Thursday, December 11, 2008

Monday, November 05, 2007

Annus Horribilis

My latest book is in the shops now and available on amazon.co.uk

Thursday, August 10, 2006

JMS Party During Japan's Outrage

Disturbing stories are coming out of Japan relating to the Cult of Jeong Myeong and numerous rapes....

Click here for more details.

Meanwhile, captainporridge has been owrking undercover to capture the mood in the cult now that this scandal has hit the press.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Rael told to face reality

Cult leader Rael's attempts to sue a Canadian columnist for calling him a "scatterbrained swindler" and a "clown" have failed.

The judge threw out Rael's $85,000 suit, dismissing his arguments as "airy-fairy" and noting that the terms he found offence with were very similar to those he himself employs when talking about other faiths.

The judge also decreed that Rael's belief system is fair game for criticism, especially thanks to the doubts surrounding his group's claims that eternal life will be possible through human cloning.

As the Montreal Gazette reports: 'In the doubts surrounding a Raelian follower's claim to be the mother of a cloned baby, the judge cited Rael's comment that, "true or false, and even more so if it is not true, it enabled us to get our message out to the entire world."

'In that context, even when calling Vorhilon 'crazy' and a 'fraud,' Gratton 'did not cross the line' that would make him liable for damages."'

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are it's a duck," the judge wrote, noting that Rael "even lied shamelessly in testifying about his adventures."

To get the lowdown on Rael and his followers from and to read about Rael's "adventures" with mysterious alien visitors called the Elohim click here.

Read the full article from the Montreal Gazette here.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Scientology Orientation video Part 10 of 10

You could reject Scientology... "It's up to you. It would be stupid, but you could do it. You could also dive off a bridge or blow your brains out. It's your choice."

Awesome music too.


EDIT - This video has now mysteriously disappeared from Youtube. Shame.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

For God's sake!

A man lowered himself by a rope into an enclosure at Kiev zoo this week and declared: “God will save me, if he exists.”

He was killed by a lioness.

O6.06.06

That's right, it's the Devil's Day... Although I haven't noticed too many signs of Armageddon so far.

For more info (and some shameless self-promotion) click here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Vatican's war record

Here's a fascinating article about the continuing controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII and the Vatican's continuing lack of candour about their war record.

http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article549446.ece

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Great British Yoga Festival to be held at Osho cult centre

The Great British Yoga Festival has been recommended in today's Weekend supplement of The Guardian newspaper. This innocent seeming event is being held at Osho Leela, the headquarters of a cult viewed by many experts in the field as extremely dangerous and destructive and which has a long mucky history of mental and physical abuse, and even, on one notable occasion, engaged in bio-terrorism.

Various extremely problematic 'therapy' techniques are practiced there, which have often been likened to brainwashing. It is a place no one should go without a thorough understanding of what they are getting into - and how to get back out again.

For more information on the weird, wonderful and very dangerous history of the Osho cult, click here.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Please God, fill my SUV.

US Christian group Pray Group Live has issued a press release stating that many people are : "overlooking the power of prayer when it comes to resolving this energy crisis."

So they spent a good part of yesterday afternoon at a Washington D.C. petrol (sorry, gas) station praying. Those who couldn't attend were also able to join in on a live Internet site and toll-free prayer line.

They don't just hope to reduce escalating fuel prices. Wenda Roster the group's finder explains: "It is our hope that seeing and hearing some of the nation's most powerful preachers gathered around a gas station and the United States capital as a backdrop, will remind everyone who is really in charge of our world -- God."

I'm not making this shit up, honestly. Click here for images.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

How to make the atheist backslide

Apparently, this video isn't a joke. It is very funny, however.

"Behold the atheist's nightmare!...The Banana!... Just the right shape for the mouth"

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cosmic Ordering

Noel Edmonds has declared his recent TV success is thanks to the cosmos... For more details visit my article archive.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Prayers not answered

A huge US study has come to the conclusion that prayer does not affect heart patients!

The perhaps not surprising results were obtained after 1,800 patients at six different medical centres were split into three groups of about 600 apiece: those who knew they were being prayed for, those who were prayed for but only knew it was a possibility, and those who weren't prayed for but were told it was a possibility. While the prayers didn't make a bit of difference, those who knew they were being prayed for actually had a worse recovery rate...

Click here for the full story from CNN.

"Researchers emphasized their work does not address whether God exists or answers prayers made on another's behalf."
They also said they had no explanation for the higher complication rate in patients who knew they were being prayed for, in comparison to patients who only knew it was possible prayers were being said for them."

The survey was sponsored by The Templeton Foundation which supports research into science and religion.

'God' was unavailable for comment.

Osho on Radio 2

Johnnie Walker recently hosted Veereesh, a representative of the Osho cult on his prime time BBC radio 2 programme, listened to by millions.

Presented as a "spiritual therapist", Veereesh described the Osho 'Humaniversity' he leads as a training, meditation and therapy centre and claimed not to follow a religion. Worrying as all this free and misleading advertising is for people who know a bit about Osho's dangerous history the interview for a full transcript was most notable for the Veereesh' inadvertent hilarity. When asked about hugging he replied:

"Yeah, yes, that’s what we teach. We're a hugging school. I love hugging. When I met you I thought that you looked like this image of the Johnny Walker bottle, whisky bottle. Yeah, yeah, you're a warm guy, I like you man. I like your voice; I heard it for the first time yesterday."

He then went on to suggest all members of the UN should hug before and after meetings ("that would be so beautiful man, wow!") and explained at length how he once threatened to break his sons legs.

Click here for a full transcript of the interview.

For more information on the weird and wonderful history of the Osho cult, click here

Friday, March 31, 2006

More damned statistics

A study by the university of Minnesota has discovered that Atheists are America's most distrusted minority. The university's newsletter states:

"From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in 'sharing their vision of American society.' Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry"

The paper went on:

"Many of the study's respondents associated atheism with an array of moral indiscretions ranging from criminal behavior to
rampant materialism and cultural elitism."

Incredibly atheists are thought to account for less than 3 per cent of the American population.

So much for free thought.

Meanwhile, click here for a neat summary of the dangers of Scientology

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Want to be a Scientologist?

Well,* you'll have to sign this first.

Scan down to 2.d for the scary legal bit : "I accept and assume all known and unknown risks of injury, loss, or damage resulting from my decision to participate in the Introspection Rundown and specifically absolve all persons and entities from all liabilities of any kind, without limitation, associated with my participation or their participation in my Introspection Rundown."

Before you sign up for that, however, you might want to look at the information on this site about Lisa Mcpherson. In the 17 days before she died, Lisa was in the care of Scientology t the Ft. Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. They claimed she wasn't in bad shape until the last day. The photos make that seem fairly unlikely.


*according to the rumours rushing round the web at least...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cargo arrives!

The John Frum Cargo Cult believes that that their long promised ship loads of presents may finally be on the way. When the government of Vanatu announced news recently of a Millennium Challenge Fund from the US cult followers on the island of Tanna were very pleased indeed.

As Radio Vannatu explains: "Minister of Finance, Willie Jimmy Tapangararua confirmed that the government was aware of the misunderstanding and confusion surrounding the US Millennium Challenge Account, amongst members of the cult movement.

John Frum representative in Parliament under the umbrella of the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP), Hon. Keasipai Song, told parliament this morning that members of this cargo cult, believed that the Millennium Fund, was a fulfillment of promises by its founder, John Frum, an American medical corpsman, who promised the bushmen after the war, of ship loads of presents.

MP Song said he has found it difficult to convince them to believe otherwise.

"“I can explain to them how the funds were made possible for Vanuatu to develop its infrastructure but I will not be wearing the right glove to clearly deliver that message to them," he told parliament.

"“Can you yourself, Hon. Minister of Finance, come to Tanna to explain it to them," he asked.

In response, Minister Jimmy confirmed that the government is aware of the "“problem"” and that it is looking at engaging a team consisting of members of the TCS to travel to Tanna to explain it how the funds were made available to the Vanuatu Government and the people of Vanuatu."

Looks like they'll be waiting for a while yet then...

For an outline of the strange story and incredible beliefs of the Cargo Cults, click here

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bloody Mary

Catholic Church leaders in New Zealand are urging a boycott of the already infamous 'Bloody Mary' episode of South Park, saying that the programme, during which a statue of the Virgin Mary appears to bleed out of her ass, is "ugly and tasteless."


Watch it here.

And then do penance for your sins of downloading free stuff by buying lots of South Park merchandise from Amazon.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Some guys are bigger than others

A study by Brigham Young University professor has concluded that members of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints weigh on average 4.6 pounds more than their fellow Utahns. The same study found that Mormons were 14 percent more likely to be obese.

The study was made by BYU health science professor Ray Merrill from data obtained in 1996, 2001 and 2003-2004 by the Utah Health Status Survey. It actually marks an improvement on 1996 figures when adult members of the Church were found to be 5.7 pounds heavier and 34 percent more likely to be obese.

It's been suggested that Mormons are eating so much as it's just about the only vice they are allowed, since smoking, drugs, drinking and other forms of fun are strictly prohibited.

Associated Press report that Steve Aldana, a BYU professor who presented some of the study's findings at a recent heart conference at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center said: "For years, the church has focused on the don'ts -— don't smoke, don't drink, and all the other things that you shouldn't do that are heavily enforced... There has been little emphasis on the do's - eat good foods and exercise," he said. "In the church, we have a lot of don'ts, and now finally here's a do -— go ahead and do eat and boy, do we eat."

A spokesman for the church declined to comment, said the church-owned Deseret Morning News.

Friday, February 10, 2006

While everyone's been worrying about those damn cartoons...

... the terrifying news from The House Of Yahweh group has gone unnoticed!

Yisrayl Hawkins has announced in their latest newsletter that "The End Is Almost Here!" According to his latest newsletter: "Those Left Alive At The End Of The Last Three And One-half Year Time Period Will Be Keeping Yahweh's Sabbaths".

He predicts pandemics, epidemics, fear, hatred and nuclear wars... which will grow worse each month "as the pains upon a woman with child."* Ouch. Only those who follow Yahweh's Laws will survive. And there won't be many of them.





*Yisrayl Hawkinsmay be wrong... It won't be the first time. Readers of The Joy Of Sects may recall how he expeccted to be murdered by Satan in the year 2000. "Thankfully we only have a year left of this madness," he said in 1999

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

So that's what all the fuss is about...



No, that is not a man making fun of The Prophet. It's Jacques Barrot, a pig squealing contestant at the French Pig-Squealing Championships in Trie-sur-Baise’s annual festival... Although a grainy version of the same photo is currently doing a tour of the Middle East as part of the "dodgy dossier" gathered by the Iman's objecting to the cartoons originally published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten.



Click here for more details.

Does Barrot know how much trouble he's caused?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

It's just a poxy picture...

Not even a very good one.


But there is a principle at stake. And given a choice between mild bad taste and repressive and murderous religious bigotry I'd go for the crappy cartoon every time.


To see the twelve cartoons that have caused such an uproar click here. They're all of equally dubious quality.

More details on the boycott of Danish goods, the withdrawal of the Saudi Ambassador to Denmark because one of their papers first printed the image - and the concomitant furor (bomb threats, storming of the EU embassy in Palestine and savage beatings meted out on Danish workers in the Middle East) can be found here.

To see that there's nothing new about making caricatures of God or Mohammed, even within Islamic culture, click here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

UK MP drubs Scientology

During last night's debate on the Religious Hatred Bill Dr Tony Wright said:


"I have no hesitation in saying, safeguarded by privilege as I am, that I regard Scientology as an evil cult founded by an individual purely in the interests of enriching himself and sustained by those who are either wicked or wayward. But if the Bill were to pass and I were to repeat those comments outside this House as an ordinary civilian, I would lay myself open to prosecution simply for having sought to point out the dangers of a fraudulent organisation masquerading as a religion."

Rational thought and criticism of religion not illegal yet.

The UK government's attempt to make using "threatening, insulting and abusive" language against religious groups an offence has been defeated. A revised version of the Religious Hatred Bill has passed through the House Of Commons where intent to foment hatred has to be shown and only "threatening" language will merit prosecution.

What splendid news!

I hope that I'm one of the first UK citizens online to say "yah boo sucks" to all religious groups in the light of this reprieve for freedom of speech.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Creation

From the BBC:

bbc.co.uk/thesepeoplearetoodumbtolive

More than half the British population does not accept the theory of evolution, according to a survey.

Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design should be taught in school science lessons.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI for the BBC's Horizon series.

Its latest programme, A War on Science, looks into the attempt to introduce intelligent design into science classes in the US.

Over 2000 participants took part in the survey, and were asked what best described their view of the origin and development of life:

22% chose creationism
17% opted for intelligent design
48% selected evolution theory
and the rest did not know.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More on South Park and Scientology

South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were interviewed by this month's US GQ - check it out here.

The whole interview's great. Here's what they say about Tom Cruise and Scientology:

Sean Penn was upset about his portrayal in Team America. Do you hear from celebrities you’ve mocked on South Park?

TP: We have this running joke: As soon as we put someone in, we know the next day we’ll hear from his publicist saying how great the show was. It didn’t happen with Tom Cruise, though, I’ll tell you that.

I thought the greatest thing about that episode was the subtitle you guys had, where you say, “This is what Scientologists actually believe.” Just completely straightforward: This is what they believe.

TP: It was just like, Here it is, animated. A lot of religious stories, if you animate what they say, look pretty ridiculous. You could animate the entire Book of Mormon and it would be hysterical.

What took you so long to take on Scientology? Was the network worried about it?

TP: To be honest, what kept us from doing it before was Isaac Hayes [who does the voice of Chef]. We knew he was a Scientologist. And he’s an awesome guy. We’re like, Let’s just avoid that for now. But we’re friends with Penn Jillette, and Showtime wouldn’t let him do an episode of Bullshit! on Scientology. We’re going, That’s fucked up. And hearing other people say, “You can’t do that,”—you can only say “You can’t do that” so many times to Matt and me before we’re gonna do it. Finally, we just had to tell Isaac, “Dude, we totally love working with you, and this is nothing personal, it’s just we’re South Park, and if we don’t do this, we’re belittling everything else we’ve ripped on.” So we realized we had to do it, and now that we’ve done it, now it’s like we’ve sort of opened the floodgates. People will be less scared.

Did the network have any notes on the episode?

TP: They didn’t want us to say “pyramid scheme.” A pyramid scheme is illegal, and if you’re saying that they’re breaking the law, you run into a whole different category of slander; it’s not really parody anymore. It’s always fascinating, what you can and can’t do. And it’s always so easy to get around. You can rip on anyone.

Another highlight:

TP: We’re almost disappointed when we don’t hear from anyone. The notes are really inconsistent. In the first year, they’re like, “You can’t say ‘fag.’ There’s no way. And you can’t say, ‘That’s gay,’ because it’s offensive to homosexuals.” It’s like, Yeah, but that’s how kids talk. Finally, Mr. Garrison could say ‘fag’ because he said, “I’m gay. That means that now I can say the word fag. ” Now, nine years later, Garrison can scream, “We’ll see about this, you fudge-packing fags!” to two gay people who want to get married. It’s funny to watch the evolution. I don’t know if evolution is the right word, but it’s funny.

Do you ever worry about going too far? I thought the Rent parody in Team America, with the song lyric Everyone has AIDS! / AIDS, AIDS, AIDS, AIDS! walked right up to that line.

MS: Did you see the new “We All Have AIDS” campaign? I was actually at Barney’s—which I’m kind of embarrassed to say—and they were selling these T-shirts. It’s like, Will Smith and Archbishop Tutu and Tom Hanks and all these fucking people. And there are these T-shirts that say WE ALL HAVE AIDS. Meaning we as a planet. And I’m sitting there going, “I don’t fucking have AIDS.” You know what I mean? I know a guy who is HIV-positive, and he’s like, “Dude, I don’t have AIDS, and I’m fucking glad.” As ridiculous as you try to make it, a year later everyone is saying, “We all have AIDS.”


Oh, and in case anyone in the world still hasn't seen the Tom Cruise episode, here's that link again. Click here

Vice is nice and a Matrixist speaks

A review of The Joy Of Sects in Vice magazine:

Sam Jordisan, the author of that Crap Towns book, should clean up with this because everyone's secretly fascinated by religious cults - who hasn'’t wondered what those zoned-out Hare Krishna folk do when they're not chanting around town and cooking vegetarian curry? —and you can see Channel 4 picking up the rights for a light-hearted 50 Craziest Cults Ever countdown show presented by Jimmy Carr. From Scientology and The Manson Family to the Nation of Islam, the Moonies and Breatharianism (the one where you 'live'” on light alone; not so popular), most cults are accounted for and gently satirised. Except, that is, the biggies, Christianity and Islam, which are just better established and wealthier than minnows like Matrixism, based on the Matrix film trilogy believe it or not, and Tasmania's nutty Hermes Far Eastern Shining. This is fun bathroom literature but it leaves you saddened thinking about how desperate and confused tens of thousands of people must be to allow themselves to be brainwashed into believing that someone or something can provide all the answers to their problems, especially if they first hand over a stack of cash and their 14-year-old daughter.

PATRICIA SIRK

Ok, they spelled my name wrong, but gently satirical was just the tone I was aiming for. And channel4, are you listening? You too book buying public! I'm supposed to be cleaning up, not wondering how the gawd-help-me I'm going to pay my tax bill etc.

Meanwhile, since I'm blowing my own trumpet, here's a correspondence I had with the Acting Secretary of Matrixism:

--

Sam Jordison wrote:

Hello,

I thought you might be pleased to know that matrixism has made it into a UK book called The Joy Of Sects:

amazon.co.uk.

How's that for hacking?

S

--

Hi Sam,

Thanks for the write-up. I actually purchased the book as a Christmas present to my self this December. I was however a little disappointed that you stated that the religion began as a spoof. All in all though I was very pleased with the treatment you gave Matrixism. I'll be sure to recommend the book to our fellow matrixists.

Also I will pass the information along to W***. I believe she was the person who you first corresponded with. You will be sad to know that she gave up being our secretary because she couldn't deal with the death threats and such.

You might also be interested to know that Matrixism has been referenced in "Religion and Popular Culture" by A. Possamai. The nifty aspect of this refernce is that it is part of an academic series. It is therefore a scholarly reference and can be sited when writing academic papers. Of course your hack will reach many more people! Again thank you and kudos.

Some things have changed in the FAQ of our website that you will probably be interested in reading.

Regards,

Mark X

--

So I was wrong about it being a spoof - for, which Matrixists, I sincerely apologise. I'm also alarmed by the "death threats and such". What's "and such". Poor W***!

All the same, a very heartening email - especially after all the reviews I've been getting on amazon complaining about my research techniques and 'spritual fence sitting'. ON THE SUBJECT OF WHICH, it's a toilet book! Who cares about my spiritual journey? And I did do lots of first hand research. Months of it. Hard grind. Getting into some very weird situations. The cheek! Also, I know I'm in a state of heightened paranoia viz cults, but it struck me that the people writing my one star reviews appear to reading from the same hymn sheet. It's almost as if I've touched a nerve... Haha.

Here's a link for Matrixism by the way:

Matrixism

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

An unholy alliance

Christian Voice is being helped by the far-right British National Party in its campaign against Jerry Springer The Opera.

The Opera begins its national tour at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth on Friday (booking info. available here).

According to this weekend's Observer, Local BNP leader Graham Green said: "We are totally opposed to this theatre production, and our members have been helping to hand out pro-Christian leaflets."

The paper also reports that the leader of Christian Voice, Stephen Green, said: "There may have been BNP members present at our meeting - there may also have been Labour supporters. We don't ask people for their voting records."

His stated desire to bring back a Britain that is more like the 1950s takes on a darker (or should that be whiter?) hue in the light of this knowledge, however.

An ommission

It's been pointed out to me that I failed to post the best/worst Christian album sleeve of all time a few days ago... So here we go:



Words fail me.

I've also learned that most of these are taken from a book called The Worst Album Covers In The World Ever by Nick DiFonzo. Wish I'd thought of that...

Catholic Guilt - continued

Readers of The Joy Of Sects may remember several allusions there to the Vatican's not entirely honourable record during World War II. It looks like we're about to learn a lot more about this unsavoury subject, thanks to a court case in the USA.

The US supreme court has just dismissed an appeal by the Vatican Bank to dismiss lawsuits brought against it by representatives of holocaust survivors so a trial should be taking place soon. The allegations brought by these complainants link Giovanni Battista Montini to the theft of property of Jewish, Serb, Russian, Ukrainian and Roma victims during World War II in Yugoslavia (Montini was the Vatican's deputy secretary of state under the pope during the war and later became Pope Paul VI). It's also been alleged that Montini helped Croatian war criminals escape justice after the war and played a key role in the Vatican's 'Rat line' system which helped Klaus Barbie ("the butcher of Lyon"), Adolf Eichmann, Dr. Josef Mengele and Franz Stengel, the commander of the Treblinka death camp, among others, get out of Europe using Church and Red Cross papers.

This article in Haaretz contains a more detailed summary of the issues. Perhaps not the most reliable news source, but certainly worth reading.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Satan

... may not have the best tunes after all.









[with thanks to Al.]

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Trapped in the closet

The Sun newspaper today reports that the South Park episode during which one of the characters labels Scientology "a big fat global scam" and Tom Cruise refuses to come out of the closet will not be shown in the UK.

Apparently Paramount are afraid that the actor will sue them if they show the programme again.

Luckily, UK audiences can watch the episode here.

It's very funny.

Isaac Hayes' Chef character does not make an appearance. Sadly.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Praise Be.

Another review:

From the February Boys Toys.

"With an estimated 200 established religions and 500 extreme cults in Britain alone, it's about time someone catalogued them all. Stepping up to the plate then is Sam 'Crap Towns' Jordison to tell us all about Matrixism and of course the Children Of God's Happy Hookers for Jesus. Praise Be."

Three out of four stars.

Sects in The Sun

Am delighted to report that The Joy Of Sects has had a write up from The Sun online - here.
The bit about The Flat Earth society is especially funny - wish I'd thought of those gags.

Have also had a very pleasing review in Nuts magazine:

'Endless strange cults are listed here, from ancient groups who wanked in public to Swiss weirdos who killed themselves while waiting for aliens to arrive. Nutters.'
Four stars.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Well, did Tom Cruise dance with aliens?

An article I wrote that appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on 1 Jan 2006.

"Hello, we're from the Church Of Jesus Christ Of The Latter Day Saints…"

"Great," I said, "Come in."

"What?"

Mormons who are out cold-calling don't normally expect that kind of response. Abuse, yes. Door slamming, undoubtedly. There was even one sad occasion involving hot pursuit with a blow-torch, the two smart young men informed me after I'd finally persuaded them to cross my threshold and drink some water - not tea, they don't touch caffeine. My enthusiasm had floored them. It was only when I explained that I was writing a book about cults, cranks and religious eccentrics that they began to understand. They were so unsettled that they agreed to talk to me anyway.

It was less than a week since I'd signed my contract and I was already completely obsessed. I knew that I was because of the wistful half-smile on the face of my long-suffering girlfriend Eloise when she came downstairs to discover me and my new Mormon friends deep in conversation about the angel Moroni. The last time I'd seen that look had been in a multi-storey car-park in Luton where I was taking pictures of obscene graffiti for my previous book about Crap Towns. It's the kind of expression I imagine a doting mother adopts when her young child proudly presents the 'art' it's created on the walls of her living room.

Back then, Elly had allowed me to persuade her to spend extended periods of time in Thurso and Morecambe and even Hull. Small wonder that she blanched visibly when I started to rant enthusiastically about Findhorn, a foundation in the windswept far North East of Scotland established because of the communicative powers of the local cabbages…

Trooper that she is, she didn't complain. Not when she found her house full of Jehovah's Witnesses, nor when a peaceable evening stroll a few weeks later ended in us being chased up the road by a member of the Jesus Army who was shouting: "To think that Jesus died for you."

However, I still count it fortunate that Elly was spared my most debasing experience. This occurred in the Scientology Centre on London's Tottenham Court Road where I blew a whole afternoon's patient research with one foolish remark:

"This isn't quite what I was expecting," I said. "I was told there's lots of stuff about aliens."
.
"What a load of crap!" yelled the now furious, but hitherto cloyingly polite representative. "Where did you hear about that?"

"Er…"

"Come on! It's bullshit! Do I look the kind of person that would believe in aliens?"

"Er… maybe I read it in relation to Tom Cruise or something. Something about…"

"Oh please. Tom Cruise is one of the nicest people I've ever met. Do you think he looks like the kind of person that you'd find dancing around with aliens?"

It was a question I honestly couldn't answer.



--

Appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on 1 Jan 2006.

I had to leave the Scientology Centre pretty quickly as a result of this exchange.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Judge tells priest to prove that Christ exists

An interesting story in yesterday's Times. An Italian judge has ordered a priest to appear in court this month to prove that Jesus Christ existed.
.

Gentle Wind Blown Out Of Court

Those that have read the entry on the Gentle Wind Project in The Joy Of Sects (they're the ones with the spiritually inspired healing devices and sand filled alien-desgined 'pucks'), will be glad to know that the organisation's lawsuit against former members Jim Bergin and Judy Garvey has been dismissed from the federal court in the USA.

Bergin and Garvey's account of the abuses they and others suffered at the hands of the leaders of the GWP (the cause of the lawsuit) should therefore be easily accessible for the forseeable future. It's a great victory for freedom of speech on the internet. To celebrate this freedom and see what all the fuss was about I'd recommend taking a look at www.windofchanges.org.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The truth is out there...



The Joy Of Sects - an A-Z of cults, cranks and religious eccentrics is due to hit the shelves of UK bookshops this week.

Here's the full A-Z list of entries:

The Aetherius Society, The Apostles of Infinite Love, Aum Shinri Kyo, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the Sannyasin (aka Osho), Arthur Blessit, Branch Davidians (David Koresh) , Breatharianism, British Israelism, Cargo Cults, Chen Tao, Christian Voice, The Coalition Against Civilisation, Creflo Dollar Ministries, Aleister Crowley, The Cynics, Dame Eleanor Davies, Divine Madness, The Emin (aka The Template Foundation), Exegesis, The Family (aka The Children Of God), The Findhorn Foundation, The Flat Earth Society, The Garbage Eaters (aka The Brethren), The Gentle Wind Project, Hermes Far Eastern Shining, Ho-no-Hana Sampogyo, The House of Yahweh, The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (aka Hare Krishna), Dr Gustav Jaeger and the science of psycho-osmology, Jehovah’s Witnesses (aka The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society), The Jesus Army, Joachim of Fiore, The Kabbalah Centre, The Latter-day Saints, Klaus Ludwig and the Blood Friends, The Manson Family (Charles Manson), Matrixism, William Miller and the Millerites, Morningland, Moses of Crete, The Nation of Islam, New Acropolis, Opus Dei, The Order of the Solar Temple, The Panacea Society, The Panawave Laboratory Group, The People’s Temple, Queen Shahmia, RaĆ«lism (Raelism), The Ranters, Roman Catholicism, The Church of Satan, Sathya Sai Baba, Scientology, The Society of Women in the Wilderness, The Thugs, The Ticklers, Truth Missionaries Chapter of Positive Accord, Unarius, The Unification Church (aka The Moonies), Vibrational Individuation Programme, Voluntary Human Extinction Movement , The Westboro Baptist Church, XXXX (aka The No Names, The Two-By-Twos), Yahweh Ben Yahweh and the Nation of Yahweh , Sabbatai Zevi.

Please run out and buy it, tell all your friends, order it from amazon.co.uk if you live abroad etc, etc.

Thanks!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Moon landing

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, an octogenarian who once appeared in the Guinness Book of Records for marrying the most couples in one go and the leader of The Unification Church, the group most commonly known as the Moonies is on his way to the UK.

Michael Howard banned him in 1995 as a threat to public order but Charles Clarke's home-office have now been quoted as saying:
"We can confirm that the exclusion order against him has been lifted.

"We keep exclusions under review. The Unification Church in the United Kingdom is extremely small and any visit by its founder is considered unlikely to pose any threat to the public order of this country."

He's due to arrive in his private Lear Jet in time to give a speech to religious conference, almost exactly 70 years since the day he claimed to meet Jesus on a hillside.

More details can be found here.

Full details of his extraordinary career can be found in The Joy Of Sects.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Good news, for a change

The British House of Lords have stalled the Religious Hatred Bill.

Report here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Be afraid...

New Labour's independent school plan:ethnic division, religious division.

Christian groups are already lining up to take over schools.

Read about it here.

Write to your MP here.

Unless of course, you want the next generation to believe rather than think.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Blackadder holds forth

"To criticise people for their race is manifestly irrational but to criticise their religion, that is a right"

In full: Rowan Atkinson speech on the UK religious hate Bill.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Call to boycott Scientology

Not a bad idea...

stopscientology.com

Although it's going to be hard to stop watching the Simpsons/ listening to Isaac Hayes.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Judge a book...





... by its cover. I think if you click on the image you'll be able to see more.

I know I've mentioned this already. But! The Joy Of Sects is available to pre-order from amazon now!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

For Rael?



No, this is not a satire.

It's the Raelian summer seminars.

Especially noteworthy are the new date for the arrival of the Elohim (around 2025 - not long!), the prophet Rael's impressive singing skills, the Raelian funk band and Glen Carrter introducing his new song Elohim. "What an amazing performance he gave us..."

Fans of nihilistic sex will also be pleased to note that Michel Houellebecq makes an appearance.

For those that don't know, Raelism was started in the 1970s by former motoring journalist Claude Vorilhon after a series of enlightening alien encounters during which he shared an 'unforgettable' bath with several robot women. They now believe that humanity was created 25,000 years ago, cloned by alien scientists called the Elohim and we need to set up an embassy for the Elohim so they can come back to Earth. Meanwhile, they say, let’s have some sexy massages. They're famous for claiming to have cloned a human child and attempting to make Eminem an honorary priest. There's plenty more about them in the Joy Of Sects.


Cartoon by Joe

Friday, September 30, 2005

Good Book = Bad influence

An American Social Scientist, Gregory Paul, has conducted a large scale survey (as reported in The Times) which he claims refutes "the widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster."

Mr Paul used data from the International Social Survey Programme, Gallup and other research bodies to reach the conclusion that belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems. Apparently, the more devout a society is, the more likely it is to suffer from crime, suicide and social dysfunction --- not to mention gonorrhea and syphilis.

Space Cadets

A sleepy little town in Puerto Rico is to build one of the world's only alien landing strips.

A local school-teacher, Reynaldo Rios has already encouraged one of his neighbours to erect a sign on his land saying "Extra-terrestrial route". The next stage is a $100,000, 80foot long landing zone, complete with pyramids as control towers because "aliens like those."

The local mayor has lent his support to the plans. He's one of the many locals who claim to have already seen UFO activity in the skies near their homes. Cynics have suggested that these strange lights and flashes are more likely to have been the activities of a US air force aerostat; a tethered blimp with a radar system situated nearby to detect low-flying drug smuggling planes. However, hundreds of paranormal-hungry tourists have already visited since Rios' sign was erected and some commentators are already suggesting the area could become the next Roswell.

Meanwhile, over in California, the Unarius society remain convinced that their friends the Space Brothers will visit the landing zone they have prepared. They're holding their 22nd International Conclave Of Light on October 7-9, where, for the bargain fee of $195, you can learn more about the 32 planets of the Interplanetary Federation and Earth's own invitation to become the 33rd member of this inter-galactic 'United Nations.' Some meals and all Conclave activities are included in the price.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Papal Bull



The Vatican has reacted angrily to claims made by the UN's chief war crimes prosecutor, Caria Del Ponte, that the Roman Catholic Church is hiding Ante Govina, a former Croatian general currently indicted for his part in the horrors of the war in the former Yugoslavia.

General Govina is said to have masterminded the massacre of at least 150 Serb civilians and the expulsion of 150,000 others. Ms Del Ponte told The Daily Telegraph that she has information that "he is hiding in a Franciscan monastery and so the Catholic Church is protecting him. I have taken this up with the Vatican and the Vatican totally refuses to cooperate with us."

A Vatican spokesman said that Ms Del Ponte had failed to present them with sufficient evidence and was trying, improperly, to use the Vatican as an enforcement tool.

Those with long memories will recall that this 'use' is something the Vatican has never liked. It would, for instance, have restricted its officials' ability to spirit the Nazi 'Transportation Administrator' Adolf Eichmmann out of Germany at the end of the Second World War when he was wanted for his central role in the extermination of millions.

Blood Money

A Roman Catholic Bishop in Mexico has claimed that the church has no obligation to investigate whether its donations come from drug trafficking.

Speaking to the Televisa television network, Bishop Ramon Godinez said: "If they have money, they have to spend it; I don't know why such a scandal has been made of this. If a drug trafficker gives, we are not going to investigate if he's a trafficker or not.

"Let me explain: We live on this, on the offerings of the faithful. And we do not investigate where they acquired the money."

Earlier on he'd already claimed that money can start out being "dirty" but "can be transformed" when it enters the church.

The statements are especially interesting since only the week before Pope Benedict XI had just been explaining the terrible effect of drugs and corruption on life in Mexico.

"All this leads to various forms of violence, indifference and contempt for the inviolable value of life," the pope said.

Quite.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Talk to God

Click here. It's better than working anyway.

Jerry Spinger The Opera

In spite of the threat of pickets, legal action and general harrassment from Christian Voice, the Jerry Springer The Opera tour is going ahead.

Book now to avoid disappointment, help protect freedom of expression and most excitingly (if you believe this press release) "bring the judgement of Almighty God on the United Kingdom."

So much Word, so little time

The Bible has been condensed to an easy 100-minute read by former teacher Rev Michael Hinton, who claims to have cut out the sub-plots and "majored" on Jesus.

It will be interesting to see if he's kept all that stuff about when it's ok to rape and pillage. Eg:

Deuteronomy 21, Versus 10-14.
When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive. And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife. Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head; and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and mother a full month; and after that thou shalt go unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

Or all the stuff about the evils of not being straight, revenge, etc and blah, blah, blah.

And as one smart Christian blogger asks, did Rev Michael include the following passage from Revelation?

Revelation 22:18-20

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Mind you, I'd rather take away than add. There's an awful lot of plagues in there. And I don't think my neighbours would thank me for bringing down all those locusts for a start.