A weird – because sudden – “case” to report.
Last week, I reported on an attempted Diapering at Earth Fare in Roanoke. An Acolyte of the Diaper ran up to me, proffering a box of Holy Rags, urging me to accept one (the Acolyte being afraid, apparently, to hand me a Rag). I demurred – as I have all throughout this organized attempt to induct every man, woman and child into the Church of Sickness Perpetual, amen.
What’s interesting is that I’d been entering Earth Fare – a “crunchy” store that specializes in “clean” food, which is one of the few things I have in common with most of the types who frequent stores such Earth Fare – for the past several weeks, showing my face without being accosted.
This had not been possible prior to a few weeks ago, when Earth Fare – like most “crunchy” places – was a militant branch of the Church of Sickness Perpetual. Enormous billboard signs with block lettering were placed outside the doors – and within the doors, more signs. If you entered without donning the Holy Vestment, the Acolytes would mob you and cast you out.
Then, about three weeks ago, the big placard outside went away and all that remained inside was a much smaller sign urging the donning of the Rag. But no attempt was made to impose it; one could shop without being accosted. I was not the only bare-faced heretic, either. At least a third of the people shopping were Undiapered. I suspect because most of these had been Anointed and so had stopped wearing the external symbol of their Faith, having made it a part of themselves, internally – amen.
There is also the problem – for the Faithful – of invisible heresy.
As those Anointed began to shed their Holy Rags, it became easier for those who never wore a Rag to go about unnoticed. And to go within. The Holy Places were now open to anyone. You could not tell, just by looking, whether someone was “of the body” – a member of the Church, in good standing – or someone not “of the body” – someone who has not yet accepted the Faith (or the Anointing).
This triggered a counter-reformation.
The big signs out front returned – and the Faithful obeyed. Including the Anointed. I was accosted, my heresy once again being visible to the Acolytes.
But just three days after my Accosting, the signs were gone. Outside – and inside. No Accosting by the Acolytes. I walked freely among those “of the body.” It is the will of Landru.
Actually, it is probably out of temporary necessity. Because Earth Fare’s management probably had to deal with angry Church Members who had received their Anointing and – being fully vested members of “the body” – resented being ordered to continue wearing the symbol of a mere novitiate. Had they not fully immersed themselves in Doctrine? Accepted within themselves the Water of Life?
Some of these may have told the manager-priests that they would not shop unless they were not made to look like mere novitiates. Earth Fare’s priest-managers also knew that people – “of the body” and not – were now free to shop elsewhere (almost anywhere) because enforcement of Rag Wearing has been on the wane as Anointing has waxed.
Because the problem of heresy remains and religious fanatics cannot abide unbelief. It is almost certainly only a matter of time – and likely, not much time – before new signs appear at the entrances to the Holy Places.
These will state that either external or internal proof of Faith is required to enter within. The external proof will be the Rag of the Novitiate, required of those who lack proof of having been fully Anointed into the faith.
It will be insisted upon because this is a matter of Faith. A Faith in Sickness Abiding, forever amen. A Faith that the wearing of anything that effaces one’s face qualifies as an article of Faith (proving that “science” has as much to do with it as “science” has to do with Scientology). A Faith that requires everyone to be Anointed, notwithstanding the non-religious objection that those Anointed ought to be content with their Anointing, if being Anointed is about “keeping them safe” from sickness, which the Anointing supposedly prevents.
But it is not about “keeping them safe.” It is about cementing their Faith – by making certain all share in it. By making life as difficult as possible for those who question it.
Shop while you can. It won’t be for long.
. . .
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