The Rise of the Billionaires Leaves the Middle Class Stranded


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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I begin by reminding you of the immortal words of the mythical Lionel Boyd Johnson, the fictional “Bokonon”, founder of the illusory religion Bokononism, who famously warned, "Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way." Ah, if only the founders and adherents of “real” religions could be that honest with their accolites. Of course the line between prophet and raving lunatic in most matters of faith is fabulously fuzzy, and therein lies the profit for prophets of both stripes. Or as Bokonon explained it, “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."

If so, Pyotr Kuznetsov, the 43 year old founder of the “True Russian Orthodox Church” must be doing a jitterbug about now. He was an architect in Belarus before “God” commanded him to leave his family and inform the world that product barcodes are the sign of the anti-Christ. Eventually Pyotr and his mental deraignment settled in the tiny village of Nikolskoye where he shared his doomsday vision of pricing codes with a flock that now numbers 25 adults, (mostly women) and 4 hijacked children. I swear to God, if you offered a course in CPR with free beer and pretzels you would be lucky to have 5 people show up, but predict doomsday in six months and God inspired sex and you will have people fighting for space in your cave. Pyotr, of course, is not in the cave, because he, “…had to meet others who were yet to arrive.” He must have been disappointed to discover the “others” were his new psychiatrist and several nurses with great big syringes. Meanwhile, priests from the more orthodox Russian Orthodox Church have been trying to talk through the ventilation shafts with the faithful, who cannot answer because they have taken a vow of silence. And you can imagine what is going to happen if any of them start comparing notes about the possibility that Pyotr might be full Loony Toons; mass murder and suicide, which “the chosen people” have already threatened. As Bokonon himself would have said, “Busy, busy, busy."
A significant source of the resilience found in Bokononism is that its “foma”, the collection of self admitted lies that make its believers happy, is always set to calypso music. According to a Bokononism toe taper, “Tigers got to eat, birds got to fly, man got to ask himself why, why, why? Tigers got to sleep, birds got to land, man tells himself he understands." Whereas, Christianity, particularly the “anti-theology” of “born- again” Pentecostals shun calypso music and assures its believers that Jesus’ love explains the whole world of misery, faithlessness, unfairness and betrayal.
But mainline Christianity offers no clear explanation as to why, last June, an otherwise healthy and successful 51 year old Alabama preacher would feel the need to shove a condom shrouded dildo up his rectum and then dress himself in rubber underwear, a scuba divers’ skintight rubber suit, rubber booties, a rubber hood with a single air hole, a divers’ face mask and rubber ‘diving gloves’, and then don a second pair of rubber slacks with suspenders and a tight leather belt around his waist with numerous attached nylon ligatures, and then somehow hogtie himself. We know the Reverend Gary Aldridge of Montgomery did all of this because he then died of asphyxia, and the Alabama Medical Examiner’s office did an autopsy, complete with a detailed itemized wardrobe. ( And in a touching note of bureaucratic humanity, the M.E. lists the Reverend’s personal effects as “One metal yellow ring intact on left finger, one dildo”. It almost brings tears to your eyes.
The reverend’s congregation never mentioned the dildo publicly, and would only say that, “We will begin the healing process under the strong arm of our Savior, Jesus Christ”. Whereas a Bokononist would have known immediately that the dildo had been an ascendant wampeter for the good reverend and whoever tied him up, and the bible had been their descending wampeter. And the only comment a Bokononist would have made over the entire matter would have been, “Busy, busy, busy”.
God knows they’ve been busy in the tiny village of Knutby, Sweden, population about 570; about 100 of whom are followers of Asa Waldau , who with just one month’s training at a Pentecostal bible school, became what is called in the biz a “charismatic” and founded her own cult in tiny Knutly. In 1997 Helge Fossomo and his wife Helene joined the group and moved next door to the great leader, and the following year he was present at Asa’s private ordination as “The Bride of Christ’, and her official renaming as “Tirsa”. And from this point on things in Knutly begin to get a little complicated.
In December of 1998 Helge’s wife, Helene, died in her bathtub with no water in her lungs, a hole in her skull and an overdose of Darvon in her blood stream. Her death was ruled an accident. Six months later Helge married Alexandra, Asa’s younger sister. Then, in 2001 Helge fell ill with a mysterious aliment and was nursed back to health by young Sara Svensson, who quickly became his mistress. Shortly thereafter Sara divorced her husband. But BOC Asa (AKA Tirsa) didn’t approve of their relationship and as punishment Sara was ordered shunned by the community and placed under Helge’s strict control, where she became the nanny to his children; oh, and his sex slave when she was restricted to his bedroom; still with me?
In 2003 Helge began a new affair with his neighbor on the other side, Anette Linde, but still found time and energy for Sara his sex slave as well as his wife Alexandra (remember her?). However by now Alexandra had been regulated to sleeping on a fold out couch in the guest bedroom. At about this time Sara the nanny and sex slave began receiving text messages on her palm pilot from God himself – or herself – urging her to murder Alexandra, and Helge assured the troubled Sara that the messages really were from the Almighty himself – or herself. With that assurance one morning Sara started pounding Alexandra’s head with a hammer. Alexandra managed to fight her off and the sect decided that Sara was overwrought and ought to take a little sabbatical to get some rest, while Alexandra and Helge recovered in Hong Kong. The police were never informed.
Well, Sara was still getting text messages from heaven telling her to commit homicide and on January 10, 2004 she followed their instructions. She tramped through the snow drifts up the hill, snuck into Alexandra’s room with a silenced pistol and at close range pumped two shots into Alexandra’s brain and one in her stomach. Then, still following instructions from God via her palm pilot, the brave little soldier for the Lord went next door and shot Daniel Linde, husband of Helge’s mistress, Anette. God’s will and Hegle’s sex life seem to have matched up very nicely.
But, bad luck all around, although shot in the jaw Daniel Linde managed to call for the paramedics. He identified his attacker as Sara (the sex slave) and her palm pilot identified Helge as the source of her messages from God. And although some folks believe that BOC Asa (AKA Tirsa) Waldua, was the actual author of these messages, nothing could be proved. Helge was sentenced to life in prison, and on July 20, 2007 got married for the third time to a woman who had become his prison pen pal. And BOC Asa has become a celebrity, described as “Sweden's most maligned person in modern times”.
A Christian might be depressed by such horrors perpetrated in the God’s name, but a Bonkononist would only sing the calypso song, “God made Mud. God got lonesome. So God said to some of the mud, “Sit up! See all I’ve made,” said God, “the hills, the sea, they sky, the stars”. And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and have a look around. Lucky me, lucky mud.”
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