting, fear dealing kid in the park who I wind up so hard, his last words screeched at me are “WOMEN SHOULD SUBMIT TO MEN!”
But let’s back up. It happens like this. I admit. I bait him. I see the big, hypocritical sign. I go cynical and comedic. I go in for the kill. However, he IS partially responsible, since he walks my way.
Everything in its season, yes? Maybe it is his time to be touched.
When he walks by, I beckon him to a table where I sit with friends. They remain silent throughout. Then so, the conversation between the two of us begins.
“I have a question, sir.” I ask politely, pointing to his sign. “What if God tells me to believe something that Jesus says I should never obey? What then?”
“That would never happen.” He states.
“Then why tell everyone to do that?” I ask.
So begins our back and forth banter as I “innocently” start pecking at his cognitive dissonance. I ask blanketed biblical questions as if I “kinda” know the Bible. He quotes scripture like a robot. I act curious. I am wringing him like a sponge to see where his head is.
Then a couple of things happen, and things change to a negative tone very fast.
“So, the whole ritual of eating bread and drinking the juice, what does that represent?” I ask.
I have on bright blue eyeliner. I am shiny, smiling and leaned forward in interest. To him, I am a potential. His face lights up at the chance he now has. He believes he is educating me. He is in an undercover linguistic role reversal, and his ego is blind to it.
“This is how we signify ourselves. Jesus said, eat of my flesh and drink of my blood…”
“So like cannibalism.” I interrupt.
That’s when the body language shift happens. I see his muscles tense and the anger set in. He just got challenged. This is against the rules. No one trained him for this one.
“YES!” I think to myself. “I’ve got him.”
At this point, a very attractive young woman, in her possible mid twenties, passes, and she low fives him. I watch as they lock hands for a second. She has on a long, body fitting and low cut, bright green maxi dress. She sashays her hips as her shoulder-length, brown hair sways over her back.
“Good job, Brother.” She says directly to him.
“Thanks!” He responds.
His face changes as she passes. His ego was just injected. He is reminded of why he does what he does, by that beautiful girl in the green dress who says “Good job.” That feels good, something no one often said to him in life. My senses are reading multiple movements, emotions and gray areas at once.
“Flirty fishing, huh.” I say casually.
“Yeah.” He laughs. “No, wait, huh?” His face changes to very serious.
“Oh, there was this cult. You know they used attractive females to lure members.” I explain.
“Oh, no. That was just a girl I met in the parking lot who’s a Christian and KNOWS what I’m saying is true.” He is defensive.
He doesn’t catch my subtle hint, that I am educated on luring and religious scamming; that I used the word cult; that I get she is giving him her approval, and I just watched him soak it in like it was his last drink; that there’s no parking lot anywhere close to the park. She represents their possibility. Evangelism brings income, and pretty Christian girls bring possibilities.
But hey, that’s just semantics. Back to the more important topics.
“Ok, so back to the cannibalism.” I re-direct.
That word is a trigger word for him so I make sure and use it again. I want him to think about it every time he takes his communion. I want to plant anti-virus words inside his programming. He scrambles to talk about signification, and I watch him change with agitation as the conversation grows.
I am fascinated with his body language and eye movement. Each piece of debate is flipping and turning him. I play with him, arguing scriptures, letting him feel like he is winning, and I stay dumbed down.
I rile him back up by accusing him of disobeying the Bible by arguing with me, but because I won’t tell him the exact verse to back that up, he says it’s not in there.
“You haven’t read the whole Bible then.” I reverse taunt. “If you did, then you’d know that verse.”
I want him go look it up, in his need to be right and find he’s wrong. Just a couple cracks in the screen.
I ask him what church he attends. He tells me they don’t have a church. He tells me that they go to people’s houses, “PREY” with them and have Bible studies.
“So what’s your story. Tell me about your past.”
He immediately shuts down.
“I don’t talk about my past because God instructs us to be ashamed of our pasts. To ask for forgiveness for those sins, but to stay in shame. They are not to be boasted about. Aren’t you ashamed of your past?” He demand.
“Not at all.” I calmly reply. “The Bible says to testify about the struggles we come out of.”
“Well, you should be.”
Ah, the crazy making. That is supposed to trigger my shame. Yet, I have none to trigger.
“How sad.” I say quietly, looking directly at him. “To live in shame.”
He is talking over me now, and he is angry. I understand talking over. It is akin to choking someone to shut them up. He is now telling me that I am a woman, and God instructs me to submit to him. I laugh. I can’t help it. It’s funny. I know this one also. They’re trained to try and trigger females with that stupidity. It’s a sad state of mind.
I try to give him a card. He refuses to touch if. Like it might be a demon. I am glad he doesn’t take it. I’m good with this wacko not knowing who I am.
I can see he is really riled up in a very negative angry way. His roots are rocked. I know anger. Anger is the unearthing of pain.
I feel I should probably make a slight turn to calm him and wrap this up.
“Well, let me ask you something. Does the Bible say God is love?”
“It does.” He agrees, still agitated, his foot tapping rapidly.
“And we are made in God’s image?”
“Yes.” He agrees again.
“Then we are all love by that definition?” I ask softly.
He is suddenly silent. It is as if a robot has been turned off. I am actually surprised at this silence. I expected an immediate robotic response of some contrary scripture as has been his pattern. I didn’t think it would be this simple of a concept which would stump his “hell, hatred, believe and obey” theology. He appears, for the first time, to have grasped a simple thought.
I decide it is a perfect time to be done.
“Hey, thanks for talking to me. Now we can go be love!” I say cheerily, waving my hand as I turn back around to the table.
He walks away, carrying his huge sign as he calls back that I am a wicked, evil woman sinner that should submit to him aka he didn’t, as the man, get the last word in or win the possibility of my pocketbook. Or to shove his questions down; to make me the villain because being wrong isn’t an option.
And I’m thinking “People actually let this man in their homes.”
As my friends and I walk out I see another young man just like the one I’d been speaking with. He has this fancy loud speaker hanging around his neck. It has volume buttons and is attached to a headset and microphone; like the ones used at trade shows.
This guy is also holding a sign and is standing on the corner screaming to the people passing by, talking about their sins. No one is paying any of them attention. They are just park nuisances.
“You sound like Jim Jones.” I lean in fast and hard, hoping my voice picks up on the microphone.
He turns the volume off.
“What?” He asks.
“You sound like Jim Jones.” I repeat.
“Who’s that?” He’s got this confused look on his face.
“Google him. He was a preacher who talked in a microphone just like yours.”
The fact he doesn’t know who Jones is lets me know these individuals are trained cultists who’ve been sequestered from common known truths and possibly internet access. Evangelistic missions with youngsters like this are managed by their handlers, who keep them on tight leashes.
These are swindlers’ puppets standing on festival corners looking for their handler’s next victim. Their masters have chosen the most programmed, best looking and youngest, yet legal, of them to send into the streets.
I think of Scam City. There is a tier racket going on. Extremists looking for followers. He has no church. His church is gaining entrance to people’s homes and lives with the use of a religion.
This is a dangerous criminal racket for which the “tourist” of life should be aware. Becoming a “tourist”, away from our own capable existence, molds a human into prey for the predators who use their religious wares to reel in the “tourists” who’ve become lost. But it’s a scam. Beware the mind pickpocket. They take your thoughts AND your wallet.
Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.