Friday, June 27, 2008

Inside The Destiny Church - Bowels in Motion

There’s a superb New Zealand made doco running on Sky’s Documentary Channel at the moment.

Check-Out: ‘Destiny in Motion’.

I’m bold enough to suggest, overseas readers will also be keen on this micro-documentary, as much as Kiwi’s.

Kiwi comedian Te Radar joins the rank & file from the political arm of The Destiny Church, during their ineffectual & doomed 2005 New Zealand Election campaign.

Without trying to spoil the plot, but to put their polling failure into some sort of electoral context, Destiny receives just a few thousand more votes than The N.Z Legalise Cannabis Party.

That’s to say: 3 parts of sweat f**k all.

In a TVNZ interview made less than a year prior to the 2005 election, the Churches charismatic founder Brain Tamaki, made the bold prediction that “in four years The Destiny Church will be running New Zealand”.

Hmmmm….let me think, 2004 + 4 = 2008!

Looking at my calendar Bish Tamaki and his storm-troops, had better get their ‘arses into gear’.

So unless Destiny are planning some sort of insurrection in the next 6 months (no need to provision for uniforms, they’ve got that covered, mandatory black) this claim will be seen for its fatuousness.

These sort of megalomaniacal postulations are not unusual for the self–appointed Bishop Tamaki.

In 2003 he came-up with another time-definitive claim of grandeur: “I predict in the next five years, by the time we hit our 10th anniversary - and I don't say this lightly - that we will be ruling the nation."

Memo to Bishop Tamaki: take a history lesson from The Seventh Day Adventists, and avoid continually issuing false prophecies.

Tamaki, should also avoid picking-up that dog-eared copy of Readers Digest residing on his doctors waiting room table. Their readers (Issue: May 2007) ranked Tamaki as New Zealand's least trusted of 75 the prominent persons listed.

But back to the documentary, and for those of you unfamiliar with Te Radar, Destiny Church, New Zealand Politics etc, but wanting a better overview of this documentary - imagine a thinner & funnier version of Michael Moore (minus the political bent), going inside say Ted Haggard’s spooky New Life Church, armed only with a sense of humour.

This truly is an amusing insight into your ‘average garden variety Kiwi religious zealot’ & a further heads-up to avoid political parties which march (nein, goose step)behind the banner of ‘family values’.

There’s something about ‘piss-takes’ like this that 'spin my wheels' (can you tell?)

‘Destiny in Motion’ is compulsory viewing.
PS: More on that great geezer Te Radar here

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dead Man agrees that ‘Prayer doesn’t work’

We all face times in our lives when we feel helplessness, and distress.

When ‘bad things’ happen we instinctively look for answers, and the hope there IS someone, or ‘thing’, that can help, an eternal & mystic shoulder to cry-on and solve our problems.

Sometimes there are no answers, and nothing we as individuals, or our fellows, can do to change the outcome.

As humans we find this ‘powerlessness’ hard to accept.

Prayer offers comfort.

Prayer allows one to ‘believe’ they are doing something positive, and that process will produce a similar outcome.

Does prayer work?

There’s not a scred of scientific evidence, nor a credible independent study, that can confirm the efficacy of intercessory prayer.

No test to even prove in a supernatural entity that answers prayers, even exists in the first place.

If the world’s entire population of amputees, all prayed to their chosen god, in an attempt to re-grow their missing limb or digit – what would be the result?

It doesn’t matter if you pray to: Celtic Gods, Polynesian Gods, Slavic Gods, Gods of War, Gods of Thunder, Underwater God with snorkels and flippers, Hindu Deities, a long forgotten three-headed Animal Deity from 2,000 B.C, Spirits of the Forest, Spirits distilled from wheat, primordial Goddess of Fertility, Goblins, Demons, Guardians of the Oceans, mystical Nymphs in skimpy clothing, Saint Germaus, Saint Eric, 1980’s Aussie punk band The Saints (or for that matter, all of the lot of them combined).

In reality ‘there’s no one at the end of the phone to answer your call’.

When the Pope gets sick he sees a doctor, rather than relying on ‘the power’ of prayer, as there is no substitute for real medicine.

When the Popemobile breaks down they take it to a mechanics for repairs, rather than summonsing God.

Praying for any outcome what so ever, is but issuing a wish, it won’t alter an outcome one iota, and in some cases the total reliance on prayer can have serious adverse ramifications e.g. parents who neglect a sick child and rely instead on ‘Gods will’.
IF it did work, there would be after all, no disease, poverty etc and indeed no dead people, and every week we'd win lotto. An earthly eutopia where all prayers were answered (remind me to e.mail Terry Gilliam with the idea for a new movie)

Seriously folks, knell down, close your eyes, clasp your hands and say after me: "prayer will never change an outcome".

Successful outcomes are mere coincidence, nothing more.

What prayer does, is provides a vestige of hope, for things to go our way, which could be interpreted simply as ‘positive thinking’ or ‘visualisation’.

It’s instinctive to look for ‘a reason’ for things, and if we think it is a God behind all of our daily activities, it’s understandable to try and communicate with him (or her, or a half man/half animal, half human/half god, dead relatives, the sun, aliens, spirits etc, etc).

There will always be prayer, in one form or another.

But it’s time for all of us to elevate our thinking and uniformly admit: praying simply does not work.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Stone Idols of Political Correctness

When is a rock not a rock?

When, it’s imbued – that’s imbuing of a spiritual kind, by the way.

And much like the better known 'rock-stars' out in the public domain, rocks like this, have to fly first class.

When Christchurch opened last Saturday’s newspaper (Press 14th June) readers were left to muse over a front-page article which back-grounded the zany journey of a 35 kilogram lump of green stone (more commonly known as jade, or pounamu in Maori) between Christchurch and its sister city in China, Wuchan.

This large stone was gifted by The Christchurch City Council, and flew in the first class section of an Air New Zealand plane all the way to China.

And because of it was imbued with the spirit of the Ngai Tahu tribe ( for the benefit of overseas readers a tribe = iwi ) two members of the iwi went along for the journey.

To be fair to the members of the iwi that accompanied the green stone, they ended-up in ‘cattle class’ and it was only the lump of rock that got waited-on up in first class.

Readers, bemusement at this almost comical scenario, turned to anger when it was reported the local Christchurch rate-payers portion of the trip was a cool $2,500 (not including the cost of the rock in the first place, which for the record was $5,000 max, so it's not going to pass muster with Elizabeth Taylor or be the prime target in a jewel heist )

$2,500 was in effect the price paid to abandon common sense, in preference to the stone idols of political correctness.

Maori protocol prescribed that any inanimate object blessed with the tribes ‘spiritual force’ needed to be treated in such reverence, and handed over by only those in the iwi with authority to do so, and this make-believe was good enough for the Mayor and his politically correct minions at the local Council.

But fear not residents of Christchurch, The Canterbury Atheists have gone ‘into bat’ for the maligned rate-payers of Christchurch, and anyone else, who has progressed beyond 'looking at tea-leaves in the bottom of cups'.
We've asked our Mayor (Bob Parker) the following questions:

1.) Surely it would have been cheaper to arrange an ‘unblessed’ piece of green-stone and air-freight the thing?

2.) Is it only Ngai Tahu, who have a monopoly blessing rocks & inanimate objects in this fashion, or can the rest of us take imbuing lessons and get in on the lark? Seattle is one place I’d like to visit and as a Sister-City I’m putting my own hat in the ring, both as a spiritual & practical body-guard.

3.) When an inanimate object needs blessing does the Council get comparative costs from other ‘approved’ providers like say The Druids, who are, after-all ‘into rocks in a big way’?

4.) How do the ratepayers actually know it was properly imbued in the first place and the spirit didn’t jump-out of his/her first-class seat, and disappear in a puff of smoke, prior to arriving, thus rendering the whole expensive process redundant?

I will post Mayor Bob’s answers to these pertinent questions, the moment he replies (take note of below posted at the time the article was submitted online).
Authors Note : For the record I have Maori blood (per my fathers family tree my iwi is Muaüpoko) Irrespective of my personal heritage, I'm expecting Mayor Bob to 'play the race card' in his reply. By accusing detractors like me of racism, rather than seeing our opposition as rationalism, he will attempt to stifle debate on the legitimacy of his Council funding this superstitious nonsense about 'rocks with spirits'. This will be his tact, for sure.

Monday, June 9, 2008

When Aliens Go Topless

"She came from Planet Claire" "I knew she came from there"

"She drove a Plymouth Satellite" "Faster than the speed of light"

Nanu, Nanu Earthlings.

Traditionally religions are out to repress sex in one form or another.

If it’s not homosexuality, sex outside marriage, masturbation, it’s institutionalised sexism and even calls to ban contraception.

But there, located amongst in the dessert section of the smorgasbord of superstition, comes one belief system that embraces the marketing value of sex.

This ‘Johnny come lately’ religion (in the loosest sense of the term) is also on a mission of liberation.

It wants all those females around the planet, well at least those that are so inclined, to start getting their titties-out, specifically on the 23rd August.

We are talking about The Raelian’s here, and that skinny dude with the 70's Disco medallion (above) is their leader.

Claude Vorilhon is his real name, but he now likes to call himself Raël. Amongst all sorts of weird & wonderful things, Claude claims his biological father was an alien, which looking at the size of his biceps means we have little to worry about from any extra terrestrial attack.

But before we continue with ‘the good stuff’, that’s to say women going topless en mass, let’s do a quick bio on The Raelians.

Back in 1973, Vorilhon was walking amongst France's volcanic mountain ranges when a spaceship appeared. A four-foot-tall extraterrestrial in a green, one-piece suit with almond-shaped eyes, long, black hair (being an advanced species the Aliens had found a cure for baldness but looking at Vorilhon’s photo, failed it seems to pass the secret formula onto their earthly emissary) ,a black beard and slightly greenish skin exited the spacecraft and taught Vorilhon that mankind was created in a test tube by a race of space creatures, referred to in the Old Testament as "The Elohim."

The diminutive aliens informed Vorilhon, that he was the last of the 40 prophets chosen to spread "the message." The space traveller instructed the Frenchman to change his name to Raël and start a religious movement.

Not content with building a spacecraft which can travel in excess of the speed of light, also included in the Aliens “message” (fine print anyone?) was the something about Raelian followers giving 10% of their income to Claude.

Now if you carbon life forms are getting lost with this story already, just remember it was The Elohim created all of the religions and mankind was created in test tubes, then take three deep breaths and take heed of the effects continual use of recreational drugs can have on ones sense of rationality. Star Trek Conventions have a lot to answer for.

And in case ‘The Raliens’ sounds strangely familiar to you – yes it’s them that are behind ‘UFO Land’ (it’s located in Quebec, Vorihons new home) and those ludicrous claims about human cloning back in 2003.

Do an internet search on ‘cloniad’ if the thought of having a ‘mini me’ is of interest & if by the way you are picking a name for your clone, make sure you do a better job than The Raelians did with ‘Eve’ – I ask you.

Manmade immortality via cloning is The Raelians ‘big sell’, topless rights for women ‘the soft sell’ (I prefer them perky personally)

One look at his Nubian entourage (Korean devotees below) and this is one religion that gets my attention.

“As long as men can go topless, women should have equal right” states Rael who has gone one step further and done mankind a massive favour by founding

Who are we to argue?

Death-ray any dissenters Rael – that’s my call.

I’ve marked the 23rd of August on my calendar and so should you.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Shoplifter Sentenced To Death

The un-repentant sinning shoplifter, garnishes a sentence of eternal damnation.

This news-headline would be amusing – if it wasn’t sadly true (at least in the minds and in the writings of Jews & Christians)

The God of the Bible has no given hierarchy of sins & but one punitive punishment option open to him.

And whilst we in the secular world can recognise & rank the severity of individual acts (murder versus say masturbation) to the followers of the scriptures, Gods word is a is final, so if a masturbator ends-up in hell ‘them is the breaks’. It is Gods privilege alone to issue a death warrant on a shop-lifter, and not for you plebeians to question the heavy handiness of such a decree.

Depending on Gods whim, a rapist and a thief are same, and the process of this judgment is not one in which mankind deserves a say, irrespective of the seeming inequality of the respective sins.

But wait there’s even more illogical pensiveness (and no ginzu knife) in respect to Gods so-called justice, coupled with a disturbing degree of blind acceptance of his draconian rule amongst believers.

A despot like Joseph Stalin culpable in the murder of million’s, can confess his sins on his death bed, and based-on Gods whimsicality be exempted his wrath. That’s like a murder admitting “it’s a far rap, I’m sorry fella’s” and being allowed to leave the court a free man.

Conversely a clean living, fun-loving atheist who hasn’t hurt a fly enters Gods court and is automatically sentenced to ‘the lake of fire’.

A combination of Judge Dread, morphed with the perfunctory ‘show’ trials of Nazi Germany, the God of the bible does, at times, not differentiate between the sins of mankind.

If he’s got a beef against shop-lifters on the day you die – that’s the way it is, get use to hot pokers up your backside.

If God’s had an argument with ‘the mrs’ on the day you depart the mortal-coil, then even the most pious character, guilty of say the most trivial of sins through-out their lives, will end-up being roasted.

No right of appeal.

If he’s in a better mood then you can literally get away with murder.

The Old Testament is full of examples of Gods petulance and the unevenness of his sentences versus the crime/sin in question.

Viewed through the eyes of mere mortals – Gods justice is not just.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Holy Cow: The Loathsome Cult of Mother Teresa.

“She started off with one companion and a borrowed apartment. After a course in nursing, she went out, picked up a dying man from the gutter and brought him home to her apartment. In those nearby slums she could easily find old people dying in the gutter, abandoned babies in garbage pails, lepers thrown out by their families and other such rejects”

She remembers that first day: “Such a beautiful day, to meet Christ face to face in the poor. He was there – the hungry, the sick, the naked Christ – and the thought of Him in this distressing disguise gave me great joy, peace and strength”.

"This woman was, of course, Mother Teresa – the embodiment of a Christ-like virtue; the human face of COMPASSION"

[ Excerpt from a sermon made by Year 13 student at Lindisfarne College, N.Z ]

Keen to continue both the myth and revenue streams, every year hundreds of Kiwi teens from Catholic secondary schools are flown off to Calcutta to worship at the alter of a deceased Albanian nun: Mother Teresa.

If ever there was a case of reputation blighting the facts – Mother Teresa’s is it.

Christopher Hitchens accurately summed-up this ascetain as “the single most successful emotional con job of the 20th century”.

Let’s get this straight from the beginning - Mother Teresa’s ‘driving force’ was her extreme faith, not some philanthropy to help the poor and less well-off. She became ‘the poster girl’ of the Catholic Church (thankfully not the centre fold spread) on the back of the Papalist propaganda machine aided by a news media eager to lap-up ‘good news stories’ and a gross failure on their behalf to look beyond her visage.

M.T was an open advocate of suffering ‘to bring one closer to Jesus’.

Her warped method of alleviating suffering - was to practice it.

In any ‘Nobility of Suffering’ – Mother Teresa would be queen.

"The most beautiful gift for a person is that he can participate in the suffering of Christ," (obviously her words, not mine)

At the bedside of one screaming sufferer, she was heard to say "You are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you." "Then tell your Jesus to stop kissing me" rebuffed the poor man.

She provided grotesquely inadequate medical care and pain relief at her so called ‘hospitals’ and hospices.

What she ran was a ‘Home for the Dying’. There were no doctors or nurses (in the Western concept of the terms) little in terms of medicine to cure the sick, no palliative care to speak of . These were merely crude doss-houses for the poor victims to spend their last miserable days. The largest of these ‘Homes for the Dying Destitute’, had one communal ‘open plan’ toilet, stretchers for beds, no chairs and a policy which banned visitors.

Saving souls was priority, not saving lives.

When she became sick herself, she flew off to a clinic in the United Sates, first class, on Air India. A wise decision one thinks, given the sad state of sanitary conditions her own facilities. It’s hard to imagine Teresa wanting to squat-down next to some destitute as they went about their bodily functions, when she herself headed an Order with a seven figure bank balance.

That Order she founded banked millions upon millions, which was never spent on the poor. Her ‘Mission of Charity’ remains the only Indian Charitable Organisation that refuses to ‘open its books’ so donors can see where their money has been spent. Vatican bankers don’t exactly have a reputation for honesty and prudent investment, but odds on that’s where most of the donations ended up.

Not one hospital was built with the millions that flooded in, but there are at least 150 known convents that benefited.

She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women to decide their own conceptive needs. Better to have eight staving and sick ‘little Catholics’ than plan for a family with two, both of which at least stand a shot at a decent life.

Over-population is an acute problem in India and MT’s solution was to add to this misery by campaigning for a ban on birth control, which I guess ‘drummed-up some more business’ for her homes for the dying, and further added to her credentials as a Saint (at least through the blinkered eyes of The Catholic Church)

“I would say it was a certainty millions of people died because of her work” (Christopher Hitchens on Penn & Teller)

She was happy to fill her coffers with the monies misappropriated by the atrocious, corrupt Duvalier family from Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) “It was a beautiful lesson” was what she said about her time with the Duvalier’s.

Whilst the dead and dying lay on their crude beds in her hospice, this master manipulator found time to travel the globe and ‘meet & greet’ world leaders like the Reagans and Princess Diana. Cripes she even had time to campaign in Ireland against the right to divorce and re-marry (it must have been the leapers low season back home in India) When asked about Diana’s divorce, just two months after visiting Ireland, MT bowed to expediency and stated “it was for the best”. In other words - it’s fine for influential ‘blue blood’ benefactors to get divorced but not Irish plebs. Hell -why not sell an indulgence and be done with?

When Lady Di & Mother Teresa meet it was always in an outdoor environment.
They could never find a man-made structure big enough to house both egos together.

And when she made her Nobel prize-winners speech she spoke-out against the ‘greatest threat facing world peace’. And what is that threat you may ask? Well in Saint Theresa’s world (as opposed to yours and mine) it’s abortion.

She was expedient with the truth when it suited her own needs. For example she claimed that her mission in Calcutta fed over a thousand people daily. On subsequent occasions (depending on her audience and the depth of their pockets) the number rose to 4000, 7000, and 9000. In actuality her soup kitchens fed no more than 150 people, and this included her retinue of nuns, novices, and brothers. She claimed at one point that her school in the Calcutta slum contained five thousand children when it actually enrolled less than one hundred.

People hate being fleeced and tricked, so when facts like these are presented to say those Kiwi kids about to board their flight to India, it’s human nature they'd either refute them (in preference to the propaganda spread by those with a vested interest, that’s to say the Catholic Church) or attack the source of the revelation as being ‘mean spirited’ or ‘ignoring the good things she’s done’.

To the great unwashed there is no ‘Bad’ Mother Teresa only ‘good’ and to these devotees, this is where the matter rests, there amongst what are little more than Vatican Press Releases spread by negligent journalists. Rational critique of her life is seen as blasphemy, such is her pre-eminence in the annals of popular belief.

But those who dare to ‘scrape the surface’ will see little of virtue in her life and little if any compassion - just twisted devotion.