left biblioblography: April 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006


Lya Kahlo posted The Rapture is Crapture, part 1 at God4suckers.net, and part the second at her blog.

I can only say D'oh!, because I know a thing or two about this nonsense (I once read, in the days of my baroque meritocracy, Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth, a primer for Rapturees). So let's proceed to break this apart. Why? Because there's far more to it than meets the eye.

So, as Samuel L. Jackson said in Jurassic Park: "Hold onto your butts."

First, comes the Apostasy:

"Christians often quote the prophecy in 2 Thessalonians about a coming apostasy:
"Let no one in any way deceive you, for that day cannot come without the coming of the apostasy first, and the appearing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, who sets himself against;" (2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB/WEY).
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints(Mormons) believe that this foretold apostasy, "The Great Apostasy," began with the death of the early apostles and continued into the early nineteenth century.
The apostasy can alternatively be interpreted as the pre-tribulation Raptureof the Church. This is because apostasy means departure (translated so in the first seven English translations). Dr. Thomas Ice, Pre-Trib Perspective, March 2004, Vol.8, No.11.
Signs of apostasy vary widely among many Christian denominations, the most common include:

1. Denial of the Trinity and the deity of Christ;

2. Denial of the deity of the Holy Spirit;

3. Denial of moral absolutes, as found in the Bible;

Some denominations quote Jude and Titus 3:10 saying that an apostate or heretic needs to be "rejected after the first and second admonition." In Roman Catholicism, apostasy is among the offences, which bring automatic excommunication.
In the first centuries of the Christian era, apostasy was most commonly induced by persecution, and was indicated by some outward act, such as offering incense to a heathen deity or blaspheming the name of Christ. (The readmission of such apostates to the church was a matter that occasioned serious controversy.) The emperor Julian's "Apostasy" is discussed under Julian. In the Roman Catholic Church the word is also applied to the renunciation of monastic vows (apostasis a monachatu), and to the abandonment of the clerical profession for the life of the world (apostasis a clericatu). Such defection was formerly often punished severely."

I'd say that the 21st CE covers this adequately.

Then comes the Tribulation (bear with me - this gets somewhat confusing, unless people wear badges)

"The Tribulation (or "Great Tribulation") is an event referred to in the New Testament of the Bible at Matthew 24:21 ("For then shall be great tribulation..." - King James Version) and other passages.
In the futurism view of Christian eschatology, the Tribulation is a relativelyshort period of time where believers will experience worldwide persecution and be purified and strengthened by it. This view was introduced to the modern church by "John Nelson Darby, the father of "dispensationalism, became widely accepted through the notes in the "Scofield Reference Bible of 1909, and was recently popularized through the novel "Left Behind and its sequels.
In the Christian "preterist view the Tribulation took place inthe past when Roman legions destroyed "Jerusalem and its temple in 70 CE, and it affected the Jewish people rather than all mankind. This is a minority view that is growing in influence among certain scholars and theologians.
In the Christian historicist view also, the Tribulation came upon the Jewish people, beginning in 70 CE. An historicist approach was taken by Martin Luther and John Calvin, and prevailed among Protestants from the Reformationuntil the rise of dispensationalism. Some modern historicists see the Tribulation as continuing upon the Jews through the centuries, perhaps culminating in the "Holocaust, and ending with the restoration of the state of Israel or the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control.

The Dispensationalist or Futurist View
While it is considered a period of immense suffering and sacrifice, greater than anything before in history, believers are promised strong faith and powers to help them endure and prevail. Persecution is attributed to the believers rebelling against the "Antichrist and his regime.
The Tribulation is generally thought to occur before the Second Coming of Jesus and the end of the world. Some Christians believe that it will last seven years in all, usually divided into two periods of 3.5 years each. Others believe it is for only a 3.5-year period. The time period for these beliefs is based on the phrases found several places in the book of Daniel, time, times, and half a time," interpreted as "a year, two years, and half a year," and the book of "Revelation, "a thousand two hundred and threescore days" and "forty and two months" (the prophetic month averaging 30 days, hence 1260/30 = 42 months or 3.5 years)."

Tribulation events
Among Christians who hold a futurist view of the Tribulation, there are differing views about what will happen to Christians during the Tribulation:

·Pretribulationists believe that all Christians then alive will be taken bodily up to Heaven (called the rapture or Parousia) before the Tribulation begins. Those who become Christians after the rapture will live through (or perish during) the Tribulation. After the Tribulation, Christ will return.

·Midtribulationists believe that the rapture of the faithful will occur halfway through the Tribulation, after it begins, but before the worst part of it occurs.

·Posttribulationists believe that Christians will not be taken up into Heaven until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation. Immediately after the tribulation ... then "shall appear the sign of the Son of Man [Jesus] ... and he shall gather his elect" (Mat.24:29-31). In pretribulationism and midtribulationism, the rapture and the Second Coming (or Greek, paraousia) of Christ are separate events; while in posttribulationism the two events are identical or simultaneous.

Some including many Roman Catholic theologians do not believe in a "time of trouble" period as usually described by tribulationists, but rather that there will be a near utopic period led by the Antichrist

Confused yet? You should be. Cosmic Baskin-Robbins here: We have five thousand-and-THIRTY-ONE flavors of xtianity (all of whom claim everyone else ain't a 'True Christian' excepting themselves - what a surprise!).

At this point, you're probably asking: "Why should I give two figs from the cursed tree?" or "How does this effect me?", or something similar.

It has been observed (both by me, and many, MANY others) that the current administration is making inroads to kick off the 'End Times', or the End of the World - in short, Armageddon.

Witness the ongoing events in the Middle East. We have Israel (who plays a pivotal role in the oft-quoted, little-understood madman's diary known as Revelation), YHVH's 'Chosen People', pitted against its neighbors, we've invaded Iraq (formerly Babylon), and as Lya notes, we are now going after Iran (read: the Persians and Medes - book of Daniel). In the meantime, we are also witnessing Christian Reconstructionism on all scales of life - an effort dedicated to instituting Biblical laws as law of the land.

This can either be interpreted as

  1. Dominion Theonomy, or

  2. Millennialism

You can flip a coin between these two. It matters little.

The major problem, is not so much as folks believing in the Rapture: we need to be on the look-out for Tribulations. We already got the Apostasy (though that may vary from cult to cult): My big worry is that there's people trying to create the Tribulations (which, as illustrated above, will be a tad more than 'difficult' - it's going to be 'Hell on Earth', according to some).

The worst problem we have here is this: all of this bullshit is based on prophecies that never came true, from a false prophet (I effectively demolished the NT here).

Here's a few more amusements for the discerning reader:

"Secret rapture"
A common interpretation that is quite popular is sometimes referred to as the "secret Rapture". Corinthians says Christians will all be transformed in an instant. Thessalonians says Christians will be caught up. Nothing says humans will be caught up in an instant (and disappear instantaneously). According to the Bible, when Jesus returned to heaven his followers saw him go up. When Elijah was taken up Elisha saw him go up. Some views posit that there is no scriptural instance of a person vanishing instantly, which is what the "secret Rapture" interpretation teaches; however, in the Old Testament, Enoch was "raptured" by God instantaneously: "And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24).
In Russ Doughten's A Thief in the Night, the Rapture was depicted as people disappearing. In Left Behind, it was depicted as people disappearing, but leaving their clothes behind in a pile. If they were driving cars, they careen into other cars upon losing their drivers. The view is echoed in the popular bumper sticker which reads "In case of Rapture, this car will be unmanned." While some of these views may have been popular for many years beforehand, there is no doubt that these movies have influenced some people's thinking on the "rapture".

Oh yeah, that don't sound elitist in the least.

Scriptural basis

"Supporters for this belief generally cite the following primary sources in the New Testament:
·"Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left." (Matthew 24:40-41)
· "[Christ] shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21)
Generally, an elaborate set of predictions about the end times is constructed from these sets of verses, together with various interpretations of the Book of Revelation and the predictions of Christ's return in Matthew 24:30-36. In general, believers in the rapture consider the present to be the end times, and offer interpretations of the various symbolisms in the book of Revelation in terms of contemporary world events."

I call...Cherry-picking!

Oh, and hey! We'll get a wake-up call, folks! Check this out:

God's 40 Day Warning of the Rapture

"A common interpretation that is quite popular is sometimes referred to as the "Dead in Christ". In the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Church at Thessalonica, he told them that before the Rapture would occur an event would take place that would leave no doubt of the impending Rapture:
I Thes. 4:16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first."
This is an event that will mimic an event that took place at the time of Jesus' resurrection and is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, Verses 52& 53: "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which were dead arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
Known dead people will be brought back to life in a 'spiritual' body and appear to living people in . That is the Gospel account of what happened after Jesus' death, and it is what Paul is empathically explaining to watch for when the end is near.
Additionally the Gospel record that after Jesus was raised from the dead He remained on earth for forty days and then ascended into heaven. According to the "Dead in Christ" theory, Paul is explaining that this is the same sequence of events that will take place at the time of the Rapture of the Church. He is demonstrating that the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven is indisputably linked as a foreshadow to the Rapture of the Church. And, because the Church is called the Body of Christ this is said to be the 'Body of Christ' going up into heaven in both instances.
Paul is also saying that from the time the 'dead in Christ' raise from the dead this time, they will stay on earth for forty days [just like their predecessors did in Matthew 27: 52,53] and then they will be Raptured along with those that are alive and waiting for the fortieth day to arrive. The living are waiting for the fortieth day because they knew the warning sign had taken place forty days prior.
And lastly, Paul sets the timing for both the 'dead in Christ to rise' as well as the Rapture when he says that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the Jewish Feast of First Fruits and ascended forty days later. That interpolates into the 'dead in Christ' will rise this time on the Jewish Feast of First Fruits and the Rapture of the Church will happen forty days later. And all that comes together to say that the warning sign for the Rapture of the Church is the 'dead in Christ' rising on First Fruits, a springtime feast."

I wonder if those are 'prophetic' days, or regular ones, hmmmm?

I tell you what: the dead start walking, I most definitely reconsider my position as an atheist. Either that, or I'll do my impression of 'Shaun of the Dead.' But I'm making a prediction here:

Ain't gonna happen.

Somebody might want to call some of the preterists, and give them a head's up, ey?

I don't know about the rest of you, but my head's spinning with data overload at this juncture.

They say, "Watch the skies." I say: Watch those in power. Closely. An effort's being made to make our lives entirely miserable.


Saturday, April 29, 2006


"But there's dragons and beasties out there in the night
to snatch you if you fall.
So come out fighting with your rattle in hand.
Thrust and parry.

Light a match to catch the devil's eye. Bring
a cross of fire to the fight.
And let no sleep bring false relief
from the tension of the fray.

"Come wake the dead with the scream of life.
Do battle with ghosts at play.
Gather your toys at the call-to-arms
and swing your big bear down."
Jethro Tull, No Lullabye

This is a book I dug out of the garage. When did I buy it? Lawyer's page is 1994, probably in 96-97. Why did I buy it? I'd given up most of this nonsense long before. As I fancy myself a bit of a writer, well, religious works provide a wealth of ideas, context, and besides, as I've said before, I dabbled a lot in the occult in my youth.

The title in question is FALLEN ANGELS...AND SPIRITS OF THE DARK by Robert Masello. It's a small compendium of demonology, legendary myths (standard stuff: witches, vampires, werewolves), and the occasional flavor of esoterica.

It's a fun read.

More sources in argument of syncretism. Xtianity borrowed in droves from the cultures around them. Examples:

Beelzebub: the book has this entry:
"When Satan rebelled, he recruited several very powerful seraphim, Beelzebub among them, to fight at his side." - SATAN AND HIS COURT, pg. 25

And yet, we see this, at answers.com (the Wiki entry):
"The source for the name Ba'al Zebûb / Beelzebub is in 2 Kings 1.2-3,6,16 where King Ahaziah of Israel, after seriously injuring himself in a fall, sends messengers to inquire of Ba'al Zebûb, the god of the Philistine city of Ekron, to learn if he will recover. Elijah the Prophet then condemns Ahaziah to die by Yahweh's words because Ahaziah sought council from Ba'al Zebûb rather than from Yahweh."

Or Astaroth - "also rode around on a dragon, but he had only one head - usually depicted as quite ugly - and carried a viper in his left hand. Grand duke of the western regions of Hell, he was also Treasurer of the whole place. The original couch potato, he encouraged men to sloth and idleness. In his spare time, he was guidance counsellor for other fallen angels."

Bill O'Reilly comes to mind.

The Wiki entry has this:
"His name seems to come from the goddess 'Ashtart/Astarte which was rendered in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible as Astharthe (singular) and Astharoth (plural), that last form rendered in the King James Version of the Bible as Ashtaroth. It seems this plural form was taken either from the Latin or from some translation or other by those who did not know it was a plural form nor knew that it referred to a goddess, seeing it only as a name applied to some god other than God and therefore the name of a devil."

Astarte was a goddess of love, supposedly very beautiful. Man, did those Israelites have hang-ups!

Even Dagon (Lovecraft's favorite), the former Phillistinean deity, was relegated to the role as Hell's baker. Or Adralemech, wherein the Wiki entry states:
"In Assyrian mythology Adramelech (also called Adrammelech, Adramelek or Adar-malik) was a form of the Baal, a god very similar to Moloch. To him were offered children, who were sacrificed by being thrown into fire and sometimes eaten. The centre of his worship was the town of Sepharvaim, where he was called Baal Adramelch ("Baal", meaning "Lord", was an Assyrian title for some gods)

Similar to many pagan gods, Adramelech was turned into a demon in Judeo-Christian tradition. According to Collin de Plancy, in demonology, Adramelech became the President of the Senate of the demons, Chancellor of Hell and supervisor of Satan's wardrobe, being generally depicted with a human torso and head, and the rest of the body of a mule (or sometimes as a peacock)."

Can anyone say, "Karl Rove"?

It's not hard to see how henotheism came into play. Conquer the people, and downgrade their gods to the status of demons.

Lilitu (aka Lilith), is a prime example. Originally an Assyrian demon, she was sexually insatiable. Incorporated into the Midrash as Adam's first wife, but refused to take a submissive role in their copulation (translation: "I get to be on top, and yell 'Bingo', asshole!"). As a result, she was evicted, and according to legend, went to Edom, where she had numerous affairs with demons, thereby spawning the lilin (another borrowing here, from the Akkadians). The brats squirted forth were incubi and succubi.

Yeah, fevered imaginations and sexual hang-ups are fertile ground, it seems.

The explanation for DID (disassociative identity disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) is firmly rooted in the dybbuk, touched on a bit in the book, the Wiki entry says:
"In Kabbalah and European Jewish folklore, a dybbuk is a malicious possessing spirit, believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person. Dybbuks are said to have escaped from Gehenna, a Hebrew term very loosely translated as "hell." The word "dybbuk" is derived from the Hebrew ?????, meaning "attachment"; the dybbuk attaches itself to the body of a living person and inhabits it, and must be exorcised by a prescribed religious rite. According to belief, a soul that has not been able to fulfill its function in its lifetime is given another opportunity to do so in the form of a dybbuk."

All kinds of stories. Werewolves, zombies, vampires, standard stuff. Witches and the hunting thereof.

I found two very interesting bits, towards the back. The Navky and Utburd.


"Among the various sorts of ghosts that confronted travelers, few were as piteous as the Navky, haunters of Slavic lands. They were the spirits of children who had died unbaptized or at their mother's hands. Most often they appeared in the shapes of infants or young girls, rocking in tree branches and wailing and crying in the night. Some begged for baptism from passerby. Some-thirsting for revenge against the living, who had let them die nameless-lured unwitting travelers into perilous places. But they were not always human in form: In Yugoslavia, it was said, the Navky took the shapes of great black birds, which cried in a manner that chilled the soul."


"In Scandinavian folklore, Mylings are (supposedly) the phantasmal incarnations of the souls of unbaptized or murdered children. The myling (also known as "utburd") would chase lone wanderers at night and jump on their backs, demanding to be carried to the graveyard so they could rest in hallowed ground. The only problem with this was that mylings would often be enormous, and grow heavier as they neared the graveyard, to the point where the person carrying them would sink into the soil. If one should prove unable to carry an utburd to the cemetery, the ghost would kill its victim in rage."

In short, an interesting read. Easy (one night oughta do ya), but unsettling in some respects.

It is as I've said before: Those who fear the darkness, build walls.

But when walls fail, the wings of fancy take flight, and the imagination takes wing down the darker paths of the subconscious, and the shadows on the wall take sinister shape, the unblinking moon casting shades of fancy upon the naive.

Fear: the fertile playground of the psyche.

Till the next post, then.



Friday, April 28, 2006


Good ole Rush is at it again:

"WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Rush Limbaugh and prosecutors in the long-running prescription fraud case against him have reached a deal calling for the only charge against the conservative commentator to be dropped without a guilty plea if he continues treatment, his attorney said Friday.

Limbaugh turned himself in to authorities on a warrant filed Friday charging him with fraud to conceal information to obtain prescriptions, said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Jail. He and his attorney Roy Black left about an hour later, after Limbaugh was photographed and fingerprinted and he posted $3,000 bail, Barbera said.

Prosecutors' three-year investigation of Limbaugh began after he publicly acknowledged being addicted to pain medication and entered a rehabilitation program. They accused Limbaugh of "doctor shopping," or illegally deceiving multiple doctors to receive overlapping prescriptions, after learning that he received about 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors in six months, at a pharmacy near his Palm Beach mansion."

I'd give him a pass, but for this:

"Before his own problems became public, Limbaugh had decried drug use and abuse and mocked President Clinton for saying he had not inhaled when he tried marijuana. He often made the case that drug crimes deserve punishment.

"Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. ... And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up," Limbaugh said on his short-lived television show on Oct. 5, 1995."

This, I find interesting:

"Limbaugh reported five years ago that he had lost most of his hearing because of an autoimmune inner-ear disease. He had surgery to have an electronic device placed in his skull to restore his hearing. But research shows that abusing opiate-based painkillers also can cause profound hearing loss."

I've never really liked Limbaugh: he's a conceited, self-serving, loud-mouthed lying ass. A Republican whore who spreads his legs for any Conservative President.

It's what I always say: Be careful what you shoot your mouth off about, or it may bite you in the ass.

Now, if there was a god, Rush Bimbo would be going dumb, not deaf. As there is none, I guess we're stuck with this sock puppet, for the nonce.




This really, REALLY gets up my nose.

Of all places, WorldNetDaily (a CONSERVATIVE, RIGHT-WING publication no less, who'd be more inclined to foster the opposite) here: - "Echoing reports made immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, several eyewitnesses claim in a report by London's Daily Mirror that they saw a "military-type" plane flying around United Airlines Flight 93 when the hijacked passenger jet crashed in rural Pennsylvania -- prompting the unthinkable question of whether the U.S. military shot down the plane."

Further down:

"On the Sept. 16, 2001, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press," Vice President Dick Cheney, while not addressing Flight 93 specifically, spoke clearly to the administration's clear policy regarding shooting down hijacked jets.
Vice President Cheney: "Well, the -- I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft."
NBC's Tim Russert: "And you decided?"
Cheney: "We decided to do it. We'd, in effect, put a flying combat air patrol up over the city; F-16s with an AWACS, which is an airborne radar system, and tanker support so they could stay up a long time...
"It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate."
Russert: "So if the United States government became aware that a hijacked commercial airline[r] was destined for the White House or the Capitol, we would take the plane down?"
Cheney: "Yes. The president made the decision ... that if the plane would not divert ... as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out. Now, people say, you know, that's a horrendous decision to make. Well, it is. You've got an airplane full of American citizens, civilians, captured by ... terrorists, headed and are you going to, in fact, shoot it down, obviously, and kill all those Americans on board?
"... It's a presidential-level decision, and the president made, I think, exactly the right call in this case, to say, I wished we'd had combat air patrol up over New York

We find this sort of foolishness in our own homes. No matter where we go.
The unwillingness to listen. We hang on doggedly to these asininities, and denounce the purveyors of research, the opposing viewpoint, in case it dislodges our comfort levels.

Please note that I am in no way marginalizing the actions taken by the passengers. It was bravery indeed. But the confirmation was fresh out of the gate, less than a week after Black Tuesday.

I also recall, reading in a local newspaper (some years ago), how one of the widows (A Mrs. Burnett, no less), who had still received absolutely no information from the White House in re: Flight 93.

The more irritating part is that no matter where I'd come up with that info (hey, I could be working for the airlines, or the FCC), Id probably be dismissed out of hand. Why? Because we prefer romance to reality, folklore and fiction to fact.

Honestly? I rather enjoy the fiction.
But I'd rather have the truth, regardless.


Monday, April 24, 2006


I know, I know, I've instituted Formosa's law here, but this website is just beyond funny, beyond belief, just beyond. So far out in left field, the ball hits some innocent bystander in a boat outside the park.

This person, T. Chase, is such a cornucopia of cross-belief, that I'm just...flabbergasted.

Here, lemmee give you a sampling:

In this site Revelation 13, my method of prophecy combines Astrology and other New Age Schools, mythology, religion, the prophecies of Nostradamus, Bible Code in the King James Bible, Bible prophecy, and numerical analysis. In particular, the Book of Revelation of the Bible is discussed, including Chapter 13 on an evil dictator, the Antichrist.
The emphasis of this web site is on predicting the future for years 2006 - 2015. This is a new holistic method of prophecy I have developed.

Nice of him to leave some leeway. 'I've got nine years to get it right'. Holy crap, YAFC (Yet Another Flavor of Christian). As if we're not INUNDATED by these folks. So instead of just dropping a few pet theories, let's throw 'em all in a bag, shake vigorously, and out spews...more crapola.

Here's a sampling of his 'Movies' section:

Next we will discuss the movies and some TV series. The movies being mostly made in Los Angeles, "The City of Angels", this could be a clue that "angels" may send us divine guidance through the movies. This page has links to Amazon.com to make it easy to order movies on DVD or VHS from Amazon. Also see this page on books for recommended reading.

Ooo-oooh! City of Angels? It's a SIGN! GLORY HALLELUJAH! TEACHER HIT ME WITH A RULER...(oops, sorry about the retrogression). If the Hulk was filmed in S.F, which is the 'Whore of Babylon' according to a cross-matrix of Revelation and Genesis, then the great green Behemoth is obviously...GOD'S AVENGER (a cross of Samson and the Jolly Green Giant, since lima beans were the Corinthians' main vegetable dish, mixed in with a liberal dose of Nostradamus, in accordance with a bible matrix code consisting of the letters WTF). Probably the angel from the sixth seal, would be my guess.

Here's a particularly funny POV:

"The Shadow" is a movie of interest to our discussion here, because in this movie Genghis Khan, past King of the Mongols, returns from the past to create an atomic bomb, to start a World War. The movie is set in New York City in the 1930s or 1940s, and The Shadow has psychic powers he uses to battle evil. This is interesting because of the prophecy of a "Great King of Terror", who is "King of the Mongols", in the prophecies of Nostradamus. This I think is either Russian President Putin, who I think is the Third Antichrist of the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and also the Antichrist of Revelation 13, or Dr. Khan of Pakistan, builder of the Islamic Bomb that Muslims could attack the U.S. with, or Osama bin Laden.

Holy crap! Newsflash - IT'S.JUST.A.MOVIE. Fictional. Completely. It gets worse.

""Godzilla". The movie "Godzilla" is relevant to our discussion here, because it is about a beast which rises out of the sea, and that is how the Antichrist is described, as a beast that rises out of the sea. So there could be a message for us in "Godzilla", maybe that New York will be important in the events of Revelation, possibly New York is the New Jerusalem in Revelation. "

Oh yeah, a Japanese guy in a rubber dinosaur suit is a 'message from high'! I wonder if this guy goes around with a stick, and pokes under rocks for angels and demons.

""Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" was a very funny film, where again we see the Antichrist theme as Dr. Evil with his miniature clone. Dr. Evil is clearly a type of Antichrist, attempting to gain world domination, and only Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery, assisted by Felicity Shagwell, can stop him. I thought the funniest character was the fat Scottsman."

Someone's not taking their meds! I find this particularly hysterical:
The Prophecies of Nostradamus: Will the Third Antichrist Rise to Power in Russia as Russian President Putin?

Or, at the bottom of the index page:
"And did I find any King James Bible Code matrices of interest for my own name and this web site?"

I don't know: did you? Three guesses - yep! Sure did!

"I tried as an experiment running a Bible Code search on my own name and the name of this web site, since it seems that so many things can be looked up in the Bible code. This search found some interesting matrices: including an Old Testament matrix from my name, that had meaning for me, in 1 Kings that included 1 Kings 8:41:
"Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake;"
The "T" in my name was at the "t" in "stranger". You will see on this site that I am one of the millions of American Christian supporters of Israel. And also, concerning this web site, this New Testament King James Bible Code matrix, at John 14:23 - Revelation 7:9, was found by searching for REVELATION THIRTEEN (since "Revelation 13" is the name of this web site), my name TCHASE, and also note in this matrix there is: WEB (as in web site)

And yet, when I do the experiment, running a Bible code on his name and website, cross-referencing Judges, Psalms and Corinthians, I come up with 'paranoid schizophrenic suffering from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy'. (I'm kiddin' here, folks!)

I'm just guessing here, but this cat probably goes apeshit on a game of Sudoku. "Look! Another biblical prophecy! It was in the local newspaper! As Nostradamus predicted!"

It's just such a mish-mash of biblical nonsense, Nostradamus, New Age foolery, delusional myopia, blended with survivalist advice, well, the whole damn website is so rich with perversely funny content, I could go on for DAYS (I kid thee not!) making fun of it.

Here's a very amusing run-on blithering:

Recommendations: What should the U.S. do?
(1) Most important: the people in the U.S. should have faith in President Bush. I believe that President Bush is divinely inspired to lead the U.S. through these crisis including the War against Terrorism. I think that President Bush represents St. George, the patron saint of England, St. George being a Christian Knight who was said to have slayed a dragon in Libya. President Bush will successfully defeat this multi-headed dragon of Moslem terrorism. And President Bush will successfully guide the U.S. economy through world economic chaos that is likely to increase over the next few years. Note that there was a major terrorist attack on trains in Spain on March 11 2004, so the Muslim terrorists are now striking targets in Europe. But fortunately there has not been a major Muslim terrorist attack in the U.S. since September 11. This is because President Bush has organized and strengthened Homeland Defense, to keep the Muslim terrorists from getting into the U.S., and preventing attacks in the U.S., and also because the U.S. has gone after the terrorists in their bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also see this page on the King James Bible Code which indicates both Presidents Bush have had a destiny that is encoded in the Bible, of defending the U.S.. Below is a King James Bible Code matrix, which appears to be about both Presidents Bush. It is in the Old Testament from Psalm 40:5-68:13, and contains AMERICA and BUSH. Also there is the phrase GOD IS MY DEFENCE. It speaks volumes about both Presidents Bush and that they have always put defending America first. Note that BUSH appears twice in this matrix, apparently representing both Presidents Bush. Also, there is the phrase WINGS OF A DOVE, this could relate to both Presidents Bush being pilots; it is in Psalm 68:13 "...yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold." This could be a description of an airplane. And B in BUSH is in Psalm 56:9: "When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back; this I know; for God is for me."

Equating either Shrub with a dove? Man, don't bogart that joint, my friend! Hey, do me! Am I an Old Testament prophet, or what?

Also see this page on a miraculous Virgin Mary image that appeared in Milton Massachusetts, where former President Bush was from, that I think also is a sign.

Was it a tortilla, or a cake this time?

Also, remember that it was the illuminated bush that spoke to Moses in the Bible, I think that the President's name is no accident; I think that President Bush will lead us through this War against Terrorism crisis as Moses led his tribe out of Egypt. Note that where the letter "W" is connected with President Bush, and the letter W had its origins in the Hebrew letter Vav, and in the mystical school of the Kabbalah Vav is connected with divine intervention by God in the affairs of man, a linking of God's divine energy to earth.

Gah! A kabbalistic Republican! The horror! The horror!

This agrees with the idea that President Bush is divinely inspired to lead the U.S. to victory in the War against Terrorism. Also note that "W" is similar to the small letter for "Omega" in Greek, and note that in Revelation 1 Christ is called "Alpha and Omega"; this also indicates that President Bush is divinely inspired to lead the U.S.. There were 2 political families that were destined to guide the U.S. through the 20th century and into the 21st century: Kennedy and Bush. Note that there were similar origins to both of these political familes: both George Bush and John Kennedy were World War 2 heroes in the South Pacific war against Japan.

How can anyone cross-reference GB with GWB AND JFK? GWB is the last president? Divinely inspired? Aye caramba! Just keep tailoring current events so they correspond with your world view, Chase.

I skipped over some of points 2-3, as they are the usual pro-Shrub rhetoric.

So people are starting to wake up to who the enemy is - and he's wearing a Muslim towel on his head. That is progress! Recognizing the problem is progress!

Towel-head? We're not...ethnocentric, are we?

(4) The U.S. should keep an eye on Russia and Red China, and especially watch out for a Red China- Russia military alliance in the SCO. Russian President Putin is likely to charm the world, but the U.S. should not trust Putin and should watch what he is doing. The SCO led by Putin is developing into the red 10 horned beast of the Antichrist, and Iran may join the SCO, which now includes Russia, China, and 4 Central Asian nations. In fact, if I am right and Putin is the Antichrist, then Putin I think at some level (he may not be aware of) is actually trying to bring the world to Armageddon, and the way he does that is by helping Iran build nuclear power plants which Iran will use to build nuclear weapons. Iran is building missles now. And Iran and Al Qaeda and other Muslim nations then may fire missles with nuclear weapons at Israel in 2007, and either has missles then with long enough range to fire them at the U.S., or Al Qaeda sneaks nuclear weapons into the U.S. in 2006-7 and sets them off. If Iran gets nuclear weapons they are crazy enough to use them against Israel and the U.S.! The U.S. must not let Iran get nuclear weapons! Al Qaeda may already have nuclear weapons they are smuggling into the U.S., see this page. And the U.S. needs to stop illegal immigration across the Mexican border, because Muslim terrorists can also enter the U.S. that way.

Note how he develops an Antichrist theme by the occasional name-dropping.

(5) A defense against an asteroid or comet hitting earth needs to be developed, since I think a large one could hit earth within a few years, since this is predicted in Revelation 8. The King James Bible code matrices I discovered indicate a possible asteroid impact in the ocean in 2007. And more tidal waves could occur, such as a Canary Islands tidal wave, another Asian tidal wave, or from an asteroid ocean impact. Possibly the U.S. could build some kind of wall or barrier off the East and West coasts as a defense against tidal waves.

Oooh! 'Cause the Bible matrix says so! Run for the high ground, people!

(6) Cold Fusion should be reexamined as an energy source. It could help the U.S. become energy independent. See these King James Bible Code matrices, which indicate Cold Fusion can be made to work, and may give clues on how to make it work. So far, only small amounts of energy have been produced by Cold Fusion, and most of the scientific community is skeptical of it. But the King James Bible Code appears to predict it one day will produce large amounts of power from sea water. And also see the matrices that may indicate time travel will somehow be possible with Cold Fusion. And I think it is when Hillary is President, beginning in 2009, that there will be a breakthrough in Cold Fusion research, resulting in it producing major amounts of electrical power for the U.S., and also this power can be used to produce hydrogen from water for powering cars, making the U.S. energy independent. I think that Hillary will support government research into Cold Fusion that will result in a breakthrough. Note that Palladium, the key metal used in Cold Fusion, is named after Pallas Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom and Warrior Goddess, refer to this page on Hillary's astrological connection to Athena. I think that this is the key to Hillary's future connection to Cold Fusion. Only Athena had the keys to her Father Zeus's thunderbolts, Zeus being the Thunder and Lightning God. Cold Fusion is like the thunderbolts of Zeus.

So we have the KJV code matrices predicting cold fusion, Hillary's election as Prez, Hellenistic referents. Waitaminnit: what's all this about Zeus? Ain't supposed to 'have any gods' before the big Kahuna, right? So elements are named after Greek gods, so what?

(7) Generally, the prophecies discussed on this site may be changeable, if people will understand and listen to them and take appropriate action, such as building an asteroid defense, and striking first against these Muslim terrorists. This may be a test for the human race: if people will understand that the disasters described in Revelation are occurring, then it may be possible to change the future and avoid these disasters.

Asteroids and muslims and antichrists, oh my!

My Hero! This cat just goes ON and ON and ON. All this cobbled up (in part) by an old man on Wormwood in the First CE. His KJV spoutings remind me of a Chick tract. Is this one of those guys you see wandering around with a sandwich board, predicting apocalypse? Nostradamus? Numerology? I think he left out ouija boards, magic 8 balls, divining rods, tarot, and scented candles.

I've always said: "There are just some people who shouldn't do drugs." Apparently, there are folks who should NEVER be allowed near allegory.

I'm getting a little cross-eyed here, troops. Too much rubbish ruins the brain cells.

This concludes this episode of 'Allegories Gone Wild.' Soon to be a movie, which will go straight to video, and sold on late-night TV shows for only 9.95. I'll even throw in a set of...oh, never mind.

Till the next post, then.


Sunday, April 23, 2006


Here is yet another character straight out of the OT who is...well, lets just say, not a prince among men. I refer of course, to Samson (Shemash), who seems to be anything but an upstanding pillar of morality in the OT.

The birth origins seem to be fairly standardized.

Jdg 13:2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name [was] Manoah; and his wife [was] barren, and bare not.
Jdg 13:3
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou [art] barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
Jdg 13:4
Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean [thing]:

Wow, biblical equivalent of pre-natal care here.

Jdg 13:5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

Damn hippy.

Jdg 13:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance [was] like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he [was], neither told he me his name:
Jdg 13:7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean [thing]: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
Jdg 13:8 Then Manoah entreated the LORD, and said, o, my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
Jdg 13:9
And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband [was] not with her.

Twice so far, the nameless wife has visions. Been hittin' the poppy fields again, dear?

Jdg 13:10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the [other] day.
Jdg 13:11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, [Art] thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I [am].

I can see the man sitting in a field, tapping his foot, and consulting his heavenly Rolex. Dude, whatchoo say to my wife, huh? Lets skip over a few....
Anyways, brief synopsis: Manoah (and his unnamed wife) offer to cook Johnny Angel some stew, angel says hes not hungry, they cook, JA goes up into the sky in a steam of meatloaf, wife and Manoah agree, since they never see JA again, he must be from on high, etc.


1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

Is it me, or does that sound like an order? What commandment was that, Honor thy mother and father...?

3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

Stick with your own kind. Better yet: Cant you find a nice Jewish girl? Still sounds like an order.

4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

Politics. What a surprise.

5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.
6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

Anyone believe that? I sure don't. Wonder what the name of that lion was? We can only hope it was Aslan.

Oh, here's a goody:
In rabbinic literature

Rabbinical literature identifies Samson with Bedan; Bedan was a Judge mentioned by Samuel in his farewell address (1 Samuel 12:11) among the Judges that delivered Israel from their enemies. However, the name "Bedan" is not found in the Book of Judges.

The name "Samson" is derived from shemesh (= "sun"), so that Samson bore the name of God, who is also "a sun and shield" (Psalms 84:12). As God protected Israel, so did Samson watch over it in his generation, judging the people even as did God. Samson's strength was divinely derived (Talmud, Tractate Sotah 10a]). Samson resembled God in requiring neither aid nor help (Midrash Genesis Rabbah xcviii. 18).

Jewish legend records that Samson's shoulders were sixty ells broad. He was lame in both feet (Talmud Sotah 10a), but when the spirit of God came upon him he could step with one stride from Zoreah to Eshtaol, while the hairs of his head arose and clashed against one another so that they could be heard for a like distance (Midrash Lev. Rabbah viii. 2). Samson was said to be so strong that he could uplift two mountains and rub them together like two clods of earth (ibid.; Sotah 9b), yet his superhuman strength, like Goliath's, brought woe upon its possessor (Midrash Eccl. Rabbah i., end).

In licentiousness he is compared with Amnon and Zimri, both of whom were punished for their sins (Lev. R. xxiii. 9). Samson's eyes were put out because he had "followed them" too often (Sotah l.c.).

It is said that in the twenty years during which Samson judged Israel he never required the least service from an Israelite (Midrash Numbers Rabbah ix. 25), and he piously refrained from taking the name of God in vain. As soon, therefore, as he told Delilah that he was a Nazarite of God she immediately knew that he had spoken the truth (Sotah l.c.). When he pulled down the temple of Dagon and killed himself and the Philistines the structure fell backward, so that he was not crushed, his family being thus enabled to find his body and to bury it in the tomb of his father (Midrash Gen. Rabbah l.c. § 19).

In the Talmudic period many seem to have denied that Samson was an historic figure; he was apparently regarded as a purely mythological personage. This was viewed as heretical by the rabbis of the Talmud, and they refuted this view.

Yeah, keep telling me this guy was real, Johnny Fundie.

8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.
9 And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.

Is it just me, or does that sound...unsanitary?

10 So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
11 And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
12 And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:
13 But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.

SOUNDS fair enough, don't it?

14 And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.

Waitaminnit...ain't a riddle something someone CAN figure out? Yepper - from the Encyclopedia - riddle, puzzling question, specifically one that consists of a fanciful description or definition of something to be guessed. That sound kosher to anyone?

15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy fathers house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?

Nice people. See what happens when you think with the little head, Sammy boy?

16 And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee?

Poor little thing's scared: who could blame her?

17 And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.

Hey, who WOULDN'T buckle?

18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? and he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.

Okay, what? Plowed with my heifer? Obviously, he's referring to his wife.

19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his fathers house.

He just picks innocent bystanders off the street? Guess they didn't have Salvation Armies back then. All this over a change of clothing and some sheets? WTF?

20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

Say WHAT? So her families threatened, with fiery death, no less. Still she could've told hubby dearest. So while Samson's off on his berserkergang, Manoah gives his wife away. Things spiral out of control quickly.


1 Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, "I'm going to my wifes room." But her father would not let him go in.

2 "I was so sure you thoroughly hated her," he said, "that I gave her to your friend. Isn't her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead."

Yeah, nice family dynamic there. Can anyone say 'savages', boys and girls?

3 Samson said to them, "This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them."

Ummm....hello? Your dad took her away, not the Philistines.

4 So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails,
5 lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.

Savage, but clever. Still, somewhat misdirected, dontcha think? Good thing PETA didn't exist then, ey?

6 When the Philistines asked, "Who did this?" they were told, "Samson, the Timnite's son-in-law, because his wife was given to his friend." So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death.

So damned if you do, damned if you don't. How pleasant.

7 Samson said to them, "Since you've acted like this, I won't stop until I get my revenge on you."
8 He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.

Well, thus far, no angels on either side. The Phillistines were running the show at the time, so there's gonna be some resentment.

11 Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, "Don't you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?" He answered, "I merely did to them what they did to me."

Wait,....three thousand men? What, was Sammy-boy hard of hearing, or what?

12 They said to him, "We've come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines."
Samson said, "Swear to me that you won't kill me yourselves."
13 "Agreed," they answered. "We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you." So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock.
14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands.
15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.

16 Then Samson said,
"With a donkeys jawbone
I have made donkeys of them. [a]
With a donkeys jawbone
I have killed a thousand men."

Shrub's done about the same. Most politicians have. Skipping ahead, he drinks some wellwater, rules Isreal for two decades.
Here's where things get even dafter.

So we go into chapter 16:

1 One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her.

Wait, this fella's a Judge? I guess the 'objective standards' were a tad lower then? We'll skip the gate-crashing part, go to the meat of the matter:

4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.
5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, "See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels [a] of silver."

Whoa! That's some incentive!

6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued."

So unless bondage is the sign of the times, I'd have to say, this kinda blows the subterfuge, wouldn't you?

7 Samson answered her, "If anyone ties me with seven fresh thongs [b] that have not been dried, I'll become as weak as any other man."

Who's supplying the thongs? Victoria's Secrets? [Sorry, couldn't resist]

8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh thongs that had not been dried, and she tied him with them.
9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" But he snapped the thongs as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

So she ties him up, hollers "Ollie Ollie oxenfree!", and he pops them. Yeah, I think it's kinda clear what the M.O here is, right out the gate. So Sammy boy's a Judge, been running Isreal for twenty years. You'd think he'd see what this was all about. But, nooooooooooooo.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, "You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied."

Some brass. What does Sammy do?

11 He said, "If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I'll become as weak as any other man."

Oy gevalt! You sorta get the impression he's toying with her, right?

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.

Oy vey! Yeah, that's not a red flag, is it?

13 Delilah then said to Samson, "Until now, you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied."
He replied, "If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I'll become as weak as any other man." So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric
14 and [c] tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.

I dunno: is this some sort of Judaic foreplay I'm not familiar with?

15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when you won't confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told me the secret of your great strength."
16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.

I'd really like to hear the nagging part. My constant question would be: "Why the hell do YOU wanna know?"

17 So he told her everything. "No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man."

For some reason, Rapunzel keeps popping into mind. I dunno why.

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, "Come back once more; he has told me everything." So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.
19 Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. [d] And his strength left him.

A bald Victor Mature.

20 Then she called, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!"
He awoke from his sleep and thought, "I'll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had left him.

I think it's safe to say, Sammy-boy warn't all that bright. Should've learned from the LAST fiasco, ya think?

21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

Ouch! Not taking any chances with him, were they?

22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.

How none of them are smart enough to figure this out is beyond me.

23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.

Yeah, never mind about Delilah.

24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.

Hmmm....wonder where Delilah got to?

25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

I'm guessing they moved the furniture around on him?

27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

ROOF PARTY! Oh wait. Isn't that supposed to be under the roof?

28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.

Waitaminnit: the two load-bearing pillars are in the middle? Fire the contractors, I say.

30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

Ummmm...I'm no construction worker or architect, but that narrative seems kinda...I dunno, RIDICULOUS. Sounds like one of those horror movies, where all the doors swing shut and lock, and didn't these folks have windows of any sort? I mean, I understand the lack of fire exits and all, but, the whole house falling IN on itself? If the Phillistines were that stupid, how'd they rule over Israel for so long?


Friday, April 21, 2006


I began doing a little research, due to a discussion at the NGB, and discovered this interesting fact, courtesy of the Egyptian SandMonkey.

I will quote a few excerpts. It's an excellent article
The roots of jihad

"PARIS - Friends and supporters of Al-Afif al-Akhdar are convinced: the life of the veteran fighter for secularism and democracy in the Arab world is in danger. A year ago, the Tunisian Islamic movement Al-Nahdha, which is persecuted by the authorities in its country, condemned him as the author of the scandalous book "The Unknown in the Prophet's Life." A Tunisian citizen, Akhdar has for decades been waging a stubborn campaign to expose the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism, including those espoused by Sheikh Rashed al-Ghanoushi, the leader of Al-Nahdha, who has been in exile in London since 1991. In an unsigned declaration on its Internet site, Al-Nahdha referred to Akhdar, without naming him. "

Another excerpt:

"In response to the declaration, which was construed as a fatwa condemning Akhdar to death, the Arab organization for the Protection of Freedom of Expression and the Press organized a petition "against obscurantist religious extremism," which called for the protection of Akhdar's life and freedom. Within two months, the petition was signed by more than 600 intellectuals and academics, most of them Arabs."

So I don't really want to hear anymore crap about 'Why aren't the moderate muslims stepping up to bat?" anymore. Besides which, to that I always counter: "Why is it easier to harrass white women wearing fur, than Hell's Angels wearing leather? White women aren't going to rearrange your jaw for ya, that's why."

"It was not by chance that he turned to Machover, an expert in international law who gained fame last year when he tried to bring about the arrest of an Israeli officer, Major General (res.) Doron Almog, who had just landed in London, on suspicion that he had perpetrated war crimes while serving in the Gaza Strip. Akhdar wants Islamic terrorists to get the same treatment as people who have committed crimes against humanity. In October 2004 he was one of three Arab intellectuals who asked the UN secretary-general and the Security Council to establish an international tribunal to try such terrorists, including clerics who issue fatwas for the liquidation of "infidels." "

To quote Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman: "Whoo-ah!" Go Akhdar! Let's skip to the distinguishing feature:

""There are two Islams from the period of Mohammed. There is Meccan Islam [referring to Mohammed's period in Mecca], which is a 'Christian' Islam - that is, under Christian influence - and is essentially peace-seeking. The use of violence, even for self-defense, was prohibited. In this Islam, jihad was prohibited. This Islam was the basis for the mystical Sufi movement.

"When Mohammed was forced to move from Mecca to Medina, a second Islam - jihadist Islam - was born. And it is this Islam that the contemporary terrorists have adopted. To justify the passage from the 'conciliatory' peace of Mecca to the militant peace of Medina, Mohammed told the Muslims that jihad is permissible only for self-defense [Surah of The Pilgrimage - Surah 22:39]: 'To those against whom war is made, permission is given [to fight], because they are wronged.' Mohammed was wronged - he was expelled from Mecca, and the purpose of the defensive jihad is to enable his return.

"Medinaist Islam is terrorist Islam. Sheikh Yusuf al-Kardawi says that terrorism in Islam is positive and should be welcomed. Here he is drawing in part on verse 12 in the Surah of the Spoils of War: 'I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: Smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them.' Osama bin Laden, in a speech on the occasion of Id al-Adha in 2003, said that it is best to follow the blessed terror about which al-Kardawi speaks."

Is there anything that can be done so that Meccan Islam will be strengthened and overcome Medinaist Islam?

"My answer is my plan for the reform of Islam, a reform of the Islamic discourse, of religious education, the religious media, the sermons in the mosques, and so forth. The plan is to remove from the textbooks all the violent and jihadist verses and leave them only in the source, in the holy writings
." "

So there IS a distinction. Not every Arab Muslim is a jihadist - despite what we've been told by the media.

I found this exceptionally interesting:

"So you also see a positive aspect in the Hamas electoral victory?

"Yes. History has laid an ambush for Hamas. The Hamas movement did not want to win, it wanted to be the second most important force, after Fatah, and to delay the implementation of the 'road map.' After the victory, the movement finds itself in a situation in which it must choose: either it forgoes its charter, and the jihad, in order to negotiate with Israel, or the Palestinian people will forgo it

Crossed fingers.

I also found this interesting:

"The president of the United States says that jihadist terror is the greatest threat to world peace. Do you agree?

"Islamic terror is a great enemy of humanity, but so is rampant capitalism. The world is being managed without wisdom and humanity is in constant danger of an ecological disaster, a nuclear disaster and a biological disaster.

"Capitalism is a necessary historical stage. At first it was wild and left many victims in its wake. As a result, a counter-movement arose, which succeeded in 'taming' it by stages, in 'civilizing' its barbarian impulses. Now it is running wild again and we must fight to tame it anew.
" "

It's a bit of a long read, but well worth it. I learned a great deal from this article. So read, discuss, ponder.

Till the next post, then.


Thursday, April 20, 2006


Due to a thread on the NGB that's spiralled out of control (so badly, in fact, I shall not link to it) and into the dark recesses of acrimony, I am hereby officially implementing Godwin's Law.

Here are the basics:

"Godwin's Law

[Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. However there is also a widely- recognized codicil that any intentional triggering of Godwin's Law in order to invoke its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful. Godwin himself has discussed the subject. See also Formosa's Law. "

Come to think of it, I'm implementing Formosa's Law as well:

"“The truly insane have enough on their plates without us adding to it.” That is, flaming someone with an obvious mental problem can't make it any better. Most often cited on alt.usenet.kooks as a reason not to issue a Kook-of the-Month Award; often cited as a companion to Godwin's Law"

I've been guilty of the latter (albeit not on this blog, but others), but I'm going to make a distinct effort not to wail on the less fortunate from hereon in.

Back to Godwin's Law:

"Debate and controversy

One common objection to the invocation of Godwin's Law is that sometimes using Hitler or the Nazis is an apt way of making a point. For instance, if one is debating the relative merits of a particular leader, and someone says something like, "He's a good leader, look at the way he's improved the economy," one could reply, "Just because he improved the economy doesn't make him a good leader. Even Hitler improved the economy." Some would view this as a perfectly acceptable comparison. One uses Hitler as a well-known example of an extreme case that requires no explanation to prove that a generalization is not universally true.

Some would argue, however, that Godwin's Law applies especially to the situation mentioned above, as it portrays an inevitable appeal to emotion as well as holding an implied ad hominem attack on the subject being compared, both of which are fallacious in irrelevant contexts. Hitler, on a semiotic level, has far too many negative connotations associated with him to be used as a valid comparison to anything but other despotic dictators. Thus, Godwin's Law holds even in making comparisons to normal leaders that, on the surface, would seem to be reasonable comparisons."

So, as your host and moderator, I will be using my own best judgement in re: to this.

As I am a proponent, but not an absolutist, when it comes to Free Speech, I feel this is fair to implement these rules, in order to further promote reasonable discussion and/or debate

Questions are most welcome.

The complaint department, however, is down the street.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Welcome to this episode of 'Allegories gone wild.'

The book in question is titled: "THE SACRED MAGIC OF ABRA-MELIN THE MAGE".

Yes, I do indeed still own this ridiculous tome. I purchased back in the days of my wastrel youth, and it's still sitting down in the garage (I actually tried to sell it at a garage sale for five bucks years ago, but the one lady who showed interest in the stupid thing acted like I was supposed to sell it to her. Big whoop - still got it).

I was an occultist from the age of 14 to the age of 25. I studied witchcraft, divination, and yes - long before Madonna made it fashionable - Kabbalah. I guess I'd have to say, Madonna's not a 'true' Kabbalist (hehehehe).

I love esoterica, in case no one's noticed.

From wikipedia:

Abramelin, or Abra-Melin, is the name of the Egyptian Mage who teaches a system of magic to Abraham, the Jew, the author of a famous grimoire which calls itself The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

The grimoire itself is found in a manuscript in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal in Paris. It is framed as a sort of epistolary novel in which Abraham, the Jew, reveals Abramelin's magical and Kabbalistic secrets to his son Lamech, and dates itself to the year 1458. It moreover claims to have been translated from Hebrew into French, the language in which it is extant. From the spelling and usage, the French text likely dates to the eighteenth century, and the existing text gives few indications of having ever been in Hebrew. The author quotes psalms from the Vulgate in Latin. The Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal was founded in 1797.

This grimoire was translated into English by Samuel L. MacGregor Mathers in 1897. The magic of the grimoire was influential in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a fact which has burnished the reputation of this particular text beyond its fellows such as the Key of Solomon.

The grimoire describes an elaborate ritual whose purpose is to obtain the "knowledge and conversation" of the magician's "Holy Guardian Angel." The preparations are elaborate, difficult, and long; the initial phase of working the system lasts exactly six months before any divine contact is known. During this period, the magician must wake up every day before dawn, and go to a certain area and pray, and at sunset he must do the same thing. During this preparatory phase, there are many restrictions: chastity must be observed, alcoholic beverages refused, and the magician must conduct his business with scrupulous fairness.

Well, being young, dumb, and full of...er, never mind. Anyways, at the time, I was still in drinking=sport mode. Chastity? I' m an American man. 'Nuff said.

I recall many, MANY years ago, explaining some procedure out of the book to a friend with similar (occultic) interests, and his observation on it remains with me to this day:
"By the time you're done with the preparations, you're probably hallucinating."

From the same source:
"After the preparatory phase has been successfully completed, the magician's guardian angel will appear to teach the magician magical secrets. The chief goals of these secrets are to compel the magician's personal demon, presumably the inverse counterpart of the Guardian Angel, to serve the magician. The magical goals for which the demon can be employed are typical of the grimoire literature: you are promised the ability to find buried treasure, cast love charms, the ability of magical flight, and the secret of invisibility. Magic squares feature prominently in the instructions for carrying out these operations.

Needless to say, I never completed step one. Shouldn't have spent the money on the bloody thing, come to think of it.

It uses the concept of the magic square, of which the Sator Square is the most common. It also relies very heavily on the Judaic concept of appealing to the On High, and includes the concept of finding hidden magical meanings in midrashic texts, by use of gematria, and relies heavily on the Sephirot, the Tree of Life, and it's opposite, the Qliphoth, the Tree of Death. From which, of course, stems the demonological aspects, and the subsequent hierarchies spewed forth from the dark recesses of bad dreams.

While researching a few components of this 'magical belief system', I found this entry terribly interesting (under the heading of Origin of Jewish mysticism):

"According to adherents of Kabbalah, the origin of Kabbalah begins with the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). When read by a Kabbalist, the Torah's description of the creation in the Book of Genesis reveals mysteries about God's creation of the universe, Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and a Tree of Life, the interaction of these creations with the Serpent which leads to disaster when they eat the forbidden fruit, as recorded in Genesis 2 .Artson, Bradley Shavit. From the Periphery to the Centre: Kabbalah and the Conservative Movement, United Synagogue Review, Spring 2005, Vol. 57 No. 2 Sefer Raziel HaMalach, an ancient kabbalastic text, was, according to the kabbalists, transmitted to Adam (after being evicted) by the angel Raziel. Another famous kabbalistic work, the Sefer Yetsira, supposedly dates back to the patriarch Abraham. According to tradition, early kabbalah was transmitted to humans by the two angels, Aza and Azaz'el (in other places, Azaz'el and Uzaz'el) who 'fell' from heaven (see Genesis).

The oldest versions of the Jewish mysticism have been theorized to extend from Assyrian theology and mysticism. Dr. Simo Parpola, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, has made some suggestive findings on the matter, particularly concerning an analysis of the Sepiroth. Noting the general similarity between the Sepiroth of the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life of Assyria, he reconstructed what an Assyrian antecendent to the Sepiroth would look like.Parpola S. 1993. The Assyrian Tree of Life: Tracing the Origins of Jewish Monotheism and Greek Philosophy. Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 52(3) pp161-208 He matched the characteristics of En Sof on the nodes of the Sepiroth to the gods of Assyria, and was able to even find textual parallels between these Assyrian gods and the characteristics of god. The Assyrians assigned specific numbers to their gods, similar to how the Sepiroth assigns numbers to its nodes. However, the Assyrians use a sexagesimal number system, whereas the Sepiroth is decimal. With the Assyrian numbers, additional layers of meaning and mystical relevance appear in the Sepiroth. Normally, floating above the Assyrian Tree of Life was the god Assur, this corresponds to En Sof, which is also, via a series of transformations, derived from the Assyrian word Assur. Furthermore, Dr. Paropla was able to now re-interpret various Assyrian tablets in the terms of this primitive Sepiroth, such as the Epic Of Gilgamesh, and in doing so was able to reveal that the scribes themselves had been writting philosophical-mystical tracts, rather than mere adventure stories. Traces of this Assyrian mode of thought and philosophy eventually makes reappearances in Greek Philosophy and the Kabbalah."

Can you say "syncretism", boy and girls?

Anyways, after contact with the 'Holy Guardian', apparently said practitioner is then able to invoke spirits and/or demons, and force them to provide the invoker with all sorts of fun events, like raising the dead, changing men into animals (hey, Circe, take notes!), transform animals into stones, become financially independent, win friends and influence people, all that hubbub, yadayada, yadayada.

So in short, unless you get a big, strange kick outta strange esoteric occultic tomes, don't buy. Why do I still have it? I don't like burning or throwing away books, go figure.



I'm getting more than a little tired of these PR antics.

First, we had this ridiculous 'War on Xmas', which I think was started by Fox-Hole news, and the trumpeting spread, like a bad cold or a vicious meme spiraling. Beyond Belief and a few others began taking up the battle-cry. Here's a pretty decent article, from the WA Post of all places.

THEN we have the 'War on Easter', which, well, to be honest, will look like a War On Thumper to the Disney kids and their parents.

Hell, some atheists have declared war on Moral Relativism. [NOTE: judging from the month on the time-date stamp, this is a future post being put together - right now it doesn't exist].

We really need to start organizing our priorities, people. Some of this is just plain foolishness. I mean, we're America's least trusted minority, fer cryin' out loud. We're already seen as some of the most unflattering of lights in most cases anywhoways. So let's add more fuel to the fire? Use oil to put the blaze out? C'mon.

We're outnumbered, people. That's not bad enough, folks see us as bitter, bad-mouthing miscreants bent on a total overthrow of societal mores.

So here's my one-and-only rule-of-thumb: if it is likely to make a small child cry, DON'T FUCKING DO IT! So let's just allow Xmas to continously become more and more diluted (which it already has), and stop waging war on Thumper (or Peter Cottontail, or whatever saccharine-wrapped diabetes-causing archetype you want to call it). As to the war on Moral Relativism? Well, that'd have to be one WEIRD little kid to start weeping over that one, so let that go.

Unless you don't mind being compared to some obnoxious ogre who goes around popping kids' balloons, that is.

In short: it's the old carpenter's adage. Measure twice, cut once.

Otherwise, we're going to have a lot of ruined lumber.

And that's my nickel's worth, dear reader. Spend it wisely, and well.


Saturday, April 15, 2006


Today is Bunny Day, AKA Easter Sunday.

For interested readers, the definition of Easter is here

So let's deflate our respective senses of wonder, and take a good, hard look at the Resurrection Myth.

It's a central tenet of Christianity. If you don't believe in it, you're either,

A. A pagan
B. An atheist
C. A Gnostic,
D. Supply your choice of noun here.

While resurrection myths abound in most folklore, from Osiris to Hercules, the xtian version is quite different, inasmuch as all human beings are promised a physical reunion with their spiritual bodies.

I'll give that an eight, it's got a good beat, but I can't dance to it.

In the words of the Great Agnostic:

"Does anybody believe that, who has the courage to think for himself? Here is a man, for instance, that weighs 200 pounds and gets sick and dies weighing 120; how much will he weigh in the morning of the resurrection? Here is a cannibal, who eats another man; and we know that the atoms you eat go into your body and become a part of you. After the cannibal has eaten the missionary, and appropriated his atoms to himself, he then dies, to whom will the atoms belong in the morning of the resurrection? Could the missionary maintain an action of replevin, and if so, what would the cannibal do for a body? It has been demonstrated, in so far as logic can demonstrate anything, that there is no creation and no destruction in Nature. It has been demonstrated, again and again, that the atoms in us have been in millions of other beings; have grown in the forests and in the grass, have blossomed in flowers, and been in the metals. In other words, there are atoms in each one of us that have been in millions of others; and when we die, these atoms return to the earth, again appear in grass and trees, are again eaten by animals, and again devoured by countless vegetable mouths and turned into wood; and yet this church, in the nineteenth century, in a council composed of and presided over by professors and presidents of colleges and theologians, solemnly tells us that it believes in the literal resurrection of the body. This is almost enough to make one despair of the future--almost enough to convince a man of the immortality of the absurd. They know better. There is not one so ignorant but knows better."
- Ingersoll, Orthodoxy

I for one would love to believe in life after death, become a hereafterian. But alas, all facts point elsewhere.Or, in the words of John Adams: "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. "

We have accounts two millennia old. Accounts which differ, not in the matter of minutiae, such as whether the weather was inclement or not, or what variety of sandal fashion was in vogue, but varying widely in crucial, key points in each 'testimony'. The most ridiculous of which, is that fumbling, bumbling incompetent Matthew (if that was his name, in lieu of no signed original document), who made much of the fact that, in Matthew 27:50

50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Which I find most...amusing. Because
A. The graves were opened and the saints resurrected at the 'death', but
B. They had to wait until the three day cycle was at an end.

"Hey guys? We're a, ahem, alittle ahead of schedule here. Is it okay if you all just wait a couple of more days until the Big Guy comes back? You can? Cool!"

And who were these fellows? These others that arose from the dead? Only one apostle mentions this, of the three. No names, no witnesses, obviously an apocryphal story which should be discarded.

And no outside corroboration whatsoever. This is all OVER the place in the beloved 'gospels'. In this instance, it's not mentioned in Mark, or John, or even Luke (who was supposed to be a 'superlative' historian ).

As should all of it. The resurrection concept reeks of syncretism. Dionysius, Osiris, Hercules, Adonis, Tammuz: the list does go on, into the dim recesses of history.

The saddest part of the story is not that it was told: it's a hell of a story. The saddest part, is that so many accept it as truth, fight for it tooth and nail, to the detriment of their fellow man.

An end to fairy tales that guide our lives, I say. These belong to the venue of children. Not adults. We should put these childish things away.

Otherwise, it's the blind leading the blind: both fall into the ditch.

See, the book of fables has the occasional use, after all.

Let the dead sleep. Let not their ghostly hands manipulate us across the centuries, let not their words and deeds influence the minutiae of our lives. There is no hereafter: there is no conscious immortality. It is a dream only, a lovely one, but one that needs fade with the light of day, the light of reason, the light of life.


Friday, April 14, 2006


I have promised to do the occasional book review here, and my guilty conscience is getting the best of me (Catholic upbringing, is the culprit here, methinks).

Compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki.

This is a book I've owned three different times. Kept losing the bloody thing. No, not an omen, fate, or whatnot. Human carelessness, is all.

Anyways, it's a small compilation of many anecdotal examples that give the Westerner a bit of insight into what is known as Zen (Chan) Buddhism.

Let's qualify that a little:

Buddhism in its original form is by no means a religion. Not in the sense we occidentals hold it. Rather, it's an original format of Mahayana (Greater Vehicle). There's Mahayana, and there's Theravada (Lesser Vehicle). The lesser vehicle holds that it's okay to kiss the beads, light incense, pray in a temple, etc. (Any of that sound familiar?) Greater Vehicle stipulates that one must walk the same road as the Buddha.

Now, there's the rebirth cycle. Heavily vested in the concept of karma (let's remember that Hinduism was a major factor in the birth of Buddhism). There's three distinct forms of karma: vikarma, karma, akarma. Vikarma are the acts that make one go backwards in the rebirth cycle, karma is what keeps one in the cycle (samsara), akarma is what enables the adherent to rise above the cycle, thereby attaining Nirvana. Deeply bound by the concept of maya, the illusion of the world. Ultimate goal is to transcend the cycle, ergo, freedom from the illusion (nirvana). Which colors the mindset of said disciples.

That having been said, this tiny book is Mahayana (from my eyes).

The concept (as I see it), is that the adherent is given a number of koans, which are "A puzzling, often paradoxical statement or story, used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening." In other words, the individual is presented with counter-intuitive, often wonky concepts that run contrary to logic, in order to free him/her from the constraints of common logic.

It's a great little book. Some of the stories can actually be used as a joke. For instance:

A farmer walks into a village, pulling a cart that holds a dancing pig. A villager stops him, says, "Wow! That's amazing! How long did it take you to teach the pig to dance?" "Thirty years," replies the farmer. "Thirty years!" exclaims the villager. "Sure, what's thirty years, to a pig?"

I find that incredibly funny. So shoot me.

Others are a little more...odd. "Does a dog have buddha-nature?" The answer is 'Mu' - which does and doesn't mean no. Or, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." Trust me, read the book.

Another of my favorites is this one:

Provided he makes and wins an argument about Buddhism with those who live there, any wandering monk can remain in a Zen temple. If he is defeated, he has to move on.
In a temple in the northern part of Japan two brother monks were dwelling together. The elder one was learned, but the younger one was stupid, and had but one eye.
A wandering monk came and asked for lodging, properly challenging them to a debate about the sublime teaching. The elder, tired that day from much studying, told the younger one to take his place. "Go and request the dialogue in silence," he cautioned.
So the Young monk and the the stranger went to the shrine and sat down.
Shortly afterwards the traveler rose and went in to the elder brother and said: "Your young brother is a wonderful fellow. He defeated me."
"Relate the dialogue to me," said the elder one.
"Well," explained the traveler, "first I held up one finger, representing Buddha, the enlightened one. So he held up two fingers, signifying Buddha and his teaching. I held up three fingers, representing Buddha, his teaching, and his followers, living the harmonious life. Then he shook his clenched fist in my direction, indicating that all three come from one realization. Thus he won and so I have no right to remain here." With this, the traveler left.
"Where is that fellow?" asked the younger one, running in to his elder brother.
"I understand you won the debate."
"Won nothing. I'm going to beat him up."
"Tell me the subject of the debate," asked the elder one.
"Why, the minute he saw me he held up one finger, insulting me by insinuating that I have only one eye. Since he was a stranger, I thought I would be polite to him, so I held up two fingers, congratulating him that he has two eyes. Then the impolite wretch held up three fingers, suggesting that between us we only have three eyes. So I got mad and started to punch him, but he ran out and that ended it!"

And we complain about the inadequacies of the written word, ey? ;)

And a parting shot:

A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: "Have you ever read the Christian bible?"
"No, read it to me," said Gasan.
The student read from Matthew: "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, nor do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these...Take therefore no thought for morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."
Gasan said, "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."
The student continued reading: Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."
Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."

So it's a funny, easy, short read, giving a bit more than a bird's eye view into a very odd, very illogical mindset.

Note that I will be wailing on Buddhism some time in the near future, as a religion it's got a few black eyes as well, and nowhere near as atheistic or as pacifistic as Westerners believe it to be.