Simmons strong voice had an entirely different effect on Trish. She hated the sound of It. She built a wall around herself as she stubbornly sat on the floor with her back against the cold wall, resolving not to hear the lies he was saying. She was sure she would be rescued, and Brother Michael would know her location by now. She had resisted returning to the evil world in a way he would be proud of her.
Simmons stood over her and bent down to take her hands away from her ears. “Trish, this will take longer when you resist hearing me. When I see that you are using your mind to think for yourself, and not what you have been programmed to say, I will stop, I promise you. It’s as simple as that, child.”
From her seat on the floor she spat at him. Simmons took a large white handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped his trouser leg. He closed his eyes and shouted at her. “The Bible tells us to love our fellow man. Jesus also told His disciples to go out in to the world and spread His word, not to be holed up in some commune, keeping themselves in isolation. The devil you speak of is not the people who love you, but the rat who calls himself Brother Michael. The Lord certainly wouldn’t have chosen as a disciple a man who uses other people to obtain wealth for himself. He controls your mind and every thought in it. You gave him your mind, Trish. Think of it …he controls every thought that you have. Did your parents do that? Surely you didn’t always agree with them, but nothing stopped you from thinking it, saying it?”
Cash’s voice had become hard, his words hitting her relentlessly with observations and truths. In her brainwashed state, she didn’t recognize he was using the same tactics on her that Brother Michael had used.
Trish was sullen and silent. The hours ticked by and still she refused to comment. Her hands had strayed from her ears, and her eyes were no longer tightly closed. Her back was less straight against the wall. Twice he had to prod her with his foot when she dozed. Finally he got her to sit in the straight chair opposite him.
“Where do you think the money goes that you collect every day?” He started again, after they had slept for two hours. He shouted, “There are no poor orphans, no national headquarters. Michael told you lies. What do you think he does while you are out on the cold streets, begging for money? Do you know what he does while you are freezing your ass off, and selling sticks that are made to smell like incense, that he buys from an importer for a dollar a gross? You did just that for your pimp. That’s what you became, Trish, a prostitute. Can you believe it? Do you know what the most disgusting part of that is?” He yanked her short hair. “You wanted to believe you had found a better life for this?” He dropped her head and it fell to her chest. He hissed, “Instead you sold your soul to the devil.”
She began to hum in a monotone, louder and louder. He had to shout to be heard. Damn him! He taught them how to resist,how to keep hold of their programmed thoughts. Cash took several photos from his pocket and tossed them in front of her. ”I’m going to show you something you may not be aware of.This is the car he drives off in every afternoo0n. ” He grabbed her hair again and forced her to look at them.” Every day he gets picked up by an employee and slides into the driver seat of the expensive car he owns. Michael is dressed in a $300 suit and the goes out to eat at a fancy restaurant where they have steak and lobster and champagne. This is them coming out after a satisfying meal. While you survive on oatmeal and crackers.”
Trish ripped the pictures and raised her head defiantly. Cash reached for the picture and Trish whined instinctively.
“You poor fool. He hits you, doesn’t he?” He laughed sadistically. “I bet he even convinced you that it was your duty to crawl in bed with him?” This brought tears to her eyes and a blaze of anger that he hadn’t expected. Her eyes were beginning to lose some of their dullness. Cash breathed a sigh of relief. She was slowly responding to his hammering, though she would probably never be completely free of the effects of being in the commune. He thought back to the others he had freed of the same torment. He was tired beyond belief and he wondered how many more times he would have to endure before he saw an end. The state of the world sickened him.