Defiance (A Tale of Liberation)
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07-04-2013, 11:33 AM
Defiance (A Tale of Liberation)
(Retelling of a dream, 4/7/13)

There I was again. I didn't want to be, but I had been persuaded by old friends to return in the interest of intellectual honesty; in accordance with my self-proclaimed search for the "truth". Brother Picard, the head of the evening's Bible study, had taken me under his wing and assured me that he would help me find my way to the real truth; that which is provided only by Jehovah god.

The night's meeting was intended to be the first of many steps in a slow, spiritual rehabilitation for me; a detox from the secular and godless world in which I'd been immersed for so many years. The ultimate purpose was to detoxify my system and bring me back into the loving arms of the fold from which I'd ventured at the conclusion of my teenaged years. Opting to skip the more subtle steps in the rehabilitation process, brother Picard thought it best to personally involve me in the night's meeting arrangements. It was decided that my duty would be to ensure the proper function of the sound system; which included everything from the microphones to the music which would be played at the outset and the conclusion of the meeting. It was a menial task, but I confess to a mild sense of bewilderment in regard to the functionality of the somewhat outdated equipment. This only served to add to the stresses which already enveloped my mind like a suffocating fog. I didn't want to be there. I knew the routine of everything they would be doing that night - the singing, the praying, the interactive study of biblical verses, the lengthy recap of so-called "divine" prophecy - and I knew that it was all bullshit. I felt as though I were the only human being sitting in a room of automatons; eyes glassy with the love of the Holy spirit and deluded smiles stretching from ear to ear. I knew that I didn't belong. With the steel piercings protruding from my lower lip and the macabre designs of the heavy metal shirt around my body; I could feel the disapproval in their stares. I could feel that they were just as uncomfortable in the presence of a godless apostate as I was in the presence of the pioneers and the elders.

But I shook the discomfort from my mind and focused my attention on the task at hand. As I fumbled with the CD player fixed at an awkward angle inside the glass box to my left, brother Picard approached me from my right and placed his hand on my shoulder. I looked up to acknowledge him and he grinned down at me with a confident contentment that the night would go as smoothly as he was about to assure me it would.

"How you doin' there, bud?" he asked in his thick southern slur. "I'm ok", I replied, timidly, "just trying to figure out how this thing works."

"Oh you'll get it", he assured me, "you're a smart fella, thur, I know if there's a problem, you can fix it."

Thur. That was the one thing I remembered the most about him. He intended to say "there", but the phonemes of the word were lost in the slurry of his drawl. What had always amused me the most was the way in which he used the word; as though it were the proper punctuation to a sentence. As a child, I would make it a source of personal amusement to listen and count the number of "thurs" he used during his talks from the podium.

On that night, though, I was much too distracted by my personal discomfort to be amused. I gave him a nod and, with a smile, he made his way to the front of the room and sat down beside the white metal table which was only dragged out for the sake of a small Bible group. As he began to address the members of the congregation regarding the evening's agenda, I continued to search for the Kingdom Melodies we intended to play over the sound system. It was unusual to play music for a small Thursday night Bible study, but I assumed it was one of the many new things implemented in the meetings since my absence.

As brother Picard spoke, I searched in ever-increasing agitation for the correct CD. In my discomfort, however, my hands had become weak and I dropped the collection of disks onto the floor. Leaning down, I sifted through them to read the titles on the labels. But as I did so, I noticed something odd. All of the CDs were mine, taken from my personal CD case at home. Etched upon them in black sharpie were the names of all of my most cherished bands and musical pieces. "Katatonia", "Six Feet Under", "Dimmu Borgir", "Katalepsy", all of them had somehow found their way into the collection of CDs inside the music station of the kingdom hall. How could this be? How could such a personal and forbidden part of my life have found its way into a place like this?

I was unsettled by this discovery, and was made even more so by the fact that everyone had noticed that I was having difficulty sorting through the music. I looked around to see sister Jenkins roll her eyes and cover her face in bewilderment. Her daughter, Kelly, for whom I had always retained a hidden sexual admiration, simply stared at me with a look which spoke volumes of her contempt for me and who I was as a person. All at once, I felt as though I were a child again; being stared at from atop the condescending noses of those in Jehovah's organization. I felt weak. I felt vulnerable. I looked up to see my supposed mentor, brother Picard, as he chuckled to himself before addressing the other members of the congregation. His words sounded prophetic; as though they were being read from a book.

“So, bruthas and sistas,” he began, “I suppose you see now why we have to keep them in line from the beginin’, thur. One who wanders too far from Jehover’s flock is bound to make some mistakes ou’cheer in the world, and he loses a part of himself. That’s what we’re doin’ here, you see, tryin’ to soften his mind up again so that it can be molded into what Jehover wants it to be, thur.”

The other members of the congregation nodded in understanding assurance. Assurance that the apostate in their midst was making a fool of himself merely because he had been out of Jehovah’s grace for so long, and had succumbed to the false teachings of skeptics and free-thinkers. I became absolutely enraged. My heart beat rapidly in my chest and my breathing became hard and deep. The words which had just been spoken flashed through my mind once again: “tryin’ to soften his mind up again so that it can be molded”. I immediately realized that my return had been a mistake. I had been seduced by his well-meaning words and reassuring tone. I had been tricked into thinking that he truly had my best interests in mind when he sought to bring me back to the kingdom hall. But I realized then that all they truly wanted to do was to brainwash me again. To wipe away all of the progress I had made over the past few years. To cloud my reason and pull the dark veil of indoctrination back over my eyes once more.

No. I would not have it. I am my own person, and I will remain my own person until the day I die. No longer would I bow in submission to the irrational and deluded reasoning of this congregation. This cult. I had indeed been changed by my years in the “world”, and what had changed was that I had achieved clarity. Their teachings are false. Their beliefs are false. Their worldview is an illusion, and I refuse to allow myself to even be tempted by their beckoning.

I looked down at the Cds which were held loosely in my grip. Pulling one of them out of the deck at random, I read the words etched lazily upon its face. “Six Feet Under”. The music burned upon this CD was dark. Terrifying. Entirely unsettling to the conservative sensibilities of those who sat around me. I knew what I had to do.

“Ah, I found it” I said, holding the CD in the air so that brother Picard could see. He smiled and motioned for me to begin the opening music for the night’s meeting. I reached down and placed the CD into the audio deck. Without even the slightest sense of hesitation, I pressed play. All at once, the auditorium came alive with the deep, droning guitars which hummed like an apocalyptic swarm of bees, and the pounding, almost tribal sound of the drums An empowered smile slowly worked its way across the right side of my face and I stood to see brother Picard standing to my right; staring at me in total dismay. His face was pale and his skin was clammy. Behind him, other members of the congregation stirred uncomfortably in their seats as they attempted in vain to block out the horrible sounds to which they were being subjected. With my chest puffed out in confidence, I stepped to brother Picard’s side and placed my hand on his shoulder. I leaned in close to that he could hear me.

“Sorry fella,” I said sternly, “but it’s all bullshit. I’m done.”

I began my walk up the isle; glaring mischievously at those who hid their faces from me as I passed. They were shocked. They were offended. They were horrified by my worldly demeanor and my blatant defiance. My absolute refusal to adhere to their irrational beliefs. As I walked, my steps became slow and deliberate. I wanted them to bear witness to me for as long as possible before I exited that auditorium; never to return. I wanted them to see my defiance. I wanted to subject them to my liberation. For them to feel it burning into their hearts. And as their hearts burned, mine swelled with an overwhelming sense of freedom and empowerment.

I approached the double-doors which served as the entrance of the hall and placed both of my hands on them. I pushed them open simultaneously, and stepped out into the brightness of the world outside.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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07-04-2013, 04:19 PM
RE: Defiance (A Tale of Liberation)
I repsect your seemingly well-thought out style of writing. Your use of personification and spefically metaphor, helps considerably to imagine what you are talking about. I can relate to the ostracized feelings that my old church expressed toward me. I was the minority of the service, or atleast, it felt as though I was. My metal head aprearence seemed to give off a bad vive for everyone. I didn't really feel that vulgar or grunggy, but I think that was just their bigotry. Over all, congrates on rising above all the dogmatic bullshit and "seeing the light."
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03-05-2013, 01:41 PM
RE: Defiance (A Tale of Liberation)
Wow! I got overwhelmed with joy while reading your personal victory. Nearly teared up a littleBowing. This is what it's about! FREEDOM!
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