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Feature Films For Families robot

If you get a phone call for a "survey" by Feature Films For Families preaching at you about FAMILY VALUES in movies and asking you for personal information, beware. Evidence currently suggests it is a robot, and it is phoning on behalf of an extremist fundamentalist Christian evangelical movement. In a way you can spot the danger words "family values", and other things that give it away are the way the robot will not be interrupted, and also the call starts with silence until you say "hello" twice.

Well, it might not be "a sales call", but the robot asks your permission for a call back. This is a bit like letting a vampire into your house, as from that time on, the perpetrators have the legal right to be a nuisance upon you. You can phone Ofcom if you think it'll help, and if enough people call it might get escalated into a diplomatic incident. But really, you need your own defences against such attacks.

It should be up to you what you believe, and you should have the freedom to watch what you want. You shouldn't be told what to do by some puritanical religious zealot sect. It has also occurred to some people that they might have expected the Christians to respect you rather more than to get a robot to phone you up and fool you.

Here's what I think you should do about far right wing Christian robots phoning you up: Enter into a long and convoluted discussion, and keep them talking. Never give a direct answer and always respond in ways in which different sides of the argument are balanced. For example, when the robot says "What is your name? Please spell any difficult words", say "well it depends what you mean. In what way would you like me to spell it? And do you want to know the name my friends know me by other the colloquial name I use on the Internet?". When the robot says "Do you think that the ever worsening violence on the television is eroding respect for Family Values?" say things like "In what sense do you mean? Surely it is the right of a responsible adult to choose what they wish to watch. Don't you agree?" and so on. Always be polite and keep a calm voice when talking to the robot. If you don't know what to say, say "I didn't quite hear what you said. Can you please repeat that?". You can keep a robot talking for ages like that. It's on their phone bill, remember. A good answer to some questions is "I have already answered that question" (say it calmly). Also, when the friendly robot asks to speak to the lady of the house, the response "well I expect that would be me then" is acceptable regardless of your vocals.

When entering into discussion with the robot, try to change the subject, bringing up topical matters and philosophical ideas. Robots aren't so good at that, especially if they've been programmed by the Christians. Never give your details and never agree to anything. Imagine they are out to deceive you, and it's up to you to confound them. Most importantly, remember that it was THEY, the fundamentalist Christianist right-wing family values authoritarians, who phoned YOU and behaved to you with the level of respect which they did. You can now decide what level of respect you want to ascribe to them, and how your own beliefs can be shaped in response to them.

My own opinion, (it doesn't have to be the same as yours), is that I take a fairly dim view of door-to-door Christians going round preaching to me, although I am always polite to them. Christian phone robots rank somewhat lower on the scale, and I consider there is a chilling sinister overtone to the whole thing.

In fact, I would say that if the Satanists phoned up and suggested there should be more violence in films, I'd be inclined to agree with them! More violence in films, and less in society.

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