Chapter XIII


After the Wall Street Journal published Frank’s article and my photos the sisters became cause cé·lè·bre with every secular group around the world offering the sisters funds and support.  Frank, who had flown back to London for a rest, had been interviewed by at least seven media outlets.  Frank was not surprised at the media attention.  The United States election was over and the world media needed something to focus on.  And a bunch of wild atheist nuns sounded just the ticket for a media frenzy.  Within a week the National Enquirer had headlines of the nuns having lesbian sex orgies.  Most did not realize the emotional state these poor women were in.  Stripped of all they believed and nothingness left in its place left them emotionally drained and confused.  Frank stopped by Foyles Bookstore in London and picked out a dozen books to send the religious cripples.  He sent two copies of Sagan’s ‘Demon Haunted World’.  Other authors were Ingersoll, Hitchens, Dawkins, Paine and Shaw’s “Man and Superman.”

When he handed the books to me he said, “Those poor bitches are going to have a rough time of it and I was part of the problem.”  After a pause Frank added, “Jack, if you hear of anything more like that on the Internet tell me.”

For the next two months Frank and I were busy tearing apart the new administration of the United States.  It seems the voters had decided to self inflict upon themselves a President who royally decided that the accumulated wisdom of the State Department was not serving the country and he fired everyone.  Then he stacked it with thousands of political hacks who proceeded to ignore most of the laws of the country.  Meanwhile he ignored the Senate which was under the control of the opposite side.  Due process was thrown out the window, but the President was very good at blackmailing key Senators and allowing huge pork bills to be passed that kept them from complaining, but not capable of real action to put the President back in line.  Frank had a bet with several other journalists as to how long it would take the Supreme Court or the Senate to take on the President. 

There was so much corruption and incompetence to write about that Frank seriously did not know what to write about first.  The funny thing is that the American economy was doing great.  Corporations were reporting record profits and the stock market was in new territory.  The rich were having a field day.  It all smelled but the press mostly joined in the party to celebrate how rich the rich were becoming.  The press enjoyed being fed expensive food and liquor and so there was very little critical thinking going on.  Frank was one of the few that could see something was not right.  Like a wolf in the woods he could smell the smoke, but he could not see where the flames were coming from. 

On April 4, I reviewed Frank’s mail.  It had been forwarded from New York by the Wall Street Journal and mostly contained hate mail.  So many Americans felt their politicians could walk on water.  One letter was from Spain.  I opened it and scanned it.  It was from Maria Lopez thanking Frank for the books.  I told Frank that there was a letter from Sister Maria Lopez.

“Read it.”

“Dear Mr. Huntington, Thank you so very much for the books.  All the former sisters who can read English have simply devoured them.  I have tried to read aloud Christopher Hitchen’s book in Spanish to my sisters who only understand Spanish.  You can imagine how difficult that is to do on the fly.  So many of the ideas are so exciting.  We never heard anything like it when we were taught as novices.  We were always told atheists were full of lies and sinful thoughts.  Instead I find they are full of wonderful truths about life and the Universe.  They have also made us all aware of all the sinful things Catholicism is guilty of.  To use an old phrase, these books are a blessing. 

However, I am sad to report that just before your books came two of the sisters have joined the Mother Superior in death.  Sisters Margaret and Bridget both took their lives.  They had shared the same cell in both the convent and in our new home and were very close.  Sister Margaret took her life first by cutting her wrists.  Sister Bridget found her in her blood-soaked bed and must have been overcome with despair.  She ran out to the garden and drowned herself in the small pool where we kept goldfish.  She turned a very peaceful spot in our new home into a place of despair.  I fear for more of my sisters.

I wish to thank you for the article you wrote.  We have received letters of support and donations to help us stay together.  The Richard Dawkins Foundation sent us two thousand pounds.  Emotionally we are all still hurting as if the death of our faith was like a death in the family.  Your books have helped a lot.  I know I do not feel so empty.  Day by day everything makes a little more sense to us.

With love and respect,

Maria Lopez”

I put the letter down. 

“Thanks, Jack.  Three deaths.  How sad.”

That was all Frank said of that.

It was May 5, when I saw something interesting on the religious front that Frank might find interesting.  I hardly wanted to mention it as Frank’s plate was so very full.  He was half way done writing what would be a series of six articles about how the Supreme Court was frozen by inaction. 

“Sir, I have a data point for you.”

“What is it Jack?”

“You wanted to be kept informed of any odd religious disturbances like the nuns of St. Claire and I have something.”

“Go ahead, I’m listening.”

“In California there is a Buddhist Temple where all the members have declared they are atheists.  Most of the congregation are Japanese Americans.”

“Bingo.  Good job, Jack.  Book me tickets.  Give me the lowdown.”

“It is called the Los Angeles Shining East Buddhist Temple at 2003 Corinth Avenue, East LA.  According to the LA Times the monks and congregation have gone crazy.  Once considered a rather conservative group of Buddhists they held their annual Obon festival and it was rather a huge orgy.  It is suppose to be a festival that honors their ancestors.  Instead it turned into a wild party complete with outdoor nudity, sex and drunkenness.  The police were called in after people driving by witnessed multiple sexual acts on the front lawn. This all took place yesterday.  What about the Supreme Court?”

“I’m afraid it calls for an all-nighter.”


Chapter XIV



















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