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Reactionaries

Premiered 9/9/9 (9 September 2009)

The continuation of The Myth and Legend of D'PTah, an original novel by Dan Sewell Ward.

 

Segment 11

Reactionaries

 

Editor's Note

There is the possibility of confusion for anyone attempting to fully comprehend the motivations of much of the world in responding to the advent of the Regency. This may be due in part to the wide diversity of religious and philosophical thought routinely practiced in ancient times – practices both distinct from modern day views, and simultaneously varying widely among the conflicting philosophies of the ancients. There was, quite literally in these early fledgling civilizations, a vast menagerie of gods and goddesses -- with each and every deity tending to be quite obviously dysfunctional. All of such religious philosophies must be considered to be incongruous with reality and far short of the exalted status bestowed upon them by their followers... the latter who have chosen to be ignorant of any reality worthy of the name. Adding to the complexity is the influence of tribal authorities on the belief structures and their various gods, an unfortunate mixing of religion and politics that resulted in serious degradations to both arenas. Clearly this period of time, both philosophically and politically, corresponds to the Age of Unenlightenment and prior to humanity receiving the message of Iapetus [1].

It has been suggested by some scholars [2] that instead of attempting to comprehend and fully appreciate the distinctions and subtleties of the various so-called philosophies within these ancient and near-barbaric peoples, one should consider lumping all such avenues of thought into the single category of Techniques to Control the Masses (TCM). For clearly, the fundamental premise of these variations of philosophical thought is the collective and common urge of all such variations to use something alleged to be philosophy as a means of controlling the otherwise threatening masses – specifically those unable or unwilling to exert energy in questioning the meaning of life and one's place in the greater scheme of things. Accordingly, to accept the premise that the differences in these ancient philosophies have minimal impact upon the greater scheme of things, one need only view the resistance raised as that of a single mass of counter revolutionaries. An excellent argument to justify this approach is the rapidity with which the various factions – at odds and often warfare with one another -- quickly joined forces to combat the perceived common threat... specifically whenever the totality of the factions might be threatened in their common goal of dominating the masses.

 

*********

Byline: Paul Fox, for The World News

RAW NOTES: Hold for Written Release Authority Prior to Dissemination

The incredulity of the speaker was obvious. “Eliminating guilt and self-denial? Resistance is futile? Can he possibly be serious? Can he so easily blaspheme our sacred traditions?”

Cardinal Brutus Rosario was asking these questions of the three of us, but I suspect that all of the questions were rhetorical. In getting to know the Cardinal and act as his unofficial media and public relations liaison over the last several years, I had come to understand that his so-called questions were inevitably declarative statements instead, and moreover, statements with which he strongly disagreed. Typically, the greater the disagreement, the louder he voiced the questions. Today his deep baritone voice was the style he used in addressing the crowds in outside settings – not quite yelling, but extremely forceful and carrying an unconquerable sense of righteousness. It was the voice of authority, someone who already knew the answers to the rhetorical questions he was able to pose with such dramatic flair.

Curiously, it reminded me of the song, Texas Has a Whorehouse in It [3], and all of the pseudo distress and horror at discovering something that should have long been obvious to any thinking person.

As an educated yet devout, up state New York Catholic, Rosario had very few unanswered questions about life. He was in a manner of speaking a man with few doubts, hesitations, misgivings, or far be it to ever happen... philosophical anxieties. He was, as he liked to phrase it: 'not one of those egotists who wallow in constant self-questioning and doubt' -- the latter being in his mind equivalent to Satanism. Rosario instead took his comfort in the authority and power of his faith, the kind of faith reputed to be capable of moving mountains... or at the very least moving, i.e., manipulating the less discriminating and better healed of his attentive listeners. Hopefully they would then use all manner of modern technology to blast, load, and truck all the ingredients of said mountain to a new location. It had in fact been done before, but more direction to uncovering minerals than truth or faith. Meanwhile, Brutus' pronouncements regarding himself were likely to be of the sort, “Seek and ye shall find; find and ye shall do. That is why I do. To assist the seekers in their journeys.” Rosario had allegedly been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt (or more likely obtained the latter free as a donation to the cause).

“Cardinal,” His associate and Jewish counterpart, Rabbi Esau Tomas Goldman suggested, “the polls do show the Regent's speech was well received by the populace.” Goldman's retort was said with the classic Englishman's definitive annunciation, one with the strong hint of the proverbial stiff upper lip. All of this was, admittedly, tempered slightly by the Rabbi's tendency to chomp down on large cigars. I might have been tempted to laugh aloud at the comment, but the austerity of Mullah Amin tu Sefati's personal residence, the location of our meeting, dampened my natural response. Considering the dangers of the local environment, laughing was not something a guest would want to impose upon his Muslim host.

“Of course! It was an admirable effort... in terms of public relations. Yes, I would agree with that.” Rosario smiled in his most appealing manner. As the papal emissary at large, he was adept at finding levels of agreement among and between many different religions and points of view. Clearly this talent required telling bald faced lies with a straight face, but at least it was all in the name of diplomacy. Besides, one could always stab the other in the back at a later date, whenever it seemed more advantageous. And of course, at such a later time when the instigator was more likely to get away with it with impunity.

This would explain why he was now in the company of two of his more important associates: Rabbi Goldman and Mullah Sefati. Among these three, there was... not so much honor... more like cooperation. Meanwhile, I was present as a journalist insider even though much of the conversations were “off the record”. Nevertheless, the insights gathered from such meetings would later provide me with just the right background, enabling me to conjure up the best manner in which to view the news of the astounding events now happening on a daily basis. Some might call it “spin”, but I prefer to think of it as “informed interpretation.” The Cardinal, Rabbi, Mullah and I had a clear understanding of our professional relationships and how to best manage the world perceptions to our respective advantages.

“I must admit to sharing my esteemed friend's concerns,” Amin said, as he lounged in his overstuffed chair, one finger and a thumb connecting his jaw and temple. “I was particularly aware of the decidedly negative reference to: 'no longer viable ideologies.' Is there any possible manner in which we might interpret that as anything other than a direct challenge to our authority? Can this so-called Regent, who by definition is temporary and not much more than a 'space saver'... seriously contemplate replacing religious authorities whose more permanent tenure is decreed by God Himself and not by some technologically advanced heretics?” Mullah Sefati was a well respected Shiite cleric here in Iran. I knew his voice would be listened to by many devout followers. It takes all kinds.

Whenever I encountered even learned Muslims (in one respect the definition of Mullah), I could not help but recall Rabbi Goldman's possibly tongue-in-cheek Middle East Solution, i.e. quit being a micro-managing parent figure and allow the newest religion on the block to finally grow up. Needless to say, Goldman's views on the subject were “off the record”, and certainly not for publication. (Which is of course why I would not consider identifying the source. It might prove life threatening to him... including threats from a thousand or so of his fellow Jews, Arabs, tourists to the Holy Land, innocents... and so forth and so on.) Meanwhile, Iranians of the Persian Empire persuasion would tend to take exceptional offense to any Jew making such a statement in their country. Come to think of it, there was no requirement that the offending statement be made by a Jew; often a Muslim turned thoughtful and/or becoming a religious revisionist was deserving in some such minds of being dispatched immediately to the lowest rung of Dante's Inferno, that place where the traitors and betrayers were to be lodged for eternity. Or until hell froze over... and/or the place was finally air conditioned.

“What then would either of you suggest we do about it?” Despite an insightful sense of humor, Rabbi Goldman was always practical. It was a trait well established among those Jews who had decided to tolerate other religions – as opposed to being exterminated by said other religions. Rabbi preferred to take the high road wherein if you can't beat them, at least find an accommodation... or a commingling. Oxford trained, Goldman was a man of wide interests and considerable flexibility. His willingness to come to Tehran to the Mullah's private residence was a tribute to his commitment toward commingling forces. It was also, he liked to joke, an indication of perhaps insanity being among the many inheritances from his family of "chosen" people.

The answer was easier for the Muslim. “Speak out to our people,” Amin quickly suggested. “Remind them of the truth.”

“But perhaps not quite yet,” Rosario interjected. “We are as yet still reading between the lines of what this Regent says and intends; we cannot expect the masses to whom we offer our guidance to be able to do the same. They were very likely taken in by his generous-sounding offers. Instead, our first concern should be in maintaining our moral authority. We can not be the shepherds who first cry wolf. We must allow this new regent – one in a long line of rulers – to hang himself.”

“And so we wait?” Amin almost laughed at the possibly ludicrous suggestion.

Rosario smiled, his eyes betraying his intentions. “Let me immediately assure everyone that I believe wholeheartedly that this Regent is likely a temporary expedient, one without any guaranteed tenure. This does not mean, however, that he is as yet our publicly declared enemy. We will indeed fight him to the death, but not by announcing such at the present time. He has not yet committed himself to a definitive statement as to his intentions with regard to our religions, statements that we could publicly attack with a vengeance. Accordingly, we must not at this point in time over-react. It would not, among other things, appear seemly. We must instead bide our time, even perhaps show a degree of tentative support... provided of course that he supports his claims of tolerating diversity with actions, that he leaves religious duties to those who are called to it and who have been adequately trained in the field, and to those who have earned the right to issue binding opinions on such matters.”

“Can we really shirk our sacred duties so easily?” Amin looked genuinely concerned. “Please understand that here in the capital, I am under considerable pressure to respond quickly and forcefully. It has become the autocratic Persian style in recent years, and there will be great expectations of me.”

Rabbi Goldman suddenly grinned. “But you're not Persian, are you?”

“Not by birth, perhaps, but by conviction.” Amin smiled back, although I thought that there was a slight question as to any genuine affection behind the facial expression.

Goldman, now more serious, asked, “Weren't you born in Russia?”

“Georgia, actually. My mother was Russian, and my father a poor cobbler. But he was a devout Muslim, and he raised me accordingly. He would be, I would think, very proud of his son.”

“As well he should be,” Rosario added. “Your birthright and experience make you extremely valuable to your religion and to your government. Certainly Russia and Iran have common goals.”

“Thank you,” Amin said gently. “And neither of us are likely to shirk our responsibilities.”

“Please do not think of it as shirking,” Cardinal Rosario interjected.

“I for one have no problem with witnessing for my faith,” Amin quickly added. “What you might call over-reaction, I call a reaction with clarity of thought and understanding. It is perhaps a characteristic of my background, something in my heritage perhaps and something in my experiences in becoming the man I am today.” It was clear the Mullah was not to be easily swayed with feigned interest in his personal life.

“I too would wish to stand by my faith,” Goldman interjected. “But I would agree with the good Cardinal that this is not a matter of dodging an issue. It is rather a suggestion of taking the time to gather our forces and acquire more intelligence prior to engaging in an adversarial relationship.”

“It's simply that I cannot fully agree with you.” Amin was becoming defensive.

“My dear, Soso,” Rosario gently interjected. “We have no disagreement with you.”

The Mullah was momentarily taken aback by the use of his nickname, possibly because of my presence and the fact that this might have somehow cheapened his importance. I thought it was quite strange myself in that it had never occurred to me that any Islamic cleric could even have a nickname, much less be addressed by relative outsiders. Perhaps there was a greater connection between the two men than I had expected. But then again, even Rabbi Goldman appeared to be surprised.

“Soso?” Goldman asked.

“My birth name was sufficiently difficult for all but my family to use that I changed my name.” Amin looked back at Rosario. “So... Bruce... explain to me if you will; to what are you suggesting we agree?”

“My apologies if I have in anyway appeared to be too informal.” When Amin merely shrugged his acceptance of the apology, the right reverend Cardinal Bruce continued, after shifting awkwardly in his chair (he had been currently dealing with some health problems with his legs – information that had been kept strictly out of the news). “Clearly we must react immediately, but restrain ourselves in the manner in which we respond. What I am suggesting and that to which we can hopefully all agree is that we issue separate but... let us say... coordinated statements that show a clear and definitive posture by all of the major religions. A cleanly worded statement from Tehran could set the tone, of which I am assured that His Holiness the Pope will quickly echo, albeit in his own unique and personal style.”

“With just precisely the appropriate tone in the Tehran response,” Goldman quickly agreed, “I believe the Israeli response would be similar in content, but obviously sufficiently distinct in language so as to eliminate any hint of even the possibility that the statements were based upon the kind of discussions we're having today.”

Amin looked very studious for a moment. “An acceptable condition, perhaps. However, I am certain that my ability to persuade my colleagues will depend upon the first response being Islamic.”

“I see no problem there,” the Cardinal graciously offered.

“You are, after all, in an earlier time zone.” Again the pragmatic Goldman, taking advantage of the two hour difference between Tehran and Tel Aviv.

Amin actually smiled. “There are all sorts of reasons for agreement. And will we be meeting again, when there is a more definitive statement from the new... Regent?”

“I would think it essential,” Rosario agreed. “For numerous reasons, I believe that in our next meeting we may need to adjourn to a more neutral and secure location. I have the good fortune to have a devout Catholic supporter who happens to own his own yacht. I believe we can utilize it to provide us with the time to adequately address all the issues that might arise from the Regent's planned press conference. The yacht is currently sailing in the Aegean Sea, but we can bring it closer if need be.”

“I would prefer we avoid the eastern Mediterranean.”

“So would I,” the pragmatist replied. “How about the Black Sea?”

“Excellent idea,” Rosario quickly added. “A bit closer to our friend's beloved Georgia.”

Amin smiled even more. He was, I suddenly realized, more than a little susceptible to appeals to his vanity – provided only that they were sufficiently subtle to avoid his vanity detectors. “That would be delightful. Simply inform me of the timing. Meanwhile, as soon as we can decide on an appropriate wording of our initial... measured response, I will contact my government and make the appropriate arrangements.”

There were smiles all around. They even looked at me specifically, as if to crow about the ability of conflicting philosophies to find common ground. But then... did they expect me to applaud?

“And will you, my dear Cardinal, be taking this message back to your protestant friends?” The pragmatism of Goldman never ceased to amaze me.

“Of course. The well known Reverend Jerry Friendly has already attempted to contact me. My aide feigned my being out of reach. I wanted to communicate with this smaller and more important cadre first. Friendly will be used somewhat separately for our mutually agreed upon purposes.”

“Perhaps the TV star might wish to take point.” Amin's smile suggested more than a casual acquaintance with the Great Satan. “Allow him the glory to take the first return fire from the Regent.”

“Friendly is not at our level, it is true. And while he is sufficiently ambitious, he is also cautious to the point where he might miss golden opportunities; two attributes that can be a bad combination. Nevertheless, his caution in this case would likely be commendable. He will, for example, not knowingly and willingly stick his neck out. The good news is that he does, however, have a colleague who can only be described as a true believer. He would be an ideal point man, someone who would be delighted to take the fire from the adversary; a bit of a martyr complex.” Rosario smiled, doing a fair imitation of the devil on a good soul-retrieving day.

“A believer without a clue? Oh, how rare.” Everyone smiled knowingly.

“Let's just say that his lack of flexibility and diplomatic skills makes him a prime candidate for martyrdom. His name is Johnny Ceal, and I think that all Regent counter reactions could be focused on him.

“Excellent, excellent.”

“But another martyr? Haven't you enough already?” Goldman's grin betrayed his true aims.

“One can never have too many martyrs. Not when each one can become a cash cow.” Brutus could only smile gleefully. “Your religious leaders have missed out on that one.”

“Don't let the Hindus hear you talking like that.” More smiles. A very jovial group, all in all.

“And speaking of the too-far-east: what of the Buddhist monk?”

“Who knows? But for that matter, who cares? These laissez faire peace mongers are difficult to motivate into action. Hardly worth the effort. What we need are the real hell raisers!”

 

*********

“The only correct response is one governed by compassion. We can not base any response on our own projections and expectations.”

“But Master, when we hear claims of outdated ideologies, can we sit meekly by?”

“What do you mean, 'we'?” For a moment the Dalai Llama smiled, before adding, “I am but a simple Buddhist monk.” He then smiled in his patented, gentle manner. “It is true that if others take advantage of our concern for fairness, then we must adopt a stronger stand. But such a stand must still be one of compassion. Any sudden impulse to react in a negative way must be checked. Fear and anger are our enemies; not this new secular teacher.”

“We should become his friends?” another devotee asked.

“Why not? He has already agreed with our belief that resistance is the source of pain. I would think that all in all it was a rather Buddhist thing for him to say. Besides, it is not religion that we should strive to preserve, nor a particular ideology. I find myself agreeing with this man on what promises to be an extraordinary journey.”

“Master, can we expect other religions to be as... as compassionate?”

“The differences in religious traditions is easily resolved when we realize that their aim is more or less the same as ours: to create a more compassionate world. The more we know of other religions, the more we can value and respect each other. Diversity is a good thing.”

“But is not one of the Four Noble Truths inevitable suffering? Does the Regent not contradict this by his saying there are no limits to our aspirations?”

“Our experiences of suffering, as well as of happiness, arise from a multiplicity of causes and conditions. The imposition of a Regency will not deter all of these causes, although I honor his goal of attempting to reduce suffering. The suffering in the world is perfect, and all of his attempts to eliminate that suffering is perfect as well. I see no confrontation. Let us be patient.”

Wise words are often difficult to swallow at first sight – sort of like one's first encounter with raw oysters... unless one has already become fortified to some extent with generous portions of beer. There is, in fact, a notable, if not historic connection between wisdom and beer. This occasion was not an exception to such a rule. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, there was neither a convenient source nor an inclination to partake of any beer. Too bad. One should always remember the tradition that it was beer in a glass stein which prompted one physicist to conceive of a measuring apparatus, the same which later earned him a Nobel Prize in Physics. [4] Beer can yield wonders – assuming one can remember the insights garnered thereby. [5]

*********

Johnny Ceal sat on the wooden bench, really quite amazed. It was his fourth... or maybe his fifth review of the Regent's State of the World message. Johnny had felt compelled to return again and again, in rapid succession, to the speech which seemed to have his destiny stamped in between the lines. The speech had seemed to Johnny to be the epitome of reasonableness, an enthusiastic appeal to the best in men, and the exaltation of a hope for peace and understanding far beyond Johnny's ability to describe. Yet Johnny had felt warning flags raised seemingly at every turn. Not being a man of enormous subtlety or penetrating thought, he had long been forced to rely upon a caution nurtured by his upbringing, one with which Johnny had long used to make the binding and irrevocable decisions about his life. It was a caution derived from his youth when he had been blindsided just when he was so certain of his beliefs, his place in his world, and the reliability of his family and loved ones.

Johnny's mother, Mabel Ceal, had been the most basic of fundamentalists, a true believer in absolute dogmas, the type that when the demands of her religion caused her pain and anguish – all clearly challenges to her faith and willingness among other things to submit to her husband no matter what – she would persevere. She would hang in there, find a justification or a rationalization for every sling and arrow she encountered. For her, it was always just another of life's challenges. Naturally her faith would periodically demand that her husband provide plenty of opportunity for her to step back and reconsider, even to balk, stare uncomprehendingly, or simply tell him what he could do with his... stuff! But with each and every one of these challenges, she stubbornly fell back on her fundamentals.

Her husband, Gabriel Ceal, was his own personalized version of a ruling patriarch, the 6th in a long line of evangelicals [6]. Gabriel thus believed himself possessed and deserved all of the rights and privileges that cowed, misled, and intimidated withered souls would voluntarily relinquish to him. When he referred to his congregation as his flock, he literally meant the sheep he sheared, the ones who actually bought his outrageous pronouncements and sought to implement them in their lives. For years his greatest emphasis had been on a wife's duty to obey her husband even if the man arbitrarily decided to brand her with a cow brand on her forehead. For Gabriel Ceal, a wife was required to submit to any degradation – all because of her gender link with Eve, Adam's second wife and the woman whose curiosity had merely been whetted by a creature allowed into the garden by its land lord [pardon the pun].

Gabriel's flock did have one flaw: the divorce rate was extraordinarily high. It was one of the side effects of knowledge being disseminated on an increasingly massive scale... particularly when said knowledge was acquired by women who had been previously marginalized and restricted in every manner possible – except in most cases perhaps, by heavy and severely chaffing chains.

One of his flock, and one who might serve as a typical example, had been a woman who had been raised by a father who routinely beat her (primarily because it was his choice of stress relief therapy). After his death and near her 24th birthday, she married a man who carried on her father's tradition -- adding the additional ingredients of excess drinking and casual philandering. There was also his demonstration of an astounding moral flexibility – one in which he could and would do virtually anything in pursuit of power, wealth, and the ability to be able to pursue happiness in his own demented fashion.

As the fates would have it, this same battered woman at one point in her life found herself talking with other women, and in the matter of fact manner of someone who had no other clue, she mentioned that her latest infraction had caused her husband to beat her... Again. When the others said virtually as a chorus, “He can't do that.”, something inside her told her that indeed he could not... unless she allowed him to do so. It took some time before she could find a way, but divorce was inevitable.

There were other notable exceptions to this particular scenario of how to deal with a wife-beater. There was, for example, the lady who sewed her drunken husband in his wrapped bedsheets, beat the shit out of him with a broom, and left him in that condition – until she had crossed the state line and called in an anonymous report that someone needed help at such and such an address. The police who found the woman's husband, showed a degree of restraint in following the long established procedures to avoid moving an injured person until the medical emergency team arrived. It was even suggested that they had had a few beers during their vigil of waiting for the ambulance. Then of course there was the woman who simply left her drunken bum immediately after dousing his bed with kerosene and lighting the match. They never actually found her... but that's another story all together.

For Johnny, his father's madness had its good and bad days. Being the patriarchal heir apparent had considerable appeal for Johnny... although he could probably forego the self-anointed right to beat children for any reason whatsoever. Still, it did set the precedence, such that Johnny could rightly and righteously follow in his father's footsteps, his hand prints, and his fisticuffs. Johnny had decided that going through hell in order to become the dispenser of hell was one of those rites of passage whose goal was worth the effort. Or so it would seem.

The epiphany of shaking such beliefs occurred for Johnny in his 17th year – just as he approached the time when he could escape the daily beatings, head off in search of ministerial credentials, and become his own head of household. It would be in the latter position where we would be able to dispense justice, discipline, and thereby find his own personal form of stress relief.

Johnny was different in one respect, however. He was still in the mode of believing every moral and ethic of his father's philosophy and simultaneously justifying his mother's acceptance of her lot in life. That was until his father was caught in a... well... let's call it a compromising situation. Not a fall from grace in the form of being at the hands of a daughter of Eve... that scandalous temptress... but one a bit more wretched... one on the scale of the Catholic Church's own compromising situations. Or decidedly more wretched. Gabriel, as it turned out, had developed a taste for sex with young male parishioners, particularly those who had been entrusted in his care for their religious instruction and upbringing within the faith. Gabriel was simply taking the next step in his extending his patriarchal philosophy to its natural, inevitable conclusion – that of engaging in fornication with the lower males, literally as well as figuratively. Or in the Anglo Saxon version of the word, fucking them.

On the fateful day, Johnny had arrived at the former feed store warehouse, the space which had been converted by the congregation to serve as their church sanctuary [pardon the oxymoron] and had been appropriately cleaned up and decorated in the minimalist fashion. When the cops arrived on the basis of an anonymous tip, they walked into the minister's small office and found Gabriel and a twelve year old boy in the ultimate act of a child's submission to a demented older male. The boy had already begun crying out in pain when the police opened the unlocked door – the latter an indication that the minister Gabriel Ceal either no longer considered his actions questionable (a common characteristic of anyone committing the most horrific of crimes and continually getting away with them)... or Gabriel at some deep level wanted to fall from grace and atone for his manifold sins. The official police version contained only the first suggested scenario – and all subsequent media reports found this version to be the more palatable for marketing purposes; thus, they used it exclusively. There didn't seem to have been a great interest in alternative theories, inasmuch as there had been virtually nothing about Gabriel's life that contained any socially redeeming values, and thus there was nothing to be saved or salvaged.

Johnny had watched his father being hauled off, with the police not even bothering to put pants on the pedophile, the dirty underwear around his ankles serving as ironical chains for the condemned. Johnny had also caught for one wretched, horrific second the eyes of the 12 year old as he clung to a blanket handed him by one of the officers. It was a sight that Johnny would remember in his dreams for the rest of his life... and still manage to avoid acknowledging. Never, at any time, did Johnny say anything about the “unfortunate incident”, either in his own mind or – heaven forbid! -- to anyone else. Certainly not to his mother who upon being appraised of the situation had responding thereafter by valiantly attempting to 'stand by her man'.

Gabriel's in-recent-years diminishing congregation, after being apprised of the details in all of their glorious gossip-styled fashion, had in general felt no similar calling to rally to the side of their former minister. They had deserted en masse, leaving no hint of their former allegiances to any but the most mainstream religious thought. They bailed, ran like greyhounds after the mechanical rabbit, and denied far more than three times: any association whatsoever with “that poor demented soul”.

The lone exception had been one forty year old male, Caucasian, 5 foot 8 inches, dark hair and scraggly beard, with a scar on his left cheek – according to the police dossier – who had stood before the cameras and expounded his personal faith in Gabriel and his religious beliefs, even taking the time to describe the latter in sufficient detail that any slight consideration of giving Gabriel Ceal the benefit of the doubt had been quickly dismissed for all time. The great defense mounted by the 40 year old did have one positive effect as his appearance led to his arrest on wife beating and child abandonment charges from another state. He extradition set a new record for shortest time from discovery to actual transfer.

Johnny himself might have managed to deal with his father's “temporary insanity”, but his mother's action to enable, permit, and facilitate the actions of such a monster became unforgivable. Clearly, in Johnny's mind, his mother was truly the spawn of Eve, had tempted his father by denying him any affections worth having, and thereby forced his father to find other outlets, so to speak, for his natural urges. She was the horribly evil one, while Gabriel was the victim.

Johnny took the additional step of sublimated everything in his upbringing, including the activities of his parents which had contradicted any tenet by which he had early on decided to live his life. Accordingly, there was no turning back from the mindset he had chosen. Johnny never had to deal with brainwashing mind you, for his brain had never had anything of value instilled in it... at least anything that might have been contradicted by his chosen fundamentals. In subsequent years, Johnny even went to the trouble of developing all of the techniques for preventing the introduction of any conflict into his interior, self-administered philosophy. In time, Johnny began to extend his range of intellectual dishonesty by finding the tools of manipulation that would allow his own views to sound enormously reasonable to others.

It was thus the seemingly reasonable statements by the Regency to which Johnny had self-consciously reacted in a decidedly negative manner. At his deepest level, Johnny knew that reasonable sounding statements were always lies, deceptions, and untruths – if only because the crutch of seemingly reasonable language had been Johnny's own specialized technique, one which he had honed to perfection. The difficulty was that while Johnny knew to be suspicious of anyone else's reasonably sounding statements, he also found himself lacking in the ability to critically analyze what exactly was wrong with the Regent's speech, and what counter arguments might be useful.

The immediate problem, meanwhile, was that his followers, led in particular by his 'manager' Rob V. Carlson, were expecting, if not demanding, an insightful response from Johnny Ceal, the evangelist du jour. Johnny had to be ready by the weekend to deliver his own reasonable sounding response – and it would almost certainly have to contain well heeled counter arguments if only because Rob had already diplomatically suggested that the Regency's words were seriously flawed. This would take some serious thought, Johnny decided. The gauntlet had indeed been laid at his feet. It was now a matter of finding the best way of now picking it up from the ground lest he trip on it and fall flat on his face. The alternative was to explain things to Rob... such that Rob could then publicize and document Johnny's work.

Rob, after all, had been referred to (first by Rob, then the media, and then unaware of its source, by Johnny himself) as "Johnny's Matthew". Only in this case, Rob was a former stock broker (and before that an IRS Agent) who had seen the light on the road to... somewhere, and accordingly turned disciple. The newly converted Rob was devoted to Johnny's cause, but he was also a man of the world. He knew that presentation was ninety percent of perceived truth. Johnny could rail about and never reach his audiences. He needed packaging – as Rob so colorfully described it. Like a Blue Light Special on Enlightenment. Thus had begun Johnny's fateful journey.

________________________

References:

[1] http://www.halexandria.org/dward888.htm

[2] Montage Clever, A Glossary of Ancient Oral Traditions, Kalit Harrp Publishers.

[3] http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/t/texashasawhorehouseinit.shtml

[4] Donald Glaser, who in 1952 invented the Bubble Chamber with which to chart the paths of elementary particles – Particle Physics UK.

[http://www.particlephysics.ac.uk/news/picture-of-the-week/picture-archive/tracks-in-a-hydrogen-bubble-chamber.html]

[5] For more crucially vital information on the subject, see Tom Robbins' B Is for Beer.

[6] Thus making Johnny the 7th Evangelical Ceal

 

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