I once had a very strange dream where my old religion (also known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses) decided to release a ridiculous animated faux-Pixar film solely for my sadistic amusement. This film would combine everything that I enjoy about how stupid my old religion is with a keen mixture of stunted childhood and, maybe, just a little dash of frightening ignorance; y’know, just to liven it up a bit. In other words, this film, for everyone who isn’t enraptured by a silly/dangerous cult-like religion, would rock tits. This creation would be so damned entertaining that if you played it in a giant theater that could hold every living person on Earth, every human being would be erupting with joyous laughter, except for, of course, the some seven million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the audience who would be covering their faces out of sheer, unconquerable embarrassment.
Put simply, this dream was on the exact opposite end of the spectrum from one of those “naked in public” dreams. The only dream that could have been more satisfying would be one where the Jehovah’s Witness Clergy are tripping out on Bath Salts and eating each other’s faces to the tune of Yakity Sax, while comically slipping on over-sized banana peels—oh, and every time one of the clergy’s eyes get eaten, giant confetti guns shoot and dildos, pre-rubbed with only the lubiest KY Jelly, fall from the ceiling, confusing the already delirious and hungry old men.
Yep, it’s safe to assume that I’m not on good terms with these assholes anymore.
Anyway, I had one of the best moments of my life a few weeks ago when I discovered that my subconscious had somehow predicted the production of exactly what I had imagined: a spectacularly retarded Jehovah’s Witness animated children’s film, centering around stupid Jehovah’s Witness dogma and culminating in an unintentional exposé on exactly how the Witnesses indoctrinate their children. The existence of this video is only possible because either A) it turns out that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were right after all, and now Satan is channeling his evil, future-prediction powers to me, or B) that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are just so profoundly stupid that they accidentally did something that my subconscious thought would be hilarious. One of these things is probably more likely than the other.
So now that this disaster of CGI and religious fundamentalism has come together for the whole world to see, you might ask, “How terrible is it?”. Well, well, well, my deliciously curious reader(s), the answer can only truly be gleaned by actually watching this horror of Computer Science play out in front of your own two eyes. Unfortunately for you and me, to watch this travesty you might have to look it up on YouTube yourself; you see, as it turns out, the Jehovah’s Witness leadership (the aforementioned hypothetically Bath Salted-out old men) might have caught on to just how ridiculous this video is, because they’re now doing everything in their power to pull all of the posted videos of it off of the Internet before it goes viral. I’ll try to post it below anyway, just in the slim chance that the Witness war machine hasn’t succeeded in eliminating every current video on the web with their Reich.
When your evangelical religion, that’s, by the way, absolutely fucking crazy about exposure, decides that they need to take one of their own publications down because the Internet likes it too much, you know that something might have gone terribly, horribly wrong.
Or that the Internet has decided to create a new meme.
As it turns out, absurd children’s videos are sort of the Internet’s thing. If the Jehovah’s Witnesses want the Internet to leave them the hell alone then they should probably stick to writing boring books with colorful covers and titles that even a Chinese exchange student would squint at. (Get it? Because they’re always squinting! Ah ha ha! Racism!)
Part 1: Why Should You Obey Daddy and Mommy?
The video, entitled “Become Jehovah’s Friend”, happens to be a two-parter, (a four-parter if you count the introduction from one old guy on Bath Salts and the cutesy indoctrination sing-along at the end) segmenting the video into two separate “moral” tales which serve to teach lessons to the main protagonist of the cartoon and (presumably) the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are (presumably, again) watching it with their parents (who are taking breaks between the video to do lines of Bath Salts, presumably). “Lesson” one of the video is entitled “Why Should You Obey Daddy and Mommy?” but, unfortunately for its key demographic, it does little to show kids why they really should obey their parents (because otherwise they won’t get to go to McDonalds later) and instead teaches them a silly reason for obeying their parents that almost all children will absolutely disregard (that disobeying mommy and daddy makes them oh so sad. Awwww. By the way, do you think I might be overusing these brackets?) for the reason that they’re little kids.
The makers of “Become Jehovah’s Friend” have obviously never met a human child before. Actual children tend to be selfish, destructive little bastards that neither care about your feelings nor realize that they even exist. That’s just the way children are: they haven’t quite developed to the point of empathy yet. A deeper look into the psychology of this video demonstrates that it’s not so much trying to get youngsters to understand why they should do what their parents tell them as much as it is telling them to do it just because they said so. So in essence, this part of the video breaks down into the fundamentalist Christian’s favorite logical fallacy, the argument from authority. I guess this video is kind of a “baby’s first religious propaganda” of sorts; its intended purpose is to acclimate the young children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the kinds of religious control that they’ll be bombarded with as they bloom into fully brainwashed fundamentalists.
But don’t get too sad just yet—this video also happens to be incredibly hilarious. As soon as you see the jerky animations and poor understanding of what human emotion looks like on a genuine homosapien’s face, you start to understand that the CG budget on this film must have been set somewhere between “turns out a dollar can buy a lot, after all!”, and “well, only if we can find someone who doesn’t mind being paid with empty Pez dispensers”.
And not the cool ones, either.
The first part of the video does its best to be as useless as possible; the only lesson that is ever established within its entire running time is that children must pick up their toys, or else their psychotic mother will have a complete mental breakdown or, worse still, their vaguely-ethnic father will trip on the toys and accidentally destroy the house, somehow. I present to you that, as I’ve already said, kids that young just don’t give a flying fuck in space about your feelings, your house, and least of all, your God. If you have a child under five that cares about things other than toys and sugary food, than I’m fairly certain that you have the most insecure child that has ever walked this earth—or the merciless alien Kreptar beasts of Knoxus 7 have successfully tricked you into raising one of their own.
Part 2: What Toy is Caleb Playing With? How Does He Become Jehovah’s Friend?
If open-ended questions become some sort of currency after the apocalypse, the Jehovah’s Witnesses will definitely become the wealthiest motherfuckers in all of Thunderdome. When the titles of both parts of the video that you’re watching are questions, you can be absolutely sure that you’re either watching an infomercial scam or religious propaganda created by some very confused old men. In this case, it happens to be a little bit of both.
As part 2 begins, we’re once again introduced to the main protagonist, Caleb, who this time is playing with a little purple plastic toy wizard, whom Caleb calls “Sparlock”. Caleb, who is a semi-normal boy, enjoys playing with the magic-themed toy, showing off the action figure to his mom, who is very notably a bitch and also very notably nothing else. Caleb’s mom—whom I shall now refer to as “Bitch” for the purposes of this article—takes one look at the little plastic toy and displays what can only be described as “cock-punching horror”.
The reason for Bitch’s apparent fear is demonstrated right after, when she asks Caleb if the Sparlock toy that he’s playing with is “magical”. Note: she didn’t ask if that Sparlock toy was supposed to be magical. No, no, no, she asked if the Sparlock toy is magical. Yep, that word use implies that Bitch actually believes that magic is a real thing. In 2012.
But wait, there’s more! When Bitch sits Caleb down and gives him a little talking to about how incredibly wrong he is to play with an unholy magical talisman, (that’s in the shape of a purple action figure) she uses some of the worst reasoning that I’ve ever heard come from a place that wasn’t being broadcast live on C-SPAN: it’s bad to play with “magical toys” because it makes Jehovah God sad and Satan happy.
The most adorable representation of pure evil until they make a show about baby Hitler.
So if you take the message of both parts of this fantastic video at face value, you end up with only two real lessons that are both so ridiculously simplistic that it amazes me they couldn’t find anything else to throw in, just to justify the production cost of the publication. “Pick up your toys” and “don’t play with toy wizards because mommy and daddy say so” is what this video is really all about; well, it’s also about obeying authority figures without thought or question, but c’mon, this is a Jehovah Witness video—that shit is par for the course.
Highlighted in red: subtlety
More interesting than this video, though, is the response it got from the Internet. Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, you develop a sense that the Witnesses are above mockery, that they’re neither amusing nor crazy enough to elicit any reference from the outside world. You start to believe that there really isn’t anything else that could be said besides the occasional and often lame “Oh ho ho, boy are those guys annoying when they knock on your door” joke that every Witness has heard over and over. Jehovah’s Witnesses even took it as a point of pride that, of all things, that was what they were known for.
Now the Internet, with all of its pros and cons, has inadvertently created a system that mocks the ridiculous and inane exactly when they deserve to be ridiculed. And for once, the Witnesses are no longer exempt from the consequences of their stupid, backwards thinking. At last, they’re getting a taste of what it means to be persecuted in the 21st century; and it doesn’t involve the dramatic flair that they always hoped it would. The realities of our age can all be boiled down to this: it doesn’t take governmental tyranny or social strife to dismantle your dogma anymore, now you can do it all on your own, with a touch of the ridiculous and a tiny purple wizard.
And to my old little cult, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I say this and I do mean it sincerely: welcome to the Internet.