From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 16 - April 1994
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Towards a Bright Future

by Ulrich, Germany

'Well, son, glad to see you back! How was it down on old planet
Earth this time? Any grand archaeological discoveries?'

Father settled back on his energy cushion that made it look as if
he were levitating and looked at his son expectantly.

John simply said: 'Just look at this!' and switched his 3D-holographic
recorder on. A miniature scene appeared in the middle of the lounge.
It showed an excavation site. Then a close-up of a decayed box
electronic bits. A shrivelled hand clutching a couple of metal
Some thin whitish sheets with swirls on them.

'So?' said his father. 'What's so exciting about that?'

'Well, don't you see, dad? That's wood! That box is made of wood!'

'No kidding! The last bit of wood I remember seeing was when my
grandfather showed me a pre-historic match stick with a sulphur head.
A family treasure. Stems from the times before we emigrated to Mars.
That box there must be a good 2000 years old!'

'1787 years, to be precise. Almost 1800 years ago. By the time
reckoning of that civilization it was the year 2250. The date appears
on these sheets with swirls on them. Our experts managed to decipher
the swirls. It's writing! On paper! By hand! No thought recording
devices yet!'

'Congratulations, son, really a lucky strike! Did you dig that
up yourself?'

'Yes I did, and I'm writing my doctor's thesis on it, too. From
the other loose bits and paper stacks we found, we could tell that
they had some strange cult then. There was a priesthood running the
planet, the Church of the Holy Snake. Their emblem was two triangles
with a snake winding through them. The same snake was used on the
paper money they had then. Apparently they had elevated banking to
a spiritual discipline. The priesthood was run by witches on a
line. The first of their Grand Witches was called Muscaff, so they
were named Musical-Witches since. Apparently there were heretic groups
as well, working underground. The witches suppressed them.'

'And what's all that got to do with this box?'

'It seems that they did some mental cleansing process by means
of it. Had to do with re-arranging messed-up energy fields and
dissonances. They tried to straighten out their fields. And they had
to write it all up and give it to the priesthood. Some excavations
show that people had accumulated up to twenty paper packs that way!'

'How primitive, isn't it?' Father shook his head in disbelief.
'Talk about the 'good old days' - gee, am I glad to be living
today! Imagine the poor sods back then - they had to use wooden
boxes and paper to get straight! Thanks to Big Brother E.T. we have
no need of that today - we take theta showers! Puts you all in
the right and proper frame of mind. As it should be. No need to think
thoughts any more, let alone dissonant ones.'

'Right', said John. 'Which reminds me - could I quickly
take a theta shower? I feel a bit unsettled after this teleportation
trip to home planet.'

'Sure, go ahead - just one last question: What are these metal
cylinders and how come this hand is so shrivelled up?'

'Well, as much as we know at this point they used these bits of
tin pipe and the electronics in the boxes to create the field needed
to pick up disturbances in their own field. That's the sort of
typical of the times before Big Brother E.T. bestowed his Superior
Knowledge upon us.' ( At this point both reverently touched the
scarcely visible antenna-knobs on their skulls.) 'The shrivelled
hand presents a bit of a mystery, though - apparently the guy


'Yes. They shrunk to death. We found many corpses in this condition,
all dating back to pretty much the same time span. Apparently, after
an initial boost of expansion, they went extinct. They exploded
into the world and then they imploded. All of them! The Church of
Snake as well as the heretics. My professor thinks the clue to it
lies in the last words written on a sheet of paper next to the
shrivelled hand. The writing suddenly breaks off after it says:
'Misunderstood words breed strange ideas`. It seems they misunderstood
some basic concepts and instead of expanding further, they shrank
to nothing as a movement and in the case of individual practitioners,
they actually shrivelled up. An implosion effect. '

'I don't get this', said father. 'How can you ever misunderstand
a word? Didn't they get all the right definitions beamed at them like
we do? That's what one has a knob on one's skull for, after all!'

'Well, they didn't have those knobs then! At least we didn't find
a trace of them on those mummies. They had to actually think thoughts
then. Each their own thoughts!'

'Unthinkable!' gasped father.

'And imagine, in their days the word `theta' meant something entirely
different from today! Perhaps this is where the misunderstandings
crept in that exterminated their culture. To them, `theta' meant
like `free thought'.'

'That's preposterous!' snorted father. 'Small wonder they
didn't survive! 'Free thought` - what a notion!'

'Well, that isn't all there is to it yet. After wiping out
the heretics the Muscaff-Witches decided to set themselves off
from them and re-defined `theta' to mean `the end to advancement'.
They even trademarked that definition. So the more they practiced
their can-and-paper rituals the more they retrograded, shrunk and
shrivelled up. As I said before, they died of mental implosion.'

'By the knob on my skull!' growled father, 'what a lot
of nonsense! Since Big Brother E.T. we know what `theta' means and
there is no need to discuss the matter any further! Big Brother E.T.
has given us the correct definition of it and there was no other
before that nor will there be one ever after, and if anyone says so,
it's a lie! You know as well as I do that `theta' means Thought
Technology Association, that it's the senior spiritual and
body in our society and that without it our civilization would crumble
to bits.'

'But ...', started Zonk.

'No buts! You have been doing too much thinking ever since you
came back from that cursed planet, son. You'd better go and take your
theta shower real quick now! And brush that knob on your skull, will

Tue Aug  8 18:41:48 EDT 2006