Chapter Companion Three

There is no feeling on Earth quite like the feeling of losing your freedom. And please understand that I am not talking about the concept of “freedom” that people in various countries believe they have. I am talking about the most basic and pure form of freedom: like the ability to speak, get out of a chair, leave a room, or use the bathroom whenever you feel like.
There is no feeling like when you are robbed of these simple things. Things that you have been able to do your entire life without first asking permission. Basic acts of simply being human that suddenly become “privileges”. In Elan this starts with your your lice-shower.
You are rushed into the bathroom, ordered to take off your clothes in front of two strangers, shoved into a plastic shower cubicle so small that you can barely do a 360 with your elbows out, ordered to turn on the water, ordered to put out your hand to take the lice treatment, watched while you lather your hair with it, ordered to wash it out, and then just as quickly told to get the hell out of the shower.
Taking a shower in Elan, like using the bathroom and most other things, was purely a functional act. You were required to do it as fast it would take you to immediately go through the most essential steps to complete. No enjoyment, no relaxation, just in and then out. It started with the lice shower and then continued for the rest of your Elan life.
The Elan program was actually very brilliant and ingenious. Clearly it was the descendant of a long line of various schemes that slowly learned and evolved over thousands of years with the aim of most effectively controlling the human mind and body. We know for a fact that Elan’s creator, Joe Ricci, went to a program called Daytop that was a descendant of a very sinister cult called Synanon that was very likely a descendant of something even older and just as evil.
Anyways, so even that first shower was a well designed scheme because it allowed them to exert control over you while simultaneously seizing your clothes and personal belongings.
This confiscation of your belongings allowed them to immediately transition you into the next phase of your Elan life: stealing your identity (or what was known in Elan as “your image”). Not to mention, the ability to know that you entered the house with nothing they didn’t now know about, unless you had something up your anal cavity. But good luck trying to get that out in Elan, where even your shits were monitored by another person.
Most people simply lose their image that first day, but in my case, I had pissed them off. So like any program designed by sociopaths, they had various punishments built into the system purely for the sake of humiliation. Imagine being a teenage boy: full of hormones and body-issues, worried about peer-pressure and how you are perceived, fully aware that you are somewhere brand new and about to meet about 60 new people roughly your age. And now you are literally being dressed up in a bright yellow shirt and tight pink short-shorts.
That look is how you will make your first impression to everyone. That is how everybody will see you for the first time and the people making you do it are doing so under the very real threat of intimidation and violence. For the 16 year old mind, this is a living nightmare. And at the time, you honestly do not even know where you are yet, so you are hyper aware of everyone and everything going on around you and also how you are being perceived by everyone around you.
Your freedom is gone. So there are no other options or directions to move in. And this lack of freedom is a very new experience. It is something that 99% of the planet will never experience, not even for a single hour of their lives. Your living nightmare is only just beginning.