Click image to enlarge.
Click image to enlarge.
I recently cast a horoscope for the Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami (using the ZET program), and was looking especially at the fixed stars. I didn't learn much about the earthquake but did learn more about the fixed stars. I also have a book by Elsbeth Ebertin that lists and interprets 73 of the stars, so I made sure that the ZET database included all of them for future reference.
Then, a couple of days ago, the WaPo had a piece on how Scientology had sent 'volunteer ministers' to southern India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia on tsunami relief, and I was reminded of their VMs' behaviour at Ground Zero in 2001. So I started Googling to find the details of that story, and was soon knee-deep in Scientology's secrets. I remembered that at Ground Zero the VMs had tried to prevent other, better-qualified personnel from helping the victims and rescue workers because their belief system told them that the 'psychs' (psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.) are their, and humanity's, greatest enemies. Because Scientology is secretive about why that is, here's an ex-member's (slightly OTT) explanation:
Hubbard taught, and the Church of Scientology believes, that:
1. Psychiatry originated millions of years ago in an evil alien galactic empire, the Marcab Federation. That empire was ruled over by Lord Xenu. See www.xenu.net for more information about that.
2. The planet Earth is a prison planet which is operated and controlled by evil Marcabian psychiatrists who are located on the planet Mars.
3. The evil Marcabian psychiatrists operate a system of Implant Stations which are located on Mars and the planet Venus. Human beings have been implanted and programmed to return to these Implant Stations.upon each body death. Here they are implanted by the evil alien psychiatrists to forget their past life, then they are programmed to return to earth where they will take over a new baby body. The implants are induced by advanced electronics and humans have been implanted countless lifetimes by the evil alien psychiatrists. Once implanted and programmed the being is packaged in ice and is returned to earth by flying saucers and dumped in the pacific ocean. The being has been programmed to find its way to a new body.
4. The evil Marcabian psychiatrists maintain a telepathic control over the evil earthling psychiatrists.
5. The only way to escape this evil psychiatric imprisonment is through L. Ron Hubbard. Dr. Hubbard is Source... he is the one who made these awesome discoveries. He is the one who has worked out the Golden Technology to free Mankind from the evil psychiatrists and this evil cosmic enslavement. Dr. Hubbard's Golden Technology is only available from the Church of Scientology.
So the Marcabians are the bad guys. The name Marcab (with a 'c') reminded me of the 72nd star in Ebertin's book - Markab, aka alpha Pegasi, in astrology a malefic star whose longitude currently is at 23°33' Pisces. However, according to Scientological lore, the star Markab in Pegasus has nothing to do with the planet Marcab or the Marcabian Confederacy - rather, the planet Marcab orbits the star Mizar in the tail of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major).
So I decided to cast L Ron Hubbard's birthchart, as one does. Actually, I doubt it's been done too often before, for I can't find any mention of it on the web. Unlike, say, mentions of GW Bush's horoscope, in which, as most commentators note, his chart's most notable feature may well be the close conjunction (0°27') between his Sun and the great star Sirius.
Guess which star is conjunct LRH's natal Sun? Yup, his Sun is 0°36' from Markab. Thus my suspicion - that Hubbard knew he was literally a Markabian before he revealed to his followers the existence of Marcab and the evil Marcabian Confederacy.
So, would Hubbard have known about his natal Sun-Markab conjunction? I can find no positive proof, but circumstantially it's likely he did know the details of his horoscope. Prior to Scientology, Hubbard had steeped himself in the occult - his intellectual hero, Aleister Crowley, was, among much else, an astrologer. His friend Jack Parsons would surely have learnt the simple calculations necessary - it isn't rocket science. And, according to LRH's son:
"... Also I've got to complete this by saying that he thought of himself as the Beast 666 Incarnate." Interviewer: "The devil?" Ron Jr: "Yes. Aleister Crowley thought of himself as such. And when Crowley died in 1947 my father then decided that he should wear the cloak of the beast; and become the most powerful being in the universe.
All in all, the circumstantial evidence strongly suggests Hubbard would have known his natal horoscope and thus about the Sun-Markab conjunction. If so, it would be somehow typical of Hubbard that, whereas in his cosmology the Marcabians were the evildoers seeking to enslave all humanity, all the time he had secretly known that he was himself a Markabian by birth.
See also: L Ron Hubbard's horoscope
I was going to write about this yesterday, the 60th anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation, but thought better of it because of others' possible sensitivities. But OpenDemocracy yesterday published a piece (Words we live by: choice versus complicity, by Zsuzsanna Ardó) that echoed some of my own thoughts on why the word Holocaust is the wrong one. This is roughly my take on it.
A holocaust was first and foremost (until the Holocaust industry appropriated it) a religious term. Etymologically, it was a sacrificial offering to God (or to a god) burnt whole upon an altar-fire.
Holocaust comes from Greek holokauston (“that which is completely burnt”), which was a translation of Hebrew ‘olâ (literally “that which goes up,” that is, in smoke). In this sense of “burnt sacrifice,” holocaust is still used in some versions of the Bible.
In other words, 'holocaust' entered our language-stream when the (Greek) Septuagint translators chose 'holocaust' to stand for the 'ola'. The Catholic Encyclopedia adds details:
As employed in the Vulgate, ['holocaust'] corresponds to two Hebrew terms: (1) to holah, literally: "that which goes up", either to the altar to be sacrificed, or to heaven in the sacrificial flame; (2) Kalil, literally: "entire", "perfect", which, as a sacrificial term, is usually a descriptive synonym of holah, and denotes an offering consumed wholly on the altar.
It goes on to say: "At whatever time and by whomsoever offered, holocausts were naturally regarded as the highest, because the most complete, outward expression of man's reverence to God."
There are five forms of sacrifice described in Leviticus, and the 'burnt sacrifice', the Holocaust, was 'the most important of all the sacrifices offered to God, because it expressed 'dedication.'" Which is why, I guess, God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering.
Were the Nazi genocides of the disabled, the Jews, the Gypsies, et al., sacrificial offerings made to God? Many survivors seem to say the opposite - that God wasn't apparent anywhere in the death camps. If the 11 million (or however many) victims of the genocidal policies of the Nazis were a sacrifice to God, who did the sacrificing? And did the victims die by fire? No, the majority were were killed by gas and bullets.
So how come the Nazi genocides are nevertheless called by a name meaning 'the Burnt Offering', 'the Fire Sacrifice', when neither God, fire nor sacrifice adequately describe or explain what happened? Is it because the word 'Holocaust' has mostly Jewish connotations and therefore helps commemorate the 6 million Jews who were killed?
But should the memory of the Nazi genocides be linked by name only to the Jewish victims? The extermination of the impure began not with the Jews but with the disabled. And once the mentally and physically handicapped had been disposed of, the logic was to extend it to other perceived untermenschen - to the Jews and the Roma especially. The propelling philosophy of the exterminations was eugenics, not anti-semitism. (It's an historical irony that the Jews and Roma, for whom purity laws are so important, were both believed to be 'impure' by the Nazis.)
Hebraic speakers tend not to use 'hola/holocaust but instead refer to the Shoah. The OpenDemocracy writer thinks we Anglophones should use Shoah instead of Holocaust. But while Shoah avoids the connotations of the genocides being sacrifices to God or to Baal, using a Hebrew word still claims it as a Jewish catastrophe, rather than as a human one. It's right for speakers of Hebrew to refer to it as the Shoah, but for non-Jewish English speakers the word doesn't do justice to the events.
If not Holocaust or Shoah, then what? The Catastrophe' or 'the Calamity' makes it sound extrinsic to human agency, like an earthquake. The Roma call it "the Porrajmos, "paw-RYE-mos" in Romani, a word which means "the Devouring"", which is poetic but I don't think will catch on. So I'm left with 'the Nazi genocides', which is prosaic but at least accurate, and am waiting for a better term to emerge.
The government has chosen the wording for the referendum question on the EU constitution ("Should the United Kingdom approve the treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union?"). Reluctantly, given I'm usually pro-EU, I will have to vote 'no'. It's not that I'm against the EU having a constitution, but I am against the EU adopting this particular one [pdf - html]. I know I'm in a minority of nearly one on this, but I cannot subscribe to its core values, upon which it's premised.
The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, nondiscrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and and equality between women and men prevail. [I-2]
For example, I don't believe in human dignity. What dignity is there in giving birth and being born, in ageing and in dying, in screwing up and getting screwed, etc.? Did 1939-45 reveal to Europeans how much dignity we had? No, it showed up how bestial (as well as heroic) we can be.
Although the idea of human dignity has its roots in the Enlightenment (and not, as is often said, in the Bible), and forms part of the Americanist religion, it is now, post-Vatican II, proclaimed by the Catholic Church as dogma, even though the idea is so contrary to Christian theology. I'm not a Catholic, let alone a conservative one, but this is their argument against 'human dignity':
1. The Vatican II Council's declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" affirms a false natural human right "in matters of religion" contrary to prior papal teachings, which formally deny such a blasphemy.
2. Pius IX in his Encyclical "Quanta Cura", Leo XIII in his Encyclicals "Libertas Praestantissimum" and "Immortale Dei", Pius XII in his allocution "Le Riesce", addressed to Italian Catholic jurists, deny that such a right has any basis in reason or revelation.
3. These doctrines are based on a false concept of human dignity, stemming from the agnostic and materialist pseudo-philosophers of the French Revolution, already condemned by St. Pius X in his pontifical letter "Our Apostolic Mandate."
4. The Vatican II document "Gaudium et Spes" expresses a false principle when it regards human and Christian dignity as being a consequence of the Incarnation, which restored this dignity for all men. This same error is repeated in John Paul II's Encyclical "Redemptor Hominis."
But whereas this Catholic writer blames the French Revolution, I reckon the blame lies more with the American one. Vatican II was influenced by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which was itself informed by the US Declaration of Independence. [continued page 117...]
I don't get it - Condi goes before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is challenged by Barbara Boxer about her veracity, responds with at least one untruth, and gets confirmed. Towards the end of her testimony, in response to the no-WMD-in-Iraq problem, she said:
But it wasn't just weapons of mass destruction. He was also a place -- his territory was a place where terrorists were welcomed, where he paid suicide bombers to bomb Israel, where he had used Scuds against Israel in the past, and so we knew what his intentions were in the region, where he had attacked his neighbors before and, in fact, tried to annex Kuwait, where we'd gone to war against him twice in the past.
But Saddam did not pay "suicide bombers to bomb Israel" - he compensated their families after the Israelis had demolished their homes, which is categorically different. And to say Saddam welcomed terrorists in Iraq is vastly stretching the truth. And has the US really "gone to war against him twice in the past."? I remember the Gulf War but not the other one to which she's referring. Thus, Condi has a tenuous grasp on reality and an on-off relationship with the truth - yet the Senate has approved of her nomination. I just don't get it.
The Children of God murder/suicide two weeks ago is a really sad story. I won't recount its details here nor the history - there's a collection of news reports here, and a memorial site to Ricky Rodriguez - "Davidito" - here. Background information on The Family/Children of God can be read here and here.
Before this undid it, the Family (TF) had worked hard on its PR in recent years and had found some willing accomplices amongst the scholarly community. One of them, Dr J Gordon Melton, who also shills for S$ientology, seems to have been particularly active in trying to present TF as a mainstream sect. Along with James R Lewis, he edited and contributed to a notorious book - Sex, Slander and Salvation - which was paid for and published by The Family. The book is more propaganda than scholarship, and better scholars were appalled.
Last week someone posted this allegation to the Movingon.org talkboard:
Did anyone besides me know the so-called "academics" had FFing priviledges, long after it was banned??? Gordon Melton & others got the goods after they were off the shelf. I know, I was sent to fetch "a good Merlot" when he used to come over to spend indoctrination time with A-Lay (Ahlai). Not to mention how well we were prepped before those interviews. If you can beat a lie detector test by clinching your sphincter, it should be understood a social scientist's studies can be totally erroneous, if your reading list prior to your interview includes "A rose by another name", Deceivers yet true, Know Your Enemies, & "Mama's letter to a raped teen telling her she wasn't really abused because it was done in Love & it was the Lord's way of telling her to move to Africa".
Mike Edwards and Cindy Thompson are project managers for Milk for Many, now renamed Mexcity Mission. Milk for Many in 1998 received the "Freedom Works Award" sponsored by US House Majority Leader Congressman Dick Armey. Edwards aka Dust was a top leader in the USA, a CRO, for many years.
Unbelievably, from 1993 to 2000, Melton and Lewis were also receiving money from the Department of Defense, for compiling the Army's Chaplains' Handbook. The Handbook categorizes the 'Family of Love' as a Christian Heritage Group, along with the Quakers.
Anyway, I hope this tragic event not only triggers the cult's collapse but also that its 'academic' defenders be held to account as well. Bad scholarship is one thing - corrupt scholarship is quite another.
The allegation that Iraqi PM Allawi murdered seven suspected Jihadists has resurfaced. In a lengthy profile of Allawi in the New Yorker is this anecdote:
More unnervingly, there have been persistent rumors that, a week or so before he took office, Allawi shot and killed several terrorist suspects being held prisoner at a Baghdad police station. When reporters asked him about the rumors, Allawi denied that he had shot anyone, but added that he would do “everything necessary” to protect Iraqis. I was in Baghdad at the time; although most Iraqis I spoke to believed the rumors, journalists and diplomats speculated that Allawi had spread them himself, in order to bolster his stern reputation.
In late June, however, I sat in on an interview, conducted by Paul McGeough, a reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, of a man who claimed to have witnessed the executions. He described how Allawi had been taken to seven suspects, who were made to stand against a wall in a courtyard of the police station, their faces covered. After being told of their alleged crimes by a police official, Allawi had asked for a pistol, and then shot each prisoner in the head. Afterward, the witness said, Allawi had declared to those present, “This is how we must deal with the terrorists.” The witness said that he approved of Allawi’s act, adding that, in any case, the terrorists were better off dead, for they had been tortured for days.
In the ensuing months, the story has lingered, never having been either fully confirmed or convincingly denied. (Allawi did not address the incident with me.) During my visit to Jordan, a well-known former government minister told me that an American official had confirmed that the killings took place, saying to him, “What a mess we’re in—we got rid of one son of a bitch only to get another.”
According to Wikipedia, Allawi retains British citizenship. He spent Chistmas in Richmond-upon-Thames with his wife and family (no doubt heavily guarded by MI5). He looks likely to lose the election (if it goes ahead, and if it's fair). But if he loses, he'll be back in London and will avoid possible future prosecution. It surely doesn't encourage good governance if a national leader holds dual nationality. So once the US had forced Allawi on the UN and the Iraqi people, Britain should have revoked his citizenship so that Allawi was fully invested in making wise political choices about Iraq's future. Having said that, Wikipedia may be wrong.
If the published snippets of Bush's inaugural address are correct, it bodes ill for the next four years.
"The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands," Bush was telling inauguration watchers in this country and across the globe. "The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."
No it isn't. The best hope for peace in the world is for the US to stop identifying itself with 'freedom', because the more the US bleats about freedom, the more tyrannous it acts towards the rest of the world. The US desperately needs to reform itself, not vainly try to reform the world in its image.