“When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children any way they could”-Pink Floyd
Going to a strict Baptist school drove me insane. It was the 1980’s. Kids were hanging at the mall, the video arcade, the movies and girls were teasing their hair to the sky. There was the occasional concert at Pine Knob. (A legendary concert venue in our area. It’s still in operation under another name that I can never remember, because it will always be Pine Knob.)
Unfortunately, the school I attended had us sign a pledge listing 10 or so activities we vowed to never participate in. If we were caught doing any of these sinful acts, expulsion would be swift and severe. Among these activities that were pure sins? Going to the movies and video arcades. Going to a concert? Out of the question! In fact, listening to rock and roll would get you kicked out. Even watching Miami Vice was a horrible sin. No holding hands with a boy ever! Sex? Sex will send you straight to hell!!! (Even though my drama teacher was banging a maintenance man, the pastor who taught my Senior Bible class was banging all kindsa women, and I can think of two separate occasions when a teacher slept with a student. )
It was a place that ruled by fear of God. The hypocrisy of the adults was so brazen and crass, it made us as students angry and insulted. Angry that they didn’t even follow their own rules. Insulted that they thought we were so stupid that we didn’t know what was happening. Some of us were even being molested by these holy men. The ones who got caught messing around were of course, tearful and apologetic. We HAD to forgive “these great men of God” because, after all, if we don’t forgive others then God won’t forgive us for our sins! If you’re not forgivin you’ll be either sent to hell or, if you’re lucky enough to make it to heaven you’ll just be given a little bitty old shack with no rewards. No mansion for you!
So there I was, stuck in a place where I was constantly told what a bad person I was. So I figured, I was going to hell anyway, why not go out having fun? I started smoking, drinking, and danced every chance I could. When the movie Footloose came out, so many of us who were helplessly trapped in that school could identify with the character of Wren. The difference was…Wren came out on top. Those of us who felt oppressed never got our moment to “cut footloose.” We never won. We weren’t allowed to be normal teenagers.
Fortunately, my parents were not as strict as the school. I was allowed my freedom of expression at home. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough freedom to stop the damage the school was doing.
After a while, being good at being bad was boring. Washing down Vicodin with the peach schnapps I had disguised in my hairspray bottle between 3rd hour British Lit and 4th hour Church history was getting dull. It was too easy.
I had a close friend at school who lived not far from me. Since she has chosen to not be part of this story (and she was given the opportunity) we will call her Emma.
Emma and I loved heavy metal and glam rockers like Poison and Motley Crue. Ozzy was among our favorites as well. His song “Mr. Crowley” got us very interested in the life of this man who worshipped the devil.
Researching Aliester Crowly led us to Anton LaVey(founder of the Chirch of Satan,) and The Satanic Bible. That led me, personally, to his daughter Zena LeVay and her book, The Satanic Witch.
Then Emma bought a Ouija board….
To be continued