Category Archives: Scams

My Quest 4 Understanding

I’ve explored and tried to understand religious thought of a fairly wide variety of well-known religions. Understandably, I’m most familiar with Christianity, since I grew up in America, however I have read materials, religious texts, and tried to understand Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Scientology, and Mormonism. I grew up as a Lutheran, attended catechism as a teenager, joined the Mormon Church (officially called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) at age 20. I served in various lay capacities of that organization for over 25 years, and after learning more about its inner workings and the beliefs of the LDS religion, I left it behind before the turn of the 21st century. I consider that good, but far too long to learn a basic truth. This is my indictment on the dishonesty of religions.

True believers of any one faith usually believe that their own scripture is the truth, whereas they regard all other holy books with suspicion or accuracy.

christ-headAt first introduction into most of these organizations, and for many people who become committed to their teachings, the religion of choice, looks harmless and to many seems to provide personal benefit. It appeals to people who are seeking answers to complex questions of who we are, how did we get here, finding our way through competing ideas and personal identity, adopting a moral code, and where we end up after death. Over a period of time, while learning more, testing the ideas and logic of said organization through objective examination, you may find that some of your most closely held beliefs and self-identification, are formed by the purveyors of myth and perversions of intellect.

A religion or sect most often will appeal to fear or threats of rejection, requires the individual to become obedient / subservient in acts of self-hatred, isolation from contrary resources or people who may alter your commitment, aggression toward others outside the group, renunciation of family and friends in order to prove commitment to satisfy peers or arrogant, arbitrary and controlling leadership.

Another hallmark of many of these belief  systems are the subtle and not so subtle methods they employ to keep you in the group. These include, but aren’t limited to, repetitious readings, group meetings which encourage people to give talks and presentations about their commitment to the religion and it’s leaders, and only reading or viewing materials which promote the religious group. Many unique phrases or words are used or words redefined to carefully construct and enhance the individual to group identification and involvement. Some organizations have cleverly institutionalized  mind & emotional control by making the patron purchase materials as steps in a never-ending scheme to perfect themselves. Words like training or study guides are euphemisms for indoctrination as an outcome. People may later learn to find themselves so embedded in a religious culture through personal associations, family, and routines, they don’t see how they can ever give it up.

behaviorial-change-intention-chart

Examining beliefs and intentions can help us understand the impact they produce.

Understanding these beliefs and the intentions they produce can provide clues on how to impact behavior change.

“Lip service” of those who profess belief are usually put to the test by the prompting of lay leaders or clerics through several types of heinous acts, such as martyrdom, polygamous marriages, debasement of women, sacrificial denial, and patronage through large donations. Acceptance of bogus and ancient myths over rational and provable thought is the hallmark of those who eschew testable and accumulated scientific knowledge.

Promises of great reward are most often made for those with the deepest commitment to the clever machinations of manipulative, egocentric, charismatic leaders. They most often demand that you give up your hopes, dreams, enjoyment of life, to enhance theirs, under the guise of pleasing some remote entity that neither can be seen, or doesn’t have agreed upon attributes and purposes. bhagvadgita-images

Those with the strongest group identification will have a foundation built upon the writings, teachings, visions and prophecies of people who have a questionable history or nebulous past. A cult will impose their will on your researching other sources for information, sometimes in more subtle ways through ostracism, reprimands, or peer criticism. Close examination of who these leaders are or were, or if they even existed as described, is officially frowned upon, and sometimes grounds for corrective (private judicial group proceedings) action by the group through expulsion, re-education, or in some extremes  death.

After leaving the LDS church, I’ve never been happier. My life’s purpose has been enhanced through continuing my own education. The artificial group think, the control, and redirection of my life through the limited vision of other people has been eliminated. I’m not advocating other people live their life in a way that is acrimonious, or makes them unhappy with their culture and friends. I’m just unwilling to turn my life over to people who think they know what’s best for me, but have a such limited understanding of reality.


Getting Rich May Be More Difficult

Perhaps that title should read, getting rich may be more difficult if your honest, but cybercrime is paying well.

Back in the 1930’s a bank robber by the name of Willie Sutton was asked, “why do you rob banks?” His answer supposedly was, “that’s where the money is…”

As to what actually motivated Sutton to hold up banks, as he said in Where the Money Was: “Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I’d be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that’s all.” Read more at Snopes.

As of October 11, Malware Must Die had identified a total of 53 distinct web addresses involved in bot attacks, 25 of them located in the U.S. The attacks have been traced back to a total of 23 countries. This is from an article in SecurityWeek, I recommend you follow this link for further details.

bugs & malware

“These attacker IPs are the combination between (known) Mayhem bots we monitor and unknown sources (including the suspected possibility of new panels/CNC/bots),” Malware Must Die wrote in a blog post.

“Many of today’s enterprises have adopted public cloud-based services that run on systems that can be infected by Mayhem, but the enterprise has no visibility into whether servers have been patched, no ability to dictate patch schedules, and no visibility into whether exploits of Mayhem have resulted in theft of their data or user credentials,” Rich Campagna, VP of products at Bitglass, told SecurityWeek.

Shellshock the new normal of vulnerabilities?

The latest trends suggest the business of cybercrime is doing rather well adapting to the higher security landscape of digital domains and creating new methods for extracting financially rewarding data. ShellShock is one such exploit that lends itself well to repackaging legal and popular apps (application software) with a way to finding vulnerability in servers as well as many Apple OS products. Data exploits into gaining illegal access at J.C. Penny, Home Depot, J.P. Morgan are merely the tip of an iceberg in cybercrime.

server rackOne of the 10 Digital World Commandments — “Know thy cloud vendor” It’s critical to know your web host services vendor or your cloud vendor, and has patched for Shellshock & Heartbleed vulnerabilities.

Another Digital World Commandment — “Thou shall avoid Loading Apps unless you know their source” The path to making a significant living for some people is to develop an application which becomes highly popular (goes viral) then attracts enough attention from a large company to buy them out. It’s happened quite a few times, which has also attracted the attention of criminals to take the original app and bundle it with an exploit and then promote this combined program on the Internet. It may even be given away so that it gets a wider distribution. After all, the offending party doesn’t care about earning revenue through software sales. Their payoff is when you load the new app on your smart phone or digital device of your choosing. Then when loaded, the exploit goes to work behind the scenes to further compromise the security of your device. Gathering financial information is big business, especially if you live in a country that won’t prosecute or extradite you.

Professionals may be interested in the following resources:


 

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.

Islam
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.