Monday, February 16, 2009

53. I had a number of goofy adventures during my "Jesus freak" days (early-mid 70s). The hairiest ones I've probably suppressed (in memory). But I remember once I was sitting in a McDonald's, in Providence, and was approached by a young devotee of one of those obscure "meditation" cults that were always scrounging the streets for converts back then. He invited me to a "retreat" (indoctrination) in upstate New York somewhere. I decided to go along for a lark - to infiltrate them (because I was very firm in my own faith at that point). I played along. I was taken in a car with 3-4 other young people on a drive upstate. Winter, very snowy & cold. At one point we were blindfolded so we couldn't see where we were going. I remember a sprawling, newish house, with a lot of land enclosed in a chain-link fence, sort of like an army base. I have a vague memory of sitting on a floor with a crowd of young people, submitting to seemingly endless mumbo-jumbo harangues by some sub-Leader or other. Food & sleep deprivation. When finally they let us toddle off to bed, I waited til just before dawn, & then snuck out. A very cold hitchhike back to Providence, but I was happy to have escaped.

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