Monday, January 16, 2006

Praise to the man

I'll admit that I still hold a couple of grudges against my parents for the way they raised me. I think they made some spectacular blunders, possibly scarring me for life.

One quick example, brought to mind by the recent BCC discussion of evil spirits and possession, happened when I was just 8 or 9. I was watching some television show by myself (it was a weekly show like The Twilight Zone, that had a different scary story each week) which featured a young boy being attacked by his grandmother, who was a witch. It scared the daylights out of me, and I went to my parents to comfort me (and possibly let me sleep in their bed). I remember very clearly that my father said to me, "You know, the scary thing about these stories is that there actually are witches and demons out there." That's just wrong on so many levels that I don't even know where to begin.

That, obviously, is just the tip of the iceberg of my parental complaints. I have a ton more. However, as I was reading Susan M's post about how she met her husband at a Cure concert, I couldn't help remembering my first concert ever.

I was fifteen and had just gotten into the Cure. They were coming to a nearby town (located about an hour away) and I really wanted to go. I had never been to a concert before. Obviously, I couldn't drive there, so the only solution was for my Dad to drive me. My older sister came along too, even though her musical taste ran more towards Kip Winger and Great White. My Dad dropped us off at the concert and drove to a deserted parking lot where he read the scriptures under the streetlights for a couple hours until it was time to pick up my sister and me from the concert.

Somehow, the image of him straining to read his giant quad in some strange, empty parking lot at night, just so I could go to a concert, chokes me up. It's a little early for Father's Day, but let me just say, thanks Dad. You're alright.


Susan M said...

Haha. That witch-story sounds like something me or my husband would do to our kids.

I marvel now that my dad used to drive downtown to pick us up at midnight.

Which tour was that?

NFlanders said...

That's funny, Susan. Unfortunately, my dad was very serious about there being witches. Too much time reading the scriptures, maybe.

It was the Wish tour (I'm a bit of a latecomer, compared to you). Little did I know at the time that it would be the last great Cure album.

Dave said...

I would chalk it up to the pernicious effect of the "if it's in the scriptures, it must be true" mentality. I hope "spare the rod, spoil the child" wasn't taped to your refrigerator door.

meems said...

There are witches. And they're
running for office.

I don't know how to do this linking stuff, so I hope that works.

D-Train said...

Good man, your dad. The most charitable concert act I've ever heard of was performed by me. My parents would not allow my younger sister to go to a concert by herself and none of her friends were going, so I sat through a lineup that included Jessica Simpson, Eden's Crush (the Popstars girls), four boy bands, and a gaggle of other teenyboppers. Jessica's actually not a bad singer and was very good for a seventeen year old boy's eyes.

Susan M said...

So Jessica didn't lip sync?

My poor kids have to put up with their mom dragging them to see bands with names like Three Inches of Blood. I keep waiting for them to rebel and start listening to gangster rap.

Ned, I know someone whose parents, after finding out he'd been mugged, and all the Christmas presents he'd gotten for his brother and sisters stolen, told him it was because he'd been shopping on a Sunday.

NFlanders said...

Well, Susan, if they really want to upset you, they'll probably go the teeny-bopper route, like D-Train's sister. I just hope you'll still love them. (Ha!)

Dave-- Fortunately, that was one scripture that my parents didn't follow. I give them a hard time, but they are good people.

Meems-- I don't even think my 8-year-old self would be scared of that guy.

Steve EM said...


Thanks for the BCC link about demonic possesion. Antiprude mentioned it over the weekend, but I hadn't checked it out, being banned and all. Anywhy, I didn't realize our church had that many nut jobs. Thanks again.

Susan M said...

I actually don't mind teeny-bopper stuff (I really liked Hanson when my kids were into them). What cracks me up is that my kids are into Christian nu metal.

Watt Mahoun said...

Thanks for this personal offering, Ned.

My experience was that there was an implicite belief in devils and demons and witches and such...but where my parent scored highest was in the "dream as reality" department.

Paticularly, my mother would speak of satan invading her dreams as a very real and tangible experience. I shared those types of experiences as a teen...oddly peaking in the days following my first trip to the temple. It was all very real to me and I have journal entries theat detail such events.

I haven't had that kind of experience since returning from my mission...and now have a different interpretation for such dreams...but for a while there, I was something of a basket case.

Just as you, I was also strongly impressed by my parents virtue as well.

Hellmut said...

I am happy that something good came out of the possession thread :)

My dad was a gentile who drunk more than was good for him and us. People do things for reasons and sometimes they don't have a choice.

I am sure that my children will have their share of fair complaints as well. Speaking of which, it's time to return to the diss.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Well I guess I'm one of the nut jobs because I've had experiences with the supernatural world that have scared the crap out of me. And no, I have never been in either therapy or received medication for a mental illness. And I can't prove I've had these experiences to anyone-just like I can't prove that God exists or that my testimony is based in spiritual truth. (I grew up with a rationalist LDS father btw who doubted that such things as demons could be possible and still has a problem with the whole temple thing).

I found the Journal of Discourses quotation by Brigahm Young to be interesting on the BCC thread . I have been looking for a connection with illness and dark angels a.k.a evil spirits or demons for awhile.

Of course, I rarely ever discuss the circumstances of what happened to me because of disbelief. But I will say this-there is much that we don't know about this life and the next. I have had an NDE and other experiences that are hard to comprehend and explain. However, I am not afraid of the minions of Satan. Because of said experiences my greatest fears are not linked to these "phenomena" or beings- but I do believe they exist.

SHould we tell our children about it if they are looking to us for comfort? Probably not. To fear such things gives them power over us. Fear creates division from God. But sometimes I wonder if someone has had a similar experience as I have. Thats why these discussions can be fruitful even if they seem loopy to those who have never had such an experience.

Steve EM said...


IMHO, as long as you don't believe that 9/11 was a criminal conspiracy involving the US Gov't and Larry Silverstein, you're probably ok. But if you’re into conspiracy crap too, it's definitely time to get some help.

Watt Mahoun said...

Steve Em,

- Visions of demons: Good to go.
- Suspicions of conspiring men: Get some meds?

Why does that seem antithetical to Mormon ethos?

Steve EM said...


Note, earlier in this tread I referred to many of the BCC commenters on the demonic as nut jobs, and I believe Anon was responding in part to that. To clarify my response to Anon, I meant that if he was both having first hand demonic experiences and into implausible conspiracies, that profession intervention would definitely be warranted. But if it was just one or the other, I might think it's nut job stuff, but he’s probably good to go.

Tess said...

Ned - this post made me smile. I bet your Dad would love to read it. :)

Allison said...

This is a sweet post. I can just see your dad waiting with his scriptures.

meems, I saw a news article about that guy a couple days ago. I wonder how many votes he'll get?

Susan m, my kids will rebel by listening to new country and boy-band pop. I know it will happen.

Anne Johnson said...

Hi Ned, I've been reading you for awhile. And guess what? I'm a witch! Yep. Seriously.

Know what that means? I worship a female deity known as Queen Brighid the Bright. She's very nice. You might know her from such incarnations as Mother Nature, The Blessed Mother, and just plain Mom.

I am a Right to Lifer. I ask forgiveness from my gods when I have to pull up weeds in my garden. The local Animal Control Officer brings me motherless kittens to nurture until they're old enough to be adopted. Not once have I slaughtered one in a pentagram. It's not part of my faith tradition to do that.

If you met me, you'd probably think I'm a nice person.

As for demons, which one has the power of Jesus? If you're of that tradition, and you have a savior at your back, you can rain Bronx cheers on those demon dudes.

My father died a year ago, and the earth lost one of its finest citizens. I wanted to give him a proper send-off, placing him on a barge and floating him down the river he loved, as archers shot flaming arrows at him. Funny how the local health board turned me down. I thought about taking it to the Supreme Court.

JK. But my dad seriously holds the record for having to get up at night for his screaming daughter, because I had a haunted bedroom and OBEs. He always came to my rescue. Wouldn't have thought of putting a head trip on me.

I once saw the man give the shoes and socks on his feet to a homeless person. And guess what? He was a witch too.

NFlanders said...

Thanks for reading, Anne. I am certain that I would like you if I met you. Obviously, I wasn't referring to pagans or Wiccans, but rather the horror-movie version of witches.

I am sorry to hear about your Dad. He sounds like a great guy. If there is a God, I truly believe that the only important thing to him will be whether we helped alleviate each other's suffering, not what religion we happen to believe in.