Saturday, 11 September 2010

For stranger danger, think local

I was mildly amused and intrigued by the front page story in this week’s Examiner about a ‘religious sect’ planning to set up a Manx base , now on the website at .
I don’t doubt the basic story (though judging from the ‘ex–team’ website at the former cultists seem a few apostles short of an apotheosis themselves), but I’m amused and intrigued for several reasons.
For one thing, I don’t see why yet another oddball cult here makes such a difference. The place is such a haven for them already. For example, one equally odd one has been fleecing rich new agers for years from a rural venue not 5 miles away from the Crossags. It has large adverts in Johnston Press’s various publications every week, and an input into various flakey ‘alternative health’ and ‘spiritual’ groups with whom it trades punters, ‘life coaches’, leads on access to government advisory committees, public funds and facilities….and so on.
For another, what’s this about 'the Team' only beginning to set up an island base? At least two associates have been peddling their talents around evangelical churches and Christian youth and ‘outreach’ groups for over a decade. I warned Christians Together in Mann’s youth subcommittee about them in 1998, and far more recently (judging from their schools work) a heritage group was not only using other bampots from other dodgy evangelical sects but had taken on board a suggestion first made back then by the Team’s ‘undercover squad’ for tourist development at one of the island’s best known historical venues. Then again, as that venue in turn has a long and ignoble connection with an evangelical chancer/ property developer who counted Billy Graham and Richard Nixon amongst his friends what‘s a few more freaks at the historical freak show anyway?
I’m intrigued because (as I frankly don’t believe either the Bishop’s advisors or any major church group are genuinely concerned) it would be nice to know what the real motive was for feeding IOM Newspapers the story, and indeed who fed it to them.
When the area around the Crossags has so many bampots, conspiracy theorists and hidden agendas why pick on this one?
For example, there have been previous behind the scenes campaigns to stop development around the Crossags. These include a plan to build holiday accomodation in the late 1980’s blocked by local Rotarians, who had a prominent member and schoolteacher point out the ‘danger’ to schoolkids from increased traffic on the road to the Crossags.
Except schoolkids don’t use that road. In fact the only danger on it is from flying golfballs on the adjoining golf course – whose membership revolves around such Rotarians and where it’s a source of huge frustration that the selling off of public land and cutting off of public rights of way cannot extend to the road because it is the main footpath to Albert Tower.
Also amusingly, one silent party behind the proposed development was closely connected to the Anglican management, and the elaborate plan involved a trust which would run the Crossags as a faith-based charity as part of a growing ‘empire’ also involving other Christian children’s charities close to government.
Because again, Nigel Chaplin has been trying for years to set up some sort of lifetime possession trust arrangement for the Crossags which would have allowed him to retain a home for his aged mum and live out his days, with the facility then preferably passing to the sort of church-based groups who use it most. Problem is, the ‘interest’ church groups have in kids is not their healthy development and preparation for a socially useful adulthood, but in grooming them as tithe-payers when they start earning.
They would love to gain control of a nice little facility where kids can run riot in the fresh air and camp safely for weekends (and where Nigel has helped them arrange such things –with the groups concerned often never paying back the full costs of amenities they run up). They just, somehow, seem to view it as Nigel’s ‘Christian duty’ to hand over his heritage so that they can run it – tax free – at a nice little profit.
The backroom intrigues and battles between such imbeciles would make amusing reading should they ever be revealed. I suspect they never will be. Shame, as even Teutonic twerps allegedly running cults might then prove less bizarre or amusing than the homegrown variety.

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