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Confession of sins is an integral part of the Catholic faith and practice. The meaning of the word confession, in a Catholic sense, is essentially the same as in the criminal. Confessional inquisitions operate in a similar way to the courts, during confession Believers are considered guilty, until proven exceptionally guilty. To save time penitents are encouraged to admit their 'vile lust of the flesh', 'drooling sin of the eyes', and 'limping pride of the phallus'. The penitent must admit these crimes so the priest may 'cure' them of their debauched animal desire with the bitter medicine of guilt. For these reasons confession of one's sins, or at least of one's sinfulness, is seen by many churches as a prerequisite for becoming a Christian.
During confession, aggressive interview techniques are used by priests to extract the vile secrets the penitent is so desperate to hide. Lying only makes it worse, multiplying tenfold the number of sins committed. Afterwards, this information remains confidential. Only the penitent, the priest, and interested telemarketing companies need ever know what’s said. With a decline in church collections, many churches have taken to selling their congregation's details to telemarketing firms so they can tailor the products offered to suit the penitent's disgusting 'needs'. With the sinner's depraved wants satisfied, the Vatican usually receives a royalty fee for each sale in order to cover expenses.
If the penitent wants to keep his shame secret, he'd better be generous during collection, very generous indeed. He need not give money, his blank cheque book and a pen would do just as well. Visa and Discover cards are also accepted in some locations. To believers, the fact that these people 'know your secrets' means they never miss a single payment.
The basic form of confession has not changed for centuries. Typically the priest will try to mask his contempt and appear compassionate towards the loathsome corrupted creature, sniveling before him. He will smile, and refer to the penitent as a 'worm' or any other kind of filth-stained insect or rodent that springs into his mind. Priests see their role in confession as one of pest control. The penitent is a type of vermin, which must be stamped out, ground contemptuously into the pavement with a shoe, and spat on. Only then can the priest start thinking about forgiveness.
In the hope that the 'penitent' will admit more sins, they are often allowed to keep all of their fingers, and most of their eyes; this makes it easier for them to sign written confessions in their own blood. They can also fill out questionnaires about products might be interested in buying. The priests tell them it’s to gauge their selfishness and shallow greed. In reality, it's sent to the telemarketers so they know what type of roof tiling to pester them about. This soft approach has been criticized by fundamentalist priests who feel a return to the good old days of the rack and the ducking stool is what's needed to make the sinners squeal.
At the start of confession the penitent is intimidated immediately by being locked in a small dark box, alone with the monster (priest). The priest's voice is disembodied and sounds as though it's emanating from all directions. To increase this disorientating effect, the Eucharist is often soaked in LSD. This sometimes produces weird hallucinations in which the priest grows horns, bleats like a goat and brands fiery letters into the sinner’s skull.
Penitents are often plied with other mind expanding chemicals such as mescaline, as well as alcohol or 'Jesus juice' in the so called 'Mass' preceding the confession. Often this alcohol is mixed with morphine, to make them excessively jolly and to loosen their wagging sinful tongues. Because they are more talkative they will reveal more dirty secrets, and get more punishment in return.
Newcomers to the confessional often interpret the friendly manner of the priest as a sign that confession is a conversation between friends; this is incorrect. In the context of the confessional, the priest must maintain a professional distance, since the soul of the sinner is at stake. The relationship is analogous to that between a doctor and a patient. Like doctors who specialise in urinary conditions, it's common for a priest to examine the genitals of the sinner. What happens in the confessional stays in the confessional.
Extracting the information
The role of the priest is basically of a Judge Judy, executioner and grave digger rolled into one grim package. The session will usually be tape recorded, as evidence, and for later use, as a source of income. He usually begins by reading the penitent his or her rights, but occasionally forgets the 'right to remain silent'. Even when the penitent is aware of their rights, it is not usually exercised as it is seen as an admission of guilt. The suspect is not entitled to have a lawyer present as they are viewed by the Church as 'loathsome reptiles' and 'agents of the Devil' who will try to hide the penitent and his 'crimes' behind their 'wall of lies.' Priests acknowledge that different people confess in different ways, listening to a nun’s confession is like being stoned to death by popcorn, while a politician's confession is like being suffocated by a landslide of faeces. Because of this, different interview techniques have been developed for different sinners, depending on just how worthless, irresponsible and depraved they really are.
In the most common technique denial is portrayed as pointless against the weight of evidence the priest has against you e.g.:
|Jesus told me what you did, he sees everything, there's no point lying. All is known. So you might as well come clean.|
Hints may be dropped that there are other witnesses, for example, "Saint Mark was in that brothel as well it was him who lent you the coke spoon, now confess!" or that the Church has evidence that can not be revealed yet. None of this may be true at all, the priests attempt to blur the barrier between truth and lies so that the penitent has no idea what he actually did, who he is, or what actually happened.
When impatient, the priest may adopt an aggressive approach, shining bright lights in the face of the penitent to disorientate them, or playing recordings of hymns at an annoyingly high volume, for hours on end. All this causes their mind to crumble like mouldy cheese. They become more susceptible to psychological interview techniques. The sinner is usually blindfolded and forced to sit in uncomfortable positions for hours on end. They are usually placed inside a washing machine on fast spin for days. Sometimes the suspect may be blindfolded and driven through the countryside for hours so they lose all perception of time.
The priests may alternatively offer support and aggression. Sometimes the priests work in pairs using the 'good priest', 'bad priest' approach to break down the suspect's will to resist. If the penitent is nervous, the friendly approach will be adopted, fostering a feeling of cooperative effort to 'help' the penitent out of their fix. If the suspect is confident, they will subject them to the 'masterful' approach, so that their confidence is exchanged for mild apprehension. These two approaches will be exchanged intermittently if the suspect fails to respond.
At the end of the confession, which may last for days, the priest will 'forgive' the penitent, and indicate the size of the bribe the penitent will pay for God to 'look the other way' and allow them to continue sinning. This is communicated using a complex code. For example a 'Hail Mary' represents the amount of £1000. The priest will specify the number of payments by listing the number of Hail Marys. Some people have been ordered to pay up to 100 Hail Marys. The meaning of each coded phrase is listed below:
- Our Father: The penitent must donate one or all of his children to 'the service of the Church.'
- Hail Mary: The penitent must pay a thousand pounds or lose one finger for each sin he has committed. If the penitent runs out of fingers, the priest moves onto toes and eventually limbs, until 'the honour of Christ is satisfied'. All extremities may be included as payment, although one testicle is considered equal to five fingers.
- Hail Mary Pass: The penitent must throw a yellow flag across the church, and then must throw a football without breaking any stained glass windows. Upon doing this he must run down the aisle and shout "Hail Mary! I got a 20 yard penalty!" three times. If he slips up, he has to perform or pay two "Hail Marys".
- Jesus Wept: The penitent must buy each priest in the parish a round of drinks every day for the next 100 years. However this may be substituted for a flour sack of cocaine.