November 2006 Archives

November 29, 2006

Dee, John Dee

With Casino Royale in the cinemas right now, it seems a good time to point out Ian Fleming's occult connections. Some time before I finish writing this, I might take that large scholarly biography of him off the bookshelf, but let's face it, the web's more fun.

It's pretty well known that Fleming worked for naval intelligence during WWII, and that Bond is a bit of a Mary-Sue. There it is alleged that he used occultists to help lure Rudolf Hess to Britain.

Ian Fleming knew that Hitler, Himmler and Hess were all fascinated by the occult, particularly Astrology, but also by Occultist rituals. Secret Agents such as Frau Nagenast , an Astrologer who Hess consulted and paid, were employed to produce charts that pointed to the 10 May being a propitious moment for Hess to fly to Britain. Fleming carefully made sure that the Astrological forecasts that Hess received from his usual Astrologers contained very similar information. This was accomplished using intrigue, bribery and forgery. [The British Conspiracy]

So far, so reasonable, but then the account starts to get a little bizarre:

Ian Fleming also carried out Operation 'Mistletoe'. Operating with Aleistair Crowley, an expert in German occultism, Fleming and others carried out secret occult rituals in Ashdown Forest. These rituals had something to do with the fact that many leading Nazis were members of the Order of the Golden Dawn - an occult secret society. Occultism was the driving force behind many of the Nazi Party's organisations. The SS were brainwashed and indoctrinated using occult ceremonies. Two German SS officers, codenamed: 'Kestrel' and 'Sea Eagle' were contacted through the the Romanian Mission in London. They attended the rituals in Ashdown Forest, and no doubt reported back to Rudolf Hess that the Order of the Golden Dawn was alive and well amongst prominent members of British society, and that they were waiting to take power once peace was established. Hess was convinced that his plan to bring peace with Britain could lead to greater things. Perhaps even Britain joining Germany in Hitler's Armaggedon-like struggle against Soviet Russia.

Of course, all this was at a time when Britain was led by a druid. What else can the web tell us? How about the significance of the number 007?

The original 007 was John Dee, the leading scholar of the day, an occultist who served as a secret agent for Queen Elisabeth I. At that time--the Sixteenth Century--England was challenging the number one sea power Spain. Dee not only kept track of Spanish naval preparations, but also helped create a defeatist atmosphere by spreading the rumor, through personal astrological forecasts he prepared for the King of Poland and the Emperor of Bohemia--knowing the predictions would be repeated abroad, that storms would cause the defeat of a great empire in 1588. Throughout Europe everyone understood the `great empire' to be Spain, whose Armada was in fact defeated by the British in 1588. You might say it was simply a good weather forecast, but the prediction was widely believed and created a dearth of good sailors to man the Spanish ships. Powerful, effective propaganda. Dee also cast the Queen's horoscope and set the date for her coronation.

Dee introduced cryptography into the spy network run by Sir Francis Walsingham, and signed his own occult communications 007, the number later adopted by Ian Fleming in his James Bond novels. Ian Fleming served as assistant to the director of British naval intelligence during World War II, and knew that Dee was one of the founding fathers of his own organization. [Jack Parsons and the Curious Origins of the American Space Program]

And, alas, that's about it really. Winston Churchill is the one who really seems to have interested the kooks, going by articles such as Churchill’s Druids and Britain's Satanic Prime Minister (despite the title, this is a sensible article about occultism in early-mid 20th century Britain), Winston Churchill, Illuminati, and The "Ugly" Cause of World War Two. Actually, that last one merits an except:

Hitler was created by a largely homosexual occult secret society that spanned British and Nazi elites. This was called the Thule Society in Germany and the Order of the Golden Dawn in England. Winston Churchill, a Druid, was part of this occult scene. (He was also a friend of Edward VIII, considered a Nazi sympathizer.) But the Nazis branch was not aware of the hidden English agenda...

November 27, 2006

Peace on earth and mercy mild

United States: A couple of tales of religious tolerance and love.

Michaelson: no evidence, what a suprise.

Australia: The Ordo Templi Orientis has come to a settlement with a woman who accused them of ritual abuse:

In a settlement reached today, Dr Michaelson will attempt to have the offending website shut down and has acknowledged no proof has ever been produced to support the allegations, which caused serious offence to the society's members.

Groups settle row over website paedophile claimsABC News, 27th November 2006; see also Myth promoter's lies land her in courtPagan Prattle, 23rd November 2006.

Unintelligent Education

United Kingdom: A few weeks ago, we reported on a creationist group which had sent literature to British schools urging them to teach superstition instead of science. The Department for Education and Skills made a statement that neither intelligent design nor creationism are recognised scientific theories and they are not included in the science curriculum, and even the Prime Minister had something to say on the matter when he was interviewed by New Scientist:

[The teaching of creationism] can be hugely exaggerated. I've visited one of the schools in question and as far as I'm aware they are teaching the curriculum in a normal way. If I notice creationism becoming the mainstream of the education system in this country then that's the time to start worrying.

One correspondent wrote to point out that he was being somewhat complacent, and warned I'm sorry, Mr Blair. If we do reach that stage it will be too late, and another, James Williams Falmer of the University of Sussex School of Education, repeated the warning, with more detail:

Mr Blair's statement about his visit to the Vardy Foundation's King's Academy indicating that, as far as I'm aware they are teaching the curriculum in a normal way is surprising since Vardy schools have publicly accorded equal importance to creationism and theories of evolution. Indeed Stephen Layfield, the head of science at another Vardy academy - Emmanuel College Gateshead - backs lessons on creationism that contain factual errors and unscientific ideas on the relationships of living organisms. That is not at all what I would call normal science curriculum teaching. He is also a Director of the newly instigated Truth in Science movement, that appears to have sufficient funding and determination to distribute thinly disguised six-day creationist teaching materials to all secondary schools, masquerading as science lessons. They clearly intend to make creationist teaching in science mainstream.

So is the Prime Minister lying again, or merely mistaken? You see, it seems that some schools have not immediately binned the Truth in Science materials, and have even been using them!

Dozens of schools are using creationist teaching materials condemned by the government as not appropriate to support the science curriculum, the Guardian has learned.

The packs promote the creationist alternative to Darwinian evolution called intelligent design and the group behind them said 59 schools are using the information as a useful classroom resource...

...The DVDs were produced in America and feature figures linked to the Discovery Institute in Seattle, a thinktank that has made concerted efforts to promote ID and insert it into high school science lessons in the US. Last year a judge in Dover, Pennsylvania, ruled that ID could not be taught in science lessons. Intelligent design is a religious view, a mere relabelling of creationism, and not a scientific theory, he wrote in his judgment.

That judge is not the only one to see the materials as nothing more than religious propaganda.

But leading scientists argue that ID is not science because it invokes supernatural causes. "There is just no evidence for intelligent design, it is pure religion and has nothing to do with science. It should be banned from science classes," said Lewis Wolpert, a developmental biologist at the University of London and vice-president of the British Humanist Association.

And Phil Willis, a Liberal Democrat MP was also worried:

I am flabbergasted that any head of science would give credence to this creationist theory and be prepared to put it alongside Darwinism, he said. Treating it as an alternative centralist theory alongside Darwinism in science lessons is deeply worrying.

Except Intelligent Design is not a theory, which requires substantial evidence, testing and to be useful as a predictive tool—at most it might be an hypothesis (assuming there was any way of testing it). But even the Grauniad seems to have difficulty understanding that.

Revealed: rise of creationism in UK schoolsThe Guardian, 27th November 2006; Combating creationismNew Scientist Web Letters, 25th November 2006; Combating creationismNew Scientist Letters, 25th November 2006; Interview: Tony Blair on scienceNew Scientist, 4th November 2006.

November 23, 2006

Now science is 'the occult', too

United Kingdom: It's long been noticed that censorware used to limit internet access seems to reflect the subjective opinions of (often religious) company owners, and their tendency to block sites on feminism, religions other than evangelical Christianity, and lgbt issues. Has a correspondent to New Scientist's Feedback column fallen victim to more religious censorship?

HAVE creationists seized control of the UK's net filters? After buying Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, Eliot Attridge thought it worth visiting Dawkins's website from the school where he works.

Unfortunately, the school has installed a net filter called Netsweeper which, Attridge discovered, blocks access to on the grounds that it is an occult site.

Amazed - as Dawkins is possibly the man least likely to be a proponent of occultism - Attridge decided to check his rating with another net filter called Sonicwall. This described Dawkins's site as religious, a categorisation Dawkins would probably find even more disturbing than the occult one. It all looks very suspicious.

Feedback: Richard Dawkins and the occultNew Scientist, 25th November 2006.

Myth promoter's lies land her in court

Australia: It takes about a day to get between Prattle Towers Northern Hemisphere in Edinburgh, and Prattle Towers Southern Hemisphere near Sydney, so you have to wonder why the news that Satanic Ritual Abuse was a pernicious myth appears not to have made the journey to Australia yet.

Reina Michaelson , a psychologist, believes that the O.T.O. hosts parties where children are sexually abused, sacrificed and eaten, and published an article to that effect. But Victoria has laws against religious vilification, and they apply to all religious groups, so the O.T.O. sued.

It has complained under Victoria's religious hatred law that Dr Michaelson and her organisation vilified OTO members, causing revulsion, ridicule, hatred and contempt.

According to OTO's statement of complaint, Dr Michaelson said it was not a religion but a child pornography and pedophile ring, that its members practised trauma-based mind control, sexual abuse and satanic rituals to discourage its victims from complaining to the authorities, and that it condoned kidnapping street children and babies and children from orphanages for sex and sacrifice in religious rituals.

Much effort has been made to present Michaelson as a respectable proponent of children's rights, and she has insisted the article concerned was posted to the web without her knowledge or consent. But Red Wolf has been digging...

November 11, 2006

Archbishop calls for compulsory Anglicanism

Englandshire: The Archbishop of York is upset that public bodies are not deferring to his particular superstition ahead of all the others, and blames a conspirecy of illiberal atheists for undermining Britain's religious heritage. Naturally, he's upset that most people now realise that Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus, and everything to do with the fact that the earth rotates on an axis of 23.5°.

He criticised government officials for sending Christmas cards marked season's greetings and Torbay council's decision to remove a cross from a crematorium.

It was, of course, the Church of England that opposed the introduction of cremation in the first place.

It seems that the CofE is launching a bit of campaign to force their religion down the throats of the rest of us:

Earlier this week Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Catholic leader Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor launched a joint attack on what they called intolerant public atheism.

In their foreword to Doing God: A Future for Faith in the Public Square, a report by new religious think tank Theos, they argued against limiting religion to the private sphere.

Campaigners against religion in public life had an intolerant faith position, they said.

A tolerant faith position presumably being one that forces a particular religion upon those of other faiths and none.

Archbishop attacks public atheismBBC News, 11th November 2006.

November 9, 2006

Predictable outcome

The Vatican/France: When the Roman Catholic Church published a policy on homosexual seminarians last year, Monseigneur Tony Anatrella wrote an op-ed piece for L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. He had quite a bit to say about pooves:

Saying that homosexuality results as a lack of plenitude and an immaturity of human sexuality, Anatrella went on to opine on the difficulty of the homosexual person to incarnate effectively this symbolic reality of spousal tie and spiritual paternity and that gay priests will need a special care, and regular interventions on part of the authority, and a life set in a constant medical and psychotherapeutic cure.

Well, according to Rocco Palmo, Anatrella is under investigation by the French authorities after allegations from a male patient:

According to the complaint, filed on 30 October in Paris, a French ex-seminarian named Daniel Lamarca said that, while being treated by Anatrella in 1987, he had sexual relations with the cleric, who Lamarca went to in the hope of curing him of his homosexuality. The patient was 23 at the time and spoke of bodily work therapy sessions with Anatrella that, according to the accuser, would progress into sex.

Palmo writes for The Tablet, a Roman Catholic newspaper.

Homosems, A Year OnWhispers in the Loggia, 8th November 2006 (thanks, Pastor Best).

November 8, 2006

Alternative medicine

England: A family planning doctor faces disciplinary action after she advised a patient that she needed an exorcism. The aptly named Dr. Joyce Pratt told her patient that she was under a black magic spell and had something awful inside her stomach.

She then allegedly offered to use her special powers to help the woman and told her to visit a priest at Westminster Cathedral, believing the patient was possessed by an evil spirit.

The three-day GMC fitness to practise hearing in Manchester will also investigate accusations that the GP told the patient her mother was a witch, and that the patient's husband and mother were trying to kill her.

Doctor who prescribed exorcism faces disciplinary actionThe Guardian, 8th November 2006.

Falling for Jesus

Columbia: A man who climbed a 15m high statue of Jesus in search of a miracle cure found himself in hospital with several broken bones instead.

Farmer Alipio Acosta climbed up the statue of Jesus in Ocaca, Columbia in front of a crowd of onlookers — and TV cameras — in an attempt to be cured of his epilepsy. Once at the top of the statue, he prayed for a few moments, then started to climb back down.

Unfortunately, he hadn't planned his descent route terribly well. To add to the problems, it had been raining, which made Jesus quite slippery.

As he tried to negotiate his way around Jesus' outstretched arm, Acosta dangled for a moment, before losing his grip, falling, bouncing off the plinth and then falling some more.

You saw that bit in front of ... TV cameras? Guess what's on YouTube?

Miracle seeker in Jesus plummetMetro, 7th November 2006.

The same article also points us to Jesus image appears on dog.

Aleister Crowley and the Bushes.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I really wish an April Fool were true.

Darwin's Gospel strikes again

United States: A 48-year-old woman has died after being bitten by a snake at a church in Kentucky.

Snake handling is based on a passage in the Bible, in the Gospel of Mark, that says a sign of a true believer is the power to take up serpents without being harmed.

Handling reptiles in religious services is illegal in Kentucky, though the quoted penalty of a fine of $50-100 is obviously a serious underestimate.

Woman Fatally Bitten by Snake in ChurchThe Guardian, 7th November 2006.

November 2, 2006


United States: A man has claimed that he has had three year sexual business relationship with a male pastor. Nothing odd there, except the pastor at the centre of the allegations is Pastor Ted Haggard, a well-known opponent of lgbt rights. Escort Mike Jones also claims that Haggard took methamphetamine on a number of occasions.

Haggard, married with too many children, naturally denies the allegations.

Man claims 3-year sexual relationship with pastor 9News, 1st November 2006.

Update (3/11/06): Pastor Haggard has been put on administrative leave while the matter is investigated, and had admitted to some of the claims, although we do not know which ones. Meanwhile, MediaWatchWatch reminds us where we've seen him before.

November 1, 2006

Religious conversion story

United Kingdom: Sex changes aren't that unusual these days, and the overwhelming majority of patients have a genuine reason for undergoing the rather dramatic process. Sometimes, though, it's not the right answer. Take the case of 'Patient D' who appears to have had a few other issues.

Patient D told the hearing that by the summer of 1996 she was exhibiting symptoms of mania, including religious delusions...

By the time of her final appointment with Dr Reid she believed she was communicating with people psychically, could start and stop trains with her mind, and had the power to cure people's poor eyesight.

Patient D told the hearing she thought she was turning into Jesus and that becoming a man would complete that transformation.

I believed I was becoming Jesus, which I understand is common in manic depression, and having the sex change was part of that, she said.

In this case, an incident which led to her being sectioned ensured that planned surgery never took place and after treatment for her mental problems, she no longer felt the need to change sex. The matter is now the subject of a charge of professional misconduct against the doctor who treated her.

Woman wanted sex change 'to become Christ'The Guardian, 1st November 2006.

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