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An 80's Witch Hunt

A memory and a story

I grew up in a small rural community in New Brunswick, Canada. Famed as "the geographical centre of New Brunswick". My parents ran a restaurant/gas bar/video rental business that they started the year after I was born.

I started working the take-out window when I was 12. And I continued working there over the years off and on until my Mother passed in 2011 and the business was sold.

Throughout high school I worked evenings and weekends practically all the time to save money for university. I got to serve a LOT of people! And people fascinated me.

One year a new teacher at the school moved into town. He bought a house and he had the most beautiful wife. I don't know where she came from or any details about her, I just remember every time she came and ordered, she was just so lovely. I couldn't stop admiring her, even with the constant bombardment of training saying, "Don't stare! It's rude!".

She had a glow about her. Her eyes were so kind. She could see me when most people only saw the mask. I liked her.

As with most small communities (well before facebook), it didn't take long for the snoops and gossip chains to zero in and try to "sus them out". Most of whom were friendly to your face and skilled vipers behind your back. And I was related to all of them! Lucky me.

The lady obviously thought they were welcome there. And it turned out she was a yoga practitioner. After a few months, she was encouraged to teach yoga by a few of her legit fans and she rented out space at the rec centre to give yoga classes once a week.

It was ALL the buzz!!! She had a packed class every week. "What is this yoga stuff?", I recall people asking. And I didn't know either, just seemed like exercise to me, but a whole lot easier than The 20-Minute Workout blaring on everyone's television at the time!

And then one day I heard a co-worker say, in a hushed and fearful tone "Yoga is of the devil..." I laughed and said, "What? How?" and there was no reason given, just fear of something different.

In under a month from that hushed statement, her classes were suddenly empty. When she came to the restaurant, nobody wanted to wait on her (except me), and another month after that (before the school year even came to an end), they sold their house and moved away. It was like it never happened.

Looking back on that, I'm not sure which local decided this woman needed to be made an example of, but I do know this: whoever it was called themselves a Christian and went to church somewhere and abused this position of "power" to destroy someone who was genuinely trying to give back to the community.

The church (or even the Lodge) is always the fastest route to destroy someone you're jealous of in rural communites, and I took note as an observer exactly how that played out. They took advantage of everyone's "fear of God" and won. There's a good chance the instigator even believed this themselves! Arrogant Ignorance (AI) is in abundance in places like this, especially back in pre-internet times.

Even now, the behaviour continues. They get on Facebook to creep and gather evidence to destroy, almost always using Jesus as a shield. But thankfully, that sword is getting duller and duller as more people do research themselves.

I doubt what happened to that beautiful lady in the 80's could happen again as successfully now, most people know what yoga is. But back then, it was a foreign concept that engendered fear. And that ignorance was manipulated into a weapon.

I wish I could remember her name so I could find her and thank her for shining her light on me and on this community. I would apologize on behalf of all my many hateful relatives for the pain they inflicted on her back then.

She didn't deserve that. She wasn't a witch. She was an angel.

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