The Bollocks Book for Girls and Boys!
Don’t you just love it when Christians get on their high horse and proclaim,
“But I’m not that kind of Christian…”
Those of us who don’t believe your story don’t give a feather or a fig about your doctrinal ravings. We’re not interested in the silly details that distinguish you from the next sect or cult. Those things only matter to you.
And, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and holds the Key to Everlasting Life, then why not get his name right for once?
Jesus is the Roman version – remember the folks you claim nailed him up? The actual Jewish name is Yeheshua or something – imagine that – Christians claim life, the universe and everything is about this one bloke then get his name wrong.
Both the BBC and Guardian today feature a research project which followed a group of over 1,000 people from birth to the age of 38, and has produced the first convincing evidence, claim the researchers, that cannabis has a different and more damaging effect on young brains than on those of adults.
Around 5% of the group used cannabis at least once a week in adolescence or were considered dependent on it. Between the age of 13 and 38, when all members of the group were given a range of psychological tests, the IQ of those who had been habitual cannabis users in their youth had dropped by eight points on average.
Giving up cannabis made little difference – what mattered was the age at which young people began to use it. Those who started after the age of 18 did not have the same IQ decline.
“This work took an amazing scientific effort,” said Professor Terrie Moffitt of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, one of the authors.
“We followed almost 1,000 participants, we tested their mental abilities as kids before they ever tried cannabis, and we tested them again 25 years later after some participants became chronic users.
“Participants were frank about their substance abuse habits because they trust our confidentiality guarantee, and 96% of the original participants stuck with the study from 1972 to today.
“It’s such a special study that I’m fairly confident that cannabis is safe for over-18 brains, but risky for under-18 brains.”
While I wouldn’t want to argue with this research without knowing more about it, there are a couple of points worth remembering, or not if you’re really stoned 🙂
Nowhere in either article does it mention that IQ is a disputed test of intelligence or that intelligence itself is a poorly understood concept. IQ has been shown to favour certain cultures and can be changed by family culture, particular education and nutrition. Furthermore there are many types of intelligence and those with supposed high IQ scores are often the ones who quite happily abuse their lower scoring sisters and brothers. IQ says nothing about social awareness.
Also, if cannabis use harms memory, how can researchers be sure the correspondents remembered what they took?
IQ is the most researched approach to intelligence and by far the most widely used in practical setting. However, although IQ attempts to measure some notion of intelligence, it may fail to act as an accurate measure of “intelligence” in its broadest sense. IQ tests only examine particular areas embodied by the broadest notion of “intelligence”, failing to account for certain areas which are also associated with “intelligence” such ascreativity or emotional intelligence.
The researchers claim that this might explain “underachievers” but this is a completely undefined quality. Who decides what worthwhile achievements are? Would The Beatles be considered to be “underachievers”?
Our very civilization is on the brink of destruction – species are becoming extinct more rapidly than ever before, the climate is changing for the worse, there’s the biggest build-up of arms ever and the gaps between rich and poor are wider than ever before, billions are hungry and the oceans are dying. Wouldn’t it be better to find out what causes this mindset , and as a matter of urgency
So far nobody claims this crazy behaviour is down to Rastafarians, hippies and ravers, yet those in control of society have blamed cannabis for all kinds of ills before and these have been shown to be little more than political propaganda.
Reefer madness anyone?
The study claims that those under 18 are particularly at risk and this needs further research. But I’d argue religion is at least as damaging to young minds as illicit drugs yet these dangerous myths are pushed into children’s heads without any research whatsoever.
Look at John Lennon’s killer, Mark Chapman.
He was raised on a military base (Fort Worth) his dad was abusive to his mum and unloving to his son, Chapman was involved in many Christian religious groups and he took illicit drugs as a teenager. All of these things probably lead to his problems in later life, yet drugs and violence have been researched in many studies but religion and the military mindset are supposed to be okay.
Chapman said he shot Lennon 5 times because he was angry Lennon had said the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus”
This is why I argue to keep religion out of schools and begin to disband the military and move away from aggressive nationalism.
We need to protect our kids from many dangerous things – so let’s not get blinded by the smokescreen of the War on Drugs too much – it’s just one of many things we need to sort out.
People are not their religions.
Terms like “Christian” and “Muslim” often obscure the contradictions we all know we have. (Thanks to my mate Harsh Mellow for pointing this out)
Most folk only believe bits of the dogma and orthodoxies pushed by religious leaders and leave out the rest. That explains why there are so many different variants of the major faiths.
People are born into families and cultures where certain religions are dominant and rarely choose their own faith – that’s why the so-called leaders are desperate to continue to circumcise etc – they need to put their marks on the young.
The same goes for teaching children myth as history. This is why I’m arguing to Keep Religion Out of Schools (KROS). Religion is more dangerous than sex and we have an age of consent for that.
We have nearly identical DNA to chimps yet we are fooled into thinking we’re different from folk who wear a slightly different symbol round their necks.
I blame the political and religious leaders for this state of affairs. That’s why I say “Don’t follow leaders – they fuck you up!”
Here’s a quote from my satirical novel:
“We’re not saying it’s the new religion. The time of leaders has passed, and the age of governments is ending. We’re not looking to the past but to the future. We don’t need gods and goddesses for we are women – we gave birth to humanity and we’ll solve our own problems.”
This is the best anti-religion film I’ve ever seen. Please, please, please watch and copy and spread the word.
As Bill said, “Religions must die so mankind can live…”
Grow up or die…
Religulous is an American comic documentary film written by and starring comedian Bill Maher and directed byLarry Charles. The title of the film is a portmanteau derived from the words “religion” and “ridiculous“. The documentary examines and mocks organized religion and religious belief.
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What a man – Dave Allen – one of my fave atheists
If the Mormons can have a go, why not the Mob – they’re run on the same principles…
Powerful narratives, including a violent masculinity, are responsible for most of our problems. These stories legitimise certain behaviours that work against the interests of the vast majority of people – male and female.
DOG Sharon:The Future is Female!
A thrilling story of love, courage and humour with a crucial
message of hope and change for the entire planet.
Just found their FB page – http://www.facebook.com/EthicsOnline – please say hello.
I was 8 and a half. I wanted a bike and my mum said “No”.
I was in the back bedroom at home and thinking how to get a bike and the idea came to me – why not pray for one?
I considered this and realized that if folk could get things by praying, then everyone would have exactly what they wanted. But it was obvious that wasn’t the case. Therefore, I concluded, there could be no God.
God was just like Father Christmas – something made up by adults.
It was a powerful experience.
Soon after I was at school and a short, balding, fierce, Scottish Presbyterian teacher took over from my normal teacher who was ill. His name was Mr Kerr. His idea for the lesson was to ask kids for types of books and he would locate them in the Bible – his point being that everything was in the holy book. As might be expected from 9-year-olds, the calls from the class tended to be along predictable lines. So sports, history, adventure and suspense were all offered and the teacher fielded each one easily.
Eventually he asked me. “Science Fiction?” I suggested. The cleverer kids in the class laughed out loud, seeing the joke. The teacher scowled at me, tried to think of an answer, then quickly finished the lesson.
1-0 to the atheists!
Now I have my sights on the outrageous claims of miracle cures for cancer and the like made by the local Renewal Christian Centre. The pastor is the ultimate in slippery salesmen. He was a life assurance executive and then a soccer agent. It’s hard to think of a less spiritual background.
He’s now a governor of a local high school and former TV evangelist. I’ve written to the local paper (although they haven’t printed it yet – more details to follow if I find they’re in league with the self-styled church) explaining what his organisation is doing and blogged about his congregation repeating this nonsense to all and sundry.
I had a run-in with one of his acolytes yesterday at the local gym. Sadly these poor people don’t know their elbows from their arses – which no doubt suits the pastor down to the ground.
We have to fight against this evil because they will try to stop kids learning about science, history and social sciences because a little knowledge destroys their fairy stories. I’m also very concerned about the gender relations these idiots espouse and the awful hatred their “God of Love” engenders.
By the way, does anyone know if Christians mentioned “love” before the 1960’s? I think it’s a new thing. I don’t remember the Inquisition talking about love, although I know The Beatles did.
So readers, when did YOU stop believing in the lie of God?
Marx said history was the record of the struggle between classes, but it’s also the record of the War on Women, for women are always on the losing side; a gun is a weapon with some woman’s child at both ends. There’s never been a time when there wasn’t a War on Women.
Greece, the cradle of so-called democracy, didn’t allow women to vote; Rome’s power was built on violence and was ruled by a succession of Emperors. It evolved to become the Roman Catholic Church ruled by a succession of Popes, while the Anglican Church was founded on the murder of women. Christianity is one of a triumvirate of misogynist religions that claim God’s male and whose books sanction violence to women.
Feudalism was based on the Great Chain of Being with God at the top, man next and women below with the animals. With industrialisation women were forced into factories, mines and prostitution. Britain and Germany grew rich and spent the money on arms, causing two world wars. Men claimed women couldn’t be trusted to vote and resisted equality everywhere.
Women have been held back in employment and education, are still paid less, are abused and ignored while at the same time caring for more people, never starting wars and rarely using violence. The latest instalment of the War on Women is rightly receiving attention as US females protest attacks on their reproductive rights – but let’s not get confused – this is just another skirmish in an ancient conflict.
When one considers the way religions have denigrated the Feminine, repressed women and tried to regulate female sexuality and control reproduction, it’s doubly outrageous but hardly surprising that they would try to appropriate the idea of being born for their own ends.
After personally knowing many poor people who were involved in cultish Christian groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians, various Brethren groups and more recently, the Evangelicals, I’ve lots of experience of how these groups coerce their members to toe the line.
So I started reading psychological theories of coercive persuasion. I came upon the ideas of Carole Wade. Her 2005 work made a lot of sense when trying to understand how cultish organisations function. See below.
According to Carole Wade (Psychology 101, Wade, C. et al., 2005) there are a number of key steps in establishing coercive persuasion:
- People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations;
- Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
- They receive what seems to be unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group;
- They get a new identity based on the group;
- They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.
After reading the steps through a few times, I realised the pattern could be found in several areas of life. In particular it seemed to describe our human process of birth and development of personal identity within the family.
Being born is a stressful experience, probably the most stressful event in folk’s lives. I can remember mine and it’s not a lot of fun. Baptism as practiced by John the Baptist and Jesus in the Bible and Christians all over the place is but a crude physical attempt to remind the participant of their time in the womb and subsequent birth.
In the second stage we are fixated on single goals like crawling, walking and learning to talk.
In the third stage we experience love of a mother or family.
We learn our name in the fourth stage.
The fifth stage represents the family sanctions we face if we break the rules. Also the control of access to information reminds us that parents control the flow of information to their children.
The above is almost the exact same process as we find in a variety of cultish religions, the military, the Mafia, Freemasonry and many other social groups. I’m sure readers can think of more. Sports teams with their rituals and shirts are an obvious example.
Most folk become ‘born again’ in a Christian sense after what most of us would describe as a breakdown. A mental breakdown (also known as a nervous breakdown) is an acute, time-limited phase of a specific disorder that manifests primarily with features of depression or anxiety.
This is the distressing and emotional situation in stage 1. In the military, recruits are humiliated, shaved, shouted at and physically broken. In Freemasonry and Cosa Nosta the neophyte is put through a terrifying ritual involving their own death which serves the same purpose.
Stage 2 for Christians is that the idea of Jesus is the answer to everything. In the military and Mafia it is total obedience to authority and a belief in violence solving all problems. The love and comradeship offered to those who successfully join these groups, be it cult, army or lodge, is often more supportive and warm than lonely folk from poor families have ever experienced. So it is all the more overwhelming.
Stage 3 recreates the feeling of being in a family. Indeed, all these groups say quite clearly in their own way that they are a family.
New names (stage 4) are given in various ways. There’s the mumbo jumbo of Freemasonry, the military have ranks, Cosa Nostra use nicknames and we all know about Christian names.
Finally we come to the sanctions applied to those who do not follow the rules or orthodoxies of these kinds of groups. The Mafiosi takes a vow of omerta, in other words, silence. Everybody knows what the ultimate Cosa Nostra sanction is on errant members. The military are known for the firing squad or in lesser cases the Glasshouse or prison. Think Corporal Bradley Manning. Freemasons are told their tongues will be cut out and their innards slung over the shoulder should they reveal the secrets of the Craft. Remember Roberto Calvi – God’s Banker? Cults and religious groups use this form of social pressure very cleverly. So those members who have never experienced love, companionship or true intimacy are terrified of losing the warmth they feel from the group when things are going well.
But if a member doesn’t bring in any new faces, he or she will usually find important people becoming cooler towards them. In the crazy world of Evangelical Christianity, if a person has a problem it must be because they have not let Jesus into their life. Therefore the problem has to be with the person as Jesus is a divine being and so must be in every way perfect. This is how it is easy to apply psychological pressure to a person lacking in confidence and insecure due to being anxious at not making the grade within the group.
Readers will no doubt see the similarities with direct sales organisations. Years ago, I worked for some of these companies and the atmosphere was very similar to political groups and religious movements.
It’s the same business model after all.
P.S. In English the phrase, “There’s one born every minute…” refers to the many foolish people who are all to ready to fall for a scam or buy something that sounds too good to be true. I’m sure readers will know of words and phrases in other languages that mean similar.
I’ve noticed a worrying development recently in our area (Solihull, UK) – more door-knocking Christian missionaries (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and some other US group whose name escapes me) and more attempts by zealous folk of faith to convert me – 3 in the last few months.
It’s rather ironic that they should think me a prospect – if they listened to anything I said it would be obvious that I was the last person to approach. These people had a shocking lack of awareness and knowledge of their world – not really surprising I suppose or they wouldn’t believe in a literal reading of the bible.
I shouldn’t poke fun at those unfortunate enough to fall for the scam, but at least I’ll keep it anonymous. Last week a guy tried the old Christian come-on to me in a sauna. Suppressing a laugh. I asked, ‘How can I choose one religion when all faiths claim to be the only source of truth?’
‘We’re the only religion to have a virgin birth,’ he said smiling broadly. ‘None of the others have.’
When I told him it was fairly common in mythologies of the period, he thought for a few seconds and said, ‘But Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for us, was killed in a horrible way then vanished from the tomb and lives forever at God’s side.’
When I didn’t reply he added, ‘If we all lived by the 10 commandments, the world would be a better place.’
So I asked him what the commandments were, but he only knew the first and vague stuff about parents 🙂
I realized then that this sad man needed to bring folk into the church or he would feel the pastor’s displeasure. This kind of Christianity is a racket. Each member of the congregation is expected to give a tenth of their income and bring in new devotees. A bloke like this would always struggle to recruit as he’s not great with people. I didn’t have to be a mind-reader to feel his depression and sadness. But the church teaches God can’t be wrong so it must be the individual who doesn’t have enough faith. The Emperor’s New Clothes. I felt sorry for him even though I loathed his crude attempts to God-me-up.
When he told me that folk were being cured of incurable diseases I realized it was even more serious than I’d previously thought. Who knows how many people were being attracted in the faint hope of a miracle cure for some awful illness. He explained a former thug had seen the light while beating somebody up and now conducted the faith-healing services. Call me cynical, but this has all the makings of a great scam. Gullible folk who know little science are fleeced by ‘ex-criminals’ who claim miracle cures.
Everybody knows that there are no miracle cures, so those promoting them are either deluded or lying. Either way it has to be stopped and soon.
These self-styled churches are invading our communities and abusing our children’s minds with this dangerous nonsense. This is a cult.
So I’m calling for the banning of religion in schools. Teach kids about myths and faiths by all means but inside the framework of ethics, history and social sciences. We protect children from alcohol and tobacco so let’s extend that to mental harms. We rate films and video games as suitable only for certain ages and I’m suggesting the same for religions.
In the UK, when a person is sixteen they can lawfully have sex so I think we should treat religion in the same way. Until that age kids should be protected from adults who we all know cannot be trusted in such matters, especially parents. Likewise for circumcision; when somebody comes of age they can choose for themselves. Anything else is abuse.
Religion if practiced should be a private matter. Let’s give all children the chance to choose what feels right for them, rather than their parents, priests, popes and patriarchs.
So for my part I’m starting this campaign.
Keep Religion Out of Schools