I’m a great believer in listening to that gut instinct that says something’s not quite right.
When I was in college, a friend and I noticed there were always “kids like us” hanging around the PSU campus trying to get students to come to their bible studies. Trying to act cool but really that overly nice, creepy thing that sucks in the weak. We worked together, and would laugh at how creepy they were and hell no were we going – besides, we were agnostic in our belief system so it was fruitless for them to try. On a strange turn, one of the members of that particular church started working with us. Of course we didn’t know it at first and in the beginning, she was this sassy girl who made us laugh. Then she said her church didn’t allow them to drink and didn’t allow men and women to do any more than hold hands when ‘dating’. (can you hear the screeching brakes in our mind). And yes, eventually she invited us to her bible study. We declined politely, but I developed somewhat of a friendship with her and we hung out a few times. Once she said they were going dancing so I jumped on that as a 19 year old girl. Uh-oh. It was a community center with Christian rock and ‘rap’ (remember MC Hammer slaughtering when doves cry samples to do “Pray”? hold your vomit, i’m not done yet…) and they danced in a circle, asses tighter than you’d ever believe they could scrunch. i left, feigning stomach cramps, and she got a ride home with another friend.
This ‘church’ was the international church of christ, which a year or so later was featured on a number of television specials about cults, including one on mtv. this was 1993. oh and guess what – they’re infiltrating campuses again -read this from Howard University.
ANYHOO. knowing about them from personal experience did one thing – it made me know that when something that came across ‘nice on paper’ but gave me the willies and i couldn’t explain it? there was a reason for it.
So. as a master recycler, i get notifications of volunteer opportunities frequently, which i love as it’s great community ed about the recycling, composting, and general ways to lower our carbon footprint through waste reduction. so i saw something about an environmental symposium in a very recognized center in my city for hosting eco events. and so i responded right away, sure i’d love to volunteer at a booth educating attendees about our city’s new curbside composting program! yet it was a six hour event. so i emailed them.
This event is known as the ‘awakening the dream’ symposium. now i know, the title is alone a bit to make your average cynic throw up in their mouth a bit, but i contacted the organizer to learn more about what was needed as a volunteer, logistics, etc. first? pay “under $20” to get in (but no exact amount). then ten bucks for lunch. and then a veiled sales pitch and “watch our video”. uh-oh. but i watched it, in ‘benefit of the doubt’ mode as most of us do when we’re trying to turn down that voice telling us something’s awry. and something about the music, the voice of the people, the use of desmond tutu and van jones where i’m not 100% sure that they know are being used to sell their events. and something about ‘spiritual transformation’. and i wanted to vomit. so i googled ‘awakening the dream’ and ‘cult’ (do the same with the ICC, it’s super fun!), and it’s starting to come out in bits and pieces – not yet as prevalent as ICC (but in ’93 there wasn’t a huge outcry where i lived against them, either).
i wasn’t familiar with the hunger project & landmark. it’s related to those “seminars”. i am familiar now. the lady pushing this new ‘awakening the dream’ came from the hunger project which came from the erhard seminars (‘est’) in the 80’s.. want to read about this stuff? links below:
as y’all know, i’m an eco grrl. i ain’t no fool. this is not ecopsychology they’re doing. they’re using the environment as a front to make money, plain and simple.
creepy creepy creepy.
listen to your gut, peeps. you don’t need this crap to be eco.
now, time to go wash my hands, just reading the stuff about them made me feel dirty.