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Stardate 10.014

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

Skeptic

'The Da Vinci Code' Wins
Two of the authors of 'The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail' have lost their court battle against Dan Brown and his book 'The Da Vinci Code' who they accused of copying their work.
Excellent. This means that authors remain free to use ideas from history. Imagine how few books (or movies etc) could be written if once a story idea was used no one else could rework it. Even most of Shakespeare's plays were all stories already in existence. And the ideas that Jesus didn't die on the cross, or had a wife or even had sex and therefore maybe children have been around for as long as the story of Jesus itself. It's nothing new.
The other good thing is that the 'The Da Vinci Code' movie will go ahead and millions more will be exposed to the deviousness of both the early and present Christian church and their suppression of facts and ideas dealing with the origin of Christianity. I don't believe for a minute that the bloodline of Jesus continues today, or even existed at all, but anything that makes people examine religion is a good thing.
An excellent (and short) article on whether Jesus even existed can be found here: Did Jesus Exist? by Frank R. Zindler. Other recommended reading:
'The Jesus Mysteries' by Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy
'The Pagan Christ' by Tom Harpur
'Did Jesus Exist?' by G A Wells

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 11 Apr, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Steve, 20 Mar, 2008

    Perhaps a closer study of the bible would help, it very clearly states that jesus had children.

  2. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 20 Mar, 2008

    Sorry Steve but we must disagree. Nowhere in the Bible, that we're aware of, does it 'clearly state' (or even vaguely state) that Jesus had children. We know that Christians argue over whether Mary had children other than Jesus, but please let us know where in the Bible it clearly talks about the children of Jesus.

TV3 & C4 Boycott
A full page newspaper ad signed by an estimated 2500 protestors state that they have vowed not to watch CanWest TV, ie TV3 and C4. The boycott will last for at least a year "or until CanWest took action to show it respected the love, respect and honour we have for the mother of Jesus Christ".

All because the wankers are upset over C4's broadcast of South Park's "Bloody Mary' episode. They probably didn't even watch TV3, let alone C4 and South Park before the episode screened so it's no loss really. All I hope is that CanWest doesn't capitulate to their demands. There are 4 million people in NZ and CanWest's programming shouldn't be controlled by 2500 religious fundamentalists who can't take a joke.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Apr, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Police Psychics
An Australian federal police officer has been suspended and is being investigated for consulting a psychic to help solve a case. The case involved a death threat to Prime Minister Howard and the officer had evidently run out of leads, so turned to clairvoyant Elizabeth Walker for help. It is pleasing to see that at least someone with authority in the Australian Police force will not tolerate their staff using psychics to attempt to solve cases.

Psychics do more harm than good, wasting police resources, fingering innocent people and giving false hope to the families of victims. Regardless of what psychics claim, there is no documented case anywhere in the world that has been solved by psychics, who are no more effective than waving a chicken bone over the crime scene or praying to gods. Let's hope that this investigation is well publicised and the facts about police and their use of psychics come out.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Apr, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Fliss Butcher - Racism
Racism is alive and well in local council activities. In an article in the ODT (Apr 4th) the following was reported:
A Dunedin councillor was reduced to tears fending off strong criticism of a proposed memorandum of understanding between the council and local Maori. Cr Fliss Butcher, who is of Tainui and Ngati Whatua descent, helped develop the memorandum with representatives from the Otakou and Kati Huirapa ki Puketeraki (Karitane) runanga. She defended it after Cr Maurice Prendergast said the council was "fawning over one particular group rather than treating everyone as equals" and dubbed the memorandum "a quantum leap in racial indulgence".
"As tangata whenua, I find that quite offensive," Cr Butcher said.
Cr Lee Vandervis said the memorandum would "place an extremely small minority of Dunedin [citizens] in a position where they can influence council decision-making".
Cr Butcher replied "I hope you will support this memorandum which does give a minority some say in council decision-making, a minority which just happens to be the indigenous people of this country". "This is not a memorandum of deceit. It really upsets me that you can't see how this memorandum will enable there to be sharing of knowledge between races. It really saddens me that you just don't get it".
The council adopted the draft and voted for it to be circulated to the runanga for confirmation.

Cr Butcher in claiming that "this memorandum will enable there to be sharing of knowledge between races" implies there is no sharing at present. What utter rubbish. Do councillors presently refuse to take Maori seriously? Does she think that Maori and non-Maori are at war and some sort of truce must be reached before we can communicate? We've been sharing knowledge (and genes) for centuries and our only differences are those created by people like Cr Butcher. Scientists have declared that genetically there is no such thing as 'race', yet ignorant claims like this perpetuate the myth and all the negative and destructive connotations that go with it.
Now that she has revealed herself as being Maori will she be forced to sit quietly during meetings as Maori protocol dictates? And what sort of knowledge flow does Cr Butcher have in mind? Since there is absolutely no restriction on Maori accessing Western, Eastern etc knowledge, as her position on the council demonstrates, the only knowledge she can be referring to is 'traditional' Maori knowledge. Like explaining how the Maori gods created the Universe, detailing where taniwha live and how to avoid them, explaining how we should treat slaves and how to cook and eat humans captives.
And why should the claim that Maori were 'the indigenous people of this country' carry any weight, any special privilege? My ancestors were the indigenous people of the entire planet! Surely that is more important if we're going to use that silly argument?
If pretend 'Maori' like Butcher wish to throw a bone carving around their necks, revert to worshipping primitive gods and living topless on their marae in flax skirts reminiscing about the moa they drove extinct through their 'superior' environmental skills, fine. But let the rest of us New Zealanders, no matter what our genealogy, live as equals in the 21st Century. Let our opinions be valued on their merit, not on our ancestry.
At the rate we're going, in a few years South Africa will need to return the favour and step in with a boycott until we stop this 'separation of the races'.
My message to Cr Butcher would parrot her own sentiment: "It really saddens me that you just don't get it".

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 06 Apr, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Fliss, 11 Oct, 2007

    I don't wear a bone carving. Cheers Fliss

Sky TV fairytale
Sky TV have revised their story on their 13 hour signal outage, now blaming it on a faulty thruster on the Optus B1 satellite. Initially they claimed that a solar eclipse that occurred while the satellite was being realigned was the problem. The solar eclipse evidently caused a lack of sunlight to charge batteries that power the satellite and then had to be recharged before it could be realigned.
However this all sounds a bit suspect to me. The solar eclipse was not observable from NZ or the Pacific and since the Optus B1 satellite must be in a geostationary orbit above the Pacific to give continuous coverage, since we weren't in the path of the eclipse then it's unlikely that the satellite was either. Also as an astronomer from the Carter Observatory pointed out, the satellite would be in darkness every night and this loss of sunlight is easily covered by on-board batteries. Likewise it is known to the second when and where solar eclipses will occur so no maintenance would be carried out on vulnerable satellites if this problem could result.
If they didn't know what the problem was they should have said that rather than try and hoodwink the public with scientific jargon.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 04 Apr, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Harmeet Sooden - Hostage & Moron
Harmeet Sooden, the kidnapped foreign student that was rescued in Iraq last week is reported in the NZ Herald as saying that he would go back. It's bad enough that he was so na´ve to go in the first place but to want to go back is the height of stupidity. No doubt he believes his 'God' will protect him, but his 'God' didn't give a shit about him for the last few months and completely ignored fellow Christian hostage Tom Fox who was tortured and murdered. Why do these devout believers of all faiths never question their beliefs when horrendous things happen to them, especially while they are going on pilgrimages or in the service of their "God'? We are always reading about the Muslims killed when going on the Haj, the busloads of Hindus killed when travelling to a holy site, the Christians killed when their church collapses, the Catholic boys sexually abused by their priests etc. Do they never wonder: "If there really is a God, maybe I'm worshipping the wrong one?"

It was reported at the beginning of the saga that Sooden was not a Christian even though he joined the 'Christian Peacemaker Team', a group made up of fundamentalist Christians. However most reports refer to him as a 'Christian peace worker' etc. He has not denied being a Christian and no interviewer has questioned him on his religious beliefs. His speech is certainly peppered with Christian phrases such as 'to bear witness' and 'singing hymns' and his notebook appeared to have drawings of a cross.

The fact that the three hostages were so unappreciative of the risks taken to rescue them and the money spent must be very disappointing to all those that made the effort. If he or anyone like him goes to Iraq on another pathetic religious crusade, I vote that we enact the mantra from the old 'Mission Impossible' TV shows: 'If you or any of your 'religious' team are captured or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions'.

Let their God look after them.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 04 Apr, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Ken Ring fails again
In Oct 2005 long-range weather forecaster Ken Ring was quoted in the Southland Express as follows:
"The most significant weather event that Ken predicts for 2006 is a cyclone Bola strength storm that will hit the east coast of the North Island from March 17 to 19. He said the storm will create havoc in low-lying areas".
Now that March is over it is safe to say that yet another of Mr Ring's weather predictions has failed miserably. It doesn't take much research to discover that his silly predictions based on the Moon are all crap. He made a prediction on primetime TV3 early last year telling viewers that the weather for a certain period was going to be atrocious and that they should all stay at home with a good book. As it turned out the entire country had the best weather we had had for some time. I wonder how many people cancelled holidays, excursions and events because of his bogus advice? This promotion of his predictions with no follow up that would expose his failures puts him in the same camp as psychics and mediums.

To understand why this moron is a fraud, see our exposÚ: 'Ken Ring — Weather Forecasting by the Moon'.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 03 Apr, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Anonymous, 02 Aug, 2006

    I couldn't agree more. The media should stop treating him like a celebrity.

Catholic Church hypocrisy
I spotted the following letter in the ODT highlighting the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. It was short, sweet and brilliant:
"I seem to have missed the protests by Catholics to their church administration as yet another cleric is convicted of child sex abuse crimes, but they made sure everybody heard how upset they were at South Park's "Bloody Mary" episode.
d'ugh Mackie, Wakari. (Letters to the Editor, ODT, 29th Mar 2006)

This is not a new criticism, but it should make a few Catholics squirm, yet again. I doubt that we will see the usual writers to the paper trying to explain this accusation. Even with regard to South Park, Catholics didn't speak out when the show ridiculed Christians in general, Muslims, Jews, Mormons etc and there wasn't a peep from them when the two episode story about Catholic Priests sexually abusing boys aired. Likewise I see no protest about the upcoming Scientology episode. They don't give a damm about these other 'false' religions and are too busy publicising the odd good saying falsely attributed to their mythical boss while vigorously suppressing all the ugly, vile, disgusting bits.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 30 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Jehovah's Witnesses - Wrong again!
I received a call from a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses earlier this week, although as usual they never actually identify themselves, but merely rabbit on about the Bible and tell me I should be concerned about all the strife in the world. It's a sign evidently. Since their faith requires them to do this missionary thing they seem to have a little more knowledge of religion than most and are obviously schooled up with all the appropriate answers to tricky questions that might be thrown at them. Having said that, these answers really only fool those that know little about religion, but unfortunately that is most of the population. Their sphere of knowledge and strength of argument varies little from what can be found in books at any Christian bookshop, which of course is very limited and extremely biased.
As most religious people do, they quote bits from their holy books which appear to support their claims while completing ignoring numerous other bits that do just the opposite. They claimed there were no contradictions in the Bible and that all its claims were historically and scientifically accurate. They don't mention and have probably never read any of the many books detailing the enormous number of errors in the Bible. Consequently all their arguments are flawed and easily demolished.
Their main claim is that the Earth is in its final days, that the end is nigh and that the Bible can be trusted implicitly in this matter. Of course what they fail to mention is that their church also predicted that the world would end in 1874. Obviously it didn't. They changed this to 1878. Still nothing. Undeterred they revised this date to 1881, then 1910, 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1975, 1984, 1994 and several others. According to Michael Shermer in his book 'How We Believe', - "Jehovah's Witnesses must hold the record for the most failed dates of doom". Since their claims were wrong on all these occasions, why the hell should we believe their latest claim of impending doom? Just another group of childlike adults fearing retribution from a mythical skyfairy.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Danny Haszard, 12 Nov, 2006

    Up close and personal Jehovah's Witnesses can be wolves in sheep's clothing. Think about this - When the devil comes knocking on your door he may not have the 'dark goth look'. They could be smartly dressed and wielding the Christian Bible. I have Jehovah's Witnesses family in the USA who practice the Watchtower JW enforced ritual shunning that I have not seen or heard from in 15 years.
    The central CORE dogma of the Watchtower is Jesus second coming (invisibly) in 1914 and is a lie. Jehovah's Witnesses are a spin-off of the man made Millerite movement of 1840. A destructive cult of false teachings, that frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths (bogus blood transfusion ban).
    Yes, you can 'check out anytime you want but you can never leave', because they can and will hold your family hostage. The world has the Internet now, and there are tens of thousands of pages up from disgruntled ex-Jehovah's Witnesses like myself who have been abused by the Watchtower cult.
    Jehovah's Witnesses are often a mouth that prays, a hand that kills. The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.
    ----
    Danny Haszard former Jehovah's Witness X 33 years and 3rd generation
    www.dannyhaszard.com

Kerry Goodhew loses touch with reality
I stumbled across an Internet site the other day called 'Body, Mind & Soul' which provides 'paths for the seeker of truth & reality'. Its author is Kerry James Goodhew from Dunedin. Apart from a link to Kabbalah, that silly mystical Jewish crap, there is little information on this site, but this doesn't stop Goodhew from asking for a donation to keep it going. The world doesn't need another website by someone struggling to get a grip on reality. His site directed me to his 'Body, Mind & Soul' forum, where he and others stroke each other's delusions.
In a posting about reincarnation from someone who signs off with 'spiritual hugs, Brenda', the writer asks another poster:
'What is the second level resurrection? Do you mean you have ascended above the magnetic pull of the third dimensional group consciousness into a higher vibrational frequency?'
What the hell does this gobbledegook mean? Do these idiots not realise they are talking absolute rubbish? Directing us to her own website (in the USA?) Brenda continues with more rubbish:
'These ... teachings were given to me clairaudiently... The Morven ... are interdimensional beings that are helping the spirit of the Earth move into a higher dimensional frequency.'
Someone's not taking their medication me thinks.
'In order to free our selves from the electromagnetic pull of this world'.
Funny, I thought it was gravity holding us to this world.
'I have only had one conscious blending with my over-soul during sleep time'.
It's called dreaming moron.
'You need to be invited into another dimension - by that dimension ....Otherwise, you would be breaking universal and cosmic laws'.
So dimensions are actually sentient? Stating that we can break these laws, she goes on to contradict this view later on in the article:
'spiritual, universal and cosmic laws are the same for everyone. They cannot be bent or broken'.
What imagination these people have. Just because you write 'spiritual, universal and cosmic laws' doesn't mean there are any.
'Knowledge and wisdom is energy and vibrates on a particular frequency [and in] this third density reality.... the higher self is the tiny third dimensional soul spark - a divine energy - of a much higher vibrational frequency'.
She still hasn't grasped the difference between 'third dimensional' and 'three dimensional'. She's just plucking scientific sounding terms out of thin air, adding a few religious/spiritual terms like 'divine' and 'soul' and then forming nonsensical sentences around them. Her use of 'density' in the phrase 'third density reality' is probably a spelling mistake, but accurately describes her intellect - dense.
In another posting Kerry Goodhew asks people to provide 'Proof of no God' and writes:
'Incredible intelligences throughout history have "felt" and "realised" the concept of God, from Socrates to Einstein. The latter's scientific studies so close to scientifically proving God. Someone will soon scientifically prove God, this has been fortold!'
You don't have to have 'incredible intelligence' to understand the concept of God, as billions of ignorant and stupid people throughout history have demonstrated. I grasp the concept and I don't believe in it for a moment. And contrary to what Goodhew and religious types claim, Einstein most definitely did not believe in their personal God, nor did his work go any way towards proving God exists. Just the opposite in fact. And strangely enough, at a party of a friend of a friend, one of our 'Silly Beliefs' team heard Goodhew, while attempting to defend astrology of all things, insist that Einstein's theories of relativity had recently been proven wrong. But now he is claiming that not only was Einstein right, but that he almost proved God. Though seemingly unable to understand scientific theories like relativity, Big Bang cosmology, evolution, quantum mechanics, genetics etc, people like Goodhew still assume that these theories, somehow, support their religious and spiritual beliefs. Religions deal with the origin of life and the Universe and so do scientists. If they believe that their religion is true, then they must delude themselves into believing that scientific theories also support their religion. How could they not? Somehow scientific conclusions must be able to be twisted, misunderstood, oversimplified and even falsified so that they end up pointing to their God.
Years ago everyone thought that all the wackos were confined to the US, especially California. Sadly people like Goodhew show this is a myth. Even in NZ we are surrounded by a growing number of seemingly intelligent adults that push beliefs that are the adult equivalent of Santa Claus and the Toothfairy. I repeat, the world doesn't need another website by someone struggling to get a grip on reality.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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'Campbell Live' promotes superstition
TV3's 'Campbell Live' this week featured an item that appeared to demonstrate the skills of a 90-year-old water diviner or dowser from Milton. Normally skeptical of silly nonsense like this, the program never once suggested that this wasn't a valid and accepted method for locating underground water. These people are often utterly convinced of their powers and don't intend to scam others, so I don't doubt the sincerity of the dowser, but many scientific trials have demonstrated that dowsers always fail under controlled conditions. The mysterious movement of the dowsing rod has been explained by something called the Ideomotor effect ie 'an unconscious or involuntary bodily movement made in response to a thought or an idea rather than to a sensory stimulus'. Simply put this means that the dowser subconsciously moves the rod when the dowser thinks there is water below. Thus it appears to work when the dowser knows that water exists or is likely to exist, but fails utterly when tested scientifically because there are no 'subconscious' signals for the dowser to respond to.
'Campbell Live' has had shows challenging other silly claims like Intelligent Design, psychics and mediums, but did everyone a disservice by publicising this age old superstition. No doubt altered by the TV3 program, today the ODT printed an article on the same guy and his 'amazing ability'. The article's author was extremely credulous and will probably have provided many more gullible clients for dowsers. Dowsing simply doesn't work and we shouldn't be encouraging people's belief in superstitions like this. This is the 21st Century, not the Middle Ages.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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C4 wimps out over 'South Park'
Rick Friesen of TV channel C4 defended its decision to broadcast the controversial 'South Park' episode 'Bloody Mary' by stating that its audience would be offended if they didn't, that those offended by it wouldn't normally watch 'South Park' anyway, that everyone had a choice of not watching it, that 'South Park' by its very nature was 'edgy' and 'offended' everyone equally and that our society and free speech cannot be dictated to by religious groups etc etc. I fully supported C4's stand on this issue.
Now however, C4 has evidently apologised for screening it, has said it will not repeat it and has reviewed its processes for dealing with religious programs, particularly religious satire. Catholic Church spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer has called their apology 'self-serving' and for once I agree with her, since having appeased 'South Park' fans by screening the episode they now wish to appease religious groups by promising that they won't challenge or satirise their myths in future. C4 rejected around 100 formal complaints about the episode yet now say they were wrong to screen it. If no complaints were accepted as valid, on what grounds shouldn't they have screened it? On some point that no one bothered to complain about?
All the reasons C4 offered for screening the episode have been completely destroyed by their decision to ban replays of the episode. They have become a puppet of religious groups and state that if required will ban or edit programs in the future. This smacks of the Catholic Church's 'Index of Forbidden Books' that was only removed a few years ago. I wonder whether they will now screen the 'South Park' 'Scientology' episode that has been banned in Britain and from replays in the USA by threats from famous Scientologists? I also wonder whether the Catholic Church will make any sort of protest over the episode to support another religion? As usual I suspect that most religions love to see other 'false' religions made fun of and will do little in the way of support.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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'South Park' exposes Scientology
I read on the Internet that Isaac Hayes, who does the voice for Chef, has quit 'South Park'. It seems that his resignation is over an episode that exposes Scientology, although Hayes, a scientologist, has not mentioned this episode. What follows is part of what the media have published about the issue:
"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer said in a statement. In an interview with the Associated Press, "South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology. ... He has no problem - and he's cashed plenty of checks - with our show making fun of Christians." He said he and co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."
In a statement issued by the Comedy Central network Stone said "In ten years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show."
I have since seen an item on TV3 news quoting Hayes and the reason he quit, but the quotes from the 'South Park' creators exposing the hypocrisy of Hayes were missing. Like most religious people Hayes doesn't care about other religions and only gets upset when you highlight the flaws in his fantasy. It actually suits their purpose and mental wellbeing to have other religious beliefs exposed as false.
Scientology claims to be a religion, and a very silly one at that. Of course it only wants to be a religion because of the enormous tax benefits afforded to religions in the USA. It was invented by the late science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, and it all begins with an alien ruler called Xenu who transported billions of aliens to Earth, stuck them around volcanoes and blew them to pieces with nuclear bombs. This all happened 75 million years ago, so the aliens would have been able to observe dinosaurs while awaiting their execution. The 'souls' of these aliens become parasitic on modern humans, which explains the problems that we humans have today. Even when he first thought up this science fiction story, it made a pretty pathetic plot, but with modern knowledge of space, aliens and the non-existence of souls, it becomes laughable. Their space planes were exact copies of old Douglas DC-8s, except they didn't have they same engines, and their civilisation and technology looked exactly the same as Earth in the 1950s and 1960s. It's unbelievable that they could have a Galactic Confederacy with 1950s technology. It's amazing that someone turned a really bad science fiction story into a religion and a multibillion dollar business, and that people such as Hayes, John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Patrick Swayze believe it. Perhaps being actors they have trouble separating fantasy from reality. It's no wonder that Scientologists are not as willing to rave about Xenu the way Christians rave about Jesus. It's about as silly as an adult believing in Santa Claus.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Dr Muriel Newman rewrites history
In a recent Otago Daily Times article (20 Feb) Dr Muriel Newman (former Act NZ MP) wrote a homage to Gavin Menzies' book '1421: The Year China Discovered the World'. Seemingly supporting his claim that the Chinese discovered NZ, Dr Newman also accepts claims that others were here in '160 BCE, more than 1000 years before Maori'. Thus she accepts that Maori arrived around 840 CE while still supporting Menzies' claim that 'Chinese colonies existed in NZ for hundreds of years before the arrival of Maori'.
However Zheng He and his fleet never left China until 1421 CE and could only have beaten Maori to NZ by several hundred years by travelling back in time. She also mentions claims that 'NZ was discovered from as early as 600 BC by Phoenician, Indian, Greek and Arab explorers...also the Waitaha and the Celts'. These silly alternative history claims do not support each other. For example you can't cite 160 BCE rat bones to support a 1421 CE voyage of discovery. Rather than co-operate to build up a convincing case, they tear down each other's foundations. And the necessity of time travel makes Menzies' version of history farcical.
She may call herself Dr Newman, but her article suggests that her qualifications have nothing to do with history, archaeology etc and by willingly fanning the flames of yet another silly conspiracy theory she demonstrates that she has done little research, or even thinking, on the subject. Bleating on that 'all opinions should have an opportunity to be aired, considered and either accepted or rejected', she suggests that these alternative claims are being censored. However the opinions she states have been aired and considered. Her article has been published as have numerous books proposing alternative histories. And experts worldwide have soundly rejected these claims. The only people that support them, such as Menzies (an ex-submarine commander), Cedric Bell (an ex-marine engineer) and Newman (an ex-MP) have no real expertise in this area. Newman also seems to fall into the trap that all opinions are equal and should be given equal consideration. Does she suggest that evolution and Creationism should be given equal time in biology classes, that the views of Holocaust deniers should be taught in history classes, that healing by prayer or homeopathy should be taught in medical schools? While there may be many opinions on any topic, it makes sense to support the view that is backed by the best evidence.
Maybe the Chinese really did discover NZ, maybe Hitler is still alive and running a restaurant in Sydney, maybe Cleopatra never existed, maybe the Holocaust never happened. Maybe, but to date there is no good evidence to support these alternative versions of history. This is why non-professionals like Menzies and Bell write their books for the layperson and not academic journals. The layperson often prefers a good mystery to the truth.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Judy Bailey and disadvantaged kids
An Otago Daily Times article (18 Mar) states that the Judy Bailey, ex-TVNZ news reader and 'Mother of the Nation' is doing a short stint on Maori TV for Anzac Day. Quoted as saying 'Money has not even entered into this', she is nevertheless going to be paid $8,000 for 4 weeks work, with one day on-camera as a 'support person'. This pay rate would equate to a salary of $104,000. Having previously been paid $800,000 per year this is an enormous pay cut for poor Judy and must be quite distressing, but I guess you have to take what you can get to keep the wolf from the door.
Yeah right. This is an indecent amount compared to what most NZ'ers earn. She reckoned that she was glad when her TVNZ job finished and would now have time to help disadvantaged kids etc. How does milking money off cash strapped Maori TV (which gets all its money from the taxpayer anyway) help disadvantaged kids? Statistics tell us that a disproportionate number of Maori kids are disadvantaged, so she should be giving some of her ill-gotten gains to Maori TV, not taking from them.
It's over Judy. Move on. You said you wanted to make a difference, so prove it. The NZ public has given you a fortune, the means by which you can make a difference, if you so choose. Why not be remembered as a philanthropist rather than a grossly overpaid auto-cue reader that can't leave the limelight?

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Midwife against Vaccination
A Dunedin midwife is evidently advising expectant mothers against immunising their babies for diseases such as whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella (Otago Daily Times - 8 Mar) . Emeritus Professor David Stewart is quoted as saying this 'was contrary to best practise, against scientific evidence and in opposition to the Ministry of Health's position on immunisation'. Midwifery Council of NZ chairwoman Sally Pairman said they would 'talk' to the midwife and examine the individual circumstances. This vague response would seem to indicate that many midwifes are in no way convinced that vaccinations save lives. This case and others of midwifes distancing themselves from mainstream medical practise is frightening. Next they will be applying leeches, waving crystals to induce birth and saying pagan prayers over the placenta which they have buried in the backyard. Years of medical knowledge rejected because of ignorance and superstition.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Anonymous, 04 Feb, 2008

    Given the MoH mandate which is pro immunisation, Midwives who receive part or all of the payment for delivering a baby, from the MoH and continue to advise parents not to immunise, isn't this biting the hand that feeds you?

  2. Comment by Anonymous, 24 Mar, 2008

    Actually the media had to retract this statement because it was found to have no basis in fact - in short it was a load of crap and the appropriate to the midwife concerned and the highly educated, profession at large was issued - or weren't you watching that day? Talk about silly beliefs - sucked in sucker I'd say. Oh and do you have an education?

  3. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 Mar, 2008

    No, we did not see a media retraction of this story, but you'll be well aware that the media are reluctant to acknowledge their errors and any corrections are usually printed in an insignificant way compared to the initial story. You yourself don't say when or where we might read this retraction. Since your comment we've managed to find an Otago District Health Board newsletter in which Prof Stewart stated that this issue happened two years before the newspaper article reported it. It was an "historical claim" and not relevant today he said. He didn't say it didn't happen, or that it was, to use your phrase 'a load of crap' but merely that it wasn't a current investigation. But let's remember 2004 wasn't exactly the dark ages in medicine either. It's a worry that even then a midwife was advising against immunisation.
    In any case this doesn't change the main theme of our message, that some midwifes (and nurses etc) are still distancing themselves from mainstream medical practise. There is no denying that there are several anti-vaccination campaigns at large in the community and some midwifes support them.
    As to your intelligent, relevant and witty question, 'Oh and do you have an education?', I can assure that we all have the best playskool education that money can buy. Our graduation certificates were all signed by the pet goat and take pride of place on the refrigerator door.

ACC gets it wrong again
Bruce Gardiner, a milk tanker driver suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since a teenager committed suicide by throwing himself in front of his truck has been refused any assistance from ACC. An ACC spokesperson said ACC laws only allowed them to compensate those who suffered physical harm, not mental harm.
This is utter crap since they have paid out several hundred thousand dollars to people over the years claiming sexual abuse. Any person can claim $10,000 from the ACC for sexual abuse years after the fact. There is no physical harm, only mental harm. What is even more ridiculous is that you don't have to name the abuser, or give any information that could lead to them being identified. After complaints from the public the ACC have tightened the conditions a little, in that you now have to attend several counselling sessions before they give you all the money. These sessions could be a waste of time since the patient could rightfully refuse to discuss anything that might lead to the offender being identified. For example: the sex of the offender, their relationship to the offender, where it happened, when it happened, what happened (as this would identify the sex of the offender) etc.
Thus the ACC will happily assist those claiming emotional problems resulting from sexual abuse that may or may not have happened, but won't assist Mr Gardiner with emotional problems resulting from an incident that most definitely occurred. Another example of bureaucracy gone mad.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Anti-abortion in the USA
Lawmakers in South Dakota, USA, have brought in a ban against abortion, making it illegal except in the case of the pregnant woman dying because of her pregnancy. Abortion will be illegal in cases of incest and rape. According to the Washington Post 'South Dakota is the first but not the only state to consider new abortion restrictions this year. Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky have introduced similar measures.'
Thankfully there are groups opposing these backward and draconian laws, but it is another example of America's move back to a more fundamentalist country, 'One Nation under God'.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 09 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Steve, 20 Aug, 2008

    How dare they make it illegal to abort, let the mother kill the child, survival of the fittest as Charles would say.

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

    Firstly Steve, the phrase 'survival of the fittest' was coined by others to describe evolution by natural selection. It was not something Charles Darwin said. Secondly, we're not aware of Darwin discussing abortion but sincerely doubt that he would have supported the statement 'let the mother kill the child'. Few people that have studied the controversy, if any, would support abortion based on evolution. As Darwin defined it in 'The Origin of Species', evolution by 'natural selection' means nature determined the outcome, not humans. Deliberate acts of selection by humans was termed 'methodical' selection and is not what we call evolution. Abortion is a choice made rationally by humans and therefore isn't connected to evolution. The hijacking of the phrase 'survival of the fittest' from evolution and applying it to human affairs is not justified.

  3. Comment by Steve, 02 Mar, 2009

    Re your comment, survival of the fittest is not something Charles Darwin said, I refer you to the book The Origin of Species by Darwin, chapter 4. "Natural selection; or the survival of the fittest, the preservation of favourable individual differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious, I [Darwin] have called natural selection, or the survival of the fittest."

  4. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 02 Mar, 2009

    Thanks for your comment, but what I was trying to convey was that Darwin did not invent the phrase "survival of the fittest", it was coined by Herbert Spencer five years after Darwin published The Origin of Species. Spencer was writing about free market economics, but inspired by Darwin's talk of natural selection coined the new phrase. It's adoption by the public as a synonym for natural selection caused Darwin to insert it in to the fifth edition of his book in 1869. In the book he credits Spencer with coining this phrase. So you are right, it can now be found in his book, but my main point was that abortion can't be linked to evolution or the phrase "survival of the fittest", no matter who said it.

Bogus childhood sexual abuse
During an interview on National Radio (4th March 2006) Kim Hill asked actress Jane Fonda: 'Were you sexually abused [as a child]?' Jane replied 'Well, I don't know. I just don't remember'.

To suggest to the public that someone in her childhood (most will assume she is thinking of her father), may have sexually abused her is utterly irresponsible and disgusting. To make this accusation with no evidence whatsoever is vile and reprehensible. Imagine if Kim had asked Jane the following questions about her early childhood:

'Were you ever abducted by aliens?'
'Were you ever held dangling over an active volcano in Hawaii as part of a satanic ritual?'
'Was one of your kidneys harvested and sold by your parents?'
'Did your father lose you in a poker game and then win you back again?'
'Did you share your crib with a chimpanzee for the first two years of your life?'
'Did you have older siblings that were ritualistically murdered by your parents?'

Or what about this question: 'Have you ever abused your own children while sleepwalking?'
Based on her reply to the sexual abuse question, to all these silly questions and many, many more, Jane Fonda would logically have to answer 'Well, I don't know. I just don't remember'. But I'm sure she wouldn't. She would deny that any of these events actually happened and fail to see that she isn't being consistent. She would probably claim to have no memory of these events, see no evidence to support them and thus she would sensibly assume they didn't happen.

So why doesn't Jane, and thousands of others, reject the unsubstantiated sexual abuse suggestion out of hand? Because so-called professionals are taking advantage of people that often have real emotional problems and are filling their heads with bogus theories.

There is the totally erroneous assumption by some involved in sexual abuse counselling that emotional problems are probably caused by sexual abuse as a child. While there is no denying that child sexual abuse does occur and can lead to emotion problems, my gripe is with those counsellors who see sexual abuse as the most likely cause of emotional problems. They suggest this cause to children and adults who have no memory of abuse, explaining that they are repressing all memory of the incident because of its traumatic nature. By this logic everyone must assume they were sexually abused. If you remember the incident then you were abused. If you don't remember the incident you were still abused but just refuse to remember it. The counsellor wins with every patient, and every patient loses. Think of patients who go to receive testing for cancer. They are consoled by the hope that the doctor may tell them that they don't have cancer. With the sexual abuse counsellors, every patient receives the worst news possible. They were abused, whether they want to remember it or not. Even if they don't categorically accept abuse occurred, as with Jane Fonda, the seed has been sown and the possibility that it may have occurred must dramatically affect their relationship with their parents or those suspected of the abuse.

Can you imagine a father's reaction when informed by his or her child that they've been telling everyone that they think he may have sexually abused them? Numerous relationships between parent and child have been destroyed over false allegations of sexual abuse, especially using the bogus 'recovered memories' technique. These are well documented as patently false allegations, with many accusers recanting and accepting that the abuse never occurred. Of course the rogue counsellors will just assert that they have simply regressed back into the denial stage. The number of sexual abuse counsellors who claim to have suffered real sexual abuse themselves also shocks me. They often admit that they are emotionally damaged and are still having trouble coming to terms with this abuse. Yet these women who often have a serious mistrust of men, if not hatred (perfectly characterised by that infamous statement 'All men are rapists'), are attempting to counsel possible victims. As altruistic as their motives may be, they can't fail but be biased in their work.

Once again I must stress that I am not claiming that sexual abuse doesn't occur. It has occurred, it still does occur and probably always will to some degree. It is a serious problem and we should make every effort to stamp it out and help its victims. However this cause is not helped by falsely accusing people of abuse for which there is absolutely no evidence. The backlash against falsely imprisoned parents and irrevocably destroyed relationships has even seen some people claim that sexual abuse isn't a problem at all.

There is no evidence that sexual abuse causes memory repression. If there was we should doubt those such as Oprah, Billy Connelly and many counsellors themselves who claim to have no problem remembering childhood sexual abuse. Likewise an untold number of children undergo real traumatic events such as natural disasters, accidents and the murder of their parents etc, and are haunted by these memories all their lives. Most people that experience traumatic events remember them, whether they want to or not. We live our lives around our memories. Our past and our recollection of it shapes our lives. It's a fact that we don't remember our early years, but recollections from parents, relatives and family photo albums fill in those gaps. We logically and rightly assume that outlandish events for which we have no memory and no evidence simply didn't occur. Should new evidence surface then we can re-evaluate our past, but until that happens we must assume that episodes of sexual abuse, alien abduction and satanic rituals were not part of our childhood.

Instead of finding the real cause of someone's emotional problems, these incompetent counsellors invent false abuse. They destroy the patient's relationship with the accused. This often destroys the relationship the accused has with other family members and friends. The accused is often wrongly imprisoned. Young children belonging to the accused can be removed and taken into care. A web of destruction, revulsion and distrust spreads and the counsellor, instead of helping one, destroys many.

Recommended reading:
'First Do No Harm: The Sexual Abuse Industry' by Dr Felicity Goodyear-Smith
'A City Possessed: The Christchurch Civic Creche Case' by Lynley Hood
'The Flight from Science and Reason', Edited by Paul R. Gross, Norman Levitt, Martin W. Lewis

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 07 Mar, 2006 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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Comments:

  1. Comment by Anonymous, 24 Mar, 2008

    Sounds like she hit a nerve for you - get help

  2. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 Mar, 2008

    Yes of course she hit a nerve, if by "she" you mean Jane Fonda's false insinuations. When someone accuses others of sexual abuse when they have no memory or evidence of it ever occurring, this is reprehensible. To say that we need to seek help for feeling this way is incredible. We assume that you are either one of the counsellors that employ these bogus and despicable techniques — or at least supports them — or an adult in the process of ruining someone's life by accusing them of abuse you have no memory of. The people that really need help are often the last to recognise it, blaming their problems on others and insisting that everyone needs help but them.

'Dare to Believe' medium Jeanette Wilson
I see psychic medium Jeanette Wilson is coming to TV3 with her own show entitled 'Dare to Believe'. I'm sure this will turn out to be a heavily edited show with no critical input. Their advertising blurb for the show probably demonstrates what its producers think of accuracy: 'SHE WILL CHALLENGE YOUR QUESTONS ABOUT LIFE AFTER DEATH". What the hell are 'Questons', and shouldn't she be challenging our views and conclusions about life after death, not our questions about the subject? How can you learn about something if people challenge your very questions?
In the same vein, on the Queen's Birthday edition of TV1's 'Good Morning' show, another medium was trotted out for the audience and his (in my opinion), pathetic display was followed by the host cooing: "If I was at all sceptical I certainly wouldn't be after that amazing display". His first question to an audience member was: "So your mother's passed on?" to which she replied "No!" It didn't get any better. This segment was followed by an astrologer, and later by another segment with the medium. Neither of these guests were on the show to investigate their claims, but to impart information to the viewer. Their veracity was a given. More examples that the majority of our TV programs are aimed at idiots.

Posted by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 09 Jun, 2005 ~ Add a Comment     Send to a Friend
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