This was the first article I ever got paid to write. It was such an interesting experience. I was sure The New Yorker would be interested. They do have lovely stationary for their rejection letters.
So I ended up sending it to FATE Magazine. If you look at the stories featured on the cover, you can tell that it is written for people who have nearly infinite credulity. I suspect many of the readers ended up as Tea Party Republicans. The story highlighted on the cover “Evil Cults” seems to point in that direction.
But every writer has to start somewhere. What was disappointing was the editor removing little phrases that I had inserted to indicate I was a skeptic, rather than a full-on, raving lunatic. (When the young bellboy asked me if I was a spiritual person, I had replied that I was a lapsed Unitarian, if that wasn’t redundant. That witticism never saw print.)
In any case, the article follows: