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Stardate 10.014

Ascent out of Darkness ~ Armchair Philosophy from the 'Silly Beliefs' Team

Skeptic

Jeanette Wilson weighs the human soul
I just caught the end of a Channel 9 TV interview with Jeanette Wilson the other night. This silly medium was claiming that scientists have weighed the human soul. The interviewer tried to get her to explain how a spiritual, immaterial soul, that contains no mass and therefore no weight, can be weighed. I don't think Wilson actually grasped the problem with her argument, merely stating that she didn't understand the details, but that the scientists knew what they were doing. She couldn't name the scientists, or when or where their experiments were carried out. In fact her belief that the soul has been weighed is an urban myth, and can be traced to a Dr. Duncan MacDougall of Haverhill, Massachusetts. He did attempt this in 1907, but his experiments were flawed and the results are not accepted. He attempted to weigh six patients at the moment of death, and any sudden weight loss, he claimed, could be attributed to the departure of their soul. The claimed weight loss of the first patient was approximately 21 grams, and this is where the commonly attributed weight of the human soul comes from. None of the other five deaths gave this weight, some actually losing weight then gaining weight again. He then weighed 15 dogs on their death, and none lost weight, proving in his view that animals don't have souls, even though Jeanette Wilson insisted in the same interview that they do have a group soul. She of course wasn't aware that her 'scientist' had run these experiments on dogs as well as humans. Dr. MacDougall then moved on to attempt to photograph the soul with x-rays.
This is another example of believers in the supernatural and paranormal blindly accepting silly myths because they appear to support their beliefs.
If 100 people turned up to each of her shows in Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown, Gore and Oamaru, she will have made $24,000 for 12 hours work. Add that to all the other shows in NZ, let's say ten times this amount, and that's $240,000. Nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Add that to her previous tour of NZ a few months ago, maybe only $120,000 because she wasn't as famous then, and the proceeds from her silly and vacuous 'Medium Rare' book, maybe another $30,000 plus, and that's $390,000. She claimed in another interview on Channel 9 that she didn't make any money from these shows, that it all went to a charitable trust. Yeah, right. You can't tell me she travels around the country with her family, staying in expensive motels, and pays for it out of her own pocket. There may be trusts alright, but the charity they give the most to will be 'Jeanette Wilson'.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Nov, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Anonymous, 12 Feb, 2005

    She's on tour again - wonder how much the 'charity' is getting this time?

  2. Comment by Anonymous, 13 Aug, 2005

    More about Jeanette Wilson's "charity" in the Herald:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=134&objectid=10431917

Collen McCullogh, sex and Pitcairn Island
Regarding the Pitcairn Island sex trials, Collen McCullogh, Australian author of the best-seller 'The Thorn Birds', has called the convictions of the six men 'an absolute disgrace'. Quoted as saying 'It's Polynesian to break your girls in at 12' and 'These are indigenous customs and should not be touched'. Who does this stupid bitch think she is? She says that people should be able to do as their custom dictates, but then criticises the legal system for doing as its custom dictates, ie prosecuting men that rape young girls. What a hypocrite. I guess this moron must believe in relativism, the silly belief that what's true or right for one group may not be for another. For example, it's wrong for us to murder people, but it's OK for other groups to murder as long as their culture says it is, and we should only comment on our culture and leave others to do as they wish. Of course there could be another reason, and if I was the Australian government I'd be looking into her motivation. Living on Norfolk Island with other Pitcairn Islanders who possibly believe sex with minors is acceptable, perhaps she is trying to absolve herself from any legal or moral responsibility around something happening in her own life.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Nov, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Organic farming and the environment
An article in the ODT (1 Oct 2004) quoted Dr Holger Kirchmann, an international specialist in crops from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, as saying organic farming had become an ideology rather than a practical farming exercise. He stated that 'on several fronts, organic farming was actually worse for the environment than traditional forms', in that 'yields from organic farms were 25% to 40% less than from their traditional counterparts, meaning organic farming required one-third more land to sustain food production with animals, and 82% more land when it came to crop farming'. Also the use of less efficient fertilisers was one of the biggest shortcomings of organic farming.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Nov, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Smoking ban in bars
I getting sick of these morons stating that they should be able to do want they want in public bars, that their basic freedoms are being denied. They are too stupid to realise they are not free to do what they wish. They can't have sex in public bars, snort cocaine, run a gambling den, assault other patrons, plus an enormous number of other things. Why aren't they campaigning to have these basic freedoms as well? They insist on their right to smoke in a public place, but at the same time blindly deny my right not to breathe it in. Their rights somehow override my rights. If I were to bring my poorly trained and easily spooked pet skunks into the bar, smokers would demand I leave, claiming that the stench was putting them off their drinks. They wouldn't think twice of stamping on my freedom to do as I wished in a public bar. I eagerly await the day I can enjoy a meal and a drink in bars without feeling I should be wearing a gas mask. If the TPT (Trailer Park Trash) stay away because of the ban, so much the better.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Nov, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Pesticides found in 'organic' food
A recent survey by the NZ Food Safety Authority (FSA) showed that nearly a quarter of the 'organic' products tested contained pesticide residues. 41 products were picked at random and 22% contained residues of conventional chemical pesticide sprays. While these residues were below the maximum allowed in normal food, food that claims to be 'organic' must be completely free of conventional pesticides to gain 'organic' certification. Steffan Browning, a Marlborough 'organic' grower, said the survey was too small, although he did admit that some organic producers must be breaking the rules. There is no regulatory requirements for 'organic' food, only a voluntary code.
Personally I don't like the term 'organic' food. It's used today to make it sound superior and preferable to conventionally grown food, when in fact all food is organic. Organic simply means anything that contains carbon, and organic matter is anything related to or derived from living organisms. A better term for produce produced by living organisms is biogenic, although this still doesn't differentiate between conventionally grown food and 'organic' food. Likewise the word 'chemical' is used by 'organic' producers to imply that their 'organic' produce doesn't contain chemicals. Rubbish. All food contains chemicals. What they mean is 'artificially created' chemicals. It's a shame that the New Age fraternity have hijacked these words rather than invent new ones, since it creates confusion. Scientists use the terms organic matter, chemical and drug in their scientific context, not the flaky New Age context.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Nov, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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The Truth Behind the Moon Landings
Finally a documentary is shown on TV (Thu, 4 Nov, TV3) that demolishes the silly claims that the NASA moon landings were a hoax. 'The Truth Behind the Moon Landings' examined the main claims of those that say NASA faked it all in the Nevada desert, and while there were parts that I thought could have been done better, it showed that these claims have no basis in fact.

Why doesn't the scientific community take the hoax seriously? Perhaps because the three main proponents behind the conspiracy theory, Bill Kaysing (writer/librarian), Bart Sibrel (journalist) and Ralph Rene (retired carpenter), lack any sort of scientific credibility, refuse to acknowledge reasonable explanations and manipulate or suppress contrary information. It's all a scam to promote their books, videos and TV appearances. The documentary interviewed both Bill Kaysing and Ralph Rene, and quite frankly, they both came across as a couple of nutters.

I'm continuously amazed, and dismayed, that there are still people out there that believe the Apollo Moon landings were a hoax. Initially I thought that only a handful of weirdos in the States swallowed this crap, but in the last year I have met four people who are convinced that man has never walked on the moon. There are simple answers that refute all the silly hoax claims, if only people would consult the experts, rather than listen only to the conspiracy theorists. A good website that explains many of the hoax claims is www.badastronomy.com.

But even without consulting scientific answers, common sense alone should convince you that the moon landings weren't a hoax. If NASA and the US government carried off the most sophisticated hoax of all times, why risk being exposed by pretending to land on the moon five more times? Why bother faking an accident in space: Apollo 13? Why didn't the USSR, who were tracking the Apollo craft and their transmissions, cry hoax when their arch enemy of the Cold War claimed to beat them to the moon? Why haven't independent geologists revealed that the moon rocks are no different than earth rocks? Why hasn't one of the thousands of employees of NASA, the US government or the supposed hoax film crew spilled the beans for enormous financial reward?

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Nov, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Moron loses job over fingerprints
I saw on the TV3 news (9 Nov) that an Auckland print engineer, David Barnes, has been dismissed from his job because he refused to allow his employer to have a record of his fingerprints. To combat worker fraud, it seems they have installed a machine that records your arrival and departure from work by reading your fingerprint. Barnes claims that it's against his religious and ethical beliefs. Saying that he's been reading the Bible since he was five, he claimed that taking biometric information from him would stamp him with the 'Mark of the Beast'. However since he would be willing to let the police take his fingerprints, the Employment Relations Authority correctly stated that he wasn't too sincere in his beliefs. He reckons that his employer would be setting up a master and slave situation, somehow stealing his identity by having personal information. But most employers already have plenty of your personal details: full name, date of birth, address, phone numbers, signature, IRD number, marriage status, spouse's name, next of kin, health problems, bank account details etc, and often these days, your photograph is kept on file for your ID card. Many other companies and government departments also keep your personal details. Think of the photo, details and signature on your drivers licence. The ethical argument that his employer is somehow stealing his identity is ridiculous. To quit your job, then worry about how you're going to survive as a sole parent, over such a silly thing as fingerprints is extremely stupid.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Nov, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County
The above documentary screened on TV2, Mon 25th Oct at 3:10 am. It began with a special notice by TVNZ that the following programme is presented as received from the US, and that there is still much debate as to its authenticity. The documentary played a home video that was purported to have been taken at a family Thanksgiving gathering in rural USA in 1997. The family undergo various frightening dramas, the end result being that they are apparently abducted by aliens. The video tape is found later, although the family have vanished, and the police have no leads, apart from the tape. Various 'experts' (some whom I recognised as real people), discuss episodes on the tape and most vouch for its authenticity. The first time I saw this (it was made in 1998), there were no credits or information at the end of the programme. It immediately struck me as a hoax, and a little searching on the Internet showed that it was. The second time I saw it the end credits had not been cut, and it clearly showed that all the people in the video were played by actors, including the aliens. It also showed who did the special effects, built the spaceship etc. As for the 'experts', only 5 of the 11 were real people. The credits gave details of the fake 'experts', but made no mention of the real 'experts': Yvonne Smith, a hypnotherapist and abduction researcher, Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist and UFO researcher and Derrel Sims, a UFO investigator, all believed the tape to be real. Only Dr Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, was dismissive of the points raised in the video, but based on his comments, it's debatable whether he was ever shown the actual video, but merely asked for his opinion on the abduction phenomena. Forbes Riley, TV reporter, is also a real person and was sceptical, but it's unclear whether these were her views or merely part of the script, since she has appeared on many fictional TV shows playing herself.

It's very dishonest on TVNZ's part to attempt to portray this programme as factual, to deliberately mislead people with their warning notice. The fact that the credits showed it to be a hoax would have been missed by many people. For example, I met a teenager that was convinced that the movie 'The Blair Witch Project' was a real tape. There is enough bogus UFO sightings and abduction stories out there now, without needing to resort to making hoax documentaries. This hoax just fuels the mistaken beliefs of those that contend that aliens are abducting us from our beds to play with our genitals. I await the day the first alien appears in court charged with sexual abuse.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 03 Nov, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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NZQA — courses in fantasy
The NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has withdrawn accreditation for alternative health courses run at Takaro Lodge near Te Anau. The Phenomena Academy, as it is known, is run by Aiping Wang. Two of her students died of cancer, supposedly discouraged from seeking conventional treatment according to a recent 20/20 current affairs program on TV3. Aiping Wang and her students did appear to be a very flaky lot. One student, a university qualified engineer, thought he was going to learn how to fly, just like Superman. Aiping Wang claimed that she believed trained people could fly, and although she herself couldn't fly, she believed she could teach people. They seem to have this New Age belief in 'body energy fields'. Of course no one ever proves that these energy therapies work, they don't even show that these body energy fields even exist. They love to sprinkle their conversations with scientific terms, especially those from quantum mechanics. However they seldom understand the science behind them, often using contradictory terms in the same breath. They can never explain what energy really is and can never produce reports that support their beliefs, even though they all claim to know they exist, somewhere. Likewise, they vigorously deny that any scientific research has shown their claims to be bogus.

The really scary thing is that The Phenomena Academy had NZQA accreditation in the first place. Even now NZQA is working with them to have their accreditation restored. It seems they have no problem with what the academy is teaching, but only in the way they are teaching it, ie documentation etc. There are also accredited colleges in NZ that let you qualify in homeopathy. And what about the people running courses for witches. Will they soon be applying to NZQA for accreditation? It's frightening to think that people could come out of these courses with health qualifications that allow them to practise as therapists. These qualifications will give them legitimacy, putting them up there with real doctors. People will go to them rather than seeking real medical help, and lives will be lost. It makes you wonder what drives the NZQA? Are they prepared to give anyone accreditation if they pay enough money and have nicely designed courses, or are they a bunch of New Age wackos that actually believe all this stuff really works? For example, you could attend a legitimate, well structured and well taught school on the culture of Santa Claus. You would learn every thing there is to know about Santa from the names of his reindeer and where he lives, right down to his preference in clothing. You would graduate as an expert on Santa Claus and the course would have fulfilled its purpose. Does this mean that Santa actually exists? No, of course not. It's the same with alternative health courses. They may be well run, well structured, and given with the best of intentions. The may teach you everything that the tutors know about that particular alternative therapy. And your certificate may well indicate that you are now well versed in that particular alternative therapy. But does that mean that it actually works? No, of course not. It was not the purpose of the course to prove that the therapy works, but merely to impart to the student what is known about it, in the same way that the Santa course was not trying to prove Santa exists, but merely teach you about him. All it means is that you are now an expert in a fantasy.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 29 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Anonymous, 12 Nov, 2004

    You are right. Furthermore, the affair could get an international dimension. Some students of Aiping Wang were saying in UK, Germany and some other European countries: "We were trained at Phenomena Academy, which is a school, accredited by a New Zealand government." It helped to those guys to sell traditional healing treatments and if the affair grew up, the reputation of NZQA and NZ government would be shaken.

  2. Comment by Anonymous, 23 Dec, 2004

    I have recently experienced/ been exposed to Shen Qi and Aiping Wang's followers as well as the Peace Club practicioners in Tucson, Arizona. It is an "anything goes" and "if it feels good - do it" way of life with no recourse or conscienceness required for one's actions or ill actions towards another. Drugs and alcohol are the medicine of the day for these folks as they seek wisdom, truith and strive to touch their "source". Common theft, lies, and malicious spreading of STD's are all acceptable, time after time - year after year, and even herald as victories as they are a part of one's "cleaning". My hat is off to anyone who can make it out of blind faiths like Shen Qi and the Peace Club with their soul, mind, personal health and wallet in-tack.

  3. Comment by Anonymous, 28 Jun, 2005

    Hallo to all of you, let me give you some details about Aiping Wang and her students. They were all moved away from NZ. Last fall one of them threatened with the bomb in Tauranga and was later deported:
    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/ page/506420/613510
    In March twelve of them were deported because their visas expired:
    http:// www.newswire.co.nz/main/ viewstory.aspx?storyid=306020&catid=0
    http:// www.newstalkzb.co.nz/ newsdetail1.asp?storyID=91423
    It is strange to me that Mr. Joel Sutton is quoted as Takaro Lodge owner because the Lodge is still owned by Aiping Wang and her husband Aleksandar Fulepp.
    It is also unusual that local mayor Mrs. Frana Cardno gave a strong support to the group.
    http:// www.newstalkzb.co.nz/ newsdetail1.asp?storyID=91320
    One can hear two explanations. Some say that group made a large donation to the local hospital while others point out to Mr. Fulepp, Croatian. Mrs. Cardno is supposed to have a Croatian background as well. Anyway, I am not surprised that Wang and her people went to live in Arizona. In 1994 and 1995 Wang and Fulepp lived in Phoenix, AZ. Fulepp claimed that in eighties he had spent some years with Mormons but there were rumors that he was deported as an illegal worker.

  4. Comment by Anonymous, 07 Feb, 2008

    I have visited your site by chance looking for some information on Aiping Wang, and whilst (as far as I'm concerned) the jury is still out on Ms Wang and her techniques, I have to say I am very surprised at some of the comments here. I have had some contact with several people trained by Ms Wang in the UK and I have to say that they were all concerned about health, keen to lead a healthy lifestyle, and certainly not malicious in any way. They would have been horrified to read some of the comments here. And whilst this post is not intended to endorse what they believe to be a healing method, I thought I'd put the record straight when it comes to their ethos and intentions.
    With best regards, A Reader.

  5. Comment by Anonymous, 28 Feb, 2008

    Patrick Holford, in HOLFORDWATCH, has stumbled across this: (http://holfordwatch.info/2008/02/22/lifes-4-living-the-energy-clinic-claire-sutton-and-sarah-mccrum/). I think in this instance KNOWLEDGE is POWER. We need to share the evil stories and harness the power of the internet to spread this message as far and wide as possible. AIPING WANG is, pure and simple, a brainwashing cult leader. SARAH MCCRUM is her principle crony and it is her job to GROOM people for AIPING. Aiping is sometimes called AIPING WANG, AIPING WANG FULEPP and AIPING FULEPP.LIFE'S 4 LIVING TRUST LIMITED and THE WORLD EDUCATION FOUNDATION FOR THE DISABLED are one and the same thing. They all operate from the ENERGY CLINIC, which used to be called the ENERGY BANK. Also watch out for EDEN RESOURCES LIMITED. Also run by the same bunch. EDEN PHENOMENA is Aiping's new "brainchild" but it is more of the same garbage. They just want MONEY. As much, or often, more than you can afford. Does anyone know what happened to WARWICK POWELL — or is he another tragic casualty. Bear in mind that it is well documented that at least two people have died after Aiping told them to get off their (life saving) medication. LIFES 4 LIVING is run by Claire Sutton, Joel Sutton, Sonja Bistrovic and Sarah McCrum (also known as Sarah Dumjovic). Claire and Sonja are busy bringing in "new recruits", using message boards, forums, adverts and various freebies. They use various charity names to hide their real activities, which they may or may not know or understand the extent of. They are completely brainwashed. Joel Sutton was a manager (sometimes quoted as owner) of the New Zealand lodge, along with his wife Claire. In the above article they spoke about "distancing" themselves from the controversial past — one suspects therefore that they do realise what they are involved in — they should at least have a inkling. Joel is trying to open "Eden Phenomena" Clinics in London and USA. They already have clinics in Eastern Europe and Shanghai. They have been variously called Shen Chi, Shen Qi, 603 Phenomena Academy, Eden Phenomena, Energy Banks, Energy Clinics etc. etc. — spot the name changes... I wonder why??? (I don't really wonder why, that was a sarcastic rhetoric.) Basically Xenon is right, they hide behind name changes and move countries and continents... however the true story is out there in the public domain, and needs to be broadcast high and wide. Don't be fooled by one or two brainwashed followers speaking of their love for Aiping.
    Look at the facts: Aiping is documented saying she can teach people to fly. Aiping is documented saying that she thinks she can live forever. Aiping believes that energy can be sent down the phone line. Aiping thinks she can heal the world of disease. Aiping charges 30,000 Euros for one month in China. Aiping charges 1000 Euros for little parcels of "essence of food". Aiping charges 5000 Euros for "private sessions". You can become a master with Aiping, in a 6 week course (like Sarah McCrum). Bad Health is YOUR FAULT. Bad Health is a result of BAD ENERGY. If you have bad health you are full of BAD ENERGY. The only person that can save you, if you can afford to lose you wallet and your sanity, is AIPING. No-one can deny these FACTS. These are straight from the horse's mouth. Can you imagine this kind of pricing in any other field, hobby or endeavour?? THIS IS A MONEY MAKING SCAM. It is like a giant pyramid scheme, with Aiping and her husband at the top. People paying them for brainwashing disguised as the miraculous gift of energy. The followers and Aiping can't even demonstrate energy, let alone describe it. It is like a gigantic sick joke. Bear in mind, as a brief note on AIPING's husband, he is one of the most unhealthy looking characters in the WORLD. He is married to this so called GRAND MASTER, yet he shuffles around, grossly overweight, Diabetes almost certainly beckoning... and all of Aiping's cohorts often get sick... how is this the case, when they are in constant (read brainwashing top ups) with Aiping... to keep them in her energy channel!?? An Aiping session is HYPNOSIS pure and simple. Soft, repetitive music in the background. All she does is get people to relax. She claims to be "giving them energy". NO. She is not. There are real massage, acupuncture, chi gung and energy masters out there. They would be appalled to see how Aiping operates. As should everyone who has the misfortune to come in contact with her. My advice, stay skeptical, challenge everything, read up on Aiping Wang, Sarah McCrum, Joel Sutton, Claire Sutton, Sonja Bistrovic and anyone else involved in any of the companies listed in these pages. They are all either brainwashed or simply evil.
    Holfordwatch has collected together a load of good information, all readily accessible on the web:http://holfordwatch.info/2008/02/22/lifes-4-living-the-energy-clinic-claire-sutton-and-sarah-mccrum/. Here's one entitled SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT, from the New Zealand Herald: [www.nzherald.co.nz]5547. If you google or yahoo their names, and the names of the companies. More will come up. NZ Herald is definitely a good place to start. Times Online has some stuff, so does the Guardian, so does The Observer. Let's face it, BBC, 20/20, all these top quality broad sheets... who do you want to believe? Brainwashed followers of AIPING and SARAH MCCRUM, or independent third parties who are renown for their investigative, impartial journalism? I know who I'd go for and I encourage EVERYONE out there to share their experiences with this board, so that unsuspecting people do not get dragged into this. The internet is a powerful thing, and in this day and age, people like this can be tried in public, all with the power of information. So please share those experiences, before AIPING's Cult start getting on here and trying to cover up with all their fake stories. I leave you with a nice quote from Thomas Sutcliffe: "I hope Sarah McCrum is brainwashed, because if not, she is profoundly wicked - guilty of duping the ill and the addicted to pay for fraudulent treatment with extravagantly false claims (isn't this a criminal offence in this country, and if not, why not?). However, it seems more likely that she's just a fool, parroting quasi- mystical rubbish about 'blockages' and energy flows in a way that very efficiently separates other fools from their money - including city businesses, who can hire out the Energy Bank's feng-shuied meeting rooms for corporate gatherings."

  6. Comment by Anonymous, 28 Feb, 2008

    Here's a translation, of a Slovenian site... before it gets taken down. Excuse the English grammar and spelling, but I think you can get the gist:
    World society for education of disabled people was established on 1.9.2005 in Slovenia. President of that society is Sonja Bistrovich. All the people involved are closely connected with the healer Aiping Wang.
    "The touch heals"
    The society started on the March 2006 with collecting the funds for the action "The touch heals" who supposed to educate 15 blind and weak seeing persons to become masters, like fast course. The society sent over 10,000 adverts by post for donation in amount of 117 EURO (28000 SIT- at that time the Slovenian currency) so that they can have enough money to educate those people to become masters. The education should have start on 3.3.2006 in Ljubljana and continue in hospital for blind people in Nanchang, China. Printing of the 10,000 adverts in Slovenia was sponsored by the printing company Emona who donated the paper and they payed for all postal costs. The biggest sponsors were Halcom d.o.o. and financial society NLB Leasing d.d. (that is the biggest bank in Slovenia. NLB=New Ljubljana Bank).
    Action "The touch heals" is financial fraud. The course never started and all the collected donations were sent to Aiping Wang. Similar actions were also done before in 2005 in England, Italy and Croatia. At the beginning of December the Society opened the masseur clinic in Ljubljana in the elite location in street Gregorchicheva 9. (Ferant gardens- very elite place and very known in Ljubljana)
    World Education Foundation for the Disabled
    Slovenian society declares itself in the memo for collection donations on the nonprofitable Swiss (Switzerland) foundation World Education Foundation for the Disabled. The foundation doesn't have any employed persons, they only have post number and address. The foundation plans to get the licence from the Swiss organization ZEWO which is the organization that makes the list of all reliable (financial strong!) foundations for collecting donations. But the ZEWO organization don't know anything about the application from WEFD for the licence. Despite everything even now the money is still collected for so called humanitarian purpose.
    Energy Clinic AG
    The "students" (blind people) supposed to have secured jobs after finishing the course in the energetic-massage clinics of the company Energy Clinic AG from Switzerland. General director of the company is Lele Sun (she is the daughter of Aiping Wang). The company is the property of Aiping Wang and her family. At the moment she controls the energy-massage clinics in London, Hamburg, Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik. In 2006 their attention was to open the massage centre in Ljubljana. Massage saloons of the Energy Clinic AG in the property of Aiping Wang and her family will have free labour and the money will be invested in China. All of that will be accomplished with the action "The touch heals" through the foundation World Education Foundation for the Disabled.
    The "students" of Aiping Wang are forced to work for her without being paid. INSTEAD OF RECEIVING MONEY HER STUDENTS RECEIVE "THE ENERGY WHICH HEALS". On the internet in the forum/chat LUNIN.NET there are many testimonials about tragic outcomes of Aiping's Chinese students (destroyed families, bankrupts, houses lost...). Since 29.10.2005 there have been heavy critique about the so called "humanitarian actions" of that society in Croatia, with the major newspapers (in this case one of the strongest newspapers in Croatia the Morning news) leading the way, criticising how the blind masseurs who have to work for free.
    I have also heard from people who have lost members of their family. Perhaps they will share their stories with the world. Another name to watch out for is PAUL BERNAL who was at one time (certainly in 2002) the accountant for Aiping's cult. There are many stories of people being separated from their family, from their loved ones (told they're not suited), going bankrupt (spending money on Aiping's "energy") and giving up their jobs.
    SEARCH TERMS: Aiping Wang, Lele Sun, Phenomena Academy, Peace Club, Takara Lodge, Blind, Energy, Shen Qi, Cult, Eden Phenomena, Life's 4 Living, World Foundation for the Education of the Disabled, Energy Clinic, Energy Bank.

Holocaust denier David Irving
I see that Holocaust denier David Irving is still trying to get to NZ to deliver a few speeches. He's banned from entering NZ, due to a legal technicality really, and not his views, but banned nevertheless. Many have been writing to the ODT saying that they disagree with his views but that he should be allowed in due to our claim of free speech. I disagree, since his visit would do far more harm than good. He's banned so let's keep it that way. The majority of people that would attend his lectures would be neo-nazis, white supremacists and the likes. Their beliefs and activities would only be bolstered by his talk, which would be in the form of a lecture, not a debate. This would not be good. The curious that attend could be easily swayed by his talk, since he only highlights his view and never mentions the problems with it. This would not be good. The few knowledgeable opponents that could be bothered attending his lectures would go away still convinced that he is a fraud. While this is good, it achieves nothing. The only views that are changed, are changed to those of David Irving. So the end result of his visit would be that the number of people in NZ that believe that the Jewish holocaust was a hoax, or at least may have been, increases. This would not be good. Most people, including myself, know little about the details of the holocaust argument. Irving is a polished presenter, speaks German and is very good at highlighting his opponent's lack of specialist knowledge, even university history professors. He is an expert at sowing seeds of doubt. This is how he earns a living. Evidently it took a German court six years to show that he was a fraud, so anyone that thinks that 15 minutes on the Holmes show would show his claims to be false is naive. I suspect Paul Holmes probably knows little about Zyklon-B gas pellets, understands insufficient German to read original Nazi documents, has never analysed aerial reconnaissance photos of concentration camps or checked European Jewish population demographics. Lambs to the slaughter.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by J, 12 Oct, 2007

    hello john - firstly wanna say how much i enjoy your site - first discovered it after i was searching the web looking for info about the 'sensing murder' show - as a former firm believer in all things paranormal i found it very illuminating indeed as are many of your articles
    HOWEVER! - just wanna drop you and the team a line in good faith to add a word of caution - being skeptical about all things paranormal is one thing, but being skeptical of ALL things that go against the stated order of things is surely another. its very dangerous to start dismissing anything that questions accepted history. i refer here specifically to the david irving article but this follows with all so-called 'conspiracy' theories, from the moon landings to 9/11. To state that everything we're being fed by our wonderful governments and world leaders is the absolute truth is tantamount to ignorance just as much as believing wholeheartedly in god and religion and all things spooky - the bottom line is, from the day we are born until the day we die we are being bombarded with LIES by the powers-that-be for a variety of different reasons. surely you must know that? if you look at the holocaust deniers for example, you will find VAST amounts of research into the subject - these people are not just loudmouths spouting off down the pub! many times they put their jobs, families and LIVES on the line in coming out and tackling this stuff. its absolutely crazy to dismiss their theories in the light of the staggering, incomprehensible amount of lies, propaganda and brainwashing we're being force fed every day. this, i feel is the mistake your site is making. its the same mistake james randi makes on his. FOR SURE there are plenty of silly beliefs out there and people are really being taken for a ride by them. but in denying that there are corruption and lies about history, whether its the holocaust, 9/11 or whatever, is to be as gullible as the people youre trying to enlighten
    hope you dont mind me sounding off here - im not attacking your site. in fact i think its 95% very good indeed. but my heart sinks when i see articles like the irving one. Cheers

  2. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Oct, 2007

    Hi J, thanks for your comments, but I think perhaps you have a mistaken view of us. We aren't "skeptical of ALL things that go against the stated order of things', we don't 'start dismissing anything that questions accepted history' and we never imply or 'state that everything we're being fed by our wonderful governments and world leaders is the absolute truth'.

    As regards the David Irving article, the fact that we reject the claims of holocaust deniers has nothing to do with the views of governments or world leaders or accepted views of history. We simply feel that the evidence doesn't support their claims. Nowhere do we "state that everything we're being fed by our wonderful governments and world leaders is the absolute truth". Like a lot of people we are extremely skeptical of much of what they say. Our website is all about being skeptical about what the majority around us believe to be true. We all have to make a stand on what we believe on various topics and we take the side that has the best evidence. If the evidence is equal but contradictory then we will remain undecided. If the weight of evidence changes then we will change our view also. While the holocaust deniers may have done "VAST amounts of research into the subject", so too have psychics, Catholics, Muslims and Creationists done 'VAST amounts of research' into their particular subject. The quantity of research is unimportant, it is the quality that matters. Does their evidence better explain what we observe? Does their research overturn current beliefs? If it's valid it will. The fact is that holocaust deniers, psychics, Muslims and Creationists can't convince the rest of the world that their views are correct, simply because their evidence doesn't stack up. Corrupt governments, scientists and historians aren't suppressing evidence. We all have full access to the evidence that holocaust deniers like Irving and Creationists want us to examine. We reject it because it doesn't make sense, not because we are unaware of it and blindly accept the view of authorities.

    You say that "Many times they put their jobs, families and LIVES on the line in coming out and tackling this stuff". I agree that many people do put their families and reputations on the line to push these conspiracy theories but this again is no guarantee of their validity. Just the other day a believer in psychics tried to convince me that psychic medium Kelvin Cruickshank must be genuine simply because he has put his reputation on the line. In the US there is an organisation called NAMBLA — North American Man Boy Love Association — which pushes the belief that men should be allowed to have sex with young boys. These men have "put their jobs, families and LIVES on the line in coming out and tackling this stuff". Does this therefore mean their beliefs are right? I would hope you would answer no. It doesn't matter how much risk people put themselves under to publicise their view, the only thing that's important is the argument they make and the evidence they provide.

    We believe that the best evidence available at present suggests that there are no conspiracies around the holocaust, the moon landing or 9/11. That's not to say that conspiracies can't happen, they certainly can, think of Watergate for example.

    You mention "the staggering, incomprehensible amount of lies, propaganda and brainwashing we're being force fed every day". If you accept that the majority of people are capable of spreading lies and propaganda, then why aren't the conspiracy theorists capable of the same tricks? Like those in power they also have an agenda to push, not to mention books and videos to sell and conferences to attend. Why can we trust them but no one in authority? The fact is we can't. Those from both sides of a debate must front up with their evidence and we'll then decide which side to support.

    We believe you should be skeptical of everything, not just paranormal claims. Being skeptical of some claim doesn't mean you reject it, it just means you first ask, "What is the evidence for your claim?" For example if someone at the pub offered to sell you a brand new laptop computer for $100 and insisted that it was all legitimate most people would be skeptical, replying with, "What evidence do you have that you own it and it's not stolen property?" It just doesn't make sense that someone would sell a laptop that was probably worth between $1000 and $3000 for a measly $100. Logic would suggest it is stolen, and until they provide good evidence to the contrary, this is the most reasonable stance. Skepticism should be applied to everything, the paranormal, government claims, scientific, historic and religious claims and loudmouths at the pub.

    We certainly aren't "skeptical of ALL things that go against the stated order of things". Just the opposite in many cases. For example most people on the planet are religious and have been for most of history. This is the stated order of things. Atheists are in the minority, like your holocaust deniers, and against this stated order of things. But I'm an atheist which demonstrates that I adopt the views that I believe have the best evidential support, not views that those in authority wish me to adopt. Likewise I believe convicted paedophile Peter Ellis is innocent contrary to what the justice system and government claim. I would also support holocaust deniers, moon landing and 9/11 conspiracy theorists if they could produce robust evidence. But they haven't.

    You say, "It's very dangerous to start dismissing anything that questions accepted history". We couldn't agree more if by that you mean automatically or blindly dismissing challenges to accepted history. Any challenge must be analysed and only then accepted as plausible or probable or dismissed as baseless. Those that wish to challenge accepted accounts of history without robust evidence are no different from psychics challenging accepted science without evidence. At the moment I am watching Terry Jones' Barbarians documentary series on TV where he proposes that the Barbarian stereotype as portrayed by the Romans is false. While this view goes against most history books and what I learnt in school, I find it plausible and am willing to entertain this new view of history.

    You say that "in denying that there are corruption and lies about history, whether it's the holocaust, 9/11 or whatever, is to be as gullible as the people you're trying to enlighten... my heart sinks when I see articles like the Irving one". Again we are not denying that some aspects of history may be false and need correcting. However we certainly do dismiss conspiracy theories around the holocaust, the moon landing and 9/11, but we dismiss them because they are groundless, not because they simply challenge accepted views of history. While I state in our Irving post that I 'know little about the details of the holocaust argument', by this I mean I am not an historian and couldn't debate it with the likes of Irving. However I have read the views of experts in this field and feel that the weight of evidence lies securely with the historians. I did not adopt this view by simply assuming that whatever historians say must be correct. I considered their arguments and those of the holocaust deniers and decided that the historians had the better case. This may change in the future but to date the evidence is lacking to support Irving's case. I didn't support the NZ Government circumventing the law to allow Irving to deliver a lecture in NZ, because I didn't feel it would be an honest, intellectual, balanced exposure to the topic. It would have been public propaganda, or to use your words - "lies, propaganda and brainwashing". That said, I don't agree that he should be banned from NZ, or any country, solely because of his holocaust views. I would support balanced debate on the topic, but having experienced a few lectures from Creationists I know that they probably wouldn't be balanced and fair. For example, Creationist lecturers either don't accept questions or if they do you must write it down and submit it to them. They then say they only have time to answer a selection and critical questions are ignored. Lectures from the likes of Creationists and holocaust deniers are designed to put across their view and no others. The TV documentary pushing the moon landing conspiracy was a perfect example of a biased and unbalanced lecture. They made claims that appeared to support their view and ignored contradictory information, plus critics were not given the opportunity to challenge their claims. I support debate, not brainwashing.

    You say that there is "corruption and lies about history", so how do we decide who to believe then? Creationists claim the history books are wrong and that the earth's history only goes back 6,000 years. Like you they claim we're being lied to. Do you believe the claims of Creationists? If you don't it's probably because you feel the evidence better supports scientific views, but then isn't that the stated order of things? Why are the authorities lying to us and suppressing evidence on the holocaust and the moon landing but not God's creation? Creationists would accuse you of being just as biased towards their claims as you suggest we're being towards Irving's claims. Would you accept that you being biased towards Creationists or merely going where the evidence points?

    Well I better stop rabbiting on. Thanks again for you compliments and comments. It's always good when others challenge your thinking and make you re-evaluate your views. We're the first to admit that our beliefs may be wrong or that statements we've made may be unintentionally misleading, and with good evidence to this effect we'll immediately make changes.

  3. Comment by J, 14 Oct, 2007

    hi john, phew - well, that told me didn't it?! - hey listen mate - I'm not attacking you , honest! i think what you're doing is very valid and i totally agree with the majority of what you say. i have a bugbear though, about this holocaust thing, and whilst i am NOT a nazi or right wing fanatic in any way i have always been possessed of a desire to find the truth about subjects that are forced fed down my throat continuosly, and nothing is fed at you more than this holocaust subject - it seems not a day goes by without some kind of tv programme or newspaper article about it, making sure we all NEVER FORGET!

    i personally believe the whole holocaust is a crock of lies devised by the 'powers that be' for their own political and social agenda and there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that this is so. you say that there isn't, but with all due respect john, I'm not sure how much access to the right reading material you have had about this matter. you say that these deniers have their own agenda too and why shouldn't they be lying? ok, sure. but the thing is with this and any subject, is, the only way to get to the truth and make your own decisions is to always read two sides of the story, as much as possible. when i was growing up i was fed and wholly believed the official line about the holocaust and the 6 million question. as time passed however, i started hearing about opinions against it (this was in the 70's) - i started looking for further info but nothing in any library gave me anything other than the official line.

    then i discovered that there were many such books available, but only through right-wing sources. immediately this aroused my suspicions. if these books were, after all, the rantings of nazi fanatics, why not expose them on national tv for the lying crap they were? on the other hand, if they were not , and they were instead written by impartial people such as historians, engineers etc, then how come they weren't available through the usual outlets? how come you had to go underground to find them? how come no publisher in the country would touch them? straight away this made me feel that the authorities have much to hide by supressing these books.

    right here im not gonna go into details about why i believe the holocaust theory to be a lie. there are many such books still available which can explain it in a much more lucid way than i. in your article john, you admitted that you didn't have a great deal of knowledge on the subject. with all due respect then, i suggest that you find some 'right wing' sites on the web that stock these books (However distastefull you find this - that's not the point. the point is to find the truth - always, right?) - and order and read as many as you can. once you've done so, then you will be in a better position to judge it. my feeling is your whole attitude to it will change.

    as for other 'conspiracy theories' - im not sure if i buy the moon landing thing, though i most definately believe that the 9/11 episode was fully orchestrated for political end. again - there are many such books on the subject. most of which, again, are not widely available in normal outlets (WHY?!!) - i suggest you check out a site called 'the truth seeker' - there's a lot of supernatural gobbledegook on there, but there are also some very interesting articles about political issues i absolutely agree with you that everything MUST be questioned - of that there is no doubt. but in order to get to the truth you simply must go into both sides of the argument before you give an opinion, otherwise you're just whistling in the dark and your opinion is worthless. am i right?
    please consider these options john. sites like yours are worth their weight in gold. all I'm saying is, please don't immediately jump on and attack subjects concerning history, politics etc, without making sure that you've investigated every single side of the story, cos otherwise it just looks like you're just on the party line and that's tantamount to heresy! Cheers

  4. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 15 Oct, 2007

    Hi J, thanks for your reply. While we obviously disagree on these conspiracies we certainly are in agreement that it's important to listen to both sides of a debate before taking a stance. The important thing I tried to get across with my previous reply is that any view that I'm prepared to debate has been researched and arguments from both sides analysed. I may be wrong but my views are my own. I agree that it's important not to just adopt the popular view the way people adopt new fashions.

    I respect people that hold opinions because they have researched them and not merely latched onto them on a whim. There are too many people out there that will argue at length about some pet belief that they know little about. Be it religion or astrology or the moon landing hoax, many will say they believe in these things but continually say when pressed that they know little about the details. Yet they won't stop arguing. I have views on many things that I know little about, and if my view is challenged I'll immediately say 'Well I could be wrong. Tell me more.' I have no problem with people whose views oppose mine as long as they can defend them with robust arguments.

    I haven't spent a lot of time reading about holocaust deniers and thus I wouldn't blindly insist they were wrong, I would merely ask how they refute the arguments put forward by most historians. I haven't read books by 'right-wing' authors on the holocaust since my experience with books from other fringe believers such Creationists, astrologers, psychics, moon landing etc is that they appear plausible if you know little about the subject but they're actually riddled with errors, misleading statements and often outright lies. I'm not a scientist or historian so I must defer to experts on many things. It's simply impossible for me to investigate every single side of a story. I don't speak German or Aramaic so I can't argue with David Irving over Nazi transcripts or Biblical scholars over ancient copies of the Old Testament. Thus I tend to read books by academics that look at these controversial subjects and who analyse the statements of Creationists or holocaust deniers and explain why they believe they are right or wrong. Based on this analysis I then try and decide who has the best argument — the Creationist, holocaust denier or the academic. And please don't assume that I always accept the academic's argument. There are many respected academics that I am in complete disagreement with. There are others who I agree with on some things but not on others. I don't worship any academic. They stand or fall on their argument in my view.

    Books that may be in your library that I would recommend are 'Why People Believe Weird Things' by Michael Shermer. He has two chapters in this book entitled:
    Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened, and Why Do They Say It?
    How do we know the Holocaust Happened?
    He has also written a full-length book on the subject with Alex Grobman: Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It?

    I agree that this holocaust thing is given way too much attention and is treated as a sacred topic. It's almost blasphemous to speak of it in a negative or frivolous way. While we disagree on the holocaust I'm sure you agree that when the holocaust is mentioned in the media it's only about the Jews. Not many people know that 3 million Germans — nearly a tenth of the population — were tortured, imprisoned or executed between 1933 and 1945 because of their opposition to Hitler. People seem to forget that the Nazis also killed gypsies, Poles, Russians, homosexuals, those with low IQs etc and not just Jews. Yet when we're told never to forget it's always about the Jews. I feel sorry for all those that died that history has forgotten. There have been many instances of genocide throughout history but we obsess with the Jews. Whether the holocaust was real or not I feel that many Jews and politicians etc milk it for all it's worth. And personally I believe that if Germany hadn't made it illegal to deny the holocaust or have Nazi paraphernalia etc then this debate wouldn't be the hot potato it is. If there wasn't this aversion to question the holocaust it probably would have been debated on TV and the controversy settled once and for all.

    When I get some time I'll check 'the truth seeker' site and troll for a few other articles. I'm certainly more interested in the moon lading conspiracy and I did look into the 9/11 conspiracies a while back as a friend tried to change my view.

Keep the mystery alive
I caught the last few minutes of the US TV show '101 Things To Do Before You Die' on Maori TV recently. One of the things they recommended doing was visiting Stonehenge in England. Then they ruined it by adding: 'Was it a religious site or maybe a landing strip for UFOs? History or science has no answers on this mysterious site!' Why do they tell such blatant lies? Historians and scientists believe they have solved many of the mysteries at Stonehenge, and it certainly wasn't a landing strip for UFO's. TV producers seem to think that their audience would rather everything remains a mystery. They don't want to learn that there aren't any ghosts, alien abductions or monsters in Loch Ness. TV shows that 'keep the mystery alive' seem to be far more popular than factual, unbiased documentaries.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Destiny Church political leader caught cheating
I heard on National Radio the other night that the fundamentalist Destiny Church has added to it's hypocrisy. It seems the chosen leader of its political party, Destiny NZ, has had a disreputable past. I found the following info on the Internet:
'Destiny NZ leader Richard Lewis has acknowledged that revelations about his dodgy police record are damaging for his church and its political offshoot. 'The Herald on Sunday' has revealed that Lewis, who has traded on his former police career in his current work as an antigay morals campaigner, had a questionable record during his decade in the force; cheating on police tests, charged following a bar room brawl, and investigated for possessing steroids.'
Once again some low-life 'finds God', develops a 'holier than thou' attitude, and thinks that he has the superior morality to dictate to us how to live our lives. If we're stupid enough to vote for him that is.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Bob, 08 Oct, 2007

    Just after the Indian Ocean tsunami on boxing day, 2005, I checked Destiny's webpage to see what they had to say about it. I expected a comment and perhaps encouragement to followers to pray for the victims in Christian tradition. There was no mention of it but there was a mention of Tamaki's family tourist business urging people to call in there. I emailed them and asked why they hadn't commented on such a catastrophe. I got no reply.

    I regard Tamaki as a religious scamster. I notice on TV interviews he always sidles away from questions about his wealth and income. When he crowned himself bishop he invited his followers to come to the ceremony by paying $70 each. Frankly I despise the man.

Hitler was not an atheist
I glanced at the latest 'Investigate' magazine yesterday, the current affairs magazine put out by the fundamentalist Christian Ian Wishart. In his 'Tough Questions' column he makes two ridiculous statements (and probably many more, but I didn't have time to read the whole article).
He states that atheism/secular humanism has killed more people in the last 100 years than Christianity has in the last 1400 years, with the likes of atheists such as Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin etc. If this were true, all that would mean is that atheists have now surpassed the murder tally originally held by Christians. This is nothing that Christians should be proud of. But it's not true, it's blatantly false. For one, Hitler was not an atheist, he was a Catholic. Atheists do not persecute Jews, Christians do. Why would an atheist want to persecute Jews? Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: "... I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work." In 1941 he informed General Gerhart Engel: "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so." Soldiers of the vermacht wore belt buckles inscribed with the following: "Gott mit uns" (God is with us). The Nazi persecution of the Jews only succeeded because Germany was a Christian country. Ask anyone that fought in WWII or lived through it, and none will ever reply, 'Ah yes, WWII, the great war against atheism'. You'll hear, 'My grandfather died fighting the Nazis', but you'll never hear, 'My grandfather died fighting the atheists'. The same applies to Pol Pot and Stalin.
But it doesn't matter if these people were atheists. None of the deaths caused by them were committed in the name of atheism. Atheists have never started 'Holy Wars', carried out inquisitions, burnt people at the stake or gassed them because of their religious beliefs. Atheists have never started churches, set out on murderous crusades or flown planes into skyscrapers. The reasons that Pol Pot or Stalin killed people had nothing to do with atheism ~ greed, power, revenge or racial hatred perhaps, but not atheism. Christians know that other Christians have murdered people throughout history in the name of Christianity, therefore they reach the silly conclusion that atheists must therefore murder people in the name of atheism. Christians claim (wrongly) that Hitler was an atheist, therefore he killed millions because of his atheistic beliefs. If you replace the word 'atheist' with 'artist' you can see how silly this argument is: Hitler was an artist (which he was), therefore he killed millions because of his artistic beliefs. Strangely you don't hear Christians saying that 'artists' have killed more people than Christians. And let's be realistic here, the reason that these people could kill so many in a short period was that they had machine guns, bombs and gas chambers. Previous to that, God's children, even with the help of an all-powerful being, had to make do with inefficient swords and burning at the stake.
Wishart's second ridiculous statement was that 'atheism is a religion'. Anyone that can say this with a straight face is either very ignorant of what 'atheism' and 'religion' means, or is of the belief that it is perfectly acceptable to redefine words to suit their cause. Religion in its everyday use means a belief in gods and/or the supernatural. Atheism on the other hand means no belief in gods and/or the supernatural. These two concepts contradict each other. People that don't believe in gods cannot honestly set up an organisation that, by definition, does. Of course some people quote things such as 'He worked religiously at his job', to indicate that religion doesn't always mean that gods are involved. This is true, but in an article that discusses the Christian God, Jesus, Satan and the fact that atheists don't believe in these beings, it's being dishonest to then mention the word 'religion' and insist that it has nothing to do with God. If someone tells you they are very religious, not many people would assume that they are talking about their devotion to work. Likewise if someone says, 'I don't believe in religion', not many people would expect them to continue with 'therefore I don't believe in atheism, since atheism is a religion'.
People that have to redefine words to win arguments, or tell outright lies about history and science, just demonstrate what a losing battle they're fighting. Unfortunately many religious types feel the need to resort to these devious means to make their stories seem something other than fairytales.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Rob, 25 Jun, 2008

    Whenever I see a "TRUE CHRISTIAN" tm. saying atheism is a religion, I am reminded of a quote: "Calling atheism a religion, is like calling off a tv channel"

Not tested on animals
Have you ever thought about what the claim 'Not tested on animals' really means? People go out of their way to buy products that boast this. What these producers really mean is this:
'We think it's totally immoral and abhorrent to test our products on animals, with the possibility we may cause them unnecessary pain, suffering and possibly even death. Therefore we are giving you an untested product, and if it has some nasty side effect, we would rather you suffer than some poor rat. We have no ethical problem testing our product on innocent humans. Humans choose to use our untested products, humans have access to emergency treatment should our product turn out to be harmful, and humans understand the caveat 'Buyer beware'. Lab animals do not'.
Would people still buy the products if the label 'Not tested on animals' was followed with 'Testing on humans in progress. You are lab specimen #2125'?

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Anonymous, 12 Nov, 2004

    You're a bloody idiot! Do you not already understand that by swallowing a cup of bleach it could seriously harm you? If you don't then try it sometime. Animal testing for life saving drugs is one thing but force feeding an animal bleach or laundry detergent is another.

  2. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 13 Nov, 2004

    Of course I know that swallowing bleach is dangerous. Do you seriously believe that scientists spend their time torturing animals by forcing them to drink liquids that we already know are harmful? And why do you accept that we definitely need to know if a life saving drug will harm us but we don't need to know if a toothpaste will? Remember that almost no one uses life saving drugs compared to those that use toothpaste. If the life saving drug caused harm almost no one would be harmed, yet untested toxic toothpaste could kill millions. You want scientists to test drugs on animals before they give them to you, but you're happy to test the toothpaste yourself? I'd rather they test the numerous products I use everyday and forget about the drugs if I had to make a choice.

Your grandparents are watching you have sex
I see the spiritualist medium Jeanette Wilson is doing the rounds of the country again. Since her last visit she has featured on TV, radio and published a book, so she no doubt thinks she is more famous now, hence the increased ticket prices for her show. A friend and I went to her last show and were surprised at peoples' perception of her performance. The audience in general appeared to be impressed and those we spoke to afterwards raved about all the connections she made. However their memory of who said what was far removed from reality. We saw her as nothing more than a fake. The information that people thought was coming from 'the other side', was in fact being provided unwittingly by the audience themselves. The enormous number of mistakes she made were forgotten in favour of the occasional educated guess that proved correct.
She claims compassion and love for her work, that she wants to 'show people that there is no death, that our loved ones wait for us in a better place', yet she makes no attempt to really help those in need. As I write this, two Auckland women are missing and being sort by the police. Why doesn't Jeanette offer her services? If they have 'passed on', then they could communicate this fact to Jeanette, along with the circumstances of their death. If they're not dead, I'm sure one of the billions of spirits 'watching over us', or one of their departed family, could tell Jeanette where they are. The fact that mediums never, ever, do this should be proof enough that what they do is a scam. I won't pay $40 to watch her misled gullible old ladies, but I would gladly pay her thousands of dollars to save the life of a loved one. Since she refuses to help those desperately in need, and make a well-deserved fortune in the process, this demonstrates that she knows she's incapable of delivering useful information.
And think about it, if the dead really are watching over us, your grandparents are watching you have sex. And not just your grandparents, maybe your parents too, and that grubby old man that used to live across the road, and billions of other people. And if you think you're safe because you're not in a relationship, they're watching you masturbate. You're never alone. Apart from the numerous arguments against life after death, do you really want to believe the dead are watching you?

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Actor, cell phones and police injustice
Actor Cliff Curtis crashed his Toyoto Landcruiser into a parked car, then through a fence, across a front lawn and then into the lounge of a house (18 Oct). The impact was such that the 4WD went right through the exterior wall and right into the lounge. The lounge curtains even closed behind the vehicle the occupant said. What speed must he have been doing that even after hitting a car, a fence, the lounge wall, and one would assume, with the help of emergency braking, there was still sufficient momentum to carry him right into the house? However Curtis claims he was not speeding and had not been drinking, but was simply distracted by reading a text message on his cell phone.
The injustice of this incident arises when it was reported on National Radio that police said it would take several days to decide whether to press charges against Curtis. Why? Police are not debating 'what' charges to lay, eg. careless or dangerous driving, but whether they will charge him with anything. Curtis has admitted the cell phone use, this at the very least is careless driving. Why should a high profile actor get preferential treatment? You and I would be charged on the spot. What happened to one law for all? It's the same as the Prime Minister's motorcade caught travelling at illegal speeds a while back, with I believe, a police escort. The same police that are bleating on and on about speeding. If it's so dangerous why are they prepared to risk the Prime Minister's life? Just to get her to a rugby match! I'm not saying the Prime Minister knew they were speeding, but the drivers certainly did. Again, you and I would be ticketed on the spot. Another example of corrupt authorities. And the police wonder why they're losing our respect.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Homeobotanical therapy: suffering is good
An advertising article promoting homeobotanical tonics in 'The Star' last week (14 Oct), was one of the most dangerous and irresponsible I've seen for some time. The tonics claim to 'combine the power of herbs and the potency of homoeopathy [sic]'. The fact that they can't decide on the correct spelling of 'homeobotanical' in their advert and that their website address is incorrect should be clear signs that they care little for accuracy. They say they 'may' aid healing on many levels: 'physical, mental, emotional, ethereal and auric'. What a lot of crap. 'Emotional' and 'mental' are the same thing, and 'ethereal and auric' are as real as the Easter Bunny, so you only have two levels: physical and mental. They claim that the tonics have no harmful side effects, but how can they know this since they haven't claimed to have done any trials. Homeopathy by itself can claim 'no harmful side effects' since it's just plain water, but once you mix it with herbs, this claim is worthless. Even if you claim homeopathy really does work and that you know the effect of the herbs, you can't claim their effects will be boosted once you combine them. A bullet and a rifle are completely harmless by themselves, but combine them and they become lethal. They claim that their tonics, used alone, are 'very effective'. They then claim that if 'combined with other therapies, homeobotaincal [sic] therapy has an excellent success rate'. If their tonics are 'very effective', why would you want to spend more money on other therapies? And if you're employing multiple therapies, how do you know which one cured you? However their most dangerous and irresponsible statement is this: 'While the healing is in progress, temporary return of symptoms means the disease process is being reversed'. In other words, if you take their tonics and the disease doesn't go away, or gets worse, don't worry, that's what it's supposed to do. If you end up dying of the disease, that's your fault. You just didn't live long enough for the cure to have time to work. Imagine people accepting this kind of advice from their doctor: 'I'm going to give you some pain-killers. If the pain persists you'll know they're working!' Dangerous advice like this is designed to prevent gullible clients from seeking real medical help, because the sicker they get, the more they think it's working. Real medical practitioners would be taken to court for this type of behaviour, but unfortunately natural therapy quacks can get away with it. The shop that is pushing this bogus therapy is the 'VitalSigns Clinic', Dunedin. The way they are willing to misrepresent this product, means I don't have any confidence in their other products. Avoid them like the plague if you value your health and your bank account.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Some of my best friends are.... Psychics
In the TV program of the above name on Saturday night (TV1), entertainer and comedian Pio Terei chatted to some psychics, mainly tarot readers and astrologers, and came away unconvinced of their powers. Unlike many similar shows, none of the psychics provided 'spooky' predictions and they agreed that Pio's humorous but bogus attempts at tarot reading appeared very professional. Which just goes to show that anyone can pass themselves off as a psychic. One astrologer, Fern Mercier, even acknowledged that 'astrology was only discredited 300 years ago, and by that I mean it's no longer taught in universities'. It's amazing how someone can still believe in something that she accepts has been discredited. None of them would divulge how much money they made with their scams and most appeared sincere in their beliefs, but whether they realise it or not, they are deluded. Unfortunately this program was far more entertainment than investigation and as such, numerous probing questions were never asked, and it appeared that Pio had done little research into astrology etc. Overall though, I believe it ended 'Skeptics: One, Psychics: Zero'.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 20 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Annie, 22 Feb, 2008

    I find it rather amazing that without actually going in to the lions cage, you feel you can debate on these points... I was the Psychic Artist at the beginning of that show who did the Spiritual Portrait for Pio... It was his Grandfather... and not one photo of his Grandfather in sight. hmmmm... I seem to be doing this thing all of the time though.. quite a few times even before the people turn up... and when I do the platform thing, I head straight to that individual person and give them that actual Portrait of a Loved One in Spirit that I drew even before I walked into the building... Cold Readings? Maybe not... Do I know them? ... No. If you can explain this, let me know.

  2. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Feb, 2008

    Our post was hardly a debate, merely an observation that the show was silly and superficial, a human-interest story rather than an investigation into psychic ability. That said, the show did present a very lightweight form of debate with both the psychics and the observer Pio presenting their respective views. In our view the evidence put forward by the psychics was extremely weak and so we side with Pio — no psychic ability was demonstrated.
    You were convinced that your Spiritual Portrait for Pio was of his Grandfather. The fact is that anyone with mediocre artistic ability can do a vague generic drawing of old people that might resemble someone we knew if we use our imagination. If we still can't recognise them then we're told it must be one of our grandfather's friends or someone he fought with in the war or maybe our great-grandfather who unfortunately we have no description of. And why do people need a simple drawing of a 'Loved One in Spirit' when they already have numerous photographs? You must be disappointed you weren't blessed with a more useful psychic ability, one that could divulge real information, like names, locations of dead bodies and lottery numbers.
    And what does your comment 'I find it rather amazing that without actually going in to the lions cage, you feel you can debate on these points' mean? That we had to have been present during your reading before we can comment? This is like saying you can't comment on whether the moon landing was real if you weren't there. The fact is that the evidence has shown that psychic ability as demonstrated on TV, at silly psychic fairs, in travelling road shows and across someone's kitchen table is bogus, thus we can safely discount all psychics. It's like Santa. Once you've become mature and educated and conclude that the evidence shows Santa Claus doesn't exist, this means that you don't have to debate every kid who says he does. All kids who believe in Santa, like all adults who believe in psychic abilities, are deluded. While we encourage this harmless delusion in children, it is worrying that some adults can't completely give up belief in silly things. Or alternatively provide evidence that they're real.

  3. Comment by Bob, 05 Mar, 2008

    These people claim genuine abilities. James Randi of the Randi foundation has had $1 million dollars put aside for 10 years for the first psychic who can demonstrate true psychic ability. He can't give it away. That amount has been added to by other skeptics. Randi has openly invited well known psychics to claim but none will. They usually claim their powers can't be called up at will to fit a test or that the test will be unfair. Yet Colin Fry has no difficulty calling on his powers specifically at 7.30pm on a Tuesday night in a theatre.
    Incidentally you might have seen Mark Sainsbury interview Colin Fry on Close Up recently. Sainsbury doesn't seem to believe it. He asked a rhetorical question is Fry genuine or a fraud. He dug up a piece of video which showed Fry making several suggestions to a lady in an audience. She shook her head to everyone. He finally told her there was a new born baby in her group of friends and relatives. Once again the lady shook her head looking puzzled. He assured her there was and to go home and ask around. This is a standard copout when the psychic bombs to suggest something which can't be proved wrong on the spot. By the time it is proved Fry and the subject are long gone.
    I was saddened when Sainsbury claimed 50% of people believe in psychics. I don't care if people go along to these shows to be entertained. It is the instances of psychics following up people in distress over lost children and the like often making erroneous claims which distress people all the more.

No Biblical Debate Allowed!
In Australia's recent elections 'a fundamentalist Christian-values party has emerged as a significant political force' (World Focus, ODT, 18 Oct 2004). Apart from the typical policies such as bans on homosexual marriages, premarital sex, abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research etc, the Hillsong Church campaigns for creationism to be taught in schools and for the 'discouragement of secular value based science'. It wants to 'establish a scripture-based society on earth in which the Bible is not debated but believed'.
Not debated? Can you believe that? No doubt they would then be re-establishing the inquisitions to ensure the Bible was 'not debated'. It's amazing how fearful religious types are of honest debate.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Maori inmates converting to Islam
A Muslim missionary, leader of the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Association (AMMA), is visiting our prisons and succeeding in converting Maori prisoners to Islam. He claims this success is due to their admiration of the al Qaeda terrorist group. As reported in the Oct 18 edition of the Otago Daily Times (ODT) , he stated that the Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ pay his travel costs. Muslims claim that they have been stereotyped as terrorists since 9/11, but what do they expect if they actively recruit followers who support terrorists? The Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ is irresponsible in its support of the AMMA, and both groups are stupid in the extreme to make it publicly known that they are increasing their numbers with potential terrorists.
It's pathetic that religious missionaries target inmates, people that are often disadvantaged, uneducated, vulnerable and, let's be frank here, not all that bright. They are at their lowest ebb and highly susceptible to the belief that some powerful being cares for them when the whole world seems to be against them. It's amazing the number of lowlifes that enter prison and 'find God'. It's scary to think that some of these may now be radical Muslims.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Oct, 2004 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Steve, 20 Mar, 2008

    I've been off work for a couple of days, found this site and have found thought provoking articles, many amusing, some shallow but the overwhelming attitude that comes thru is the hatred of fellow kiwis who are atheistic in belief, so I leave wiser but sadder about the state of this religion.

  2. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Mar, 2008

    We could be wrong Steve, but you appear to be saying that your perceived attitude of our site is of atheists displaying hatred to other kiwis, presumably believers. We have no hatred for others. On the contrary, nearly all our friends, family and associates are religious, some devout. Our disagreeing with someone's point of view should not be mistaken for hatred. We certainly believe that some people we rail against are ignorant or stupid or devious, but we don't hate them. We also believe that religions can be dangerous and harmful, but we don't hate them. Dissension, even strong, vocal dissension, should not be seen has hatred. Do you hate those that have opposing views to you in religion, politics or art?
    You also seem to believe that atheism is a religion. Nothing could be further than the truth. As the bumper sticker says: "If Atheism is a Religion then Health is a Disease."

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Last Updated Feb 2008