Monday, March 26, 2007

Heaven's Goofs

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus

It's been ten years since the cops showed up to an expensive Santa Fe Springs, California, mansion full of dead dumbasses in Nike track suits. They foolishly followed some self-castrated nincompoop named Bo to their doom in the worst mass suicide in U.S. history, believing they were going to get picked up by a spaceship hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet. You just can't make it up any crazier than that.

Meanwhile, the one idiot left over still believes in the same nonsense. Once again we are completely dumbfounded at the stupidity one can find in the world.

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10 Comments:

At 3/27/2007 9:42 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Jody, when I was a student in 1970 at the U of St Thomas, in Houston, this Marshall Herff Applewhite guy--later known as BO-- was a music teacher. He looked like Clark Kent without the good body and had the rep of being very strange. Guess we didn't know just how strange he was...

 
At 3/27/2007 11:51 AM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

Chuck you are that goddamn old?
I was born just one year before that phenomenon (you as a student) at houston. Hmm i can see the root of your anger and discontent now all the way rising from marshal herff. But somehow you seem to relish some stupid pride in telling that BO taught you music.

Did you ever complete at the St.thomas's... chuck ?

 
At 3/27/2007 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are kids who still idolize Charles Manson and they show up as runaways in our neighborhood in San Francisco.

Maybe some people get into a trance state related to certain personalities or belief systems.

If the leader or group crashes, the survivors cling to the trance because its the only thing they have left. If they woke up from that delusion and let it go, they'd be left with nothing and most of us cant stand facing that kind of void.

Imagine the utter horror of living the rest of your life in total adult conscious awareness telling yourself, 'I followed an insane leader on whose orders all my dearest friends killed themselves.

They're dead and it was all for nothing.'

How many of us could live with that kind of hellish clarity?

Though...some of us do. When I was in college, a man came in to visit our social psychology class. He'd been a member of Jim Jones' church.

He was alive, only because Jones sent him to the US to do some business. While our informant was in the US, Jones and his followers all committed collective murder suicide in the jungle. This man lost his wife, kids, and many relatives.

And he faced that Jones was evil.

To be able to face all that consciously...that took guts.

And to be able to face a bunch of college kids and share this about himself, that took guts too. I dont know if any of us could appreciate this at the time...we were all pretty young.

 
At 3/28/2007 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck, its scary and amazing that you actually met a future suicide cult leader.

Sociologist Janja Lalitch gives a detailed description of the entrapment process in the Heaven's Gate group. You can read it in her book, Bounded Choice.

Lalitch spent years in a political cult. She was fortunate that she got out when she did. But she writes with a rare perspective, because she went through the mindset.

What apparently happens is one becomes a member of a group, feeling you're exercicising free choice.

Once inside the group, the range of available acceptable choices slowly narrows. You still think you have free choice, but you get to exercise it with fewer and fewer options.

Imagine a diner where you go every day for years.

It starts out with 20 different sandwiches, all good. But very, very slowly, imperceptibly, items get dropped. It goes from 20 sandwichs, to 18, to 16 down to just 3 items on the menu.

You kid yourself that the quality's still good, the owner and other patrons convince you that you'll get poisoned or ripped off if you eat anywhere else.

Eventually you're down to eating just one single item on the menu, and the service has become nasty. But by then you get socialized to believe that putting up with the rotten service is 'part of the experience' and that only wimps and wussies care about courteous service and a wider range of choices..

It sounds crazy when we imagine a diner functioning this way, but time and again religions and belief systems end up this way.

 
At 3/28/2007 8:39 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymous said...
Chuck, its scary and amazing that you actually met a future suicide cult leader.
...........................

I didn't meet and greet the crazy bastard, I just walked within a few feet of him off and on. The only other thing I remember about him is that he might have been diddling a male student who looked and acted a bit like my friend, Semblance. BO would have been about Semblance's age at that time and had a similar emotional development. I believe that BO was involved in a bookstore with his female partner. I went in that place, saw a greeting card with a drawing of Maharishi on the front of it, giggling. When I opened the card up it said, "Meditation makes you horny!" This hurt my tendril feelings, so I left that place in a huff. Who knows, without them having that offensive card there, I might have spent more time in the place, got converted to a space alien religion and died in that Santa Fe Springs mansion! You might say that by grace of a mere cartoon of Maharishi, I am alive today and trapped in a life of auto parts retail hell!

Yes, semblance, I am THAT old, hence the arthritic shoulder I am willing to put to the wheel! Have some respect for your elders, goddamn it and leave my silly assed pride in tact. What else do the elderly have, good buddy?

 
At 3/29/2007 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is this, a blog for and about some fat Texan named Chuck? What a bunch of bull.

 
At 3/29/2007 10:14 PM, Blogger jody said...

What a bunch of bull.

Chuck is welcome to drop as much bull as he'd like in this pasture. You don't like it? See ya!

 
At 3/30/2007 10:40 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Jody, you'd think that with as much bull as I have spread in these pastures I would have spread myself thin! But 325 pounds is beginning to look like the Summer of Love to me now!

 
At 3/30/2007 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said:
It starts out with 20 different sandwiches, all good. But very, very slowly, imperceptibly, items get dropped. It goes from 20 sandwichs, to 18, to 16 down to just 3 items on the menu.

You kid yourself that the quality's still good, the owner and other patrons convince you that you'll get poisoned or ripped off if you eat anywhere else.

Eventually you're down to eating just one single item on the menu, and the service has become nasty. But by then you get socialized to believe that putting up with the rotten service is 'part of the experience' and that only wimps and wussies care about courteous service and a wider range of choices..
..............................

One difference between the eater in the diner and the member of the cult is that after the meal, the customer leaves the diner, exposing him/herself to other views. Being in a cult is more like moving into the diner, so it's the only worldview you encounter day to day.

And the rationalizations for the change from a choice of 20 kinds of sandwiches to the eventual three--or one--are dressed up in fancy language about ego and purification and realization, leading the cult member to feel very very special about eating nothing but BLTs for years.

 
At 4/03/2007 12:37 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymous said...
anonymous said:
It starts out with 20 different sandwiches,
................

Anonymous, eating so many sandwiches has caused your fart chakra to be blown wide open!

 

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