Exorcising the Past

Diplomatic cables have been released to the public recently, bringing to light more than should be, like an off-the-shoulder top revealing a bra strap. These highly secret communications between governments and diplomats illuminate the distance between the elliptically vague language diplomats use, and the unreserved truthfulness that secret channels allow. Cables to and from the Vatican tell a particularly amazing story, one that must be shared by this investigative reporter.

Unless you’ve been living under a pew, you probably knew that a convention was held in Baltimore to train American members of the clergy in the ancient art of exorcism. (Maybe you had better read that again.) Sadly, there is a troubling paucity of those skilled in driving out demons, so a training program was arranged to address this deplorable shortage. It is not clear if the fees charged were in dollars or pasta.

Classes were held at the Baltimore Hilton, after Paris had given her permission, and each trainee was issued a cross, some rosary beads, and an inflatable Satan. This detailed, gruelling and extensive training took place over one entire weekend. A lovely and impressive diploma, in Latin, was given to those hearty Christian soldiers who passed the rigorous regimen. Some devil dumpers opted for a commemorative tattoo of Beelzebub on their forearms, to both impress and intimidate demons not on top of their game. Other Satan stompers were awarded gold tridents.

One attendant, “Leaky” Pipedaro, had been a plumber before he took his holy vows, and told reporters that the exorcism rites are much like those required to clear a drain, but with more swearing.

Cables intercepted and promulgated by WikiLeaks reveal that there was discord in the higher ranks of the Catholic Church, with some arguing that a more important city than Baltimore was needed, while others pleaded for a smaller and more secretive venue. One bishop, travelling incognito, tried to rent the football field of Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland, but a football game had been scheduled.

The daily work of the devil is temptation, with social networking one of his most seductive charms. In Vatican cables Bishop Thomas Paprocki says that he battles his Facebook demons hourly, and finds it extremely difficult to fight off the urge to see what his friends are doing, and to post such communiqués as, “I got a new cassock today.” The Vatican’s leadership chose to hold the exorcism training in the USA, since they decided that the devil had been defeated in Europe.

According to the Vatican’s research arm, Standard Deviations of Decency, the Global Sin Index solidified their belief that America was the devil’s new playground.

A further examination of these diplomatic cables suggests that they are a Facebook for the State Department, providing a candid arena for opinion. Some US diplomats were jealous that the Catholic Church could openly perform exorcisms, while the CIA was prevented from interrogation techniques that were almost exactly like those in an exorcism rite. Other diplomats pointed to the discrepancies in pay, noting that Catholicism pays much better than democracy.

As many high ranking government officials are finding out, there are serious and unexpected consequences of having the contents of these diplomatic cables made public. Fling Dung, a member of China’s top ruling body, the Politburo Standing Committee, and the country’s senior propaganda official, decided to see if he was mentioned in any of these cables. He was angered to find that diplomats reported that he was “chubby, had bad breath and posture, was a terrible conversationalist and cheated at golf.” He became so furious that he directed the Peoples Bullying Party’s official computer hacking division to place bogus take-out orders at every Chinese restaurant in the USA.

This had the desired effect of forcing hapless American consumers to pay for food they had not ordered. And unknown to most American citizens, the Peoples Bullying Party owns majority stakes in every Chinese restaurant in the country.

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