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Saturday, November 30, 2002
From The Wall Street Ledger:
The consolidation in the cults and loonies industry continues as the Unification Church (ticker symbol UCCO) announced after yesterday’s market close that it will acquire the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). ISKCON is best known for its bald nut cases chanting “Hare Krishna” at airports and bus stations. Spokesman Pie Moon described the merger as “a strategic move into an area where we see tremendous growth opportunities. While there is some overlap in the airport terminal business, we will be able to broaden our range of products. ISKCON is the industry leader in peacock feathers, carnations, and the larger religious tracts.” Lal Admi, CEO of ISKCON, said “There is tremendous synergy between these two leaders in the field of brainwashing and exploitation of vulnerable individuals.”

Industry analysts characterized the deal as not unexpected. Wetherly Merino of E. F. Mutton said ”We told a few of our very best clients this summer that ISKCON was in play, and we upgraded the stock from ‘Whatever’ to ‘Sort of OK’ as early as yesterday afternoon.” Both UCCO and ISKCON have seen their once lucrative airport terminal pest business diminish in the tight security measures implemented following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. “No one wants to see a pack of glassy-eyed zombies hanging around the concourse any more. With the extended waiting we now see at major airports, you would think this would be an ideal environment for rote begging spiels delivered in a rapid monotone. And it would be, except the cops and the National Guard have been kicking them out. Really kicking them, and hard, too.” The college campus and bus station segments of the market remain strong, according to Merino, and the merged cult will be poised to take advantage of any recovery in the national stupidity and gullibility rates.

This merger follows the acquisition of Lyndon LaRouche Associates by the Church of Scientology in June of this year. LaRouche’s paranoia line had attracted interest from cults looking for an entrée into this traditionally steady and cash-rich business. LaRouche had earlier turned back a hostile takeover attempt by Oliver Stone. As a result of the merger with the Church of Scientology, the LaRouche tinfoil hat line was combined with the Scientology tin can product line, and LaRouche’s robotic corgi transceiver subsidiary in the UK was sold to One World Government, Inc. As a result, approximately 1,000 cultists were deprogrammed.
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