Posts Tagged ‘Satan’


Pseudoscientist Rupert Sheldrake Is Not Being Persecuted, And Is Not Like Galileo

BY JERRY A. COYNE

 Rupert Sheldrake is a pseudoscientist who has made his name promoting various kinds of woo, including telepathy (including in dogs!), immaterial minds, and his crazy idea of “morphic resonance,” a Jung-ian theory in which all of nature participates in some giant collective memory. (He was once a real scientist, trained in biochemistry and cell biology at Cambridge, but somewhere went off the rails.)

Many of you might know of Sheldrake. He enjoys a certain popularity in the US and UK among those who think that there must be “something more out there”—with “more” meaning psychic phenomena. I don’t really understand a penchant for things that aren’t supported by evidence, but that’s probably a failure of empathy on my part—as well as a product of my scientific training to doubt. I am sure, though, that some of the same psychological tendencies that promote sympathy for woo also promote sympathy for religion.

Sheldrake and his supporters always defend themselves as beleaguered scientists whose correct theories are unfairly attacked or neglected because they buck the current “materialistic paradigm.” That is, he thinks himself an unrecognized genius, persecuted like Galileo. The proper answer to this is given on the NeuroLogica website:

The definitive assessment of this comparison comes from the original version of the movie, “Bedazzled.” Dudley Moore’s character calls Satan a nutcase (for claiming to be Satan), and Satan replies, “They said the same of Jesus Christ, Freud and Galileo.” Moore then replies, “They said it of a lot of nutcases too.”

Last summer someone decided to fix Sheldrake’s Wikipedia article, which, edited by his supporters, had been promoting Sheldrake’s woo in violation of Wikipedia policy on fringe science and pseudoscience. Perhaps you don’t know about this policy, but you can read about it at the link. It begins like this:

When discussing topics that reliable sources say are pseudoscientific or fringe theories, editors should be careful not to present the pseudoscientific fringe views alongside the scientific or academic consensus as though they are opposing but still equal views. While pseudoscience may in some cases be significant to an article, it should not obfuscate the description or prominence of the mainstream views.

It’s a pretty good policy, and prevents people like Sheldrake and his deluded supporters from editing Wikipedia articles to give unwarranted credibility to their pseudoscience. And that policy allowed the rationalists to come in and clean up Sheldrake’s page, which they did.

This summer, soon after the TED controversy, a commando squad of skeptics captured the Wikipedia page about me. They have occupied and controlled it ever since, rewriting my biography with as much negative bias as possible, to the point of defamation. At the beginning of the “Talk” page, on which editorial changes are discussed, they have posted a warning to editors who do not share their biases: “A common objection made by new arrivals is that the article presents Sheldrake’s work in an unsympathetic light and that criticism of it is too extensive or violates Wikipedia’s Neutral Point of View policy.”

If you want some amusement, have a look at the Wikipedia “talk” page on Sheldrake’s bio. It will give you a newfound respect for Wikipedia editorsas the skeptics are over there just trying to ensure, as per Wikipedia policy, that Sheldrake’s pseudoscience is not presented as credible science.

 Sheldrake continues his rant on his blog, blaming the editing of his page on the “Guerilla Skeptics on Wikipedia” (GSoW), a group dedicated to policing dubious pseudoscientific claims and giving skeptics themselves decent Wikipedia pages. Sheldrake writes:

The Guerrilla Skeptics are well trained, highly motivated, have an ideological agenda, and operate in teams, contrary to Wikipedia rules. The mastermind behind this organization is Susan Gerbik [sic]. She explains how her teams work in a training video. She now has over 90 guerrillas operating in 17 different languages. The teams are coordinated through secret Facebook pages. They check the credentials of new recruits to avoid infiltration. Their aim is to “control information”, and Ms Gerbik glories in the power that she and her warriors wield. They have already seized control of many Wikipedia pages, deleted entries on subjects they disapprove of, and boosted the biographies of atheists.

The “ideological agenda” here, though, is simply this: false or unsupported claims should not be presented as credible. If that’s an agenda, I’m all for it.

But Sheldrake is dead wrong in his accusations. The person who did most of the woo-removing edits of Sheldrake’s page, not a member of GSoW, has posted an article decisively refuting the claim that there is a Guerrilla Skeptic “conspiracy” to debunk Sheldrake. Tim Farley of Skeptical Software tools has investigated the edits thoroughly and confirmed that no Guerrilla Skeptics seem to have been involved.  Farley also checked with the GSoW boss, Ms. Gerbic, who denies involvement. Farley concludes:

. . . the central claim, that Guerrilla Skeptics are controlling Sheldrake’s bio, is demonstrably false.  It is a classic conspiracy theory. I asked Susan Gerbic directly, and she confirmed that Sheldrake’s bio was not on their current project list. But you don’t need Susan’s word, just search for the name “Sheldrake” at the project blog and you find only a post about a related article, and no indication they had worked on Sheldrake’s bio. (Believe me, they’re not shy about showing off their work – it’s part of their outreach efforts).

Look in the editing history of the people actually editing Sheldrake’s article, and you’ll find only cursory overlap with articles the Guerrilla Skeptics have bragged about editing.

So Sheldrake and Weiler et. al. are actually complaining about the wrong thing entirely! Instead of floating conspiracy theories about the Guerrilla Skeptics, they should be studying the Wikipedia rules and trying to understand why it is their edits keep getting rejected.

Finally, a humorous comment on my own website by “Julie,” a member of the Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia group, denies involvement:

Hahaha we didn’t touch his page, even with our minds! We have a list of pages we want to edit and Sheldrake isn’t even on it! Maybe that’s the real reason for his tantrum.

Great blog! Brings all the facts together. I had no idea the BBC were involved in criticising us so I just had a rant about their terrible reporting on the program’s Facebook page! I expected more from the Beeb. [More on the BBC below.]

I love the bit about “even with our minds”!

So Sheldrake not only paints himself as a martyr again, but singles out the wrong group for “persecuting” him.

 Sadly, now the BBC World Service itself is being played a fool by Sheldrake, as they have put The Woomeister on their station to proclaim his conspiracy theories.

If you go here on the BBC, and listen to the 5-minute interview with Sheldrake (starts 8:02, ends 12:44), you’ll see the sympathetic ear that the BBC interviewer lends to Sheldrake, not questioning his claims in the least.

Much of what Sheldrake says in the interview is untrue, and it’s all in service of telling the world not to believe his Wikipedia page because it was sabotaged by Guerrilla Skeptics, which also is “distorting hundreds of pages on Wikipedia.” That is wrong, and Sheldrake should know better because that segment was broadcast on November 5, three weeks after Farley’s piece was published. Nor does the BBC interviewer talk to the Guerrilla Skeptics, seek any contrary views, or ask Sheldrake any hard questions. The interviewer apparently didn’t investigate this whole issue beforehand. It’s just dreadful reporting. To be fair, the BBC says that they’ll talk about the “reliability of Wikipedia and Sheldrake’s Wikipedia page” this week. If anybody hears that segment, let us know. [Note: the BBC interviewer, Dan Damon, describes himself and his wife as “keen churchgoers.“]

But I’m wondering why the BBC gives Sheldrake a voice at all. Why should their readers hear his paranoid rants? Would they allow a creationist to go on the air and argue that mainstream biologists are in a conspiracy to suppress the truth of a young earth and creation ex nihilo? Does a report of a new medical advance need to be “balanced” by the opinion of a homeopath?

Finally, Sheldrake’s American counterpart, Deepak Chopra, has written a piece on his own website decrying Wikipedia skepticism and the persecution of Sheldrake. Indeed, it takes one purveyor of pseudoscience to understand another. In a piece called “The rise and fall of militant skepticism,” Chopra writes:

You can see the results at the Wikipedia entry for Rupert Sheldrake, the British biologist who has served as a lightning rod for militant skeptics for several decades. Intelligent, highly trained, an impeccable thinker, and a true advocate for experimentation and validation, Sheldrake had the temerity to be skeptical about the everyday way that science is conducted. He made his first splash by questioning the accepted assumptions of Darwinian evolution, and most recently he published a cogent, well-received book about the hidden weaknesses in the scientific method, titled Science Set Free. His avowed aim is to expand science beyond its conventional boundaries in the hope that a new path to discovery can be opened up.

But you’d never know it from Sheldrake’s Wikipedia entry, which is largely derogatory and even defamatory, thanks to a concerted attack by a stubborn band of militant skeptics. Since I am close to Sheldrake personally and have Wikipedia woes of my own, it’s not fair for me to offer accusations over the extent to which Wikipedia is under attack. But the skeptics have been caught in the act, which is the pickle they find themselves in, as I mentioned at the outset of this post.

You can read a detailed account in a series of online posts written by Craig Weiler at his blog The Weiler Psi. Confronting the militant pests at Wikipedia resembles taking hold of a tar baby, as Weiler relates in his most recent post, pointedly entitled “Wikipedia: The Only Way to Win Is Not to Play.” The unsavory fact is that skeptics have figured out how to game Wikipedia’s attempts to provide fairness, and we are all the loser for it.

But the real loser is Chopra, whose own lucrative brand of woo is finally exposed as a lot of scientifically-sounding psychobabble.

Steve Novella has written a cogent takedown of the paranoia of both Chopra and Sheldrake on a post on Skepticblog called ”Chopra shoots at skepticism and misses.” Novella also has a few interesting words about whether the idea of God is a testable hypothesis.

There is, I suppose, a form of “militant skepticism” that is so skeptical that it won’t accept anything. But I’m not aware of anyone adhering to that view, except perhaps some postmodernists. Others are skeptical of some things that are, to all reasonable people, demonstrably true (there are some of these folks.) But the critics of Sheldrake and Chopra are not “militant skeptics.” They’re simply people who demand solid evidence for extraordinary claims of psychic phenomena and universal consciousness.

Let’s face it: we’ll never be free of people who lap up the woo of people like Chopra and Shedrake. There’s something about human psychology that is susceptible to this kind of stuff. All we can do is decry it as often as we can, and hope that those on the fence will listen to us. That is what Steve Novella and the Guerrilla Skeptics are doing, and more power to them.

A version of this post first appeared on WhyEvolutionIsTrue.

Jerry A. Coyne is a Professor of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago and author of Why Evolution is True, as well as the eponymous website.


Satanic Panic Reemerges In Jimmy Savile Scandal

By Keelan Balderson

A dubious psychotherapist who helped stoke the fire of “Satanic Panic” in the 90s, appears to have jumped on the bandwagon of the Jimmy Savile scandal in order to peddle her Christian-rooted paranoia.

Valerie Sinason, a Trustee of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability and former lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic, was uncritically quoted in last week’s Sunday Express, claiming two of her patients were victims of “Satanic Ritual Abuse” at the hands of the now deceased celebrity.

“She had been a patient at Stoke Mandeville in 1975 when Savile was a regular visitor,” Sinason told the Express about a girl who was allegedly 12 years old at the time.

“She recalled being led into a room that was filled with candles on the lowest level of the hospital, somewhere that was not regularly used by staff. Several adults were there, including Jimmy Savile who, like the others, was wearing a robe and a mask.

“She recognised him because of his distinctive voice and the fact that his blond hair was protruding from the side of the mask. He was not the leader but he was seen as important because of his fame.

“She was molested, raped and beaten and heard words that sounded like ‘Ave Satanas’, a Latin­ised version of ‘Hail Satan’, being chanted. There was no mention of any other child being there and she cannot remember how long the attack lasted but she was left extremely frightened and shaken.”

Dr. Sinason continues with another extraordinary allegation from a woman who was 21 years old during the alleged ordeal:

“A second victim approached me in 1993. She said she had been ‘lent out’ as a supposedly consenting prostituted woman at a party in a London house in 1980.

“The first part of the evening started off with an orgy but half-way through some of the participants left.

“Along with other young women, the victim was shepherded to wait in another room before being brought back to find Savile in a master of ceremonies kind of role with a group wearing robes and masks. She too heard Latin chanting and instantly recognised satanist regalia. Although the girl was a young adult, who was above the age of consent, she had suffered a history of sexual abuse and was extremely vulnerable.”

WideShut Analysis:

While the nature of the long overdue Jimmy Savile scandal invariably means that discovering tangible evidence is unlikely (this thanks to the culture of cover-up and inaction within some of Britain’s most respected institutions), it can also give rise to fabricated and distorted claims. At this point anyone could literally say anything about Savile for an infinite number of dubious or delusional reasons. The truth lies in the overall body of allegations, their consistency and their corroboration.

Because of this I for one am airing on the side of caution when it comes to sensational topics like “satanic ritual abuse”. Those who have made claims of its existence in the past (Dr. Sinason herself included) have never provided tangible proof. There are no hordes of dead bodies, despite claims of babies being secretly bread for ritual sacrifices. There are no credible former Satanists who have provided evidence against their so called brothers. Locations where these events are supposed to have taken place are either unknown or void of any physical evidence upon insepction. There is literally nothing empirical beyond accusations.

If Jimmy Savile was considered “important” in these rituals or even a “master of ceremonies” where are all the other victims that would have seen him? Where are all the witnesses that were wittingly or unwittingly involved? Where exactly are the locations where this abuse was supposed to have taken place and do they match the allegations? And what exactly is “satanist regalia” that can be easily recognizable?

We definitely know that Savile is guilty of abuse and used his high position in society to gain access to the most vulnerable. We know this because hundreds of alleged victims and witnesses have come forward, each with similar stories. Out of these hundreds the only sign of “satanic ritual abuse” comes from Dr. Sinason, and she has not provided any evidence for the allegations. Instead they boil down to two stories her patients told her during psychotherapy sessions. Assuming these patients even exist (we’ve heard nothing directly from them), just because somebody supposedly said something in a therapy session does not make it true. Yet sectors of the media have swallowed Sinason’s account hook line and sinker.

Satanic Panic:

Stories of horrific rituals and sacrifices at the hands of so called Satanists are nothing new. They’ve been so common at certain periods in history that the term “Satanic Panic” was coined to explain the phenomenon. The last time this panic set in was during the 90s, primarily among Christians in America, although Dr. Sinason and others also promoted the idea in the UK.

An example of the absurdity of this time was a TV special hosted by Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera. Exposing Satan’s Underground which can be viewed on Youtube features ambiguous and outright sensational documentary footage, spliced with a live studio audience, as the mustachioed hack went on the hunt for the Devil. Looking back at it now I’m just as bewildered as poor Ozzy Osbourne, who was paraded out to answer for his evil song lyrics.

The problem with the type of allegations that involve “satanists” is that they are often presented from an ignorant, religious or sensationalist perspective, with all the themes and theatrics of a Horror movie. They rarely acknowledge what Satanism actually is.

According to believers of “satanic ritual abuse” Satanism is when scary people dress in robes, chant Latin, drink blood and play with pentagrams. Unfortunately in reality such a concept lives only in the minds of those making the claims.

While there have been lone-nut “satanists” or “pseudo-satanists” in the past who have acted on imagery from religion and pop culture as part of their deranged crimes, or ridiculous ceremonies such as the Cremation of Care annually partaken by some of America’s corporate and political elite, you’d be hard pressed to find an organization, group or “ring” of satanists that actually dress in robes, chant for Satan of the bible and commit real sacrifices. In my opinion Satanism in this context is a paranoid projection of Christianity, an entertaining theme of Hollywood, and the goofing off of powerful people, who are probably quite thankful that the sensationalism of their yearly past-time obscures their corrupt closed-door dealings.


Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, of which I’m obviously a big fan.

Most Satanists don’t actually believe in Satan or God, they adopt Satan as a symbol for human nature, freedom, and to rebel against dogmas like that of the Church. Even Theistic Satanists, who revere Satan as an actual Deity/God, do not worship evil, they worship knowledge and self improvement. They believe that the Serpent in the Bible set man free from a God who was pulling the wool over their eyes.

It is of course theoretically possible that a group of sick criminals and child abusers have chosen to adopt a mish-mash of sensationalized pseudo-satanic themes and the garb of aristocratic Masquerade parties, as part of their criminal activity, but to call that Satanic would be unfair to Satanists. And if this is supposed to be taking place, victims and believers perhaps need to start gathering evidence, or at least offer coherent and corroborative allegations that can be taken seriously.

The Hollie Greig Hoax:

A lesser known story that fizzled out just prior to the Jimmy Savile scandal was the Hollie Greig Case. The plight of a Downs Syndrome girl said to have been raped by a gang of paedophiles, reaching the top levels of the Scottish establishment captured the hearts of many. Well-meaning internet activists launched the “Google Hollie Greig” campaign and some even took to the streets to protest the stomach churning crimes of the elite.

The story, which is all it seems to have turned out to be, morphed in to whatever the current alternative media celebrity wanted it to. Satanists, Freemasons, or in the case of David Icke, Satanic-Freemasons controlled by Reptilian entities outside our visible spectrum of light.

Wading through the nonsense to find the original allegation, it turns out that even some of the named members of this paedophile ring that had supposedly operated for over a decade in Aberdeen, Scotland, have left no record of even existing! Other alleged victims unashamedly named by Hollie’s mother Anne and her Spokespeople Robert Green and UK Column chief Brian Gerrish, were either not yet born or were adults before they even met Hollie, publicly denying they were harmed in any way!

In spite of claims about documentation and medical reports, when these were made available to the public they revealed that there were “no signs of inappropriate sexual experiences,” and certainly nothing to suggest a 22 strong gang of abusers had damaged Hollie for years on end. If an isolated incident of abuse had taken place at some point, the rabble that ran with the story have well and truly buried it deep beneath a mound of complete hogwash.

Hollie was found to be an unreliable source of information by the Police Complaints Commissioner and after questioning the accused, investigators found nothing to substantiate the allegations.

I interviewed a group of disaffected members of the campaign and two of the alleged abusers on the WideShut Webcast:

TheHollieGreigCoverUp.net thoroughly documents the rise and fall of this terrible hoax, or perhaps more accurately mass delusion.

Dr. Valerie Sinason and Satan’s Psychotherapists:

Valerie Sinason the “doctor” peddling the Savile Satanic stories, is part of a grouping of Christians, politicians and psychotherapists (the Committee on Ritual Abuse) that actively promote the idea of “satanic ritual abuse”, although they have yet to substantiate this beyond claims from the shrink couch. In 1994, as “Satanic Panic” was on the upswing in the United States, Sinason edited a collection of essays entitled Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse which claimed she had unearthed a pattern of similar abuse in her patients in Britain.


Dr. Sinason.

Due to Sinason’s and similar claims a three-year Department of Health inquiry was undertaken by the anthropologist Prof Jean La Fontaine. 84 alleged cases of ritual abuse were examined, and not one turned out to be anything of concern.

Regardless of the inquiry and similar conclusions in the US, by 2002 the panic created by the CRA had infected elements of Westminster. A private meeting chaired by Lord Alton and evangelical Christian Wilfred Wong, promoted the idea that “ritual abuse” should be enshrined in law so that “hundreds, if not thousands” of crimes could be brought to justice. Of course if real abuse had taken place in any of these instances current laws were quite capable of serving justice if the evidence was brought forward.

According to research by TheHollieGreigCoverUp.net, in 2011 Sinason, Wong, MP Russell Brown and other members of the CRA invited Robert Green, the mouthpiece for the Hollie Grieg fantasy, to one of their meetings at the Houses of Parliament. In subsequent alternative media coverage Green then began to promote a ritual abuse element to the Hollie Greig story, a sort of satanic “sexing up” of the original allegations. Perhaps Green thought if he won the support of the looney pyschobabble Christian lobby (CRA) the case would get more publicity. Fortunately the only people left clinging on to the tale are the pseudo-celebrities of the online conspiracy theory community, such as the UK Column and Belinda McKenzie, the former landlady of ex-MI5 agents Annie Machon and David Shayler. Even David Icke, who includes “satanic ritual abuse” as one of the central themes in his books has stopped publishing stories about the…story.

Prof La Fontaine’s verdict on Valerie Sinason and co goes to the heart of the problem, writes the author of a 2002 Telegraph article.

“It’s depressing to find someone who has a position at leading London hospitals who is so cut off from what research methodology is, and what rational evidence is,” she says.

The article continues: When Miss Sinason announces that she has “clinical evidence” of infanticide and cannibalism, she means that her patients have told her stories about them. The implication is that, because the suffering of these people is real, their “memories” must be accurate.

Naturally this has given rise to the idea that some psychoanalysts, rather than uncovering cases of satanic abuse, are actually implanting the idea in to their patients minds, or at least nurturing and encouraging them during sessions. Rather than helping vulnerable people to work through their psychosis, the likes of Sinason might be making the situation worse.

The tragic case of Carol Myers may be an example of this. Myers, a 41 year old former patient of Sinason was found dead in 2005, leaving behind a statement saying she had suffered Satantic child abuse at the hands of her parents. It was discovered that she had spent years in and out of psychiatric hospitals and private clinics after she’d estranged herself from her family in her 20s. Upon hearing about her death the family felt shattered about the claims she’d made in her life assessment – and confused reports a 2011 Guardian article.

She said she’d been abused [by her parents], who were the high priest and priestess of a satanic cult, and that during her teens she’d had six children – some fathered by Joseph [her father] – that she’d been forced to kill. She also said she had an implant in her eye that would explode if she spoke of the satanists, and that a friend she’d confided in was murdered in front of her.

Just like the Hollie Greig story, Carole’s charges were easily proven to be false, continues the report. The sister, whose murder she’d apparently witnessed, actually died of heart problems two years before Carole was born. The house fire, too, predated Carole’s birth….It seemed the mental-health professionals rarely challenged these impossible horrors. Worse, they’d concluded that Carole’s psychological problems came as a result of this fictitious abuse.

Though it’s not clear the methodology used by Sinason on her patients, if such abuse was regularly taking place, one would assume a large cross-section of therapists would have had similar cases. The fact that only Sinason and a handful of others have unearthed allegations of satanic abuse, suggests they are in some way creating them.

Today the Satanic hysteria of the 80s and 90s is considered a moral panic [1], and the majority of mental health experts and accredited psychotherapists dismiss these early and subsequently discredited claims of “ritual satanic abuse”. Various methods originating in the United States for dealing with (or some might say implanting) satanic allegations, which were often practiced and expanded by amateurs such as preacher and conspiracy theorist Fritz Springmeier, are rejected by experts.


Fritz Springmeier, author of The Illuminati Formula Used to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Controlled Slave.

Recovered-memory therapy, a lose term that refers to unproven methods of recovering alleged buried memories, has been explored in many successful lawsuits against therapists who encouraged false allegations in their patients.

As the Savile scandal races forward, it is important to address each claim on its own merit and apply it to the overall body of allegations. Uncritically promoting the currently baseless allegations of “satanic ritual abuse” gives undue legitimacy to its proponents and may end up discrediting legitimate allegations by association.


The Satanic Ritual Abuse Hoax
Posted by Josh

We Heard About It From:

Michelle Smith, author of Michelle Remembers and Oprah’s even less skeptical colleague, Geraldo Rivera.

The “Threat:”

In 1980, a book called Michelle Remembers told the horrifying story of Michelle Smith’s years of alleged ritual abuse at the hands of a cult called “The Church Of Satan.” The book, written with her psychiatrist, Dr. Lawrence Pazder, became an explosive best-seller and touched off one of the most damaging moral panics of all time. In the book, Pazder and Smith describe horrible abuse meted out upon her as a child. Her abusers were said to be a just one sect of a worldwide cult that was torturing and murdering children and adults all over the globe.

The book claims that Smith was involved in an 81-day ritual where not only Satan, but Jesus, Mary and the archangel Michael made an appearance. This was so convincing that suddenly reports were coming from all over the country of Satanic cults masquerading as daycares and schools.

People were being accused left and right of organized rituals involving torture, murder and rape. Law enforcement agencies and even prosecutors used Michelle Remembers as a guide when they were forming their cases.

The only problem was that all the witnesses were usually either very young children or clinically insane adults. No one was actually convicted of Satanic abuse, probably because the fact that the whole thing was bullshit was visible from outer space. Then again… if there was a worldwide Satanic conspiracy, can you imagine how awesome their lawyers must be?

More insane moral Panics in American History


7 reasons why religion is a form of mental illness
Article by Sweet  Tea The Southern Skeptic Fairy
I would like to propose that religious beliefs be placed in the DSM as a category of mental illness for the following reasons:-
(1) Hallucinations – the person has invisible friends who (s)he insists are real, and to whom (s)he speaks daily, even though nobody can actually see or hear these friends.
(2) Delusions – the patient believes that the invisible friends have magical powers to make them rich, cure cancer, bring about world peace, and will do so eventually if asked.
(3) Denial/Inability to learn – though the requests for world peace remain unanswered, even after hundreds of years, the patients persist with the praying behaviour, each time expecting different results.
(4) Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality – the beliefs are contingent upon ancient mythology being accepted as historical fact.
(5) Paranoia – the belief that anyone who does not share their supernatural concept of reality is “evil,” “the devil,” “an agent of Satan”.
(6) Emotional abuse – ­ religious concepts such as sin, hell, cause feelings of guilt, shame, fear, and other types of emotional “baggage” which can scar the psyche for life.
(7) Violence – many patients insist that others should share in their delusions, even to the extent of using violence.

Does ‘LOL’ Really Mean ‘Lucifer Our Lord’?
Posted by Ben Weitzenkorn
man in devil mask          

CREDIT: Pecold / Shutterstock.com

 

When we “laugh out loud” online, are we really praying to Satan, the prince of darkness himself?

The answer is no, but an image posted by a user on the social news site Reddit is warning the Internet otherwise.

According to the directive, which is meant to be shared “with Christians,” the classic and ubiquitous “LOL” acronym stands for “Lucifer our lord,” something the image’s creator doesn’t find funny at all.

“BEWARE: Stop using the abbreviation ‘LOL,'” the hastily made image that invokes the same qualities as a Westboro Baptist Church sign reads. “‘LOL stands for ‘Lucifer our Lord.’ Satanists end their prayers by saying Lucifer our Lord,’ in short, “LOL.’ Every time you type ‘LOL’ you are endorsing Satan.”

If the warning, posted by Redditor DkryptX, in the “atheism” subreddit, were true, there would be a lot of Satanists on Twitter.

“I met the prime minister in overalls lol,” pop star Justin Bieber tweeted from Instagram in one such example. Columnist Roland Martin also has a habit of ending his tweets with “LOL.”

“Can someone please tell him that YOLO means ‘Youth Obeying Lucifer’s Orders?”” joked another Reddit user. Fans of the rapper Drake might disagree. The former star of the TV series “Degrassi: The Next Generation” popularized the “you only live once” acronym recently.

Still, the image warns “Do not use ‘LOL ever again!”

Other sarcastic comments on Reddit repurposed “swag” to mean “Satan’s wishes are granted,” “ROFL” as “rise, our father Lucifer,” and “BRB” as “Beelzebub rules below.” Who knew that saving keystrokes was such a devilish pursuit?

To most people, however, ROFL means “rolling on floor laughing” and BRB is simply “be right back.”

For language prudes, the outing of these “real” definitions may come as a relief. According to commenters the Reddit thread, WTF isn’t an offensive question at all. It really means “worship the fallen.”


Demonic Possession video proves that Satan, demons and exorcisms are REAL

Posted by Derek Murphy

Demonic Possession video proves that Satan, demons and exorcisms are REAL

I swear not 3 months goes by before I see the movie trailer for a new cinematographic take on the “Demonic Possession” genre.

The newest in this long, long chain of movies (all of which are eaten up by the faithful as pop culture affirmations of religious experiences, based on TRUE STORIES of demonic possession and exorcism), is “The Possession: Darkness Lives Inside.” The tagline: “Fear the Demon that Doesn’t Fear God.”

Proof that Demonic Possession is Real?

“The Possession”, like all exorcism and demonic possession movies, claims to be based on a true story.

But try finding the real evidence to back it up – and you’ll usually come away empty handed (I’ve seen links that go to Catholic Websites that then link to Satanist Groups (who don’t actually believe in a real Satan – they only use Satan as a symbol for humanist values).

However in this case, I found a background story here which is pretty cool. Lots of bad luck.

But at the same time, I can go on Ebay and buy a magic ring full of all kinds of evil spirits or demons ready to gratify my desires.

Look, here’s a 3000 year old ring with magical fire coming out of it! Amazing. For me, an old box full of Jewish spirits is the same thing.

Our beliefs have the power to change our reality, and our perception of that reality.

We see and experience what we believe in.

Why I don’t believe in Possession

1) I’ve experienced demons before. They were a horrifying manifestation of Sleep Paralysis symptoms, which I believe are the root of most religious experiences. I saw and heard demons when I was a Christian. Later, I had UFO abduction experiences. Now that I have no beliefs, I don’t really get them anymore.

2) I’ve also had some pretty serious depression/anxiety/craziness – when I felt like every morning was a nightmare hassle and I wasn’t satisfied with anything, and nothing could make me happy. That’s a serotonin disorder. Not a demon.

3) Religious people, especially Christians, get possessed. The more zealous you are, the more terrified of losing control to those dark forces that are ALWAYS trying to get you ALL THE TIME, the easier it will be for you to lose it. If demons were real, they wouldn’t only attack Christians (unless maybe you think they don’t give a damn about the rest of us, cuz we’re doomed anyway).

But almost all faiths have some kind of demonic possession. Who doesn’t get possessed? Atheists. If they screw up, it’s their own damn fault.

The more important question is:

Who the Fuck is in Control Up There?

OK, sure, God allows us free will. He wants us to love him completely, and he wants it to be our choice.

But he never offered Satan, or the demons (fallen angels?) the same deal. They get to rule Hell, until the end of time.

And yes, maybe even God allows Satan to tempt us (like he did with Job) just to make sure that we really love him (the same way a jealous girlfriend would get a friend to try and sleep with her boyfriend, so he could win her trust by not cheating).

But apparently, if these movies and the whole idea of demonic possession are to be believed, God also allows demons to wander around the earth and take over our bodies by force, against our will, and kill people. And he usually picks children, because they’re freaking terrifying.

So there’s a bunch of murdering kids with demons inside of them. If they die they probably go to Hell.

What’s God doing about it?

It’s one thing to say that James Holmes went crazy and shot people, and God didn’t stop him because he doesn’t interfere with free choice. It’s another thing to say that maybe a demon that God let out of Hell took over his body (rather than just destroying all the fallen angels, God allows them to play a violent and active role in humanity).

The truth is this: all of these “Satanic/Demonic Possession” or “Exorcism” movies are Christian Propaganda, focusing on the only tangible aspect of their faith: the evil. (“God is Love” is an internal emotion – you couldn’t make a movie about how awesome faith makes you feel).

Satan is the god who actually interferes and interacts with humans. Satan is the only one who actually caters to desires and wishes (traditionally, God never gave you what you wanted, and Satan was the temptation of following your desire rather than what God allowed you to have; hence all of the “sold my soul to Satan” literature.)

These days, with “The Secret” and other New Age, Eastern influences, we’ve come to believe that “God” allows us to manifest our own selfish desires, that we are destined to be bountiful, that we are co-creators.

All of that, however, stems from ideas directly taken from a Modernist perspective which was fiercely anti-religious and often openly Satanic (using Satan as a liberal symbol for revolution, freedom, and rationality).

Since the Red Scare of the 50′s, and then the Satanic Panic of the 70′s, (and more recently with the religious patriotism following 9-11), Americans have been forced into religion; to be un-religious was the same as to be, respectively:

  1. a Communist
  2. a Satanist
  3. a Terrorist

Only in the past decade have we begun, slowly, to shake off these shackles and allow creative independence again – and these angry, violent possession movies are the contemporary version of the medieval Hellfire scare tactics that used to get people back into churches.

Are they good entertainment? Sure – but the line “Based on a True Story” promotes a wholesale adoption of a Christian system of Good and Evil which has always been intrinsically flawed; and allowing such a blatant misuse of the word “True” is what allows millions of adults to blur the lines between fiction and reality, believing in Satan but not The Hulk or other fictional  characters.

Now that I’ve seen the movie…

Now that I’ve seen the movie, I have a better picture of the real factors influencing this horrific story (some of these you have to read between the lines of the plot subtext):

  1. A father who’s always away from home (and possibly beats his children)
  2. A high-strung, emotionally volatile wife who drinks (and probably cheats)
  3. They get divorced
  4. The youngest daughter acts up, make-believing, talking to herself/invisible friends/ telling lies and stories maybe even
  5. Being a freaky little psycho bitch from Hell child
  6. There probably was a creepy antique Jewish box involved
  7. They probably did contact some Jewish guy, even possibly tried an exorcism
  8. They probably did say stuff like “Doctors can’t help us! We need spiritual guidance!” and reject medicine.
  9. The crisis bring mommy and daddy back together, the girl stabilizes

Things that almost certainly did not happen:

  1. The creepy death/suicide in the beginning
  2. Tons of scary moths
  3. An MRI showing another person living inside a little girl – ie medical proof
  4. The girl finding the box after her dad threw it away
  5. The girl making mom’s boyfriend’s teeth fall out
  6. The car accident at the end

That’s what “Based on a True Story” and “These Events Really Happened” means.

One great line of the movie:

Dad goes to the Jews for help. They say “These things are best left in God’s hands.”

He says, and I’m paraphrasing, “Are you fucking kidding me? My daughter is possessed by a devil and I should leave it to God?” (implying that, either God allowed this to happen, or he caused it to happen, and he will stop it only when he feels like it). It’s tricky: Belief in Demons should make you an atheist – or at least make you pissed off that God is such an asshole. But it doesn’t.


Science Committee Member Broun: Evolution, Embryology, Big Bang Are ‘Lies From the Pit of Hell’
The GOP puts young earth creationists in charge of science

Speaking in front of a wall of dead deer heads, here’s Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun explaining that evolution, embryology, and the Big Bang are all lies straight from the pit of hell.

From Rep. Paul Broun’s (R-GA) remarks at the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet on September 27, 2012, in Hartwell, Georgia:

BROUN: God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.

And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason as your congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.

Rep. Broun, like Missouri caveman Todd Akin, serves on the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

I’ll let that sink in for a second.

Paul Broun, Todd Akin — these are the people that the Republican Party puts in charge of science at the highest level of the government. Extreme right wing fundamentalists and young earth creationists who believe science is a tool of Satan.

(h/t: Benjy Sarlin.)