Behold, The Marching Arts Body!

How Drum Corps International and Bands of America use spiritual and physical tactics akin to Dominionistic Christians and Scientologists

Behold, The Marching Arts Body!
I just found the Incredibles movie had a lot of art deco elements : r/ ArtDeco

Mr. Schuster the Not-so-Incredible

When I was in High School, I was a fan of a little show called Blast that made me want to join Marching Band. The Band Director at our High School was Mr. Schuster who still runs the program to this day. One show the marching band did was themed to the Pixar movie The Incredibles and for the show he donned on the suit and played Marching Baritone prancing around thinking he had the Armor of God. He felt powerful and unstoppable, that is until I came. He treated our concert band terribly yet had a place in his heart for the Symphonic Band kids whom were wealthy and more susceptible and excusable of all his awful behavior. I mention the Armor of God because there is another superhero way more stupider and tackier than Mister Incredible. One Edna would kick out after trying to convert her. His name was Bibleman whose whole concept is the Armor of God which is explained well by YouTuber Profit of Zod.

What is this Armor of God?

If you ever grew up around friends who are Fundamentalist or Dominions in disguise the whole getup comes from Ephesians 6:10-18 in the Old Testament. It includes…

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  • The Belt of Truth
  • Breastplate of Righteousness
  • Shoes of Peace
  • Shield of Faith
  • Helmet of Salvation
  • Sword of Sprit

For a Band Director who has done DCI and BOA programs you could apply the concept of the Armor to something like this…

  • Whatever I say is true to hold my band or corps together even though people will disprove me
  • Whatever I do is the right way to do things because my director says it’s right.
  • I can’t make peace with losing so I must win no matter the cost of others.
  • I have faith that my group is better than others
  • No matter all the awful things I do people will still respect me
  • Only healthy, able-bodied, and spirited people who believe in me will achieve my goals over and over again as long as I live.

However the Armor of God concept is not only present in Christian Nationalism, but also a good way to teach kids and teens how to fallow in lockstep and groupthink much to their detriment in a cult environment. This is one of the reasons why I quit marching band, because not only did I not want to be a token but I did not want to be in a situation where I and other students were vulnerable and mistreated. Hazing situations tend to start as hagiarchy and traditions kept for a long time with people living in fear of exposing the culture, or a term in DCI culture defaming.

In this video a staff member of Spirt of Atlanta says doing the right thing is staying silent or else you lose your family and defame them. Defaming means that if you report abuse or neglect in the group then the blame is on your hands for doing so. The DCI version of the Armor of God is the Drum Corp Body. Before Covid, people during training would post pictures of their bodies before they joined a corp and then their after spring training or Drum Corps Body. When Covid hit there were post saying Goodbye Drum Corp Body. To define what a this is we must turn to the core values of DCI corps which are winning, power, and perfection at all cost.

When a person from a DCI corps says, “You don’t know what it’s like bando!” they are using their belt of truth of core values they learned in their corps. I have seen this response over and over again much to the detriment of people who do fight back, only for their desires to become guilt. The man who wrote The Marching Industry Cult, Ken Mazur, which brought on my article about how both DCI and BOA fit into the Steven Hasan BITE model died because of this ideology plaguing and failing him, not helping others, and constantly grinding without therapy until it was too late. He took down the article after getting attacks from people who were fallowers of Gorge Hopkins.

Many of Gorge Hopkin’s Hop Talks were inspired by the teachings of Werner Erhard a ex Scientologist who wrote self help books and gave seminars to later founding members of DCI and BOA and band directors. Latter Erhard’s teachings would found the group Landmark Education which still targets public schools and corporate nonprofit monopolies like DCI and BOA. Many DCI and BOA events for band directors are akin to a MLM scam or Twin Flames. This is why it’s hard for even music teachers to organize including those in charter schools like my teacher Chuck Russel who is a member of NAfME which donates heavily to DCI and BOA programs like Sound Sport, Music for All, and United Sound. It’s akin to a character in a fansty novel or a cartoon who seems good and stupidly so, until they turn out to be bullies and robbers. You don’t know weather to punch them of give them a Sundae until it’s too late.

This is why DCI and BOA contest, recruitment, and curriculum in public schools is insidious. The Music Teachers and Band Directors think they should give them a Sundae until they are told they must pay or compete for both to have the Sundae. Plus their curriculum does not tackle issues that do harm music in local communities like lack of accommodation, well being, diversity, equality, and open learning practices. Meaning that a student should never cough up money or audition because they are there to learn. Back then people in many Drum Corps even before DCI went to lectures, not by ex Scientologist but by real professionals and teachers like my hero Arnold Jacobs.

My hero said about the problem of auditions in both marching and performing arts…

“They are poor, especially for the player, I think it is very difficult to have auditions and find a suitable way to judge, because we have a great many talented players to choose from. This means a lot of heartbreak for the people who are very capable.”

Yet people in today’s DCI and BOA culture would disagree with him because a audition is proof you are good and have talent, and you must cough up every nickel and quarter to do so! This is why so many people who are independent, talented and care about well being hate people like Simon Cowell and Abby Lee Miller because they are groomers teaching future generations how to groom wealth out of teens and even children. American Idol and America’s Got Talent have ruined establishments that do help communities much like BOA and DCI by gatekeeping and turning talented kids and teens into factory workers. This is also why I fight for shows of this ilk including Dance Moms to be canceled for the well being of childhood. Are there kids who love performing yes, but should it interfere with play, socialization, and development, NO!

I know the feeling of isolation all too well because I was homeschooled not for religious reasons, but because I have high functioning Asperger’s and PDA. Homework was even brought on vacations which felt unfair, not finishing all of it was a punishment or privilege taken. I understand why some kids do want to be recognized and escape, especially kids who are victims of ABA, religious, and isolative upbringings. I had so many hopes and dreams dashed due to realistic thinking and parenting and it made me unhappy. Those are the the kinds of kids and teens that do get exploited and don’t realize it until it’s too late even in adulthood. Instead of finding helpers, parents are told by DCI, BOA, American Idol, AGT, and Dance Moms that their children must be according to Mister Rodgers, Little Consumers.

Much of Arnold Jacobs teachings laid the ground work for Canadian Brass and Star of Indiana which created Brass Theater the building blocks of the Tony Award winning show Blast. Yet public schools keep fallowing the DCI and BOA model for prestige and prizes caring little about the well being of students and their success to problem solve issues in performing and marching arts. When I talked to Mr. Schuster about a Blast style program for Davison High School he turned it down and made excuse after excuse for it not working. You know what currently does not work yet still goes on? Marching Band and Corp Competitions.

What Blast did was a solution to the problem of competive corps and bands, did it have problems with gatekeepers yes. When I saw the show for the first time there were people of all sizes and sexes on stage having a good time making people laugh and cry. The stage is a good tool for inclusion and accommodation for all sorts of people to be performers. They might not have the Marching Band Body but that is a good thing because all they have came here for is to learn how to be not only a good performer but a good person.

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