I definitely have a biased opinion of all this. I am Laura’s son, my name is Jason, and though I don’t know much of these people, I have actually met Vincent Bridges in person, so I suppose I have something to say that might contribute.
I’ve never actually read much of what Mr. Bridges has written until today, I considered his attacks against my family to be similar to the impotent playground mud flinging of a preschooler. To be honest, I kind of feel embarrassed, Vincent Bridges is a lot like that mentally unstable girl you went out on one date with, until you found out she was as crazy as a loon, and now she won’t leave you alone, and every time she comes around, you feel you need to apologize to your friends.
With enemies like these, who needs friends?
On the other hand, after reading some of his mindless pontificating, I actually think my mom is a lot cooler! I had no idea! He makes her sound like some sort of scheming spy, all involved with rich CIA backers and shady dealings, and ultra-secret government programs with cool code names like: Eagle’s Nest, or Operation Black Stone. To these guys, she’s like Martha Stewart meets Jason Bourne. That’s hard to reconcile with the fact that she does my laundry and makes my bed.
When I met Vincent Bridges, I had an, “uggh” moment. He was like a pitiful biker goat who tucked his pants into girly boots; like someone who was trying to look all hard and mysterious, but was so absurd you had to bite your tongue not to laugh. All I said to myself was,” wow, my mom has some lame friends.” In the end, I decided he looked like a dime store Doctor Strange. If you have ever read that comic book, it turns out he actually uses that name online, which says all kinds of things about his mental maturity that I just won’t touch.
At the time, most of my mom’s friends were pretty cool, most were professionals who were just interested in the same kind of odd fringe stuff. They drank lots of coffee, and usually brought snack cookies, the good quality kind from a bakery or freshly ground gourmet coffee as “guest gifts”. Mr. Bridges didn’t bring any cookies, flavored coffee or anything else but a somewhat comical, even to a teenage boy, personality. In fact he consumed large quantities of our coffee and cookies and didn’t even offer to contribute a box of donuts! That irked me. As I saw it, myself and my mother’s friends had an unspoken agreement, I would go away and not plug in my guitar amplifier and play loud Pink Floyd-esque riffs or bother them while they did the grown up talk if I was paid some kind of snacky tribute. Vincent Bridges didn’t bring me any snacky tribute.
This man was already two down with me, and number three came pretty soon.
At that time, I was, as most teenage boys were, a hugenormous fan of Kevin Smith. He was after all a portly fan-boy comic-nerd who wrote hilarious movies that made being immature and foul-mouthed seem like a kind of social super power. Bridges, who can never admit that he isn’t an expert on every single topic you bring up (must be some kind of “establish rapport” gambit), jumped on my love for Kevin Smith films and tried to pose as an insider to the wonderful world of slacker movie making. Unfortunately for him, and possibly to my emotional development, I actually was an expert so he lasted all of two minutes.
He claimed, to my face, and I am not joking about this, that the character of Jay of the duo Jay and Silent Bob, was actually based on his friend, and script writer, Jay Weidner. Yeah. I actually don’t have a funny quip to follow that one up, as a joke, it kind of stands on its own.
After that, I more or less washed my hands of him. No flavored coffee, no snacks, and bullshit about his connections to Kevin Smith, a personal hero at the time, more or less sealed his fate in my opinion. When he finally was ushered out the door to depart, I breathed a sigh of relief; coffee prices had risen, and my limited teenage understanding of economics was causing me a lot of stress. Also I was drinking a lot of said coffee, which might explain a lot more about my emotional development than I am comfortable with discussing in public.
As for the kooky stuff and fringe topics they all talked about, I was very tolerant, being a Sci-Fi nerd, but to me, it all sounded so 1950s, I was more into Star Trek, and Star Wars, so their discussions about spirituality and aliens was decidedly lacking in keywords like light saber, warp nacelle, and Princess Leia, and therefore couldn’t keep my interest.
I like Sci-Fi, but I put an extra emphasis on the Fi, as in Fiction. I don’t believe in Aliens, or possession, or any of that stuff. It’s cool if other people do, it just has never really interested me, and I’ve heard all the arguments for and against. So when Bridges et al call my family a cult, it’s kind of sad and embarrassing – not for me, for him. It’s not even like the pot calling the kettle black. Here’s a guy who’s obsessed with Doctor Strange and “magick with a k”. He talks seriously about performing sex magick, rituals involving the “cube of space”, and something he calls “Enochian Magick with a k”. As an amateur magician (of the sleight of hand kind), I find this all a bit awkward, what can you really say about someone who really believes that they can do magic?
As for Bridges and his yahoo band calling my family a cult, I can’t really disprove the cult thing, I can’t just say: “Hey, not in a cult.” All I can say is: I am a programmer, I make websites. I help my mom with her websites, and I have clients all over the world. I like Joss Whedon tv shows, I think Buffy the Vampire slayer rules. When I read the news, I use MSNBC and spend most of my time in the entertainment section seeing what new outfits Lady Gaga is sporting, or reading dating tips from Kim Kardashian. I like comedy, and am an amateur writer.
I thought cults were supposed to be all shunny, like eschewing life and liberal media and technology and worshipping some guru who is like the second or third coming of Jesus. I am so far removed from being a cult member all I can say is: “That’s retarded.” I love my mom, and my sisters, and my aunt, and my dad, and my close personal friends. We don’t always see eye to eye, and some of them have interests different from mine, but we get along well and love each other. It might be all sappy, but it’s hardly cultic.
I consider myself to be a pretty normal guy, if a bit eccentric and sometimes slightly odd. I find it sad and funny at the same time to be called a cult by a guy who thinks he practices real “magick with a k” and a woman, Colleen Johnston, who believes she was raped by a large extra-terrestrial reptile.