In its most public guise, The Order is a rumored women’s group in the American South focusing on women working or teaching in the sciences, that takes as its symbol the Tarot Card of Strength, with a white lion substituted for the usual Rider-Waite iconography. Rumor has it that they give full scholarships and do extensive mentoring for what they call “discarded” girls, that is, abused and abandoned young women, even fostering a few. Its stated aims are to foster female scholarship and leadership. But what if this were something more?

A good deal of what I’m about to posit is outright illegal, immoral and possibly fattening. I’m simply trying to come up with an alternative conspiracy story as compelling and frightening (to the reader) as most of the Satanic abuse fear porn out there, but in a different direction than the by-now-familiar “frightened girl” scenario.

I’m going to go with a girl about the age of seven, from a neglectful and perhaps borderline abusive family, who don’t really want her there, but are too much enmeshed in middle-class suburban life to do anything that would involve the cops. Worse yet, they insist that they actually do love her, and whatever happens to her, is what every loving family would do. She’s not too popular in school, smart enough not to find public education interesting, has no sibs or close relatives nearby, and well…it’s not her parent’s fault that they found their dream home in a neighborhood without children her age, is it? Well, her life’s about to change…she’s about to be Pleasured.

Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. She might find a sympathetic teacher or new neighbor. She might be the owner of a gift shop or other small business. She’ll be older, an aunt or grandmother type, who will be unconditionally loving and often quite generous, gradually worming her way into the girl’s affections, and much more selectively, her family’s friendship. Her job is to gradually undermine her family’s influence, and to instill a sense of self-esteem, while cautioning her charge not to be outwardly rebellious. This is achieved through various games and stories. At the same time, skills neglected by normal public schooling are instilled, such as STEAM activities, and the rudiments of a classical education, as given in the British PNEU system. Basic finishing school activities are also given, as needed. This phase will last about two to three years, until the family is confident to let their daughter outside the house with their surrogate parent for long periods of time, short of staying over. Sometime here, she’s about to meet Alamout.

Think of spa day for a seven-year-old. No. Let’s wrench it up a few notches. She’s about to be spoiled rotten over about twelve hours. Pretty women will plait her hair with flowers, and lead her through mazes of sweetly smelling herbs to a lovely teatime with dolls and animals to the songs of Judy Collins. Mothers will cook her wonderful food. She’ll have an amazing day. But she’ll get a germ of an idea: she has power. No more, no less.

The next phase is to introduce another girl into the mixture. She’s about to get a BFF. They will mysteriously show up in her class, or in the neighborhood, she may be the niece or grandchild of the primary programmer. In any case, the friend will further distance her from her family and peers. If she has a ‘family’, her ‘mother’ will gradually start talking about sleepovers, even weekends.

After a year or two of this, the subject’s grades will have gotten so good as to have someone suggest private schooling. (This is, of course, a best-case scenario, at any time if she has clearly lost potential, the supports can easily be curtailed or even terminated with little to no undue harm to the subject. Even then, such ‘rejected’ subjects are kept on file as potential assets.)

Beginning with her first classes, she will be schooled in mind control: meditation, focus, and the ability to calm one’s self. At school, these will be intensified, with the added knowledge of the meta-game within these techniques: how and why these things work. Roleplaying will also take center stage as a skill to ensure flexibility in various situations: the Queen of the Day might find herself someone else’s servant. Gradually, she will learn to control others as well.

What the Order does, in my view, is less like programming a computer than growing a plant. In a sense, it’s animal husbandry, of a very special kind of beast. Believing that what you instill in your offspring is strong enough so that once you send them forth into the world that they will act as autonomous agents to uphold these principles….that is parenting.

By the time she is ready for college, she will be almost fully “of the Order”, obtaining sexual pleasure, support, and other emotional needs through what she’s been given. Her birth family will still be acknowledged, but she will be counseled on how to deal with them:

PostGraduation: Between college and marriage, and for some, throughout life, they live in a network of co-operative living spaces here and there throughout the States (and some beyond). They work in the State Department.The CIA, the NSA. They might be on Seventh Avenue, designing fashions.

And when they do marry, or not, or have daughters….they’re dangerous.