Cult or No Cult
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Back in May, I watched an episode of America's Book of Secrets that dealt with cults. It was about as critical of cults as you'd expect from the regulated media but, even so, it was an interesting show. Among other things, it presented a definition of cults, by Mitch Horowitz, the author of Occult America. He said, "For a movement to be a cult, there has to be the presence of some kind of abuse or coercion. Most observers think of four criteria that defines [sic] an organization as a cult: behavioral control, informational control, some sort of thought control, and emotional control."
The application of the Horowitz criteria isn't as simple as it might seem. Marshall Applewhite, the leader of Heaven's Gate, convinced his people that their souls would go to Heaven in a space ship. Jesus convinced his followers of something nearly identical, lacking only the space ship, yet people think of Heaven's Gate but not Christianity as a cult. Consider centuries of papal efforts to coercively control knowledge and forcibly impose its doctrine. Does the Vatican qualify as a cult according to the Horowitz criteria? I believe that it does.
As an aside, Jesus and Applewhite were probably both right about the souls but why was there so much concern about the space ship? Various Christians believe in things like angels with flaming swords and fiery chariots, prophecies, the Rapture, virgin births, ritual cannibalism, eternal life, burning bushes, angels climbing ladders, stone tablets from God, pillars of salt, resurrections, people surviving in whales, oceans parting, manna, Armageddon, columns of fire and pillars of smoke, and God commanding Noah to build an ark. Why would people who believe in such bizarre things as those have a problem with the idea of souls going to Heaven in a space ship?
Getting back to the criteria, Horowitz didn't mention religion among them. Thus, if the criteria are objectively applied, there are other organizations that might qualify as cults. Some that come to mind are boot camps, ships at sea, armies in the field, police forces, street gangs, orphanages, schools, monasteries, convents, refugee camps, prisons, hospitals, news services, and governments. It just depends, doesn't it? In May of 1995, I proposed my own definition of a cult, that being any group of devout religious believers that becomes the target of government disapproval, persecution, or atrocities. I intended the definition to point out that the government designates organizations as cults just so it can justify the use of force and violence against them. The only change that I'd make in the definition today is to remove the word religious.
The FBI used army tanks and armed helicopters to attack a "cult", pumped CS gas into its headquarters, burned the place to the ground with almost 80 people inside, and then blamed it on the victims. It was "justified" by unproven allegations against a few of the victims. Access to the evidence and to the scene, and the release of information, was strictly and forcibly controlled by the FBI. An FBI sniper shot an unarmed mother in the face, killing her, while she was holding her baby and gazing peacefully out of the door of her cabin. The "justification" was that her husband had failed to appear in court. Guilt and innocence were determined in government courts. Does the FBI use abuse, coercion, and control to enforce its beliefs and, therefore, qualify as a cult under the Horowitz definition? I believe so.
A definition can sometimes be more strongly influenced by an agenda than by the nature of the thing defined. Eventually, debating what is and what isn't a cult can become pointless. I judge a tree by its fruit. The Branch Davidian Massacre, the murder of Vicki Weaver, and many other such government atrocities, as far back into history as you care to look, remain unresolved. In my opinion, all living perpetrators of and participants in such government atrocities should be flogged or similarly punished and then abandoned naked on a barren rock somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, cult or no cult.
|The Diary of Cyber Sleuth: Day Sixteen
Fiction by Sam Aurelius Milam III
Best laid plans. I was afraid from the beginning that it might happen. Some of Cyber Dog's bits and pieces were stored on some of the computers that I infected with virus mothers. I suppose that it was inevitable that sooner or later a virus would change data in part of Cyber Dog. That's what happened. It could have been minor but it wasn't. Cyber Dog glitched and lost the addresses of his next piece of code, so he couldn't continue his process. He didn't have any exit instruction from what he was trying to do, so he hung. If he'd just fallen apart it wouldn't have been so bad but he was only disabled, not killed. He was left intact, trying to execute a funds transfer for me. So there he was, suddenly not able to function and suddenly in the way of a lot of programs that needed to flow around him. He had about a hundred IO ports blocked. Not much for the entire internet but it was noticed. The internet is a dynamic place. A big piece of hung code tends to get in the way. The Dog Walker couldn't control Cyber Dog any more but, unfortunately, they were still in communication. Some agency, somewhere, probably the one that touched the leash earlier, grabbed it hard this time. Dog Walker turned loose, sent me a quick summary of what had happened, and erased himself. Sort of like committing suicide. Now, this is more spooky than I can describe, even more spooky than when he notified me about the hand on the leash, some time ago. I still get the willies thinking about this. See, I programmed the Dog Walker to commit suicide if somebody else grabbed the leash. I didn't program him to send me a quick summary first. Spooky. How did he do that? Why did he do it? Did he figure it out all by himself? Did he develop volition, all by himself? Did he become alive without me knowing about it?
Letter to the Editor
Remote controlled airplanes actually the bigger they are the more stable
Here's my video Little Wings
Yes I believe the same and that's why the building next door was demolished to leave no trace. And why all the debris was taken to China without inspection. Every plane crash is taken somewhere out Midwest and investigated for years and years except those 2 planes and the 'plane' at the Pentagon.
The Diary of Cyber Sleuth:
mmmmmmm, you don't know much about IT security. I took an AAS in Computer Electronic Networking Technology in Honolulu and trust me, every hour of every day they are new Trojans, viruses etc. from all over the world already. And it is a reactionary policy but what would happen is an automatic shutdown anyway such as in a DoS attack which is a kiddie script....
Woman who cried wolf: OBJECTION! Don't need to cry wolf to be raped all over again by the legal system. "Wrong place, Wrong time", and background check trying to dig up any dirt to sully victim is routinely done only to rape victims and not somebody who was robbed.
Police to robbed victim: "Hey guy, you wore a business suit and had shiny shoes screaming that you had a fat wallet. You were asking for it."
But you are a sexist guy (but still my friend my misogynist friend) and I do like the tampon joke going to forward that one....
Have a happy misogynic day sir.
A White Man's Notes
Sam Aurelius Milam III
When a woman criticizes men, the other women will applaud her. When a man criticizes women, the women will call him a jerk, a cave man, a misogynist, and so forth. It was the women who demanded gender equality but their spontaneous and pervasive resistance to it provides the most convincing evidence that they never wanted it and will destroy it wherever and whenever it arises.
Viewed in terms of the resulting behavior, there doesn't seem to be much difference between love and insanity.
|A Hodgepodge of Confusion
I am only one of 200,000 inmates incarcerated in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). I have a release date that is definite but far away. This place is crowded and I have been on an employment waiting list for over four years. Really, I just wish to occupy my time and only 1/2 of me wants a job. The State will "tax" 55% of my wages, right off the top, to cover Restitution and most jobs pay between 9¢ and 20¢ per hour. So, there seems to be some kind of voodoo working in my favor.
The first thing people don't realize is that CDCR is not just one place. It's more like a continent, or entity, containing many different places within the whole. A land with a Dictator holding the country together, while its cohorts help themselves to everything in sight. The guys with the guns run everything, if anything is being run at all. As I look out my cell door, I long for a mobile phone; one that has all the modern conveniences. I would love a precious video of all the cops who sleep on the job, leaning back in their chairs, feet up on the desks, legs crossed, snoring, or talking on the phone, incessantly, for hours on end. Some fight boredom by tossing our cells and possessions come up missing ... books of stamps, CD's, or photos of girlfriends/wives in provocative poses. Honestly, I think this is why phones are really not allowed; no evidence of the thousands of injustices committed by them, daily.
Getting into prison is easy. Simply commit a serious crime, get caught, and let a Public Pretender handle you defense. It's a 99% guarantee you will be sentenced to the maximum term. Getting out is a different story. I know about 100 guys who were sentenced to 5-Life ... 20 or more years ago. They have more than paid their debt to society and California has no plans to let them out, ever. I wish everyone could live in prison, even just for a week. Oh, the people they would encounter, just as I have. Their outlook and opinion of our penal system would be so much different.
Every single inmate seems to have his own hustle, not necessarily for monetary gain but, for status, as well. Some prey on the physically weak and others on the weak minded, as all slip their own brand of trickery into the system. An honest person is rare. I have been caught with my guard down on many occasions and had to learn from my mistakes the hard way. Now, most of the time, I can see the game coming from a mile away.
Recently my [omitted] was stolen right off my hobby table, while I was in the shower. I was, seriously, pissed off at the world. But, after thinking about it, I realized it was me who had become predictable, leaving my things on the same table, while taking a shower, at the same time every day. It was my own fault and, probably, some karma thrown in from my past. I let my guard down and the viper struck. After a little bit of reflection, I know who took it from me, but I can't prove it. Big lesson in the trust department.
Years ago, I took a college course in Criminology. I learned to be leery of the person who offers to help when trying to solve a crime, like a thief who offers to help the Detectives. Nine out of ten times it is the guilty party who wants to keep you close so you will confide in him. Then, he can offer suggestions designed to steer you away from him as a suspect. There is one individual who has offered to assist in the missing [omitted] caper, and continues to do so. He is my prime suspect and I tell him I hear all kinds of false facts, in an effort to trip him up. Really, I just want to let it go and move on but, he persists with the helpful "investigation". All I can do, at this point, is pray for him. Maybe he was strung out and needed something to trade for another issue of dope. I've been there and know, exactly, how it is. One day he will have to answer to a Higher Power for his actions, just as I will.
The humor in all this is it was a broken [omitted]. That machine had a mind of its own; it would start/stop in the middle of the night. Sometimes it [omitted] worked, or not. It drove me crazy and hopefully it will with its new owner, too. I have a new one, now, and it is never out of my sight. It goes into a plastic bag and takes a shower with me. If the thief had waited another week he could have had a new one. I only kept the old one for its turn-in value.
With a bit less than [omitted] years to go and [omitted] under my belt I'm still learning. I pray for those I love and more for those who've wronged me, keeping faith in my Higher Power and know things happen for a reason. At least, I hope so.
My thanks to the following: SantaClara Bob; Lady Jan the Voluptuous; my mother; Dewey and Betty; Bob Link; and Eric, of Ione, California.
Original Source Unknown. Forwarded by Steve, of Mililani, Hawaii. I didn't try to verify any of them.
According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, whereas, of course, men are just grateful.
Robert De Niro In the last couple of weeks I have seen the ads for the Wonder Bra. Is that really a problem in this country? Men not paying enough attention to women's breasts?
Hugh Grant When the sun comes up, I have morals again.
Original Source Unknown. Forwarded by Steve, of Mililani, Hawaii.
Before you criticize someone walk a mile in his shoes. That way if he gets angry he'll be a mile away, and barefoot.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.
Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
If you look like your passport picture, then you probably need the vacation.
Always yield to temptation because it might not pass your way again.
Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
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Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor