So your application to join your favourite cult has been successful and you’re through to the interviewing process. Congratulations! I’m still trying to get the Illuminati to recognise me but I’m not famous so…
Understandably, you are overjoyed. I would be too. I would love to rock a few occult symbols, make sacrifices to the almighty overlord as an act of enlightenment, wear a snazzy robe and hum some tunes in a circle. I’m a part of the YEP Crew which isn’t a cult but it’s as close as I’ll get. I get to educate and empower young people to make positive choices about their sexual health and promote awareness about blood-borne viruses. Don’t worry, I know you’re after something more low-key and shady, so I’ll stick to that.
Knowing that the purpose of a cult is to adhere to an exclusive faction opposed to the majority society’s ruling, it may get a bit risky. For one, you wouldn’t want the government knowing about your plot to overthrow them. Heaven forbid, you get done for treason! Your peoplehood could get found out and you could jeopardise its sanctity. That wouldn’t look good on your résumé when you apply for your next cult.
Another risk to consider is if any rituals cause harm to your health. You may be required to make fortnightly spiritual connections with the overlord. Of course, the only logical way to do this is to get high. That could mean passing round the crack pipe. That might not be the only thing you’re passing around…
Considering you could live underground, supplies may run low. Since you swore an oath that you can’t be seen in public during daylight hours and your nearest pharmacy is closed at night, that just means you’ll have to share supplies, right? …WRONG!
Sharing injecting equipment and personal hygiene items won’t bring you all closer and synchronise your thought patterns. And don’t even think about biting each other on the neck. You may be in a cult but you’re still human, not vampires! Be reasonable.
Occult symbols are artistically mesmerising and make awesome tattoos. The only problem is when none of the cult members are licensed tattoo artists and the equipment has unknowingly been infected with someone’s blood.
Now you’ll be dealing with a lot of blood and if you’re interning at your local cult, they’ll likely start you off on cleaning duty. That will probably include disposing of pre-used needles and mopping the blood off the walls after the Friday night sacrifice. If you’ve never handled needles before, you may accidentally jab yourself. Things could also get pretty violent when you’re fighting someone to the death. If you don’t die, you’re definitely going to endure many gashes and blood will fly everywhere. The same will happen to your opponent who may already have hepatitis B, C or HIV.
All of these scenarios are potential ways you could contract a blood-borne virus. Indeed, it is risky business being part of a cult and although you’re expected to dedicate your life to it, it’s not worth deteriorating your health.
All of these steps must occur to put you at risk of a blood-borne virus:
VIRUS PRESENT (assume that it is, you never know!) + BODY FLUID (for HIV: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, menstrual fluid, breast milk) + MODE OF TRANSMISSION (e.g. sharing injecting equipment) + POINT OF ENTRY (cut, sore, burn, scratch, blister, abrasion)
Make sure to ask in the interview if your chosen cult exhibits any of these dangerous behaviours. Remember, they’re not the only ones who can ask questions. If they’re understanding, they’ll try to answer your questions without breaching their code of confidentiality.
You might not be thinking that far ahead but it’s worth considering before committing to your cult. Remember, there’s no escaping!