The pancake bell rings, the pancake bell, tri-lill my hearts... Dekker*
Last week PL reported on "One-Hand Dan's" strategy of season-long, mandatory-attendance "social events" in a doomed effort to revive his cultlings' flagging enthusiasm for $GG side shows. As you can see above with your very own eyes, the Lenten assault on Gertie pocketbooks and minds begins February 26, Quinquagesima $unday 2017.
Looks as though he's pulled out all the stops, too.
Like a sleaze-bag promoter of dicey vacation timeshares deals, Li'l Daniel's recruiting the suckers with cheap free snacks and trashy gaming thrills. According to last week's "Corner," attendees at this kick-off event are ordered to "plan to stop by ... to eat a pancake or two." (Man, oh, man, isn't he generous! Plus the chutzpah's breathtaking: he makes their plans for them and then sets stingy limits to what they may ingest. Why couldn't he be prodigal and invite 'em to a stack or two of rubbery flap jacks?)
You can tell Plannin' Dan's worried the Gerties suspect he's only interested in their money. In the same "Corner," he went out of his way to make a disclaimer: "This is a fun raiser, not a fund raiser...." If you believe that, we've got a lovely bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
What about the Bingo game at 12:45? Is everyone going to play for funzies? If that's the case, nobody'll show up, Dan's command notwithstanding. As every cultie juvenile delinquent can tell you, gambling demands prizes — preferably a great, big cash jackpot. No bucks = no fun. So, then, where's the money coming from? The $unday collection baskets? Or will Bingo cards be "available" for a "donation"? And, if so, how much of the "donation" money will make it to the pot? Will all the cash go there, or will $GG first take a hefty cut?
The "Corner" described Dirtbag Dan's cult carnival as "a little purposeful church fun...fitting for Shrovetide or Mardi Gras."** Huh? "Church fun"??? That's a Bergoglian contradictio in adjecto, if we ever saw one! Perhaps he isn't aware that, historically, the Church condemned and endeavored to eliminate the wanton merry-making and triumphant libertinism attendant to the excessively wild days of thinly disguised pagan revelry culminating with mardi gras.
Carnival frolic, in origin and in practice, is by definition opposed to the sacred. Accordingly, it earned its relentless persecution on the part of ecclesiastical authorities. Yet here we have a sede "bishop" (LOL) embracing lustily the transgressive, carnal spirit Holy Mother Church labored for centuries to eradicate.
Instead of exhorting Gerties to set aside an afternoon of quiet recollection in solemn preparation for the onset of the penitential season, His Conviviality purposefully distracts them from godly thoughts with alluring games of chance, tingling whispers of licensed overindulgence, and titillating promises of good times rollin' on throughout Lent. Outrageously, he's reduced Quinquagesima at $GG to a "dimanche gras" (= "fat $unday") of frivolous abandon.
Why, the pious Catholic asks, would "One Hand" do such a thing on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, making a mockery of the Roman Church's centuries-long opposition? What greater good could ever result from this unholy inversion of traditional values?
We think we have the answer in clues Dannie himself let slip. Notice the apparent typo in the ad reproduced above: "Games and cards available for a causal good time." The Readers are always on the lookout for Dannie's frequent linguistic faux pas, but this isn't one of them. We definitely don't think he meant "casual."
There is a very specific cause that this "purposeful church fun" supports, namely, "One-Hand Dan." If the folks don't show up for this year's Lenten bacchanals, he's at risk of losing them, their dollars, and their free chow to his stiff competition in SW Ohio. So the objective of this gravely offensive hard-partying is clear: shore up Dan's moribund enterprise before it expires.
From a cult-building point of view, Dannie's survival instincts are spot on. Frequent, large-group activities centered on a central, domineering personality are useful to increase cultish solidarity. Moreover, they make participants dependent on each other in order to find meaning in their empty lives. In this sense, all Dan's "$ocial $unday" gluttony and puerile amusement*** is not much different in aim from some shady corporate team-building exercises. There the lesson is that only a cohesive group submitting to an all-controlling head-honcho can give transcendent purpose to otherwise routine activities.
Sustaining the sense of commonality in both religious cults and secular organizations is trust. It's the magic elixir that bewitches otherwise normal people into subordinating their own and their families' interests to the objectives of the group under its overreaching, self-obsessed guru. Without this trust, not only will such activities as Dannie has scheduled for Lent 2017 fail in their purpose, they'll have the opposite effect.
The disaffected Gerties'll actively resist the crude effort to manipulate their time, their attitudes, and their money. The frightened, twitching unfortunates who hobble into one or two of the "social events" will gravitate to other wretches of a similar mind to share their resentment. Thus $GG's Lenten socials will produce a virulently subversive fifth column within SW Ohio cult.
It's time for Dannie to face the music. The mojo's vanished from $GG. Only a few, pathetic degenerates still believe he's got what it takes to direct their lives. By now, most traditional Catholics don't for a second think he's a broadly cultured churchman cut from the same cloth as pre-Vatican II clergy. Many aren't sure whether he possesses valid holy orders, and everyone is familiar with his innumerable educational shortcomings. Most importantly, all TradNation is fed up with his morbid, weekly stupid cat stories. All that keeps Gerties at the cult center on $undays is the common human aversion to change, even when conditions are almost unbearable.
But when they become absolutely unbearable, that's when upheaval breaks out. The 2009 $GG $chool $candal was too much for the really decent people. Wincing under the sting of conscience, they had to get out. The years following that first revolt brought with them an onslaught of revelations about the cult masters and their inadequacies, revelations that no one but the most depraved can ignore. Avoidance of "One Hand's" Lenten side-shows is a sure sign the culties are restive again.
Tortured by a deep moral unease with their scheming masters, Gerties are steadily opting out. For many, Li'l Daniel's frantic, lead-fisted efforts this Lent to stop the sheep he's already lost from straying will be enough for them to break all ties with the diseased, dying West Chester sect.
Most cultlings with a shred of conscience left will get Dannie's number sooner or later. When it's called, then
Gerties can collect their winnings: a Catholic life free from manic fundraising, uncharitable infighting, family-splitting dissension, and, most of all, incompetent play-acting. Why not enter this new life starting on February 26? Skip Wee Dan's "devil's week" carnival. Go home to prepare for a soul-purifying Lent at another area chapel. You've got lots to choose from.
Your children will remember you fondly in their prayers of thanksgiving.
* In England on Shrove Tuesday, a church-bell was rung to announce the time to make pancakes to use up eggs and milk before the Lenten fast. Dannie's just anticipating by a few days so he can ring in his Lenten galas to get everyone in a party-hearty mood.
** For someone who rails against women in skimpy clothing, we're surprised the Pecksniffian Prelataster referenced "Mardi Gras," the U.S.version of pagan excess and feathered, fleshy license. A quick look at the images on the web would make a old roué blush. And for those who think that by 2017 Carnival has lost its past sordid associations, read this excerpt from the travel brochure Postcards touting Venice's modern revival of the licentious fête:
This pre-Lent festival started in the 11th century when Venetians would wear masks to conceal their identity so that they could mix with different social classes and indulge in illicit activities, including gambling and clandestine affairs.Is that how "fellow Catholics" are supposed to "connect"?
*** With the inadequate "formation" Deficient Dannie received, he probably was never nurtured on Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics or Aquinas's commentary on that classic. He never learned that "full happiness, then, [lies] not in childish play" (1176b27-28, our translation).