My Parents Were Undercover Square Dancers
An investigation into the dark world of square dancing.
BY MARK STIBICH
Now that the Unabomber is caught, Americans are startled as they learn of the depth and scope of the FBI investigation. The FBI, desperate to penetrate the layers of secrecy cloaking America's sub-cultures, depended on many fine citizens for undercover work. The Beer Lady's own parents were approached several years ago to aid the FBI by infiltrating the highly secret and ritualistic cult known nation-wide as Square Dancing. [ed. This link courtesy of Eric Ng.] After years of startling undercover work, they have come forward to tell their unbelievable tale of intrigue and espionage. Throughout their years of trial they learned many bizarre dance rituals as well as participated in cult practices such as initiation rights, smuggling political prisoners in petticoats and executing raids on other Square Dance Clubs. Their story is told here for you as a Student.Net exclusive.
My Parents were Undercover Square Dancers
It all started one cold Christmas morning, when after the normal distribution of gifts, the Beer Lady's sister, known as Wine Boy, noticed a small package hung in the tree. We took it down carefully, excited by the sudden magic that had returned to Christmas. Dad opened it slowly and cautiously. It contained only a card and a small certificate. The certificate was good for 30 weeks of Square Dancing lessons. The card simply said, "Your country owes you a great debt. If you are captured we will deny any knowledge of this mission. This Christmas Card will self-destruct in 20 seconds. Merry Christmas -- The FBI." The card destructed as advertised, setting our tree on fire and burning down our house on Christmas Day. We were saddened by this, but it was a difficult time and our country needed us; sacrifices had to be made. We all knew about the assignment, how dangerous it was. I had confidence though. The FBI chose my parents because of their very special talents. My mother grew up on a farm and is fluent in Rural American, the language most commonly used at Square Dance meetings. She is also a sewing and handicraft expert. My father too was a good choice. No one would suspect a Square Dancing engineer from Detroit as an FBI stooge. The lessons began shortly after Christmas. In order to reach the upper echelon of Square Dancers, my parents would have to achieve the Sacred Order of the Plus, this required 30 weeks of Square Dance training as well as participation in occult rituals. Their official FBI report remains confidential, but through the Beer Lady's extraordinary investigative reporting skills, permission to print selections from the glossary of that report has been obtained. The following is excerpted from the FBI report, with permission.
Are small winged creatures found mostly in statuary in Churches. They are also the code name for club members who disguise themselves as students in order to gather information on prospective club members.
Calls are made by a caller and communicate to the dancers what steps to dance. Each call given by the caller requires the performance of as many as 20 different steps. After months of calculations, it was determined that, when placed in the correct sequence, the steps actually revealed the missile codes for the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal.
Each club has specific colors or a uniform to wear. Any club member wearing illegal cloths is promptly executed. The men wear typical Western attire. The women, however, wear special square dancing clothes consisting of a blouse and skirt complete with petticoat and bloomers. The petticoat can have as much as 200 yards of lace in it and serves many functions. When cornered, Square Dance ladies are proficient in a self-defense technique known as 'skirt work' in which a well-executed spin can crush a man 10 feet away. The many folds of the petticoat can be used to smuggle political prisoners. In emergencies, the petticoat can be used as a spare air bag or a parachute.
Square Dancers greet each other with hugs during which microfilm and other secret information is exchanged. They typically meet in Church Halls or Senior Citizens Centers to maintain an almost airtight front of respectability. In those lines, there is also no smoking or drinking, lest members become intoxicated and reveal club secrets.
Each member of a Square Dance Club can be identified by rank and name through the badge they wear. Badges contained gems which each indicated 20 raids that the wearer had participated in as well as bars for every 100 raids (see also, raids). Some of the older club veterans have been in as many as 400 raids during the Cold War. Any Square Dancer who survived more than 500 raids is known as a Square Dance Black Belt. Dangles, which hang from the badge, indicate special missions the wearer has accomplished. Dangles can be awarded for gathering intelligence from distant sources, learning specific codes and dances, or infiltrating cultural areas of the U.S., such as bowling alleys and pizza parlors.
One of the missions of United Square Dancers, the international branch of Square Dancing, is world domination. They seek to accomplish this by allowing foreign counties to participate in Square Dances exclusively in English. This imperialist attitude is simply phase one of their plan for world conquest.
Square Dance music consists of instrumental versions of popular tunes sung over by the caller. Songs such as 'Peggy Sue' or 'Johnny B. Good' are especially possible. At times the music can be dangerous. Once a caller began yodeling to the tune of 'It's a Small World After All.'
Raids are a throw back to barbarian customs of conquest. In the old days, each club would attempt to steal the banner of the club sponsoring a dance. If a club was successful, they displayed their stolen banners at their own next dance and attempted to defend them from retrieval. Vast intelligence networks were developed. Due to massive loss of life, this process has ceased in all states but Texas.
There is however, no cause for alarm. Square Dancers are generally poorly armed (except in Texas where they are well-armed when compared with the rest of the country, but poorly armed when compared with the rest of Texas) and keep to themselves. They do not, on the whole, believe that the U.N. is poised to invade the U.S. using a fleet of small black helicopters. Records show that Square Dancing is not responsible for any loss of life in this country, unless you count old Mr. Fergis who died after he went insane during a square dance. It seems Mr. Ferris, during the Wyoming State Square Dance Convention, 1989, suddenly believed that he was an astronaut. He began performing all the dances with greatly exaggerated motions, as if in zero gravity, until another square dancer, greatly annoyed said, "If you're an astronaut, where's your space suit?" A look of horror overcame Mr. Fergis' face and he promptly imploded. Officials later determined that Square Dancing had nothing to do with his implosion and that he would have imploded or run out of oxygen eventually anyway.
The FBI is committed to keeping close tabs on Square Dancing, as well as line dancing, clogging, and, especially, Polkas. To observe these groups, The White House Task Force On Square Dancing, Angling, Polkas, Clogging, Fish Frys, Bingo, Line Dancing, Bowling, Putt- Putt Golf and Other Such Things (WHTFOSDAPCFFBLDBPPGAOST) has been established. Meanwhile, my parents, now that their cover is blown, are looking to take up a new assignment penetrating the vast underworld of ballpoint pen manufacturers.
Mark Stibich's stories just keep getting weirder and weirder...