Letter to the SI editor

May 17, 2018

Kendrick Frazier, Editor
Skeptical Inquirer
Dear Mr. Frazier,

In 1994 we met at the Seattle conference and in the following year you accepted an article of mine ([Full name], 1995. “Bélmez Faces Turned Out to Be Suspiciously Picture-like Images.” Skeptical Inquirer 19. 2, Mar/Apr: 4).

Although I no longer subscribe to the magazine, today I saw the articles on the CSI page about a number for this year, “A Skeptic’s Guide to Racism.”

As far as I could read online, none of the contributors seem to have a notion that, in IQ studies, both Asians and whites are ranked above blacks.

Since the publication of The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, people interested in science know that IQ studies on races are not pseudoscientific. The late scientist Philip Rushton even found other very fundamental differences between Asians, whites and blacks.

Why was none of this mentioned in Skeptical Inquirer? Is it that the contributors to the magazine do not even know what Charles Darwin himself wrote about blacks?

[Full name]
Mexico City

CC: Benjamin Radford, Deputy Editor

Published in: on May 17, 2018 at 9:55 pm  Comments (6)  

On the Turin Shroud, 4

One of the problems with pseudosciences is that, to refute them, almost a career in refutation is required. When in November of 1989 the group of sceptics known then as CSICOP visited Mexico City, I was completely lost in the paranormal. However, unlike people in general I always had a predisposition for honesty, in the sense of being able to change my worldview if coming across facts and solid arguments based on facts.

The visit of CSICOP to the city where I live changed me in many ways. The sceptic who had published a critical book on the Shroud, Joe Nickell, had been unable to come. But for the first time I spoke with the professional critics of parapsychology: two academic psychologists whose hobby was to read all the important journals of parapsychology, and publish their critique in specialized journals. It was because of their work that I learned the enormous amount of dedication that the refutation of a single pseudoscience, such as parapsychology, requires.

But the problems do not end with finding a couple of motivated sceptics. Their criticism may be true, but the popularization of the criticism was difficult to divulge, especially previous to the Internet. In 1989, for example, the Skeptical Inquirer was only sold by subscription, a smaller magazine and more pleasant in its reading than what is currently sold in newspaper stands. Very few knew the work of Nickell and other sceptics on the Shroud. What the market wants are the paranormal claims big time; not taking the sweets away from children. Consider this candy for example:

Jerusalem, Friday before Passover, c. AD 30. The body of a crucified man lay on a slab in a rock-hewn tomb just outside the city walls. It had been placed there by Joseph Arimathea, a secret disciple of the man Jesus, and Nicodemus, another member of the Sanhedrin who brought a large amount of spices to be placed in the folds of a new linen shroud. Joseph placed a great stone in front of the tomb and left in a hurry as the Sabbath was fast approaching.

Sometime during the following night and before the first glimmers of dawn of the first day of the new week, there was a quick flash of blinding light. The stone before the tomb was jarred away; the body vanished, but on the slab remained the Shroud with strange images of the man some called the Son of God.

The passage was not written by a believing sindonologist, but by a sceptic portraying what believers want to hear. With that paragraph David Sox opened the first chapter of his book The Shroud Unmasked, published immediately after the Carbon 14 tests revealed that the relic had been manufactured in the Middle Ages. However, this is where you see the huge advantage that believers have over sceptics in a market society.

Scepticism does not sell. What sells well are sweets for adults who are still children.

The copy I have of Sox’s book, which I read in 1989, is made of cheap paper. If we compare it with the elegant books of Ian Wilson, with whom Sox worked closely, Sox’s book seems, at first glance, extremely modest. Nonetheless, despite the quality of the paper and the covers, given that Sox does not violate Occam’s razor his books are more relevant to understanding the relic of Turin than those of his popular colleague.[1]

I am tempted to rephrase what Sox says in The Shroud Unmasked but here I would just like to quote, in addition to the passage above, the first paragraph of the introduction:

There were times when I thought I’d never live to see the day the Turin Shroud faced its obvious test. The road to carbon dating has been long, contentious and convoluted. There are those who will not appreciate mine and other’s efforts to have this test. That’s their problem.

When you open Pandora’s Box, you have to be prepared for whatever comes out. I have always wondered why many so fascinated with the Shroud mystery were afraid to see the end of the story.

This volume explores the road to the test, and recognises there is undoubtedly more yet to come in the Shroud story. At least now that the identification of the cloth with the historical Jesus has been removed, the new sleuths into the mystery can be more objective than most observers have been in the past.

Update of 21 May 2018: Further thoughts about the relic, and the correspondence that a real scientist addressed to me, will appear: here.

__________

[1] Wilson violates it by lucubrating a hidden history of the shroud from the 1st century until its actual appearance in the Middle Ages, as we shall see.

On the Turin Shroud, 1

‘A love letter from God’

From personal experience I know that, when one is immersed in the dogma of a pseudoscience, the believer swears that it is real science.

A typical believer in a classical pseudoscience, such as the study of UFOs or parapsychology, ignores that there is a litmus test to distinguish between false and true science: the principle of the falsifiability of a hypothesis that Karl Popper devised in The Logic of Scientific Discovery. In short, for a hypothesis to be scientific it has to be refutable. Pseudoscientists follow the opposite methodology: they present their central hypotheses in such a way that they cannot be refuted. A typical case of pseudoscience from the Popperian point of view is sindonology, the study of the Shroud of Turin (Sindonology, from the Greek sindon: the word used in the gospel of Mark to describe the type of the burial cloth of Jesus).

Geoffroi de Charny, a French knight who died in 1356 at the Battle of Poitiers, was the first recorded owner of what later became known as ‘the Turin Shroud’. When in the late 1980s I was immersed in sindonology, I not only read a huge amount of literature on the subject where I learnt about the de Charny story, but contacted the ‘experts’ by mail, some personally. The late Dr. Enrique Rivero-Borrell, the foremost ‘expert’ on the shroud in Mexico, told me something I should mention.

I met him at a meeting of a group of Catholic sindonologists who believe that the image of the shroud is nothing more and nothing less than a late ‘love letter’ that God left behind in the 1st century as proof of the Resurrection for our scientific age!

The meeting with Rivero-Borrell, presided by Faustino Cervantes Ibarrola, a pleasant priest, was held in the aftermath of the carbon-14-dating tests results performed on the shroud in 1988. Rivero-Borrell, president of a sindonological organisation, was very confused. The tests, endorsed by the cardinal of Turin himself, revealed that the fabric dated from 1260 to 1380 CE. Keep in mind that the shroud is exactly about the size of an altar cloth; in no way resembles the several burial cloths used by Jewry. Since the shroud made its first appearance in a town in France, precisely in the times of de Charny, it could not be more significant that science corroborated that the cloth was manufactured in the 13th or 14th centuries.

However, I continued my investigation of the shroud because, at that time, I believed that the image remained mysterious. That was how I learned, a couple of years later that Rivero-Borrell left behind all his previous confusion of 1988. Very enthusiastically, he told me that the latest research had revealed that the carbon 14 tests had come out medieval because a fungus had covered the cloth, changing the molecular chemistry and the results turned out aberrant!

In other parts of the world, other sindonologists said that Jesus’ energy in the resurrection, which they call flash photolysis—the very moment when Jesus was resurrected!—not only left the miraculous imprint on the sheet, but changed its molecular chemistry. That’s why the results had come out medieval instead of the 1st century (a rather clumsy deity was this one who intended to leave behind ‘a love letter’ for us)!

The least absurd excuse among the sindonologists that I heard is that the piece of cloth to which they applied the carbon 14 tests was attached to the shroud; not a part of the original fabric.

All these excuses have something in common: they present us their central hypothesis—that the image of the Turin shroud is the result of a miraculous imprint at the very moment of Jesus’ resurrection—as an irrefutable hypothesis. And it is precisely the irrefutability of the central hypothesis of a field of study the most common feature in pseudosciences.

For example, those who study UFOs say that there is a conspiracy that involves all governments since 1947: government officials who have hidden evidence from the American people of extraterrestrial visitors. This is an irrefutable hypothesis insofar as, when a sceptic requests evidence that an alien ship exists in a top-secret hangar, the believer responds that everything is jealously guarded by sinister instances of the federal government. A massive conspiracy involving all presidencies from Truman to Trump, including the CIA and the FBI, and which continues today, cannot be refuted. Every time the sceptic complains that a massive conspiracy stresses the claim to the breaking point, the believer responds that the sceptic himself is a paid CIA agent! I’m not kidding: some ufologists used to say that about Philip J. Klass, the CSICOP specialist in UFOs, whom I met at a conference.

The same happens in the field of parapsychology. Parapsychologists say that extra-sensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) exist, but that they are such erratic phenomena that it is very difficult to demonstrate them methodically and repeatedly in the laboratory. That is, there is no way to adequately submit the paranormal hypothesis to the protocol of refutability devised by Popper. That does not mean that ESP and PK do not exist (personally I doubt they exist). It means that the parapsychologists, who claim that they have reliable, empirical evidence of the existence of the paranormal, violate the principle of falsifiability by calling their field of study strictly ‘scientific’.

Such a pseudoscientific methodology is what the sindonologists also follow. Take for example the least insane of the above-mentioned excuses about why, according to believers, the carbon 14 tests did not come out of the century they expected: that researchers could have cut a cloth attached to the shroud, not the fabric where the image is.

If the proponents of the authenticity of the shroud were true scientists they would not be lucubrating such things. They would simply ask the Cardinal of Turin to allow another carbon 14 test on the cloth, this time from the area they consider appropriate. Meanwhile, the wise thing would be to suspend judgement until the cardinal approves another series of tests. Instead, what sindonologists do—who after the radiometric 1988 tests continue to claim that image is proof of the Resurrection—is a battery of secondary tests. Most of such tests are unrelated to the dating of the cloth; tests that purportedly show that the image remains mysterious.

That the image is not so mysterious can be seen in the research that Joe Nickell, a sceptic I met in 1994, has made of the shroud. But there is more to Nickell’s research: as we will see in the following entries on the subject.

Before finishing this post I would like to say something else. A white nationalist visiting this site might think that my interest in unmasking the gospels and the shroud buffs is a secondary issue. It is not. A few minutes ago of my writing this paragraph the bell of my house rang. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses gave me propaganda. I wrinkled it in anger and was about to throw it away when I saw the image of these blacks. Then it occurred to me to use it because in the background these neo-Christians put whites in a bucolic world where the races converge.

Christian ethics, so well captured in the propaganda I was given today, is a bigger factor than Jewish subversion, as without such ethics there would be no Jews (or blacks) empowered in the West. Aryans embracing a moral grammar based on the belief of a resurrected Jew is unhealthy, to say the least.

God

Below, English translation of what I wrote three years ago in Spanish, taken from the chapter ‘Idiotic defence mechanism I: Religion’, pages 122-29 of the book whose syntax I am correcting (some explanatory brackets added):
 

______ 卐 ______

 

As I said in Hojas Susurrantes, in California I suffered an internal persecutor: a Christian fear of damnation caused by my father’s miserable introjects. On May 24, 1988, a few months after returning from California still carrying in my soul a legion of dementors, I dined with my parents in a restaurant [I wasn’t living with them]. From the street, three days before I had seen the dry branches of my tree and I believed that the tree would die so, in penance, I shaved my beard the next day after having let them grow for a few months; the only time in life I let them grow.
 
Saint Augustine

Before telling what happened in the restaurant I must mention that throughout my childhood I lived in the shadow of the figure of St Augustine; as I recall, the favourite saint of my father’s church when we lived in San Lorenzo (as we know, Augustine’s ideas had been one of my greatest dementors in California). At dinner with my parents, barely convalescing from the idea that tormented me, I jumped when (my mother?) mentioned the aforementioned saint. I exclaimed that Augustine had rationalised the eternal fire for unbaptized infants… More than convalescing, the psychic wounds of my family’s religion were still open, though not as maddeningly as the suffering in California. My parents felt the vehemence of my words, but not my agony behind them. What my father answered deserves to leave a record and it is worth saying that I wrote it down not in my diary, but in a single sheet. (When planning this volume I had to order my correspondence, documents and loose sheets in dozens of labelled envelopes.) According to my notes, my father answered me:

—Those [Augustine’s views] are people’s mistakes; human failures. I go to what Jesus says.

When I answered that the Gospel of Matthew put Jesus talking about the gnashing of teeth of the damned, he said:

—I do not see [emphasis in his voice] the anathemas of Jesus. I prefer to see the lilies and the birds; come and they will be given food, dressing be added.

On my single sheet, the following day I addressed myself: ‘Where is the Augustinian father of San Lorenzo? I am reacting—my Epistle [first book of Hojas Susurrantes] and anti-Christianity—against a father and a mother who no longer exist!’

I wrote that, as I said, in 1988. Today, twenty-seven years later, the dementors still persecute me somehow, although in a very much attenuated way compared to my youth. What I want to get is that, if the perpetrator does not recognise his fault, the mental virus transferred to the adult child goes out of control. If my father had been like, say, my very Catholic friend Paulina (who almost daily goes to church), another would be my story. It is not enough to point out the beautiful verses of Matthew to counterbalance the threats of Jesus about Gehenna in that same gospel. It is necessary to recognise that one committed an outrage when ‘educating’ the son in the Christian doctrine of damnation. In one of her letters that she sent me to England by the end of the century, Paulina wrote to me: ‘Also, since you are not a believer, and you feel that religion was the first reason for your father to crucify you [my emphasis], you must hate religion. And I understand you. And for you it does not make sense to go to church, to say things you do not believe. And that also caused you harm (hell, torture, sadism)’.

My father is not like my humble friend. In a dream I had my unconscious caricaturing him, putting in his mouth these words: ‘I am very Catholic because I only think of my salvation’. To understand the parental egotism that affected me so much, the religious mechanism with which he defended himself from his early sufferings must be analysed.
 
God for Miller fans

When I returned from California in my twenty-ninth year, I was not only an extremely damaged young man but also extremely naive. I left in the television room [of my parents’ house] a number of books in English that I had brought in such a way that their covers wore the face of Jesus so that my father could see them. At that time I still believed that it was possible to negotiate my father’s faith with solid arguments.

Let us take into account that with the words of Jesus it sufficed him, and what he would tell me during the ‘confrontation of the crucifix’ [recounted in a previous chapter]: that the fact that the miracles were interwoven with the teachings of Jesus implied that the story was true. I arrived in Mexico in February 1988. By the end of 1989, I began to familiarise myself with the sceptical criticism of the allegations of the paranormal by writers whose magazine I subscribed to, The Skeptical Inquirer. It was thanks to these sceptics that I saw clearly that reasoning like those of my father was fallacious. For example, that the (supposed) goodness of the teachings of Jesus demonstrates the historicity of his miracles cannot be sustained. ‘Logical systems get in trouble’, I paraphrase now from one of the articles in The Skeptical Inquirer, ‘when they are forced to show their own logic to demonstrate its claims self-referentially’.

When on another occasion I confronted my father with what I had read in those books whose covers he saw, I argued that the killing of the innocents could not be historical, as the historian Josephus, who belonged to the Hebrew priestly caste, does not mention it. (This historian of the 1st century did not silence any of Herod’s authentically historical cruelties.) My father got angry, but he did not answer my argument. While it is more reasonable to assume that the verses of Matthew and Luke about the killing of the innocent are literary fiction, by pure reason I would never get to communicate with him. However, the writers of the CSICOP (acronym of Committee for the Skeptical Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), as this group was then called, had a great limitation. Those who helped me overcome my belief in the miraculous narrative did not reach the core of the problem: the defence mechanism. If my grandfather and the elementary school [in the early 1930s] had not tormented the child Cesar [my father], the adult Cesar would not have clung to the idea of a dad God with the impregnable faith that he did. For Alice Miller, a child whose childhood was lived in an atmosphere of respect is perfectly capable of developing his self without needing the idea of a personal God; preferring, instead, human models. The child destined to be my father could not develop his psyche with worldly models. He had to project the parental luminous side onto the deity of the same religion that his parents had taught him.

About five years before I wrote the Epistle [ca. 1983], my father had confessed something important that I picked up right there in the old epistle. He was in his youth completely devastated by something terrible that had happened to him, that he did not specify. He opened the gospels and, according to his words, saw the passage ‘Come blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared…!’ If, for theists like my father, a kind Father has replaced the failed human father, we should not be surprised if they experience great fear upon discovering that this substitute Father also has a dark side. My father does not know English and he did not read what I brought from the United States, but from my Spanish books he borrowed without me knowing Respuesta a Job (Answer to Job) published in 1952 by Carl Jung, of which he told me ‘I read everything’.

At his late seventy-six years, the Swiss psychologist had dared to uncover the dark side of the God of Hebrews and Christians. The same year that I wrote the Epistle I wrote down in Answer to Job that my father had exclaimed: ‘A terrible book!’ with great emphasis on his voice when pronouncing ‘terrible’. Jung’s essay had disturbed him so much that he had to read a pious text about Job to console himself. What Jung said about the Judeo-Christian deity is valuable to those who have entered the underworld whose door Miller opened. In May of 1991, three years after the anecdote recounted above, I noted down on the back cover of Answer to Job: ‘This is the only book I know of that does not criticise religion or Christians or the church: it criticizes God itself’. I could not say it better today, almost a quarter of a century later. Later that year I noted down that Jung had tried to psychoanalyse God. Much later, in my rereading of 2005, I wrote down:

It is amazing how Miller-like this book can be if we only know the ABC of the mind that Jung did not know. Just replace ‘Yahweh’ with ‘father’ and ‘God’ with ‘mother’ and see what you find.

Read for example pages 25f (‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without wisdom?’). They remind me of the conversation I had with my sister in 2000, the day of the cut tree, about dad: ‘And who are you to…?’ he said to my sister. And page 28 (‘Yahweh shows Job his omnipotence with so many thunder and lightning’) seems to portray how he treated me in my last confrontation, in 2004 [recounted in my book’s previous chapter]. On page 31 Jung says what for a long time I have said: pride is the other side of infantilism.

Pride is the other side of infantilism. How many times have I told myself this when diagnosing my father! Almost at the beginning of his essay, Jung observes something that could be applied to my initiative to confront my father for what he did, citing the Bible: ‘Job “wanted to reason with God” (Job, 13:3). Job says “I will defend my ways before him” (13, 15)’. Nice phrase, which could summarize what I have written in hundreds of pages: defend my ways before my parents and their witch doctors. Precisely as it was extremely naive of me to hope that whoever destroyed me could, at the same time, listen to my complaint, that same ingenuity had been committed by Job on another level. (Actually, on the same level if we consider that the theistic narrative is nothing but the internal struggle with the parental introjects.) In the context of the supposed goodness of Yahweh, observes Jung: ‘From a man who does us evil we can not wait that helps us at the same time’, and already openly psychoanalysing God he adds something that we could impute to either of my parents: ‘The dependence of the object is absolute when the subject does not possess self-reflection, and, consequently, does not have any vision of oneself’. Like any toxic parent—I would say—, about the deity of our parents Jung writes: ‘But Yahweh is too unconscious to be “moral”. Morality presupposes conscience’.

What better indication that the idea of God is nothing but the projection of our unresolved, attachment system with our parents! (keep in mind Colin Ross’ class). From this angle, the idea of providence is a parental shadow insofar as it is so full of the dark side that we see ourselves in the need to project it outwards: something that Jung himself was afraid to say. Nevertheless, the Swiss dared to write: ‘It was natural that humanity, superior to God in certain aspects, should remain unconscious’—unaware of the ultimate nature of the deity. The dissident disciple of Freud wrote the following in the text that scared dad: ‘Yahweh does not show signs of doubt, repentance or compassion, but only of cruelty and disregard. Yahweh cannot come here with the excuse of unconsciousness, for he flagrantly violates at least three of the commandments that he himself had promulgated at Sinai’.

This brings back to me the fact that my moral was founded on the moralistic tablets of my father. Recall the [1960s] anecdote of Hojas Susurrantes about the ‘instantaneous introject’ when a swarthy boy threw a stone at a helpless crab on the beach. Unfortunately, and parallel to how my father did not regret what he was doing to us, on the next page Jung writes: ‘Yahweh does not think… of giving Job at least some moral compensation’. And two pages ahead what he says seems to be a reflection of the mentioned speech to Germancito [my nephew], when my father blamed me for my sister’s behaviour: ‘Yahweh puts things backwards, so to speak, and blames Job for what he himself does: man must not be allowed to have any opinion about God’.

Shadow projected to the deity: ‘Parents should never be judged’, my mother has told me several times. And it is that ‘Yahweh pays so little attention to the person of Job… that it is not difficult to see that he is totally occupied with himself’, which brings back the penetrating observation of Pedro Martín Moreno and Scott Peck about evil. Later Jung speaks of the ‘fear of Yahweh to become conscious’, which also brings back the fear of parents like mine to see their behaviour.

Yahweh can project, without frowning, his face shadows on man, and remain unconscious at the expense of him…

Job knew Yahweh only of ‘hearsay’. But now he has experienced the reality of Yahweh even more than David himself. This is an important lesson, which should not be forgotten. Job was once a simpleton; he had come to dream of a ‘good’ God… he believed that God was truthful and faithful…

But to his horror, Job has seen that Yahweh is not a man, but that, in a certain way, he is less than a man, and that he is the same thing that Yahweh says of the Leviathan: ‘He is king over all the proud’ (Job, 41:34).

The mistreated son by his father must not expect moral satisfaction from an intrinsically unconscious being. ‘I am an amoral natural power, a purely phenomenal force, that does not see its own back’ writes Jung. Job, the son at the complete mercy of the Father whose voice of thunder crushes him when he dared to confront him, becomes, secretly, judge of the divinity.

The author of Answer to Job closes the book’s chapter with these words: ‘The drama has been consummated for all eternity: the double nature of Yahweh has been revealed, and someone or something has seen and recorded it’.

Johmann’s brief analysis

My correspondent Kurt Johmann asked me to say something about ‘A Brief Analysis of Christianity’, a section within his book A Soliton and its owned Bions (Awareness and Mind) which subtitle reads ‘These Intelligent Particles are how we Survive Death’.

As to the origins of Christianity, Johmann relies heavily on Joseph Atwill’s 2006 Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. I don’t claim to have read Caesar’s Messiah, but the book has become so popular that Wikipedia has an article about it. In the last couple of years I’ve seen mentions to Atwill’s book in white nationalist forums as if it was a great discovery on the origins of Christianity.

As can be gathered from the book reviewers, Atwill tries to persuade the reader that the New Testament was written under the direction of 1st-century Roman whites. Those who know the new masthead of this site, Evropa Soberana’s essay on Rome and Judea, will find it strange that Atwill would not blame the Jews for creating Christianity. He blames an emperor of the Flavian dynasty.

A Roman fraud written by a Jewish traitor in the emperor’s pay? Really? Are we to believe that the Aryan Romans really cared about the primitive literature of distant Semites enough to go through the trouble of using the Septuagint to elaborate the New Testament, with fake Pauline and non-Pauline epistles, numinous gospel narratives and even a book of revelation that craves for a New Jerusalem right after the emperors destroyed Old Jerusalem? Is this credible taking into account that this John of Patmos was so anti-pagan that in the final book of the Bible he introduced the idea of eternal torment for non-Judeo-Christians in a lake of fire?

As can be seen in the recent entries of this site, our working hypothesis is that the authors of the New Testament were either non-Aryan Judaized gentiles or, like this John of Patmos, Hellenised Jews whose hatred for white Rome was infinite.

Also, Atwill’s assertion that Jesus was a totally a fictional character is only a possibility. I am open to such possibility, as can be seen in this article by Joseph Hoffmann. However, another possibility is that a historical Yeshua existed and a lot of literary fiction was later added onto an original, bare, all too human story that is now lost forever (e.g., what Soberana speculates about the historical Jesus in his essay).

Johmann writes: ‘Although Christianity was originally contrived and constructed [by Romans] to domesticate the recently conquered population of Judea…’ According to our recent quotations of Nietzsche in this blog it looks the other way: Christianity was originally contrived and constructed by Jews to domesticate those who recently had conquered their population of Judea.

In his brief analysis of Christianity’ Johmann also wrote:

Instead of having to accept the reality model of Christianity or of any other religion to have a good afterlife, the reality model presented in this book says that what one consciously believes about the afterlife during one’s physically embodied life has no substantial effect on what one’s afterlife experiences will be, during what will be an afterlife measured in years or many years (not Christianity’s eternity) before one reincarnates, most likely reincarnating as a human again.

Regarding Christianity’s position on sexual matters, Christianity has a long history of being hostile to sex for any purpose other than the production of children. Thus, given this emphasis on having children, Christianity, in general, has a history of being against birth control, abortion, infanticide, and homosexuality. The reason Christianity has these attitudes is because Christianity wants its current believers to have many children…

The first paragraph postulates the existence of reincarnation.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s I was heavily involved in the field of parapsychology and even published my stuff in the journal of the Society for Psychical Research. I am pretty familiar with the literature arguing for evidence of reincarnation, for example the work of Ian Stevenson. With time, after meeting in person the main intellectuals of a sceptic organization, subscribing their journal, and purchasing many books published by Prometheus Books, I became sceptical of such claims, including reincarnation.

In a blog post I cannot narrate the spiritual odyssey from my credulity in such phenomena to my apostasy: I would need a whole autobiographical book recounting my inner experiences from December 1978 to May 1995. Suffice it to say that I am familiar with the work of Sue Blackmore. Sue has written a lot about out-of-body experiences, that Johmann mentions elsewhere in his book. She says such experiences may have a more prosaic, parsimonious explanation than the paranormal one (incidentally, in a Seattle café I sat with Sue and other attendees during one of the sceptical conferences that we all attended).

As to the second paragraph by Johmann cited above, not only Christianity has been hostile to sex for any purpose other than the production of children. Other cultures and religions, even the Nazis, had a history against Aryan birth control, abortion, infanticide, and homosexuality.

This said, I basically agree with the last paragraph against Christianity in Johmann’s text: that prayer is silly because, as Johmann put it, ‘is only “heard” by one’s own unconscious’, and that trying to solve our problems with prayer, begging the god of the Jews to help us, only forfeits our duty of hard, Aryan work in the real world.

Byzantine discussions at Majority Rights

Monocausalism again!

Now that I’ve been called Jew for the third time, this occasion for rejecting conspiracy theories such as those imagined about John F. Kennedy’s assassination (in an Occidental Observer thread where I also dared to mention 9/11 in the context of Holocaust denialism/revisionism), a comment at Majority Rights on the single Jewish-cause hypothesis caught my attention.

Precisely the Majority Rights writer who last year labeled me “Jew” in a featured article for my skepticism about 9/11 conspiracy theories (search “J Richards” in this entry) has been given admin powers at Majority Rights. A couple of days ago he abused such powers and deleted a comment of someone who hilariously scoffed at Richards’ monocausalism.

Admin powers to a single Jewish causer, at a major nationalist site? What a shame…

Since I think in Spanish, my dominion of the English language is but a fraction of the mastery of the English language that you can read at Majority Rights. Yet I would never, ever exchange my simple, straightforward honesty for the pointless sophistication that in Spain we label as discusiones bizantinas (in reference to the pointless, ultra-sophisticated theological discussions in ancient Constantinople).

What’s the point of authoring in-depth articles on Heidegger’s ontology while at the same time you believe in conspiratorial nonsense that any High Scholl kid can debunk by merely reading Skeptical Inquirer? Take a look at the Occidental Observer thread on the Holocaust I referred to above and search for my recent aggregations to see what I mean.

Parapsychology

Or:

The ten books that made an impact in my life
before I became racially conscious

5.- A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology
(autographed inscription 1989)

6.- The Relentless Question
(autographed inscription 1990)

In “The Sickle I said this Tuesday that I arrived to the San Francisco airport in 1985. Living in San Rafael the very first days after my arrival to the US, I paid a visit to San Francisco and found in a bookstore the just released A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology. I remember a pic of James Randi on the dust cover among other notable skeptics and wanted to purchase the book. Alas, I didn’t since I had very limited economic resources and was only starting to look for a job at Marin County.

I mention this little anecdote because had I purchased the book I could have been spared from the extremely agonic stage in California. As explained in “The Sickle,” when I lived there I was immersed in the fantasy to “force the eschaton in history.”

But how do I know that my Quixotic—to say the least—endeavor that so much suffering caused could have been avoided by a book? Because when I returned to Mexico, in 1989 the main contributors to the skeptical handbook, Ray Hyman, James Alcock, Paul Kurtz and James Randi visited my native town and, finally, I could afford to purchase A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology: which started a cognitive process that completely and absolutely disabused me from my “eschatological” beliefs.

Well, it’s more complicated than just a single book. In fact, after these skeptics visited Mexico City I subscribed The Skeptical Inquirer and ordered many books on the paranormal published by the skeptical contributors of Kurtz’s group. If I chose a single book to convey the fact that the process of reading them started an apostasy process of my belief in ESP and PK (again, cf. “The Sickle”) it’s because the copy of A Skeptic’s Handbook that I own was signed by Kurtz in front of me on November 12, 1985.

My previous post was about Childhood’s End, the novel that most influenced my life. I recognize that it must sound crazy that someone took a novel so seriously as to believe that the eschaton could be forced by purely psychic means in the real world. How could I have fallen into such grandiose delusion? (A couple of days ago Deviance, a commenter put it this way, “When I read you, Chechar, I wonder if intelligence is a blessing or a curse—smart people seem to be drawn to sects, cults, pseudosciences and false theories of all sorts…”) The answer is devastatingly simple.

A pseudoscience is a system that pretends to be scientific but that is not. In other threads of this blog I have stated that the process of debunking a sophisticated pseudoscience requires an extraordinary input of energy. You need to be a specialist in a specific pseudoscience (e.g., a skeptical specialist in parapsychology, another in UFOlogy, still another on a very specific conspiracy theory such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, etc). The sheer mass of literature and conferences on purported conspiracies of, say, the assassination of JFK, is such—thousands of books—that it took Vincent Bugliosi twenty years of research to address and refute each claim.

Generally, people who believe in pseudosciences, cults or conspiracy theories never dare to seriously study the critics of their cherished beliefs. That’s precisely the religious mindset: never listen to the critics. Although I was ready to listen when, standing in a San Francisco bookstore I learnt that a skeptical handbook had just been released, I was so sure that parapsychologists had demonstrated the existence of “psi” that I didn’t bother to listen the other side even when I finally got a job in California.

When I believed in the existence of paranormal phenomena, John Beloff of Edinburg University (right), who eventually became my editor in parapsychological matters, was the single most important author that convinced me of the realities of such phenomena. Again, just as I chose A Skeptic’s Handbook as a paradigm of the literature that eventually would became a vaccination for my mind, if I mention Beloff’s The Relentless Question it is only because he sent me by mail a copy of his book with his longhand inscription: “For C. T. who has the courage of his convictions from John Beloff, June 1990.”

When I received The Relentless Question I had already read much of what Beloff had written in professional journals, including some of the articles contained in his book. Just as A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology is representative of what I may call a vaccination, The Relentless Question is representative of the continuing infection that took place in my cognitive process since I left Eschatology for the more “scientific” parapsychological research.

To answer Deviance, that “smart people seem to be drawn to sects, cults and pseudosciences” has nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with the human mind’s strayed ways of trying to cope with the unprocessed trauma of earlier experiences at home. This of course goes beyond the reach of this entry, but I nevertheless mention The Relentless Question because it is written in the terse, academic language by a respected professor of the psychology department of a well-known European university: the only university that held an academic chair of parapsychology in the western world.

In the previous incarnation of this blog Lawrence Auster discussed with me the subject of parapsychology: he as a believer and I as a former believer (now turned skeptic). For those who have not made their minds as to whether paranormal phenomena might be real or not, these two books, one edited by the founder of a skeptical group, the other authored by a late professor, are good starting points to listen to both sides of the debate.

For the other eight books see here.

Satanic Ritual Abuse

I don’t get Greg Johnson. Yesterday I tried to post the following comment in the most recent piece published at Counter-Currents (CC). The subject? Jewish ritual murders of cute, gentile kids!

I’ve not read much about blood libel, speciously called here “Jewish ritual murders,” but I was pretty involved in editing Wikipedia’s Satanic Ritual Abuse which I studied thoroughly some years ago: a clear case of moral panic where many innocent American adults were indicted in the 1980s as in the Salem trials.

The “About” page in my blog has me as a researcher and debunker of the famous “wall face,” paranormal appearances in a house in Spain. One thing is clear to me now that I’m starting to see that many white nationalists religiously believe in retarded theories that blame the Jews for everything (e.g., 9/11). Unlike me they have not subscribed the Skeptical Inquirer, attended the conferences of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), or read their Prometheus Books that debunk not only paranormal claims but blood libels as well.

And no: the CSI founders—I’ve met Paul Kurtz twice in the conferences and corresponded to Martin Gardner before he died—are not Jews.

Johnson deleted my comment. Why? Is he mad with me for my criticizing those homosexuals that post featured articles at his webzine (see my recent entries here and here)? But in my above comment I was not criticizing these guys. Nor was it another criticism of Johnson’s musical and movie tastes, about which I posted here quite a few entries by the end of the year.

I wrote the above comment because, due to my experience with CSI, on these subjects—claims such as the ritual murder of children and adults—I am far more knowledgeable than the common nationalist. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Just to give you a bit of the flavor of the mendacity of these claims, this is what I wrote in my book Hojas Susurrantes, which precisely deals with child abuse, the subject I’ve researched most in my life:

Satanic Ritual Abuse

The confusion of my feelings about [Lloyd] deMause—lucubration such as [the above] are psychobabble but deMause’s authentic discoveries are the great lighthouse for the humanities—moved me to annotate each cognitive error I encountered in his legacy.

In 1994 deMause devoted more than a whole issue of his journal to one of the scandals originated in his country that destroyed the reputation of many innocent adults: claims of multiple victims, multiple perpetrators during occult rites in daycare centers for children, known as “Satanic Ritual Abuse” or SRA. I was so intrigued by the subject that, when I read deMause’s article “Why Cults Terrorize and Kill Children” I devoted a few months of my life to research the subject by reading, printing and discussing in the internet: material that would fill up the thickest ring-binder that I possess. I also purchased a copy of a book on SRA published by Princeton University. My objective was to ascertain whether the man whom I had been taking as a sort of mentor had gone astray. My suspicions turned to be justified, and even worse: by inviting the foremost believers of SRA to publish in his journal, deMause directly contributed to the creation of an urban myth.

The collective hysteria known as SRA originated with the publication of a 1980 sensationalist book, Michelle Remembers. Michelle claimed that Satan himself appeared to her and wounded her body, but that an archangel healed it. In the mentioned article deMause wrote credulous passages about other fantastic claims by Michelle, and added that the people who ran certain daycare centers in the 1980s put the children in boxes and cages “as symbolic wombs.” DeMause then speculated that “they hang them upside down, the position of fetuses” and that “they drink victim’s blood as fetuses ‘drink’ placental blood,” in addition to force children to “drink urine” and “eat feces as some do during birth.” DeMause also referred to secret tunnels that, he wrote, existed beneath the daycare centers: “They often hold their rituals in actual tunnels.” In fact, those tunnels never existed. In Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Ritual Abuse in History, published in 2006, professor David Frankfurter wrote about deMause’s article: “In this way a contemporary writer can assemble a theory of ritual power to explain rituals that have no forensic evidence.”

This is the sort of thing that, in Wikipedia’s talk page about psychohistory, culminates with rants like the one that I rescued before another editor deleted it: “Don’t ever listen to this lunatic!” (deMause). It is true that Colin Ross is another gullible believer of SRA, as seen in a book in whose afterword Elizabeth Loftus disagrees with him. But since the mid-1990s the phenomenon was discredited to such degree that sociologists, criminologists and police officials recognized what it was: a witch-hunt that led to prison and ruined the lives of many adults. The movie Indictment: The McMartin Trial, sponsored by Oliver Stone and based on the most notorious of these hunts, sums up what I mean. Using invasive techniques for adults in the interrogation of little kids, therapists of the McMartin case and other kindergartens obtained confessions full of fantasies: that the children had been abducted and taken through a network of tunnels to a hidden cave under the school; that they flew in the air and saw giraffes, lions and the killing of a rabbit to be returned to their unsuspecting parents in the daycare center. Kyle Zirpolo was one of the McMartin children. A twenty-nine in 2005, several years after the trial, Zirpolo confessed to reporters that as a child he had been pressured to lie:

Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn’t like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for. It was really obvious what they wanted… I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest. But at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do.

In its heyday in the 1980s and early 90s, and in some ways similar to the Salem witch trials of 1692, SRA allegations reached grotesque levels. Proponents argued that an intergenerational group of families raised and kidnapped babies and children in an international conspiracy that had infiltrated the police and the professions of lawyers and doctors. Conspiracy theorists claimed that the FBI and the CIA were involved to discredit the veracity of the phenomenon. The allegations ranged from brainwashing and necrophilia, kidnapping, sexual abuse and child pornography, to black masses and ritual killings of animals and thousands of people every year. In the McMartin case they talked about children washed away when the perpetrator pulled the toilet chain taking them to hidden rooms where they would be molested; orgies in carwash business, and even flying witches. Needless to say, no forensic evidence was found to support such claims.

After the legal catastrophe that McMartin and several other cases represented, small children have not been questioned with the aggressive techniques that led them to fantasize so wildly. Nowadays there is no witch-hunting going on in the U.S., UK or Australia caused by coercive techniques of fanatics that induce either false memories or outright lies (like Zirpolo’s) to please therapist and parent. However, despite the consensus in 21st century’s sociology and criminology—that SRA was a case of moral panic about which there is no forensic evidence—, deMause did not change his view. The work that describes his thinking more broadly, The Emotional Life of Nations published in 2002 and recently translated into German, contains a brief passage where he still regards SRA as something real.

Is my criticism of homosexuals who, in my humble opinion, ought not be featured at CC enough reason to suppress legit commentariat on unrelated subjects, such as SRA or the so-called “blood libel”?

Suppose that a causal visitor hits CC today and, erroneously, gets the impression that all white nationalists believe in these literally medieval rumors about the Jews. Wouldn’t this automatically disqualify CC to the eyes of our skeptical visitor? Wouldn’t this turn out into a psychological stumbling block for our visitor to become familiar with the more sober, legitimate criticism of the Jews, such as the work of Kevin MacDonald?

With my single comment I tried to balance a bit the gullibility of the editor, author and commenters. No kidding: I was trying to do some good public relations for CC after reading that ill-researched piece.

And this is what I got.