Check out these Freedom of Religion images:
Image by The Norwegian
“Rev.” John Carmichael – President of the Church of Scientology in New York
gothamist.com/2007/08/14/rev_john_carmic.php – immediately after his attempt to recruit me to Scientology in New York 10th March 2008.
I told him not to question my intelligence…
I demonstrated against the Church of Scientology (CoS) in New York on the 10th of March, so it may seem a little strange to learn that I actually went to visit one of the CoS branches here in London over the weekend. What lead up to that was the tragic suicide of a Norwegian girl in Nice, France a few weeks ago, a few hours after taking the CoS’s “personality-test”. www.oca.scientology.org/ Her family claims it was due to the in part horrible test-results she got. The CoS response was something along the lines of "nobody else has done that, so why would she?", amid claims that she had long been suffering different mental issues, and that the church had only had a very short conversation with her…
Let’s just say I got curious, and wanted to find out a bit more than all the stuff you can read online will tell you. (http://www.xenu.net/)
Not that I was “curious” in the searching-sense. I am not (that) stupid.
While the questions themselves seemed a little silly (and _real_ psychologists condemn it as “a rubbish test of personality that will not give you any real answers”) I found the exercise rather entertaining. It said to print the survey-results out and bring them along to my local “church”, and they would give me the verdict. However “Tekmology” again proved incompatible with “religion”, so I ended up having to do the test again upon arrival…
The “score” wasn’t particularly shocking (I had, after all answered truthfully to all the questions, I even (stupidly?) used my real name and address…). What I found amazing was the classic sales-pitch I got when he went through it with me after.
It’s called FUDGE – first you sow Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, and then you give your “victim” Great Expectations.
Seeing as I knew what he was trying to do I wasn’t falling for it, and despite my reassurances that whatever the test revealed didn’t actually make my life a living hell (his clear implication), he kept asking the same inane questions again and again (he was clearly new). I told him I didn’t have enough money to pay for the £10 book that would redeem my life from the utter catastrophe it currently is (drug-dealers tend to give you the first dose cheap/free to get you hooked…and his ineptitude stopped me from feeling pity for him), but realising he wasn’t going to make a sale, he decided to go for broke, and asked me if I wanted to see a film…
A very bad mistake…
Up until this time I hadn’t found Scientology very offensive at all, it seemed more like an aggressive book-club rather than a maniacal cult. Stupid? Yes. Preying on the weak and vulnerable? Most definitely. But then they don’t differ too much from the other cults out there. However small or large those cults are…
To sum the film up (sorry, yes, I’m aware this is starting to look more like a novel than a comment…but…).
Young man plays American football and gets badly tackled.
Young man ends up paralysed in hospital.
Young man is seen to by completely incompetent psychiatrists (for a spinal injury?!?) and is (gleefully) told he will never walk again.
Young man tells his wife to be that she should find someone else to marry, as he will not be a good husband for her *violins playing*
Psychiatrists decides they will operate on young man’s brain (for a _spinal_ injury in the lower back?!?!?). Not to cure said young man, mind you “as that would put us out of a job”.
Young wife-to-be brings the book “Dianetics” along.
Young man reads book and starts not only walking, but jumping around!
Needless to say it wasn’t *exactly* a documentary…
I was offended at how it portrayed the medical profession (I have not been treated with anything but respect, and have had nothing but good experiences with doctors, and though I’m aware there are stupid doctors out there, I hold them in rather a higher esteem than the people behind this movie. I also believe the brain has immense power, and that you can probably go a long way to healing yourself (placebo-effect, anyone?), but this film was an affront to humanity.
What counfounds me is how anyone can fall for the pathetic lies of this book-shop-that-calls-itself-a-church…
This is my personal opinion, I’m not telling you what to think. Feel free to check it out for yourself, though I would strongly recommend you do something more useful with your time. Like play pocket-tennis. c",)
If you are "searching", go here: www.venganza.org/
Freethinkers title contest …
Image by –Tico–
This is a photo I took in a Roman Catholic church in Bretagne, north France. The cobwebs struck me as a sign of the reduced importance that religion holds in Europe now. However, the idea that religions are sacred and should be exempt from satire is ever more present with the immigration to Europe of communities with different religions, especially Islam.
In the process of losing my Christian faith, on this issue I have now embraced the position as expressed by H.L. Mencken:
" … even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge."
I want to test how many people are open to this idea on Flickr. If you agree with me and you can think of a satirical title for this photo, please post your suggestion below.
The contest is open-ended and therefore I will not choose a winner. For the sake of freedom of speech and creativity your effort is greatly appreciated. Some good suggestions also from the members in this group.
If you think this is wholly inappropriate, please make your argument!
circle of cool
Image by weegeebored
There’s a thing Eddie Izzard used to go on about:
How being cool & being a berk are right next to each other on a big circle and it’s very easy to suddenly find yourself doing one when you meant to be the other.
Fine line between genius & madness, and all that.
Anyway, I have to confess, when I first clapped eyes on Wolfie Smith here, I had him immediately assigned to the berk side of the line.
I mean, jesus wept, he’s got Frodo Baggins’s leather pixie-pouch and a ‘scuse me yes I’m not hallucinating, WOLF’S TAIL! hanging off his arse.
Not to mention some weird litlle babydreads at the back of his barnet, giving him an unnecessarily additional air of Mulletedness.
If you force-fed me DiMethylTryptamine for a year, I don’t think I’d come up with doing anything as unforgivably ludicrous as this. Not in public. Certainly not in the middle of bloody Peckham at any rate.
But then, and I must be getting soft-headed in my dotage, it struck me that mostly I didn’t like the guy because he was young, doing an art course down the road, and gets to enjoy the company of pretty art student girls in dayglo outfits.
I was thoroughly jealous, in fact.
And, it further occurred to me: looked at in a fairer, kinder, less likely to stain the world with hideous bad vibes of putrefying bad karma & bitterness, sort of a way: the young feller me lad there is actually cool as ruddy heck, has really colossal balls, levels of chutzpah I could never dream of, and bloody good luck to him, what a dude.
Although the mullet-esque-ness he is indulging in is still a little hard for maye refayned sinsibilities to daygist, dontchaknow?
So, overall, you go for it Wolf Lad. Good on ya, cat.
For my part, I’m thinking of enrolling at Art College.
Only joking, art is the religion of the people who take masses of opium.