How to murder your child’s soul *

* with the help of a psychiatrist

 
In first place, marry a man who super-loves children, someone who’s got grace and charisma with them.

In the second place, you must understand that your child is part of your mind. His thoughts and desires are your private property, part of your heritage. His emergent mentality is a computer and you have the right and duty to program it as you please.

All initiative, natural spontaneity or free will of the child that doesn’t reflect your programming is a symptom of a mental illness, so you must harass him inexorably.

If by reaching puberty your son rebels before your engulfing behaviour, ask help from your husband. Correct him between the two of you. Your husband still has much more physical strength than your son, and if you use your feminine arts to humiliate your son and tease him and your husband giving him tremendous slaps on his little face, much the better. The stronger the super-loving dad hits on his tender heart, the gravest trauma he’ll cause.

The objective is to provoke a bestial confusion of feelings: that the one who showed your son the greatest love as a child is the one who shows him the greatest hate as a teen.

This is the key to murder your child’s soul, and if your husband fails to develop the Jekyll-Hyde syndrome you may not achieve your goals. Remember that nothing undermines more the fragile and developing mind of a teenager who adores his loving dad than these inexplicable changes.

If even with these measures you haven’t reached the inner self of your son to injure it, hire the services of a specialist! A psychiatrist, psychoanalyst or clinical psychologist will do the job.

Your son will go to forced sessions in the Ministry of Love.

Since he’s already mortally wounded by the transformation of his loving dad, you’ll have a golden opportunity precisely in this instant of maxim vulnerability to victimise him again to produce, at last, irreversible psychic injury. If in addition to this you chose a gentleman O’Brien with fame in the media, no one will suspect anything of the drastic step you have taken.

If under treatment in the Ministry of Love your son suffers from panic attacks and develops paranoid delusions (“my mother wants to posses my thoughts”, “my father turns into Mr. Hyde”, “the shrink’s drugs cause akathisia in me”), don’t dare to believe they’re resonances of your splendid education or the medical attack. The therapist will inform you that in no way should parents be blamed for your child’s disorder. On the contrary: the evidence of a biological anomaly in your child is overwhelming. This wise man in doctor’s gown has a Malleus Maleficarum DSM manual where he can easily find the name of his ailment. Once diagnosed, his prescription will be to bombard the brain of the hallucinated bub with the most incisive neuroleptic.

Please make sure he doesn’t get his own way to avoid the chemical lobotomy, lest already grown up he decides to write an autobiography! On the other hand, if your son takes his pills he’ll be left meek as a lamb and he will never be able to say what you, your husband and the therapist did to him.

Then you’ll have once more the adored little child of your dreams, albeit a mentally handicapped one. And remember: you have the Medical Institution, the State and Society itself on your side…
 

______ 卐 ______

 
The parody above is taken from the second chapter of my book. My late sister suffered something similar but she was not the only victim of the family. As I said recently in ‘The eternal feminine’, the details are not to be discussed in this blog. Here I prefer to discuss understandable issues for ‘the eternal masculine’.

It’s a pity that YouTube has deleted a recent video of Richard Spencer that I mentioned in my yesterday comment. Spencer said there that the psychiatrists are over-medicating without being aware, as most of the nationalists do not realise either, that all psychiatric practice is pseudo-scientific.

Although the passage translated above is a dramatisation, when I investigated specific cases of mental disorders I could see that each disturbed individual told stories as horrific as my dramatisation. The model I rely on in my books is simple: major trauma families naturally cause symptoms in children. From the point of view of parsimony, my trauma model contains the least amount of speculative elements.

Psychiatry does exactly the opposite. Unlike neurology that does have biomarkers, psychiatry blames genes or aberrant metabolisms without any proof, as Loren Mosher acknowledged in the bold-typed letters of my yesterday post.

Occam’s razor is the ultimate word in scientific decision-making. It is a rule that has been the cornerstone of the scientific method since it was expressed by William of Occam in the 14th century. It establishes that when we face two or more scientific hypotheses for the same fact, we must adopt the one that contains the least amount of speculative elements. ‘Assumptions should not be multiplied beyond what is necessary’, says Occam’s rule in its current formulation.

Psychiatry violates Occam’s razor. By blaming the body without medical proof, it simply ignores the heartrending testimonies of the victims of enormous abuse at home, as the psychiatrists make their living from what the abusive parents pay them, not their victims.

The English speaker who wants to research mental disorders from the point of view of the trauma model should read John Modrow’s How to Become a Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry, which contains a long autobiographical section. Incidentally, I used to correspond with Modrow and still have his letters, written in pencil.

Quoting Mark Twain

In his video about James Watson, Jared Taylor quotes Mark Twain, who once said: ‘There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race and finish the farce’.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 112

Editor’s note: Here we see once again some passages on the historical Libanius: a central character in Gore Vidal’s Julian. What Deschner says here about Libanius is splendidly novelized by Vidal in the very final paragraph of his novel.

To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.
 

The Western world darkens more and more

Culture was highly esteemed in the 4th and 5th centuries. It was one of the legacies of antiquity and enjoyed an ‘almost religious veneration’ (Dannenbauer). Still in the year 360 a law of the emperor Constantius could declare that education was the supreme virtue. And really many noble families of that time, Gallic and Roman, were consecrated to it and particularly in the bosom of the Senatorial proceedings.

But they were already simple custodians of the culture, to which they did not enrich. And everywhere there were circles and social forces of a very different kind, even in the highest positions. The Christian king Theodoric the Great was no longer able to write his own name on the documents: neither could most of the Christian princes. Theodoric wrote the four letters LEGI (‘I read it’) by means of an aureus mold expressly forged for him. The instruction of the Goth children was practically forbidden by him, since, as he seems to have said, he who trembled before the master’s blows would never know how to despise the cuts and rushes of the sword in battle.

In Gaul, apparently, where the school system had flourished from the beginning of the 2nd century until the end of the 4th century, public schools are disappearing over the course of the next century, no matter how much here and there, in Lyon, Vienne, Bordeaux and Clermont there still are schools of grammar and rhetoric in addition to, naturally, the private ones. But all the teachings, at least the literary, served exclusively for the collection of material for sermons and treatises, to deal with the Bible and for the consolidation of the faith. Scientific inquiry was already a thing of the past: it no longer counted or was appreciated. The knowledge of Greek, which for centuries was the requirement of every authentic culture, became a rarity. Even the Roman classics, such as Horace, Ovid and Catullus, were cited less and less.

Libanius, the champion of Hellenistic culture, the most famous professor of rhetoric of the century, complains about the aversion aroused by that profession. ‘They see’, he says, referring to his students, ‘that this cause is despised and thrown on the floor; that does not bring fame, power or wealth but a painful servitude under many lords, parents, mothers, pedagogues and other students, who put things upside down and believe that it is the teacher who needs them. When they see all this they avoid this depreciated profession like a boat the pitfalls’.

In the time of Augustine there are hardly any schools of philosophy in the West. Philosophy is frowned upon, it is a thing of the devil, the original father of all ‘heresy’, and it causes fear to the pious. Even in a centre of culture as important as Bordeaux philosophy is no longer taught. And even in the East, the largest and most important of the universities of the Roman Empire, that of Constantinople, has only one chair of philosophy out of a total of 31.

The knowledge of something that had existed for a long time was lost in almost all areas. The spiritual horizon became increasingly narrower. Ancient culture languished from Gaul to Africa, while in Italy it practically disappeared. The interest in natural science vanished. Also jurisprudence, at least in the West, suffers ‘havoc’, an ‘astonishing demolition’ (Wieacker).

The bishop Paulinus of Nola, who died in 431, never read a historian: a typical attitude of the moment. Whole eras fall in the oblivion, for example, the time of the Roman emperors. The only renowned historian in the late 4th century is Ammianus Marcellinus, a non-Christian. Entire synods forbid the bishops to read ‘pagan’ books. In short: scientific research ceases; experimental testing stops; people think increasingly with less autonomy.

A few decades later no doctor could heal Bishop Gregory de Tours, a man with a mind full of superstitions, but he could miraculously be healed through a drink of water with some dust taken from the tomb of St. Martin.

Only clerics will still read.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 111


 Editors’ note: To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.

 

Everything a person needs to know is contained in the Bible

Augustine’s intellectual achievements—which are of a theological nature—have been always overrated. With the exception of certain psychological observations, he always wrote under the inspiration of others, and limited himself to ‘converting into a personal experience what he grasped when meditating on the thoughts of others’ (H. Holl). ‘Never in his life did he have the courage to think autonomously’. A historian so enlightening and worthy of being read as H. Dannenbauer is tempted to apply to Augustine the old sentence with which Goethe referred to Lavater: ‘Strict truth was not his. He lied to himself and others’.

Augustine felt genuine addiction for authority. He always had to find shelter under something, to adhere to something: to the Manicheans, to academic scepticism, to neo-Platonism and, finally, to Christianity. In this regard, he only believed in the Bible by virtue of the authority of the Church (which based its authority on the Bible). The authority of the Bible is in turn a guarantee, Augustine thinks, of the truth. What it affirms is true; it is completely infallible. ‘Moreover, Scripture sometimes appears as a criterion of profane knowledge. Of the historical narratives, we should only believe as long as it does not contradict the affirmations of Scripture’.

Already in the time of Augustine both the wealth of knowledge and the quality of education had declined. However, some classical training still counted to the point that, with it, it was possible to make a career in the Roman Empire and get access the high and even the supreme dignities.

The bishop of Hippo had no notion of Hebrew. Also, his knowledge of Greek was flimsy. He could hardly translate Greek texts. He, a rhetor and for several years a professor at several high schools, barely read the Greek Bible.

To the classics, including Plato and Plotinus to the extent that he knew them, and to the Greek Patristics, he read them in a Latin version. And it is likely that most of his quotations were second hand. Only very few come from direct sources: Livius, Florus, Eutropius, perhaps Josephus, but above all Marcus Terentius Varro, the great scholar of ancient Rome, whose Antiquitates rerum humanarum and divinarum (Antiquities of Human and Divine Things) is his only source of information regarding the pagan deities.

Augustine’s scientific and natural training was very weak. Certainly he did not think it necessary to admit the existence of pygmies, of cynocephali, or of people who protected themselves from the sun under their flat feet. He firmly believed, of course, that the diamond could only be broken with the blood of a goat and that the wind from Cappadocia impregnated the mares. He also believed firmly in purgatory. Moreover, he was the theologian who endowed this idea dogmatic entity.

He also believed firmly in hell, being himself the one who depicts it for us as real physical fire, and who teaches that the intensity of heat is governed by the gravity of sins. On the other hand, he does not believe that the Earth is spherical (nulla ratione credendum est, ‘there is no reason to believe that’) even if it had been demonstrated centuries ago.

The natural sciences, according to Augustine, are opinions. The investigation of the world is at the most investigation of a world of appearances. This applies to the theatre as well as to natural science or magic—eagerness for shows, curiosity, that’s all.

Profane knowledge and culture do not have any value for themselves. They only acquire value in the service of faith and have no other purpose than to lead to holiness, to a deeper understanding of the Bible. Philosophy, that in his old age seemed to him ‘subtle charlatanism’ (garrulae argtiae), has no other value than mere help to interpret the ‘revelation’. Everything thus becomes a resource, an instrument for the understanding of Scripture. Otherwise science—any science—is alienation from God.

The curiosity, the eagerness to know always created suspicions in Christianity. Tertullian had already fought it with crudeness and Augustine, more fiercely, attacks almost systematically curiosity and the longing to know, which leads him to anathematize science.

Painting, music and sculpture are also superfluous. Medicine, architecture and agriculture deserve the same judgment, unless they are to be practiced professionally. This bishop saw in the Church the Schola Christi (Christ’s School) and all the sciences outside it were suspect. Ultimately, everything a person needs to know is in the Bible and what is not there is harmful.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 110

(Iconic image of Tatian)

Editors’ note: To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.
 

Natural Science

Even geometry seemed disgraceful to Christians. Still at the beginning of the 4th century they refused to make bishop the Christian Nemesius of Emesa because he was dedicated to the study of mathematics.

Geometry and other scientific occupations were considered little less than impious activities. The historian of the Church Eusebius attacked these ‘heretics’ with these words: ‘Neglecting the Sacred Scriptures of God they were occupied with geometry; for they are earthly men, they speak earthly and do not know Him who comes from on high. They eagerly study the geometry of Euclid and admire Aristotle and Theophrastus’.

The natural sciences were the subject of particular condemnation on the part of Christian theology. The repercussions of that condemnation lasted for a long time and even led some researchers to the stake. In the usual school education on the natural sciences (and history) did not find a place until very early in the Modern Age. In the very universities they were not imposed as independent disciplines until the 17th century. Already in the last days of the ancient age, medicine experienced a strong decline—except perhaps in Mesopotamia—in favour of the predilection for the occult. The patriarch Severus of Antioch, for example, and also the Armenian Eznik of Kolb insist on the existence of demons in man and reject any attempt at naturalistic explanation by physicians.

Already the apologist Tatian, disciple of Justin, reproves medicine and makes it derive from the evil spirits: ‘Namely, the demons separate with their cunning men from the veneration of God, persuading them to put their trust in herbs and roots’.

These words exude that deep aversion, so typical of the ancient Christians, about nature, the here, and the earthly. ‘Why do people place their trust in the powers of matter and do not trust God? Why don’t you go to the most powerful of the lords and prefer to be healed by herbs?’

In this way medicine as a whole was reduced to diabolical work, the work of the evil spirits. ‘Pharmacology and everything related to it comes from the same workshop of lies’. Analogous is the opinion of Tertullian, who made fun of doctors and researchers of Nature, and that attitude continued throughout the Middle Ages and even later. It was natural for Tatian to have no esteem for science as a whole:

How to believe a person who claims that the sun is an incandescent mass and the moon, a body like the Earth? All these are no more than debatable hypotheses and not proven facts. What utility can research report on the proportions of the Earth, on the positions of the stars, on the course of the sun?

The purely scientific explanations do not count anymore. Those people who, in the 4th century, were looking for a geophysical explanation of earthquakes (instead of considering them caused solely by the wrath of God!) were inscribed in the list of ‘heretics’ by the bishop of Brescia.

Since the supreme criterion for the reception of the scientific-natural theories was that of its degree of compatibility with the Bible, science not only stagnated: the very knowledge accumulated since time immemorial was discarded. The prestige of science waned to the same extent that the Bible ascended.

The theory of the rotation of the Earth and its spherical shape goes back to the Pythagoreans of the 5th century BC. The Christian Church renounced this knowledge in favour of the Mosaic story of creation and the biblical text preaching that the Earth was a disk surrounded by the seas. European students did not know about its spherical figure until a millennium later, in the High Middle Ages, through the Arab universities of Spain!

Lactantius defames natural science by calling it pure nonsense. The Doctor of the Church Ambrose reproves it radically as an attack on the majesty of God. He is not interested in the least about the question of the position of the Earth. That is something without any relevance for the future. ‘It is enough to know that the text of Sacred Scripture contains this observation: He suspended the Earth on nothingness’. St. Ambrose’s notion of natural philosophy is illustrated by the heartfelt affirmation that ‘the gospel according to John contains all natural philosophy’.

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, 3

Falsifiability

To distinguish science from pseudoscience the crux is falsifiability (i.e., refutability), not verifiability. For example, for years astronomers had predicted the physics of a collision between two neutron stars. But it had not been possible to verify it by the simple fact that, until very recently, the phenomenon had not been observed in radio telescopes. And there are astronomical hypotheses that cannot yet be verified due to lack of observation. It may be so long without these other phenomena being observed that, when the day comes, we would already be dead.

The idea is to elaborate a solid principle of demarcation that will serve us today to distinguish between true and false science. In addition, in a borderline area of research, such as the shroud of Turin, there is no lab test of ‘Christness’ as there are, say, tests to detect a human pregnancy. What does it even mean ‘scientific verification’ that a cloth covered the body of Jesus? The most we can do is date the linen with reliable radiometric tests. If the results come out after the 1st century of our era, it is ruled out that it was ‘the shroud of Christ’. The point is that this strategy is not verification but falsification of the 1st century hypothesis.

It may not be easy to understand the concept of falsifiability if we read philosophers of science directly. But it is easily understood when we read a pedagogue. The most didactic class I know of to understand the concept is that of the neurologist Terence Hines in the first chapter of his book Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, published the year in which the Carbon 14 tests were done on the shroud. I read it in 1990: the year I started reading texts from sceptics after five years of reading exclusively to parapsychologists and sindonologists.

The chapter, ‘The Nature of Pseudoscience’ from Hines’ book begins with the following words:
 

______ 卐 ______

 
What is pseudoscience? It’s difficult to come up with a strict definition. In the real world things are not clearly delineated but surrounded by gray areas that doom any hard definition. As the term implies, a pseudoscience is a doctrine or belief system that pretends to be a science. What distinguishes pseudoscience from real science? [Some authors] have discussed criteria for separating real science from pseudoscience and for helping to decide whether a new claim is pseudoscientific.

The most common characteristic of a pseudoscience is the nonfalsifiable or irrefutable hypothesis. This is a hypothesis against which there can be no evidence—that is, no evidence can show the hypothesis to be wrong. It might at first seem that such a hypothesis must be true, but a bit of reflection and several examples will demonstrate just the opposite. Consider the following hypothesis: “I, Terence Michael Hines, am God incarnate, and I created the universe thirty seconds ago.” Now, you probably don’t believe this hypothesis, but how would you go about disproving it? You could argue, “You say you created the universe thirty seconds ago, but I have memories from years ago. So, you’re not God.” But I reply, “When I created the universe, I created everyone complete with memories.” We could go on like this for some time and you would never be able to prove that I’m not God. Nonetheless, this hypothesis is clearly absurd!

Creationists, who believe that the biblical story of creation is literal truth, often adopt a similar irrefutable hypothesis. They claim that the world was created less than ten thousand years ago. As will be seen in chapter twelve, vast amounts of physical evidence clearly refute this claim. All one has to do is point to something older than ten thousand years. Backed into a corner by such evidence, creationists often rephrase the creationist hypothesis in an irrefutable form. They explain the clear geological and fossil evidence that dates back millions of years by claiming that God put that evidence there to test our faith. An alternative version is that the evidence was manufactured by Satan to tempt us from the true path of redemption. No evidence can refute either of these versions of the hypothesis, since any new piece of geological or fossil evidence can be dismissed as having been placed there by God or Satan. This does not make the hypothesis true—it just makes it nonfalsifiable. Such a hypothesis contributes nothing to our understanding of the physical world.

Another example of an irrefutable hypothesis comes from a doctrine not usually considered a pseudoscience (but which meets the criteria, as will be seen in chapter five)—psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud believed that all males had latent homosexual tendencies, but that in most males these tendencies were repressed. Clearly, homosexual males have homosexual tendencies. But what about heterosexual males? To determine whether the hypothesis that all males have repressed homosexual tendencies is false, you could give some sort of test for homosexual tendencies. What if you failed to find such tendencies? The standard Freudian reply is that the tendencies have been so completely repressed that they don’t show up on the test. Given this irrefutable hypothesis, no test could show that heterosexual males don’t have latent homosexual urges. No matter how sensitive the test, the reply can always be made that the urges are so deeply repressed that they don’t show up on the test.

Those who are skeptical about pseudoscientific and paranormal claims are frequently accused of being closed-minded in demanding adequate evidence and proof before accepting such a claim. But who is really being closed-minded? As a scientist, I can specify exactly the type of evidence that would be required to make me change my mind and accept the reality of astrology, UFOs as extraterrestrial spacecraft, or any other topic considered in this book. But the believer, who likes to paint him or herself as open-minded and accepting of new possibilities, is actually extremely closed-minded. After all, the irrefutable hypothesis is really saying “There is no conceivable piece of evidence that will cause me to change my mind!”

That is true closed-mindedness.

Published in: on May 13, 2018 at 10:45 am  Comments (9)  

On the Turin Shroud, 2

Wikipedia is horrible about racial issues and about the Jewish question: true enemy territory. But in neutral articles such as science, engineering, computing and even putting pseudosciences in place, it can be a good resource for consultation. In 2004, the article on the Shroud of Turin became ‘a featured article’ on Wikipedia: the maximum decoration offered to an article in that online encyclopaedia. Over the years, many Christians began to get their hands on it and currently it is not even considered a ‘good article’, the previous step to convert the Wiki article into a featured one by the standards of that encyclopaedia.

Although I cannot recommend the current article as a good introduction to the subject, such an article may still be useful for those who wish to know the latest research that the sindonologists do to the shroud (for example, three days ago they made a modification to the article). In the following posts I will be quoting passages from one of the best books that have been written about the shroud: something much better than even the featured article of the Wiki in 2004.

From the comments of the previous article, I think the concept of ‘falsifiability’ and what pseudosciences really are has not become crystal-clear. Many use the expression ‘it is pseudoscience!’ more as an epithet than to designate a real pseudoscience. For example, a Dr. Morales from Brazil who commented here recently used that word to refer to raciology. Neither Dr. Morales nor many anti-racists seem to have any notion of the litmus tests that distinguish between true and false science: falsifiability and Occam’s razor.

I know them, because before blogging I dedicated myself to question the beliefs of my father, who inculcated in me the Turin shroud thing; and in my struggles against the parental introjects I had to subscribe, for years, to the Skeptical Inquirer; buy dozens of books from Prometheus Books, have correspondence with some sceptics (which I will quote in future instalments of this series) and even attend their conferences. I currently know how to distinguish between true and false science; and I think that WDH visitors could benefit from my knowledge prior to my discovery of white nationalism in 2009.

But let’s go back to the Wikipedia article. Although, as I said, it is no longer a featured article, one of the passages that I would consider good is the lead paragraph with which the article opens:

The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud (Italian: Sindone di Torino, Sacra Sindone or Santa Sindone) is a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man who is alleged to be Jesus of Nazareth. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. The cloth itself is believed by some to be the burial shroud that Jesus was wrapped in when he was buried after crucifixion. It is first securely attested in 1390, when a local bishop wrote that the shroud was a forgery and that an unnamed artist had confessed. Radiocarbon dating of a sample of the shroud material is consistent with this date.

(Phase contrast microscopic view of image-bearing fibber from the Shroud of Turin during the Carbon 14 test.)

The Catholic Church has neither formally endorsed nor rejected the shroud, but in 1958 Pope Pius XII approved of the image in association with the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. Pope John Paul II called the Shroud “a mirror of the Gospel”. Other Christian denominations, such as Anglicans and Methodists, have also shown devotion to the Shroud of Turin.

Diverse arguments have been made in scientific and popular publications claiming to prove that the cloth is the authentic burial shroud of Jesus, based on disciplines ranging from chemistry to biology and medical forensics to optical image analysis.

In 1988, three radiocarbon dating tests dated a corner piece of the shroud from the Middle Ages,[5] between the years 1260 and 1390. Some shroud researchers have challenged the dating, arguing the results were skewed by the introduction of material from the Middle Ages to the portion of the shroud used for radiocarbon dating. However, all of the scientific hypotheses used to challenge the radiocarbon dating have been scientifically refuted,[1][2][3] including the medieval repair hypothesis [4][5][6], the bio-contamination hypothesis[7] and the carbon monoxide hypothesis.[5]

The image on the shroud is much clearer in black-and-white negative than in its natural sepia color, and this negative image was first observed in 1898 on the reverse photographic plate of amateur photographer Secondo Pia, who was allowed to photograph it while it was being exhibited. A variety of methods have been proposed for the formation of the image, but the actual method used has not yet been conclusively identified. Despite numerous investigations and tests, the status of the Shroud of Turin remains murky, and the nature of the image and how it was fixed on the cloth remain puzzling.

The shroud continues to be both intensely studied and controversial.

Unlike screaming the ‘pseudoscience!’ wolf as irresponsible anti-racists do when they listen to us, sindonology is a true case of a pseudoscientific field of research. I do not mean the laboratories that did the Carbon 14 tests, obviously: but the Christian sindonologists. In popular publications some of them preach, with apologist fervour, that the Turin relic is the shroud that wrapped ‘the Body of Our Lord’ to use their language. And as we saw in the previous instalment, many wield the mystery of the image—that even the lead paragraph of the Wiki article acknowledges—as proof of the most important article of faith in Christendom: the Resurrection.

I hope that when I finish this series on the shroud of Turin, with this paradigm it will become crystal-clear what a pseudoscience really is.

________________

[1] Chivers, Tom (20 December 2011). ‘The Turin Shroud is fake. Get over it’. Daily Telegraph.

[2] Christopher Ramsey, ‘The Shroud of Turin’, Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, March 2008.

[3] Radiocarbon Dating, Second Edition: An Archaeological Perspective, By R.E. Taylor, Ofer Bar-Yosef, Routledge 2016; pg. 167-168.

[4] R.A. Freer-Waters, A.J.T. Jull, ‘Investigating a Dated piece of the Shroud of Turin’, Radiocarbon, 52, 2010, pp. 1521–1527.

[5] Schafersman, Steven D. (14 March 2005). ‘A Skeptical Response to Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin by Raymond N. Rogers’ (available online: here).

[6] The Shroud, by Ian Wilson; Random House, 2010, pgs. 130-131.

[7] Gove, H. E. (1990). ‘Dating the Turin Shroud: An Assessment’. Radiocarbon. 32 (1): 87–92.

Published in: on May 12, 2018 at 1:36 pm  Comments (35)  

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.

Faith of the Future, 3

by Matt Koehl

 

III. The Decline of Christianity

The imposition of Christianity on the Aryan peoples of Northern Europe had one lasting effect. It resulted in an inner tension, a disquiet—an angst—which has been a protruding feature of Western culture from its inception. Throughout the history of the West, there has always existed a soul struggle keenly felt by the more perceptive spirits of the race, occasioned by the contradiction between the inverted values and tenets of an Oriental/Semitic belief system on the one hand and the natural religious feeling of Nordic/Aryan man on the other.

If the former furnished the ideological matrix of the culture, it was the latter which provided the creative inspiration, the divine spark. Indeed, the greatest moments of Western culture as a manifestation of Aryan genius—whether expressed in a specifically Christian or extra-Christian form—occurred despite the stricture of Church dogma, rather than because of it. Dante, Chaucer, [Edmund] Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Goethe, Schiller, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Dürer and Rembrandt all testify to this, no less than do Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Bruckner.

As we have seen, the external character of Christianity was greatly modified in its metamorphosis from a small Jewish cult into the mighty religion of the West. The medieval institution known as chivalry, in fact, with its refined honor code—which save for its Christian trappings more properly reflected the outlook and mores of a pre-Christian time—resulted from this very process, and provided a modus vivendi for opposing spiritual interests during the Middle Ages.

Thus, through a mutual accommodation of sorts was the underlying contradiction largely contained. And yet despite any institutional adjustment, the unease deriving from an alien idea remained latent within the fabric of the culture. The social and intellectual response to this inner tension varied. For their part, the kings, emperors and other secular rulers tended to treat the matter with cynical detachment, accommodating and offering resistance as political requirements dictated.

Among scholars and thinkers, on the other hand, there were those who, like Giordano Bruno, rose in open revolt against Church dogma. More often, however, the stirrings of disquiet were manifested in subtle attempts to orient Christian doctrine toward innate Aryan religiosity. This was particularly true of the mystics of the Middle Ages, like Scotus Erigena, Amalric of Bena and Meister Eckhart, who—going beyond the theology of the Church—looked inward into their own souls and to Nature itself to discover the kingdom of God.

It was with the Renaissance, however, that there appeared the most significant movement to challenge Church doctrine—a movement which would, in fact, set in motion an irreversible chain of events leading ultimately to the discrediting of that very doctrine as the core idea of a culture.

Now, for the first time, was the Promethean impulse able to break out of the clerical mold. Art came to express, not merely a sterile Semitic outlook, but the feelings of a Northern racial soul—a most notable development, which announced that creative vitality had stepped beyond the mythic prescriptions of the culture. The entire Judeo-Christian cosmology was called into question by new discoveries in the natural and physical sciences. Exploration across unknown seas commenced. Perhaps the most revolutionary single development of this time, however, was the discovery of movable type by Johannes Gutenberg, which enabled a much wider circulation of knowledge—knowledge other than that bearing an ecclesiastical imprimatur, knowledge transcending the basic ideology of the culture.

* * *

The most important consequence of the Gutenberg invention is to be seen in the Protestant Reformation, to which it was a contributing factor and whose development it greatly influenced. Up until the time of Martin Luther, the focus of Christian authority was the Papacy, whose word was unquestioned in matters of faith and dogma. Now, with the great schism in Christendom, a direct challenge was presented to ecclesiastical authority. It certainly was not, of course, die intent of Luther and the other dissenters to undermine or eliminate the Christian faith; rather the opposite. They merely wished to reform it. And yet, by challenging the one unifying institution of Christendom and causing a split in Christian ranks, they inadvertently opened the door to disbelief in the Christian mythos itself.

To replace papal authority in matters religious, Luther proposed to substitute the authority of the Book; and so, with the prospect of employing the Gutenberg invention, he undertook the prodigious task of translating obscure Hebrew scriptures into the German language—to the everlasting misfortune of Christianity.

It is ironic that in his quest for spiritual freedom, the Great Reformer should have rejected the despotism of the Papacy only to embrace the tyranny of the Torah and the ancient Jewish prophets. The arcane texts which had remained on musty shelves behind cloistered walls and accessible only to priests and theologians now became universal property. And now, instead of one single authority in matters of Christian exegesis, everyone—and no one—became an authority. Out of this there could be but one result: contradiction and confusion.

The effect on intelligent minds, of course, was devastating. For here it was now possible—in the best Talmudic fashion—to prove mutually exclusive points of view by reference to the same Semitic texts. Not only that, but critical examination of biblical literature gave rise to serious doubt concerning the veracity and validity of the subject matter itself, not to mention the peculiar mentality of its various authors. For the first time, perceptive minds could observe the obvious contradiction between empirical reality and what was claimed as holy writ.

Gradually there grew the inner realization that the faith itself was flawed, and creative genius began to look beyond the ideology of the Church for inspiration and direction. Even in those instances where Christian motifs continued to provide the external form for artistic expression—such as in the works of Bach, Corelli and Rubens, for example—the vital daemon which spoke was clearly extra-Christian and of a religious order transcending Church dogma.

And so even the Counter-Reformation, and the stylistic mode it inspired, succumbed to widening skepsis. A lessening of traditional belief had set in, and Aryan creativity now began to look increasingly in other directions for the divine. At the intellectual level, philosophy—which had long separated itself from theology—pursued its own independent quest for truth, while at the artistic level a succession of stylistic periods—impelled by irrepressible inner tension—sought ever newer forms of expression. Thus, the Baroque, having exploited all of its possibilities, gave way to the Rococo and the Classical, which in turn yielded to the Romantic of the last century and to the Impressionist, which has now been succeeded by the Modem era—which concludes the historical experience of the West.

* * *

Today, Christianity has reached its final stage. From both a spiritual and a scientific standpoint, its fundamental beliefs have become untenable. The advances of Aryan science have forever shattered the old Jewish myths. The cumulative impact of such figures as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Darwin could not be eternally suppressed by ecclesiastical edict. When Church dogma, for example, insisted that the earth was the center of the universe and scientific investigation demonstrated otherwise, Aryan man was compelled by his innate regard for the truth to accept the latter at the expense of the former. In so doing, he came to question all other aspects of a once-sacrosanct belief system.

For the modem Church, this poses an impossible dilemma. The more it adheres to its fundamental doctrines, the more preposterous they must appear and the quicker will be its demise. On the other hand, once it attempts to reconcile itself with the findings of science by reinterpreting and redefining its basic tenets, it automatically concedes its moral position and its very reason for existence as an arbiter of truth.

The fact is that Christianity, as the dominant ideology of the West, has failed. It has exhausted all of its historical possibilities. No longer does it carry the emotional, mythic, polarizing force necessary to direct the spiritual life of a culture. Indeed, it is a spent cultural force no longer capable of adapting successfully to new organic realities.

All of this can be readily seen in the emptiness and sterility of modem cultural expression—reflecting the absence of any real spiritual values—as well as in the secularization of the Christian idea itself into liberal democracy and Marxism. Especially is this to be noted in the self-devaluation process of ecumenism and interfaith/inter-ideological dialogue, which constitutes the clearest concession by Christianity that it has failed and no longer has anything vital to offer. For once the Church admits that its doctrines are coequal with those of the nonbeliever, then what reason is there to be a believer?

It is not without significance that while the influence of Christianity is waning in the West, it is—through the sheer force of demographic pressure—gaining souls and expanding among nonwhites. Not only is this particularly true in Latin America, but also in Africa and—to a lesser extent—in Asia as well.

This development has, of course, not escaped the notice of the Church, which—with obsequious interracial posturing and attempts to divorce itself from its historical Western setting—has chosen to redirect the Christian appeal toward the colored world as the primary area of its interest and concern. In abandoning its Western role, however, Christianity has announced its conclusion as a cultural force. And so, whatever it may have traditionally represented for past generations of Europeans and North Americans no longer obtains.

Accordingly, it would be a mistake to assume that the Judeo-Christian idea has anything to offer the white peoples in their contemporary struggle for survival—that it might in any way be capable of addressing the vital needs and concerns of endangered Aryan life on this planet.

What now exists in the name of Christianity—apart from certain nostalgic, retrograde attempts to revive a historical corpse in a world of uncertainty and personal insecurity—is nothing more than fossil formalism and sterile nominalism without genuine vitality or substance, reflecting the marginal relevance of this particular ideology in today’s society. For in the face of modem realities, the Christian worldview simply has nothing more to say. It has fulfilled its historic role; it is now moribund. At best, it is irrelevant. At worst, it is an avowed enemy, a deadly menace to the Aryan race and its survival.

It may well be argued that the worst consequences of such ideological and spiritual error were far less conspicuous before the Second World War. Does the same hold true today, however, when the final effects of that error can be plainly seen? For well over a millennium now, Christianity has held a monopoly as the self-proclaimed custodian of the spiritual and moral well-being of an entire cultural order—for which one must reasonably assume that it has accepted concomitant responsibility.

What, then, are the fruits of its spiritual regime? We see them all around us. They are the symptoms of a diseased civilization: decadence, degeneracy, depravity, corruption, pollution, egoism, hedonism, materialism, Marxism and ultimately atheism. Yes, atheism. By destroying whatever natural religious feeling once existed in the hearts of our people and substituting alien myths and superstitions, it must now bear full responsibility for the diminished capacity for spiritual belief among our folk.

It will perhaps be objected that the Church itself is opposed to all of the above indesiderata. I am sorry: the responsibility for what has been claimed as a divine charge cannot be so easily evaded. Words aside, these happen to be the actual results of its earthly reign.

The Promethean spirit of Aryan man, for its part, must now look in other directions.