FT. MEADE, MARYLAND -- Aerial photos of a secret facility here in Ft. Meade, Maryland reveal a structure that shows a startling resemblance to Islam's Ka'aba. Just as the Ka'aba is encircled by thousands of the devout making their once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage, so the NSA structure (devotees pronounce it "ENSA") is surrounded by thousands of vehicles. Our crack investigative reporters have determined that they are apparently the means by which NSA pilgrims make their journey to NSA's black cube. It is said that most NSA pilgrims make the trip on a daily basis. Talk about devotion!
As most of our typically well-informed readers are aware, the Ka'aba is that iconic black cube in Mecca, Saudi Arabia toward which devout Muslims face when engaging in their daily prayers. (See photo at right.) It is to this sacred place in the middle of Islam's largest mosque that all Muslims, if they are physically and financially able, are commanded to make a pilgrimage at least once in their life. This pilgrimage is called the hajj, which means "intention to make a journey." For the Muslim faithful, this journey is not only an outer one to Mecca, but also an inner and spiritual journey deep into one's own heart and soul. Uniformly clad in a simple white garment called an ihram, which signifyies the belief that before God (Allah) there is no difference between rich and poor, etc., thousands of the faithful gather around the Ka'aba, contemplatively walking seven times counter-clockwise around the immense structure. An important religious occurence in Islam is the "Eid" , a word pronounced with a long "I" sound followed by a soft "d." It's meaning is "holiday" or "celebration" and most commonly refers to the "Eid al-Fitr" or "Breaking of the Fast" and it marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Curiously, NSA also employs a word identical to the Islamic "Eid" in its pronounciation, but with a radically different meaning. Spelled "E-y-e-d" it seems to carry the meaning of "to indiscriminately and intrusively peer." Caring not a whit for the significance of the natural world (there's not a Druid among them!) their daily rituals instead consist of keeping its many eyes on the billions of emails that average citizens send to one another in the course of a single day. Like a solar-powered prayer wheel requiring little or no human attention, each of these many documents are not actually Eyed. It is enough that they could be should the worshippers come to believe that it is important to do so. Only their high priests are permitted to make that determination, and then by a secret process known only to the highest of the high priests.
From what can be ascertained, this new religion is extraordinarily fear-based. Dreading an attack upon the United States by persons who would again do it harm, they have elevated the observance of Eyed to an art form . . . though it must candidly be said that it certainly involves some dark electronic arts. When the practitioners of NSA are queried about their intense fear of such attacks, they usually respond by saying that they would actually like to be somewhat more relaxed in their religious observations . . . and would . . . were it not for an even greater fear: that of eternal condemnation lest they fail to keep The Eye on everything and everyone. Were they not to do so, they assert, the first of their fears would surely become a reality, and they would thus be doubly damned. Truly, it's a pitiable bind these clean-cut, very sincere and devoted worshippers are in.
Their secret ways have recently been compared to those of Scientology . . . the cult founded by the late, rather deranged, L. Ron Hubbard. As far as can be determined, as of this writing no major Hollywood types have become NSA worshippers, but given NSA's intense recruitment efforts, it's probably only a matter of time. Fear, after all, is a time-honored means of doing "evangelism," and, along with others, has been employed by certain Christians for centuries.
A recent, very negative, development for NSA may yet add converts to their faith. It involves one of their own bolting from the cult, and subsequently informing the country of the extreme nature of NSA's practices as it observes Eyed. An unintended consequence of his revelations has been the epidemic spreading of the virus heebeejeebees. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia reports outbreaks of the heebeejeebees across the United States. As yet, this fear-borne infection has no clear remedy.
In an unintentional riff on the well-worn vaudeville routine in which a patient complains, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this," and the doctor replies, "Then do do that," the CDC "urges everyone to remain calm in the face of the heebeejeebees." (Editor's Note: Nice work if you can get it!) "Fearful persons will be made even more so once they contract this strain of heebeejeebees," said a CDC spokesperson, adding, "Ironically, we expect they may seek relief from their fears and become increasingly drawn to NSA's fear-based faith with its pursuit of absolute certainties, even though that is the source of the heebeejeebees."
No official pronouncements are yet available from the Supreme Court concerning the right of the NSA to continue practicing their observances. However, seldom-at-a-loss-for-words (Editor's Second Note: Hey, someone has to compensate for the nearly mute Clarence Thomas!) Justice Antonin Scalia, did make the following statement to our staff. "Just as the good people on the Town Council of Greece, New York are free to have opening prayers before their meetings led by good Jesus-loving Christian pastors most of the time, and that over the objection of those of other faiths and no faith at all who are, somehow or other, offended by these prayers . . . go figure . . . so NSA should be allowed free rein to practice their observance of Eyed as they see fit, and without the intrusive interference of Big Government in the the affairs of their religion.
"This is simply what The Founders would have wanted," continued the high court's most famous strict constructionist. "These NSA religious observances constitute a very simple Constitutional matter. I urge your readers to remember that President Abraham Lincoln consulted his cabinet for advice on an action he was proposing, and when every last one of them replied 'No," Lincoln simply said, "Then it's settled: the eyes have it!"