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The temple of the Nhadim

Jean Vermoise, "Prisoner of the Sect of the Nhadim : 6 years in hell". Collection Burning Zone. 203 pages, 1989. Excerpt of Chapter 9, "Enlightenment".

The reader may not believe that a human being can be so deprived of himself, void from any substance, like a gutted chicken on a butcher's block. We were not, after all, entrenched in an isolated farmhouse high in the mountains. We were in the life, right in the middle of the Parisian flow. Most of us had a full-time job, colleagues and a family. I know this is hard to grasp, but for us the Small Soldiers of the Order, this "real", terrestrial life was only a short episode the Terminology called it the Filament. The Low Soldiers were bound to the Lower World by the Filament as long as the Order deemed it necessary. Our visions of the Higher World were limited to the evenings, Sundays and holidays spent at the Nadhim temple of the Barthélémy Street.The wicked minds of the Order's bosses had led us exactly to this point: we came to believe that we lived within a nightmare that was also a mandatory mental training before our own passing to the Higher World. The nocturnal ceremonies were nothing but a blissful foretaste of normality. During my two years in Paris, I attended 312 Monhadim (recitations of the monââ), 245 Nenhadim (learning by the fire of the Sacred Sirnhadim), 38 Anhadim (ceremonies of Punishment for disobedient Soldiers, Cf. Chapter 8), and 13 Ganhadim (ceremonies of Exclusion for those who survived an Anhadim). I also spent 23 weekends selling Awakening Twigs in open-air markets all around Paris. And I had monââ tattooed on very intimate parts of my body. All of this was accomplished while being in a permanent exalted, exhilarated state, from where I would only go down when I was back at work. I abstracted myself in Cobol programming, slumbering away from the litanies of monââ and the cries of the disciples during the Anhadim.

I could have lasted a few years more. The Order knew how to spare its Soldiers, particularly those who brought home a regular income, like I did, and first-hand data about the strategy of the Vilsmaier Group, the multinational telecommunication company where I used to work. You may notice how proud is a former disciple: I was useful to them. I did not have to go through the Anhadims, even when I had disobeyed the Terminology (for instance, I used to eat peanuts to keep me from starving during the ten-hourlong, non-stop Monhadim chants ; a few Soldiers had disappeared for less important misdemeanours). Fortunately, perfect societies do secrete their own self-destructive venom. I will not elaborate on the corruption of the High Soldiers; the poison I want to talk about was more interior, more diffuse. It oozed through tiny cracks in the hardened shell of the Order. One of these cracks, a fine broken line in the Terminology, called himself .

was a Low Soldier, but he hold the rank of a Denhadim, that made him almost a High Soldier (which required two confirmations more). Because the High Soldiers were frequently absent from the ceremonies, these were often presided over by Denhadims such a . All ceremonies began by a two-hour sermon that the disciples listened to head down, raising their eyes only to chant Nhadim, Nhadim every time a sentence ended. It was not before one full year that I realised that 's sermon stook some liberties with the Terminology. Why so long ? You need to understand that the entire Terminology was known only by the High Soldiers and the Denhadim. We Low Soldiers were not in the position to judge the orthodoxy of our superiors and make a comparison. We could be taught pure nonsense, which was indeed the case. The Verb was truth, because it was the Verb. When described the cosmogony according to the Terminology - the five hidden planets in the Solar System where all the Soldiers of the Order would go to live after the End -, we chanted Nhadim, Nhadim. When he told us that the End was to happen within 6735 days, we chanted Nhadim, Nhadim. When he told us that all the High Soldiers were complete idiots, what do you think we chanted back? Nhadim, Nhadim. For one year, taught us both the Order's silly rubbish and some vivid and basic truths about it, the same ones that would be soon publicly derided on front pages. What do you think we did with these revelations ? Nothing, nothing at all! Nhadim, Nhadim, chanted the happy flock.

disappeared a few days before the Internal Revenue Service agents broke down the Temple's doors. He was not an undercover cop, since his statute of Denhadim demanded a ten-year long service as a faithful Soldier of the Order. And none of the detectives I met during and after the investigation ever admitted having been helped by an inside informer. My own hypothesis about is the following: the whole sect could have been some sort of giant laboratory to him, with a full colony of pink-eyed rats to observe and play with, testing our reactions to bribing and suffering, until he decided to instil doubt in our minds. I guess our friend was somehow disappointed by the results.

Gilles Tran © 2001 www.oyonale.com