Tina, our two dogs Talulah and Josephine, and I drove back from NC to Chicago yesterday. We’ll be here for work projects and return to NC in July. While away, our house will be occupied quite often with guests.
Our car was packed to the gills. I bought some used cross bars to attach our Thule to. They are third party and I don’t have any reason to trust them. They were a little challenging to install. My fear was that we would reach 80 or 90 mph at times and the whole thing would rip from the roof and the thing would cause a massive accident and carnage all over the highway.
Between that and the weight in the car, the back suspension was sitting low. It’s a new car and it’s an SUV, so it feels a little top heavy when driving.
All these factors caused me to white knuckle drive especially when it started raining in Ohio and Indiana. Tina asked if I wanted her to take the wheel for a while. I told her that would make me more nervous.
We ended up listening to podcasts again, which is our road trip jam. Smartless is still our favorite and we listened to episodes with actress Awkwafina and Amy Sedaris. Both were good, but Sedaris is someone I’ve always loved, but never really followed. She is, hands down, one of the funniest women alive.
My dream date would be to go to dinner with her and her brother David, sit my cheeks in my closed fists with elbows on the table and just soak in the banter.
I learned interesting tidbits from Awkwafina. She landed her acting roles from her Youtube presence and Awkwafina is a play on her awkwardness and nothing to do with the bottled water, which was a sticky point in my view of her. I couldn’t stand that anyone might have been inspired by a respelling of a water product.
She’s also a rapper. Who knew.
We listened to an episode or two of a Dateline podcast called Killer Role. It was about a young actress who rocked her role in an indie horror flick in Oregon only to find out after they wrapped photography she really was a murderer. We only listened to two episodes.
Tina wanted to listen to a podcast called Finding Richard Simmons. I wasn’t interested.
The episodes we’re listening to dive into an internet cult leader named Sherry Shiner who started a “radio show” in 2005 from a little town in Ohio. Her original hopes of becoming a White House journalist were dashed when she became a mother. So she turned to the internet to explore her dream.
Shiner leads an army of Orgone Warriors who support her by buying a hockey puck looking black disk filled with crystals and made by melting a bunch of stuff in muffin trays. She claims orgone wards off evil spirits, aliens and reptilian trolls sent from the devil to attack you spiritually. She and her flock plan “orgone missions” where they plan road trips, bake TONS of Orgone disks and hide them in areas like Ft Knox which is a secret bunker for reptilian alien demons plotting their evil destruction of people who follow Jesus.
Her radio show broadcast her ideas about her version of Christianity, about Globalists and the New World Order and how aliens and reptilian creatures have taken over the bodies of celebrities and politicians to manufacture murders and mind control. She is a prophetess and a Bible decoder.
Oh … and She also claims to be the sister of Jesus Christ.
The sister of Jesus Christ? The sister of Jesus Christ was sent to a little town in Ohio to start a radio show and to use muffin sized melted tar to ward off the devil?
People fall for that?
It’s seriously some of the greatest shit you’ll ever listen to.
There’s an episode in which Sherry Shiner goes on another woman’s radio show, a “truther” named Liberty Lisa. They are all in sync until Shiner drops the reptilian aliens bullshit and they start debating the unbiblical-ness of those views. There’s a call in section of the show and both Shiner supporters and Liberty Lisa supporters call in. What happens next is even funnier than the debates between Shiner and Lisa. One man accuses Shiner of profiting off of a quack product like Orgone.
I’ve heard these kinds of debates my entire life. Put two believers in a room and they will debate or discuss cosmic issues that are completely immune from testable data or tangibility, but they are perfectly reasonable arguments in the minds of the two in discussion.
What struck me was Hannah Smith, the main voice behind this podcast, included a discussion with a religious scholar. The religious scholar talked about how cults hold extreme views and those extreme views are dangerous. Extreme views? So believing that there is a sinister being in an underworld who wants to tempt and cause havoc on earth is not extreme? Thinking that one is powerful enough to have the ear of the creator of this universe is not extreme?
I couldn’t help but imagine that there is a spectrum of views. On it are: left side no religious views. A quarter way from the left are spiritual musings, the universe is big and something must have been the author of it. Who that is, I don’t know. Halfway is the place where religious people who do not hold literal views of the Bible land. Three quarters from the left is the literalists. And on the 100% side, there lies the damn cultists.
Regular views are the ones held by “regular” Christians. So long as one sticks to the general cosmic war story between God and the Devil, and that Jesus saved humanity through his murder, death and resurrection, we’re as peachy as pie.
That’s the bar for non-extreme views.
The dictionary definition of cult: “a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.” That makes one believe that any religion qualifies. But if you reckon it with the second definition, you have to reconsider. “A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.”
The inclusion of “relatively small group” is the thin line that separates the cult from the non-cultist.
There is an undeniable sinister level of the demonic world associated with belief. Imagine, if I told you that what you will experience in the afterlife depended on accepting that my friend in the Middle East, Yeshua ben David, as your personal friend and savior, or an afterlife in a shithole with my enemy Lucifer Ben Adolf Hitler, I think most of you would choose Yeshua if I held your feet to the fire, but most of you would be like, “Okay, dude,” and you’d walk away facing me hoping I wouldn’t notice you were leaving.
But that’s the thing, too. We all accuse the other of “extreme views.” Liberals have extreme views because many don’t except the religious right’s fascination with abortion, even though we could eliminate it with hands held together.
Extreme views are those that we are these woke socialist communists. Woke is thrown around right now like it’s a pejorative, meanwhile it takes a woke person to accuse a woke person of wokeness. Otherwise, how would a woke person know who’s awake and who’s asleep?
Everyone accuses everyone of manufactured controversies. Of overreach.
In terms of politics, there’s almost no difference between the mindnumbing effort to dissect a conversation between cultists, or religious or whomever.
If you read Brietbart or whatever website, everyone accuses everyone else of the same nonsense they are being accused of.
Ain’t no reason for any of it.
Why aren’t we all owning up to our foibles? Shit, my views are extremist. I think science should inform our approach to a pandemic. I think the professionals in the room are the professionals. I think LGBTQ should have equal footing in terms of how they are treated in marriage style relationships. I think the government could do a better job taxing the rich and redistributing wealth. I think we could all get along.
I’m not interested in a spiritual influence in government and politics. The rub here is that the spiritual person will see that as an interference into their personal plight to convert errrrrrrryyyyyone to their side of the table.
I don’t want you to be a liberal. I want you to be a bonafide Christ loving leader. And I want to be me. I’ll be “extreme” and you be “extreme” or you could be “friends” and I could be “friends.”
Why do different views = enemies?
Or why the fighting words?
Own up to your views that you’re an extremist? I am. You can, too.