Posts Tagged ‘Church’

The Virgin Daughters

September 30, 2008

Brought to you by Tales from an Empty Room

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To the outsider, teenage American girls appear to be split into two camps. Half of them are starring in Spring Break and videos getting gang-banged by drunk teenage boys. The other half are members of various Christian purity movements. Luckily, we have girls like Sarah Palin’s teenage daughters to bridge the gap. She’s a fundamentalist Christian, but her daughters are apparently forever getting knocked up by gas station attendants and bag-boys. And they say Palin isn’t a unifying candidiate.

This documentary followed various fathers and daughters in Colorado Springs as the daughters prepared to make their pledges to stay virginal and pure, promising not to even kiss or hold hands with a boy until their wedding day. They do this as part of the annual Purity Ball and they start as young as five.

Now, most guys I know who have daughters know what horny little bastards teenage boys are. And most of them can see the merit in trying to make sure your daughter feels loved enough at home not to go off and date the town ’bad boy’ just to piss off daddy.  As US comedian Chris Rock says – your only job as a father is to keep your daughter off the pole. But there is surely a better way of doing this that doesn’t involve emotionally blackmailing a five-year old. 

The main character we met was the ball’s organiser, alpha-male fuckwit Randy Wilson.  As Randy and the other fathers in this movement sat hovering over their daughters as they spouted their rehearsed purity speeches to please daddy, my skin began to crawl. Randy has seven children and he and his wife have had five miscarriages. His wife, by the way, was a weeping basket-case. Bearing in mind the poor woman’s been pregnant 11 times, she was obviously physically and emotionally worn-out and she probably doesn’t have five minutes peace where the aptly-named Randy isn’t showing her some of his good ol’, Christian lovin’. 

As part of a weekly household ceremony, the children line up and Randy tells them one-by-one what they mean to him. To me, this just looked like an overly-dominant man asserting his patriarchal role in an ugly display of power. But I guess Mrs Randy must have been glad of the rutting break.

I’d be interested to know how much Randy makes from these purity balls and how much of it he gives back to the church. Having said that, the New Life Church which hosts these things, was conveniently founded  by Randy himself. So who knows if he can tell the difference between the two.

‘Why! The church needs a brand-new red Camaro. Hallelujah!’

We also met Khrystian Wilson (these Americans with their whacky misspellings!) who had once been Miss Teenage Colorado and had taken one of these purity covenants herself. Being a very nice-looking girl and Miss Colorado an all, she’d obviously attracted the attention of the boys. And having had virtually no sex education, she soon found herself pregnant. She was all set to marry the boy in question until she lost the baby and they separated. Thankfully, she’s now living with a nice guy. But her mother still treats her like a fallen woman and refuses to have anything to do with her partner. Christian love and forgiveness in action.

I understand parents wanting to protect their children – particularly young daughters – from the worst excesses of our morally bankrupt and demoralised culture. But anyone knows that if you want to make something seem more appealing to teenagers – just ban it. Just ask every stripper who went to convent school. Everyone knows little girls will do anything to please their daddy. But fathers taking advantage of this fact, simply because they can’t handle the idea of their daughters growing up into sexually mature women, is pretty depressing.

Disclaimer: Having said all of that, I should confess I have previous in this area myself. With a long trail of broken relationships behind me, I’ve disillusioned so many women that a group of my ex-girlfriends have now got together and started their own nunnery. I’m thinking about opening up my own monastery nearby. This might just be the perfect relationship – I just need to convince them all to take the Mingles Pledge at my annual Monastery Ball. I’ll keep you informed of my progress.

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Panorama – Scientology And Me

May 15, 2007

John Sweeney 

This half hour episode on Scientology relates itself to the story that Scientologists want their crazy little cult to be recognized as a proper religion in Britain, however, a court ruling had been passed a few years ago in which it was deemed unfit to fall into the category of a real religion, on account of it being corrupt and sinister. So not at all like other religions then.

Anyway, this normally sobering staple of BBC discharge begins as usual with that walking face Jeremy Vine standing all huddled up in his scarf and mack looking every inch the concerned journalist. (Why does it feel like winter whenever he appears on screen?) Normally Vine himself dominates proceedings, but thankfully this time the reigns are handed over to John Sweeney, but not before Vine sardonically bellows – “Whatever you do, don’t call Scientology a cult.”

For the first half of the show Sweeney attempts to meet and interview some of those disilliusioned by Scientology, who, for whatever reason, have little good to say about life in the cult. It seemed though, that wherever Sweeney went, sinister man-in-black Tommy Davis lurked somewhere close behind. Davis is a spokesman of the church of scientology and frequently appears out of nowhere to besmirch someone’s name. That is his job.

If you saw the programme, you’ll have seen Sweeney at one point interviewing a man who was quite reasonably criticizing Scientology, only to be interrupted by the menacing Davis, who got out of a nearby car with a list in his hand comprising of minor crimes the man had committed, which he proceeded to read to Sweeney. Obviously he was trying to discredit the man in order to render his testimony untrustworthy. These crimes included smoking a bit of pot. This is what they do. Criticize the weirdos at your own risk.

Even taking into account the BBC’s traditionally sneaky methods of editing, Davis comes across like a nasty little fascist who never shuts up. Not only is he a brainwashed numpty but he appears incapable of having a conversation. Several times he would make a point but when Sweeney tried to comment he was drowned out by an agressive Davis yelling – “Now you listen to me for a second!”, before embarking on rants that sounded like Hitler’s might’ve after a botched lobotomy or two.

Given this, it’s not surprising that Sweeney finally cracked and screamed at Davis like a broken torture victim. Although this sequence didn’t make it into the show in full, you can see the clip on YouTube (posted there by some of Scientology’s own documentary makers as part of a smear campaign against Panorama). Even though Sweeney goes demented, Davis continues to ramble inanely all the way through it, regardless. It’s quite surreal.

This episode was advertised on the promise of interviews with some of Scientology’s celebrity disciples, including Juliette Lewis (whom I had thought better of) and Kirstie Alley, (whom I hadn’t) but the most we were allowed was a real dopey quote from the massive-faced John Travolta, who claimed that Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe could have been saved by the cult. If this means that Travolta isn’t going to die any time soon then I may really start hating Scientology. The other interviews apparently went a bit skew-whiff due to Sweeney’s unsympathetic line of questioning. By this I mean that he asked them for their thoughts on L. Ron Hubbard’s flannel-juice fairy tale about the warlord Xenu, who was, according to Hubbsy, an intergalactic dictator back in the day. 75 million years ago to be precise. The story goes that Xenu brought billions of aliens to earth, stuffed them into volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs (he didn’t fuck around). Their souls then merged and stuck to the bodies of the living (?), and they continue to wreak havoc today (something reeks, but it ain’t havoc). Disappointingly we don’t get to hear Lewis or Alley’s reactions to Sweeney’s questions, but their bewildered expressions said it all. Unsurprisingly, Tommy Davis was present, barking at Sweeney that he sounded ridiculous for asking.

Quite where Hubbard gleaned this information from is beyond me, but to procure the name of a 75 million year old spaceman constitutes some impressive research.

Scientologists are clearly embarrassed about this little stain on their belief structure and are now backpeddling in an attempt to edit their core beliefs, Although i don’t know why, because to me it’s no more unbelievable than most religious ideologies anyway.

So now I’ve said my piece about Scientology I have to change my identity and flee the country. They don’t like being criticized y’know…