Friday, September 19, 2014

Buddha seems to bring tranquility to Oakland neighborhood

Dan Stevenson is neither a Buddhist nor a follower of any organized religion.

The 11th Avenue resident in Oakland's Eastlake neighborhood was simply feeling hopeful in 2009 when he went to an Ace hardware store, purchased a 2-foot-high stone Buddha and installed it on a median strip in a residential area at 11th Avenue and 19th Street.

He hoped that just maybe his small gesture would bring tranquillity to a neighborhood marred by crime: dumping, graffiti, drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, aggravated assault and burglaries.

What happened next was nothing short of stunning. Area residents began to leave offerings at the base of the Buddha: flowers, food, candles. A group of Vietnamese women in prayer robes began to gather at the statue to pray.

And the neighborhood changed. People stopped dumping garbage. They stopped vandalizing walls with graffiti. And the drug dealers stopped using that area to deal. The prostitutes went away.

Fabled Arctic ship found

One of two British explorer ships that vanished in the Arctic more than 160 years ago has been found, Canada's prime minister says.
Stephen Harper said it was unclear which ship had been found, but photo evidence confirmed it was one of them.

Sir John Franklin led the two ships and 129 men in 1845 to chart the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic.

The expedition's disappearance shortly after became one of the great mysteries of the age of Victorian exploration.

The Canadian government began searching for Franklin's ships in 2008 as part of a strategy to assert Canada's sovereignty over the Northwest Passage, which has recently become accessible to shipping because of melting Arctic ice.

Expedition sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait, just off King William Island, clearly show the wreckage of a ship on the ocean floor.

Human foot washes ashore; fifteenth to wash up on coast

A human foot, still inside a New Balance tennis shoe washed ashore in Seattle this week — and if that wasn’t mystery enough, it’s the FIFTEENTH foot that’s washed ashore along the Pacific Northwest coast since 2007!

15 human feet have washed ashore along the Pacific Northwest coast — from Canada down to Tacoma — over the last seven years.

And no one seems to know where they’re coming from.

“Who knows where they originated?” resident Albert Hulsen told FOX31 sister station Q13 FOX in Seattle. “Maybe it’s not from this area at all but from one of the surrounding islands.”

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mississippi police want to arrest the Satanists who turn dead people gay

Just over a week ago the Satanic Temple, unwavering disciples of the Prince of Darkness and aspiring adopt-a-highway participants, performed a Pink Mass over the grave of Catherine Idalette Johnston, the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Jr. Westboro has yet to officially comment on the eternal gaying of its leader’s dead mum, but the owner of the cemetery where the ceremony was performed has filed charges with the local police department. The captain of the Meridian PD, Dean Harper, told local news station WTOK-TV on Monday that they were “in the process of constructing affidavits” and “will have [the satanists] arrested as soon as [they] can.” He added, "It is an unusual crime that we haven't come across – to my knowledge – in a while."

Boy finds ancient sword in river

A Chinese boy has made the discovery of a lifetime by stumbling across a 3,000-year-old bronze sword in a river in Jiangsu Province.

Eleven-year-old Yang Junxi says he touched the rusty weapon's tip while washing his hands in the Laozhoulin River, in Gaoyou County, the state news agency Xinhua reports. After pulling it out he took it home, where it quickly became a sensation for curious locals, before the family decided to send the blade to officials for examination. "Some people even offered high prices to buy the sword," Junxi's father Jinhai says. "But I felt it would be illegal to sell the relic."

The mystic cannibal monks of India

Throughout human history there have been a myriad of cults and religious sects that have to varying degrees inspired curiosity, wonder, bafflement, and even fear or disgust. Whether it is from their bizarre practices, disturbing rituals, or extreme fringe beliefs, some of these groups have long exuded an inscrutable sense of mystery and menace to outsiders. One mysterious group that commands a good amount of fear, loathing, and often horror, is a bizarre tribe of cannibal mystics in India known as the Aghori, or Aghori sadhus.

The Aghori sadhus are an ascetic sect of Hinduism, specifically they are Shaivites, meaning they are devoted to Shiva, a powerful Hindu god of death and destruction often ominously referred to as “The Destroyer” and “The Transformer.” The Aghori are said to have split from another Shiva worshipping order, the Kapalika, sometime in the 14th century, but their sect in its present form is believed to have derived from an ascetic by the name of Kina Ram, who is thought to be an incarnation of Shiva and to have lived for 150 years during the late 18th century. The Aghori are monists who deviate from traditional Hindu beliefs in that they do not make a distinction between purity and impurity. They basically believe that the universe is non-dualistic, meaning that the pure, the impure, and indeed all opposites are indistinguishable from one another, and that they are all a part of the same thing. To the Aghori, nothing in the universe is “good” or “bad,” but rather all a manifestation of their god and thus everything is god-like and perfect. To deny anything is to deny their Supreme Being. They believe all other humans, including other Hindus and Hindu sects, are living in a world of illusion.

The Aghori seek to free themselves from the cycle of reincarnation by realizing their own place within the absolute. They believe that they are a part of Shiva, and ultimately wish to transcend from their body, or shava, to an incarnation of Shiva himself. To do this, they must become indifferent to everything. They must embrace death, push through disgust and traditional fears, and deny physical pleasures such as sexuality as well as emotions such as hatred, greed, or shame. Likewise, they do not want to leave any physical mark upon the world and as such shun the idea of having families and domestication. Through total denial of oneself, transcending taboos, and embracing everything equally, the Aghori believe they will inevitably remove earthly bonds and attain enlightenment in the form of breaking the cycle of reincarnation and becoming a part of Shiva. The Aghori also believe that the fastest way of achieving the light of enlightenment is to travel into the deepest darkness first, through seeking purity in death and what most consider to be evil or filthy.

It is this unorthodox approach, as well as their non-dualistic desire to embrace all, even taboos, filth, pollution, and death, that form the basis of the bizarre Aghori practices and rituals that may seem by turns to be strange, ghastly, or horrifying to an outsider.

The most seemingly harmless traits of Aghori lie in their constant profanity and use of marijuana. Aghori believe that explicit profanity can help shed taboos in an effort to achieve enlightenment, and some are known to gush into profane tirades at a moments notice for no reason at all. Aghori are also constantly smoking marijuana, an act which they claim not to do for pleasure, but rather to enhance or heighten spiritual experiences and to enable them to concentrate more fully on rituals and mantras. They also do not cut their hair, and beards or long, matted or dreadlocked hair are all characteristic of an Aghori sadhu.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Satanists Protest Bibles In School With ‘Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities’

Orange County, Florida’s public school district has twice allowed a Christian group to pass out Bibles to its students, prompting a self-identified Satanist group to seek equal treatment. A religious organization called The Satanic Temple announced on Sunday that they will provide “Satanic materials to students during the new school year. Among the materials to be distributed are pamphlets related to the Temple’s tenets, philosophy and practice of Satanism, as well as information about the legal right to practice Satanism in school.”

The Satanists reportedly intend to distribute a book called The Satanic Children’s BIG BOOK of Activities, which includes several games with Satanic themes geared towards children.

Restoration of Stonehenge

Standing at the center of the Stone Circle of Stonehenge in the moments before dawn, lulled by low-hanging rain clouds, I am, for a while, unable to understand why so many pilgrimages have been made here. Sure, the setting is attractively pastoral, with gently rolling fields and dark patches of trees on distant hills. But the vista verges on the ordinary.

I can even make out the line of a highway not far off, cutting across the meadows, commuters’ headlights poking through the grim mist. In the half-light, the surrounding stones seem almost familiar and scarcely mysterious. Is this really the place that Thomas Hardy called “a very Temple of the Winds,” describing it “rising sheer from the grass,” its stones seeming to hum with sound? Did Christopher Wren, the great architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, really think so much of Stonehenge that he left his signature chiseled in one of the stones? And why should this site now lure as many as 18,000 celebrants to a summer solstice festival on the day the sun rises through a gap between its central stones, bisecting the monument?

Update! Archbishop Sues Satanists for Return of Consecrated Host Ahead of Black Mass

Oklahoma City Catholic Archbishop Paul Coakley has filed a lawsuit against a Satanist group claiming it stole a priceless, consecrated host in order to sacrifice it, Courthouse News reported.

Coakley claims the holy host – a communion wafer – was obtained illegally by the defendants, satanic leader Adam Daniels and his religious organization Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, who have scheduled a black mass at the City Space Theatre in Oklahoma City on September 21 st where they intend to “desecrate and destroy it.”

The complaint asserts that the defendants plan on releasing sexual fluids on the host and stomping on it during the black mass.  The satanic group’s website explains that the black mass will involve “nudity, public urination, and other sex acts' and have included 'forms of bestiality along with animal sacrifice.'"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Thai PM uses holy water, feng shui to ward off occult

As he prepares to move in to Bangkok's Government House this week, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is going to great lengths to sweep away any occult challenge.

Prayuth, 60, has left nothing to chance since leading a military coup to topple a democratically elected government on May 22. After a meticulously planned power grab, he has systematically snuffed out dissent.

That meticulousness is being carried through to his government. Like many politicians and generals before him, Prayuth believes in spiritualism and divination and on Monday members of his entourage were seen carrying Buddha statues and religious idols thought to bring luck in to Government House.

But his beliefs go beyond conventional religion, and last week, Prayuth told an audience of dousing himself from head to toe in holy water as his enemies had tried to curse him.

Army officials say his views on the spirit world and rituals to ward off evil are unlikely to influence government policy, however.

"Like most Thais, General Prayuth has a deep respect for the spirit world, but his policies will be determined by urgency, practicality and the needs of the people," Veerachon Sukhontapatipak, deputy spokesman for the army, told Reuters.

Judge Rules Florida Schools Must Welcome Satanic Temple

Oops. Looks like conservative “Christians” are about to throw major temper tantrums and they only have themselves to blame.

Florida schools that allow Christian materials to be read by students must open their doors to any religious group to provide materials of their own. That ruling came down from a Florida judge in August and now the Satanic Temple is coming to exercise real religious liberty.

Because bible thumpers at Orange County school district decided to push Christian religious materials upon their students while banning materials from other religious and non-religious groups, the school faced a lawsuit and agreed to allow the materials. Enter, the Satanic Temple.

The Satanic Temple is widely known for fighting to place a statue of Baphomet next to the Ten Commandments on the Oklahoma statehouse grounds. And now they’re bringing Satanic materials to kids in Florida, and it’s all thanks to “Christian” extremists.

Haunted property-- the latest real estate trend

If you think haunted houses are impossible to sell, then you’re in for the fright of your life. 

"There are buyers out there that think it’s cool to own a home that may have ghosts,” real estate agent Cindi Hagley told ABC News’ “20/20.” 

Based in California, Hagley runs Past Life Homes, specializing in the selling of so-called “stigmatized properties,” and that includes haunted houses. 

“Right now we are in a seller’s market in almost all of northern California,” Hagley said. “You can have a dead body swinging from the chandelier, and I’m still going to have ten offers on the phone.”

Hagley said plenty of houses for sale come with supposed tenants of the supernatural type, who have allegedly lived there for hundreds of years. In some states including California, realtors are required by law to tell buyers if a home purportedly has ghostly inhabitants.