By an anonymous Ex-Christian Scientist Group contributor.
There was only one other occasional Christian Scientist kid who came to my church, a girl called Sean. Sean was unpopular amongst the old ladies who taught Sunday School as she was considered barely manageable. This was because she occasionally asked questions and preferred to talk about what she had seen on TV and which pop stars she liked instead of listening to them.
One day, one of the old ladies in the main service had a heart attack, and Sean and I were whisked outside so quickly our feet barely touched the ground, where we were made to sit on a wall by the entrance to the church. Our parents and the Sunday school leaders were abjectly horrified that we would see the ambulance that they had called, or the ambulance men ‘doing things’, and wanted us out of the way.
We saw the paramedics arrive and take one of those heart electrocution things inside with a stretcher. Sean didn’t know what it was, but I was proud of myself that I could tell her as I had seen it on TV. She seemed very interested that such a thing existed. I concurred that it was extremely cool all the things that medicine on TV dramas could do, especially as Christian Science didn’t appear to be able to do anything, evidenced by the fact that one of their number appeared to have actually died during a service and none of their colleagues could think of doing anything other than calling the emergency services.
We were then rushed back inside and quarantined back in the Sunday School room. This is because the medics were going to carry Mrs. X out and we were to be saved the traumatic sight of human beings giving another human being basic care. Mrs. X’s fate was never alluded to, or her identity. Other than by trying to work out who it had been like a game of geriatric ‘Guess Who,’ the following week we were never to know. Was she in a better place? I suspected in my heart of hearts that if she never had to go back to that awful stultifying church again, she probably was.
But it was obvious it had scared all the adults badly, and none of them appeared to be getting any comfort from their beliefs.