Monday, April 07, 2008

Evolution of CAM

The 30 Second Skinny Alternative Medicine often makes a great deal out of its longevity, but how does alternative medicine get started in the first place? How does it keep going in the absence of evidence? This article puts forward a number of stages that contemporary treatments go through. 

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Clearing the Glossary

I've just noticed that the definition of "Space Opera" has been removed from most of the online Scientology glossaries! I can't imagine why! It's not gone from all of the glossaries, but I shan't say which ones can still use some work.

For those who are having difficulty with this term, here's the official definition:

"space opera: of or relating to time periods on the whole track millions of years ago which concerned activities in this and other galaxies. Space opera has space travel, spaceships, spacemen, intergalactic travel, wars, conflicts, other beings, civilizations and societies, and other planets and galaxies. It is not fiction and concerns actual incidents and things that occurred on the track."

Second Life sees launch of Church of Enturbulation

Over the past couple of weeks, Second Lifer Charity Stohr has been working on a museum in Second Life discussing the human rights violations perpetrated by the Church of Scientology.

Entitled The Church of Enturbulation, and built in memory of Shawn Lonsdale, it is hoped to become a presence for Anonymous and the hub of CoS criticism in the Second Life universe. The church has been paid for by voluntary donations, and is seeing a healthy level of traffic. Currently available is a free "picket pack" containing slogan t-shirts, placards, and V masks.

A launch party was staged on the fourth of April to launch the site, complete with volcano-baked clam suppers, clam suits, and the occasional dinosaur.

Guests were invited to speak. Charity spoke of being fair-gamed for criticism posted at MySpace, and Darkscorp, whose brother was a victim of the Church, also spoke.

Charity Stohr


Future events are planned, and will be posted in Operation Clambake and elsewhere.

Here's a graphic should you wish to link to the SLURL.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Heard A Rumour

John Sweeney may be working on a Panorama documentary about Anonymous and the Church of Scientology. Sweeney, you may remember, presented the previous documentary Scientology and Me, which covered the Church's noisy surveillance tactics, its anti-psychiatry position, and featured the infamous "exploding tomato" moment, where Sweeney, on being accused by Tommy Davis of giving Shawn Lonsdale an easy interview, shouted Davis (who had, let it be said, not been there at the start of the interview) down.

Following Sweeney's presence at London pickets outside the Tottenham Court Road Dianetics and Scientology Centre, the Church claimed it had received bomb threats, though these were never seemingly reported or investigated by the police. The Church, in their rather feeble attempt at undermining Panorama implied that the bomb threats were in some way caused or inspired by Sweeney's presence at the picket. That the same accusations have now been levelled at Anonymous should make for some interesting content if Sweeney is indeed to return to the subject.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Flipside of Karma

I'm an atheist, so not a big fan of bible quotes, except the ones that are about forbidding cripples into the priesthood, and not letting eunuchs into Heaven. That said, I'd like to start this post with a quote from Ecclesiastes:

"I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all."

And here is the wisdom of Earl

"Do good things and good things happen, do bad things, they come back to haunt you."

So we have a kind of "shit happens" philosophy from the bible (if you forgive me describing the sacred with the profane), and karma from an Emmy-award-winning Sit-Com. And as far as both go, they are all well and good. Ecclesiastes is there to tell you that bad things happen sometimes and you just have to deal with it, and Jason Lee is there to tell you that if you do good things rather than bad things, you'll generally have a nicer time of it. In fact, these two elements combined make for a nice enough philosophy for living.

However, in the regimented, procedure-led world of the Church of Scientology, the notion of Karma takes on a darker hue. Within CoS the logic is that if something bad happens to you, then you must have done something to "bring it in". You are guilty of some unethical behaviour that has led to this thing happening to you. And if you are "out-ethics" then that, too, needs to be addressed. What this in effect means is that the victim (of rape, mugging, theft, violence...) is punished (by way of a further need of auditing, or more extreme measures such as rundowns) for being a victim.