September 2004 Archives

September 30, 2004

A long haul

India: Police have teamed up with the Orissa Rationalist Association to try and squash the belief in witchcraft which has killed 41 people this century.

Taking preventive measures too is the role of police. We are running awareness campaigns for the same. We are going to various villages. We go the village markets and our police officers spread the message through folk songs in the local language. Besides this, we have associated some NGOs with us to help us in our endeavour. We also have certain educated scientists and professors with us, said Y K Jetwa, the area's superintendent of police.
Professor Nayak, an eminent scientist working with the Kasturba Gandhi Medical College, Mangalore visited the remote corners of the tribal dominated Sundergarh district to eradicate superstitions from among the people.
I am trying to eradicate superstition from among the masses by roaming around the villages. The society is harmed by these superstitions to a great extent. Every type of loss, for example loss of honour, loss of property and loss of life, all such losses are incurred by superstitions. Therefore I want to eradicate them all, said Professor Nayak.
Slowly but steadily, his work has caught up with the tribals, who have flocked in large numbers to witness the scientific demonstrations presented by him.

Rationalists declare war on witches in Orissa - WebIndia123, 30th September 2004.

Folk magic in Russia

Russia: Folk magic is fairly common in Russian life, despite the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet government. Some of the spells are rather interesting:

Ruslan, a medical student, relates the following story, chilling bordering on nauseating: this summer, at the hospital lab where he works, a good half of one afternoon was spent running some mysterious liquid through tests. The liquid was brought in by one of the lab workers who suspected that a friend was involved in foul play after the friend repeatedly invited her and her fiance over for tea. She poured some tea into a test tube and brought it to work. After brewing some fresh tea as control, the lab director tested the liquid for everything. Protein, glucose, creatine, reproductive hormones, etc, etc, after which she publicly announced her conclusion: the tea contained menstrual blood. The coworker proffered her explanation, Ruslan said: I know, she wanted to chase my fiance away from me, citing an appropriate spell that involved feeding people with menstrual blood.

Others are more familiar:

For instance, in one of the stations of Moscow's fabled luxurious subway halls there is a statue of a dog. There are many statues, covered with patina and grime, but the dog's nose shines pure gold. It's polished by the hands of students rubbing the pooch's nose before exams -- a good luck ritual obviously thought at least as effective as studying.

A Little Black Magic in Russian Everyday Life -, 29th September 2004.

Elections happen in places other than the US

Australia: Politics and religion do not mix much Down Under, and candidates for election are not noted for their appeals to imaginary friends, or equally imaginary enemies. With one exception, of course:

The Rev Fred Niles Christian Democratic Party has a different view.
In this federal election it is absolutely vital for Christians to vote for Christian candidates and for the Christian party, it says.
Mr Niles group argues that while the Liberal and Labor parties were founded by people with Christian values, the religious influence has waned.
Family First Party is supported by the Assemblies of God but claims it isnt a Christian party, which is why Mr Nile reckons it doesnt deserve a Christians vote.
The biggest enemy, according to Mr Niles group, are the Greens, which Mr Nile describes as the most pagan party ever to be formed in Australia.
The Greens, by the way, have religious freedom as one of their policies. [lack of apostrophes all sic.]

In God we do not put our votes - Wodonga Border Mail, 30th September 2004.

September 28, 2004

Fist Fight in Jerusalem, Priests vs Monks

Israel: This morning I woke up to an amusing story at the tail end of the news, the place where they dump the saccharine and strange. It seems there's been a punch-up in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Roman Catholic and Orthodox clerics have exchanged blows inside Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity's holiest sites.

The punch-up began after Greek and Russian Orthodox believers took offence at a door left open by members of the Franciscan order during a service.

At least five people were injured in the fracas — including Israeli police officers called in to quell it.

The church is shared jealously by six rival Christian sects.

This moronity has been going on for centuries. It was so bad back in the 12th century that Saladin handed the guardianship of the key to the only entrance to the church over to two Muslim families in 1178 in an attempt to stop the six Christian sects squabbling with each other. It seems some things never change.

Jerusalem clerics in punch-up rowBBC, 27th September 2004.

September 27, 2004

Dutch MP threatened by religious loons.

The Netherlands: A Somali-born Dutch Liberal member of parliament has seen a controversial film she wrote aired on national television at prime time. Submission confronts the sensitive issue of violence against women:

Hirsi Ali, 34, who grew up as a Muslim but has abandoned her faith, said her purpose was not to give offense but to draw attention to what she contends is widespread but hidden violence against Muslim women, even those living in Europe.

She turned to the power of images, she said, to focus attention on abuse, incest, forced marriages and the suicides of young immigrant women. Despite her writing and speaking on the subject for several years, she felt the subject has remained a public taboo. Muslims deny it, she said, and many Dutch are afraid of taking it on, of causing religious tension, of being called racists.

She has received death threats as a result and one man has already been arrested and charged for sending threats. She moved to a safehouse after her private address was published on an Islamic website. She alleges that police are trying to cover up the level of violence faced by Dutch Muslim women, for fear they will offend the perpetrators.

She already has two round-the-clock government bodyguards, and she says she intends to continue her campaign. She recently spoke before Parliament and demanded that the interior minister order the police to review their definition of murder in cases involving young women. She contends that every year at least a dozen young Muslim girls in the Netherlands are the victims of revenge killings by brothers, fathers or relatives. The police record them as family conflicts, she said.

Police say they want to avoid stigmatizing a group, Hirsi Ali said. I say, we have to know the truth.

Ex-Muslim turns her lens on a taboo - International Herald Tribune, 27th September 2004.

Nothing happens.

India: The Indian government did not fall yesterday. The demise of the coalition led by Manmohan Singh had been predicted by an astrologer, and several leaders of the opposition BJP were apparently looking forward to the day.

In a country where astrology plays a huge role in decisions ranging from missile launches and elections to weddings and jobs to crises in the family and the government, the BJP was ready to believe its loss of power had as much to do with unfavourable astral conjunctions as other political factors.
When the BJP leaders rushed to Madan for their only solace after losing the national elections, he foresaw early doom for the Manmohan Singh regime by September, coupled with a split in the ruling Congress under the influence of the dreaded Saturn.

BJP's Monday blues as government 'doomsday' passes: - New Kerala, 27th September 2004.

Hospital to non-Christians - Fuck off!

England: Norwich hospital bosses have cancelled a regular fund-raising event because it might be of a pagan nature. The Sacred Celebration of Remembrance, Release and Renewal has raised cash for a variety of local charities over the past few years, and this year the Norfolk Suicide Bereavement Support Group was due to benefit. Although the event is organised by the owner of a New Age shop, it is not of a specifically religious nature:

The earth-centred, end-of-year service and celebration on November 7 marks the end of autumn and gives people a chance to indulge in meditation, reflection and relaxation for three hours.
Organiser Naomi, from Inanna's Festival -- a new-age shop selling books, gifts and jewellery in Pottergate -- said she felt she had been discriminated against and that the event was not linked to religion. Naomi, who would not reveal her surname, added: This event is non-spiritual, non-denominational and is just a chance for people to reflect in peaceful surroundings.
In all the years I have been doing this, I have never run into anything like this and it is illegal and discriminatory for them to do this.

The hospital claims some of its patients would be offended - presumably the same ones who would be offended at the hospital providing, for example, Halal food to Muslim patients.

Festival cancelled on religious grounds - Norwich Evening News, 27th September 2004.

September 25, 2004

Prosecutor lies in court.

United States: A Wiccan man facing trial for murder has been denied bail after a prosecutor claimed that his religion is to blame, apparently confusing Wicca with some of the more loony Christian cults:

Prosecutors at Legette's bond hearing said Legette is a Wiccan and that Wiccans don't believe the government can dispense justice.

Back in the real world, the charges stem from what looks like a tediously traditional argument over a woman, athough one wonders whether the rest of the prosecutors' case will be fantasy as well.

Richland prosecutors claim Wiccan beliefs led to murder - WIStv, 25th September 2004.

September 23, 2004

Bargain of the Day: slightly damaged Chevy Camaro

United States: A car which once belonged to David Koresh is expected to fetch $60,000 at an auction in Texas this weekend.

The black souped up Chevy Camaro owned by Branch Davidian leader David Koresh will be sold as is, complete with damage it suffered when it was run over by an FBI tank as the cult's compound near Waco burned around it on April 19, 1993.
This is the car that he drove every day between the compound and downtown Waco, it's still titled in David Koresh's name, auctioneer Daniel Kruse of Kruse International told 1200 WOAI news.
Kruse identified the car as a 1968 Chevy Camaro two door, four speed, 500 horsepower car, with the words DAVID'S 427 GO GOD stamped on the engine block. 427 is a reference to the car's 427 c.i. engine.

Koresh's Car to be Sold - WOAI San Antonio News, 23rd September 2004.

September 22, 2004

Jesus kills innocent passer-by

Italy: A woman has died after a large metal crucifix fell from a monument undergoing restoration in preparation for a religious festival. The 210cm Jesus landed on Maddalena Camillo's head as she walked in Sant'Onofrio's main square.

7-Foot Crucifix Falls, Kills Woman - Local6, 22nd September 2004 (via Pastor Best, OPI).

Fly the paranoid skies

United States: Midwest Airlines cancelled a flight headed to San Francisco because a passenger found Arabic-style handwriting in an inflight magazine.

The plane, carrying 118 passengers and five crew members, had already pulled away from the gate at Mitchell International Airport Sunday evening. It returned to the gate, the passengers got off, security authorities were notified, all luggage was checked and the aircraft was inspected. Nothing was found.

The writing turned out to be a prayer in Farsi.

Midwest Airlines Cancels Flight - The Guardian, 21st September 2004.

Hurricanes a punishment from God

United States: Bob Morris offers evidence of the existence of God, and a vengeful one at that:

I thought it was an interesting coincidence that a state with a questionable presidential election results would be pummeled by hurricanes just before the next election. The I thought it was an interesting coincidence that the storms spared Miami, who voted for Gore in 2000. Just out of curiosity, I overlaid the two maps: one of the tracks of the hurricanes of 2004, and one of the election results of 2000.
This is no longer an interesting coincidence. It is an unmistakable message from God. I hope everyone is listening.

(via Mary Kay Kare)

Unconventional love magick

South Africa: A traditional healer is due to appear in court on a charge of raping a client who became suspicious of his unorthodox methods of applying potions.

The healer is accused of smearing muti on his penis, and then using it to inject the muti into the woman's vagina, said Capricorn police spokesperson, Captain Mohale Ramatseba, on Tuesday.

The muti was supposed to make the woman's boyfriend more interested in her, said Ramatseba.

But when the muti failed to work, the 21-year-old woman returned to the healer on Monday to complain.

When the healer prepared to inject her again, she ran to the Polokwane police station and reported him for rape.

When he tried it again this week and said he'd have to penetrate her deeper, she realised she was being taken for a ride, said Ramatseba.

Healer uses 'penis muti' - News24, 21st September 2004.

Off with his head!

Philippines: Someone is chopping the heads and hands off religious statues in the churches of Negros Occidental, and for once, Satanists aren't the main suspects - they're third. Even hacked off bits of statues have value in the antiques trade, and priests suspect that increasing poverty means that people do not respect the statues as much as they did. But there are also a mystical explanation:

The thefts of church relics and images bolstered speculations that they are being used as amulets.
[Bishop Vicente] Navarra, however, insisted these objects do not have magic powers and their purpose is only to arouse devotion and increase the faith of the people.

And where would a story like this be without Satanists, even if they are not named as such?

Asked if the series of robberies on religious images may have been perpetrated by members of a religious cult, [Father Abenir] Pineda said he believes that it was done by a syndicate.
Negrense psychic Willy Tortosa, also a councilor of Cauayan town, claimed that the theft of the hands and heads of statues signal bad omen.
Tortosa said, People on the dark side usually hold rituals in months from July to September, in order to have access to, or to communicate with the evil side of the world.
He added that the collective prayers of devotees to the patron saints may provide more strength to the power seeker.

3rd 'beheading' of religious images alerts Negros priests - ABS-CBN News, 21st September 2004.

September 21, 2004

Bargain of the Day: Christian Yule ornaments

You are a Christian who celebrates the (pagan) Winter Solstice by putting up a (pagan) tree and decorating it with (pagan) ornaments representing the return of the sun. Before you engage in (pagan) feasting, why not try to pretend it's really a Christian festival by adding this SET OF 6 ASSORTED CROSS WATERGLOBE ORNAMENTS to the solar and fertility symbols on your tree?

READY FOR CHRISTMAS - NEW IN BOX - These ornaments are highly decorative and distinctive.
Each waterglobe features an embossed design base accented with assorted color jewels and a jeweled cross at the center of each globe.
Ornaments measure 1 5/8" diameter x 2 5/8" high and include ribbon for hanging
By International Silver Company

Secret Herts

England: Hertford is where it's at as far as the conspiracy is concerned. According to a 'documentary' to be shown on Sky this week, the town is home to both the Knights Templar and the Illuminati!

Tim belongs to a high-ranking family in the Knights Templar, a powerful society of warrior monks which dates back to the Crusades -- and who still meet at a secret location in the town.
But he denied a link with former US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, a well-known Templar, who was in President Harry S Truman's inner circle during the 1950s.
Cryptically, he told the Mercury: I cannot talk about my family connections. The older members of secret societies want to keep them secret, whereas some of the new blood is a bit more open.
I do know two members of the Illuminati who live here, but I must protect their identities.
There are powerful and dangerous forces at work here and I cannot risk getting on the wrong side of them.

Town may be a base for secret society - Hertfordshire Mercury - not dated, believed to be 17th September 2004.

A strange excuse

United States: School is a hotbed of danger to fundamantalists. What could be worse than their dear children acquiring the skills with which they can discover that religion is a load of old bollocks? Some fundies create the most elaboratly fantastic lies to avoid sending their children to school - take Jake Jenkins of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania who claims that witches are out to get him and his eight children.

He told a Times Leader photographer witches are trying to kill me. Asked why, he said, I really don't know.
His protection against dark forces extends beyond his front door.
A tree stump in the center of his small front yard is adorned with wooden stakes: nine point skyward, and seven jut from its side along its circumference.
It's a map of the neighborhood, Jenkins said. Each spike points to where a witch lives.
There's a whole bunch that live up there, he said, pointing north up Waller Street.
The horizontal stakes, painted red, point out the witches, he said. The purpose of the vertical ones? To gently dissuade witches from using his stump for ceremonies.
What they used to do is come by and sit on it, he said.
An orange plastic fence on either side of his home is yet another anti-witch precaution. They would always try to sneak over.
Jenkins won't name names, but says he's got the dirt on the neighborhood.

Everything you need to know about God

If you have any questions about God, the answer can be found in the God F.A.Q. (thank you, Novice Nun the Wiser, OPI).

Bampot tags: , .

This has been everywhere already. but...

United States: There are some people who believe that freedom of speech gives them the right to loudly harass people, threaten them, call them names and stop them getting on with their work. Faced with evangelists on the New York subway, 'Nugget' eventually snapped:

If you all don't lower your voices and cease calling me Satan, I will have to sing show tunes.
The other straphangers look at me with stony faces.
I begin to sing.
Its very clear, our love is here to stay. Not for a year, but forever and a day...
Preacher lady and the Jesus police start mumbling and beseeching G_d to strike me down and boil me in molten tar. (I look better in silver.)
The train reaches Wall Street. Confused subway riders check out the scene. I begin swaying and feeling the music.
The slamming Bible man looks like he is going to pop a blood vessel. I cast ye out, Satan.
I go into jazz dance crouch and then spring up to belt out, THAAAAAAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, HAS ME IN A SPELL...
Bible man has to get off the train as I wriggle and shimmy. That same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine!

I wish someone who can sing had dealt similarly with the character I saw in Trafalgar Square last Saturday - some lunatic with a PA was threatening passers-by that his imaginary friend was going to get them if they didn't do as he said.

Crazy Train or Emotional Subway Attack - Ladies Village Improvement Society, 17th September 2004.

September 20, 2004

Yet another letter to the editor

QuePirate has sent another missive, this time mercifully short. It appears to be the same as that sent to Red Wolf a few days ago. Let me address it point by point.

so is there actually proof for anything in your lexicon.

No, unless you are using proof to mean test, or in reference to distilled alcoholic beverages. But, through careful observation, we can gather data and use that to formulate a testable hypothesis. Should it survive all that (and, of course, satisfy Occam's Razor), the results are the best model available to us right now. Naturally, this model should continue to be tested (and changed, or thrown out), especially as further observations are made and new evidence uncovered.

What constitutes proof in your mind.

Nothing - we can only have beyond reasonable doubt. See above.

And by the way just how many Ts are you minus at this point?

To the best of my knowledge, I am not HIV+ and therefore it is not important to monitor my T-cell count.

Bampot tags: , .

September 17, 2004

New child protection policy ignored by church

England: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster has been accused of betraying the trust of worshippers at a Kentish Town church, after a priest was jailed for abusing two boys. Father William John Hofton was allowed to continue as a priest after he was convicted of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old youth, but his new parish was not informed of his history.

The parishioners claim the failure to tell their lay child protection representative casts doubt on the Church's new child protection policy.

The policy is based on a 2001 report by Lord Nolan into sex abuse in the Church, which gives guidelines on how to ensure children's protection.

One such recommendation is the appointment in each parish of a child protection representative.

The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales insists the guidelines were followed in William Hofton's case.

Parish 'betrayed' over sex priestBBC News, 17th September 2004.

Bargain of the Day: Yarmulke Bra

Remember the mantra Reduce, reuse, recycle? Well, the Yarmulke Bra is an interesting application of the second part of that:

Inspired by the MC Paul Barman lyric, I couldn't stay calm because/ she revealed a bra made of two yarmulkes, designer KS turns the fantasy into a reality.
All bras are one of a kind. The Yarmulkes themselves are imported from Israel and are individual works of art. Available in three styles: Bat-mitzvah(S/M sizes), Boobooshka(L size) and Sports(M/L sizes).
Customers interested in bras made from their vintage bat mitzvah or bar mitzvah yarmulkes, may contact us directly...

Strangely, they are all sold out. Perhaps I should file this under Intentional Humour instead... (via Everlasting Blort).

Spam just in

Sometimes the spam filter doesn't work. Take this message, for example, which just arrived. I feel the need to share before introducing the spam filter to this particular variety of luncheon meat:

Subject: Jewish Sucks --kill them --peace --alc
From: info-jewishsucks-48309uq@<Obviously spoofed address, as the domain appears to be the Israeli tourist board>
Date: 04:26
To: <Prattle Towers>
Hey afmrq, Israeli's Trying to Control USA in next 12 Years so guys beware now before its too late.
fhrbsruoajzzhatxqzpxozenvcosvgsdrkskvzmopxwwtyciquwomuinrkswybfsjmedlrvtbnytyefopgjavmamzvwncjp qmznrl

And that's it. No dodgy attachment, no link to anti-semitic site.

September 16, 2004

Thank you David Koene

I'm sure I'll enjoy!

Bargain of the Day: MMF with Feng Shui

If yesterday's bargain isn't your style, perhaps you will find somthing more to your liking in ANGELA'S MAGICAL FENG SHUI HOUSE. For example, there's this HUGE DRAGON FENG SHUI SAILING SHIP over 2 ft wood. For BUSsINESS LUCK - WITH REAL GOLD & much more:

Beautifully carved feng shui dragon sailing ship
50% OFF r.r.
bidding starts at my cost buying price

Don't forget, If you have several businesses on the go you should obtain a ship for each.

Dodgy archbishop faces extradition

Kenya: An international arrest warrant is due to be signed for the arrest of Archbishop Gilbert Deya on charges of child trafficking. And he is rather upset that the Daily Record exposed the fact that he fled to Scotland. He told a reporter You have become an enemy of god. You talk to my solicitor and you pay the price of what you wrote today. The Record stands by its story.

Deya Arrest Request Any Time NowThe Nation (via all, 15th September 2004; ENEMIES OF GOD. Wanted bishop rants at the RecordThe Daily Record, 14th September 2004.

Christians banned from learning

Uzbekistan: Two medical students have been expelled from college because they are Christians.

Sherimbetova, Artykbayeva and other Protestant students in Nukus have been subjected to a sustained campaign from the police, the secret police and the prosecutor's office this year. A teacher at the Medical Institute raided the private flat rented by Sherimbetova, Artykbayeva and two other students in April, confiscating Christian literature and forcing them to move to communal lodgings where she said they could be more closely scrutinised. The teacher also told the students that it would be better for you to work as prostitutes than to read those dreadful books

Unregistered religious activity is banned in Uzbekistan, but in the region of Karakalpakstan, Christian churches of any denomination have been refused registration and are therefore not allowed to meet legally.

UZBEKISTAN: Medical institute expels Protestant students - Forum 18, 16th September 2004.

Education minister refuses to promote superstition

Namibia: The government has refused, point blank, to allow the ritual 'cleansing' of schools believed to be affected by witchcraft.

In [a circular, sent out less than a month ago] [Basic Education Permanent Secretary, Loine Nyanyukweni Katoma] denounced alleged cases of witchcraft at some schools and expressed her Ministry's concern that teachers and pupils were often wrongly accused of the practice.
Katoma said the policy position of the Ministry was that schools were areas entrusted to impart knowledge based on sound scientific principles and the power of reason.
Ours is not a Ministry for the affairs of witchcraft and superstitions.
The Ministry therefore does not condone the unwarranted mingling of witchcraft in the educational business of our children, Katoma said.

Govt draws line on witchcraft - The Namibian, 16th September 2004.

September 15, 2004

Bargain of the Day: MMF

Feeling skint? A little short of cash? Well, as long as you can scrape together $45 (US), this Wealth Energy Attracting Kubera Yantra could help!

The Kubera Yantra is a very powerful, ancient sacred geometrical inscription on a copper plate. It is for invoking Lord Kubera, the Hindu cum Tibetan god of wealth and prosperity. It blesses the individual with sudden luck, wealth and prosperity.
This Yantra is used as a tool to attract the cosmic wealth energy, accumulation of riches, increase cash flow at home, etc. It opens up avenues for new sources of income.Worship of this Yantra is also recommended for superb growth in business, career & profession as well as increase in personal income & abundance.
Kubera yantra can be simply placed in safes, drawer, cash box, praying altar or any place where money is kept and can be worshipped without any special prayers or rituals by all races.

Such a remarkable device! But how does it work?

A Yantra works like a communicator between you and the universal forces, cosmic energies and gods. When a Mantra is chanted, the sound vibrations from the chanter's voice is first drawn onto the Yantra, from there it is reflected and transmitted out into the universe where it reaches the concerned God. The same vibration then gathers divine powers and blessings from him and returns back to the Yantra and again reflected back to the person who chanted the Mantra, thus instilling divinity into him and fulfilling his wishes. It's a guaranteed way of your prayers being heard, according to ancient Hindu scriptures.

September 14, 2004

Televangelist Tries to Gag Gay Lover

United States: I love a story about televangelists getting caught with their pants down. This time it's Paul Crouch, founder of the world's largest Christian broadcasting network, who has called out the big guns to try and prevent a former employee from spilling the beans about a sexual encounter he had with Crouch eight years ago.

Crouch, 70, is the president of Trinity Broadcasting Network, based in Orange County, whose Christian programming reaches millions of viewers around the world via satellite, cable and broadcast stations.

The source of the allegations against him is Enoch Lonnie Ford, who met Crouch at a TBN-affiliated drug treatment center in 1991 and later went to work for the ministry.

After Ford threatened to sue TBN in 1998, claiming that he had been unjustly fired, Crouch reached a $425,000 settlement with him. In return, Ford agreed, among other things, not to discuss his claim about a sexual encounter with the TV preacher.

Get thee from a nunnery: Italian Sister in illicit affair

Italy: It seems there's something in the water in Montevergine that leads the clergy to follow their hearts. In 2002, Father Vitaliano della Sala got the boot for attending a gay pride march in Rome. But this week Sister Pompea has run off with a monk ten years her junior.

A mystical crisis, said the mother superior, that has obliged the nun to remove herself for an indefinite period and stay with her familiars. That was the explanation for Sister Pompea disappearing from her convent in Montevergine, east of Naples in Italy.

Her absence was noticed when she failed to arrive for teaching duties at a nursery last week.

September 12, 2004

Letters to the Editor

As anyone who's a regular visitor to the Prattle knows, we tend to attract some of the more vapid, ranting, clueless members of society who like to remind us that we're going to hell for daring to diverge from their happy little mindset.

Quepirate has been one of the more amusing ranters, he's the one who announced that he was the messiah and when he arrived on Earth he would be taking down the internet. Apparently heaven to Earth transport is a bit iffy as the internet saw fit to ignore the messiah.

I'm not sure what he's selling this time, but it really looks like his medication needs to be adjusted. For your viewing pleasure, with all coding uglies and lack of punctuation intact is his latest missive. Oh, and he's no longer the messiah, he's just a very naughty boy the son of Jacob. I'm sure Jacob is so proud.

Video corner

In lieu of any serious stories, I present Video Review: Harry Potter... Witchcraft Repackaged: Making Evil Look Innocent Also known as Christians vs. Children's Books, Seanbaby's sarcastic look at a Christian anti-Harry Potter video. This remarkable production can be summarised thus:

Thanks to aggressive Pagan marketing, books about witchcraft are no longer found only in secret underground caverns, but in bookstores everywhere. Did you know that kids are using magic spells they learned from Harry Potter to win money, pass school exams, and get boyfriends and girlfriends? The Christians did. Apparently, Neo-Paganism has been discipling [sic] our children into dark cults for years with the help of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed and The Craft. And with the internet, Pagans can now perform rituals with each other online!

(via Ansible).

September 6, 2004

How to lose friends and alienate people

It's difficult being a young Christian and having to deny nature all the time, Dating to Save People from Hell is an invaluable resource of techniques for scaring away potential dates so that you never get to the stage where you have to resist temptation. (Thank you Andrew Ian Dodge).

September 3, 2004

The Big Bad Wolf strikes

South Africa: A somewhat precise wind has blown the roof off a house in Bophelong, leaving nearby houses untouched. The roof had recently undergone extensive extention work, but dodgy workmanship appears not to be an issue:

The incident has left tongues wagging in the area amidst widely held speculation that the wind could have been an act of witchcraft by jealous people allegedly envious of the extensive renovations made to the house.

House blown away by witchcraft - Vaal Weekly, 3rd September 2004.

September 2, 2004

Designing space the Satan way

United States: An arsonist faces prison after admitting starting a warehouse fire. Jerry Walburn has several previous convictions for similar offences. These, he claimed, the Devil made him do, having got in touch through a ouija board.

Another prison term for another fireNewsday, 2nd September 2004.

September 1, 2004

This week's Antichrist

There are many candidates for Antichrist. The latest is Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Arnold Schwartzenegger may just be a bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned Governor and nothing more. Or maybe, when you put everything together, he just might be a terminator / villain / destroyer / barbarian / predator, aligned with the Communist driven New World Order, destined to run for Governor via the Recall election, rising up to world prominence and power, who will wind up a traitor of the American people serving up true lies, a raw deal, and doing little for our benefit, during the end days time period in history or at least during the end of the United States, as the United States slips away in its long goodbye, all of which is really just a part of the greater matrix reality.

(via Cheryl Morgan).

Virgin found in Texas

United States: A Texas car dealer claims to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary on a balloon.

Everybody was blowing some balloons and we noticed that this image came from the balloon, said Fuentes. And everybody was agreeing that it looked like the Virgin Mary.

Co-workers were moved to tears:

My eyes kind of watered. And I said right away when he showed it to me, (yes). He said, 'do you know what this is?'. And I said, 'Yes. That's La Virgencita.

Fuentes also called his family to come over to see the apparition for themselves. Javier's mother, Maria, made the sign of the cross when she saw the balloon.

Unfortunately, the resemblance must be lost in the photographs—the image shown looks more like a vagina than a virgin.

Virgin Mary Appears on Balloon at Car LotKGBT 4 TV, 31st August 2004.

A life-changing experience on the cards

United States: A former mayor and bookkeeper of a Texas town have been indicted on allegations that they used taxpayers' money to pay for tarot readings.

48-year old Diana Cortez and 45-year old Sandra Lopez, both of La Grulla, have been indicted for allegedly paying a psychic almost $54,000 for consultations, including tarot card readings.

Indictment: Psychic Paid $54,000 with Federal Funds - KGBT TV, 31st August 2004.

Stunning display of logic

United States: Local detectives in Knox, Indiana, know why two teenage girls were killed by a train - it's because they had an interest in Wicca.

Sims said that materials found in one of the girls' backpacks have led police to believe that the deaths were suicide.
Knox Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Steve Sailor said Monday evening, The girls did take their own lives, and it appears that some of the decision-making involved wicca and, to some degree, witchcraft.

But clearly they weren't very Wiccan, otherwise why would the local Catholic priest be willing to perfom a funeral mass for one of them?

Deaths of 2 teens believed suicides - Post-Tribune, 31st August 2004.

Deya Reckoning

Kenya/England: Today's Independent has a long article about Gilbert Deya, of 'miracle babies' infamy. The article summarises the story so far, and discusses the history of his churches, including what good neighbours they are:

But while Mr Deya may claim thousands of followers, his ministry has found little favour with people who live and work near his church. Many complain of the mayhem caused by the crowds that flock to this part of south-east London on a weekend.

Anne Ward, landlady of the Barnaby pub, said: You want to come round here on a Saturday night. They start at 10 o'clock and there are raves going on until 6 o'clock in the morning.

It is like New York city, music until all hours. They are a nightmare. We have had the police around millions of times but they won't do anything.

The newspaper also spoke to Deya:

He made similar threats in a curious telephone interview with The Independent, which took place during one of his services recently. As what sounded like hundreds of worshippers roared their approval, the preacher threatened hellfire and damnation against this reporter who, he said, would pay the price in the court of heaven. He also called several of his congregation to testify, including a doctor, Kay Ngagba, and a state registered nurse, Mabel Davies. Both attested to their preacher's claims.

The preacher, the 'miracle' births and the lost childrenThe Independent, 1st September 2004.

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