It should have happened a long time ago. Augustus Pompous Smedley had irritated enough of his relatives, the “Boulder (CO) Forty,” in the weeks following their Christmas family reunion as he accosted them with his phony “religious survey”. Always a man with huge opinions and totally fearless in expressing them, Smedley had attempted to invade the spiritual domain of the assorted gathering of relatives and their friends. He claims that his motives were pure in that he was only trying to get some of these people to take a fresh look at their belief systems so that they could avoid the pain and misery that he, Smedley, had experienced in his life brought on by a self-centered, God-less lifestyle.
Well, the reaction to his blatant evangelistic efforts was not quite what Smedley had hoped for. The bottom line was that these folks insisted that Smedley had stepped on their very sensitive and private toes. Several of the “Boulder Forty” felt that they were being demeaned – even ridiculed – by Smedley’s pithy survey “questions”. Touchy areas such as Yoga, over-emphasis on organic foods, and intense exercise, unbelief, humanism, and a smattering of New Age concepts went over like the proverbial flatulence in a house of worship, to say the least.
For Smedley, it was “win some, lose some”, as he responded with a very mild apology to let the matter die down, while hoping that down the line, a few lights might go on. This was not to be the case, however!
Two weeks ago, one of the more affluent members of the “Boulder Forty”, flew his Lear Jet into the Clinton Airport and somehow convinced Smedley to go back to Boulder for a “family conference” in hopes to unruffle the myriad of feathers he had unloosed. Smedley, with his over-bearing faith in his persuasive abilities, readily agreed and so back to Colorado he went – or so he thought was his destination. The flight attendant served Smedley a non-alcoholic Mile High beer and soon Smedley was in a blissful state.
Three hours later, the Lear Jet set down in an Arizona desert and Smedley still in a very compliant stage, was ushered into the lobby of The New Age Sweat Lodge with the signage declaring the place was a Religious Attiitude Adjustment Center! The still mellow Smedley was escorted into changing room, as the attendants removed his standard geezer clothes and replaced them with a roomy white robe, much like a hospital gown without the rear flaps.
The attendants then guided Smedley in what seemed to be a huge sauna filled with other folks in similar white robes and all sweating profusely. Smedley flopped on a bench along the upper wall and immediately his head started to throb from invasive humming sounds, the banging of tom-toms, and the chants and mantras sing-songed in unintelligible languages. Smedley, still somewhat goofy, was awash in a tsunami of mind boggling noise. He felt that his mind was being taken over! And it was!
After six more days enduring more sessions of this pervasive mind altering sweaty, dream-like consciousness, Smedley had completed the Religious Attitude Adjustment protocol. Here’s a few of the new truths Smedley came away with as now a healed believer:
It is all about you! You are #One! Your happiness is the highest good!
I’m OK, you’re OK. Do your own thing.
Everything is relative. What’s true for you is not necessarily true for me.
There are no absolutes, and this is absolutely true!
If it feels good, do it!
Everybody is doing it so why not you!
The Da Vinci Code is the real truth.
Man is an animal and nothing more.
God grades on the curve.
Heaven and Hell only exist here on earth.
Love your neighbor but only if he loves you first.
Forgiveness is for losers.
We are all part of God.
Man is not a sinner but only misunderstood.
Smedley, though now new and approved, will not be invited back to Boulder next year, however, as he must serve two years of probation. This probation period requires that he eat only organic food and free-range chicken; that he meditate day and night under an authorized sheet; that he join a hot yoga group; and finally, at the end each day that he suck down a kale and brussels sprouts smoothie!
P.S. Smedley had to take a Greyhound bus to get back home.