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A few months ago I was relaxing in front of the TV, enjoying another night of quality American programming, when I started to hear dull thuds coming from my son's bedroom upstairs. I rushed upstairs, fearing the worse, but when I came to his room there was no masked intruder, only some awful monotonous racket coming from his stereo system! Now, as the parent of a teenage son I've gone through any number of my son's phases, and at first I thought this was just another thing I'd have to put up with, like Marilyn Manson T-shirts or Brittany Spears posters, and it'd be over in six months time, ready for the next "cool" thing.
But that was only the start of it. Soon after, my son started attending "raves" in the area, all-night parties where they play "electronica", a form of music characterised by repetitive beats and electronic noises. When he came back he was both tired and irritable, and I noticed his standards of behaviour declining. Even during the week he would be snappy and rude, and it got to the point where we'd argue constantly.
By this time I was seriously worried. So, as a concerned parent I made a concerted effort to discover why my son had changed so drastically. Seeing as the only thing that had changed was his new-found love of electronic music and raves, I decided to do some investigating. Soon, I was shocked and appalled, for what had seemed at first a relatively harmless interest was exposed as a dangerous and depraved lifestyle known for sucking in innocents and destroying their lives! Below, I shall reveal what I have learned in the hope of informing other parents of the perils out there.
Despite numerous claims from "ravers" that what they do is about music, or even spirituality and PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity and Respect), it remains an undisputed fact that raves and drug use go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other.
The most common of the "rave drugs" is MDMA, also known as "ecstacy" or X. Users taking are said to be "rolling" and report euphoria and increased energy. Of course this begs the question of why they need an artificial and dangerous substance to feel good - is it that there is something lacking in their lives? Although there is no hard evidence yet, preliminary studies indicate that an astoundingly high percentage of regular "ravers" come from broken homes, and that a statistically significant proportion of them suffered from child abuse. Clearly, such horrific experiences have made them more vulnerable to the "alternative lifestyle" of the rave "culture".
Aside from this, it is a scientifically proven fact that MDMA causes brain damage in humans, giving rise to long-term dangers of which depression may be the least. However there are other, less well known drugs that are at least as dangerous, such as GHB, also known as the "date rape drug" (see below). This can cause instant death in users, who, thanks to the reams of pro-drug propagdana available on the Internet, are often unaware of the potential dangers.
In some senses peddling drugs is like any other capitalist venture - you require customers, and it makes sense to acquire new customers through advertising your product. The manufacturers brand their products with trendy logos, add colourings to them and even make them in different shapes, all designed to foster youth appeal and make them resemble sweets. This is clearly a cynical ploy to make these killer pills seem harmless.
Dealers are known to hand out free samples in order to get kids hooked, and if your child is out at a rave then despite their best intentions, they may feel pressured into accepting in order to fit in with others. Soon after they will start buying their own drugs, and over time in larger and larger quantities as they begin to crave an elusive "high". And throughout this, the dealer is smiling, happy to know that in causing your child's moral and physical decay is an endless source of tainted money.
A little known fact is that dance music is played at a tempo which corresponds to human brain waves, causing addictive effects similar to cocaine in listeners. No wonder people become so addicted to the "lifestyle" that goes with dance music; after several exposures to the basslines they cannot help themselves. This is especially pernicious when combined with the savagely addictive effects of the drugs teenagers are exposed to at clubs (see above).
Apart from all the medical dangers that the rave scene contains, perhaps more scary is what the scene tries hard to hide - it's dark underside of sexual deviancy and predation. The most obvious sign of this is the "fashion" for provocative clothing that quite clearly inflames men's lusts. While it is sad that this is the case, and we can wish that men were more noble creatures, the lack of such abuse at more wholesome gatherings such as prayer meetings clearly reveals that this is a causitive influence.
Users who are in a confused state from taking drugs, almost always young girls, are easy prey for the sexual predators that stalk the rave scene. These are men that in normal life cannot find themselves a girlfriend, and are instead forced to stalk raves, looking for girls whose morals have been overcome by chemical influence. When they find them, they will invariably pretend to be nice, stringing the girl along until they get what they want.
What you have to remember is that the sort of person that ends up going to these events and taking drugs is not the sort of person that can sustain a normal, healthy relationship. Coming from broken homes and abusive childhoods as they so often do, they have a warped view of interpersonal relationships, and the only thing they know is exploitation. This provides them with the feeling of adequacy they need, and since ravers are all easily suggestible thanks to the drugs they consume, such people are invariably drawn to sexual predation.
If your daughter is going these raves, she will suffer these things!
You may think that your son or daughter is a good child who goes out with their friends and sticks with them, shunning such people. This is good, but there are other dangers. The effects of ecstacy are such that it lowers people's inhibitions, and makes them want to touch each other. This often leads to sexual contact, especially between people who are already friends. What may start as a simple group hug may become something more sexual, with heavy petting and more occuring on the dance floor, in front of other people! Not only is such lewd behaviour common, but the incidence of homosexuality (especially lesbianism) is over 145% greater in the rave scene than anywhere else! Be on the look out for such telltale signs amongst your child and their friends - this includes strange phrases used to describe such actions, excessive physical contact - hugging, kissing and stroking, and behavioural changes in their relationships with each other, you and even strangers.
As with everything in life, the key to good parenting is to be smart and be forewarned, education is vital to understand your child. I can only hope that this piece is of use to parents out there in similar situations to mine who do not know exactly what the "rave" scene is all about, and are letting their children into a dark world of drugs, addiction and immorality.
Remember, every year hundreds of teenagers die at raves across the US. Don't let your child be one of them.