Reincarnation Advocate Born Again
Lou Savage On March - 2 - 2010
Skies were blue for Lofti Berceus, author, songwriter and local karaoke legend as he regaled the breakfast crowd at Starbucks on Liberia Avenue in Manassas, Virginia.
Performing his original composition, “Not In My Country, Not With My Flag” the former Eckankar devotee, who until recently had proclaimed that soul travel, reincarnation and karma were aspects of walking the ideal spiritual path, was now singing a different tune.
“They’ll let you sing here so long as you don’t block the doorway,” he said as he sipped his tall coffee with two sugars an a dab of half-n-half. “And as long as it’s not too loud.”
His change of heart came after having attended a Men’s Christian Paintball Players’ Association potluck by invitation of an acquaintance, another legend, former paintball prodigy, Helmet Klox.
After experiencing what born-again Christians refer to as “fellowship” (hanging out with their friends), Berceus had come to conclude that his old ways, “…were not the optimal path to true enlightenment.” He also realized that even though he was already a Christian – a Methodist – it didn’t count in God’s eyes.
“The true path,” he told us, “is through the metaphor of the paintball: David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, the Israelites versus the Pharaoh. You know.”
During one of his first paint battles, neophyte Berceus was pummeled so mercilessly with paintballs by Klox that he was knocked unconscious. The group then left him to dry in a pool of multi-colored paint while they drank beer, sang religious songs and had fellowship. When Berceus finally regained consciousness several hours later, Klox was still standing over him, laughing hysterically, still shooting paintballs at him.
At that point, Berceus had an epiphany: that being a karaoke legend is not really that big a deal. “It was like I was a nobody for the first time in my life,” he said. “I’d never felt like that before. There I was lying on the ground being painted like a fence. I’d always had people stare at me at the grocery store, and so on… admire me… admire my hair. You know, being famous ‘n all. But this. This was the first time I’d ever felt true humility. I felt like a martyr, like right out of the Bible or something.”
Nowadays, Berceus spends his free time trying to convince people not to astral project or to reincarnate. He also practices his newly found humility by singing softly while staring at the ground. “Sometimes when I think I’m gettin’ too uppity,” he said through a half smile, “I sing flat on purpose. I’ll wear droopy pants too.”