KANEOHE BAY, HI – The newest faith to practice aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii doesn't meet in a chapel, a synagogue, or a mosque. In fact, it usually meets at a local strip club.
"Shots all around!" shouts Navy Lt. Eddie Moore, as he and seven other infantry Marines and sailors finished off their second bottle of Absinthe for the evening, slurping it off the Filipina hooker they'd hired.
Lt. Moore has the distinction of being the first chaplain in the entire Armed Forces to practice Khlysty (Pronounced Ca-lis-tee), a relatively unknown religion that is becoming more and more popular in many Marine Corps infantry units.
A recent poll conducted by the Marine Corps showed that as many as 17% of all infantrymen have attended at least one Khlysty service in the past three months.
Khlysty, virtually unknown in the United States until recently, was a splinter group that broke off from the Russian Orthodox Church about three hundred years ago and was practiced most famously by the Russian mystic Rasputin.
Their cardinal belief is that the path to salvation and repentance leads through excessive sinning: the greater the sin, the holier the sinner.
One new convert is Corporal Richard Kim, an infantry machine gun team-leader with 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines and Khlysty cleric-in-training.
"It's perfectly simple," said Corporal Kim while receiving oral sex in a hotel elevator. "If confession and repentance are the key to salvation, I have to be able to confess and repent for something, right? Hey, does your mom know you're out?"
According to Lt. Moore, Khlysty religious services are usually carried out every Friday and Saturday night throughout downtown Waikiki, usually starting at Club Femme Nu or Hawaii By Night, and ending wherever the congregation passes out until the next morning.
When Lt. Moore first arrived at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, he wasn't sure he would even have a congregation. But during an early prayer session conducted while balls-deep in a 250 lb local woman, he met Lance Corporal Christopher Hamilton.
"Yeah, my squad was totally running a train on this bitch," said Lance Corporal Hamilton, "when I realized that one of the guys was our Chaplain. I was like, 'what the fuck you doing Chaps?' and he said he was at prayer. I really didn't want to wake up the next morning for church, so I converted on the spot."
Lt. Moore said that he ministers to both officers and enlisted personnel.
"Actually the officers have been some of our most enthusiastic converts," Moore said. "For about a month or two I had to park myself down at the hospital every Saturday night for when they started trickling in with blood alcohol levels around .41."
Still, despite the success he's been having, Moore says there have been some minor problems.
"Since Khlysty doesn't believe in children, we actually have a ban on marriage. For too many grunts, that's half their monthly pay right there."
"I eventually had to institute a rule that they could only marry lesbians for their contract marriages: it's not completely kosher, but it suits my congregation."
There have also been issues with another relatively-new infantry-based religion: the Malamatis, based off an eighth century Sufi Muslim group who believed in proving their piety by conducting outrageous acts in public.
"We tried doing an interfaith event with them last month," Lieutenant Moore said, "but they trashed our strip club, beat up the bouncer, and pissed all over the floor."