Just as we are nearly at the end of the year and the end of a whole month of ungratefulness, I feel like I’m hitting my stride. There are few stories that I will enjoy telling as much as this one in this series of meditations. Why? Because it so beautifully wraps up everything about hypocrisy, phony religion, entitlement and persecution complexes in such a tidy package that no matter how hard I had tried to make up a tale with those goals in mind, none would compare to this true story.
Earlier this year, I took a booking from a man, who seemed perfectly reasonable. There is no need to go into the nature of the business they were booking, except to say that it did not involve sex and so there are no sordid details that I am omitting on that score. The booking was for himself and his family. After sending him the information required to confirm the booking he wrote back and asked for a discount.
I tried to ignore the alarm bells that always ring whenever a customer does this and responded with my standard ‘we only offer discounts to charities’. Instead of the polite backpedal offered by your average client, I received an email from him boldly proclaiming that he, in fact, was an NGO, ran a church and offered life coaching through his ‘ministry’ so, in fact, he was entitled to a discount.
I have to admit that I had to reread his email several times before I was able to digest the information, as I’d never been presented by this type of declaration and I didn’t quite know what to think of it. That didn’t last for long and I soon decided what to think of it, but not before I Googled this guy just to see what sort of scam he was running. I was not to be fucking disappointed.
This guy, his ‘ministry’ and his ‘NGO’ offered ‘male empowerment’ workshops. Oh yes he did! No, not the rapey wingman for shy men who can’t get a date type of workshops. No, not the let’s find our inner caveman and eat raw meat type of workshops. No, not the how to be a better man in this fucked up world so we can make it a better place sort of workshops. No, none of those things. His workshops were all about ‘godly’ manhood, masculinity and basically how men should be in charge of everything, especially ‘their’ women. It also involves a lot of having to give money to the ‘minister’. The ministry was registered to some fucking PO Box in Las Vegas.
I quickly decided that this was not someone we wanted to do business with and wrote to him to tell him that we wished him well and that we were not the right fit for his needs. His response was a long email begging us to keep the booking as, and I quote ‘my wife will kill me if I lose this booking’. This is Mr. Give Me 10% of Your Earnings So I Can Help You Empower Your Masculinity And Be The Leader In Your Household. I laughed. I laughed hard. I laughed fucking hard.
Predictably – and yes, I actually predicted this as this is the sort of behaviour that is so fucking tedious from arseholes like this and exactly the reason I decided not to take the business – when I responded and said that while we appreciated his dilemma, we felt that it was important that he found someone to work with that would provide him with the sort of service he wanted (ie. cheap), I received another long email. This one outlining all the reasons that he didn’t want to work with us anyway and why we were total bitches.
Ultimately, we discovered that he was so fucking scared of his wife that he never told her he lost the booking and never rebooked the date with someone else. He probably had no idea we would ever find out about this, but we did. That’s what happens when you live in a small town. Turns out he kept up the facade to the very end and tried to tell his wife that we simply didn’t turn up on the day of the booking. So, let’s re examine this whole case.
1. Tries to claim a discount only offered to charities by claiming that his money making scam is, in fact, a charity.
2. Turns out this charity is based on so-called Christian values and is a ‘ministry’ to empower men.
3. The self proclaimed empowered man instructor is terrified his wife will kill him.
4. The Christian minister lies to wife to prevent potential killing.
5. We laugh and laugh and laugh.
So, today, despite not being Christian myself, I am ungrateful that I have had Christian people in my life who are not scammers, do not lie and do not take money from pathetic men who need to be reassured that they are somehow better than women. So, I am unable to generalise and be dismissive of all Christians, even though I love generalising and being dismissive. I am also ungrateful that a video of one of this guy’s workshops was on Youtube. They sang and danced. It cannot be unseen.