If It Seems too Good to be True...

From: "Bodhi" (rob@v-wave.com)


When Eli took his little vacation a few decades ago, he left a number of his more powerful and inspired minions without the benefit of his guidance. While most of them continued their work under the guidance of other Archangels, a very few of them retained their sole allegience to Eli, working on various projects without guidance, secure in the knowledge that they were doing his bidding.

One such creative angel, with a great deal of distinction, was Alron. As Alron was a very great fan of literature, he acted throughout the world furthering the creative and inspirational energies of many authors, screenwriters, and so on. He didn't feel that his talents were necessarily linked directly to the efforts of the other archangels (except perhaps for Yvex), so he continued his work unsupervised for the interim period of time. It was always Alron's belief that Eli was coming back "real soon now", and that things would return to "normal" very quickly. Thus, there was no great rush to go work for another archangel.

Alron was never essentially creative per se' on his own. Instead, Alron's greatest talent lay in the ability to take good notions from a number of disparate sources, and jumble them together into a newer and more creative format. Thus, the artists that he would patronize tended to take factual information and fictionalize it, or they would take different fictional settings and combine the best of both elements into an even newer and more fantastic creation. Alron's focus didn't lie in direct creation, therefore, but in modification of current creation to bring about an even better product.

He began to write down some of his personal thoughts over twenty years ago, and as a consequence wound up with a neat little bundle of insightful and helpful hints about how to take one's life, sift through the bad stuff, find the good stuff, and mix it with the good stuff of other people to make an even better existence. What had originally started out as a means for helping himself work on making his own Celestial assignments move more efficiently wound up becoming a more centralized personal philosophy, and he began to tell any of his friends who would listen exactly how they could help streamline their own existences as well.

Indeed, after a few of his friends adopted his viewpoints, he showed them another theoretical history he had been working on, which true to form was simply a conglomeration of the best parts of all other sorts of history jumbled together. Alron's emphasis was that the most logical components of disparate theories could be fused together to make the most logical unifying theory. He wrote out his thoughts into a second work, which attempted to fuse differing theories about Creation, the Creator, and the nature of the early days of the War, into one unifying theory.

These first two books were so popular that Alron more or less abandoned his original human-inspiring works in an attempt to bring personal inspiration to other Celestials. He arranged to have his books duplicated. The first book was titled "Celestiometry", and the second book was titled "The Truest History". He began writing many, many more books in his spare time, and soon his fans were inundated with a deluge of Alron's writings, his "philosophies", and his re-worked "histories".

While more scholarly Celestials scoffed at his "works", his fans became very much enraptured with the message that he was sending through these books. If it was possible to take the best elements of any one individual, and downplay the negative elements, and furthermore combine it with the positive elements of other individuals, then it would be possible to remove distinguishing characteristics between the choirs. Indeed, Alron published a pseudo-fictional novel in which the characters all started out in different choirs, but wound up forming a new brotherhood, a neo-choir, which was essentially a blend of all of the different choirs.

This met with great success!

Alron's fans (some even began to think of themselves as followers...) began to actively pursue the personal re-structuring of their internal selves to match the neo-choir. Indeed, some would become quite indignant if you pointed out their individual membership in any particular choir, claiming that the old class system was invalid when seen through the light of Celestiometry.

Alron's fans generally would gather during their spare time on an island retreat that Alron had purchased in California. On his island, he was free to pursue his writings, his scholarship, and his newfound role as spiritual icon.

To date, Alron has published specialized volumes of Celestiometry aimed at alleviating the particular problems faced by any individual. There are special volumes devoted to the problems of Malakim, Ofanim, etc.

Alron then published a two-volume set of instructions to his followers, in which he advocated a radical new theory.

In his newest theory, Diabolicals were also seen to be part of the great scheme of things. Indeed, the focus was on the fact that the War, being initially started by God, must serve as the integral point of existence for all living creatures. "The World is the War" was the title of the book, and in it he advocated spreading his message to Diabolicals as well as Celestials. He even made provisions for humans! It seemed that Alron had discovered that the basis for all individual existences was the wrapping of cosmic Forces around an elementary individualistic particle, which he called an "Alphon". Celestials and Diabolicals, being created first, used up the majority of the Alphons. Humans, being created afterwards, were created out of a different particle called a "Beton". Alphons and Betons were different enough that the two souls could never be interchanged, but they were also similar enough to show that all living beings were essentially "brothers under the skin".

Alron even went so far as to suggest that Alphons and Betons were not the creations of God, but rather that God would've simply utilized the particles left over from some older creations. Alron hypothesized that God took the Alphons and Betons of a long-dead alien species, and created the first Celestials and Diabolicals out of them. Thus, all Celestials, Diabolicals, and Humans are really (in a way) the re-incarnations of a long-dead alien species not even endemic to this Universe!!!

God then set this universe up simply as a conflict-zone in which the War would be fought. The war serves no purpose other than the simply perpetuation of this Universe's existence. So long as we are caught up in the War, we will never get to our true Alphon and Beton nature. We will, instead, be clouded from our true nature, and follow blindly our programming regarding the War, and never achieve true happiness. Only by abandoning the War, and getting in touch with our Alphon and Beton nature, will we understand our true beginnings, and thus understand ourselves.

The Birth of Alray

Alron set up a mechanism through which he could spread his message. He modelled it after certain highly unorthodox and highly lucrative human business enterprises.

Alron had each of his followers attempt to convert others through the promise of "free and easy Essence". Thus, the contract of Essence, or Alray, was born. In Alray, every participant gives their immediate superior one point of Essence every day. If they possess a rite, they can easily regenerate that point of essence through a little work. Thus, for as little as 4 to 6 hours of work per day, you can make your Alray payments.

However, the nice part is that every member you recruit now owes you one point of Essence. Thus, if you spread the word to 15 new recruits, their total accumulated input to you will be 15 points of Essence DAILY!!! As well, provisions were made to "split off" from under your superior, by buying off your franchise and becoming a separate line directly under Alron. Of course, ALL lines pay a direct daily fee to Alron in order to support Alron's works, his efforts on their behalf, and his now-lavish lifestyle.

Alray also takes payments of money from their human counterparts if they should choose to do so. As well, Alray will exchange favours for cash deposits. Thus, if you wish to purchase some sort of Celestial or Diabolical action, you simply have to pay the fee and the service will be delivered for you. Many people have become fervent believers in the Alray system, and spend quite a bit of their lives making money and/or essence for Alray. Each one of them is trying to "break off" and become a direct Alray line under Alron. The individuals that manage to do so have almost unfathomable amounts of Essence and cash at their disposal on a daily basis. There are, at this point, 23 direct lines under Alron, each of which have between 25 and 50 members. Only about 10% of the Alray members are humans, with about 60% being Celestials and 30 %Diabolicals. The distribution across choirs and bands is disturbingly uniform... Celestiometry seems frighteningly convincing to all members of society.

The Adventure:

The PC's are asked to infiltrate, investigate, and if possible, eradicate the Alray cult. Sniff around and dig up dirt. The PC's could be mortals, Soldiers, Celestials, Diabolicals, or any combination thereof.

The point is that Alron is not necessarily wrong. In fact, it could be quite enjoyable if some of the PC's get wrapped up in the teachings of Alron, and decide that their "infiltration" mission should be transformed into an actual "conversion to the faith". This has the the potential for some quite nasty dust-ups within the party itself!

Every member of Alray is a devoted follower of Alron and Celestiometry. They are not above a little petty violence if it brings about greater Order and Harmony. Thus, they are more than willing to eliminate problematic PC's if they discover too much, or make too much noise.

I don't wish to make the adventure too constricting. I don't necessarily see Alray as "an evil entity", and I don't think it particularly needs to be "menacing or corrupt". However, I do see it as a deceptively simple and potentially soul-crushing, non-creative, pseudo-intellectual cult, which in-and-of-itself may be enough of an evil entity that it should be ferretted out and destroyed. Such action, however, needs to be justified in the PC's own hearts, and more to the point, in their reports to their respective Superiors.

Thus, perhaps Alron is just a nut-cake who needs his wrist slapped. Perhaps he is damaging people's perceptions, and their roles in the War, to such an extent that he needs to be eliminated for their own good. Perhaps, in so doing, the PC's will simply Martyr Alron, and make his message all that much more powerful.

Remember that Alray has a great pyramid-scheme type business going on with regards to cash and Essence. The higher-ups in Alray should have tremendous resources at their disposal. Don't make it too easy for the PC's to simply waltz in and fix things.

Walk in Beauty,

Rob Wolff / Bodhi rob@v-wave.com

From: "Bodhi" (rob@v-wave.com)
Subject: IN> Bodhi's Cult Adventure Seed Responses...

Examples of public and private responses I am getting...
> Interesting- $cientology, Celestial Style. Now I just need to
>fit in a variation of the clam story into it...
> Hmmm.
> You are a complete loon, Bodhi, you do realize this?
>{snigger} Unless I miss my guess, you just lampooned two subjects near
>and dear to my heart... Which only goes to show that just about
>anything good can be abused and perverted -- by those who profess to
>uphold it as much as those who are outside it, more's the pity. :-J

The three people who posted these are some of my favourite names on this list (one e-mailed me privately, so don't bother looking for their post...)

It was never my intention to be overly-critical of any particular body of REAL followers, nor of any particular pyramid scheme, nor of any particular combination of the two.

I know that there are some harsh commentaries located within this adventure seed if indeed certain of these subjects are "near and dear" to you.

I know how you feel!!! You know how many really nice Buddhist and Hindu mystics have become ensnarled within huge money-driven, sex-scandal-type California cults? You know how many such mystics have spearheaded some of the most attrocious manipulations of young minds (and BODIES!!!) all in a supposedly "pure" search for enlightenment? You know how many of these guys get published, and their ridiculous "philosophies" become more fast-food for the pseudo-informed new-age sub-culture?

All good things can indeed be perverted. All good missions can indeed stray off course. All good philosophies can become perverted by power-grubbing underlings (especially after the Master dies!!!) I guess that's what I'm trying to say. Perhaps the "message" in my seed is that Alron just went a step or two too far. Perhaps the Alray group simply needs to be nudged back into line...

Therefore, if my little adventure seed strikes far too close to home, please understand that my intention was NEVER to ridicule, but rather to entertain! (and perhaps, just perhaps, make one think critically, but never over-harshly!)

Thanks for your support, but I wanted to make sure that people knew where I was coming from. (especially __these__ people, since they've been so good to me in the past)

Thank you, you three, and the others who've e-mailed me privately, for your support. (and your critical perspectives!)

Walk in Beauty,

Rob Wolff / Bodhi


**Flaming Feather**

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