22:46:01 | 2000-09-20


Things are crazy, and good. The boy e-mailed again, asking lots of questions. I responded with a short novelette. That'll be sure to scare him off;-)

*~*

Shout out to my friend MM, who invited me to run away and escape with him to Chicago. I'll have to pass, as his whirlwind, romance filled life filled with fabulous boys, would be too much for this Partygirl to handle.

As I've said, time and time again - a girl just can't compete with the man-on-man. The truth hurts, ladies.

*~*

My new DL friend,Tabasco, mentioned that she thought my near cult abduction is worth an entry.

And I think she might be right, so here it goes...

*~*

When I was a sophomore at a small college in New England - a mere 19-years-old (I think back on it with wonder that my parents allowed such an inexperienced grasshopper to leave their home!)- I was an aspiring journalist.

One of my classes was one of those totally out there classes taught by a free-spirited, hemp wearing, pachouli-smelling New York Times freelancer. (Not that there's anything wrong with that - Partygirl used to be a Deadhead folks, believe it!)

Oh, how I j'adored her! To be a journalist and a free-spirt and anything I said she thought was "Right On!"

She would bring in these fabulous speakers and they would tell us about their lives and we would all record it and develop our own stories from this mass interview. This, by the way, was a rad assignment. You wouldn't believe the facts that were important to others, and non-existant to the rest. Anyway, we interviewed former junkies, draft dodgers, Vietnam vets, foster parents, etc.

And then assignment time came. Each of us needed to select a topic and run with it. Fully research, conduct interviews, and submit a piece fit for print in the NYT.

At the time, I had been following the Moonies...or more specifically, the Unification Church. They had been the focus of a great deal of local media because they were proposing to basically buy out the city of Bridgeport, CT. They also had a mass marriage ceremony at Madison Square Garden.

I found this intriguing, but then again, I'm a cult kinda girl. I did some digging and found out that a professor at my college was dismissed when his ties to the cult were exposed. I also found out that he was still in the area, still kept in touch with some staff, and that he lived near the Moonie HQ.

Using a little of my 19-year-old reporter's finesse, I secured his phone number from a faculty member, who made me promise that I would not meet with this man alone or off-campus. I was on my way.

I called the man, and he was very interested in meeting me. He asked me where I wanted to meet. I suggested the school library, although I had never been there. (Believe it.) He told me he would sign out one of the meeting rooms and I agreed.

I arrived at the library on time and ask for the meeting rooms - remember, I've never been there, so I have no idea. The librarian gives me a key and leads me through a maze of twisting and turning hallways, keying me through one door and then the next, until we reach a secluded area and she points to a numbered room and points to the door. I open the door.

Let me tell you what I see. Basically, this is Attica. This is where prisoners meet their attorney's in Attica.

Plain table, two wooden chairs. Paint, intentionally subdued, as if to not incite anyone.

And in one of the chairs, a man about 70 years old.

Introductions ensued and we spoke for hours. Me, easily questioning him about the religion. No hardball, because I wanted to gain his trust first.

He spoke slowly and softly, hands folded over each other on his desk, making eye contact and holding it, so that it was difficult for me to look away. His manner of speech was hypnotic.

Some of the things he told me were strange, such as the van of "young people" who are so devoted to him and the church and their "family" that when he goes on vacation - they park their van in his driveway and watch his house. However, they never enter his house, out of respect for a member of their "family."

Manson anyone???? Talk to me.

I asked what they did when they had to go to the bathroom during that two-week period? He smiled and softly told me that one person stays in the driveway and the others drive to the strip mall nearby, which has a McDonalds and a Dunkin Donuts.

A Red Flag goes up in my mind, but I push it back to get through the interview.

The other strange thing he brought up was when we spoke about the arranged marriages. ALL marriages within the church were arranged and approved by Reverend Sun Yung Moon, the founder of the religion. He reviewed all applications, screened applications and matched them. He also officated the mass ceremony at Madison Square Garden.

When explaining this arranged marriage, he used this example, as he reached for and held my hand: "You see Partygirl, the Rev. Moon is a visionary with divine vision. He would look at you and your personality, then look at me and he would marry you and I regardless of the fact that you may be 19 and I am 70. Because age is no longer important. What's important is that Rev. Moon has identified you as the match to complete my life on earth. And we would then have children."

Yep, this freaked me out. I believe there was more to this part of the interview, but my mind has kindly blocked it from my memory.

And might I add, maybe this is where the strangers touching issue started?

But I digress. I wrapped the interview very quickly after that and the man gave me some books about the religion. In hindsight, I know why he did that.

But I thanked him and he asked me to call him if I needed anything else.

A few days later there was a note in my mailbox at school. The note was from security. The man had called and asked for my dorm room number. Security would not divulge that information, nor give out my phone number. So they passed on the message.

He wanted me to call him. They were going to have a dinner dance (I can't believe I am remembering all of this now - Tabasco, if I start having nightmares again - you are in trouble!) the following weekend and he wanted to know if I would like to go with him?

Uggh. I knew this was trouble. I called him, and I declined, mentioning I would be home in XXX with my parents. He said that was too bad, because he thought it would be a great opportunity for me to meet some of the young people studying at their seminary and speak with them.

Again I declined.

I believe it was that same day, that I started doing cult research. One of the basic ritual practices are animal sacrifices. Going through the papers, I found a number of slain dogs in the area. I started checking addresses of the slaying. They were within 5 miles of my interview subject.

This started to freak me out. So I decided to move on. Cut him off and move on.

I talked to security, he had called again. Another message for me to call him.

I did not return the call.

The weekend passes, and I am now speaking with another member of the church whom he had recommended - these people running a small home of "family" up north. They invited me up for sunday brunch. My friend AK, said I had better not go alone, so he and his other friend would come with me.

Strangely, when I asked if I could bring my "boyfriend and his friend" they thought there wouldn't be enough room at their table. And so I passed on the invite.

The weekend passed and I decided that I had enough information; I would not conduct any more interviews.

I spoke with my Mom, living in Small Town USA. She told me that someone called asking for me. She told them I wasn't there. The man introduced himself.

It was HIM.

My mother, always wary since I had another stalker freak in HS that she had to screen (ohhh! I forgot about him on my questionaire! I'll have to fix that!), excused herself and said she'd give me the message, but that I no longer lived there.

That would be my mom, saving her own ass from the stalker. But to exonerate her, she has a right to be worried - a woman a few blocks down from us was murdered when she answered her front door and faced her daughter's enraged ex-BF. He savagely murdered her with a steel blade in front of 4 nuns and then ran upstairs and repeated stabbed the sleeping GF - who lived. The woman killed was the VP at my small Catholic grade school. I was in second grade. Two houses down from that woman, was the couple that the film "I Love You To Death" was based on. Welcome to middle-class suburbia.

Anyway, now my mom is freaked out. And my Mom, nev-ahhhhhh freaks. Coolest cat in town, that bitch.

The next thing I know, I am seeing more animal sacrifices show up in the paper. But maybe because I know what to look for now.

I called him and I politely told him I have all the information I need for his story. He tried to persuade me to meet him again. To come to the divinity school. But I was strong and would not break down. I, firmly, but politely, said no - because the last thing I want to do is anger him.

He used his trump card: He asked for the books back. He said he would come to my room if I told him where I live. I said that's not necessary. He invited me to his house to drop them off. I thought about this and took the address, but quickly decided this is a trap. I told him I would mail them to him.

He was not happy. But he did not argue.

He stopped sending messages.

Security issues a memo around campus. A van, has been spotted driving around campus with it's backdoors open, cruising and interrogating students.

I head over to security. I break it down. "Hi, I believe the van filled with psycho's is looking for me?"

I tell them everything. They look grim.

They instruct me that I am not to walk alone anywhere outside of my building at night. Nor to class during the day. I am to call for an escort. Regardless of where I am going.

So, of course I don't do this. Duh. I'm 19, with my head of my bong only long enough to run to class 10 minutes late. No time to even grab a pen let alone call ahead for a guard.

That day. Heading to afternoon class. Alone. Walking through the parking. I see a van with a bunch of hippie kids spilling out the windows. Frankly, they looked pretty cool. But it scared me shitless.

It was like seeing Manson in person. I'm walking in the warm sunlight and all I feel is a chill come over me and I have goosebumps.

The van comes speeding around a corner towards me and I take off, RUNNING to the closest building. I run in and hide. I have someone call security.

They tell me that while it may not be me specifically, that the van is looking for, they have to alert the President of the University. A Jesuit.

I feel reassured, I mean the Jesuits are the order reporting to the Pope, right? They must have clout! Yes! Clout among cults! I mean the Catholic Church is the largest cult in the world for God's sake! Pull strings!

Well, I don't know what happened then. But it all stopped shortly after that. No more messages from the guy. Security said the van would not be returning. And my life of dorm room bong hits resumed.

I guess that means, Jesuits 1 - Moonies 0. How very Tom Robbins;-)

PS - I also forgot about the cop that stalked me at school. I'll be updating the questionaire.

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