Norah, the world class scam artist!

I have been very thrilled to see that my blogs about Norah the World Class Psychic have caused many people to be sceptical, and to reject her offers to psychically solve all their problems.

Just for fun, I replied again to her advert, using the same email address as before, but a different name. Guess what? I received exactly the same pile of horse- shit as before!

As if that’s not funny enough, she has started sending the very same “psychic predictioms” to someone called Nolan, at my email address!

BEWARE FOLKS!! Norah is a fraud, it’s plain and obvious! Do not send her money! You can continue to receive her emails if you want to see just how far she goes trying to separate you from your hard-earned bucks, but PLEASE don’t be tempted to pay her anything, or provide her with your bank account details!

If you are trying to get a refund from her, I suggest approaching your bank directly. I think your chances of getting a refund from the Frenchman who trades as Norah are remote, to say the least! I would love to hear from anyone who was successful…

A Plea to Wealthy Christians

 

I have just finished reading a book of “Atheist Responses to Religious Arguments” by Frank Butcher. It’s pretty much a confirmation of what I know already, but one of the last points the author made really got me thinking.

Why don’t wealthy christians give away their wealth, as the bible requires them to do if they want to go to heaven?

In the parable of the rich young man, Jesus is said to have declared: “Go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come, follow me.” Mark 10:21

and “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven” Mark 10:25

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we shall be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” 1 Timothy 6: 6-10

Clearly the new testament, which is the bit of the bible christians really approve of, is in favour of poverty. The above are just three of many admonitions to the godly to be happy with the basics and not crave wealth.

“blessed are the poor”

And yet, the world is full of super-rich christians! Some of them are “spiritual leaders” who preach the gospel of prosperity – they claim that the bible teaches that financial blessings are the will of god, that faith, positive speech and donations will always increase one’s material wealth (especially donations!)

A good example is that of Oral Roberts, whose Methodist healing ministries reached millions worldwide. He performed hundreds of crusades, and claimed that he could raise the dead. His organisation raked in $120 million a year and employed 2 300 people, at its peak.

Roberts was a pioneer of TV evangelism. In January 1987 he announced that unless he raised $8 million by March, his god would kill him.

 

His passionate pleas and crocodile tears earned him $9.1 million…..

He’s dead now – maybe he wasn’t making enough money to satisfy his god towards the end there 🙂

Even when times were tough, Roberts continued to wear silk suits, diamond rings and gold bracelets – which were airbrushed out of publicity shots by his staff. (Reed Christopher (15/12/2009) “Oral Roberts Obituary”, The Guardian, London.)

Spreading the gospel has been a VERY profitable business for other evangelists:

  • Benny Hinn’s healing crusades earned him in excess of $200 million a year, with a personal salary of over $500 000. He flies around in a private jet, and has a generally lavish lifestyle
  • Joyce Meyer reportedly earned $900 000 a year back in 2003, thanks to her ministry
  • Kenneth Copeland refuses to tell anyone how much money he makes out of the god-business, but it’s obviously quite a bit because he owns a $20 million private jet, and lives in a mansion the size of a hotel.
  • Creflo Dollar (name says it all) made $69 million in 2006, but refuses to divulge his financial records because he is “concerned for the privacy” of his donors.
  • The list goes on and on…

These preachers lead tax-exempt organisations in the USA, and take full advantage of their “non-profit” status. Obviously, their followers are either unaware of how much money their “spiritual” leaders are making out of them, or they are simply turning a blind eye to the facts.

Copeland’s website, for instance, in his “Financial Accountability” section, merely lists the PERCENTAGES of income spent on the various parts of his ministry – NO actual figures are mentioned anywhere that I could see.

Oral Roberts Ministries “financial report” shows EXPENDITURE, but not INCOME! Sorry guys, that’s not a financial report – that’s you trying to hide the facts.

Benny Hinn’s website actually lists financially relevant questions, such as “How does your ministry spend its money” and then links to a page that tells you what they spend it ON, but not how much they receive, or the amounts they actually spend.

So much for transparency and telling the TRUTH!

So, what about the ordinary, wealthy christian? Do they feel any compulsion to give away their wealth? Especially now, supposedly just before the “rapture”

to be sure of their spot amongst the eternally worshipful and subservient in heaven?

Many christians give regularly to charities, which is very commendable. It doesn’t make them any different from many muslims, jews, buddhists and atheists who all feel compassion for our fellow man, and don’t have any problem supporting worthy causes.

Fortunately, as a Humanist (and atheist), I make my own choices. I am not bound by someone else’s ideas of what’s right or wrong. I’m especially not bound by the “supernatural” ideas of ancient nomadic desert dwellers, and their descendents. I choose to support secular charities such as the National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa. Unlike the TV evangelists, the NSRI really does save lives, every day!

Bill Gates. a well-known atheist, has set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and personally donates a large proportion of his wealth to the Foundation, which does very good work in the fields of health, education and agriculture all over the world. Their audited Financial statements are on the web, completely transparent, for anybody to examine – a nice contrast to the charlatans listed above!

Interesting to note: the Gates’ Foundation’s motto is “All Lives Have Value.” This is an atheist/humanist viewpoint, as opposed to the christian or muslim viewpoint that if you’re homosexual, for instance, you have no right to marriage, children, and at the extremist end – life itself. (Or if you’re a muslim, it’s okay to kill innocents in the name of Jihad.)

Please don’t say “Oh, but that’s the EXTREME view, normal christians don’t think that!” Here’s something to think about:

  • the bible specifically forbids homosexuality, and if you believe the bible, then so should you – even though that view is abhorrent to any rational person – because it is the Word of God
  • extremists don’t just pop out of the air – they start out as normal human beings, are thoroughly indoctrinated as children, and grow more extremist the deeper they get immersed into religion
  • extremists are the ones who follow the bible to the letter – especially the old testament which condones slavery, rape, murder, and other heinous crimes against humanity.

 

In my opinion it’s entirely up to you, the individual, to decide how to spend your hard-earned money. I think it’s most important to take care of yourself and your family, save for your retirement, and enjoy your life. If you have money to donate to charities, by all means do so if you want to.

However, if you’re a christian, and truly want to follow Jesus, then I guess you would feel differently? So, Wealthy Christian, are you going to give it all away – the land, the houses, the cash and jewellery – or hang onto it until death do you part?

What Would Jesus Do 🙂

 

 

“Miracle” vs Medical Marvel

The South African media is brimming with excitement over the “miracle” of the 3-year-old girl, Pippie Kruger, who has received a massive graft of her own cloned skin, which appears to have been a success.

Doctors at the Garden City Clinic, in Johannesburg, have been treating this little girl ever since she was burnt over 80% of her body on New Years’ Eve – a liquid fire-lighter her father was using exploded, setting Pippie on fire, and leaving her with terrible burn wounds over most of her body.

Since the accident, Pippie has had 45 operations, kidney failure and five heart attacks. She survived – thanks to the wonderful care she received from Doctor Ridwan Mia and his team at the Clinic.

A few square centimetres of healthy skin from her groin (which was protected from the fire by her nappy) was sent to Genzyme, a biotechnical company in Boston. They cloned her skin, growing it in thin sheets. These were flown to South Africa last week and transplanted onto Pippie’s body in a gruelling operation. The little girl has been heavily sedated and immobilised, and tonight some of the bandages were peeled away. The cloned skin remained in place – much to the relief and joy of Pippie’s parents, the medical team, and all who have been following this story.

Dr Mia appeared on TV news tonight, glowing with happiness and relief, and excited to tell the country the fantastic news – and what did the interviewer say?

“It’s a miracle!”

Well no, it’s not.

It’s the result of medical science. Doctors, clinic, biotechnology company, researchers…. and Pippie’s healthy body (before the accident)… are responsible for the success of this ground breaking surgery. Doctor Mia and his team displayed great strength, skill and determination.

There is no need to assume a god or gods had any hand in it. If a god or the gods, assuming they exist, were in the slightest bit interested, wouldn’t he/they have prevented the fire-lighter from exploding? Wouldn’t he/they have taken steps to ensure the child was not burnt over 80% of her little body?

And, it’s no good saying Pippie’s pain, the suffering she has endured and will surely endure for years to come, is all part of some divine plan. What plan could possibly justify doing such a terrible thing to a totally innocent child and her parents?

All credit should go to the medical team, Doctor Mia, the Garden City Clinic, Pippie’s parents, and to Genzyme – it is an insult to imply that a supernatural “miracle” is responsible for saving this child’s life!

Jenna the astrologer tries to sell me her “reiki grid”

 

It’s quite a lot of fun to subscribe to an astrologer’s newsletter, to see how far they will go to sell you their particular brand of bullshit.

A while ago I subscribed to Jenna, at aboutastro.com. Naturally, she was SO PLEASED I contacted her, because she could instantly feel a strong connection to me. (The connection is so strong she doesn’t realise I’ve given her a false name, address and date of birth!)

Of course, “Jenna” is not a real person, just a name given to a marketing ploy. My responses to her “amazing” predictions about my future and assumptions about my life (ie “You’re a DAMN FRAUD, Jenna!”) were countered by “It’s so nice to hear from you Dear, I would love to help you but I need you to pay me first.”

So, I gave up trying to get a reaction and just allowed “her” to continue sending me emails, to see how silly it would get….. I was not disappointed 🙂

On May 10th I received another long, friendly, and very personal e-mail, telling me how wonderful I am, and how close she feels to me, how focussed she is on me, how she will always be at my service and be my very best friend.

AND, because she loves me so much (or at least, the person I’m pretending to be), she has made a very special Crystalline Reiki Grid for me. In her own words:

I want you to know that all of my attention and my vigilance is focused on you and I will always be at your service. I will not hesitate to tell you if a certain change or significant event is set to occur in your personal astrological configuration. Cherise, you can fully count upon my devotion. I will be here for you and I will be your friend and your astrologer.

I really wanted to produce a ‘Crystalline Reiki Grid’ for you, a grid which comes from a very ancient technique which I have now been using for a number of years with a great deal of success. I began this work very recently. This work aims at producing a very beneficial and positive magnetic influence and brings protection, chance and opportunity to the focus of of it’s energy through the interaction of a range of powerful precious stones. There is no magic or sorcery in all of this. We now know that magnetism exists as it has been proved by scientific techniques and it is certain that this energetic field can have extremely beneficial effects. The technique of the grid has existed for thousands of years and is extremely efficient. To give you a little more idea about what this means, the Grid is a way of arranging stones in a sacred geometric pattern. What is great about the Grid is that this pattern is then activated by a connection with a ‘line of light’ through the stones so that they radiate an energy field which then reaches out to the person the grid is destined for. I normally offer this work to those of my correspondents which I feel closest to and to those I want to bring very strong positive energy. Today Cherise this means you. To make this grid work properly for you and so that you get the best out of it’s influence, all you need to do is to concentrate on the photo which I have attached to this email. The grid will then be ‘activated’.

And here is the Grid:

I can see some quartz, and some other bits of rock, one or two of which may be ferrous, and therefore magnetic, placed around a two-coloured crayon pattern drawn with a compass. The note on the right refers to energy (always a dead give-away they don’t have a f*cking clue what they’re talking about), colour frequencies, vitality, balance and, of course, CHAKRAS!

The “line of sight” through the stones is supposed to generate the “magnetic energy field” that’s going to reach out and change my life when I concentrate on this accumulation of Scratch Patch left-overs. Really? How does that work EXACTLY?

I keep looking at it, but nothing is happening. Why not? Because some guy’s hastily assembled, badly photographed, badly written bit of woo is not going to convince any rational person of its magical powers, that’s why not!

Are there really people who buy into this utter crap? How crazy do you have to be to think there is some method a handful of common stones arranged on a kid’s drawing can generate an “energy field”? And then, assuming that “energy field” is activated and streaming at you from your PC or iPad’s screen, how exactly does it vitalise, balance and energise your chakras – which are themselves a load of self-delusional bullshit?

Just for the record, for those who aren’t already aware of the basic facts of reality and live in some fuzzy world where placebos rule their lives:

  • bits of stones do not generate energy fields, unless they are magnetic or radioactive
  • a magnetic field around a piece of iron is of very limited size (unless it’s a HUGE magnet) and such a field cannot and will not radiate out and change your life
  • there’s no such thing as a sacred grid. The above is a simple geometric drawing a 6-year-old could do without any difficulty. The “sacredness” is in the head of the humans who invented it.
  • staring at this picture may relax you, take your mind off your troubles for a while, even make you feel good if you are that way inclined. It will NOT change your environment or your life – you have to do that for yourself.
  • chakras are not real.

The bottom line, once again, is you should not be taken in by people claiming to be able to help you change your life with astrology, chakra-healing, reiki-healing, aura-healing or any other “alternative” ideology. They count on people’s hopes and dashed dreams to make themselves a nice little profit out of your gullibility.

Your life will only change, if you need it to, when you take control and make the changes happen for yourself.

 

I would like to repeat something I wrote in my post about Auras:

Try living each day as though it might be your last and ENJOY IT!  Love deeply and strongly; appreciate the kindness you receive, and give as much as you can in return; learn about the real world so you can understand why things happen – and tackle your problems head-on, instead of cowering behind irrationality;  be compassionate towards your fellow Earthlings – human and animal. Most of all – LOVE YOURSELF! Appreciate yourself, you are actually a Good Person :-)

Breatharianism: Just a lot of “hot air.”

Inedia (or Breatharianism) describes a person who does not eat or drink – ever.

These persons claim to live on prana (the highly energetic condensation of light.) This is apparently only possible when one has reached a higher state of Consciousness. It is supposed to be a step on the way to attaining perfection on the path of spiritual self-development.

This is a religious tradition – certain Catholic saints, Buddhists and Hindus claimed to have gone for long periods without any form of nutrition, and survived.

In the case of the Catholics, they apparently ate only the eucharist (the bread and wine that represent the body and blood of Christ.) As they were obviously eating something, we can count them out of this discussion.

The famous Buddhist example is Ram Bahadur Bomjon, who wanders around followed by strings of devotees, sits in pits and meditates, and apparently does not eat.

Discovery Channel filmed Ram for 96 hours continuously and did not observe him eat or drink (or move) during that time. Ram did not show any signs of dehydration, even though a normal person would die from kidney failure after four days without fluids.

In Hinduism, there are accounts of saints who “live by the rays of the moon and sun.” (Impossible in the case of the Moon as it does not emit its own light, it merely reflects the light of the sun and the earth.)

Jani

More modern examples, such as Therese Neumann (another Catholic who allegedly survived for years on nothing but wafers and alcohol – big deal, that is not air!), Prahlad Jani (65 years without food – just the nectar dripping from his palate…sounds like a serious case of post-nasal drip) and Wiley Brooks.

74-year old Mr Brooks is a nutcase of a particularly high order. The Breatharian Institute of America site promotes Mr Brooks’ seminars “The Empowered Ascension” and “Immortality” workshops.” For a mere USD 1 000 000.00 Mr Brooks will explain to you how you can clear your past life karma and negative energies, in preparation for the Ascension which will occur in March 2013.

I wish these crackpots would coordinate their dates…..exactly WHEN is the world going to end? Can SOMEONE give me a definite date please??

The list of famous Breatharians is fairly long, and the philosophy is a whole pile of New Age-y religious crap. The book “Life Style without Food” by Joachim M Werdin, downloaded for free, makes for very disturbing reading. Why does anyone buy into this delusional nonsense?

In the cases that were tested, like Jani, the observations were made over days, not years. I will concede that if a person is well-nourished they could survive for a few days without food and water, longer with some water.

It is impossible for a human being to simply decide to change from being a food-eater to a light-energy synthesiser. You can wish, and wish, and lie to yourself as much as you like – but you just can’t do it, sorry. After a few days you will need some water if you don’t want to die.  And after a few more days, you will have to eat some food.

Or you will start to look like this:

And after that, you probably will die, as some who have tried this Consciousness Raising Exercise have done already. People who encourage others to follow these insane ideas tend to deny responsibility for the deaths that occur.

They say that you must take responsibility for your own life – so if you read their book and believe their claims that you will reach a higher cosmic dimension if you sit and stare at the sun without food or water for days at a time, and you ultimately die, it’s your OWN FAULT!

Back in the real world, the cult of Breatharianism has been debunked – thoroughly, and not just once. A quick google search throws up dozens of examples. James Randi has been especially effective at demonstrating that Breatharians are lying about living on light – they eat and drink. You just don’t get to see them do it.

I feel sorry for people who are so desperate for a better existence they would try something like Breatharianism. The recent case of the Swiss woman who starved herself to death in this way  proves that this is an ongoing problem. Only rational thinking and education will put an end to these dangerous ideas.

Faith versus Medical Science

The husband of a colleague of mine has been very ill, and was admitted to a hospital yesterday for tests. I understand he has seen various doctors already, including a neurologist, but there has been no definite diagnosis as yet.

It sounds as though he might have had a stroke, or be suffering from epilepsy, or possibly a tumour – I’m not a doctor, so I can’t speculate. He was admitted to quite a good hospital, they ran some tests, and have decided to transfer him to a better hospital in Pretoria, for further tests. His doctors are obviously taking his plight seriously, and are investigating every angle. I truly hope they can find out what is wrong, and treat him successfully – for the sake of his wife and children.

I asked my colleague today how she was handling the stress, and during our conversation she got quite emotional… who wouldn’t be emotional in her situation? I tried to reassure her, telling her she should be grateful for the doctors, nurses and hospitals, for the sophisticated medical equipment and treatments available – they will do everything in their power to diagnose and treat him.

(If he’d been born in the Middle Ages, he might have been subject to all sorts of horrendous “treatments,” any one of which might have killed him! Blood-letting was particularly popular….. Fortunately, medical science has evolved since then!)

Sometimes an illness is too far advanced to be treated successfully, and sometimes there is no known cure…. Holding back her tears, my colleague said “All I can do is have faith in God to help us.”

That got me thinking: why would anyone think that God can make a difference in this situation? If God cared, wouldn’t he have prevented her husband getting sick in the first place? If he was powerless to prevent the illness, couldn’t he have used his omnipotent superpowers to guide the doctors to make a quick diagnosis, instead of putting this family through this torture?

Of course, the True Believer will respond that this man’s illness, and the pain and anguish of his wife and children are all part of some “Divine Plan.”

I can’t imagine what Plan would consist of such cruelty – clearly this god is a bit of a sadist – but assuming that is correct and there is a Plan of some sort – what point would there be in praying to him for help? He clearly has his mind made up already!


Here’s an interesting thought experiment: take 100 religious people and 100 non-believers. Inject them all with a bacterium which is normally fatal. Isolate each group on a separate island, with food and shelter, and give the atheists the antibiotic known to be effective against the bacterial infection.

Don’t give the religious group any antibiotics – instead send out a worldwide news release, asking people of the same religious persuasion to pray for the religious group to be healed by their god. Naturally, there will be a massive response and the heavens will positively ring with the desperate prayers of the faithful.

Come back to each island in 3 months time, and count the survivors.

Any guess as to which group will have the greatest number still living?

Most people would admit that the group of non-believers would have the most survivors, because the gods don’t really answer prayers. (Ask any religious person you know if they would volunteer to be in the religious group, and I can guarantee they will come up with a really good excuse to not participate!)

My colleague would be better off putting her confidence in the doctors and hospitals who are actually DOING something to help her husband. These people and institutions are REAL  i.e. they can be shown to actually exist

You don’t have to have “FAITH” in them. You can hate and distrust them if you want to. They will still do their very best, apply their knowledge and experience, use their diagnostic tools, and try to help regardless of how you feel about them. They don’t need you to worship them. They WANT to cure your illness, and all they ask is to be reimbursed for their time and skill.

If you need to be convinced of the terrible HARM that can come from relying on faith that a god, any god, will heal you – read this! You can pick up any newspaper on almost any day and find similar stories. Faith is not an effective medical treatment!

I’m not referring exclusively to the christian version of faith healing here – most religions claim that their god has the power to heal, and works through humans, animals or even inanimate objects. (Even bits of rock are supposed to be able to heal – see my article on the Atlantean Power Crystals.)

I feel deep compassion for people who are deceived by faith healing. It’s not their fault – they have been brought up to believe it. They have probably never heard an alternate view – and even when they do, they tend to reject such views outright because they have invested too much in their religion already. It’s a hard habit to break, apparently.

Here is a video by Derren Brown, which explains how faith healers deceive people into believing they have special powers.  Here is James Randi’s expose of Peter Popoff who received radio transmissions through a wireless earpiece during his healing crusades, feeding him information about the audience who had filled out prayer cards before the performances….. Fortunately, this charlatan is no longer in the faith healing business!

Trickery and fraud by faith healers has been exposed many, many times – read James Randi’s excellent book “Faith Healers” for more infamous examples. If so many faith healers are using these tricks, how do you know if any one faith healer really does have Special Powers?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!

So far the evidence is stacked high and wide against faith healing.

Supernatural claims are outside of the realm of scientific study, but some scientists have tried to measure the effects of prayer and found them to be largely absent or negative. I found some interesting articles, mostly reaching similar conclusions:

“Meta-studies of the broader literature have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is “no discernable effect” while a 2007 systemic review of intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had “small, but significant, effect sizes” but the review noted that the three most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings.” from Wikipedia

Prayer is often credited with rather unmiraculous benefits, such as recovery from heart surgery which would most likely have happened anyway, especially if the patient is in intensive care, receiving medication and expert nursing 24/7.

I think the real “miracle” is the dedication of the nurses, the intelligence of the doctors and the persistence of the researchers. We are living in an age of amazing advances in medical science – why does anybody bother with the Sky Fairy and his Associates?

Auras – another way to heal?

I have a young friend (who shall remain nameless), who is firmly convinced he can see people’s Auras –  a colourful glow, like a halo, emanating mainly from the head but sometimes from the entire body. My friend has to concentrate really hard, staring at someone intently for a minute or two, until the Aura appears.

Now I don’t know about you, but that sounds exactly like a simple after-image to me – like when you stare at a green dot on a piece of white paper for about a minute, then look away and see a red or pink after-image which gradually fades away. It’s a very common optical illusion caused by retinal fatigue and other natural processes related to the visual system and the brain.

Stare at the green dot for 30 seconds, and then look at a blank white wall.

When I mentioned this possibility, my young friend gave me a “Look” and told me he had once seen a man at an ice-rink who was surrounded by a huge, multicoloured, pulsating aura – and that was no after-image!

So, what exactly are Auras, why do some people claim to be able to see them, and what significance do they have – if any?

Auras are yet another New Age phenomenon – an “electromagnetically-generated” colourful series of outlines that emanate from all living creatures, from bugs to bears and everything in-between, and reflect the metaphysical life force / energy /chi / soul or whatever you decide to call it.

Human auras are said to be generated by the chakras – 7  flower-shaped or wheel-like “energy structures” within the human body. These are strategically located – outside the head, between the eyes (the “third eye”), in the throat, the heart, the navel, the last bone of the spine, and the “tip of the sexual organ.” (Here we go again – it’s so MALE-centered! What happens if my sexual organ doesn’t have a tip? I’m a woman – we aren’t built like that!)

You will notice that they are illustrated in order exactly corresponding to the colours of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – with the Indigo corresponding to the third eye. I wonder if this has anything to do with “Indigo Children”? An interesting question I will leave for another post!

Apparently you need Special Psychic Powers to be able to see Auras (I bet Norah has it down to a fine art!)

Robert Bruce, an Aura Expert, says:

The human aura is both an energy field and a reflection of the subtle life energies within the body. These energies make us what we are and in turn are affected by our surroundings and life style. The aura reflects our health, character, mental activity and emotional state. It also shows disease – often long before the onset of symptoms.

And exactly HOW do we read an Aura? By the pretty colours! Bright Yellow is Sunny and Exhilarating, Green is for Healing and Teaching, Blue is Peaceful and Contemplative, and so on. Actually, that’s a bit too specific – there is rough agreement on what the primary colours mean, but the more subtle colours are largely left up to the psychic’s imagination.

Assuming you think you may be clairvoyant, how do you conduct an Aura Healing Session?

  • It is best to work in daylight, and to remove your crystals from the room because they may interfere with the electromagnetic field of the aura. (Good idea to turn off the Telly too.)
  • Stand your subject in front of a white background, and look at their side – left or right side, it doesn’t matter
  • After a while you will start to see their electromagnetic energies as “wavy lines of energy”
  • You may notice two or three colours in the aura. You can use your own intuition to decide what those colours mean – there are no hard and fast rules, so you can gaily make it up as you go along. You will undoubtedly still get paid.
  • If you notice any holes in the aura, these may indicate illness, or “imbalance” in the subject’s body
  • Feel free to take a wild guess as to what that illness might be, and inform your subject that they have an emotional problem that is causing this illness
  • Ask them if they are willing to be healed – at the soul level first – if not, the problem with the aura will revert back to a different part of their body
  • Assuming you have laid it on thick, and they acknowledge that their soul is indeed sick, you can start moving your hands around slowly in their aura field, mingling your aura with theirs
  • This will balance their chi / life force / energy field / soul and heal whatever was ailing them
  • Or not.
  • Be careful not to give any guarantees that this “healing” will actually heal anything – a clever disclaimer in fine print at the bottom of your advertising is normally sufficient.

So, the question is – are these people simply deranged, or is there evidence that auras exist and can tell us what the psychics say they can?

I have a few problems with the whole concept:

  • The aura-generating chakra structures have never been found or demonstrated to exist is any way. Yes, I know people have believed in them in one form or another for centuries – but that doesn’t make them actually, physically REAL. Attempts to link the chakras to the human endocrine system (as suggested by the famous psychic Edgar Cayce) have never been verified.
  • Chi / life force / body energy fields have likewise never been shown to be anything other than imaginary. Remember, widespread belief is no guarantee that it’s actually THERE. (The same applies to the myriad gods people have ardently believed in and fought wars over for millennia.)
  • The electromagnetic fields in the human body are tiny, they don’t protrude beyond the body, and there is no evidence they can be interpreted as indicating anything about one’s personality or state of health. They are simply the result of natural biological processes: nerve impulses and your beating heart.
  • If there was an internally-generated electromagnetic field around your body, you couldn’t use a hand-held compass – and yet clearly you can!
  •  Visual phenomena such as auras can be explained without resorting to the  supernatural or metaphysical.
  • Photos of auras can be faked, or generated using galvonometers or Kirlian photography (which both react to moisture on the skin.) Here is an excellent explanation, by Joe Nickell of CSI.

In all my reading and exploration of subjects such as auras, labyrinths, astrology, psychics, religion  and so on, it has become very clear to me that many people are searching for control of their lives.

We live in a rapidly changing world, with so much happening that affects us, but that we cannot control. Climate change, economic recessions, poverty, pollution, natural disasters, viral pandemics…

Are these irrational belief systems not just a way of coping? Trying to bury one’s head in the sand and hoping it will all just go away? It seems to me that people are trying so hard to divorce themselves from reality because the hard truth about our existence is too much for them:

  • the fact that medical care and hospitalisation is expensive and sometimes unsuccessful, and that there are some diseases we don’t yet have a cure for – so they reject scientific medicine and instead pray for divine intervention, or turn to reiki, aura healing, chakra therapy, reflexology, magnetic therapy and the like. (Isn’t it hilarious that when they’re in a car accident, or have a heart attack or a stroke they are 100% in favour of scientific medicine!)
  • the fact that their parent, partner or child is dead – so they go to a psychic to try to contact them, or get comfort from the idea that they will see that person again in Heaven. (They never consider that their Loved One may have ended up in that other religious invention – Hell)  (Hell must be a very empty place – all those demons sitting around playing cards, picking their teeth with their pointy sticks… )
  • the fact that they have no control over what could happen in the future – so they turn to astrology, reading their horoscope every day for “guidance” pulled out of someone’s backside
  • the fact that they will inevitably die – so they turn to religion in the hope of an afterlife (in Heaven of course, never in Hell)

All of the above will cost you time and money, and will not make a jot of difference. You may feel better, but nothing will have really changed….

I have a suggestion:

Try living each day as though it might be your last and ENJOY IT!  Love deeply and strongly; appreciate the kindness you receive, and give as much as you can in return; learn about the real world so you can understand why things happen and tackle your problems head-on, instead of cowering behind irrationality;  be compassionate towards your fellow Earthlings – human and animal. Most of all – LOVE YOURSELF! Appreciate yourself, you are actually a Good Person 🙂


You can do all of these things without help from any gods, or psychics, or quacks. You can do them because you WANT to – not to score points towards an eternal reward, or to avoid an eternal punishment.

And when you are on your last legs you will be able to look back at your life and smile – free from worry over those non-existent demons, and happy in the knowledge that you won’t have to spend eternity worshipping a megalomaniac egotist with a seriously sadistic streak!


Bees in the yard? You need a Sangoma!

Africans, especially South Africans, are very superstitious. Long before Christianity invaded the continent, Africans worshipped their ancestors – and in spite of Christianity’s best efforts (or maybe because of it) they still do.

“Appeasing the ancestors” was cited when bulls were slaughtered outside each new FIFA World Cup stadium in 2010. Yes, that’s right – blood was shed so that the South African football team could win a few games of football….


 

 

You may have noticed that they didn’t do very well, barely scraping through the first matches and coming nowhere near the Finals. Clearly, the ancestors were not appeased by the bellowing of the bull, his legs bound, having his throat slit by a cheetah-skinned witch doctor with a rusty knife.

When the ANC (African National Congress, the ruling party in South Africa) opened its Centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein in January, our President had to put on his skins, shells and feathers and perform the bull slaughtering ritual to please the ancestors. Unfortunately, the President is a bit old, and a bit unfit to carry the whole gory process through to its terrible conclusion. so a younger man had to do it. The ancestors were obviously not pleased by this either – the 1 million government-issue condoms supplied for the Centenary celebrations were withdrawn (pardon the pun) because they were all full of holes….. So much for “Protection!”

(As an aside: Why do they need to supply 1 MILLION condoms for a supposedly dignified political party to celebrate its 100th Birthday? Could those men who were planning to screw their way through the whole thing not have brought along their own condoms?? How lucky did they think they were going to get, anyway??)

This last week, the family of a dead South African singer, Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo, were told by a Sangoma (witch doctor) that they were to bring a pure white goat into Johannesburg central, to be slaughtered, to please the ancestors. This Sangoma said the singer was not in fact dead and she knew where to find him (even though he had died as a result of drinking a potion supplied by a different Sangoma in 2009 and been buried before their eyes).

Sure enough, a young man appeared, claiming to be the dead singer – and THOUSANDS of South African fans rushed to see him. The police had to be brought in to control the crowds! Never mind the fact that the imposter looked nothing like the dead singer, had a different name, and admitted that he couldn’t even sing! The family bought his story of being held captive as a zombie by witch doctors for the past few years – hook, line and sinker. One of the dead man’s wives even shacked up with the imposter!

Unfortunately for him, we have such a thing as DNA and finger-print identification. He has been identified, arrested and charged with fraud.

Such is the level of superstition and gullibility among South Africans – they are quite open to the idea that a man can rise from the dead…. Oh, wait a minute…I suppose that includes most Americans, a large number of the conservative British, and some older Europeans too.

And, this very weekend, a Sangoma in East London is performing her magical appeasement of the ancestors, murdering another hapless white goat. Why? To rid a woman of some bees that have set up a hive in a tree in her garden! That’s right folks – the ancestors can control the bees too.

So, what exactly is a Sangoma? She, or sometimes he, is a traditional “healer” who diagnoses illness through divination. She uses “muti” made from roots, herbs, bark, animal and HUMAN body parts to cast spells, perform rituals and tell fortunes.

A Sangoma realises she is being called to the Craft after suffering some illness such as a headache, stomach ache, neck or shoulder pain, or has a psychotic episode. She then goes to Sangoma School where she learns to respect the ancestors, how to gather and use muti, she bathes in the blood of sacrificed animals, and on graduation gets to sacrifice her own little goat and wear its gallbladder on her head.

We have about 200 000 Sangomas in South Africa, and they are the healer-of-choice for most of our population (80% of whom claim to be Christians, by the way). When you go to a Sangoma to diagnose and treat your illness, there will be loads of chanting, dancing, drumming and burning of plants to summon the ancestors. When the ancestor invades the Sangoma’s body she will go into a shamanistic trance, speaking in tongues and doing other scary stuff. If you’re lucky she may just “throw the bones” or interpret your dreams to tell you what’s wrong with you, instead of scaring the shit out of you with that whole spirit possession thing.

Once the ancestors have revealed to her what you’re suffering from, and figured out how to treat you, she will give you some muti – “medications” of sand, plant and animal origin, imbued with “spiritual significance” and symbolism – and send you on your way.

Unfortunately, these remedies are among the leading cause of unnatural deaths in South Africa. Even children are fed these “medicines” and die horrible deaths as a result. EVEN WORSE is the fact that men, women, and especially little children, are MURDERED to provide Sangomas with their muti!

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TRUTH IS:

  • Sangomas are not medically trained in any way
  • they are not qualified to diagnose anything
  • they are not qualified to treat anything.
  • Their “remedies” are at best harmless herbs, but at worst FATALLY POISONOUS untested concoctions.
  • Ancestor worship is pointless. Your ancestors are dead, they do not communicate with you through psychotic women in self-induced hypnotic trances!

What’s the Harm?

  • Thousands of dead people with sand and herbs and crushed body parts inserted into various orifices?
  • Little boys and girls murdered in the veld with their eyes, lips and genitals cut out?
  • Women raped and murdered and their breasts cut off?

Do you need to hear any more?

Superstition, witchcraft, religious ritual and trade in human body parts… and all in the name of legally sanctioned “Traditional Medicine.”

This superstitious practise is so pervasive that Medical Aid societies in South Africa may soon be forced to pay their members out for visits to a Sangoma, and employers will have to accept “sick notes” obtained by employees who visit a legally registered Sangoma.

Many South Africans believe that muti is a better treatment for HIV/AIDS than anti-retrovirals (ARVs).

However, there is a danger of drug interactions if an HIV sufferer uses herbal products while taking ARVs, and the ARVs may be less effective as a result – but some believe this is just a conspiracy to undermine “traditional African medicine”. In spite of the clinical evidence, they would rather believe the promises of their Sangoma than those of their properly qualified medical doctors. Sometimes they stop using ARVs in favour of herbal “medicines”, or delay starting ARVs – much to their own detriment.

It’s no wonder southern Africa has  the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world….

Poverty and a terrible lack of education will ensure the Sangomas stay in business. The steady legitimising of the craft, and its acceptance in wider society as some kind of New Age shamanism, will also ensure their survival.

Will rationality ever prevail in a society like this one?

I sincerely doubt it!

 


Atlantean Power Crystals

A few days ago, I received an email from a local store which sells Atlantean Power Crystals. (They were also selling their beat-up old car and looking for a home for their equally beat-up old cat.)

The email asked if I was a Past-Life Atlantean, and if so, my Atlantean Crystal was calling me to come and collect (buy) it. My crystal and I would continue our special relationship – I had already programmed it in my previous life on Atlantis. I should keep it with me at all times and talk to it as I would to my plants. If I had to take it off for any reason I was to lay it carefully on a little pink satin cushion underneath some sort of paper re-charging pyramid. My crystal will guide me through the coming worldwide 2012 change of consciousness. It possesses a special energy that will heal me and protect me.

That sounds certifiably insane!

I immediately banged out an email to the lady selling these marvellous crystals, with a couple of questions: where do the crystals come from? How will I know which is the one I programmed myself back in Atlantis? Tell me all about the coming change of consciousness? How does crystal healing work?

The lady’s response was not encouraging – she wanted my phone number, so she could phone me to discuss my questions. Well, I certainly didn’t want to have a conversation with this nut-job, so I responded that I was uncertain about the feelings I was having about the crystals and I didn’t feel I was ready to talk just yet. Could she not just give me some information, so I could mull it over?

Of course, there’s no way she was going to commit her madness to paper – so I had to leave it at that.

Reluctantly, I turned to the internet to find out more…

Atlantis was a mythical land which Plato wrote about in 360 BCE in “Timaeus” and “Critias.” He claimed it was a land that lay beyond the “Pillars of Hercules” (often taken to mean it lay in the Atlantic Ocean, to the west of Africa) and sank into the ocean in a “single day and night of misfortune.”  Few people took the story seriously until modern times, when it became a symbol for all great lost civilisations. Plato describes Atlanteans as a military nation, but they have come to be viewed as much, much more….

A “psychic,” Edgar Cayce, claimed that Atlantis was the size of a continent, and lay between the Azores and the Bahamas. Its people were highly evolved – having ships and aircraft powered by “Energy Crystals.”

(Unfortunately for Cayce, continental drift has proved that there cannot have been a continent in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in the geologically recent past.)

Others have suggested sites such as within the Mediterranean Sea, Antarctica, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean…. lots of speculation, but no evidence that Atlantis was anything other than a legend.

Until now, that is, with the discovery of the Power Crystals!! Although you and I may see them as simple quartz, quite pretty, but nothing special, the Past-Life Atlanteans believe they can be used for healing, and to store information and energy.

Atlanteans apparently used them to transmit audio and video over great distances, just like modern day television! They used crystals to communicate with God, and to heal their Aura. The misuse of these powerful crystals led to the downfall of Atlantis – so be VERY careful when you put it down on its little pink cushion, don’t bump it whatever you do!

Life Technology can create their own Power Crystals by “incorporating the toroidal power of implosion, orgone energy, phi harmonics, tensor fields, sonics and ultrasonics, visible and invisible light spectrum energy and most crucially a unique energy template within the crystalline matrix of the Atlantean Power Crystal.

These crystals supposedly have the power to:

  • heal and recharge the human electromagnetic field
  • emit neutrinos, enabling the correction of intracellular frequencies (Bollocks. Neutrinos are only emitted by radioactive decay or nuclear reactions, and penetrate straight through matter without interaction – they certainly won’t interact with the cells of the human body)
  • enable centrifugal reorganisation of the chakras
  • dissipate harmful cosmic rays from outer space
  • make food more nutritious and water positively energised
  • send and receive love and light
  • give access to the universal language of the body of light, for bilocation, translation and multilocation functions (WHAT does that actually MEAN???)

The list goes on and on, and each claim is more fantastic than the last. What is missing is any evidence that any of this really happens (except in the mind of the reincarnated Atlantean)

One of these is Archangel Metatron, Lord of Light! (Exclamation mark is his.) He claims that 2008 began the unlocking of the great Atlantean Crystals, held for over 12 000 years in dimensional seal within the magnetic complex of Arkansas. They will align with other sleeping crystals all over the Americas, and many have already come to live within this crystalline vortex which will be fully in place THIS YEAR! Yes folks, 2012! the Guardians of Sirius B are preparing for you to join them….

The man obviously belongs in a padded cell…. It’s all completely made-up Bullshit of the highest order. If you manage to read it all the way to the end without your head exploding, I’ll send you a lollipop 🙂

SLIGHTLY less bonkers is Crystal Wings where your Crystal Companion is waiting for you. Powerful tools for healing and transformation, Ruby Lavender Quartz, resonates with your High Heart Chakra, resonates with the Seventh Spiritual Ray (a unique frequency and quality of the Divine,) brings in the Divine Feminine (passive, intuitive, receptive – it would be wouldn’t it.) and carries a Trinity of Colour.

The Temple Baby, a big pointy, faceted pink crystal will set you back a mere $800. A small price to pay in the pursuit of spiritual ascension and divine purpose!

If you prefer to carry your cosmic ray deflector around your neck, a Ruby Lavender Quartz pendant in a 14 carat gold setting will also empty your bank account of $800. They’re not shy are they?

2012 promises to be quite a year, by all accounts: If we don’t all get wiped out by the non-existent planet Niburu which is currently “hiding behind the Sun”, the Magick Crystals will cause a portal to open up to a new dimension, maybe all the way to Sirius B.

Those of us whose elevator goes all the way to the top floor can relax. Be assured, these portents of disaster are no more likely than all those that have come (and gone) before.

Should A Christian Consult A Psychic?

Let me state right at the beginning that I am not a christian, I don’t even spell christian with a capital C. (I USED to be a christian, but that’s another story.)

However, I do think quite a lot about religion, because it is such an important facet of society, and I like to think I’m fairly well-informed on the subject.

So, when one of my christian colleagues tells me she knows an “incredible psychic” she wants me to see (to overcome my scepticism of all psychics) my first reaction is: Should this person, who believes in an all-knowing, omnipotent god (note, no capital G) be consulting someone who claims to be able to see the future using paranormal powers?

As far as I am aware, this is a very un-christian thing to do. Aren’t they supposed to have faith that their god already has their future all planned out and is taking care of them, and whatever happens will be for the best because it is “God’s Will”?

Don't you trust me??

The christian god doesn’t like his followers to consult fortune-tellers and psychics. His own holy book has numerous passages such as:

  • Deuteronomy 18:10-12
  • There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord
  • Leviticus 19:31
  • “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.

To an interested observer like me, that seems pretty clear!

Assuming we can agree that the christian god has declared consulting psychics, fortune-tellers and mediums to be verboten, the question is: why do so many practising christians do it? There could be several reasons:

  • they have never properly read their own holy book, so they don’t know they shouldn’t be paying some charlatan to contact their Auntie Emily from Beyond the Grave to tell her that her cat just died and will be joining her soon (As if she didn’t already know!),
  • they have read the book but they don’t think it applies to them – so it’s okay to pay a fortune- teller to look into their future – perhaps the tall, dark stranger really is out there, just waiting for you to come into his life, if you cross that lady’s palm with silver….
  • they know it applies to them but they don’t care – which means they don’t take their own deity seriously. Apparently, that course could lead to eternal damnation – fire and brimstone, guys in red latex body-suits with pointy sticks and all that?
  • they DON’T SEE THE HARM.

Let’s examine that last point.

Psychics rely on people’s belief in their apparently “paranormal powers”. People don’t always think critically, so it is pretty easy to fool them using pretty standard techniques. There are many famous instances of psychics cheating – James Randi has written extensively on the subject, and has offered a $1 million prize to anyone who can demonstrate any paranormal ability under controlled conditions. Many have tried, and all have failed.

Psychic con artists take people’s money and feed them lies, prey on their grief at losing a loved one, mislead police investigations and just generally waste everybody’s time.

If you want to read about the harm caused by psychics, please read What’s the Harm? The website draws on reports from all over the world and makes for horrifying, disturbing, often tragic reading.

Here is a very instructive lesson on How To Be A Psychic – do you recognise any of these steps from the last time you visited a psychic/fortune-teller/clairvoyant? You should – they’re commonly used ploys to get you to believe the bullshit they’re about to feed you!

So, should a christian consult a psychic? Should anybody? What do you think?