Category Archives: Cults

5 Ridiculous Things About Dianetics

‘It Was Like a Cult’: Leaving the World of Online Conspiracy Theories

chemtrail Illustration by Sarah Schmitt

Stephanie Wittschier believed in the Illuminati and chemtrails, and even tried to convert people online. But then she started to have doubts.

By Alexander Krützfeldt via Broadly

conspiracy to do list_200px_200pxStephanie Wittschier believed in a lot of different things throughout her life: that aliens were locked away in Area 51; that the Third Reich was alive and well, along with the Illuminati, and—last but not least—that ruling elites were using chemtrails to poison humanity.

The 35-year-old German was deep into the conspiracy theory scene for years before she dropped out, turning her attention to educating outsiders about the sinister truth behind Third Reich truthers and “chemmies” a.k.a people who believe the government is dumping toxic agents in plane vapor trails. Now she and her husband, Kai, run a Facebook page and Twitter account called Die lockere Schraube (“The Loose Screw”). And they’ve since incurred the wrath of their former conspiracy colleagues.

Wittschier’s journey into the world of conspiracy theories began when she watched a documentary about the alleged inconsistencies in the 9/11 attacks. “Immediately afterwards she went online and googled ‘conspiracy’ and ‘9/11,'” Kai told Broadly. Wittschier got hooked. “She started to talk about elites, the Illuminati… At a certain point it stopped being fun, as it became impossible to talk to her. She stopped listening and seemed closed off to any reasonable discussion.”

A ChemTrail plane departing from an undisclosed location.

A ChemTrail plane departing from an undisclosed location.

On the internet, Wittschier found people who shared her convictions. “That’s how it was,” she writes via email. “Back then, I had a friend who was into the same ideological conspiracy [stuff] and we got along pretty well. We believed in the same stuff, browsed the same forums, we used to talk about all sorts of things and most of the time we shared the same opinion.” Wittschier felt accepted among these like-minded people, who would ridicule outsiders’ attempts to re-educate them: “Those people [with different opinions] are representatives of the system or get paid; so-called sheep, people who don’t think.”

At the height of her obsession—especially when it came to chemtrails—Wittschier was part of various groups on Facebook, participated in a forum called Allmystery, and was active on YouTube. But in August 2012, her best friend in the conspiracy world started to question and oppose certain theories, and began the slow process of dissociating herself from the world she shared with Wittschier.

Continue Reading @ Broadly – – –

Firestorm in Waco

How much truth is there to the conspiracy theories that the FBI deliberately killed the Branch Davidians?

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via skeptoid
Read transcript below or listen here

Today we’re going to delve into the deepest, ugliest corner of urban legendry: conspiracy theories claiming that the US government deliberately attacks and kills its own citizens. In this case it’s the infamous 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian religious sect near Waco, Texas resulting in the deaths of some 75 people inside. The accepted narrative is that the Davidians, intent on apocalyptic death according to their prophecies, committed mass suicide as the federal agents entered the compound with armored vehicles; while the conspiracy theory holds that it was the federal agents who set the fires in a successful effort to murder the entire population inside. Today we’re going to examine the claim, and find out how we know what we know.

The Mount Carmel complex burns in Waco, April 19, 1993

The Mount Carmel complex burns in Waco, April 19, 1993

The Branch Davidian sect, originally an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, had been on its land outside Waco for nearly 60 years when young Vernon Howell took it over in the aftermath of a 1987 armed raid. He luckily escaped conviction, changed his name to David Koresh (telling his followers that Koresh meant “death”), and assumed the role of prophet. A few years later, a confrontation with federal authorities led to a six week siege that ended with the complete destruction by fire of the compound as tanks rolled in with tear gas, killing Koresh and 75 other Branch Davidians inside.

The conspiracy theories came thick and fast. The most prominent were popularized by a pair of independent filmmakers, Linda Thompson (who was a full-throttle conspiracy theorist best known for her film Waco: The Big Lie) and Mike McNulty (who was more measured, and received an Academy Award nomination for Waco: The Rules of Engagement). We’ll take a look at the two most commonly repeated claims:

Brian Dunning via Continue Reading @ Skeptoid – – –

Nikola Tesla Wasn’t God And Thomas Edison Wasn’t The Devil

Alex KnappBy Alex Knapp via Forbes

“It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite — that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that.” – Mark Twain
Image: theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

Image Courtesy: theoatmeal.com

The Oatmeal is a fantastic comic that I recommend that you make a habit of reading. However, even the greatest can go astray, and I’m pained to admit that The Oatmeal has done so regarding someone I regard very highly, and that’s Nikola Tesla. Alas, The Oatmeal has fallen prey to Tesla idolatry, confusing his genius for godhood and of course, setting up the now all-too-common ‘Edison as Tesla’s arch-villain’ narrative.
There are quite a few errors and misconceptions about both Tesla and Edison in this comic. But they’re errors that I’ve seen before and they are often repeated, so it’s worth the time, I think, to address some of the big ones.

Tesla Didn’t Invent Alternating Current And He Wasn’t A Major Power In The War Of The Currents

Let’s start with the first thing the comic says: “In a time when the majority of the world was still lit by candle power, an electrical system known as alternating current and to this day is what powers every home on the planet. Who do we have to thank for this invention that ushered humanity into a second industrial revolution? Nikola Tesla.”
This is just wrong. Alternating current was developed in principle by Michael Faraday and in practice by Hippolyte Pixii in the early 19th century. Practical devices employing AC in the medical world were developed before Tesla was even born. Contemporaries of Tesla working for George Westinghouse developed practical methods of distributing AC power from power plants before Tesla came to work for Westinghouse. Tesla himself actually studied the use of AC in college – he had an electrical engineering degree.

Continue Reading – – –

Building Muscle w/ Bob: Back Edition

Don’t give up on this video. Watch it and listen closely, i think you’ll get a laugh out of it:)

Source: Building Muscle w/ Bob: Back Edition – YouTube

10 Unsettling Teachings Of The Eccentric Aleister Crowley

By Debra Kelly via Listverse

Regardless of anyone’s religious or spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, Aleister Crowley is an incredibly fascinating figure. There’s as much myth and legend surrounding him as there are facts, and sifting through the stories is a strange, strange look into one of the most notorious lives of the 20th century. He left behind an incredibly rich history of teachings and beliefs, not to mention more than a few outrageous claims.

10 • Claimed To Have Developed The ‘V For Victory’ Sign

V-For-Victory_300pxThere was some pretty powerful symbolism going on in World War II, and according to Crowley, the Allied “V for Victory” sign was his creation. Since we know what happened at the end of the war, it goes without saying that he was right—if, that is, he did do what he claimed.

At the time, he was friends (or at least acquaintances) with real-life super-spy Ian Fleming. Just what kind of impact Crowley had in the war years is up for debate. There are some claims that he was a spy and some saying that, even going back to World War I, he was posing as a German supporter to drum up a significant amount of crazy in order to help sway the Americans to join the war on the side of the British.

Aleister also said that he had the ear of Winston Churchill, and when it came time to develop a symbol that would rally the Allied troops, he was the one that came up with the “V for Victory” salute. More than just an inspirational sign, it was also designed to strike fear in the hearts of Nazi occultists. The swastika, which gained its power from the Sun and solar energy, was a powerful thing; that’s why the Nazis chose it, after all. Crowley stated that the “V for Victory” sign was just as powerful in its opposition. Supposedly, it was a magical, mystical sign that invoked the power of Apophis and Typhon and channeled their destructive forces to fight for those who wielded it.

9 • Crowley And The Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn

Golden-Dawn-Cross_300pxOnce a major player in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley’s falling-out with the secret society within only a few years of his 1898 induction set a pretty good precedent for just how many different stories have been developed around him. According to Crowley, his disillusionment with the organization came when he realized that the people who were initiated didn’t necessarily know what they were dealing with when it came to mysticism, rites, and rituals. He stated that while the founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, did have some mystical powers, he had essentially bitten off more than he could chew and had started mucking about with evils over which he had no control. His actions had destroyed the Order, and Crowley left.

The Order tells a very, very different story. According to their official biography of Crowley, his rather over-the-top personality and his sexual orientation were already causing problems when there was a falling-out between two opposing factions within the organization. Ultimately, Crowley didn’t actually leave the Order, not as he described, but finished off his alienation of the group by publishing some of their secret documents. To add insult to injury, he wasn’t just revealing secrets, but he was giving himself credit for works that Mathers had written. Crowley claimed to be doing it because Mathers was actually under the influence of the evil that he couldn’t control.

Lawsuits soon followed, but since Mathers hadn’t copyrighted the works outside of the organization, Crowley won.

8 • Invisibility And The Lamp Of Invisible Light

Invisible-Man_300pxAfter his falling-out with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley fled first to Paris and then to the Americas. While in Mexico, he was absolutely inspired by what he found there and established his own order—The Lamp of the Invisible Light.

According to Crowley, his time in the Order of the Golden Dawn was just a warm-up. He likened his exodus from the Order to putting away “childish things” and went out to learn on his own. Once he was freed from the shackles of the already organized society, he did a lot of things with inspiring names.

He learned to wield the “all encircling chain of the Great Brotherhood” and the “Sword of Flaming Light,” killing the serpent that had started the downfall of Christ, while taming good and evil bulls, sowing dragons’ teeth, and acquiring the Golden Fleece. It was while he was writing his self-initiation ceremonies for his new order that he also discovered how to make himself invisible, which is apparently pretty easy once you know the tricks. Crowley says that it doesn’t have anything to do with truly making yourself invisible but just controlling everyone else around you and making them completely uninterested in making eye contact with you or noticing you in any way. He says that once he figured out how to do it, which he could gauge by the faintness of his own reflection, he could don his red robes and golden crown and walk the streets of Mexico, where no one would ever, ever make eye contact with him or initiate a conversation.

Clearly, this was because he was invisible.

7 • Aiwass

Aiwass_300pxAiwass meant several different things over the course of the evolution of Crowley’s beliefs. In 1904, Crowley wrote The Book of Law, supposedly with guidance from the otherworldly Aiwass. At the time, Crowley painted him quite clearly as something that existed outside of himself rather than as a part of him. It was necessary, after all, as The Book of Law was designed to be the new religion that he had hoped would make all other religions obsolete. This religion, Thelema, was to be world-changing, and for that, it needed to come as a message from something outside the world. Aiwass was painted as the messenger, but as the doctrine developed, so did Aiwass’s role.

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25 of the biggest lies told by L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology

By Jeffrey Augustine via The Underground Bunker

L. Ron Hubbard audits a tomato to determine whether it experiences pain, 1968.

Hubbard audits a tomato in 1968.

  1. The lie: “I happen to be a nuclear physicist; I am not a psychologist nor a psychiatrist nor a medical doctor.” — L. Ron Hubbard, in the 1952 lecture “Dianetics: The Modern Miracle.” Also found transcribed in the Research and Discovery series, Vol. 3 page 470, and New Tech Volumes, Vol. 5 page 143.

    The truth: Hubbard flunked both high school and college, leaving after his sophomore year at George Washington University during which he failed a course of “Molecular and Atomic Physics.”

  2. The lie: Hubbard was a “blood brother” of the Blackfoot nation.

    The truth: Blood brotherhood was not a practice of the Blackfoot.

  3. The lie: Hubbard slept with bandits in Mongolia, and traveled to India and Tibet.

    The truth: Hubbard never traveled to those countries.

  4. The lie: Hubbard was a “pioneering barnstormer at the dawn of aviation in America.”

    The truth: As Jon Atack points out, Hubbard flew gliders in the early 1930s, which doesn’t really put Hubbard there with the Wright Brothers (1903) or Charles Lindbergh, who crossed the Atlantic in 1927.

    scientology volcanoctopus_190px

  5. The lie: Hubbard’s 1940 adventures in Alaska led to the development of LORAN, a radio-based system for navigation.

    The truth: Alfred Lee Loomis invented LORAN (Long Range Aid to Navigation) in the 1920s and 1930s at Tuxedo Park in the US. Hubbard was not even remotely qualified to do any serious electrical engineering.

  6. The lie: Hubbard created the US Air Force.

    The truth: In 1941, Hubbard was one of many people offering free advice to government officials about how the US should prepare for a war the country seemed sure to get involved in. On June 30, Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada wrote a letter to Hubbard telling him the he would, indeed, push for a bill to create a US Air Force. But ten days earlier, the US Army Air Corps had already changed its name to the US Army Air Force. The US Air Force, under the name we know today, came into existence later, in 1947.

  7. The lie: Hubbard claimed to have been awarded 21 or 27 combat medals in World War II as a navy lieutenant.

    The truth: Hubbard never served a single day in combat and was never awarded any combat medals.

    scientology bart simpson xenu

  8. The lie: Hubbard was wounded in combat and was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.

    The truth: Hubbard’s US Navy service record shows that he never received Purple Hearts or a Bronze Star.

  9. The lie: Hubbard was “returned home as the first American casualty of the war in the South Pacific.”

    The truth: The US Naval Attache in Brisbane ordered Hubbard returned to the US for being meddlesome and quarrelsome.

  10. The lie: Hubbard was a “commander of corvettes” in the North Atlantic.

    The truth: Hubbard was assigned command of navy yard patrol vessel YP-422 in Boston Harbor. However, he was relieved of command before the vessel was commissioned after getting into an argument with the Commandant of the Navy Yard.

  11. The lie: Hubbard fought German U-Boats in the North Atlantic.

    The truth: No he didn’t.

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Also see Tom Cruise at his craziest:

Neurotology Music Video

By Saturday Night Live via YouTube

Followers of Neurotology star in a music video that sings the religion’s praises in this Scientology parody.

For lyrics and more information: Saturday Night Live’s genius spoof of Scientology: Lyrics and images (Tony Ortega)

What is the Finders Cult?

By Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know via YouTube

You may have not heard of the Finders before, but this organization has been accused of everything from being a CIA front to stealing children. So what’s the truth?

Here Be Dragons (Brian Dunning)

Originally posted February 9, 2013 this video is definitely worth a second look.

Enjoy:)

MIB


Here Be Dragons is a 40 minute video introduction to critical thinking. This video is on my “must watch” list for skeptics and critical thinkers:)

Most people fully accept paranormal and pseudoscientific claims without critique as they are promoted by the mass media. Here Be Dragons offers a toolbox for recognizing and understanding the dangers of pseudoscience, and appreciation for the reality-based benefits offered by real science.

Here Be Dragons is written and presented by Brian Dunning, host and producer of the Skeptoid podcast and author of the Skeptoid book series.

Source: Here Be Dragons – YouTube.

Scientology’s Organizational Madness

Chris Shelton explains why Scientology is in a management death spiral

Introduction by Mason i. Bilderberg (MIB)

scientology volcanoctopus_190pxScientology is one of those subjects i enjoy researching. Cults in general fascinate me because they provide insights into human nature and how people can be easily manipulated to act contrary to their own best interests.

Below is a video by Chris Shelton, a former Scientology Sea Org worker who left the church only recently.

He gives a great history of Scientology’s organizational structure and why it’s doomed to failure. I found it interesting because it provides an outline of Scientology’s organizational structure that i didn’t understand before.

It’s 39 minutes long. It may not be for everybody. But if you’re fascinated by this crumbling cult of greed like i am, i think you’ll like the insights provided in this video.

Enjoy:)

MIB


Description by Chris Shelton via YouTube:

In this video, I explain the unique and unworkable organizational structure behind Scientology and how it creates more trouble than it’s worth. But worse than that, control of the entire movement was subverted decades ago by David Miscavige and in this video I show exactly how that occurred. Chris Shelton

Description by Tony Ortega (The Underground Bunker):

Chris_Shelton-300x179_225pxWe’ve really enjoyed the explanatory videos put together by Chris Shelton, a former Scientology Sea Org worker who left the church only recently.

We’re happy to premiere his newest effort, a lengthy but fascinating look at Scientology’s management — how it’s supposed to work, and why it isn’t.

There’s some great history here, and perhaps the clearest, most easy to understand telling of how David Miscavige took over the Church of Scientology in the 1980s.

It seems to us that Chris has put together something that not only helps outsiders understand Scientology’s byzantine layers of management, but also helps the people still inside that structure understand why things are going so badly.

As he says early in the film, “By the end of this video you will understand more about how Scientology operates than people who are in it.”

He’s sure right about that. Set aside some time, and let Chris Shelton explain why Scientology is doomed…

Continue Reading – – –

10 Goofy Conspiracy Theories About Mind Control

By Gregory Myers via Listverse

mindcontrol 858_200pxSometimes, we want other people to do things, but those people don’t want to do those things. In many cases, people have tried to solve this problem with violence or other forms of direct coercion, but some craftier people have looked into the idea of mind control. Science has found little evidence that such techniques work, although conspiracy theorists would tell you that those scientists are in on the plot. Whether it is the Illuminati, the mysterious powers that be, or your nation’s government, there is someone out there with incredible, malevolent power working to control your every move, theorists claim, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

10 • Facebook Is A Mind Control Plot

brain facebook_250px_250pxTo many people, Facebook is just an annoying—if somewhat necessary—social tool, but some are convinced that it is far, far more than that. They believe that sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg came to prominence a little too easily. As such, they must have had backing from powerful media moguls like Rupert Murdoch as well as faceless government benefactors. In turn, the media promotes these sites to encourage the masses to publicly post about their lives, making it easier to spy on them. This theory also claims that part of the point of social media is to brainwash you into silence, so you will slowly conform to what those lurking in the shadows would prefer you to be.

Some people even think that the Facebook plot goes beyond simple social engineering. The Weekly World News claims that they talked to some “anonymous men” from the CIA, who divulged details of an operation planned for 2012. These nameless sources claim that data gathered from Facebook was being used to create mind-controlling applications that would compel users to do the CIA’s bidding, leading to total enslavement of the world’s population.

9 • Brainwashing During The Korean War

766px-M26_Pershing_escorts_POWs_in_the_Korean_War_250pxDuring the Korean War, many US soldiers were captured and kept as prisoners of war by the North Koreans. The North Koreans were known for being incredibly cruel to their prisoners, either killing them or simply letting them die from neglect. After the Chinese took over the prison camps, they maintained an iron grip on their prisoners but halted the unnecessary killing. Instead, they attempted to undermine prisoners’ beliefs in democracy and capitalism, often holding sessions with prisoners for the purpose of indoctrination.

After the war, many people were concerned about defectors, and the specter of Chinese brainwashing was raised. However, researchers found that the number of defectors was greatly exaggerated. Very few people collaborated with the Chinese in any meaningful way, and most of those who did were already sympathetic to their cause. In fact, experts believe that these so-called “brainwashing” techniques were merely a strategy for keeping prisoners busy, preventing them from organizing. Once the Chinese got their hands on the prison camp, no one escaped.

Despite this explanation, the conspiracies theories that the Chinese were experimenting with turning prisoners against their own country for dark and sinister purposes have persisted to this day. It could be argued that this conspiracy was the inspiration for many future theories about supposedly compromised former soldiers and spies.

8 • Jonestown Was A CIA Experiment

jones cia_250px_250pxYou already know that the Jonestown cult ended with an incredibly tragic mass suicide. Shortly before the events (which were caught on tape) that created the expression “don’t drink the Kool-Aid,” a congressman named Leo Ryan had arrived to investigate the cult but was gunned down shortly after disembarking his plane. Official sources claim that the attack was perpetrated by cultists from Jim Jones’s group, who chose their own destruction under his enigmatic influence, but some theorists are convinced that something far more shocking occurred.

The theorists claim that there were signs that the body count was initially inaccurate, leading them to believe that some tried to run away. Others claim that many of the cultists were murdered by cyanide poisoning, citing injection marks on the bodies that couldn’t have been reached without help. Along with the likelihood that the CIA had infiltrated the group for the purpose of investigation, this evidence has led to some very strange theories, such as the claim that the entire Jonestown cult was a camp set up by the CIA to test mind-controlling techniques. The theorists claim that the congressman was actually gunned down by the CIA, after which the camp was quickly cleansed so that the truth of their gruesome experiments didn’t get out.

It might seem odd to believe that the CIA was present after the recording of the massacre came to light, but some theorists think the audio tape was heavily edited. One theorist claims that the lack of proof is itself evidence of a conspiracy, explaining that the rumors about the CIA’s involvement in Jonestown are so crazy and unbelievable that the CIA must have planted them so you wouldn’t know the actual truth about what they did.

7 • Fluoride In Water Turns You Into Lobotomized Zombie

zombie_brushing_teeth_300pxIf you’ve ever watched Dr. Strangelove, you’ve heard the conspiracy theory that fluoride in the water is designed to sap and pollute all of your precious bodily fluids. Many people insist that fluoride is an attempt to poison the water, but the origins of these myths are stranger then you might think. The conspiracy theorists claim that the plot began in Nazi Germany, where Hitler and his top cabinet were looking for a strategy to control minds on a massive scale. They decided that fluoride would be great because, according to the theorists, it erodes your mental function and free-will as it slowly builds up in your body. Over time, you become a pawn for the powers that be.

Of course, as fluoridation spread, conspiracy theories and myths spread along with it. This has culminated in many conspiracy theorists pushing two theories that seem totally incompatible with each other. For instance, one theorist explains his theory of subtle mind control, going on to explain that fluoride quickly poisons your body as well. It seems like zombies aren’t very useful if they’re dead.

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What happens at Bohemian Grove?

Via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know – YouTube

For decades rumors about Bohemian Grove have run wild through the conspiracy world — but what actually happens at Bohemian Grove?

9 Ways Groups Become Cults

cult
Via Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

The line between religions and cults can be a blurry one at times. Although some prefer to distinguish between cults and religions, there are some indisputable similarities. For example, both sometimes encourage donations from their followers and promote the sacrifice of food and other luxuries in the name of ritual observances. However, cults significantly differ in their belief systems, rituals and indoctrination. A religion that uses mind control techniques, deception and exploitation to teach its followers has strayed further away from a religion and is much closer to a cult. Here are 9 ways groups become cults:

1 • Mind control

mindcontrol_640px_200pxCults were built upon the foundation of mind control. Cults use mind control and brainwashing techniques in virtually every aspect of their teachings, recruitment and policies. Cults aim to reduce one’s critical thinking skills and gain control of one’s thoughts, emotion and behavior through the use of mind control techniques. Researchers may argue that mind control is nothing new to religion and most religious groups use some form of brainwashing to get their members to alter the way they perceive the world, but there is certainly a fine line between coercive thinking and suggestive interpretations of the truth.

2 • Charismatic leader

Manson 739_225pxA signature characteristic of cults is their charismatic leader. Although many religious leaders are considered charismatic, cult leaders have a different kind of magnetism and power that wins over followers. A cult leader is considered the supreme authority of the group, and he or she typically becomes the object of worship. This figurehead commands the upmost respect and compliance from its members and they have the only and final ruling on matters. Cult leaders lead the pack in using mind control and brainwashing techniques, so they can take full advantage of the members financially, physically and psychologically.

3 • Deception

LIG-trojan_225pxWhen it comes to religion people will do anything to seek the truth. Cults know this and use it to their advantage. Unlike most religions, cults will use deceptive and manipulative ploys to get people to join the cult and stay in it. They are notorious for using deceptive recruitment efforts, such as not indentifying themselves and not being transparent about their organization or message. Cults often use confusing terms and languages to control their followers’ minds and strengthen the group’s belief system.

4 • Exclusivity

IMG_5991_250pxOne way for religious groups to become cults is to claim exclusivity. Cults are notorious for claiming that they have an exclusive line to God and have a special revelation of the truth. Most groups believe they are an elite and secretive group that is expected to recruit and fundraise with hidden objectives and limited disclosure to protect their sacred mission.

5 • Offer explanations and solutions to everything in life

Most religions will admit that there are many things that can’t be easily explained or easily solved. This is a concept that many cults refuse to believe. Cults have a tendency to give ambiguous explanations for the most complex things in life and suggest unethical solutions to the world’s problems. These deceptive teachings are all part of the cult’s totalitarian worldview and brainwashing.

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5 Things I’ve noticed about … Cults

cult
By via The Soap Box

Cults… those groups of seemingly nutty people that have been around with us since forever.

Most cults tend to die off, but some do stick around and in some cases evolve into religions.

Now many cults do have a lot of things in common but I’ve noticed five certain things about them.

So here are five things I’ve noticed about cults:

5. They’re self destructive.

With a few notable exceptions most cults will eventually die off and cease to exist.

cult manson_225pxMost of the time a cult will cease to exist due to it’s leadership’s abusive and controlling behavior, which sometimes results in either a member getting kicked out for some minor infringement, or a member getting fed up with the behavior of the leadership and leaving. These combined with the public’s finding out about a cult’s abusive behavior, plus what ever strange beliefs they may have, might keep some people from wanting to join, and thus the the cult eventually dies out due to it being unable to gain new members.

Of course sometimes a cult dies off not slowly and gradually, but very quickly due to it’s members committing criminal acts that forces law enforcement to imprison most of it’s members (those that come peacefully that is) or they get killed by law enforcement because they refuse to be arrested, or the members commit mass suicide or murder/suicide.

4. They isolate people.

CultAlmost every cult there is encourages (or forces) it’s members to engage in some form of isolation. For some this may be as minor as encouraging it’s members to have as little contact as possible with people that are considered to be possibly “harmful”, to having no contact with people who left the cult, to outright isolating themselves from society in general.

Sometimes this isolation isn’t the result of a cult encouraging it’s members to stop having contact with other people, but instead encourages them to engage in behavior with non-members that is usually considered to be bizarre, imposing, or abusive. Such behavior often times causes non-members to not want to be around any of these members, regardless of whatever relationship they may have with these people.

Regardless of however a cult does it, ultimately a cult will usually end up causing a member to be isolated from those that were closest to them (i.e. friends and family).

3. They’re financially ruinous.

SCIENTOLOGYMAG greed_250pxMany cults encourages it’s members to do things that can cause them to go broke, or at least set them back financially.

One of the ways that cults ruin people financially is that they encourage their member to give large sums of money to the cult.

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The book Scientology tried to ban

Story H/T: by @ Skeptic Wars


By Tony Ortega via New York Post

To Scientologists, founder L. Ron Hubbard is a larger-than-life figure — a war hero, philosopher and humanitarian.

But the real man was a dissembling, emotional wreck who made up most of his legendary exploits out of whole cloth, writes British journalist Russell Miller.

Miller’s account of Hubbard’s life was so devastating that Scientology tried to have his book banned. “Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard,” finished the year after Hubbard’s 1986 death, was successfully printed everywhere but in the US, where, after two years of litigation, Miller’s American publisher threw in the towel.

The biography was heavily cited by later Scientology books, including Lawrence Wright’s bestselling “Going Clear.” But few Americans have had a chance to read it.

Until now. Twenty-seven years after its original release, “Bare-Faced Messiah” is getting new life with a new publisher, Silvertail Books.

Miller has rewritten some of the introductory material, but otherwise the book is unchanged — and it still holds up. “Bare-Faced Messiah” is a gripping read that tears the fabric of the Hubbard myth into tatters.

Doctor, Physicist, Liar

This is Xenu. According to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Xenu was the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy” who 75 million years ago brought billions of his people to Teegeeack (aka “Earth”) in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm. (WikiPedia)

For example, the legend promoted by Scientology said that L. Ron Hubbard had grown up breaking wild horses as a child on his grandfather’s Montana ranch, which took up fully a fourth of the entire state. Miller showed instead that Ron’s grandfather was “a small-time veterinarian who supplemented his income renting out horses and buggies from a livery barn.” The family actually led an itinerant existence, moving repeatedly after Ron’s Nebraska birth in 1911 until they ended up in the Pacific Northwest.

The legend said Hubbard had made extensive travels to Asia, where the budding teenaged philosopher communed with holy men and mystics who had great respect for the young American’s precocity.

Miller found instead that Hubbard had made two trips to Asia while his father was stationed in Guam and made observations that were pretty typical for a teenager. In Beijing in 1928, Hubbard noted that the Chinese could make millions if they turned the Great Wall into a roller coaster. But ultimately, he was unimpressed with the country, writing in his journal, “The trouble with China is, there are too many chinks here.”

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Xenu's SPace Plane (artist's interpretation)

Xenu’s Space Plane
(artist’s interpretation)

Ryan Hamilton files two new suits against Scientology’s drug rehab network — in California

Story H/T: @ Skeptic Wars


Via The Underground Bunker

Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton is branching out.

We’ve reported previously about the two federal fraud lawsuits the Las Vegas attorney has filed against Scientology’s drug rehab facility in Nevada. Now he’s filed two more — against a Scientology facility in San Diego County, California.

Angelo Amato of Illinois is suing the Narconon Fresh Start of Warner Springs after he went there for an addiction to Vicodin. He’s a mixed martial artist who became addicted to the pain pills and in December 2013 he searched the Internet for a rehab center. He found a site that had an 800 number and he called. The site claimed to be an “independent consultant.”

When he called, he spoke to Narconon’s Dan Carmichael.

1968 - American science fiction writer and founder of the Church of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard uses his Hubbard Electrometer to determine whether tomatoes experience pain, 1968. His work led him to the conclusion that tomatoes "scream when sliced."

American science fiction writer and founder of the Church of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard uses his Hubbard Electrometer to determine whether tomatoes experience pain, 1968. His work led him to the conclusion that tomatoes “scream when sliced.”

Carmichael told him the usual thing we’re used to hearing about Narconon’s come-ons, that there would be medical staff on hand, that Amato would get drug counseling, that Narconon staff are trained in addiction treatment, and that the facility had a 76-percent success rate.

As in his previous lawsuits, Hamilton points out that the Narconon contract conceals Narconon’s connection to the Church of Scientology by, in part, altering the title of a book by L. Ron Hubbard.

Amato paid $31,000 up front and began a detox period, and found that he was being monitored not by doctors or nurses, but by a 19-year-old staff worker.

Told he would get his own room, when Amato got to Narconon he found he was asked to stay in a small room with three other men.

Amato then learned what everyone else does in the Narconon program — that it’s not drug counseling but instead the same courses that beginning Scientologists go through in the church, including making clay models to illustrate ideas, and also exercises that has students yelling at ashtrays.

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Scientology’s drug rehab facility in Nevada sued over the usual litany of deceptions

Via The Underground Bunker

Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton

Last year, as Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon, was sinking deeper and deeper into trouble, we noticed that an attorney in Las Vegas, Ryan Hamilton, had begun advertising online for Narconon victims. It was another sign of just how bad things were getting for Scientology’s rehab facilities, which were being sued and investigated in several states.

Well, Hamilton’s ad apparently paid off, because this week he filed a federal lawsuit against Scientology’s Narconon facility in Nevada, and the lawsuit’s complaint is one of the best written and most thorough that we’ve ever read.

David, Stacy, and Jack Welch of Texas are suing Narconon Fresh Start, doing business as the Rainbow Canyon Retreat in Caliente, Nevada, for breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.

scientology volcanoctopus_190pxAccording to the complaint, in August Stacy Welch and her husband David began searching on the Internet for a rehab facility for their son Jack, who was 19. Like so many others before her, Stacy found a site that purported to be an independent dispenser of advice about such facilities. She was strongly persuaded by a consultant from the website to send Jack to a Nevada center called “Fresh Start.”

“The consultant never referred to the facility as Narconon, but only as ‘Fresh Start,’” the complaint says.

Stacey and David were then told that they had to hurry, or their son “would wind up dead.”

That certainly sounds familiar. Last year, we reported that some scripts used by Narconon referrers had been leaked to the Internet, and one of the things that consultants are told to do is get a family worked up into a frenzy, telling them that if they don’t hurry, it could have dire consequences.

The consultant then set up an interview with Narconon Fresh Start’s intake director, Josh Penn, who told the Welches that Narconon has a 76 percent success rate.

That’s another thing that comes right out of the scripts, but as we’ve pointed out before, even Narconon’s own legal affairs officer has admitted that there’s no science for the ludicrous success rates the program claims. (Reputable drug rehab programs claim success rates of about 25 percent.)

1968 - American science fiction writer and founder of the Church of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard uses his Hubbard Electrometer to determine whether tomatoes experience pain, 1968. His work led him to the conclusion that tomatoes "scream when sliced."

American science fiction writer and founder of the Church of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard uses his Hubbard Electrometer to determine whether tomatoes experience pain, 1968. His work led him to the conclusion that tomatoes “scream when sliced.”

The Welches told Penn that they had spotted a reference to L. Ron Hubbard on the the Fresh Start website, but when they asked whether Scientology was involved, Penn assured them that it wasn’t.

The Welches were told they’d have to pay $33,000 up front, and that before Jack could enter the program in Nevada, he’d first have to go through a medical detox in Murrieta, California.

The Welches signed a contract, and the complaint points out that the contract describes Narconon’s origin — it was started in 1966 by a man named William Benitez, who had been inspired by Hubbard’s book, The Fundamentals of Thought.

The complaint points out that the actual name of the book is Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, The Basic Book of the Theory and Practice of Scientology for Beginners. The Welches believe that the full name is left out of the Narconon contract in order to hide the program’s connection to Scientology.

The contract also refers to the Narconon program as a secular one. But as we’ve pointed out many times, the Narconon program is virtually identical to the introductory levels of Scientology itself, as the Welches learned…

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Are serial killers controlled by a cult?

Via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know – YouTube

Serial killers typically work alone. However, some serial killers have claimed to be part of a nationwide cult — and some people believe them. Why? After all, this theory relies on the statements of the criminally insane. Learn more in this episode.

9 things you didn’t know about Freemasonry

freemasonry_600pxBy David Morgan via CBS News

1. When meeting, Masons do not discuss religion or politics.

“There are certain subjects which are prevented or we simply proscribe from discussing within the lodge,” Piers Vaughan, master of St. John’s Lodge #1 in New York, told Mo Rocca. “And religion is one. Politics is another.”

One of the world’s leading experts on Freemasonry confirms.

“Do they discuss forms of politics and events that have happened? Yes, they do,” said UCLA history professor Margaret Jacob. “Do they say, ‘Well, I’m a Democrat and therefore I think …’ Or, ‘I’m a Republican … ‘ No, I don’t think they do that.”

2. Freemasonry is not a religion.

“Freemasonry has the look of a religion,” said Jacob. “You think of religion as ritual, there’s also this ritual element. But there are no priests, there are no ministers, there are no rabbis, there’s no system of clergy of any sort. Everybody’s their own thinker.”

From Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, a book of esoteric philosophy published by the Supreme Council, Thirty Third Degree, of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. (source)

From Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, first published in 1872 and regularly reprinted thereafter until 1969, is a book of esoteric philosophy published by the Supreme Council, Thirty Third Degree, of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. (source)

3. The Catholic Church condemns Freemasonry.

Jacob said the initial response to Freemasonry in continental Europe, particularly in Catholic Europe, was suspicion from seeing “all these men [from] different neighborhoods, different professions meeting in the cafe, breaking bread together, doing rituals, what could this be? Political conspiracy or religion.”

In 1738 the Catholic Church condemned Freemasonry, and has since issued about 20 decrees — directly or indirectly — against the fraternity. In 1983 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) re-affirmed this position.

4. Atheists are not welcome.

ap05Freemasonry is not a religion per se, but agnostics or atheists cannot belong, said Brent Morris, a Masonic historian, editor of the Scottish Rite Journal, and a 33rd degree Freemason.

“This is an organization of believers,” he said. “When it was started on a formal basis in 1717, many historians believe that it was trying to bridge the gap between the religious civil wars that had been going on in England at the time. The Catholics would get in power and beat up on the Protestants; the Protestants would get in power and beat up on the Catholics; and everyone was beating up on the Jews.

“So when the Freemasons were formed, [they] said, ‘Here’s a group of men that agree that God is central in their lives, they can even agree that God compels them to do good in the community, then they can shut up after that.” That was a radical concept — that men could get together and agree on that fundamental level, and then get on with their lives.”

So could an atheist join? No, said James Sullivan, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York: “The reason we, I think in the past, wanted somebody that had a belief in a supreme being is because we take certain obligation to be a good man, to support the fraternity. And if you didn’t have a belief in a supreme being, the obligation would mean nothing.”

5. Most of the Founding Fathers were NOT Freemasons.

Two of America’s earliest presidents, George Washington and James Monroe, were Freemasons, as were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Paul Revere. But many leading figures in the American Revolution — including John and Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Thomas Paine — were not Masons.

Of the 56 figures who signed the Declaration of Independence, only nine were confirmed Masons, according to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania; and of the 39 delegates of the Continental Congress who signed the draft of the new nation’s Constitution in 1787, only 13 (one-third) were Freemasons.

6. There are NO secret Masonic symbols on the U.S. dollar bill.

US dollar pyramidThe back of the collar bill features an incomplete pyramid with an eye on top of it. Many people — including some Freemasons – say it’s a Masonic symbol, but that’s not the case. UCLA’s Margaret Jacob says these symbols have been used by many different groups, including Masons, throughout history.

“I’m sure there are a lot of Freemasons who want to believe [they’re Masonic symbols] and who will tell it to you, because it makes the Lodges seem important,” Jacob said. “I mean, if you have a symbol on the dollar bill, that’s a big deal!”

Brent Morris said there are two types of people who want to promote the idea that the symbols are Masonic: “The pro-Masons and the anti-Masons — and that pretty well covers the universe.

“The Eye of God is a common icon for God looking over the affairs of man,” Morris said. “It’s an icon that appears in cultures across the centuries. The uncompleted pyramid [which also appeared on a 50-pound Colonial note] represented that our country was not yet completed, that we were continuing to grow.”

MORE . . .

Also see: Freemasons & Satan (iLLumiNuTTi.com)

Karen Stollznow – What an Excellent Day for a Talk about Exorcism! – TAM 2013 – YouTube

This video is about 34 minutes long. I was hesitant to post it because it’s not the most captivating video. But the information is very good. Judge for yourself.

MIB:)


Via JamesRandiFoundation – YouTube.

Karen Stollznow is a linguist, author of God Bless America and the Bad Language columnist for Skeptic magazine, and author of the forthcoming books Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic, and Red, White and (True) Blue. She is a long-term investigator of paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs and practices, a co-host of Monster Talk, and is a Research Fellow for the James Randi Educational Foundation.

▶ What is the Club of Rome?

via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know, – YouTube.

Founded in the late 1960’s, the Club of Rome brings influential members of global business, politics and the intelligentsia together to tackle looming, worldwide problems. On the surface, it sounds it could be almost any other think tank. However, numerous theorists think there’s something more to the story. Why?

5 Things I’ve noticed about… Cult Leaders

by via The Soap Box

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Heaven’s Gate Cult Leader, Marshall Applewhite

Cult leaders.

I’m sure everyone has heard about them and the groups that they form around them and their “teachings”. I’m also sure you’re aware of how they act…

Well anyways, I’ve been examining cult leaders for a long time, and people who act like cult leaders as well. During my observations I’ve notice certain traits that most of them have, and from that I’ve come up with five things they all tend to share.

So here are five things I’ve noticed about cult leaders:

5. They’re narcissistic.

If you were to ever meet the leader of a cult they will tell you that all of their teaching are for you to help better your life, and on the surface that sounds great… except this is a lie.

In reality it is all about the leader of the cult, and the power that leader has over you and the members of that cult.

Charles Manson “was pathologically deluded into believing that he was harbinger of doom regarding the planet’s future.” (source)

The leader doesn’t actually care about you, they only care bout what you can do for them, and how much you respect (or fear) them.

And as for their teachings? Well, just remember this is something that THEY created, and therefore can change at any time they want to (which most do) to suit whatever needs that they have, and they do this while telling you it’s for your own good.

4. They like to surround themselves with important people.

Because of a cult leader’s narcissism and their need to feel important, and also feel the need to gain influence (as well as new members), they tend to try also try to surround themselves with people who are either important, or they feel are important. This of course could be politicians, community leaders, celebrities, Playboy models (which I can’t really blame them for), and especially people who are rich.

They do this because not only does it help them get new members (via influence of the important person), they also do this because they feel it gives them a kind of bubble of protection (which does work sometimes).

Now, if they can’t actually get important people into their cult, then they’ll do the next best thing: make members of their cult important and rich (as this helps get them more money).

3. They try to destroy their critics.

scientology volcanoctopus_190pxProbably one of the most well known and enduring practices that L. Ron Hubbard created for his Church of Scientology was the Fair Game policy, which is basically guidelines on how to destroy a critic of Scientology using whatever means necessary to silence that critic. This policy is still used today (although some in the cult claim it isn’t), but it is far less effective than it was years ago as most people are no longer afraid of the Church of Scientology.

L. Ron Hubbard isn’t the only cult leader whom did this, or something similar to this. In fact many, if not all cult leaders do this, mostly because they see their critics as their enemies (although this might not be to far off in some cases, it’s usually for good reason).

While most have a direct hand in their handling of critics, most of the time they aren’t the one whom actually handle their critics. In fact the actual handling of their critics is done by other followers, they just give out the orders on whom they feel should be targeted, and how, and this is because…

MORE . . .

Also see: Dangerous Cult Leaders | Psychology Today

Looks like another VERY bad week for Scientology

via Doubtful News

First, a troubled Narconon facility is out of business:

Xenu is not pleased.

Xenu is not pleased

Narconon Arrowhead loses state certification » Local News » McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK.

Narconon Arrowhead’s medical detox facility in McAlester has lost its state certification, officials say.

“Their temporary permit has expired and Arrowhead Medical Detox is not certified for medical detox,” said Jeff Desmukes of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services.

The permit expired May 16 after Narconon Arrowhead failed to correct deficiencies found by the state during earlier inspections, according to Desmukes.

Narconon Arrowhead has two facilities; one is the medical-detox facility in McAlester and the other is a non-medical drug rehab in Canadian.

Both Narconon facilities are non-profit and use the teachings of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Four deaths occurred at this facility and several lawsuits were filed against them as well.

And, spunky actress Leah Remini gears up to take on the monster.

Scientology leader David Miscavige's wife Shelly  Miscavige has not been seen in public in six years

Scientology leader David Miscavige‘s wife Shelly Miscavige has not been seen in public in six years

LEAH REMINI FILES MISSING-PERSON REPORT ON SCIENTOLOGY LEADER’S WIFE « The Underground Bunker.

[…] [O]n Wednesday Remini filed a missing-person report for Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly Miscavige, who has not been seen in public in six years.

As we reported when we broke the news July 8 of Remini’s departure from Scientology, one of the main reasons she began to question her involvement in the church was discovering at the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in November 2006 that Miscavige was there without his wife, who had disappeared without explanation. When she asked about it, then church spokesman Tommy Davis told her, “You don’t have the fucking rank to ask about Shelly.”

In other stories, we have explained that in late 2005 or early 2006, Shelly was transferred from Scientology’s International Base near Hemet, California to a secret compound near Lake Arrowhead in the mountains above Los Angeles. This compound, the headquarters of the Church of Spiritual Technology, is home to only a dozen or so Scientologists who are completely cut off from the outside world. We’ve been told that Shelly has been there for the past six years. But Miscavige and his attorneys have so far refused to publicly confirm her location there, and they have not produced her to confirm that she is in good health.

Now, Remini has put enormous pressure on the church to do just that by involving the LAPD.

What happens next? Should be interesting. How long can Scientology insiders hold this rotten mass of secrets together?


[END] via Doubtful News

Mind Control – Brainwashing

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Mind control is the successful control of the thoughts and actions of another without his or her consent. Generally, the term implies that the victim has given up some basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes, and has been made to accept contrasting ideas. ‘Brainwashing’ is often used loosely to refer to being persuaded by propaganda.

conceptions & misconceptions of mind control

HypnotizeAnimatedThere are many misconceptions about mind control. Some people consider mind control to include the efforts of parents to raise their children according to social, cultural, moral and personal standards. Some think it is mind control to use behavior modification techniques to change one’s own behavior, whether by self-discipline and autosuggestion or through workshops and clinics. Others think that advertising and sexual seduction are examples of mind control. Still others consider it mind control to give debilitating drugs to a woman in order to take advantage of her while she is drugged. Some consider it mind control when the military or prison officers use techniques that belittle or dehumanize recruits or inmates in their attempt to break down individuals and make them more compliant. Some might consider it mind control for coaches or drill instructors to threaten, belittle, physically punish, or physically fatigue by excessive physical exercises their subjects in the effort to break down their egos and build team spirit or group identification.

mindcontrol 858_200pxSome of the tactics of some recruiters for religious, spiritual, or New Age human potential groups are called mind control tactics. Many believe that a terrorist kidnap victim who converts to or becomes sympathetic to her kidnapper’s ideology is a victim of mind control (the so-called Stockholm syndrome). Similarly, a woman who stays with an abusive man is often seen as a victim of mind control. Many consider subliminal messaging in Muzak, in advertising, or on self-help tapes to be a form of mind control. Many also believe that it is mind control to use laser weapons, isotropic radiators, infrasound, non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse generators, or high-power microwave emitters to confuse or debilitate people. Many consider the “brainwashing” tactics (torture, sensory deprivation, etc.) of the Chinese during the Korean War and the alleged creation of zombies in Voodoo as attempts at mind control.

Finally, no one would doubt that it would be a clear case of mind control to be able to hypnotize or electronically program a person so that he or she would carry out your commands without being aware that you are controlling his or her behavior.

[ . . . ]

the government and mind-control

mind control 857_200pxThere also seems to be a growing belief that the U.S. government, through its military branches or agencies such as the CIA, is using a number of horrible devices aimed at disrupting the brain. Laser weapons, isotropic radiators, infrasound, non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse generators, and high-power microwave emitters have been mentioned. It is known that government agencies have experimented on humans in mind control studies with and without the knowledge of their subjects (Scheflin 1978). The claims of those who believe they have been unwilling victims of “mind control” experiments should not be dismissed as impossible or even as improbable. Given past practice and the amoral nature of our military and intelligence agencies, such experiments are not implausible. However, these experimental weapons, which are aimed at disrupting brain processes, should not be considered mind control weapons. To confuse, disorient or otherwise debilitate a person through chemicals or electronically is not to control that person. To make a person lose control of himself is not the same as gaining control over him. It is a near certainty that our government is not capable of controlling anyone’s mind, though it is clear that many people in many governments lust after such power.

ElectroshockIn any case, some of the claims made by those who believe they are being controlled by these electronic weapons do not seem plausible. For example, the belief that radio waves or microwaves can be used to cause a person to hear voices transmitted to him seems unlikely. We know that radio waves and waves of all kinds of frequencies are constantly going through our bodies. The reason we have to turn on the radio or TV to hear the sounds or see the pictures being transmitted through the air is that those devices have receivers which “translate” the waves into forms we can hear and see. What we know about hearing and vision makes it very unlikely that simply sending a signal to the brain that can be “translated” into sounds or pictures would cause a person to hear or see anything. Someday it may be possible to stimulate electronically or chemically a specific network of neurons to cause specific sounds or sights of the experimenter’s choosing to emerge in a person’s consciousness. But this is not possible today. Even if it were possible, it would not necessarily follow that a person would obey a command to assassinate the president just because he heard a voice telling him to do so. Hearing voices is one thing. Feeling compelled to obey them is quite another. Not everyone has the faith of Abraham.

paranoid02There seem to be a number of parallels between those who think they have been abducted by aliens and those who believe their minds are being controlled by CIA implants. So far, however, the “mind-controlled group” has not been able to find their John Mack, the Harvard psychiatrist who claims that the best explanation for alien abduction claims is that they are based on alien abduction experiences, not fantasies or delusions. A common complaint from the mind-controlled is that they can’t get therapists to take them seriously. That is, they say they can only find therapists who want to treat them for their delusions, not help them prove they’re being controlled by their government. Thus, it is not likely that the “mind-controlled CIA zombies” will be accused of having delusions planted in them by therapists, as alien abductees have, since they claim they cannot get therapists to take their delusions seriously. In fact, many of them are convinced that their treatment as deluded persons is part of a conspiracy to cover up the mind control experiments done on them. Some even believe that False Memory Syndrome is part of the conspiracy. They claim that the idea of false memories is a plot to keep people from taking seriously the claims of those who are now remembering that they were victims of mind control experiments at some time in the past. It is hard to believe that they cannot find a wide array of incompetent New Age therapists willing to take their claims seriously, if not willing to claim they have been victims of such experiments themselves.

MORE . . .

Top 10 Secret Societies

By Jamie Frater via Listverse

Through history there have been many secret societies and conspiracy theories about those societies. This is a list of 10 of the most famous and popular secret societies or alleged secret societies.

1. Skull and Bones [Wikipedia]

georgewskullnbones-tm_250px

Members of the Skull and Bones (George Bush is left of the clock) [1947]

The Order of Skull and Bones, a Yale University society, was originally known as the Brotherhood of Death. It is one of the oldest student secret societies in the United States. It was founded in 1832 and membership is open to an elite few. The society uses masonic inspired rituals to this day. Members meet every Thursday and Sunday of each week in a building they call the “Tomb”.

According to Judy Schiff, Chief Archivist at the Yale University Library, the names of the members were not kept secret until the 1970s, but the rituals always have been. Both of the Bush presidents were members of the society while studying at Yale, and a number of other members have gone on to great fame and fortune.

The society is surrounded by conspiracy theories; the most popular of which is probably the idea that the CIA was built on members from the group. The CIA released a statement in 2007 (coinciding with the popularity of the film The Good Shepherd) in which it denied that the group was an incubator for the CIA. You can read that document here.

2. Freemasons [Wikipedia]

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Freemasons Annual Meeting [1992]

The Grand Masonic Lodge was created in 1717 when four small groups of lodges joined together. Membership levels were initially first and second degree, but in the 1750s this was expanded to create the third degree which caused a split in the group. When a person reaches the third degree, they are called a Master Mason.

Masons conduct their regular meetings in a ritualized style. This includes many references to architectural symbols such as the compass and square. They refer to God as “The Great Architect of the Universe”. The three degrees of Masonry are: 1: Entered Apprentice, this makes you a basic member of the group. 2: Fellow Craft, this is an intermediate degree in which you are meant to develop further knowledge of Masonry. 3: Master Mason, this degree is necessary for participating in most masonic activities. Some rites (such as the Scottish rite) list up to 33 degrees of membership.

Masons use signs and handshakes to gain admission to their meetings, as well as to identify themselves to other people who may be Masons. The signs and handshakes often differ from one jurisdiction to another and are often changed or updated. This protects the group from people finding out how to gain admission under false pretenses. Masons also wear stylized clothing based upon the clothing worn by stone masons from the middle ages. The most well known of these is the apron.

In order to become a Mason, you must generally be recommended by a current mason. In some cases you must be recommended three times before you can join. You have to be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Many religions frown upon membership of the Masons, and the Roman Catholic Church forbids Catholics to join under pain of excommunication.

3. Rosicrucians [Wikipedia]

magnum-tm_250px

Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians

The Rosicrucian order is generally believed to have been the idea of a group of German protestants in the 1600s when a series of three documents were published: Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis, Confessio Fraternitatis, and The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz anno 1459. The documents were so widely read and influential, that the historian Frances Yeats refers to the 17th century as the Rosicrucian Enlightenment. The first document tells the story of a mysterious alchemist (Christian Rosenkreuz) who travelled to various parts of the world gathering secret knowledge. The second document tells of a secret brotherhood of alchemists who were preparing to change the political and intellectual face of Europe. The third document describes the invitation of Christian Rosenkreuz to attend and assist at the “Chemical” wedding of a King and Queen in a castle of Miracles.

Current members of the Rosicrucian Order claim that its origins are far more ancient than these documents. The authors of the documents seemed to strongly favor Lutheranism and include condemnations of the Catholic Church. Rosicrucianism probably had an influence on Masonry and, in fact, the 18th degree of Scottish Rite Masonry is called the Knight of the Rose Croix (red cross).

There are a large number of Rosicrucian groups today – each claiming to be closely tied to the original. Of the two main divisions, one is a mix of Christianity with Rosicrucian principles, and the other is semi-Masonic. The Masonic type tend to also have degrees of membership.

4. Ordo Templis Orientis [Wikipedia]

Adeptus

Crowley with OTO Instruments

The OTO (Order of the Temples of the East) is an organization that was originally modeled on Masonry but, under the leadership of the self-styled “Great Beast” Aleister Crowley, it took on the principles of his religious system called Thelema. Thelema is based around a single law: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, love is the law, love under the will” [1904]. Membership is based upon degrees of initiation and highly stylized rituals are used. The OTO currently claims over 3,000 members worldwide.

Crowley created a “Mass” for the OTO which is called the Gnostic Mass. Of the “Mass”, Crowley wrote:

“I resolved that my Ritual should celebrate the sublimity of the operation of universal forces without introducing disputable metaphysical theories. I would neither make nor imply any statement about nature which would not be endorsed by the most materialistic man of science. On the surface this may sound difficult; but in practice I found it perfectly simple to combine the most rigidly rational conceptions of phenomena with the most exalted and enthusiastic celebration of their sublimity.”

The ritual is very stylized and uses virgin priestesses, children, and priests. Many Ancient Egyptian God’s are invoked, as well as the Devil, and at one point the priestess performs a naked ritual.

5. Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn [Wikipedia]

macromicro-1-tm_250px

Golden Dawn Symbolism

The order of the Golden Dawn was created by Dr. William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. All three were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (an organization with ties to Masonry). It is considered by many to be a forerunner of the Ordo Templi Orientis and a majority of modern Occult groups.

The belief system of the Golden Dawn is largely taken from Christian mysticism, Qabalah, Hermeticism, the religion of Ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Theosophy, Magic, and Renaissance writings. William Yeats, and Aleister Crowly are two of the more famous members of the group.

The fundamental documents of the order are known as the Cipher Documents. These were translated into English using a cipher attributed to Johannes Trithemius. The documents are a series of 60 folios containing magic rituals. The basic structure of many of these rituals appear to originate with Rosicrucianism. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the origins of these documents.

MORE . . .

Scientology – The Truth

via Scientology – The Truth – YouTube

Turns out this Scientology thing isn’t just a load of harebrained bulls**t after all.

WARNING: SALTY LANGUAGE

As an added bonues, here is the leaked Scientology video that established Tom Cruise as some kind of loon:

British tabloid apologizes to aliens for linking them to Scientology

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[“Stock Photo: E.T.” on Shutterstock.]


By Stephen C. Webster via The Raw Story
H/T: Thomas J. Proffit

After being contacted by attorneys for the Church of Scientology, a British tabloid newspaper apologized this week to any alien life forms they may have offended by linking them to the paranormal group.

It started when The Sun featured a doctored photo depicting numerous flying saucers over the Scientology headquarters in Sussex, with an image of famous Scientologist Tom Cruise asking, “Are they Cruise missiles?” The caption read: “Space oddity … Scientology HQ in Suxxex, and Tom Cruise.”

“My name is Xenu”

The church’s lawyers were apparently nonplussed by the depiction, sending The Sun‘s editors a strongly-worded letter that was not released to the public.

In a snide jab back at the church, The Sun published an apology on Thursday seeking forgiveness from any alien life forms who may have been upset at the paper.

“In an article on Saturday headlined ‘Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ’, we stated ‘two flat silver discs’ were seen ‘above the Church of Scientology HQ’,” the paper explained. “Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologize to any alien life-forms for linking them to Scientologists.”

While the church adamantly denies that Scientology doctrine is based on the belief in ancient aliens that inhabit human souls and prevent people from reaching their full potential, Pulitzer-winning author Lawrence Wright claimed earlier this year in his book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief” that Cruise believes he’s on a mission to rid the world of these aliens, which Scientologists call “thetans.”

The book also claims Cruise believes he has supernatural powers that the religion has helped unlock, which the church and celeb have adamantly denied.

Via The Raw Story

The Conspiracy Theory Flowchart “THEY” Don’t Want You To See

via crispian-jago.blogspot.com

Had enough government rhetoric? Tired of following the sheeple? Fed up with believing what THEY want you to believe? Maybe it’s time to branch out and discover THE TRUTH.

If you’re new to the exciting world of conspiracy theories and just can’t decide which paranoid delusion best suits you, then why not use this handy flowchart to find your ideal conspiracy theory. Then you too can go and stick it to THE MAN.

10 Attempts to Use Magic and the Supernatural to Win Wars

by Listverse

Anyone who has sat through a course on medieval history knows that there was once a time when people believed in the power of magic, as a tool that could be used to crush their enemies. Eventually people realized how silly such ideas were—and ultimately, magic on the battlefield became limited to nerds LARPing around a local park, the only real magic employed being a powerful anti-coitus charm.

Or so at least you would think. Here are ten real cases of modern governments that tried to harness magic in order to win real wars.

• 10 – John Mulholland and the CIA

Screen-Shot-2013-03-05-at-8.42.09-PM_300pxSleight of hand is cool and all, but you would never expect anyone to employ a guy like Penn Jillette as an advisor to one of the most powerful organizations in the world. Of course, when we are talking about the Central Intelligence Agency, anything is possible. That’s why during the Cold War, the CIA hired illusionist John Mulholland to write an official manual that would teach its operatives the same sort of sleight of hand he used in his shows.

Called “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception,” the manual taught agents to use misdirection and hidden compartments, and also to use seemingly hidden signals—such as the way a shoe was tied—when working in the field. Of course, the CIA was not interested so much in earning the “oohs” and “ahhs” of a crowd, but something more along the lines of drugging people by discreetly slipping something into their drink. Bear in mind that this is the same CIA which attempted to use LSD for the purposes of mind control; apparently, everything was fair game for these nut-cases.

• 9 – Mexico, Drugs, and Voodoo

Voodoo-Doll-Ritual-Witchcraft-Demons-Evil-Harm-Hate-Spirit-Work-False-Fake-Curses-Hex-Exposed-African-Vodun-Religion-Practice_300pxThis one is a bit different because it’s not about a war in the traditional sense, but rather the so-called “war on drugs”. There have been a tremendous number of casualties in that particular war, at least partially because the battlefield is Mexico. The battle being waged along the US/Mexico border is one of the bloodiest ongoing “war” efforts in the world, with the drug cartels taking lives at an alarming rate. That’s why Mexican officials decided that they could do with a little outside-the-box thinking.

Specifically, they turned to voodoo. In 2010, police in Tijuana were at such a loss as to how they might combat the cartels—and so afraid for the safety of their officers—that they actually turned to ritualistic animal sacrifice in order to turn the tide. As a part of this attempt at harnessing voodoo magic, priests killed chickens under a full moon and proceeded to smear the blood on the police as a sort of protection spell. Some of the police believe it worked, too—claiming that while guns and body armor are ineffective, faith never fails. Even if it’s faith in cutting the heads off chickens and invoking spirits.

• 8 – Houdini the Spy

houdini_article_300pxWhile the other entries on this list are all well-documented, we will say up front that there are no official records that Harry Houdini ever worked as a spy. However, in 2006 a biography was released claiming to have been written with the help of over 700,000 pages of information collected over the years, with all signs pointing to the alleged fact that history’s most famous magician did spy for Scotland Yard and the American government from time to time.

The book claims that Houdini worked closely with William Melville, a British spy who worked at Scotland Yard at the same time Houdini is said to have aided them. Apparently, Houdini would use his act as a cover to travel the world collecting secret information for law enforcement officials, including secret service agencies in both Britain and the US.

• 7 – Britain and the Fake Horoscopes

Screen-Shot-2013-03-05-at-8.47.37-PM_300pxWorld War II, it would seem, was a wacky time for military strategy. Considering how many schemes involving magical shenanigans took place, it feels in retrospect like those Indiana Jones movies might have been onto something after all. Part of that is due to the fact that Hitler and the Nazis were obsessed with the occult, and that they held a strong belief in the validity of astrological charts.

The British knew this very well, and employed an astrologer named Louis de Wohl to concoct false horoscopes in order to try to throw off the Nazis and get a glimpse into their mindsets. Churchill himself sent de Wohl to America with the aim of convincing the US to join the war effort, but after Pearl Harbor his services were rendered unnecessary.

Declassified documents show that MI5 later came to regret his involvement in any of their efforts, because apparently they figured out that he was full of crap. Considering that’s precisely what they hired him to invent in the first place—crap—it’s a little shocking that Britain’s top spies took so long to sort that out for themselves.

• 6 – Britain’s Psychic Defense

Screen-Shot-2013-03-05-at-8.48.33-PM_300pxWhen you think about it, it makes sense that the British would partake in supernatural dealings, considering it has access to the Ministry of Magic and a school of wizards. Or was that Harry Potter?

Well, it turns out that the British government takes the whole “magic” thing more seriously than you’d expect. In 2002, the Ministry of Defense conducted a study to determine whether or not soldiers could be trained to become psychics. The goal was to have psychic soldiers working to find WMDs or even Bin Laden himself. If you’re from the UK, keep this in mind that you were probably paying taxes right around that time.

Following the attack on the World Trade Center and the rise of Osama Bin Laden as public enemy number one, the Ministry tried to hire “real” psychics to participate in the tests. Perhaps not wanting to be exposed as the frauds they most likely are, they declined—so some regular people decided to take advantage of the scheme, and get some easy money by partaking in the research. They quickly proved what we all could have guessed: that none of them were any more “psychic” than a rusty doorknob.

MORE . . .

Here Be Dragons (Brian Dunning)

Here Be Dragons is a 40 minute video introduction to critical thinking. This video is on my “must watch” list for skeptics and critical thinkers:)

Most people fully accept paranormal and pseudoscientific claims without critique as they are promoted by the mass media. Here Be Dragons offers a toolbox for recognizing and understanding the dangers of pseudoscience, and appreciation for the reality-based benefits offered by real science.

Here Be Dragons is written and presented by Brian Dunning, host and producer of the Skeptoid podcast and author of the Skeptoid book series.

Source: Here Be Dragons – YouTube.

The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense

This is some pretty funny stuff. Are you familiar with a periodic table? Well, this is the periodic table of irrational nonsense courtesy of Crispian Jago’s blog Science, Reason and Critical Thinking.

How does it work? Simply click on the image to be taken to the interactive page. At the interactive page you simply move your mouse over an element to view a short description.

CAUTION: SOME OF THE DESCRIPTIONS CONTAIN SOME VERY SPICY LANGUAGE!

Enjoy!    :)

Clean Woo Table v1.4_600px

Click on the image to be taken to the interactive page.

How do you know a cult is dead?

When even it’s critics feel it’s pointless to continue criticizing it.

via The Soap Box

Cults usually have two ways of dieing. Usually it’s either in some way that most, if not all of it’s members die, or, no one gives a damn about them anymore, including it’s critics, because there is just not enough members left to give a damn about the group, and even the members that remain don’t seem to give a damn about it anymore either.

The Zeitgeist Movement, a group that that many of it’s critics consider to be a cult, and promotes conspiracy theories, an unrealistic and highly flawed economic system called the “resource based economy”, an unrealistic belief that no one will ever have to work anymore, that machines will do all of our work for us, and reeducating people (hinting that reeducation could be forced) to change the way they think, has essentially gone out with a fizzle, instead of a boom.

It’s Z-day events around the world has gotten smaller and smaller every year, and it’s recent “Zeitgeist Media Festival” was a complete failure. Hardly anyone showed up at all. In addition to this, it’s New (Age) World Fair was also a failure.

What’s left of it’s leadership appears to be losing it due to the lose of membership and plain interest in the group. One of the Zeitgeist Movement’s leaders, VTV, is so desperate for attention that he has now resorted to trolling internet blogs and forums with sock puppets. The creator of TZM, Peter Joseph Merola, has been begging people to interview him, even trying to get conspiracy theory promoter Alex Jones to interview him.

No group that might share even miniscule amounts of similarity with them want’s anything to do with them either.

Read more: The Soap Box: How do you know a cult is dead? When even it’s critics feel it’s pointless to continue criticizing it..

Cults: The Mind Enslaved

by Jeanette Pryor via PJ Lifestyle

Jason Beghe is an actor, a Brooklyn tough-guy known for his starring role in the gritty G.I. Jane. In 2008, after fifteen years as a Scientology poster boy, Beghe left the cult and released an interview (embedded below) chronicling his descent into and exodus from L. Ron Hubbard’s bizarre universe.

Beghe’s recruitment, life as a celebrity spokesman and ultimate rejection of the cult are riveting, particularly for someone like myself who spent nearly thirty years in a cultic religious organization. I was stunned because, even though the doctrines and practices of our respective organizations were so different, I identified perfectly with the mental processes Beghe described. I also believed in a completely irrational worldview and ignored blatant contradictions.

Experts believe people join and remain in cults for similar motives regardless of variations in cult lifestyles and teaching. Harder to find in scholarly research is an explanation of how or why people in wildly differing cults exhibit such similar mental and emotional symptoms.

Keep Reading: PJ Lifestyle » Cults: The Mind Enslaved.

DC layout design debunked by Rational wiki

DC layout design debunked by Rational wiki

Rationalwiki debunks the DC city design myth saying:

The claims about the D.C. street layout are easily refuted just by looking at an actual map of the city.  Conspiracy literature will show Rhode Island Ave., Vermont Ave., Massachusetts Ave., Connecticut Ave., and K Street making up five lines of a pentagram.  A look at the actual street map shows that Vermont and Connecticut Avenues do not extend south of K street so there is no point below that, and ergo, no bottom point of any pentagram pointing at the White House.  Further, Rhode Island Ave. does not extend west of Connecticut Ave. so not only does this alleged “pentagram” not have five points, it doesn’t even have four.  It is purely the product of someone’s overactive imagination.

As to whether Masonic symbols such as the square and compass can be found in the street layout, this would seem to be conceivably possible given that many of the Founding Fathers were Freemasons.  In actuality, the city’s street layout was designed by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a French-born architect appointed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to design the city.  L’Enfant’s design somewhat resembled that of Karlsruhe, Germany.  But even if Freemasonry was an influence on the street layout, so what?  Most street intersections everywhere resemble a Christian cross – is this evidence of a Christian conspiracy to control the world?

There is also the question of whether symbols and buildings can somehow harbor or channel demonic forces, witchcraft, or other supernatural powers, solely because of their design.  This is one nutter belief piled on top of another; one has to first believe in the supernatural, and then believe that man-made things can have the power to harbor or channel that supernatural, and then further believe that this can somehow place an entire city under occult control or provide a direct line of communication between Satan and the President of the United States.  This is all patent bullshit.

Finally it should be remembered that Washington was a planned city.  The street designs were intended to be laid out on a diamond shaped grid with both numbered streets and streets named after letters intersecting them.  Traversing the whole city are streets named after various states and figures in American and local history, running on diagonals.  As a result things that look like pentagrams, Masonic t-squares, and compasses in an overhead view were inevitable.  Finally, there have been many changes and revisions to L’enfant’s design as the city has grown over the years.

CONCLUSION:DEBUNKED!!!

via DC layout design debunked by Rational wiki | Autistic skeptic..

“10 of the World’s Most Infamous Cults”

Most people have their own vague idea of what constitutes a cult. But “cult” is one of those slippery, nebulous terms that are difficult to define. Strict definitions tend to be either too wide or too narrow. To complicate matters, what one considers a cult is often a matter of opinion. But, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about another ill-defined topic, people tend to think that they know it when they see it.

Sidestepping the controversy, sociologists don’t like to use the pejorative term “cult.” Instead, they like to talk about new religious movements (NRMs), which can be more widely defined. NRMs hold beliefs that are far outside of the mainstream. They are often characterized by making strict demands on the lifestyle of their members, such as giving up possessions, professions and contact with family to live in a commune with other members. Many have charismatic, authoritarian leaders whose followers believe have special prophetic powers. These leaders often prophesize about an imminent apocalypse.

Keep Reading: HowStuffWorks “10 of the World’s Most Infamous Cults”.

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