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Battling the Video Club Cult

By JAMES L. DAVIS


There is a vast horde of people suffering and in need of help. They could be your neighbors, your friends, perhaps even members of your own family. You may be completely unaware of their painful struggle to break away from a vast and all powerful cult which slowly sucks away their will to go to the local Post Office. I am of course talking about those helpless victims who have fallen prey to the Cult of the Video and CD Music Clubs.

I know first hand of the pain they endure because, though it shames me to admit it, I am a member of this evil cult. Those who have enlisted in the army of the Video and CD Music Club Cult do so unwittingly, of course. They fall victim to the cult most often during a visit to the Post Office, which is how my family was first recruited. It all started harmlessly enough I thought, but that was until I realized the devilishly brilliant design the cult has to draw recruits.

My daughter loves to get mail, but because she is too young to start enjoying the thrill of receiving bills, she does not get mail everyday. So I let her be in charge of going through the junk mail to see if there is anything of interest in there before we throw it away.

One night she came to me and with the gleeful gleam in her eye reserved for Christmas and birthdays, she showed me a flyer which proclaimed that we could get 11 videos for only one penny (plus shipping and handling)! I should have known better, I know, but I let my children go through and pick out some videos and we sent the information back and waited. When the videos arrived it was a day of great joy in our house. We danced, we laughed, we could not believe the great bounty that had arrived through the mail to our home. We unwrapped our videos and put them on the shelves with the other hundred or so videos we never watch and life was good. But then another flyer came, this one offering 11 CDs for a penny (plus shipping and handling) and my son pointed out that we had several CD players in the house but only a few CDs, so we joined that club as well and when the CDs arrived there was more dancing and laughing.

It was all so easy. All I had to do was watch the mail and the clubs would send me a little card asking me if I wanted that month's featured selection. If I didn't, all I had to do was send it back! What could be easier than that? Well, the problem was, I always forgot to send back those little cards, so the videos and CDs just kept coming and I discovered that those monthly selections were, well they were dang expensive if you ask me. But the joy I remember seeing on my children's faces when they unwrapped the videos they haven't watched yet was enough to keep me from realizing the web being spun around me.

But it wasn't enough to just be a member of a CD club and a video club. It wasn't enough because we bought a DVD player for Christmas. And somehow, somehow the Video and CD Music Club Cult knew this, because they sent me another flyer, this time offering 11 DVDs for only a penny (plus shipping and handling), so we joined that one as well. Now on any given day I can expect to receive from one to three videos, CDs or DVDs in the mail. After draining my checking account paying for CDs, DVDs and videos I didn't really want I realized that we had be caught in a trap, a trap that must be fought. So I started sending the DVDs, CDs and videos back. But leaving a cult is never that easy. Because after doing this for a number of months I received a letter from the clubs which told me more or less that they were not happy with me sending the CDs, DVDs and videos back and that if I didn't want the selections, I should return the cards they mail to me and tell them so.

So I started doing just that, but it didn't help. The CDs, DVDs and videos just kept coming until I became afraid to go to the Post Office. I was afraid that they might realize I no longer wanted to be a member and they would be waiting for me there, waiting with more offers I couldn't refuse.

It is an endless, spiraling cycle that those who have fallen prey to the cults must fight with all their strength. I wasn't sure where to turn or what to do, but I think I may have finally found the answer. Just the other day I received a flyer which stated I could obtain a self-help book on how to break away from cults plus four other selections of my choosing for only a penny (plus shipping and handling). I'm saved.




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