Friday, March 30, 2007

Offspring Murder Club: Honorable Mention

BlackSun journal has brought to my attention the Godly works of Eunice Spry, a Jehovah's Witness devotee who systematically abused her 3 foster children over a 19 year period:

Eunice Spry, 62, routinely beat, abused and starved the youngsters in her care over a 19 year period. The devout Jehovah’s Witness forced sticks down their throats and made them eat their own vomit and rat excrement. As punishment for misbehaving, she would beat them on the soles of their feet and force them to drink washing up liquid and bleach. Spry, a pillar of her local community in Gloucestershire, staunchly denied all the claims…

“If they were sick (she) would make them eat the vomit and they were made to eat rat excrement.” He said that…they would be “punched kicked and strangled”, [beat with sticks] and if they cried the sticks would be forced down their throats.

Eunice Spry sure has the Offspring Murder Club spirit within her, but it does not look like she actually killed any children. While OMC will consider "foster children" to be "offspring" for the purposes of membership, it cannot waive the murder requirement.

However, all is not lost. In light of her devotion to the lifestyle and mentality of infamous OMC members like Dena Schlosser, Andres Yates, and Samara Spann, and many others, the Offspring Murder Club will give Eunice Spry an Honorable Mention!

I will now leave you with a comment that BlackSun left at this post:

Look into the face of Eunice Spry. It’s the face of every killjoy who ever lived. Every ruthless spinster school principal, prison guard, or camp executioner. Every Inquisitor or witch burner. In Spry, we see the face most likely of a woman who was abused as a girl or worse. Not to excuse her behavior, by any means.

But every authoritarian killjoy is ultimately compensating for their own misfortune or lack of happiness. Do we really think Islamists or Christians would care so much about other people’s sex lives if their own was satisfying? Would Eunice Spry have hurt those children if she had someone or something else to live for?

What we see in the face of Eunice Spry is the death spiral of a humanity long gone. It is the shell of a life consumed by hatred and suffering. The damaged brain of such a person has become a machine working overtime to produce still more suffering. And the religious cover-up is a part of their program. Like a wounded animal who’s cornered, all we can expect from such damaged monsters is as much pain and mayhem as they can practically produce.

They have no other motivation left.

But there are people who consider themselves to be ‘good’ and ‘normal’ who nevertheless contain less advanced elements of this sadistic disease. They are the ones who preach their hatred in the guise of ‘family values,’ and promote disastrous ideas like ‘abstinence education.’ These promoters of scriptural morality without regard to the human suffering it creates are just less extreme victims of the same self-consuming mental virus.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Market Anarchy Carnival Plug

Some of my readers may not know that I am a Market Anarchist, and that I write the occasional political essay at The Radical Libertarian. And some of my readers may not know that Francois Tremblay has put together the first ever Market Anarchist Carnival. There are ten entries in the carnival, which isn't bad for a first edition. There are lots of fine entries to tickle your brain, and make you see government in ways you've possibly never seen it before.

I'm plugging the carnival because one of my essays is in it. The essay describes the burden of proof argument as applied to the state, and how it led to my de-conversion to Market Anarchy.

If you like my writing, or like politics, you should check it out. Come to think of it, check it out even if you hate my writing, or hate politics. You don't get much more anti-political than Market Anarchy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Speaking of Perversion

Since there’s been lots of sexuality-related talk and accusations of perversion at Kill The Afterlife lately, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight an eye-opening essay by the esteemed Dr. Zachary Moore, my fellow writer at the blog Goosing the Antithesis.

The title of Dr. Moore’s post is Daddy’s Little Girls, and it will trip you the fuck out. It involves a ceremony known as a "Purity Ball" which looks and feels just like a marriage, but the differences are quite disturbing. The first difference is that in a Purity Ball, the pledge is between a daughter and her father, and the second difference is that the daughter is pledging her father her virginity until marriage.

They have corsages, tuxes, evening gowns, limos, the whole nine yards. Fortunately, these Purity Balls do not involve a wedding night or a honeymoon. It is quite a creepy concept, and comes off as more than a little "perverse" in my opinion.

Anyway, I don't want to spill all the beans. You will just have to click on the link and read Dr. Moore's essay for yourself.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Frank Walton is a Day Late and a Dollar Short

Frank Walton thinks that he nailed me, and he claims in this post that I dug my own grave because I have repeatedly affirmed that, given the choice of two extremes, I would rather live in a nudist colony than in burkhatown. Frank is a rather confident fellow, I'll give him that.

Frank says that an anonymous commenter "utterly demolished" me in the comments section of my previous post. The anonymous commenter had this to say:

Anonymous said...

LOL! No, I think the question is which would you choose? And you admitted you would rather live in a nudist colony which would include nude kids, ya friggin moron! You admitted it that you'd prefer that, correct? The lesson Frank was teaching you was how many "glib" remarks you make. You finally said something stupid which you obviously regret saying. And now Frank won't allow you to explain yourself so you wouldn't do damage control. Get it, porno boy? Frank owned you. And it's mighty funny how angry you are. I bet a zillion dollars if a 16 year old was enticing you, you'd have sex with her if you could get away with it. And you never refuted the fact that you'd be against underage marriages given your radical libertarian nature. If you allow homosexual marriages why not underage one's? You don't want government to get in the way now, do you?

Frank Walton expanded on the same accusation:

Frank Walton said...

Thank you anonymous (12:12 AM, March 21, 2007) for your comment! Indeed, Aaron has just dug his own grave. I find it interesting, Aaron, that you openly admitted that you would rather live in a nudist colony than a burkhatown. Now, I'm not saying you're a pedophile. However, like a pedophile you think children are better off naked rather than them covering up in a burkha! People like you make it too easy for me.

But I am the one who gets the last laugh, thanks to my esteemed colleague Olly who "utterly demolished" anonymous with his own comment, and consequently pre-demolished Frank's latest accusation before he even posted it:

Frank himself is railing against the sexualization of children, and he's absolutely right, sexualizing children is immoral -- but the problem lies not in the nudity itself, but in the perception of what nudity means in our society. Nudity = Sex in Western Culture because Christianity and other religions hold the human body in such shame. There are many cultures in the world where nudity is not directly associated with sex.

You Christian's really want to eradicate these things you see as immoral? How about working towards a more progressive society, that sees nudity much more naturally and clinically; it's precisely because you object so much, and make it into such a taboo, that nudity at any age is all of a sudden an issue.

Again, I'll speak slowly here so you can understand me, nudity does not equal sexuality, unless YOU YOURSELF equate it that way.

Olly for the win! I couldn't have said it better myself.

It's a shame that Frank is so blissfully unaware that he is shooting baskets after the game ended. I feel kind of bad for him, especially since his latest post makes ample use of big, bold, italicized fonts - a sure sign that he is too sure of himself and his argument (or is that a sign of him "losing it"?).

I wonder how Frank would respond to a Muslim's charge of perversion due to his lack of support for headscarves, or for that matter, burkhas? Frank is completely unable to see the point that I am trying to make when I use the nudism/burkha dichotomy.

Do I want to live in a nudist colony, period? No. Would I rather live in a nudist colony than in burkhatown? Yes. Are nudists pedophiles? No. Indeed, many nudist colonies legally exist in the US today where entire families, including children, peacefully exercise their nudism.

Another fact worth pointing out is that pedophilia is not known to be rampant among nudists, yet pedophilia is known to be a problem for the clergy. I also think that law-abiding nudists would be rather offended by Frank's accusations. After all, Frank's accusations apply even more to those who actively advocate and practice nudism than to myself, who merely said that I would prefer the extreme of nudism to the extreme of burkhas.

My original argument was about gender-based disparity in decency standards, and Frank wanted to strawman me into some pedophilia argument. I actually took the bait, got censored by him, and I still won thanks in large part to Olly, who shot Frank down before he got off the runway.

But one question in my head still remains. You see, so far I'm the only one to answer the "nudist colony or burkhatown?" question. I think Frank should answer it, as well as his Christian supporters.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Frank Walton Teaches Me a Lesson

Update: I emailed Frank Walton the link to this post, and I submitted a comment at his blog with this link as well. While I remain hopeful that he approves my comment with the link to this post, the realist in me doubts that he has the guts to do so.

Frank Walton of the blog AtheismSucks recently posted an entry where he expressed dissatisfaction with Armani's sexualization of little girls. Curiously, Frank included in his blog post one of the pictures of the sexualized girls that he is railing against.

Frank Walton's blog is one of many Christian blogs that I regularly visit. I usually enjoy Frank's rants, and I often post comments at his blog. Sometimes my comments are irreverent, sarcastic, or otherwise trollish. Frank moderates his comments, but usually he approves the comments I submit. Frank and I tend to antagonize each other (as many atheist and Christian bloggers tend to do), but it was usually in good fun. Frank takes jabs at me, and vice-versa, and I enjoyed the interaction.

But in this particular post, things turned ugly. I went into the comments section, and the first comment posted on Frank's blog entry, from an anonymous poster, was this:

Anonymous said...
It's even worse if you look up the armani junior website. I nearly threw up.

I thought about it for a second, and realized that this would be a good opportunity to point out the difference in decency standards between genders. So I posted a comment of my own, which said:

Aaron Kinney said...
Its even worse with the males. Every time I go to the beach, I see countless underage boys with no tops on at all!

It makes me want to vomit like that puppet did in Team America.

While Frank didn't have much of an opinion of the first anonymous poster's comment, for some reason he took issue with mine. Frank replied to my comment thusly:

Frank Walton said...

Really? I'm surprised because the last time we chatted you said, "Anyway, I'd rather live in a nudist colony than in Burkhatown."

Well alright, so it's seeing underage boys naked that makes you want to vomit. Gotcha. So you prefer to see underage girls naked instead. At least they don't make you vomit. I think we understand you all too well, Aaron.

This kind of response is not unusual coming from Frank. At this point, I wasn't upset at all, and I posted a follow up comment. Unfortunately, what I posted is not available, because I didn't save it, and Frank denied the comment. But my follow up comment essentially said that I was trying to point out the difference in gender decency standards and that Frank was putting words in my mouth.

I honestly did not expect Frank to refuse my second comment, for it was a very calm and matter of fact reply. I came back to his blog later to find numerous other comments approved, but my follow up comment was conspicuously absent. At this point, I became a bit miffed. Not so much that Frank was putting words in my mouth and trying to make me look like a pedophile (again, that is not unusual for Frank), but because he was denying my ability to explain my earlier statement or even respond to his charge. And to make it worse, Frank continued to level accusations of pedophilia against me in the following comments:

Daddy Cool said...
Yup, Aaron Kinney is a dumb ass.

Frank Walton said...
Well, seeing how Aaron Kinney is a radical libertarian he shouldn't have a problem with underage relationships or marriages. NAAMBLA ought to give him a call.

Anonymous said...
So Aaron Kinney has no problem with children looking like this? Just perfect.

Frank Walton said...
Well, they're wearing too much clothes even if they look like little skanks. Because in Aaron's world he prefer it that all girls be naked. Apparently, it doesn't make him all that sick to see naked girls than boys.

But even this level of nastiness was not enough for Frank. He decided to take advantage of my own blog's unmoderated comments so that he could slander me there as well. Note that he expected me to afford him the ability to speak in my blog comments while by this point he had refused the same consideration to me. He popped into my previous blog post about parents killing their children due to demon possession and said:

Frank Walton said...
Demon children? Maybe if they were naked it'd make you happier, Kinneypoo.

I had now had enough. I tend to take insults and accusations rather well, especially from people like Frank from who I expect this behavior, but this was simply too insulting and too offensive for me not to act. I decided that my best bet was to write a private email to Frank and try to resolve this like mature adults. So I wrote him this email:

Hey Frank,

This is Aaron Kinney. I am a tolerant person when it comes to jabs aimed at me. I didnt even get offended over your accusation of me liking little girls (would you have taken the same accusation in stride?). But I posted a follow up comment to explain my first comment, and you didnt let it post. You denied it. Then you come onto my blog and accused me of the same thing, in addition to posting additional comments on your blog about me being some pedophile.

Did you seriously think that these deceptive actions of yours would go unnoticed by me? You and I both know that my second comment had no inappropriate material; it was merely an explanation for my first comment. Also, you and I both know that you denied the second comment in order to make me look bad and to prevent me from defending myself and explaining my previous comment.

Please dont be deceptive. Frank, you and I may not see eye to eye, and we may not like each other that much, but I have not -nor would I ever- do something like this to you just to make you look bad. Indeed, I would never deny any comment you post on my blog. I dont even moderate my comments!

In my opinion (and you may disagree) you are lying about me in your blog comments by denying my follow up comment in order to bash my name. It is a sin to lie, even if its about an atheist. You probably dont think that denying a comment is lying, but if your God is real, then he surely is watching you, and I doubt that he would approve of you smearing an atheists name like this and censoring their explanation/clarification.

Logically, just because I said that males would gross me out even more doesnt mean that I like seeing naked little girls. You put words in my mouth. Thats bad enough, but I took it in stride. But when you denied me the chance for clarification by denying my second comment, that really hurt. It was a low blow, and it was uncalled for.

Im asking you as a fellow human being not to be disingenuous like this. Surely it isnt beyond you to treat an atheist with just a little bit of decency. Just because you believe that I cant account for morality or logic doesnt mean that Im not capable of using them regardless, even if I were stealing from your worldview. Im pretty sure that you read my follow up comment, and therefore Im pretty sure that you at least know that I said what I said in order to bring attention to gender inequality. Also, I know that you know that I never expressed any interest in little girls dressing like sluts. You simply put words in my mouth.

Please Frank, have a minimum level of decency here. I have never, nor would I ever, do to you what you did to me today. Im not asking you to not insult me. Im not even asking you not to accuse me of vile things. You can have your fun. But dont lie, and especially dont lie by covering up my follow up comments when Im merely trying to respond to your rather offensive accusation.

I would really appreciate a reply or acknowledgement from you about this. Please reply to this email.

Aaron Kinney

Frank did not reply to my email. Instead, he posted this comment at his blog:

Frank Walton said...
Looks like Kinneypoo is angry because I'm not allowing any of his comments here. Little does he know the rules of commenting here. He'd often give drive-by or flippant "whatever" comments in our blog. And like all immature idiots he doesn't care for a genuine reply. But now that he's been caught in the hop he's doing everything he can to make up for his screw up. And just to make him angry I haven't allowed his comments. I know that's mean but it's funny seeing Kinney lose it.

I'll say this about Kinney - the porno-watching pervert who prefers to live in a nudist colony - he still finds it disgusting that boys would be naked. But then again, he doesn't find it as distasteful as naked girls. But no, oh, no! He's not a pedophile. LOL! You happy, Kinneypoo? But I stand by my words, I don't see how you would have a problem with underage relationships given your radical libertarian views. Just my opinion.

Maybe I'm delusional, but I don't think that my email to him exposed me as "losing it." I think that the email I sent him was calm and reasonable. I offered him a chance to settle the issue rationally, but he opted instead to continue to misrepresent me and put words in my mouth.

He justified his denial of my follow up comment by pointing to his comment policy, but this simply doesn't make sense. You see, many of my comments at his blog clearly violate his policy, yet he allows them to post anyway. But the one comment that didn't violate his comment policy (the second comment I posted to explain my first comment) is the one that he denied. Unfortunately I do not have the exact text of my second comment, but I recall that it was not flippant, trollish, or otherwise in violation of his policy. It was a calm explanation of my first comment. Frank merely denied my comment in order to keep a clear path for his continued misrepresentation of me. What Frank wants to do is engage me while simultaneously denying my chance to respond. But lucky for me, I also have a blog.

Frank was so out of line that even some of his Christian readers came to my defense:

JOR said...
In case people around here aren't just playing stupid, I will say that I'm pretty sure that Kinney's comment was sarcastic.

Beast Rabban said...
Yeah, I think Kinney's comments were sarcastic too, JOR, and I'm sure that Frank and Daddy Cool know it, and are just spoofing his comments.

However, I do think we have to be careful about making comments about people's sexuality in this matter. Child abuse ain't a joke, so let's keep any comments about it for the real perverts.

Beast Rabban speaks wisely in this instance. It is a serious thing to accuse people of pedophilia, and those kinds of accusations should be reserved for serious use only. In response to JOR and Beast Rabban, Frank admitted this:

Frank Walton said...
Yes, I was being sarcastic. You'd have to be a doofus to think I wasn't. But as far as my "libertarian" comment goes, I stand by that.

Frank, (most of) his readers, and even I knew that he wasn't seriously leveling pedophilia charges against me, and it wasn't this accusation of his that upset me. What upset me was his silencing of my responses in order to continue his deceptive actions.

Frank Walton also doesn't seem to mind when anonymous commenters mention things that are "even worse" and how they make him/her want to "vomit." But Frank Walton does seem to mind when I, an atheist, point out something else that is "even worse" and how it makes me want to "vomit like that puppet did in Team America." Frank Walton also does not like to have a level playing field. Finally, Frank Walton doesn't mind posting on his blog the sexualized photos of little girls that he expresses so much disgust for.

Frank later explained his actions in my blog comments:

Look, the main reason I didn't allow your comments was just to piss you off and to teach you a lesson.

He succeeded on both counts. I will touch more on the lesson he taught me later in this blog post. Frank continued:

You constantly make glib remarks in my blog. When you were finally caught on the hop you did all you can to unscrew your screw up. And seeing you go nutts about is quite hilarious...

Well, Frank does almost constantly approve my glib remarks, which surprised me when he denied the one remark that wasn't glib. And unfortunately for Frank, I didn't "screw up," although he tried very hard to make it look like I did. My comment was clearly about gender differences in decency standards, yet Frank wanted to characterize it as an endorsement of heterosexual pedophilia. Nice try. And whether I went "nutts" over it is for the readers to judge, but I don't think that I did. If anyone went nuts, I think it is Frank that did so.

Frank then asked me a few questions:

Do I think you're a pedophile? No. But one things for sure you don't find naked boys nearly as sickening as naked girls? Why is that? If a little 13 year old was strutting around topless like a slut wouldn't that bother you? And seeing how you're a radical libertarian wouldn't you have a problem with a 60 year old marrying a 2 year old? Get real.

Actually, I do indeed find naked girls as sickening as naked boys. Frank still doesn't understand the meaning of my comment. Logically, since society (and I presume Frank) is more tolerant of topless boys than topless girls, it would seem that most people (and again, presumably Frank) find naked girls to be more sickening than naked boys. Otherwise, why do the boys run around with their nipples exposed while girls do not?

And do I have a problem with a 60 year old marrying a 2 year old? Yes. In fact, I have a problem with a lot of things happening in today's world. But Frank doesn't really want to hear my answers. He wants to ask these questions of me and then answer them for me. That is why he is not allowing me to respond to the charges he made against me in his comments. He merely wants to pigeonhole me in order to convince himself that I am guilty of the things he wants me to be guilty of.

At any rate, Frank succeeded in his goals. He wanted to strawman me, silence me, piss me off, and teach me a lesson. He succeeded on all counts.

Although there is one problem. Frank didn't clarify exactly what lesson he wanted to teach me. Indeed, he only said that he wanted to teach me "a" lesson. I suppose any lesson will do, as long as he taught me something. So, the question remains, what lesson did Frank teach me?

Frank Walton taught me that he is a True Christian.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Another Demon-Child Slayer Joins The Offspring Murder Club

The end of the world must be near, because demon children are popping up all over the place. No matter how many are slain, their numbers still seem to be increasing.

Take, for example, our newest Offspring Murder Club member, Samara Spann, who recently plead guilty to first-degree murder. She cleverly deduced that her 6-year-old daughter, Kyeimah, was in fact a "demon," and quickly took corrective action. Samara drowned her demon-daughter in a bathtub and then decapitated her, dumping the body off a bridge. It was the only way she knew of to ensure the vanquishing of the hellchild:

Samara Spann reportedly told a Sacramento friend that she thought her daughter was a demon: "This friend told her that if the child in fact was a demon, that the mother needed to cut its head off."

In Washington, investigators recovered a blood stained carpet. In Sacramento, when confronted with that evidence, the same investigators say the mother confessed to cutting her own child's head off and then dumping it off a bridge.

Samara is a theist, but of a peculiar variety. Samara worships Tupac Shakur:

In court documents filed by Washington state prosecutors, investigators and family members allege Samara Spann was part of a Sacramento cult that worshipped deceased rap music artist Tupac Shakur.

A family friend who did not want to be identified said: "She has Tupac posters, Tupac everything. Like why does she like him so much? ... It was like an obsession."

Apparently Samara believed that Tupac Shakur was the reincarnation of some famous guy from long ago. Samara most definitely qualifies for senior membership in the Offspring Murder Club: Her sanity is in question, she worships a (deceased) alleged prophet, Tupac Shakur, who she believes is a reincarnation of someone else, she obviously believes in the afterlife, and she believes that her own children can be demons, or at least possessed by demons.

And the last thing that 6-year-old Kyeimah saw was her mother holding her underwater in a bathtub.

There are two possible scenarios in regards to the actions of the numerous Offspring Murder Club members. Either their children really are demons, in which case these killings were the proper thing to do, or these children were not demons and these infanticidal mothers were all simply suffering from a destructive and volatile mix of religion and insanity.

Morally, I prefer the former (believe it or not) if only because it would justify these violent killings. But the realist in me suspects the latter.

How long until the next underage soldier of Satan is discovered and dispatched? Nobody knows for sure, but you can be sure that Kill The Afterlife will continue to bring you the latest news in this kindergarten demon army onslaught.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

God is a Lousy Lay

Sarah Silverman confirmed it: God sucks in the sack. But honestly, was anyone surprised that this was the case? It can be safely assumed that the "immaculate conception" of Jesus didn't give Mary an immaculate orgasm. According to the Bible, Mary didn't even know she was impregnated until an angel told her so. I can imagine Mary thinking to herself, "God impregnated me and I didn't even get to do the naked dance. At least He could have given me the reach-around!"

And of course, Jesus was presumably a virgin his entire life, so he didn't get to hone his skills with the ladies. Poor Sarah Silverman, being Jewish, had to find that out the hard way.

And what about sex in the afterlife? Who would want to be in an afterlife populated with virgins and chaste people anyway? I would rather be in an afterlife full of people who know how to have a proper fucking. I've slept with Christians, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, and atheists. I got to say that in my experience the atheists and agnostics do it best, the barely religious do it pretty good to ok, and the extremely devout do it worst. Maybe that's why Ted Haggard went looking for gay hookers? Maybe his wife couldn't ride him like he wanted? And maybe that's why cheating and meth use is higher in more religious communities?

Sean from Blacksun Journal has a good write-up of the whole Silverman and God issue. Go check it out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

MC Hawking

It's about that time for a Hawking rhyme! Representin' Cambridge!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Religion Makes You More Violent

The University of Michigan found that religious texts containing violence (and what religious text doesn't) can increase bloodlust among the faithful:

The authors set out to examine this interaction by conducting experiments with undergraduates at two religiously contrasting universities: Brigham Young University where 99% of students report believing in God and the Bible and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam where just 50% report believing in God and 27% believe in the bible.

After reporting their religious affiliation and beliefs, the participants read a parable adapted from a relatively obscure passage in the King James Bible describing the brutal torture and murder of a woman, and her husband’s subsequent revenge on her attackers. Half of the participants were told that the passage came from the Book of Judges in the Old Testament while the other half were told it was an ancient scroll discovered in an archaeological expedition.

In addition to the scriptural distinction, half of the participants from both the bible and the ancient scroll groups read an adjusted version that included the verse:

"The Lord commanded Israel to take arms against their brothers and chasten them before the LORD."

The participants were then placed in pairs and instructed to compete in a simple reaction task. The winner of the task would be able to "blast" his or her partner with noise up to 105 decibels, about the same volume as a fire alarm. The test measures aggression.

As expected, the Brigham Young students were more aggressive (i.e. louder) with their blasts if they had been told that the passage they had previously read was from the bible rather than a scroll. Likewise, participants were more aggressive if they had read the additional verse that depicts God sanctioning violence.

At the more secular Vrije Universiteit, the results were surprisingly similar. Although Vrije students were less likely to be influenced by the source of the material, they blasted more aggressively when the passage that they read included the sanctioning of the violence by God. This finding held true even for non-believers, though to a lesser extent.

I think this explains quite a bit toward why fundamentalist Christians and Muslims like to shoot guns and blow shit up so much.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Biology of Belief

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has an excellent excerpt of a speech given by Robert Sapolsky (the professor of neurology at Stanford University) on genes, brains, neurological disorders, religion, and how they all tie in together. It is a very entertaining and informative read, so go check it out. Here are a few snips:

Now we have to ask our evolutionary question: "Who are the schizotypals throughout 99% of human history?" And in the 1930s, decades before the word "schizotypal" even existed, anthropologists already had the answer.

It's the shamans. It's the medicine men. It's the medicine women. It's the witch doctors. In the 1930s an anthropologist named Paul Radin first described it as "shamans being half mad," shamans being "healed madmen." This fits exactly. It's the shamans who are moving separate from everyone else, living alone, who talk with the dead, who speak in tongues, who go out with the full moon and turn into a hyena overnight, and that sort of stuff. It's the shamans who have all this metamagical thinking. When you look at traditional human society, they all have shamans.


What I've just been considering is the superstructure of religion--the big building blocks: there are multiple deities, there is but one god and he is Allah, "I am who I am," any version of this--is an awful lot like schizotypalism. Who is it that invented the notion that virgins can give birth? Who is it who first came in with the extremely psychiatrically suspect report about hearing a voice in a burning bush? In most of the cases we don't know much about the psychiatric status of these folks. In the more recent historical cases, we certainly do, and schizotypalism is at the heart of non-Western and Westernized large theological systems.


In the last 30 years we've seen a whole new psychiatric disorder, of people whose rituals take over and destroy their lives. OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. These are people who don't merely find themselves counting when they go up a flight of stairs--these are people whose lives are destroyed by this disorder. They wash their hands eight hours a day. They stop eating most foods because of the conviction of contamination, germs. They get very ritualistic and phobic about entering spaces, leaving spaces. They can't enter a building until they've walked a number of steps that's a prime number. Very mathematical numerology comes through this, and it is an utterly paralyzing disease. This is one of these biological disorders that destroyed people's lives back when, up until 30 or 40 years ago, there wasn't even a word that described this. We can describe it now, and we know a lot about the genetics of this disorder, and the neurochemistry.

Where does this one fit in with religion? There's a remarkable parallelism between religious ritualism and the ritualism of OCD. In OCD, the most common rituals are the rituals of self-cleansing, of food preparation, of entering and leaving holy places of emotional significance, and rituals of numerology. You look in every major religion, and those are the four most common ritual forms that you see.


To get a real insight into this, we have to come back to that question, "Why is there this similarity between religious ritualism and OCD rituals?"

You could say, "It's just by chance."

Or you could say, "There's a biological convergence going on there." It's not random that we're most concerned with rituals about keeping our bodies healthy, our food clean, that sort of stuff.

But another answer in there has got to be, "People with OCD invented a lot of these religious rituals."

Let me give you one example of this. A 16th-century Augustinian monk named Luder for some reason left a very detailed diary. This is a man who grew up with an extremely brutal father, had a very anxious relationship with him, was very psychosomatic-illness-oriented. One day he was out walking in the field. There was a thunderstorm, and he got a panic attack, and vowed, "If I'm allowed to survive this, I will become a monk and devote the rest of my life to God." He survives, becomes a monk, and throws himself into this ritualism with a frenzy. This was an order of monks that was silent 20-some hours a day. Nonetheless, he had four hours worth of confessions to make every day: "I didn't say this prayer as devoutly as I should have. My mind wandered when I was doing this, doing that." The first time he ran a mass, he had to do it over and over because he got the details wrong. He would drive his Father Superior crazy with his hours and hours of confession every day: "God is going to be angry at me for doing this, because I said this, and I didn't think this much, and I didn't do this the right way, and I . . ." until the Father Superior got exasperated with him and came up with a statement that is shockingly modern in its insight. He said, "The problem isn't that God is angry with you. The problem is that you're angry with God." The most telling detail about this monk was, he washed and washed and washed. As he put it in his diary: "The more you wash, the dirtier you get." Classic OCD.

The reason why we know about this man Luder is because we know him by the Anglicized version of his name: Martin Luther.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

God Told Her to Smash Her Sons' Skulls

On mother's day weekend in 2003, Deanna Laney received a message. The message she received was a command for her to kill her three sons, Aaron, Luke, and Joshua.

That message came from none other than God Himself.

Being a woman of faith, Deanna Laney could not resist following God's command, at least not for long. As she kept procrastinating, God warned her that each delay would force her sons to die more horribly. Deanna didn't want that, so she figured the best thing to do would be to get it over with:

Laney knew she had to "step out in faith." She had to trust God, and she believed that God would use her brutal deed to do something great. He had done such things in the Bible. Then when Laney woke up before midnight on May 9, she knew that the time was at hand. She had already hidden a rock in Aaron's room, so she went there first.

Lifting the rock, she hit Aaron hard on the skull. He began to cry, alerting her husband, Keith. He asked what was wrong and Laney kept her back to him to prevent him from seeing what she was doing. She assured Keith that everything was okay. But it wasn't okay. Aaron was still breathing, so she put a pillow over his face until she heard him gurgle. She silently told God that He would have to finish the job.

Next Laney went after her other two sons. She took Luke, 6, outside first in his underwear and smashed his skull by hitting him repeatedly with a large rock. Then she dragged him by the feet into the shadows so that Joshua, 8, would not see him. She left the stone, the size of a dinner plate, lying on top of him.

Joshua was next and Laney repeated to him what she had done with Luke, placing them together in a dark area of the yard.

Afterward, she called 911 to report, "I killed my boys."

When the police came, they found Aaron still alive. He was taken away and it eventually became clear that both his vision and motor skills were severely impaired.

Outside, the police saw Laney standing still in blood-stained clothes. She indicated where she had left the boys and they found the bodies lying beneath large rocks. Both boys had serious head wounds. Laney was arrested, leaving her bewildered, horrified husband to wonder what had happened.

While the secular progressives of the world may condemn poor Deanna, she honestly did what she had to do. God commanded it, and what kind of Christian would she be if she didn't follow in the footsteps of Abraham? The only difference here is that God didn't change his mind just before the weapon fell, but hey, that's God's prerogative. As the forensic psychiatrists involved in the case explained:

...God showed her that if she didn't do this, things would be worse...

...her actions were being directed by God as a test of her faith and that she was giving her children to God at the time she stoned them...

...Laney thought she had done the right thing and "expected to go to heaven for sacrificing her children to God..."

Laney apparently also felt a spiritual connection with Andrea Yates, which isn't surprising considering that God in fact did choose both of them to serve as warriors in His war against the child demon soldiers. It's just like the War on Terror, except that the "terrorists" are now under the age of 10, play with Pokemon instead of AK-47s, and come from your own womb (or seed as the case may be).

Whether you are in the U.S. Army or in God's Army, the old slogan still applies, "Yours is not to wonder why, yours is but to do or die!" And Deanna Laney definitely deserves recognition for her faithful service in God's Army. Deanna did, and her children died. As a result of her heroism, Deanna is now a commissioned officer in the Offspring Murder Club!

Hat tip to Sacred Slut (from A Whore in the Temple of Reason, a blog that I totally just added to my blogroll) and Say No to Christ for filing Deanna's Offspring Murder Club application.