Considered one of the most resilient religious groups of all time, Anaprotestants have left a strong mark in the collective unconscious of the few university professors who know about them. After centuries of unwavering faith, enduring religious wars, persecutions and a crossdressing scandal involving the pope and Mount Rushmore, the last remnants of Anaprotestants settled in suburbian Trottwood, Ohio, where they still perform cult at the Church of The All-Forgiving Goat every Saturday at 5:00 am.
The beginnings of Anaprotestantism and the proclamation of its funding principles are surprisingly well-documented, having been immediately recorded by roman Centurion Publius Blandinus Celsi. In June 47 AD, the soldier wrote a report to his superior to justify his arriving late to a parade. He had been caught up in the Bar Brawl caused by a philosophical debate between a Gnostic, a Zoroastrian, a Christian, and a bearded woman named Rebecca. After knocking out the Zoroastrian with an amphora, Rebecca stole the content of his purse and agreed to share it with the Christian, the Gnostic and the centurion in exchange of their silence.
Eventually, a dispute erupted over whether it would be alright to also steal and gamble his underwear (The Gnostic thought it would be cliche, the Christian said it would be an homage, and Rebecca and the centurion wondered why they kept using French words). At this point, Rebecca's drunk husband awoke, having apparently been infused with the universal doctrine of Anaprotestants. He then pronounced the first words of the Anaprotestant Gospels : Shut up, woman !, and proceeded to transmit them the Primordial Principle of the Anaprotestant Wisdom :
- If thou doest not knowest what thou thinketh, askest me and doest like me.
Thus they chose the name Anaprotestants, which should mean those who protest again, but they thought meant those who do not protest. A brief historic of anaprotestantism reveals how problematic this lifestyle would become when Anaprotestants tried to blend with other religious groups, since they based their doctrines on the first opinion they heard on any subject, even when it lead to self-contradiction and internal inconsistencies. Anaprotestants themselves often admit that they could not explain what they believe in, just wish for the bridge of the lamb to fall upon unbelievers. Here are, however, the few canonical beliefs that most of them agree on, most of the time :
- Anaprotestants quickly adopted the Gnostic belief that the Primordial Chaos that was God had split itself into superior beings named eons out of desire for companionship, untill a female being named Sophia decided that she could live and work without a man-god. She was punished for her pride when her imperfect creation swallowed her, having turned into the tyrannical and blind Demiurge (an Alternate Character Interpretation of the Old Testament God). She was so lonely and tortured by guilt over her own stupidity, she shattered her soul into pieces that would become human souls.
- Her soulmate, the eon Jesus, then descended onto earth to start a new era and enlighten the pieces of her mind and, eventually, romance his Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest Mary Magdalene (whom, according to medieval Anaprotestant virelai songs, he had previosuly described as "insignificant", "stupid", "a bad cook" and "an ant"). However,´as in Docetanism, he was never human and incarnate, and only pretended to be, in order to mock the stupid inferior beings he hoped to abandon as soon as he could and wished never to understand.
- Like Cathari, Anaprotestants believe that there are three kinds of men : men without a soul or Hylics, who bear the mark of Cain and should be treated like any other beast (this historically encompassed any minority that Anaprotestants did not like and/or felt threatened by and/or would have liked to bed outside marriage and/or just wanted to exploit and underpay without feeling bad about themselves), Psychics, men and women who could see the light but would not and would be metaphorically scorned by Jesus and tortured by the Demiurge, and, finally, the Pneumatics or Perfect (the Anaprotestants themselves).
- Those three kinds of men are predestined to be who they are, and no effort or act of charity can change it. Like some early Calvinist protestants, Anaprotestants will argue that everything is a prophecy or a drama created by eons to show how superior they are, and that we must not intervene when life is unfair to someone else or to ourselves. If one happens to be a rich Anaprotestant slavemaster in eighteenth century Ohio, or, after 1803, a plantation owner who forgot to pay wages, there was nothing one should do about it. Similarly, if one was an enslaved hylic, one has to feel grateful that the Perfect had not sacrificed you to serve as a scarecrow for this year's Halloween celebration (or, after 1974, the Pumpkin Ball).
- Selly Lynley's goat Ma Amalthea is/was God. Or the Virgin Mary. Or something.
- The Guide ("May he rest on the bridge of the lamb !") was always right. His mother never dressed him like a girl, and her death was "totally an accident". There were no Child Soldiers involved.
- If you are a Congregationist Anaprotestant, nothing happened under Mount Rushmore. If you are a Legalist, everything happened.
- Trottwood is not Dayton. It is not Trotwood either (see this). GPS will conflate them "BUT THERE'S ONLY ONE T, IS THIS SO HARD TO GET UNBELIEVERS ?!??!!?. ???"
- Pumpkins are a fruit, not a vegetable. "They matter !"
Anaprotestantism before The Great SchismOne of the first heresies mentionned by Paul The Apostle in his letters (51-58 AD). Uncharacteristically brief on the subject of this sect, he only asked the young Catholic commuinities of Antioch and Malta not to meddle or associate with Anaprotestants and their affiliates, and above all to never speak their name if they valued their sanity, their love for humanity or their faith in God.
Centuries after him, even the fiercest inquisitors and bravest warriors of faith refused to come near the ranks of the Anaprotestant Church. To avoid attending an Anaprotestant's execution by Roman authorities, Lucifer Calaritanus (b. 270-280 AD) pretexted mumps, apendectomy, another attack of mumps and, eventually, childbirth. His deacon later managed to drag him to the group trial of an Anaprotestant community near Ankara, Turkey. The accused were eventually condemned and Calaritanus was forced to attend the execution, from which he came back alone, running and screaming, babbling something about "decapitated, everywhere ! But laughing and singing and walking holding hands, kicking their bloody smiling heads as if they´d never needed one, just like chickens !". When asked to explain about his deacon's disappearance, he cryptically exclaimed "Pumpkin Jam !" and went off into the night. He managed to walk untill Sardinia where he died from exhaustion.
In subsequent years, the Catholic Church mostly left Anaprotestants alone. By the time of its own persecution during Julian the Apostate´s reign (361-363), some ecclesiastical authorities had become positively convinced that martyrdom was the only way to leave a world full of Anaprotestants. Hostilities effectively ceased after and the issue of the papal bull Iste merda continua, a profanity-filled Apocalyptic Log in which the pope implored those who followed him to hold Anaprotestants at arm's length, whatever the price.
Bernard Gui, who all but eradicated Catharis from X I I I th century Provence, was known to hand money, titles and nuns to Anaprotestants just to have them leave his bishopric. At least one group refused, returning everything but the nuns. According to an apocryphal legend, the same happened to a Spanish Inquisitor, who later had his lost purse returned by an Anaprotestant, and dissolved into unstoppable sobbing, before burning it, burrying it under stones and asking for his mother to come and see that nothing moved below because he did not dare look. His mother could not indluge, since her entire convent had just been offered to a large Anaprotestant settlement near Murcia, Andalucia.
When accused of well poisoning, the only viable defence for Renaissance era Jewish communities was to blame Anaprotestants. Such strategies were perfectly harmless to the Anaprotestant Church, since its members were routinely seen urinating in other people's wells. The scared villagers only blamed the wells for allowing themselves to be defiled, and while thousands of wells were burried under rocks, sometimes during siege or after an extremely severe drought, no practicioner of Anaprotestantism was ever charged or prosecuted for those crimes.
The last of non-european Anaprotestants must have left North Africa for the califate of Cordoba around 900 BC, and abandonned Middle East before the fall of the Crusader state of Tripoli in 1289. They progressively faded from all European countries except England, having become so feared that they had to convert to avoid inbreeding themselves to death like executionners did. The corpses of the last "pure" Continental Anaprotestants, conserved in an alcoholic solution since their passing (somewhere in fifteenth century Niedersachsen, Germany), exhibit characteristics of Cyclopia and Turner Syndrome, though genetic research has proved them to be afflicted with another defect, probably caused by genetic mutations usually observed in pikes.
King Charles II eventually managed to ship most English Anaprotestants to the colonies, with promises of the same wealth and religious freedom that their church had already obtained through expert blackmail, by routinely threatening Lord Mayors of London of letting their community settle inside city walls. The disappearance of the last English Anaprotestants, in 1665, remains a puzzle for the ages. After learning that his Pumpkin/Basil/Cat Tourt was unpopular in the Court, William Downe, a baker living near the city walls, started laughing hysterically, wishing for "the bridge of the lamb to fall upon unbelievers too !" He then set out to swim to America with his pregnant wife and six infant children. In the following months, a plague erupted, the Dutch defeated the English after a four days war, and the Cestui Que Vit act, allowing the disposal of the proprety of missing persons (most notably those having disappeared in the Great Fire of London), was voted. Only then did the British discover that William Downe was obscenely rich, posessed more lands than most baronnets, and wouldn´t have needed to sell pies. He still took up this occupation again when he reappeared with his family in Virginia in the early 1680s.
In 1763, his descendents emigrated from Virginia with the rest of the Anaprotestant community when they where driven off the state by an angry mob. The end of the French and Indian Wars offered them with an opportunity to settle in a former French fur trading post in the Nothwest Territory, which would become Trottwood, Ohio. Here, the twelve Anaprotestant founding families grew and prospered in peace and harmony untill 1764, when they famously took their part in the Pontiac's war by sending anonymous notes to mixed-race children in a Pensylvanian orphanage, complaining about their greasy hair, bad breath and lisp. The Paxton Boys themselves were disgusted, but they dared not act.
The 1770s and the turn of the nineteenth century would prove a decisive period for Trottwood. The balance of powers in the town would change dramatically. The American Revolution and the new state status granted to Ohio had absolutely no influence on the daily life of Trottwooders, but the birth of Allard "Harriet"/"Jolayne"/"Pantsy MacFansy" Slinkle to Margaret Slinkle, nee Elinsen, on December the 16th, 1775 (the same day as Jane Austen) changed everything.
The Great Schism
Slinkle had to deliver her child herself, having entered labour around 6 PM, when the local midwife was already in bed. Tired to hear her shouting at such an ungodly hour, her husband threw her out, and she ran untill she reached a swamp where she planned to sink and die. The toxic smoke affected her before she could execute her plan. She fell on a nearby floating trunk, started to hallucinate, barely managed to avoid choking with her own vomit, gave birth, and cut off the umbilical chord with her teeth. Then, she fainted. When she came back in town, she claimed to have had a prophetic dream, and refused to let anyone see her child.
After little Harriet's father died mysteriously trying to see his daughter through a window, falling from his three-feet-high ladder, her mother agreed to marry her to then-mayor of Trottwood, blind and paralyzed Horace Lynley. The marriage took place on July the 14th, 1789, under the express condition that that Horace would maintain a five feet security distance at all times "for the sake of both". He tried to trespass during wedding night, only to discover that his wife was starting to grow beard. Confused and terrified, Harriet beat him to death, and hid in a stable where she drank the milk of a gentle senile goat named Amalthea. There, hir eighty-years old sister-wife Selly encountered hir in a state of blisful delirium and/or religious ectstasy, preaching peace and tolerance for all but sexually active people over 50. Furious after her husband's death, Selly was about to beat hir to death with her cane, but Harriet was naked, and she understood that her sister-wife was a man. Dumbstruck by his beauty, she asked for Harriet's hand, but he refused, being already enamoured with Amalthea. In a fit of jealousy, Selly secretely poisonned the goat. While dying, Amalthea allegedly warned Harriet that anyone who stood in his way should die for the greater good.
After their death, the Lynley's proprety was seized and the family members killed, except for daughter Serra Lynley, who was saved by her astounding goat impersonation and eventually married Harriet. Together with Eustace Ellinsen, Harriet, now renamed Allard, proceeded to communicate the wisdom of the All-Forgiving Goat, while both were marrying multiple women in a futile effort to forget the only one they ever loved. The legend say that were helped in this task by a secret police composed of diminutive creatures encountered chained in Mayor Lynley's basement. Contemporary testimony describes hairy, perpetually smiling horned children, whose goat impersonation surpassed even Serra Lynley's. Their effigies would become a Pumpkin Ball attraction - and the greatest fear of Anaprotestant children and political opponents who doubted Harriet's authority. This period would be known as The Great Schism, the eternal separation between Allard's followers (the Reformed) and those who died mysteriously in the two following years.
The Little SchismAround 1972, everyone in Trottwood forgot about the Watergate Scandal when Mount Rushmore happened. Or did not. No one knows, but apparently, it stuck. Don't mention it EVER. After this, Anaprotestants split into Legalists (who follow only the Guide and the Scripture and try to atone for whatever happened by harassing the other half of the town with insulting notes) and Congregationists (who believe that if everyone agrees that it didn't happen, then it won't have happened, even if it did, and anyone who believes the contrary must be sanctified in water as long as they deny it). Both sides eventually agreed that the incident (or its non-existence) proved the moral decay of America, and forbade candies, cartoons and Halloween celebrations to their youth. The first measures were not held for long (it caused massive emigration from children aged 4 and older, whom the authorities of the neighboring towns refused to return and who are today the main source of information and Lifetime Movies about the Anaprotestant community), but the third stuck, giving birth to the Pumpkin Ball. It remains the best-known Anaprotestant cultural event after the annual high school missionary trip to Dayton.
- The Guide, inside Trottwood.
- Possibly maybe potentially but don't take our word for it, Luther Howell of Terre-Haute (and Pawnee, Indiana). After bravely standing up to the Indian village who stood on the place where he tried to create a new, better kind of religious community, he was driven away by intolerant farmers who thought he was a Lutheran after Martin Luther, not after himself. More information about his refreshing lack of opinions in religious debates, his incredibly innovative use of Buffy Speak when attempting sermons, his shooting of a 90 years-old Wamapoke chief chained to a tree with canons, his four child brides and the study of his corpse is to be found on Pawnee's website, or contacting Pawnee's government Parks And Recreations office (ask local expert Leslie Knope). His efforts to maybe sort of kinda if we're not mistaken spread Anaprotestant faith to Indiana were sadly reversed by "a few stubborn baptist" and other unfortseen developments (then again, contact Leslie Knope, who will be pleased to answer you at any time and help you to any extent as long as Pawnee is mentionned - she may or may not be the main source used for this section of the article).
- Ophelie de Laertes (nee Phellie Lertz), university professor and spokeswoman who emigrated from Trottwood age 6 in 1976. After refusing to let his daughter dress as a witch for Halloween in 1975, Lertz's father met Doctor Slinkle, PhD in Clownery, and hospitalized his daughter at Dr Slinkle's Home For Loose Women, from which she escaped two months later. Her memoir Be A Good Girl : How My Fragile Infant Psyche Was Destroyed By Beauty And The Beast and Some Guy With No PhD Who Liked To Dress Up As A Clown details the indoctrination techniques used on defiant Anaprotestant daughters. Forcing them to read stories of entraped women who learn to love their captor, glorifying Stockholm Syndrome as the ultimate form of sacrifice, villifying self-esteem, female friendship, or any kind of relationships between women as "selfishness", "narcisism" and "vanity" and using Korean brainwashing techniques to forbid reflection, Slinkle brutally enforced the norms set up by his ancestor The Guide. The memoir's rights have been bought by Lifetime in September 2012, but the movie is stuck in Development Hell.
- YA Paranormal Romance writer Serra Elinsen, who hopes to bring more attention to it with ViridianSaga. She succeeded, but let's not debate how much her religion really influenced her writing or if she sincerely believes in this faith. Also, her book is totally not Canon Defilement, and Cthulu never caused anyone who made a critical comment about it to go insane. Evere thicl echggccha ct'fdyrgcb c'deceeic3 e48 c'uioscna rñl3ñhfñll. ...............................