Feb 6, 2016

Satanists Silence Phoenix City Council

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The Satanic Temple has struck another blow for the First Amendment, by effectively silencing the Phoenix City Council. Rather than allow Satanists to exercise their Supreme Court determined right to give the invocation, the council has opted for a moment of silence.

To recap, in May of 2014, the Supreme Court made a decision on Town of Greece v. Galloway, which allowed for religious invocations in city government meetings. As discussed, this could create some discomfiture for members of any community who do not share in the predominant religion, but have no choice but to listen to a prayer celebrating that religion. Justice Kennedy's written decision, at least, opened the door for that pain to shared, in that such bodies cannot discriminate against minority religions. This has allowed for such things as this lovely Pagan invocation to be read in Florida... and for the ensuing backlash.

Through that same narrow doorway, now comes the Satanic Temple. Rather than allow Satanists a seat at the table, the Phoenix City Council has done away with invocations entirely.

Followers of the Satanic Temple, a group promoting religious agnosticism, had been scheduled to give the prayer at the council's Feb. 17 meeting. News of the planned Satanic invocation became public last week and went viral almost instantly. Council members said constituents and others inundated them with comments.

That outrage was in full force Wednesday as more than a hundred people filled seats at the council's meeting, many opposing the Satanic invocation. The emotional testimony went on for more than two hours.

Jan 28, 2016

Richard Dawkins and the He-Man Woman-Hater's Club

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Richard Dawkins may have finally gone too far. (Not the first time I've said this, I know.) After his most recent Twitter feud, he's found himself disinvited by the Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism. It seems they've finally noticed that he's a raging misogynist. Some of us caught on to this problem a little quicker. Skepchick blogger Rebecca West gives a rundown of this latest fiasco here.

In short, he retweeted a video from a men's movement ideologue called Sargon of Akkad, which mocked and attacked a feminist activist. Even when it was made clear to him that the woman is being terrorized with rape and death threats, and that she was doxxed, his reaction was to double down. This red-haired feminist was just too mockable for him to let it go. She's so obviously the wrong kind of feminist. Dawkins, by the way, is the right kind. He really understands what women should want in life, and is more than happy to explain it to us until we get it into our pretty, little heads.

In particular, he's very clear about what Muslim women should want. He'd like to start a feminist revolution for them, and he'd like to start with their clothing. That this isn't what Muslim feminists are concerned about doesn't seem to phase him. And so goes the other Twitter war, in which Dawkins finds himself these days. In the since deleted tweet, he explains how a "good Muslim" woman comports herself.

Jan 26, 2016

Bikram Loses Million Dollar Law Suit

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Minakshi Jafa-Bodden has prevailed in her lawsuit against yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury, as previously discussed here.

A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram yoga, to pay about $924,500 to a lawyer who alleged that he sexually harassed her while she worked for him and that she was fired after she began investigating claims that he raped a yoga student.

Attorney Minakshi Jafa-Bodden said in her lawsuit that she suffered gender discrimination, wrongful termination and sexual harassment during her time working for Choudhury.

. . .

Jurors deliberated for about a day before returning with a unanimous verdict in favor of Jafa-Bodden, said Mark Quigley, who along with attorney Carla Minnard represented Jafa-Bodden.

“Jafa-Bodden faced retaliation and intimidation when she refused to stay silent about witnessing illegal behavior,” Quigley said in a statement released after the jury's decision Monday afternoon. “This verdict sends an important message, that speaking out when you see signs of sexual abuse is the right thing to do.”

Jan 13, 2016

Pottermore Snuffs Candlelight Vigil – UPDATED

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Update: Pottermore Ignores the Tragic Loss of Alan Rickman

As I wrote here, the once great site known as Pottermore fell to the Death Eaters and Dolores Umbridge appears to have taken over the security of their social media. A once vibrant, atmospheric, and interactive site has become a slick, but substance-free marketing blog for Warner Bros.

Last week many former members of the original Pottermore turned out on the site's Facebook page, and under a tedious post about the cinematic version of the whomping willow, they staged a candlelight vigil in memory of the once great site and in hope of its return. One by one they lit candles and placed them at Platform 9 3/4.

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Jan 11, 2016

Graham Hancock on Revising Archaeology

In this recent interview, Graham Hancock discusses findings at sites like Göbekli Tepe and Gunung Padang and how they challenge the prevailing archaeological narrative. He also discusses evidence that meteor debris may have caused a global cataclysm, one that could account for Plato's story of the lost civilization known as Atlantis. It's a good interview and worthwhile overview of his new book Magicians of the Gods.

Comments on this entry are closed, on this blog. If you wish to comment, please find this and all newer blog entries crossposted on Celestial Reflections.

Dec 10, 2015

The Taybor Revisited

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A couple of years ago, I was brought up short by the realization that Space 1999 might just be more than a shallow, if entertaining, 1970s science fiction vehicle. An episode from the second season called "The Taybor" forced me to give the series a rethink. Specifically, elements of the subtext and imagery, in that episode, point directly to the Tibetan concept of the rainbow body.

I watched "The Taybor" again, recently, and realized that I still hadn't given the episode, or possibly the entire series, enough credit. I'd glossed over a number of details, allusions so direct it's hard to imagine they are not conscious and deliberate.

This analysis of the series addresses the possibility that it's not meant to be taken at all literally – that it only really makes sense if you assume some sort of divine intervention and higher purpose to Moon Base Alpha's unlikely journey across the space.

The idea that the Moon could be thrown from its orbit to drift at speeds allowing it to cross interstellar space in time periods of weeks or months is difficult and often impossible for many viewers to accept. The mass of the Moon is so large and its orbit around Earth so apparently firm and the force of a series of atomic explosions so more likely to obliterate the Moon than to blast it out of orbit, that the imaginations of many of even the most ardent science fiction aficionados were challenged beyond their limit to stretch, despite the fact that the planet Pluto is credibly posited by scientists to have been a satellite of planet Neptune that broke away from Neptune and settled into an irregular orbit around the Sun. And then there is the difficulty that some people have of assimilating the prospect of such an event being caused by human error. Most people prefer to think of future, technological man as incapable of contributing to a disaster of such magnitude.

Dec 1, 2015

Today's Forecast: Dizzy

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... with increasing chance of lower back pain, headache, and occasional piercing tones.

I rarely do these energy forecast type things, but the last few days have been so strange, I thought it merited mentioning. I've been having bouts of vertigo and some other symptoms, which tends to happen before things like earthquakes and other disasters, but sometimes connected to nothing I can pinpoint. It's been sort of constant, so that I only realize how dizzy I am when I'm walking across the room and realize I can only walk on the diagonal. It's a very strange feeling. Over the past few days, though, I've spoken to numerous people who are having these symptoms, particularly the dizziness and sense of dissociation.

I have no idea what this may be connected to. In terms of earthquakes and the like, the predictive capability is nil. I only see the connection when something happens and the symptoms suddenly abate. So, as a tool, it's pretty worthless. I am fairly certain it's in some way connected to magnetic fluctuations on the planet and the natural disasters are also symptoms, not really the cause.

I'm not going to pretend I really know what's going on. I just wanted to put it out there, because I know, for a fact, that I'm not the only one who's experiencing this right now.

Comments on this entry are closed, on this blog. If you wish to comment, please find this and all newer blog entries crossposted on Celestial Reflections.

Nov 15, 2015

Fullmetal Plagiarist – UPDATED


Update: Spiritually Bypassing Citations (see below)

Update: How Many Cheneys on the Cooks Source Scale is This? (see below)

In this recent post on Teal Bosworth Scott Swan, I wrote about what I'm calling her "originality gap." I cited a number of examples of recycled material – numerous blog posts which rely on word for word lifts from her own previous articles. As stated, this is called self-plagiarism. I also touched on her propensity for relaying ideas, words, and images that strongly resemble work from other sources. I have noted a number of these parallels in the noncasts.

For instance, in the noncast entitled "The Bottomless Rabbit Hole," I referenced a rather striking similarity between her painting called Alchemy and art from the series Fullmetal Alchemist. Imagine my surprise at seeing that image, once again, heading her recent blog post.

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Nov 2, 2015

The "Mormon Satanist" Speaks – UPDATED

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UPDATE: How did Doc not know?! See below for details.

For years we've been hearing about "Doc," the alleged, ritual abuser of Teal Bosworth Scott Swan. Her recollections of him infuse her work as a "spiritual catalyst" with no small element of horror. He has hovered over her public life like a specter, more myth than man. His deeds were monstrous, as recounted in numerous blog posts and interviews. In this post, she explains her violent history with her former mentor/captor – and that veterinarians have easy access to peyote, for some reason.

For the thirteen years that followed, I was systematically and progressively separated from my family, I was tortured physically and sexually in rituals, forced to participate in sacrifices, raped, forced to eat and drink out of dog bowls, forced to undergo 3 abortions (all fathered by my principal abuser himself who was in his sixties at the time).  He performed them himself with veterinary equipment, which is why I had such a hard time conceiving my son.  I was photographed for sadomasochistic pornography, sold for money to men for sex out of outdoor gas station bathrooms and motel rooms, kept in basements, kept in a plank covered hole in the ground in my abuser’s back yard, exposed to electro-shock programming, forced to undergo isolation torture, left overnight tied up in lava caves in southern Idaho.  I was forced to participate in bestiality and necrophilia, drugged by my abuser with Ketamine, Dormator, Xylazine, opiates, peyote and speed (all of which he had unlimited access to due to being a vet).  I was chased through the Idaho and Utah wilderness by my abuser who loved to “play” tracking games in which he would hunt me, and if I won, I got a reward, if I lost, I was either raped, or he would “count coup” by making cut marks on my rib cage.  I was used as a lure to other children that ended up being hurt or on occasion killed by the cult group.  And the list could go on.  But this experience is still something that seriously affects my life today. On one hand it is obvious that I would not be doing the job I am doing today around the world if it wasn’t for this experience.  On the other hand, a life that is spent in a constant state of recovery from the past is a difficult life.

He also killed her dog and threatened to kill her family members, as means of controlling her, and to keep her all to himself. He took some rather surprising risks, such as hogtying her with cables in a public parking lot, in full view of passers by. We're meant to believe that people didn't even notice an 11 year-old girl being bound and tied by a middle-aged man.

According to teal, Doc was both a "Blood Covenant" Mormon and a Satanist. He managed this paradoxical existence by having Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities). He was also, by her estimation, a "sadistic psychopath."  

Oct 20, 2015

Spiritual Catalyst or...

The magazine is out. What magazine, you ask? Why only the long-awaited publication from Ethics and the Modern Guru, about Teal Bosworth Scott Swan and containing an interview with her alleged Mormon Satanist abuser. It is available now in soft-cover on Amazon with a kindle edition to be released soon. It can also be purchased directly from CreateSpace here.

Addendum: The Kindle edition is now available. Details can be found here

Comments on this entry are closed, on this blog. If you wish to comment, please find this and all newer blog entries crossposted on Celestial Reflections.

Oct 19, 2015

Pottermore Has Fallen

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For those who have not yet discovered the genius, creativity, and hours of fun to be had on the Pottermore site, you're too late. It's over. In place of a rich, atmospheric virtual adventure, is a slick but dull marketing vehicle, that has been compared by many to Buzzfeed. I would agree, except that I find Buzzfeed more entertaining.

Before this ghastly change, Pottermore was an experience to immerse yourself in. You got to be a student at Hogwarts, sorted into a house, given an account at Gringotts, and able to shop on Diagon Alley for school books and supplies. Users combed through "moments," multi-layered images with hidden potion ingredients, Bertie Botts beans, chocolate frog cards, and loose galleons to plump up their bank accounts. You had to work for things, including Rowling's new writings, access to which was hidden in the moments and sometimes required casting spells and working out puzzles to find. Like a student in a challenging school for wizards, you needed to use your wits and pool your talents. The new site is better suited to the dilettante who's never even read the books.

Pottermore did telegraph the coming changes, but not how drastic they would be. They did not make it clear that accounts would be flushed entirely with all the supplies collected, articles bookmarked, and potions made over years. They simply took everyone's hard work and devotion and threw it away. Their flippant answer to where it's all gone: "website heaven."

There were little indicators over time that the powers that be were losing interest in keeping up the site. The number of moments grew smaller as the books in question grew longer. They did away with comments. But, the first major sign of trouble came when they announced that the upcoming house cup would be the last and that Pottermore would be changing. I followed the unfolding discussion on their Facebook page.