Gays 'Responsible' For New Orleans Devastation, Group Claims

from 365Gay

New Orleans, Louisiana - An evangelical Christian group that regularly demonstrates at LGBT events is blaming gays for hurricane Katrina.

Repent America says that God "destroyed" New Orleans because of Southern Decadence, the gay festival that was to have taken place in the city over the Labor Day weekend.

"Southern Decadence has a history of filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars" Repent America director Michael Marcavage said in a statement Wednesday.

"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city." Marcavage said. "From Girls Gone Wild to Southern Decadence, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same."

"Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long," Marcavage said.

"May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God," Marcavage concluded.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said Wednesday that hundreds are known dead and the death toll will reach into the thousands. Some estimates, CNN reported, indicate the final death toll in New Orleans alone may top 100,000.

Water levels eased off slightly on Wednesday, but most of the city remains submerged and it is believed it could be months before the city is inhabitable.

They're Wrong

Poll Finds Support for Pairing Creationism With Evolution

from Religion News Service

Washington - Nearly two-thirds of Americans support teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools, according to a new poll, but there is far less agreement over who gets to decide what is taught.

The poll, released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, found that three-quarters of Americans believe God created life on Earth, and 64 percent support teaching both evolution and creationism. The poll showed 41 percent of Americans want parents to decide what children are taught, compared with a slightly larger combined group who think the decision should be made by teachers (28 percent) or local school boards (21 percent).

A similar poll conducted last November by CBS and the New York Times, and then another Pew poll last March, found the proportion of people favoring a dual approach has remained relatively steady, between 57 percent and 65 percent.

But advocates of evolution said they were concerned about the new figures, especially the 41 percent of people who want parents to set scholarly standards.

"It's a popularity contest," said Gerry Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association in Arlington, Va. "That's not the way scholarship works."

Wheeler said adding creationism or intelligent design in the interest of fairness is misplaced.

"At first blush, being fair seems to mean, well, we ought to do both of them," Wheeler said. "The challenge is that it's not fair to the students to present a religion in the guise of science."


Creationism's Blindspot: Other Intelligent Designers

But Is There Intelligent Spaghetti Out There?

from The New York Times

Is the super-intelligent, super-popular god known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster any match for the prophets of intelligent design?

This month, the Kansas State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to allow teaching alternatives to evolution like intelligent design (the theory that a smart being designed the universe). And President Bush and Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee both gave the thumbs up to teaching intelligent design.

Long before that, Bobby Henderson, a 25-year-old with a physics degree from Oregon State University, had a divine vision. An intelligent god, a Flying Spaghetti Monster, he said, "revealed himself to me in a dream."

He posted a sketch on his Web site, venganza.org, showing an airborne tangle of spaghetti and meatballs with two eyes looming over a mountain, trees, and a stick man labeled "midgit." Prayers to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, his site says, end with "ramen," not "amen."

Then, Mr. Henderson, who says on his site that he is desperately trying to avoid taking a job programming slot machines in Las Vegas, posted an open letter to the Kansas board.

In perfect deadpan he wrote that although he agreed that science students should "hear multiple viewpoints" of how the universe came to be, he was worried that they would be hearing only one theory of intelligent design. After all, he noted, there are many such theories, including his own fervent belief that "the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster." He demanded equal time in the classroom and threatened a lawsuit.

Soon he was flooded with e-mail messages. Ninety-five percent of those who wrote to him, he said on his Web site, were "in favor of teaching Flying Spaghetti Monsterism in schools." Five percent suggested that he would be going to hell. Lawyers contacted him inquiring how serious he was about a lawsuit against the Kansas board. His answer: "Very."

This month, the news media, both mainstream and digital, jumped in. The New Scientist magazine wrote an article. So did Die Welt. Two online encyclopedias, Uncyclopedia and Wikipedia, wrote entries on the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Web site Boingboing.net mounted a challenge: "We are willing to pay any individual $250,000 if they can produce empirical evidence which proves that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

Now, Mr. Henderson says on his Web site, "over 10 million people have been touched by His Noodly Appendage." But what does that mean? When push comes to shove, will the religion that has come to be known as Pastafarianism do what it was intended to do - prove that it is ridiculous to teach intelligent design as science?

Mr. Henderson, who said in an e-mail message that his divine vision was induced by "a lack of sleep and a mounting disgust over the whole I.D. issue," has wit on his side. His god not only resembles human brains (proof, a fan writes, that "we were created in His image") but also looks like the kind of bacteria that proponents of intelligent design hold up as too complex to be the work of evolution alone.

Two dozen academics have endorsed the pasta god. Three members of the Kansas board who already opposed teaching intelligent design wrote kind letters to Mr. Henderson. Dozens of people have posted their sightings of the deity (along with some hilarious pictures). One woman even wrote in to say that she had "conceived the spirit of our Divine Lord," the Flying Spaghetti Monster, while eating alone at the Olive Garden.

"I heard singing, and tomato sauce rained from the sky, and I saw angel hair pasta flying about with little farfalle wings and playing harps," she wrote. "It was beautiful." The Spaghetti Monster, she went on, impregnated her and told her, "You shall name Him...Prego... and He shall bring in a new era of love."

Parody is a lot of fun. And parody begets more parody, especially on the Internet. It's contagious. But has anyone ever converted to a parody religion?

The history books show that parody isn't always the smartest strategy when it comes to persuasion. Remember Galileo? Some recent scholars say that it may not have been his science so much as his satire, "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems," that got everyone steamed up. Under threat of death, Galileo ended up recanting his view that the earth revolves around the sun, and had to wait 350 years for vindication.

And yet the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster flourishes. It even has schisms. A rival faction, based on SPAM (Spaghetti & Pulsar Activating Meatballs), has formed. And there's bickering, Mr. Henderson said in an e-mail message, about whether the god is made of spaghetti or linguini. Those people, he noted, "give me a headache."

UC Schools Sued for (Gasp) Not Accepting Mythology As Science

I wonder if UCLA will accept my Wicca pamphlet on Mother Earth as a Geology course. No? Then how about World History? No? Does my X-Men comic where Jean Grey kills herself on the moon qualify as Astronomy? No? How about Forensics? No?!? "Honey, get my lawyer on the phone!"

Christian Group Sues University

from The Chicago Sun Times

LOS ANGELES - A group representing California religious schools has filed a lawsuit accusing the University of California system of discriminating against high schools that teach creationism and other conservative Christian viewpoints.

The Association of Christian Schools International, which represents more than 800 schools, filed a federal lawsuit last week claiming UC admissions officials have refused to certify high school science courses that use textbooks challenging Darwin's theory of evolution. Other rejected courses include Christianity's Influence in American History.

According to the suit, the Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta was told its courses were rejected because they use textbooks printed by two Christian publishers, Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books.

Wendell Bird, a lawyer for the association, said the policy violates the rights of students and religious schools. "A threat to one religion is a threat to all," he said.

UC spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina said she could not comment because the university had not been served with the suit. Still, she said the university has a right to set course requirements.

"These requirements were established after careful study by faculty and staff to ensure that students who come here are fully prepared with broad knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed," Poorsina said.

Katrina Sent To Smite the Sinful?

If He did intend to destroy New Orleans for being sinful, giving the city time to evacuate probably wasn't a good idea.

Did God Send the Hurricane?

from BeliefNet

What caused Hurricane Katrina to slam the U.S. Gulf Coast? Was it a typical late-summer tropical storm caused by wind, water, and heat? Mother Nature crying out on behalf of the earth’s pain? An angry God?

Depends whom you ask. All along the theological and political spectrum, Katrina has crystallized people’s fears into a now-familiar brew of apocalyptic theories similar to what we saw after September 11 and after the Asian tsunami several months ago.

At least one New Orleans-area resident believes God created the storm as punishment because of the recent role the United States played in expelling Jews from Gaza. A website columnist described Katrina as "the fist of God" in a Monday column. "What America is about to experience is the lifting of God’s hand of protection; the implementation of His judgment on the nation most responsible for endangering the land and people of Israel."

Meanwhile, spiritual and political environmentalists say that massive hurricanes such as Katrina, along with the Asian tsunami, are messages from the earth, letting humanity know of the earth’s pain.

Stephen O’Leary, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and an expert on the media and apocalypticism, says, "God’s got a two-fer here. Both sides are eager to see America punished for her sins; on one side it’s sexual immorality and porn and Hollywood [Katrina's devastation to sinful New Orleans], and on the other side it’s conspicuous consumption and Hummers [Katrina's devastation to the Gulf-area oil industry]."

In some ways, these are mainstream feelings: In a recent CNN poll, 55% of those responding believe that global warming is causing the severe weather we've experienced recently. Meanwhile, most polls show that 40% of all U.S. adults believe the physical world will eventually end as a result of a supernatural intervention.

The rush to doomsday thinking, O’Leary says, is related to our need to process emotion in the face of suffering. “The mass media confront us with emotion that is almost impossible to process, and the only way we have to deal with that is to put it in terms of the drama of apocalypse and redemption - you transform suffering into a story of God’s plan. If you don’t have that, then what you do is turn off the TV and have despair.”

It’s not just conservative Christians who tune in to this cycle of apocalypse and redemption, however. New Agers and left-wing environmentalists subscribe to a theory that the world is undergoing what they call Earth Changes - a time when, because of humanity’s degradation, the climate severely reacts.

"When people leave behind the Christian version of the apocalypse, they don’t quit being apocalyptic," O’Leary says. "They switch brands."

The thought of this region, or even the nation, being somehow punished for its sins, conjures twin feelings of excitement and dread among apocalyptic thinkers. On one hand, they seem delighted that a divine plan appears to be unfolding. With horrific events such as this, they believe, God (or Mother Nature) has shown them the world is so evil that it is closer than ever to the end of human history - which means they will spend eternity in a happier place. Yet they also believe God (or Mother Nature) is punishing Americans. That gives rise to their urgent need to stave off destruction through prayer, scolding, and trying to convert people to their way of thinking.

It’s worth noting that end-times fever also broke out during the Persian Gulf War, around the turn of the millennium five years ago, and then around September 11, as it has many times in history. Each time it happens, Americans (and humanity for millennia before) become convinced the End is upon them because they’ve sinned and that God or Mother Nature is angry.

Tom Cruise: 'Sure, I'm Nutty, But I'm Not Insane!'

Tom Cruise Says Bizarre Quotes a Fiction

from United Press International

Tom Cruise has hit back at false allegations which claimed he believes he has been reincarnated as a Scientology prophet.

The Hollywood actor is alleged to have said he has lived several times before and has currently been re-born as a prophet destined to spread the teachings of the Church of Scientology - of which he is a devout follower.

A hoax 'interview' quotes Cruise as saying: "I only took my present form because Bingodulla, whom all Scientologists worship as the Supreme Thetan, selected me to spread the gospel of Scientology to the glib, the uninformed masses."

In the fictitious 'interview', Cruise is also alleged to have stated he previously dated current fiancée Katie Holmes in a previous life, claiming she visited him while he was "in prison".

However, furious Tom has denied the claims insisting the 'quotes' are in fact the work of internet hoaxers, determined to ridicule his belief in the bizarre sci-fi cult.

A spokesman for 43-year-old actor said: "This interview is a total fabrication. Tom did not say those things."

Judge Roberts Would Tear Down 'The Wall'

Watchdog Group Says Roberts Would Dismantle Church-State Separation

from Religion News Service

Washington - A leading church-state watchdog group said Monday that Judge John Roberts would allow public life "to be hijacked by those with a religious agenda" if he is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State said Roberts' judicial philosophy - gleaned from legal briefs he wrote in the Reagan administration - would throw church-state case law into "disarray."

"He has been a faithful soldier in the far right's campaign to roll back the church-state safeguards protecting all Americans, especially religious minorities," said the group's director, the Rev. Barry Lynn.

Lynn's 19-page report said Roberts would overturn a 1971 Supreme Court standard that prohibits state-sponsored activity that has a primarily religious purpose. In its place, Roberts would allow such activity as long as people are not "coerced" into participating, AU said.

The result would be government officials delivering prayers at civic ceremonies, allowing religious symbols such as the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public buildings and permitting government to be used for religious programs, the report said.

That will be dangerous for non-Christian minorities, the report said. "One may assume that the prayers that get said, the displays that get erected, and the organizations that get funded will, in the vast majority of cases, reflect certain Christian traditions or beliefs," the report said.

Allowing Roberts on the court would result in "further erosion of the wall that separates church and state." Lynn, in a statement, added: "I understand why Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson support Roberts' confirmation. I don't understand why anyone else would."

'Shouldn't' Is Not 'Don't' & 'Urge' Is Not 'Prohibit' - Air Force Guidelines Too Little, Too Late, Too Evangelical

Air Force Religion Guidelines Discourage Public Prayer But Don't Ban It

from The Associated Press and The Washington Post

DENVER - The Air Force released new guidelines for religious tolerance Monday that discourage public prayer at official functions and urge commanders to be "sensitive" about personal expressions of religious faith.

"At a time when many nations are torn apart by religious strife, we must understand that our ability to stand together as Americans and as airmen - those who represent many religions, shoulder-to-shoulder with those who claim no religion - is part of our heritage, and our strength," the guidelines said.

The document directs chaplains to "respect the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs."

The guidelines, which apply to the entire Air Force, were drawn up after allegations that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.

Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 Air Force Academy graduate, former Reagan White House official, and persistent critic of the school's handling of religion, criticized the new guidelines, saying they fail to control evangelical zealots. He said the guidelines are "dead on arrival" and said he is contemplating a lawsuit to block them.

"The Air Force's official policy remains that the Air Force reserves the right to evangelize anyone in the Air Force that it determines to be unchurched," Weinstein said in an interview from his home in Albuquerque, N.M.

Weinstein's complaints over the past 18 months about religious intolerance led to a Pentagon investigation in June that found "a lack of awareness over where the line is drawn between permissible and impermissible expression of beliefs" and concluded that some students and staff at the school have the perception that the academy favors evangelical Christians and is intolerant of those who do not share their faith.

A team of observers from Yale Divinity School criticized one of the academy's ministers for urging Protestant cadets to tell their classmates that anyone who is "not born-again will burn in the fires of hell."

"Could there possibly be a worse time for this fundamentalist Christianity to be pushed in our military, when we're in a war and the people we are fighting are recruiting their members by saying we're Christian crusaders?" asked Weinstein.

Among other incidents, the academy commandant had urged cadets to use the "J for Jesus" hand signal with the thumb and index finger, the head football coach had told players that he expected to see them in church, and Jewish cadets had experienced anti-Semitic slurs after students were urged to see the Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ.

The new guidelines do not ban public prayer outright and say short, nonsectarian prayers may be included in special ceremonies or events, but only to lend a sense of solemnity and not to promote specific beliefs.

Nor do they bar personal discussions of religion, including discussions between commanders and subordinates. They caution Air Force members "to be sensitive to the potential that personal expressions may appear to be official expressions."

The Rev. MeLinda S. Morton, a Lutheran minister who resigned in June as an Air Force chaplain after criticizing the religious atmosphere at the Air Force Academy, said there has been a palpable rise in evangelical fervor not just among chaplains but also among the officer corps in general since she joined the military in 1982, originally as a launch officer in a nuclear missile silo.

"When we were missile officers, I would never, ever have engaged in conversations with subordinates aligning my power and position as an officer with my views on faith matters," she said. Today, "I've heard of people being made incredibly uncomfortable by certain wing commanders who engage in sectarian devotions at staff meetings."

The guidelines state that members of the Air Force "will not officially endorse or establish religion, either one specific religion, or the idea of religion over non-religion."

They also say that "abuse or disrespect" of Air Force members based on their religious beliefs, or lack of such beliefs, is unacceptable.


Sounds Like a Fun, Normal, Well-Adjusted Kid...Right?

Divine and Rule

from The Guardian

[An excerpt only] Alastair Kirk stopped going to school when he was 11. He is now 20, and not exactly a dropout - he went on being educated at home, and every day he sat down and worked his way through booklets of maths, English, science, history, geography, all couched in a unique style. "Here are examples of interrogative sentences," states one grammar booklet in the curriculum he used, Accelerated Christian Education. "Do you know Jesus as your personal Saviour? Can you ever praise Him enough?"

I ask Alastair what was the best thing about being educated in this way. "I could study the word of God every day rather than defending it every day," he states. What did he feel he missed by not being in school? "Temptation," he says, and stops...

Unquote: Pat Robertson

"The Antichrist is probably a Jew alive in Israel today." [Keywords: Asshole, Christian Supremicist, Racist]

"Can a demon appear as a slanty-eyed, funny-looking [alien] creature? Of course he can." [Keywords: Astrophysicist, Psychotic (Sees Demons)]

"[The Christian Coalition has] enough votes to run the country. And when the people say, 'We've had enough,' we are going to take over!" [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Fortuneteller, Psychotic (Egomania), Unamerican (Theocratic Rule)]

"The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people, they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening." [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Demagogue, Psychotic (Delusions of Entitlement), Unamerican (Constitution/Theocratic Rule)]

"The courts are merely a ruse, if you will, for humanist, atheistic educators to beat up on Christians." [Keywords: Psychotic (Delusions of Persecution), Unamerican (Contempt of Court)]

"[God said to me] 'I will remove judges from the Supreme Court quickly, and their successors will refuse to sanction the attacks on religious faith'...Lord, give us righteous judges who will not try to legislate and dominate this society. Take control, Lord! We ask for additional vacancies on the court." [Keywords: Homicidal (Divine Wrath), Psychotic (Delusions of Persecution/Hears Voices), Unamerican (Contempt of Court)]

"[Hinduism is] a dirty, filthy culture." [Keywords: Asshole, Christian Supremicist, Racist]

"Homosexuals...are sinning against God and will lead to the ultimate destruction of the family and our nation. I am unalterably opposed to such things, and will do everything I can to restrict the freedom of these people to spread their contagious infection to the youth of this nation." [Keywords: Asshole, Demagogue, Fortuneteller, Homophobe, Psychotic (Conspiracism)]

"I am absolutely persuaded one of the reasons so many lesbians are at the forefront of the pro-choice movement is because being a mother is the unique characteristic of womanhood, and these lesbians will never be mothers naturally, so they don't want anybody else to have that privilege, either." [Keywords: Asshole, Homophobe, Psychotic (Conspiracism)]

"If anybody understood what Hindus really believe, there would be no doubt that they have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality...Can you imagine...Mahatma Gandhi as minister of health, education, and welfare?" [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Odd Choice of Example, Racist, Unamerican (Religious Tests)]

"If Christian people work together, they can succeed during this decade in winning back control of the [American] institutions that have been taken from them over the past 70 years. Expect confrontations that will be not only unpleasant but at times physically bloody." [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Fortuneteller, Homicidal (War), Psychotic (Delusions of Entitlement), Unamerican (Theocratic Rule)]

"If I could just get a nuclear device inside [the State Department], I think that's the answer...We've got to blow that thing up." [Keywords: Appalling, Asshole, Homicidal (Mass Murder), Terrorist, Unamerican (Treason)]

"If the United States tries nation-building [in Iraq], it's got to [have] at the very top of its agenda a separation of church and state. There has to be a secular state in [Iraq] and not an Islamic state." (Note: He advocates no separation of church and state when Christians can take control.) [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Hypocrite, Racist]

Part I
"If [Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war...and I don't think any oil shipments will stop." [Keywords: Greedy, Homicidal (Assassination), SUV Owner, War Criminal (Assassination)]

Part II
The denial: "Wait a minute, I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces could take him out. 'Take him out' could be a number of things, including kidnapping. I was misinterpreted." [Keywords: Liar (Weasel), War Criminal (Kidnapping)]

Part III
When denial failed, the admission: "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement." [Keywords: Caught on Tape, Liar (Insincerity)]

"I know it sounds somewhat Machiavellian and evil, to think that you could send a squad in to take out somebody like Osama bin Laden, or to take out the head of North Korea, but isn't it better to do something like that, to take out Milosevic, to take out Saddam Hussein, rather than to spend billions of dollars on a war?" [Keywords: Greedy, Homicidal (Assassination), Terrorist, War Criminal (Assassination)]

"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period." [Keywords: Misogynist, Psychotic (Egomania)]

"I recall an incident from my own life when I was staying in a motel near Seattle, Washington. One morning, when I was in that stage between sleep and waking, an awful depression seized me. I felt that everyone was against me, that people around me were failing, and that everything I was doing was falling to pieces. Discouragement overwhelmed me like a dark cloud. As I struggled to wake up, I realized I was under demonic attack. I immediately took control over it and said, 'Satan, in the name of Jesus, I cast you forth!' The minute I said that, my mind was free and my despair was gone. I realized later that the Seattle-Tacoma area led the nation in suicides. The spirit that was coming upon me was a suicidal spirit." [Keywords: Psychotic (Delusions of Persecution/Depression/Night Terrors/Sees Demons/Suicidal)]

"I think George Bush is going to win [in 2004]. I really believe that I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout...Even if he stumbles and messes up - and he's had his share of stumbles and gaffes - I just think God's blessing is on him...It doesn't make any difference what he does, good or bad." [Keywords: Fortuneteller, Psychotic (Hears Voices)]

"I think 'one man, one vote,' just unrestricted democracy [in South Africa], would not be wise. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority - which the white people represent now, a minority - and they need and have a right to demand a protection of their rights." (Note: He owned - and still owns - diamond mines in South Africa when apartheid fell.) [Keywords: Greedy, Hypocrite, Racist]

"I think the gradual erosion [by federal judges] of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings." [Keywords: Appalling, Asshole, Terrorist, Unamerican (Contempt of Court)]

"I think the sky is blue because it's a shift from black through purple to blue, and it has to do with where the light is. You know, the farther we get into darkness, and there's a shifting of color of light into the blueness, and I think as you go farther and farther away from the reflected light we have from the sun or the light that's bouncing off this earth, uh, the darker it gets...We mentioned before about the stars singing, and that's one of the effects of the shifting of colors." [Keyword: Astronomer, Psychotic (Hears Voices/Prone to Nonsensical Rambling)]

"I think we ought to close Halloween down. Do you want your children to dress up as witches? The Druids used to dress up like this when they were doing human sacrifice...[Your children] are acting out Satanic rituals and participating in it, and don't even realize it." [Keywords: Curmudgeon, Demagogue, Psychosis (Sees Demons)]

"It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation...have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. [The Christian] is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into (our) institutions (today) are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have...The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation." [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Homicidal (Extermination), Hypocrite]

"It's almost like that seed of rebellion and uncontrollable anger has filtered into these people. There's an element of hatred and revenge [in Islam] that is just extraordinary...but at the heart of it all it seems like to me, it's just the spirit of violence, the spirit of hatred, and a spirit of murder." (Note: Said the day after he advocated assassination.) [Keywords: Christian Supremecist, Demagogue, Hypocrite, Racist]

"It's one thing [for gays] to say, 'We have rights to jobs...we have rights to be left alone in out little corner of the world to do our thing.' It's an entirely different thing to say, well, 'We're not only going to go into the schools and we're going to take your children and your grandchildren and turn them into homosexuals.' Now that's wrong." [Keywords: Demagogue, Homophobe, Liar (Fabrication), Psychotic (Conspiracism)]

"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes [for having "gay days" at Disneyworld], and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you. This is not a message of hate - this is a message of redemption...If the widespread practice of homosexuality will bring about the destruction of your nation, if it will bring about terrorist bombs, if it'll bring about earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor, it isn't necessarily something we ought to open our arms to." [Keywords: Astrophysicist, Demagogue, Fortuneteller, Homophobe]

"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media, and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians - wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today, more terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history." [Keywords: Appalling, Asshole, Homophobe, Psychotic (Conspiracism/Delusions of Persecution)]

"Many observers say that AIDS is the hammer and gun of the homosexual movement, an effective vehicle to propel the homosexual agenda throughout every phase of our society." [Keywords: Appalling, Asshole, Homophobe, Psychotic (Conspiracism)]

"Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals - the two things seem to go together." [Keywords: Asshole, Demagogue, Homophobe]

"The National Organization for Women is saying that in order to be a woman, you've got to be a lesbian...The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians." [Keywords: Demagogue, Homophobe, Liar (Fabrication), Misogynist, Psychotic (Conspiracism)]

"The origin of [Hinduism] is all demonic. We can't let that stuff come into America." [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Racist, Unamerican (Freedom of Religion)]

Part I
His wife, Dede:
"Pat, I've tried to adjust to this 'saved' jag you're on, but you've become a fanatic. All you do is read that Bible all day and sit around and talk to Jesus. I'm a nurse. I recognize schizoid tendencies when I see them, and I think you're sick. It's just not normal for a man to walk out on his wife and leave her with a small child when she's expecting a baby any minute - while he goes off into the woods to talk to God. God doesn't tell people to do things like that. At least, my God doesn't."

Part II
His reply: "I can't leave. God will take care of you." [Keywords: Asshole, Misogynist, Psychotic (Hears Voices)]

"People for the American Way were founded by [Norman Lear,] the creator of Archie Bunker. Do we want Archie Bunker determining what the United States Senate votes for?" [Keywords: Psychotic (Difficulty Distinguishing Fantasy from Reality), Meathead]

"[Planned Parenthood] is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism - everything that the Bible condemns." [Keywords: Homophobe, Liar (Fabrication)]

"Presbyterians are the spirit of the Antichrist." [Keywords: Appalling, Asshole, Christian Supremicist, Psychosis (Sees Demons)]

"The public education movement has also been an anti-Christian movement...We can change education in America if you put Christian principles in and Christian pedagogy in. In three years, you would totally revolutionize education in America." [Keywords: Christian Supremecy, Fortuneteller, Psychotic (Delusions of Persecution), Unamerican (Theocratic Rule)]

"Satan has gone! God has just healed somebody! A hernia has been healed! Several people are being healed of hemorrhoids and varicose veins! People with flat feet! God is doing just great things to you!" [Keywords: Hemorrhoids, Psychotic (Hears Voices/Sees Demons)]

"Since our nation was founded, we have discriminated against certain things [like homosexuals]. We discriminate against kidnappers. We discriminate against murderers." (Note: He has advocated both murder and kidnapping.) [Keywords: Homophobe, Hypocrite]

"A Supreme Court ruling is not the Law of the United States. The law of the United Sates is the Constitution...I am bound by the laws of the United States and all 50 states, [but] I am not bound by any case or any court to which I myself am not a party...I don't think the Congress of the United States is subservient to the courts...They can ignore a Supreme Court ruling if they so choose." (Note: Wrong - see Checks and Balances.) [Keywords: Liar (Talks Out of Ass), Unamerican (Checks and Balances/Contempt of Court)]

"The teachers who are teaching your children are not necessarily nice, wonderful servants of the community. They are activists supporting...affirmative action, the Equal Rights Amendment, gun control, sex education, illegal teachers' strikes, nuclear freeze, federal funding for abortions...decriminalization of marijuana" [Keywords: Demagogue, Liar (Fabrication), Homicidal (War), Misogynist, Racist]

"The term 'gay' is the most serious misuse of the English language. They’re not 'gay,' they’re very, very depressed and miserable." [Keywords: Homophobe, Liar (Talks Out of Ass)]

Part I
"There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore!"
(Note: Wrong - see the First Amendment.) [Keywords: Liar (Talks Out of Ass), Psychotic (Conspiracism/Delusions of Persecution), Unamerican (Theocratic Rule)]

Part II
"They scream, 'First Amendment.' Of course, the First Amendment, as you and I both know, is a restriction on Congress...So it really doesn't have anything to do with what you say or what I say, one way or the other." (Note: Wrong - also see Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.)
[Keywords: Liar (Talks Out of Ass), Unamerican (Constitution/Theocratic Rule)]

"There's never been a woman Grand Master chess player. Once you get one, then I'll buy some of the feminism." (Note: Wrong - there had already been two.) [Keywords: Asshole, Liar (Talks Out of Ass), Misogynist]

"There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world. How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy money changers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?" (Note: He has advocated assassination and an oppressive Christian theocracy.) [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Homicidal (War), Homophobe, Hypocrite, Psychotic (Delusions of Entitlement), Unamerican (New World Order/Treason)]

"This country does not belong to the ACLU, the radical left, or the communists. It belongs to God and his people. I frankly am tired of us being second-class citizens in a land our forefathers founded and claimed for the Lord." [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Liar (Fabrication), Psychotic (Conspiracism/Delusions of Entitlement/Delusions of Persecution), Unamerican (Theocratic Rule)]

"This is where God wanted me to be...I assure you that I am going to be the next president of the United States." [Keywords: Fortuneteller, Psychotic (Delusions of Entitlement/Egomania/Hears Voices)]

"This virulent anti-Christian bigotry has got to stop!...These voices that are raised against Christianity, Christians have got to stand together and say no." [Keywords: Psychotic (Delusions of Persecution)]

"To see Americans become followers of quote 'Islam' is nothing short of insanity." [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Racist]

"The wars of extermination have given a lot of people trouble unless they understand fully what was going on...[It] seems like a terrible thing to do. Is it or isn't it?" [Keywords: Homicidal (Genocide), War Criminal (Genocide)]

"We have a [Supreme Court] that has essentially stuck its finger in God's eye. We have insulted God at the highest levels of our government. Then, we say, 'Why does [terrorism] happen?' It is happening because God Almighty is lifting His protection from us...But I want to say as surely as I am sitting here today, [9-11] is only a foretaste, a little warning, of what is going to happen." [Keywords: Appalling, Demagogue, Fortuneteller, Psychotic (Hears Voices), Unamerican (Contempt of Court)]

A Robertson-funded ad quoting James Madison: "We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind...to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." [Note: Madison never said that.] [Keywords: Liar (Fabrication)]

"We want...as soon as possible to see a majority of the Republican Party in the hands of pro-family Christians by 1996." [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Fortuneteller, Unamerican (Theocratic Rule)]

"What kind of craziness is it in our society which will put a cloak of secrecy around a group of people whose lifestyle is at best abominable. Homosexuality is an abomination. The practices of those people is appalling. It is a pathology. It is a sickness." [Keywords: Asshole, Homophobe]

Part I
"When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. 'What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims!' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'" [Keywords: Christian Supremicist, Unarmerican (Religious Tests/Theocratic Rule)]

Part II
The denial: "I never said that in my life...I never said only Christians and Jews. I never said that." [Keywords: Liar (Weasel)]

"Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them." [Keywords: Appalling, Asshole, Misogynist]

"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist." [Keywords: Appalling, Asshole, Christian Supremicist, Psychotic (Sees Demons)]

Hateful son of a bitch.


Pot Calls Kettles Black: Wild Asshole Pat Robertson Says Muslims Born Hateful

Focus Shifts from Assassination to Terror's Biblical Roots

from Local6.com

A day after calling for the U.S. assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, televangelist Pat Robertson speculated about biblical roots for Islamic terrorism.

Arabs and Muslims view themselves as descendants of Abraham's son Ishmael.

On August 23rd's broadcast of The 700 Club, Robertson said, "The Bible talks about Ishmael as being 'a wild ass.' He's just uncontrollable, and it's almost like this seed of rebellion and uncontrolled anger has, you know, filtered into these people."

The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network added that Islamic terrorists seem to be motivated by "the spirit of violence, the spirit of hatred, and a spirit of murder."

Fred Phelps: Satan's Favorite Christian

Anti-Gay Church Protests at GI Funerals

from ABCNews4.com

SMYRNA, Tenn. - Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq. The church members were met with scorn from local residents. They chased the church members cars' down a highway, waving flags and screaming "God bless America."

The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps' children, grandchildren, and in-laws.

The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."

About 10 church members protested near Smyrna United Methodist Church and nearly 20 stood outside the National Guard Armory in Ashland City. Members have demonstrated at other soldier funerals across the nation.

The funerals were for Staff Sgt. Asbury Fred Hawn II, 35, in Smyrna and Spc. Gary Reese Jr., 22, in Ashland City. Both were members of the Tennessee National Guard.

Hundreds of Smyrna and Ashland City residents and families of other soldiers turned out at both sites to counter the message the Westboro Baptist members brought. So many counterdemonstrators were gathered in Ashland City that police, sheriff's deputies and state troopers were brought in to control traffic and protect the protesters.

The church members held protesting permits, and counterprotesters in Smyrna turned their backs to Westboro Baptist members until time expired on the protest permits.

"If they were protesting the government, I might even join them," Danny Cotton, 56, said amid cries of "get out of our town" and "get out of our country." "But for them to come during the worst time for this family - it's just wrong."


Even Though They Caused 9-11 & Will Destroy America, Sodomites Gays Find Unexpected Ally...in Jerry Falwell!

Jerry Falwell Has Gay Epiphany

from 365Gay.com

Lynchburg, Virginia - The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who once blamed gays and feminists for 9-11, now says he supports basic civil rights for gays and lesbians - but with conditions.

In an MSNBC interview Falwell was asked by conservative host Tucker Carlson about complaints from the religious right that gays are always asking for special rights.

''Falwell responded, “Well, housing and employment are not special rights. I think - I think the right to live somewhere and to live where you please or to work where you please, as long as you’re not bothering anybody else, is a basic right, not a - not a special right.”

He repeated the remarks Thursday in an interview with the Lynchburg, Virginia News & Advance.

“I have always believed that all Americans should have basic human rights,” Falwell told the paper. “I’ve made it clear that I don’t consider the right to fair housing or employment a conservative or liberal value. Those are American values.”

It is a marked departure from his earlier position. Falwell frequently referred in the past to "special rights" sought by gays in job protections, housing, and in hate crime laws.

Following 9-11 in an appearance on the religious program The 700 Club, Falwell said: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'."

Falwell's newfound support for gay civil rights has won praise from the nation's largest LGBT civil rights group.

"You spoke with passion for the civil rights of all Americans — regardless of if they’re gay or straight. Thank you. Fairness is something that we should all agree on so in many ways this was no surprise. One day, I hope you’ll even join me on a trip to Capitol Hill to argue for this basic right," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese in a letter to Falwell.

In a media statement Solmonese said that “in recognizing his support, I also hope he supports legislation that would deliver on these values.”

Solmonese and the LGBT community may have to wait some time for that though.

The evangelist told the News & Advance that his support for basic rights does not mean he favors enshrining it in law.

“I don’t think homosexuals should be granted a special minority status,” he told the paper. However, he said that gays, including teachers, should not be denied jobs solely because of their sexuality.

“As long as a person obeys the law and doesn’t recruit a student to a certain lifestyle, they shouldn’t be prevented from teaching,” Falwell said. “Every American should be allowed to work wherever he or she wishes as long as they obey the law.”

He has a caveat for that too, though. He said he is not going to hire gays for teaching positions at Liberty Christian Academy or Liberty University.

Kabbalah Has Madonna. Scientology Has Tom. And Church of Nazarene? Not So Lucky...

Rodeo Queen Speaks at Springville Church

from The Porterville Recorder

Porterville, California - Kristie Davis Johnson, the 1990 rodeo queen, will speak at the 10:45 a.m. worship service at the Springville Church of the Nazarene on Sunday.

Johnson lives in Porterville and is currently on a the ministerial staff at Porterville Church of the Nazarene. She has completed her ministerial studies and will receive her ordination at the Central California District Assembly in April 2006.

All are invited to attend this service. For more information, call 539-2182 or 539-2884.


Religion Is Evil, Exhibit A

Minister of Hate To 'Hunt Down' Swedish King

from The Local

The fanatical American Baptist minister, Fred Phelps, is on his way to Sweden.

"We'll hunt down your king," he said ominously to Expressen. "It doesn't make any difference where he tries to hide."

Phelps' hatred of the royal family and all things Swedish is linked directly to his equally virulent hatred of homosexuals. He praises homophobic crimes, including murder. When controversial Swedish minister, Åke Green, was convicted of inciting hatred of homosexuals following an anti-gay sermon, Phelps saw red and turned his attention to Sweden.

"You're doomed to spend eternity in hell," he continued. "All you Swedes and your Swedish king and his family."

The minister and twenty members of his congregation from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, are planning to come to Sweden at the beginning of September. They are bringing plenty of placards in order to spread their message that Sweden is the cradle of all evil and that the king rules a nation of sodomites.

King Carl Gustaf is their primary target.

"Your king represents your doomed country and we'll find him wherever he may be."

Phelps claims that Sweden deserved to suffer in the Boxing Day tsunami catastrophe in southern Asia and has designed a monument to "celebrate" the deaths of over 500 Swedes in Thailand.

The royal household regards the proposed visit as a serious risk and has increased security around the king and the royal family.

I Have an Alibi

Church Angered Over Altered Sign

from The Intelligencer

Members of a church congregation in Warwick are voicing outrage over what they say is a "disturbing" phrase that appeared on a roadside message board outside the church on Route 263 Thursday.

The message - "God hates you" - was the work of vandals who found a way either to break or to pick locks on the sign before manipulating the letters of a phrase posted by church staff.

"It's very disturbing to us," Steve Spoerle, president of the Redeemer Lutheran Church council, said Thursday. "People are upset. We've received numerous calls of concern."

Church officials heard from several callers, some of whom questioned whether it was the work of someone from the church.

The church sign wasn't the only one vandalized in Warwick this week. Police Chief Joseph Costello said a township message board at Route 263 and Meyer way was changed Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

The original sign, which was advertising Warwick Day as "Good, old-fashioned fun," was changed to read "Good, old gay fun."

Vicar Diagnosed with Chronic Stick Up Ass

Vicar Fights Sex Store

from Sky News

A vicar has begun a campaign to oust an Ann Summers sex shop from a very quintessential English country town.

The Rev. John Banner is urging Christians in Tunbridge Wells to rally behind his crusade to banish the lingerie store.

The shop is due to open in the quiet Kent town next month. But Rev. Banner says the chain is another example of the "degradation" of marriage.

"There has been too much degradation of the quiet, private area of sexual relationships between married men and women and the beautiful and wonderful spirit that marriage can give," he said.

"Marriage has become a joke. People get married at the bottom of swimming pools or jumping out of aeroplanes but it is a solemn matter - you are making promises for life, not until the next person you fancy comes along."

He added: "I suspect that I am not the only one who feels this way."

The vicar has previously run campaigns against pole dancing clubs and a sex shop in the town.

However, a spokeswoman for Ann Summers said the opening of the latest shop in the lingerie chain, which has 122 stores across the country, was proof of changing attitudes among the public.

She said: "We are not a sex shop but we do have an array of bedroom accessories such as handcuffs - they are standard products that come from Ann Summers - but we are predominantly a lingerie retailer."


Atheism Ruled 'Religion'

Court Rules Atheism a Religion

from World News Daily

A federal court of appeals ruled August 19 that Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate's rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.

"Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being," the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

The court decided the inmate's First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, called the court's ruling "a sort of Alice in Wonderland jurisprudence."

"Up is down, and atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion," said Fahling.

The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described "secular humanism" as a religion.

Fahling said today's ruling was "further evidence of the incoherence of Establishment Clause jurisprudence."

"It is difficult not to be somewhat jaundiced about our courts when they take clauses especially designed to protect religion from the state and turn them on their head by giving protective cover to a belief system, that, by every known definition other than the courts' is not a religion, while simultaneously declaring public expressions of true religious faith to be prohibited," Fahling said.

Darwin vs. Dios: Number Crunching

Frozen Aliens, Wet Concrete, Thetans, Volcanoes, Cozy Gyms, Lord Xenu, Hydrogen Bombs & Nicole Kidman: Radar Exposes Tom Cruise & Scientology

Hosing Their Religion

from Film Stew

Fresh from its four-part June Kabbalah exposé, Radar Magazine is now picking up the Scientology trail.

Word is quickly spreading today about the kind of Tom Cruise cover story that would have been virtually unthinkable this time last summer. The territory that journalist Kim Masters surveys in her September/October issue piece is that Cruise is said to be so empowered by his ascension through the Scientology ranks that he has apparently lost his cotton-picking Thetan mind.

Now Madonna, she of the alleged $18 million worth of donations to the Kabbalah since 2001, is one thing. Having turned her back on Hollywood and being repped these days on the PR front only by a Warner Records publicist, she is more than fair game. Especially as long as she continues to speak with that accent of hers, almost as mysterious in its etymology as that of Johnny Depp in the recent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

And even though Radar Magazine is on the East Coast, PMK/HBH’s Pat Kingsley - Cruise’s former iron-fisted chaperone - would have had them quaking in their Lower Manhattan boots at the editorial meeting stage. Instead, post-Access Hollywood/Billy Bush meltdown, post-Oprah meltup, post-The Today Show/Matt Lauer meltdown, post-Spiegel meltdown with Spielberg at his side, and post-several other Wart of the Worlds PR blitz pit stops, here comes another slam aimed straight at Cruise’s dimples.

In the end, it’s not so much the fact that Radar is running the piece (excerpt below). It’s the fact that Kim Masters wasn’t afraid to write it. Again, not so long ago, that would have pretty much relegated the freelance journalist to the broom closet of NPR’s Culver City, CA studios, where she is regular contributor.

As an aside, this summer’s two deer-in-the-headlights movies (Cruise’s War of the Worlds and Brad and Angelina’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith) seem to have fared just fine at the domestic box office, despite their respective misdirected PR frenzies. This would seem to suggest that the average moviegoer does not care whether its leading men worship at the foot of Ron L. Hubbard, Jon Voight once removed, or - for that matter - Katie Holmes herself in Batman Begins.

According to a former Scientologist with longtime experience in the Celebrity Centre, Cruise was introduced to the church “very gently” in the late ’80s through his then wife Mimi Rogers. Soon the actor’s handling was being personally overseen by the church’s supreme leader, David Miscavige. For some time, says the former insider, the star’s involvement with Scientology wasn’t well known even within the organization. His file was said to be kept under his real surname: Mapother.

Cruise’s early progress in the church was described in a 1998 interview with Jesse Prince, a onetime high-level Scientologist. A pro-Scientology website claims that Prince is a former drug dealer who was paid to attack Scientology. Asked about Prince’s account of his experiences as a Scientologist, a church spokesperson characterized Prince and other former high-level church members quoted in this article as “discredited sources” — “apostates” who could not live up to the church’s ethical standards. Attempts to locate Prince for comment were not successful.

Prince remembered that Cruise was a fast riser. “I mean, I’ve never seen a guy progress so quickly through the Scientology ‘levels,’” he said. “I know because I personally sat down and did E-meter drills with him…. When I first met him he was nothing.”

For years, according to former Scientologists, Cruise received the kind of special perks that one might expect any organization to lavish on a celebrity member. His treatment was described, in part, by ex–church member Andre Tabayoyon in an affidavit Tabayoyon filed in 1994 as an expert witness in a lawsuit involving the church. (The suit was later abandoned.) Tabayoyon appears to have been well-credentialed: He spent 20 years in the Sea Organization, Scientology’s upper-level staff, he says, and served as L. Ron Hubbard’s butler. When he joined in the early ’70s Tabayoyon signed a standard church contract committing him to one billion years of service. The contract, however, was broken when Tabayoyon, who testified he’d reached his limit for abuse, dropped out in 1992. Now, his wife says, he has nothing to say about the church or the contents of his lengthy affidavit.

During his testimony Tabayoyon said he had spent considerable time working at Gold, a lavishly appointed 500-acre resort built by the church near the high desert town of Hemet, 90 miles from Los Angeles. Tabayoyon said visitors to the resort were greeted by a full-scale replica of a clipper ship (Hubbard was fascinated by ships). Inside the vessel were a sauna, a Jacuzzi, and a large pool. Also on the property: an “orchestra-size” recording studio, film, and sound editing facilities, a 32-seat theater, a nine-hole golf course, and a dining facility with seating for 1,100.

A Vietnam veteran, Tabayoyon told a series of breathtakingly dark tales of individuals driven to psychotic episodes, even suicide, as they went through the church’s regimens. He also spoke of forced labor and coercive measures taken by the church to prevent members from leaving: a “brainwashing and penal operation” that he likened to techniques he’d been trained to expect from the Vietcong.

But none of these allegations would have reached Cruise’s ears, because in those days only David Miscavige was allowed to talk to Cruise when he visited Gold, according to Tabayoyon. “One time one of the gardeners spoke to him, and this caused a major flap on the base,” he said.

Miscavige, who was born into the church and became part of an elite crew reporting to Hubbard at an early age, grew extremely close to the actor as they spent more time together at the resort. A physically fit five-foot-five-inch man who, like Cruise, is known for his intense drive and energy, Miscavige took pains to make his special guest feel at home. Both Prince and Tabayoyon reported that Cruise was awarded a luxurious private apartment. Tabayoyon said the actor kept two Yamaha motorcycles, a Mercedes-Benz, and a large motor home in what used to be Hubbard’s parking lot. Construction and renovation were handled with great care. In his affidavit Tabayoyon says he was asked to pour a concrete walkway “so that Tom Cruise would not have to walk on the desert soil. Before the concrete dried it rained. The concrete was spoiled.” Miscavige “went into a fury over that,” Tabayoyon said.

When Cruise married Nicole Kidman in 1990, Tabayoyon said, the church leader accompanied the couple to Colorado for the wedding. Prince said Cruise had “a fantasy of just running through a field of tall grass” with his new wife. He remembers workers at Gold “staying up overnight, just extended schedules, de-rocking, plowing a field, planting tall wheat grass, and when Nicole Kidman came — here’s a field. Now they’re running through the damn field of grass. It took weeks.”

Scientology hasn’t always been a romp for Cruise. Prince’s interview asserts that the star went through difficult times as he moved to the organization’s higher levels, hitting a rough patch more than 10 years ago, when he rose to OT III. (OT stands for Operating Thetan, thetan being Scientology’s term for the soul. Cruise is said to be at OT VII, one below the top level currently attainable in the church.) At OT III, according to former Scientologists, the story of Xenu is revealed. While the church disputes ex-members’ accounts, the gospel goes (briefly) as follows: Seventy-five million years ago Xenu, the head of a galactic alliance of 76 planets, was confronted with an overpopulation problem. His solution was to freeze billions of beings, transport them to earth, deposit them near volcanoes, and vaporize them with hydrogen bombs. Their remaining “thetans” — disembodied spirits — were captured and programmed with the false realities (including the major religions) that pervade the earth today. Some of these beings — “body thetans” — have attached themselves to our bodies either singly or in clusters; Scientologists must contact, handle, and release them.

Many former Scientologists found the introduction to OT III harrowing; according to Prince, Cruise was no exception. “He got onto OT III and he had black circles under his eyes,” Prince said. “He was, like, pretty screwed up…. After OT III he just got that pasty skin and that foolish look…. He just wanted Scientology to be away from him. He wanted to do no more auditing, just nothing with any of that stuff, just go back to Hollywood and his home.”

But the church was unwilling to watch its most celebrated member slip away. According to Prince’s account, the actor was given a break. “He was taken off any kind of real heavy auditing, and just, ‘Let’s have some fruit, let’s get exercise, come to the exercise room, let’s play basketball, let’s do this.’ I was leaving as that was going on.”

Tory Christman, a former Scientologist who once worked in the Celebrity Centre, believes that at some point Cruise rededicated himself to Scientology. In the early ’90s, Christman says, she was strongly urged to attend a big event at Flag, the church’s facility in Clearwater, Florida, during which Cruise spoke to the group. “Before that he was doing his thing. He wasn’t really a public Scientologist,” says Christman. “Travolta was. All of a sudden Cruise came out and was like, ‘I’m a Scientologist. I’m a trained auditor.’”

Watching the star’s performance, Christman concluded that Cruise had been “handled,” or brought into line with the church’s agenda. She had in the past observed similar handlings, during which individuals were told that they were uniquely qualified and essential to the church’s mission.

The truth about what kept Cruise in the fold may never be known, since at the time he wasn’t receptive to discussing Scientology with the outside world. In 1993, when reporter John H. Richardson began to research an article for Premiere magazine, Cruise would only reply to written fact-checking questions with the understanding that his answers would be printed without alteration. In response to one of those questions, Cruise complained, “I have no idea why my religion, or anybody’s, would be the subject of an article.”

What really riled him, however, were Richardson’s questions about his relationship with David Miscavige. “This question is just off the wall,” Cruise bristled. “We are friends. And how is this relevant to anything? It’s offensive that I should even have to answer this question.” After describing the leader as “a good friend,” the star lamented that they rarely saw each other.

A year later Tabayoyon painted a more revealing portrait of Cruise and Miscavige’s relationship. His affidavit says the two spent a lot of time together on the Hemet base. “Often they would hang out alone in the space designated for L. Ron Hubbard on the clipper ship we built in the desert,” testified Tabayoyon. “This space had a small kitchen, a little dining room, a little bar, and a bed…. On other occasions Miscavige and Cruise would work out in the expensive gym we built for exclusive and restricted use.”

The affidavit continues: “Obviously, Miscavige and Cruise have developed a special relationship.”

Jesus Is Magic


Once Again, Free Speech Kicks Falwell's Fat.ass

Falwell Critic Can Keep Domain Name

from ZD Net

A Web site with a domain name resembling Rev. Jerry Falwell's can continue to vent about the preacher's anti-gay views, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court's ruling, which had prohibited Christopher Lamparello from "maintaining a gripe Web site critical of Jerry Falwell," the appeals court opinion said.

Lamparello registered
Fallwell.com in 1999 after hearing Falwell give an interview containing what he considered to be offensive opinions about homosexuality. Inside, it links to articles intended to dispel what Lamparello deemed untruths about gay people. It also contains disclaimers that contain links to Falwell's official site.

Falwell sent Lamparello letters in October 2001 and June 2003 demanding that the site be taken down and ultimately filed claims. A district court last year enjoined Lamparello from using the domain name and required him to transfer it to Falwell.

But the appeals court viewed the situation in a different light. One of the major factors in trademark cases, the court said, is whether use of a similar name creates a "likelihood of confusion" for those who read it.

"Lamparello's Web site looks nothing like Reverend Falwell's; indeed, Lamparello has made no attempt to imitate Reverend Falwell's Web site," wrote Judge Diana Motz.

A federal judge in 2003 dismissed another case Falwell brought against the operator of parody sites hosted on
Jerryfalwell.com and Jerryfallwell.com.

Backpeddling on the River Styx

Weasel, Thy Name Is Pat: After advocating murder (Thou Shall Not Kill) and then denying it (Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness), the amoral Pat Robertson admits the sin-riddled truth.

Robertson Apologizes for Chavez Remarks

from The Associated Press

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson apologized Wednesday for calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, only hours after he denied saying Chavez should be killed.

"Is it right to call for assassination?" Robertson said. "No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

On Monday's telecast of his Christian Broadcasting Network show The 700 Club, Robertson had said: "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

On Tuesday, the State Department called Robertson's remarks "inappropriate."

On Wednesday, he initially denied having called for Chavez to be killed and said The Associated Press had misinterpreted his remarks.

"I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out,'" Robertson said on his show. "'Take him out' could be a number of things including kidnapping."

He later issued the apology on his Web site.

'Oprah, I Love California! I Love It! I Love It! I Love It! I Love It! I Love It! I Love It! (Don't Interrupt.) I Love It! I I Love It!'

Don’t Be Glib, California. Vote Cruise

from Defamer

Fark ran a
Photoshop contest to find a fresh celebrity face for next year’s gubernatorial race, but after seeing this poster, we think we have a frontrunner. California needs a man of unshakeable faith, a man who’ll stand up to the drug companies, a man who will outfit those slackers in Sacramento with some smart, nautical-themed uniforms.

Don’t be glib, California. The choice is clear.

Religion Written into Iraq Constitution (Shhh! Don't Give the GOP Any Ideas!)

Iraq Secularists Denounce 'Islamist' Constitution

from Reuters

BAGHDAD - Secular Iraqis said on Wednesday a proposed new constitution left no room for doubt about the Islamist path the country was heading down two years after a U.S.-led invasion was supposed to produce greater freedoms.

The document presented to parliament on Monday "aborts the democratic process Iraqis hoped for and is a big victory for political Islam," said writer Adel Abdel-Amir. "Islamic law, not the people, has become the source of authority."

The draft says Islam is the official religion of the state and there can be no law that contradicts the "fixed principles of its rulings." Language guaranteeing "rights and freedoms" is subordinate to the primary position given to Islam, opponents say.

"Human rights should not be linked to Islamic Sharia law at all. It should be listed separately in the constitution," said Safia Souhail, Iraq's ambassador to Egypt.

The prominent women's rights campaigner denounced wording that grants each religious sect the right to run its own family courts - apparently doing away with previous civil codes - as an open door to further Islamicise the legal system.

Despite the brutality and despotism, the decades of Baath Party rule under Saddam Hussein left a largely secular legacy, which included relative freedom for women.

"When we came back from exile, we thought we were going to improve rights and the position of women," said Souhail. "But look what has happened - we have lost all the gains we made over the last 30 years. It's a big disappointment."

Iraq's state media organs have come out full guns blazing in favor of the draft. But the popular Azzaman daily said in a column on Wednesday that parliament would be better off dissolved than promulgating a document such as the draft.

"We had hoped for a secular constitution that would separate religion from state," said Mirza Dinnayi, leader of the Yazidi sect viewed by Islamists now running Iraq as devil worshippers. "A constitution that can't ensure the rights of its citizens and equality doesn't deserve to be called a constitution."

Who Would Jesus Kidnap?

Evangelist Backs off Chavez Assassination Call

from Reuters

WASHINGTON - Conservative U.S. evangelist Pat Robertson, who called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said on Wednesday he was misinterpreted and there were a number of ways to "take him out" including kidnapping.

"I said our special forces could take him out. Take him out could be a number of things including kidnapping," Robertson said on his The 700 Club television program. "I was misinterpreted."

Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition and a presidential candidate in 1988, said on Monday of Chavez, one of Bush's most vocal critics: "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday dismissed Robertson's remarks, but the White House remained silent despite calls for repudiation from Venezuela and religious leaders including the Rev. Jesse Jackson.


Hadji's Helpful Hindu Hint #31: Burning Brides a Real Treat, S'More or Less

'Honey, how are those hot dogs coming? What?! By the many arms of Vishnu, I cannot understand you when you shriek like that! Oh, and grab some Jiffy Pop on your way down, you worthless dog.'

Calcutta Fire Marshal: Many Indian Homes Lack Bride Extinguisher

from The Onion

CALCUTTA, INDIA — Failure to own or use a bride extinguisher results in millions of rupees of property damage in India annually, Calcutta fire marshal Prasad Chandra said in a press conference Monday.

"This tragedy occurs far too often when well-meaning husbands, attempting to collect on a dowry, ignite their brides indoors. The damage is often compounded when a burning bride attempts to escape and spreads the flames to other homes," Chandra said. "If you absolutely must burn your bride, avoid additional destruction with an affordable bride extinguisher. And, if possible, confine the burning to your backyard bride pit."

He also recommended that homeowners install and periodically test marital smoke detectors.