Recently in Fleecing the Gullible Category

August 14, 2012

They're at it again, perhaps.

England: The headline of an article on the BBC News website today caused a raised eyebrow at Prattle Towers: Witchcraft-based child abuse: Action plan launched. The start of the article was even more worrying. Had they taken on a redundant News of the World writer?

The government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England.

So, who is to be the victim of a moral panic this time? Are the fundies attacking Neopagans again? No, but the potential for vilification of an entire minority group is clear. This time, I fear what will happen when the Daily Mail picks up the story, which is about a tiny number of cases among communities of more recent African origin than the majority:

Scotland Yard says it has conducted 83 investigations into faith-based child abuse in the past decade - among them Kristy Bamu, who was murdered aged 15 in 2010, Victoria Climbie who was eight when she was murdered in 2000 and the headless torso of "Adam", a five or six-year-old boy, which was found in the Thames in 2001.

Ministers are concerned that although the investigations number just a few dozen, other abuse is going on, "under-reported and misunderstood".

Fortunately, the government's "plan" seems to involve recognition of the efforts already being made by community groups and religious leaders, rather than the simultaneous nagging of the affected communities into apathy, and vilification of same as we've seen in the approach to extremist Islamist bampots.

These efforts included Channel 4 documentaries highlighting the problem, most recently in 2010.

The programme explores several churches where child “deliverance” takes place, using undercover footage. A young journalist named Juliana Oladipo agreed to pose as a difficult teenager being brought to church by her mother; in each case witchcraft is diagnosed as the problem, and aggressive exorcism prescribed as the cure.

Some of the fraudulent preachers were after more than just money. One of them demanded sex from a young woman, 21 times, to "cure" her of her witchcraft.

Witchcraft-based child abuse: Action plan launchedBBC News, 14 August 2012; Documentary Shows Child-Witch Stigmatisation Still Occurring in UK Churches, Bartholomew's Notes on Religion, 26 July 2010.

October 18, 2011

Christian lies kill people - again

England: At least three people in London with HIV have died after they stopped taking life saving drugs on the advice of their Evangelical Christian pastors.

The women died after attending churches in London where they were encouraged to stop taking the antiretroviral drugs in the belief that God would heal them, their friends and a leading HIV doctor said.

The church is headed by Pastor T B Joshua, Nigeria's third richest clergyman, according to a recent Forbes richlist.

Mary Buhari, 44 , from central London, told the BBC she had had a phone conversation with a representative of the church, in which she was told she could be cured of HIV.

I was told they can cure any illness on Earth through prayer, including HIV, she said.

Also, Prof. Jane Anderson was quoted as saying: We see patients quite often who will come having expressed the belief that if they pray frequently enough, their HIV will somehow be cured.

Church HIV prayer cure claims 'cause three deaths' BBC London news, 18th October 2011.

April 28, 2011

Herr Ratzinger's Sock-Puppet repeats his lines

England: This is the first paragraph.

It is curious that atheists have proved to be so intolerant of those who have a faith, He said.

As opposed to those having faith persecuting, lets see:
Women, jews, other ("the wrong" sort of christian/muslim) believers, "witches", scientists, or anyone who asks awkward questions, presumably.

Your author would love to accuse the smug and ignorant Patten of lying, but he cannot.
That is because Patten has been so obviously completely brainwashed by the all-encompassing propaganda of the RC church that it is plain that he is simply deluded.

Unfortunately this delusional has-been has just been appointed chairman of the BBC trust!

Lord Patten attacks 'intolerant' secularists
Daily Telegraph 24th April 2011.

April 18, 2011

Bargain of the Day: astrological pong

Today's stunning bargain is this Mercury Retrograde Spray from the Daily OM. It can be yours for a mere $17.95 for a 4oz bottle, which translates as nearly 11 quid for 113.6ml. So, what does this remarkable substance do?

The Mercury Retrograde Balancer Spray is a tool to help influence the powerful positive and negative mental and energetic effects of Mercury retrograde.… To Use: Spray around yourself and your home and work space to protect you from the negative effects of Mercury in retrograde.

Apparently, when Mercury goes retrograde one often feels mentally wobbly, forgetful, and introverted. Mentally wobbly enough, it seems, to buy something like this!

Thanks to Geri Corvus for drawing this fabulous product to my attention. The site also looks like it will feature in Bargain of the Day in future.

April 13, 2011

Any old Iron?

Israel

Jesus crucifiction nails "found"

The film, 'The Nails of the Cross' by Simcha Jacobovici, follows three years of research during which he presents his assertions - some based on empirical data, others requiring much imagination and a leap of faith.

He hails the find as historic, but most experts and scholars dismissed his case as far-fetched, some calling it a publicity stunt.

Some of us might actually call it the demented ravings of a complete head-case, actually.

Daily Telegraph, 13th February 2011.

February 3, 2011

Weird old man in dress gets British foreign aid.

United Kingdom:

MPs have asked ministers to explain why £1.85m ($3m) from the international development budget was spent on the Pope's UK visit in September....

Committee chairman Malcolm Bruce said ministers should explain what the money was spent on and how it tallies with our commitments on overseas aid.

So, a demented old man, in charge of the biggest, and richest group of followers of Bronze-Age goatherders' myths gets British Government aid.

Apparently at the expense of the poor in the third world.

How like the dearly beloved [not ] "Mother" Theresa!

MPs query £1.85m overseas aid spent on Pope visit BBC News, 3rd February 2011.

February 1, 2011

Madwoman from Grantham had secret meetings with “Mystic”

United Kingdom: We always thought Baroness Thatcher was (and is) completely potty! This article from the Daily Torygraph seems to confirm the worst.

The question then arises, I suppose, which is (or was) worse, an openly receptive person to religious quackery, or one who keeps quiet about it?

Oh, dearie, dearie me.

GT.

Margaret Thatcher held secret meetings with Indian mysticDaily Telegraph, 29th January 2011.

September 30, 2010

Bargain of the Day: a reminder of the pre-Christian origins of Easter

England: The Church of England has come clean and admitted that Easter is nothing but an appropriated pagan festival. The admission isn't intentional, though. The Church is producing a product to remind people of the real meaning of Easter. Their choice of symbol? An egg, starring their highly original zombie deity. Perhaps they'd like to further remind us by crucifying a few rabbits?

Church of England egg hopes to unveil the true meaning of Easter-The Guardian, 30th September 2010.

April 22, 2010

Public Service Announcement

United Kingdom: Special diets foods retailer Goodness Direct is a front for the coercive cult, the Jesus Army.

I am privileged to have a reasonable (for the UK) whole foods shop close to where I live, but for more unusual animal-free products, I have good personal experience of shopping with Vegan Store, which appears to be a small, independent, vegan-owned company. Comments about alternative suppliers of gluten-free products in the UK would be welcomed by some of my friends.

September 9, 2009

Classic Prattle headline recycling: They're at it again!

United Kingdom: I'm still busy dinking with the back-end, so I leave it to Richard Bartholomew to observe that the Satanic abuse myth "true believers" didn't go away when their ridiculous allegations were proved to be hate-driven lies, they just evolved: Satanic Panic Rides Again.

July 29, 2008

Amusement of the moment

Premonition Fail
From Failblog

December 12, 2007

Bargain of the Day: Holy water

It seems there are a number of companies taking advantage of people gullible enough to buy tap water packaged in religious bottles:

Inspired, perhaps, by vitamin and energy waters, a number of new companies have begun making more explicit claims: their water doesn't just promote good health, it actually makes you good. Holy Drinking Water, produced by a California-based company called Wayne Enterprises, is blessed in the warehouse by an Anglican or Roman Catholic priest (after a thorough background check). Like a crucifix or a rosary, a bottle of Holy Drinking Water is a daily reminder to be kind to others, says Brian Germann, Wayne's CEO. Another company makes Liquid OM, superpurified bottled water containing vibrations that promote a positive outlook. Invented by Kenny Mazursky, a sound therapist in Chicago, the water purportedly possesses an energy field that Mazursky makes by striking a giant gong and Tibetan bowls in its vicinity. He says the good energy can be felt not just after you drink the water but before, when you're holding the bottle.

The most recent entry in this niche is Spiritual Water. It's purified municipal water, sold with 10 different Christian labels. The Virgin Mary bottle, for example, has the Hail Mary prayer printed on the back in English and Spanish. Spiritual Water helps people to stay focused, believe in yourself and believe in God, says Elicko Taieb, the Florida-based company's founder who was formerly in the pest-control business. All three companies give a portion of their profits to charity.

Bless This Bottled WaterNewsweek, 17th December 2007 (thanks, Novice Nun the Wiser OPI).

October 14, 2007

A compelling invitation

Kathryn Cramer gets better spam than I do!

It is with great honor and pleasure that I the President and Founder of the only Portuguese Association of Exorcists located in Fatima, Portugal, wish to introduce to you our goals and objectives in anticipation of your future collaboration with our organization....

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