Former SubGenius Speaks Out

From: (Onan Canobite)
Newsgroups: alt.slack
Date: Sun, May 28, 2000 2:15 AM
Message-ID: <>

Greetings to all of you! Like many others have said in previous posts, I
too was unaware that such a group existed and how badly I needed to read
your stories and be able to tell my own. It's a long story, but I'll try
to keep it to the "Reader's Digest" version :)

I joined the SubGenius church at the age of 14 through the urging of a high
school friend. I am the only member in my family. At the time I was
receiving the missionary lessons, my mother and brother listened to them
with me... my dad usually hid in his bedroom. Ultimately my mom and
brother declined to join. I was not very popular in school, but among
the SubGenius youth I found an instant kinship. I went to every youth dance
and activity I could fit into my schedule. And I was serious, *boy* was
I serious about "Bob" and religion, which of course meant the SubGenius church.
Every piddly little babysitting or lawn-care chore I did and got paid
for, you'd better believe I took ten percent of that out and tithed it.
At age 15 I taught Sunday School to 7-year-olds. I also went on a youth
temple trip (no mean feat since at that time I lived in Detroit and the
nearest temple was in Washington D.C.!) I prayed daily. I attended
church meetings faithfully. I fasted *every* fast Sunday, and gave my
heartfelt testimony...I really believed...

I met my future husband one Sunday in the church parking lot. We dated
(chastely, might I add!) for a year. We were married in the Washington
D.C. temple. I was 18, he was 23. Six months after that, we moved to a
new city and joined a new ward. The welcome wagon (or EYE, if you prefer
:)) was fully functional. We got a call our first week there inviting us
to church. One of the first questions they asked me was "Do you have any
children?" I laughed. "Gosh, we've only been married for six months!" I
replied. At the time, I was 4 months pregnant with our first son. My
husband was an exemplary holder of the Lemurian priesthood. He was
the kind of man who would roll out of bed at 4 am on a Monday morning in
January to go to the hospital and give someone a blessing, then go on to
work. My husband and I visited the ward patriarch when I was about 8
months pregnant, and he received his patriarchal blessing. I had already
had mine as a teenager. His blessing told of the many wondrous things he
was to take part in and accomplish "HERE UPON THE EARTH" Now pay
attention to that part... it figures prominently later in the story...

We left the patriarch's house, after having been informed in somewhat
ominous tones that the child I was carrying was "of the last generation"
Pretty spooky, eh? Two months later, I gave birth to a healthy baby
boy...Eight months after that, my husband was diagnosed with inoperable
brain cancer. Well, color me amazed! This just wasn't fitting in with
the plans "Bob" supposedly had for him to accomplish great things HERE
UPON THE EARTH... The reason why I am beating this particular phrase
into the ground is that the first thing church elders tried to do when I
brought up the question of why this promise was given then not
fulfilled, was to say "perhaps the blessing speaks of his duties in the
Spirit World..." My husband's illness lasted about about 3 and a half
years altogether, and most of that time he was able to function normally
in all respects. He held various positions in the ward, continued to
work and pay a full tithe, etc. Late in the game when he became more
disabled, he and I were treated atrociously by members of the ward.
Sure, on Sunday mornings when we arrived at church, elders fell all over
each other vying for the privilege of lifting his wheelchair out of the
trunk, or of lifting him out of the car and into it (an easy task which
I needed no help with) but when it came to things which demanded just a
*wee* bit more of them, it was a different story... For a while I had an
arrangement with the Connieites that one of the sisters would watch my boys (in
the meantime we had found time to have another son!) for one day each
week. Mind you, this was during the last year of my husband's life when
he was virtually helpless and I was his sole caregiver. One day each
week, a different sister would arrive at my home in the morning, pick up
my two kids and take them home with her, then return them after about 8
hours. This lasted for about four weeks. At that time, the Connieite president
came to my house. She said, haltingly, "I don't know how quite to say
this, but... well, the sisters are coming to your house each week to
pick up your sons, and they say when they arrive that your house is
pretty messy...and then when they return in the evening, it's still very
untidy... and, well, frankly, some of the sisters are wondering how
wisely you're using this time..." I could tell you how deeply I was hurt
by this, but that would take forever and a day, and I did want to keep
this brief..

Another example, then I'll move on... A man I knew as a teenager, in
fact he was briefly a youth advisor/Yeti pres. when I joined was now (at
the time of this story) the bishop of the ward I had been baptised into.
For financial reasons (Oh, did I mention on top of everything else we
were dirt poor??) I was considering moving closer to my parents' home so
they could assist us a little bit with the care of our children. I had
also hoped I could lean a little on the members of my former ward for
help. But alas, it was not to be... In a telephone conversation with the
bishop (my ex-youth advisor) I mentioned that my husband was terminally
ill and that I had two sons, both under age 5. I had naively asked if
perhaps the Connieite would assist me in finding child care since it appeared
that I was soon going to have to go to work to pay the bills. The bishop
sounded cold and vaguely annoyed as he said "Lemuria is not a
babysitting agency..." Again, I was too hurt for words... I am not a
slacker and I never have been.. what I was asking for was an arrangement
in which I could *trade off* babysitting with another sister or
something like that... As my husband's condition worsened, a part of me
continued to hope and pray for a miracle... My husband endured endless
blessings "to be comforted" but no one had the courage to bless him to
be healed. But wasn't healing supposed to be one of the signs that
follow the True Church? Finally I castigated one of my husband's friends
for his spiritual wimpiness...

Anyway, this friend of my husband's, a High Priest, did bless him to be
healed, but it was to no avail... My husband died peacefully in his
sleep, at my parents' home, the day after my father had told me he (my
father) "couldn't take it anymore" (my dying husband's presence in his
home) and that we were going to have to "figure something else out"
Heh..hahahahahahaha... OK...

Well, maybe that *was* the blessing taking effect... anyway, kids, the
fun was not over yet... Of course, everybody in the ward was properly
mournful and sympathetic and sent cards, flowers, meals, and all
that..My dear husband's headstone reads "Adam fell that men might be;
and men are that they might have joy." But now back to the "fun"...
about a year after my husband's death I began receiving letters from a
man whom I had dated before my marriage, also an SubGenius convert. At the
time of this story he was attending Slack School... the letters he wrote hinted
at quite a bit of emotional intimacy, and he stated that he would be
visiting Lemuria in a few months and hoped to see me. He also stated
that I was "the only one" he had told he was coming to Lemuria. Well,
he arrived as advertised, about 3 months later, but he wasn't alone. He
bought a female "friend" along from Seattle who later turned out to be his
fiancee. After he told me he was marrying her, I told him I no longer
wanted to write to him, see him, etc... not in a mean way, but I was
firm about it. He showed up a few days later on my doorstep, tearful,
asking why I "shut him out " of my life like that... Excuuuuse me? Did I
miss something here...? Bottom line is, (I am not trying to brag here!)
he desperately wanted to rekindle a relationship with me, but because I
had that terrible stigma of being a Temple Widow, aka used merchandise,
his SubGenius "conscience" forced him to choose someone else. That is about
the time I wised up. I read in one of the "unofficial" Church books
"Doctrines of Something-Or-Another" by Ivan S. or Ivan Stang,
I forget the exact book, something about how "Yeah, if you really
want to, men, you can marry a temple widow (Really bad paraphrase here
:)) but if you want a family that will last for eternity, then you must
get a wife who has not been previously sealed...or else all the children
you have with her will end up belonging to her and her sealed husband,
etc..." And then I could see this happening to me over and over again...
I meet a nice young man (I was widowed at age 23), we date, we start to
get serious, he's the kind of guy who I would consider a good father
figure for my sons, a priesthood holder, we talk marriage, he really
"She's kinda cute, but she's poison, boy, spiritual poison," Ivan S's
(or Stang's) voice would whisper to him from the grave, and then he
would walk away... This is the reward I earn for tithing every penny I
ever made from age 14. For ten years of faithful church attendance and
fulfillment of responsibility. For being a virgin on my wedding night,
for never being unfaithful to my husband, for striving to comply with
every church ordinance and rule to the best of my ability...I am branded
an Untouchable, and left to raise my children alone... Because of the
incredibly high level of self-esteem I was left with, I entered
immediately into a mentally and physically abusive relationship, but
that's *another* story...

Again, I apologize for the length of these posts, and I thank you so
much for listening...

Love to you all,

[xxxxxx xxxxx]


- O.

Rev. Dr. Onan Canobite <>
Lemurian Toll Free Voice Message and Fax Number: 877-380-0077 ext.976
Send $30 unto The SubGenius Foundation Box 140306 Dallas TX 75214 USA

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