Fractured Fairy Tale: The Prophet-Who-Wasn’t
– by David Matthews 2
Once upon a time there was a man who saw himself as a Prophet-Who-Wasn’t.
He was a bit of a clown, a bit of a showman, and he knew how to get his message across to a huge audience. He’d call himself harmless, but everyone knew that to be a lie. He knew that he controlled the masses that he enthralled by his words of witticism and pretend wisdom. He knew how to cry on demand to show sympathy, and how to piece together little snippets into some grand fictional scheme, some overall plot of subversion. He knew how to take a moment of tragedy and horror and spin that into some pretend sentiment of unified support. He’d take all that, wrap it up in patriotic symbolism, and serve it up to the masses with his own little hints of his particular faith and then watch as the masses lap it up like thirsty little puppies.
But he certainly didn’t want people to THINK he was a prophet! Not in the least! He just saw what he called “the signs” and strung them together and things just “happen” to point that way.
What he was really interested in was not being a prophet, but in making a profit, for himself and the people who support him. His “supporters” were not his audience, by the way, but the big millionaire companies that actually sponsored his performances. He knew that as long as he keeps the masses enthralled by him, the companies sponsoring his performances would make their money off those masses, and thus they would continue to pay the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t a sizable profit.
And the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t was grateful for this little operation, and he couldn’t help but spice things up even more for the masses so they would eagerly turn to his sponsors. And why not? After all, it couldn’t hurt to tell his loyal followers that they should prepare for the worst by turning to his friends in the gold merchant business, and to talk about how bad things are getting in the world so they could prepare for future tragedies by investing in an emergency food service. It was all for the best, right?
But then a stranger came along that ruined everything for the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t. A stranger with an honest face and a disarming voice that said something that upset the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t.
This stranger mocked the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t, and he did it by calling Prophet-Who-Wasn’t for what he was!
This was inexcusable for the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t; so much so that he called the stranger’s employers “Anti-God”!
It was then that something strange happened. Something that shouldn’t.
The Prophet-Who-Wasn’t started acting as through he really was a prophet.
He began to argue that a segment of the Christian Bible that deals with the visions and dreams of a priest should not be dismissed as FICTION, even though by their very nature they are not considered FACT. The more the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t defended himself, the more he sounded LIKE he was channeling the word of a divine being. And that shouldn’t happen, should it? After all, he’s said repeatedly that he’s NOT a prophet, and yet there he was being just as defensive as a prophet being challenged would!
That probably explains why the groups that sponsor the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t and give him his audience are slowly backing away. They claim that it’s because of ratings, or that the audience wants more “local material”, or they claim that some tragedy takes precedence, but the effect is still the same… slowly but surely, the ones that truly support the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t in ways that he expects are losing their faith in his ability to make them their profits.
But don’t think for a minute that the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t would be upset by this news. Quite the contrary! The Prophet-Who-Wasn’t refuses to accept the “rumors” of his non-sermon’s demise. In fact, he sees a far greater role ahead of him in society, maybe even controlling the medium! Then at least his message can be heard uninterrupted and unencumbered by those who don’t believe in him. And he knows his “faithful” would still flock to him no matter where goes… just like that other entertainment personality did when she formed her own cable channel.
Because let’s get brutally honest here, whether he really believes he is a prophet or not, the Prophet-Who-Wasn’t is still a showman, and the last thing that he would ever want the audience to see is something OTHER than a happily-ever-after for him… end-of-the-world notwithstanding.