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This is a question Join us... come join the cult

A friend of mine recently floored me with the admission that he'd spent several years in Eastern Europe with the Moonies. And he seemed so normal. Have you or your mates disappeared into a cult? Now that the brain-washing has worn off, tell us all about it.

(, Thu 26 Jan 2006, 17:46)
Pages: Popular, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)
I too have no one to talk to during sex. However this is not related to my religious beliefs so much as to my necrophilia.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 18:01, Reply)
It's a sex cult. Hmmm...
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 18:01, Reply)
Never joined a cult ,
wish I had some sort of religious beliefs though because being an atheist I have no one to talk to during sex!
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 17:20, Reply)
As Zappa said...
...'That's right, there'll always be a big difference between kneeling down and bending overrrrrr'

Check out Heavenly Bank Account when you get the chance - funny and highly pertinent to the times, not to mention the QOTW ;)

Dumb All Over is worth checking out too.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 14:47, Reply)
I never knew anyone who joined the Cult
But my mate's brother used to go to school with the drummer from The Mission.

(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 13:32, Reply)
It's not all bad
I have two cultish friends and their experiences of cults are all positive.

One got off school because she celebrated "Christmas" in September.

The other got free babysitters after joining the Jesus Army, so she could go out on the lash.

Time off required? Babysitting? Join a cult!
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 13:26, Reply)
Body Popping for the Lord...
I apologise in advance for the lack of humour in this post.

I wasn't in a cult but I was in something that could well be seen as one. For my sins, I spent six years in the Evangelical church, the gods only know why. For those who are not aware of them, these are the kind of churches where there's lots of dancing, clapping and people falling over and body-popping on the floor. I've heard and seen some strange things, including people blowing raspberries and imitating farmyard animals because "the spirit led them to do it". I often wondered what would happen if anyone suffered a seizure or an epileptic fit during the service. A grand mal in the name of the Lord perhaps.

Still, I guess I didn't really see through the hypocrisy until I went to the front to get blessed (they call it an altar call) one day. The pastor slapped his hand on my head and attempted to push me over and into the arms of his assistants, who hovered behind me in anticipation. But it was his words that made me see red.

Pastor: ..and all those times that people said they didn't love you, Jesus did.
Me: Amen
Pastor: ..and all those times your friends said they didn't love you, Jesus did.
Me: Amen
Pastor: ..and all those times that your parents said that they didn't love you, Jesus did.

My eyes flicked open. There was definitely no serenity there.

Me: What the hell did you just say!?
Pastor: ..I...I...!

I was very angry. He'd just insulted my family.

Me: My parents never told me that they didn't love me you prick!

Actually, that bit was fun. It felt naughty but right, like the first time you swear in front of your family. I obviously said it a little louder than I should of because his assistants had backed off and a few other worshippers around me looked like their halos had been shaken a little. I glared at the man then spun on my heel and stormed off back to my seat. Not one person tried to apologise.

That was really the beginning of the end. From that point on I started unravelling the dogma that had kept me with these fools for so long. I left the church very shortly afterwards, not one of them asked me why. It's a shame as there are some very nice people in the church. These days I'm a pagan. It's a lot more sex, drugs and stone circles than what I was into before. Besides, polytheism is great with JW's. When they ask if you would like to talk about God, I ask them which one. :)

So the next time someone you know goes to a church and starts acting weird, remember that sometimes the only difference between a church and a cult is their size. Peace.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 13:19, Reply)
Yeah, that's him. Hopefully he'll try and spend the good word of the lord in China and get arrested by the communist authorities.

[edit] So this isn't a waste of a post, I'll mention the JWs came round the other day, and I talked to them a little. They left me with a leaflet on "Why You can Trust The Bible" - it's online at their site - and promised to call back to talk about it. It took me about three hours and nine sides of notes to disprove every single point in the leaflet, but they haven't returned and I'm itching to go over it with them, so if there's any JWs out there who are reading this and are looking for a good argument, stop by sometime.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 12:55, Reply)
the free bloody presbyterians
when i was 9 i was invited by my religious best friend on a week-long camping trip with his church. there was to be canoeing, football and cooking on fires, i was so stoked.

it was a different story when we arrived. i was separated from my pal, and allocated a new friend. other than to tell me that i woudlnt be talked to or be invited to take part in the games unless i was "saved by jesus", he didnt talk to me.

it seemed like every religious kid had brought an infidel pal along to be "saved". the infidels were largely ignored, and kept in ever-moving circles which prevented us from talking to one another. the only chance of us getting to play and talk with other kids was if we gave our life to the lord.

i lasted four days, not out of resistance, but out of genuine confusion. on my fourth day i had to queue - queue - up with other poor kids to be saved. you'd never believe the number of friends i had once i got saved! my mum says i came home preaching about the love of the baby jesus.

theres nothing even remotely funny about this story, so apologies for that. however, it has been positive, as i cant take any religious person seriously now. it certainly gave me a real hatred of religious people in norther ireland. they're all evil.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 11:30, Reply)
Amway must count as a cult. The glazed look you see in the eyes of its adherents scares the crap out of me.

I worked with this guy called Andy who Amway had 'recruited'.

He would tirelessly tell us all about how rich Amway was going to make him, the huge house he would own. He would bore us stupid telling us how he was going to wake us up by driving past our homes in his vintage ferrari etc, etc, etc. All by selling a "few bottles of detergent" (his words).

Suprisingly his life plan didn't actually go that way. Being indoctrinated by the get-filthy-rich by not doing much schemes, he was somewhat surprised when his potential customers (everyone one he knew) didn't want to buy his products. Maybe something to do with him telling us that he would lord it over us scum when he was rich, not the best marketing strategy.

Having been promised easy riches and still in search of something for nothing, he took to crime and started stealing money from work. Being an idiot he was quickly found out and lost his job, his freedom (9 months prison sentence), his wife and his house.

Had he not followed that route he would probably be earning about £40k by now and would still have a home and maybe a wife.

Actually he was always going to lose the wife at some point, as she was continually frustrated by his inability to perform any sexual act other than shagging her armpit. Could have lived my whole life not knowing that fact about a workmate.

EDIT: Someone else I used to work with has recently been released from prison (after being imprisoned for about six months of a nine month sentence for committing fraud). What is it about my workplace?
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 11:22, Reply)
I have counselled people who have been involved in cults
Bad religion really messes people up. Beware of anyone who tells you what to think, or puts pressure on you to believe what you know is not true, whatever they seem to be offering in return.
Anything that claims to be Christian has to be judged by the sort of people it produces - trust your gut feeling to spot the phoneys. Be cautious if people seem too friendly. Look at their eyes.
Real holy people have genuiune warmth and are interested in you for who you are, not for what they can get out of you.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 11:21, Reply)
Yes, I reckon the SWP counts as a cult.

A girl I was at college with was in the SWP for a while - she told me about the meetings where people stood up and were praised for selling lots of the SWP newspaper (in a scary pyramid selling sort of way).

The reason I always thought of the SWP as a scary cult was seeing their activists touting the papers in the pouring rain.

Even the JW's have got the sense to keep out of the rain.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 11:09, Reply)
god botherers in soho
wandering along happily intoxicated to meet some pals in soho.

some of gods special friends tried to recruit me with cake. i cheerfully went along for as long as it took to eat all of the cake on the table then immediatly fucked off.

i took some of their leaflets for a laugh and left them in the intrepid fox. a well known satanist/goth bar
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 11:03, Reply)
Oh my God, they excommunicated Kenny...
One of the many contributing factors to my exceptional unpopularity at high school (*) was the fact that I belonged to the Christian Union. The aim of this little club was to take all the freaks and misfits and alienate them further by locking them in a classroom after school on a Friday so they could sing nice songs and talk about ‘love’ and ‘salvation’ and pray to our buddy, Jesus. It was run by my English teacher, who was a jolly nice man and whose role in life to was to make sure that as many of his pupils as possible were saved from eternal damnation and hellfire. There was also a guy who ‘helped out’. Not a demanding job – I think it mainly involved changing acetates on the overhead projector so we could sing the second verse of ‘Shine Jesus, shine’ and generally looking spiritual and holy at all the right points. He was an odd chap, used to go to our school, the kind of guy you’d be pretty sure has never seen a woman naked. Or so we thought…

One afternoon we were hanging round the classroom at afternoon break, reading the bible, as all the cool kids do when our English teacher came in with a solemn look on his face and told us ‘Kenny won’t be coming to help at Christian Union any more. He’s had to go away.’ Being a bunch of naïve morons we took this to mean that Kenny had gone on a nice long holiday. What had actually happened was Kenny had been arrested in Operation ‘Catch the filthy paedophile’ for having a hard drive stuffed with kiddy porn. Yep, the nice guy who spent his spare time helping out at the church youth groups and at our Christian Union was then going home and cracking one off to pictures of naked children.

So being the kind, understanding people that the church are, they rallied round and forgave him. Well, it’s what that nice Mr Jesus would have done. Except, you see, they didn’t. They sent a man round to his house to explain that he wasn’t welcome in the Church ever again. Ever. What the guy did was clearly wrong, but don’t set yourself up as an institution based on love and forgiveness then turf out one of your flock because he did something terrible that you can’t understand. Mind you, when the vicar was arrested for credit card fraud two months later, they weren’t particularly forgiving over that either. Or the organist and that rent boy incident. I had to leave, they were waaaay too exciting for me to associate with. Plus I turned 18 and discovered the secret of popularity that had eluded me for so long. Giving blow jobs…

(*) The others being my excessive pedantry, ineptness at any form of sport and a rather fetching perm.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 9:52, Reply)
The Cult of Giveusyourmoney
A good friend of mine became a dreadful hippy one summer after spending good money sitting round in a barn on some course run by a bunch of chancing bread-heads "getting my head together, man."

Being a bunch of chancing bread-heads ourselves, we decided to do the same thing, and put some adverts in all the Glastonbury- and Avebury-based 'zines we could find.

Result: half a dozen dreadful hippies paying us far too much money to sit round in a barn getting their heads together, man. We found repeatedly telling them "You're all perfect in your own imperfect way, guy" worked best.

Funnily, the four-figure profit we turned also went some way to getting our heads together. I got myself an Austin Allegro.
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 9:45, Reply)
...I used to be a member of the much lesser known "Jehovahs Innocent Bystanders".
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 8:05, Reply)
How to have fun with JWs
I once invited two Jehovas Whitnesses (?) in to my house for a real fun game.

Everyone can play this...

If you ask difficult questions, one starts to answer whilst the other looks up the offical answer in a book and then takes over( I'm not making this up, just watch them next time)!.

The game is changing your questions often enough that from all the flicking of pages you can make their fingers bleed.

I would try to destroy their beliefs but that seems too easy :)
(, Tue 31 Jan 2006, 0:13, Reply)
Jehovah's Witnesses, again
The JWs did the rounds in our small country town the other year. Came and knocked on our door, "can we talk to you about God", etc. As I'm a typical wet woolly CofE Christian I happily talked to them for a few minutes then let them go on their way, ready to knock on a few more doors.

With hindsight, it would have been kinder for me to point out that the Archbishop of Canterbury's country home is about fifteen doors down the road. I wish I'd seen the look on their faces.
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 23:59, Reply)
What an Excuse!
When I was at Bournemouth Uni I had a friend, 'Bob' who I partnered on a bone analysis project (bloody archaeology!).

Anyway, about halfway through the project, my friend got 'caught' in Poole, a well known hot-spot for this kinda stuff, and joined the Scientologists.

I went to see my lecturer and said 'I need an extension for my project because my course mate has joined a cult and I haven't seen him for weeks."

'Nuff respect , I got the extension and another friend saved 'Bob' from the wallet sucking vampires!

(That man knows who he is and deserves respect from all of us, else 'Bob' would of been fooked.)

Result all round I think.
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 23:51, Reply)
Rock on, Tommy!
Although I was brought up a catholic (plenty of potential rant/story material there but we won't go into that now) when I was 15 or so I fell in with a bunch of born-again Christians. They seemed OK initially, and I was feeling depressed and vulnerable at the time. They asked me and my mates if we wanted to go and see Cannon and Ball.

It's not something I normally would have said yes to (after all, they're not exactly the two ronnies) but they seemed keen and I thought, hey, it's a free ticket, I might as well go. So we all did.

Instead of the crap jokes we were expecting, we were treated to two hours of cannon and ball talking about how their fame had led them down a road of drink fast cars and women until! They found Jesus, praise the lord. There was much crying singing and handwaving involved.

That was nearly 15 years ago- and they're still doing the same show now (they were on at the Sheffield City Hall towards the end of last year- google Cannon Ball Jesus or similar and you'll find many sites on them)!!

I did convert a while later, and lasted a few months before their attitude towards sex, and specifically towards gayness made me leave. I'm not sorry.

They can be quite impressive with all their fainting and speaking in tongues etc and I was drawn in at the time, but nothing they did was half as impressive as the tricks Derren Brown does.

I am now a fully recovered atheist, but I can still speak in tongues which is an excellent party trick and freaks people out something chronic. Tee hee.

PS Does the SWP count? Spent a few years in that as well :-)
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 23:17, Reply)
i once stayed in a hotel
in the western 'burbs of aberdeen, out the north deeside road (aberdonians look away now) ... being a native of the city the name of the 'burb never really registered ... it was only years later, in the hotel, when i got a call from a mate on my mobile, that it hit me

"where are you?"
"in a hotel in aberdeen, or nearly"
"which one?"
"the cults hotel" (because it was the area called cults)
"hah, is david koresh there? ho ho ho" said mate
"cults. cults hotel."
"fucksocks, i'd never thought about that before"

bugged me for ages
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 22:09, Reply)
All girls schools make you wierd
When at school, my friends and I began writing 'the fat, unfit and dandruffy bible', all centered around a single character - Spike - and his exploits.

It was basically an excuse to draw cartoons during lessons - my personal favourite was the book of Genesis, which was about a man who couldn't dance (oh, nurse, the staple gun, my sides! - 'I can't dance' being the name of a Genesis record out at the time kids).

Eventually we discovered boys (we were at an all girls school after all), and became slimmer, non-dandruffy but still relatively slothful.

Apologies for not really being a cult, just a wierd group of girls setting up their own religion. I understand it can be quite profitable...
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 21:19, Reply)
Religious Oasis Freaks
In highschool, a friend of mine invited me to acompany him to "Young Life," a group of jesus freak kids. He told me there would be cookies, so I agreed to go. We got there, and there were masses of kids everywhere, playing hackey sack and running around. Then it came time to sing songs. Along with some bible songs, they also sang "Wonderwall" by Oasis. I was singing Slayer. I never returned to this cult, but I was stalked by several of the regulars at school for the next 3 years, constantly being asked if I will be attending this week.

Also, there were no cookies.
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 18:21, Reply)
The cult: The Mormons.

I am a true believer that you can never know too much about anything and as I knew almost nothing about what those whacky Mormons believed, I took it upon myself to dial the toll-free number for the 'free, no strings attached copy of the Book of Mormon.'

It came and I was pleased. I set it aside as I was reading a rather riveting story about a young girl forced into a lesbian convent in France...I think her name was Juliet. Anyway, I digress...

So a couple weeks go by and I get a phone call on a Saturday. Sounds like a fit bird, so I agree to the 'meeting' with her and another Mormon friend. Figuring Im a former Marine, and it will be on ground of my choosing, little chance of an abduction...plus she DID sound rather fit.

I forgot all about it. The night before, my best friend and I had heard about an "All You Can Eat" Maryland Steamed Crab party (if you havent tried them, you really ought to). We went and between the two of us consumed our fair share crabs and beer and then nicked some other folks shares of the beer as well.

The morning dawns and I am in my bed and VERY VERY hung-over. I stumble downstairs to my living room and my buddy is passed out on my sofa. He awakens and apparently, the Roman Legion that went through the Apostle's heads after drinking too much cider apparently made it to the States.

As we are both sitting there, staring at the television, in our boxers, a piercing, shrill sound echoed throughout the house (the doorbell). I stumble to the door, open it and there, standing on my front porch are three of the fittest birds I have ever seen that were not dancing with a pole.

They were Mormons and they were there to save my soul. Sadly, after chatting them up for 45 minutes (both me and my mate STILL in our boxers) none of them were up for an after hours date. I cannot be 100% sure, but I think our chances at a little Mormon Horizontal Mambo'ing were drastically reduced when, perched on my leather sofa, Carl released a fart that could only really be appreciated by someone who had fought in the First World War.

So, it was a damn close run thing, but we ducked them...

Sic Semper Mormonic Tyrannis!


I only wish I had a camera phone back then...alas...
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 18:07, Reply)
'God Worshippers'
This bunch of cunts are based opposite my flat and have doorstepped me a couple of times.

Not funny I know - but their leaflet was - 'A message from your lover Jesus'. Pardon? Luckily I was able to shred them before my missus found out I had a bit on the side...
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 17:51, Reply)
If You've Got A Problem And No One Else Can Help.....
When I was about five I started a semi-cult based on the the fantabulous A-Team. I say cult, it was more of a game where we pretended to be the A-Team, but at five you take these things quite seriously. I was Hannibal (natch, candy cigarette instead of a cigar and generally 'loving it' when plans came together). Of my two friends, Owen had already bagged Mr. T (despite him being tiny and a smidge too white, but still he pitied the foo' on a regular basis) and Nicholas was Murdock (he generally howled and told everyone how mad he was without ever really backing it up with any sort of proof).

The problem was that they were the only two other boys in my street so we had to indoctrinate a girl (eeeuwww!) into our little cult to be Face (a tad disappointing that we couldn't afford his/her corvette, but then again our A-Team van was just a cardboard box). This was the point it all went really cultish as we decided we would have to have an initiation before we allowed her in. This is the reason why, at the age of five, Hannibal, Murdock and B.A. Barracus were all convicted of a crime they did commit and sentenced to a good hiding and being sent to bed early. Namely the crime of the majority of the A-Team showing Face their willies in the mistaken belief that Face would, in turn, show us her fanny.

I suspect that Colonel Decker was crouched in a nearby bush and grassed us up. The twat.
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 16:55, Reply)
Not strictly relevant (and a bit long; sorry)
But at least it's funnier than my other post...

Northumbria University scholars are preparing to rewrite the Bible by incorporating revelations contained in ancient scrolls discovered beside the South Shields Ferry jetty, it emerged yesterday.

A team of theologians and historians will gather in Italy later this month to start the potentially explosive task of inserting new details about the life and times of Jesus Christ.

The influence of radical Jewish groups who wanted to overthrow Roman rule is likely to feature in the new Bible, bolstering those who interpret Christ as a revolutionary who fought political oppression.

An account of the teenage years of Jesus has also been included in the Bible (2nd Edition). It is believed that this new Biblical book, the Gospel according to Jesus' mate Dave, will detail the life of Jesus from age 13 to 19. Certain early miracles are alluded to such as Jesus turning the water into cheap strong dry cider and the miracle of the Removal of the Hangover.

We have read some of the early drafts of the manuscripts and can confirm that, if included, the texts promise to revamp the Bible and it's image. We have acquired an exclusive copy of Chapters 3 and 4 of this new Gospel, which runs as follows;

Jesus' mate Dave, Chapter 3, verse 1.
1. "And the 6th day did come to pass, and lo, being as it was a Friday, the Lord did decide to cane it most heavily.

2.Yet we, his followers were doubtful. "Lord," we said unto him "We have no sheckles with which to buy cider from the local emporium. How can it be that we can go on the lash this day? All avenues of cash are closed to us, insomuch as we have spent our pocket money on these new robes which mark us out as one of your gang."

3.And Jesus did grin as he spake unto us. "Fear not my friend Dave, for I have seen the way and I will provide for thee. After supper, let us all meet at the prearranged place. Let all of you bring unto me 3 amphorae of water."

4."And most of all my friends, let us ensure that we wear our trendiest threads for it is foretold that Mary Magdalene will be there this very eve. And most assuredly, I would love to give her one." Thus spake the lord.

5. So it was that we, his friends, gathered at the place that we were commanded to go and each of us did carry with us 3 amphorae of water

6. For our parents, being suspicious that we would be getting pissed and causing trouble round town, had foresaken us from nicking the sherry from their drinks cabinets and so this eve we were above suspicion insomuch as we were carrying only water.

7. And we did meet with the Lord. And lo, Jesus' mate Kev was full of wrath ere he arrived. "Lord, I will be a fucking laughing stock because of you!" called he. And we did observe how the water had spilled from his amphorae.

8. And lo, the Lord spake "Kev, you look just like you've pissed yourself". And the lord did point and laugh, and being his friends, we did the same. So it came to pass that Kev stormed off in a huff whilst we did, in accordance with the lords command, call after him with names such as "Pissy Pants".

9. So it was that we 11 found ourselves alone with the Lord in a back alley with amphorae of water numbering 1 score and 13. And the Lord's mate Tommy spake thus;

10 "So what the fuck are we meant to do with 33 litres of water oh Lord? Indeed, I would have more chance of getting pissed in the temple of our Lord whose name I may not speak."

11. The Lord did receive this most grievously phrased question in silence. At length he spake thus "Drink of thy amphorae Tommy, and tell me what thy chances of getting good and hammered are this very night." And Tommy did take a mighty draft of his amphorae. And he did lower it from his lips in surprise and spake thus;

12 "Fuck me Lord! This stuff is the strongest cider I have yet tasted!" The Lord smiled at him and bade us follow the example provided by Tommy.

13. And there was much rejoicing.

14. And so it came to pass that after we had downed one amphorae each, we were three sheets to the wind with 2 amphorae remaining for each of us. And as we drank, the Lord (who seemed in quite a state) spake unto each of us

15. Saying "Drink of me, for this is my pish. Whenever you drink of this holy liquid, remember me and honour my name and that of my father".

16. And lo, the Lord did find this exceedingly amusing insomuch as he kept breaking into fits of giggles as he spoke.

17. By this time a crowd had gathered near to us. Yea, it was comprised of women, blondes and brunettes both, betwixt the ages of 16 and 18. And they spake unto the Lord thus;

18. "Here, give us some of thy cider O Lord. For we have a great and grievous thirst and would be most grateful" And the Lord did say "Just how grateful would you be?" and did waggle his eybrows in a most conspiratorial manner.

19. And Mary Magdalene did push her way forward to the Lord. And she was wearing naught but a tight fitting low cut robe. She did say unto the Lord "How grateful would you like us to be?". And she did wink in a most lewd manner.

20. And so the Lord did agree to give the women cider. And in exchange they did lay with us all night.

21. And there was much rejoicing.

Jesus' mate Dave Chapter 4 Verse 1
1. And yea, it came to pass that after we had shot our lot within the good woman who shared the cider with us and after the aforementioned cider had ran dry, the ladies did take their leave from us.

2. Yet we were troubled, for the Lord was no-where to be seen.

3. And neither was Mary Magdalene.

4. And so it was that after a few minutes the Lord did emerge from a darkened doorway. And Mary Magdalene did follow him, and was seen to be wiping something sticky from the corner of her mouth.

5. And we did join the Lord in laughter, knowing well what had came to pass in the doorway. And Mary did eye us with contempt and spake thus unto us "Cease thy boyish laughter. If any of thou were half the man that the Lord is, then perhaps you too would know the joys of my flesh. Indeed, he is the only one whom I would do such things for and even then, I do so in the name of his cider."

6. And the Lord did speak once more, saying "I suppose a shunt up your Cadbury's alley is out of the question then?" And there was much laughter, though not from Mary Magdalene.

7. And she did raise her knee in a most violent and passionate manner.

8. And the Lord did crumple in a heap.

9. Once Mary Magdalene had gone from this place, we did help the Lord to his feet as his loyal friends and did escort him to his home having agreed that we should all meet the following morning at his place.

10. And so we all returned to the places from whence we had came so that we may sleep. And the morning did come, and lo, my head did feel as though a Roman legion did march throughout, banging their metal shields as they did go.

11. And there was much sorrow.

12. So it was that we all gathered in the house of the Lord's mum and dad. And the Lord's mum did laugh mightily upon seeing our sorry state, and did offer us all a cooked breakfast. And with much heaving of stomachs we did refuse to a man.

13. The Lord did emerge looking fresh and untroubled by our exertions of the previous night. And he spake thus;

14. "Whew! We really did cane it big time last night, eh lads? Lads? What's up?"

15. For there was a weeping and a wailing and a gnashing of teeth from us, such was the depth of our hangover.

16. And the Lord did smile knowingly and did wave his hand in the air speaking thus;

17. "Abrakebabra! I cast out the demons of thy hangover in the name of my Father, of me, and of the Holy Ghost"

18. And lo, our heads did clear and our stomachs did cease their burbling.

19. And there was much rejoicing.

The Bible is based mostly on manuscripts written centuries after Christ lived, but the so-called Dead Sea scrolls, found at Qumran by shepherds in 1947, have been dated to the decades before and after his crucifixion.
The 800 documents, written by the Essenes, a Jewish sect, date from 170 BC to AD 68, and chronicle the turbulence of the Roman occupation of Judea as well as the lives of the teenagers who lived there.

Gianluigi Boschi, a Dominican priest and Vatican biblical scholar, told yesterday's La Stampa, a Turin daily newspaper, that an international commission of scholars had been given the green light to update the Bible by culling material from the scrolls.

The initiative will be officially announced at a conference at the University of Northumbria on September 26 2006. The team is expected to include Etienne Nodet, author of The Origins of Christianity; Paolo Garuti, a biblical scholar; and Garcia Martinez, president of the international movement for Qumranic studies.

Jolum Wristmeyer, a canon doctor at Oxford University, welcomed the initiative but suggested the results may be less than dramatic. "There has never been a settled, definitive version of the Bible, it has been an evolving book which has gone through many translations depending on what the Pope, or whoever happened to be in charge of any particular band of Godbotherers, wanted people to do. Only fundamentalists think it came in a fax from heaven. And frankly, anyone who tries to bring out a definitive version to end all arguments may as well try spanking their monkey in the Vatican Square”.
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 16:52, Reply)
Does Catholicism count as a Cult
It fucking should do...(note; the following rant isn't that funny, but by the sweet zombie Moses, it's accurate and pertinent...)

Something rather surprising happened a couple of weeks ago. A friend of mine announced that she had found God. After the obligatory comments of '...lost him down the back of the sofa did you?' my friend began to gush about her newfound sense of serenity and happiness that Jesus had afforded her. Approximately 20 minutes later she was absolutely horrified at the seemingly never-ending stream of bile that had I had spewed concerning the sheer evil that is organised religion. Anybody who has ever heard me talk about the subject will not exact be taken aback by that, but I rather think that my friend was wrong footed by the amount of venom that I hold for the Church. We agreed to disagree on the subject, though she made the observation "Have you had a bad experience or something...not trying to pry & its really none of my business but you seem so angry...” This got me to thinking about just why I hold the Church (and I used 'Church' as a catch-all term for absolutely every organised religion or religious cult, from Anglicans to Zarostranists (sic)) in such contempt.

I've never personally had a bad experience with the Church. I even managed to be in a church choir for a few months when I was 10 and I remained resolutely unbuggered by a single priest (although in fairness I still hold the diocese record for "Longest Maintaining of Anal Virginity in a Church Choir (under 11's section)" for this feat...). Nor have I been denounced as a heretic by any particular religious group (though under the strict definition of a heretic as 'One who questions' I hold up my hand and admit to falling into this category). I've corresponded with the Bishop of Newcastle and he has never been anything less than polite. So what is it that gets my back up? After all I'm not the only vehemently anti-church person that I know. Amongst my friends those who are religious fall into a distinct minority. So why is this?

Firstly I should make clear that I do not bear any grudges against a single individual that I have met who has any involvement in the Church, or at least if I do dislike them it has nothing to do with their religion. I realise that I'm just about to launch into a lengthy tirade about why the Church is an awful thing, but I am a believer in personal freedom within the boundaries of having consideration for how you actions can affect others. If somebody wishes to believe in a 2000 year old fairy tale (well...about 16-1700 years old as the bible was compiled centuries after the death of Christ), or the slickly packaged musings of a former Coventry City goalkeeper who used to wear turquoise shellsuits, or whatever, then that is their prerogative and it's not for me to tell them to stop. I'm going to tell them exactly what I think of it, but I'm not going to ask them to stop.

No, my grudge isn't against individuals but against the organisational aspect of the Church. Simply put, I think that Religion is Totalitarianism for beginners. Both are methods of imposing the will of the few onto the many. Both give absolute control of almost every aspect of a person's life as their stated aim. Both say that they do this for your own good. Both are rife with hypocrisy. Both ensure that those in the upper echelons of the organisation have the opportunity (not always taken) to grow fat, rich, and corrupt.

For example, the Catholic Church states that their priesthood must remain celibate and that it's followers must not use contraception and have sex only to reproduce. Communist rule in Romania dictated that the birth rate must increase and so sex became a patriotic duty. The Party in Orwell's 1984 sought to completely control reproduction via the encouragement of artificial insemination. One's sex life is a pretty damn personal thing yet all of these three bodies want to control it. The only difference that I can see between the 3 is the figurehead that is used. The Church relies on a mythical father figure who is kind and benevolent. The Church is merely an extension of his will. To question the will of the Church is to question the will of God. To question the will of God is to be disobedient, and so the miscreant needs to be gently disciplined as a father would discipline his son when he goes astray. As God is not a tangible being, this discipline is done by the Church on His behalf. Of course, I personally have gone astray from my Father's values on many occasions and he has yet to order me burnt at the stake, pressed by rocks until dead, excommunicated and thus condemned to hell, or even just shunned by himself and his friends.

The Nazi's had Adolf Hitler as their figurehead, which immediately gives them one advantage over the Church; they have a physical, tangible human being as their father figure. Of course, he was elevated to semi mythical status and imbued with all sorts of characteristics that gave would make him superhuman were they all true (this is a trick repeated by cults everywhere; indeed it's possibly the only thing that distinguishes the likes of Icke and L Ron Hubbard's cash-cow sects from mainstream religion). All things done in Nazi Germany were done in the name of Hitler whether he had ordered them (or even heard of them) or not. Whilst I do not doubt that he was a paragon of evil in himself or that he would have approved of 99% of what was done, all sorts of vile acts were done without his consent and in his name. To question any of this was to question the will of Hitler who in turn spoke for the Volk of Germany. As Hitler was unquestionably doing what was right for Germany, to question his will was anti-German and so these people had to be 'corrected' in protective custody. Nazi Germany was a long way advanced of the medieval church and so they could draw on the modern equivalents of burning at the stake etc.

The Party of 1984 had a fusion of the two; Big Brother was a Hitler like figure who was represented as a real person to the masses though the book is ambiguous at best as to whether he really does exist. Senior party members used Big Brother as a mixture of father figure and avenging angel to justify their use and abuse of power. The common thread that runs through all of these is that power is exercised by a few men and women. They justify themselves using a distant figure to whom no right of appeal can be reasonably expected. Therefore all of the decisions that affect the running of the Church/Party are made by those same few. In other words, one of the reasons I hold such hatred for the Church is that it places immense power in the hands of a few people, and as history has shown time and time again, power corrupts. There are few or no checks or balances in place to ensure that power is exercised in a fair way because they are exercising the will of an infallible being so why would they need them?

Which leads us into the heart of just why I have such a problem with the Church; they allow people to believe that by becoming a member of the church they are receiving guidance from God/Alpha Waves/Good Aligned Martian Lizards. They are doing absolutely no such thing whatsoever. They are receiving guidance from men. From human beings. There is nothing divine about the people whom they are handing over control of their lives to. They are just flesh and blood like everybody else. And like everybody else they have their own reasons for doing what they do. I'm not doubting that some do genuinely belief in the unfathomable mystery of the divine, in the rapture, or in whatever piece of mumbo jumbo of variable age and questionable origin that their particular Church espouses. However, as they are all people like any other then they will have the same sense of ambition, the same vulnerabilities, the same irrational likes and dislikes, the same flaws as any one of us. And their all-too-human traits will affect their actions toward their followers. So no one ever receives the undiluted wisdom of the spiritual world. They receive somebody else's interpretation of it. This is the reason for my less than charitable prejudice against the more devout followers of the Church; they don't have the courage to try and come to their own conclusions so they let somebody else do it for them.

Naturally the Church would dispute this. They would point to the Bible, or the Koran, or to a series of Sumerian and Aztec/Inca pictograms, or whatever book contains the teachings and dogma of that Church. They would say that it is the truth and the leaders of the Church simply teach the followers about it and encourage them to live their lives according to it's precepts. If that is so, how on earth is there still war and murder (because after all, Thou Shalt Not Kill) that receives the support of the Church? Why isn't the Church encouraging us to shun menstruating women (as we are told to do in Deuteronomy)? Why are we told to love our fellow man whilst simultaneously encouraged to denounce them if they don't follow the same religious teachings as you?

It's because those books of timeless wisdom are all mired in a particular place both historically and geographically. The Bible is a good textbook on how to live your life in 3rd-6th century Europe. The Koran does the same job for the Middle East of the 6th-7th century. They did not foresee a world that would change quite as radically as it has since then. So these books (that were written by men) are now interpreted by men and women as to how they relate to today's world. Fallible man and women. They may like to kid themselves that they are being entirely objective in their interpretations but this is a self-delusion. No one is completely free of bias, and so the teachings of the Church have been influenced by Byzantine politics, personal grievances, jealousies and petty hatreds.

As a humanist it does seem a little strange to me that the reason I criticise the Church is because it is mortal and not divine. But I hate it because it pretends to be something it is not. It claims higher motivations for seeking base power and it is absolutely no different to any method of controlling or subjugating a populace that has ever been created. People should by all means seek answers for to the divine and to the spiritual (I know I do) but I wish that they would do so without abdicating responsibility for doing so to someone else. Your own personal beliefs are just as valid and far more important than anything that you are encouraged to accept or have imposed on you as the truth. I truly believe that the world would be a better place if more people remembered that.

You can take the piss out of my humourless earnestness now. I know I would.
(, Mon 30 Jan 2006, 16:49, Reply)

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