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The Radicals Revolution This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   In a world marred with sin and social upheaval, our standard ways of living are perpetually being challenged. America is constantly in a state of distress and reconstruction. It is not surprising then, that the actions of our fellow kinsmen can sometimes leave us confused and shocked. We have seen it before with Charles Manson or Waco, Texas. We were horrified when O.J. Simpson allegedly killed his wife and her friend. The Unabomber presented desperate ambitions directly opposed to the government and Timothy McVeigh showed that anti-federalist sentiments combined with basic high school chemistry can give radicals the power to do whatever destruction they want (as was seen in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City).

And so the next chapter unfolds in the continuous cycle of disarray and radical reaction. Recently our southwestern skies were lit by the comet Hale-Bopp. This rare appearance comes only every 2400 years and so this comet in itself was unique. The head of Hale-Bopp is only about 20 meters long, but the dust cloud behind it is said to range to 26 million miles. This comet lit the spark that would prove more than enough to light a fire for the radicalist subdivisions scattered throughout the world.

It began with a group called Heaven's Gate: 26 people living in San Diego, California earning a living building Internet web pages, and living under the strict moral codes and warped guidelines of an ex-mental patient named Marshall Herff Applewhite, referred to as "Do" by his closest companions. A mixture of modern Christianity, limited Social Darwinism, and too many Star Trek re-runs made a shaky base for the new religion. Applewhite preached of a "higher level," one not unlike the Christian "heaven," only distorted. He attracted a handful of followers due to his powerful charisma and grandfatherly appearance. A lure that anyone could have fallen into ... it was that innocent. Yet, once inside, things became more intense; members were urged to live a life of celibacy. They were preached Do's words and told about the coming of "the higher level." They believed that the "Luciferians" or space aliens, were going to make it possible for all faithful followers to go to the next level and shed their Earthly "containers." Weeks ago, a freelance astrologer claimed to have seen a spaceship in the dust cloud of Hale-Bopp approximately four times the size of Earth. He went on a Brooklyn-based radio talk show and announced his findings. It was then that Applewhite decided it was time to initiate final action.

The last chapter of the story unfolded when the cult committed the largest ritualistic suicide in America as an attempt to go someplace more meaningful. In a California mansion their "vehicles" were laid to rest for one last time until they would become aliens of a new realm.

Should we be shocked by such actions? Indeed, but more important, we should be scared. Because as the 1900s come to a close, many millenialists will begin taking action and shocking us even more with their radical prophesies of the coming age and ultimate destruction. To those who sought the better life, we bid you good-night from your spacecraft ... for those who just desire to stay alive, we bid you good luck. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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