Normal, Healthy Person Trapped Inside John Ashcroft’s Psyche

Suppression the Taliban Would be Proud of.

June 18, 2003 John Ashcroft’s Subconscious: An almost entirely complete human being exists in a state of permanent suppression in the nether regions of Attorney General John Ashcroft’s brain, his subconscious revealed yesterday. “You think the people of Afghanistan suffered…you should see how brutally this poor guy’s been suppressed for more than fifty years,” a long-forgotten region in the brain of the country’s highest-ranking legal officer told reporters.

“My earliest memory is when I was three years old, maybe four,” one facet of the Attorney General’s repressed personality recalled. “I had just finished going to the bathroom and was examining my penis…you know, just a normal child’s curiosity. Well, my mom absolutely freaked out. She made me kneel on three wooden rods and read aloud from the book of Revelations and Corinthians II for two hours.” It was shortly after this incident, added the long-lost fragment of the Attorney General’s identity--who calls himself Johnny--that he began to find himself trapped more and more deeply inside a frightened subconscious, bombarded by a mixture of “tough love” and “good old home-town religion”.

The young Ashcroft was raised in the Pentecostal Faith, his father a preacher in a rural Missouri church. This sect of American Christianity is known for its fundamentalist views and restrictive dogma. “Faith is one thing,” says Reverend Jedadiah Jefferson, former Southern Baptist Minister and current Professor of Theology at Oral Robert’s University, “but those guys really take it to an extreme.”

Even among their fellow Pentecostals, the rural Missouri variety are known for their extreme views. As Earl Ray Rantkin, pastor of the Holy Jesus Bloody and Writhing on the Cross Church outside Omaha Nebraska, put it: “Our brothers over in the Show-me State can get a little carried away”.

“Oh yeah,” added Father Daniel O’Brien, of Our Lady of Penitence and Self-Flagellation in St. Louis Missouri, when called for comment: “those fire and brimstone characters are out of their freaking minds!” Along with forbidding its members to dance or drink alcohol--edicts which are shared by most branches of the Pentecostal Church--the rural Missouri variety responsible for the mind of John Ashcroft adheres to a few, lesser-known rules. Women’s clothing and hairstyles are sternly dictated by the Church, as are acceptable undergarments, participation in sports and leisure activities, and the viewing of television. Reading of books containing “ungodly themes”--a long list that includes “race-mixing”, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, “paganism”, “liberalism”, tolerance, and many other ideas--, and the washing of clothes worn by males and females in the same water are also strictly forbidden.

“I can remember one of the last times I was allowed out into the world,” recalled Johnny. “I was ten or eleven, and walking home from school. As decreed by the Heavenly Father, we boys were walking at least thirty yards in front of the girls--we were taught in separate buildings of the school, of course. Well, I stopped to tie my shoe, without thinking of the consequences. Next thing I knew, I was within sight of a neighbor girl, probably about thirteen years old. My eyes happened to pass over her chest, where the budding breasts of a pubescent girl were slightly visible beneath a thick sweater. Well, that was it for me,” Johnny whispered solemnly. “I didn’t see the light of day for another five decades.”

Asked how his mother or father punished him for this infraction of faith and holiness, Johnny explained: “Their discipline was no longer necessary at that point in my life. By the age of eight or nine, [the primary personality of John Ashcroft] had been so inculcated with the dogma of his church, that any impure thoughts were immediately squashed, and the offending portion of the brain cordoned off behind a wall of shame, fear, and self-loathing.

According to Johnny, it was only in the past couple years, after John Ashcroft’s appointment to the position of Attorney General, that he was able to struggle forth to the surface again, even then, only for brief moments. “Well, the first break was when he was required to work on Sundays,” the personality-fragment recalled. “Up until that time, the only activities permitted on the Sabbath were reading Scripture, watching evangelical programs on TV, and playing golf”.

“But my real window of opportunity,” he went on to explain, “was when John was instructed to make non-disparaging remarks about Islam at several press-conferences in the wake of September 11th, and then again following the invasion of Iraq. Just as his mother would have predicted, that pollution of the mind by the poisons of ‘liberalism and tolerance’ opened the door for the dirty and shameful portions of John’s identity--namely, me--to resurface again.”

Asked about his plans for the future, Johnny said he remains realistic. “Sure, I’d like to think that someday I’ll be allowed to live life as a real, sentient human being. But without the help of a trained professional, I know that can never happen. So I’m trying to keep my goals realistic: at this point, I’m just trying to work up to a wet dream.”

(c)Hylo Bates, 2006
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