Editor's Note: We received so many e-mails after a commenter last week disclosed "ridiculous" and "out of hand" school rules imposed at the swampland that we felt obliged to confront the rector through an open letter. Pages 2 and 3 will follow on May 7 and May 14.
Brooksville Cult Compound 00666-1313
You don't mind our calling you "Don," do you? After all, it's not as though you really and truly belonged to the clerical state. You can strut and puff all you want with your bewitched cult supporters, but the Readers know you occupy the same status as lay men and women in Sedelandia, which is not the Church. In addition, you'll surely understand we can't address you as "Mister," weak as that honorific is, because you have forfeited all respect.
So "Don" it will be, knowing that the other names we use for you in private are unprintable (except our favorite, "gob of spit").
We write to give you the opportunity to set the record straight. Last week someone posted a comment about what normal people would consider to be outlandish rules for children, rules that the writer alleged were enforced at your swampland "school." Over the years, many people from different parts of the country have reported substantially the same nutty regulations.
But, quite frankly, Don, at first we couldn't believe such stories about any group that styles itself as traditional Catholic. If the accounts had been about, say, the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, or David Koresh's Branch Davidians in Waco, TX, then, for sure, we would have believed the allegations. But about Roman Catholics? No way, we (wrongly) insisted.
Yet the same, or eerily similar, stories kept pouring in from all points of the compass. In light of last week's disclosure, our readership has asked us to verify whether these wild narratives are true. You see, Don, the good Catholic folks in cyberspace can't believe it either, especially those who grew up before Vatican II. That's why we're trying to get the answer straight from the horse's — or, rather, that Palm-Sunday equid's — mouth, as it were.
In this letter, we'll lay out the alleged rules and practices that well-adjusted, cradle-Catholics find abhorrent. We're asking you (or your Clone), pretty-please with sugar and spice sprinkled all over, to confirm or disconfirm whether they reflect official "school" practice, no matter if they're written down or just barked orally to the cringing kids at the start of a school year. (We fully understand any reluctance to put some of this stuff in writing. Sheesh! There'd be a stampede to get out of any cult that subjected little children to so much insanity. You've probably got some bad memories from Michigan on that score.)
You may send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have your (and the Clone's) email addresses so we can confirm the authenticity of any reply. Moreover, Don, as an undeserved courtesy, we'll call you personally to verify that the response indeed came from you. If it is authentic, we'll post it to our scribd pages for the world to see (just as we posted the letter you signed in 1990 advising your nemesis "One-Hand Dan" about the dubiety of his priestly orders).
We are certain that, despite your intense loathing for us, you'll want to dignify this inquiry with a written answer. If the reports we transmit herein do not reflect your cult school's (schools') policies, then you'll want to deny them right away. The rules/practices as reported are outrageous and do merit condemnation. You may even want to disavow them outright and, in your inimitable bombastic style, anathematize any school administrator who would institutionalize such intrusive and, in some cases, dirty-minded regulations. You'll get that opportunity here on Pistrina Liturgica. We promise. (We're not sede "clergy," so you can trust us.)
On the other hand, Don, if these regulations and practices do represent approved policy, we're just as sure you'll want to confirm them. You can't be ashamed of embracing them if you permit their operation and enforcement, can you? Others may disagree with us, but we say that if the rules truly reflect your actual policy, we can't see your denying that they exist even if they're not written down and even if you know they might alienate unsuspecting new-comers. To do so would be an act of treachery to your own deeply held beliefs. And you wouldn't betray yourself, would you, Don?
We mean, if you did deny them when, in fact, they are communicated to students and are in force, you might provoke outrage from the 11 or so families that left the "school" when they found the rules intolerable. That, we're sure you understand, Don, would be disastrous for your fundraising efforts outside the tightly closed circle of the Big 3 cult benefactors. Why, it might result in a catastrophe like the 2009 $GG School Scandal.
Trad Nation, too, would be sorely upset if you didn't stand tall for your own rules. Good gracious! If Big Don won't walk the line, who will? Moreover, what would the few "seminarians" you now have left think if you didn't keep a close watch on that hard heart of yours? (BTW, how many "seminarians" still remain at the pesthouse? Four, is it? Maybe five?)
So, Don, we've culled the content from all comments, emails, and interview notes in our possession so you can examine them one by one. Since you claim to be an educator yourself, for your convenience, we'll organize them in examination format, because such an arrangement seems appropriate given the subject matter.
The first part of our test is a true-or-false section: before each statement we have placed a "T" ("true," meaning that you confirm the truth of the statement) or an "F"("false,"meaning you disconfirm or deny the statement).
Get out your #2 pencil, Don. You...may...begin...now! (Remember: no cheating, big boy.)
A. True or False (circle the letter that reflects your answer):
Don, is it true that...
T F 1. Your "school" permits neither participation in outside sports activities (although you don't offer in-school athletics) nor membership in outside clubs or organizations?
T F 2. When kids (or at least the kids who aren't from your Big 3 donor families) break the rules, they are isolated, and other children are not permitted to talk to them, while these victims of your discipline are publicly humiliated by having to stand against the wall for the whole day with their offense written above their heads?
T F 3. Your "school" does not permit the children's families to have broadcast TV at home?
T F 4. Children must get permission from the "nuns" or the "priest" in order to use the Internet at home or go to the movies?
T F 5. In one of your satellite operations, two adolescents who with parental accompaniment went to see a "Lord of the Rings" movie were expelled for not having secured the "nuns'" permission first?
T F 6. Your "school" keeps the children so busy with excessive homework (assigned by mostly untrained "teachers"), choir practice, server practice, and drudge work outside the school that the heavy work load is breaking down the home family unit?
T F 7. Boys and girls, including brothers and sisters in the sole company of their family, are not permitted to swim together?
T F 8. The prohibition of mixed swimming applies even if the girls wear long board shorts and long-sleeved rash guard shirts?
T F 9. A girl was penalized after being pressured to admit to one of the prying, Nosey-Parker "nuns" that they did not recite "family Rosary" at home?
T F 10. Children must clean the work-shy "nuns'" living quarters?
Editor's Note: Don's big exam will continue next week on page 2 of 3 of our open letter with section B, the long essay section. That'll be a real challenge for the rector.