Lou Dripkin 16-Sep-93 10:25pm Never Again I used to be a Regular Joe, just like you. I ne

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Lou Dripkin 16-Sep-93 10:25pm Never Again I used to be a Regular Joe, just like you. I never thought that I was the sort of guy that could get addicted to anything. Yeah, I did go to a political rallies here and there, but I stayed away from the really hard stuff. I'm just not cut out to be that sort of person. But then it happened. One night, about four years ago, I went with a friend of mine to hand out some kind of leaflets on the street. It seemed innocent enough. The leaflets described a revival tent meeting that night in the woods outside of town. They said that lots of people would be there and it would be a good time for everyone. My friend pleaded with me...said there would be lots of girls there. so I went, just on the dare. About ten minutes after I got there, I was greeted by "The Rev" who was the leader of the pack. He told me all about how Jesus was my own personal savior. I was a little hesitant to get involved with something that strong, but the temptation to accept something that would help to "straighten me out" was very tempting. So I agreed to try it. I thought that just a little religion wouldn't be too bad for me. Just this once. What the hell? I found that during the evening, I no longer cared about the facts that made life difficult. It was made clear to me that all I had to do was to stop thinking and let the religion do the rest. Just relax and let it take me. So I did. I found myself the next week with a burning desire to get some more religion. It was there for the asking. But this time, when i showed up at the tent, they demanded an admission fee. Just a dollar, what the hell? I was going to stop after this weekend anyway. But the next weekend I was back and they wanted ten bucks. I was happy to pay the fee as I wasn't addicted and it all went for a good cause, didn't it? After I had had a big hit of religion that night, I found myself speaking in tongues. I stood on the pulpit and announced that I was a sinner. I had never thought about it, but it was true. didn't I learn about evolution in the classroom? Hadn't I drunk the Devil's Own Brew? It was clear that this was a much better life than the one that I was leading. Within two years, I had begun to tithe ten percent of all my earnings. then twenty percent. I had lagged behind at work because I was going to prayer meetings three times a day. Religion had taken my life and I didn't even know it. My boss called me into the office to see what was going on. I got mad at him because he was prying into my private life. Why didn't he leave me the hell alone? Why didn't they all leave the hell alone? My wife kept ragging on me about leaving the house for hours at night to go to prayer meetings. She said that I never spent any time with the kids any more. She said that I was not the man that she had married. I wish now that I had listened to her. I got active in church politics. I picketed disgusting abortion centers and threw human feces at the doctors and nurses. I helped bring a lawsuit to prevent evolution from being taught in the public schools. I did nothing else. It ruled my life. It was ruining my job, and my family. Then one day about six months ago, I came home to find that my wife had left me and taken the kids. This was her fault . I convinced myself of that. Then two weeks later, my boss fired me. it made no difference. I could get help at the church. But when I went to the church, they told me that my tithes were in arrears. There would be no more religion until I paid up my dues. I became a wild man. I went out on the street. I found religion there, but it wasn't as pure as what I got at the church. Fact was, that it was not the same and caused me to lose sight of what I wanted. so I became desperate. I went and got a gun and on Sunday morning, I hid in the church and listened to the service. When it was over, I wanted more, so I ran to the pulpit and held the gun on the preacher and made him give me more religion. this time it would be free. Afterwards, high on Jesus, I ran from he church and got into my car and drove off. I must have been doing about 90 and weaving in and out of traffic as a cop pulled me over. I tried to act calm, but the silly grin spread all over my face. Then the cops checked my tags and I was arrested for holding up the church and driving under the influence of a bible. Now I ma in rehab and see the error of my ways. My wife visits me every so often, and when I get out, we plan to move away and make a new life for ourselves. I tell you this to keep you from making the same mistake I did. Just say "NO!" to religion. Lou

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