Saturday, November 01, 2003

ROD DREHER'S ACCOUNT OF AN EXORCISM is linked at Amy Welborn's blog. It would seem that it's no longer unfashionable to claim that the devil exists. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Friday, October 31, 2003

SPIRIT DAILY has an essay on the Salem witches and the Knights of Columbus who had rented their hall to the witches for their Halloween celebration, on Harry Potter, and on Catholics looking anew at what they are about. An essay I certainly agree with. Witches, once a fantasy figure suitable for Halloween costuming because we thought there was no longer any such thing as a real witch, have become something else in recent years--something very much real. They are in my suburban area, and most likely they are in yours. Tom Hoopes, executive editor of the National Catholic Register wrote the article for Crisis Magazine that I mentioned in a previous post. He began with a "Casper the Friendly Ghost" mindset and ended with a sober respect for the demonic world. As he put it in the article: When I agreed to do a story about demonic activity, possession, and exorcism for Crisis, I thought it would be fun--a spooky thrill. I'd write the article, warn about being too preoccupied with the subject matter, and be done. Instead, I got sleepless nights, horrifying conversations with those who have been involved in exorcisms, and a new point of view on the demonic world. Skeptics have fought a losing battle against belief in the devil for years. "What are the Church's greatest needs at the present time?" Pope Paul VI asked in November 1972. "Don't be surprised at Our answer and don't write it off as simplistic or even superstitious: One of the Church's greatest needs is to be defended against the evil we call the Devil." There's an age-old battle between philosophers and poets about the nature of evil. The pope sided with the poets. "Evil is not merely an absence of something but an active force, a living, spiritual being that is perverted and that perverts others. It is a terrible reality, mysterious and frightening." There is an account of an exorcism in India in the article. And a victim of demonic activity whom Hoopes interviewed described something Father Hardon, whom the victim's parents consulted on his behalf, had told him: "He told me that there are three orders of reality," said James [the victim--ct}, whose family confirms the account (Father Hardon died three years ago). "There is the divine existence. Just below that is the preternatural world, the world of spirits, angels good or bad. Then there's the natural world, where we live. But human beings also participate in the preternatural." Father Hardon told him that some people are more attuned to the preternatural world. "They kind of sense things better," James said. "Things like what I just explained to you." Things like demons. The article continues: ...the late exorcist Malachi Martin once said that the one thing an exorcist must never do is try to reason with the devil.... So why dwell on the diabolical world at all? Paul VI explained, "This matter of the Devil and of the influence he can exert on individuals as well as on communities, entire societies or events, is a very important chapter of Catholic doctrine which should be studied again, although it is given little attention today."... ... the stories I collected add up to a giant neon sign saying "Stay away from witchcraft: and other occult practices. When I asked exorcists if witchcraft is a gateway to more serious demonic activity, they were incredulous. Gateway? It's directly dealing with the demonic! Nearly everyone they treat has been exposed in some way to Ouija boards, spells, hexes, "white magic," or tarot cards--the stuff your local chain bookstore fills its shelves with because it sells so well. And that brings me back to the article about the Knights of Columbus cancelling the witchcraft ceremony in their hall, and about the Harry Potter books that are also discussed in the article at Spirit Daily. We really must relearn to take all of this seriously. Popes have consistently insisted that the devil exists and can do harm. The CCC does as well. It isn't a fashionable opinion but it is a Catholic opinion. At the very least, it's better to be safe than sorry. In researching the occult, I've had library books at home that give the magic rituals, step by step, word by word. I've had Israel Regardie's tome Golden Dawn in my hands. The book is filled with rituals. I did not risk reading any of them, even for the sake of writing about their danger. We should not be led astray by those who adhere to a cosmology different from our own. As the above quote indicates, beings come in three kinds, divine, angelic spirit, and human. If there is a being, that being must fit into one of these three categories. Other gods or false gods must be fit into one of these three. There are no other choices. That is what Catholics believe. That is how we define the world we live in. Which is why the ecumenical movement is so problematic, as are the Assisi events. Halloween, as it becomes an adult holiday instead of a children's occasion to get dressed up in costume and collect candy, is becoming a very serious business in our culture. Decorations for Halloween rival or exceed decorations for Christmas. Indicating that for the present, at least, the demonic world is winning out over the followers of Christ. Just like the Knights of Columbus in Salem, MA, we have a choice, and increasingly circumstances demand that we make it. May God grant that we make the right one. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE CURRENT ISSUE OF CRISIS MAGAZINE came today. There is an article about the activities of Satan in this one. In 1997 when I first got online and found a Catholic message board, any time I mentioned the devil, I was promptly ridiculed by the liberal element. Today Deal Hudson published an article about the devil, and I don't think much ridicule will be coming his way. We have learned a lot in the last six years. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE ANGLICAN CHURCH AND SPIRITUALISM by John Roberts, "Being meditations, on reading the 1939 Church of England Report on the findings of a Committee established to 'investigate' spiritualism." I confess, I haven't read the document yet myself, but thought some readers might be interested in it. An article from Touchstone Magazineaddresses the same topic: In the decade following, a revision to the English Prayer Book did indeed incorporate prayers for the dead in a liturgy never ratified by Parliament. The "Deposited Book," as this liturgy was known, had its doctrine confirmed in 1938 when a report on "Doctrine in the Church of the England" found "no theological objection in principle to Prayer for the Departed." The 1930 Lambeth Conference did not address spiritualism directly, but a groundswell of support for "psychical studies," and an enthusiasm for the paranormal continued unabated. Troubled laity who had dabbled in attempting to contact their dead relatives wrote anguished letters to bishops and priests when pangs of Christian conscience told them that they had done something wrong. Most clergy did their best to respond in a truly pastoral way, but the impulse to form a committee to decide on the matter once again, and definitively, won in the end. The book, Searching for Raymond by Fr. Rene Kollar, O.S.B., is reviewed at this website. I'm assuming Fr. Kollar belongs to a group of Roman Catholic Benedictines, even though his topic is spiritualism in the Anglican Church. I couldn't find any indication on the homepage or the "about" page in this website that it is Roman Catholic. Are there Anglican Benedictines? These sources seem to indicate that siritualism was discredited between the wars, but according to Hans Holzer's book The Psychic World of Bishop Pike, 1970, Pike attempted to contact his dead son through mediums in the 60s. Pike was the 5th Episcopal bishop of California. His cathedral was the same Grace Cathedral which is famous for its labyrinth project and the home of Bishop William Swing. Prior to serving in California, Pike served at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. His involvement with mediums eventually cost him his bishopric. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Thursday, October 30, 2003

JACK PARSONS, NIKOLA TESLA, THOMAS EDISON--SCIENTISTS AND THE OCCULT Jack Parsons was a member of a California Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), Agape Lodge. He was also a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech, one of the founders of the Laboratory in fact. Anyone who believes occultists lack intelligence has not read the literature. The O.T.O. is the brainchild of Satanist Aleister Crowley who wrote the Gnostic Mass for the order. According to Paul Rydeen, "JPL's Jack Parsons and his Babylon Brethren," Parsons was also the source of funds for Crowley. In late 1943 Parsons became the Acting Head of Agape Lodge. His life was cut short by an explosion in his lab that has never been explained. The degree rituals of the Lodge are sexual in nature. According to the article, Parsons was "potentially bisexual at the very least." A sixteen-year-old boy reported Parsons to the police, claiming that Parsons' followers had forcibly sodomized him during a Black Mass at the mansion Parson inherited from his father. There are also rituals for conjuring up an "elemental" or familiar spirit mentioned in the article in connection with Parsons's activities, and a reference to drug use during magical rites. Other Lodge members included a Pasadena bank president, doctors, lawyers, and Hollywood actors. L. Ron Hubbard was one of the members. What particularly got my attention was the sentence, "The electricity went out as they began invoking and something struck Hubbard on the right shoulder." "The electricity went out..." Is there a connection between electricity and the occult? Can these spirits that are being invoked control it? Did they whisper the secret of electricity to Thomas Edison who was also into spiritualism? Steiner, too, hinted that developments in science would give man greater control over electricity, as quotes from his book which I've previously posted indicate. And there is this passage from Steiner's The Temple Legend In order completely to finish the development in this sphere, the whole way of thinking which has gripped man since the sixteenth century, must be carried right into the atom. Thus, only when reasoned thinking can grasp the atom can Freemasonry again revive. In the first stage, the outer form will be grasped. The next step will be when man has learned to think right into the mineral atom, when he has an understanding of how to make use of what lives in the atom and place it in the service of the whole....The occultist knows that this will come about: a new point of departure from the atom into the mineral-physical world. That will be what will enter into the world in the sixth cultural epoch, and through this Freemasonry will also be regenerated. p. 98-99 Some of you may recognize the name of another occultist, Nicola Tesla. Here is his bio: Tesla, Nikola (b. July 9/10, 1856, Smiljan, Croatia--d. Jan. 7, 1943, New York City), Serbian-American inventor and researcher who discovered the rotating magnetic field, the basis of most alternating-current machinery. He emigrated to the United States in 1884 and sold the patent rights to his system of alternating-current dynamos, transformers, and motors to George Westinghouse the following year. In 1891 he invented the Tesla coil, an induction coil widely used in radio technology. Tesla was from a family of Serbian origin. His father was an Orthodox priest; his mother was unschooled but highly intelligent. A dreamer with a poetic touch, as he matured Tesla added to these earlier qualities those of self-discipline and a desire for precision. Training for an engineering career, he attended the Technical University at Graz, Austria, and the University of Prague. At Graz he first saw the Gramme dynamo, which operated as a generator and, when reversed, became an electric motor, and he conceived a way to use alternating current to advantage. Later, at Budapest, he visualized the principle of the rotating magnetic field and developed plans for an induction motor that would become his first step toward the successful utilization of alternating current. In 1882 Tesla went to work in Paris for the Continental Edison Company, and, while on assignment to Strassburg in 1883, he constructed, in after-work hours, his first induction motor. Tesla sailed for America in 1884, arriving in New York, with four cents in his pocket, a few of his own poems, and calculations for a flying machine. He first found employment with Thomas Edison, but the two inventors were far apart in background and methods, and their separation was inevitable. A well educated man at a time when far fewer people had a university education, Tesla was well respected: Tesla gave exhibitions in his laboratory in which he lighted lamps without wires by allowing electricity to flow through his body, to allay fears of alternating current. He was often invited to lecture at home and abroad. The Tesla coil, which he invented in 1891, is widely used today in radio and television sets and other electronic equipment. That year also marked the date of Tesla's United States citizenship. He had many inventions to his credit including this one: In Colorado Springs, Colo., where he stayed from May 1899 until early 1900, Tesla made what he regarded as his most important discovery-- terrestrial stationary waves. By this discovery he proved that the Earth could be used as a conductor and would be as responsive as a tuning fork to electrical vibrations of a certain frequency. Some of his inventions were met with skepticism: He also lighted 200 lamps without wires from a distance of 25 miles (40 kilometres) and created man-made lightning, producing flashes measuring 135 feet (41 metres). At one time he was certain he had received signals from another planet in his Colorado laboratory, a claim that was met with derision in some scientific journals. A genius, but a genius with some strange proclivities: Tesla allowed himself only a few close friends. Among them were the writers Robert Underwood Johnson, Mark Twain, and Francis Marion Crawford. He was quite impractical in financial matters and an eccentric, driven by compulsions and a progressive germ phobia. But he had a way of intuitively sensing hidden scientific secrets and employing his inventive talent to prove his hypotheses. Tesla was a godsend to reporters who sought sensational copy but a problem to editors who were uncertain how seriously his futuristic prophecies should be regarded. Caustic criticism greeted his speculations concerning communication with other planets, his assertions that he could split the Earth like an apple, and his claim of having invented a death ray capable of destroying 10,000 airplanes at a distance of 250 miles (400 kilometres). Ironically, Tesla was buried from the New York Cathedral of St. John the Divine which was subsequently the home of Bishop Pike, another spiritualist, and the group Lindisfarne Associates. Today the Cathedral promotes the ritual "Missa Gaia." Tesla was involved in communications with spirits according to this website dedicated to ITC, or Instrumental Trans Communication. ITC, along with EVP are the technological equivalent of spiritualism--contacting disembodied spirits. That practice that the CCC forbids. A practice that interested Thomas Edison as well. This website also links Tesla with paranormal or occult activity: Luminous discharge around the objects was first recorded in 1777 by a German physicist G.C. Lihtenberg. Since then this effect have been studied by a number of prominent scientists including Nicola Tesla. This effect was named after Semyon Kirlian and his wife Valentina who initiated its research in 1939 - research, that lasted all their life. Dr. Korotkov personally met with Semyon Kirlian 20 years ago in the Russian city of Krasnodar. This Theosoophy website, on the other hand, indicates Tesla was opposed to the occult, unlike Thomas Edison: Nicola Tesla on the other hand hated talk about the occult, and although he put his name to endless articles about the strangest ideas , he shunned anything that was not scientifically valid. Yet even today Edison is viewed as the empiricist, the grand old man of American science, while Tesla, if remembered at all, is often identified with pseudo science. So there is some question as to what he was really involved in. But it gets worse. Some claim that Tesla was a member of an O.T.O. Lodge, Bill Siebert, at the philhine.org website is among them: Aleister Crowley, Nicola Tesla, Austin Osman Spare, and H.P. Lovecraft all spring to mind as examples of initiates who woke-up alone. Each was a genius. Each had a profound effect on the world I live in. Yet, each was severely imbalanced in his relationships with other people. Tesla was perhaps the most extreme. He could not tolerate being touched. He felt it disturbed his subtle magnetic fields. He once moved a thousand miles from his home simply because someone put his arm on Tesla's shoulder! Of these 4, I feel that Crowley worked most diligently to balance his solitary inner plane Workings with connection to community (being tapped-into non-solitary sex magick probably helped a lot)! But in community, he acted as though he were the most advanced initiate on the planet. Based on the number of people who moved in-&-out of his life, it would seem that he was somewhat difficult to be around for protracted periods of time. He surrounded himself with people whom he used as tools &/or endeavored to re-form into images of himself. I learned a lot from Crowley. But, after many years of being a Hermit, I am now working to balance my exalted Hermetic initiations with group interactions within a community of magickal peers. Here is a review of Tesla's book on Guided Weapons and Computer Technology. And there are more titles about Tesla here. Did Tesla devise a method of weather control that could produce earthquakes? The answer seems to depend upon whom you ask. Conspiracy theorists claim that he did. And there is this report on the web: US Senate Investigates into the Allegations of Earthquake Weaponry used in Kobe Aum's interest in weapons of mass destruction was considered serious enough to merit the launch of a special investigation by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Chaired by Senator Sam Nunn, the committee spent five months conducting hundreds of interviews of "government and private individuals" and included classified briefings from numerous US intelligence agencies. Their 100-page report was published in October 1995. The Nunn Report, in addition to outlining Aum's large international membership and US$1billion plus finances, revealed the cult's fascination for so-called Tesla Weapons � after their inventor Nikola Tesla. The report mentions Tesla's development of a "ray gun in the 1930's, which was actually a particle beam accelerator", and which was said to be able to "shoot down an airplane at 200 miles". Aum personnel also travelled to the Tesla Museum in Belgrade to research the so-called Tesla Coil � a device used for (amplifying?) alternating currents � and uncovered Tesla's work on "high energy voltage transmission and wave amplification, which Tesla asserted could be used to create seismological disturbances". Do powerful Tesla-type earthquake weapons exist? Not according to conventional scientific wisdom, but there are many who harbour doubts, and still others who maintain that "conventional wisdom" in the scientific community merely reflects a mind-set rusted shut by prolonged conservative values. There is a website dedicated to the Tesla Coil which contains a series of pictures of the coil in action, creating lightning. Here is another website with pictures of the Tesla Coil. I haven't checked out any of this at the library. All I know about it is what I've found on the web. Yet more and more I get the impression that at least some of the inventions over the last century may have a source in spiritualism. It is just possible that our war machinery and many of our creature comforts are the work of the Prince of This World. Sort of puts the Book of Revelation into a whole new light. CarrieTomko@aol.com

UPDATE My blog yesterday about homosexual blessing ceremonies in the Episcopal Church prompted a reader to send a website of links to articles about the topic of homosesuality, from Catholic Dossier. One of the articles, an Editorial by Ralph McInerny, contains this paragraph: Before Father Harvey, there was Jacques Maritain. After his conversion to Catholicism, Maritain undertook many apostolates. First of all the intellectual apostolate that made him one of the chief figures in the Thomistic Revival, bringing the truths of the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas to bear on the modern mind. And there was a cultural apostolate as well, an offspring of the first, in which reunions at the Maritain home sought to influence all aspects of French culture. It was this that brought Maritain into contact with such figures as Jean Cocteau, Andre Gide, and others who had fallen into homosexuality. Like Paul Claudel, Maritain undertook to convert Andre Gide, urging him not to publish his infamous Corydon. Unsuccessfully. He knew more success with Cocteau, but eventually the poet and dramatist backslid into his earlier ways. There were other failures. But there were successes as well, notably Julien Green. Jean Cocteau--the last Grand Master of the Priory of Scion as listed in HolyBlood, Holy Grail,p. 131. Mark Lowery addresses Boswell's claims in this article from the same series: It is in this context that the arguments of John Boswell and others are best met. They argue that there is no ethical condemnation of homosexual acts in the Bible. Rather, the condemnations must be seen in the light of ritual impurity � homosexuality is condemned because of its use in cultic worship practices, as found in Canaanite religions and then imitated in ancient Israel. The best way to meet Boswell�s argument is to grant for a moment that the Old Testament prohibitions refer to idolatrous worship practices, that homosexual acts are wrong because they are used liturgically in false worship of false gods and goddesses. That�s just the point � homosexual acts are, in a sense, in and of themselves �liturgical� acts, inextricably reflective of idolatry. These acts are wrong precisely because they are �inverted sacraments.� Just as the ethical conduct in an ordered marriage images the covenant, so too the unethical conduct of homosexuality is a false image for the covenant, or images a skewed understanding of man�s relation to God. The reason why sexual practices are used culticly (sacramentally) is precisely because that ordered or disordered ethical activity itself is an image of the true or false relationship between man and God. In response to Boswell, then, we can say that the Old Testament does not condemn ritual usage of homosexuality, leaving other uses to the side. Sexuality speaks a �liturgical� language, and thus to condemn the ritual usage of homosexual acts is to condemn homosexual acts in themselves. Most importantly, the condemnation is not a heteronomous end in itself; it points us, along the route of participatory theonomy, to the full sacramental/liturgical outgrowth of respecting the natural language of the body. Gerard van den Aardweg opens his comments with this paragraph: It needs no further proof; the AIDS epidemic has made it sufficiently clear that the vast majority of active homosexuals are promiscuous, and much more so than promiscuous heterosexuals. The fairy tale of faithful homosexual �unions� (with its slogan, �What is the difference from heterosexual marriage, apart from the sex of the partner?�) is a propaganda item, to win privileges from the law and acceptance within Christian churches. Years ago, German sociologist and homosexual activist Martin Dannecker (1978) already openly admitted that �homosexuals have a different sexual nature�, i.e., that partner variability is inherent to their sexuality. The �faithful marriage� concept had had its use in the strategy for getting social approval for homosexuality, but now it was time to drop the smoke screen, he wrote. Perhaps it was a little premature for such honesty, for the opportunistic marriage concept still serves emancipatory purposes, in the legalization of adoption by homosexual couples, for example. So a veil of lies and a repression of unwelcome facts still cover the issue of relationships. In the Germany of the Sixties and early Seventies, the well-known homosexual psychiatrist Hans Giese never failed at any public discussion or forum on homosexuality to hammer home the notion of the �faithful and enduring partnership� of which his life would be an example. But when he killed himself after one of his failed love affairs, the incident was pretty well passed over in silence by the media, as it was not exactly in support of the fidelity theory. Similarly, self-dramatization characterized the artistic career of the Belgian �singing nun� (Soeur Sourier) in the Sixties. Breaking away from her convent to start a lesbian relationship, she asserted the viability of this �love,� which she claimed could be in harmony with religious life itself. After some years she and her lover were found dead, allegedly having committed suicide together (if this is the true version; in any case, the scene indicated a romanticized �dying for love�). (After picking my jaw up off the keyboard--I had her album when I was growing up--I went on to the rest of the article and had to pick it up a few more times. Considering how old I am, it seems that I'm very naive about this subject.) CarrieTomko@aol.com

CELIBACY - EAST AND WEST an article from First Things Dec. 2002 describing clerical celibacy in the East and comparing it to the Western situation, ending with: In short, the laity cannot justly complain that their priests do not keep the law of celibacy while at the same time demanding that they themselves be subject to no ascetic discipline. Until the laity begins to accept the need to fast, to be mindful of what we wear, how we speak, how we relate to each other�in short, until the laity accepts its baptismal vocation in all its radical other�worldliness�there is no hope that the clergy will find the strength to do so. Only a Church of mystics can realistically expect their clergy to be saints. Or to put it another way, the article contends that so long as the laity rejects Humane Vitae, the clergy will not be celibate, no matter what their ordination requires of them. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

THE SCHINDLERS REBUT MICHAEL SCHIAVO'S INTERVIEW with Larry King at Fr. Rob's blog. CarrieTomko@aol.com

HALLOWEEN HAS BECOME AN ADULT HOLIDAY according to Fox News. Sixty-five percent of the costumes are sold to adults. Many of them have a central theme of sex. Trick or treat for UNICEF has even gone "adult" since the organization has enlisted top restaurants to donate $1 for every meal sold on Halloween. While American adults party, Russia has banned the holiday after Russian officials rules it was too Pagan. In a letter sent to school heads and governors teachers were warned that: "The very fact that Halloween activities contain elements such as the cult of death, rejecting death, personification of death and evil spirits produces a destructive effect upon the psychological, moral and spiritual health of students." The article also indicates the Russian Orthodox Church leaders claimed the festival was Satanic. And we in America think it's our job to Christianize Russia??!! Meanwhile a Christian church presents a haunted hou...er...church with a slightly different twist: The pastor doesn't apologize for springing fire and brimstone on his guests. "We don't hide that it's a church, and there is definitely a religious connotation to a church, but there is a religious connotation to Halloween, also," he said. "Halloween is more than trick-or-treat. It is the high holy day for Satanism." So he presents an anti-Satan message, a "different side of Halloween," he said. This is the second consecutive year the church has presented the Scream House. Last year, he said, it attracted 1,700 visitors, and this year he expects 3,000. Some parents were NOT pleased. "It is very controversial," he [the pastor] said. "Someone sabotaged our power last week, shutting us down early. People are taking down our signs. Religious people think we're trying to scare people into heaven. What we're showing is reality, that if people make the wrong decisions in life there are consequences, consequences now and consequences for eternity." But that didn't satisfy Biggs, who is Jewish, and Hoffmann, who isn't. "I never expected in my wildest dreams what we walked into," Hoffmann said. "It's horrible that you walk into something that you think is a haunted house with an 8-year-old, and instead of seeing Frankenstein, it's something like that." I guess there is politically correct terror and politically incorrect terror, and heaven help you if you don't play by the rules. Meanwhile Chinatown has a haunted house they would rather be without since it's a year-round affair instead of being merely seasonal. I wonder if the haunted inn on the University of Maryland campus is good for recruiting? CarrieTomko@aol.com

TERRI SCHIAVO WorldNetDaily presents some information in Terri Schiavo's case that didn't come out in the Larry King interview: Schiavo's PR offensive follows damning comments by world-renowned forensic pathologist Michael Baden on Fox News Channel's "On the Record" hosted by Greta van Susteren Friday night. WorldNetDaily reported Baden, who is co-director of the Investigative Unit of New York State Police in Albany and former chief medical examiner for New York City, ruled out potassium imbalance and a heart attack as factors in Terri's mysterious collapse 13 years ago � which left her severely incapacitated and unable to speak � and pointed to head trauma and bone injuries as a more likely cause. Although never proven, Schiavo told Larry King a potassium imbalance � likely due to bulimia � caused her to suffer cardiac arrest. Baden said he studied a bone scan made in March 1991 at a rehabilitation facility that describes Terri as having a head injury: "That's why she's there, that's why she's getting a bone scan." "A head injury can ... lead to the vegetative state that Ms. Schiavo is in now," he continued, adding the scan showed evidence of other injuries, bone fractures in her thigh, lower back, ribs and both ankles. As WorldNetDaily reported, the bone scan surfaced last November during evidentiary hearings on Terri's current condition and the prospects for rehabilitation. Coupled with medical records that indicated Terri was admitted to the hospital the night of her collapse with a "suspiciously rigid neck" which two physicians described as being consistent with attempted strangulation, prompted the Schindlers to seek an investigation of the 1990 collapse. Amid strenous objection from Felos, Greer ruled against such a probe. Bobby Schindler said the refusal to investigate Terri's collapse casts doubt on Schiavo's assertion he still loves his wife. "The broken bones got there somehow," he said. "It seems to me if I were her husband I would want to find out what happened to her." In last night's interview, Schiavo addressed the strangulation testimony by asking why her neck was not bruised and her trachea damaged. If there has been a murder attempt, Schiavo has much to loose if Terri can be rehabilitated to talk again. Could this be behind his determination that there will be no therapy? CarrieTomko@aol.com

ECUSA CONTINUES TO SELF-DESTRUCT The Episcopal bishop of Washington plans to develop rites for same-sex "marriages" for the 94 churches in his 40,000-member diocese, saying a resolution passed during the summer at the Episcopal General Convention gives him carte blanche to do so. ����"In keeping with good Anglican liturgical order, it is my intention at some point," Bishop John B. Chane wrote in an Oct. 15 letter, "to form a task force to study those liturgical rites that have clearly been in use for some time within the Diocese of Washington to see if there is a form that could be uniformly used by parishes, should they request it." What good is a marriage rite in a church when it is not backed up by the state? This bishop proposes that such a rite be optional for any given parish and priest. Bishop Chane reassured Mr. Hutt that theologically orthodox clergy will not be forced to perform same-sex unions. ����"This is clearly a local option that is left open to the pastoral judgment of the priest of a congregation, the vestry and parishioners," his letter said. "It is not a requirement for any congregation in this diocese, nor is it a requirement to be followed by any priest in this diocese." How long will the homosexual lobby permit this option before insisting that it be mandatory? The article also mentions Yale Professor John Boswell's claim: Integrity has been pushing for same-sex liturgies since the late 1980s, based on claims by several scholars, including Yale University professor John Boswell, that such rites between men existed among medieval Christians. I had never heard of such a thing and so went looking for Boswell on the web. What I found was Charles Bennison's book reviews.., Vol. 77, Anglican Theological Review, 04-01-1995, pp 256 in which he reviews Boswell's Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, saying in part: Are such translations accurate? When two men, using rites like those Boswell, over a twelve-year period, resurrected from libraries across Europe, joined hands, wore crowns, circled the altar, received the sacrament, read from scripture, and kissed--all part of medieval heterosexual marriage rites--and, thus, were "made brothers," were they in fact entering into a "marriage," and, if so, was that "marriage" understood in the same way as "marriage" is understood today? With all due respect, perhaps it is best to say that what Boswell here believes he proves he, in fact, only opines. But if our respect is for one whose extraordinary erudition and social location equip him to understand what to most of us are only mysteries surrounding our sexualities, we must take his opinion very' seriously. Take, for example, the rubrics from an eleventh-century liturgy in which the priest is instructed to "place the holy Gospel on the Gospel stand and they that are to be joined together place their [right] hands on it, holding lighted candles in their left hands. Then shall the priest cense them and say . . . "In a prayer which follows the priest asks God, 'as Thou didst find thy holy martyrs Serge and Bacchus worthy to be united together, bless also these thy servants, N. and N., joined together not by the bond of nature but by faith and in the mode of the spirit, granting unto them peace and love and oneness of mind.'" Was this just a male bonding ceremony as typical of earlier times as it would be atypical of our own ? Was it merely about "collateral adoption" or "blood brotherhood" or "spiritual brotherhood?" Boswell appears to argue persuasively against these alternative interpretations, but, in the end, one cannot be absolutely sure. As a pastor for over a generation to dozens upon dozens of lesbian and gay individuals and couples, however, it is not much of a stretch for me to imagine that outlined here in indirect and ironic language, and read aloud with perhaps a wink in the direction of the knowing, is a marriage of two men. The reviewer goes on to make a case for considering same-sex union rites in the Episcopal Church. For the sake of argument, let's assume that these rites did exist. The pertinent question is what group used them? Was this a Catholic rite, since its existence prior to the Protestant Reformation would preclude it from being a Protestant rite? Or was it rather a rite used by heretics that Boswell has unearthed and neglected to identify as such? Rictor Norton presents the Manichean view of sexuality in his essay on A History of Homophobia, "4 Gay Heretics and Witches" 15 April 2002, saying: Throughout its early development, the Christian Church was under constant threat by the religious teachings of Mani, born in Persia in AD 216. His system, now called Manichaeism, held that evil was as powerful as goodness, contrary to the Christian view that the God of goodness was all-powerful, and it acquired an immense number of believers, no doubt because common sense tells us that evil is indeed a power to be reckoned with in the real world. During the early Middle Ages cults of this religion spread throughout Egypt, Asia Minor, Byzantium, northern Italy, southern France, the Balkans and Bulgaria. Of greatest importance to us is the fact that many of these Manichaean groups permitted homosexual intercourse. They not only tolerated homosexuality, but went so far as to advocate its superiority over heterosexuality, on the grounds that the latter enslaved humanity in a chain of procreation which bound us to the earth and hence to Evil. They thus held in varying degrees of esteem all the non-procreative sex that the Christian Church condemned: masturbation, male and female homosexuality, anal and oral sex between men and women, and group sex-play that wasn't designed to produce offspring. The Church's condemnation of members of these cults as homosexuals as well as heretics was not only inevitable, but to a large extent accurate. Nevertheless the condemnation still had more to do with church politics than with morality. Most of these heretical groups, the Albigensians, Paulicians, Patarenes, Bogomiles, Cathars, etc., were rather puritanical in non-sexual areas and appealed not only to the common people, but to wealthy burghers and the nobility. The Cathars (a term meaning "the pure") were openly supported in France by the counts of Toulouse, Foix and Bezier, and the king of Aragon, and the princes seized Church property on the "religious" authority of the Cathars. It is hardly surprising, then, that the Church branded these people as heretics, and used the homosexual charge as an effective weapon in its crusade against them. Any defeat of heresy meant the confiscation of more property for the Church. When Manichaeism entered France by way of Bulgarian immigrants in the eleventh century, the word bougre, meaning "Bulgarian," became synonymous with both "heretic" and "sodomite" � and survives in the English language today as "bugger." Nor is it insignificant that the Inquisition's official term for heresy was "heretical pravity," having much the same meaning as "depravity" and "sexual depravity." It seems reasonable to conclude that an ECUSA bishop intends to resurrect the heresy of Manicheaism in order to justify blessing homosexual marriages. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

THE LATEST HERESY: ECUMENISM. Accusations at www.chiesa from a Catholic Traditionalist who believes that ecumenism is leading us to reject the Trinitarian God. Enrico Maria Radaelli of Milan has recently published a book of theological criticism of modern Catholicism: Theologians, monks, and cardinals fall beneath Radaelli�s severe and highly reasoned criticisms. The cardinals still living who are most targeted are Roger Etchegaray, Edward Cassidy, Carlo Maria Martini, and Joseph Ratzinger. The only one spared is Camillo Ruini, who is given honorable mention for having recalled that the Holy Trinity is the heart of the Christian faith. This is, in fact, the central thesis of the book. Radaelli contrasts �the article of faith that asserts that in heaven there reigns only the Holy Trinity� (the one true God) with the three �false� monotheistic creeds, which according to ecumenist fashions would group together Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. John Paul II is also subjected to criticism. One could have anticipated the indictments against his interreligious meetings in Assisi. Less foreseeable, but even more harsh, is the criticism Radaelli makes of the Pope�s �going Jewish� in Jerusalem, with the gesture he made at the Temple wall; after all, �how can we upbraid the Jews for not believing in the New Temple of Christ, if we ourselves run to pray at their dead, empty, and by now merely idolatrous temple?� Just as Manicheanism and Pelagianism threatened the Church during its first centuries, so does Radaelli see the great new heresy of ecumenism threatening the Church today. Some time ago a reader sent me information about this book. His information contained this quote: �Il Mistero Della Sinagoga Bendata� (The Mystery of the Blind-folded Synagogue) has been forwarded to the highest authorities in the Church. Their silence is deafening! As a result, Professor Radaelli has addressed a letter �Ad Silentium Pastorum� to various prelates in order to break the silence surrounding his book. He demands an audience; he demands to be heard. If his arguments are not deemed Catholic, then he expects his errors, if any, to be pointed out in a spirit of active, benevolent Charity. He fears, however, that the silence surrounding the book comes from an uncomfortable realization that the point of departure of today�s ecumenical dialogue in the Church needs to be universally and radically altered � a �cataclysmic� movement- to use Professor Radaelli�s own words. One of the difficulties today, when addressing what is wrong with the philosophy currently popular in the Church is that the criticism will touch the Pope, as the chiesa article indicates. CarrieTomko@aol.com

VESPERS Some time ago a reader sent me an article from Zenit in which the Pope teaches on the subject of lauds and vespers, rituals he would very much like to see restored to the whole Church. Yet the chance of a restoration of these rituals here in America is slim to none given the typical hectic schedule of American families. At least not in the church setting, though perhaps some will take up the practice of reading these at home. The cycle of our days does not match the cycle of the sun as these rituals and the Pope's words require. For some, day is night and night is day. For others families are split by the work schedules of mother and father who take turns being at home with the kids and going to work. Some people work on "flexible schedules" which means in essence that they don't know when they will be going to work three weeks from now. As the Pope put it: For ancient man, even more than for us, the succession of night and day regulated life, eliciting reflection on the great problems of life. Modern progress has altered in part the relation between human life and cosmic time. But the intense rhythm of human activities has not totally removed the people of today from the rhythms of the solar cycle. If the electric light altered our rhythms, our computers have made them evaporate entirely. Somewhere in the world there is intense mid-day activity going on all the time, and that activity is just a flip of the switch away. Now we all live in the land of the midnight sun. Is this as God intended it? Or did He have other plans for us as lauds and vespers seems to indicate. How different our lives would be if electricity had never been discovered. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ATLANTIS It takes about five minutes of reading in occult literature to find a reference to the island. When a New Ager or occultist starts talking about Atlantis, we smile and close the brain door. But what if Atlantis were found? If there really was an Atlantis, would we then start to consider that the teachings of the gnostics might have been right? A new expedition will be looking for Atlantis next summer: Now it is to be sought by the Deep Med One expedition, planned for next summer by Prof Collina-Girard, of the University of Provence, with Commander Paul-Henri Nargeolet and George Tulloch. The team will search a location about 20 miles south west of Tarifa, Spain, and 12 miles north west of Tangier. Using a submersible capable of reaching depths of 3,200ft, the expedition, backed by private investors and corporate sponsors, will look for signs of temples, buildings and prehistoric artefacts, such as tools and weapons. "We hope to find artefacts there, but cannot predict this with total certainty as this area is totally unknown from a diving perspective," said Commander Nargeolet. "We will gather as much as we can in preparation for a second excavation expedition." Plato said the island kingdom was larger than Libya and Asia put together. It was paradise: peaceful, cultured and unspoilt. A golden age continued for centuries, but eventually corruption got the better of its inhabitants and the gods punished them by submerging Atlantis. Prof Collina-Girard believes that generations of Atlantis obsessives overlooked the most obvious location: Plato's account suggests Atlantis lay before the Pillars of Hercules - today's Strait of Gibraltar. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THIS "CATHOLIC" CULT HAS IT ALL... lawyers, physicians, engineers, teachers, and a resident "charismatic" priest, a compound, apparently a wealthy contributor, apparitions, rumors of sexual child abuse, a black virgin in its past. "We think this group is dangerous," said Bruce Harris, director of Casa Alianza, an international child welfare organization. "We've had several reports that children are being sexually abused there. Initially, there were several boys who told others that they were being molested, but we've never been able to get them off the grounds to talk to them." The priest has been Stripped of his priestly authority by the Oblate Fathers in Texas under accusations of sexually molesting children -- which the 73-year-old cleric vehemently denies -- Prado has now become a fugitive from his order and the chief celebrant for a reputedly violent doomsday cult in Costa Rica. He may have no authority, but he is a priest forever according to his ordination. I presume he can still consecrate. Four Costa Rican bishops have denounced the group. "But they knew about them before I ever called them," Harris said. "And, if they have information that Prado is a child molester as they said, they should produce it, rather than just disassociate themselves from him and allow him to remain in proximity to several young boys in that group." Officials of the Oblate Fathers would neither confirm nor deny that they have any proof that Prado is a child molester. Guidon, however, confirmed that Prado was stripped of all authority in the early 1990s, that he was sent to the church pedophile treatment center and that the process to expel him from the order has now begun. Shortly after the bishops' denunciation, the violence began. Father Benm Gomez, a priest who acts as spokesman for the San Jose Diocese, read the bishops' denouncement on a weekly radio program and began receiving anonymous phone threats. "They told me I'd better change my attitude about their group, and I tried to explain that I was just relaying an announcement," Gomez said. "Then, they attacked me.... On Sept. 3, Gomez said, 10 men came to his home and confronted him at the front door. The men shouted at the priest about "attacking our mother," then began beating him. Gomez suffered multiple injuries and was hospitalized for several days. Now recovered, he said he is wary about venturing onto the street. "This group is dangerous," he said. "I'm afraid when I go to my office now, when I leave my house." The priest is not bothered by such accounts: Now, Prado resides in a comfortable if Spartan room at the back of the sanctuary, unconcerned that the Oblates have started the process to expel him from the order. He is fed, clothed and cared for by the cult and, in turn, serves as its priest. "These people do everything for me," he said. "I have nothing. The Oblates cut me off and Ihaven't gotten my pension, but these people clothe me, feed me and house me. "No one is being molested here. "The Virgin is happy about my priesthood. She could read my heart that I would live here and stay here the rest of my life." As I contemplate the number of priests on administrative leave and read a story such as this one, I can see nothing but trouble ahead. It is hard to justify keeping an abusing priest in the diocese. He can't be trusted with children, which greatly limits the assignments which are open to him. Yet if he is not kept, if he is turned out of the Church and thrown on society, he has no resources with which to survive, and a group such as this one would logically be tempting. CarrieTomko@aol.com

Monday, October 27, 2003

CRITIQUE OF AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOLING I'm trying to catch up on articles readers have sent to me this evening. Some time ago a reader sent a link to this website for John Taylor Gatto. It amounts to a plug for Gatto's book criticizing American education because, as he says, it's intended to make American workers out of American school children. As I read through the website, it became more and more apparent that the text could almost have been lifted from a Waldorf School website. This is the argument they present to justify their rather different teaching style. Since Waldorf Schools were Rudolf Steiner's invention, it looked to be something that would be easy to write off as just some more occult nonsence. So I looked at Gatto's bio which had been sent along with the link for the article. Suddenly it became much harder to dismiss Gatto. He's got credentials. All the stuff we attribute to brilliance. So I went to Google to see what I could find. This book which he co-authored, was interesting. Obviously I wasn't wrong. But there remains the nagging realization that Gatto's awards are Waldorf School awards, apparently. So, does our culture award the kind of thinking/person Waldorf Schools produce and reject the kind of thinking/person public schools produce? At least in this case it would seem that it does. Considering Steiner's occult metaphysics, this is hardly good news. CarrieTomko@aol.com

ELEPHANT MADE - FINGERS INTACT and it was a fun class. Once again Ray Muniak made the process easy. The nice part about this class was that I felt like a veteran. This time I got my apron on right side out. :) Our class picture is up on the web at Muniart.com. Ray still has the peacock in his studio, waiting until its new owner is ready to bring him home, so I got to see it one last time. I volunteered to babysit free of charge, but he said the peacock is old enough to be left home alone now. Shucks! Ray's next exhibit will be at the Canton Art Museum, Nov. 28 to Jan. 18. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE CALIFORNIA FIRES MAY BE A TERRORIST ATTACK according to WorldNetDaily. The article indicates many Israeli fires were set by terrorists, and that the idea is that large fires will upset the American economy. It also indicates the difficulty is catching fire terrorists. It's easy to see in this scenerio how a country comes to a point of deporting everyone of a particular nationality. CarrieTomko@aol.com

THE RED CROSS HAS BECOME THE LATEST TARGET OF THE ENEMY in the war in Iraq. The Iraqis are redefining the meaning of war in a way that makes every man, woman, and child a combatant. Terrorists are bent on death in whatever way it can be brought about, and are indifferent as to whom they kill. Perhaps its a reflection of the mindset of someone who has committed himself to suicide. A notion that no one else has the right to live either? Abortion, euthanasia, war, suicide, arson, terrorism, murder...all aspects of the culture of death. All equal aspects? It's something that should be considered by the ladies who pop their birth control pills before work along with their OJ and coffee. If life is the enemy, how long until your life or my life is the enemy? There doesn't seem to be anyone exempted from this chaos magick. In fact, the more innocent a person is, the more vulnerable they have become. CarrieTomko@aol.com

BISHOP-ELECT GENE ROBINSON needs an FBI body guard because of "death threats from Christian fundamentalists." If they know who made the death threats, why don't they arrest the ones who made them? Or, if they can't arrest them because they don't know who they are, how can they be sure they are Christian fundamentalists? CarrieTomko@aol.com

HALLOWEEN Druid style from Wayne State University's "The South End." It seems that a lot more of the pagan holiday and very little of the Christianization of it has made itself at home in America. Meanwhile a Pagan describes his worship and lifestyle as no different than secularized Christianity. We do have one thing in common with them--we both dislike Jack Chick tracts, only the Pagans think he is an example of the "schizophrenia called Christianity." Sigh. Lisa DeHart calls herself a "solitary Pagan-Druid, combining both elements into one and dressing it up in a Celtic wrapper and Wiccan bow. The ultimate ecumenical combination, I guess. She also brings up Jack Chick who apparently is as good at getting Wicca wrong as he is at getting Catholic wrong. DeHart spells her "magick" with a "k" to separate it from the "magic" of illusion. She gives a statistic indicting Wicca is the fastest-growing religion, percentage-wise in America--8,000 in 1990 to 134,000 in 2001. Maybe this is where all those Catholics who are missing at Mass on Sunday morning are hanging out. The ones who aren't bringing Wicca in with them, that is. Since Halloween is just around the corner, Joe H. Slate, Ph.D.'s "Psychic Vampires" are right in season. I think I'll just quote a portion of the article and let it speak for itself: Psychic vampirism is alive and flourishing in the world today. As consumers of energy rather than blood, vampires of the psychic kind exist in many guises but with one common trait--their own inadequate energy system compels them to tap into and feed upon the energies of unsuspecting host victims. The immediate results of such a one-on-one vampire encounter are anew but temporary surge of energy for the psychic vampire and a serious loss of mental and physical energy for the unsuspecting prey. If you suddenly feel emotionally or mentally depleted, you may be under attack by a psychic vampire. The unfortunate effects of prolonged energy loss are damage to the energy system itself and in some instances, serious illness. But don't let your kids read it since Dr. Slate's excuse would be a tempting improvement on "The dog ate my homework." It never ceases to amaze me what the academics get themselves up to. Do you suppose he's Jesuit? Go to the article to find out what Delilah was really doing with Samson. My, my...Never let a seductive woman near your hairline, guys. Guess what your tax dollars are funding: I welcomed the opportunity as Professor of Psychology at Athens State College (now University) to lead a study investigating the human energy system. The year-long study, which was funded by the U.S. Army Missile Research and Development Command, identified several important characteristics of that system. Of particular interest was the finding that the physical body's central energizing core and its surrounding energy field, commonly called the aura, are each influenced by the presence of others. Using aura photography along with visual observations of the aura, the study found that the auras of couples whose interactions were positive tended to complement and energize each other, with each aura becoming brighter and more expansive. Conversely, negative interactions tended to constrict the aura and actually induce a state of mental and physical fatigue. When constrictions occurred in the aura, intellectual functions became slower, short-term memory declined, and physical strength decreased by as much as 50percent. I wonder if non-coordinated auras is grounds for annulment? The very next paragraph talks about cannibalism. Honest. Go read it. Resisting the temptation to start practicing my Finger Interlock Technique and crystal gazing, this is Carrie signing off from Planet Zircon... CarrieTomko@aol.com

Sunday, October 26, 2003

FROM JOHN ALLEN IN ROME... who is speaking about his opportunities to interview cardinals during the past week: Scola took the questions from CNN in Italian, though his English is actually fairly good, the result in part of having spent some time at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Asked about the challenges facing the church, Scola said the principal one was identified by Pope Paul VI: the "fracture" between the church and contemporary culture. "It's very difficult to determine whether this is the fault of the world that has abandoned the church, or the church that does not know how to relate to the world," Scola said. That is a question I often think about, but I sure would not have expected a Cardinal to be thinking about it as well. I would have expected a cardinal to have the answer to that question. If a cardinal doesn't know, how is the laity supposed to sort it out? CarrieTomko@aol.com

PICTURES OF CARS AT THE TOKYO MOTOR SHOW Passengers seem to be the last thing on this car's mind. I think it's looking for something to eat. I bet it's friendly so long as you keep it fed, though. This one looks like it was Monday work in the Suzuki factory. Some pieces seem to be missing. There are rides in Disney World that look like this one. Now this one has possibilities. Anything with a nose that big can't be all bad. And the breeze up above is an added plus. Where's a good James Bond movie when you need one? The Flintstones would have loved this one. Al Capone, call your office. Oh wait...Al Capone is dead. Send this one back for reprocessing. He who does a rollover in this one will need good dental records. This is a car? It looks like someone needs to get the fly swatter. Aha! They even had a car at the car show. I guess I keep my 1990 Olds for another year. ;-) CarrieTomko@aol.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com