left biblioblography: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The OBGYN Exorcist–Just When You Thought You’d Seen It All…

Cross posted at the Atheist Oasis

(Tip o’ the adventurer_hat_nicu_bucu_01 to the Freethinker for this weirdness…)Bors_PopeBenedictExorcism

Fingers, privates, biscuits and icecream...

THE much-talked about Incredible Happening Church’s “demon banishing” service in Katlehong on Sunday resembled a shoot for a blue movie.

We saw the church leader and self-styled prophet Paseka Motsoeneng insert his fingers into the vaginas of two female congregants as part of a ritual he performed to expel the demons that had allegedly possessed them.

It almost sounds like a misogynist’s bad joke.

Motsoeneng’s unorthodox demon banishing methods, which Sunday World has been advised might constitute indecent assault, left a bitter taste in the mouths of other help-seekers who attended the services.

Sitting on the lap of a female congregant, Motsoeneng placed his hand on the head of a 17 year-old teen, who cannot be identified due to her age, and started praying for her.

Motsoeneng told the congregants her tummy had swelled up because some sorcerers had cast an evil spell on her.

As he was praying for her she collapsed. Motsoeneng then told the teenager, who was lying on her back, to open her legs, which she did.

He then plunged his fingers into her private parts and started moving his fingers inside her vagina.

Hitchens was right: if you’re wearing a vestment, you can get away with anything.

As he was busy with his “healing process”, Motsoeneng ordered her to call him by his nickname, Mboro.

“Say Mboro,” he ordered her.

“Mboro” she said, with a stifled cry.

Wow, the lengths some weirdos will go to…

He was interrupted by a female congregant who brought him a glassful of what looked like ice-cream, which she spoon fed him. He was still sitting on the woman’s lap.

While eating, Motsoeneng again ordered the teenager to call his name, which she did.

See, he got the metaphor wrong. It was supposed to be cake.

He then invited a woman he said was a “medical doctor” and whom he called Zozo to examine the teen.

“This is a qualified doctor who will tell us what the problem is with this woman,” he said.

I’m guessing there wasn’t a lot of security vetting people at this…whatever it was.

By this time a group of female congregants had draped her lower body with what looked like a towel and surrounded her to prevent voyeuristic people from seeing her private parts.

But being fingered by an adult eating ice cream isn’t nasty?

“Dr” Zozo then inserted what she said was pregnancy test apparatus into the girl’s vagina, with Motsoeneng looking on.

“The pregnancy tests came out positive. She is pregnant. I could also feel the limbs of the foetus,” Zozo announced .

Aaannddd there goes Zozo’s credibility, straight down the crapper. If you require any further evidence:

As Zozo was leaving the scene, Motsoeneng screamed: “Zozo, she is bleeding and her tummy has subsided.”

Zozo went back to inspect her before she rushed outside. She then came back wearing gloves and holding a pregnancy test kit.

Can people really be this stupid? (A rhetorical question only.)

She inserted them into the teen’s vagina and took them out.

She announced: “Now the kit shows neither positive nor negative results.”

Why, ‘Doctor Zozo’ could actually go on Oprah with this act. It’s not like Pope-ra has any real medical doctors on her show anyways. I thought you had to pee on a stick for a pregnancy test, not….have that done to you.

Motsoeneng chimed in: “It is because she was sleeping with an animal.”

Motsoeneng then asked the teenager if she was sleeping around with men.

So this guy has the ‘courtesy’ to shield the child’s private parts, but not only does he invade them, he has another adult do so? Yeah, you’re a real prince, Mboro.

There is actually more, but I’m still a little personally traumatized by this arrogant ignorant malarkey. Demons in the 21 century? Hell, any century. The only demon I believe in is Maxwell’s anyways (and that’s only statistically certain). Somebody is using exorcism as a veil to mask their somewhat warped libido? Gee where have we heard that one before? Let’s never mind that modern science has disproved this nonsense on so many multiple occasions it’s enough to make the head spin (not backwards, hopefully).

He’s basically sexually touching children and claiming it an act of ‘gawd’. It beggars belief. Or it should.  But when it wears the mantle of divinity, all things are sacred. Even pedophilia.

Till the next post, then.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Funny - Joe Piscopo Does 'Thriller'

Decades later, still a riot and a half.



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Allegories Gone Wild - Happy Zombie Day!

ZombieJC51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.  -  Matthew 27

“Sweet zombie Jesus!” – Hubert J. Farnsworth, Futurama

Jesus is not a zombie!” - Special Agent Seeley Booth, Bones

Yes boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, meine damen und herren, it’s that bizarre time of year again, when the hopeless romantics (and even more hopelessly superstitious) celebrate and embody (pun intended) their thanatophobia by praising an event that by all accounts never happened. Not once.  Much of this can be found here,

I recall a lecture I attended some years ago by Richard Carrier, where he pointed out that in ancient Rome, it was a federal offense to rob graveyards, regardless of what culture it occurred in. In fact, it was a capital offense. And yet, oddly, no furor was raised, no task forces dispatched. Sure, it’s an argument from silence, but it’s a pretty powerful one.  Seeing as how the Jews took great care and reverence in preparing the deceased, a Jewish grave robbed was likely a huge event – which very easily could’ve sparked a huge riot, both then as well as now.

Really? The entire tale, read objectively, reads like some badly written crazy-ass hallucinogenic fantasy. Don’t even get me started on the inability of four people (who all ‘saw’ the same things) to tell the same tale.

It’s a zombie story. And by ‘zombie’, I mean “the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose.”

This fascination with the dead coming back to life is understandable. More than a little morbid, too. Who enjoys the loss of a loved one? What wouldn’t any of us give to have those people back? A lot. But my wants and needs won’t circumvent reality. It’s a messed up system, more proof the universe gives neither jot nor tittle if we breathe or hurt or gasp or fuck someone. All the more reason we should take care of each other, not less.

We’ve had legends of zombies dating back as far as ancient Greece (remember Cadmus and the Dragon’s teeth?), Mesopotamia, Sumeria, etc. A zombie by any other name still falls under the definition as given above.

It’s a popular and pervasive meme. I can’t count how many zombie movies I’ve seen (though I haven’t tried yet) – and zombies are almost as ubiquitous as any religious fantasy.

So, for the braver among you – tomorrow (or today, it’s 11:28 PM PDT where I am), if someone says, “Happy Easter” or “Happy Bunny Day!”, respond with “Happy Zombie Day!” And come back and tell us (brief synopsis as possible) how that went exactly. Just stay out of harm’s way (if for instance you were to holler this at say, this bunch, that would likely be highly inadvisable), be sensible and safe with it. Oh, and try not to laugh at their umbrage. It’s tough (I can get away with it), but try to make them think if you can.

Till the next post then.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Funny - South Park

For low-brow knee-slapping entertainment, there's no substitute for South Park.
The parodies are pretty funny. This one's entitled 'Cloverpark'.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pakistan–A Country Divided, Not United, By The Madness Of Muslim

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

islam-motivatorWar of holy principles
I'm seeking God's help in your destruction
Slit the throat of heathen man
And let his blood dilute the water
Bury your dead – Slayer, “Jihad”

What bedlam is Islam. Must the world be awash in the blood of innocents before these lunatics are stopped? Will the megalomaniacs, deluded into grandiose fantasies, be allowed to ride roughshod over civilization as the bones of innocents are trampled into shards by their ideological steeds?

Pakistan militants killed 2,500 in 2010, report says

More than 2,500 people were killed in militant attacks in Pakistan in 2010, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

Nearly half of victims were civilians killed in suicide blasts. There were 67 such attacks last year, the group said.

The report also said at least 900 people had been killed in US drone strikes during the same period.

For those of you who are unaware, the US is apparently attacking Pakistan on a regular basis. As horrible as that is, it’s a weak-ass excuse:

The number of people killed by the army is not mentioned, but it estimated to be in the region of 600-700.

Pakistani troops are battling insurgents across the north-west. Many of those it has killed are believed to be militants, but civilian lives have been lost too.

The HRCP is the main human rights watchdog in the country. Its findings are often disputed by the authorities, the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Karachi says.

The group's findings show a rise in the numbers being killed in Pakistan's conflict.

BBC research published last July suggested 1,713 people had been killed by militants over the preceding 18 months, while 746 people had died in drone attacks during the same period.

Still not a good enough excuse.

'Increasing intolerance'

The HRCP released its data in its annual report on the state of human rights and security in Pakistan between January and December 2010.

"Pakistan's biggest problem continues to be violence carried out militants," HRCP chairman Mehdi Hasan said.

To no one’s great surprise.

"In 2010, 67 suicide attacks were carried out across the country in which 1,169 people were killed," he said. "At least 1,000 of those were civilians."

This scattergun approach indicates that not only are these people crazy, they have piss poor aim too.

Dr Hasan said that in all 2,542 people had been killed in militant attacks in the country last year.

Nobody seems to be able to agree on the numbers, except that it’s well over a thousand.

He said the most glaring example of government oversight had been in Balochistan province, where targeted killings shot up rapidly with 118 people being killed in 2010.

Dr Hasan said the figure was set to increase in 2011, as the government seemed unconcerned about the unravelling of the law and order situation in Balochistan.

Follow the link, and you’ll find that Balochistan has been in constant turmoil due to…drum roll please…religious wars. Can’t even put an exclamation mark on it, anymore. It’s common place.

The HRCP report also spoke about increasing intolerance against religious minorities in the country.

It said 99 members of the Ahmedi (Qadiani) sect had been killed in attacks in 2010, while 64 people had been charged under the country's blasphemy law.

For more on the Ahmedi (Qadiani):

Ahmadiyya (Arabic: أحمدية‎;Urdu: احمدِیہ) is an Islamic religious movement founded in India near the end of the 19th century, originating with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecies about the world reformer of the end times, who was to herald the Eschaton as predicted in the traditions of various world religions and bring about the final triumph of Islam as per Islamic prophecy. He claimed that he was the Mujaddid (divine reformer) of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah and Mahdi awaited by Muslims. The adherents of the Ahmadiyya sect are referred to as Ahmadis or Ahmadi Muslims. Ahmadi emphasis lay in the belief that Islam is the final law for humanity as revealed to Muhammad and the necessity of restoring to it its true essence and pristine form, which had been lost through the centuries. Thus, Ahmadis view themselves as leading the revival and peaceful propagation of Islam.The Ahmadis were among the earliest Muslim communities to arrive in Britain and other Western countries.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded the movement on 23 March 1889 and termed it the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at (community), envisioning it to be a revitalisation of Islam. Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims and claim to practice Islam in its pristine form; however, Ahmadiyya views on certain beliefs in Islam have been controversial to mainstream Muslims since the movement’s birth. Many mainstream Muslims do not consider Ahmadis to be Muslims, citing in particular the Ahmadiyya viewpoint on the death and return of Jesus (see Jesus in Islam), the Ahmadiyya concept of Jihad in a peaceful format and the community’s view of the finality of prophethood with particular reference to the interpretation of Qur'an 33:40. In several Islamic countries today Ahmadis have been marginalised by the majority religious community; severe persecution and often systematic oppression have led many Ahmadis to emigrate and settle elsewhere.

And of course, the reason even the crazies think that these people are crazier still:

    • That the prophecies concerning the second coming of Jesus were metaphorical in nature and not literal, and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad fulfilled in his person these prophecies and the second advent of Jesus, that he was the promised Mahdi and Messiah.
    • The continuation of divine revelation. Although the Qur'an is the final message of God for mankind, He continues to communicate with his chosen individuals in the same way he is believed to have done in the past. All of God's attributes are eternal.
    • That Jesus, contrary to mainstream Islamic belief, was crucified and survived the four hours on the cross. He was later revived from a swoon in the tomb. Ahmadis believe that Jesus died in Kashmir of old age whilst seeking the Lost Tribes of Israel. Jesus’ remains are believed to be entombed in Kashmir under the name Yuz Asaf. Ahmadis believe that Jesus foretold the coming of Muhammad after him, which Christians have misinterpreted.
    • That Jesus Christ did not bring a new religion or law, i.e., that he was not a law-bearing prophet, but was last in the line of Israelite prophets who appeared within the dispensation of Moses akin to that of David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc.
    • That the “Messiah” and the “Imam Mahdi” are the same person, and that it is through his teachings, influence, his prayers and those of his followers that Islam will defeat the Anti-Christ or Dajjal in a period similar to the period of time it took for nascent Christianity to rise (see also: Ahmadiyya relationship with Christianity) and that the Dajjal's power will slowly melt away like the melting of snow, heralding the final victory of Islam and the age of peace.
    • That the history of religion is cyclic and is renewed every seven millennia. The present cycle from the time of the Biblical Adam is split into seven epochs or ages, parallel to the seven days of the week, with periods for light and darkness. That Mirza Ghulam Ahmad appeared as the Promised Messiah at the sixth epoch heralding the seventh and final age of mankind, as a day in the estimation of God is like a thousand years of man's reckoning.[Qur'an 22:47][31] According to Ghulam Ahmad, just as the sixth day of the week is reserved for Jumu'ah (congregational prayers), likewise his age is destined for a global assembling of mankind in which the world is to unite under one universal religion: Islam.
    • The two Ahmadiyya groups have varying beliefs regarding the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that Muhammad brought prophethood to perfection and was the last law-bearing prophet and the apex of man’s spiritual evolution. New prophets can come but they must be subordinate to Muhammad and cannot exceed him in excellence nor alter his teaching or bring any new law or religion. The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement believes that Muhammad is the last of the prophets and no prophet, new or old, can come after him.

Need I deconstruct this? Nah – res ipsa loquitor. When it boils down to Rodney King’s“can’t we all get along?” refrain – obviously we can’t. We’re trying…but the religious nuts keep flummoxing it up.

How much more evidence does the world require, then? Proof that religion is poison is everywhere, that chasing the afterlife allows the insane to slaughter the innocents, because obviously that great cosmic babysitter in the sky has been and is out indefinitely on an extended break that’s lasted…since time began.

Till the next post, then.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Funny - SNL's Seth Meyers 'Really?'

I've been wending my way through some recent Saturday Night Live episodes on Netflix, and I really quite enjoy the 'Really?!?' segments. I'd go as far as to say, it's the epitome of snark.



Saturday, April 09, 2011

Because The Call Of The Wild Is Louder Than An Ave Maria….

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

unmarriedclergyTheology is a thing of unreason altogether, an edifice of assumption and dreams, a superstructure without a substructure.
-- Ambrose Bierce, Collected Works (1912), quoted from
James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

But love's the only engine of survival – Leonard Cohen, ‘The Future’

(Hat tip to Krissthesexyatheist)

It’s true – the religious bellow about clamping down on the simplest, most natural behavior. Vastly amusing for folks who aren’t acquainted with the cultural context, but obnoxious for those of us who see this sort of nonsense regularly. And in America, it’s constant. A constant barrage rains down on the average citizen. Religious language permeates (too) many metaphors; the imagery is ubiquitous; and the taboos about criticism are so deeply ingrained, it’s no wonder atheists are blamed for cultural calamities, and shouted down.

Of course, when you read a story like the following, a lack of reverence puts things into perspective quickly:

German theologians call for end to celibacy

BERLIN – University theologians in Germany have called on the Catholic Church to abandon the vow of celibacy for priests, open up the clergy for women and accept gays couples.

Yeah, I’d say you clowns are about a millennia too late.

The 143 professors said the church must implement bold reforms because of "a crisis without precedent" following the discovery of widespread sexual and physical abuses by clergymen a year ago.

Sorry. In my book, almost anything is forgivable. Child molestation is NOT one.

More Christians than ever have turned their backs on the Catholic Church in the past year, they said. "The Church has to understand these signs and move beyond its ossified structures to regain new vitality and credibility."

Said one dinosaur to another, “What’s that big burning thing coming down on us?”

The appeal, published in newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung's Friday edition, called on the church's leadership to stop excluding gay couples and remarried Christians.

Oops – there goes another book of the bible. I assume the shellfish and linen stipulations are out too?

"The Church also needs married priests and women holding positions in the clergy," the appeal said — in clear defiance of the Vatican's dogmas.

But Germany's Bishops Conference on Friday cautiously welcomed the appeal, saying it could enhance the ongoing reform discussion, while noting several proposals contradicted the church's principles.

Reform? The Catholic church isn’t in need of reform. That’s like strapping a jet engine to a Model T. It needs to be gone.

"On some issues, the memorandum is in conflict with theological convictions and church regulations that are highly binding," Bishops Conference Secretary Hand Langendoerfer said in a statement.

The appeal — signed by a few Austrian, Swiss and by almost a third of Germany's Catholic university theologians — is a rare challenge to the clergy establishment and the Vatican, because the church has a veto right in appointing theologians at Germany's state-run universities.

Wait – what? Why are there ‘theologians’ in state-run universities?

But the wealthy Catholic Church in the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI sees the number of its followers dwindling, leading to lower proceeds every year, and ever fewer young men choosing to become priests.

Always good news.

Several leading lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party — among them parliamentary Speaker Nobert Lammert and Education Minister Annette Schavan — last month also appealed to Germany's bishops to fight for the vow of celibacy's abolition, citing "the increasing lack of priests."

You gotta bribe young men into joining by maybe letting them get laid? The phrase ‘control issues’ comes to mind.

The theologians, in turn, said the challenges are already obvious for a long time, but there are still no church reforms within sight.

A common refrain that has lasted two millennia.

"The disturbance of open dialogue without any taboos does not go well with everybody, especially when there's a papal visit upcoming," the theologians said, referring to Benedict's planned visit in September.

They said that in stereo? Truer words have never been spoken, especially by theologians.

The professors also called for a more democratic and less centralized church, including giving the faithful a say in appointing their priests and bishops. "What can be decided locally, should be decided there," the appeal said.

Centuries of trying to suppress and chain a vital urge that drives humanity, and what do we get? Child molesters. Res ipsa loquitor.

I believe the end is coming, folks. That great shambling blind anachronism is falling to its knees, not in supplication, but in fatigue. The only reform needed is that our species stop paying homage and respect to the shamans and witch-doctors. We’ve outgrown them. At least, some of us have. We’re just waiting for the rest to catch up.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Wednesday Funny - A MIghty Wind

I was watching this film last night, and the following scene is very nearly a rib-buckler:

Favorite line of all time; "Human kind is simply materialized color operating on the 49th vibration."
Highly recommended. Not only vastly funny, but packed to the rafters with some very cool music.


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Beck And His Bad News Bears–Bearing Tidings Of Byzantine Baroque Grotesqueries

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

NewAmericanJesusAs artistic styles go, Baroque is kinda cool. But as a mentality, it pretty much divvies up control centers of the brain in a unique and brutal fashion. Often, there’s just no sense to be had.


The Bizarre Religious Myths Mormon Right-Wingers Are Pushing on Tea Partiers -- With Glenn Beck's Help

With the rise of the right, the National Center for Constitutional Studies' bizarre version of U.S. history is gaining adherents. 

FAIRMONT, W. Va. — One fine Saturday morning last year, around 60 mostly middle-aged conservatives trickled onto the otherwise deserted campus of Fairmont State University. Clutching notebooks and coffee cups, they looked like groggy Continuing Ed students as they took seats in a modern lecture hall on the ground floor of the school's engineering building. In a sense, they were Continuing Ed students. The room had been booked months in advance for a one-day, intro-level history and civics seminar entitled, "The Making of America."

Do you sniff the encroaching idiocy?

But this was no ordinary summer school. Randall McNeely, the seminar's kindly, awkward, and heavy-set instructor, held no advanced degree and made no claims to being a scholar of any kind. He was, rather, a product of rote training in a religious and apocalyptic interpretation of American history that has roots in the racist right of the last century. His students for the day had learned about the class not in the Fairmont State summer catalog, but from the website of an obscure nonprofit run by fringe Mormons. Founded as the Freeman Institute in Provo, Utah, in 1971, the outfit now goes by the name National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCSS), and works out of a remote farmhouse in Malta, Idaho (population 177).

Remember that name: the NCSS. This is the enemy.

This humble base of operations, however, constrains neither the outfit's national ambitions nor its missionary zeal. The NCCS has been touring the country and propagating its ultraconservative Mormon message for nearly four decades. Yet its message has never been in greater demand than in 2010. Since the rise of the Tea Party circuit, the all-volunteer NCCS has experienced exploding interest from Tea Party-affiliated groups such as the 9.12 Project and the Tea Party Patriots. On any given Saturday, several of nearly 20 "Making of America" lecturers are giving seminars across the country in spaces like the rented classroom in Fairmont, with $10 tickets and NCCS book sales paying for their travel and expenses.

So some religious nobody is charging money for nothing. (Dire Straits reference there)

Along with a busier schedule, the NCCS also has a growing list of allies. In the media, it has found a powerful voice in the form of Fox News' Glenn Beck, who is a Mormon himself and has used his pulpit to advocate for NCCS books and ideas. Through Beck's sustained and energetic advocacy, once-forgotten NCCS tracts of Mormon-flavored pseudo-history such as The 5,000 Year Leap have become unlikely online bestsellers. As a result, traveling volunteer NCCS lecturers like McNeely today have no shortage of students eager to learn his version of "truth."

If you want the crazy at your beck and call, just call Beck.

"In our time together, we're going to learn the truth about American history and what our government is supposed to do—and not do," said McNeely, after opening the August seminar in Fairmont with a Christian prayer and a patriotic song of his own authorship. "We're going to learn sound principles. Once we have possession of these sound principles, we can solve nearly every problem in America, the way the Founders would have liked."

Starting a ‘seminar’ with a prayer? A Christian prayer no less? Odds are, the demographics of his ‘students’ are an easy guess.

As the morning progressed, it became clear that the NCCS worldview and program were based on three major pillars: understanding the divine guidance that has allowed the United States to thrive; rejecting the tyrannical, implicitly sinful, nature of the modern federal government; and preparing for a divine reckoning that will bring down America's government and possibly tear society as we know it asunder, thus allowing those with sound principles — i.e., godly NCCS graduates — to rebuild the republic along "sounder," more pious lines.

The Christlation is as follows: we want it, we want it our way, and we want it on specific terms with a past that never really was all they were told it is.

America's return to extremely limited government, as they think God intended, is destined to happen, NCCS lecturers teach, because God has already shown an interventionist role in American history. According to the NCCS, the founding of the United States was nothing short of a "miracle" in the literal sense of the word. God is watching, in other words, and he is not happy. Teaching out of the seminar's 131-page illustrated workbook, McNeely argued that the current federal government is guilty of a "usurpation of power." It is, therefore, illegitimate, though McNeely never actually uttered that word. Governmental powers should be used sparingly, he explained, limited largely to the common defense and the elimination of "debauchery and vice."

Oh wow holy crap – what?!?!? Note that there’s no examples whatsoever. Presupposition spiraling out of control.

In some ways, the NCCS worldview can sound remarkably similar to that of antigovernment "Patriots," whose movement has exploded in the last two years.

Yeah, right after a black man with a suspiciously Arabic-sounding name got elected? How much you wanna bet that has a pivotal role? You’d win that bet. The list of ‘patriots’ is a scary one.

So it's not much of a surprise that it has found a number of new organizational allies among "Constitutionalist" groups such as the conspiracy-obsessed John Birch Society, the ultraconservative "pro-family" group Eagle Forum, and the Oath Keepers, a group of ex-police and military personnel who publicly promise to resist orders if they find those orders at odds with their understanding of the Constitution.

That last group has ties with Ron Paul, who is pretty much a crazy religious conservative, whose few good ideas are outweighed by all the bad ones. The Birchers, if you recall, insisted the entire Civil Rights movement was invented wholesale via communist conspirators, and Eagle Forum has Phyllis Schafly as a prominent member, which should be all the info you really need.

At the 2010 National Liberty Unity Summit, a powwow of far-right groups, NCCS president Earl Taylor delivered the keynote address following speeches by leading Oath Keepers Richard Mack and Guy Cunningham.

But mostly, the NCCS focuses on its seminars. And business has never been better.

"We're trying to flood the nation," NCCS president Taylor told The Washington Post in June. "And it's happening."

Yeah Taylor, but sewage has its place elsewhere.

And here’s a particularly (un)attractive example of who we’re looking at here:

Communists, Capitalists and Jews
Students of the American far right may not recognize the anodyne-sounding NCCS, but they no doubt know the name of its founder, the late W. Cleon Skousen. By the time Skousen founded The Freeman Institute in 1971 (the name was changed to NCCS in 1984), the bespectacled former police chief had become a minor legend in the annals of right-wing radicalism. Throughout the late 1950s and 60s, following 11 years of mostly administrative work in the FBI, Skousen toured the country whipping up anti-communist (and anti-civil rights) hysteria under the banner of the John Birch Society. Among the stories in Skousen's fantastical arsenal was the claim that New Dealer Harry Hopkins gave the Soviets "50 suitcases" worth of information on the Manhattan Project and nearly half of the nation's supply of enriched uranium. When the John Birch Society came under attack for its founder's claim that Dwight Eisenhower was a communist agent, Skousen wrote a pamphlet titled The Communist Attack on the John Birch Society.

They even went so far as to accuse the current President? Wow, and I thought that was a 21st century phenomenon.

In the 1970s, he penned an influential tract of New World Order conspiracism, The Naked Capitalist, which described a cabal of scheming, internationalist-minded bankers and government officials set on destroying the Constitution by manipulating left and liberal groups around the world. The purpose of liberal internationalist groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Skousen believed, is to push "U.S. foreign policy toward the establishment of a world-wide collectivist society."

This is…eerily familiar, is it not? And the bleat goes on…

Among the sources Skousen cited to substantiate this claim was is a former czarist army officer named Arsene de Goulevitch, whose own sources included Boris Brasol, a White Russian émigré who provided Henry Ford with the first English translation of the Jew-bashing classic, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and later became a supporter of Nazi Germany.

The controversy that surrounded Skousen's growing public profile in the 1960s and early 70s caused a debate within the Mormon Church leadership. For many church leaders, Skousen was bringing unwanted attention to the institution, which until then had generally eschewed involvement in politics. But Skousen also had allies in high places. The strongest and most loyal of them was Ezra Taft Benson, a Mormon Apostle and future church president.

So even among the crazies, there are people that make them uneasy.

As with Skousen, Benson remains an icon among many ultraconservative Mormons, and his name is routinely invoked during NCCS lectures. The flyer for the NCCS seminar in Fairmont prominently displayed, as do so many materials produced by the NCCS, a Benson quote: "The Greatest Watchdog of our Freedom is an informed electorate." But Benson had a decidedly illiberal understanding of just what an informed electorate should believe. Benson read America's history (and future) through a looking glass of apocalyptic Mormon theology and folklore. He believed that the Constitution would one day "hang from a thread," at which time Mormons would assume leadership of the nation and rescue it from certain and irrevocable disaster. (These ideas are not part of official Mormon Church doctrine.)

(Dontcha just love apologetic disclaimers? I don’t. People should take ownership.) And as crackers go, Bensen was full on Nabisco…

Benson was also an advocate for Bircher-style conspiracy theories. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he saw the hand of communism in every social welfare policy and fought them as both immoral and unconstitutional. A rabid foe of the civil rights movement, Benson in 1971 allowed one of his anti-civil rights talks to be reprinted as the introduction to a book of race hate called Black Hammer: A Study of Black Power, Red Influence, and White Alternatives. The book's cover featured the severed, bloody head of an African American. By the end of the decade, his politics had taken a similar turn to that of his friend Skousen. During a 1972 general conference of the Church of Latter-day Saints, Benson recommended all Mormons read Gary Allen's New World Order tract None Dare Call it A Conspiracy.

Here’s a guy I would trust as far as I could sling a piano, dictating a vast array of xenophobia and subjective personal biases to a bunch of folk who are already half-way nuts. Oh joy, what a recipe for rancor.

For the sake of brevity, I’m skipping ahead:

Glenn Beck and the Apocalypse
Defenders of the NCCS argue that the outfit, run by the grandfatherly Taylor, is merely teaching good old-fashioned civics to interested Americans. But while there is a large amount of straight, accurate history included in "Making of America" seminars, the lessons are about much more than just the Constitution. The organization's larger mission is to crudely propagandize against America's secular foundations and sow doubt over the legitimacy of the modern welfare and regulatory state, using a textbook written by a notorious conspiracist who adhered to apocalyptic folklore. And like Skousen, current NCCS lecturers believe that time is quickly running out.

Yeah, I’ve met that kind of ‘grandfatherly’ conservative before. I will always  maintain, that conservative is politicalese for coward, grasping at the status quo with tremulous hands.

There is a dark, often unspoken, subtext to the NCCS's crusade to promote the "sound principles" of proper Constitutional government. That subtext is a belief in the imminent collapse of civilization. This collapse is interwoven in the bombastic teachings of NCCS friend and ally Glenn Beck, whose Doomsday-drenched shows are profitably promoted by fear-mongering purveyors of everything from gold bullion to "crisis gardens" and emergency radios. The NCCS has done much to encourage and spread a deeply apocalyptic worldview among far-right Mormons, of whom Beck is only the most famous.

Oh great. More End Timers. Why do so many people want it to be over already? Is life that awful, simply because it doesn’t tailor itself to our desires?

The NCCS views its education crusade as crucial for rebuilding America after a coming cataclysm; thus, "The Making of America" is best seen as a God-centric civics class for the bomb shelter. Speaking last year in Mesa, Ariz., Taylor spoke cryptically of the need for "the Good Lord's help" to take America "into a much better phase of existence lasting for a thousand years."

I could easily extrapolate on that – and be about 80 percent right at the very least. But it really boils down to “the bible says so.” Which is all the feeble-minded really need.

Taylor's remarks only make sense in the context of a cleansing, holy wrath, after which will emerge pure Constitutional defenders ready to build a new society on the ashes of the old.

I find comic books and movies like that to be wildly entertaining, but as a rule, not even close to reality.

"When the time comes, when the people who are in power for the power and the glory, and there is no more power and glory left, they'll probably be looking around asking, ‘Can anybody help?' And you'll say, ‘Yeah, I've got some ideas. Come on over and eat a little something.' Because there probably won't be much food anyway, but if you're wise, you'll have some."

At this depressing image of future Constitutional scholars discussing the evils of the income tax and battling "debauchery" amid the scarred ruins of a post-Apocalyptic America, Taylor brightens up.

"We're gonna win this thing," he said. "I've read the last chapter, like you have, and in the end, we're gonna win this thing."

Oh great. Another religious dork envisioning himself as a haloed Mad Max, with crucifixes for armor. Why do these people suffer so from arrested adolescence? Sadly, data indicates this is a global phenomenon, and not localized to the US. It would be nice if folks weren’t so gullible. So the few of us that aren’t, have to address these issues. So, do you what you have to do, to obstruct the NCCS. Oh, and denounce Beck at every opportunity.

Till the next post, then.