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How to Start a Cult

May 16, 2009

Many of you may have already watched this video. In spite of it’s satirical tone, the video is quite insightful and shows pretty accurately how most cults operate. As someone who was once a member of a cult himself – The Art of Living Foundation – I can totally relate to the video especially between mark 6:00 to 7:20.

While watching this video, we have to remember that all parts of the video does not apply to all cults as each cult comes with it’s own innovative idea on how to brainwash it’s followers. But, the video is right on the money when it comes to exposing their goal and their modus operandi.

If you or someone you know were ever part of a cult and would like to share your/their experiences, I would be very interested in hearing from you.

Viewing time – 12:35 mins

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A Quick Post (in a hurry)

May 16, 2009

Now, that the election results are out – Congratulations !! to everyone who voted/supported the UPA (even though unfortunately I couldn’t vote).  I am happy to see the BJP’s power and influence waning. Hope this trend continues. On one hand, I was elated to learn about the humiliating defeat of the communist parties in Kerala and West Bengal but was a little disappointed by the results in Karnataka.

Btw, does any of you think that India needs a law or constitutional amendment to prevent leaders like Lalu to contest elections from multiple constituencies ? If he had won from both constituencies wouldn’t he have to relinquish his seat in one? Wouldn’t it require wasting more resources to elect someone again from that constituency? I wish he had been defeated in both constituencies, but that’s a wish I would have to postpone for some other time 🙂

Will be back soon to answer the comments.

A Slave to God

May 12, 2009

A couple of weeks back, my wife and I visited a friend of mine, who lives in the same city as us. I have known this friend (I will call her BD) since my undergrad years and I knew  about her amaurotic passion towards anything religious. In an earlier life, we have had lots of discussions on the topic of God, religion, Hindu philosophy etc. but as time progressed, I found myself slowly drifting away from the path of unquestioning faith and blind devotion.  In the meantime, she seemed to have got sucked into the black vortex of religious blindness by a inexorable force .

Since, we were in different parts of the country then and were also busy with our own lives, we didn’t talk very often. Even when we did,  we hardly discussed religion because I realized after a while that it was a waste of time.  She had erected such a stubborn wall in her mind, between the worlds of logic and blind faith, that any attempt at showing her reason was dismally futile. While she continued to work on her PhD in Bioengineering, she seemed to have jumped headlong into the dark, bottomless abyss of supernatural nonsense. I watched in disappointment, as she got more and more entangled in the affairs of a Hindu religious organization (I will call it ‘CultX‘).

 

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Bits and Bytes

May 9, 2009

1. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about an elderly Hindu gentleman in the UK who filed a lawsuit in the British high court to fight for his right to be cremated in an open air funeral pyre.  This week the High Court delivered it’s verdict. Any guesses how it turned out? [Link]

2. Bill Maher laughs at people praying to get rid of the swine flu and the Texas board of education

 

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Muslims Organizations in Germany Sign Manifesto Against Sharia

May 6, 2009

It’s great to see some muslims finally taking the first bold step towards transitioning from laws based on bronze age beliefs to that based on contemporary secular ideals. It commendable on the part of certain Islamic organizations in Germany to have come together to condemn and oppose the regressive Sharia laws. Even though I am not sure how much support these 10 organizations can garner from the mainstream Muslim community, but it’s definitely an encouraging move [Link]

The Aims of the group are as follows

• To explain to Muslims the dangers contained in the Islamic religious texts, as well as the necessity of a reform of Islam
• To explain to non-Muslims the differences between moderate Muslims and Islamists (a.k.a. religious fanatics, radical Muslims, fundamentalists, extremists, Islamo-fascists)
• To inform both Muslims and non-Muslims that they are both the targets of Islamic terrorism 

  

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Greydon Square : Atheist Rapper

May 5, 2009

Greydon Square is an American hip-hop artist and an atheist who sings almost exclusively against religion and religious fundamentalism. Even though, I am not a big fan of hip-hop, I find his music a breath of fresh air. A noticeable shift from the swearing, cursing genre of songs with braindead lyrics to that of an intelligent, thought-provoking variety.

Here are a few of his songs for your listening pleasure. The lyrics are linked below.

 

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The Allure of Witch Hunting

May 5, 2009

A few days ago, I posted a video showing a barbaric act of witch-burning in Africa. Any sane person who has watched such diabolic acts will attest to the chilling monstrosity behind those acts. Today, I came across an excellent articleby Johann Hari at Slate.com that tried to explore the human conditions which encourage and sustain such practices even in the modern world (Thanks Allytude for sharing the link).

In his article, Hari shares the story of a 12 year-old girl accused of witchcraft.

In a dull, blank rote, Clarice told me how she had let the demons enter her at the age of 12. One night, her late grandmother had appeared before her, at the end of her bed, and offered her a biscuit to eat. She promised Clarice that if she only swallowed it, she would become more powerful. But it was a trick. As soon as she ate it, she was betrothed to Satan and forced to do his work on earth. He forced her to jinx her father, making it impossible for him to get a job. Satan forced her to kill her little sister by giving her a deadly fever. Clarice had at first denied her intimacy with the devil, Papa Enoch told me disapprovingly. She protested it wasn’t true. But he finally made her ‘admit’ it, through a process of starvation and torture.

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