Friday, June 25, 2010

The Octogenarian Breathetarian

Yogi master Prahlad Jani claims to have gone without both food and water for 70 years now.

He says that a goddess to which he is devoted feeds him substance by divinely allowing his nutrition to secrete from a hole in his palate.

I have a hole behind my palate that allows me to get nutrition. I also have a goddess at home (my wife) who often prepares my nutrition for me. So, I don't think Jani and I are all that different.

OK, seriously . . .

He says that he has never passed urine or stool since he was 11 years old-- that's the time when he was compelled to live in the jungle on his own. After which, he experienced a religious epiphany that allowed him to become a "breathetarian".

Jani was observed enduring an extended fast by a medical team in India back in 2003. They kept him isolated in a hospital for 10 days. He was provided with no food and was given no water to drink. He was not allowed access to a bathroom. He was given mouthwash, but it was measured before and after rinsing his mouth. He was allowed a sponge bath in a shallow pan only after the first seven days of fasting. He was monitored during all his activities to ensure he didn't drink any water or sneak any food.

His medical screenings stayed normal for the most part. However, he did have weight fluctuations, his body did produce urine (though it seemed to diffuse out of his badder somehow without any observation of him passing it), and the medical team felt that the activity detected by his kidneys was baffling. He had stomach gases, but no formation of stool.

The medical team says they're only interested in Jani's fasting abilities to the extent that they hope gain insight about possible survival strategies for people under extreme conditions. They are not necessarily trying to disprove Jani's claim of being a breatharian of 70 years.

The medical team feels satisfied that Jani didn't sneak any food or beverages. They cannot explain why his urine came and went. He was not observed using the restroom. (Maybe he dribbled out some during his shallow pan bath. He sat in the pan as he bathed himself).

The medical team can only say that for the 10 days they had him, he was not given food or drink and was monitored by human witnesses and surveillance cameras 24 hours a day.

Jani recently participated in a new study in April, 2010. However, the key members of the medical team were participants in Jani's previous study. This time he was monitored for 15 days. The results seem to be very similar to the first study.

So, how can this be?

I don't know. I have a lot of questions, that's for sure.

He could be a crafty fellow sneaking food a drink here and there. Or, we could be underestimating the power of slowing down one's metabolism with meditation.

One thing is certain-- animals need nutrition. And people are animals, too. Also, people die every day of starvation. A few so-called breatharians have come along and failed in the public eye. And worse, some of their devoted followers have even died trying to imitate the false claims of their masters.

Admittedly, we must explore the power to take the human body to extremes. But extremities suggest that not everyone can expect to experience these results if trickery isn't necessary to achieve extreme results.

I personally think that his meditation practices could allow him to endure long periods of fasting.

But I'm not convinced about Jani enduring 70 years of complete fasting from food and water.

I'm mean, c'mon. Jesus and Moses only got in 40 days and nights of fasting! And they had divine help!

Oh wait. Jani says he has divine help, too.

My bad.

So, what would have to be true for this yogi to be telling us the truth?

And what would have to be true for this yogi to be telling us a lie?

I can't wait to get more information on this one!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Niece is in a Cult (Update)

We called our niece's mom. She doesn't know the number to the pastor or to the church.

Many of the members, including the pastor, live in the same house. But they try to keep the address undisclosed.

I'm hoping that some city ordinance is in place for a church to have official standing in a town or city. With that in mind, I'm going to see if the city knows about this congregation. I'm also curious if their church appears in the phone book. If the city thinks something odd is happening, then it's certainly time to rattle some cages and make some noise about this issue.

I might end up coming out of the closet over this. I won't make any hasty decisions about that just yet. But, we just can't stand around and allow our niece to be sucked in without a fight.

On a side note, I've been playing around with my comment engine. My comments are supposedly importing. If you don't see any of your past comments no need to panic-- yet.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Niece is in a Cult

I have a niece on my wife's side that came out as a lesbian.

A few weeks later, her deadbeat parents handed her over to live with her older cousin who is the paster of a really small congregation.

Funny thing is, people used to speculate that he was gay years ago. Though he's married now, we hear that he doesn't even sleep in the same bed as his wife.

Actually, our niece tells us that she sleeps in the same room with the pastor's (her cousin's) wife. The pastor sleeps in different room all to himself.

My wife called her niece today wanting to give her a gift. But she couldn't give us a time where she would meet us.

She didn't want us to come to her pastor's house where she lives. She didn't want us to meet her in some public place somewhere.

It looks like we'll have to crash one of their church services to see her, apparently.

The goal of this pastor is to "de-gay" her. That was the whole purpose of her parents sending her to this church in the first place.

But my niece was perfectly fine before they came along. She seemed happy and was living out her life. She was making friends, had a girlfriend, and seemed brave about her sexuality.

Now she's in this bizarre stupor and acts very submissive. She has not friends and is cut off from the every day world.

My wife and I are making plans to confront the pastor. Not in a belligerent way, though. We just want to raise some concerns and find out why our niece is behaving in such an odd manner. Why can't our own niece tell us a time that we can meet her to give her a card with a little money in it?! That's all we wanted to do. Why is that so hard?

Why do people treat homosexuality as though it is some evil? People do more evil trying to eradicate homosexuality from people's lives as opposed to letting people simply be themselves.

I believe homosexuality threatens the modern Church because accepting it implies the Bible is wrong. To admit that homosexuality should be regarded as normal means that the Bible is wrong or God made a mistake.

Or that maybe God made people gay on purpose even though the Bible calls homosexuality an abomination. And if the Bible doesn't say this, a great number of Christians certainly think that the Bible says this.

People don't realize that if a baby boy is born and has a high level of estrogen, he can squirt breast milk out of his nipple. On occasion, single fathers have lactated in the extended absence of the mother of their new born child.

Hormones control so much of what we become. Our genes do as well.

That's just the way biology is.

And now my lesbian niece is sleeping in the same room with a heterosexual woman, trying to rid herself of homosexual desires while her so called pastor might be entertaining his own possible homosexual tenancies with his homosexual assistant pastor behind closed doors.

And they call this holiness?

No. This is madness!

Not that she is lesbian or that her pastor is gay-- that's not what makes this maddening. But the madness comes because they run and hide from who they truly are. They lie to themselves and make their lives miserable in an attempt to be something the were not meant to be-- heterosexual. Nothing is wrong with them being gay. Absolutely nothing.

My niece is wrapped up in a cult.

I hope we can rescue her before it's too late.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Good Neighbor

Ever hear the saying? Good fences make good neighbors.

I personally find truth in that comment.

Before I moved into my current dwelling, we took on a mortgage for a home that had been vacant for a while. The neighbor was used to the house being empty and took the liberty to pull through our soon-to-be driveway, across part of our soon-to-be yard, and then on to his own property.

He had a perfectly good driveway of his own. But he used it only as his exit.

We had hoped our neighbor would stop using our driveway. Maybe he'd catch the hint that cars other than his own now occupy the space.

Nope. He would just squeeze through.

That is . . . until my wife hired a landscaper to plant shrubs along the property line.

The look on our neighbor's face was priceless.

He wanted to protest, but what could he say?

I like a neighbor that knows when it's time to go back home to his own property.

Don't get me wrong; doing favors for your neighbor is good. Helping each other out is commendable. Greeting the new person with brownies and cookies is a warm gesture. Those are good things that nobody can honestly berate.

Checking on each other after a nasty storm (Jesusland can have some really inclement weather at times). Loaning out some tools. Giving away some firewood. That's being a good neighbor.

But there comes a point when I want my neighbor to stay next door and stay the hell out of my damn business. So long as I'm not making too much noise, I'm keeping my property neat, and I'm minding my own damn business, I really want to be left alone.

Fundamentalist Christians are like neighbors who don't know where the property line is. They feel like their relationship with God gives them license to ignore the property line and absorb whatever space they feel they can claim for the "Kingdom of God".

A fence creates a healthy and necessary boundary between Fundamentalists and the rest of us. That fence is built by our United States Constitution and is named The First Amendment.

Find a land surveyor and discover where the property line really is.

Friday, June 11, 2010


What happens when you mix atheism with skepticism?

Does it really go KABOOM?

Perhaps the better question to explore is why skepticism has the potential to lead someone to an atheistic posture.

Skepticism is simply shunning belief that is not accompanied by strong, supporting, verifiable evidence. You recognize that you simply cannot afford to take everyone at their word all the time. This realization even encompasses the grand authorities in one's life.

You should endeavor to think for yourself.

Nothing is wrong with consulting people smarter than you. I like to call such people "experts".

But I do not like to label anyone an "authority". The title "authority" implies that such a person not only knows the truth of reality, but dictates truth in an infallible manner.

Experts, in my view, are well skilled in their craft and their knowledge is extensive. They have honed their abilities to a level of professionalism. But they can make mistakes. You should speak up when they do or when you don't agree with their actions. Or when you want evidence to back up what they are saying.

Authorities, in my mind, dictate truth whether right or wrong. They demand you always accept what they say as truth without any proof beyond the simple fact that they said so.

So when someone says that all the nations of the world must believe in God their way and that there is no other way to know God-- a skeptical person defers to doubt towards that specific believer. And that doubt will most likely generalize to that believer's God as well.

When all major religions push to make the world believe just as they do, God's followers start sounding very suspicious. They all cannot be exclusively right. And unless only one religion is right, all religions must yield a little to the others. So then, who has a right to warn others of the coming wrath of their god?

I say that mixing skepticism and atheism is at least a reasonable practice even if skepticism doesn't necessitate a turn towards atheism.

However, I think the real danger is when someone mixes radical Fundamentalism with technology. That seems to be the true formula that goes KABOOM!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The AFA is Right; Not Censoring New JC Show Would Be Unfair

I saw this e-mail today. I'll quote it first, then expound upon it:

Comedy Central set to blaspheme Christ with "JC" show
The Comedy Central network is planning a cartoon series about Jesus Christ entitled "JC."
June 7, 2010

Dear (name removed)

In its promotional material for the program "JC", Viacom describes Jesus as a "regular guy" - rather than the Son of God - and depicts him moving to New York to "escape his father's enormous shadow." The Father is depicted as an apathetic dad virtually addicted to video games and totally uninterested in his son's life.
So Comedy Central is set - unless we intervene - to blaspheme two-thirds of the Trinity on a weekly basis.

A depiction of Jesus on Comedy Central's "South Park" (Courtesy of Comedy Central)See how we expect Comedy Central to mock Christ by viewing this previous offering of anti-Christian bigotry from the show "South Park." Warning - It is offensive, but depicts the animosity the network has toward Christianity.

Yet in recent weeks Comedy Central bowed to pressure from Islamic groups and heavily censored an episode of "South Park" that showed Mohammed in a bear costume. The hypocrisy here is staggering.
Comedy Central shows more respect for Mohammed and for Muslims, who represent two percent of the American population, than for Jesus Christ and the 83% of Americans who believe in him.
We need to send a loud, clear message to Comedy Central and all potential advertisers of "JC" that this kind of insulting programming is completely unacceptable. If we speak with one voice now we can keep this program from ever seeing the light of day.

Sign our petition today and make your voice heard. This petition, with your signature on it, will be sent to the decision-makers who will determine whether this program airs.

At first I thought, "these people have no right to suppress free speech".

Then I realized something else-- the violent, threating members of Islam have already done this when the most recent South Park's depiction of Mohammad was censored on television.

This is not fair after all.

We pick on Jesus because Christians probably won't come together in larger numbers and threaten to murder. One might kill, but a community of Christians won't come together and threaten everyone with misery and death if the JC show airs and offends the majority of America.

But we won't dare say anything about Allah or his (so called) prophet Mohammad (why should peace be upon him? he certainly isn't generating peace upon us after he's been gone for centuries!).

Just that comment above could get me killed if I had a wider audience. I could have this blog pulled because I defamed the name of Mohammad.

Until our society realizes that we need to have the balls to own up to our rights of free speech, free inquiry, and freedom to criticize, then we sure as hell have no business making fun of Jesus Christ without censoring him in the same way that South Park's recent depiction of Mohammad was censored.

We must not forget where we came from. During an era of witch hunts, despotic kings and governors, kidnappers and slave traders, inquisitions, and spreading of religion by dominant force-- a beacon of reason and Enlightenment declared that enough was enough. The people wanted a government that gave a rats ass about the people, a ruler that was respected, but could be taunted, and a freedom to pursue happiness and liberty.

And the people knew that in order to have this, an environment needed to be created where someone could discover controversial truths and express them openly for the ultimate betterment of human kind.

If people can't say something negative or controversial about Mohammad, Jesus Christ, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, or even yours truly, then we will find ourselves too afraid to point out danger when we see it. We will hold on to delusions out of fear. We will dismiss the reasonable when insanity is handed to us. We will fall into a well of ignorance and usher in a new Dark Age.

Mohammad doesn't have the right to do that to us. But until we get that into our heads, we don't have a right to pick on JC while cowering in from of Allah.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Enough Is Enough

Well . . .

Lately, I've grown tired of writing about a god that I don't believe exists.

Why spend so much time talking about something or someone that I don't believe is really there?

I find that I really don't concern myself with god so much any more. Rather, my concern is more so with the actions of Fundamentalists that think I'm a fool for not worshiping him. Or the foolish actions of Fundamentalists that make news headlines.

But this sort of talk is preaching to the choir.

I'll still post things here, but probably not nearly as much as I used to-- which really wasn't all the frequent anyhow.

I'm just tired of writing about this topic. So unless something juicy comes up (which I'm sure it will from time to time), I won't post here much any more.

However . . .

While I've grown tired of writing about religion and non-religion, I have not grown tired of writing or blogging in general.

I've started a new blog spot called Uruk's Black Box.

There, I'll talk about all the other things that are on my mind when I'm trying to forget that I live in Jesusland.

Feel free to stop by if you wish. But audience or not, I gotta have an outlet and my new blog spot is (mostly) where that outlet will be.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Poo-Poo of Our Children

The movement against homosexuals in Uganda is growing worse, despite the fact that the Uganda Parliament still has not passed that horrid anti-homosexuality bill which still remains in limbo.

I used to hear in church a lot, "Love the sinner, but hate the sin".

This is just plain hate.

I had embedded a video here at one time from the former Current TV where an evangelist stated that the homosexuals eat the "Poo-Poo of our children". I thought at the time that was such an outrageous statement and somehow embodied the ugliness of hate mindless hate that people sometimes harbor towards others for no good reason.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Special Agents

Fundamentalist usually regard their deity as the ultimate authority. All law and morality comes from their god and is handed down to all humankind to obey.

That means you-- regardless of whether you worship that same god as someone else or no god at all.

And if God says "do it", it had better be done or you will find yourself trying to defy the laws of reality.

But this authority that God supposedly has . . . how does humankind receive the instructions?

Usually, through one of God's Special Agents.

Special Agents can be apostles, prophets, angels, priests, saints, or messiahs. Special Agents can also be a pastor, priest, bishop, or a pope.

Even a dumb ass can become one of God's Special Agents-- if the situation is just right.

Psychology studies have shown that people tend to readily obey any person they regard as an authority figure. People will obey even to the point of taking actions which are blatantly erroneous, reckless, and even harmful to life!

People can be unquestioning towards a figure which they regards as an agent of authority.

So what do you get when you mix the authority of God with the authority of one of his Special Agents-- and then add in devoted religious followers and an unscrupulous soul?

You get a confidence artist taking advantage of his or her victims.

The confidence that a theist has in his god's authority often extends to his Special Agent. A confidence artist will happily exploit this dynamic for filthy gain.

All at the total expense of the religious victims, er, I mean, religious followers.

But forget about the confidence artists.

How do you ever know that any person (or dumb ass) is truly a Special Agent of God?

If you need an Agent from God to know what God is saying, when does God make it clear that he has sent an Agent to speak for him? I suppose a talking ass is a fairly clear sign. But who has seen a real, talking ass nowadays.

OK, don't answer that last question . . .

At it's worst, organized religion is a huge confidence scheme.

But even when God's Special Agents are sincere and honest, how can you ever know that their beliefs are harmless? How can you be sure that their instructions won't ever hurt you and truly come down from God above?