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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Disclaimer: The Gospel Story is Fiction

There has been much talk about putting a "disclaimer" on the Da Vinci Code movie stating that it is fiction. In fact, India has evidently done just that. The writer of the article linked below makes several good points in regard to this Indian deed, including and especially that, as many others have likewise opined, the Bible itself should have such a disclaimer.

In this article, the Indian writer Venkat hits the bull's eye several other times in regard to the gospel tale, as found in the New Testament. For example, that the gospel writers are not familiar with Palestine and not expert in the Hebrew language is factual--and highly significant in that it demonstrates that the gospel writers were not "eyewitnesses" to the purported events. Venkat's timeline of biblical chronology placing the emergence of the gospels at the end of the second century is surprisingly accurate and goes firmly against the tide, even with my fellow Jesus mythicists, despite the fact that all the evidence points to such an assertion. Without having read my books The Christ Conspiracy and Suns of God, Venkat has managed to put together several of the most germane points found therein, which demonstrates that the picture painted of the New Testament representing fiction is both obvious and reasonably factual.

Now, here's where knowing my work would come in handy: The part about the flowing locks of Jesus being a later addition to the Christian tradition. Early images do depict Jesus with short, light hair, much like a Greek god. That the locks were not fashionable until Hadrian is useful information, as is knowing comparative mythology, in that the pre-Christian Greek healing god Aesclepius--called "Iasios," "Iesios," or Jason/Jesus, which means "savior"--had long, curly black hair, as did the very popular Greco-Egyptian god Serapis. As we also know, the "Jewish hero" Samson, in reality a sun god, also had long locks, which were shorn by the moon goddess Delilah. Importantly, I do not concur with Venkat that Christ is the first god who was created in the image of man, as all personified gods and goddesses are made in the image of their creator, i.e., man.

As concerns Venkat's remarks designed to disprove that the crucifixion account was an early theme in Christian mythology, the early Christian writer Minucius Felix's comments could be understood that Christians do not worship a criminal, not that they do not worship a man on a cross. The fact that Felix is addressing the crucifixion image at all--by saying that Romans themselves worship a god on a cross--would indicate that it was fashionable, in oral and literary tradition at least, to depict Jesus has having been crucified. That the human sacrifice/scapegoat ritual was popular and certainly being emulated in the gospel tale is true, as is that the Gnostic writings depict a crucifixion in the clouds that is purely symbolic. Whether or not the Gnostics actually practiced such a crucifixion on earth I do not know, but certainly proxies of God or a god were killed all over the Mediterranean and elsewhere for centuries and millennia in such scapegoat rituals.

In attempting to date the emergence of the Gnostic literature, Venkat cites the New Testament villain "Simon Magus" as having lived during the reign of Claudius. It is my contention that Simon Magus is not a "historical" person either but a composite of either the ancient Samaritan gods "Saman" and "Maga" or of the epithets of the one "Canaanite" god. It is my further contention that the reason the story was told by "Christians" (Gnostics) was in order to demote this popular Samaritan god under the new Christos.

Moreover, the motif of the woman wiping the feet of the anointed god is straight out of Egyptian mythology--and here is also where my work (and especially that of Massey) would have been useful. In Egyptian mythology, the soli-lunar god Osiris's feet are wiped with the hair of a goddess, Hathor-Meri. This is an important point, as it seems to be the linchpin of the claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were "married."

The god having sex with one or more priestess or proxy for the goddess is likewise a common theme, so I am not surprised to see it within Christianity, although I did not know about this specific text Genna Marias that Venkat mentions. It was common in ancient times for priests to tell the tall tale when a sacred harlot got knocked up that the fecundation had been by a god. Thus, there were many such "immaculate conceptions." (And an appalling amount of babies tossed into ponds near nunneries, in the Christian era as well.)

All in all, well done. And the point is well taken that the Gospel fable is no less fictional than the Da Vinci Code and hence deserves a similar disclaimer.

Silencing The Da Vinci Code
By Kalavai Venkat

Christian groups want The Da Vinci Code banned. A pliant Censor Board of India insists on a disclaimer at the beginning and end saying the film is "a work of pure fiction and has no correspondence to historical facts of the Christian religion." The Censor Board did not insist on any such disclaimer when Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, with its vividly anti-Semitic libels, was released. So, the Censor Board considers the story the Christian Bible peddles as historically accurate, and Dan Brown's story as a fiction. For either version of the Jesus story to be true or false, there must be historical evidence that Jesus existed. As Professor G. A. Wells demonstrates, there is none. Historians of that period have recorded events in detail, yet they are unaware of Jesus Christ, who remains an elusive and shadowy figure.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pope asks where was God?

Yesterday, the Pope asked where God was during the horrors at the infamous Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.

An excellent question, to be sure. So, how can the Pope run about depicting this purported God with absolute certainty? After all, the Pope is supposed to be God's representative on Earth, which presupposes that this God exists in the first place.

It's actually a refreshing sign that the Pope would make such a query, as it lifts that burden off the chests of hundreds of millions worldwide who doubtlessly ask the same question on a regular basis in regard to umpteen other horrors. The world's horrors include the Church's own Inquisition, which tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of people. They also include the atrocious abuse of women and children worldwide, day after day, within numerous cultures under a variety of gods, including the biblical god in his various permutations, such as the Christian, Jewish and Muslim versions. Much of this horror occurs in the most "religious" and "God-fearing" nations on Earth.

So, where is God in all this appalling mess? Suddenly, this all-important question no longer is reserved for atheists and disbelievers who are subsequently subjected to the ridicule, personal attacks and inadequate responses by the faithful for daring to ask it.

Pope asks where God was in Auschwitz horror

By Philip Pullella and Natalia Reiter

OSWIECIM, Poland (Reuters) - Calling himself "a son of Germany," Pope Benedict prayed at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz on Sunday and asked why God was silent when 1.5 million victims, mostly Jews, died in this "valley of darkness."

Ending a four-day pilgrimage to Poland, Benedict, 79, said humans could not fathom "this endless slaughter" but only seek reconciliation for those who suffered "in this place of horror."...

WHERE WAS GOD?

Scattered rain fell over Auschwitz until the main ceremony, when the skies cleared and a rainbow appeared.

Benedict said it was almost impossible, particularly for a German Pope, to speak at "the place of the Shoah."

"In a place like this, words fail. In the end, there can only be a dread silence, a silence which is a heartfelt cry to God -- Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"

"Where was God in those days? Why was he silent? How could he permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil?"

Benedict, one of the Church's leading theologians, said humans could not "peer into God's mysterious plan" to understand such evil, but only "cry out humbly yet insistently to God -- 'rouse yourself! Do not forget mankind, your creature!"...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

RELIGION IS MENTAL ILLNESS, GOD IS A PSYCHOPATH

Is religion a force for good or evil?

Warning: The following article contains disturbing and graphic language regarding the volatile and often violent nature of religious beliefs. It is meant to illustrate how religion has been used to spread hatred and intolerance of worldwide, in a variety of faiths. This short article is meant for educational purposes only, in the hope that humanity will learn from its past and not repeat it. Please note that it is almost entirely composed of quotes from other publications.

Many people believe that religion is a force for good that has brought God into their lives. But, does the record of religious belief reveal it as a force for good or evil?

Christianity--The Roots of Anti-Semitism

"With the wrath of an Old Testament prophet, historian Dagobert Runes (whose mother was killed by the Nazis) blamed the Christian church for the Holocaust. He wrote:
"'Everything Hitler did to the Jews, all the horribly unspeakable misdeeds, had already been done to the smitten people before by the Christian churches.... The isolation of Jews into ghetto camps, the wearing of the yellow spot, the burning of Jewish books, and finally the burning of the people--Hitler learned it all from the church. However, the church burned Jewish women and children alive, while Hitler granted them a quicker death, choking them first with gas.'
"Dr Runes said Christian priests and ministers still were inculcating hostility to Jews as the Third Reich arrived.
"'The clergymen don't tell you whom to kill; they just tell you whom to hate,' he wrote. 'The Christian clergymen start teaching their young at the tenderest age that THE Jews killed the beloved, gentle Son of God; that God Himself, the Father, punished THE Jews by dispension and the burning of their holy city; that God holds THE Jews accursed forever....'

"'For all the 2,000 years, there was no act of war against the Jews in which the church didn't play an intrinsic part. And whenever there was a trace of mercy, charity, or tolerance to be found amid the savagery, it came not from the church but from humanitarians in the civil world, as in Napoleonic France or during the American Revolution....'

"'Some fancy that these brutal outrages...occurred only in the Dark Ages, as if this were an excuse. Nay, when George Washington was president, Jewish people were burning on the spit in Mexico.... Wherever there are Christian churches there is anti-Semitism.'"
Source: Holy Horrors by James Haught.

Judaism--4,000 Years of Massacring Neighbors

"The massacre at Dueima in 1948 was perpetrated by the official Labor Zionist Israeli army, the Israel Defense Forces (Tzeva Haganah le-Israel or ZA-HAL). The account of the massacre, as described by a soldier who participated in the horror, was published in Davar, the official Hebrew daily newspaper of the Labor-Zionist-run Histadrut General Federation of workers:
"'They killed between eighty to one hundred Arab men, women and children. To kill the children they [soldiers] fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one home without corpses. The men and women of the villages were pushed into houses without food or water. Then the saboteurs came to dynamite them.

"'One commander ordered a soldier to bring two women into a building he was about to blow up.... Another soldier prided himself upon having raped an Arab woman before shooting her to death. Another Arab woman with her newborn baby was made to clean the place for a couple of days, and then they shot her and the baby. Educated and well-mannered commanders who were considered "good guys"...became base murderers, and this is not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination. The fewer the Arabs who remain, the better.'"
Source: The Hidden History of Zionism by Ralph Schoenman.

Slavery by the "Good People"

"In another area of human rights, many Christian clergymen advocated slavery. Historians Larry Hise notes in his book, Proslavery, that ministers 'wrote almost half of all defenses of slavery published in America.' He listed 275 men of the cloth who use the Bible to prove that white people were entitled to own black people as work animals."

Source: Holy Horrors

God is a Psycho

"In December 1984, on Mohammed's birthday, Khomeini told his people:
"'War is a blessing for the world and for all nations. It is God who incites men to fight and to kill.The Koran says, "Fight until all corruption and all rebellion have ceased." The wars the Prophet led against the infidels were a blessing for all humanity. Imagine that we soon will win the war. That will not be enough, for corruption and resistance to Islam will still exist. The Koran says, "War, war until victory!..." The mullahs with corrupt hearts who say that all this is contrary to the teachings of the Koran are unworthy of Islam. Thanks to God, our young people are now, to the limits of their means, putting God's commandments into action. They know that to kill the unbelievers is one of man's greatest missions.'
"Amid all the killing, Iran also declared war on sexuality. Women were commanded to shroud themselves so completely that no lock of hair showed. Morality patrols in white jeeps cruised streets, arresting women for being 'badly veiled' and sending them to prison camps for three-month rehabilitation courses. Western magazines entering Iran went first to censors who laboriously blacked out every woman's picture except for her eyes."

Source: Holy Horrors

Religion is Mental Illness

"Philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote:
"'Religion is based...mainly upon fear...fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand.... My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.'"
Source: Holy Horrors

NEED WE SAY MORE? RELIGION EQUALS RACISM, SEXISM, SPECIESISM, SELF-HATRED, EXPLOITATION, SLAVERY, WAR. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH ARE ONE. NO RACES, NO RELIGIONS, NO DUALITY, NO WAR.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Who was Mary Magdalene?

The mammoth success of The Da Vinci Code book and movie has propelled into the spotlight one of the world's most interesting figures, Mary Magdalene. In the gospel story, it is not to any of the apostles that the risen Jesus first appears but to Mary Magdalene, a momentous occasion that surely should have cemented her place as one of the most important people in history. The fact that it did not speaks volumes about the blatant disregard for women within the major monolithic religions, even in the face of the reverence for the Virgin Mary within Catholicism. Obviously, a "virgin mother" must be much more highly regarded than a common prostitute, which is what Mary Magdalene is assumed to have been. The recent fracas surrounding The Da Vinci Code revolves around the tradition that the precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ not only associated with this prostitute but married her and sired children with her. Nevertheless, despite all this intrigue, is Mary Magdalene really a "historical" character? It appears that the Magdalene is in reality one of the Triple Faces of the Goddess, worshipped within so-called Pagan cultures long before the Christian era.

For the rest of this article, please see Who was Mary Magdalene?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Da Vinci Cod

Go ahead and admit it-- it's annoying to see the word "Code" missing the "e," isn't it? So, why did I title this essay "The Da Vinci Cod?" Simple--because it's a fish story. Don't get me wrong. I am enjoying to some degree the brouhaha "The Da Vinci Code" movie is causing worldwide, although I'm not obsessively paying attention to it, because, as others have pointed out, there's nothing new under the sun, and I've already lived through "The Last Temptation of Christ," as well as "Jesus of Montreal," both of which drew excited protests and then quickly faded into the woodwork to have little affect on the human mind.

It's not that I don't want "The Da Vinci Code" to have some impact on the global psyche. I do. I wish fervently that people would realize that our fairytales are just that: fairytales, fictitious and mutable. Anyone who knows my work understands that I uphold no sacred cows when it comes to the subject of the Jesus mythos. In fact, I go way beyond the Da Vinci Code in that I dare to suggest that "Jesus" was indeed "married" to "Mary Magdalene"--but within the realms of mythology, not history. For, I find no reason whatsoever to assume that the Jewish version of the virgin-born Son of God, Jesus, had any more reality in history than the Greek version of the virgin-born Son of God, Hercules. Say what? Yes, I do firmly believe that Jesus Christ is a myth through and through--no ifs, ands or buts about it. As a scholar of mythology going back some 40 years, I see little difference between what are widely viewed as myths and what is contained in the sacrosanct Bible. In other words, I view the Bible as little more than mummified mythology that dates back many millennia, with little evidence of it happening in "real life." There is no historical or archaeological record at all that supports the existence of Jesus Christ as he is depicted in the New Testament, so why should I, as a true scientist--"science" meaning "to know"--blindly accept that Christ existed on this earth, as a real person, at the time claimed in the New Testament? Frankly, as a person who attempts to be honest and truthful to the best of her ability, I should not simply accept this claim without any evidence at all. And there is no evidence at all.

Obviously, there is much more to this subject, which is why I have spent many years and spilled much ink on it, producing a couple of books and many treatises on the subject of Christian mythology, none of which need be repeated here, as the information is available on my website at Truthbeknown.com. Interested parties are warmly welcomed to investigate my writings there at any time they wish.

In the meantime, please feel free to enjoy "The Da Vinci Code" without worrying that you are forfeiting your reservation in heaven. As with the gospel story itself, you may remind yourself, "It's only a story." A fish story, in fact. It is the Da Vinci COD.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Celestial Find at Ancient Andes Site

"The discovery in Peru of a 4,200-year-old temple and observatory pushes back estimates of the rise of an advanced culture in the Americas."

Readers of my books may ascertain that this archaeological discovery is particularly significant in demonstrating the origins of religion, extending back millennia in both the Old and New Worlds. Such a find, in fact, may turn those "old" and "new" appellations on their ear, as well as validate some of the more fascinating notions concerning astrotheology, or the natural religion revolving around the sun, moon, planets, stars, solstices, equinoxes and so on.

Over the past couple of centuries, it has been averred by several scholars and researchers that South America in reality possesses significant archaeological sites far older than the mainstream scientific paradigm has determined. Here is one such find, which, although it is "quite a shock" to mainstream archaeologists such as the one quoted below, is therefore not at all surprising to "renegade" researchers. In both The Christ Conspiracy and Suns of God, I evinced that the common ancient religious motifs are astrotheological and that they may be found around the world, centuries to millennia earlier than is widely assumed. Naturally, I was ridiculed for "my" theories on "Atlantis," even though I've never discussed Atlantis per se in my books. This Andean discovery in particular shows that the truth is somewhere closer to what we "radicals" propose.

In Suns of God, I wrote:

"In recent years, a great number of...ruins on all inhabited continents have been discovered that posess astronomical alignments, whether to the sun, moon, planets or constellations. For example, in 1998 it was reported that the 'oldest astronomical megalith alignment' was discovered in Southern Egypt..."

I further related that numerous megalithic sites with astronomical alignments had been found around Europe and Africa, dating to around 10,000 BCE. Furthermore, magnificent European cave drawings dating to 15,000 or more years ago evidently record celestial observations. I also related the studies done during the past two centuries by the aforementioned researchers whose works were not popularly acclaimed but who are now being proved correct in their assertions regarding both the age and the astrotheological significance of many archaeological sites in Central and South America. The astronomical alignments are clearly important and indicate religious significance. In this regard, it may be stated that germane "Christian" holidays such as Christmas and Easter are in fact very ancient astrotheological celebrations revolving in specific around the movements of the sun, i.e., the winter solstice and vernal equinox. These holidays are not, therefore, the dates of the birth and death of a "historical" Jesus Christ.

Celestial Find at Ancient Andes Site

The discovery in Peru of a 4,200-year-old temple and observatory pushes back estimates of the rise of an advanced culture in the Americas.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
Times Staff Writer
May 14, 2006

Archeologists working high in the Peruvian Andes have discovered the oldest known celestial observatory in the Americas — a 4,200-year-old structure marking the summer and winter solstices that is as old as the stone pillars of Stonehenge.

The observatory was built on the top of a 33-foot-tall pyramid with precise alignments and sightlines that provide an astronomical calendar for agriculture, archeologist Robert Benfer of the University of Missouri said.

The people who built the observatory — three millenniums before the emergence of the Incas — are a mystery, but they achieved a level of art and science that archeologists say they did not know existed in the region until at least 800 years later.

Among the most impressive finds was a massive clay sculpture — an ancient version of the modern frowning "sad face" icon flanked by two animals. The disk, protected from looters beneath thousands of years of dirt and debris, marked the position of the winter solstice.

"It's really quite a shock to everyone … to see sculptures of that sophistication coming out of a building of that time period," said archeologist Richard L. Burger of Yale University's Peabody Museum of Natural History, who was not involved in the discovery.

The find adds strong evidence to support the recent idea that a sophisticated civilization developed in South America in the pre-ceramic era, before the development of fired pottery sometime after 1500 BC.

Benfer's discovery "pushes the envelope of civilization farther south and inland from the coast, and adds the important dimension of astronomy to these ancient folks' way of life," said archeologist Michael Moseley of the University of Florida, a noted Peru expert.

The 20-acre site, called Buena Vista, is about 25 miles inland in the Rio Chillon Valley, just north of Lima. "It is on a totally barren, rock-covered hill looking down on a beautiful fertile valley," said Benfer, who presented the find last month in Puerto Rico at a meeting of the Society for American Archeology.

The site is remarkably well preserved, Benfer said, because it rains in the area only about once a year.

The name of the people who inhabited the region is unknown because writing did not emerge in the Americas for 2,000 more years. Some archeologists call them followers of the Kotosh religious tradition. Others call them late pre-ceramic cultures of the central coast. For brevity, most simply call them Andeans.

Benfer and archeologist Bernardino Ojeda of Peru's National Agrarian University have been working at Buena Vista for four years. The site contains ruins dating from 10,000 years ago to well into the ceramic era in the first millennium BC.

The large pyramid and a temple occupy about 2 acres near the center of the site. Radiocarbon dating of cotton and burned twigs found in the temple's offering pit place its use at about 2200 BC.

That is about 400 years after the first pyramid was built in Egypt and about the same time that the peoples who would become the Greeks were settling into the Mediterranean region.

The temple is built of rock that was covered with plaster and painted, although most of the white and red paint has long since flaked off.

Benfer calls it the Temple of the Fox because a drawing of a fox is carved inside a painted picture of another animal, probably a llama, beside each doorway. According to Andean myth, the fox taught people how to cultivate and irrigate plants.

As the team mapped out the site, Benfer observed that a person standing in the doorway of the temple and gazing through a small, flap-covered window behind the altar is aligned with a small head carved onto a notch of a distant hill. The line had an orientation of 114 degrees from true north, pointing southeast.

Benfer does not normally deal with archeoastronomy — the science of ancient astronomy — so he contacted a childhood friend, Larry Adkins of Tustin, and asked him what that angle signified.

Adkins, a physicist who is retired from Rockwell International and who now teaches astronomy at Cerritos College, told him 114 degrees pointed the way to sunrise on the Southern Hemisphere's summer solstice, Dec. 21, the longest day of the year.

"That really got the ball rolling," Adkins said.

The summer solstice marks planting time, as the Rio Chillon begins its annual flooding, fed by melting ice higher up in the Andes. The flooding deposits fresh soil on the land, fertilizing the crops and eliminating the need for manure from domestic animals.

"This was the beginning of flood-plain agriculture," Benfer said. He thinks fishermen from the coast originally moved to the site to grow cotton for use in making fishing nets.

The large frowning disk sits near the door to the temple. It is made of mud plaster and grass and covered with a fine surface of clay.

Benfer speculates that the sculpture represents Pacha Mamma, the most important god of the Andes. He acknowledges the difficulty of proving that, however, because the next known sculpture of the mother goddess does not appear until 800 BC.

"The disk would frown over the sunset on the winter solstice, the last day of harvest," Benfer said.

Alignments in the temple also pointed to the position at the summer solstice of a constellation known in Andean culture as the fox, Benfer said.

Unlike Western constellations, which are outlined by groupings of stars, some Andean constellations were made from dark areas in the sky that are gaps in the bright Milky Way.

Scientists once thought that the gaps represented a lack of stars, but astronomers now know that they are caused by large clouds of dust that block light from distant stars.

The so-called dark cloud constellation of the fox is well-known today in the region, but archeoastronomer Anthony Aveni of Colgate University doubted that it has maintained its shape for four millenniums.

"He has an alignment. That's neat," Aveni said. But the idea that the ancients were looking at the same constellation "is a bit of a leap for me."

Last summer, Benfer's team also partially excavated a second sculpture, that of a life-sized human figure playing a pipe. The figure is sitting with its legs sculpted in high relief and hanging over the edge of one of a series of short platforms that lead down to what appears to be another temple.

The remaining 18 acres of the site have a variety of buildings, most of them from later cultures, that include a ceremonial center, stepped pyramids and what apparently was a residence center for elites. Most of those have been looted.

Oval houses that probably served as homes for families of commoners sit across a ravine from the main pyramid.

There were probably other buildings farther down the slopes, Benfer said, "but the Chillon River removes everything from time to time."

Evidence of pottery indicates that the site was inhabited for centuries, but it is not yet clear whether or how it was eventually abandoned.

"There were people in the valley at the time of the Spanish Conquest, but they were of several ethnic groups," Benfer said.

That suggests that the sophisticated civilization was eventually replaced by small bands of farmers who immigrated from various areas.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Abusing Women is Not Religion

(The following is a rant written in 1993 and reprinted from The Gospel According to Acharya S. It is not meant to be polite.)

There are certain buttheads - subhuman cretins, really - on this planet of vast dementia who believe that subjugating, enslaving and torturing human beings who happen to be in female bodies has something to do with "religion." These morons like to justify their despicable and disgusting behavior by claiming it to be laid down by some idiotic god monster who is somehow pleased by this wanton abuse of "his" creatures. In addition to the pervasive and hideous brainwashing and psychological, spiritual and emotional abuse forced upon women that they are "inferior" and must serve basically as servants and slaves to their husband-masters, a number of cultures somehow finds it "godly" or "righteous" to physically torture women.

"Religions" are Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Torture

In nations under the influence of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic conditioning, many millions of women have been taught that they hold no authority, and they must subjugate themselves to their father, husband or a giant male god in the sky who is looming and lording over them at all times. This subjugation is authorized, naturally, by that obnoxious god person's "holy" scriptures, as in: "... the head of a woman is her husband," etc. ad nauseam. For the basic attitude towards women, let us quote the great apostle Paul, whose neurotic mind has had such an influence upon the Western world: "It is well for a man not to touch a woman." (1 Corinthians 7:1) Of course this is somewhat milder than the Old Testament attitude towards Woman, which is that, first of all, she created the sinful state of mankind and must thereafter be punished - for eternity, no less! - by the "merciful" Lord. If a woman commits this or that so-called transgression according to the biblical "morals," she is to be stoned or suffer some other bloody fate. And let us not forget that orthodox Jews start their joyful day by thanking God for not making them a woman! In his infinite compassion, "God" has made woman a simply horrible creature! And, of course, the worst punishments are those for individuals, male and female, who simply refuse to believe in these concepts; so, mere unbelief is the most egregious transgression of all. Actions have nothing to do with it, but gender certainly does. Hence, according to all these religious traditions, "God" is utterly sexist - and we wonder why sexism refuses to fade into oblivion? It is dictated from the "Creator" on down. In fact, it is to be practiced as "God's will!"

Genital Mutilation is Not Holy

In addition to the psycho-spiritual abuse, around the globe women are used as beasts of burdens, babymaking machines and readily available sex-toys, and this ghastly attitude and treatment are constantly being justified by men and women alike as somehow being both necessary and righteous. Over 120 million women - mostly Muslim - worldwide have been hideously mutilated and disfigured at the hands of deranged fanatics who apparently believe that their Creator screwed up when "he" endowed women with genitals, which must be violently removed in "rituals" that often include the use of rusty knives or pieces of metal, or broken glass. The women, girls and female infants who undergo these unlovely "rituals" are generally not anesthetized but are often held down by other women, who sheepishly and shamelessly go along with the dictates of men. These women also often receive no post-mutilation care, and they sometimes bleed to death, with cascades of blood showering their feet.

Ankles are a Sexual Turn-on?!

In these same and other parts of the world, women are beaten, imprisoned, tortured, burned and sometimes killed for exposing their faces, hair, ankles or wrists, not to mention any other part of their bodies. Women are viewed as delicious temptresses who, unless subdued, would quickly destroy a man's morality. The weakness of the man is never blamed. He just can't help himself if he sees a beautiful, "seductive" woman exposed; he must have her or go mad. Thus, instead of learning to control their animalistic urges, these perverts put the blame on the women, who are then subjected to their full fury. Women are also worked to the bone and must keep reproducing or lose whatever little status they continue to hold. It is also quite logical to suppose that the constant covering up of their skin, thus depriving it of health-bestowing sunlight, would lead to horrible bone problems, osteoporosis, etc. - indeed, this is happening to Muslim women, especially in Afghanistan, where they are also starving, because they are viciously prevented from working.

There is Nothing Religious About Depravity

Too many people are afraid to actively condemn such despicable behavior, claiming to be "tolerant" and "respecting" of someone else's "religion." This attitude shows how deep the bullcrap has penetrated the human psyche. Millennia have elapsed during which these "memes" or units of mental programming have been passed down from generation to generation. So insidious is the notion that abusing women is somehow justifiable! The fact that this atrocious behavior and attitude towards women are justified by religion is one of the greatest hypocrisies of the human race. Indeed, it is a powerful slap in the face of the "Creator" - i.e., the Divine Creative Life Principle - which has endowed in human beings infinite abilities and creative genius well beyond the simple urges of bonding and reproducing. If one were truly religious, one would feel compelled to utilize one's "God-given" talents to the fullest, utterly appreciating them and being grateful for them. But no - instead, they are suppressed and denied to the point of nonexistence. In truth, if one were seriously concerned with living the divine life, in accordance to righteous principles, one would be thoroughly obliged to use any extraordinary skills and talents for the good of humanity and the betterment of all life upon this small planet. This would be the true fulfillment of the will of any good deity, if one existed. Unfortunately, in many places women are neither encouraged nor allowed to develop any such sublime and godly gifts.

This abusive behavior towards women flies in the face of the real "religious" or spiritual experience. It is "anti-God" and unspiritual, and creates such an enormous amount of suffering and horror as cannot be measured. No intelligent, thinking person could possibly go along with it, yet tens and hundreds of millions do, every day, day in and day out. A truly spiritual person will strive to end this abhorrent mistreatment, rather than perpetuate it. The perpetuation of suffering is not a religious experience by any stretch of imagination. It is an abomination.

"God" is Not a Man - Get It?!!

Much of this stupidity comes from the sexist notion that "God" - the Divine - is exclusively male, that there simply is no female aspect in creation. Obviously, to enlightened people, this is wrong - a sickening notion born of men's desire to control and lord over women. Creation is composed of both male and female, in equal proportions, and until that balance is reestablished, there will never be harmony and an end to misery on earth. A truly spiritual individual is neither male nor female, black nor white. She or he is nothing and everything. Let us recognize and welcome the variety in the cosmos! Vive la difference!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Holy Hothouse, Batman!

The melting of the glaciers in the world's tallest mountains is a global disaster in the making. If this catastrophe proceeds as predicted, the toll on life - human, animal and plant - will be staggering. So, how come the all-powerful Jesus isn't helping stop it? Are there no Christian environmentalists praying to him? Does his Omniscience not know what is happening? Perhaps Jesus is the wrong guy to approach. Thor has had much more experience with ice - maybe we should be praying to him!

For that matter, what about Buddha? The Tibetan Buddhists have for centuries methodically created and practiced a religious tradition that is considered very powerful in a number of ways, metaphysically and supernaturally. Traditions hold that Buddhists priests and monks have been able to do and create all sorts of magical things - so why can't they stop the top of the world from melting and destroying a significant percentage of the earth?

Obviously, these problems are extremely serious and are not going to go away without massive physical intervention of some sort. The problem is so immense that, barring some extraordinarily advanced technology being suddenly created or released, there doesn't seem to be any stopping it. I would love for us to be able to "just pray" or "raise our vibrations" or "think positive thoughts" in order to prevent this nightmare, truly I would. But it just doesn't seem to be working, and we are now in a state of emergency, as was predicted years ago. Superman, where are you?

Ice-capped roof of world turns to desert

Scientists warn of ecological catastrophe across Asia as glaciers melt and continent's great rivers dry up

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Published: 07 May 2006

Global warming is rapidly melting the ice-bound roof of the world, and turning it into desert, leading scientists have revealed.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences - the country's top scientific body - has announced that the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau are vanishing so fast that they will be reduced by 50 per cent every decade. Each year enough water permanently melts from them to fill the entire Yellow River.

They added that the vast environmental changes brought about by the process will increase droughts and sandstorms over the rest of the country, and devastate many of the world's greatest rivers, in what experts warn will be an "ecological catastrophe".

The plateau, says the academy, has a staggering 46,298 glaciers, covering almost 60,000 square miles. At an average height of 13,000 feet above sea level, they make up the largest area of ice outside the polar regions, nearly a sixth of the world's total.

The glaciers have been receding over the past four decades, as the world has gradually warmed up, but the process has now accelerated alarmingly. Average temperatures in Tibet have risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 20 years, causing the glaciers to shrink by 7 per cent a year, which means that they will halve every 10 years.

Prof Dong Guangrong, speaking for the academy - after a study analysing data from 680 weather stations scattered across the country - said that the rising temperatures would thaw out the tundra of the plateau, turning it into desert.

He added: "The melting glaciers will ultimately trigger more droughts, expand desertification and increase sand storms." The water running off the plateau is increasing soil erosion and so allowing the deserts to spread.

Sandstorms, blowing in from the degraded land, are already plaguing the country. So far this year, 13 of them have hit northern China, including Beijing. Three weeks ago one storm swept across an eighth of the vast country and even reached Korea and Japan. On the way, it dumped a mind-boggling 336,000 tons of dust on the capital, causing dangerous air pollution.

The rising temperatures are also endangering the newly built world's highest railway, which is due to go into operation this summer. They threaten to melt the permafrost under the tracks of the £1.7bn Tibetan railway, constructed to link the area with China's northwestern Qinghai province.

Perhaps worst of all, the melting threatens to disrupt water supplies over much of Asia. Many of the continent's greatest rivers - including the Yangtze, the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Mekong and the Yellow River - rise on the plateau.

In China alone, 300 million people depend on water from the glaciers for their survival. Yet the plateau is drying up, threatening to escalate an already dire situation across the country. Already 400 cities are short of water; in 100 of them - including Beijing - the shortages are becoming critical.

Even hopes that the melting glaciers might provide a temporary respite, by increasing the amount of water flowing off the plateau - have been dashed. For most of the water is evaporating before it reaches the people that need it - again because of the rising temperatures brought by global warning.

Yao Tandong, head of the academy's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Research Institute, summed it up. "The full-scale glacier shrinkage in the plateau regions will eventually lead to an ecological catastrophe," he said.

Global warming is rapidly melting the ice-bound roof of the world, and turning it into desert, leading scientists have revealed.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences - the country's top scientific body - has announced that the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau are vanishing so fast that they will be reduced by 50 per cent every decade. Each year enough water permanently melts from them to fill the entire Yellow River.

They added that the vast environmental changes brought about by the process will increase droughts and sandstorms over the rest of the country, and devastate many of the world's greatest rivers, in what experts warn will be an "ecological catastrophe".

The plateau, says the academy, has a staggering 46,298 glaciers, covering almost 60,000 square miles. At an average height of 13,000 feet above sea level, they make up the largest area of ice outside the polar regions, nearly a sixth of the world's total.

The glaciers have been receding over the past four decades, as the world has gradually warmed up, but the process has now accelerated alarmingly. Average temperatures in Tibet have risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 20 years, causing the glaciers to shrink by 7 per cent a year, which means that they will halve every 10 years.

Prof Dong Guangrong, speaking for the academy - after a study analysing data from 680 weather stations scattered across the country - said that the rising temperatures would thaw out the tundra of the plateau, turning it into desert.

He added: "The melting glaciers will ultimately trigger more droughts, expand desertification and increase sand storms." The water running off the plateau is increasing soil erosion and so allowing the deserts to spread.

Sandstorms, blowing in from the degraded land, are already plaguing the country. So far this year, 13 of them have hit northern China, including Beijing. Three weeks ago one storm swept across an eighth of the vast country and even reached Korea and Japan. On the way, it dumped a mind-boggling 336,000 tons of dust on the capital, causing dangerous air pollution.

The Challenge of Thor

This Norse ballad of Longfellow is brilliant.

Regarding Thor's militaristic nature, while I do emphasize "peace," I am paradoxically a "warrior" (being a double Aries - I can't help myself), so I do understand the "Fighters for Peace" concept, although I reserve the right to make fun of it and, consequently, myself. I do appreciate the sentiment in this poem, in that it throws Thor's hammer down before "the Galilean." This ballad concisely epitomizes a major battle on this planet and within human nature.

Longfellow might observe that it is evidently within my Nordic nature to defy the Galilean...
The Challenge of Thor
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I AM the God Thor,
I am the War God,
I am the Thunderer!
Here in my Northland,
My fastness and fortress,
Reign I forever!

Here amid icebergs
Rule I the nations;
This is my hammer,
Miƶlner the mighty;
Giants and sorcerers
Cannot withstand it!

These are the gauntlets
Wherewith I wield it,
And hurl it afar off;
This is my girdle;
Whenever I brace it,
Strength is redoubled!

The light thou beholdest
Stream through the heavens,
In flashes of crimson,
Is but my red beard
Blown by the night-wind,
Affrighting the nations!
Jove is my brother;
Mine eyes are the lightning;
The wheels of my chariot
Roll in the thunder,
The blows of my hammer
Ring in the earthquake!

Force rules the world still,
Has ruled it, shall rule it;
Meekness is weakness,
Strength is triumphant,
Over the whole earth
Still is it Thor's-Day!

Thou art a God too,
O Galilean!
And thus singled-handed
Unto the combat,
Gauntlet or Gospel,
Here I defy thee!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Blessed are the Peacemakers?

"Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9
So says Jesus in the cherished Sermon on the Mount. "Blessed are the peacemakers" - a lovely sentiment that the conscientious among us can see must be true. In this spirit, our leaders have devised a noble reward - the Nobel Peace Prize, ironically created by a man made rich through producing explosives.

In the same manner, despite this scripture by its founder, Christianity's most pious proponents have frequently been anything but peaceful, evidenced by the past 2,000 years of making war on unbelievers. Instead, these fervent believers have apparently been following this blatantly contradictory statement of Jesus's:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34
Indeed, anyone who has tangled with fundamentalists and fanatic Christians can attest that there is something inherent in this ideology that makes people distinctly unpleasant or, rather, vicious.

Over the years that I have had a presence on the internet, because I dare to critique the obvious flaws in religion, and dare to suggest that the Emperor may be naked - to wit, that the story of Jesus Christ is patently unbelievable and that he is more likely than not a mythical, not historical, character - I have been assailed with such tremendous ferocity that it can be truthfully stated that few fervent Christians consider peacemakers to be blessed. If the purported founder of Christianity is correct in that assessment - as would be sensible for any civilized person - then these Christians have been behaving in a most unblessed manner. But, the opposite of blessed includes "cursed," "damned" and "unholy." Thus, it could be said that, according to Jesus Christ, those who are not peacemakers are unholy.

One of my biggest beefs about Christianity and religion in general is precisely that, by dictating that they and they alone are "gospel truth," these ideologies create an unpleasant, bigoted, prejudiced and rotten mentality that spews forth at everyone around. The most fervent upholders of this mentality are in a league of their own when it comes to arrogance, egotism, conceit and nastiness. They sincerely believe that they are the representatives of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or whatever megalomaniacal entity they can muster, while everyone else is unworthy and less than.

Among the insults that have been tossed my way - of which many others no doubt have also been on the receiving end - are the following:
  • I am being duped and/or led by the Devil/Satan.
  • I am Satan's mouthpiece.
  • I am evil.
  • I am very bad.
  • I am a sinner.
  • I am ignorant.
  • I am a stupid, limited human who cannot understand the magnitude and ways of God.
And so on.

In my individual case, the vitriol includes that I am a "bully" and a "coward." Never mind that I am jousting with the cosmos's biggest bully and bogeyman, i.e., God/Jesus, who is designed to scare the bejesus out of ya and who will throw you into eternal hellfire for not falling down on your knees to worship Him! I am also a "fraud" and a "liar," as well as numerous other epithets clearly designed to punish me for daring to declare the emperor's obvious nakedness.

Ah yes, blessed are the peacemakers. I can see their heavenly rooms with a view being reserved right now...

To understand this behavior, it is necessary to look at the remarks of conservative Christian commentator Chuck Smith, who makes the following statements regarding Matthew 5:9:
"Peace is more than a passive existence; it's a very positive state of good. A peacemaker is more than one who stops quarrels; he brings good into other people's lives. A peacemaker might become involved in great conflicts As long as the forces of evil prevail, there is no way to have peace except by destroying them. Peacemakers deal with the corrupted issues so that there can be a true state of peace. Jesus was fighting against the corrupted religious system and for peace between man and God (John 2:14-16; Matthew 23:27). Real peace can never be found in a compromise with evil. There can never be a peaceful coexistence with sin (1 Corinthians 5:7; Isaiah 57:20, 48:22). Peacemakers bring others to God."
Herein lies the rub, which may explain a few things: Pathologically self-righteous fundamentalists justify their evidently gleeful and sadistic contempt for and mistreatment of other human beings by claiming that in order to have peace, we must make war on the unbelievers. In other words, no matter what you do - whether breaking bread with your neighbor or chopping his head off - so long as you believe, you are doing "good."

And they claim atheists have no moral compass!

Such a polemical definition of what is a peacemaker will not suffice to pacify all parties, so perhaps we should stick to the simple dictionary definition:

"peacemaker: someone who tries to bring peace"

And what is "peace?"

"Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind."

Amen, Hallelujah, and Praise the Lord.

My sincerest wish for all people on Earth is that they may be able to attain to such a wondrous state of being.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Who's Wackier, Christians or Scientologists?

A friend and I were discussing Tom Cruise when we both commented that Scientology is pretty loony. "Not really more so," I remarked, knowing that my friend is nominally Christian, "than believing there is an invisible Jewish guy floating around." She laughed and nodded in agreement. Now, I was born into a Christian family, and I well know what it means to be a Christian; yet, I find it no more "reality" and no less loopy than any other wacky religious system, including Scientology.

Scientologists have tended to be highly litigious, and they certainly have an oddly inordinate amount of money and power. Having copyedited the book Sex and Rockets, which among other things delves significantly into the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, I have to say that I've read some very strange things about the man that should make anyone involved in his religion/cult pause for a moment. I haven't studied the seminal Scientology manual, Dianetics, as I have found the entire movement somewhat offputting. I have wondered what is the allure that so many of the rich and famous adhere to it? Is there something we mere mortals are not seeing? Perhaps we're missing the boat - after all, some of the biggest names and very rich people are involved in Scientology. Maybe they're doing something right and believing in the right god and religion! Where do we sign up?!

But the point of this essay is not really to figure out why Scientology is so frighteningly popular with powerful people but to make note that, as weird as it is, it isn't truly more outrageous, bizarre, loony or wacky than believing there is a giant, invisible, immortal and all-powerful Jewish man floating about all over the place.

This point is also illustrated by the following story: Years ago, a delightfully kooky friend of mine and I were discussing his fervent interest and belief in aliens, UFOs and other realms. His mother was so concerned about his interest that she thought he should receive medical treatment, as did other family members.

"They're Christian," he said, "so they don't believe in any of this stuff."

"Well," I replied, "it seems much more sane to think there are UFOs flying around the sky than to believe there's a Jewish guy floating out there. After all, UFOs belong in the sky, while an invisible Jewish guy doesn't."

My friend laughed heartily and felt much better. He's still plenty wacky, but who isn't?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Believe like me - or you're nuts!

The following is an email I recently received. Notice all the ad hominems, in an attempt to bludgeon me into accepting this person's perspective. Note also that a number of the premises for his insults are not even true.
From: JC
To: Acharya S
Subject: You are crazy my friend!!!
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006

Realy,I pity you. Why are you trying to give to everyone proof that we are meaningless? I tell you that the answer is simple. You fell meaningless yourself and try to proove everyone that they are like you!! You promote free time and say you should enjoy life, but yet you waste your time in sensless claims.

You are alive because you are born, and you will not die unless your brain stops functioning. Try to imagine that you will die and you will never exist again. Then immagine the universe if God never created it (science presumes that there is a cause to everything!! What is the cause of existance in your opinion if there was nothing before the big bang? Do you realy think that after the end of all physical matter, nothing will ever exist again? You are funny.)
You are saying that life is a curse to everyone, as every one must accept his evident and eventual demise!!

Explain this to me. Miracles- the healing powr of God in several occations and in holy places like in the waters of Lourdes, Explain the Stigmata or possesion!! Explain the eucharsitical miracles, that in occasions REAL BLOOD comes out from the host. OBVIOUSLY you can't as you in your simlicity are no match for God.

Another thing. The violence in the Bible happened only when us humans refused to listen to the word of God. In every way, man has always denied God like you are doing now. You have not been violently massacered.

One last thing. You are certian that God doesn't exist. We humans know almost nothing about anything. HOW CAN AN IGNORANT HUMAN THAT MAKES SENSETIONALIST CLAIMS, SUCH AS YOUR SELF, SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT, WHEN THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE SPEND THEIR LIVES TO FIND THE ANSWER AND FAILED?

Alas that is a question that you in your ignorance can answer.

Have faith in God

The "Historical" Jesus?

(The following is a slightly modified excerpt from my book Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled.)

It has been demonstrated herein that there is no evidence for the existence of Christ, Christians or Christianity in the literary or archaeological record of the first century. Nor do the earliest Christian texts provide evidence of an "historical" Jesus. In addition, the canonical gospels do not make their appearance until late in the second century. Moreover, a number of the main characters and places in the gospel tale cannot be verified by extrabiblical evidence. In the end, it is evident that "the traditional narrative of the Birth, Death, and Resurrection was constructed from data of the Old Testament, mystically interpreted." As Leidner remarks, "The gospel story is fictional in its entirety. There never was a Jesus of Nazareth and there never was a crucifixion story."

It is claimed that the reason Jesus is not found in any historian's works of the day is because, while a "real person," this "world savior" was an "itinerant Galilean preacher" and an "obscure rabbi." This obscure rabbi's "bio" was then enhanced by his followers, who, after his death, added a series of miracles and fairytales to his mundane life. After a thorough analysis of all the evidence, it is clear that the gospel tale is not a "bio" of an "itinerant Galilean preacher," who nobody had heard of but whose unknown and impoverished followers were so powerful that they could pull off one of the greatest coups in history. It simply did not happen. There was no "man" who so inspired his lowly disciples that--with greater supernatural power than Jesus ever possessed--they could convince Rome, with its crusty, cynical, old white male elite, to fall down on its knees to worship him. Particularly when he was of a "race" or ethnicity deemed peculiar and troublesome, if not despised, throughout the Roman Empire.

As to the Romans mindlessly adopting this non-entity from the backwater and turning him into a god...can anyone seriously imagine today the U.S. Senate entertaining for one moment the idea of deifying, say, a begging, dirty, scruffy, homeless provincial preacher from an alien culture, whose fable was presented to them, decades or centuries after the alleged events, without a shred of evidence that it ever happened? And to adore and worship one whose close companions included poor and uneducated hayseeds? The all-powerful Romans suddenly overthrowing their entire established, entrenched and profitable religious organizations and priesthoods, the secret societies to which practically all the elite belonged, closing down the mystery schools that had been in existence for ages, forgetting utterly about the numerous gods they adored for eons, and reducing their current leader, who himself was deified, to a mere servant of an obscure preacher from hicksville? Such a scenario is impossible to conceive, even with the gullibility and credulity of a small child. Such a view constitutes naivete of the highest order. Importantly, it represents a deleterious delusion....

When one studies the subject in depth, the conclusion is that there is no core to the Christian onion. Overall, it is evident that, like Gulliver's Travels, the gospel story is fiction, not history. Like Gulliver, Jesus is given a "real world" in which to play out his drama, with real figures out of history, but this tactic is no different than what was done with the numerous ancient gods, who in actuality never existed as "real people."

(The following is from my book The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold.)

Christianity and the story of Jesus Christ were created by members of various secret societies, mystery schools and religions in order to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion. In making such a fabrication, this multinational cabal drew upon a multitude of myths and rituals that already existed long before the Christian era, and reworked them for centuries into the story and religion passed down today.