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Cult Plantation

Cult Plantation

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Published by Judyth Vary Baker
Judyth Vary Baker offers a science fiction story about a future One World "Beehive Society" where life in what today might be called repressive religious cults is found to be comparatively open and full of freedom compared to life in the highly regulated Beehive Society of the Future. Two anthropologists experience life eating 'real' food and being exposed to 'bacteria,' and choice in vocation, what religious teachings to accept, and what sex is all about ---for the first time. A lesson in social evolution. As David Ferrie once said, it is harder to stop a well-established government program than it is to start one. They are self-perpetuating.
Judyth Vary Baker offers a science fiction story about a future One World "Beehive Society" where life in what today might be called repressive religious cults is found to be comparatively open and full of freedom compared to life in the highly regulated Beehive Society of the Future. Two anthropologists experience life eating 'real' food and being exposed to 'bacteria,' and choice in vocation, what religious teachings to accept, and what sex is all about ---for the first time. A lesson in social evolution. As David Ferrie once said, it is harder to stop a well-established government program than it is to start one. They are self-perpetuating.

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Published by: Judyth Vary Baker on Oct 24, 2010
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05/23/2012

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Cult Plantation
By Judyth Vary Baker“We have to be well prepared, if we are to be accepted by them,” Joe muttered, as heput on some sunshade and got back onto the truck. The truck was very old –the kind of vehiclethe Cult would not associate with the State – but the sun came through the old windows with a burning intensity that created a sunburn quickly on his exposed arm. It was necessary to wearclothing similar to what Cult members wore, however, so that they would not be turned away atthe gates.Joe was not his name and Jim was not his name, but they wanted to adopt names that would seem natural to Cult members. Some people thought that the State should not allow Cults to exist. There was always the potential that some harm could come to the State fromsome of the more activist Cult members. A decade earlier, some Cult members armed withmachine guns had stormed the State Capitol’s Records Building and had managed to destroy anentire floor of genetic and birth records that had been accumulated about Cult members.Unfortunately, they had been killed in the process, so it was impossible, even using advanced brain probes, to get much information from their dead brains. The hatred, anger and angst thatremained traceable on the few memory patterns still remaining in the brains of the threeCultists, however, resulted in extensive debates as to whether their massive plantations should be raided and its members arrested – or not. Those who supported the Cults were always undersuspicion—including anthropologists.The excuses the State used to allow these Plantations to remain untouched were both logical andpractical: the Cults grew organic foods, including some of the world’s best beefsteaks, and because they lived very simple lives, they were no financial burden to the State. On the Black Market, organic foods produced by Cult Plantations created so much income for certainpoliticians involved in the illicit trade that it was impossible to close them down through usualmeans. Social scientists also defended the Cult Plantations: this is what life would be like for the whole planet if it hadn’t been for the evolution of the State and its policies. “Everyone” would beliving like Cultists—lives amazingly short, brutish and full of ignorance, if it were not for theadvancement of society.The existence of Cult plantations also allowed certain intractable elements in society a safeoutlet to which they could flee—out of the fine, planned cities, into the vast wilderness, whereCult Plantations awaited them. Some of these misfits would be accepted by Cultists. The rest would be executed, saving the State the trouble of going through trials and expensive periods of incarceration. The Cult Plantations acted as a kind of safety valve that collected terrorists,dissidents and enemies of the State. If necessary, raids could reduce these populations.
 
Traditionally, every five decades or so, Cult Plantations would be raided and the worst offenders would be executed, but in recent times, such raids had ceased: it was too costly, and the price of meat –always an illegal item ---then went too high.“There’s some corruption in the State, no doubt about it,” Joe said aloud, practicing his OldFashioned English on Jim. Jim needed practice in these primitive ways, so instead of sendinghim a thought message, he nodded visibly and answered, “Yeah, the very fact that we still eatmeat on the sly is indicative of the depths of corruption that still exist.”“Better not use a fancy word --‘indicative’ is too fancy for a Cultist—“ Joe warned him. “Youhave to dumb down the Old English, Jim.”“Such as?”“You should have said, ‘The fact that we still have people eating meat is proof that we still havecorruption in the state,’ ” Joe said, slowly, so Jim could comprehend everything perfectly.Jim was getting an advanced degree in anthropology, and Joe was his supervisor. They were both interested in Cult Plantation societies for not only professional reasons, but out of sheercuriosity. 99.9% of the world’s population was now homogeneous and under the One Worldsystem. Ancient treaties had set aside areas where wildlife and dissidents were allowed to existoutside the One World system. Over time, across the expanses of these international Parks,Cult Plantations grew up. Most of them had been founded by a coalition of several stubbornly dissident religions – Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Amish, and some Islamic sub-cults.Most Cult Plantations today represented a merging of these religions into an amalgamated belief system that the State simply called “Cultists.”Though the factions constantly squabbled, they all shared a common belief that God-Christ- Allah was going to intervene and save them -- the “Holy People” -- from hell-fires that wereprophesied to consume unbelievers (the people of the State).Three hundred years had passed since the Cult Plantations came into existence, and the “Holy People” were still waiting for the return of “Isha” –known as “Jesus Christ” or “Yeshua” in thePlantation to which Joe and Jim were now headed.The trip by truck was, itself, quite an expedition. They had to learn how to drive a vehicle, sincein the State all vehicles ran on programmed routes. Joe and Jim also had to learn to eatprimitive foods, such as meat, cheese, and breads made with yeast products. They had todevelop immunity from yeast infections, acquire enzymes to be able to process dairy productsand eggs, and learn how to chew and swallow weird food items such dry baked goods (cookies,for example) without gagging.For Jim, who was writing his dissertation on Human Freedom, this was a true adventure. Joe was less excited; this was his fourth excursion into Cult Plantations. Considered a World Expert
 
on Cults, though his name carried respect and prestige, a number of scientists considered Joe tohave picked up a few too many Cult habits. Consequently, Joe kept his acquired taste for illegal beef to himself, sharing his obsession for this primitive food source with a few well-chosenpoliticians who had consequently put off the usual raids for two decades now.“With any luck,” Joe said,” we can convince The Powers That Be to leave these people alone foranother decade or so. I’ve been arguing that we can’t observe how “natural processes” amonghumans evolve if we keep interfering from the outside by removing the most violent of thesepeople. Let them kill each other off---“Jim reeled with shock. He stared at the older man, whose strong hands on the steering wheel of the ancient truck were full of veins and sunburned.“You would allow these people to kill each other off, in their petty wars?” he pressed.Joe licked his dry lips. The hot, desert air dried them immediately.“The state goes in there and eliminates 1% of the most violent of the Cultists every decade,” hesaid. “Know how they do that?”“No.”Joe licked his lips again. “Pass me some water,” he said, ”and I’ll tell you what they do.”Jim handed over the canteen, from which Joe took a swig, not even stopping the vehicle to doso. That’s how skilled he was at driving the truck. Jim could see beads of sweat on Joe’sforehead. and knew that he, too, was
sweating
. It was a phenomenon that produced a strange,prickly feeling wherever the sweat glands opened up and burst forth with their products of moisture, minerals and – he shuddered—bacteria. Bacteria would quickly begin to grow inthese cesspools of moisture all over his body, because he, just as Joe, was not grooming his body  with viruses and sound to eliminate attacking bacteria. The smell of groomed humans wasalmost intolerable to Cultists, who preferred the odor of ungroomed humans—complete withsweat glands producing sweat and infected with –ugh—bacteria.Had they groomed themselves properly, they could never pass as dissidents fleeing the State. And that could stop them from being allowed entry at the gates, because obviously, they werenot Tourists. The game was to pretend to be Tourists, but the fact that they were bringing
books
-- desired form of contraband-- would be their entrée to ‘real’ life in the Cult Plantation.Instead of being shepherded everywhere by Tour Guides, they hoped to be invited to live withreal families. Since Jim had never had any contact with any human social system that includeda family, he understood how important it was to success in this ploy. It was an essential part of his research for his dissertation. “Okay,” Joe said, taking a second swallow from the canteen, “You wanted to know how whathappens in a raid. Here’s what happens---““Do you have to say it all in Old English?” Jim complained. “Can’t we just Empath?” His very lips were aching form having to pronounce words out loud.

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