Most folks who know me know that I was born and raised and ran away from a family of radical Evangelicals. At every opportunity I have tried to warn people that this group of people are dangerous, vile, and terrorists. The ONE and ONLY thing they preach from their pulpits is hatred. I have heard them in their secret meetings when I was a child, even way back when, fantasize about the days they could freely kill people of color, of different religions and the homosexuals. They claimed it as a God-given right because they were “His Chosen”. For years I have seen their power grow, and in spite of a Constitution guaranteeing a separation of church and state they stuck their nasty fingers into politics and found their power with no checks. We now see the end result of that as the bigots and racists and homophobes now feel free to spew their hatred everywhere; and terrorize, bully and EVEN KILL anyone and everyone that does not subscribe to their brand of insanity. In all my years after escaping this I have been on a singular mission to tell it, shout it, and write about what they really are and what their agenda really is from my first hand experience of being raised in the midst of it.
A year and a half ago I decided to finally write the scifi novel I plotted out OVER 8 years ago about a despicable religious-political entity coming to power in our country… One that if you are listening to the news now…is happening… The villain in this book is that religious creature, an Evangelical pastor…and I made dead certain I included the exact type of rhetoric I once heard coming out of his mouth… Now is the time to be afraid… The MONSTERS are here…they are out to destroy everything with their hatred…and we need to recognize their speech…and ACT!!!
EXCERPT: From XPERIMENT BY DAN SKINNER
available at Amazon. com
Chris’ head cocked. “Someone’s coming.”
Before they heard the engine, the crowd had begun to cheer. Whomever they’d been awaiting was arriving. The group parted making way as a convertible military jeep drove to the center and parked. Applause echoed as a tall figure dressed in a dark suit stood in the back holding his arms high. He was a gaunt man with an emaciated face. Long dark hair had been pulled back in a ponytail that curled past his collar. When he smiled his teeth looked abnormally white and too big for his mouth like dentures. He had fierce, penetrating ebony eyes. The crowd chanted, “Reverend, Reverend!”
“Brethren, patriots, disciples…” he began, after a theatrical bow. More applause rolled through the crowd. “Welcome!”
It was the man with the oddly familiar southern drawl that had arrived by limousine at the repair shop. The man with the voice that haunted Geoff. Though thin and white as ash he had the empirical stance of a one certain of his position. His eyes possessed that feverish glassy stare of the single-minded zealot seeing a golden road where others saw gravel. His posture was rigid, his chin elevated as he spoke.
“There’s our guy,” DiMarco announced, moving in between them to peer over the crate.
“Do you know who he is?”
“No. But if we were Bond this would be our Blofeld.” He began typing more texts on the phone.
The applause died away as he began to speak. “I am so proud to be with you on this propitious occasion. A little over ten years ago I began this crusade of change as a proud American and a man of Faith. I had a vision to right the wrongs happening to our once great country… soon to be great again. Our founding fathers were great men who had a vision for this country. A vision built on faith. The Almighty spoke through them, and wrote through them when they penned our Constitution. But the faithless have been changing it. Destroying what was once our great nation by saying it’s a melting pot. You know what a melting pot is? It’s where the pure becomes polluted. We weren’t meant to be a melting pot back then, now nor ever.”
Another oceanic roar of approval rolled through the crowd. He waved them down. “I coined that phrase ten years ago: It’s time to take our country back. Only a patriot knows the true meaning behind those powerful words. Our country was founded by pure-of-heart, god-fearing men like us, our Founding Fathers – George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and the rest. Slaves did not write our Constitution. Muslims did not write our Constitution. Queers did not write our Constitution. The Natives who were here did not make this country great. We brought them civilization. We made this country what it is and they’ve systematically torn it down around us. We build skyscrapers, they turn ‘em into ghettos. We raise religious gentlefolk, they give us diseased whores, hustlers, pimps and queers. We build nice homes to raise decent families and they brought drugs to the streets. We praise the Creator, and their scientists say we’re the product of ooze. We preach the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman and they’ll have the world believe that we’re unnatural because we will not approve their perversion. They have defiled everything that was once good; that made our country with no rival.”
DiMarco shook his head, veins in his temples rose like engorged streams. He was not enjoying the speech.
“I’ll tell you who did not build this country, did not make it great: the Muslims, the Chinese, the Mexicans, the Africans, the atheists or the homosexuals. The blind, the poor; the disabled did not build this country. Women did not build this country. What does it mean when we say we’ll take our country back? It means we’ll take it back from those who do not belong here. We worked for our riches and they want to take them away and give it to the parasites: the poor, the homeless, the jobless, the immigrants. You know why we have taxes? To pay for the slackers in the homeless shelters, the indigent who sneak over our borders to feed on our wealth. Shelters are nothing more than homes for life-sucking leeches. We feed them with our blood and they want more. We’re being robbed by the very country we built. These are the people from whom we will take our country back.”
Geoff saw Chris flinch, his jaw flex. Touching his shoulder, he was rigid. He knew he was thinking of his friends who were now gone.
Listening, he couldn’t shake the feeling he’d encountered him before. He just couldn’t recall where. His effete gentlemanly mannerisms made him distinctive; not someone you’d be likely to forget.
“My father didn’t grow up in luxury in little Hawk Point Junction, Texas just eight miles of the Oklahoma border. He started as a near penniless newspaper owner. But he was a smart man and a hard worker and by the time I was born he was the co-owner of a multi-million dollar oil engineering firm.” He strode back and forth in the rear of his jeep platform as he spoke. “I remember when I was a tyke him telling me he wanted me to grow up knowing the true feeling of accomplishment. I wasn’t handed anything on a silver platter. He made me work. I was a paperboy. I washed dishes in restaurants. I mowed lawns for two dollars in the long, hot Texas summers. And when I was old enough I joined his company, not as a family member, but as an employee putting in sixteen hours a day. He made me earn my way into the offices. By the time he died, he’d lived to see me turn the business into a multi-billion dollar Goliath in over sixty countries.”
Their gruff, Italian colleague was still busy with his phone when he made a fist pump. “Got him,” he said, excitedly. “Braggart gave me just enough background history to figure out who he is. His name is Emerson Lakefield, the heir to the Lakefield oil fortune. One of twin brothers, Everette Lakefield, who went mysteriously missing in 1972 when they were seventeen. “
“Mysteriously?” It was Chris. “What does that mean?”
“It says by the time the boys were in their teens Emerson had become obsessed with religion. His brother was getting ready to go into college and favored scientific thinking. They both fought for their fathers favor, but Everette’s interest in theater, writing and science didn’t go down well with the old man. He thought it made him effeminate. By 1968 he only referred to having one son, Emerson. To toughen them up he sent them on a camping expedition in the wilds of Washington for a month giving them nothing but the clothes on their back. Two boys went on a camping trip together in the Washington woods. Two went in, one came out. They never found Everette. Emerson said the last he’d seen of his brother was when he walked into the woods to take a piss. It was listed as an open but unsolved case. Their father never mentioned Everette again and they never held a wake or funeral for him after he was declared dead. There never was any suspicion that it was anything but an unfortunate accident. I guess money can buy anything.”
“It’s odd he doesn’t even mention his brother growing up,” Chris observed. “He only talks about when he grew up.”
Lakefield was still speaking. “I learned two things when I took over my Pop’s business: The backbone of this country was built on industry and our faith in the Almighty. One cannot have prosperity without Faith, and that has been my message. I’ve put my money where my mouth is. I’ve backed good men in politics, helped build churches that have this country’s heart at its center. But there are those with equal resources and power that’ve fought me. They’ve tried to stop my businesses by saying I’m destroying the planet even though my companies gave thousands of people jobs. They’d have you believe my companies harm the ecological balance of the planet without telling you I’m also the man who puts the food on your plates. At every turn I’ve encountered resistance by these socialistic bleeding hearts, and do you know why?” he pointed at the crowd. “Godlessness. They use the myth of Science as a club to try to beat me down. I ask you, how can the small hands of man ruin the large work of a Creator? We cannot. Man doesn’t have the capacity to change creation, only the Creator does.”
There was a resounding chorus of “Amen’s” from the crowd. A strange combination, Geoff thought: men dressed in military uniforms behaving as if they were at a revival.
“All around us we’ve seen the godless handiwork tearing at the fabric of society. I knew I had to do something. And it came to me ten years ago when I took on the mantel as one of His ministers that I had the money to do it. That I had the power to make the change. That I had a voice and I would let the Almighty use it. Now my tongue is His tongue. He speaks through me to command the armies of earth to do His Will. And His Will is for us to take back this country.”
The dismal sewer walls resounded with more cheering and applause.
“God speaks through him? His tongue is God’s tongue?” Chris made a distasteful face. “That’s pretty…”
“Sociopathic,” DiMarco supplied the appropriate term.
The sinister man shook his fists, yelling the words like a drumbeat to stir the fervor of the crowd. “My Will is His Will! His Will is mine!”
The affirmations rose louder. Emerson’s eyes shown bright, his grin augmented with the adulation.
“In these ten years it’s become clear that their laws weren’t in harmony with the Almighty’s. That it was their intention to force their world of sin upon us. They thought we were too meek, would turn the other cheek, but that’s not the manner in which our Lord works. If they’re lawless, he drowns them with a flood; if they’re perverse he’s rains fire down upon them. If they didn’t harken to his commands, he gave them plagues.” The arc of too white teeth hardened into something malevolent. “The Almighty has never been a passive leader. He’s always been a decisive commander, and He’d expect nothing less of us… nothing less of me. Together, we’re now the arm of the Almighty. They’ll fear us.” He shook his finger. “But it will not be easy, and we must be strong because they’ve summoned the demons of Hell to help them. I witnessed this with my very eyes: Lucifer’s dark angel swooping down with death upon those whose allegiance was with us. I saw the winged demon tear them apart limb by limb. I barely escaped myself except by His grace.” His eyes blazed.” That was when I knew that ours will be a mighty fight; we must steel ourselves against what may come against us.”
Booming noises drummed above the tunnels. Lakefield made a grandiose sweeping gesture upward. “Like my Pop used to say, the world can change in three blinks of a gnat’s eye…”
Those words thunderstruck Geoff. They echoed back to him from another night in the middle of summer in Forest Park. He peered over the crate at the wiry figure with the ponytail he’d first seen in silhouette by the lake where gay men cruised.