Modern Christian Mythology: Ritual Satanic Abuse in the ’80’s

Posted July 7, 2010 by Victor
Categories: Beliefs and Superstitions, Modern Christian Mythology

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Modern Christian Mythology: Ritual Satanic Abuse in the ’80’s

Remember the 1980’s, when pretty much everyone in America was either abused by or accused of being in a satanic cult? And Ronald Reagan was in office, too. Ah, good times. It all seems to track back to 1980, which saw the publication of a book entitled, Michelle Remembers. Michelle Remembers contained the supposed “recovered memories” of satanic ritual abuse by it’s author, Michelle Smith. Once published, it caught on like wild fire among evangelical Christian circles, and it started a wave of “recovered memories” all across the nation. The book has since been pretty thoroughly discredited for containing uncorroborated events and highly unlikely scenarios (hey, when the Church of Satan threatens to sue for libel, it’s pretty bad). But, at the time, no one seemed even remotely interested in questioning the book and it was viewed as an accurate testimonial of a victim of a secret nationwide underground ring of satanists groups that were continually killing babies and sacrificing animals (and, of course, continuously re-hiding the remains so they would never be found). Several other books were published in it’s aftermath, most where also discredited.

Not only where the existence of these satanic cults called into question, but the entire practice of “recovered memories” and the use of hypnosis in therapy was ended by all credible therapists. For a couple of light reading books about the belief in recovered memories and the chaotic mess sloppy investigation can cause, see Remembering Satan and Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens. And, of course, there’s also the Salem Witch trials, which should always be kept fresh in our minds.


God of the Week: Yaw

Posted July 5, 2010 by Victor
Categories: God of the Week

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07/05/2010: Yaw

Yaw is not just the angle about the vertical axis on airplanes. It is also an ancient Leventine god, and a possible precursor to the Hebrew god Yahweh. Yaw (aslo pronounce Yah, or Yam) was an elohim, one of the 70 sons of the high god El. He was a sea god, and a god of the primordial chaos.

The meaning of the epithet “Yamm” is sea. He is regarded in the Baal myth as one of Baal’s major adversaries. He is referred to several times in the OT (explicitly or implicitly) where it is claimed that the Lord has dominion over him. He is accompanied in the texts by two sea monsters, namely, Litar (Leviathan) and Tunnan (Tannin in the Bible) and he himself rules the sea.

Modern Christian Mythology: Eucharist Miracle of Lanciano

Posted June 30, 2010 by Victor
Categories: Beliefs and Superstitions, Modern Christian Mythology

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Modern Christian Mythology: Eucharist Miracle of Lanciano

The Miracle of Lanciano is a claim that, in Lanciano Italy circa 700 CE, a particular instance of the Eucharist (a Christian rite in which bread, usually in the form of a cracker, and wine, sometimes grape juice, is consumed in imitation of the story of the Last Supper), physically turned into a chunk of meat and some blood. Since, in the Catholic version of the ritual, the food is believed to change into the body and blood of the god/man Jesus, the chunk of flesh is supposedly a piece of Jesus’ body. The chunk of meat is currently kept in a jar.

Personally, I find it hard to fathom that even a die hard catholic would believe this story, silly as it is. Even in Catholic theology, the Eucharist isn’t supposed to literally turn into a piece of meat and some blood, it’s a spiritual change. To believe it turns into flesh is pure magic and superstition, not religious reverence. Not to mention that faking this particular miracle would be easy even for a poor stage magician.

None of the claimed “facts” of the can be proved or disproved because they are pretty general in nature. The evidence may indeed be a piece of meat, even human meat; human flesh would be easy enough to get from a cadaver. So, how can this be debunked? Merely by questioning it. Why would the Eucharist suddenly “literally” turn into meat when millions of Catholics all over the world merely chewed on a cracker? Why would a supernatural being with the ability to create the universe perform such a meaningless miracle in a small Italian town at a time when evidence could not easily be taken and communication was so poor? Surely, a miracle a bit more convincing would convince a lot more people, thereby saving a lot more souls. That fact that this miracle is so seldom brought up even by believing Catholics is a testament to it’s dubious nature.

The Ultimate Zen Experience

Posted June 28, 2010 by Victor
Categories: politics, religion

A Total lack of self awareness. It must be such a serene and peaceful experience.

“The Raytown farmer who posted a sign on a semi-truck trailer accusing Democrats of being the “Party of Parasites” received more than $1 million in federal crop subsidies since 1995.”

A pure capitalistic system would not, of course, have any welfare programs, either for businesses, like farmers, or for individuals, like the un-employment insurance and social welfare programs that makes Republicans see red.

“Crop subsidies are different, he said. “

Ah, special pleading, the last resort of a scoundrel. Take a million, then bitch when someone else gets a dollar. He must have balls the size of bowling balls.

It may be fashionable to bitch about wall street bail outs, but farmers that take millions in hand outs from the government when their business doesn’t go as planned should probably shut up. They’re a business, right? Same as any other. Sink or swim, right?.

A true republican would just sell the farm, to Con-Agra to pay your mortgage before they ever took a big government handout.

There is also a huge subsidy going on right now, benefiting members of the clergy,

“The Freedom From Religion Found­­ation, along with 21 of its California members, has filed a nationally significant federal lawsuit in Sacramento to challenge tax benefits for “ministers of the gospel,” commonly known as “the parsonage exemption.”

Are Republicans, then, supporters of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s case?

The parsonage exemption became an issue a few years ago when Rick Warren tried to claim $80,000 a year as “housing allowance”. Aw, the simple life of a minister.

Religious schools will even make their faculty lay ministers so they can cheat on their taxes, as well.

According to professor Erwin Chemerinsky on last weekend’s FFRF podcast, erasing this handout can bring in another $500,000,000 a year to the government’s income, all without raising taxes! Can’t think of any reason that a true fiscal conservative would oppose it. It sounds like Good News to me.

God of the Week: Serapis

Posted June 28, 2010 by Victor
Categories: God of the Week

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06/28/2010: Serapis

Serapis was an ancient Greek/Egyptian synthesis of the gods Osiris and Apis created during the Tolemaic empire. Though the gods used to created the synthesis where Egyptian deities, the statues of Serapis were Greek in appearance, modeled after Zeus.

Have the Courage of Your Convictions, Texas

Posted June 27, 2010 by Victor
Categories: Beliefs and Superstitions, politics, religion


The Texas GOP has unleashed their new platform on the world. As puts it:

“The Texas Republican Party’s new 25-page platform is chock-full of absurd policy prescriptions, many of which are based on the most absurd of conspiracy theories. “

In addition to banning oral sex (yes, they actually want to make it illegal, as in you can be arrested for it), the Texas GOP is wants to keep the darn Supreme Court from making those darn decisions:

“Further, we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.”

So, the US passes the Bill of Rights to, you know, insure the rights of their citizens. But the Texas GOP wants to be left up to their own devices in enforcing them, mostly, as defined by the narrow constraints of their local superstitions; such as with abortion (their belief on the development of a fetus is not based on any scientific research, but rather on Jeremiah 1:5, a bronze age preacher that believed Israel was “cursed” by god for “allowing” people to choose their own religion), the sexual practices of their citizens (essentially, non reproductive sex acts would be sinful, therefor illegal, usually based on Genesis 1:22-“Be fruitful, and multiply”), and marriage rights of those born homosexual (based on the harsh and primitive prohibition in Leviticus 18:22). Of course, this tendency to believe that an all powerful magical being not only could but did decide to teach morality to all the citizens of the world by dictating a garbled incoherent book to one culture on the planet is coupled together with a Stalin-esque desire for totalitarian control over the people of the state. After all, no good Texan can follow their religion without making others involuntarily follow that religion as well.

Modern Christian Mythology: Out of Body Experiences

Posted June 23, 2010 by Victor
Categories: Modern Christian Mythology

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Modern Christian Mythology: Out of Body Experiences

The belief in Out of Body Experiences (OBEs), Astral Projection, or Near Death Experiences (NDEs) is not a belief held exclusively by Christianity, though the religion does have a vested interest in the belief. After all, if you can prove that there is consciousness outside of the human body, then it would be a very small leap to propose a literal existence of the soul, a key, yet unproven, concept in the Christian belief system.

While a casual Sunday afternoon spent watching In Search Of or the “History” Channel, may lead one to believe that OBEs are well known in the medical world, closer scrutiny at the actual data makes it clear that all we have are the vague recollections of personal experiences, usually of a time when a patient’s body was under extreme duress, like during surgery or after head trauma of some sort.

So, how would we, as researchers, test the claims made by an individual about an experience they had while in a disorientated state? Modern ethics keeps us from going around hitting people on the head with lead pipes, of course, so we have to wait until people have these experiences naturally. And, the only controlled environment in which OBEs happen with any regularity is in a hospital. Next, we would need to verify what they are experiencing what they believe they are experiencing. If we take the claims of OBEs seriously, they float above their body, looking down. If that is the case, they should then be able to see objects that are on top of shelves and cabinets that they could not see while they are lying in bed looking up.

And that is exactly what Dr Sam Parnia is doing. In an intense study of OBEs, cards with easily descriptive pictures on them are being placed on top of shelves in an hospital resuscitation area. As of yet, no one has been able to describe the cards.

On the laboratory side of the research, experiences similar to NDEs have been replicated by electrical stimulation and virtual reality simulations, and researchers from the University of Maribor, Slovenia have found that there appears to be a strong correlation between Near Death Experiences and the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood stream.

What really amazes me, is that anyone that experienced a blow to the head would be
so insistent that anything that they experienced while in a diminished capacity
was absolutely real.