I reeeeally don’t want to write this…. :(
Content Note: Suicide, self-hatred (discussed), brainwashing tactics
Sometimes I wish I was a video blogger. It’d be a lot easier to talk to a camera than sit down and piece through a book like this. But I’m nowhere near conventional-looking enough and have nowhere near the self-confidence to pull that off >.>
In TPD land, Susan and Bernice and Kevin all share a hotel room. Isn’t that like, against Fundamentalist law or something? Won’t the angels arrest them for indecency? Ah well. In a surprisingly middle-school twist, Juleen Langstrat stole Bernice’s dead sister Pat’s diary and gave it to Kaseph, who had it stolen from him by Susan, whose reading of it caused her to rebel against his mind control mojo in the first place.
“When I read that diary. . . well, it made me sick for days.”
So… like this book then?
“Pat was taking a psychology class, and one of her requirements was that she be in a subject pool for psychology experiments”
That’s actually a real thing. I only took a couple intro-level classes. Basically it’s to give the grad students some subjects for their experiments so they don’t have to spend money trying to recruit people. The theatre department did the same thing with forced labor — you had to take so many “practicum” classes, which consisted of you doing work for the department. Due to my knees, I ended up taking all but one of them in the costume shop, sewing on buttons and labels. Trust me, you’re not learning much in these things, it’s all gruntwork. The fun stuff is done by the people taking upper-level courses or grad students. The last one I did was the classic stagehand practicum, where I had to haul about set pieces and so forth.
Right, anyway. The psychology experiments are mostly “watch the screen, answer survey” type things, sometimes with some “how much can you remember” and sometimes with more “how do you feel about person X in short story Y?” kind of things. All very, VERY above board and ethical, as they’re scrutinized by professors.
“A friend persuaded her to volunteer for an experiment involving relaxation techniques, and it was during that experiment that she had what she called a psychic experience, some kind of insight into a higher world. […] She kept going back, kept taking part in experiments”
Lolwut? People don’t just…. “do science”. An experiment has a purpose, some question that it’s trying to answer. You don’t just hypnotize people to see what happens, or in the hopes that they contact a demon or whatever.
More on demons:
“To the atheistic scientists, they might appear as extraterrestrials, often with their own spaceships; to evolutionists”
to who now?
“they might claim to be highly evolved beings”
“to the lonely, they might appear as long-lost relatives speaking from the other side of the grave”
This face. You can’t see it, because I’m not a video blogger. But it looks like this: -.- what.
“It’s all a con game: Eastern meditation, witchcraft, divination, Science of the Mind, psychic healing, holistic education […] nothing but a ruse to take over people’s minds and spirits, even their bodies.”
Whelp, there’s not a lot to say in the face of that kind of blatant religious intolerance. So….
(So what, if I meditate but I sit in a chair, Western-style, it’s fine?)
(“Holistic education is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace.” Apparently piece and compassion are EVIL! EVIL I TELL YOU! MWAHAHAHA!!)
(What if I’m an “evolutionist” AND an atheistic scientist? Does the demon get confused and keep flickering back and forth? If I’m lonely, does the demon appear as a highly evolved alien version of my dead relatives?)
(I just, WTF is this shit!?)
“the Hindus call it karma; it’s the delusion that your next life will be better than this one because you’ve earned enough brownie points.”
The Christians call it Heaven; it’s the delusion that your afterlife will be all sunshine and roses forever because you’ve earned enough brownie points.
Pat wrote in the style of someone under a very strange, lofty-sounding delusion, but it was clear she was also disoriented by an irrational fear of life itself.
This is probably the point where I should talk about my own suicide attempts but I was a practicing witch at the time and I really don’t want to lend any credence to these crackpot theories. Suffice it to say the two had nothing to do with each other.
Back to Hank and Marshall!
[Marshall] sat up in the dark, his hand making nervous little trips around his face.
He had been shot through the guts. That’s what it felt like. Somewhere he had lost his armor plating, his strength, his strong and tough facade. […]A lump, that’s what he was, and nothing but a fool .
This, however, I will talk about. Back then, I felt a lot like Marshall describes feeling: worthless, stupid, useless, and in pain, all the time. Everything my mother said about me stuck in my gut, leaving me hollow, small, and scared. I felt like I’d lost my strength, that what used to get me through the day had gone the moment I let her criticisms get under my skin. Now I didn’t have the strength it took to survive. Something as simple as letting my brother leave the house without his special soccer socks just stood to prove how stupid, how useless I was.
Emotional blackmail is damn effective, but it’s not a good way to convince people to join your religion.
“Hank, I’m just no good. I need God. I need Jesus.”
You need help, is what you need. Oh wait, I forgot, therapists are all evil demon worshipers. How convenient. Isolate the mark from any outside source of help before landing the final blow.
Meanwhile, Susan has photographs of Kaseph’s records!
Meanwhile, everyone prays!
Meanwhile, Kaseph is possessed by demons!