November 2002 Archives

November 29, 2002

The ringtone of the Beast

November 28, 2002

Yes, but are they virgins?

Two men are in custody in Malwi after they tried to sell two female relatives to businessmen for use in witchcraft rituals.

A police source in Kasungu said the two suspects admitted that they wanted to sell their relatives because they wanted money to buy food because their relatives are not assisting them since they got married in Lilongwe where they stay.
The source said the two were demanding K450,000 for each person and were targeting businessmen who they thought would need the women to boost their businesses. The suspects are alleged to have offered to kill the relatives through witchcraft.

Two in custody for attempting to sell relatives - The Nation, 28th November 2002.

More Bargains of the Day: a lump of wood, a cup and a clock

This 6" by 8.5" (18cm by 21.5cm) slab of Northern Pine isn't just any old lump of wood. This one displays a lovely colored foil picture of the cross. Fellow connaisseurs should also take up the invitation to visit the vendor's eBay Store for many more similarly tasteful items.

Is your desk a mess? Make it that little bit tidier with a Fruit of the Spirit Pencil Cup:

It is really unique. check out the picture. it is made by Christian world, inc. collectibles by Lori Kim Gan Designs 1999. I believe the material is a type of ceramic. There is a gold colored ban that says "The fruit of the spirit on it. Then there is a raised bunch of grames. On the saucer there are 2 strawberries and a bon bon. They look realistic. . What a unique and beautiful gift item or to set on your desk.

If timekeeping is your problem, the $1 (US) reserve has yet to be met on this Inspirational solid oak clock, complete with that Bible verse about there being a season for everything. The seller has loads of clocks for sale, with equally inspiring themes.

Bargain of the Day: Instant witch kit

Ever wanted to be a witch but were put off by the hassle of learning all those correspondences, stocking up on all those essential herbs and making all those bits and pieces you need for performing effective magick? Well, there's no need to bother with all that any more - just invest in a Mini Magic Witchie Kit!

Have you ever wanted to turn your co-worker into a frog, make a wish for a better day, or just make magic happen in a very short period of time? Now you can with this Mini Magick Kit, for the 'witchie on the fly'? For your magical workings each kit includes: 6 itty bitty candles and 2 itty bitty candle holders, 4 mini bags of herbs and a bag of 13 mini stones. A teeny weeny incense burner and 4 cone incense. A small plastic cauldron and a mini magical broom. These are all stored in a 4x6 pouch with a 'witchie on the fly' emblem. Various colors for the witchie on the emblem - green, purple, copper glitter, green glitter, ruby glitter, pink, multi glitter.

The cauldron looks suspiciously like the hallowe'en item I use as a pot for one of the pitcher plants.

Off by a couple of orders of magnitude

The hundreds of Christian protestors expected at the Pagan Federation event in Croydon turned out to number approximately five.

Around five demonstrators waited outside Fairfield on Saturday (November 23) in a protest of prayer, handing out Bible tracts as revellers walk in to the annual Pagan Federation conference. Protester Patrick Battell said: Unfortunately we didn't get the turnout we were hoping for. Kevin (sic. - they probably mean Nigel) Bourne, of the organisers of the PF conference, said: I felt terribly sorry for them standing out in the rain. We took them out tea but I think they gave up at around 2pm.

Dwindling demonstation - Croydon Guardian, 28th November 2002.

November 27, 2002

Is this covered by the Representation of the People Act?

A Namibian politician has been fined eight cattle for sorcery. A tribal court found Florence Simaimbulwa guilty of engaging an 'old man' to ensure that her rival was not elected. Swapo Politician Fined for 'Sorcery' - The Namibian, (via, 26th November 2002.

Multifaith initiative

In a case which shows that it's not just the Roman Catholic church with such problems, an imam has pleaded guilty to abusing four girls who came to his Hitchin mosque to learn the Koran. Imam admits abusing girls - BBC News, 27th November 2002.

November 26, 2002

Setting an example

Evangelists are annoying, but it's possible to over-react. A Chicago man killed a Catholic woman who kept going on at him because he was gay and tried to persuade him to repress his feelings and act straight.

Those of us who knew her immediately hear her soft voice saying something like, 'God wouldn't approve of the way you're living your life,' said Mary Coleman, a friend and neighbor. That's how Mary did things.

Quarrel preceded slaying, officials say - Chicago Tribune, November 18th 2002.

Evil straights.

James Andrew Smith, a Texan pastor and businessman had just finished a PowerPoint presentation and trying to open another document on his laptop when a picture of a nude boy flashed up in front of his audience. He claimed a computer virus was responsible -- apparently Microsoft products are so insecure that the wily hackers were able to make a folder with 65 pages of printed pictures of child pornography appear in his desk drawer. Porn shows up in businessman's slide show - Houston Chronicle, November 22nd 2002.

Smith has been happily married for 13 years. In response to this latest scandal, Achilles of has called for a ban on heterosexuality:

Yet another heterosexual has been caught with child pornography in his possession, and still our nation's leaders do nothing. With all the unspeakable deviant acts visited on the American people by heterosexuals, it is a travesty beyond any other that our elected officials fail to realize the threat that heterosexuality poses to this nation's moral foundation. What other evidence do they still need?
Fact: The vast majority of child molestations are committed by heterosexuals.
Fact: The vast majority of rapes are committed by heterosexuals.
Fact: Heterosexuals are among the most-represented demographic groups in the KKK.
Fact: Most homeless people and welfare recipients in the nation are heterosexuals.
Fact: Nearly every single deadbeat dad in the United States is a practicing heterosexual.

He goes on to cite some interesting Bible verses demonstrating that this mixing of the genders is not the way that God intended us to mate. (Note for Americans: if confused, look up the word 'satire' the author chose to describe his article).

I said 'topless', not 'headless'

The ghost of a long-dead dancer, or maybe a prohibition-era gangster, is haunting a New Jersey strip club.

Club workers also say the ghosts have filled the club with more boo than boobs - by moving around beer bottles, tossing the bar's soda gun in the air and brushing up against people (although none of the dancers, yet).

The club has brought in a 'ghostbuster' who says she's noticed the ghost peeping on private lap dances. Live Nude Ghouls! - New York Post, November 25th 2002.

November 25, 2002

Buttered guru

Devotees of Kalki Bhagavan have flocked to a house to see ghee and honey miraculously seeping out of a portrait of the Bhagavan.

Chandrashekar and his wife Sheela, residents of Vijayapura, claimed that ghee began trickling out of the photograph on Saturday morning. News spread like wild fire and hundreds of people rushed to the house to see the miracle. When their number grew uncontrollable, the police intervened to regulate the mob. When The Times of India paid a visit, and asked the inmates wipe out the ghee to see how fresh ghee begins to ooze out, the devotees refused. Instead, they claimed that ghee and honey oozing out of the photograph, and kumkum falling from it were common happenings.

Ghee 'oozes' out of Kalki photo - Times of India, November 25th 2002.

November 24, 2002

The Minor Arcana might take a little longer

Annabeth Robinson has created Playtarot--the Major Arcana done with Playmobil figures.

The idea behind the Playtarot website, was to create a fun website that combined my love of PlaymobilTM, the Tarot, and Digital Photography. The project has been a long one, taking two years to complete, using my spare time, and pocket money to buy the bits necessary to create each card. I have been an avid collector of playmobil stuff, for several years, and I've always liked their asthetic, so I already had a bit of a headstart. The toys themselves lend easily to a graphic look, and it was only a matter of coming up with the inspiration of making my own Tarot Deck, that fused the whole thing together. I always strive to have a sense of fun in all my work, so the two fell together easily.

It'd go nicely with what I want for Yule. (via bOINGbOING)

Not exactly Watergate

A pastor in Swaziland has cast a spell, sorry, performed an exorcism to 'cleanse' the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions after government officials were said to have broken in and performed rituals of unbelievable depravity in there. Exorcism after Swazi witch hunt - BBC News, November 22nd 2002.

November 23, 2002

Bargain of the Day: bonsai Jesus tomb

This New Sophistecatedly Designed Jesus Tomb (sic.) is:

an identical version of the real lord jesus grave , it is sophisticatedly made and it follows every single word according to the holy bible disribtion . it was hand made in jerusalem in the holy land . If you take a look at it from the outside, i believe that 2 things will interest you ...first , the rock that is in a shape of a circle and here i must say that this grave is made of materials taken from the real one !!! And second , the sentence that is hand craved on the edge " HE IS NOT HERE " !!! this is a three dimentional version , and if you open it from the top you will manage to see the grave from the inside , splitted into 2 parts just like it says in the holy bible. We highlight its quality .

It looks big enough to bury a mouse in.

'Witch' murdered in South Africa

A mob stabbed a 55-year-old man multiple times and then decapitated him after he was accused of witchcraft. The incident took place in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on Friday and 25 people have been arrested in connection with the incident. Man Killed Amid Accusations of Witchcraft - South African Press Association (via November 22nd 2002.

November 22, 2002

Miss Perceived Motives

At least 100 people are known to have died as a result of rioting in Nigeria over the Miss World beauty contest. The riots were started by youths, ostensibly as a protest against a newspaper's claim that the prophet Muhammed would have married one of the women in the contest had he seen it. Muhammed's first wife, Khadija, was twenty years his senior and a successful businesswoman - not the sort of feminine qualities the Miss World contest promotes. The area is known for religious violence, and the rioters attacked churches - perhaps a better indicator of the rioters' motives.

Other Muslims have criticized the contest as being degrading to women and immoral, and are upset that the preliminaries are being held during Ramadan. The events are only taking place in the south of the country though, and not in the largely Muslim north.

Several of the contestants plan to boycott the final as a protest over a Muslim court's death-by-stoning sentence on a woman for being raped - a major controversy in Nigeria which looks likely to lead to the Sharia courts losing the right to impose any death sentence. Miss World riots 'leave 100 dead' - BBC News, November 22nd 2002. Question #34550: How did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) marry Khadeejah? at Islam-qa has some background information on Khadija.

Sauce, suitable for both geese and ganders.

Various evangelists have been criticized for making outrageous statements about Islam, and now a Muslim activist has made equally outrageous statements about them. Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) compared the likes of Jerry Falwell and Jimmy Swaggart to Osama bin Laden, wanting to split the world into a holy war and willing to kill Muslims given the chance.

It's the incitement we're talking about, said Mr. Hooper, whose organization has been linked to radical Islamist groups in the Middle East. It's not Jerry Falwell throwing a hand grenade into a mosque.

Mr. Hooper said his original comment about the evangelical leaders was provoked in an interview with a conservative New York radio show last week. Under questioning by WABC radio's Steve Malzberg, Mr. Hooper said evangelical critics wanted to spark a religious war.

When Mr. Malzberg asked whether the Christian leaders would kill Muslims as bin Laden urges Muslims to kill Jews and Christians, Mr. Hooper said: Given the right circumstance, these guys would do the same in the opposite direction.

Hooper's organisation is known for demanding apoogies from those who have slighted Islam, but if he was expecting the same demands be made of him, he'll be disappointed. The offending comments by evangelists, including Jimmy Swaggart's demand that all Muslim students with visas be expelled from the US, provoked a strange statement from George W. Bush: Ours is a country based upon tolerance [and] we're not going to let the war on terror or terrorists cause us to change our values. Muslim activist won't apologize to evangelistsWashington Times, November 22nd 2002. Steve Malzberg's web site, where there is apparently a transcript of the interview, but I can't find it.

November 20, 2002

Bargain of the Day: Bible keyring

Now you've no excuse for not reading the Bible when for a mere 99 cents (US) you can have an ACTUAL READABLE BIBLE ON A KEY RING

The bible measures 1 1/4"wide X 1 1/2"tall X 1/2" thick. The bible is connected to a heavy duty key ring by a metal chain. What a great conversation piece, a complete readable bible you can have with you all the time. Makes a great stocking stuffer !! Order more than 1, the price is great !! DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS ONE !!

Hurry - only 200 available!

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Sexy calendars are big business in Italy, and one of this year's offerings features an extremely unvirginal Mary in a range of scenes inspired by the life of Christ.

April is a bare-breasted Virgin Mary, halo shining above her head, with her arms held out to reveal bleeding palms like the wounds of Christ on the cross, and wearing nothing but a transparent loin cloth and white high heels.

Not-so-virginal Madonnas grace calendar - IOL, November 20th 2002.

Croydon must be a dull place

Croydon Christians plan to protest outside a 'Satanic' Pagan Federation event next weekend after being shocked at children wearing black at a recent Children of Artemis event at the same venue. Bible tracts urging attendees to give up Paganism are promised, but Nigel Bourne is not worried:

This is a free world and it seems that the only religion to protest against us is Christianity which is the one that seems to lose adherence every day.

Copies of the tracts would be appreciated here at Prattle Towers. Christians to protest at pagan festival - Croydon Guardian, November 20th 2002.

The Wrath of God isn't what it used to be

This correspondence from tjc, with the Subject: The Wrath of God isn't what it used to be, is too good to re-write:

John MacLeod, of the Free Presbyterian Church, said: Look at those hundreds of thousands of people in London for the countryside march on a Sunday. Two days later England experienced the biggest earthquake it has seen for 10 years.
So there you have it. A big march in London on the Sabbath and a couple of days later Jehovah gets around to shaking a few tiles off of a roof. Absolutely barking!

Wee Frees rail against evil of first Sabbath flight - Daily Telegraph, 28th October 2002.

Nominations are open

The Pagan Hall of Shame award is the start of a campaign to rid the Pagan community of those who do Paganism a dis-service by their utter lack of style. And the first winner? Step up our friend Kevin Carlyon!

Nice title! Is that a chest wig? Kevin's robe looks like a converted dressing gown. And I think next time Witch-King Kev goes out to magically protect the loch ness monster, he should think twice about his choice of Giant Pentacle (incidentally, you'll notice that the Giant Pentacle is a recurring theme here).

(Thanks, Tez.)

November 17, 2002

What's that smell?

Christians throughout the United States are taking part in a 'prayer chain' so that God will bring and embalmed boy back to life. Zion Jungck was killed in an accident at home when a filing cabinet fell on him and his body was embalmed last week. His parents are keeping the body at home and have not arranged a funeral. Family praying for son's rebirth - Denver Post, November 17th 2002.

Nun better

Roman Catholic nuns are not offended by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, but men do get upset by the (mostly) gay male order of nuns, according to the Rev. Donal Godfrey - a Jesuit priest and scholar at the University of San Francisco. A fairly positive article in yesterday's Indianapolis Star focuses on the spiritual side of the Sisters and their good works. 'Nun' order serves purpose of faith, mockery - Indianapolis Star, November 16th 2002.

November 16, 2002

Jesus ossuary made by aliens

More exciting revelations from Pravda, this time concerning the ossuary with the forged inscription - it must have been made by aliens!

Hardly had the controversy settled down when another sensation happened. Andre Lemer said after a certain period of study that it was impossible to determine the composition of the stone. The professor stated that the coffin was made of a material that does not exist on planet Earth. Hundreds of such coffins have been found in Jerusalem during archeological excavations. The research has showed that they were made in the first century A.D. That is why, the first thought that I had in my head when I saw Jacob's coffin was there is something wrong with it. The stone differed from all other stones that I saw before. It had very small pores that could hardly be seen. At the same time, it was incredibly solid. After the tests that we conducted in the lab, I can assure you that our planet does not know this material, said the professor.

However, the professor did not answer where the stone could have come from. Many ufologists, including Russian ones, say that the material of the coffin does not belong to our planet. Dmitry Astrakhantsev, the head of the Ufology and Anomaly Center, said: Observations and research show that aliens were involved in a lot of things that were happening during biblical times. For example, the birth of Jesus Christ. How can this be explained, the immaculate conception? There is even a hypothesis that says that Mary and Joseph were warned about the birth of their son Jesus. They were informed by aliens--they were thought of as angels, so to speak.

The alien spaceship is known to Christians as the Star of Bethlehem. Sensation: Apostle Jacob's Coffin Made by Aliens - Pravda, November 14th 2002.

November 14, 2002

Get rich - don't spend money on food.

Patna authorities are looking for a part-time fakir who apparently hypnotised a man to starve his three children to death.

It is a strange case. The media reported starvation deaths. These looked like starvation deaths, but when we looked for reasons we found that Illiyas had been under the spell of the 'fakir' for the last two months, who had advised him and his family members to forego food and remain alive on water if they wanted prosperity.

He kept his family without food, and praying, for two months. Father starves three children to death - Times of India, November 14th 2002.

This is my body...

Allah and Om regularly appear in aubergines, but in Bangalore, Jesus prefers chapattis.

Sheela Anthony, a staunch follower of Jesus, came home after offering Friday prayers at a church and prepared chapatis for her kids. The children refused to eat one of them as it was burnt. After looking at it carefully, she found an emblem of Jesus on the burnt part.

The holy object has been placed on display at the Renewal Retreat Center. Jesus, it's a chapati! - Times of India, November 14th 2002.

November 13, 2002

And God said "Thou shalt pee".

In Malawi, a woman accused of killing her nephew's children disrupted the trial, complaining that she is innocent because she was doing God's work. Rhoda Chikoko repeatedly stood up and hurled insults.

I want to go to the toilet. Why did you bring me here as if I am wrong? You policeman, do you know that I can kill you? God sent me here to do his work and you are arresting me. If you want, go and ask Him about me, he will tell you. Take me to the toilet you fools! I am not a sinner.

She also claimed she had ressurected from the dead. Another of the accused, Clifford Bwanali - the father of the deadchildren, gave an interview reminiscient of the Parrot Sketch:

My children are not dead, theyてe all alive. They are just resting. By the way, why accuse me of killing own children? Even if I killed them, whatて wrong? Mind you, my aunt was only trying to perform her heavenly rituals. She is an angel. My children are still living and that is strictly our family business, he said, amid boos from bystanders.
On what the three, plus his wife, were doing for four days in the house naked, Bwanali laughed and said: We were praying to God to deliver us from evil. Let me tell you, we -- my family, my father and mother and I -- are great witches. My children were also great in witchcraft, they were taught before they were born. Now they are clean.
He added: Stop harassing me, I am innocent . And he started praying.

Suspected child killer suspect disrupts court - The Malawi Nation, November 12th 2002.

Polluting the Goddess

The River Goddess should be honoured with floats made of natural, biodegradable materials and not styrofoam according to Plodprasop Suraswadi, Thailand's permanent secretary of natural resources and environment.

Mr Plodprasop said natural materials would decompose naturally and could be collected and used to make organic fertiliser.
Styrofoam would stay in the environment for 100-500 years. Burning it gave off toxic emission like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, dioxin and carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
City hall estimated that before 1980, about 80% of floats were made of styrofoam. Banana-leaf floats then returned to favour thanks to a campaign by environmental group Magic Eye, until only an estimated 1.4% of krathong were made of foam.

Loy Krathong is an annual full moon festival which has been celebrated for over 700 years. It falls on November 19th this year. Plodprasop against use of foam floats - Bangkok Post, November 13th 2002.

November 11, 2002

Rghyrtt Hrghhtiuhdfl!

Maybe Bill Schnoebelen and Jack Chick were right after all, if M'rgot Adl'r, Low Priestess of the Cthulhu Womyn's Knitting Cirkle is to be believed:

Cthonion Wikka is the spiritual inheritor of the various cults dedicated to the worship of the various dieties known as the Great Old Ones. Whether or not there is a direct lineage to these various cults is an issue of great debate, amongst both scholars and practioners. Practioners, however do not see the relevance of an unbroken line of descent, and instead focus their energies towards the present, and the grim future which awaites all mankind - the reawakening of the Great Old Ones.

Me, I'm looking forward to reading Fat-Lesbian-Witchcraft and its Origins Amongst the Cult of Shubb-Niggurath.

November 9, 2002

Bargain of the Day: Chanukah snowglobe

This Musical Hannukah Waterball is a special seasonal snowglobe:

To celebrate the eight days of Hannukah, this musical water globe features a beautiful menorah complemented by the Star of David. Tune: Hava Nagila. And, there's more. When you turn this waterball upside down, it rains crystal snow. Perfect for any child or adult who's a child at heart. Just give the music box a twist to remember the Hannukah's of bygone years, when life was so much simplier.

Despite the promise of a free gift, I don't think Charlie's mother would appreciate it.

November 8, 2002

Kill or cure time.

Vietnam: A girl has died after inhaling a cure designed to rid her of demons.
The parents of Pham Thi My had been told by a village magician that she was possessed by demons, according to Tran Phuong, a police inspector in Binh Thuan province. In an attempt to exorcise the demons, My was held down on a chair by her mother and father as Nguyen Thi Beo - a reputed witch from the village - put a substance on a coal burner underneath the chair. My went into shock and died one hour after receiving the treatment last month in a province 50 kilometres west of Ho Chi Minh City. Beo, 39, has no formal medical training, but she had reportedly made a fortune with her practice in the village of Tan Long.
Vietnamese girl dies after inhaling cureBorneo Bulletin, November 8th 2002.

People take drugs at Stonehenge

Pravda is getting back to normal after the theatre seige. For example, did you know that Stonehenge is haunted by UFOs?

There is another even more fantastic phenomenon. Once, a group of people heard some strange sounds from the direction of the stones. These people immediately left, but the strange sound went up into the sky with a buzzing. Then, these people saw something resembling a huge wheel of fire, turning as it flew up into the sky. Later, after they returned home, they saw a female figure dressed in yellow clothes. The woman's hair was long, and her coiffure resembled an ancient Egyptian one. This even gave them the impression that they witnessed a struggle between good and the evil.

Stonehenge: Alternative View - Pravda, November 7th 2002.

Thou shalt not recover

More than 200 children have died in the US over the last 15 years of easily-treated ailments because their parents relied entirely on faith to cure them. Deliberate cover-ups, lack of investigation and poor record keeping are among the factors responsible for such cases not being better known.

Public officials, said Asser's co-author, Rita Swan, have long ignored these deaths. Swan is president of Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD). This Iowa-based nonprofit organization works to protect children from abusive religious and cultural practices, especially religion-based medical neglect.
There are many laws that allow parents to deprive their children of various kinds of health care on religious grounds, said Swan. The religious exemption laws are a rare example of discrimination de jure: laws that deprive one group of children of protections afforded to others.

In a study of one particular church, the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, researchers found that children born into the church were 4.5 times more likely to die than children in the surrounding population. The state of Oregon has since repealed laws granting religious exemption in cases of child abuse, neglect, manslaughter, criminal mistreatment, and criminal nonsupport. No child in the church has died since the law was repealed. Physician studies fate of ill children 'treated' by faith healing - George Street Journal, April 2002.

It must've been the bandages around his face.

Iranian police are hunting a fake sorcerer who convinced a would-be bank robber that he was invisible and could commit crimes with impunity. He was caught when he started snatching banknotes from customers at a Tehran bank. 'Invisible' thief arrested by puzzled police - IOL, November 7th 2002.

Biodegradable coffins

Russian authorities have decided on an unusual method to deter Islamic terrorists - the Chechens killed in the recent seige in a Moscow theatre will be buried in pigskin.

Shahidi (Jihad martyrs) believe by their nefarious acts that they ascend immediately to heaven. Using their beliefs against them, wrapping their corpses in 'unclean' pigskin prevents them from entering heaven for eternity.

Chechen Terrorists to be Buried in Pigskin - Arutz Sheva, October 31st 2002.

You might run out of loo roll.

The Bible is the least useful item found in hotel rooms. Shower caps, sweets on the pillow and trouser presses were considered more useful in a survey conducted for Expedia. Bedside bible suffers survey blow - Ananova, November 8th 2002.

Goblin instead of demons this time.

A 15 year old girl in Zimbabwe is haunted by goblins, and blames a neighbour for the attacks. The neighbour has gone to the police after being called a witch. Although free medical treatment is available in Zimbabwe, the girl's mother is sticking with traditional healers to whom the goblins are happy to speak.

We do not think this child needs psychiatric help. No tablets are going to exorcise the spirits. If it is a psychiatric problem, then why is the girl revealing our dark secrets, bad things that happened to some families before she was even born.

Condition of haunted Chitungwiza girl worsens - The Herald, November 6th 2002.

November 7, 2002

Back up again

I've just updated to the most recent stable version of Addendát which is, oh, about six months old now. The most obvious change is that I've implemented the comments feature, though I'll still be using QuickTopic for comments on the articles from the print edition. It's supposed to have permalinks too, but I'm not sure I've got them working yet. I'll keep trying.

Courting disaster

I'm about to try and update Addendat to the latest stable version, and also try and get its comments system working. If things go pear-shaped, well... If they don't, the Prattle should be much improved. First remember to back up.

Bargains of the Day: More Christian games

The Christian Ungame is a Christian board game published in 1975 and recommended by James Dobson. A potential copyright infringer is Bibleopoly, where you have to accumulate good deeds.

In the midst of all this kindness, players travel through cities mentioned in the Bible. Careful! Don't land in the Abyss! City Cards, like street cards in Monopoly, give brief biblical descriptions of the various cities. Faith Cards may ask players facts about the cities or to recite Bible verses. The winner of Bibleopoly is the first person to build a church, which requires many offerings.

You start at In the Beginning...

TV company questions phenomenon. Believers unhappy.

Three Thai MPs - Pongpan Sunthornchai, Thewarit Nikornthes and Prasit Chanthathong - have issued a challenge to TV station iTV - prove its claim the Naga fireballs are a fraud, not a natural phenomenon, or face a billion-baht lawsuit.

Local residents have long believed the fireballs -- known as Bang Fai Phaya Nark -- are emitted by Naga, a mythical serpant, in a gesture of homage to the Lord Buddha. They are seen regularly each year around the end of Buddhist Lent and attract hordes of tourists.
iTV reported the fireballs were orchestrated by Lao soldiers on the opposite side of the river bank shooting tracer rounds into the air from AK47 rifles.

Pongpan Sunthornchai complained that the documentary portrayed the people of Hong Khai as fools and frauds.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at a ceremony in Nong Khai on Tuesday to curse iTV over the programme. They also laid funeral wreaths and demanded provincial authorities take legal action against the television station.

iTV to prove claims or face huge lawsuit - , November 7th 2002.

Jesus artifact a fake.

An inscription on an ossuary which the Biblical Archaeology Review touted as the first-ever archaeological discovery to corroborate Biblical references to Jesus has been shown to be a blatant forgery. The ossuary genuinely dates from the first century, as does the first half of the Aramaic inscription - Jacob son of Joseph, but the second part - brother of Jesus was added later according to Rochelle I. Altman, an expert on ancient writing.

Please note that the fraud is so blatant that I did not bother to go into extreme detail on whether the faked addition is supposed to be Hebrew or Aramaic. (If that's a vav, -- then it's Hebrew, not Aramaic; if it's yod, then it's says 'my brother', not 'his brother' or 'brother of'. By no stretch of the imagination can one claim this to be in Aramaic... 'of' in Aramaic is 'di'.) You have to be blind as a bat not to see that the second part is a fraud...

Ossuary was genuine, inscription was faked - Israel Insider, October 29th 2002 (includes the full report); Evidence Of Jesus Written In Stone - Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2002.

Arse, meet elbow.

Kevin Carlyon clearly hasn't seen Bollocks and Broomsticks. He has a page on his website, Its a Kinda Magic (sic.) on which he states:

At last its over. The film is out, kiddies are happy and I can lift my spell on Harry Potter as the long awaited acknowledgement that the broomstick was the wrong way around has been received.

(thanks Carol)

Hinn distress

Seven people were injured in a crush at an evangelist's show in Manchester, and it wasn't an earthquake. A 42-year old man also died of a heart attack at the event where Benny Hinn claims to heal the sick. Stephen Goddard of Ship of Fools, a satirical Chistian website, attended the show and was appropriately cynical.

During the concert envelopes were distributed to everyone and people were invited to fill in slips with their credit card details or sign a cheque to commit £50 to £250 a month to Hinn's ministry. Or they could make a faith pledge of £10,000 to £250,000, or any other amount. Hinn was very charismatic, dressed in a white suit and there aspects of the event that were positive but I did not like some of the stagecraft and some of the bland messages that he gives like sin and sickness go together. At one point 12 wheelchairs were put on stage and then people told the audience how they no longer needed them after being healed by Benny. It is hit and run evangelism aimed to a degree at vulnerable people. At one stage a child in what appeared to be a bed came on stage with their nurses. As a finale Hinn got his choir of several hundred to all hold hands. He asked them to be touched by God's spirit and they all fell over as one. It is a case of where does the religion end and the showmanship begin.

Seven injured at evangelical event - Manchester Evening News, not dated - probably November 4th 2002.

It's not us, it's them demons.

The Bahamas: A Bahamian preacher is spearheading a campaign against what he sees as the deliberate work of demons. It was demons, and not people, who were responsible for a recent crime wave. So he's organised a march.

Pastor Moxey, who is coordinating the anti-vice rally, said prayers will be held to invoke divine protection against homosexuality, spousal abuse, lawlessness, witchcraft, illegal gambling, drug trafficking, stealing, lying, and other undesirable vices.

The Prattle puts a tenner on one of the ten preachers involved appearing in court for beating his wife after she caught him sharing a spliff in bed with his boyfriend.

Bahamas in 'spiritual crisis'Nassau Guardian, 6th November 2002 (probably).

November 6, 2002

SSPCA apologises to Pagans

I was away and missed this, but it's important. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has apologised unreservedly for linking the recent attacks on horses to Paganism.

However, SSPCA spokeswoman Doreen Graham told BBC Scotland that she had made a faux pas by describing this as a pagan calendar. That was an error on my part and I would like them to accept my unreserved apology, she said.

Pagans help hunt horse attackers - BBC News, November 2nd 2002.

King Kevin (again)

Scotland: Grampian Police have foolishly accepted the 'advice' of self-appointed witch king Kevin Carlyon, claiming he's helped catch horse abusers in the past. He specifically claimed he had helped police in Hampshire to catch a "horse ripper" in 1993, but a Hampshire police representative told the Prattle that they have no record of this whatsoever.

According to King Kevin, the high point of the Pagan calendar is the Winter Solstice not Samhuinn as Christian fundies insist. He told The Scotsman

There's a nasty black magic cult in the north of Scotland. I know that on top of the cases which have been reported, many more have not. The police are looking into it and I want to help in any way I can. We are not talking about schoolkids here, but people who believe they can summon up Satan and fly. We are talking about people who believe they are pagans and work on the old calendar, culminating at the winter solstice on 21 December. In the old tradition, cutting off a horse's tail is supposed to make you fly. They think it will make them like Pegasus. I have seen this pattern before and my instinct tells me that the attacks won't stop here.

The Winter Solstice will fall on December 22nd this year.

There will be an interview with John Macintyre about the attacks on tomorrow's Lesley Riddoch show on BBC Radio Scotland, and there's a chance that King Kevin will be on the show too. In a message sent to Pagan mailing lists, Val Dobson notes:

The show will be taking messages and calls: Telephone 0500 92 95 00, text 07940 92 95 00. To email you have to fill in a form here. If you're in Scotland, please listen and maybe send in a message. What's most important is to counter the claims of KC. His claims include: Putting a Death Curse on Prince Charles & Lady Diana when he was refused permission to perform a ritual to Herne in Windsor Great park; Providing major assistance to Hampshire Police in a horse mutilation case in 1993 and giving further help in other cases in Wiltshire in 1999

He's made other claims about helping the police in various cases over the years. If anybody has hard info that counters any of his nonsense, could they please post it here and I'll collect it pass it on... Even if KC doesn't appear on the show, it's important to gather some facts to counter him. Far too many journos rely on him as an "expert" on witchcraft, so we need to show them that he's a puffed-up windbag with no real knowledge.

White witch invited to help police after series of attacks on horsesThe Scotsman, November 2nd 2002 (thanks Val).

November 5, 2002

Trying to get away with it...

A man convicted of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy started speaking in tongues before he was sentenced and after his request for a new trial was turned down.

The defendant erupted in a stream of unintelligible words, bobbed his head and slid off his chair to come to his knees. A court reporter transcribing the hearing said she noted in the official record that Atkins was speaking another language. The guttural speech sounded as though he were chanting.

The judge ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation. The boy's father was unimpressed and convinced the behaviour was a ploy to get a more lenient sentence: I think it's sad that this individual is able to manipulate the system in this way. It's ridiculous. It's a waste of the taxpayers' money. It was staged. Convicted man speaks 'in tongues' - Chicago Sun-Times (via Aberrant News and Curiosities), November 1st 2002.

Bargain of the Day: Holy dildoes

Divine Interventions Silicone Dildos are a range of

...high-quality silicone dildos (and butt-toys) in the shapes of religious figures. Perfect gifts for the iconoclasts in your life. We feel they are a light-hearted, humorous look at the relationship between religion and sex...

The range includes Buddha, the Devil, the Grim Reaper, Jackhammer Jesus, the Virgin Mary and a Diving Nun, which will no doubt be popular with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. A Baby Jesus Butt-Plug is also available. (Thanks, Avedon)

November 1, 2002

Stupidity and racism together - what a surprise.

A parish council in Cornwall has demanded the destruction of a memorial to quarry workers because they fear the stone circle, and the picnic tables inside it, might be used by Pagans. Local parish priest Rev Peter Kerton-Johnson told the Western Daily Press of his fears:

To put an altar in the centre of the circle is really inviting some sort of pagan practice. I have come from South Africa where these sort of things happen daily, even human sacrifice where children are killed and body parts taken by witch doctors. There has already been an instance recorded in Britain in which a mutilated child's body was found in the Thames. Now there is hearsay that some sort of wedding took place at the circle.

This explains why there are so many child sacrifices in churches, registry offices and other wedding venues. The monument was built by quarry owner Richard England who was bemused by the suggestion: I can take it all away, but what will be next to go, Stonehenge?. Stone circle could be used for witchcraft, fear - Western Daily Press, October 30th 2002.

One for Tara

Brio is a typical magazine aimed at teenage girls. It has all the usual stuff - how to deal with bad hair, spots, dating, agony aunts, naff fiction and fourteen pages of hate speech about Wicca. Why?

For more than 12 years, Brio has been teaching, entertaining and challenging teen girls toward a healthy self-concept and closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

They apparently send their readers off on missions too.

Bargains of the Day: Christian puzzles and games

Here's something for the religious fundamentalist in need of a challenge - a 28-piece jigsaw depicting the Crucifixion!

This auction is for a 28 piece board puzzle entitled The Crucifixion. It has the appearance of a watercolor print and is actually quite beautiful. I do not know if it is "vintage", but it appears to be old. It measures 10.5 x 14 inches. The sturdy cardboard back has some light scribblings of a child, but in no way detract from the beauty of this unusual puzzle.

Despair at your child's obsession with Pokethulhu? Give them a starter pack of 'Saints' Holy Trading Cards:

Encourage your kids to trade holy cards! They have great role models on them! This is a starter pack of 10 different cards with a wide variety of saints. Bookmark this page - more holy cards to come! Lots of other bargains too. Peace be with you.

There's also an expansion pack available.

African witch-beliefs

A couple of articles on witch-hunts in Africa have appeared recently. In an article for The Times of Zambia, Sydney Chisenga details a number of incidents before discussing the recent World Health Organisation report.

In North-Western Zambia's Kasempa district, a coffin (believe it or not) carried by six pall bearers magically U-turned and forced them to standstill in front of an old male villager who was accompanying the mourners to the burial site. This brought the mourners to a standstill and on instinct they picked up stones and pelted the 70-year-old man to death accusing him of having killed the deceased through black magic.

Violence: the Chilling RevelationsThe Times of Zambia (via, October 31st 2002.

BBC News has a rather grisly article by Daniel Dickenson on efforts to deal with 'witch' murders in Tanzania.

Mbula Habuka is a traditional healer. He sings songs aimed at chasing evil spirits away. He has never incited one of his clients to murder, but admits there are many traditional healers who have suggested murder as a remedy. He says that healers are playing on deeply held cultural beliefs in the power of witchcraft and the superstition that an illness is the result of a misdeed rather than a medical problem.

The phenomenon is not as old as you might think:

The murder of older people due to the belief in witchcraft is a relatively new development dating back just 30 years. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of incidents has increased recently due to a worsening economic situation.

Tackling 'witch' murders in TanzaniaBBC News, October 29th 2002.

Traditionally, women could sew.

A group of Mormon girls in Arizona have petitioned a local store to stock more modest clothing, complaining that the only non-revealing stuff they stock is designed for older women.

Our point is not to censor anyone. We want options to be able to buy clothing that represents the standards of these girls' homes.

Alternatively, they could do what larger women (and especially larger goths) have done for years and learn dressmaking. Midriff mutiny: Teens fight for modest duds - The Arizona Republic, October 29th 2002.

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