Letters from Antioch, Meeting Mel D.


Salvador hiked through Incline Village Nevada one day and saw an IRS agent named Mel D. sitting on a park bench.

Liston asked him, “Where do you work at man?”

Lake Tahoe

Mel D. answered, “I work in the IRS office across the street with my dad.”

Mel D. wanted to be a part of everything, just like his dad. Do you need some extra money for a community center? “Just ask Mel D.,” was the saying throughout Incline Village, “But be prepared, he will want to help, not only in the fund raising, but also in the building and in the operation of the thing.”

Salvador told Mel D., “Follow me.”

Leaving everything behind, he stood up, ran back to get some things, and began following Salvador. Mel D. next gave a party for him at a local park, which was over by Lake Tahoe. A large crowd of IRS agents and others milled around with them. Prostitutes and gang bangers were there, as was a collection of gays, and people of the wrong color.

Some party participants even brought their cigarettes, pointed at the inhaling end, and syringes with no prescribed medication. In the background, a portable stereo we heard something playing from Laura Nyro, Stoned Soul Picnic.

Tea Party people grumbled at Salvador’s followers, “Why do you eat and drink with IRS agents and people from the wrong side of the railroad tracks? Better look at what you’re hanging around with, or you all gonna get a reputation just like them.”

The Tea Party people also argued, “Proper people don’t hang around that kind. It gives them license to continue down the wrong path. It tells the world that you think that behavior is OK. Do you want to become common, just like them?”

Salvador retorted:

Across from the park where Mel's friends liked to gather.

Look at what…you’re hanging around with? You surely mean whom. They are people and not things. I call you to touch and to heal. To heal, you have to have been sick. You have never been sick. I have not come to heal charitable people, people who are like you. I have come to touch and heal the sick, the outcasts, and people like these folk.

There are two kinds of logic in the world. There is the logic of those who say, ‘Bad people do bad things. I do bad things, so I must be a bad person.’ I tell them, ‘The Mighty Savior does not make junk.

There is no such thing as a bad person. Pop made all, children of The Mighty Savior and in the image of The Mighty Savior. There is also the original mistake, the desire to do what is unpleasant to Pop. There are only normal people who do bad things.

There are those like yourself who say, ‘Only bad people do bad things. I am not a bad person, so I do not do bad things.”

You never bother looking at the damage you are doing to Pop’s world. The first step in prevention to bad behavior is the realization that you are very capable of it, and that Pop loves you. You are incapable of bad behavior? You do not need me. Go somewhere else.

Those who are healthy do not need a doctor, but the sick do. I have not come to call charitable people like you to repentance but the other kind of people.

The Tea Party people continued, “The followers of Curtis often fast and offer many prayers and novenas. The conservatives also fast and pray the Lord’s Prayer. Why is it that your bunch, you call them Akicita, does not do the same? Instead, they eat and drink to their hearts content. Surely, you see that this means we admit our faults, while your group does not. Are you not reverent Christians?”

The home of Mel's friends, and Salvador's

Salvador retorted, “OK, name one of your faults.”

After several minutes of silence and stammering, Salvador continued, “You do not fast from a sincere sense of penance, but from a sense of obligation and ritual. Indeed, that is all you can do. You have not suffered. You have not felt the greatness. You do not really feel rescued because you have never felt oppressed.”

Salvador commented on the Ten Words as related in Deuteronomy, “Remember the words from the Writings, ‘You were once oppressed in the land of oppression, but you were delivered with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.’ You felt oppression in the land of Europe, in the buildings of the sweatshops of Robber Barons, but Pop saved you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.”

Salvador concluded, “You never felt this rescue. If you did, you would rush to rescue others. You do not. You are a people with no heritage, and no past. You are the Separate Ones, separate from your community, and separate from God. Don’t go away mad, just go away.”

Salvador grumbled, “Mitakuye oyasin! mee-DAK-oo-yay. o-yah-seen.”

We continued with our travels.

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