Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: “Christian” Cults

I guess this ‘cult’ thing is just too interesting! After posting several snippets about the reality of New Age and Cult practices within the entertainment industry which influenced my The Prodigal Band Trilogy I took a break from that, posting about the reality of eating disorders within the fashion industry influencing a main female character.

Now, back to the ‘cult’ thing, only this time the cult is a ‘Christian’ one! That is, it is a cult that claims to be Christian, but is anything but.

Many atheists (one atheist has a YouTube channel which claims Christianity is a cult but Satanism is not) think all religions (except Satanism?) are cults–I know a few atheists, and that is what some of them think. Same with agnostics–and I used to be an agnostic (I could not quite bring myself to becoming atheist but the thought did cross my mind) so I know what I am talking about. But the funny thing is, Christianity is the only ‘cult’ or religion that atheists tend to attack…not Judaism, not Islam, not Hinduism, not Buddhism…they only attack Christianity. I will let the reader figure out why, but I have my own opinion which at this time is neither here nor there. I believe an atheist can think what they want; it’s between them and God (or the “flying spaghetti monster” or whatever).

Folks, I am being facetious, okay?

But while Christianity is a religion (IMHO) not a cult, there are in fact actual cults that claim to be ‘Christian.’ I am not talking about (what some consider cults) Mormonism or Seventh Day Adventism or Jehova’s Witnesses or any denomination or sub-denominations (by the way, I am strictly non-denominational), but actual cults that claim to be ‘Christian’ and are led by actual cult leaders. These cult leaders are actually looked upon by the followers as actual Messiahs or ‘gods.’ These folks live in cult-like cloistered-type communities. ‘Good behavior’ is awarded handsomely and ‘bad’ ones are punished severely. These bogus Christian cults are in many if not all nations.

The one that inspired the bogus ‘Christian’ cult in my trilogy is based on a movie I saw in the 1990s about a supposedly Christian cult in a rural region of Quebec, Canada. I do not remember the name of this cult but the name of the movie was “Savage Messiah.” This movie was based on an actual event where the cult leader was convicted of murder and other crimes. The cult I bring up in my books is loosely based on the notions set forth in the movie, but in the case of the books one form of punishment is getting hit over the head with a hard-cover Bible. A true Christian group, a true Body of Christ, would never do such a thing!

For the sake of making a simple and quick point, I will only include one snippet instead of the usual three or four. I could get more graphic, but that would be too much of a spoiler if you know what I mean (and if you want to read a much more dastardly snippet about this bogus Christian cult, buy the trilogy!

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Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Eating Disorders of Models and Celebrities

I’m taking a break from religious and cultist and new age group influence and symbology this week in this post to bring up an issue which isn’t overly important in The Prodigal Band Trilogy but an issue I am well familiar with–eating disorders, which according to my research on the fashion industry and histories of fashion models seems to be quite prominent. Several of my female characters, wives or girlfriends of my prodigal band members, were models in the fashion industry as well as celebrities otherwise. One of them had an eating disorder known as bulimia.

Bulimia is highlighted by eating–sometimes huge amounts of food–and then vomiting it up to supposedly maintain their skinny (or otherwise) weight. This is one of the more prominent disorders to maintain low weight; the more serious one is called anorexia nervosa, which is self-starvation. But some folks simply cannot starve themselves. So they eat, and then vomit the food.

For proof that fashion models and celebrities (mostly female) have been ‘forced’ to keep their weight down to a very skinny level, I have some links to articles that will verify this:

Victoire Macon Dauxerre’s fashion model experience

Eating disorder expert Dr. Adrienne Key’s report

Model Zuzanna Buchwalk’s story

Eight Famous Celebrities (some who started out being child fashion models) Who Battled Bulimia

Oh, and I too was bulimic on and off for six years–in order to attract a future husband! That is one reason my most important female character was made to be bulimic. Ger is the name of the character, and she is the woman of Erik, my singer-front man character. She is five-foot-eight with dark brown close-cropped page-boy hairstyle with a widow’s peak, and has sultry blue eyes and an enticing smile. She was born in London to an upper-middle class family, and her father owns a hardware store in Walltown, where the band is from. When her man Erik and the rest of Sound Unltd make it big in 1989, she desires to be a super model. So it went.

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Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Red Crystal Amulets and Channeling Spirits

In this Snippets of Reality in The Prodigal Band Trilogy, I will discuss where I came up with the Red Crystal Amulets worn by the members of my fictional prodigal band, Sound Unltd. And why one or more members, mostly the drummer Tom, channeled spirits, with the crystal or not, often faking it. It is occultist practice, but various New Age cults or religions had a lot to do with my use of these themes.

As a late teen I dabbled some in tarot cards, Ouija boards, and séances, but (as I had stated before) the night in winter of 1970 when a friend of mine called up ‘demons’ (because they couldn’t be anything else with what happened, which was terrifying!) using a Ouija set up (without the board, we used paper with letters and numbers in a circle, and a glass as a pointer), I decided it was best to not dabble in the occult anymore! Yet, I had to include occultist themes in my books because various rock bands of my day used some occultist themes and practices in their music careers. See my previous post on this.

But in the late 80s before I started getting ‘called’ to write the books within the trilogy, I began to associate with various New Age ideas (I was vegetarian then) what with folks I had met, one of which was supposedly ‘taken’ by ‘aliens’ in a ‘UFO’ (Note: Regardless of what this person said or believed, I never bought into the UFO-extraterrestrial aliens philosophy. Why? I need empirical proof they exist!) and was a member of the so-called Ashtar Command   with Ashtar as leader and ‘Jesus Sandanda’ as another ascended master type! (Note: Ashtar sounds a lot like Ishtar, a false god/fallen angel type worshiped by ancient Mesopotamians.) I will not mention the man’s name, but he actually, in my presence, channeled some ‘god’ or other, and before doing so ‘cleansed his chakras.’

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Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: New Age Cult Recruitment of Celebrities

On the back cover of the printed edition of The Prodigal Band Trilogy is stated: “Take a fictional ‘road trip’ on a mystical mystery and spiritual tour as a fictional six-member 80s and 90s rock and roll band fashioned after the Beatles…”

The Beatles. That, folks, is why I had to make the notion of new age spirituality such a dominant theme of this trilogy. While all of the Beatles took part in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement  of India’s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for a relatively short period of time, the Maharishi only influenced the Beatles toward looking into new age ideas as they never joined this religion or cult. Others that hung out with the Maharishi included various rockers while in San Francisco–the hippie days–and on this Wikipedia site is a picture of this Maharishi with various well known rockers. And then it is a fact that George Harrison was actually a member of the Hare Krishna cult from the late 60s onward and that he wrote a song dedicated to this Lord Krishna dude, “My Sweet Lord,” for Krishna is referred to as Lord Krishna. This Hare Krishna cult  was founded by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Swami? Now folks, I had no idea that the founder of the cult that most heavily influenced the “good vs. evil” notion of my trilogy had the title of ‘swami’ which is the title of a teacher within Hinduism. When I created my evil ‘Swami Negran’ character I had no idea of this–just one of several ‘coincidences’ that are rife in my books.

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Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Jet Burning and Mechanical Failures and Conspiracy Theories Behind Their Investigations

Welcome to the new snippet article series from The Prodigal Band Trilogy! Having done snippets within the non-genre-specific trilogy that have characteristics of the various genres (romance, thriller, mystery, horror, etc.) as well as character snippets on the various ‘prodigal band’ members, it is now time to post articles about factors within the real world that influenced this trilogy.

I was going to do a completely different reality snippet from this one, but then NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed near Calabasas, California, not far from the Staples Center where the iconic athlete played for the LA Lakers. Bryant, of course, died in the crash, and so did his daughter and several others. A few days later, one of my fave pop culture ‘conspiracy’ sites, Vigilant Citizen, did a post about this event, bringing up several ‘coincidences’ as to why this could have been a planned take out of another huge celebrity, comparing it to the supposed take down of Whitney Houston. One of the coincidences relates to the Grammy Awards, which was held shortly after the crash.

Note: I am not a basketball fan nor a fan of Bryant. And he’s not the only huge celebrity to die in plane or jet or helicopter crashes.

But this post isn’t about ‘crashes’ but the possible mechanical failures that could bring about the crash. In the case of the prodigal band about which this trilogy tells of their journey, their jet did not crash–it was burning due to an exploded bomb set inside or near a passenger seat. The bomb however was timed to explode over the Irish Sea on the way from Philadelphia to London, but the explosion happened when the jet landed.

Not exactly a ‘mechanical failure’ either! But ‘mechanical failure’ is what was assumed and what one of the band members told the media. Even though the band knew it was not just a failure, and was likely done on purpose.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Character Snippets: Bryan, the Keyboard-Synthist

This will be the final character snippet. This character is the keyboard-synthist Bryan, known as Bry in the trilogy. Much of the use of this character within The Prodigal Band Trilogy deals with the sexual tension he has with his wife, Mo, whom he felt obliged to marry after he got her pregnant. He is from an atheist household while she is from a Christian one, with her father being an Anglican pastor. He is also from a family of classical musicians; both parents are with a local philharmonic orchestra–dad plays piano and mom plays oboe.

Here is his description, from Chapter One of Battle of the Band:

‘The pot-bellied, biker-esque synthesizer player famed for red hair as wild as the wind, fiery as his brew, bore a downcast of regret.’

In other words, he’s also a biker and is the boss of the band’s road crew (which is mainly bikers). And he loves to drink beer.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Character Snippets: Keith, the Bassist

Next up is in The Prodigal Band Trilogy character snippets is Keith, the bassist. As  told  here, he had a steamy sexual relationship with a pop singer while he was also married to a super-model-cosmetics mogul, Jarris, a woman he began dating as a teen and a woman he vowed to protect from her abusive father. He is also described as a “skuz addicted womanizer” in Chapter Four of The Prophesied Band. Skuz is a fictional opioid-cocaine laced designer drug that is used by the band and various other wealthy rockers living in the world of ‘sex, drugs, and rock and roll.’

His physical description? From Chapter One of Battle of the Band: ‘The dark, strapping bass player with bushy black curls and coal-dark eyes walked without his trademark gold chains.’ He is ‘dark’ because his grandmother is from Nigeria, on his mother’s side.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Character Snippets: Tom, the Drummer

Sorry this post is late…no internet for 24 hours, went up about 1 p.m. today…

Now that the holidays are about over, next up is Tom, the drummer. Of all the band members, Tom was the most difficult to characterize and has that ‘walking contradiction’ feel. On the one hand he grew up extremely poor, son of indentured servants, in a true slum section called the Hovels; on the other hand, he surrounded himself with jet-setting celebrities and sons and daughters of aristocracy. On the one hand he was a loner of sorts and tended to show up at gigs and band meetings late; on the other hand he could only be himself surrounded by his band mates, their women, or roadies. On the one hand he loved to argue–with his antagonist Mick, but also with his band manager, his woman, a princess, and other friends among the jet-setters; on the other hand he has no truly discordant agenda with the group and seeks no attention within the group. And, when he is bored with his jet-set entourages, he travels the world meeting ‘real’ people (such as Sherpas in Nepal, African tribesmen in Tanzania, and Muslims in Morocco), and loves mountain climbing (but not skiing). One minute he’s an arrogant pretender among those he considers phonies, and the next minute he’s as humble as a celebrity could get. He pretends to ‘channel’ the so-called ‘god’ Corion using one form of ‘persona’ and then meets ‘real’ people and becomes an activist of sorts, and even converses with good spirits. He even paid off all indentured debt in his hometown of Walltown.

Here is his description: “A short, curly-blond percussionist once angered by lost love approached with the others to an unknown destination, glad with a full life behind him.” He is five-foot-six and tends to wear cotton clothing.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Character Snippets: Mick, the guitarist-producer

Next up is Mick, guitarist, guitar-synthist, ‘master of many guitars’ such as mandolin, sitar, shamisen, etc. and temporary bassist until the original bassist, Keith, rejoins the band (Keith’s character is coming soon.) Mick, sexually abused by his mother leading to his bi-sexuality, is bullied in school, but being with fellow band members who were gang boys as well gives Mick an incentive to ‘grow a pair’ if you know what I mean. By the time his band Sound Unltd has made it big in early 1989, Mick is ready to let Keith take over bass and show his mastery at various guitar-like instruments, start an occultist New Age cult, and become the band’s recording producer. Thus, while Jack is the band leader and Erik is the stage front man, Mick is in charge of recording production and runs the recording studio side of the equation. (The final three members have their own leadership roles as well.)

Description of Mick from Chapter One of Battle of the Band:

“The tall, lanky, beak-nosed, ringlet-haired master of many guitars worried over his past perversions.”

He is also dark-brown-haired, about six-foot-three, skinny (and drummer Tom calls him ‘Skinny’), and wears robes with silk shorts or leather and silk or satin shirts, and earrings in both ears. This indicates his bi-sexuality. (Heterosexuals wear earrings in the left ear, homosexuals in the right ear, bisexuals in both.)

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Character Snippets: Jack, the Guitarist-Band Leader

Next up is band-founder, song-writer, and leader, guitarist Jack.

Before forming the band Sound Unltd, he led the street gang that some of those band members helped him lead as well. While both he and singer Erik lived in great poverty as children, Jack’s own father was abusive, beating his young son over the head with a Bible! Of all the band members, Jack thus hated religion the most. In a snippet also revealing the abuse, he himself dishes out another form of abuse, but not with a Bible. Yet, having to be the leader of the band and make sure any disagreements within the band are solved, Jack does manage to keep his wits about himself for the most part.  He does occasionally take part in ‘verbal judo’ with is adoptive father, Billy, the band’s original manager. As with the singer and others in the group, he, too, is a sex hound of sorts, and does over-do on opium-laced drugs at times.

His description?

“The tall, angular-faced guitarist possessed dirty-blond hair now growing on once-shaved sides of his head. Now without the screaming instrument he fired into immortality.”

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