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It's the Great Pumpkin Cult, Charlie Brown!
David Weber and a Halloween fable... disabled
David Michael Weber (crossfire)     Print Article 
Published 2008-10-31 16:47 (KST)   
It's the Great Pumpkin Cult, Charlie Brown!!!
©2008 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
Many years ago a young boy would wait up every Halloween Night in a pumpkin patch he thought sincere enough in the hopes of catching a glimpse of what he called the Great Pumpkin.

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The Great Pumpkin, according to the boy, was some sort of Halloween spirit that would fly up out of only the sincerest pumpkin patches to give presents to all the attending good little boys and girls. That he never saw the Great Pumpkin in all those years of his childhood, never deterred him. Even as he got older, he would still wait out in a pumpkin patch on Halloween Night looking for the Great Pumpkin.

Though his friends and family thought his yearly vigil was just a harmless belief, in truth Linus Van Pelt was a sick and disturbed individual. He would often fly into an uncontrollable rage whenever anyone would dare mention that the Great Pumpkin possibly did not exist. Linus also began to develop a severe loathing for the Great Pumpkin's Christmas counterpart: Santa Claus. Like a true religious zealot, he would ridicule any of his childhood friends that professed a belief in Santa Claus.

Linus Van Pelt - Portrait of a Fanatic
©2008 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
In his college years, Linus Van Pelt began to attract a number of shy gullible girls and awkward young men to join him in his yearly vigil. Over time, the Great Pumpkin's repeated failure to arrive began to worry the group. "Perhaps their faith wasn't strong enough?" They thought. "Perhaps they said the word "if" too much? Perhaps their pumpkin patches weren't sincere enough and had too much hypocrisy?" Such questions plagued the small group for a long time.

Some members of the group, including their leader, Linus, felt they needed to further convince the Great Pumpkin of their sincerity and devotion. They forbade the word "if" in their daily speech, punishing its use by a severe lashing. They went on pumpkin rescuing parties in an attempt to save pumpkins from being carved into Jack-o-Lanterns.

On Halloween nights they would leave offerings of food in the hopes of appeasing and enticing the Great Pumpkin to appear. When these efforts didn't seem to be enough they stepped up to burning effigies of the Great Pumpkin's arch-enemy: Santa Claus. After a while grisly animal sacrifices were to follow.

Snoopy - Dog and WWI Flying Ace: an early victim of the Great Pumpkin Cult
©2008 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
Some years earlier, authorities found the bizarre remnants of one such Halloween ritual though at the time they weren't aware of the cult. In what police described as a seemingly sincere pumpkin patch, they found the grim remains of an old beagle bizarrely dressed in a World War I aviation cap. The dog had apparently been choked to death by some kind of cloth: a towel or a small blanket. Written in black crayon on some pumpkins were the words: "Deceiver", "False One", and "Dog Germs".

At this time, Linus Van Pelt was a Philosophy Grad school drop-out. His dissertation entitled: "The Great Pumpkin Manifesto" had been savagely ridiculed by the faculty. One of them even went so far as to say: "Wa-wa, wa-wa, wa-wa-waaaa." In anger and despair, Linus left the academic world to concentrate on the Great Pumpkin full time.

By now the group had become a full-fledge cult and they took the last final step into madness. They felt there was too much non-belief in the world and that the power of the Jolly Fat Menace (as they called Santa Claus) held too much sway. They began to perform human sacrifices on those whom the group deemed irreversible non-believers. It is believed that some of the first victims to be ritually slain had actually been childhood acquaintances of Linus' that had once dared to mock the Great Pumpkin.

The Peanuts Gang - many would later come to regret mocking the Great Pumpkin
©2008 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
An earlier Missing Person's report that was only later tied in with the cult had been dismissed when it was originally filed. A Charles Brown filed a Missing Person's report several years prior about his sister Sally Brown. Given Mr. Brown's long history of psychological problems, chronic depression, and dependency on medication, the report was ignored by local authorities at that time and Mr. Brown was given a rock.

It was later learned that Ms. Sally Brown, who had been working as an exotic dancer in Florida before her disappearance, had once ridiculed Linus for talking her into missing Halloween fun one year so they could wait for the Great Pumpkin together. Linus secretly never forgave her and bore bitter resentment for her and her rejection of the Great Pumpkin.

Eventually everything came to a horrifyingly bloody climax one Halloween night when Pigpen, Linus' trusted lieutenant, led a group of followers supposedly on orders from Linus to Jim Davis' house. There they broke in and in an orgy of blood and violence, brutally massacred Garfield, Odie, and John.

The police quickly rounded up the group and Linus. Some of them were still covered in blood. Pigpen was covered in blood and dirt that wouldn't wash off.

At his trial Linus shocked the court by appearing with a Jack-o-Lantern carved into his forehead. No one could get him to make any sense. He merely rambled incoherently damning unbelievers and Santa Claus.

A few of his more lucid mutterings were:
"... I have loosed the Great Pumpkin and devils into the world to torment Santa Claus and his followers..."

"... I am not the scary monster but only a dark reflection of a society that believes in Santa Claus and kills pumpkins in the name of fun..."

"... mangy mutt pretended to be the Great One...but we showed him, didn't we?"

"... she laughed at me and at the G.P., she did, my Sally Brown until her sweet baboo put her under the ground..."
Little did Sally know she was signing her death warrant that fateful night long ago
©2008 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
Lucy Van Pelt - Psychologist and President of S.C.U.B.
©2008 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
Testimony from surviving childhood acquaintances including his estranged sister Lucy Van Pelt, president of the ultra-radical feminist group, "The Society for Cutting Up Blockheads," was enough to convince the court to sentence Linus Van Pelt to a mental institution for life. Mr. Charles Brown was unable to testify at that time as he was currently in jail for allegedly stalking red-headed girls.

Now Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin every year in a small padded cell with pumpkins drawn on the walls. This is where he will wait for the rest of his life. He still hasn't seen the Great Pumpkin but as he tells his unbelieving guards: "Just wait till next year! You'll see! The Great Pumpkin will rise out of the Pumpkin patch and I'll be there to see him! Just wait and see!"

©2008 OhmyNews
A native Tennesseean, David M. Weber is currently at the grammatical grindstone cranking out gerunds, dangling modifiers and perfecting tenses as an English teacher in Japan. In his travels, he has hiked the Inca Trail, been mugged in Mexico City, broke his leg in Switzerland, attempted to bike through Mexico and failed, climbed Pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, drank great quantities of beer at Oktoberfest and gambled at Monte Carlo.
Other articles by reporter David Michael Weber

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