1. Every time I agree with something Doug says
2. Every time Doug tells an outrageous story that sounds incredibly unrealistic
3. When the timeline jumps around in ways that don’t make sense
4. Doug runs away from home
5. Doug gets dragged back or comes back of his own accord
6. Doug (thinks he’s) messing with the occult.
Free At Last
Our last post ended with Doug being sent to a “Free school” out in the country somewhere.
“Free school” apparently means you get to pick which subjects to study, and which ones you won’t bother with. Which sounds great to me, I’d have loved it. No more math, social studies, or gym class!
Yup, in no way shape or form is this school a terrible idea.
It’s an even more terrible idea, because it turns out that the school is more free than his mom suspected. There are 3 rules at the school, which are never enforced: No drugs, no sex, no fighting.
Students ranged from 8-18, and you didn’t have to go to class, get out of bed, or go to meals.
Students were told they could learn anything they wanted to. Doug says they learned how to sniff glue, make beer, and do LSD.
Actually, learning to make beer could be a very useful thing for a teacher to show them. If done properly (and in a country where drinking below the age of 21 was legal), it could teach your students chemistry and math. You could also work in lessons about botany, history, and other cultures. What kind of beers are popular in which countries/time periods and why? Why are beers of type X popular in country Y? How do you calculate the alcohol content of a beer, knowing its initial gravity? How do you measure the amount of sugar in a beer? What effect does the yeast have? Beer making is a well-known and recognized hobby and learning about it could lead to a career*.
Well, we all know how Ellen White feels about people who make alcohol. For our non SDA audience, I’ll summarize: people who make alcohol are responsible for alcoholics and their actions. I’m not kidding**.
Doug meets a guy named Jay, from whom he learns burglary. One day there was a notice on the bulletin board about a class on mind control, that could teach you how to win lotteries and heal people, among other things.
Doug attends all 2 weeks of the class. He explains that the teacher taught them to use a type of self hypnosis, and that this was them working with God to do things. The teacher said that this was the same technique Jesus used to heal people and it all sounds very woo to me.
Doug butts in to reassure us readers that of course this was all the opposite of what God wanted them to do, lest we get any stupid ideas.
Silvia Mind Control, the class was called. One of his classmates, Laura, is skeptical. Doug tells her he will prove it by healing someone, anyone of her choice, and diagnosing them.
So Laura meets him after class, in the lounge in front of an audience. Doug tells her he must have the name and address of the person. Laura gives it to him, and Doug describes Laura’s mother.
I… reached the state of hypnosis called the alpha brain level. A picture of a woman flashed across my mental screen. “I see a woman who is about 45 years old. Medium build, wearing glasses, brunette.”
That’s…. kind vague. He’s just described like, a bajillion people. Anyway, Laura confirms that yes, this is her mother. I think Laura is too eager to believe, and or too easily fooled.
Then I began the journey down her organs, trying to locate the problem. “Your mother is sterile,” I announced. “She can’t have children.”
This turns out to be correct. Laura is adopted because her mother can’t have children. She says she’s never told anybody she’s adopted but I kind of find that hard to believe. In the 1970s, there wasn’t that much stigma surrounding adoption. She wouldn’t have ran around announcing it to everybody, but she might have told a best friend, perhaps.
Doug says he performed “psychic surgery,” but never did learn the results.
Hang on, how can he perform psychic surgery when he has no idea how to perform real surgery? Pretending all this stuff is real for 5 seconds, even if you were going to be able to perform some kind of mind healing, wouldn’t you have to know at least the very basics of how to do it in reality? Kind of like how, even if you had telekenisis (sp), you’d still need to know how to, say, knit a sock with your hands if you wanted to manipulate your knitting needles mentally. At the very least Doug would have to have some basic knowledge of common reproductive problems and how the woman’s body worked.
Whoops. There I go trying to bring logic and science into something that clearly shouldn’t have either one of those things. My bad.
Conveniently, Doug says he can not remember how he did the psychic surgery.
As crazy as this book has been sounding, I’ve been hesitating to outright call Doug a liar. It is true that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and it’s possible that in his mind he has built some of these things up to be more than they were, and thus he really does think all this stuff happened exactly the way it happened.
But I call bullshit on this story. This didn’t happen, or at the very least it didn’t happen the way Doug said it happened. No fucking way.
We then jump a story about Doug and his friend going into town to buy beer. (Why are they buying beer? Didn’t they learn to make it at the School?) They see a man who glares at them.
As Doug and his friend leave town, the man gets into his pickup and follows the two boys. Doug notices all the guns in his car, and thinks about how the man could just kill them and no one would care. Seriously? Doug is the son of a millionaire. When the lily ass white boy son of a lily ass white male millionaire goes missing or his body is found, people care. Doug wants us to see him as just another hippy, but he’s not. He’s a rich hippy. It might take people a while to notice Doug is even gone, and it might take even longer to figure out he hasn’t just run away again, but someone would figure it out, and shit would hit the fan when that happened.
But the man is probably ignorant of this, so as Doug and his friend run away and hide in the bushes, the man starts randomly shooting in their general direction. After a while, he leaves. So Doug’s friend does the only logical thing to do in such a situation: he opens one of the beers and starts drinking.
Yup, I’d say this is a situation that calls for a drink.
The man returns to his pickup to wait for the boys, who spot him before he spots them. They flag down a passing car, explain to the lady what’s going on, and the lady offers to help them.She drives them back to the school, saving their lives.
Doug says that since the students seldom went to meals, they all stole food. When the school put a lock on the kitchen doors, they tunneled in through the basement. They stole so much food that the school went bankrupt and had to close.
Which, if the food was there to feed the kids in the first place, how does this work?
Doug then tells us that he was happier in super strict military school with all its rules (and abusive teachers) than he was in the free school where he had no rules.
Makes sense. I mean, at least in military school he had someone who made sure he did stuff that could secure his future.
Did Doug ever graduate college? Scratch that, did he ever graduate high school? This may not have been as important back in the 1970s, but it would be important today. If Doug were to become an atheist now, he would have to do something besides be a pastor. What would he do? Where would he go? Doesn’t one have to have a degree from an SDA university in order to be an SDA pastor? Later on in the book, Doug will tell us he took some classes at an SDA university, but he uses that exact phrase: “took some classes.”
It’s odd. Usually pastors will give the name of the school(s) they graduated from and their degrees in the “About” section on their website. I am finding nothing for Doug Batchelor anywhere on the internet.
Regardless of whether or not he has a degree, a degree in theology from an Adventist university isn’t going to be of much use outside the Adventist cultural bubble. If Doug ever apostatized-and there are people out there praying he will-then he just might find himself and his family in a very precarious financial situation.
That man will never leave.
*Thanks Caphector, for taking the time to explain this to me. The last sentence in that paragraph is a direct quote from him.
**The rum-seller takes the same position as did Cain, and says, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” And God says to him, as He said to Cain, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground.” Genesis 4:9, 10. Liquor-dealers will be held accountable for the wretchedness and misery brought into the homes of those who are weak in moral power, and who fall through temptation to drink. They will be charged with the misery, the suffering, the hopelessness brought into the world through the liquor traffic. They will have to answer for the want and woe of the mothers and children who have suffered for food, and clothing, and shelter, who have buried all hope and joy. He who has a care for the sparrow, and notes its fall to the ground, who “clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven,” will not pass by those who have been formed in his own image, purchased with his own blood, and pay no heed to their suffering cries. God marks this wickedness that perpetuates misery and crime. He charges it all up to those whose influence helps to open the door of temptation to the soul. PH 132 2.1
Here’s another quote:
The liquor dealer is written in the records among those whose hands are full of blood. He is condemned for keeping on hand the poisonous draft by which his neighbor is tempted to ruin, and by which homes are filled with wretchedness and degradation. The Lord holds the liquor dealer responsible for every penny that comes to his till out of the earnings of the poor drunkard, who has lost all moral power, who has sunk his manhood in drink.– Review and Herald, May 8, 1894.
So remember, kids, if you’re an alcoholic, it’s not your fault: It’s the liquor store’s.