Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Near-Death Experience to Die For

Fanny Ruthven Paget

In her 1917 book, How I Know that the Dead Are Alive, Fanny Ruthven Paget offers one of the most vivid and detailed near-death experiences ever recorded. While not clearly stating her illness, one might infer that Paget, a resident of Houston, Texas, suffered from severe pneumonia for several days during 1911.

"All about and above me I could see nothing, but fancy my astonishment if you can, when looking down, I saw my body resting peacefully on the bed, representing what is commonly called a ‘dead person'," Paget recalled. "I could not move my eyes from it; it fascinated me as it lay in the cold whiteness, robed in a gown of lavender silk, with dainty laces and ruffles...The deep blue ‘windows of the soul,' the eyes, were at half mast; the soul being absent the light was gone; the lips slightly parted wore just a suggestion of a smile; the left hand rested lightly on the breast - the engagement ring scintillating as brightly as ever; the right, which no doubt had been lifted unconsciously at the shock of impact, had fallen a little apart from the body and lay, palm upturned. How peaceful it looked!

"Thus every detail of the clay image fastened itself upon my consideration as I viewed it dispassionately, realizing that it was a cast-off garment for which I had no further use. However, I felt a protective kindliness toward it; it had been a faithful servant, executing my every wish and whim and now that I had passed beyond the range of its services, it pleased my fancy to robe it in the white, pearl-be-decked dress, the wearing of which had meant so much to me in quite a different way."

Paget then concerned herself with her fiancé in another town and found herself being propelled by a vibratory sensation to his sleeping body. "As I looked upon him I saw the shadow body more distinctly than the physical. Viewed from the other side of life, the ‘shadow' body seemed the original and the physical the duplicate, the soul the real, the body the unreal. Within and interpenetrating all was a light, which I had not before perceived as being a part of the spiritual anatomy. This light penetrated from within, both the shadow and physical bodies, maintaining through and about the body an aura or illumination which enveloped it; clothing it, as it were, in a magnetized illumination. How wonderful this three-in-one life-manifestation seemed, especially when we generally recognize only the one - the physical!"

More after the jump.

Talking to the Living

Moving closer to her fiancé, Paget attempted to converse with him, but he slept on, even though his soul, which was not sleeping, responded joyously and tried to help her penetrate his physical consciousness as he moaned and turned restlessly in his sleep. After a few moments, he cried out, "Fanny, Fanny," and sat up in bed, wide awake. As he turned on a light and reached for his glasses and a magazine, she tried to communicate, but he did not react to her words. "I am dead, that is why he cannot hear and see me," she thought, further recalling that she felt more alive than she had ever felt. "There was something pitiably painful about being so near one beloved, seeing him plainly and hearing him distinctly, even knowing that he was thinking of me, and yet having him utterly ignore my presence, and above all knowing that he would never recognize me again - never hear my voice no matter how ardently I called, while I was the same in every way minus the physical body."

Then she perceived that her vibratory environment did not harmonize with his. "Mine was the vibration of perpetual motion - his more like a ‘dead sea' into which these vibratory currents ebbed and flowed, and it seemed such an easy matter to move out of the ‘deadness' into the ‘ebb and flow' that I waited and watched a long time before I realized that he would make no effort to do so."

Realizing that she would not be able to penetrate his physical consciousness, she bade him farewell and attempted to move on; however, the vibratory force seemed to restrain her. "Persistently the force held me, as though inviting me to further considerations of earth interests, but I had none. My material possessions were disposed of as I desired; there was no life-work I was leaving incomplete; I had no children, no one depending on me; nothing held me to the earth. My desire had been to go beyond it and now that I had done so, I was well pleased and wanted to go on to the joys I felt awaited me beyond the influence of earth. Yet the force held me, try as I would to pass beyond it, until, instead of struggling against it I tried to understand it - to wrest from it its reason for thus detaining me, feeling that there must be some reason for such marked persistence. Almost instantly the lesson sank into my consciousness and I realized that the long arm of mundane interests can reach into the Beyond and hold its victims within the shadow of earth - pitting its magnetism against the promise of higher things."

She then felt herself moving in an undulating way within the propelling vibration and was suddenly enveloped in oppressive heavy darkness, feeling alone in eternity and waiting in awesome uncertainty. She perceived that the darkness was really within her and could be eliminated only from within. "There were loved ones and many others welcoming me and rejoicing that I was with them." Her spirit guide, who identified himself as Meon, was also there. She now felt light and carefree.

Visiting "Hell"

Meon then told her to follow him, "and with a soft, bluish light playing about and enveloping us, we floated out on the undulating waves of space." As they were propelled by vibratory waves, they encountered a "red darkness" where she found herself among many others. "I was listening, trying to hear what they were saying but the vibrations were evidently not in harmony, so I could not hear distinctly, and after a long time of vain effort I turned to Meon, and asked ‘What place is this?'" explained that they were in a place still very much within earth's magnetism, or spiritual gravitation. Paget asked why the souls were detained there and Meon informed her that some desire it while others were not yet strong enough to progress beyond that point. "Earth interests hold them," he explained.

"There was no bar to their going on but they did not want to; some did not know they could not give up the earth life," Paget related. "In this dark earth-magnetized region disembodied spirits lived the mundane existence much as the psychic lives the spiritual while yet in the mundane - one in progression, the other retrogression. Disembodied spirits living the mundane life do so at the expense of human beings in the earth life, while the mundane person living the spiritual life is obeying the law of evolution and progression."

Paget observed spirits of love and mercy attempting to help those souls stuck in this "hellish" realm, but most of them had not yet acquired "spiritual hearing" and did not respond to the offers of assistance. There were some, however, who heard and struggled up from the vortex. Meon informed her that no soul was irretrievably lost, no matter how many aeons it may remain in the darkness.

Paget began to wonder if this was to be her new abode, but Meon assured her that it was not. "Did not the Christ descend into this place before his ascension?" he addressed her concern.

"Far out beyond the red-fringed darkness I could see light, in which rainbows seemed to play, pale as the dawn, of a gray-weird loveliness, coming and going as though flirting with the darkness, for to embrace it would be to destroy," she continue on. "For delicate beauty it seemed I had never seen anything more fascinating or alluring than this kiss of the dawn and the darkness in the Soul world - it was like kissing death goodbye."

The Dawn World

They passed into what seemed to be another world. Paget called it the "Dawn World," since it seemed that the light began to neutralize the darkness. "There were houses, flowers, trees, everything was so life-like it amazed me. I almost fancied I had returned to earth." The inhabitants conversed with her, but they did not seem to realize that they were in the "after life," as they were not entirely free of earth's magnetism. Paget witnessed some of them going earthward, as though drawn by something of paramount importance. "While there seemed no doubt that these people once inhabited the earth, I saw no one I had ever known in this life. They had possibly progressed there out of the darkness and would go back to help those less fortunate into the higher condition which they had attained."

Meon and Paget vibrated onward in ever increasing light. "So enchanting was this riding on vibratory waves of space in a gentle undulatory way, that I felt like going on forever, and forever, never tiring, never stopping, but after abandoning myself to the witchery of it for some time, I perceived the vibrations changing, merging into a quivering sensation, even more exquisite, and then, as if part of it, my feet came upon something different, something firm and reliable."

She now found herself in a city of light, one of whiteness, boundless in expanse. "It seemed I had reached the limit of my ability to float in space. It seemed that I was heavier than my surroundings in some way. Everywhere were the most exalted souls I had yet seen. Some came forward and greeted us, addressing Meon as though he were one of them, and then, together, we entered into a building immeasurable in space and height, the veritable soul of architectural magnificence. The material had the transparency of glass of a variegated whiteness, into which colors, harmonizing in the most delicate way, were coming and going, ever changing. Electricity seemed to be the power which held it all together, as the electric blue would merge into violet and play incessantly, in a serpentine way, into which almost imperceptible yellowish streams seemed to flow. It was self-illuminated...It seemed that all the wisdom of all the ages was mine as I stood there. Life and death gave up their mysteries, and I no longer wondered but observed as one who understood. The machinery of earth existence was operated and regulated by and through the power of this plane. It was actually in contact with the earth. No happening on earth escaped the observation of the great spirits who seemed to have nothing else to do but watch over the beings of earth, to teach them, to lift them up through darkness, watch over reincarnations, create teachers and place them where they were most needed. With these teachers they were in direct communication at all times and knew exactly what was going on through some form of wireless telegraphy or telephony, perhaps, but they communicated as though there were no distance.

"They seemed to draw the highly evolved souls of earth up to them mentally, and these cooperated consciously, responding unerringly. It was marvelous to watch the process or rather processes, as there were many phases of this supervision. There were coming and going all the time. I saw many go out and disappear into the depths, all rejoicing in their work, the uplifting of humanity. The souls were countless, the space immeasurable, yet there was no confusion - it was system idealized, each recognizing his mission and doing it. Truly, it was the Christ principle manifested, for they were laboring for others, not themselves."

Meon took Paget even higher, where the influence of earth was not felt. A great soul came forward and asked her if she would like to return to earth. She said she would like to return only if she could do good by telling others what she had experienced. The being warned her that many would not believe her and that she might suffer from her efforts, but Paget said she was up for the challenge.

A Life Review

Paget then felt alone with bowed head. She then saw a little light vibrating directly before her. It began shaping itself into something. "It was not unlike a moving picture." She began to see figures and a small girl emerged. She soon realized that the young girl was herself and she was reliving her life on earth. She saw herself reveling in her grand passion, music, which held her in bondage as she grew in the joy and mastery of it. "How the little, white fingers, too small to span an octave, subconsciously caught fragments from the ‘choir invisible' and imprisoned them on the piano!

She saw herself grow through college and into a proud, self-centered woman. There appeared before her three roads, one labeled "Good," one "Evil," and the other, the center, was unlabeled. She found herself on the center road, which had many more people than either of the side roads. "These roads were guarded by invisible creatures, according to the indicated propensities of each, who were always calling to those who traveled in the center, in an endeavor to influence them to more determined tendencies. Ever and anon there were paths leading from the center to the outer roads and from one outer road to the other, showing how easily one can change ones course at will."

Paget then saw the young woman dreaming of becoming a great singer, the compensation being the homage of the world. "I saw her holding to heart in enchanted fancy, as the only thing worth while, the emptiest of all life's coveted cups - Fame." There was no one to remind her that ‘by ambition fell the angels."

The "movie" of her life continued on to the time she came down with a severe case of laryngitis and lost her singing voice. She saw herself cursing God and being enveloped by a shadow-stained covering of materialism. She saw both her parents pass into the spirit world, leaving her alone, fighting the bitter fight. She saw even the most trivial matters in her life review. "Its faithfulness to detail was perfectly marvelous. Nothing was hidden, nothing slurred over. It was all there. I was standing face to face with my earth life just as I had lived it, awaiting its condemnation or justification."

When the life review ended, Meon stood waiting. He told her that the purpose of the review was to build an edifice on the ashes as she returned to earth life.

"Meon and other spirits were hovering about me. I could feel the electrified essence, which had manifested its presence everywhere during my voyage, drawing itself away - letting me go, as it were. Then the burden of physical life was full upon me and what a misfit I was!"

Read more!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Most Bizarre Religions

1. The Church of Scientology - Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.

Scientology teaches that people are immortal spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature. Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counseling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects.

The Church of Scientology is one of the most controversial new religious movements to have arisen in the 20th century. It has often been described as a cult that financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services. The Church of Scientology has consistently used litigation against such critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its foes has been condemned as harassment. Further controversy has focused on Scientology's belief that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth. Former members say that some of Hubbard's writings on this remote extraterrestrial past, included in confidential Upper Levels, are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology. Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished.

Beliefs and Practices

Scientology claims that its beliefs and practices are based on rigorous research, and its doctrines are accorded a significance equivalent to that of scientific laws. "Scientology works 100 percent of the time when it is properly applied to a person who sincerely desires to improve his life", the Church of Scientology says. Conversion is held to be of lesser significance than the practical application of Scientologist methods. Adherents are encouraged to validate the value of the methods they apply through their personal experience. Hubbard himself put it this way: "For a Scientologist, the final test of any knowledge he has gained is, 'did the data and the use of it in life actually improve conditions or didn't it?""

Body and Spirit
Scientology beliefs revolve around the thetan, the individualized expression of the cosmic source, or life force, named after the Greek letter theta
(θ). The thetan is the true identity of a person – an intrinsically good, omniscient, non-material core capable of unlimited creativity.

In the primordial past, thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure. The universe has no independent reality, but derives its apparent reality from the fact that most thetans agree it exists. Thetans fell from grace when they began to identify with their creation, rather than their original state of spiritual purity. Eventually they lost their memory of their true nature, along with the associated spiritual and creative powers. As a result, thetans came to think of themselves as nothing but embodied beings.

Thetans are reborn time and time again in new bodies through a process called
"assumption" which is analogous to reincarnation.

Emotions and the Mind
Scientology presents two major divisions of the mind. The
reactive mind is thought to absorb all pain and emotional trauma, while the analytical mind is a rational mechanism which is responsible for consciousness. The reactive mind stores mental images which are not readily available to the analytical (conscious) mind; these are referred to as engrams. Engrams are painful and debilitating; as they accumulate, people move further away from their true identity.[86] To avoid this fate is Scientology's basic goal.[86] Dianetic auditing is one way by which the Scientologist may progress toward the Clear state, winning gradual freedom from the reactive mind's engrams, and acquiring certainty of his or her reality as a thetan.

Scientology uses an emotional classification system called the tone scale. The tone scale is a tool used in counseling; Scientologists maintain that knowing a person's place on the scale makes it easier to predict their actions and assists in bettering their condition.

Survival and Ethics

The Scientology cross has eight corners representing the eight dynamics of life.

Scientology emphasizes the importance of survival, which it subdivides into eight classifications that are referred to as
dynamics. An individual's desire to survive is considered to be the first dynamic, while the second dynamic relates to procreation and family. The remaining dynamics encompass wider fields of action, involving groups, mankind, all life, the physical universe, the spirit, and the Supreme Being. The optimum solution to any problem is held to be the one that brings the greatest benefit to the greatest number of dynamics.

Scientology teaches that spiritual progress requires and enables the attainment of high ethical standards. In Scientology, rationality is stressed over morality. Actions are considered ethical if they promote survival across all eight dynamics, thus benefiting the greatest number of people or things possible while harming the fewest.

Space Opera and Confidential Materials
The Church of Scientology holds that at the higher levels of initiation
(OT levels) mystical teachings are imparted that may be harmful to unprepared readers. These teachings are kept secret from members who have not reached these levels. The Church states that the secrecy is warranted to keep its materials' use in context, and to protect its members from being exposed to materials they are not yet prepared for.

These are the
OT levels, the levels above Clear, whose contents are guarded within Scientology. The OT level teachings include accounts of various cosmic catastrophes that befell the thetans. Hubbard described these early events collectively as space opera.

In the OT levels, Hubbard explains how to reverse the effects of past-life trauma patterns that supposedly extend millions of years into the past. Among these advanced teachings is the story of
Xenu (sometimes Xemu), introduced as the tyrant ruler of the "Galactic Confederacy." According to this story, 75 million years ago Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners, stacked them around volcanoes and detonated hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes. The thetans then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to do this today. Scientologists at advanced levels place considerable emphasis on isolating body thetans and neutralizing their ill effects.

2. The Church of All Worlds - The Church of All Worlds (CAW) is a neopagan religious group whose stated mission is to evolve a network of information, mythology, and experience that provides a context and stimulus for reawakening Gaia and reuniting her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and evolving consciousness.

The key founder of CAW is Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, who serves the Church as "Primate", later along with his wife, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, designated High Priestess. CAW began in 1961 with a group of high school friends. One of these was Richard Lance Christie from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Christie was fascinated by the "self-actualization" concepts of Abraham Maslow, a renowned American psychologist, and after meeting then-Timothy Zell at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, he began experiments in extrasensory perception. CAW was formed in 1962, evolving from a group of friends and lovers who were in part inspired by a fictional religion of the same name in the science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein; the church's mythology includes science fiction to this day. The headquarters are presently in Cotati, California.

CAW's members, called Waterkin, espouse pantheism, but the Church is not a belief-based religion. Members experience Divinity and honor these experiences while also respecting the views of others. They recognize "Gaea," the Earth Mother Goddess and the Father God, as well as the realm of Faeries and the deities of many other pantheons. Many of their ritual celebrations are centered on the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.

Supposedly Zell-Ravenheart has also begun a "Grey School of Wizardry" to teach the art of wizardry to non wizard children. This school is said to have been inspired by the "Hogwarts School" from the Harry Potter series.

3. Nuwaubianism - Nuwaubianism is an umbrella term used to refer to the doctrines and teachings of the followers of Dwight York. The Nuwaubians themselves typically do not use the term. It is not to be found in the works of their teacher Dwight D. York. Instead, they have referred to their teachings by such terms as “Nuwaubu,” “Nuwaupu,” “Wu-Nuwaubu,” “Right Knowledge,” “Sound Right Reasoning,” “Overstanding,” “Factology,” and many other names through the years. The Nuwaubians originated as a Black Muslim group in New York in the 1970s, and have gone through many changes since. Eventually, the group established a headquarters in Putnam County, Georgia in 1993, which they have since abandoned. York is now in prison after having been convicted on money laundering and child molestation charges, but Nuwaubianism endures.

York developed Nuwaubianism by drawing on a wide range of sources which include Theosophy-derived New Age movements such as Astara as well as the Rosicrucians, Freemasonry, the Shriners, the Moorish Science Temple of America, the revisionist Christianity and Islam of the Ahmadiyya Movement founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the numerology of Rashad Khalifa, the ancient astronaut theories of Zecharia Sitchin, Robert Temple’s The Sirius Mystery, J.J. Hurtak’s The Keys of Enoch, the works of Richard Shaver (a proponent of the Hollow Earth theory), David Icke, the UFO mythology of greys and reptilians, the political and legal theories of patriot mythology, modern scientific and pseudoscientific legends like those of Area 51, the Philadelphia Experiment, Project Blue Book, Montauk Project, and MJ-12, popular conspiracy theories such as those about the Illuminati or the Bilderberg Group, and even a paperback on fortune-telling.
“The spell of Leviathan”

Much of the purpose of Nuwaubian doctrine and practice is to counteract what is called “the spell of Leviathan” or “the spell of Kingu.” In Nuwaubian mythology, Leviathan is a god associated with the moon, sex, and spirit — also known as Lucifer, Sin, Set, Thoth, Siva, Hermes, Jehovah, Poseidon, and the biblical serpent.

Nuwaubians believe that the Spell of Leviathan was cast by the devil thousands of years ago to hypnotize Black people into “spiritual ignorance and racial indifference” through such media as the Bible and certain elements of popular culture.

Leviathan has many aliases and hides in many guises, as this example shows:
Sam is short for one of his titles, SamaEl meaning “poison those of EL.” He knows his name. He calls himself Uncle Sam or Dr. Seuss (Zeus) with his famous statement, “Sam I Am, I Am Sam.” This is what they teach the children; not ours however, for they will get right knowledge.
“Right Racism”

Some of Nuwaubian racial doctrine borrows from Moorish Science and the Nation of Islam. York’s racial philosophy explicitly indicates that certain blacks – “Nubians” or “Melanites” – are of a superior race.

Periodically Nuwaubians will claim not to adhere to a racist doctrine, for instance quoting York’s statement: “We accept as fact that no one race of people is better than the other. In fact no one wins the race in racism.”

However, other statements from York and his followers indicate that his philosophy does rank moral worthiness based on race. For instance, in one lecture York said: “White people are the devil. They say the Nuwaubians are not racist – bullcrap! I am. He might not be; that’s his prerogative. I am. White people are devils — always was, always will be.”

White people (sometimes also referred to as “Amorites,” “Hyksos,” “Heka Khasut,” “Canaanites,” “Tamahu,” or “Mankind”) are said in one Nuwaubian myth to have been originally created as a race of killers to serve blacks as a slave army, but this plan went awry:
The Caucasian has not been chosen to lead the world. They lack true emotions in their creation. We never intended them to be peaceful. They were bred to be killers, with low reproduction levels and a short life span. What you call Negroid was to live 1,000 years each and the other humans 120 years. But the warrior seed of Caucasians only 60 years. They were only created to fight other invading races, to protect the God race Negroids. But they went insane, lost control when they were left unattended. They were never to taste blood. They did, and their true nature came out.… Because their reproduction levels were cut short, their sexual organs were made the smallest so that the female of their race will want to breed with Negroids to breed themselves out of existence after 6,000 years. It took 600 years to breed them, part man and part beast.
Other Teachings

Human Origins
  1. It is important to bury the afterbirth so that Satan does not make a clone of the newborn baby.
  2. Aborted fetuses survive and live in sewers where they are forming an army to take over the world.
  3. Each of us has seven clones living in different parts of the world.
Animal Origins
  1. The pig was created by Imhotep and Zoser during the time of Abraham, by grafting cells from the dog, cat and rat together, and was designed to help dispose of leprous corpses.
Anti-Nubian conspiracies
  1. "Haven’t you ever wondered why for the simplest blood tests your doctor needs 4 tubes of blood? Where is all this blood going? The albino man’s ‘blood bank’ is just a sophisticated way of getting all the blood he needs! It is still a form of vampirism."
  2. Alcoholic beverages are made cheaply available to Nubians by the powers that be in order to preserve their blood and organs better "(just like they preserve organs in jars in laboratories)" for later extraction.
  3. Disco was created by the devil to win the souls of the Nubians: "The evil one knows that he can control the music world as long as his agents are within the A & R (Artists and Repertoire, who are responsible for choosing who makes it in the music world) of the well known companies. He cannot evaluate Latin or Black music because he (the evil one) has no soul. He only duplicates it… He had to come up with something to win our souls through his means, and he did it with disco."
  4. There is an underground road connecting New York and London. Furthermore, Alternative 3 is a fact, and Mars is being prepared for the evacuation of Earth’s intellectual and political elite.
  5. "People like the Pope, and Queen of England and various political leaders of various countries and some members of the clergy gather at the major Sabbats to invoke the malevolent one. On each of these occasions a Nubian man is sacrificed."
  6. The Illuminati have nurtured a child, Satan's son, who was born on 6 June 1966 at the Dakota House on 72nd Street in New York to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis of the Rothschild/Kennedy families. The Pope was present at the birth and performed necromantic ceremonies. The child was raised by former U.S. president Richard Nixon and now lives in Belgium, where it is hooked up bodily to a computer called "The Beast 3M" or "3666."

4. Iglesia Maradoniana (Maradonian Church) - was created by fans of the retired Argentine football player Diego Maradona, who they believe to be the best player of all time. It was founded on October 30, 1998 (Maradona's 38th birthday) in the city of Rosario, Argentina but it wasn't until 2001 that they had their first gathering.

It could be seen as a type of syncretism. It's clear that the passion between the different members is what glues them together. As Alejandro Verón, one of the founders tells us "I have a rational religion and that’s the Roman Catholic church, and I have a religion passed on my heart, passion, and that’s Diego Maradona."

Ten Commandments
  1. The ball must not be stained, as D10S has proclaimed;
  2. Love football over all things;
  3. Declare your unconditional love of football;
  4. Defend the colours of Argentina;
  5. Preach the words of "Diego Maradona" all over the world;
  6. Pray in the temples where he preached, and to his sacred mantles;
  7. Do not proclaim the name of Diego in the name of a single club;
  8. Follow the teachings of the Maradonian Church;
  9. Let Diego be your second name, and that of your children;
  10. No ser cabeza de termo y que no se te escape la tortuga. (Don't be a hothead and don't let the turtle escape you.)
Supporters of the Maradonian Church, supposedly from all parts of the world, count the years since Maradona's birth in 1960. It is popular among the followers of this religion, and also among other football fans, to use the neo-Tetragrammaton "D10S" as one of the names of Maradona. D10S is a portmanteau word which fuses Maradona's name (Diego), shirt number (10) and Dios, the Spanish word for God.

5. The Church of Euthanasia - The Church of Euthanasia (CoE), is a political organization started by the Reverend Chris Korda in the Boston, Massachusetts area of the United States.

According to the church's website, it is "a non-profit educational foundation devoted to restoring balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth." According to the church's website, the one commandment is "Thou shalt not procreate". The CoE further asserts four principal pillars:
  1. Suicide
  2. Abortion
  3. Cannibalism ("strictly limited to consumption of the already dead")
  4. Sodomy ("any sexual act not intended for procreation")
Slogans employed by the group include "Save the Planet, Kill Yourself", "Six Billion Humans Can't Be Wrong", and "Eat a Queer Fetus for Jesus", all of which are intended to mix inflammatory issues to unnerve those who oppose abortion and homosexuality.

6. Jediism - Jediism is a post-modern religious movement based upon the philosophical and spiritual ideas of the Jedi as depicted in Star Wars media.

The Jedi interpret and use the philosophic teachings found in the "Star Wars" stories/films, and other inspirational sources. Not all people who practice Jediism consider it a religious movement; some see it merely as a way of life. In addition to following the examples set in "Star Wars", Jedi practitioners also incorporate such codes as the Code of the Samurai and the Knight's code of Chivalry.

7. The Church of Ed Wood - First thing that you see when you enter their web site is a pop up that says: “To answer your first question – yes, we’re totally serious.” This religion is registered and official. Woodists at their gatherings always dress up as opposite genre and indulge their desires, because Ed Wood loved transvestites and engaged them in his movies.

What you are about to enter is The Church of Ed Wood.

We are an internet church that practices Woodism. Woodism is a pop-culture-based religion created in 1996 by Reverend Steve Galindo. We follow the late cult director Edward D. Wood Jr., and we look to him as a savior. We at The Church of Ed Wood use Ed and his films to inject spirituality into those who get little fulfillment from more mainstream religions like Christianity. By looking at his films and his life, we learn to lead happy, positive lives. We strive for acceptance of others and of the self.

8. Apatheism - Apatheism (a portmanteau of apathy and theism/atheism), also known as pragmatic atheism or (critically) as practical atheism, is acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief, or lack of belief in a deity. Apatheism describes the manner of acting towards a belief or lack of a belief in a deity; so applies to both theism and atheism. An apatheist is also someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that gods exist or do not exist. In other words, an apatheist is someone who considers the question of the existence of gods as neither meaningful nor relevant to his or her life.

Apathetic agnosticism (also called pragmatic agnosticism) is the view that thousands of years of debate have neither proven, nor dis-proven, the existence of one or more deities (gods). This view concludes that even if one or more deities exist, they do not appear to be concerned about the fate of humans. Therefore, their existence has little impact on personal human affairs and should be of little theological interest.

Arguments of Brands of Apatheism

Absence of Religious Motivation
Morals are present in human society and do not rely on religion to be a part of the human experience. The existence or nonexistence of a god has no effect on the actions of humans and may actually cause more human suffering than benefit. Apatheists recognize that religion may provide a "comfort" for many people around the world, but apatheists do not need religion to be content with the morality of their lives and therefore live without it, thus "
moral apatheism".


Also known as the
"I'll eat another cookie" philosophy, an indifferent apatheist would say, "Since the existence of God can never be proven, nor can it be disproven, I won't waste my time asking questions to which there are no answers, and just eat another cookie."
Better known as "Indifferentism" in that
"Indifferentism is the belief that there is no evidence that one religion or philosophy is superior to another."

"Not In My Power"
Many religions first became popular because of
"miracles" or "acts of god". In the Bible, Jesus and his Apostles were seemingly granted powers from God in order to convince followers of his existence. They healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, fed multitudes with a few loaves of bread, walked on water and rose from the dead. Without these acts of God, it is doubtful that anyone would have believed in Christianity. Although it has not been proven if those feats really occurred, if God wanted people to believe in him, he could show off his existence and explain to humans what he wants us to do. Being all powerful, if he truly wanted humans to believe, he could send a divine sign. Since he does not seem to care if humans believe or not, apatheists will not care until he shows them a reason to.

"Agnostic Neutralist"
Individuals who identify as agnostic neutralists may argue that they prefer to be
"nonparticipant" in prioritizing theistic or atheistic beliefs and claims. The Agnostic neutralist may argue that it is distinguished from apatheism in that the agnostic neutralist is not necessarily "apathetic" regarding the existence of god, or lacking religious motivation, but instead open to the idea of any or all possibilities, claiming that the existence of god is equally as likely as no god existing on the basis that neither has definitive evidence.

The agnostic neutralist may also argue that agnostic theism is the positive belief in god, while agnostic atheism is the negative or negation-of belief in god, and that since one can effectively have a
"neutral" stance to belief itself, they must then be considered neither theist or atheist leaning, but rather neutral as they hold both "sides" equal in their potential to be true.

9. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism - The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the deity of the parody religion. Created in 2005 by Oregon State physics graduate Bobby Henderson, it was originally intended as a satirical protest against the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to permit the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools. In an open letter sent to the Kansas State Board of Education, Henderson parodied the concept of intelligent design by professing belief in a supernatural creator that closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs. Henderson further called for his "Pastafarian" (a play on Rastafarian) theory of creation to be allotted equal time in science classrooms alongside intelligent design and evolution. He explained that since the intelligent design movement uses ambiguous references to an unspecified "Intelligent Designer", any conceivable entity may fulfill that role, even a Flying Spaghetti Monster. After Henderson published the letter on his website, it rapidly became an Internet phenomenon and a symbol for the case against teaching intelligent design in public schools as well as religion in general.
"I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence". — Bobby Henderson
Pastafarian beliefs —generally satires of creationism—are presented both on Henderson's website, where he is described as a "prophet", and in The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, published by Villiard Press in 2006. The central belief is that an invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. Pirates are revered as the original Pastafarians, and Pastafarians facetiously assert that a steady decline in the number of pirates over the years has resulted in a significant rise in global temperature. Pastafarians celebrate every Friday as a holy day. Other Pastafarian holidays include Ramendan, Pastover, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and a vaguely defined holiday near Christmas named "Holiday".

The central belief is that an invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe "after drinking heavily". According to these beliefs, the Monster's intoxication was the cause for a flawed Earth. Furthermore, according to Pastafarianism, all evidence for evolution was planted by the Flying Spaghetti Monster in an effort to test Pastafarians' faith—parodying certain biblical literalists. When scientific measurements such as radiocarbon dating are taken, the Flying Spaghetti Monster "is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage". The Pastafarian belief of Heaven contains a beer volcano and a stripper factory. The Pastafarian Hell is similar, except that the beer is stale and the strippers have sexually transmitted diseases.

The Loose Canon

In September 2005, before Henderson had received a grant to write the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a Pastafarian member of the Venganza forums known as Solipsy announced the beginning of a project to collect texts from fellow Pastafarians to compile into the Loose Canon, a Holy Book of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, essentially analogous to the Bible. The book was completed in 2010 and published for free download.

Some excerpts from the Loose Canon include:
“I am the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Thou shalt have no other monsters before Me. (Afterwards is OK; just use protection.) The only Monster who deserves capitalization is Me! Other monsters are false monsters, undeserving of capitalization.”

- Suggestions 1:1

“Since you have done a half-ass job, you will receive half an ass!" The Great Pirate Solomon grabbed his ceremonial scimitar and struck his remaining donkey, cleaving it in two.”

- Slackers 1:51–52

[Credit (first 5 religions):]
[Credit (remaining religions):]

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

7 Famous Curses

Published by The Editors of Publications International, Ltd. as posted at

1. James Dean and "Little Bastard"

On September 30, 1955, James Dean was killed when the silver Porsche 550 Spyder he called "Little Bastard" was struck by an oncoming vehicle. Within a year or so of Dean's crash, the car was involved in two more fatal accidents and caused injury to at least six other people. After the accident, the car was purchased by hot-rod designer George Barris.

While getting a tune up, Little Bastard fell on the mechanic's legs and crushed them. Barris later sold the engine and transmission to two doctors who raced cars. While racing against each other, one driver was killed, the other seriously injured. Someone else had purchased the tires, which blew simultaneously, sending the driver to the hospital.

Little Bastard was set to appear in a car show, but a fire broke out in the building the night before the show, destroying every car except Little Bastard, which survived without so much as a smudge. The car was then loaded onto a truck to go back to Salinas, California. The driver lost control en route, was thrown from the cab, and was crushed by the car when it fell off the trailer. In 1960, after being exhibited by the California Highway Patrol, Little Bastard disappeared and hasn't been seen since.

2. The Curse of Tutankhamen's Tomb

In 1922, English explorer Howard Carter, leading an expedition funded by George Herbert, Fifth Earl of Carnarvon, discovered the ancient Egyptian king's tomb and the riches inside. After opening the tomb, however, strange and unpleasant events began to take place in the lives of those involved in the expedition.

Lord Carnarvon's story is the most bizarre. The adventurer apparently died from pneumonia and blood poisoning following complications from a mosquito bite. Allegedly, at the exact moment Carnarvon passed away in Cairo, all the lights in the city mysteriously went out. Carnarvon's dog dropped dead that morning, too. Some point to the foreboding inscription, "Death comes on wings to he who enters the tomb of a pharaoh" as proof that King Tut put a curse on anyone who disturbed his final resting place.

3. "The 27 Club"

If you're a rock star and you're about to turn 27, you might want to consider taking a year off to avoid membership in "The Club." Robert Johnson, an African-American musician, who Eric Clapton called "the most important blues musician who ever lived," played the guitar so well that some said he must have made a deal with the devil. So when he died at 27, folks said it must have been time to pay up.

Since Johnson, a host of musical geniuses have gone to an early grave at age 27. Brian Jones, founding member of the Rolling Stones, died at age 27 in 1969. Then it was both Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin in 1970 and Jim Morrison the following year. Kurt Cobain joined "The Club" in 1994. All 27 years old. Coincidence? Or were these musical geniuses paying debts, too?

4. "Da Billy Goat" Curse

In 1945, William "Billy Goat" Sianis brought his pet goat, Murphy, to Wrigley Field to see the fourth game of the 1945 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. Sianis and his goat were later ejected from the game, and Sianis reportedly put a curse on the team that day. Ever since, the Cubs have had legendarily bad luck.

Over the years, Cubs fans have experienced agony in repeated late-season collapses when victory seemed imminent. In 1969, 1984, 1989, and 2003, the Cubs were painfully close to advancing to the World Series but couldn't hold the lead. Even those who don't consider themselves Cubs fans blame the hex for the weird and almost comical losses year after year. The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 -- no other team in the history of the game has gone as long without a championship.

5. Rasputin and the Romanovs

Rasputin, the self-proclaimed magician and cult leader, wormed his way into the palace of the Romanovs, Russia's ruling family, around the turn of the last century. After getting a little too big for his britches, a few of the Romanovs allegedly decided to have him killed. But he was exceptionally resilient.

Reportedly it took poison, falling down a staircase, and repeated gunshots before Rasputin was finally dead. It's said that Rasputin mumbled a curse from his deathbed, assuring Russia's ruling monarchs that they would all be dead within a year. That did come to pass, as the Romanov family was brutally murdered in a mass execution less than a year later.

"'Harrison will not win this year to be the Great Chief. But he may win next year. If he does...He will not finish his term. He will die in his office.' 'No president has ever died in office,' declared a visitor. 'But Harrison will die I tell you. And when he dies you will remember my brother Tecumseh's death. You think that I have lost my powers. I who caused the sun to darken and Red Men to give up firewater. But I tell you Harrison will die. And after him, every Great Chief chosen every 20 years thereafter will die. And when each one dies, let everyone remember the death of our people.'" - Tecumseh

6. Tecumseh and the American Presidents

The curse of Tippecanoe, or "Tecumseh's Curse," is a widely held explanation of the fact that from 1840 to 1960, every U.S. president elected (or reelected) every twentieth year has died in office. Popular belief is that Tecumseh administered the curse when William Henry Harrison's troops defeated the Native American leader and his forces at the Battle of Tippecanoe.
  • William Henry Harrison was elected president in 1840. He caught a cold during his inauguration, which quickly turned into pneumonia. He died April 4, 1841, after only one month in office.
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 and reelected four years later. Lincoln was assassinated and died April 15, 1865.
  • James Garfield was elected president in 1880. Charles Guiteau shot him in July 1881. Garfield died several months later, from complications following the gunshot wound.
  • William McKinley was elected president in 1896 and reelected in 1900. On September 6, 1901, McKinley was shot by Leon F. Czolgosz, who considered the president an "enemy of the people." McKinley died eight days later.
  • Three years after Warren G. Harding was elected president in 1920, he died suddenly of either a heart attack or stroke while traveling in San Francisco.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932 and reelected in 1936, 1940, and 1944. His health wasn't great, but he died rather suddenly in 1945, of a cerebral hemorrhage or stroke.
  • John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960 and assassinated in Dallas three years later.
  • Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, and though he was shot by an assassin in 1981, he did survive. Some say this broke the curse, which should make George W. Bush happy. At the time of this writing, Bush, who was elected in 2000, is serving his second term in office.

7. The Curse of the Kennedy Family

Okay, so maybe if this family had stayed out of politics and off airplanes, their fate might be different. Regardless, the number of Kennedy family tragedies have led some to believe there must be a curse on the whole bunch.
  • JFK's brother Joseph, Jr., and sister Kathleen both died in separate plane crashes in 1944 and 1948, respectively.
  • JFK's other sister, Rosemary, was institutionalized in a mental hospital for years.
  • John F. Kennedy himself, America's 35th president, was assassinated in 1963 at age 46.
  • Robert Kennedy, JFK's younger brother, was assassinated in 1968.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy, JFK's youngest brother, survived a plane crash in 1964. In 1969, he was driving a car that went off a bridge, causing the death of his companion, Mary Jo Kopechne. His presidential goals were pretty much squashed after that.
  • In 1984, Robert Kennedy's son David died of a drug overdose. Another son, Michael, died in a skiing accident in 1997.
  • In 1999, JFK, Jr., his wife, and his sister-in-law died when the small plane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
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Friday, November 5, 2010

The Art of Li Wei

Li Wei (born in 1970, Hubei, China) is a contemporary artist from Beijing, China. His work often depicts him in apparently gravity-defying situations. Wei started off his performance series, 'Mirorring', and later on took off attention with his 'Falls' series which shows the artist with his head and chest embedded into the ground. His work is a mixture of performance art and photography that creates illusions of a sometimes dangerous reality. Li Wei states that these images are not computer montages and works with the help of props such as mirror, metal wires, scaffolding and acrobatics. [Source: Wikipedia]
Li Wei's art is a difficult process. In pieces such as “Lewei Falls to the Ice Hole,” his head is planted and unseen, while his body remains rigid and upright. These photos are shocking and make the viewer puzzle over their achievement. Wei has a knack for creating catalytic art that awes and intrigues people fortunate enough to come across it.

Many of Wei's photos have layered meanings, demonstrating various aspects of Chinese society. In “Li Wei's Body of Art” by Julie Segraves, Wei comments on his “Falls” series, in which he demonstrates the shock of societal progression. He notes: “If you picture someone falling to earth from another planet, there would really be no soft landing, whether the landing were in China or in another part of the world. This feeling of having fallen headfirst into the unknown and of having nothing firm under one's feet is familiar to everyone. One doesn't have to actually fall from another planet to feel that way."

Strange to behold, Li Wei's “Mirror” series is a surreal play on reality with the use of mirrors. Le Wei's head protrudes from a large mirror and it appears as though a human head is floating in a variety of places. Wei hopes to help remind people to view things from a new perspective. This mingling of the real and unreal creates fantastic art.
Li Wei has a message he wants to share: “I want to tell people that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE,” he succinctly informed Claire O'Neil on NPR.

All photos are courtesy of Li Wei.

More of Li Wei's artworks after the jump.

More at Li Wei Art
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Honesty Coffee Shop

Batanes, Philippines

Honesty Coffee Shop is a one of a kind store located in Ivana, Batanes. What makes this Ivatan store interesting? No one looks after the merchandise so each customer is pretty much free to move inside the store. Everyone is expected to be honest, the store owners trust the people enough to allow them to list the products they bought along with its corresponding price and then leave the payment in a drop box. You can find an interesting sign on the wall that says “This store is too small for dishonest people,”.


It is a typical Pinoy Sari-Sari store and Coffee Shop combined. Once you enter the shop, you can sit, relax and have some coffee. Each item has a price tag while some item prices are listed on the wall. The Majority of tourists intentionally drops excessive payment to show their support the owner.

The store is owned by Elena Gabilo, a 73-year old former public school teacher at the Ivana Elementary School. She opened the store in 1995 after her retirement. When the port of Radiwan closed and operations were transferred to San Vicente port, the store sales went down. Since then, she decided to concentrate on farming and helping her husband with their cane vinegar production. She opted to continue the sari-sari store operation but because her presence was needed on the farm she left the store unattended.

Just like a normal Sari-Sari (assorted) stores in most of the unpopulated areas, the store opens from 6am and closed as early as 6pm.
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