Fear and Loathing in the Millenium Dome

A Journey to the Heart of the Millenium Dream

Chapter 7 - Losing Faith in Bland Disbelief

I was raised in an Evangelical Christian household in a small town, my consultant was raised in the City of Portsmouth, which drove him, as a child, to the writings of Crowley, self proclaimed Beast, Magician and suspected poo-nudger.

We both have strong but fairly tolerant views on the whole god-bothering thing. We prepare ourselves to enter the FAITH zone.

We pass through a pretty half arsed display of inoffesive posters about both the major religions - Protestantism and Catholisism. Past this is six little signs describing the rest of the worlds religions. Lame. Inoffensive. Nice use of iconography, though.

My consultant begins to sweat. This is not a good sign. When he as a teen he worked his way high into the cult of crowley, I forget which flavour. Every night, about three hours after he fell asleep, he would wake in a sweat feeling more tired than he had at bedtime. This went on for months. Eventually one of his friends sat by his mat while he slept (he was refusing a mattress as part of some ritual thingy). Around three in the morning he began to sweat.

A few minutes later his eyes snapped open and he sat up straight and began to speak, or rather, to intone.

"Had! The manifestation of Nuit. The unveiling of the company of heaven. Every man and every woman is a star. Every number is infinite; there is no difference."

This was unexpected. His friend was some what surprised. He spoke to him but he was still asleep, eyes wide reciting gibberish.

"Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men! Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!"

His friend walloped him one, for his own good but nothing seemed to wake him. About five minutes later he finished.

"...There is a splendour in my name hidden and glorious, as the sun of midnight is ever the son. The ending of the words is the Word Abrahadabra."

He awoke with no memory of this. It transpired that he had been memorising some of the drug addled writings of the lunatic Crowley. He had worked so hard to inscribe them on his mind that his brain couldn't take it. You push something in hard enough and it'll pop right out again.

About a month after he passed the initiation, learned some inner secrets and discoverd he'd joined basically a club for pretentious skinny guys with no sexual ethics and a fondness for robes. Eventually, disgusted with this complete perversion of Crowleys ideas and ideals, he left, but he remains a scholar of Crowley to this day.

We come to an area lined with cages full of little orange slips of paper. Pretty girls circle, dressed as various religious leaders of the world. A girl dressed as a Rabbi offers us squares of orange paper and disposible biros. She has stunning legs despite the rabbi costume. Although I'm not sure about the beard. The most baffling outfit is that of a small perky blonde girl who explains she is a shamen for a south seas cargo cult.

A sign tells us we should write Significant Things on the paper bits and the shove them in the cages. I write the hacker name for the Tao on ours. My consultant, still sweating like a pig, pretends to post it into the cage-box and then, at the last minute, crams it into his mouth and swallows it in some inexplicable act of defiance.

A school party is milling through, the children look bored. The teachers tell them to behave and all choose something to write on their bits of paper. Then the teachers nip off for a smoke or something.

"Gather around me children!"

Shit! My companion has found a crate, or something, and is standing on it, eyes glazed in religious fury.

"You boy! What is your religion?"

"er, I don't know sir. Christian, 'spose."

"WRONG!" he bellows. "You are like everyone else! A creature of base passion and infinite virtue!"

"" says the boy, unused to the form of pop quiz.

"Do what thou wilt", his eyes widen, "shall be the whole ov thee law"

Dammit, he's slipped into using 'ov' and 'thee'. Mixing religions is at least as bad as mixing drinks. The children are used to bland meaningless inoffensive statements from their R.E. teacher. This wild eyed messiah in waiting seems to catch their imagination. By the time the teachers stagger back, giggling like a pair of stoned teenagers, he's got the children eating out of the palm of his metaphorical hand.

"What is The Law, children?"

"Love is the Law!" they chorus. "Love under will!"

He notices that the official representatives of the faculty have returned and self preservation overrides religious fervor.

We make our apologies and flee.

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