Today’s topic is theoretically hypothetical. I’ll let you figure out what I mean by that.
Suppose you go to your favorite shopping area. It can be an outdoor shopping center or an indoor mall. That doesn’t matter.
You’re concerned about the number of store closings there, but you don’t wonder about one particular store. Although you’ve never bought anything there, you’ve never thought its products looked that appealing. You’ve rarely seen anyone going inside, and that store has only been open at random times.
Then one day months after that store closes, you notice that a new business is coming into the vacant location. Although it hasn’t opened yet, a sign has already been erected, and you see professional looking equipment being taken in and set up. Hmm. Maybe this place will do better than the previous one.
Not many days later you see several people inside working. Obviously employees of the new store and not mall employees. You stick your head in and wish them well. They seem friendly enough, and you look forward to coming back when they open and trying their wares.
Finally! The new store opens. You buy something small. You like it. You and your spouse come back again and sample other goods.
The employees are young. Several look more like high school kids, which seems strange since this is a school day and you’re there during school hours. Maybe they’re home schooled, you decide.
You always wave and say hello when you pass by this store. The employees are very nice. You take a picture of several of them and post it on one of your social media pages, along with a recommendation that people would enjoy shopping at this store. The employees are grateful.
You are responsible for getting some things for an upcoming special event , and the new store specializes in that particular product. You place an order and come back later to pick it up. Since you don’t normally spend that much there, you charge it. Not a problem.
Because you feel so enthusiastic about this store, its employees, and its products, you make sure to tell the guests at the event where to get more of that product, and everyone is thrilled. Several people indicate that they plan to go there.
Several days later, however, you are looking at your credit card statement and trying to figure out about a charge paid to a business you’ve never heard of. After checking with your spouse, you finally figure out this was your payment for the product everyone enjoyed so much.
But why is the payment to this very strange name? Why not the name of the store?
You do an Internet search on the name, and your feelings quickly fly from merely curious to horrified. The recipient of your payment is what you can best describe as a cult, one that was originally connected to a major world religion, but has now become a religion of its own.
And this cult not only has a radical racial bias, it makes overt threats that it’s going to take over the government. Not just the city or state government, but the Federal government. And they plan to do it this year! The group dares anyone to try to stop them.
You have a million-and-one questions, but what do you do, if anything?
This little tale is not as hypothetical as I would like to have you believe. Please leave a comment.
Incidentally, for you writers and writer-wannabes out there, I did something I’ve never done before with this post. Not only is it written in the present tense–something I hate having to read when others do it–it’s also written in the second person point-of-view.
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