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Friday, May 28, 2010

God is in control. Aren't You Glad You Went Green?

Many of you probably have  seen this email about the Icelandic volcano eruption. It was forwarded to me by a retired-Lutheran-minister in-law. He, more than likely, received it from one of his former parishioners. (Ah, yes, he taught his congregations well.) I would love to tell all of them: "If God is always in control, then he must have caused the volcanic eruption in the first place." Actually, whoever wrote this admitted as much by the use of “a single act of God.”

God is in control---ALWAYS!!!!!

Aren't You Glad You Went Green?

6 billion people try for 5 years.... then the earth burps, and it's all for naught!

For all of you out there in America and across the globe who have fought so hard to tackle that hideous enemy of our planet, namely carbon emissions, I have some really bad news that will be very painful for you to process. But it is my duty to pass it on to you anyway.

Are you sitting down?

Okay, here's the bombshell. The current volcanic eruption going on in Iceland, since it first started spewing volcanic ash a week or so ago, has to this point, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet. Not only that, this single act of God has added emissions to the earth estimated to be 42 times more than can be corrected by the extreme human regulations that have been proposed for annual reductions.

I know, I know.... (now have a group hug)'s very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of driving Prius hybrids, buying reusable fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid's "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat,
going on vacation to a city park instead of to Yosemite, nearly getting hit by a car every day while riding your bicycle to work, replacing all of your one dollar light bulbs with ten dollar fluorescent light bulbs that don't give as much light or last as long (and you cannot dispose of ANYWHERE legally)...well, all of those things you have been doing all this time, at great inconvenience and great expense, have all gone down the tubes in just the past week...

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in the past week has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce that evil beast, carbon. And, those hundreds of thousands of American jobs you helped move to Asia with expensive emissions demands that were put on American businesses... you know, the ones over there that are creating even more emissions than when the companies stayed

home creating American jobs, well that must all seem really worthwhile now. I'm so sorry. And I do wish that there was some kind of a silver

lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the brush fire season across the western U.S.A. will start in about two months and those fires will negate your efforts to reduce carbon emissions in our world for the next two years!

So grab a Coke, give the world a hug, and have a nice day while Al Gore contemplates suicide!

I forwarded this on to some of my freethinking friends. None of their responses were positive. In fact, they were a bit disgruntled that Christians have this attitude. Here is what one of them, with a background in Christian fundamentalism before “seeing the light“ of unbelief, wrote back to me:

I think you should respond to this, Betty. [I didn’t. What good would it have done?] He is really nasty, isn’t he?? Just what the world needs now . . . folks like him. The last line is just about as “nice” as his fellow Christians that are “praying” for Obama’s death… So now, with this attitude, we’re supposed to “give up” trying to do any more green things for our planet? Oh, I forgot, we shouldn’t care . . . Armageddon is near . . . and all these wonderful folks will just be “swept
up in the clouds,” and to hell with future generations that have to live here on this planet….

If you’re interested, here is an interesting website with an article from a Russian scientist who says that volcanic eruptions slow global warming:

Whether this scientist is correct in his assessment, I simply don’t know. Actually, I hope he is.


The Painful Truth said...

Betty's invitation expired a day early so I posted this blog for her.

Thank you so much Betty. This has been an excellent month and we have you to thank for this. Good luck on those book sales!

Retired Prof said...

I haven't seen any estimates by scientists of the amount or kind of gases emitted by the Icelandic volcano. The site Betty gave us says the material ejected is mostly ash. However, it must be carried aloft by some gas or another; the article doesn't say what it is. If it is sulfur dioxide, it creates aerosols which reflect sunlight back into space and cool the earth. If it is carbon dioxide, it adds to the amount already in the atmosphere and increases the greenhouse effect to warm the earth.

In fact, some scientists think that massive emissions of carbon dioxide from the Deccan Traps in what is now India were actually responsible for a period of global warming that killed the dinosaurs and other life forms at the end of the Cretaceous 65 million years ago. See

The more popular explanation, as you probably know, is that a massive comet or asteroid impact, evidenced by the Chicxulub Crater at the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, did the job. Some theorists split the difference and maintain that the two events worked together.

In either case, the lesson is that natural forces--terrestrial or extraterrestrial--can change the course of life on planet earth.

We make a mistake when we exclude our own species from the realm of natural forces. There are more than six billion of us. Considering our own bodies and the animals and plants we cultivate (many of which could not survive without us), we account for a significant share (though by no means a majority) of the earth's biomass. Only a tiny minority of us are disposed to suffer "the inconvenience and expense of driving Prius hybrids, buying reusable fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid's "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies," and so forth. If all six billion of us got on board, we might avoid catastrophe, but there is not a chance in hell we will.

In short, our species is going to have a major impact on the way the biosphere works. The climate will change. Species will go extinct. Probably not us, because we are so widely distributed and so resourceful, but who knows, really?

It is worthwhile for (some of) us as individuals to try to reduce our carbon footprint and otherwise run our lives responsibly, but realistically we have to understand that the we are simply creating an image for ourselves and others--defining what kind of persons we are, not actually saving the planet.

I have forgotten where I stole this from, but here is an image that seems pertinent:

Personal efforts to stop global climate change are like trying to stop a train wreck by running as fast as possible toward the caboose.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Iceland is a firecracker compared to what will someday happen when a super volcano like Yosemite blows. That not only would probably bring our civilization to its knees but likely trigger an ice age.

A super volcano went off over 70 thousand years ago, and the genetic evidence shows the human race hit a bottleneck that almost wiped us out. My grandparents and great grandparents lived through the big eruption about a century ago that caused freezing temperature all over the northern hemisphere in the middle of the summer.

I believe we should do common sense things (we use only flourescent bulbs) to ameliorate what we can, but humans are relatively helpless against the forces of nature.

That's one reason I want to see colonies in space to serve as a reservoir of civilization in case something goes horribly wrong down here. Geology and history prove we are all too vulnerable to far too many things. I personally have no faith whatsoever in any god stopping anything.

Consider Tyranosaurus Rex. The big guy, and all his big cousins, didn't stand a chance when that comet or asteroid hit and possibly triggered catastrophic volcanic upheaval as well. We're left with his bird relatives who somehow made it through, along with our mammal relatives.

Our ingenuity might save a remnant, but it would be a miracle not to be sent right back into the stone age, or something close to it.

Ralph said...

Bwetty, from what I've read of your book, I would recommend it to anybody, because I believe in getting people to think about things, even if I don't agree on every point. Thanks for a good job and balaced presentation.

One of my favorite writers of late is Ray Kurzweil, who wrote two books whose titles caught my eye: "Tha Age of Spiritual machines" and "The Singularity Is Near".

Kurzweil is very much into artificial intelligence, and points out that the catastrophe that wiped out the dinosaurs allowed for the growth and development of those smaller, quicker, more adaptive animals who lived by a process of scurrying and sneaking. Kurzweil points out that life evolves greater levels of intelligence and integration.

The problem with this greater level of intelligence and organization, however, is that we generally don't know when to stop and do things a little different.

I just read "Lords of Finance" by Liaquat Ahamed, which focused on the years prior to the '29 stock market crash and events of WW1.

Ahamed describes a group of international bankers who, when confronted with the impending collapse, had no idea what to do. The board of the Federal Reserve wanted to raise interest and dampen speculation, while member banks were in so deep they couldn't afford it. Montagu Norman, the centrral banking head of England, was completetely determined to make the British Sterling based on gold the eminient power of the world again.

French central bankers detested the English as always, and extended credit to improve their economy and make exports cheaper.

The German bank had deliberately allowed hyper inflation to make reparation payments from WW1 so cheap that payments would be concluded, destroying the security of their own citizens and raising hatred against the allies.

Central banks of other countries were forced to loan money to Germany in gold backed currency, with England and the US leading in the loans, since the US was flush with gold at the time.

It was this very policy, longterm, that forced the stronger economies to be "forcefed" with speculation, that gradually turned into an overnight collapse.

The problem, basically, developed from centralized systems that sought to extend their own power and influence without responding to necessary feedback within its own environment, a process later recognized, just after WW2 (which was the result of it all) called Cybernetics and later called information theory.

Information theory, in simple terms, says "The more probable a message, the less information it contains". Or "The more a message is repeated, the less information it contains".

Without feedback to inform them, systems finally collapse of their own weight.

Ralph said...

Sorry, Betty, I misspelled your name right off.

The issue facing us now, as a result of our evolution in knowledge, is whether or not any centralized system can ever be sufficient to manage and control world affairs in such a way as to avoid catastrophe. Betty pretty much gives the answer: NO.

But Eric Hoffer, in his introduction to "The True Believer", gives a biblical quote from Genesis 11 that sums up the matter: "And slime had they for mortar".

If the system itself is based on error, it will multiply error. In fact, it is this very theme which Hoffer keeps reminding us of in the book. The very process of organization, designed to overcome basic flaws, actually magnifies and enlarges those flaws.

jesus himself challenged such centralist thinking with " consider the lilies of the field", and then focused on making decisions in day to day manner responding only to the "evil thereof" existing in each day.

In Luke 12: 13-15, Jesus pointed out that he was not a "judge or divider" over the affairs of the people. His following parable of the rich man seems to condemen th4e idea of creating organizatgions(corporations) that extend their power beyond the lives of those who develop the idea. As one constitutional scholar wrote, "letting the dead rule over the living". Didn't Jesus say God was the God of the living, and not the dead?

Cybernetics, feedback, information. You can't put new wine into old wineskins. That's information theory. Systems must be flexible and adaptable. They must respond to change, they must 'repent".

The book of James is about economics. Look at James 5:4-5.

James 4:1-4 talks about desires, passions, lusts, extended to the level that wars are fought. Why? because men develop systems capable of pursuing collective force. Truth is reduced to mechanical process, and mechanical processes worked in ancient times when men began to make war on each other. Machines, passions, war, destruction, because "slime had they for mortar".

The process is one developed from linearity, also called narcissism, the extrension of oneself by repitition into the environment, copying over and over again mechanically. Ritual, obedience, unquestioning allegiance. IOW, the opposite of feedback and informatin systems.

Betty Brogaard said...

Thanks to all for your participation this month and your encouragement to me personally. This has been an interesting experience. Whether we agree or disagree, I consider all of you my friends and wish for each good years ahead. I've learned much--but I'm still an unbeliever!!!

Ralph said...

Doesn't matter about unbelief, since a thing, including God, would exist or not exist regardless of anyone's belief/non-belief, just the same as truth.

The Painful Truth said...

Ralph said...

"The process is one developed from linearity, also called narcissism, the extrension of oneself by repitition into the environment, copying over and over again mechanically. Ritual, obedience, unquestioning allegiance. IOW, the opposite of feedback and informatin systems."

And if you tell a lie long enough the people will begin to believe it.
The repetitive stories about global warming will continue until everyone is on-board and assimilated as one into the cultist, new age political religion started by guru Al Gore, who by the way, invented the Internet. Kind of like the beast power spin as taught by the Armstrong minions.

Corky said...

I hate to be a defeatist but I have serious doubts that humans can do anything about global warming and climate change.

I do think it'a a good idea to "go green". I mean, who doesn't want clean water and clean air?

There is only one way to have that and that is to clean it up and stop pollution.

By the way, Al Gore did have a lot to do with the formation of the Internet. If formation is the right word for it. Invented it though, is going a bit far.

Ralph said...

Of course he invented the internet. Surely you've heard of the Al Gore-ithm. :)

Informaton, feedback systems, de-centralizde currency based on community processes and needs, that's the closest thing to a solution.

Retired Prof said...

I thought the Al Gore rhythm was an awkward way to dance popular among mathematicians.

The Painful Truth said...

Corky said....

"I do think it'a a good idea to "go green". I mean, who doesn't want clean water and clean air?"

Everyone wants that. I have no problem cutting energy costs like using florescent lights. Saves you some green and pays for themselves in short order.

It is when the government tells me "I MUST" then it is my job as a citizen to tell them to back off.

It is not their job constitutionally to dictate to me what I will and won't use for transportation, lighting, or mowing my lawn.

Ralph said...

If the Al Gor rythm was an awkward way of dancing, it surely would include me. I tried it once. Really slow, thought it would never end. Nearly put me to sleep. My legs went numb before I was through.
PT, you got my agreement on government. I read where a local Highway Patrolman stated that drivers were more anti-government than he's seen in 21 years on the force.

I emailed him to say that drivers should keep up the good work.

I also asked him why those tickets he wrote out said we could pay our fines without appeating in court, when the 14th amendment said no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and no person shall be denied equal protection.

Where, I asked, did he or the state get the authority to deny people their constitutional rights?

Haven't got an answer yet.

Byker Bob said...

My thoughts on this are pretty random, but I've had thirty years to consider a bunch of alternative paths on the human maze. Really, the only thing that makes any sense to me is that God actually is in control, and is working out His plan, in spite of anything mankind could do to prevent it.

Christians are called upon to be good stewards. God loves His creation, and it would behoove all of us to take as good care of it as possible. This means that when we find out that something is harmful, it is up to us not to sit back and wait for Jesus to return, (see parable of the pounds or talents) but to actually do whatever we can to help resolve the problem. Waiting for Jesus, and doing nothing is faulty Christian thinking.

What we do on a day to day basis is a perpetual assault on the environment, and on the planet. As humans, we are incapable of living without polluting in one way or the other. Our only logical course is to seek to minimize that pollution. However, most people will not simply volunteer to do this out of the goodness of their own hearts. Especially not in a civilization motivated primarily with greed.

When I was agnostic, I realized that the only way to control the daily assault is through one world government, as repugnant as that might seem to all of us for our various reasons. Hell, I hate that our state and local rights were flushed straight down the toilet at Appomattox, but the fact remains that without that having happened, control and enforcement of human rights would never have evolved to the civilized state in which they exist today. Frankly, global management would seem applicable to environmental issues. Lobbyists own Washington, but in a global scenario, at least we'd have a diversification of lobbyists

One volcano eruption, though totally devastating in terms of green house gasses, is just that. It is one event, and we can know in advance that such events will occur randomly, and must be factored into all working models for the problem. We can't control eruptions, and we do classify them as "acts of God". We can control, however, our own daily behavior. It would be flawed logic, indeed, to throw up our hands, and claim that environmental consciousness was of no value, simply because a volcano has added to an existing problem by blowing its stack.

Christians believe that God has a timeline unknown to us. We believe that we as humans can't know that timeline, but have been given clues regarding the events, so that we can recognize them as they begin to unfold. Oddly enough, one of them does involve the sun becoming radically more intense as it affects planet Earth. Scientists do blame climate change for such phenomena as the shifting of earth's "plates",or earthquakes in historically unusual places, such as Haiti. The ACOGs have used such events for their own exploitative purposes, much the same as they all picture starving African children on the covers of their cookie-cutter copies of the PT, without bothering to help. It is always a Christian's duty to attempt to make things better, exemplifying the character of Jesus Himself. That's why many Christian organizations have massive missionary and relief efforts.

We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the events in Revelation will occur some day. It's just that false teachers have used their own bogus timelines to fleece sincere, but sadly mislead individuals who want to serve their God, some of whom were us! My advice to anyone would be to simply watch and wait. I am not, however, an alarmist, or someone who seeks to use things which could be simply natural cycles, or could be fulfillment of prophecy, to manipulate peoples' beliefs. If this stuff begins to look more and more like what was forecast by St. John the Revelator, all of us have read the book, and all of us know what to do.


Ralph said...

BB, christianity and one world government. Now you ARE getting scary. Government? Who do you think makes corporations possible?

WHO do you think gae corporations te status of "legal persons" with due process rights? GOVERNMENT.

Civil rights wouldn't have occurred without the increase of federal government?

The federal government from the start was a vciolation of botjh common law and God's law regarding slavery. The fugitive slave clause was a direct violation of due process rights under common law, a direct violation of the 5th amendment and later forced on the states under the 14th amendment. Why? Because the Constitution was a contradiction to its own ideals.

Look at Lincoln;s Gettysburg address. he gave the speech in 1863 and began "four score and seven years ago..." Subtract that from 1863, and you got 1776. "Our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation..."

IOW, Lincoln was plainly saying that the ideals of the country was NOT based in the Constitution, but in the Declaration of Idependence, that the Constitution was a violation of those very ideals that made this nation.

BB, you cannot have corporations without government, and you cannot have slaves without government, and you cannot have fugitive slave clauses without government.

Madison declared paper money as a "wicked project". The delegates voted to remove all reference to bills of credit, removing any authoritry from the constitution to print them. The original ratifiers voted 9-2 against any form of paper money. There is no authority granting legal tender, yet we have it. WHY? GOVERNMENT.

Go back and study economics again. Somewhere you missed the boat.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I just watched a Nova presentation on the Toba super volcano that created havoc about 75,000 years ago. That's the event I referred to earlier.

Sooner or later something just as catastrophic, or worse, will occur. It's something we can bet on but not necessarily survive to collect on. I wish I had BB's assurance that "God" is in control of it all, but I don't.

The earth is a dynamic boiling system filled with time bombs with very erratic timers. So is the sun. So is space with its gamma ray bursts, asteroids, oort clouds of comets, etc., etc.

Makes me feel like a duck in a very small puddle with a host of shotguns aimed at me and no way to know which trigger is going to be pulled when.

Tony said...

Thanks for your contributions Betty.

I do wish the moderator would limit the religious ravings of people like Biker Bob as his delusions are very reminiscent of the very pain caused in Worldwide that lead to this blog.

Stuff like "We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the events in Revelation will occur some day..."

All he had to do was throw in a few words in upper case and I would have thought it was Herbert himself.

Retired Prof said...

Tony, moderated comments can work well, but also they can turn into echo chambers. The people who get published are the ones who just spout the consensus view. That probably wouldn't happen with James as moderator, but who knows?

Another thing. If (as we hope) this blog is visited by many ex-Armstrongites seeking tranquility amid the turmoil of leaving the sect, then they will have a wide variety of personalities, meaning a wide variety of psychological needs. Though you and I don't find Bob's faith consoling, there may be some who do. We should encourage them to examine that option as well as a range of others.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I, too, recoil at some things I see in the comments, but Retired Prof is right. People who are searching will respect seeing a wide variety of opinions and hopefully, appreciate our recognizing their autonomy of choice.

There are plenty of dogmatic sites out there for those who want that.

Ralph said...

Well, my point of view is basic. If you think something is flaed, show the flaw, stick to the person'a ar4gument, and not the person. Prove the argument wrong.

Again, such statements as "religious ravings" or even "atheist ignorance" really don't do much for any argument. I can call names, you can call names, and all we do is piss each other off.

I think about people like Cosmopot, who admits he isn't settled on aswers yet, but is hoping for some discussion that will clear matters. Provide basic logical arguments, and let those folks make up their own minds.

I trhink BB is mistaken, BB thinks I'm mistaken. He's trying to be nioce to others in his own way, so be nioce to him.

Yes, I will attack his conclusons, but I will tryt to provide actual arguments as to why I think he's wrong. I won't call him the "lunatic fringe" or accuise him of religious ravings,but I will challenge him as i challenbge you or anyone else, Tony, prove me wrong.

Prove BB wrong. It probably won't change his mind, but someone out there might have a solid foundation if you can provide it.

Ralph said...

Now, as to BB's statements about Revelations, much of it really is weird.

However, the main thing that I kept coming back to, though it wasn't HWA's idea, and in fact there wasn't much that HWA did come up with originally, is comparing Revelations 6 to Matthew 24. It was an interesting comparison, and as i studied later into such areas as sociobiology, I realized there is much to the idea.

The whilte horse and false Christs. We do have those. They pop up wioth greater frequency when things get bad, and people believe them like superstititious people believe in voodoo dolls.

But historically, the emergence and dominance of the false religions cause war, as people are ready to die for their personal God(s).

Ritual, mechanical processes of thought, the industrial revolution, these concpets creatre people who have interchangeable beliefs to which they become interchangeable parts, just like the machines they invent.

Famine, destruction follows logically from excessive grwoth and organization. It's called entropy. More an more organization creates equivalent chaos. As fewer people find ways to control the wealth, the masses of people worldwide suffer from starvation, drought, and medical needs.

But the "white horse", he sees that as justification for worshipping the right God, even though there are 38,000 versions of that God.

Obviously its not about any God, but aout the ability to organize people and things in ways that are both productive and dominant.

The horse with balances, that's obviously about the control and regulation of money. As the baron Rothschild said, "Give me control of the issuance of money, and I care not who makes the laws".

Control by interest rates, magnifying debt, issuing new currency on the basis of old debt or mortgages. Building centralized wealth by getting more and more into an idea of public debt.

You think these things are mere religious ravings? Think again.

My problem with BB is that the obvious solution is not greater government control but obviously more freedom for individuals worldwide.

The Painful Truth said...

Tony said...

"I do wish the moderator would limit the religious ravings of people like Biker Bob as his delusions are very reminiscent of the very pain caused in Worldwide that lead to this blog."

Tony, don't you have family, friends or co-workers that are Christian? How do you react when they start in with the religious talk? Hit them, tell them to fuck-off?

It is the way you respond to others that are of different opinions that reveals to others what you are made of. It is called tolerance, and without it the world gets to be a very nasty place.

When I am on the receiving end of a sermon from someone I use the smart-ass approach. "We crucified him once and if he comes back we'll do it again" then I walk away.

The Painful Truth said...

Did everyone get a chance to watch the "Honest Priest" that I linked to?

Betty Brogaard said...

Yes, I did see the "Honest Priest" YouTube video. A Taoist friend in Australia had already sent it to me, and I enjoyed it very much.

At first I thought it was a spoof; but then I thought if this is real, then isn't that priest a hypocrite by being a Catholic priest and not believing what the Catholic Church preaches?

I had forwarded this to my friend Al Dexter, and he said "I'm not going to pass judgment on his being a hypocrit[e] or not. I'm sure he has some way of justifying what he is doing by being a help to people or something like that. At least he speaks the truth when the chips are down. Most of them don't."

Maybe Al is right.

Ralph said...

People try to help people in different ways. Some people try to do good from within.

I was engaged to a woman about 25 years ago who kept telling me to work my way to the top,and then I could change things.

I said "If I work my way to the top, I'd be a damn fool to change things".

I also figured if i did work my way to the top and she was married to me, she'd be telling me I'd be a damn fool to change things.

Catholics are children of catholics, just as Purple said we are children of the WCG, like it or not. There is a love there, maybe something like family, where people of no other relation will fight like brothers or sisters.

I just had an argument with my girlfriend. She said I was a stubborn, bullheaded son of a bitch, and loved to argue more than eat. She said I was abusive, people hated me, and I had no friends.

I said "Yeah, so? Can any of them prove me wrong? NO!"

I told her I was an asshole when we met, I have been fully consistent with that statement, and now she calls me an asshole, which I am, and tells me I'm not the man she met. Women. Can't live with them, can't live without them.

People are what they are. Accept them for it. I assume the priest, like a lot of people, is doing what he believes is right and good, even though he might be making a bigger mess by hanging around.

But we are what we are.

Ralph said...

I found the true purpose of life while I was in boot camp at Parris Island.

It was sometime during second week of training, and the Senior Drill Instructor, nicknamed "Mad Dog", was actually getting to know us as a group.

He said "Yeah, when I was a recruit like you yingyangs, I couldn't wait to get out of this hellhole. They kicked my butt through 13 weeks of basic and shipped me to Vietnam. I served my time, got out, and was a civilian for about a year. Then one day I sort of found myself chasing my employer down the street with a claw hammer. That's when I realized I was going to be a marine for life".

Then he stopped talking and stared at one of the group. Suddenly he launched himself over the first row of recruits and began choking this recruit seated in the second row.

The two assistant DIs stood there while he was choking the recruit. I couldn't see anything, but there was this gagging sound.

I knew the assistant DIs had no idea what to do, because it was their job to back up the senior, who was choking a recruit to death.

Then the senior DI stood up and picked up the recruit by his neck and turned him loose.

"You all right?"

The recruit coughed a time or two and finally said "Yes, sir!".

"Then don't be eyeballin' while I'm talkin' you f***ing retard!"

I thought to myself "This is so cool! We can legally choke people out!"

Of course, when you leave the marines you're to act civilized, like all that stuff never happened. But it was just too much fun making people think I'm stark raving mad.

You gotta think about this. I learn that religion is crap, so there's no authority there, and then I find out that government legally permits you to be totally immoral anyway!

And they wonder why sociopaths are increasing in this country.

The Painful Truth said...

Ralph said...

"I told her I was an asshole when we met, I have been fully consistent with that statement"

Yep, same here and my girlfriend knows it. She was warned...

Purple Hymnal said...

Thanks, Betty, it's been a slice! I look forward to purchasing and reading your books in the near future. (I hope I can get the parent I'm still speaking to, to read them, as well But not holding my breath on that one....)

For James, and Ralph, I have a question. Why, for you, is "asshole" the easier default, than goodness? You are both Deists, surely that implies you would be more beholden to something resembling the ethics of reciprocity, than not.

That said, I can certainly empathize with the mindset, as we are (as Ralph so correctly susses out) children of the church. I believe this hard-bitten, "me against the world" attitude is a result of the indoctrination of the church, no matter what anyone says.

As you both have pre-cult personalities, were your personalities inclined towards this confrontational, xenophobic perspective to begin with, and the church's teachings just exacerbated that? Or do you think that attitude can be discarded, along with the rest of the junk from the church?

I know which answer I lean towards, but as I have no (zero, zip, nada, zilch, bupkus) "pre-cult personality" to fall back on, xenophobia (sometimes bordering on agoraphobia) is something I wage a daily battle with, and always will. Some days I lose the battle, but overall, I feel I am (mostly) winning the war.

Still, regardless of whether or not you believe morals and compassion come from an external source besides the mirror neurons in our brain, don't you two get tired?

I do. I get tired, trying to make the effort to connect with a humanity I was cut off from, for most of my formative years, and I get tired from instinctively falling back to my default surliness/coldness, when I am unwell or tired or just plain fed up or I just can't muster the energy up in myself to fight the overwhelming feelings of "the world" and "the worldly", and how I was conditioned to react to those concepts, which are, on the face of it absolutely 100% false. Try telling that to my gut reaction though.....

Take these ramblings with a huge grain of salt...I have been ill for a few days, and have not slept properly.

Tony said...

The Painful Truth said:

"Tony, don't you have family, friends or co-workers that are Christian? How do you react when they start in with the religious talk? Hit them, tell them to fuck-off?

It is the way you respond to others that are of different opinions that reveals to others what you are made of. It is called tolerance, and without it the world gets to be a very nasty place."

How I react to friends and family who are religious depends on how extreme their views are and the context in which their views are presented.

A forum that presents itself as a help to survivors of religious abuse such as we experienced, yet allows extreme views like those expressed by Bob certainly gives an impression that it is tolerant of religious abuse.

Tolerance of religious abuse was a huge problem with the culture of Worldwide. I encourage you to ensure such tolerance doesn't exist in this forum.

Ralph said...

Purple, those are really insightful questions, and I hope you're feeling better.

I think my "me against the world came long before the WCG, and I'm sure that what HWA wrote certainly drew me in that direction because he seemed to be telling me I was important asan individual, which of course is what all good cults do.

My great grandmother helped raise me. She was nearly 100 when she died in 1961. She had vague memories of the Civil War, and came from a time when storytellers were the main mode of entertainment and education.

Her daughter had married a very wealthy insutrialist. She stayed with them most of the year, but during summer they did some world traveling and exploring France, Africa etc, so my grandmother stayed with us.

One summer when I was 4 years old, she presented me with a piece of cardboard with red ribbon lace through holes punched in the cardboard. It had strange symbols on it. She handed it to me, and I asked what it was.

"Magic" she said. "With the se marks, once you recognize them, you can have access to all knowledge".

Me, I was excited. I wanted to know all about this magic. She explained to me it was the alphabet, and before the day was out, I recited it to her without missing a letter.

She had ulterior motives. She was going blind with cataracts, which at that time had no successful treatment. I was to read the bible to her each day.

By the time I started school, I was handling words like "Nebuchadnezzar", and the teacher hands me the "Dick and Jane Reader".

She discovered the first day of school I can not only read, but read quite well. She further realizes I know the multiplication table, which my father, trained as an engineer, taught me.

What bothered her weas that my early placement test had shown I would have learning disabilities, and her class was a remedial class for kids who still weren't potty trained.

"Why did you do so poorly on your test?" She asked.

"They said I would be placed in school according to how well I did, so I figured that if I did really bad, they wouldn't place me at all".

From that day, I was teacher's pet. She took me to the library, where I was stupified at all the knowledge on all those shelves! She allowed me to check out books, but I couldn't take them home with me.

She let me proceed at my own pace, and tested me according to my skill level.

I loved school!

The next year was different. I was informed I would go no slower and no faster than the other kids, and it didn't matter what myt skill level was, so I found entertainment from seeing what I could get away with, which shaped my "me against them" for most of the rest of my life.

Ralph said...

Oh, Purple, we both know that the ethics of reciprocity come from evolutionary beginnings. BF Skinner was a good study on trhis idea, with his theories of Operant behaviorism.

He quotes Jefferson, who stated that "that government governs best which governs least", but then goes on to point out that it governs best only if there are contingencies in the environment to ensure ethical and moral behavior. Control those contingencies, said Skinner, and society behaves like sheep.

Why, in a system that creates such groups, as the JWs, SDAs and COG splinters would I want to practice a turn the other cheek reciprocity?

That's just a collectivist religious scam, along with Billy Graham fundamentalism for getting us to bend over a little farther while they insert the joystick.

"What's in it for me" is avery valid moral question, one i find that most women simply don't like, because they like to believe they have exchanged their identity for something of value, especially in religion.

The Painful Truth said...

Purple said...

"Still, regardless of whether or not you believe morals and compassion come from an external source besides the mirror neurons in our brain, don't you two get tired?"

No I do not believe that morals and compassion come from an external source. When I use the word "Deists" to describe my own mindset, I am not promoting doctrine or a god. I just see the big picture different than the atheist or agnostic.

If you fall back into your shell, (coldness) and considering your description of fatigue, you may just be falling into a depression.

As to getting tired of this, sure I do. All it takes is a couple of days off to refresh.

The Painful Truth said...

Tony said...

"Tolerance of religious abuse was a huge problem with the culture of Worldwide. I encourage you to ensure such tolerance doesn't exist in this forum."

I gave Bob the chance to tell his story. I don't agree with his decision to go back into religion but it is his choice. At some point everyone stops tolerating and pushed back. That point has not been reached with Bob.

However with "Neo," now that guy was getting close. I thought he was going to call for genocide against atheists and agnostics at some point.

Ralph said...

Purple brings up the marvelous things called mirror neurons which I found fascinating in the study of Artificial Intelligence(AI).

There's a good short video(about 7 minutes 45 seconds) at:

You will see two talks by this gentleman at that site, both well worth the time.

Many have taken the Cambrian explosion, with the sudden emergence of life forms, and combined that with the development of mirror neurons to quickly shape civilizations into a kind of moral/ethical complex by which we learn empathy.

These powerful "connector values" in civilization, however, led to the development of copying ands reproduction as extensions of what Dawkins calls the genetic replicative algorithm. Repitition, standardization, minimized change in behavior, all the things that support the strategy of the genes to both reporduce with minimum change and control their surrounding environment.

This allowed for the development of mechanical processes, which allowed for war-making, since men who learned to act in disciplined concert could defeat less disciplined warriors on the field of battle.

It is said that the need for such disciplined formations as the Phalanx in war led Alexander to encourage homosexuality, as it is much easier to cover your partner's ass if you also covet it.

Such behaviors, shaped rapidly by mirror neurons, driven by narcissistic extensions and the proselytizing zeal, destroyed individual responses that would have led to more intelligent adaptation by variation.

Entropy is accelerated, a destructive bottleneck is reached, and an entire civilization dies from overspecialization.

If an idea of "God" is introduced that is contrary to natural organizatioal tendencies, that promoted "disconnector" values to balance the "connector" values, morality would take an increasingly individualist turn, forcing us to actually see ourselvs as "me against the world", which I will argue is the most necessary part of our moral development. Not a step backwatrds, but a step forward in evolution.

In a culture focused strictly on individual empowerment, however, the female will have a different "take" than the male.

Purple Hymnal said...

Yes, I recommend the TEDTalks by Ramachandran, as well as Jill Taylor's description of her stroke. There is a powerful testimony in her speech, as to how the religious process is absolutely a part of the neurological wiring of the brain.

"In a culture focused strictly on individual empowerment, however, the female will have a different "take" than the male."

Still having trouble with your girlfriend, Ralph? My condolences, I hope the two of you can work things out. Thanks for your well wishes regarding my health, I am feeling somewhat more myself, now that I have gotten some hours' sleep!

Ralph said...

She loves me. We arre so much alike it ain't even funny. Mirror neurons!

My "dream woman" if I ever found her, was to be a woman who finished my sentences, spoke my thoughts, k new what I was about to say before I said it.

I found her, and now the silence is deafening!

We argue and end up laughing at each other, so we're fine.

When I met her, she was devastated by the fact that her second husband had raped her daughter by her first marriage. Not only raped her, but repeatedly, and then told the little girl that he would kill her mother if she told. He was a pedophile, and it took her awhile to find out, but not before sever emotional damage was done to her little girl.

My girlfriend's father had died, her step-mother was living hundreds of miles away, and she was caught in a family of low-lifes that intimidated and threatened her if she tried to prosecute her pedophile husband.

She was so frightened and intimindates she didnt know where to turn, for fear that her husband's family might kill her or her daughter. She wqas stalked, watched, and her son by her second marriage was literally kidnapped to live with her husband's family.

To top it off, her daught, emotionally damaged and in rebellion, was bringing violent men into her mother's house and having sex with them. The daughter blamed her mother for not steppng in and doing something, but how could she? She didn't know until it was too late.

I never knew any of this when I met her, but we hit it off so well, she began to tell me what was going on, how se was living in fear from everyone she knew, no protection. These people were known to be crazy and the neighborhood wanted nothing to do with them.

I hadn't been out of the corps long, had just finished my war with the marines in a court martial, and I looed up toward heaven and said "thank you God! Another fucking challenge! Oohrah!"

Her ex-husband committed suicide when he realized she was going to prosecute and he wasn't going to get away with it. Her in-laws didn't bother her any more, because they also knew I was crazier than them. I told her daughter and son that if they didn't wish to live with her, that was between her and and them, but when they were in her house, they would respect her or leave through the front door, whether it was open or not.

That was about 18 years ago. the daughter was too emotionally damged to ever strauighten out, and she decided she was lesbian, not a surprising decision considering.

The son? he has two daughters and a son, and is a deputy sheriff in a neighboring county.

he started lifting weights and got strong enough to bench press 470 lbs, just so he would be big enough to kick my ass. He never did. We had a talk, and I reminded him that I gave him a reason to focus on something that made him better and stronger. I used the "boy named Sue" strategy on him. He began to work, study, and got his degree in law enforcement because he hated me so much he was actually willing to make something of himself if necessary just to prove himself better than me.

We look so much alike that people swear I'm his real dad. His children adore me.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Ralph, thanks for sharing with us. The more I know about you, the more I respect you -- Like I woiuld respect a Wyatt Earp, etc.

My Phyllis gets a little short tempered with me once in a while too, but we deeply love and respect each other. She's pretty much been an atheist all her life and sees my constant involvement in things like this as more religious waste of time. She regards it as a compulsion I guess.

You and your lady be happy.

Ralph said...

Thank you, Allen. Wyatt Earp? Not real sure about him.

Purple Hymnal said...

Gotta confess my own "sins" here I guess; the reason I spend so much on time on ex-CoG forums is precisely because the church is never, ever (and I mean EVER) discussed in my family, except in the vaguest of terms (or in derogatory terms). So, since I didn't really have an outlet for re-examining all the shitty things that happened to me when I was a kid, when it came time to do so, I turned to the Internet. Going on four years later, I'm still here.

Hasn't it been a waste? Nah. I think I've reached a lot more understanding about myself, and why I am the way I am, because of the church, and other factors.

Remind me to tell you the story about what the Freemasons did to me, when I was a kid, sometime...Not quite on a par with what Ralph's girlfriend's ex did to her and her kids, but it will still curl your ears....

Byker Bob said...


I really did not state anything that you wouldn't hear for yourself if you happened to walk into just about any mainstream Christian church this coming Sunday. Probably some of your family, neighbors, and friends hold to the same beliefs, and they may even be praying for you as we speak. I find nothing scandalous, or outrageous about that.

Healing comes in many forms. Excision can be one macro, but getting in there and receiving healing on a microscopic or cellular level is generally more beneficial. That's what I discovered after years of weird and hopeless travel through the dead ends of the maze.


Allen C. Dexter said...

Where else are we going to find others to interact with who have been through the "fire?" It's therapeutic, no matter how we were involved or where we are now.

Veterans reminisce with old buddies about the things only they truly understand and their hidden pain, guilt, etc. We're much the same. I got to sort it out a bit in my book and during my month on the blog.

Does it change anything? No. It just makes it easier to put it behind, to a point, and one has that perpetual hope that what we say will be a help to some other person.

Ralph said...

It is a form of rape, even if you're male. It is a trauma, and you have to go through a kind of mental massage to relieve it the same as a massage of a physical trauma.

I read once that ytou can find healing generally in about three years if you just find people who will listen, but if you actually hire a psychiatrist, it will take just 36 months.

I was engaged to a psychologist who worked with Sid Simon, a gentleman who wrote a book called "Values Clarification" and went around giving week long seminars on how to overcome emotional traumas.

MY ex-fiancee got me a free weekend with him, but I kept falling asleep while he was talking, and I never paid attention to him anyway. Most of what he said I should be doing I was already doing, and I told my fiancee if he was going to change me, he first had to show me why I was wrong.

My fiancee said he had a Christ-like presence, and I said "Screw that. Been there, done that."

Most everything he taught is in Ayn Rand's stuff, and I already had all her books. My best impression is that those assholes are out there trying to program people's behavior so they can fit in. I already done all the fitting in I plan to do.

You might see why my ex-fiancee and I lasted exactly one year.

The Painful Truth said...

Ralph said...

"My fiancee said he had a Christ-like presence"

Like Tony Robbins. An asshole without portfolio.

Ralph said...

Tony Robbins is basically HWA's "Seven Laws of Success". If you want to be successful, kiss up to those who are successful.

What if you just want the wife, tweo and a half kids, and a house with a white picket fence, and to be left the hell alone?

Isn't done that way. You must believe, because the religons and governments of the world needs converts. Christia nity must convert new believers, because new believers make excellent customers for the credit based banking system.

Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple, and now the moneychangers run the temple. If you render to God that which is God's, you have to get Caesar's permission.