Greetings and welcome to the Holidays, 2019! Party time is upon us. Usually, I’m riddled with reminders of “school’s” annual holiday hijacking and thanking God that I’m no longer part of this all-consuming soiree. This year, I’m not thinking about it that much.
I’m thankful that “school’s” seasonal larceny is becoming a distant memory, a blip in the screen. But the Christmas Party did come to mind as I passed by a Christmas Tree stand and remembered a tree scamming story told to me by a fellow “disgruntled ex-student”. I found it entertaining & hope you do, as well. Here goes …
Every Christmas teachers sent out some poor cog to scam a free tree. They insisted on a donated tree. Yep. It’s a weird cult-loyalty test thing. Anyway, in 2011, the tree scammer baton got handed to my one and only recruit.
I’d already left at that point and had been obsessively contacting him, driven by guilt, and determined to get him out. I was encouraged that he always took my calls & he told me stuff – he was leaking to the enemy!
He was also struggling — as we all did every season — because, as designed, the shindig wedges between members and non-members, wiggling back and forth, isolating them at the very time when families are planning their parties, or getting presents, or decorating houses, or attending church services together. I was treading lightly, inviting him to say the unsayable & trust his spidey sense. Yes, something is wrong with this picture … I wasn’t sure if he’d bolt as soon as I criticized school.
SO as he’s struggling with doubts, a teacher instructs him to scam the tree, “Tell them you’re throwing a party for underserved children … because, as students, we are like children.” You know, something altruistic, as opposed to the truth: the $350/month, esoteric mystery school (cough, cult) I’m in, wants me to scam a free Christmas tree with fine radiations from you, because as a cult, it feels entitled. Merry Christmas!
He called a merchant, who asked, “What’s the name of your organization?” He fumbled, explaining, “… emmm, we don’t have a name.” The immediate response was, “No.” He told me, “That’s when I realized that they’ve heard this crap before.” He said f*ck this, and bought a tree. He knew he couldn’t possibly confess to buying it without getting a load of crap. So he decided to experiment … would these highly evolved beings know if he employed some clever insincerity on them?
He told the class, “I brought my guitar to the tree place and offered to sing Christmas Carols in exchange for a free tree. It worked!” The he waited to be called out. Surely one of his teachers, or long-time member, those who’d been doing the work longer, would know that he was bullshitting, right? Wrong. All praised him for his innovation and cleverness, as though he’d hit the “school” pinnacle! Not one of those highly evolved beings sensed the complete fabrication. By the New Year, he was gone and he took a number of classmates with him in what we now call The Great Escape.
You know, it never occurred to me to lie at “school”. After I left, many disgruntled ex-students told me that they started making shit up about all kinds of things: tree scamming, making new friends (also known as the pretentious ‘third line of work’) certain instructions, assignments and more! I guess that “school”/”the study” (whatever it’s called now) is good at Clever-Insincerity training. How inspiring.
If you’re reading this, you’re either “breaking rules”, or already free. Cheers to either your rebellion, or your school-free holidays & school-free life!!!
Of course, you might be the Blog-Monitor. Whatever the reason, may the season be good to you!
And Blog Monitor, (Geoff??? Josh??? Who is it today?) try to imagine a life without having to monitor this site. You must have better things to do. But while you’re here … I’m sure that there’s been several name changes since I left. Perhaps even since the New York Post ran that article earlier this month. Feel free to fill us in on what “school” calls itself today.