Cobu Comix – The Ringleaders.
Here are two cartoons I made during lighter moments in the church (if that can be believed). Both are from around 1990. (Things got a lot worse after this and there wasn’t much to laugh about anymore.)
I drew these little sketches when Stewart was doing a divide and conquer technique among us, for whatever manipulative ends he had in mind. He went to work on the brothers who had leadership potential, calling them the “Ringleaders.” He accused them of being troublemakers who had a conspiracy to ruin the church. They were to be separated from us. Some of them went to live in Reading. The Ringleaders were to be “operated” by the rest of us. They would be accountable for their actions to us and they had to do what we told them to do. Traill did this to put down the men among us whom we looked to for inspiration and leadership, because they had the potential to be an alternate or competing loyalty to himself. (Admit it, as much as we complained about Kevin or Chuck, we looked to them for leadership – and Traill was not going to stand this.) And in general Traill liked to put people in their place through humiliation techniques, and this was one of those techniques.
Sometimes this was entertaining for the rest of us, because of the terms Traill used. They had to be “operated,” which is diametrically opposed to what their personalities were like, because these men liked to lead.
The first cartoon is about “operating” one of the “Ringleaders” (Kevin), getting him to pass out a tract and to make a commitment speech about how he promises to behave.
The next cartoon is about how we were supposed to make a separation between the “Ringleaders” and the rest of us. (Making categories of people and setting the groups against one another was one of Traill’s favorite techniques. He played with us like chess pieces or toy soldiers, getting us to fight battles against one another. He also created artificial crises for us to solve and to keep us involved in.)
In this cartoon, I was making fun of the idea of how far we had to separate ourselves from the Ringleaders. We sent them to another planet. In order to communicate with them, we were using an observatory. It was time to “check our fellowship” and “get a claim” from each person in the church about whether they were putting themselves forward as faithful to Christ. In this caroon, someone asks, “I wonder if they’re using this (separation from us) to take a vacation.” “Taking a vacation” was a serious crime in COBU, because we were supposed to be working every waking moment. Traill (who often took vacations in the Bahamas) told us that, “Christians don’t take vacations.”