Category Archives: Fiction

Now what?

Caught Up With Our Self Importance

Everywhere we look, we can see examples of how we are caught up in our own self-importance. It’s difficult for us to see it in ourselves, but we notice it readily with others.

Driving our cars, we can see examples routinely of people cutting in and out of lanes, crossing the road or turning in front of us, even though there are huge gaps, or no one at all behind us. Public conversation can suddenly be interrupted by another person who walks up and wasn’t part of the discussion. We just can’t seem to help ourselves.

There are international demonstrations of this going on right now. The leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-Un is a prime example of someone who believes his word is supreme. It’s one of many of those who rise to power, who think they’re someone very special.

A recent brief confrontation between an American reporter and a Russian Minister, makes this point when he asks, who taught you manners? She just couldn’t help herself. She thought her interruption was important.

Andrea Mitchell isn’t unique in shouting questions at someone in public. Watch talk shows when they have a guest they either don’t agree with or want to show their disdain for them in public. They haven’t the courtesy to allow the person to finish their answer before they talk over them with another question. It’s as if they’re pelting them with words, since it’s socially unacceptable to throw rocks at their guest.

All of this brings me around to an immense collective of people caught up with their importance, as this is Easter weekend. To many Christians, this is the premier weekend, because it’s a celebration of a person claiming to be a deity, that through martyrdom and the public acceptance of being brought back to life, is going to resurrect any who believe this story. They will go to heaven and live with this deity, forever.

Wait a minute, I’ve gone too far, I’m way out of line for suggesting this is another in a long history of people thinking they are really special and very important. How does this story tie in with our inflated ego?

First, we believe in our significance among the vast universe of billions of stars, in countless galaxies. Many of us think an eternal being, a deity, constantly watches each of us and sacrifices their number one son just to “redeem” us, if only we will believe this story to be true. Our distorted self-centered nature causes us to think we are so very important, that we must be permitted to carry on — forever.

For many, the thought that we don’t go on forever, united with friends and family, is too unnerving, It places us in a vacuum of, now what must I do? If there isn’t an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, intergalactic wizard that restores us back to life, then we’re time limited, hopelessly lost to our own actions, our foolish blunders, even the planet we live and spin on, is our responsibility.

How do you determine if you are being duped?

The list is endless of those who can improve or advance us. They convince us to believe they can help us find hidden or ultimate truths. Many are message experts who build their case against some personal defect(s), identifiable yet unseen power(s) or negative world condition. They tell you they have the answers to these and other unanswered questions, in which you desire to have greater knowledge, or they have answers to the great problems in our lives.

They follow a pattern like confidence artists. They have a rehearsed formula to gain your trust, your time, and your money.

  1. Associate
  2. Indoctrinate
  3. Obey
  4. Stay
  5. Pay
  6. Pray
  7. Convert
  8. Rinse – lather – repeat

As we continue to look for hope in a grand scheme which ties all of our mysterious origins and destinies together, we hang in, even if we have doubts. If you decide to leave, they have ways to make you feel guilty or declare some method of punishment to haunt your thoughts of having a safe future. The stories found in religious text bring people together, with the overarching thought, we’re here because of a deity. Our lives are controlled by the whim of this deity. We must obey all that this deity demands or we will suffer after we die, forever.

Now that’s the ultimate penal sentence. If you refuse to follow, choose to independently think, act, and realize you’re nothing more than a tiny life form on a very small planet. When you recognize you’re responsible for your own actions, AND there’s no wizard that will save you from ignorance, bad decisions, or even halitosis.  Then we begin to realize what surely will come to us all is death?

No, that’s too much to take in. Give me back my security blanket.

The Christian knows what will happen to you if you don’t believe in these stories. You will suffer in hell, while they sing and dance and look down on you. All because you dared question the idea of an ultimate spiritual dictator.

Suddenly, Kim Jong-Un, almost seems kind. He can only sentence you for 50 to 90 years of hell, or thereabouts.

The more ambitious use a variety of ideas which ultimately prey upon our own narcissism. They teach us to adopt behaviors and vocabulary which separate the insiders from the outsiders, making us feel superior to those who aren’t knowledgeable or part of the same group. Many flaunt this relationship of exclusivity, just as clever advertisers do with selling luxury cars, perfumes, or clothing.

Examples Using Group Exclusivity

Christianity, Islam, Scientism, Atheism, Polymorphs, Religious Science/Mind Science, “Laws of prosperity”, creating one’s own reality, technologists, reincarnation, meditation, faith/ confession, occultism, pantheism, chanting, mantras, universal force, energy/mind power, gangs, etc.

A Force For Good?

The short answer is yes. Clearly there are many who have joined a group of like-minded people who gain trust, hope and a greater belief in their own self-worth. If it enhances your ability to see the value in others, the consequences of your own actions, observe your own deceptions to self and others, and the need to be independently productive and creative, then those are worthwhile attributes.

Morals – Secular – Judeo-Christian

This is a response to the ideas proposed by some about their concerns of America becoming a secular nation rather than a Christian nation.

Dennis Prager frequently talks about how secular humanism is destroying the fabric of society. Let’s examine this claim, not only from his point but that of other independent thinkers.

I have to assume when people like Prager refer to Judeo-Christian values, he’s using the Bible as a reference. Using Deuteronomy 17, we find people should be stoned if they didn’t believe in their god. For many centuries, national religions had to be adhered to or people could be put to death for their failure to not only swear allegiance to the King or Queen, they had to believe in the official state religion. This is why you see secular influence in the Constitution, the founders of the United States wanted to ensure that people wouldn’t have to be swearing allegiance to a state religion. As a matter of fact, they’re isn’t a test of citizenship or holding the highest office, only if you believe in the supernatural. This in spite of the tradition of swearing-in by holding a hand on the Bible. We are after all, a nation of many contradictions.

You could suggest, this is old news, Christians don’t kill anymore because of the ideals in the new Testament, about loving your brother & sister, and to treat others as you want to be treated. Even this isn’t a new concept or one uniquely held by Christianity.

Cart – meet horse.

“One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated.” – Hitopadesa; Hinduism: 3200 BCE
“Thou shalt not avenge nor ear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” – Leviticus 19:18: 1300 BCE

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ took obedience and the threat of a horrible after life for failure to comply one step further by introducing the idea of thinking about banned ideas. If you think about committing a sin, you have broken the law. From the sermon on the mount ~
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

If, as some insist, we take the Bible literally, if you even think lustful thoughts, you’re going to be in trouble and your only get out of jail free card is issued by the person telling you that your eye isn’t all that important, so get rid of it if you see something which makes you think of sex with anyone other than your spouse. That assumes you’re married, and if you aren’t, even the man or woman you might marry could be an object of sin.

I served in the Marine Corps for six years, and at that time was a believing Christian. I thought I was a moral person, but I was being trained to kill other people. The Marines first train everyone identically as infantry. Later, they’re assigned an occupational specialty which usually defines their military career. In my case, I was given the opportunity to go on to electronics schools and thereby was never placed into a kill or be killed situation. Many of my peers weren’t given that choice, they went to Vietnam. We didn’t leave that theater of operations for two years after I enlisted. So what about those who had to take the life of another person? They were told that it was for god and country, but was it really? We killed a lot of people, including our own for a cause our secular (supposedly Christian) government told us it was the right thing to do. Historically, that would be a very tough call, as the country ended up being led by corrupt leadership and becoming communist with Pol Pot taking over Cambodia. This isn’t a dilemma you consider when you’re placed into a life threatening situation, because most of the time you’re going to decide you must kill the other person to preserve your life. How does that fit in with, “Thou shall not kill”, or turn the other cheek when injured by someone?

We constantly see examples of people and their life, their homes, and their values being threatened by a powerful group that uses the authority of law to take away their possessions and their land. How is that justified if we base our laws on Judeo-Christian values? Contradictions in the Bible?

Moral problems have constantly challenged our humanity. Slavery was justified for hundreds of years by Christians, even though Prager said that Christians ended it. We’ve witnessed changes in attitudes toward various ethnicity, black people couldn’t hold leadership roles in the Mormon church until the late 1970’s. A former Mormon prophet once declared that even having one drop of African blood, a person couldn’t hold a leadership role or be married in their temples. This in spite of the fact that one of their past Biblical heroes, Joseph (Coat of many colors), was married to a woman who was black. Asenath was an Egyptian, who some deny her African heritage, stating that Egyptians have various skin tones. That’s a ridiculous stretch in logic to say, she might have had lighter skin, therefore she was Caucasian. Skin tone isn’t a test of African heritage. DNA would certainly be a more accurate marker. The truth is, we may never know for sure, but it’s fairly safe to conclude there were many LDS people who had African heritage but passed for Caucasian and therefore held office in their church prior to 1978.

There are many who insist the Bible tells them homosexuality is a sin, and for some they believe you can pray away the gay. If that’s the case, how do you do that, because I know most of us didn’t make a conscious decision to be heterosexual. There’s a lot more to this than someone going through puberty and becomes straight or gay. Leviticus 20:13 – Romans 1:27 Are we supposed to kill homosexuals. Again the Christian response doesn’t seem to be the higher moral ground, unlike the secular “non-believer” response of kindness and equality. This has changed over the years by many religious organizations, seemingly because of secular influence.

There are many religious organizations who believe having a pair of testicles, gives you greater insight into the workings of god. They insist that anyone who could give birth to another human, isn’t insightful and compassionate enough to be a priest, or in some churches, can’t make public pronouncements officially for their organization. Many churches have changed that view and now have female clergy. Did god tell them that was a good idea, or was it a secular nudge to do what is right?

When it comes to some of the most major criminal activities, we’ve seen Christians adopt changing standards, like murder, rape, or theft. It all depends on the reasons given by the one doing the crime? Justification for these activities have repeatedly been authorized in the Bible. Even the concept of original sin by Adam and Eve seems a bit over the top. Am I to be held responsible for my fathers sins? The LDS church said we were to be held responsible for our own sin and not Adams transgressions but then again, isn’t death itself supposed to be part of the original sin and the introduction of baptism a ritual to signify the person being born again into a new life free of these past problems? Even the death of Jesus Christ and the Garden of Gethsemane was supposed to be an act of getting rid of the past and allowing all who believe this to be factual, were going to be given a ticket into the kingdom of god.

Even the idea proposed by Prager is incorrect. The label “Judeo-Christian” tends to assume, at the expense of Judaism, that Christians and Jews believe essentially the same things. They don’t, and you can find numerous explanations for that if you wish to research it. Secular moral values don’t favor one tribe of civilization over another, unlike what we saw in the Bible or later proposed through doctrines of “manifest destiny in the US”. Just because one tribe of people supposedly has a very particular contract with God, it doesn’t negate the importance of the rule of law for everyone else. That’s a secular concept, too.

Understand the Difference . .

Religious belief, spirituality or faith in something or someone far greater than ourselves, isn’t inherently bad, it’s just that so many have capitalized and preyed on those willing to follow with little or no question. These charlatans have ‘gamed’ the system using it to gain wealth and power. No sect or religious organization has been exempt from the corrupting influence obtainable by conning the devoted masses.

Honorable members of the Catholic Church may or may not be aware of their history.

Inscription reads: "Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the Mother and Head"

Inscription: “Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the Mother and Head”

Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople wrote to Honorius I asking him to respond to a question circulating within the Church. The heresy in question was Monotheism in which Jesus is seen as a divine-human, rather than the orthodox belief that he is both fully God and fully man. He decided not to answer. Perhaps he didn’t want to perjure himself? Honorius I was condemned and excommunicated for heresy by the sixth general council in 680. His lack of action caused a schism for 3 centuries, with each new Pope stating at his coronation that he: “smites with eternal anathema the originators of the new heresy, Sergius, etc., together with Honorius, because he assisted the base assertion of the heretics.” This condemnation of Honorius on the Feast of St Leo II persisted until the 18th century.

John XII was a 7th generation descendant of Charlemagne. He was sired by a man who was both his father and grandfather. In grand tradition he continued this Oedipal cycle of dysfunction and took his mother as a lover. John was the temporal and spiritual ruler of Rome and during his pontificate he virtually turned it into a whorehouse. Moral corruption in Rome became a major problem. After crowning Otto I Emperor of Germany in order to secure his support in a war against Berengar II of Italy, he changed his mind and began communicating with Berengar. Otto learned of John’s treachery and returned to Rome after defeating Berengar. He called a council which deposed John who was hiding in the mountains, and elected Leo VIII in his place.

Benedict IX was Pope from 1032 to 1044, again in 1045, and finally from 1047 to 1048. Described by those within the Catholic Church as “feasting on immorality” and “a demon from hell in the disguise of a priest”. Accused of homosexuality and bestiality, rapes, and murders he was a Pope without morals. Benedict gave up his papacy for the first time in exchange for a large sum of money in 1044. He returned in 1045 to depose his replacement and reigned for one month, after which he left again, possibly to marry, and sold the papacy for a second time, to his Godfather (possibly for over 650 kg /1450 lb of gold). Two years later, Benedict retook Rome and reigned for an additional year, until 1048. Poppo of Brixen (later to become Pope Damascus II) eventually forced him out of Rome.

Born Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI is infamous for his debased reign and his surname has become synonymous with the debased standards of the papacy in his era. Alexander began with a strict administration of justice and an orderly method of government. It wasn’t long before his passion for endowing his relatives with wealth and positions of leadership became manifest. To that end he was ready to commit any crime and to plunge all Italy into war.

Alexander VI had three sons in addition to his famous daughter Lucrezia. During his pontificate virtually everything he did was to advance the position of his children and family in the world. In order to dominate the Sacred College of Cardinals more completely, Alexander, created twelve new cardinals, among them his own son Cesare, then only eighteen years old, and Alessandro Farnese (later Pope Paul III), the brother of one of the Pope’s mistresses, Giulia Farnese.

In modern times, things for the Catholic Church leadership haven’t improved all that much. Pope John Paul II publicly condemned all forms of birth control and gay marriage. His official reaction to the paedophile priest scandals was to issue an apology for centuries of paedophilia. The cover up included swapping priests and bishops to other diocese. The cover up includes burying records, and secret payoffs to families for not denouncing the church publicly. He never condemned the behavior and only started defrocking priests when the masses started to put intense pressure on him. Very few priests were let go compared to the number of known incidents. Paedophilia became a forgivable sin over birth control.

Joseph Smith, (Founder of the LDS Church), used his authority to claim multiple wives were part of the faith, some of his wives were already married. The practice of Polygamy was officially declared an anathema to the religion by church leadership in the 1890’s. The practice of polygamy continues supposedly in the after-life because men in the church can continue to be married to multiple women in their temples if a previous wife is deceased and he becomes married to another woman in this life.

Smith’s Book of Mormon, accepted as scripture among its millions of members, characterizes those with dark skin were cursed by God for disobedience and are supposed to be the ancestors of Native Americans. This origination story, contained within the Book of Mormon of ancient people travelling from the Middle East and landing on either the North or South American continent, establishing a society of vast communities of ‘white & delightsome people’ (original Book of Mormon description) and the cursed people thought to be the ancestors of the American Indian. Even despite DNA evidence which shows Native Americans came from Asia, these ‘true believers’ dismiss the science or have numerous revised explanations about where these people actually lived.

Ancient Egyptian literature - HorusHis later translation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics as the writings of Abraham and of Moses were found to be fabricated when the original parchment used in this translation were discovered to be in a New York Museum rather than lost as previously thought. The discovery of the trilingual Rosetta Stone would make true translation available to those who studied it. Joseph Smith had no knowledge of this stone and was thus able to create his mendacious tale of his ability to translate ancient scripture. Most people were and still are ignorant of the fictitious claim of translating ancient Egyptian into Elizabethan English in his canonized scripture referred to by Mormons as “The Pearl of Great Price”.

L. Ron Hubbard, (Founder of Scientology) was a prolific and respected writer of adventure stories, science fiction and westerns, however his greatest work of fiction started with a self-help book in the 1950’s, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. After this book, he went on to write many books establishing Scientology as ‘science of the mind’ to understand the root cause for individual problems (both health and psychological).  After purchase of the copyrighted materials and books, members counsel each other using proscribed written methodology, created by Hubbard and a “galvanometer” (referred to as an ‘E-Meter’) to enhance the session authenticity as part of what is called “auditing”. The leadership have engaged in frequent litigation, burglary, espionage, kidnapping and smear campaigns to further their goals.

According to church officials; “Hubbard’s writings and lectures on the human spirit comprise the Scripture of the Scientology religion.” Hubbard is “the sole source of the Scriptures,” and “he has no successor“. It is “firm Church policy that LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] ISSUES [directives, statements] ARE TO BE LEFT INTACT AS ISSUED,” and “No one except LRH may cancel his issues” (SCN Policy Directive 19, July 7, 1982).

Many former high-ranking leadership have come forward but their public admissions of how the organization functions within are most often dismissed through character assassination, harassed or litigated into submission.

When the leadership of the Muslim world choose to encourage hostility and violence both within their communities and against those outside of their faith, they have hijacked the religion to suit their desire for power and domination over other people. The method of edicts or death sentence Fatwa’s against others is considered historical and part of the organization but goes against the fundamental principle of God is love and the creator of all.  It is no more of an authentic directive of Allah than “Manifest Destiny”, Inquisition, or the Crusades are the word of God.

Charisma – Greed – Self Deception

No matter what logic, reason, science or explanation is presented, those outside the community of these and other religious organizations, are dismissed as Apostates, Unbelievers, Unfaithful, Sinners, Suppressive or Infidels. It is an exercise in futility to attempt to discuss, persuade or logically address the unsupportable claims of these and many other organizations. You are lead to believe their carefully re-written narratives about their origination and leadership.  If you examine them from an honest and independent perspective, you soon will understand them as merely another ruse to power, control and gain wealth for those in upper leadership.

Light peering around planet

Belief: something held to be true or proper; also, a conviction that something is true, or the state of mind in which someone places confidence in someone or something.

Conviction: a strongly held idea; also, the state of mind of someone who firmly holds an idea as true.

Delusion: an idea that is mistaken or misleading; also, the act of state of having false ideas.

Illusion: a misleading phenomenon, or the fact or state of being misled.

Phantasm: a misleading idea; also, a fantasy, a ghost, or an illusion.

Intellection: the act of thinking or reasoning.

Observation: an idea based on awareness or notice; the act of seeing or thinking about something or the ability to do so, the gathering of information or evidence, or the state of being noticed or watched.

Fleecing The Flock

They’re egotistical, charming, gifted with the ability to sell ice to Penguins. Many popular televangelists and ministers practice their graft with smooth tongues, corrupt personalities, and captivating charm. Deception in the name of something thought to be good is despicable, and these people are skilled at primarily one goal, seeking to liberate cash from your wallet.

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

  ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Only by questioning those who claim special or divine authority to issue opinions, solicit funds, create laws, declare wars, and desire to rally one group against another, can we be in control of our own destiny. To suggest divine authority or written declarations in any book gives someone unusual power to manipulate, reject, segregate, control, damage or destroy is divergence from absolute truth.