Traveling in the Time of Covid-19

I have been on the road for three and one-half weeks. During that time, I have flown to Washington State, Drove a U-Haul from Washington State traveling south and east to a small town in South Carolina, then drove back to my home in Albuquerque.

Quite a bit of travel in a few short weeks. But nothing compared to the real road warriors, our Truck Drivers! Without these folks driving to every nook and cranny in the United States and beyond. Despite the scared yet pathetic hoarders, we would be naked and starving, unable to take care of our basic human needs.

Driving over any Interstate Highway, and especially coming from one of the coasts, it is obvious how much our nations Truck Drivers do to keep our country running. For example, Apples from Washington State are driven down to the Florida State and unloaded to take on a load of citrus fruits for Washington. And so on and so forth, everything we need and take for granted. I will end this portion with a call out for our Nation’s Truckers! Give them a smile if and when you see them.

Washington State, which is racked with this new sickness, was in my short time there, a mixed bag. Depending on age, and perhaps education, different views on all aspects of this pandemic can be seen in a single afternoon, if one is daring enough to leave the house. I have no doubt that is how we are, wherever we live.

Empty roads to roads shared with Semi Trucks

 

Depending on where you live in the world, you are giving more or less attention and are better or poorer prepared than we are in the States as we stumble along in semi denial. There are a few people in charge who are obviously in a different reality and have different priorities than caring for the public good. However there are State Governors and small town councils who are taking this pandemic with seriousness and appropriate action.

Personally, I think our situation is a blessing in disguise. Families are forced to spend time together instead of inhabiting the same home, and leading disparate lives. We have time to explore our spirituality and look deep into our beliefs and thoughts. I went out walking in the park today, physically distant from others, and it was a pleasure to see people outdoors as a family.

I received texts and phone calls from my neighbors asking after me, and offering any help or support as they may be able to help with. What more can one possibly expect from neighbors? Neighbors are in many ways, extended families. What happens to a family in many neighborhoods is known and and effects friends and neighbors alike.

Moving back to spirituality, this is a good time to really think about what you believe and why you believe it. Some decades ago, I found myself in a position of knowing without a doubt, that everything I thought I knew to be true was not only incorrect, but was/is part of a massive effort to push beliefs that grossly falsehoods.

In light of inspecting the falsehoods and misdirection that made my belief system, I was moved from being asleep to alive and awake. I hope this quarantine period, moves others to reflect, and have the courage to admit their beliefs too are wrong. I hope they find their way on the path to truth and a more meaningful life.

After being in half the states in the U.S, in only a few weeks, I have seen people showing immense courage and empathy. People willing to feed me, rent me a room for the night, provide gasoline, coffee, and snacks. Some of these people have no choice, they need to work, no matter the risk.

Other people, either through instinct or altruism, are out there making other peoples lives better and helping folks like me get to where they need to go. My heart goes out to the probably millions of people who went to work, to find out they are now unemployed. Several industries we took for granted are now, idle, maybe never to recover.

I hope you are able to make positive changes in your life, and practice whatever form of spirituality which is important to you in the coming undefined period of time. One good thing about a pandemic, is getting through one, and learning “I” can’t do it alone. Surviving a pandemic takes all of us, “We” is in and “I” should be forgotten.

This has been a rambling and perhaps incoherent compilations of text, parading as paragraphs, and put together as a post. I have so many people to thank for getting across country twice, and getting me home safely. There are so many good people out there, no matter where you live.

Religious Predators Are After You

Religious Predators are looking to recruit you!

Having finished another period of having people show up at my door for weekly, “Bible” lessons, I realized there is a lot of information you really need to know. Over the previous decades, I have been visited numerous times by various groups, though they all act basically the same.

Some visits were stop and go, others longer term. They all have the same predatory practices, with hidden secondary motives. I won’t be so dramatic as to suggest your soul is in peril, but your lifestyle, family and friends are, if you are not awake and cautious.

Each time I receive a “visit”, I listen cautiously and carefully to what they tell me. I am not so vain, to think I have a lock on belief and knowledge. Caution is key in these situations though. You are constantly challenged to offer opinion or manipulated into a position of arguing a point where you may have no real knowledge, understanding or grounding.

I have Family and Friends who had solid foundations in their respective beliefs and religion. After some months of interaction with Predatory Religion visitors, they unthinkingly recruit themselves into the, “New and Better Belief System and Religion”. For the first months, they generally said little about their day to day life. They would give glowing reviews on how great the people are, what they were learning, and how much their life has improved. A “new” family was often implied.

Slowly, they grew more distant. They said they were learning the real way to believe and act. They were unknowingly transforming themselves from new recruit, into pliable student, to becoming the new recruiter – incidentally, at the bottom of their new ‘family’ food chain. Conversation with family and friends changed to discourse of how everyone is lost and confused, in danger of losing their soul, and ending up in hell.

Then the hook in their mouth is pulled tight. They are now required to not only attend all group functions, but participate in the solicitation of new members in more than their spare time – almost all their time is spent in recruitment. Their own family slowly becomes a dim memory. One was required to become a, “Street Preacher”, in hopes of recruitment of those truly lost on the streets. This in most rational opinions was dangerous and unwelcome street level evangelism.

Most of them dropped out about a year later and went back to reclaim their old religion and reclaim their lost life and now distant and distrustful distant family. One true believer stayed away for many years, always sacrificing more and more of his personal time, work time, and quality of life to promote and recruit new members, because “Church” peer pressure expected this of him.

He was punched on a few occasions while door to door preaching, but it was all in the name of the “truth”. This doesn’t include the times he was yelled at, sworn at, or otherwise demeaned. When he finally had enough and tried to slow down, he was Shunned and Ignored by his Church Group. This was an emotionally devastating time for him. His support system had been pulled out from under him, leaving him in a void. His “Church” was all he had. He lost his job of course as a Church Group Member was his boss.

He had distanced himself from friends and family for years, and was now ignored by his Church Group. He had no one to turn to. He had no current friends. He did not feel he could contact anyone and ask for help as he felt he burned his bridges with family and friends.

In the end he left his home without notice and quietly moved to a new City, hoping his church group would never locate him. After some months, he was located, after distancing himself from this group’s peer pressure, and barely disguised harassment by those who wanted him back in the fold. He was a valuable resource to them. They wanted him back.

These are some of the traits of Religious Predators who will be approaching you soon – if they have not already. In no particular order:

1. Have a pleasing personality

2. Make you feel special

3. Express a sense of urgency for your salvation

4. Are convinced the world is about to end

5. Propose to have the correct belief system

6. Urge you to share their beliefs and point of view

7. Feign being “offended”, that ‘some’ people they contact act rudely towards them

8. Schedule time to have ‘religious conversation’ with you

9. Share “real”, knowledge with you

10. Bible referenced chapter and verse to support their story

11. Bible chapter and verse re-enforcement of what you are being taught

12. Subtle suggested psychological restraints on your current belief system or religion

13. Claim to be a “Religion”, and not a “Cult”

I think 13 is the correct number to stop at. I hope the number 13 makes you think. These Groups are mainly comprised of Religious Predators. Preying on People who they think of as ‘lost’, or perceive to be lonely or vulnerable. They will try to slowly integrate themselves into your life, drawing you away from your life, slowly turning reforming your beliefs into their beliefs.