Martha was two years into her PhD into American history of the links between Christian Evangelism and conspiracist extremism on the Christian Far right.
She had come across the theories of Nester Webster. In a paper by Ruotsili she read:
This meant of course that present day extremist premillenialists are also conspiracy theorists and see the work of the anti-Christ as necessary Evil manifest in such events as global viral pandemics, climate change, globalized warfare and militarism, and as de facto evidence of The Tribulation at hand. They work tirelessly to spread the word, and to foment violence and destruction to hasten the coming of The Rapture. The Rapture when those ‘in Christ’ will be saved and will rise from the dead for a 1000 year reign of peace and prosperity.
Martha was alone and lonely since Victoria had left suddenly and very unexpectedly after her cancer diagnosis and so-called treatments with Paterson. It seemed to Martha as if Victoria had been almost abducted and brainwashed by some kind of cult. This resonated peculiarly with her own research on the cult of extreme premillennialism except Victoria’s cult focused on The Cure and increasingly the criminalization of sex itself: sexual immorality.
Come to think of it, Martha had been thinking, maybe the two are linked: premillennialism and The Cure. She had become aware of increasing premillennial influences infiltrating central UK government and its think tanks with high ranking UK politicians no longer hiding their support for so-called right wing Christian Textualists such as Christian Zionists. This might explain why figures such as Iain Duncan Jones the deputy PM were so vociferous in their pursuit of The Cure and the need for more stringent sexual morality.
Ian Duncan Jones UK politician and cabinet member was the leading light in a secretive think tank, the Cure for Cancer Group, CCG, largely funded by right wing premillennial Christian extremists. A premillennial cell had been responsible for the recent shooting of police officers investigating reports of a missing man in Wiembilla Queensland. To Martha this felt like a watershed moment. If such extremists viewed police as evil – presumably on the grounds they were for example by enforcing vaccination mandates – and were also influencing western government thinking – then how long would it be before governments formally adopted their ideology and their terroristic violent methods co-opting the police and military to their own ends.
Martha knew full well that many in government and especially Jones, were also in favor of allowing the Corona virus to spread, through so-called herd immunity, regarded as ‘taking it on the chin’ and seeing it as a necessary culling of the weakest in society, a kind of Darwinian genetic selection and as progress.
Martha was still grieving over Victoria’s sudden departure. Victoria had been scared of cancer screening and had even hidden at least two letters of invitation behind sofa cushions until Martha came across the third and persuaded her to go. Screening is a good thing Martha had said The earlier they catch cancer the better. Now of course Martha regretted the whole thing. Although the hospital report had come back as ‘borderline’ and suggested a ‘wait and see’ approach Paterson had insisted cancer was already present and had urged both The Cure and the bilateral mastectomy. Victoria had been only to willing to go along with Paterson even demanding more organs be excised uterus ovaries even large bowel. She hadn’t been the same since seeing Paterson, totally obsessed with Paterson and The Cure, even being hired as Paterson’s PA and totally rejecting Martha.
As awareness of The Cure spread, so premillennial ideology also spread, along with conspiracy theories, gaining wider acceptance, blaming and attacking billionaires likes Gates and Musk, other wealthy capitalists, communists, Muslims and Jews. Civil unrest, violent protest and racially motivated attacks become more and more frequent.
So it came as no surprise to Martha when she heard that there had been a political coup in the UK, parliament had been prorogued and martial law imposed and new and severe penalties for failures to adhere to strict sexual morality laws and mandatory programs administering The Cure were announced. Martha heard that Tomás Saraceno was expressing concern about the side effects of The Cure, particularly the impotence and vulnerability to infection whilst giving a series of talks in mainland Europe. She emailed him in the vague hope he might provide some glimmer of hope if not optimism. She too was becoming frightened, she had been summoned for her BAM-Ex extraction.
Martha approached Victoria one last time. What have you done Victoria? Martha pleaded quietly. Victoria shrugged coldly and just walked away. Martha sank to her knees, it was over. Heartbroken and more needy than ever. For some reason she thought of Tomás, she’d never met him face to face, but would very much like to. That night she dreamt and Tomás was in that dream and she woke up with an appetite.