Tag Archives: Josemaria Escriva

When religion triumphs over reason, faith, psychology, investigation, and research, learning dies

Calvin burns Servetus

Religion is a destructive and totally negative force in life as defined by all official “Church Fathers”, Protestant leaders, and emerging Muslim clerics.  John Calvin wrote: “We cannot think of ourselves as we ought to think without utterly despising everything that may be supposed an excellence in us.  This humility is unfeigned submission of a mind overwhelmed with a weighty sense of its own misery and poverty; for such is the uniform description of it in the word of God [i.e. the Bible]. (Johannes Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1928), p. 681.)

Lake of Fire adopted from Arabian mythology into Constantine’s Christianity (c. 335 CE)

The Calvinist faith, like the all Protestant religions, birthed in the sixteenth century, was a revision of the hell-fire and brimstone theology of the Roman Catholic Church that was dragged into the world 1200 years earlier.  The scattered closed communities of the followers of the Jesus captured in the numerous gospels–before they were decreed and canonized as four–had no need of anger or debasement.  With Constantine I at Nicaea, everything changed for the worse with horror and fear replacing peace and hope.

Threats of torments (200 BCE – 285 CE) a part of most world religions as pictured in this mosaic

Everything was bad in this world, and in this environment that mortals lived, people were plagued with temptations and anger.  All they could do was waiting impatiently for a better world (a “world to come” (עולם הבא) a term or phrase that appears nowhere in the Hebrew Bible)–promised, but one that never would come (Matthew 12:32, Hebrews 2:5, both written more than one generation after the Jesus of the New Testament had, according to various gospels, died).  Antecedents stem from older hieroglyphic writing and cuneiform inscription and are directed toward marginalized people as well as individuals who are seen as “opposing the will of god” or “defying the ruler” who usually was the same authority figure.

Acts of faith? Self-flagellation before crucifixion in The Philippines (2012 CE)

It was the impact of thinking of perdition, rejection, and self-abasement that made people willing to die in the folly of religious wars and suffer various forms of martyrdom in body and spirit as well as mind from enduring church-sanctioned torture of the Inquisition to self-flagellation and crucifixion—giving over to the terrorist tactics of ecclesiastical eunuchs preying for misery who determined rubrics of ritual and righteousness. With this hortatory hounding by the dogs of faith, the psychology of man was cannibalized carnivorously.  The strength of good intention was left circumspect for others to glean fruit from with ritualistic rapiers and capture and mutilate the essence of the original thinker.

John Calvin (Tyrant of Geneva)

John Calvin (French: Jean Calvin, born Jehan Cauvin: 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564), being trained as a humanist lawyer found his faith uncertain.  Wide fluctuations in the faith gave little stability to a man whose mind was fixated on absolutes.  He broke from the Roman Catholic Church in 1530, and causing an uprising by denouncing the religion of his parents, fled to Switzerland where he attempted to set up a Kingdom of God—a belief that many shared hoping that the Jesus of the New Testament would return to the water planet Earth with a sword to kill unbelievers (Matthew 10:34).

Michael Servetus (drawing c. 1509-1511)

To this end, Calvin, when he took over the canton of Geneva, agreed with the murder of Michael Servetus (also known as Miguel Servet, Miguel Serveto alias Revés, or Michel de Villeneuve and in Spanish as Miguel Serveto Conesa).   Servetus was born 29 September? 1509 or 1511 and was executed for questioning the existence of the Trinity, as he could not find Biblical evidence of this novel idea that originated in ancient Egypt, on 27 October 1553.  Servetus was an Aragonese cartographer, physician and theologian, but most damning to his contemporaries was that he was neither a loyal son of the Roman Catholic Church nor a believer in many of the pagan innovations within the Roman Catholic faith as he had become a Renaissance humanist who put mortals before mythology.  For this the Roman Catholic Church and all existing Protestant sects determined that he had to die.

Calvinist text used in Colonial New England schools

Vilifying Servetus was easy for Calvin who seldom had a kind word for anyone. Calvin was determined that he would be recognized as a priest of a god similar to the ones his parents had worshiped–but without the trappings of Rome and the papacy.  To accomplish this feat, Calvin revamped the concept of education, taking it backward in time, rejecting research and exploration, and identical to the Taliban (the singular is talib and must be translated as a theological student or a student at a religious Islamic school: طالبان .  Initially they were Afghans of Aghanistan–until 1993.  After 1993, the rigid Calvinistic-like religion of Muslim Taliban students of the Qur’an spilled over into Pakistan and spread like a noxious virus throughout the Muslim world with the primary purpose to keep the sexes separated–a goal of Calvin in his schools, and like Calvin stop the enjoyment of music, arts, and refined clothing).  Calvinists modified some of their austerity, but not the Taliban of the twentieth and twenty-first century who commanded that learning be based on and around and on the Qur’an as Calvin had demanded that his version of education be centered on the Protestant Bible and the articles of faith that he invented and wrote down to be printed.

Calvin’s adoption of faith was unique inasmuch as he was the center of that faith, although he always demurred before the godhead as the absolute sovereign.  His faith was monarchical without a shred of democracy anywhere–a prototype for evangelical extremists of today.  Calvin mused on his own “conversion”—giving two different accounts in conflict with one another.  Later in his life, John Calvin wrote two different accounts of his conversion that differ in significant ways. In the first account he portrays his conversion as a sudden change of mind, brought about by God. This account can be found in his Commentary on the Book of Psalms: “God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life. Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness, I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, yet I pursued them with less ardour” (Calvin, J[ohn] J. Calvin, preface to Commentary on the Book of Psalms, trans. James Anderson, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1948), pp. xl–xli).

In his second account he speaks of a long process of inner turmoil, followed by spiritual and psychological anguish.  He wrote: “Being exceedingly alarmed at the misery into which I had fallen, and much more at that which threatened me in view of eternal death, I, duty bound, made it my first business to betake myself to your way, condemning my past life, not without groans and tears. And now, O Lord, what remains to a wretch like me, but instead of defence [sic], earnestly to supplicate you not to judge that fearful abandonment of your Word according to its deserts, from which in your wondrous goodness you have at last delivered me” (Gordon, Bruce (2009).  Calvin. New Haven, CT; London, England: Yale University Press, p. 34.)  The difference between the accounts strongly suggests that the epiphany was over a period of years, as contended by Ganoczy, Alexandre (1966) in his book Le Jeune Calvin. Genèse et evolution de sa vocation réformatrice, Wiesbaden, Germany: F. Steiner, p. 302.  He argues that Calvin conversion took place over several years and that it was not a biographical or chronological event. Many factors played a role: economic, social, family, and personal desires both mental and physical.

Rejecting oneself as “each person is a sinner and evil” requires separating the genders to avoid temptation.

By despising the self as Calvin chortled, the mind impoverished itself by failing to strike out and learn that which was forbidden or prohibited by clerics thriving fat on the ignorance of their followers.  Religion became a new form of authoritarianism, and the gods of each ontology became the symbol of power and force that shadowed the denizens of despair and death of individuality.

Priests, bishops, and the pope or patriarch of Orthodoxy became the sacrosanct soothsayers for deities clouded in marble and painted on wood, with saints who had been ancient gods clustered around them in whittled or chiseled relief.  The Führer—the beloved “father of his people” since 374 BCE—became the temporal overlord and determined everything from whom had sex with who and at what time (with the overlord frequently claiming the “right of first night” (droit du seigneur or jus primae noctis is found only in the literature of the 13th to 16th century in Europe, but there are no written laws or statutes that exist today to prove its authenticity, and is sourced only to the epic of Gilgamesh in 1900 BCE) to know that the woman was a virgin before handing her over to a waiting bridegroom), what was eaten by whom, what hours were worked, what taxes were collected, and when belfry bells tolled tidings that thought was to be forsaken, the individual self was to merge into a sterilized community of like-thinkers, and all pawns and serfs would grovel their way to the churches supported by flying buttresses as if the arms of each were holding up the roof so that the unseen god could perch like a bird and listen to praises of his divine name since he was uncertain if mortals truly knew his magnificence and glory.

The gods of the past were never strong enough to protect themselves.  They required spiritual warriors who would pick up swords and later shoulder guns to fight in defense of the names that mortals gave the deities to assure that conformity was (frequently masqueraded as with the Moors of fifteenth century Spain) devotion.

Caravansarai, ca. first half of 8th century BCE. Drawing on a potsherd of Yahweh and the goddess Asherah and her consorts (she would ultimately marry Yahweh).

The young calf nursing at the teat of the great cow became the Yahweh of future generations, and the bastard son of a young girl would be sacrificed on a poll in imitation of the would-be slaughter of another youth who was tied to an altar to prove his devotion to a god (Genesis 22:1-12, where the Jews claimed the youth was Isaac; in Islam, it is Ishmael, the first born of Hagar: Qur’an XXXVII: 100-107; the story is found in many ancient Semitic cultures including early Babylonia and Minæn) all became beams holding up the decaying timber supporting air that was the heart of religions.  The gods in each tale were not omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, nor unique. They were much like the great Arabian desert barbarian would punch his seven year-old bride in the chest for mirth and pleasure and laugh at her anguish and horror (Qur’an Sahih Muslim 4:2127).

Inbred into this are the false submission of matter or holy books over mind and the conduct of free inquiry that furthers the enslavement of the thought process behind a prison of contrived regulations and rules, commandments and pronouncements from pontiffs and pastors who demand uniform submission to the word of their particular god(s) (Erich Fromm (1941). Escape from Freedom. New York, NY: Farrer & Rinehart, p. 441 f).  The surrendering of personal prerogatives and rights to another is a sign of insecurity and masochism.  Self-renunciation was adopted by many as a means of pain, but by rejecting reality lead and continues to lead people into an unnatural world and a breakdown of human consciousness as pleasure and pain that are both motivators for the individual, like aging, agony and other normal experiences including death (that must be accepted as a part of living) leads to additional neurosis and further complicates adjustment to self and society (ref. Maudsley, Henry (1902), “Pain–life–death” in Life in mind & conduct: Studies of organic in human nature (pp. 394-435). London, Great Britain: Macmillan and Co. xv, 444 p).

John Wycliff (14th century) celebrated pain as surrender to god.

The antithesis of these mortal-created religions is humanism.  Humanism centers on the individual and the individual’s strength of mind, purpose, and being. A strict code or list of prohibitions of what can be read, studied, or done limits the individual and the individual’s growth toward personal self- actualization and contribution to society as a whole.  This idea was repugnant to Wycliffe (14th century translator of the Bible into English, and theologian), Calvin, Luther and other reformers, as well as the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, repeating the actions of the ultra-orthodox Jews who argued that life was a testing ground to show the individual’s worthiness for eternal life and to win the favor and forgiveness of the “fearful Lord” who was supreme judge and one who would cast the non-repentant into Hell to experience eternal damnation.

Modern psychology sides with the early humanist movement, but goes further. The individual, alone, develops a sense of power of reason, first to understand the self, then to comprehend those people near and far.  Truth is realized as limited, both in understanding the limitations on the self as well as the potentialities of the self, and reaches out to others in solidarity and friendship.

With the hand extended forward, not raised up in salute to violence as used in ancient Rome, the Second and Third Reich, or to invoke the despicable image of a means of torture, be it pillar, pole, or cross, the mind realizes strength and does not recede into a learned sense of powerlessness and subjection. Virtue becomes self-realization and self-actualization, not groveling in obedience to the whim or will of another: parent, sibling, teacher, governor, religious leader or would-be god of a cult.

Faith is not a memorized or read from catechisms or other holy texts of a brand or branch of theology.  Faith is internal and separate from sectarianism and sadism. Instead, the certainty of one’s conviction based upon experience of thought and action by the body attuned with nature that is the divine brings enlightenment and knowledge of the self and the rights of others.

The epiphany that a person experiences when he or she discovers the inward self arrives with joy and renewed quest for additional knowledge, not labored under a whip and chain plied to the torn skin in a frenzy of self-flagellation as was the custom of Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer who beat himself severely until his bathroom was anointed with his blood in a feigned sense of religiosity to purge his vile and venal thoughts of the flesh of young women in his quest to understand and create cult-practices in an elitist movement known as Opus Dei in the name of a false sanctity.  There are many priests, especially in Opus Dei, who justify, defend, and encourage physical mortification and abuse of the body, citing” “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Corinthians 9:27), but it is translated in Catholicism’s New American Bible as “I drive my body and train it” referencing to a spiritual, not physical, exercise.  It is the same with the Opus Dei credo that mistranslates other words of the legendary Saul of Tarsus: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24). The Opus Dei affirmations (read here and here and here being a call to give up personal values, interests, growth, and identity: read here) gave rise to Dan Brown’s historically accurate (although, as far as I know, there are no albinos in the mummery at least at this time) book The DaVinci Code (Brown, Dan (2003). The DaVinci Code. New York, NY: Doubleday) that is a measured account of the secretive organization, and its practice of self-flagellation that even Pope John Paul II practiced regularly.  Mortification of the body through starving, thirsting, or flagellation serves no good and causes paranoid behavior.  Many times such paranoia arises, especially among older people, who see personal physical abuse as tantamount to being in a war zone: this time an eternal war between good and evil. Psychologists have studied post-traumatic stress disorders especially among those returning from war fronts that the sufferer equates as being in a near Armageddon situation, and finds it difficult to relate to the traditional family or a more conventional life-style. The perceived evils of the earth and people on the planet are seen as being near to devils, and only by mortification can the PTSD find release from presumed entrapment (ref. Roberts, William R.; Penk, W. E.; Gearing, M. L.; Robinowitz, R.; Dolan, M. P.; Patterson, E. T. (1982). “Interpersonal problems of Vietnam combat veterans with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.” doi. 10.1037/0021-843X.91.6.44. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 91(6), Dec 1982, 444-450).

Mortification and harm to the body is the sign of mental illness, and those who practice it out what they consider to be religious zeal, are excusing their masochism under the guise of religiosity.  Masochism is the surrender to a dominant authority, and when the authority is one in religion, the religion becomes a god by itself and the individual surrenders personal identity and individual growth.  Masochists seek to atone for transgressions by accepting abuse of any nature by anyone in a position of authority, especially in religion (ref. Inbar, Yoel; Pizarro, David A.; Gilovich, Thomas; Ariely, Dan (2012). “Moral Masochism: On the Connection Between Guilt and Self-Punishment.” doi: 10.1037/10029749. Emotion, September 17).  If the one being punished is attacked by the religious authority, the victim sees himself or herself as being a surrogate for the artificial Christ in Mel Gibson’s fantasy “The Passion of Christ” (ref. Hoffman, Thomas (2005). “Freud and Gibson: ‘A child is being beaten’ and the Passion of Christ”. doi: 10.1037/0736-9735.22.1.107. Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 22(1), 2005, 107-112).  Such actions, especially being the subject of abuse or mortification, frequently are surrogates for repressed sexual desires, and lead to unbalanced thinking and the rejection of self-actualization and give way to masochistic fantasies and frequently have masochistic-themed dreams (cf. Silverstein, Judith L. (1994). “Power and sexuality: Influence of early object relations.” doi: 10.1037/h0079513. Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 11(1), 33-46; cp. Bears, Michael; Cartwright, Rosalind; Mercer, Patricia (2000). “Masochistic dreams: A gender-related diathesis for depression revisited.” doi: 10.1023/A:10094800907418.  Dreaming, Vol 10(4), December, 211-219).

Giles Tremlett of The Guardian

Escrivá is a prime example of the Janus complex of faith, as detailed by British journalist Giles Tremlett, who wrote: “biographies of Escrivá have produced conflicting visions of the saint as either a loving, caring charismatic person or a mean-spirited, manipulative egoist” (Giles Tremlett, “Sainthood beckons for priest linked to Franco“, The Guardian (UK), 5 October 2002).  French historian Édouard de Blaye concurred with Tremlett’s analysis noting that Escrivá was a “mixture of mysticism and ambition” (Blaye, Edouard de. (1976), Franco and the Politics of Spain, Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, p. 262).  All

Escrivá with Pope John XXIII

biographers have noted that Escrivá labored to be a part of the world and exercise the strengths that he and his discipleship had, but remained torturously tied to Roman Catholicism that unleashed the schizophrenia in his mind, as Spanish architect Miguel Fisac, who was one of the earliest members of Opus Dei who remained close to Escrivá for nearly twenty years before breaking with him and Opus Dei, gave in his summation–a very different picture of Escrivá than what John Paul II wanted the public to read.

Miguel Fisac

Fisac painfully detailed the obscure mentality of what many considered to be a pious man who in secluded times and places and even at times in public was a vain, secretive, and ambitious man, given to private displays of violent temper.  Fisac wrote that this split personality lead the self-sacrificed soul to demonstrate or offer little charity towards others or genuine concern for the poor who he claimed he served and loved (Fisac, Miguel (1992).  “Nunca le oí hablar bien de nadie”, in Escrivá de Balaguer – ¿Mito o Santo? (Madrid: Libertarias Prodhufi).  Using this criteria, neither Escrivá nor John Paul II would qualify as saints.

While many theists attempt to make humanism a theology, it is not.  Humanism glorifies the magnificence of mortals and what they do for others, their community, and the world, for whom a god is not necessary.  When this is the case any and all gods are ignored along with the various strains of theology that support deities. At the same time, while not wishing to waste moments speculating on that which cannot be known or determined scientifically, humanists do not preoccupy their time with speculation for or against the existence of such a being as a god.  Like Stephen Hawking, the true humanist concentrates on what can be determined and see in such wondrous evolutionary epochs as the unrecorded time of the Big Bang, the emergence of black holes that consume stars and universes, and the unabridged expansion of the universe (Stephen W. Hawking (1990). A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York, NY: Bantam Books; I am using the Spanish edition: Historia del Tiempo del Big Bang a los Agujeros Negros (trans. Miguel Ortuño, esp. p. 180-181, chapter 8 as the English edition is not available here).

“God” is but a symbol of the powers of the individual.  It is the individual who creates god, not god creates the mortal.

Stephen Hawking and Benedict XVI

Even though Pope John Paul II warned the renowned astrophysicist and Cambridge scholar not to research too deeply into the origins of the universe, the professor ignored the pontiff and continued his investigation–upsetting many in the Roman Catholic and other religious communities (read here and here).  Hawking quoted the pope as saying, “It’s OK to study the universe and where it began. But we should not inquire into the beginning itself because that was the moment of creation and the work of God.”  Later, Hawking noted, no god was necessary to start the universe or anything within it. Gravity and collision did that. Hawking found a slightly more cordial greeting with Benedict XVI.  No friend of “modernism” nor liberty of the individual and individual thought, Benedict XVI, who has been charged with crimes against humanityat the World Court at the Hague, leagued with royalty as had past popes to silence dissent as with

Baroness Warsi meets Pope Benedict XVI (Photo: EYEVINE)

Baroness Warsi (the first female Muslim Cabinet member in the UK and leader of the Conservative Party who gave the Ratzinger a Qur’an) who has criticized the writings and speeches of Richard Dawkins and others.

Hans Kung, senior Swiss Roman Catholic theologian officially silenced by the Roman Catholic Church

The German pope has come out against those who differ with him, and demands obedience in all things, including the closure of schools and societies (such as the Society of St. Pius X), and has written a book on the infancy of Jesus–for which there are no historical records but is conjured from old myths and pseudo-apocrypha secreted in questionable Pseudepigrapha.  The German pope also wants to restore the Latin Mass (that had kept millions of people away from the worship service and sent millions more seeking a more modern responsive church) and a free standing altar (that permits priests to face the people), use of pop[ular] music and guitars, and banishing women from actively participating in the rites and rituals of the church and silence opponents, especially gifted scholars and researchers like Hans Küng who criticized the pope as isolated and out of touch with reality as did Cardinal Martini of Milan who told reporters that the Roman Catholic Church is 200 years out-dated; Küng furthermore accused Pope Benedict of direct responsibilty for “engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests“, and others who are still entitled to opinions no matter how wrong they are when faced with facts (cf. Küng, Hans (2007). Umstrittene Wahrheit. München, Deutschland: Piper, and Kung, Hans (1988). Theologie im Aufbruch: eine okumenische Grundlegung. München, Deutschland: Piper).

Benedict XVI crusades for a return to a pre-Vatican II church

Benedict’s attacks on free and universal education, secular education, and definition of who is qualified to teach further limits individual choice, the ability to conduct research unhampered, and the degradation of scholarly debate ending individual intellectual advances.  It is tantamount to returning to the days when the Roman Catholic Church tried Galileo for affirming the thesis of Copernicus, and marks the current pontificate as a return to the Dark Ages when god ruled cruelly over all people as a tyrant and not a benefactor or protector.

Hesiod: Theogony

Benedict uses outdated theology yet expects total conformity to what he has ordained as definitive, silencing dissent. Even the ancient Greeks recorded that the gods were created by mortals (Hesiod, Theogony).  Socrates did not believe in any god, but visited the Oracles as required by law–before Athens City Council demanded he die: drinking hemlock, on the charge of insulting the gods.

Mortals create gods to explain what they are too lazy to discover for themselves.  It is the irresponsibility of mortals, like most students who do not enjoy reading or read for knowledge, to seek the easiest escape from having to think.  Most people want a job with the least work, like students who do as little as possible to  obtain recognition (a degree or a position).  What is sought is immediate gratification that is sought out not a long-term enlightenment.  This occurs because teachers do not challenge students sufficiently.  Teachers do not constantly demand questions and answers from their charges for fear of dismissal, yet demand that their students pass rigorous state-sponsored examinations without having learned the information required.  This is the modus operandi of organized religion: follow others, do not question, just obey. Blind obedience by indoctrination is stifled propagandization and it is child abuse, regardless if the indoctrination is done by parent, teacher who makes a major impact on a student as the teacher is seen as the fountain of knowledge and corrupt the learning process (cf. Torrance, E. Paul; Mason, Raigh (1958). “Instructor effort to influence: An experimental evaluation of six approaches.”doi: 10.1037/hoo47830. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 49(4), Aug 1958, 211-218 and Torrance, E. Paul; Mason, Raigh (1958). “Instructor effort to influence: An experimental evaluation of six approaches.” doi:10.1037/h0047830. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 49(4), August, 211-218), military leader (Johnson, W. Brad; Wilson, Ken (1993). “The military internship: A retrospective analysis.” doi.10.1037/0735-7028.24.3.312. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 24(3), August, 312-318) especially when it is covert racism or pits race against its own ethnicity (Loo, Chalsa M.; Singh, Karam; Scurfield, Ray; Kilauano, Bill (1998). “Race-related stress among Asian American veterans: A model to enhance diagnosis and treatment.” doi:10.1037/ 1099-9809.4.2.75. Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, Vol 4(2), 75-90), clergy, or others to insure conformism (Kuenzli, Alfred (1952). “Conformism in Contemporary Psychology.” doi:10.1037/h0053921. American Psychologist, Vol 7(10), Oct 1952, 594-595). Collective (or group) indoctrination, especially in the case of religion, can lead to selective or collective suicides, murders, rapes, and other acts of violence in times of conflict, war, and doctrinal disputations (Grimland, Meytal; Apter, Alan; Kerkhof, Ad (2006). “The phenomenon of suicide bombing: A review of psychological and nonpsychological factors”  doi:10.1027/0227- 5910.27.3.107.  Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, Vol 27(3), 107-118).

Many students remain mere shadows of what potential they could have and become if they furthered the advance of their mind and worked to better their civilization by rejecting old gods and worn-thin truths to be responsive to new ideas and arguments.  Students at every age are eager to obtain a score that is recognizable and laudable, but few students have the willingness (although many do have the capacity) to study independently, read broadly and thoroughly, write copiously,  and question authority.  This is a reality learned as small children tied to priest, pastor, rabbi, mullah or other authority figures in the world’s religions as it is easier to memorize and repeat that which is expected than to proffer new concepts and dispute established facts.  Unfortunately leaders are seldom (if ever) examined for leadership qualities and sound psychology, as seen with the election of the last two popes and the first two presidents of the USA, most South American nations (especially in Perú),  or prime ministers in the UK, in the 1980-1990 period (cp. Lambert, Lisa Schurer; Tepper, Bennett J.; Carr, Jon C.; Holt, Daniel T.; Barelka, Alex J. (2012). “Forgotten but not gone: An examination of fit between leader consideration and initiating structure needed and received.” doi: 10.1037/a0028970. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 97(5), Sep 2012, 913-930).

Ancient Assyria: home of the myth of Daniel

Authority figures, especially those who promise peace in times of conflict, or suggest that learning takes a different avenue when academic standards are diminished, know that it is easier to indoctrinate than educate, and for that reason all theologies and all religions start off with texts written by an authority figure (a deity, plural or singular): either with his/her/their hand or finger, as found in the Babylonian myth of Daniel and His Companions that was copied into the canon of the Old Testament (Daniel 5:5).  The account of lions was a symbol of ancient Assyria where a pair of lions were stationed at the entrance of an Assyrian temple dedicated to Ishtar, the goddess of warfare, and fertility: Daniel was understood to be a portrayal of the people, and the lions guardians of sexuality and sexual pleasure.

The Ishtar gate (the Lion Gate) was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon

The Daniel myth began as pornography but was later sanitized and made “wholesome” by adding subjection to the will of the gods (accepting sex) but was redacted in its present format hundreds of years after the original writing by Assyria’s mercenary soldiers (Apiru–who become the Hebrews) and was  later plagiarized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Book of Mormon (Alma 10:2-3).  Both tracts give answers that others refuse to speculate on: a mythological happening that has no proof and original documentation to support the story.  This leads to mental collapse rather than vigorous inquiry, as the student is exhausted quickly if not accustomed to the rigors and riches of real research that demands investigation, analysis, and projection.

Knowledge is both desirable and despised.  This truism has been recorded as a fact for over 5000 years, as learning has become private property of wealthy interests and education has transmogrified into elevating the id of ownership and partisanship over objectivity as seen in the dramatic case of the censorship of Hans Küng of Switzerland, and the rise of  pseudo-scholars such as Stephen C. Meyer, David Barton, Bob Vander Plaats, and other revisionists who lack any credentials.  Much of this temerarious in dishabille of education is because of the lack of desire to achieve more than what is expected; to this end trite and barren words are repetitively used, vocabulary is underdeveloped, thinking truncated to that which is accepted by authority figures, and the conduct of inquiry abandoned for a cheap and worthless grade.  This is especially true in languages, interpretation and translation courses, and the study of roots and origins of words and concepts.

In Genesis (3:4-5), “woman” (Arabic: امرأة, Greek: γυναίκα, Hebrew: אישה, Armenian: կին that refers to a helpmate), and later “man” (3:22; Arabic: رجل, Greek άνθρωπος, Hebrew גבר, Armenian մարդ) is promised knowledge but forbidden to sample it (eat the forbidden “fruit”–a word for obtaining an education–of the Tree of Knowledge). This is Teutonic (in the broad sense

Tree of Knowledge from an Assyrian cylinder, showing its god-priests

primordially antediluvian) religion: offering the temptation but rejecting any attempt to obtain what is extended by a Tempter or Temptress. The mythological Eve was actually the superior being (far surpassing the cowering man), arguing scripture (before it was written, thereby demonstrating that Genesis was written after the Torah so that “she” could incorporate parts within her debate) with the “Serpent” (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1982). Woman in ancient Israel under the Torah and Talmud, with a translation and critical commentary on Genesis 1-3. Mesquite, TX: IHP). The watchman faulted the man, reflecting the patriarchy of the time, but man, weak and obsequious to the authority figure blamed the superior and copacetic woman for the transgression that the Serpent knew would free mortals.

The Serpent, in all ancient religions, is the Guardian (and sometimes the author) of Knowledge.  The Serpent is the greatest of the gods for it is λογος , from λέγω lego “I say”: meaning the voice of god or wisdom–god was never considered in the earliest days a divine mortal but a teacher) than the garden keeper, or watchman, who walked through the garden in quest of delinquents who were stealing that which was forbidden: knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17, a reference to peace and strife or conflict: the unquestioning acceptance of gods or the rejection (conflict) with superstition that comes with ignorance from lack of learning and obtaining knowledge).

If the garden keeper was a god, that deity in the denizen of superior beings (man and woman) had no god-like characteristics but was more like the ancient pontifex maximus of pre-Republic Rome.  The watchman was not omniscience, omnipresence, or omnipotent.  At best the watchman was an interrogator in quest of information that the watchman failed to note.  The prowess the watchman did not possess belonged to the mortals who learned by “eating the forbidden fruit” that was, by various definitions: an apple (the fruit appears nowhere in Genesis, and its first use is in Proverbs 25:11 in referring to apples of gold in a setting of silver; more significantly, in the sexually charged and erotic Song of Solomon the apple is an erotic symbol indicating sweetness, desire, and the female breast), a pomegranate (going back to Greek mythology), a fig, the carob (the word is a pun for “destruction”), an etrog (in Hebrew a pun on ragag, “desire” or sexual arousement) or citron, grapes (that made Noah drunk and sin) and a pear, and, more recently, the datura and grapefruit; wheat is also denounced by some as a forbidden fruit as it was/is used in making beer and is khitah in Hebrew and thus a pun on khet, “sin” (Genesis 2:16-17;  however, in the Qur’an both Adam and Eve are considered equally culpable: Surah Al-A’raf 7:19-22): a euphemism for study, debate, dialog, and mastery of information.  This “fruit” (פרי a word for “result” or “gain” as in the obtaining of wisdom from the “Tree of Knowledge” another euphemism for “learning center” since a tree was the base and to advance in knowledge the student had to climb into the branches–taking a risk to obtain enlightenment) was only relinquished in exchange for a more placid and less commanding life that ignorance affords: no teachers, no debate, no dialog, no learning required, no questioning demanded; all that was necessary was blind obedience.

Iraq’s Garden of Eden marshes in 2003

The ignorance of the watchman (one of the many אֱלֹהִ֔ים) in the garden comes to fruition when the servant of the Serpent realizes that mortals no longer need a god (a trickster who offers mortals an immediate gratification rather than the ability and encouragement to progress to understanding) and conduct themselves as equal to any savant or sage such as the Serpent. This causes the guard to regret “creating” (actually watching after) mortals and in an hysterical fit vows vengeance and promises to erase all trace

Iraq’s Garden of Eden marshes in 2012 after they dried up.

of his mistake  (Genesis 6:5 ff) with a giant holocaust: a Great Flood.  The actual text notes that the Serpent god does not make mistakes:  The Serpent as the teacher instructs, debates and weighs what the student says.  It is the watchmen who fell asleep, misjudged the wards he was to oversee, and failed in numerous way (Genesis 3:9, proving the absence of knowledge by asking “Where are you?” as well as admitting the lack of omniscience and other godly attributes that come with learning).

Ur of the Chaldees outside of Eden (fertile crescent in Iraq)

It is only after the slaughter of the innocents in the Great Flood that the watchman steps down (Genesis 9:5, 11) and realizes that mortal are equals (Psalm 8:5, plagiarized by the writers of Hebrews 2:7).  This action takes place only after the mortals (people, not one man plus one woman–a mistranslation carried since 331 CE) questioning the watchman with the protestation of the Akkadian created myth of

People of Ur worshiped the moon and a golden calf

Abraham (from the Ur of Chaldees: (אוּר כַּשְׂדִים) in modern day Iraq) accusing the gardener/watchman of violating his own principles: “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25 KJV).

Even the ancient Jews knew that the Law was not written in heaven.  It was commonly understood that mortals wrote the Torah, not Moses, as no mortal could write of his own death and burial (Deuteronomy 3:23-29; Numbers 27:15-23), but by man.  This was forcefully articulated by Rabbi Jirmijahu who told a congregation of rabbis (teachers) that it was no longer essential to pay attention to the voices from heaven “because it is written: You make your decision according to the majority opinion.” (Talmud, Baba Meziah, 59b).

Humanism demands democratic methods, unlike the totalitarian plutocracy that the reprehensible Congresista Martha Chavez attempted to create as a permanent government in Perú for the scandalous rogue and mass murderer Alberto Fujimori, his graft-accepting colleague and chief spy and extortionist Vladimiro Montesinos, and their death squads of Las Colinas who murdered children, students and teachers without any compassion.  It surprised many that the thoroughly corrupt and contemptible Peruvian Supreme Court, led by the monstrously mercenary court President César San Martin, in a 3-2 decision, cut back their prison time in a distorted and unjustifiable act of compassion. The Perú court ultimately overturned its own ruling and annulled the diminution of the sentences after a public outcry.  What happened with justice in Perú proves that there is no justice in Perú until the people make their voices heard. Power, wealth, and authority speaks louder than fairness, ethical treatment, or responsibility for what is right for the churches in Perú control its politics, police, and government–the people of Perú are as impoverished today as were the Inkas after the arrival of Pizzaro and his band of Franciscans, Dominicans, and other cut-throats and brigands.

Jesus with weapons on evangelical mailings

Today the Christian churches have nothing in common with the teachings of the Jesus of the New Testament.  Simple statements such as “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9) are smothered under the bellicose promises of Matthew 10:34: Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν· οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν; the Latin Biblia Sacra Vulgata reads: nolite arbitrari quia venerim mittere pacem in terram non veni pacem mittere sed gladium.   Religion has become an increasingly prevalent neurosis. Instead of enabling people to think and be freed from their own grief and self-abasement, the majority of early followers of Jesus who were poor Am aarez (slaves) the Imperial “catholic [universal] church” of Constantine I was reserved for the wealthy that continued to enslave the poor and rule over them as authority figures once they were entrenched as the guardians of the new state (military imposed)

Bible verses on USA military weapons

religion (325 CE).  Ultimately the authority figures claimed to be intercessors of Constantine’s god, the beginning of numerous lies pushed on the believers that culminated in the nineteenth century when at Vatican Council I, Pius IX was acclaimed a god: infallible, primary, and supreme in matters of faith and morals, removing the last of free will from the people and furthering the

British prelate Newman flip-flops on Infallibility

neurosis of those who claimed to be Roman Catholic.  Infallibility was heatedly contested, but papal politics played passionately among dissenters, many of whom won promotions and a few the cardinal’s hat.  Those who suffered were those struggling to understand reality through thorough investigation and study and did not accept the novel idea that a mortal was as infallible as a god. Dissent was not new in Constantine’s church, but the Doctrine of Infallibility intensified the debate that began in 325 CE at Nicaea.

First Council of Nicaea – 325 CE – Cannon 8 Concerns Cathars (the damned do not have halos)

After the notorious Council at Nicaea, the bishops began an open assault on dissent that would increase yearly to the present day.  The former pagan and later self-proclaimed bishop of Hippo: Augustine who had a child out of wedlock with a whore (and wrote to stifle intellectual growth, citing only established canons and writings that did not offend the empire, glorifying a city no one had visited and of which there was no empirical evidence, and harmonizing his rants with others who blasted dissent as attacks against the Imperial Church) attacked the monk Pelagius (ca. CE 354 – c. CE 420/440) an ascetic who opposed the idea of predestination championed by Augustine but received its greatest boost under the misrule of Jean Calvin in Geneva and John Knox in Scotland, and asserted a strong version of the doctrine of free will.

Pelagius of Wales

Pelagius, a tonsured Culdee Monk from the British Isles who was known as a dedicated ascetic,  was far more “Christian” than Augustine (cf. Pelagius. The Letters of Pelagius: Celtic Soul Friend; edited by Robert Van de Weyer. (Little Gidding books.) Evesham, UK: Arthur James, 1995, and Pelagius’s Expositions of the Thirteen Epistles of St. Paul; edited by A. Souter. (Texts and Studies; 9.) 3 vols. in 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1922-1931 1: Introduction – 2: Text – 3: Pseudo-Jerome interpolations).  Pelagius argued that humans were not wounded by Adam’s sin (the eating of the fruit: the acceptance of knowledge) and were perfectly able to fulfill the law apart from any divine aid–a theme Augustine coveted and wrote at lengths on calling on “sinners” to perform good works (a thesis that Martin Luther would reject in the sixteenth century, when he followed Pelagius in arguing that all that a human needed was faith).  He denied the more specific doctrine of original sin as developed by Augustine, but was declared a heretic and felt the weight of the church crush him, while the writings of Arius were burned at the feet of the Emperor.

While Pelagius encouraged studying and intellectual growth (he was fluent in Greek, Latin, and theology, and was even called “saintly” by Augustine) to rid oneself of being robots to rigid religion, Augustine wanted blind faith and good works that increased the wealth of the church and set clerics apart from those they served.

Tridentine Index defined three basic classes of prohibited books

Burning books and silencing dissent is always the sign of tyranny–one that the Roman Catholic Church elevated to an art with its Index of Forbidden Books.  Censorship is not scholarship but a sign of a threatened institution determined to maintain its prerogatives and rule over others by lowering standards and forbidding true scholarship and the conduct of inquiry.  Discovery of the self, the very foundation of psychology and psychoanalysis, was forbidden and mortals have ever since 325 CE been commanded by priests and potentates to follow the rigorous writing of self-proclaimed leaders of “the church”.  The acceptance of definitive forms of censorship, such as book burning, is a collective adherence by an irrational society to drab and erroneous beliefs or doctrines and leads to the lowering of expectations, desires to advance, and rejection of sound scholarship that is especially true in nations and states under religious control (Jahoda, Marie (1956).  “Psychological Issues in Civil Liberties.” American Psychologist, 11, 1956, pp. 234-240).  While Donofrio concurs in part with Jahoda (Donofrio, Anthony F. (1957). “Conformity–Good and Bad”. doi: 10.1037/h0047469. American Psychologist, Vol 12(1), Jan 1957, 37-38), he attacks “liberals” as being nearly anarchists who reject all conformity in government, religion, and other places where rules maintain civility; this I disagree with because rules are valid only for specific times since eternality is not possible for any mortal and thus there must be revisions to constitutions, laws, applications, and so forth as time grows and with it there must be a modification, change, or deletion in rules (something that Antonin Scalia disagrees with emphatically, claiming that the wording of the Constitution of the USA is chiseled in stone and cannot be deviated from: a reason he, like Texas Governor Rick Perry, want to eliminate the 14th and 17th amendment from the US Constitution).  If rules do not change, then Jews, Christians and others who pattern themselves after the Torah and Prophets cannot eat shell fish, wear mixed fibers (such as rayon), and so forth. This will stifle society and intellectual growth.  Similarly, Drenth (Drenth, Pieter J. D. (1993). “Prometheus chained: Social and ethical constraints on psychology”. doi: 10.1027//1016-9040.4.4233.  European Psychologist. Vol. 4(4) December, 233-239), argues that the psychologist and other researchers do not have the freedom to amass knowledge at any price and without any restrictions.  Again, I disagree, as when knowledge is guarded, limited, denied, then society and individuals cannot intellectually, morally, or socially evolve to a high plateau.

In the early days of reformed Judaism that had been the faith of those who proclaimed themselves followers of Jesus, presbyters and women priests nourished and watch grow a strong anti-authoritarian principle especially against political power rejected the “church.  This changed in 325 CE, when bishops were ordered to be men (although there were women bishops in the Roman Catholic Church as late as the fifteenth century) and the term “church” was not used by the embryonic community.  The earliest followers of Jesus referred to their meeting places in gardens, alleys and private homes as αρχοντικού, Κυριάκος (lord’s house) where meetings were held to celebrate life (Matthew 18:20), not to recite prayers and endow the pockets of priests and bishops. What few records exist, these followers were more humanists than religious disciples, as their goal was to help the poor, feed the hungry, give drink to those who had thirst, comfort those who grieved, and fulfill the injunctions given in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  All that mattered was that they loved each other regardless of gender or other outward qualifiers (John 13:34-35: [34] ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους, καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους. [35] ἐν τούτῳ γνώσονται πάντες ὅτι ἐμοὶ μαθηταί ἐστε, ἐὰν ἀγάπην ἔχητε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  Marriage was a private celebration and not a part of the church; sacraments had not yet been defined.  What counted was to be charitable with and toward all people.  There was no rush to martyrdom–that is a later invention; there was no priestly hierarchy (Matthew 20:16) and there was no pope.  Emphasis was on each person reaching his or her fullest potential.

While the early Jesus communities in Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and elsewhere were satisfied with meeting in Κυριάκος (homes filled with the lord [spirit]), with the rise of an exclusive and exclusionary state religion it became “church” or εκκλησία.  Church/ecclesia meant “gathering of those summoned” and represented a court or at least an assembly or law court/government as found in ancient Sparta and other Greek states, Rome and throughout the Roman Empire.  With the formal support of the Emperor, the “church” (ecclesia: εκκλησία) was elevated to novel level of being where “bishops” sat (cathedrals) to sit in judgment against heretics—in total contradiction to Matthew 7:1 and Acts 10:34.  By 331 CE, any semblance of Christianity to the teaching of Jesus were obscured, transmogrified, or deleted.  Books, scrolls and tracts denouncing the abandonment of the message of the New Testament Jesus were publicly burned.  Those who dared question the authority of the Church faced Socrates fate by state or church.  Numerous popular and widely copied and read gospels were refused canon (authenticity) including major gnostic works: Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and so forth.

As the church grew in power, freedom diminished, and popular delusions, illusions, hysterics and signs of mental illness appeared with “talking in tongues” that were gibberish and not the Glossolalia in the Jerusalem community where the brothers of Jesus followed the beloved brother James and their mother, Mary, sat with the Apostles in the upper room and received (or realized) the ability to “speak in the tongue of each person who had gathered” with them (Acts 2:1-11).  The “descent of the Spirit” was an opening to learning, in this case simple language so that all people could understand (The Greeks recognized five languages but 70 “tongues” or dialects–so the speaking was not difficult as most of the people understood some form of Greek; it was similar to an elementary language course at most universities).  The Church in Rome created a new universal language–Latin–that few of the poor or those enslaved understood: it was the lingua franca (or working language of the wealthy that kept them apart from the people), and thus the Mass became a “mystery rite” and the sacraments were born where blind faith was required if a person was to be saved.

With this reinvention of religion as a rope to strangle dissenters—an act that took place regularly with state sanction.  All aspects of divinity were exchanged for writs of power and tyranny.

Constantine’s Christianity quickly became an exercise in mind control.  Constantine’s bishops and priests theological terrorists demanding blind obedience in everything, similar to the autocracy of John Nienstedt bishop of St Paul / Minneapolis, and the German Pope Josef Ratzinger.

As the minority (the new Christians) gained in power, the masses of believers were forced into subjection.  This subjection led to the spread of acute mental malaise.

Worship became a punishment if prayers were not recited carefully and according to religious rubrics.  Striving to select one’s own destiny was forbidden under penalty of death (a penalty realized with the forced introduction of the unholy Inquisition, that was abandoned until it was restored by Joseph Ratzinger (read here and here  and here and here).

Individuals became dependent upon the Roman Catholic Church for everything from food and drink to psychological comforting from sadistic and dominating authoritarian structures.  Given the impoverishment of the economy the early reformed Jews accepted the novel title of “Christian” (a word that suggested a magician) and role of masochists bowing to the greater authority of bishops who replaced presbyters and with their submission accepted their own mental collapse to the point of losing basic motor skills including speech as speech was not welcomed unless voices were raised in prayer and praise.  The poor were told that Jesus wanted people to follow a man, misquoting a mistranslation of Matthew 16:18, and relate only to the power source: priests and bishops.

Giving up the need to relate oneself to and with others is a classic form of insanity (Erich Fromm (1950). Psychoanalysis and Religion. (New Haven, CT and London, England: Yale University Press, p. 54).  This classic form of insanity, the inability to relate to others outside of the self, led to the invention of saints and the worship and adoration, clothing and anointing, bestowing of flowers upon or around statues of various people the official church considered holy.  Many of these were declared to be “virgins” (a mistranslation of people who had not engaged in coital intercourse; the word means a young girl or a young boy in most situations–as with Mary the mother of Jesus, who the church Greek styles as παρθένος and is later styled Μήτηρ Θεοῦ or Mother of God, a term originally used 3000 years earlier as a reference to the goddess Isis)–who had other sons (Acts 1:14) disproving the claims that Mary remained “ever virgin” (Coogan, Michael (October 2010). God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says (1st ed.). New York, NY and Boston, MA: Twelve. Hachette Book Group. p. 39; Tabor, James D. (2006). The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity. New York, NY and other cities: Simon) & Schuster, pp. 46-47, 73-75 sqq). Sex is a part of the psychology or all living beings; the Christian God is conceived of as a God of love, and chastity and continence are regarded as states of perfection, yet sexual fulfillment and experience is a part of self-actualization and leads to a normal and psychologically balanced life as there exists a connection between the emotions of affection and love, on the one hand, and sexual activity on the other; to that end Moses and most of the Prophets had wives and sex, and led to Coptic writers of the fourth century CE to pen that Jesus had a wife.

Sex is a normal function and experience for all people.  To deny anyone sexual expression and pleasure is tantamount to denying its normality and claiming sex is abnormal and dangerous to the psyche of the individual (Leuba, James H. (1924). “The sex impulse in Christian mysticism”. doi: 10.1037/hoo65o91. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol 19(4), January 1924, 357-372).  A reading of St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castlereveals

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of St. Teresa, 1645-52 (Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome)

subliminal references to sex as with her comment “my heart was pierced and I felt strangely warmed” (a phrase used later in Wesleyan theology) that the sculpture Bernini captured in marble.  The Interior Castle also has the pregnant line: “Here also forces of evil are felt more deeply” with illustrative phraseology defining penetration. Studies show that the younger the person is who engages in sex tends to have a negative attitude toward sex if it was abusive or unwelcomed by a older person/parental figure, and lowers psychosocial adjustment in selected domains in young adulthood and inhibits educational quests and mastery of attaining knowledge (Haase, Claudia M.; Landberg, Monique; Schmidt, Christoph; Lüdke, Kirsten; Silbereisen, Rainer K. (2012). “The later, the better? Early, average, and late timing of sexual experiences in adolescence and psychological adjustment in young adulthood.”doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000082. European Psychologist, Vol 17(3), 2012, 199-212).  The only plausible excuse to avoid sexual intercourse is if the penetration was traumatic and unwelcomed (Petry, Nancy M.; Ford, Julian D.; Barry, Danielle (2011). “Contingency management is especially efficacious in engendering long durations of abstinence in patients with sexual abuse histories.” doi: 10.1037/a0022632. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Vol 25(2), Jun 2011, 293-300); there is no record in any sanctioned gospel that Mary approved or rejected the sexual advance of god (similar to the rape of Europa by the god Zeus in the form of a bull, etc.) and follows numerous far older legends from Crete to Egypt and the Middle East.  To deny the reality of sex and its desirability is to reject the psychology of mortal beings.

By cherishing the virgins, lkerwanderung (wandering, or migration, of the peoples), and enforced celibacy, Europe nearly extinguished itself until the absence of labor forces required the church to reinvent the rubric on celibacy and chastity only for those men and women who took positions in the church hierarchy (holy orders)—even though there were no less than 38 married popes (Jean Mathieu-Rosay (1991).  La véritable histoire des papes. Paris, France: Grancher; Rendina, Claudio (1983).  I Papi, Storia e Segreti: dalle biografie dei 264 romani ponteficirivivono retroscena e misteri della cattedra di Pietro tra antipapi, giubilei, conclavi e concili ecumenici. Roma: Newton & Campton, p. 589), and at least eleven homosexual popes, many of whom raised their male lovers to the cardinalate (Burkle-Young, Francis A., and Doerrer, Michael Leopold (1997). The Life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte: A Scandal in Scarlet, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen). Education declined with the rise of scriptorum that copied deteriorating texts and inserting words, phrases, and sentences that were out of character with the author and now found to be falsifications by contemporary scholars, as with the claim by the Roman Catholic Church that Tacitus argued for the person Jesus of the New Testament, and other ancients, such as Josephus, gave evidence to support the existence, life and ministry of Jesus.  Education further deteriorated with emphasis on memorizing the Bible, and the rejection of science, mathematics, and secular arts (Pierre Riché, Education and Culture in the Barbarian West: From the Sixth through the Eighth Century, (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1976), pp. 100-129, 307-323).

Rationalize behavior is the counterfeit of reason and is a form of paranoia.  Rationalization has no place in psychoanalysis or psychology as it denies some facts and taints others thereby not giving a true picture of what happened or what the mind was thinking.  People, like cattle, follow a leader; this is known as herd psychology and is a form of mental illness as the German people exhibited from 1933 to 1955 spanning the years of Hitler whom most ignored but did understand what was happening—and said nothing.  With racism rampant in the USA, people excused the KKK not for excess but for outcome: the slaughter of Black people, Jews, LGBT people, and marginalized minorities (Brown, S. (1921). “The herd instinct”. doi: 10.1037/h0072279. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology,Vol 16(4), October-November, 232-242.; MacCurdy, J. T. (1921). “Synthetic view of ego, herd, and sex instincts”. doi: 10.1037/h0075069. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol 16(4), October-November, 249-268.  Also see the problems of collective behavior: Swann Jr., William B.; Jetten, Jolanda; Gómez, Ángel; Whitehouse, Harvey; Bastian, Brock (2012). “When group membership gets personal: A theory of identity fushion”. doi: 10.1037/a0028589. Psychological Review, Vol 119(3), July, 441-456. The problem with collective behavior is the character (strength and weakness) of the leader, as detailed by Johnson, Russell E.; Venus, Merlijn; Lanaj, Klodiana; Mao, Changguo; Chang, Chu-Hsiang (2012). “Leader Identity as an Antecedent of the Frequency and Consistency of Transformational, Consideration, and Abusive Leadership Behaviors”. doi: 10.1037/a0029043. Journal of Applied Psychology, Jun 25 , 2012).

Both psychoanalysis and psychology are applicable to an understanding the facts as they occur and in the order that they occur.   When a person attempts to rationalize behavior it is essential to minutely investigate the rationalization to obtain a complete understanding of the individual and what happened.  This seldom occurs, and mental illness grows especially among those most hate-filled, such as the Tea Party, the Birthers and the men and women who are violently anti-Latino/Latina in Arizona in the twenty-first century and are opposed to all Middle Easterners as if they all were Muslims and jihadists.  The psychoanalytic approach to religion must work at understanding mortal reality behind thought systems. It must understand emotional matrices from which opinions develop and determine the strength or weakness of those opinions.  Rick Perry’s mass hysteria at his Day of Prayer shows the significance many feel when they are a collective group and cannot be held responsible for what they do or how they act.

Many of those who are preoccupied with concepts of the soul declare that they find living difficult.  This is a reflex towards uncertainty and the fear that if they live in any way that is not ordained by religion they will go to some imaginary uncomfortable place such as purgatory or hell—which for those in hot lands is a place of eternal fire, but in winter-cold lands is a place of ice.

Pope Paul V forced Jews into a ghetto that flooded regularly

Jews were especially singled out as “Christ killers”.  Jews were restricted to ghettos (the giudecca), work variances at lower wages, and discussion with Christians (save for the “opportunity of conversion”–which many did to escape drudgery of life and poor living conditions, but continued their Jewish celebrations at night in the darkness of their homes and in whispers). The papal Bull Cum Nimis Absurdum created a second ghetto known as Vicus Iudacorum in Rome, consisting of a few narrow, dirty, and unhealthful streets that soon became painfully overcrowded.  The ghetto was an intentional, understood by the pope and curia, and the Christians of Rome as a death trap as it was flooded each year by the Tiber.  As the Jewish population grew, the only way to accommodate it was to build taller and taller buildings, which shut out the light in the narrow streets.  The Jews were restricted from learning as learning was memorizing the New Testament (primarily the writings of Paul), but in the evenings, Jewish families read and recited the Torah (first five books ascribed to Moses created the preface for the Old Testament; they are followed by the writing/sayings of the later Prophets).  On the Jewish Sabbath, the Jews of the Rome ghetto were forced to hear Catholic sermons and recite Catholic prayers under penalties ranging from excessive fines and beatings to death of the one not praying and his or her family.  With the advent of Protestantism (that also turned against the Jews), the corpus Christianorum (body of all believers in Christ [Jesus]) became even more violent and exclusionary toward Jews, with Pope Paul V(17 September 1552 – 28 January 1621), born Camillo Borghese, issuing, on February 26, 1569, the Bull Hebraeorum gens sola. This nefarious document restricted Jews in the Papal States to Rome and Ancona.  Hebraeorum gens sola was made more painful with the printing of Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia – (Blind and obdurate is the perfidy of the Hebrews) of February 25, 1593.  It expelled the Jews from all Papal states and territories other than Rome, Ancona and Avignon, and in particular from Bologna and several other cities.  Similar assaults on the Jewish population of Europe occurred in the North, as seen in the open hatred and antisemitism of Martin Luther and his preamble to the writing and legislation of Adolf Hitler:  Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies) and Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (Of the Unknowable Name and the Generations of Christ), being under the convert to Christianity, Anton Margaritha, who wrote the grotesque (a word that originated in ancient Greece as κρυφό (hidden place) that took the definition of κρύπτη  (crypt, meaning dark and forbidding) book Der gantze Jüdisch Glaub (The Whole Jewish Belief) whose book was discredited in 1530 leading to Margaritha’s expulsion from the Empire–but Luther used it anyway in the same manner Hitler used the works of Luther with the purpose of retrenching and destroying the conduct of inquiry similar to that of Bryan Fischer and the Tea Party in the USA that champions the unhistorical works of David Barton who has had no formal education in history, and the pseudo-science of Stephen C. Myer and his Intelligent Design Institute.

Hitler was supported by many western powers, including the United Kingdom and the USA with US Senator Prescott Bush helping to finance Hitler’s death camps (read here and here).  The UK refused refuge to Jewish emigrants, and boarded many on planes to Warsaw, Poland where they were arrested and sent to death camps.

While Europe was marginalizing Jews and proceeding down the path of ignorance, the same Jews, along with Muslims (who were Christians by day) maintained many ancient texts, including Plato and Aristotle along with Greek mathematicians and scientists, that the Roman Catholic Church was damning and consigning to the flames to erase “pagan influences” (Lebedel, Claude (2006), Les Croisades, origines et conséquences, Editions Ouest-France, p. 109).  For this reason, the Jews and Muslims of Europe rose to be the intellectual class, and by the seventeenth century began to number among the greatest authorities and authors of the age leading into the Age of Enlightenment from Baruch Spinoza (he later changed his name to Benedict de Spinoza (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) to .

What is essential is to enable the person distressed by the “difficulties of life” to understand that life is what the individual makes of it and how the individual perceives life.  In most cases, these difficulties are the result of an irrational fear of death—a fear generated by an uncertainty that there is a life after death even though the individual religious adherent professes to believe in a heaven or other-worldly place. To conquer this fear is to engage in a discussion on whether or not such a positive or negative place can be proven, and whether or not the test or provability even has value for living today.  Too many people suffer dread from that which no one has proof and that which cannot be proven.

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Filed under Bible, Bishop of Rome, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Education, Homosexuality, Jewish history, Martin Luther, Papacy, Roman Catholicism

Rape, Incest, Rep. Steven King (R-IA) and abortion

Rep. Steven King (R-IA)

In August 2012, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) stood proudly behind the Tea Party / Republican Party claim that rape does not exist and that women have no right to an abortion for any reason. He is on record saying that he didn’t know of any pregnancies caused by incest or statutory rape.

King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest: “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter” (see video).

Tom Smith (R-PA candidate 2012)

Incest has the most devastating effects on a fertilized egg. It can result in albinism, hemophilia, Cystic fibrosis, Sickle Cell anemia and Tay Sachs especially if the family carries any recessive genes.  Chiming in, Paul Ryan (WI-R) told a reporter that rape is just a “method of conception,” totally ignoring the woman who was raped (video).  64-year-old Tom Smith, the Tea Party / Republican Party candidate for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania (running against Bob Carey who is also against abortion) says that becoming pregnant via rape is “similar” to having a baby out-of-wedlock — for the father of the mother (video and text).

A Democratic source flagged King’s praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM, but potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don’t exist or happen rarely.  At the least it shows those who are concerned with a woman’s right to make decisions concerning her own body that King is not only ignorant of human rights but of the bodily functions of the woman.  A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”  (Cf. D. J. Landry and J.D. Forrest, “How Old Are U.S. Fathers?” Family Planning Perspectives, 27:159-161 & 165, 1995; and M. Males and K.S.Y. Chew, “The Ages of Fathers in California Adolescent Births, 1993,” American Journal of Public Health, 86:565-568, 1996).  What King ignores is that an overwhelming majority of young women who become pregnant and give birth are from poor or low-income families. (The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), Sex and America’s Teenagers, New York, 1994, p. 3).  

Most preteen rape victims lack access to good schools, face poor prospects for finding jobs and have little chance of marriage.  Those who engage in sex do so because the adult male (defined as any male age eighteen and older) has a job, a car, and can spend freely–appearing to be the god-send to a young female who sees herself as being trapped in a cycle of poverty, ignorance, and breeding.

Seven percent of adolescent females have had intercourse by age 13, 13% have done so by age 14.  Nineteen percent of all adolescent females have had intercourse by age 15, and most were the result of rape.  Only philanthropic organizations seem to post any concern for this increasing malady in the USA. The tie between statutory rape and teen pregnancy has been the subject of ad campaigns from groups like United Way.  

Todd Akin (R-MO)

Instead of helping rape victims, Steven King and Todd Akin with others introduced H.R. 3, a bill co-sponsored with Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) in 2011, that originally called for an exemption in the federal ban on abortion funding only in the case of “forcible rape.”  The implication was clear, that most rapes were not the result of force.  That language was dropped after pressure from women’s advocates and Democrats.

At the time H.R. 3 was making its way through the House of Congress, the Republican sponsors of the legislation weren’t too interested in discussing their reasoning for the wording. There sole goal was to make abortion increasingly difficult for the victim.

Steven King (R-IA) defends dog fighting (2012)

While King denies the realty of rape and incest and chortles that either the girl who is raped was at fault by wearing her clothes too provocative (too tight, too short, or similar complaints), there was a time when he was defending dog-fighting and initiating legislation to prohibit groups from fighting cruelty against animals (read here and here) he had a hard time seeing the difference as both were “sports”.  Earlier, however, giving the lie to his present position,  King actually admitted “[i]f there’s a sexual predator out there who has impregnated a young girl, say a 13-year-old girl, and it happens in America more times than you think, that sexual predator can pick that girl off the playground at a middle school and haul her across the state line and force her to get an abortion to eradicate the evidence of his crime.”  What King does not say is that many times the sexual predator is the girl’s father, grandfather, brother, uncle or other male relative. Frequently the mother is a part of the rape in the sense of entrapping, holding down, and even coercing the child to accept the rape as “the will of God” or “the right of the man.” (video)

King has no right to tell any woman what she can do with her body—nor can any other man on this planet.  Only the woman can determine the destiny, use, function, and need for her body

Jeff Schnell (L): Agribusiness Association of Iowa owns Gov. Branstad (R)

It is easy to state that Steven King of the new Fourth District is stupid, but that does not explain Steven King.  He is more psychopathic than stupid.  King represents the illiterate and big farms that make their millions off of the labor of illegal aliens and those desperate enough to work for minimum wage.  His political war chest is filled by contributions from rich hypocrites who would rather sell corn for ethanol than to feed the starving people in Iowa or the world (it jumped from 25% in 2010 to 50% by 2012; read here and here despite the historic drought the Midwest is suffering because of climate change and subsequent environmental catastrophe in the Midwest; read here and here).  Steven King, Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Todd Akin, and other climate change deniers are not only ignorant of science, but also of history, as it was climate change that killed off Egyptian pyramid builders, threw Egypt into a disabling drought, ended the growth of corn and other grains, and led to massive lay offs on state construction work.

Annette Sweeney (R-44th District IA-Alden)

Steven King’s hatred for and lack of any compassion for people or animals (especially animals) is legendary. King’s cavalier attitude toward working Iowans has won him the flatulence support of the dimmest bulb in the Iowa State Legislature’s chandelier: Annette Sweeney of the 44th House District representing Hardin County (R-Alden).  Sweeney claims on her official resume to have a degree (bachelor) in English and has not yet learned the rules for capitalizing nouns and adjectives when referring to a language or subject (note especially the third paragraph, reviewed on September 2, 2012)—something I was taught in Iowa schools in the 1950s. In most of her official writing she appears to be five cans short of a six-pack, with little grace in composition and far weaker in her facts, probably from a lack of any formal training in research or investigation.

Annette Sweeney wrote legislation against whistle-blowing on Iowa agribusiness cruelty, as seen here where chickens do not have enough space to move around. Sweeney has made filming adverse conditions a crime.

Like King on the national level, Annette Sweeney has initiated legislation in the bumbling House of regressive Representatives in the Des Moines, Iowa legislature to protect big agribusiness from being spied on by any animal rights activists, and has argued that any filming of cruelty to animals be treated as a crime against property (read here and here and here).  Sweeney’s draconian bill, that protects her customers (she owns a  business registered as Practical Promotions, employing three local women in a database mailing and publishing business that creates advertising, sales brochures and catalogs for purebred breeding cattle producers) that reached the Senate as Senate File 431.  It was promptly nicknamed “The Whistleblower Bill”.  Its purpose is to punish the recording and distribution of animal cruelty footage with fines of up to $7,500 and up to five years in prison. It makes reporting a crime a crime in keeping with the same tactics used during the Stalin era in Communist Russia. 

Annette and David Sweeney have two sons.

Sweeney and husband David had two sons who are students at Iowa State University in Ames.  They have been filmed picking up literature against cruelty to animals, and pulling down posters that she disagrees with, and as a Republican, argues that she has the right to determine what is said and even thought in Iowa (this video shows the abusive treatment of pigs and piglets Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa).  Other abuses include massive chicken farms that raise poultry in crowded conditions, abusive conditions employed against workers and the hiring of illegal aliens (especially at Postville; watch this video) where the Khristian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (headquartered in Charles City, IA) picketed as federal agents stormed the facility on May 12, 2008, and incarcerated the Mexican workers.  The Iowa KKK is supported by various neo-Nazi groups in Boone, IA and have claimed responsibility for setting fire to the Beth Israel synagogue in Boone; Iowa has a long and stench filled history of a love affair between the Iowa Republican Party and the Nazis, with Frederick Kaltenbach (born in Dubuque, Iowa, and was raised in Waterloo, Iowa) migrating to Germany to spread propaganda for Hitler before returning to the USA to be tried for treason (he was referred to as “Goebbel’s Iowan”, read here and here; see also the Department of Justice file on Ezra Pound).  Both the Iowa Nazi Party and the Iowa cauldron the KKK have endorsed Steven King and Annette Sweeney for re-election, the Iowa Nazis Party have openly embraced the Tea Party Express and its radical agenda seeing it as a way “to clean out inferior races.” 

Tea Party youth in Denver

Religious fundamentalists are increasingly indoctrinating their young with Tea Party extremism while pandering governors, such as Terry Branstad (R-IA, see my article on him and his son Brian), Bobby Jindal (R- Louisiana) and others are determined to rid classrooms of science so that the Bible can replace evolution with the myth of creationism. 

Charles and Pat Grassley of Iowa (2012)

In Iowa, the KKK and Nazis turned to Pat Grassley (born 26 May 1983, who some claim is already affiliated with fringe groups in Iowa), who won 61% of the vote in the primary against Annette Sweeney. Most of his expenses were paid for by his grandfather–a member of the far-right C Street dominionist cult (Charlet, Jeff (2010). C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. New York, NY: Little, Brown & Co., pp. 4, 160, 162, 167-168, 172-173; Sharlet, Jeff (2008). The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, pp. 18, 54, 281) climate change denier, and NAR member US Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) who was able to get fellow Republicans Senators: Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and six-term Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, to fund his grandson whom Chuck plans on succeeding him to overthrow science on the national level.  Pat Grassley received contributions from hospitals and nursing home owners ($5000), insurance industry ($4,450), bankers ($2,200), far-right PACs ($20,500), and next to nothing from private citizens. 

Donations to Pat Grassley’s campaign 2012

The KKK and Iowa Nazis also endorsed and support Steven King whom they believe will throw out the last 100 years of progress in education (read my article on the Republican-controlled legislature in Iowa and the touting of illiteracy as the “will of God”).  Over 80% of all Republicans have serious reservations about the need for science. 70% of all Republicans deny evolution.  Steven King, who has no college education and barely made it through high school, wants to restore McCarthyism (who he proclaims to have been an American “hero”) and refers to those who cross the boards of the USA as “cattle.” 

Pat Grassley is actually more dangerous to democracy than is Steven King. Adopting his father’s Family concept buttressing dominionism, a term used to describe politically active conservative Christians who are usually members of the Tea Party and various organized hate groups (American Family Association, Lion and Lamb Ministries, Americans for Prosperity, John Birch Society, and others funded by Charles and Edward Koch) who seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States.  They have, as their centerpiece the goal of a one-world theocracy ruled by their concept of Christianity (more in line with Paulinity than anything that the Jesus of the New Testament said) where “Christ” would return to the earth on a war-horse, carrying a sword, and ending the lives of non-believers (based on Matthew 10:34).  When the Final Battle takes place, to some before the year 2020, they expect their Christ to establish either a nation governed by Christians or one governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. The term dominionism is a bastardization of Genesis 1:28.  Identical to the jihadists in Islamic fundamentalism who believe in Sharia Law, the dominionists, especially the two Grassleys, argue for a one-world ruled by the Bible and its laws (you cannot eat shell-fish, wear man-made fibers, and will be stoned to death if you commit adultery, etc.).  It is a form of postmillennialism with society becoming exclusively Christian (Barron, Bruce A. (1992). Heaven on earth?: the social & political agendas of dominion theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. p. 14; Hedges, Chris (2006). American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Free Press). (Steven King of Iowa endorses and supports the rant of Michele Bachmann (R-MN) against Muslims in the USA and has supported removing Jews and Blacks from USA soil on the grounds that they are not really Americans.)

Postville, IA KKK strong supporters of King and Sweeney

A Hanford meat processing plant, Central Valley Meat Company, was shut down the third week of August 2012, while federal agriculture investigators look into allegations that dairy cows headed for slaughter were repeatedly shocked and shot before being killed. Brian Coelho, president of the slaughter-house, said in a statement Monday, August 20, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has received a videotape allegedly showing inhumane treatment of animals at the plant.  Sweeney was furious that anyone dared to make a tape showing inhumane treatment of animals in Iowa, as farming was a mainstay of Iowan income, and there was nothing cruel about killing animals for food.

As a possible defense of Draft-dodger Steven King, it is entirely likely that he would score points with Republicans and other voters. He tends to do that. The evangelical movement in Iowa is extreme and fundamentalism fringes on fanaticism.

Former Iowa First Lady and 4th Congressional District candidate Christie Vilsack

King is a traditional workhorse, so it is doubtful that the Iowa Republican Party will distance itself from Steve King, as they did with the Missouri Republican Twit Akin. It is more likely that the Republican Party of Iowa, now so deeply and heavily funded by Americans for Prosperity, one of the political arms of the Brothers Koch (Charles and Edward), finds King’s profound ignorance blissful and almost an alkahest or opiate for the voters of his redrawn district (where is he facing a challenge for the seat by Christie Vilsack, wife of the former governor who is serving in the Obama Administration as Secretary of Agriculture).  The district that is on the western coast of Iowa is known for its citizens who seethes in self-loathing and hatred for any woman who dares to make a choice for herself. 

King’s crass carping in fact, is directly in line with the official party line on these things, and is in fact one of the common suppositions behind the so-called personhood amendments Republicans have been pushing across the country.  While King has never served his country in time of war and barely notes the debt owed Iowa veterans, King stands sentry over the sacred nature of sperm and ova.

The issue of forced rape (rape is rape) is a menacing monster created by the Roman Catholic Church shortly after it was created by the Emperor Constantine I at his Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.  Medical schools established and supported by the Roman Catholic Church are at best fraudulent, but most are generally pathetic paternalistic institutes bordering on religiosity rather than medical accuracy.  Their professors of obstetrics and gynaecology are not only ill-trained but theological apologists, as is the situation with Thomas Hilgers who boasts of a medical degree and license. 

Thomas W. Hilgers at Pope Paul VI Institute

Thomas Hilgers works at Creighton University as an obstetrics professor and director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction (stem cell research is forbidden and there is no real study of reproduction except for what is permitted within the craven Roman Catholic culture created by the Vatican Curia).  Given the name of the school it is obvious that the center has little objectivity and anything that pertains to the fetus will be lauded as a person, following Roman Catholic unscientific dicta that women who are raped are seldom made pregnant.  At the official  Roman Catholic website, as with Creighton and other Roman Catholic institutions, people are allowed to comment on this insanity only if you make a financial contribution to the Roman Catholic Church. This is especially true at Hilgers website.  The distortions and lies of Hilger, Creighton and the Roman Catholic “medical community” are refuted by Holmes, MM, Resnick, HS, Kilpatrick, DG, Best, CL., “Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women”  American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1996 Aug; 175(2):320-4; discussion 324-5.  Cf. Koss M P ; Gidycz C A ; Wisniewski N (1987). “The Scope of Rape: Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Aggression and Victimization in a National Sample of Higher Education Students”.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Volume:55 Issue:2 Dated:(April 1987) Pages:162-170.  Cp. Holmes, M. M., Resnick, H.S., Frampton, D., “Follow-up of sexual assault victims.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.1998 Aug; 179(2):336-42.  The Roman Catholic Church, as admitted by many including nearly the entire church in Ireland, is a dead institution; and as confessed by the self-flagellation drone Josemaria Escriva, it will become smaller in size until it disappears. 

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (d. 2012)

As the former archbishop of Milan and papal candidate Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said the Roman Catholic Church was “200 years out of date” in his final interview before his death, published on Saturday, September 1, 2012.  If it is to survive, a radical change must be initiated by the pope and bishops, to admit the errors of the Church and its priests, to accept new kinds of families: “A woman is abandoned by her husband and finds a new companion to look after her and her children. A second love succeeds. If this family is discriminated against, not just the mother will be cut off but also her children.”  No where did the cardinal define family, but left it open to all families including “a new companion”.

What Hilger, King, Akin, Roscoe and other anti-choice fanatics refuse to admit is that 17% of the females raped in Ethiopia became pregnant, the result of less menacing attitude by authorities than in the USA, except for the stringent attacks by Roman Catholics and Coptics in Ethiopia (read: Mulugeta, E; Kassaye, M; Berhane, Y. (1998). “Prevalence and outcomes of sexual violence among high school students”. Ethiopian Medical Journal 36 (3): 167–174 ). Hilger should have his license revoked.  Creighton University has little right to accreditation for support such unscientific statements, its objectivity is circumspect, its quest for truth and conduct of inquiry abysmal.

Philadelphia priests who abused children

There has never been a serious Roman Catholic study on rape or subsequent pregnancy.  The Roman Catholic Church does not permit the teaching of facts in its obstetrics and gynaecology or even medical schools.  This is especially true in the three most abused nations by the Roman Catholic clergy: the USA (rapes hidden by such miscreants as Timothy Dolan of New York, and Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, CA), Ireland and Peru. Rape of underage girls by priests is common in Poland, Scotland, Italy, Australia and other nations under the fascist thumb of the Roman Catholic Church, and throughout the former Soviet bloc now under the heel of the Russian

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow makes more than $2 billion a year selling illegal cigarettes to buy a $35,000 watch, yachts, homes, car, and vacations.

Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill in Moscow.  Kirill, with the backing of Vladimir Putin is working at gaining control over the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Bulgarian Orthodox Church and other Slavic Orthodox Churches to feed his quest for personal wealth that has already materialized in the form of a yacht, expensive cars, a penthouse in Moscow and a villa in Switzerland not counting “lady friends”.  It is the same within the Roman Catholic Church where German bishops drive fancy cars and live a life of ease while the workers do without–a goal sought by Paul Ryan in the USA.  The corruption in the Roman Catholic Church is universal and nuns and priests defending birth control, abortions in cases of rape, and to modernize a dead church are more vocal and openly revolting against an ever-increasing corrupt cable of bishops and the pope whom many demand steps down.  The influence of the Roman Catholic Church is fading even in Poland, and in Germany the German pope Josef Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) is anything but popular.

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, 52, the bishop of Limburg a small city in western Germany near Frankfurt on the Assumption he declared Whoever experiences poverty in person will discover the true greatness of God. Photo: Sascha Ditscher for Der Spiegel (August 20, 2012).

What the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the USA, Peru (Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, a medieval-minded inquisitor rants that chastity is a gift and those who are not chaste in appearance invite abortion [read here]  whose crimes against humanity are more vicious than even that of the German pope and the Philippines, attempts to silence is any discussion or intervention in STD and HIV that is the result of rape and pregnancy (Teerapong S, Lumbiganon P, Limpongsanurak S, Udomprasertgul V. (2009), “Physical health consequences of sexual assault victims” Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand Jul;92(7):885-90.) noting that 68.8% of the victims were between the age of 10 and 18.

Ignorance controls the Congress of the USA with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) who is the Chairman of the Science Committee.  Akin openly discounts all science that apply to women.  He declared that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down…” 

Steven King

King reminds me of my own father, Herbert Frederick Ide, a man I learned to hate before I was age five. The hatred I felt escalated with the increase in his constant beatings and whippings, which made Hans Ludder (the father of Martin Luther of Germany), look almost passive and even saintly. 

Herbert Frederick and Mildred Ide

Before I was ten, Herbert Frederick Ide had stolen the money my siblings and I had raised selling pigs (a big market in Iowa) so that he could give it to the Republican Party.  He frequently “helped” himself to the money my brother and I earned carrying the Waterloo Courier newspaper to homes, tramping through the snow that was waist-high. If I tracked snow into the house, I was beaten.  If I was able to sneak into the basement to remove my snow-caked clothes, I was beaten twice for two offenses: sneaking into the house, and carrying snow into the house.  Snow is common and deep in Iowa. By carrying the outdoor elements into the house I was disobedient to god and parents.

Luther’s Small Catechism Questions and Answers (1863)

I learned there were three things that a “saved child of God” had to do flawlessly.  First, I was required daily to memorize the Fourth Commandment (by the time I was ten, I dropped “father” from the recitation, and threw my Luther’s Small Catechism into the garbage.  It made no sense, as Luther was controlled by fear and the answer to every questions was: “We must fear and love the Lord”–never “We must love the Lord” as fear was engrained in all young Lutherans and used by Adolf Hitler to control the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in the Third Reich. 

Luther’s Small Catechism (1529 edition)

The message is the same in each of the copies I have bought over the past 50 years: hate, fear, loathing is the only message). Both actions made my father beat me more savagely.  That led me to run-away on a regular basis, and sometimes during a blizzard I would escape wearing only my underwear to Jones DX on Highway 218 to hide in the men’s bathroom.

I would run away to, unsuccessfully, commit suicide. I was arrested for it once and taken to the Cedar Falls Police Department, but released to my mother after Herbert Frederick had left the house.  To return to the house, voluntarily, would mean that I would be met with scorn and my sister, Mary Helen.  It was a fate, I believed, worse than death.

Arthur Ide (age 12) “Spawn of Satan”

Mary Helen would pull me into the bathroom pinching my cheeks until she was able to push me in front of a mirror.  Once she saw me look into the mirror, her voice would raise and she would scream like a banshee: “You are ugly. You are so ugly. Do you see how ugly you are. You are the ugly spawn of Satan!” Mary Helen always brought The Advocate (the correct translation for The Satan which is a title: σατανάς or השטן and is always used with the definite article “ha-” as in Job 2:1, the word does not appear as a form of leader of evil until Islam:  (شيطان, from the root šṭn شطن) and is an adjective (meaning “astray” or “distant”, sometimes translated as “devil”) that can be applied to both man (“al-ins”, الإنس) and Jinn “demon”, Koran 7:11–12; Lucifer is Iblis ( إبليس‎, plural: ابالسة ʾAbālisa; see سورة الأعراف al-ʾAʿraf in the Koran 7:27) and has a totally different meaning) when ever she spat at me (Mary Helen, like my family, is monolingual and linguistically challenged but taunted, teased and criticized my love of reading and languages. Ha-Satan (meaning “The Accuser” or “The Advocate”) with the definite article occurs 13 times in the Masoretic Text, in two books of the Hebrew Bible: Job ch.1–2 (10 times), and Zechariah 3:1–2 (3 times). The King James (he was never a saint) Version and later versions dropped the article because of poor translation skills, a plague that is recurring in Translation and Interpretation schools throughout the world and is especially damaging politics and political discourse as seen in the rants of Steven King.

Arthur Ide (age 50)

The common curse I heard was “give Art a book and he will worship the Devil.” I was fifty years old the last time I heard that–but it was what I remember the few times I had Christmas in Iowa.  After that, I spent the holiday alone in Europe.  It was more peaceful, and I did not have to worry about being told how fat I was–a remonstrance heard even at the mid-century mark in my life.

Even in Islam, the Iblis, a jinn, was a devoted servant of God, Koran 15:27, 18:15, 38:76; this, of course was plagiarized from the Babylonian myth of Job that the Apiru put in their original canon in Canaan).  I heard it so often that I had it memorized, as she never spoke much else to me and never with me. She was a faithful, one-note Republican worshipping at the altar of άγνοια και μίσος so identical to Annette Sweeney and Steven King. 

The last time I saw her, when my stepfather had a stroke, she spat “What is he doing here [at Sartori Hospital]?” I made her a promise I have kept, that she would never see me again as long as she lived, as she was dead to me at that moment. That was the same moment that my mother told me never to contact her until I fell onto my knees and begged Mary Helen to forgive me, as Mary Helen was considered by my mother to be my intercessor with her god.

Rush Limbaugh – Address to the Incoming House of Representative GOP

The second action required of me was to always see Democrats as demons and devils.  My sister believed this as religiously as she found Limbaugh to be next to the Messiah of her Trinity Lutheran Church in West Waterloo. I hated drug-addict (on OxyContin) Limbaugh as nothing he said was ever true–and I would attempt to show the evidence to the contrary; Mary Helen’s only response was that Rush was an “entertainer”. She never spoke to me, after that, even when I moved back to Iowa.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Senator Joe McCarthy and Rep. Richard Nixon (1950).

The third task, Herculean in nature for me, was to see Republicans (especially Sen. Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin and Rep. Richard “I Am Not A Crook” Nixon) as angels and god-sent to the nation that was always right.  They were after the “godless” communists and atheists, and vowed to keep “niggers” in their place.  Herbert Frederick bragged, when I was very young, how he was at a cross-burning that he interpreted as “a true sign of God’s favor on Iowa”.  The only one who was a greater racist than my biological father was my mother who flew, grudgingly to Texas after I had my catastrophic heart attack and discovered that one of my friends was Black, terrified that his “curse” (the pigmentation of his skin) would rub off on me. 

Iowa

It was the hatred of black people who made my family, “of modest means” (it was not modest, as after the divorce, my mother drove film for a company to clients and made in 1960 $40 a week) my sister Mary Helen would say after our parents divorced, that we always lived on the west side of Waterloo (along with Michele Bachmann’s Norwegian Lutheran family who were as great as racists as mine) since black people carried the curse of Cain that was strengthened by Noah’s curse against his grandson. Because of those curses, as pounded from the pulpits, black people had to live on the east side with the poor white trash—which we were.  When a few black families moved into West Waterloo, white-flight was the order of the day, with white families moving west to Dyke.  (Later I saw humor in the name of the “safe haven” as most West Waterloo people who moved to Dike were strongly anti-LGBT.)

I always remember the hatred, racism, and scorn for the rights of women to choose their own destiny that made up my family every time that I look at King’s photograph. Not only were my parents (I think both are dead now) but so too is my sister: blasting Richard for marrying a Japanese woman (a Buddhist) and adopting two Japanese children that she tried to turn into Western youth–an attempt that her niece openly rebelled against, causing Richard and his family to fly back to Sapporo where he taught English the next day. He wrote Mary Helen a thirty-page paper detailing her errors, and has never returned to Iowa in rhw last fifteen years.

Steven King looks very much like my father.  Herbert Frederick Ide became a saint to the rabid radical religious right, especially after he died and left his Ascension Lutheran Church in West Waterloo $1 million to build a church school. It was as if Johann Tetzel (1465 – 11 August 1519) was a German Dominican preacher had been born in Pirna, Saxony (in 1518 he earned a Doctorate of Sacred Theology), and was reborn in Waterloo and once more was selling exits (indulgences) from Hell. I do not know what either my brother or sister received, but I had been cut out of the will when I left the Lutheran Church and the Republican Party.

I have not spoken with either my brother or my sister for decades. Decades ago my mother commanded that I not call her when she found I had written “a book” on abortion (actually I have written three, and I do support abortion for any woman who wants one regardless of reason). Surprisingly, she never knew (or acknowledged knowing) that I helped her niece get an abortion in 1960 after the juvenile was impregnated by her brother.

I was with my cousin throughout the procedure. I never saw any baby.  All I saw was a lot of blood and some fetal tissue. I remember thinking at that time how much better it would have been if my mother had aborted me as she wished (she told me that many times in private), rather than carry the unwanted pregnancy to term.  Neither of us would have had to suffer the slow strangulation of religious suffocation and misery. Unfortunately, my mother was too weak to carry out her own choice, as my father had always been a man of volatile temper.

What Todd Akin and Steven King forget is that males are raped, too.  Two uncles raped me when I was five. One raped me when I was ten—with my father watching.  He just grinned.

I never knew if Herbert Frederick was aware that his blessed brother raped me repeatedly when he sent me to his acreage outside of Jericho, Iowa, to move stones.  My uncle promised he would kill me if I told anyone.  When I ultimately told my mother before her divorce. she rebuked me as her heaven-sent brother-in-law “was incapable of such an act”.  It was I who was lying. She knew that I was a sinner.

After my uncle had finished, while I lay bleeding on the floor, my saintly father (an accolade of anointing according to what he was told by the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in West Waterloo) prayed that I would find the Lord in the violence of his brother who was studying in the seminary. He claimed it was his god’s retribution for disobedience and disrespect I showed my “elders”.  I was told to remember that his god was ever vengeful.

Herbert Frederick recalled the times I refused to include the word father in the mindless repetition of the Fourth Commandment.  That was one of my sins. His god demanded revenge and his god had his revenge and would be ever vigilant in watching me from that time on; Herbert was only watching that one time, he said, as tasked by his god (I wondered if his god had been on vacation or was asleep and could not verify that I was being punished).

After that I refused to ever again attend the Lutheran Church.  Ultimately left that hate-filled community and its god of anger and Martin Luther’s acceptance of parental brutality (Bainton, Roland H. (1950), Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. New York, NY and Nashville, TN: Abingdon-Cokesbury, p. 23, citing Tischreden 3566 A (1537) in Luther’s works: Luther, Martin. Werke: kritische Gesamtaugabe; (Weimar Ausgabe) Weimar [Germany]: H. Böhlaus Nachfolger, 1906-1961). 

After my parents divorced, blaming me for the divorce as the judge stated that the State of Iowa would remove the children from the home in Cedar Falls, if Herbert remained with Ruby.  I did not see Herbert Frederick for nearly 40 years.

Since my biological father’s middle name was also mine, I have always used it to remind myself what an animal he was around me.  Because of his great hatred, evangelical extremism, and devotion to the Republican Party that brought in US Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI) and the Great Fear that I would be reminded of as teachers left school without explanation, actors disappeared from the screen, and books were censored, I vowed that I would never marry nor ever have children.  I lived in fear that I would become like Herbert Frederick, and any child from my loins (a biblical expression: Genesis 35:11, Psalm 38:7) would turn out like me.  That I did not want to happen.  I deliberately stayed away from women, and after a painful youth of constant sodomy I avoided men of all ages, never even having a friend.

Forty years later, having shed over 200 pounds of fat that accumulated as I ate excessively to forget the pain I had gone through, I returned to Waterloo–to see my mother and her second husband.  I cannot remember ever being welcomed when I drove from Texas to Iowa for a visit, and when I would arrive late at night, I was handed a bowl of lettuce as they went to bed. 

Bishop’s Buffet (Crossroads Mall) in Waterloo, Iowa

Not wanting another bowl of lettuce (nor anything with calories), I went to the shopping mall in West Waterloo along University / Highway 218.  It had a popular cafeteria (known as Bishop’s), so I went there first.  Opening the door, I saw Herbert Frederick at one end of the table along with his other wife, with my sister presiding at the head of the table.  She was upset seeing me and thought I would remain in Texas to die. I found it ironic, yet appropriate as I technically died at precisely the minute I was born in Waverly, Iowa at Saint Mary’s Hospital fifty years earlier. When I had returned from Carlton Hospital, Mary Helen called once to tell me that she and her husband Ronald were praying for me and hoped I had prepared a will.  I always wondered if she spelled it praying or preying.

Years later, I moved back to Iowa in 2000, having had a quadruple bypass heart operation in 1998.  The doctors at Del Ray Beach in Florida said I would need another bypass within five years (I have never had it). I wanted to devote myself to exposing hypocrisy.

I did not bother visiting Herbert Frederick or his new wife.  They, like the rest of my family, did not bother with me.  It was if we were living on different planets. My uncle who lived with my favorite grandmother (whom I visited every summer) raped me every night with his hand clamped down on my mouth (my grandmother was too poor to afford an extra bedroom, and I too old and the wrong gender to sleep with her) had converted to Roman Catholicism after marrying a hairdresser, became fervently anti-choice and adopted the Pauline attitude on women as preached by the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod and incorporated into the Missouri Synod creed, and a ultra-conservative Republican (he is now a member of the Tea Party), would disappear as fast as he could if he saw me.  His speed was slow.   He suffers from MS and other aliments.  The only other uncle who remains in Iowa stays on his farm outside of Osage and refused to answer anytime I called. To me, they are all dead in my mind even though they may be alive in body. 

I did not return to Black Hawk County. I moved to Hardin that was not yet under the mystic of Annette Sweeney, but was still overwhelmingly very Republican.  I thought I could just ignore them all, and write, believing that  I was safe from ever having to see a relative again. I was wrong.

I did see Herbert Frederick one more time–on one day.  I received a photocopy of his obituary from an anonymous sender.  Not wanting to go to the funeral, I went to the Garden of Memories funeral home in Waterloo, just to make certain he was dead.  To quote the first line of Charles Dickens famous Christmas Carol, he was “as dead as a door nail.”

Seeing him in his coffin brought closure and peace.  I knew that he would never live again to endanger me or cause cruelty to others. Because I had known him and his spawn, of which I am one, I gave up any belief in a life after death.  This was final for me.

I remembered his barking how birth control was wrong (my parents practiced abstinence except for the three times that Herbert Frederick wanted a child and then “got it over with quickly so as not to displease god “who is ever-present [omnipresent] and ever watching: ποτέ να παρακολουθείτε or immer beobachten), that only Republicans would go to heaven if they had not had an abortion nor masturbated, and I would forever roast (like a stuffed pig [wie eine ausgestopfte Schweine in keeping with the aspersions of Martin Luther], I was told) in “everlasting fire” (Matthew 25:41)—a comment that pleased him and is found in both the writings of the mad monk of Wittenberg as well as the Koran (2:167, 3:191) a volume that Martin Luther actually read and wrote the preface to the 1543 Latin version of the Koran (cp. Westminster Confession (1646): chapter 33) as a way to condemn it after he was unable to convert Muslims to his faith that he called “True” (Evangelical).

Martin Luther's >>Von den Juden und ihren Lügen« Erstausgabe, Wittenberg 1543Luther’s rant was especially anti-Semitic (cf. Luther, Martin (1543). Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen), attacked everyone who did not accept the gospels that still were not firmly decided on, and attacked “Jews, Turks, Papists” and other “idolaters”  (Luther, WA 53:569-572, in German). It was the foundation for Adolf Hitler’s persecution of the Jews, and other “dissenters”, with Hitler calling Luther his spiritual father.

Although I reject violence and politics of assassination, being human I do ponder at times on what it would be like if we did not have idiots like Akin, King, and Bartlett.  I entertain myself for a very brief minute with one cherished wish that lunatics such as Todd Akin, Roscoe Bartlett and Steven King would be raped. At least, that way, they would discover what rape really is—and it is not a sought out “pleasure” but an act of violence that can never be erased from the victim’s mind regardless of the years of psychological therapythe patient had taken (Resick, Patricia A.; Williams, Lauren F.; Suvak, Michael K.; Monson, Candice M.; Gradus, Jaimie L. (2012). “Long-term outcomes of cognitive–behavioral treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder among female rape survivors.” doi: 10.1037/a0026602 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 80(2), Apr 2012, 201-210; Littleton, Heather L.; Grills-Taquechel, Amie (2011). “Evaluation of an information-processing model following sexual assault.” doi: 10.1037/a0021381. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol. 3(4), Dec 2011, 421-429; Feinstein, Brian A.; Humphreys, Kathryn L.; Bovin, Michelle J.; Marx, Brian P.; Resick, Patricia A. (2011). “Victim–offender relationship status moderates the relationships of peritraumatic emotional responses, active resistance, and posttraumatic stress symptomatology in female rape survivors. doi: 10.1037/a0021652Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol. 3(2), Jun 2011, 192-200; and, Paul, Lisa A.; Gray, Matt J.; Elhai, Jon D.; Davis, Joanne L. (2011). “Perceptions of peer rape myth acceptance and disclosure in a sample of college sexual assault survivors.” doi: 10.1037/a0016989. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol. 1(3), Sep 2009, 231-241.)

Arthur Ide (age 67)

Now that I am 67, I still remember the cries of how fat I am–a comment made even when I sought a teaching position in Peru (usually the objection to hiring me was that I was too old (and I keep becoming older), that I never married (implying that I am homosexual, but as I told the Director of Chemicals as Merk Pharmaceuticals, I dislike all people), do not have children to support (not possible being impotent, not married, etc.) and am “too scholarly” or have “published too much” (the last comment coming from the Iowa Republican Party that knew my parental heritage was strongly evangelical Republican, but knowing nothing about me: I was the head of the Hardin County Democrats before I moved out of Iowa, again).  Things never change, as all interviews ended with “you are not a team player”–true; I believe in doing what is right, not expedient–and thus I alienate leaders in academe as well as business as I cannot be bought, bullied, or coerced. 

Luis Amado Barrera Arréstegui

I have only had one academic dean in the fifty years that I have taught who understood this. I will always be grateful for having had the privilege and  honor of knowing Luis Amado Barrera Arréstegui who excels with the support of his partner Jen (Jennifer) and their daughter Valkerie. He has no equal and is the best leader any university has ever been fortunate to claim.  His devotion to education, his prizing the ability of people to read and think independently and make logical judgments based on provable facts is not a part of the Republican or Tea Parties nor even in the Weltanschauung of Steven King or most of the Iowa Legislature. It eludes Mitt and Ann Romney, Paul Ryan, Ron Paul, and the troglodytes sitting in the governor’s chairs in Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nebraska and Texas.

Paul Ryan, Ann and Mitt Romney in Michigan (2012)

The Republican Party finds nothing wrong with rape and claims, like my fundamentalist father, that rape is the result of the victim causing the violence. Now with the Mormon Romney and Roman Catholic Ryan are anointed by the Republican and Tea Parties to carry their banner of hate into the November 2012 election, the Republican Party has completely forsaken women and openly denies women the right of choice (although Ann Romney tells reporters that women are “flocking to Mitt” as if he were the Good Shepherd)–that it had not done until it was cannibalized by the Tea Party and its organized and certified hate groups.  This is clearly seen in the Republican Party plank of its platform that reads:

2012 Republican Platform To [sic] Advocate Abortion Ban Without Rape Exception

But embracing a rape exception for abortion rights would put the campaign at odds with the Republican Party’s longstanding platform, the newest iteration of which will be officially unveiled at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. In spite of the massive public outcry from the right over Todd Akin’s comments, and amazement at the ignorance of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD facing a tough fight in Maryland’s redefined sixth congressional district)  who spouted “there are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest (that he argues is very small, but a member in his Town Hall meeting noted it was an every-day occurrence” (video), the official GOP platform committee drafted a provision Monday supporting a “human life amendment” that would outlaw abortion without specifying exemptions for rape or incest. The platform reads:

Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. 

Stages of Embryo Development

I do not agree. A fetus is not an unborn child. A fetus is a choice. No man and no other woman has the right to decide the destiny or fate of the fetal tissues within any woman’s uterus. Only the woman carrying the evolving tissue has the right to make that choice–and at any time during its evolutionary period of development.  It is not a person, it is a part of the woman’s body until when, if ever, it is born.  No fetus should ever be born if it is the product of rape, incest, or the host mother knows she cannot support it, love it, take care of it, or offer it basic necessities.  An abortion is better.  The world must go not to a zero-growth movement, but to a plan for regressive or negative population growth.  The world has too many unwanted, unloved, abused, and starving children (not just in India or China, but throughout the world), and to bring a child into a world that has used up 40% of its nonrenewable resources in the last 30 years is criminal.  At best the world’s nonrenewable resources will last only 70 years.  Today, the USA tosses out 40% of its food–none is given to the poor, the homeless, the unwanted. The same is true for other nations.

Donald Trump denying climate change

Almost single-handed, Donald Trump and the Koch Brothers are permanently destroying the water planet: Earth.  Even the water is contaminated. This does not bother Steven King or his Republican cretinous cronies in the House of Senate of the government, for they deny science and climate change as if both were bogus.  Trump is the most bogus of the group, with no knowledge of medicine or science (his bachelor degree “in science” is in economics not in environmental science–to help him manage the wealth he inherited–he did not earn it), as seen when he claimed, falsely, that vaccinations cause autism (read here and here where he illegally gives medical advice on Twitter; cp. here as his illusions of granduer and mastery of limited knowledge suggests some mental challenges). Unfortunately, after King , Trump, Inhofe and their benighted birdbrain buddies destroy everything, the people remaining on Earth cannot move to another planet.

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Filed under abortion, GOP, Martin Luther, Republican Party, Roman Catholicism

Politicians in judicial robes: the Lawless US Supreme Court

There has never been a more corrupt, pandering, and vile court in the history of the USA before the tragedy of the Roberts Court that is guilty of more crimes against humanity than any other tyranny.  The US Supreme Court deserves nothing less and nothing more than to be held in total contempt not only by the people of the USA but by the world for its support of torture, cruelty, corporate fraud and idiocy.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin (“Niño” or Nino) Scalia had cast-off any semblance of objectivity and partisanship.  He openly admits to siding with the ultra-conservative right-wing of the Republican Party, when he bellied up to Arizona on the racist infamous “where are your papers” law against Latinos and Latinas in the Court’s draconian decision on Arizona immigration law (SB 1070).  While the decision did increase, proportionately, the powers of the Federal government, Scalia’s brief argued for the superiority of state law over federal  law—siding with Arizona and its wealth who contribute heavily to his “funds” and is the heralded darling of the Koch Brothers’ and their labor to dismantle the Constitution of the USA and dissolve the rights of all workers.  This is done with Scalia and Clarence Thomas’ deliberate misreading the Commerce (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, read here) and Establishment clauses in the Constitution in their elevation of corporations as people (Citizens United v. FEC read here and here).

Silent, sedentary and stolid with the least keen intellect of anyone who has ever sat on the bench of the highest court in the land, Clarence Thomas’ vote was assured once conservative billionaires paid his most recent wife, Virginia (who has studied law but ignores the fine points concerning harassment and aspersions bordering on libel), over $700,000 that Thomas conveniently forgot to include in his federal IRS tax return (read here and here).  Various indiscretions have called for Thomas’ impeachment, the Virginiagate (that had upset many conservatives) proving to be a major obstacle in most minds that anyone could get a fair hearing in front of  Thomas, with most seeing the US Supreme Court as the arm of corporate America.

Both Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have flaunted their ties to conservative activist organizations. Virginia Thomas, the justice’s wife, works as a conservative activist and fundraiser. Both hold the US Constitution in open contempt.  Both reactionaries reject all past Supreme Court rulings that do not fit the political agenda of the Koch Brothers who amply award their lap-dogs special treats after rulings in their favor, and deny justice to those abused or tortured with Clarence Thomas claiming a prisoner who was slammed to a concrete floor and punched and kicked by a guard after asking for a grievance form — but suffered neither serious nor permanent harm — has no claim that his constitutional rights were violated.

Manhattan Institute honors Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for his attack on labor unions, women’s right of choice, and minorities 2012

The pretense that Justices Scalia, Roberts, and Thomas are neutral has regularly, consistently, and patently been disproved, especially when Scalia and Thomas attended a secret conservative meeting of fascist-tilting Think Tanks and expressed outrage at laws aimed to assist the middle class and paid Thomas’ wife hundreds of thousands of dollars. With Samuel Alito, another ultra-conservative Supreme Court justice of modest intellectual ability, Thomas attended and Alioto spoke at political fundraisers for Koch-backed politicians where guests were required to pay $5000 to attend. 

Georgia Pacific (Koch Industries) polluting fresh water ways 2012

In 2008, Justice Thomas headlined the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lecture.  Last October, Justice Alito was the headline speaker for the same event.  Both spoke of profits; neither mentioned the cost to the planet or to the workers as many jobs were already outsourced and working families had lost their homes to big banks attending the secret meetings while Koch Industries continued their pollution the air, water, and lands of the USA.

Georgia Pacific polluting Coffee Creek river AR (Koch Industries)

Georgia Pacific polluting Coffee Creek river AR (Koch Industries)

The Manhattan Institute, funded by major corporations like CIGNA (a health insurance company with no interest in patient rights), Koch Industries (the biggest polluter as with Coffee Creek, AR that takes the brunt of solid waste from the Georgia-Pacific plant) and ExxonMobil and Chevron, petroleum companies (Chevron named an oil tanker after Condoleezza Rice who sat on its Board of Directors and plotted to push a pipeline through Afghanistan even though she knew such action would involve the USA in a war for oil, but prepared for it by planning military action in Iraq based on the lie of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) that would enhance profits for Halliburton and its CEO Vice President Dick Cheney.  Bush knew there were no WMDs, but saw the invasion of a nation whose leader, Saddam Hussein, was installed by Donald Rumsfeld (video) at the order of Ronald Reagan.

Chevron’s oil tanker: The Condoleezza Rice

Today Rice is headlining fundraisers for Mitt Romney and still working for an international war that was not realized with the wrongful invasion of Iraq, as she has always been a hawk for war (the CIA had warned her about 9/11 and al-Qaeda’s attack, and she said and did nothing).  Noting its profits regardless of the cost of human life, Rice delights in human carnage and suffering if profits role into her conservative colleagues coffer or into her pocket when paid for vitriolic, horrible, harridan speeches).  Although Rice boasts a doctorate in Soviet Union studies (eleven years after it ceased to exist) she has never been in tune with reality and ignored every single Islamic movement, assuring Chevron and other Big Oil that Bush would conquer and, with Halliburton, reap unthinkable revenues as it raped the Middle Eastern nations of their natural resources returning only pennies on the dollar, in keeping the theology of the Koch Brothers and other billionaire barons.  There is insurmountable evidence that Rice is guilty of numerous crimes against humanity and must be held accountable, tried, and when convicted, executed (read here, view here).  She approved tortures used at Abu Gharib prison and instructed interrogators to use them. 

US female soldiers torturing Iraqi at Abu Gharib prison

Her crimes are no less odious and evil than those of the women guards at Nazi death camps and American female soldiers who pulled out eyes, finger nails, and humiliated Iraqi civilians at Abu Gharib prison (tortures that she approved of when informed of them and waterboarding by Professor John Yoo of UC Berkeley and advisor to George W. Bush), and in most cases far more blood-thirsty. 

US soldiers forcing mothers to watch US military torture their sons at Abu Gharib prison in Iraq

Rice had the whispered backing of Antonin Scalia (who was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986 to the Supreme court) and the other hate mongers and hawks on the US Supreme Court who squelched the voters choice and installed the village idiot, George W. Bush, as president of the USA (barring a recount in Florida) beginning the downfall of the people’s confidence in the Supreme Court of the USA (the Florida court ruled for Gore, and Bush appealed to his friends on the US Supreme Court to overturn the Florida’s court).

Scalia began “teaching” Republicans and Tea Party legislators, at the bequest and expense of Koch Industries that are polluting fresh water reservoirs and the atmosphere, how to reinterpret the Constitution so that they could give corporations more power and attack the rights of the poor and middle class. Scalia has gone so far as to go on record to argue that the 14th amendment does not make women equal to men and that women have no equal rights under the US constitution.  This pleased woman-stagnifying Phyllis Schlafly.

Equal Rights Amendment introduced 1923

Phyllis McAlpine Stewart Schafly (born 1924) had made a lucrative career out of fighting against equal rights for women since her days at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.  She crusades against federal money going to education (claiming it does not “create jobs”), was highly critical of arms-agreements with the then Soviet Union, and other ultra-conservative causes to increase the wealth of a few.

Phyllis Schlafly

Antonin Scalia claimed that women just had the right to vote.  His astonishing comment brought vocal celebration by the Phyllis Schlafly and her Eagle Forum; Schlafly.  Schlafly, an attorney, argues that a woman’s place is in the home–for all women except herself.  She has campaigned not only to stop the Equal Rights Amendment (first introduced in 1923), to take “secularism” out of public schools, and to “restore” the USA to its original intent [sic] of being a “Christian nation” (that would later be repeated by former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  The USA was never founded as a Christian nation–although a few communities were established as theocracy, as under the Mathers (read here and here).  Two of the men (there were no women at the Continental Congress in any capacity) who signed the Declaration were deists, there were a few Roman Catholics and the rest nonjudgmental Protestants: Unitarians, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Quakers and Anglicans. None proclaimed, wrote, or said, as did O’Connor and Schlafly, that they were forming a “Christian nation”; on the contrary, the goal was to establish a Republic with equal justice for all white, landowning males.

Phyllis Schlafly in 2011 (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Now, eighty-eight years old, Phyllis Schlafly continues to distort and destroy history in feigned aspiration of protecting the nation she would transmogrify into a police state.  Her son, Andrew, has already established his Conservapedia on the web to issue “conservative alternatives” to established facts and entrench the false idea that Christianity in particular, and religion in general, played a positive role in the shaping of the USA; it is tantamount to telling that Billy Graham is the original Elmer Gantry in fiction.

Reagan and G.H.W. Bush

At the Koch Industries secret meeting, one of the seminars dealt with enriching the wealthy and pacifying the poor with buzz-words and catch-phrases with several prominent billionaires chortling that the “poor are so stupid that they believed [billionaire] Ross Perot’s win of the White House would see a trickle-down of his wealth into their pocketbooks”—the trickle down theory argued by the disgraceful presidency of President Ronald Reagan (read here  and here and here) and his voodoo economics (read here and here), as initially detailed by his future Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush.  There was no mention of a middle class at the conservative-minded Koch event; just the wealthy and the poor.  

 Antonin Scalia speaking to a group of wealthy conservatives (February 2012)

Scalia, a member of the odious opportunistic Opus Dei theological terrorist organization created by Roman Catholic priest and self-flagalating Jose Maria Escrivá of Spain that claims that it will reconstitute the USA into a theocracy, pontificates that his interpretation is based on the misogynism of the Bible, especially in the gyneophobic writings of the legendary St. Paul—a comment heralded by Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN; read here and watch here).  Scalia is more than theocrat, and is controlled by the Vatican, but more over he is determined to shovel civilization back to the days of Torquemada and the Inquisition.  What is easily and quickly noted is Scalia’s decisions are based for the most part on the testament The Way written by the psychotic Escrivá: bowing to the decrees and regulations set off by “a higher power” (corporations), following directives set down by those considered to be superior, and maintaining a near-caste-like grouping, with those whose election to a heaven is demonstrated by the amassment of wealth and position (cp. Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth, June 1889).  For centuries the Roman Catholic Church defended its enormous wealth as a sign of its stewardship on earth, promising that the wealth was to help all people. Councils were called, synods held, and those who objected to the wealth of bishops, cardinals and popes were sent to the Holy Fires of the Inquisition, so graphically pictured by Umberto Ecco in his Name of the Rose; compare this to the preacher Todd Coontz and his Gospel of Wealth and Election.  Most evangelicals who praise wealth support the Tea Party and the Republican candidates for office, finding in their participation a key to salvation (Coontz declares “your seed is your hook” into heaven).  Coontz is matched by Houston mega-pastor Joel Olsteen who promises that the faithful who give generously will gather generously and can “expect God’s favor” in financial returns. One look at the lavish buildings owned by Opus Dei in New York City and Rome, there is no doubt about the “message of millionaires” of Jesus. Escrivá was able to buy his seat in heaven, and with a compliant pope (John Paul II) did not have long to wait to be entered into the Book of Saints as Opus Dei sent out its claws into schools and communities to bring those “hungering for salvation” into its nummaries and assorted odd cells.

Cheney (L) and Scalia (R)

Antonin Scalia’s betrayal of the US Constitution and appropriate judicial behavior is legendary: from the days he went hunting with then Vice President Dick Cheney just before the case went to the US Supreme Court and who, unhesitantly, ruled in favor of Cheney when he agreed with the former CEO of Halliburton Industries that Cheney was “beyond the law’s reach” in Walker v. Cheney (read here and here and here and here  and  here and  here).

John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the despicable US Supreme Court is not only a crook and liar, but one of the most tainted and corrupt justices in USA history, being second to lies only by Associate Justice Samuel Alioto.  Both psychotic sycophants, Roberts and Alito would pay such obeisance to the doctrine of stare decisis (Latin for “to stand by things [that have been settled)” that is, by dictionary definition: the doctrine that rules or principles of law on which a court rested a previous decision are authoritative in all future cases in which the facts are substantially the same, which Alito declared “a fundamental part of our legal system” when being interviewed by the Judicial committee before he was elevated to the Supreme Court. This principle, he explained, “limits the power of the judiciary” and “reflects the view that courts should respect the judgments and the wisdom that are embodied in prior judicial decisions” in order to get themselves confirmed.  Since their confirmations they have been legislating law with out majority consensus—the vast number of “overturns” of past court rulings have been handed down by simple majorities of 5-4, with Kennedy the swing vote. 

Justice David Souter

Justice David Souter openly declared that Roberts and his ilk were working to overturn the Constitution of the USA create a plutocracy.  Souter was chosen, originally, for his New England conservatism.  In time, Souter showed himself to be more compassionate with the people. Souter accused Roberts of “violating the Courts own procedures to engineer the result[s] he wanted.” 

Chief Justice Roberts (AP Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Roberts publicly stated that not only does he want to take down the Great Society of LBJ but also void FDR’s New Deal and all social programs, returning the USA to the bankrupt Gilded Ages of the nineteenth century when corporations ruled, controlling Congress, initiating legislation, and controlling the courts that they heavily financed for trips, homes, and entertainment.  It was during the Gilded Age in the USA when corporations controlled the courts that venomous Supreme Court ruled in 1886 that the 14th Amendment protected businesses and corporations from lawsuits. 

Lochner with wife, son, and three female employees

In 1905, the slithering soldiers of Big Business ruled in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company118 U.S. 394 and Milwaukee v. Koeffler – 116 U.S. 2219 and Milwaukee v. Koeffler – 116 U.S. 219 that corporations had greater rights than their workers or people.  In Lochner v. New York 198 U.S. 45, 25 S. Ct. 539, 49 L. Ed. 937) the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down in 1905 a New York law limiting bakery workers to a six-day 60-hour week (read a summary here), declaring that such regulations to be a breach of contract rights, an “unreasonable, unnecessary and arbitrary interference with the right of the individual to his personal liberty or to enter into those contracts in relation to labor which may seem to him appropriate or necessary for the support of himself and his family.”

According to all recognized legal scholars, Stare decisis the bedrock principle of the rule of law applies universally, not only does it promote stability and encourage judges to decide cases based on principle rather than on a preference for one or another of the parties before them.  Furthermore, the bar association has argued that Stare decisis also serves to reduce the politicization of the Court. That point is what frightens and offends the Roberts conservative colleagues as it moderates ideological swings and preserves both the appearance and the reality that the Supreme Court is truly a legal rather than a political institution.

Lt. John Pike of University of California Davis pepper sprays mace into eyes of demonstrators

Lt. John Pike of UC Davis pepper sprays mace into eyes of demonstrators

There is no true justice in the USA.  Democracy in the USA is a bad joke.  There is no freedom, as shown at the University of California at Davis Occupy Wall Street (OWS) sit-in when uniformed thugs shot lethal pepper-spay into the mouths and eyes of protesters and kicked a late-term pregnant woman in the uterus, led by the lethal Lt. John Pike of UC Davis who pepper sprayed peaceful student protesters who were sitting on the ground on protesting peacefully. This qualifies as a crime against humanity and Pike should be imprisoned for life. What little comes from state courts and reinforced by federal appellate courts have been quickly overturned by the most corrupt justices in the history of the USA at the Supreme Court level with an untempered record of anti-civil rights and opposed to all human rights. 

Personhood and corporations in Mississippi

Among the most graphic examples of court corruption is the case of “personhood” of corporations (and later, as in Mississippi, of fertilized eggs in the uterus or vagina) ruled by the Roberts court in defiance of over 200 years of legislation and court ruling (read here and read) with a draconian attack on the State of Montana’s that had throughout its history rejected corporate interference in state elections (read here  and here).

Samuel Alito disagrees during President’s speech

Samuel Alioto’s ties with Big Oil (especially Shell and Chevron) and Big Agribusiness has made him a defender of both and he consistently argues that corporations should not be faced with liability claims even if they pollute the planet, use forced-labor, or deny basic human rights like other people.  Alioto claims that the personhood of corporations applies only to their unlimited donations to control elections and buy judges and “justice”.  In every other case, corporations are to be exempt.

Protests against Kiobel and Shell for expoding gas

In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, a case that began in the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta and brought by bout a dozen Nigerians who contended that Shell Oil’s parent company aided and abetted the Nigerian government in its violent suppression of environmental and human rights protesters resisting Shell’s operations there in the 1990s. Alito sided with the corporation against those raped, tortured, and abused.  The Conservative Five politicians in judicial robes sitting on the bench of the US Supreme Court’s ruling now is taken as a measurement in cases brought against Exxon, Firestone and Rio Tinto for similar alleged atrocities.

The majority of the citizens of the USA justifiably hold the US Supreme Court in contempt and see nothing of value coming from it (read here and here and here and here).  It is widely believed by most citizens of the USA that justice like law and legislation is or sale to the highest bidder with the Koch Brothers pulling all strings on the marionette of the USA. This opinion matches the view of other nations that view the USA as an imperialist nation equal to the Third Reich that assumes it has the authority to try anyone anywhere for any crime that its courts judges  has been committed (read here and for the greatest pretense of the court system read here).  

US Supreme Court justices and what corporations own them

It is commonly understood that in the decaying USA, justice can be bought as the justices sitting on the US Supreme Court are open to bribes, regularly accept “gifts” from major donors, such as the Koch Brothers, and industries such as GE, ExxonMobile, McDonald’s, Chevron, Bank of America and others that are outsourcing jobs and destroying what use to be the American way of life and the American dream that is no longer possible.  By June 7, 2012, the Roberts Supreme Court approval was barely 44% and racism (read here and here and here) in the USA was at all-time high in every state of the Union including in college towns such as Ames, Iowa (read here and here; Iowa ranks as the most racist state in the northern tier of states), Boulder, Colorado which is ranked as the most racist state in the west, and especially in Chicago and Massachusetts (especially under Governor Mitt Romney who publicly criticized the legislature’s unanimous passage of a minimum wage for lacking cost-of-living indexing; Romney argued that workers only deserve a quarter an hour raise, a claim he repeated in March 2012)—not just in the rural areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and other impoverished areas that live in home of a better life to come.  This comes along with statistics showing that 98% of all USA citizens have no idea of who is sitting on the Supreme Court—they only know the adverse effects of Supreme Court rulings (read here and here  and  here).

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Filed under History of USA, Opus Dei, Republican Party

Education in Peru is failing and what can be done to restore it

Patriotism has its place—as an expression of loyalty. It is not a hood to cover reality as if it were some medieval monk scurrying about to find heretics and apostates. Patriotism, especially to a partisan party or religion, is both plutocratic as well as destructive of the educational process. While I have written at length about bad education in the USA (where 7000 high school students drop out of education every day) and in other nations, when I noted that education in Perú is the third worst education in the world, it sets off a fire

Casone de San Marcus Universidad (Lima, Perú)

alarm heated by Perú patriotism that Perú universities are the best. They are not (for Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos that shares the 601 place with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú). The growing scandal of corruption in the Roman Catholic Church indicates that it may well be on its last century, especially with the odiously opportunistic Opus Dei prelature that delights in transmogrifying reality in search of a past that never existed. No where but Perú is this evil organization, Opus Dei, such a total threat to the treatment of mortals, where its male  antagonists speak out against women who rightfully demand choice, while turgid theological  vociferate ranting roars against men who want to plan families and stop acting like cuyes constantly in heat.

Augusto cardinal Vargas Alzamora (Lima, Perú)

The principal source of this nefarious plot to topple sanity is Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima (who was formally accused of murdering, or at least planning the assassination of his predecessor, the equally conservative Jesuit cleric cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora, a native of Lima, who “officially” died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Cipriani Thorne was lucky as he had friends in high places within the Vatican who squelched any question that their favored archbishop might be a murderer.  Cipriani Thorne saw the accusations destroyed or rejected by the Roman curia eager to protect itself and its predatory priests.

The high-handed tactics of the Vatican enraged Perú’s best known writer and only  Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa.  Vargas Llosa became personally involved, and in a stinging attack in the Spanish newspaper El País, described Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne as a “representative of the Church’s worst tradition, its authoritarian and obscurantist tradition”.

Cipriani Thorne, even though many youth had come forward claiming that they had seen the future prelate frequent the Downtowner (a homosexual bar in Lima), was the leading Opus Dei cleric and only Opus Dei cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.  He had support of many bishops, but not all of the bishops in Perú supported Cipriani Thorne.  The cardinal had some support among some intellectuals and politicians, but not all, as he was a staunch supporter of Alberto Fujimori and of dictatorship in Perú, which if it were under a Fujimori, could remove religious liberty from those not practicing the Roman Catholic faith. 

Catacombs below San Francisco church in Lima, Perú

While Cipriani’s Roman Catholic College of Bishops rule as if they were still sitting in the Torquemada’s torture carnivorously cruel chambers in Spain or sixteenth century Lima where human heads were piled in roles to celebrate forced conversions, closures of institutes and schools that sought private investigation, and the cranium of women and young boys savagely beaten to death. Early Spanish records noted what is still common today–that when landlord or priest wanted someone for sex and the individual refused, the penalty for refusal was instant death.  Many executed were thrown unceremoniously into the catacombs over which the clergy of Lima prayed, offered the Mass, and sang hymns to a god without mercy. The Council of Bishops were not pawns, however, for Cipriani to move across a chessboard already soaked in human blood with the past stained by both terrorists and police and Fujimori thugs.

Most schools are multigrade; many of them are also in very poor physical condition

In 2007, according to a report released by the World Economic Forum, out of 131 countries ranked in the world, Perú had the dubious distinction of being in last place in the quality of its elementary school education. In the areas of math and science it was in the 130th place. The high schools fared the same: they are bad throughout Perú and in all subject areas.  Much of it is due to poverty, and schools are multigraded and the structures are in poor condition that the governments of Peru historically ignore.

Poverty in Perú (2005)

Debilitating 96% of the people of Perú, the issue of poverty throughout Perú keeps education from expanding, libraries basically remain non-existent, and only the most desperate and ill-educated apply for teaching positions as most teachers need to teach in two or more schools in one day just to provide food for their families.  All governments throughout Perú history have uniformly ignored the need of future generations and squandered taxes for private adventures, personal pleasures, and family greed: from the Congressional representatives (such as “Señor Pollo” (a nickname for Jose Anaya who was convicted of illegal billing the Perú people and received a five year prison sentence; watch this video) billed Congress for “excessive” consumption of chicken dinners at the expense of the Perú people in two days (the actual charge reads: “pues retornó el 25 y 27 de abril, días en que consumió pollos por S/.428 y S/. 397, respectivamente, según consta en las boletas N° 00970 y N° 00979.” of chicken lunches).  Anaya was not unique in his brazen theft.  The Perú congress has long been known for its built in corruption, as if any one is elected to sit in Congress, that person collects a pension from the government as long as he or she is alive.  Bills are turned in for nearly expense, and the Treasurer of Congress signs off on the bill and issues a voucher for payment.  What was strange was the case that appeared with the sitting Treasurer of Congress.  The Treasurer of Congress, Lucía Bravo Roncal, billed Congress S/.4547 for a personal shopping trip to Italy while Congress was sitting.

All surveys and tabulations on the quality of education around the world point out one damning and devastating fact. One of the worse places for  an education is in Perú.  This is more humiliating when it is known that the worse place for education is within Perú’s universities. What each level of education (each grade) has in common is that none educate. All indoctrinate.  Teachers repeat the errors of their instructors who reiterated the fantasies of their former professors. Textbooks are considered nearly sacred since they are in print–even when illegal photocopies that are not complete are passed out to public school children–as what was considered adequate information in the past no matter how recent or far back the past was, it was considered acceptable for the students of today–and for their children. 

There are numerous private schools that I have visited that openly encourage students to copy any article, book, thesis, or other form of intellectual property.  The librarians at these schools claim that the publisher of any book a student sought gave the student the right to copy the material since the school or university had bought two or more original copies.  This is not just with impoverished schools or schools in the mountains or Amazons, but it includes universities and primary and secondary schools in Lima and capitals of provinces as well as towns and villages Perú-wide (read here and here and here where Blockbusters closed down because of the epidemic of illegal photocopying, copying, and illegal sharing).  While there are laws officially on legal registers, and police and judges are sworn to uphold them protecting intellectual property, copyright, trademark, and other similar means of retaining the owner or developer’s rights, judges, police, and other law enforcement officials ignore Perú’s copyright laws and in many cases break them directly.

The black market that is rampant throughout Peru has cost Perú over 100,000 jobs since 2005, and the number of those being  unemployed or underemployed climbs daily as the corrupt governments of Perú do nothing.  Blockbusters and other foreign businesses will never return to Perú because of the high rate of theft among all groups and levels of citizens. When I taught at the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism in Lima, the directors of different divisions bragged about how many illegal discs, CDs, books and so forth they had in their homes. They laughed at me when I read the Peru law against plagiarism–with each director, his or her secretary and all students who I taught in the official building in San Isidro telling me that copyright law does not apply to government workers “or those who can get away with it”.  Some snorted: “Americans/gringoes are too stupid.  They will continue to supply us with music, movies, and books. When they send them down here, we will steal them so that they are free for us.  Americans are rich. We are not–so we steal what we cannot afford to pay for”. 

I have found this to be the dicta and rubric of Roman Catholic, Adventist, and Baptist schools and churches; it is that widespread). I have watched lawyers, judges, principals, teachers, students go into a theater and film what was being shown.  I have witnessed the copying of books on a daily basis.  When I go down La Marina in San Miguel, or Jose Balta in Chiclayo, I see illegally copied movies that had not as of that date even been released to theaters in the USA–as I am told that there are Peruanos working in Hollywood who have access to new films before they are released, and copy them to send to their families in Perú so that the family makes money and eats.  There are so many mafias in Perú that is difficult to find anyone who is honest.  The poorer a person is, the more easily it is to get the person to steal: thus teachers are the worse offenders when it comes to protecting copyright material.

Peruano criminals look at illegal movies for sale on nearly every street corner

Teachers slouch forward repeating ancient myths they were taught without question, students are irresponsible and memorize just to pass in hopes of obtaining work that doesn’t include driving a taxi, and libraries (few and far between) are for social gatherings.

In 2007, Antonio Chang, the last of the competent and determined Ministers of Education, set out to test over 350,000 Perú teachers (a strategy praised by the largest percentage of Perú parents). SUTEP protested, as most of its members failed the examinations (read here and here  and here). One site claims that only 151 out of 185,000 teachers passed the basic competency and literary exam, which is 5,000 more teachers than I cite in several of my published articles (read here and here and here)  while  another writer cites 181,000). Wikileaks, some being published in El Comercio, noted that almost 50 percent of public school teachers were unable to answer simple questions about mathematics, and more than 30 percent were functionally illiterate. Primary school teachers (where the brightest teachers should be teaching) and those working in rural areas (where education is nearly impossible to achieve) received the lowest scores. In competitiveness, Perú ranked 83 in 2008.  Peru was 94th among nations in organizational competitiveness. In the area of innovation it was 83. In development Perú was ranked in the lowest tier. Perú is ranked low in business ethics (92:134), high in police corruption (123 with the lowest being 134: p. 288). Education remains stagnantly low. Perú has laws against plagiarism and intellectual property protection, but ranks 121 out of 134 for open infractions with crimes of plagiarism openly committed by the Department of Justice and all government, industrial, business and especially educational institutions. This has, over the years of growing corruption (especially in the presidencies of provinces and local government) to an overwhelming distrust of political figures and operatives (120:134). Business is strangled by complicated and heavy bureaucracy and regulations (123:134), with the result (127:134) that the infrastructure of Peru is one of the world’s worst. Primary education dropped to 133:134 (second from last in the world; in Bolivia, a nation Perú treats with scorn, the primary rating is 127:134), matching secondary and university education (in Bolivia it is 132:124), with the lowest scores in mathematics, sciences (in Bolivia it is 119:134 compared to Perú that is at 133:134) and foreign languages (especially English where teachers are hired on the bases of age (youngest preferred), and cronyism, with many, female and male, prospective teachers offering sex for appointments). 

Research is discouraged at all levels of academe, and university-industry research cooperation comes in at 107:134. Quality of scientific institutions is 121:134, with a large majority of professors in science and agriculture unqualified to teach or do basic research. Knowledge of business and business techniques and competitive advantage is 93:134. Perú educational institutions are ranked at second from last, but within Perú the ranking of Peru universities is unique as while the Pontifical University in Lima is first (not tied with San Marcus), private universities excel more than national universities (for example, Universidad César Vallejo is #19 while Universidad Nacional Pedro Ruiz is #36).

To do business in Perú or with Perú, at this time, is insanity, as investors are robbed of profits, manufacturers in Perú use shoddy material, and employees are overworked and underpaid and so steal (the average workday in Perú is 12-14 hours, the workweek is six days, and the average salary below S/600 (roughly a little over $200) a month–while attempting to buy a house costs an average of S/.748, to rent an apartment is S/.300, and to take one month of classes in many universities is S/300).

In 2010, only two nations had a worse record for unacceptable (bad) education: Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan. The top two best educated nations are #1 South Korea, and #2 Finland.  The USA is #14, and the UK #20.

In the area of languages, the percentage is proportionately lower in Perú.  Teachers of foreign languages are woefully inadequate, ill-prepared, and poorly undertained.  Better schools of language learning are in Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Columbia and Brasil.  The main problem in Perú is the proliferation of Language Centers and shoddy universities, as, at present, anyone can start a university without faculty or facilities–and most do not have a traditional library.  There are schools (like Top Class [sic] English) that have websites that

Top Class English methodology webpage

are 100% in Spanish, where are English classes are taught in Spanish, and

Top Class English Evaluation page

where subject matter is elementary.

Top Class English anonymous recommendations page both in Spanish

I am uncertain how Top Class [sic] English had my e-mail address, so I wrote them to inquire about that and other questions that I would have appreciated an answer to inasmuch as I am writing a book on the teaching of English in Perú.  I never had a reply.  However, I have interviewed a few who have made application with Top Class, and they responded that the courses are taught in Spanish–a common practice among many institutes and schools.

UTP teaches computer use and programming, SENATI began as a trade school (primarily automotives) and branched out to teach languages–basically English as it brings in the greatest revenue, offering the First Certificate in English (FCE; I was its first teacher, and followed by those who had difficulty with pronunciation and grammar), and had one teacher ask me if I would pass him on the FCE examination.  When I asked why, he said he would more make more money, and I commented that it would best to learn correct English first, before attempting to teach the language.  I notified the director of SENATI who shrugged, and I never saw the “teacher” again.  Other institutes advertise for English teachers on the internet–the home and subsequent pages being in Spanish (as with Top Class [sic] English). 

All that is required is a diploma (of some sort) but no one seeks transcripts to prove authenticity, and few applicants have ever published anything.  Most teachers in Perú will never research even an article; it is a rare teacher who publishes–and in most cases the few publications that see print are self-printed. Peer review is unheard of and seldom  used; even when students at the “better” (private or Roman Catholic or church related) universities take an oral examination on a proposed thesis, there are no serious questions, and the committee is not made up of professors in the student’s field.  They are selected randomly.

Being a teacher of English, I find that most of my students in the fifth cycle have not passed the basic level of competency, still they have been and continue to be continuously advanced to higher cycles and even graduate, in many cases by teachers whose language skills are submarginal at best. This leads to a renewal of ignorance and the further decline of education in

A real e-mail from a student you considered herself a successful English speaker.

Perú. Students wrote me, frequently, begging for the lowest possible score, claiming that when they are teachers they will learn the language and prove they were worth the extra “boost” in grade.  Later, when I had the opportunity to interview graduating students for positions that required fluency and accuracy in the English language, and found none qualified–and shared that information with my class in English Composition and e-mail correspondence, I received condemnation as seen in this letter:

Student objected to me not recommended a Peru graduate for a major position because of the lack of fluency and accuracy in the English language.

I was told by many students and faculty in the English Department, that grammar rules, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure were unimportant.  The common comment was “if the message is understood, it’s sufficient.”  I disagreed.  I was fortunate as my Academic Dean supported me, and listened as I offered to teach a course for teachers that would enable each professor to present English correctly (and no longer speak as if he or she were Mick Jagger or Daddy Yankee).

 
At the beginning of this year’s January summer session, I was offered the rewarding challenge to teach a basic English grammar course to the professors of English at the university where I teach.  The course was to be a workshop requiring participation of all students. 
 
At the end of the eight week class (meeting twice a week for 2.5 hours a day), I was saddened, but not surprised, with the results. These results were based on (1) attendance, (2) participation individually and as a group.  This would count for 50% of the grade. The other 50% of the grade was based on in-class writing.  What each faculty-student wrote during the last hour of the class, I reminded the class every day, would be reviewed the following day as a group. I corrected the sentences at home, then made a PowerPoint presentation of the writing of each class member to show the next morning. This was repeated for each class that I conducted.
 
Each day the class covered a specific point of grammar. My Academic Dean, one of the finest and most resourceful leaders I have ever encountered, had made this course a requirement for all English teachers, and had informed the faculty that the course was mandatory. 
 
Even with the word “obligatory” spelled out by the Academic Dean not all teachers of English attended.  Many of my coworkers were absent–most of the time. 
 
Following the Academic Dean’s directive, I composed a review of what happened and my assessment.  This is the letter that I presented developing and explaining my evaluation of my peers.  I only change the tense now and delete actual student names to safeguard their privacy and cause no one undo embarrassment.

Summary of results of the Grammar for XXXX Professors, summer 2012:

Overview: It was my hope, and ineffectual ambition, to be able to offer the faculty of English the foundations for correct English grammar, and wean teachers at XXXX from vulgar (street) English—so common today. To achieve this goal, I followed classic pedagogical patterns that have been successfully used at major universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Carnegie, and so forth, even though many of these once stellar universities have given up established standards to ensure purity of speech for immediacy and modernism as found on the streets–as is now seen in Cambridge’s sponsorship of the bankrupt IB Programme).  

I appropriated the use of individual parts of a sentence:  beginning with Articles and ending with Direct Objects. Each part of a sentence was defined, discussed, and an invitation was issued verbally inviting argument, rebuttal,  discourse and analysis.

Modus Operandi:  The methodology for this course was to introduce each part of grammar as it appears in a well-constructed English sentence. At the beginning of each class, a presentation was given on a particular part of English grammar beginning with articles, then adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs and so forth.  After a brief overview with proffered examples and pregnant questions asked, the class was encouraged to engage in small group and class-wide discussion: questioning what was unknown or uncommon, refuting comments that I made, rebutting effectiveness of examples, affirming agreement but with caveats, examples, and so forth.  The final hour of each class was devoted to a classic (Aristotelean) workshop: all students were instructed to write sentences emphasizing the grammatical part discussed in class and use it in context within a complete sentence. Papers, requiring from seven to 20 such sentences, were gathered at the end of the time period to be graded that evening by me and then returned to the students the next day after the class, as a group, viewed a PowerPoint presentation of each essay (with the name of the author deleted for the sake of privacy).  Before scanning each paper, I highlighted any error, explained why the word, phrase or sentence was incorrect, and detailed how the sentence could be rewritten using perfect English grammar.

Results and reactions:  While it was made clear by both the Academic Dean and the Director of the Language Department that this was an obligatory / mandatory course, most faculty-students approached this requirement with a cavalier attitude. This is clearly seen in the number of classes students missed, assignments not turned in, and low scores on participation earned. Some students failed to attend any class after the first scheduled meeting. Other alumni selected to avoid various classes, and many were “unavailable” to attend the last week–it was their “holiday time”. 

A few did comment it was wrong for a co-teacher to teach them, even though they had not reached the master degree level and I have an earned doctorate and a plethora of publications.  As for publications, four students claimed that research and writing was a waste of time, as students (and faculty, they noted, including themselves) had better “things” to do than to research, read, write, or analyze. 

Two students stated that I was a fool to research, write, and publish when I could be in a restaurant drinking beer. There were some exemplary exceptions, but these exceptions were rare.

What was learned from this class? I found the exercise to have been worthwhile. It showed definite trends in the learning processes: a declination, not acceleration in the mastery of subject matter.  While I am not in charge of hiring or dismissing any teacher, and most teachers who I know have two or three jobs additional appointments at different universities and schools, their approach to the learning process is elementary at best, but in reality it is unacceptable: not only are the faculty’s students being robbed of a chance to learn, grow intellectually, and be better than their parents in the field of knowledge, and make Perú a better place to live, grow, and learn, but the teachers sitting in class with me failed to appreciate the opportunity the university was offering them: to learn more about English by someone who has written and taught more than fifty years. 

I sympathize with my faculty-students and their need to make living, and regret that in any other society those who had a score of less than 14 would not be offered an appointment at a university unless it was of dubious or marginal quality and was in existence to promote religious blind faith and not scholarship.  This is the case a low-ranked institutions such as at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, Liberty University and Regents University in Virginia (of Regents Law College first year law class, only 50% of its students passed the Virgina bar exam).

Those students who missed the obligatory grammar class(es) were invited to notify the Directora and myself and arrange for a recovery class. Those who did not turn in papers were invited both by e-mail and in person to create and present to me the missing paper. In nearly every case the students who were absent or did not turn in required papers made no effort to contact me or to find a way to make up the work.

It is true that I am but a teacher at XXXX, but when I was Area Coordinator European Studies (in charge of the departments of Languages, History, Social Sciences, and Art) at XXXX (a Roman Catholic University) in California, I visited with the teachers who showed no to lackadaisical interest in their subject area, teaching, researching or writing. Since university standards were high, turnover was equally high.  The university wanted the best teachers for their students. With unconcealed disgust with their professional responsibilities and obligations, holding random office hours and being short with students, I had serious reservations in renewing their contracts.  At departmental meetings I made my observations known, supporting my objections with concrete examples of inefficiency and lack of subject matter knowledge either by presenting student evaluations or films I made at the back of the classroom.  The faculty who were unresponsive to my entreaties, and irresponsible with the work assigned made no protestation.  I left their fates with the faculty senate.

At both universities (the one in Perú, and, earlier, the one in California) there was the personal gratification, warmly welcomed by me, when students questioned examples and even presentations.  This showed me that they were thinking independently. I cautioned them against being like Galileo who would renounce his own wisdom and discovery just to make the Roman Catholic Church give him peace and not put him through the tortures that awaited so many scientists, pushing the advance of science and knowledge backwards into past generations, in the same way that John Paul II cautioned Stephen Hawking against a too-rapid advance of science.  Benedict XVI has come out publicly stating that it is the role of science to prove the existence of a god–but that is impossible since science tests theories while faith accepts beliefs. It is true that many said what I was offering as commentary did not match their books, and I agreed.  I also noted that their books were wrong, that publishers today are more keen to make a profit than to print what is correct.  When I was student, a half-a-century ago, we would buy the complete works of Plato in paperback for 95 cents and Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary was $7.95 (it still has its paper jacket on which is imprinted the price)–that I still use.  We only made $1 an hour as laborers; still, we saw our investment in books as an investment in our futures.  I built my own library from one book to 65,000 volumes that I still maintain (very little of which is fiction).

One of the more mature students (I use this phrase to protect her identity; hereafter I will refer to her as Mrs. M) was uniquely agile in this regard and questioned several trends found commonly in Perú in the teaching of the English language. I noted that most came from either bad textbooks or canned courses such as the IB Programme or books such as Travellers.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language

The greatest problem is that there is no standardized English and vulgar English has taken over that would have dismayed Samuel Johnson who worked hard in the eighteenth century to standardize the idiom by publishing his massive dictionary on April 15, 1755. The Dictionary was  a work that took him nine years to complete with the aid of a single scribe.

Many Perú students have mastered British English (but only vulgar / street English; such as “using a cooker before chipping into a lorry”; in American English that would be “preparing a meal on the stove before getting into a truck”) while others have studied American English (the majority of it being slang; they spoke of “chicks” [girls] and “reeving  up” [becoming excited] before “taking a bath” [bathing; I always wondered where they would take that bath–would they really carry a tub or shower stall into the street?]).

While Perú born teachers worked to enhance their knowledge and skills, the American teachers, who generally were the worse teachers, hailed contemporary music (especially the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Daddy Yankee) as the best way to learn English.  That I was told by the sales force at Merck Pharmaceuticals in Ate, a suburb of Lima when I first moved to Perú.  They threw words around without any knowledge of their meaning, and justified their commentaries as “matching the language of the students” noting that it really “wasn’t all that important to teach proper English as most students” would end up driving Ticos (a small taxi).

Most of the American teachers I knew (I taught with five at a private Roman Catholic colegio, and when I resigned, the others resigned too; they told me that they came to Peru for a temporary stay: they were: “on holiday” or “seeking a chance to meet Perú men” for temporary partnerships.  Teaching was for “extra coins”.

SUTEP protesting required examinations in Lima 2007

While Perú has various “professional groups” from SUTEP (the teachers’ union established to maintain jobs even when the teacher is totally incompetent) to various “institutes” whose sole purpose for existence was to make money off the citizens of Perú who want to escape their native land to move to the USA.  Cinemas and tabloids spoke of the USA as if it really were a heaven lined with streets of gold. They were assured everyone had a job, could “get” a house with a swimming pool, and earn extraordinarily high wages with little labor and no need for an education.

No matter what I said, noting that they were living in a cinematic world of fantasy, I was reproached by those who viewed the luxurious lives of stars living in magnificent mansions and crusing on yachts.  Angelina Jolie was hailed as a prime example of what the USA offered once they viewed “her home” in “Tomb Raider”.  Others declared that Bollywood showed India to be a land of great riches, massive palaces, fine cloth, unlimited gold, and a cornucopia of food for all–there were, the students declared, no poor or hungry as existed in Perú, as those in India sang and danced all day and drank their fill at night as cool air brushed past silken curtains supported by marble pillars astride polished stone walkways.

My goal has always been to teach correct academic English that draws from all English groups: USA, UK, Union of South Africa, and so forth. My goal has always been that the individual student would benefit from the entire plethora of English phraseology. As a philologist, I wanted words used correctly. I thought there were others like me.  I went in search of them.

I was especially startled when I spoke with members of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) in Perú who spoke street English. One TESOL teacher told me to “take a chair” when I entered her office. When I picked it up and carried it from the room the teacher was livid and barked out a question on how I could dare perform such an action. I shrugged, and then gently reminded her that she told me to “take a chair”—and take (in both Castellaño Spanish and English) means “to carry”. 

Politely I tried to refresh her memory by stating that she did not ask me to “sit down” and wait until she finished her conversation on the telephone. At that point she shreiked, “I wanna do this clear: you are to give English courses”.  At that point I laughed so hard (knowing that I would never affiliate with a school where she was employed) that she became more hostile and warned “Iza gonna hit you hard if you put this in my face”. Nearly spitting, she informed me that she had graduated from “a top university in the US”.  Gasping for breath, she asked me “why you trouble me, so?”

Dutifully I responded. As carefully as I could I worded my comments,  mentioning that there are no legitimate words such as  “wanna” “iza” “gonna” or even “US” in any competent dictionary.  I noted that US was not the USA, as there are other United States: as is the case with the United States of Brasil [the correct spelling”] as well as United States of Mexico (it has 31 states) and various other countries that consider and style themselves as united states. I made no mention of my own education even though my schools rank in the top ten—her university is in the lower 40s according to the evaluation published by Business Week.

I never did determine what I was “put[ting] in her face.”  I am totally inadequate with slang, and cannot comprehend gutter-speech.  Unfortunately the other TESOL teachers whom I visited with at different times for various reasons did not reassure me of quality of a TESOL education.  TESOL—it seemed too much like the rank rawness of the IB Programme.  TESOL, like TOEFL, is a certificate awarded when a student passes an exam.  Neither TESOL or TOEFL are degrees, as is a BA, MA, PhD, and so forth.

I helped an American woman who had a BA and a TOEFL to initiate an MA program at a national university in one of Perú’s provinces.  We were to be a committee of three, but the third person, a man who also had a bachelor’s degree—although he always styled himself as “Doctor”–came only to the first and last meeting.  He was concerned about his job as there was one more upheavel feared in the administration of the Language Department.

The National Univeristies of Perú have frequent administrator shifts.  They are all based on politics, and the national university where I taught the students ruled the teachers, demanding less homework, easier grading, and giving a “point-by-point” address that they could write down and use in their own careers.  I have never agreed with that ideology or pedagogy, and did not follow student rule during my first semester.

My career at the National University came to an end abruptly when my students denounced me as incompetent, trying to sell my own books: I wrote the only book that I know of on the subject that the class was focused on, and brought copies of it from the USA and told the students where they could buy the books at S/.25 — if they wanted the book (you cannot buy originally published book in Perú for S/.25 = $8).  The students complained that they had paid the national university $/.40 soles for materials and thus the book should be for free–even though I would not see the S/.25.  There final complaint was that I was not teaching the subject–a subject field I had created.

It was a pleasure to leave the university, especially following my “exit interview with the director of the language program in English who could not speak one word of English, necessitating that we have a student translate for us.   When he made mention that the university might call me back for a course, I did muster courage not to laugh but to to say “buena suerte”. 

I left with no regrets.  I reasoned it was better not to teach than to teach that which is incorrect or caters to ignorance of which there is a bountiful supply in Perú schools and universities.  There is no way I would ever teach at that university again.

Judgments or assessments, that I have had to make over my too-long of a career have been made based on test (oral and written) grades, participation, and basic academic standards: readings assigned were to be completed, papers required were written and not copied from Wikipedia, analyses were to be made and reasoning given, and so forth.  Outside of Mrs. M, who was certainly the best student in the class and would have received a magnum cum laude with any certificate (it would have been higher, but she was troubled with numerous cellular calls, was called out of class by students and even one professor who felt that the professor’s class was more important). Mrs. M exuded polish, poise and handled all emergencies even noting that she was being denied the opportunity to rank at the top with a full twenty points. Mr. D (I do wish he would have used his full name as is the custom in Perú as any quality education requires that the student adheres to the customs of the host nation and uses titles and names accordingly;  I have added my mother’s surname following that of my father’s surname on Perú publications and in my classroom).

Mr. D did well: he wrote clearly, addressed issues punctually, patiently and professionally, was not afraid to question me or call me out on an issue that he found in his textbooks. He listened attentively, helped peers when queried, and provided humor during rather dry periods of presentation. Mr. D scored high and would be entitled to a cum laude recognition.

It is impossible to make any judgment on the rest of the class.  No one other than Mrs. M and Mr. D participated to any level that raised their score. Of the students who did poorly (to be as generous as possible), I would urge each to accept some form of academic counseling or allow me to help them privately without charge.  My offer was received negatively. No one wished the extra effort by a “co-teacher” and “especially not during vacation”. 

My greatest disappointment came when I would repeatedly be forced by my own academic standards to remind Ms. S that the Grammar course was an English course and all communications (written and verbal) had to be in English. She was not alone in speaking Spanish in an English class. Even during the final, these students insisted on speaking Castellaño with me.

To illustrate my thesis, I prepared the following graphs and charts on Excel to detail the realities of the class. I have kept every paper written. I have marks on each student’s participation. These I presented to the Directora, and now to the Academic Dean in this letter.

Analysis of Results: The following analytic table shows that the highest score was earned by Mrs. M with 18.13. This was followed by Mr. D who merited a score of 18.00. The student body of 12, who participated in the course, had 50% who successfully complete the course (based on XXXXX standards). The other 50% did not pass. Ms. N scored the lowest with 1.25.

Universidad XXXX requires that test grades be rounded up once a grade is at .50. The negative effects of grade rounding have been documented by numerous educators, psychologists and scientists (read here and here). Grade rounding promotes a psychologically unhealthy look at the value of serious work and scholarship. Students whose grades are rounded up waste time. They generally fail in real-life skills. The red line (above) show which students passed based on skill.

Pass-Fail score ranking

Attendance and participation were markedly weak.  Most points were lost because of no attendance or very little, and in most cases participation did exist with the majority of the students, as seen in this graph:

Frustration with these results was overwhelming.  My faculty-students were no better, and some were worse, than my matriculating students ages 17 to 21. When teaching students who had not yet earned a degree, most of my students would tell me that going to discotheques (some within .5 km of a school or university, a few next door to an educational center uniquely styled a university) drinking beer and having sex is more important than learning. I became use to students asking for the minimum grade to pass the course, and when I failed any one of them (I once failed an entire class at one of the most expensive private universities before resigning my position at that university) I was stalked, threatened (physically and sexually, the latter I found unusual as I am an old man), and publicly cursed  on the street and get threatening e-mail from young females who failed my course.  

Teachers, in general, tell me that what is important is to get paid and make parents, families, and churches happy with the student getting a degree that is not merited but could win for the applicant a job that the individual could not handle and would ultimately leave to drive a Tico. Competent administrators support quality in education and demand expertise in a teacher’s knowledge of subject matter and fairness in grading. This, tragically, is not universally respected nor is it required everywhere in Perú. 

Most damning of the Perú education system is there is little subject matter expertise, and what exists is in short supply and short lived as once a faculty member has what is considered a permanent position, the teacher stops reading, researching, rethinking, and writing.  It is as if the teacher died: breathing out old comments read from withering aged yellow notes, or plugging in a projector to read PowerPoint presentations to students sleeping at their desks. No student challenges the teacher as if the teacher were a god or pope, and all I have queried have attested that they have been told since kindergarten that you neither defy nor interrupt a teacher.

I have listened to those who are acclaimed to be medical doctors tell patients that drinking cold water is bad for one’s health: leading to colds, indigestion, and influenza.  I have become weary listening to males state that a female is not a woman until she has had a baby (and stating that the function of a woman is to have sex with a man).  Sex is seen as obligatory made imperative through peer pressure in most Perú schools by the time the girl is eleven, and as one of my teacher-students wrote in his essay, even at the age of ten; the entire scope of human sexuality is not known, and religion in Perú forbids birth control so that it is not rare to see a pre-teenage girl pregnant and frequently married to a pre-teenage boy. 

Lena Medina (age 5, 1933)

Lina Medina (born September 27, 1933, in Ticrapo, Huancavelica Region, Peru) was the youngest girl to become pregnant at the age of five; the parents and local doctor thought she had a tumor, and only by consulting other “specialists” realize that she was 7.5 months pregnant.  Her son weighed six pounds at birth. Today she is 78 years-old. This is especially true in in Roman Catholic and evangelical protestant schools, but is rising rapidly in the public school system.

Civil engineers work in groups so that ten can watch one of the team dig a hole that has no circumvention. I learned the hard way how unfortunate the architectural engineering schools were in the provinces, as although I had blue print for my new home, the “architectural engineer” used no basic tools in laying out the perimeters for constructing the edifice. In my home there is not a single square room; the builders went by eye-sight (my kitchen is almost a trapezoid). The tiles on the floor show that each room is unique: there is no square, no triangle, no recognizable shape—it is like living as a character in Alice in Wonderland—yet the architectural engineer who assembled my home from bricks and motar, slopped down tiles was as accomplished as the carpenter where no window closes, gaps between the window and sill is so great the flies and crickets can enter withut difficulty and both men are lauded as being among the finest in Perú.

What solutions exist to solve the growing problems in Perú’s educational decline?

First, teachers must be subject-matter experts. Students are not inspired by teachers who read a book (I wish it were in the plural) at them. A subject-matter expert is not a facilitator. A facilitator is a person responsible for leading or coordinating the work of a group, as one who leads a group discussion and is not expected to have a wide or encompassing range of knowledge: a subject-matter expert does, and is the accomplished specialist or authority in a field who sits in a chair of knowledge as one proven to be brilliant, such as Stephen Hawking the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Students deserve nothing less than the best—not a token of knowledge and understanding.

Second, teacher must teach, and not depend on games, whistles, and bells—and definitely not on PowerPoint presentations of material plagiarized from Wikipedia. When I decided to continue my teaching appointment, it came when my Academic Dean told a troop of frustrated teachers who could not find overheads and computers that in the past teachers used chalk on blackboards.  I remember those days, and I taught without notes and wrote key words on blackboards with white chalk.

Teachers must teach as if there is no electricity, no magic markers, and no mechanical or artificial aids.  Those alleged educators who do not know their subject field must not teach–as it takes no less than twice the time to unlearn bad education and to study subjections seriously the first time and master content.

Google translator is not a good translator

Far more damaging is the misuse of the computer and the slavish devotion to Google interpretation software. For example, I received this note: (asi sea un minuto que tenga libre quiero estar con usted) that Google mistranslated as (so for a minute you have a clear wanna be with you). A teacher imparts knowledge or skill to others, as did Socrates and Christopher Hitchins or Richard Dawkins. They know the past, interpret the past according to the epoch in which something occurred, but they are able to relate it to the present and see beyond the parochial narrowness of established doctrines and designs. There is no acceptable word “wanna” as that is vulgar English: idiom of the alleys used by thugs, thieves and punks. (Qiero is correctly translated as I want to). I find it only in McGraw-Hill’s fourth edition of Spears, Richard A. (2007) Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions.

Without emotion or regret, I fail all papers that use street terms, including izza (it is a), gonna (going to), et cetera. It is not vindictiveness nor is it vengeance. If a word is temporary, those who come across it a generation from now will not understand its meaning.  Thus “gay” today means “homosexual” but “homosexual” was not a word until it was inventedin 1892, when it appeared in C.G. Chaddock’s translation of Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis.  Gay

Merry Gentleman (illustration 1844) London

meant “happy” or “brilliantly colored”.  A “merry gentleman” was benevolent–not fat but a man concerned with others and tries his best to raise for them some money for food and drink (as so beautifully described by Charles Dickens in his Christmas Carol) and bring mirth and music into an impoverished world.

Third, students must take responsibility for their education (read here and here).  Students must be challenged and required to substantiate claims (read here  and here and here).  They must question all things, as Socrates spoke so eloquently (Plato, Apology 37e-38a), and ask questions of themselves, their peers, and most of all—of their teachers.

There is never a time when students should blindly accept what any teacher says without questioning (that was considered de rigueur from the days of psychical petrifaction of the mind with the alleged writings of Augustine of Hippo who loved the ladies and had a bastard he named Gift of the Gods (Adeodatus) through the dark damaged days of the Ox Aquinas who found misery to be satisfying as if he were an Albanian nun living sadistically in India, through the torturous trampling of Torquemada and into the nineteenth century), and no teacher should ever allow a student answer to be a single word: “yes” (or) “no”.

Instead of single word (there are no one-word “sentences” as by definition a sentence must have one noun and one verb) the student must detail the reason for the affirmation or negation, must offer concrete examples, and to reject the mythology of any one source or any one person being infallible on any point within the pursuit of inquiry. For over fifty years, I remind my students, daily, that all sentences must have at least one noun plus one verb; a “yes” or “no” does not qualify as a sentence, and it does not reflect knowledge or rejoinder to a question. The highlight of my life occurred when I was in England and enjoyed the tutorship of the world’s leading Cistercian scholar told me to prove him wrong. I did.

Emperor Constantine I burning Arian books (from a compendium on law c. 825 CE)

Mystified at my early ignorance the more I studied, I learnt that a learned scholar holds nothing sacred–there is nothing sacred–as the true scholar is married to the conduct of inquiry where there are no borders nor boundaries from which the learned person can dig, unbury, and bring into the light of knowledge that which was rejected or destroyed centuries ago, as when Constantine inanely and stupidly burned the works of Arius and other “heretics” and “apostates” in a frightening way to protect his own creation: a “catholic [universal] church” that he created in 325 CE at his Council of Nicea fashioning out the Jesus he sought with the advise both accepted and rejected by various groups from Sabellians to Montanists, Arians to numerous

Hypatia of Alexandria: philosopher, mathematician, scientist (murdered March 415 CE)

others, from the early days of chrestianos and christianos who lived in catacombs and burned what they considered to be pagan scrolls–but their actions were but a forerunner for other atrocities committed in the name of a god throughout history: from the attacks on librarians and the burning of libraries(such as at Alexandria, Egypt where Hypatia was martyred: the skin of her back torn out by the nails of Coptic monks who threw her living body on a bonfire of rare manuscripts) to the purge of Greek philosophers and their works on hydraulics (Archimedes) to irrigation, planting, crop rotation, medicine, birth control and other sciences that would not return to Europe until the time of Leonardo Da Vinci who not only drew the

Catacomb Christians burning books 125 CE

plans for an “air ship” but even for a self-propelled automobile. That the work of late medieval scientists survived and the classics were protected did not come from the charity or safeguarding by the Roman Catholic Church, but instead were rescued by Moors, Arabs, and Muslims who lived in

Renaissance Christians burning books

Europe from  400-1500 CE.  When Roman Catholic priests and bishops were not burning books, the early protesters who became Protestants with the rise of Martin Luther,  took over and added Roman Catholic studies and tracts to their bonfires of the vanities. The burning of tracts written by those who dissented from the ravages of wisdom by single-minded monsters from Martin Luther and John Calvin to John Knox and to the evangelicals in Lima in 2008 destroying Roman Catholic prayer books and missals, to the evangelical communities in the USA and UK burning the Harry

Harry Potter books burned in 2001

Potter books by J. K. Rawlings (claiming that they were about witches and spells and instruments of their imaginary devil; the congregation of the Christ Community Church in Alamogordo in southern New Mexico heard an anti-Harry Potter sermon in which Pastor Jack Brock claimed the character taught children to take up wizardry), and Protestant pastors burning Korans in Florida, led by evangelical Terry Jones of September 11, 2011, to USA military incinerating the Muslim biblein 2012.

With Nazi approval, German university students began burning books to increase German awareness

These were no less great than the mutiliation of thought under the Nazis of the Third Reich, with the blessings of the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Protestant clergy, who allowed German students to burned books on May 10, 1933, on university campus.  Those volumes cast into flames were devoted to science,

Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Evangelical bishops and clergy supported burning books in Nazi Germany

philosophy, literature, and sexual therapy studies: especially those written by Jews and the “Godless Jew” Sigmund Freud with the aim of increasing German nationalism and a war to take control over the planet. In Berlin, the German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels gave a speech to the students, declaring:

“The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end. The breakthrough of the German revolution has again cleared the way on the German path…The future German man will not just be a man of books, but a man of character. It is to this end that we want to educate you. As a young person, to already have the courage to face the pitiless glare, to overcome the fear of death, and to regain respect for death – this is the task of this young generation. And thus you do well in this midnight hour to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past. This is a strong, great and symbolic deed – a deed which should document the following for the world to know – Here the intellectual foundation of the November (Democratic) Republic is sinking to the ground, but from this wreckage the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise…”

New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (19th century seal)

From this the world would learn the truth of “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen”: Where they burn books, in time, they will also burn people.  It did not start with the Nazis, however, but was a part of the culture of the USA where purity crusades were determined to dumb down education and approve only select subjects.  People were denied freedom to read, and the government of the USA became as draconian as the Roman Catholic Church in establishing censorship laws, outlawing specific books and writers–a virus that multiplied for decades and grew catastrophically under the misrule of Congress led by US Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI), a Roman Catholic, and Richard Milhouse Nixon (R-CA) technically a Quaker. The greatest blow for justice came that momentous

Trial of Galileo

minute when Stephen Hawking demanded to see the Trial of Galileo by the Roman Catholic Inquisition during his visit to the Vatican (Hawking was born 300 years after Galileo died).

Fourth, students must be taught to understand that just because something is in a book or it is stated as fact by a teacher, preacher, priest or administrator does not mean it is true (for example, Pope Pius XII proclaimed Munificentissimus Deusas an attestation of the assumption of the mother of Jesus body and soul into heaven, matching directly the theology of ancient

Isis (Goddess of Creation, Queen of Heaven) with Maat (text reads: Isis: all that has been, is, or ever will be)

Egypt where Isis rose from the sea and soared into the heavens to wear the stars in her hair while the moon was at her feet (cp. Herodotus, Historia 2: 42, 156).  Scholars know that no single book contains all knowledge, and no one can use a book to prove the veracity of the book’s contents.

Fifth, true learners discard the myth that any one person is infallible on any thing (infallibility is derived from the pseudo-Siricus’ law c. 385 CE, a  bishop of Rome (there were no bishops in Rome before the third century as even the Catholic Encyclopedia details) resurrected in 1139 CE, and moved forward by those gold-seeking pontiffs who wanted to enrich the church by limiting academic growth and questioning church decided “true facts” (a redundancy in itself). Facts are theories: they must be continuously reassessed, reviewed, reinvestigated, and reproved—infinitely. Fact is not faith (faith cannot be proven as it is a private matter and as such has no place in the academic world and the conduct of inquiry).

Sixth, scholars show that nothing is certain. As the ancient Greeks knew, “Everything changes but change itself: Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 535 – c. 475 BCE).”  Euripides (ca. 480 – 406 BC) wrote: Question everything. It is by questioning the individual learns as there is nothing sacred that cannot be questioned (originally phrased by Socrates, defined by Plato, and refined by American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882).

Perú teachers protest competency tests

Seventh, all teachers and students must be tested. Schools must be evaluated and accredited.  Testing and accreditation should be yearly. In Perú this has been extraordinarily rare, with the teacher’s union SUTEP (composed of the least-learned teachers in Perú) fighting it vigilantly and violently on the streets of Lima and other testing centers. The end results were shocking, with most reports noting that out of the 180,000 – 185,000 teachers who took the most basic of exams determining primary competence and literacy, only 151 passed. Because of the interference of religious-based ignorance, science has become as backward as that in Louisiana and espoused by Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) who is running to be president of the USA (read here and here).  It should be noted that in the USA nearly 75% of all GOP USA Senators do not believe in evolution or science

 
Chavez”]In Perú, the greatest enemy of education and democracy is Congresista Martha Gladys Chávez Cossío de Ocampo a firm supporter of dictatorship and plutocracy as seen in her rewriting of the Perú Constitution to let mass-murderer and dictator Alberto Fujimori run for unlimited terms, her desire to destroy structures built by common people, her denunciation of those who called on the dictator Fujimori’s daughter Keiko and his other children to return the nearly $1 million stolen from the national treasury to fund their education in the USA, and her declaration that her Constitution was more sacred than any other document in the history of Perú.

Eighth, when it comes to hiring a teacher in any subject area, those in charge of filling academic appointments must look beyond the degree. Competency requires knowledge about the school and its faculty and their academic production and scholarship from where a degree. Of even greater importance are the credentials of the individual professors who taught the applicant and his or her own educational and academic progression of the teacher. There are no standard competency tests for teachers. Provided that the teacher passes at least half of his or her class, he or she will be invited to teach another cycle, as most schools (especially those that are private and for profit) keep faculty

Bruning "College" (Chiclayo, Perú)

that brings in revenue so that the owners of the schools, which now actually attempt to entice parents to enroll their children by dropping the Spanish colegio (school) for the English word college even for kindergarten and

I.E.P. American "College" (it is a kindergarten in Chiclayo in front of USAT)

primary/secondary centers. The true definition of a college is “an institution of higher learning, especially one providing a general or liberal arts education rather than technical or professional training” or “a constituent unit of a university, furnishing courses of instruction in the liberal arts and sciences, usually leading to a bachelor’s degree.” When one is done with college education, that individual moves up to the university and advanced education leading to a master or doctoral degree. Education does not stop when the diploma is proffered. Education is a never-ending journey that continues and does not stop until the learner is dead. The acquisition of knowledge is judged by the educator’s research and writing skills that must undergo peer review and be accepted for publication in a sound academic journal or by a scholarly press.

Cambridge University in the UK was once a credible institution of higher learning and not for more than four hundred years given to fantasy. In the twentieth century it has graduated those who mastered tricks to take degrees and then reject current research and publications in quest of elevating fantasies to facts while pushing sectarian superstitions. This is graphically seen with Stephen C. Meyer. Meyer took a PhD in “science” (it is actually a degree in the philosophy and history of science) from the celebrated university that had on its faculty such luminaries as Sir Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking. His books against Darwinism are published by the Roman Catholic press Ignatius and have nothing of science about them, but a repeat in new words the myths of the Judaeo-Christian Bible.

Meyer, like most imposters, has a self-written and promoted page on Creationwiki that allows for no responses nor does it give any criticism by any authority against creationism/Intelligent Design (read here and here).  Meyer has had only one essay published by a reputable, peer review journal: Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, but its own editor believes that its entry had a dubious origin as it does not fit the rigors of scholarly inquiry, and was paid to be included by Richard Sternberg who is one of the one hundred signatories who endorsed ID.  Meyer’s stand, saturated with misleading scientific citations more in keeping with a desperate freshman than a Cambridge PhD, is extraordinarily popular with the pseudo scholar Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne (whose two doctorates are (1) theology, and (2) philosophy, and has no science or embryological study background) and other conservative bishops in the Roman Catholic Church who either never had a course in science or has rejected it as being unbiblical (Meyer’s photograph is opposite that of Benedict XVI).

Meyer quickly gave his degree the lie and now teaches creationism under the disguise of Intelligent Design. He has a video produced by the Chuck Colson Institute for Christian Values. Meyer uses any podium to propagandize a mythology debunked centuries ago, yet has marshaled an army to ensure that it enters public and private school curriculum—especially in educationally weak states where ignorance is celebrated in “tail-gating” parties pushed pedantically by parents in quest of watching a football game rather than enriching their minds and those of their children with serious discussion. This downgrading of education is especially true in such illiterate states as Texas (which has the rare exception of Rice University) where the public schools are more of breeding grounds for unwanted babies and ignorance, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi—and now finds Perú ripe for the misrepresentation that is patulously permeating through the pathosis of Opus Dei.

David Barton and wife at Republican National Convention (2000)

As unsavory as is Meyer is David Barton is more strange, bizarre, mentally unbalanced and unlearned. Barton delights in carrying large stacks of books that he has never read. He rules on textbooks in Texas as an “historian” but has no authentic historical education (he did not go to any reputable college).  The Texas School Board of Education chaired by Governor Rick Perry’s “right hand” (Gail Lowe) loves Barton, as “he is pure Texans” and without a clue.  Barton, like Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Sarah Palin (R-AK) transmogrify facts fancifully in revisions of reality, as when they claim that (1) all USA founding fathers were Christians (only five claimed that distinction), or (2) that the Blacks of the eighteenth and nineteenth century were better off as slaves than they are today.

Barton deliberately invents history to conform to his ontology and revisionist agenda that the Texas Board of Education is to undereducated/uneducated (or plain unintelligent) to know is false.  His poorly written “histories” have no legitimate citations, and Barton cannot even note or quote any reputable historian with even marginal accuracy.  It is not at all surprisingly that even on his website Barton cannot confirm his authorities or citations.  He admits as much—much like most of the professors that mutilate education in Perú today—especially in parochial institutions where they hold themselves as authorities—but are totally illiterate in their subject matter field.

While pretending to be a historian, Barton waltzes into science debates and claims that the discussion of creationism and Darwinism is destroying civilization today and leads to its ultimate death. Today, these political leaders are in the advance of the warriors attacking global warming as a myth, decry science (73% of the GOP US Congress does not believe in evolution; read here and here), and think that a corporation is a person, and that a fertilized ova is a

State Legislator Constance Johnson (D-OK)

baby at the moment that the sperm enters the egg.  One Oklahoma legislator, Constance Johnson, who had enough of the arrogance and ignorance of the males in the legislature arguing that they were the only ones to decide what any woman could do with her body–as if they were god and judge–became so enraged that she boldly scribbled by hand an amendment to be added to the proposed misogynistic legislation on “personhood”.  Ms. Johnson wrote quickly, clearly, and then with steel resolve dropped her proposd amendment into the legislative file to be considered and voted on.  What made Ms. Johnson’s proposed amendment startling and gaining for it and its author worldwide attention, was that the proposed amendment declared that every sperm cell a baby–and to release the semen without the intent to procreate a life would be tantamount to murder.  Thus masturbation was a crime of mass murder.

Constance Johnson's amendment SB1433 to declare sperm a person

The proposed amendment, she later admitted, was deliberately written  to show the stupidity of the embryo law passed in the Oklahoma Senate).  Perú is not immune from this chicanery and fatuous puerility where legislatures and leaders of communities expose their ignorance and contempt for people they feel are inferior to themselves and need, especially, a man’s hand to direct “the little ladies” to the path that the women are expected to walk.  This is especially true in religious schools at all levels where stagnation adles minds and makes scholarship a joke.  This is best seen in the tautological pronouncement of the bishop of Lambayeque, Jesús Moliné Labarte who succeeded Ignacio María de Orbegozo y Goicoechea (founder of Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo Catholic University: USAT one of many schools in Perú where free inquiry and debate is discouraged, and Opus Dei theology pushed in all academic fields) one year and two months after the Spanish born Orbegozo y Goicoechea, a priest of Opus Dei since 1951 died. 

Labarte’s minimal intellectual prowes are common knowledge but he is entertaining for he sounds like and parades himself to be the equal of Darth Vadar, speaking out on topics he has never studied nor understands, and has won the enmity of Cipriani Thorne who sees him as an enemy of himself and Opus Dei.  Since 1997, the venom of Cipriani Thorne has been spat at the Perú College of Bishops, as Cipriani Thorne is determined that he will preside over all aspects of every individual’s life in Perú.

Lambarte is not the only “fool for Christ” (1 Corinthian 4:10 and 2 Corinthians 3:18 – 4:8-13).  Most professors at Roman Catholic (and some evangelical) universities who have adopted Opus Dei rules and regulations, have surrendered their own reasoning power and follow the words of a man who would beat himself with a whip until his bathroom was turned red with his own blood (read here and here and here and here where John Paul II would follow the example set by Escrivá who would whip himself at least one thousand times–a sign of severe sexual sublimation and sadomasochistic psychotic schizophrenia as a means of self-abasement and self-punishment or self-humiliation; it does not reflect humility but is seen as an act by people who abuse themselves while suffering severe mental problems), are under the hypnotic trance of Escrivá that they cannot think independently, but refer back to Escrivá’s tome The Way for “spiritual guidance.”  What most members of Opus Dei do not know or refuse to understand is that this form of self-whipping is actually a part of a pagan pre-Christian Roman cult known as the  Lupercalia when naked young men ran through the streets with thongs cut from the hide of goats that had just been sacrificed so that women who wished to conceive could put themselves in their way to receive blows (usually upon their hands) as a means to entice the goddess of fertility (Cybele, who was originally known as Bona Dea; her theology developed from Anatolia) to make them ovulate and conceive. The goddess of childbirth and safe delivery is Candelifer.  

Statue of the Goddess Cybele (queen of fertility) in Madrid, Spain

Eunuch priests of the goddess Cybele, known as the galli (from this word we get the word Galatians, which means “castrated priests” thus the Letter to the Galatians was to a group of castrated men–not to a city–who lived near the river Gallus that was believed effective in curing mental illnesses), flogged themselves until they bled during the annual festival called Dies sanguinis (days of blood), while in Greco-Roman mystery religions required at times ritual flagellation before their congregations as a testimony to faith and to appease any one of their crucified saviours who hungered for human blood that was considered to be the elixir of life.  It is depicted in the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii, apparently showing initiation into the Dionysian Mysteries. 

Once Constantine I established the catholic church in 325 CE, these rituals were incorporated into rituals known as the “Passion of Christ” but the writing of whippings were later editions to the gospel narratives; the original texts were focused on the spiritual mortification of the flesh through fasting.  The concept did not become radicalized until the thirteenth century, when monks were the first to fester their flesh with whippings by various corded instruments made of animal skin to boards dotted with metal pieces.  It is from this collective lunacy that Opus Dei brought the mentally unbalanced practice to the forefront of Roman Catholicism.

A Roman Catholic priest who teaches Christology at a provincial university uses Mel Gibson’s pulp-fiction “The Passion of Christ” that has little in common with any version of the Gospel by any group but was the written expression of the mentally illness and halucinations of the disturbed German nun Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824; cf. Ide, Arthur Frederick (2004). Crucifixion: What the Bible Really Says. Chicago, IL, USA: Sepore) and sings the praises of Opus Dei to keep his job. Emmerich’s writings were embellished by the now discredited Clemens Bretano (the fraud is the subject of Winfried Hümpfner (1923), Clemens Brentanos Glaubwürdigkeit in seinen Emmerick-Aufzeichnungen; Untersuchung über die Brentano-Emmerick-frage unter erstmaliger Benutzung der tagebücher Brentanos Würzburg, St. Rita-verlag und -druckere; cp. Suzanne Stahl, “Between God and Gibson: German Mystical and Romantic Sources of ‘The Passion of the Christ'”, The German Quarterly Vol. 78, No. 4, Fall, 2005). Even the Vatican under enfeebled and Parkinson’s Disease suffering John Paul II stated that the writings historicity cannot be proven, but acclaimed the celebration of the nun’s religiosity–a religiosity that bordered on insanity.

While sociology is the study of the origin, development, organization and functioning of human society, another professor at a private university requires readings of religious fiction. The professor feasts on one Mexican author who is referred to, popularly, as a comic and defines the science as a study of God’s plan for the world. (The “professor” is Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez, who is described as “a fraud, a plagiarist, and an opportunist” by The Chronicle of Higher Education).  The “professor” is a member of Opus Dei, and is considered “an imposter”. He is styled “a writer of fiction” and has been exposed on YouTube, and is exposed elsewhere. Sanchez’ book A Desperate Cry (paperback, 1997) has been judged as “having no literary merit” “the worst” and “a fake trashy novel” that people should avoid wasting money on.  Sanchez’ entry in Wikipedia is self-written (using Google translator) as are the references to his works with Wikipedia issuing a warning that the writing does not meet Wikipedia standards. There is no mention made in the Perú provincial professor’s syllabus or lectures during a short four week course of such luminaries as Andrew Abbott (USA), Jane Addams (USA), Francesco Alberoni (Italy), Alwardi Ali (Iraq), Stanislav Andreski (Poland), Aaron Antonovsky (Israel), Anne Barges (France), Gregory Bateson (UK), Ulrich Beck (Germany), Walden Bello (Philippines), Mohamed Cherkaoui (Morocco), Manuel De Landa (Mexico), Georgi Dimitrov Dimitrov (Bulgaria), Jose Mauricio Domingues (Brasil), or others. Sadly, he ignores the limited contributions of his own peers, and sets himself up as being the great determiner. Students learn nothing about aboriginal or exogamous life, gangs or ghettos. The professor is a thief of students time, money, and learning, yet is free to roam the campus and spew nonsense and ignorance under the stained mantle of academe that he has self-appropriated.

Perú law states that to teach at the university level, the teacher must have at least one Master degree—yet few possess more than a Licentiate (to teach in a primary or secondary school a bachelor degree is required). A genuine doctoral degree is rare (and the few dissertations that I have read would qualify at best for a high school term paper with a few rare ones weighing in at the master level). Teachers are self-styled doctors (a term commonly used for lawyers, but now can be for any degree specialty) on their curriculum vitae and by feign-praising students seeking to ingratiate themselves with the teacher (I had one student write, angrily, that he would rather be loved as a “friend” than to be known as an educated man who could disseminate knowledge). This has to change—now. The longer the wait (poco a poco) the less value Perú has in the world and the more its wealth will be taken by those who will offer a few dollars for thousands of dollars of goods, natural resources, and artifacts. Science and economics have by-passed Perú as RPP notes. Unless the change is now, there will be no Perú tomorrow.

José Antonio Chang

Ninth, Perú needs more funding. While the government of Perú spends only 3% of its GNP on education, placing it the rank of 107 in the world, Bolivia spends 6.3% and is 25 in the world ranking (the USA spends 5.7% and the UK spends 5.3%). Perú excelled when Antonio Chang was Minister of Education under Alan Garcia Perez, but has fallen dramatically under the Humala presidency with SUTEP, a thoroughly corrupt union that protects the incompetent and does not demand its members be subject matter experts member Patricia Salas O’Brienwho claims to be a sociologist.  Salas O’Brien

Patricia Salas O'Brien, Minister of Education

wants to change the history textbooks—but with no promise that they will be objective, honest, factual—by adding, by 2013, a section on the Truth Commission (video is here); most likely when the books are reworked for a person in power, they will become a rehash of sectarian and special interest propaganda to delight the one Congresista who has little interest in the poor, the rural, and illiterate to barely-illiterate: Martha Chavez. It will be nearly impossible for Perú to ever win international accreditation—but Perú education can be purchased.  Salas O’Brien’s plan is ambitious (see video here), and if it works it will succeed only if vested interests intent on keep the conduct of inquiry suppressed are silenced and reminded that education is for students and educators–not for religious groups nor for industries that hold sway and define learning in a way that will further limit the future generations’ ability to make choices and enter a new life.

Tenth, it is past time to remove the influence of sectarian theology and churches from academic institutions. Academic studies require a critical appraisal of facts. Religion relies on a belief structure that cannot be scientifically proven. Too many students spend too much time in prayers and not enough time studying books and other records, doing analytical comparison, writing critiques and judgments, or questioning source material. Scholarship is a science—not a faith.

Juan Luis Ciprian Thorne

The one university of higher learning in Perú that has reached world acclaim and attention is the Catholic Pontifical University in Lima, but with its acceleration towards objectivity, Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, an Opus Dei cardinal and the son of two supernummaries (supernummaries compose 70% of the clandestine organization:  the article has been reprinted numerous times on numerous blogs) cardinal-archbishop of Lima, who is struggling to force the university, faculty and students under the iron fist of Opus Dei. While popular with predatory popes and cardinals, and with 52% of the poor of Perú, Cipriani Thorne lost four times an election to head the Peruvian Episcopal Conference (CEP).  In September 2011, the university rightfully rejected a request by the Vatican to bring its statutes in line with the apostolic exhortation Ex Corde Ecclesiae or risk losing its status as a Catholic and pontifical institution. This taut theological terrorist attack was rejected by the university who saw it as Cipriani’s way to force Opus Dei into the university and run a one-time highly respectable university so that Opus Dei can destroy the Pontifical’s credibility and worldview (read here and here).

Marcial Rubio (rector of the Pontifical University, Lima, Peru)

On September 20th the the courageous and democracy prone President of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, Marcial Rubio, the Research Vice-President, Pepi Patrón, and Legal advisor, Francisco Eguiguren, on behalf of a group of university authorities, faculty and student representatives, filed a petition before the IACHR claiming that the Constitutional Court of Peru has violated provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights and the Protocol of San Salvador, and the rules of due process in a March 2010 resolution (03347-2009-PA/TC) published a month later. The University filed an amparo petition before the Constitutional Court seeking protection against the threat to its autonomy and property rights posed by the Archbishop of Lima through his appointee, Mr. Walter Muñoz-Cho. The amparo petition noted that: The Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, is a leading member of Opus Dei, who vocally opposes PUCP’s autonomy. Peru’s Constitutional Court ruled against the University petition and distorted the amparo claim by introducing wrongful considerations regarding autonomy, property and even the nature of the relations between PUCP and the Archbishop of Lima. This resolution affects the individual rights of the members of the entire PUCP community. It threatens rights as freedom of association, and freedom of thought and expression, enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights. It also undermines the right to education, as defined in Article 13° of the Additional Protocol on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights especially clauses relating to the relationship between education and effective participation in a pluralistic democratic society and promoting tolerance, the right to freely choose the type of education to receive and the right to establish and direct educational institutions under the laws in force.

Pontifical University in Lima, Perú

Attempting to throw its theological threats around, the Vatican ordered the rector of the Pontifical University to “visit Rome”.  

Cardinal Erdő

On October 24, 2011, according to the newspaper La Republica, Martin Mejorada, the legal representative of the Pontifical university said, “[i]n no way will we accept any imposition made by Cardinal Erdo. We are governed solely by Peruvian law”. Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne called in Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary to threaten the university with a loss of its pontifical status since he was denied a seat on its board of directors.  The university, courageously and forcefully said “No!” out of concern for Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne’s Opus Dei views and membership as the Vatican makes the unfounded claim that the university is its property (in keeping with the medieval mortmain of absolute control and the rejection of human rights destroyed by the favorites of the popes and bought cardinaltes (“the red hat”) for their small children.  Among these recipients was the most notorious of the teenage cardinals: Guize de Lorraine, known as Louis I de (1527-1578). Guize de Lorraine was born October 21, 1527, made a bishop of Troyes (constituted a an administrator because he was not 27) before his 18th birthday on May 11, 1545, and was the nephew of Cardinal Jean de Lorraine (1518), and a brother of Cardinal Charles I de Guise de Lorraine (1547) whose scandalous life even surprised the French. He was the uncle of Cardinal Louis II de Guise (1578), and grand-uncle of Cardinal Louis III de Guise (1615) before having an illigetimate daughter named Anne de Arne; cf. Cardella, Lorenzo (1793). Memorie storiche de’ cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, IV, 335-336; Chacón, Alfonso (1630). Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, II, col. 1601; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van (1935). Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 33, 71, 101, 242, 298 and 317; Fisquet, Honoré-Jean-Pierre (1864-1873). La France pontificale (Gallia Christiane); histoire chronologique et biographique des archevêques et évêques de tous les diocèses de France depuis l’établissement du Christianisme jusqu’à nos jours, divisée en 18 provinces ecclésiastiques. 2nd ed. 21 vols. Paris : E. Repos, vol. 19. “Sens et Auxerre”, 123-125; Gams, Pius Bonifatius (1957). Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, p. 293.

Officially, the youngest cardinal was only twelve years of age when the red hat was placed on his head–a head to small to keep the hat in place.  The new cardinal was Robert de Nobili (1541-1559), the son of Vincenzo de’ Nobili, count of Civitella, and Maddalena Barbolani, of the counts of Montatoobili. Great-nephew of Pope Julius III (who made him a cardinal at age 12) in exchange for gold.  Julius III was a “brother” on his mother’s side. Robert had an Uncle [more like a brother] Cardinal Francesco Sforza (1583). Robert, who openly admitted he entered the church “to become rich” participated in the first conclave of 1555, which elected Pope Marcellus II, and participated in the second conclave of 1555 that elected the thoroughly corrupt Pope Paul IV. Read Burkle-Young, Francis A. and Michael Leopoldo Doerrer (1997). The life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte : a scandal in scarlet ; together with materials for a history of the House of Ciocchi del Monte San Savino. Lewiston, NY : E. Mellen Press, 1997. (Renaissance studies, v. 2), pp. 110-116; Cardella, Lorenzo (1793). Memorie storiche de’ cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, IV, 332-335; Chacón, Alfonso (1630). Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, II, col. 1601-1603; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van (1935). Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 33 and 74.  That Robert was the youngest cardinal in the Renaissance / Counter Reformation Roman Catholic Church is in dispute, however, with evidence emerging that there was at least one younger cardinal.  He should not be confused with another Robert de Nobili who was a Jesuit who went as an unwelcomed missionary to Southern India, for he was born in 1577.  He alienated the Vatican through a policy he styled as accommodatio: adopting local customs and practices that he did not believe contradicted established Roman Catholic rituals and beliefs.

According to Burkle-Young, The life of Cardinal Innocenzo [Giocchi] del Monte, p. 111, argues that Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbón y Farnesio, son of King Felipe V of Spain, who was seven years old when he was the youngest cardinal ever created until December 19, 1735, by Pope Clement XII.  The cardinal’s hate was assured after the pope made the child perpetual administrator of the temporal matters of the archdiocese of Toledo on November 10, 1735.  He was not required and never took any “sacred orders” and was never a priest. He resigned his cardinalate because of his “strong sexual urges” in a private and secret consistory with Benedict XIV on December 18, 1754.  Read: Cardella, Lorenzo (1794). Memorie storiche de’ cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, VIII, 276-277; González, R. “Borbón, Luis Antonio Jaime de.” Diccionario de historia eclesiástica de España. 4 vols and Supplement. Dirigido por Quintín Aldea Vaquero, Tomás Marín Martínez, José Vives Gatell. Madrid : Instituto Enrique Flórez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1972-1975; Suplemento (1987), I, 274; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis “Il Messaggero di S. Antonio” apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. ; Tovar Martín, Virginia. “Ventura y desventura de Don Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbón y Farnesio, hermano de Carlos III.” Reales Sitios: Revista del Patrimonio Nacional, 101 (1989), 32-44.

Julius III's "Innocenzo"

Innocenzo Giocchi del Monte became cardinal at age 17, his own past sullied by numerous sexual “indescretions”: he was the son of a female beggar, was an illiterate but vivacious and good-looking 14 year old when he was picked up on the streets of Parma by Cardinal Giovanni Maria Del Monte (Pope Julius III who turned the Vatican into a homosexual stable and issued a papal bull declaring Innocenzo legitimate so that he could stay in the papal apartment.  The pope named Innocenzo “Cardinal Nephew”, effectively in charge of all papal correspondence, even though the “body of a god” the youth’s nickname, was barely literate and had difficulty reading and writing so was promoted to the office of Cardinal Secretary of State). Cardinal Giovanni Maria del Monte openly admitted that he had fallen in love with him, and who used favors to ensure the cooperation of the boy’s father, and their sexual activities became common gossip, that in time saw the youth moved to a monastery where he had “a free hand”. Read: Burkle-Young, Francis A. and Michael Leopoldo Doerrer (1997). The life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte : a scandal in scarlet ; together with materials for a history of the House of Ciocchi del Monte San Savino. Lewiston, NY : E. Mellen Press, 1997. (Renaissance studies, v. 2); Cardella, Lorenzo (1793). Memorie storiche de’ cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, IV, 297-301; Chacón, Alfonso (1558). Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, II, col. 1588; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van (1935). Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 31-32, 61, 75, 76 and 246, “Mirapicen.”, n. 5; Weber, Christoph (1994). Legati e governatori dello Stato Pontificio : 1550-1809. Roma : Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, Ufficio centrale per i beni archivistici, 1994. (Pubblicazioni degli archivi di Stato. Sussidi; 7) pp. 149 and 630.; the youngest “pope” (a fiction) was St. Alexander I, who was 16 and deposed when he was 21 in Rome “for secret sins of the flesh”–he was homosexual [all original prints of the above references are in the private library in Perú of this author and can be found in the libraries of major universities), using words similar to that of the curia and Holy Inquisition during the trial of scientist Galileo Galilee on the unfounded charges of heresy (deny the validity of the Old Testament, Joshua 10:13 (a plagiarism from ancient Hittite cuneiform records), claim that the sun stood still in its circling the earth).  Opus Dei, following the Machiavellian maneuverings and protestations of the unholy scoundrel and flagellant Josemaria Escrivá, refuses free speech for dissent, women the right of determining the destiny of their own bodies, basic human rights and more in preparation to take over the world and make it into a martial and militant medieval Roman Catholic state (cp. Escriva’s The Way).  Escrivá and his nefarious organization was rightfully called “God’s Octopus” so meniacal was his greed, grasp and lack of principles, that numbers four bishops in the USA, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, but most especially the sewage-tongued  Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne has referred to human rights as “that bullshit!” (in a 1994 interview with Caretas; the better educated in Perú have openly declared, the only “bullshit” is Cipriani Throne).

A strong supporters of dictators such as Alberto Fujimori and would-be queen, Congresista Martha Chavez, Cipriani-Thorne has publicly declared that the teenage students of La Cantuta who were murdered by the paramilitary thugs “who Cipriani Thorne has declared “dutiful sons of Mother Church”) of Vladimiro Montesinos who ordered that the victims be sodomized before being shot so “they will never enter heaven” were justifiably executed—a claim that has embolden Martha Chavez to demand her “right” to tear down a memorial raised to the innocents “until every pebble is discarded” (read here and here). Martha [Marta in Perú Spanish] Chavez has the support of most gangster elements in Peru and is quick to draw Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne’s support for her most draconian designs. A schizophrenic psychopath, Juan Luis Cipriani Thornea condemned the peasants who opposed the death penalty of being cowards, and became the insatiable blood-lusting cleric once Abimael Guzmán (the leader of the Shining Path) was captured–the applauded the death penalty but later changed his mind and now opposes capital punishment. Demented and with no training in psychology, Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne has referred to homosexuals as “damaged goods” and demonstrates he has never studied nor read a single medical and psychological treatise on this natural and normal (as defined by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association among hundreds of other professional groups in the USA, UK, Europe and Asia and was removed from the classification of being “a disease” by the World Health Organization in 1977; only the most uneducated nations led by theocrats like Cipriani Thorne, radical Islamic ayatollahs [archbishops] and illiterate Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Nigeria and Uganda maintain that this natural state of sexuality is a perversion and demand the death of innocent LGBT people) state among all species. 

When not casting cruel aspersions on the increasing LGBT community in Perú, the calamitous Cipriani turns the torn earn of charity away from the pleas of thousands of Perú women to have a safe abortion when the zygote is conceived by an act of rape, incest, or without consent.  The stranglehold of religion on the schools prohibits medical specialists from teaching safe therapeutic skills for a save abortion, and outlaws even the discussion of fetal development unless the zygote and fetal cell growth is wrongly defined as being “a child.” Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne has actually outdone Adolf Hitler on duplicity and legislating against the people in an effort to make them forever ignorant, forever poor, and forever slaves of the dying Roman Catholic Church.

Through steamed lenses covered with blood of his victims Cipriani Thorn sees his greatest enemies as being the Jesuits who champion human rights in Perú, and closets himself with mentally mummified mortals. The same is true of Adventist and other sectarian evangelical schools where doctrine and indoctrination is considered of greater importance than inquiry, education and learning with the greatest damage done to the sciences (creation is still taught as the genesis of the world, earth’s solar system is detailed as the only universe, etc) and medicine (colds originate because of the drinking of cold water, headaches are the result of thinking evil thoughts inspired by a  chimerical Satan, and a woman’s priority is to have children following the Nazi proclamation patterned after a speech by their dead Kaiser Wilhelm II:

Kinder, Küche, Kirche -- Adolf Hitler

Kinder, Küche, Kirche  that was blessed by Protestant evangelicals and Roman Catholic clergy throughout the Third Reich).

Academically, religion belongs in a department of philosophy or literature if it enters a school—otherwise it must stay in a mosque, synagogue, church, temple or other religious edifice. Each religion must be compared to all other religions as well as philosophies opposed to religion: atheism, agnosticism, human sciences, free-thinkers and so forth; the comparison must be academic to broaden knowledge. To do otherwise negates intelligence, acquisition of knowledge unfettered with canons, codes, and contexts that cannot be proven; furthermore it limits the freedom of the learner and the quest for wisdom (σοφία or sophia). Giving preference to any god or goddess or to any religion is not only a disservice to the serious student but discourages objectivity and learning.  All religions are equal as all came out of an uneducated environment seeking some explanation for that which no one had the answers as science had not yet been born, and with the various clergy, science was stiffled or stripped of meaning in the same manner as it has been transmogrified throughout Perú as it is in Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Alabama, and worse in the USA in the state of Louisiana. Education to live, thrive, and grow must be supported financially, intellectually and personally: by teachers, administrators, and students who demand access to truth and are willing to pay the price by studying: reading, writing, analyzing, debating, and being able to critique that which is to determine if it is real and still pertinent.

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Filed under Adolf Hitler, Bishop of Rome, Education, Opus Dei, Perú, Uncategorized

Apostolic Succession and the Papacy–separating fact from fiction

No “bishop of Rome” or “Roman pontiff” existed before the second century—with the first record of their being a Linus, successor of Peter, a fictional character in the Bible who was the least saintly of all the alleged Apostles.  The word “pontiff” never had the meaning of “pope” (papa, which is Latin from the Greek: πάππας (pappas), a child’s word for father) but in Rome came from the term “pontifex maximus” (ἱεροδιδάσκαλος, ἱερονόμος, ἱεροφύλαξ, ἱεροφάντης) but was a “heathen” title for high priests (their number swelled from four: Livy, X.6,9: Livy, X.6, to at least sixteen)  of the College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum) in ancient Rome. The position of pontifex maximus was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, but was open only to patricians until 254 BC when a plebian (Tiberius Coruncanius: Livy, Epit. 18) occupied the position; Sulla increased the number to 15 in 81 BCE: Livy, Epit. 89; Julius Cesar, who was elected Pontifex Maximus in 63 BCE, raised that number to sixteen (Dion Cassius XLII.51).  The last to use the title was Gratianus (Orelli, Inscript. n1117, 1118).  The rulers styled Pontifex Maximus were:

712 BCE

Numa Pompilius It was claimed that the office began during the tenure of the Kings of Rome. The first Pontifex Maximus is recorded as Numa Marcius but it is difficult to determine if it was a different person, or the actual second king of Rome.

509 BCE

Papirius Complete dates in office unknown.

449 BCE

Furius Complete dates in office unknown.

431 BCE

Cornelius Cossas Complete dates in office unknown.

420 BCE

Minucius Complete dates in office unknown.

390 BCE

Follius Flaccinator Complete dates in office unknown.

332 – 304 BCE

Cornelius Callissa  

304 – ? BCE

Cornelius Scipio Barbatus Complete dates in office unknown.

254 – 243 BCE

Tiberius Coruncanius First Plebeian Pontifex Maximus

243- 221 BCE

Caecilius Metellus  

217 – 213 BCE

Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus  

212 – 183 BCE

Licinius Crassus Dives  

183 – 180 BCE

Servilius Geminus  

180 – 152 BCE

Aemilius Lepidus  

152 -150 BCE

No Pontifex Maximus  

150 – 141 BCE

Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum  

141 – 132 BCE

Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio Plutaech describes Serapio as the first Pontifex to break the religious law not allowing him to leave Italy.

132 – 130 BCE

Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus Also noted as the first to leave Italy, during the social disorder of the Gracchi Brothers, after which, it became increasingly common and certainly not against the law for the Pontifex to leave Italy.

? – 115 BCE

P. Mucius Scaevola Complete dates in office unknown, but assumedly shortly after his predecessor.

114 – 103 BCE

Caecilius Metellus Delmaticus  

103 – 89 BCE

Domitius Ahenobarbus  

89 – 82 BCE

Q. Mucius Scaevola  

81 – 63 BCE

Caecilius Metellus Pius  

63 – 44 BCE

Gaius Julius Caesar  

44 – 13 BCE

Aemilius Lepidus  

12 BCE

Augustus With Augustus’ accession, the election of the Pontifex Maximus ceased as each successive emperor held the office. In 382 CE, when the Eastern emperor Theodosius established Christianity as the official religion of the empire, the Western Emperor Gratian relinquished the office to the Christian bishops of Rome, who have held it since that time.

The College of Pontiffs, the antecedent to the College of Cardinals, lasted until Constantine outlawed it with his creation of his imperial catholic [universal] church in 325 CE (Arnobius IV.35). 

Ancient Roman pontiffs were known for luxurious living, maintenance of “nephews” who were known as secretaries or pontifices minores: “quos nunc minores pontifices appellant” as Livy detailed (XXII.57; compare Jul. Capitol. Opil. Macrin. 7; Cicero (de Harusp. Resp. 6) mentions the name of three minor pontiffs) and abandoned (licentious) living un unexcelled luxury (Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace): Horat. Carm[ina]. II.14.26] Martiales. XII.48.12:

Non Albana mihi sit comissatio tanti

Nec Capitolinae pontificumque dapes;

Inputet ipse deus nectar mihi, fiet acetum

Et Vaticani perfida vappa cadi.

 cp. Macrob. Sat. II.9), similar to that of Alexander VI, Julius II and other renaissance popes.  Emperors frequently assumed the title of Pontifex Maximus as late as 238 CE, when the two emperors Maximus and Balbinus assumed this dignity (Capitol. Maxim. et Balb. 8).

A Roman pontifex did officiate at religious ceremonies, but that was only one duty. A pontifex, like all the members of the great priestly colleges, was permitted by law hold any other military, civil or priestly office, provided the different offices did not interfere with one another. Thus we find one and the same person being pontiff, augur, and decemvir sacrorum  were elected for life. Their chief duty was to take care of the Sibylline books, and to inspect them on all important occasions, by command of the senate, as recounted by Livy at XL.42:

Eodem anno L. Duronius, qui praetor anno superiore, ex Illyrico cum decem nauibus Brundisium rediit. inde in portu relictis nauibus cum uenisset Romam, inter exponendas res, quas ibi gessisset, haud dubie in regem Illyriorum Gentium latrocinii omnis maritimi causam auertit: ex regno eius omnes naues esse, quae superi maris oram depopulatae essent; de his rebus se legatos misisse, nec conueniendi regis potestatem factam. uenerant Romam legati a Gentio, qui, quo tempore Romani conueniendi regis causa uenissent, aegrum forte eum in ultimis partibus fuisse regni dicerent: petere Gentium ab senatu, ne crederent confictis criminibus in se, quae inimici detulissent. ad ea Duronius adiecit multis ciuibus Romanis et sociis Latini nominis iniurias factas in regno eius, et ciues Romanos dici Corcyrae retineri. eos omnes Romam adduci placuit, C. Claudium praetorem cognoscere, neque ante Gentio regi legatisue eius responsum reddi.

Inter multos alios, quos pestilentia eius anni absumpsit, sacerdotes quoque aliquot mortui sunt. L. Ualerius Flaccus pontifex mortuus est: in eius locum suffectus est Q. Fabius Labeo. P. Manlius, qui nuper ex ulteriore Hispania redierat, triumuir epulo: Q. Fuluius M. f. in locum eius triumuir cooptatus, tum praetextatus erat. de rege sacrifio sufficiendo in locum Cn. Cornelii Dolabellae contentio inter C. Seruilium pontificem maximum fuit et L. Cornelium Dolabellam duumuirum naualem, quem ut inauguraret pontifex magistratu sese abdicare iubebat. recusantique id facere ob eam rem multa duumuiro dicta a pontifice, deque ea, cum prouocasset, certatum ad populum. cum plures iam tribus intro uocatae dicto esse audientem pontifici duumuirum iuberent, multamque remitti, si magistratu se abdicasset, uitium de caelo, quod comitia turbaret, interuenit. religio inde fuit pontificibus inaugurandi Dolabellae. P. Cloelium Siculum inaugurarunt, qui secundo loco nominatus erat. exitu anni et C. Seruilius Geminus pontifex maximus decessit: idem decemuir sacrorum fuit. pontifex in locum eius a collegio cooptatus est Q. Fuluius Flaccus:inde pontifex maximus M. Aemilius Lepidus, cum multi clari uiri petissent; et decemuir sacrorum Q. Marcius Philippus in eiusdem locum est cooptatus. et augur Sp. Postumius Albinus decessit: in locum eius P. Scipionem, filium Africani, augures cooptarunt.

Cumanis eo anno petentibus permissum, ut publice Latine loquerentur et praeconibus Latine uendendi ius esset.

Instances of a pontifex maximus being at the same time consul, are very numerous (Liv. XXVIII.38; Cic. de Harusp. Resp. 6; compare Ambrosch, Julius Athanasius (1839). Studien und Andeutungen im Gebiet des altrömischen Bodens und Cultus. 1es Hft. Breslau: Hirt, p. 229, note 105; in German).

Petronilla daughter of Peter (13th century)

Not only was Peter different from the other Twelve Apostles (he was married (Mark 1:29-31, cp. Matthew 8:14; cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata III.vi, ed. Dindorf, II, 276) and had a legendary daughter named Petronilla (De Rossi, Giovanni Battista (1864-1877). Roma sotterranea cristiana. Roma, Italia: Cromo-litografia pontificia. vol. I, pp. 180-181; in Italian) who was the source of the story of the maiden Rapunzel locked in a tower to be rescued by a handsome prince; this legend became the hagiography for St. Barbara, and by the tenth century story was the insipriation of the Persian tale of Rudāba, included in the epic poem Shahnameh (شاهنامه) by Ferdowsi (whose poetry has been praised as being equal to the heavenly Eden: در بهشت عدن فردوسی نگر). Rudāba offers to let down her hair from her tower so that her lover Zāl can climb up to her) and the daughter is mentioned in the Gnostic apocryphal Acts of St. Peter, dating from the 2nd century but no name is given (Lipsius, Richard Adelbert  (1887). Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten u. Apostellegenden:  ein Beitrag zur altchristlichen Literaturgeschichte 2,1 in II, i, Braunschweig, Germany: Schwetschke, pp. 203 sqq.). 

Having children was commonplace.  It was expected of the early “bishops of Rome” (culminating with Siricius) for they were married and expected to having numerous children (with the exception of Alexander I).  This gave rise to the belief that Roman Catholic families had to be large and birth control discouraged. In spite of this, Siricius, it is written, wrote a letter to Bishop Himerius of Tarragona (c. 385 CE) to stop cohabiting / living with their wives: Coustant, Pierre (1721) ed. Epistolae Romanorum pontificum: et quae ad eos scriptae sunt, a S. Clemente I. usque ad Innocentium III … Tomus 1, abanno Christi 67 ad annum 440. Parisiis [Paris] France: L. D. Delatour, A. U. Coustelier, et P. Simon, 1721; reprint by Farnborough, 1967, pp. 623-638, no. 16, 9-12 (it is a forgery)—but the Epistle, No. 8, also talks about rampant sexual abuse among the clergy, especially with young girls; the text can be read in Somerville, Robert and Brasington, Bruce (1998). Prefaces to Canon Law Books in Latin Christianity.  New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, 1998), pp. 36-39; I am using my copy of the original Latin version printed in 1721), but was the first to deny his relationship with the Jesus of the New Testament (John 21:15-17, Mark 14:70-72, Luke 22:60-62), had limited (Mark 14:38), if any, faith in the New Testament Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29 where Peter walks on water—and sinks, Mark 14:66-68), was overly boastful without substance (Mark 14:69-70), etc.

Simon bar Jonas (or, Peter: Greek: Πέτρος, or Cephas: Greek: Κηφᾶς; they are sometimes combined as in the Syriac ܫܶܡܥܽܘܢ ܟ݁ܺܐܦ݂ܳܐ) was anything but a saint.  He was proclaimed a saint only because he allegedly suffered martyrdom that he could have avoided, making his martyrdom a deliberate suicide (there is no contemporary record of any Simon or Peter being executed in Rome, but would have been in the imperial records by law; the earliest record of this alleged death appears in Tertullian at the end of the second century CE (hardly a reliable source) and then of Origen Adamantius (born in Egypt and died in Phoenicia in the third century) in Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica III.1, written in the fourth century).  While Christian apologists cite these records, their reliability is at best questionable since they are written hundreds of years after the event, and there is no record of the crucifixion of Peter in the Bible–the Book of Acts of the Apostles drops all mention of Peter less than half-way through, as the writers turn their attention to Saul of Tarsus/Paul.  (No legitimate historian would use one book to prove the contents of the same books; this fact makes the Bible an untrustworthy source as it is not history nor its contents verified elsewhere during the times it was written. 

Peter walking on water (painting by Francois Boucher, 1766)

As for Peter being the stone or rock for believers, that fiction is rejected in Acts 4:8-12 (cf. Matthew 16:18 that is mistranslated, as Peter and stone are the same word in Greek: πετρος).  Furthermore, the advent of this “rock” is but a reflection on the birth of the god Mithras, favored by Rome’s soldiers, who was born out of a rock (Vermaseren, Maartan J. (1951). “The miraculous Birth of Mithras”, in László Gerevich. Studia Archaeologica: Publicationes Instituti archaeologici Academiae scientiarum Hungaricae. Red.: L[ászló] Gerevich 0. Besitzerspezifische Fußnote. Budapest, Hungary; reissued as Studia Archaeologica: Gerardo van Horoon Oblata (Studia von Horoon), a festschriften, Leiden, Netherlands: E J Brill. pp. 93–109).

God Enki walks out of the water to the land

Various religions in the days that it is claimed that Peter lived have similar accounts of miracles and walking on water–as the records are about how the earth was formed and how people were born.  The legend of Peter “walking on water”, as it appears in current Bibles, is nothing new in the world’s religious literature, and it did not occur only with the Jesus of the New Testament nor with Peter.  It is not a story of faith but of the power of the god(s) current at the time.

Walking on water is found in universal non-Christian theologies: Egyptian (Horus and his son Hapy who ruled over the Nile, and Naunet who was the god of wells and later of all water, especially the ocean, (a prototype for Neptune / Poiseidon) in Etruscan theology and known as Nethuns), Hindu (Huang-Po), Greek (Orion), Canaanite (in Mesopotamia, Enki was god of water and walked on it and saw it to be the “birth water” that flowed out of his wife, calling faithful fishermen from their boats to walk on water to prove their faith; and in numerous Asian religions, the gods were avatars—those who control elements—and walked on water),

Pre-Inca (Peru) God of creation who walks on water

which also appears in Pre-Inca (Peru) theology as Viracocha (also known as Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra) who created the world flood while the Inca god Kon controlled the rain.  Pre-Inca theology had Virachocha as “a man of medium height, white and dressed in a white robe like an alb secured round the waist, and that he carried a staff and a book in his hands” (De Gamboa, Pedro Sarmiento.  History of the Incas translated by Clements Markham, Cambridge, MA, USA: The Hakluyt Society 1907, pp. 28-58).  Virachocha (the name means “sea foam”) had one son (Inti) and two daughters, a trinity, who destroyed the earth and all the animals on it with a universal flood because of the sinfulness of people, pardoning only two people to bring civilization to the rest of the world: Manco Cápac, the son of Inti (sometimes taken as the son of Viracocha), which name means “splendid foundation”, and Mama Ocllo, which means “mother fertility”.  In another account, Viracocha had two sons, Imahmana Viracocha and Tocapo Virachocha. After the Great Flood and the Creation, Viracocha sent his sons to visit the tribes the sons created to the Northeast and Northwest to determine if they still obeyed his commandments (Viracocha traveled North). During their journey, Imaymana and Tocapo gave names to all the trees, flowers, fruits and herbs (there was no first woman). They also taught the tribes which of these were edible, which had medicinal properties, and which were poisonous. Eventually, Viracocha, Tocapo and Imahmana arrived at Cuzco (in modern-day Peru) and the Pacific seacoast where they walked across the water until they disappeared.

At the time the Gospels were being written, Asian theology was present in the Roman world), and throughout the Scandinavian world (with Ahti the most important water deity, but also Thor, Odin, etc who ruled over everything), and O-Wata-Tsu-Mi of Japan, Chac in Mayan theology, and so forth.  

Moschophoros (Athens 570 BCE)

“Borrowing” religious symbolism was common and took on an unusual urgency by the middle of the fourth century for the emerging groups of “brethren” who would people the congregations of “the lovers” when the Emperor Constantine decided to formally create his catholic [universal] church, calling a council of warring bishops to Nicaea to thrash out details and decide on a uniform code.  From this, and other such state-controlled councils in the East, symbolism played a critical role, such as the symbolism of Jesus carrying a lamb which is a part of the theology of Attis, Dionysus, Mithras, Apollonius of Tyana, and so forth, and is known both as μοσχάρι-κομιστή: calf-bearer and αρνί-κομιστή: lamb-bearer (Hermes: Ἑρμῆς. is the lamb-bearer (Hermes Kriophoros: Ερμής αρνί-κομιστή) and one of the crucified saviours of the ancient world).  In each case the lamb carrier /calf carrier is representative of a shepherd or cowherder who was in charge of protecting the flocks from predators (from the Latin praedātor:  plunderer and was used for “flock stealing” or taking from one religion to another by using lies).  From this symbol those who would proclaim themselves (or be proclaimed by others) as leaders (bishops: ἐπίσκοποι episkopoi, but does not become a recognized category until 108 CE, as defined by Ignatius of Antioch who held that a bishop had greater authority than a priest) or council of advisers (presbyters who exercised teaching, priestly, and administrative functions; from the Greek πρεσβύτερος (presbuteros), the comparative form of πρέσβυς (presbus), “old man”) determined that they would have to ensure purity of faith by expelling (and ultimately killing) heretics and apostates.

Justin Martyr (acclaimed a saint under the most dubious of circumstances, rewrote the Bible on his own, substituting Latin words that were/are not the equivalent of the Greek Koine) wrote in his First Apology 21: “When we say that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.”  The actual New Testament text matches that of Buddhism.

Linus does not appearing in any document before the highly questionable writings of Irenæus of Lyons (d. 200 CE).  Linus is not mentioned again until Eusebius, the Arian bishop of Caesarea (ca. 339 CE).  In fact the original (old) Liber Pontificalis (Book of Popes: the oldest copy that I have in my private library is emended/edited by de Lutiis, Jacobi [bishop of Cajazzo] and Burckardi, Joannis (1497-16 Aug), Liber Pontificalis. Romae, Italia: Stephan Plannck, (dated) 16 Aug. 1497; the actual imprint reads: Per Magistrum Stephanum Plannck sedente Alexandro. vj. Pontifice Maximo, anno eius. v. M. CCCC.lxxxxvij. [1497] Die xvj. Augusti; text is in Latin and is published in two parts: I: the Popes to 715 CE, and II: Popes to 817 CE) bound in signatures) does not list Linus—but Clement (who never claimed to be a papa); Linus does not appear until the third-century spurious document Apostolic Constitutions surfaces (VII.iv.xlvi). 

There was no monoarchical Episcopal structure of church government in Rome until the fourth century (McBrien, Richard P (2005). Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI.  San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper, pp. 33-34).  There is but one mention of a Linus in the New Testament (2 Timothy 4:19-21: Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus…: 19Ἄσπασαι Πρίσκαν καὶ Ἀκύλαν καὶ τὸν Ὀνησιφόρου οἶκον. 20Ἔραστος ἔμεινεν ἐν Κορίνθῳ, Τρόφιμον δὲ ἀπέλειπον ἐν Μιλήτῳ ἀσθενοῦντα. 21Σπούδασον πρὸ χειμῶνος ἐλθεῖν. Ἀσπάζεται σε Εὔβουλος καὶ Πούδης καὶ Λίνος καὶ Κλαυδία καὶ οἱ αδελφοὶ.  The majority of the new converts were women who had women leaders.  In the Letter to Timothy,  Linus plays a minor role and is recorded only as an afterthought (as is found in an early fifth century scroll in my private collection). 

There is no reference there that Linus was ever a bishop or ever at Rome—the closest one can speculate is the Linus mention in 2 Timothy (4:21) lived in Corinth, along with Pudens, Claudia (a female prophet/priest), “and all the brethren” (brethren was a word for “believers”).  More precisely, since others were mentioned before Linus, that situation shows that he was not considered “first” even among equals—but was a minor player in the emerging community.

Tertullian of Carthage (Africa)

Contemporary papalography is filled with errors. Lopes (Lopes, Antonino (1997), The Popes: The lives of the Pontiffs through 2000 years of History. Roma: Futura Edizoni, p. 1) makes the error of writing “Tertullian maintains that Cletus and not Linus was the successor to St. Peter”, while, in fact, Tertullian lists Clement (in some redactions Tertullian argues that the succession went first through Polycarp (Tertullian, De Prescriptionibus, in Patrologia Latina, xii; cf. Jerome, De vir. III., xv), not Cletus as the successor (Liber de praescriptione haereticorum).  Tertullian, however, does not use the word “papa” nor πάππας (pappas).  The first to carry the title of pope was the Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heracleus (232–249 CE), the 13th Alexandrine Patriarch.  The first historical first record is assigned to Pope Heraclas of Alexandria in a letter written by the bishop of Rome, Dionysius, to Philemon: τοῦτον ἐγὼ τὸν κανόνα καὶ τὸν τύπον παρὰ τοῦ μακαρίου πάπα ἡμῶν Ἡρακλᾶ παρέλαβον (I received this rule and ordinance from our blessed pope, Heraclas), as recorded by Eusebius the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, Historia Ecclesiastica VII.vii.7. 

Irenæus of Lyons, in his Adversus Haereses (III.iii.2-3, written about 180 CE–which makes it less valuable as it is not an eye-witness account nor a verifiable historical record of an incident that took place, allegedly, around 120 years earlier)—is on the order of the fable of George Washington cutting down a cherry tree—a tree that Japan would not send to the USA until 1912; the first trees imported in 1910, had to be destroyed because of an infection.  Irenæus bases his list upon tradition and there are no dates for his entries; his only reference to Linus, is in reference to Paul’s mention of Linus in his Letter of Timothy (itself of dubious origin).  Irenæus is not a reputable or valid source, for he claims, in error, that Paul and Peter started the church in Rome, but in Romans 15:20, Paul claims that he “should [not] build upon another man[’s] foundation (cf. Sullivan, F. A. (2001), op. cit., pp. 35, 147). Even more startling is Irenæus claim that “Peter and Paul” did not ordain or commission Linus, but appointed him, as Irenæus did not see either Peter or Paul as bishops (Sullivan, op. cit., p. 148). 

Ignatius of Antioch makes no mention of Linus or other successors in any of his writings, including his Letter of Polycarp of Smyrna.  Polycarp, who thinks well of Ignatius, makes no mention of Linus, Cletus or anyone who became “bishop of Rome” nor does he acknowledge in any of his eight epistles any “bishop of Rome” by name or title.  The Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) does not mention Linus, Cletus or anyone who became “bishop of Rome.”  At best, Rome was led by a college of presbyters (Sullivan, op. cit., pp. 13-15)—or teachers that included women.

Clement of Rome never declared himself to be a “bishop of Rome” nor did he ever sign any letter with that title (cf. Duffy, Eamon (2001). Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes (2nd ed.) London, UK: Yale University Press, pp. 9-10, 13), and he made no reference to a Linus as a bishop—not even as an elder—of the church in Rome. The Roman Catholic scholar J. P. Kirsch (1910) writing in The Catholic Encyclopedia (vol. IX), notes that “Linus…his pontificate dates from the death of the Apostles Peter and Pau, which, however, is not known for certain…”  Even the “tomb” of Linus is rejected as historical (De Rossi, Giovanni Battista (1857) Inscriptiones christianae urbis Romae septimo saeculo antiquilores, Romae: Ex Officina Libraria Pontifica [real date: 1861]-1888, vol. II (published 1888), pp. 23-27).  In short, there is no historical evidence for either Peter or Linus. 

This is made clearer when reading the writings of John the Beloved—who, allegedly, was alive throughout the first century.  At no time, in no epistle or gospel, does John mention a “bishop of Rome” or a “vicar of Christ” by title.  No where is the name Linus found in any writing of John.

If there had been a bishop of Rome, a far more appropriate choice would have been John (if he even lived), as tradition tells us that he was the last of the Apostles (as with all the Twelve Apostles, who represented the known twelve constellations, there is no physical evidence that John ever lived nor wrote). John, however, would not accept such a pretension as it would be apostasy in his age.  Not even the madman John of Patmos (a creation of writers), who was definitely not John the Beloved but frequently confused as being the same man, in the Apocalypse makes no mention of a “bishop of Rome” nor the writings of any “pope”.  The only comment Patmos makes of the “leadership of the church” is the church that exists in Asia Minor (Revelation 1-3) with its leadership going back to the elders of Jerusalem, Antioch, and so forth.  Rome is not mentioned.

Various Roman Catholic scholars equally contest the assertion that Peter founded the Roman Catholic Church and established a see in Rome.  F. A. Sullivan (Sullivan, Francis (Alfred) (2001). From Apostles to Bishops: the Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church.  Mahwah, NJ, USA: Newman Press; and, New York: Newman Press, pp. 80, 221-222) notes: “the available evidence indicates that the church in Rome was led by a college of presbyters, rather than by a single bishop, for at least several decades of the second century.”  Sullivan is supported by Richard P. McBrien (Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper, 2005, p. 34).  McBrien writes: “Early sources, including Eusebius, claim Linus held office for twelve years, but they are not clear about the exact dates or his exact pastoral role and authority.  …the Episcopal structure of church governance … still did not exist in Rome at this time.”

Contrary to the apologists for Linus and the myth of apostolic succession, history does not record either a “pope” or a “bishop of Rome” until late in the fourth century CE.  Such a pretentious claim does not appear until Siricius (384-399) who took the Greek word for father (papa) as his title (Lopes, A., op. cit., p. 13; cp. Epistle vi in Patrologia Latina (Migne, Jacques-Paul [1844-1891?]. Patrologiae cursus completes. Series Latina: sive bibliotheca universalis … omnium ss. Partum, doctorum scriptorium que ecclesiasticorum qui ab aevo apostolic ad usque Innocentii III tempora floruerunt. Parisiis [Paris, France]: Apud Garnien Fratres, editors et J.-P. Migne successors; hereafter cited as PL) XIII, col. 1164.)

No superiority was accounted for the “papa” in Rome.  Rome’s bishop, a personage slow to emerge, was but one “father” or priest (countering my own 1968 thesis An Apology for the Petrine Doctrine. Cedar Falls, IA, USA: University of Northern Iowa).  Rome’s bishop, once one was declared, was never considered infallible on any teaching or question of morality (infallibility does not become an article of faith in the Roman Catholic Church until 1870 at the First Vatican Council, and then over the protestations of the majority of clergy (cp. the bull Qui quorundam (1324) that condemned the doctrine of papal infallibility put forth by Franciscans as the “work of the devil”: Hasler, August Bernhard, (1981) How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion (Doubleday; Garden City, NY), pp. 36-37); he was never seen as primate over other bishops nor even “first among equals” (Latin: Primus inter pares; Greek: Πρῶτος μεταξὺ ἴσων) and does not appear in Western tracts until 1054 (cf. D’Agostino, Michele Giuseppe (2008).  Il Primato della Sede di Roma in Leone IX (1049–1054). Studio dei testi latini nella controversia greco-romana nel periodo pregregoriano. Cinisello Balsamo, Italia: Edizioni San Paolo). It was blasphemy to consider such a pretender as supreme even in the early Middle Ages; cp. Bayer, Axel. Splatung der christenheit das sogenannte morgenlandische schisma von 1054. Köln : Böhlau Verlag, 2002) when the bishop of Rome attempted to impose his own interpretation on the “filioque” clause, and whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist (cf. Hergenröther,  Joseph (1869) Monumenta Graeca ad Photium eiusque historiam pertinentiam, quae ex codicibus manuscriptis… Regensburg, Germany: Georg Tos. Manz, pp 62–71, reissued Farnborough: Gregg, 1969, who argues that Photius attempted to insert this divisive issue into the controversy; and, Hans-Georg Beck, Byzantinisches Lesebuch, München 1982, pp 245–247).  Rome had the “prerogative of honor” only because Rome was the imperial capital–until the New Rome (Constantinople) was built in Turkey (Second Ecumenical Council, Canon III), but that was heatedly debated that numerous other councils were called to wrestle with it.  The only bishops existed in Jerusalem by the end of the first century, and in Asia Minor by the second century.

Linus’ alleged successor Cletus (Anacletus: a Roman, also called, in error, Anencletus: a Greek; Irenæus, Eusebius, Augustine, Optatus, use both names indifferently as of one person) is also fiction.  There is significant work necessary to understand the name of this alleged pope, as in ancient Greek, Cletus translates as “one who has been called” while “Anacletus” translates as “one who has been called back.” Tertullian never mentions him, nor does anyone else within the first two centuries, yet later apologia, praises this pope that even the Bible does not mention nor any civil record, for requiring “priestly dress”—but there is no record of a priestly costume until the days of Constantine in the fourth century (Braun, Joseph (1912). Vestments translated by Michael T. Barrett, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XV, New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).

What is clear is that there never was an “apostolic succession” as later popes claimed, as there is no record of direct succession, nor even agreement of who were popes. The entire Roman Catholic hierarchical structure is based on lies, mistranslations and pseudo-interpretations of documents: the majority of which are forged or redactions incorporating glosses into the text.  It was the same for the fabrication of persecutions in the early church, that even Roman Catholic scholars have been admitting for more than one century,  For example: “For between Nero and Domitian there is no mention of any persecution of the Roman Church; and Irenæus (1. c., III, iv, 3) from among the early Roman bishops designates only Telesphorus as a glorious martyr” (read: Kirsch J.P (1910). Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX) notes:

Hic temporibus suis, rogatus a quadam matrona Lucina, corpora apostolorum beati Petri et Pauli de Catacumbas levavit noctu: primum quidem corpus beati Pauli accepto beata Lucina posuit in praedio suo, via Ostense, iuxta locum ubi decollatus est; beati Petri accipit corpus beatus Cornelius episcopus et posuit iuxta locum ubi crucificus est, inter corpora sanctorum episcoporum, in templum Apollinis, in monte Aureum, in Vaticanum palatii Neroniani, III kal. iul.

(read: Edmundson, George (1913). The Church in Rome in the First Century: an Examination of Various Controverted Questions relating to its history, chronology, literature and traditions; eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the Year 1913 on the foundation of the Lat Reve. John Bampton known as The Bampton Lectures for 1913; London, UK and New York, NY, USA: Longmans, Green).

All those who died between Nero and Domitian, who were very few in number despite the histrionics of papal apologists, of and have subsequently been called and praised as “saints” (a title for anyone who, living or dying, believes in “the Christ”–it was not yet a part of the name of the Jesus of the New Testament in the first century–as found in 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 3:14-19; 2 Corinthians 13:5; in the Christian Bible there is only one person who is declared to be a saint: Aaron the brother of Moses Psalms 106:16-18, as even Saul of Tarsus/Paul said he was no saint:  Ephesians 3:8) left no record of testifying, and many sought death to end their earthly existence (suicide), yet their “martyrdoms” becoming the backbone of the Roman Catholic church and cause célèbreof Roman Catholic persecution of non-Roman Catholics—especially as seen in the unholy life and actions of the odious opportunistic founder of Opus Dei, Josemaria Escriva (among the greatest liars and propagandists within the Roman Catholic Church who required unwavering

Josemarie Escriva: the end justifies the means

and absolute obedience in all things; Josemarie Escriva, founder of Opus Dei wrote in his The Way: the faithful will use secrecy to obtain end results (The Way, No. 839), compromise is a form of laziness and weakness (The Way, No. 54), true Roman Catholics must follow blindly “in obedience” all Church teachings (The Way, No. 617 and in 941): “Blind obedience to your superior, the way of sanctity. Obedience in your apostolate, the only way; for, in a work of God, the spirit must be to obey or to leave.” Submission to religious authority is understood to be a good in itself, while calling non-Catholic schools, “pagan schools” (The Way, No.866). Escrivá de Balaguer, José María [also Josemaria] (1954, 1962 and 1979). The Way. Chicago, IL, USA: Scepter), Opus Dei cardinals (especially in the USAwhere deception is the rule, and Latin America where

Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru

thinking for one’s self (dissent) is rejected and denied as defended by the Peru College of [Roman Catholic] Bishops, whereas before 1971, dissent was recognized and even championed; this all was stopped with the elevation of nefarious Juan Luis Cipriani as archbishop of Lima who has even attacked the Pontifical University in Lima as “not Catholic” enough to suit his Opus Dei following, for he is a staunch member of the Opus Dei movement that seeks to suppress freedom of speech, inquiry, and advancement of the individual) and parasitic popes Urban II, Alexander VI, Leo X, Pius IX, Pius XII, John Paul II, and the ultimate predator propagandist Benedict XVI. 

Christianity took its concept of saints from Hinduism, a polytheistic religion that considers holy people to be “saints” derived from the Sanskrit sat (सद) (truth, reality) has overlapping usages, its root meaning being “one who knows the truth” or “one who has experienced Ultimate Reality” and ennobles them with the term Mahatma, Paramahamsa, or Swami, or with the titles Sri or Srila (cf. Pruthi, Raj and Ram, S(2008). Hindu Saints and Mysticism.New Delhi : Crescent Pub. Corp.; cp. Lāla, Rāma; Poddar, Hanuman Prasad; and Sampūrnānanda (1957). Bhārata ke santa-mahātmā : Bhārata ke 114 santa-mahātmāom ke jīvana kī rūparekhā. Bambaī : Vorā enda Kampanī Pabliśarsa; in Hindi).  What most Roman Catholics either do not know or reject is that “St. Cletus” was removed from the office General Roman Calendar as a saint in 1969 (although he does continue to appear in the Roman Martyrology as one of many saints of April 26; cf. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 121).

Clement of Rome

The fourth “bishop of Rome” is equally a phantasmal being.  Contemporary lists of popes give Clement as the fourth successor or Peter—but the only Clement in the Bible is found as an afterthought in Philippians 4:2-3: coming after (showing that Clement had little status) the salutations to the women Eudodia and Synthyche—but the reference is to a worker—not to an elder, presbyter or a bishop.  No where does it (or any contemporary document) say Clement was a preacher, priest or pope, not even in Rome.  Instead the text only claims that Clement resided in the Greek city-state (polis: πολίς) of Philippi.

Clement is not mentioned by John or any secular source in the first century.  Jerome comments that a Clement was “the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter” not in the sense of fourth successor, but fourth in a series that included Peter, and adds that “most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle” but makes no affirmation of the rightness of this claim but in a redaction indicates that he came fourth—but without serious agreement (this disagreement is read easily in Irenæus’ Adversus Haereses III.iii.3).  Most of the biographical references to Clement were written in the fourth century as defense works attempting to justify the existence of an emerging bishopric of Rome, and there is no tie between this Clement and the Clement mentioned by “Paul” in Philippians 4:3 until the late third and into the fourth century CE. It is stated that Clement instituted the formulary of “the Trinity” for the Old Testament “The Lord lives”.  The Trinity is far older than Christianity.  

Osiric Trinity of ancient Egypt (Horus, Osiris, Isis)

The word Trinity is not found in the Bible.  The concept is far older–as old as ancient Egypt.  The Egyptians more than 3000 years ago had a belief in a life after death, a divine judgment, heaven and hell, and gave prayers to their gods with the invocation “the Lord lives” long before there were Hebrews or Christians. 

Much of what ancient Egypt had fashioned in its theology was plagiarized by the second century Christian church–when it did not take from its Jewish roots those parts it found economically beneficial in winning converts.

In Egyptian theology the trinity is a concept that  proclaims the inseparability of Osiris, Isis, and Horus.  Horus, the son, is recorded as having said, “My father [Osiris] and I are one” (cp. John 10:30). 

By the time of Judas Maccabeus the Egyptian Trinity was heralded as Isis (goddess of creation), Ra (god of the sun), El (husband or teaching spirit): Is-Ra-El (Yahweh was a war-god from the southern desert regions of Palestine, and later fashioned into an agricultural god that married the Canaanite goddess Asherah: Astarte; cf. Delitzsch, Friedrich (1903). Babel und Bibel. Leipzig, Germany: J. C. Hinrich and his Anmerkungen zu dem Vortrag Babel und Bible, 1903; Delitzsch was an Assyrian specialist).  Closer to Christianity is the Hindu Trinity, consisting of the TriGods:  Lord Brahma (the creator), Lord Vishnu (the preserver) and Lord Shiva (the destroyer). They are aspects of Iswara the manifest Brahman, the highest God of Hinduism.  The Hindu Trinity is not native to the Vedas, but were a part of the ancient Indian culture, and is thought to have appeared at least 2000 years before the advent of Vedic Aryans who settled in the north.  The Hindu Trinity is one god with three different abilities or personalities / purposes–much like the Christian Trinity.

“In Scripture [the Bible] there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together…The word trias (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A.D. 180…Afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian (“De pud.” c. xxi)”. (The Blessed Trinity. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV, 1912 by Robert Appleton Company. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).

Clement is also noted for the introduction of liturgical vestments—but they did not exist at that time, nor even at the time of Stephen I (254-257), as noted by Mann (Mann, H. (1912) transcribed by Kenneth M. Caldwell, “Pope St. Stephen I” in The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XIV. New York City, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company), who wrote: “In his days the vestments worn by the clergy at Mass and other church services did not differ in shape or material from those ordinarily wore by the laity.”

The idea that Clement had authority over any other presbyter is absurd, especially by those who claim such a stature based on Epistle from Rome to the Corinthians that is surreptitiously ascribed as 1 Clement.  As Sullivan wrote, “1 Clement certainly does not support the theory that before the apostles died; they appointed one man as bishop in each of the churches they founded. This letter witnesses rather to the fact that in the last decade of the first century, the collegial ministry of a group of presbyters…was still maintained in the Pauline church of Corinth. This was most likely also the case in the church in Rome at this period” (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: op. cit. pp. 91, 101).

The fourth pope is alleged to have had the name of Evaristus.  He is not mentioned in the Bible or in any other document (civil or ecclesiastical). It is claimed that he instituted a group of seven deacons (one for each of the hills of Rome) to write down “the popes utterances” to avoid disputes over what each said, but these decretals are now known as Peudo-Isidore and considered forgeries and the general consensus is that they were written in the ninth century by Carolingian supporters to free the church and bishops from interference by the state and metropolitan archbishops (Kirsch J. P. (1909). Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Evaristus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company; cp. Williams, Schafer (1973). “Codices Pseudo-Isidoriani, A Palaegraphico-Historical Study,” Monumenta Iuris Canonici Series C vol. 3, New York, NY, USA: Fordham University).  Nothing that the seven recorders where to have written down survives—nor a list of any popes, not even Evaristus—who was allegedly martyred, but there is no mention of any persecution in the Roman Church at this time (Irenæus, op. cit., 1.c. III, iv. 3).

Evaristus is alleged to have been followed by Alexander.  The only mention of an Alexander who followed Evaristus appears in one place: Irenæus, Adversus Haereses III, iii,3.  Legend has it that Alexander was only 20 years old when he was elected pope, and was quick to institute the use of Holy Water (dating from prehistoric and Paleolithic religions, known as chernips among ancient Greeks, the ancient Jews used it to determine purity in a woman (Numbers

Amrit Sanskar

5:12-31), the Sikhs use the term (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ) for a ritual baptism ceremony known as Amrit Sanskar or Amrit Chhakhna.  It was popular among Mithraists from which Alexander took the concept; and, it would later be a part of Shi’a Islam as it is thought that by drinking the “healing water” the person would be cured of both physical and spiritual illnesses (Virani, Shafique (2007). The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. p.107-108). 

Legend states that Alexander also prescribed that the “host” (bread) be made from unleavened dough (without yeast)–which would erupt into a battle of words and swords between Christians in the West and East.  The only other thing he is noted for is the continuation of ancient Roman superstition, such as the custom of purifying a house from evil influences by sprinkling salt on the structure and its rooms (constituit aquam sparsionis cum sale benedici in habitaculis hominum).  

Holy Water for Purification in the theology of the Goddess Isis

Duchesne and Tillemont (Duchesne, Louis; Vogel, Cyrille (1886). Liber Pontificalis, Paris, France: E. Thorin, I, 127. Tillemont, Louis-Sébastien Le Nain de (1693-1712), Memoires pour server à l’histoire ecclesiastique des six premiers siecles, par le Sieur D.T. [i.e De Tillemont]. Paris, France: Chez Charles Robustel, II, 590 sqq) both claim that Alexander came up with neither the idea of holy water or salt or similar superstitious practices, as none are biblically sanctioned—and none are in any contemporaneous records.  Holy Water and salt to purify a home, person, or temple is found in ancient Egypt with the worship of the Goddess Isis, in Pompeii and Rome–thousands of years before the invention of Christianity or any writing by its apologists.  Both were regularly used in places of worship, homes, businesses, and even public baths.

 Why Alexander, the alleged bishop of Rome was beheaded is unanswered in ancient records, but there is a subtle inference that he died because he was a young man who was subject to military service and refused to fight.  This would, in most cases, lead to execution.  A stronger argument against Alexander is that he could have been beheaded because of his age (he was, according to legend, the youngest–some claimed he was only 20 years-old–bishop of Rome, and there exists graffiti suggesting scandal during his term) and being single, which was seen as a threat to the Roman family and continuation of its people as with the dwindling population, reproduction was expected: celibacy and chastity were equally seen as unnatural and abnormal behavior.  It may have been that Alexander was seen as an Archigallus by the Romans. 

Priest of Cybele (courtesy of V Roma) Archigallus burning incense to the Magna Mater terra-cotta relief of the Isola Sacra cemetery 3rd century CE

The priesthood of the Archigallus is described as either being instituted sometime during the Imperial reign of Claudius (41-54 CE) or Antoninus Pius (137-161 CE). The Archigallus was always a Roman citizen chosen by the Quindecemviri Sacris Faciundis (fifteen [quindecim] members of a college (collegium) with priestly duties, from which, ultimately, would come cardinals–cardinālis–a word that originally meant ” door hinge” on which the gates to heaven swing open and shut), whose term of service lasted for life and the Archigallus was forbidden to be celibate or avoid human sexuality.  It was through the Archigallus and his rites that the Magna Mater’s blessings of health and well-being were conferred on the Emperor, the Imperial family, the Senate, the army and the Roman State and people as a whole, and to avoid sexuality and stay a virgin would bring down the wrath of the gods. This was especially critical as by the time of the death of Marcus Aurelius (180 CE), a plague—most likely smallpox—spread fast, killing approximately 2000 people a day.

The next pope, Sixtus I (originally spelled Xystus) is a further illusion—one with the least credibility. There is no existing records to his existence or the claims that he ordered holy furnishings be touched only by priests, the triple chant of Sanctus (common in ancient Etruscan theology and later imported into ancient Roman rituals where it was known as carmen (Putnam, Michael C. J. (2001). Horace’s Carmen Saeculare. New Haven, CT, USA and London, UK: Yale University Press. p. 133; Frances Hickson Hahn, “Performing the Sacred: Prayers and Hymns”, in Rüpke, Jörg (2007) A Companion to Roman Religion. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishers); it even was a part of the Hawaiian Kahunas before the unfortunate invasion by Christian missionaries), or the writing of two letters that are now considered universally to be apocryphal.     

Sixtus may never have existed, but was a part of numerology that was a part of all world religions.  The earliest list of bishops of Rome to survive is the one supplied by Irenæus who was known as a systematic writer who put everything into order.  The first twelve “popes” represented the twelve original Apostles, but with the loss of Judas Iscariot, there was vacancy, and that vacancy was the sixth from which the Latin name Sixtus comes. (Duffy, Eamon. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002, p.14).                

Telesphorus is the eighth pope recorded after the fourth century by Eusebius of Caesarea: Historia Ecclesiastica iv.7; iv.14, in Greek: Εκκλησιαστική ιστορία), but that record we only have far later redactions on, as the originals were “lost”—most likely burned by apologists for Rome.  It may be have been, in part, reconstructed from later chronographers of the Byzantine school who made excerpts from the work. The tables of the second part have been preserved completely in a Latin translation by Jerome, but the Latin shows serious flaws with knowledge of the Greek and polemics did play a part in the translation and copying of the work. Both parts are still extant in an Armenian translation) places the beginning of his pontificate in the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (128–129) and gives the date of his death as being in the first year of the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–139). 

What other references to Telesphorus that exist are fragments—and are only recorded (as such) by later writers, such as Eusebius (for example: in a fragment of a letter from Irenæus to Pope Victor I during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd century, preserved by Eusebius, Irenæus testifies that Telesphorus was one of the Roman bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday, rather than on other days of the week according to the calculation of the Jewish Passover), who claims, as it is alleged by many Roman Catholics today, Telesphorus created the Christmas Eve Mass and its songs.  There is no proof of this, as both Irenæus and Tertullian (the latter who ultimately renounces Christianity and becomes a Manichean) omit Christmas Eve from their list of feasts–and they wrote the earliest records on the history of the church. 

Origen was insulted by the idea, claiming in Lev. Hom (Homilies on Leviticus) viii (Migne, Patrologia Graeca, XII, 495) that only sinners, not saints, celebrate their birthday.  Arnobius (VII, 32, in PL, V, 1264) ridicules such “birthdays” as reminiscent of pagan gods—which had as its source ancient Egyptian rites (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, I, xxi in P.G., VIII, 888) says that certain Egyptian theologians “over curiously” assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ’s birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus (Martindale C (1908). Transcribed by Susanti A. Suastika. Christmas. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III.  New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).   

All references to Telesphorus in the Liber Pontificalis are considered to be forgeries.  The Feast of Lent, and its fasting, does not appear anywhere before the fifth century CE.  Lent is a Teutonic word that denotes the forty days’ fast preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season culminating in the worship of the goddess Oester (Easter).  (Thurston H (1910). Transcribed by Anthony A. Killeen. A.M.D.G. Lent. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).    Until the 600s, Lent began on Quadragesima (Fortieth) Sunday, but Gregory the Great (c.540-604) moved it to a Wednesday, now called Ash Wednesday, to secure the exact number of 40 days in Lent—not counting Sundays, which were feast days. Gregory, who is regarded as the father of the medieval papacy, is also credited with the ceremony that gives the day its name, and is credited with establishing chanting as a way of appeasing god. 

Irenæus knows nothing about lent, and most contemporaries condemned it and chanting as pagan (it has existed in nearly every ancient religion, and is common in Buddhism, Hinduism (Vaishnavism where chanting is included to free the body from “sins” especially by calling on the god Krishna, known as “the Christ”, where it is written: “One who fasts, follows the Janmastami vow, and keeps an all-night vigil on this day becomes freed from the sins of ten million births”,  all Mesopotamian/Abrahamic religions, and now in Islam where it is known as Ramadhan), as with Arnobius:

“What say you, O wise sons of Erectheus? What, you citizens of Minerva? The mind is eager to know with what words you will defend what it is so dangerous to maintain, or what arts you have by which to give safety to personages and causes wounded so mortally. This is no false mistrust, nor are you assailed with lying accusations: the infamy of your Eleusinia is declared both by their base beginnings and by the records of ancient literature, by the very signs, in fine, which you use when questioned in receiving the sacred things,—” I have fasted, and drunk the draught; I have taken out of the mystic cist, and put into the wicker-basket; I have received again, and transferred to the little chest”

(Arnobius [of Sicca]. Adversus Paganos or Against the Heathen (also known as Against the Pagans and as Against the Gentiles), V.26; the original is in Latin; a good translation, in German, is Des Afrikaner’s Arnobius sieben Buecher wider die Heiden Landshut: v. Vogel, 1842).

Arnobius further notes: The feast of Jupiter is tomorrow. Jupiter, I suppose, dines, and must be satiated with great banquets, and long filled with eager cravings for food by fasting, and hungry after the usual interval (Adversus Paganos, VII.32).  The emerging Christian communities rapidly adopted the heathen custom of having great banquets at the end of Lent.

Alexander Hislop was among the first to write of Lent’s pagan antecedents:

The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, “in the spring of the year,” is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians. Such a Lent of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: “Three days after the vernal equinox…began a solemn fast of forty days in honour of the sun.” Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt, as may be seen on consulting Wilkinson’s Egyptians. This Egyptian Lent of forty days, we are informed by Landseer, in his Sabean Researches, was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god. At the same time, the rape of Proserpine seems to have been commemorated, and in a similar manner; for Julius Firmicus informs us that, for “forty nights” the “wailing for Proserpine” continued; and from Arnobius we learn that the fast which the Pagans observed, called “Castus” or the “sacred” fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her “excess of sorrow,” that is, on account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto…

Babylonians honored the resurrection of their god, Tammuz

Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the “month of Tammuz”; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands…

Lupercalia: the ancient custom of Lent

Let any one only read the atrocities that were commemorated during the “sacred fast” or Pagan Lent, as described by Arnobius and Clemens Alexandrinus, and surely he must blush for the Christianity of those who, with the full knowledge of all these abominations, “went down to Egypt for help” to stir up the languid devotion of the degenerate Church, and who could find no more excellent way to “revive” it, than by borrowing from so polluted a source; the absurdities and abominations connected with which the early Christian writers had held up to scorn. That Christians should ever think of introducing the Pagan abstinence of Lent was a sign of evil; it showed how low they had sunk, and it was also a cause of evil; it inevitably led to deeper degradation. Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks.

(Hislop, Alexander (1862). The Two Babylons, or, The papal worship proved to be the worship of Nimrod and his wife: with sixty-one woodcut illustrations from Nineveh, Babylon, Egypt, Pompeii, &c. Edinburgh, Scotland: James Wood, pp. 104-106, a revision of the 1858 publication that was printed privately in Edinburgh under the title The two Babylons: their identity, and the present antichrist also the last).

Telesphorus was, allegedly, succeeded by Hyginus.  Of him or his reign there is neither evidence nor the claim that he decreed that all children were to be baptized with godparents in attendance.  The only reference for Hyginus is in Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica IV.xv-xvi, but it is not credible, being written two hundred years after the alleged bishop of Rome reigned.  Baptism is among the most ancient practices in all primitive religions, predating Christianity by at least 5000 years. Homer describes baptism as a “full body immersion” that initially was reserved for the gods, then the demigods (such as Achilles), and ultimately for mortals; baptism could be by water or fire (war, and flames).  The Tablets of Maklu saw baptism as a “spiritual cleansing” in the cult of Enke, lord of Eridu. 

Book of Going Forth by Day (Papyrus of Ani) preparing for Baptism

In the Book of Going Forth by Day in ancient Egypt, an entire treatise is devoted to baptizing newborn children to purify them of any blemishes acquired in the womb—an ideology that had as its source the theology of Osiris drowning in the Nile and being brought back to life by the washing of the water over his entire body. 

Ritual instruments for a crucified saviour (Cairo Egypt) 1285 BCE XIXth Dynasty

This ultimately led to the crucifixion of Osiris, as well as the invention of a special house to hide the god or the resurrection when he was not being worshipped.

Miniature shrine XVIIIth Dynasty ca 1325 BCE darkness to hide deity

Supreme Priests/Pontiffs, such as Seti I would oversee the receipt of special tithes and gifts to the crucified god.

Seti I consecrating offerings ca 1285 BCE XIX Dynasty

In the cult of Cybele—which became one of the parts of the great God Mithras—baptism was by blood in the right of sacrificing the bull (Taurobolium) to give the faithful greater vitality and virility (baptism has always had a sexual context, from rising from the water symbolizing the fetus leaving the womb to become a baby, to being covered with blood to endure hardships such as being wrongly beaten or being crucified, as with the ancient Akkadians: אַכַּד). 

Commemorative Taurobolium Altar (Rome ca 295 BCE)

The Emperor Theodosius the Great made Mithraism the only religion in the empire at the expense of Christianity, although the inscription appears no later than 134 CE and was widespread: from Asia Minor, Middle East, and so forth (Vermaseren, Maartan J. (1977).  Cybele and Attis: the Myth and the Cult. London, UK: Thames and Hudson p. 102).  By being baptized, the one receiving the water or blood gained “eternal life, being born again”.  The pagan origin of baptism was even noted in the early Christian communities that adopted the rite into their own ritual and rules:

“[Non-Christians] ascribe to their idols the imbuing of waters with the self-same efficacy [of purification]. … For washing is the channel through which they are initiated into some sacred rites–of some notorious Isis or Mithras…

Moreover, by carrying water around, and sprinkling it, they everywhere expiate country-seats, houses, temples, and whole cities: at all events, at the Apollinarian and Eleusinian games they are baptized; and they presume that the effect of their doing that is their regeneration and the remission of the penalties due to their perjuries.

Among the ancients, again, whoever had defiled himself with murder, was wont to go in quest of purifying waters.” –i.e. Washing away sin! [Tertullian, On Baptism, 5.]

Facts show that every sacrament, every act, every canon in the early Church was taken from ancient (“pagan”) religions and incorporated into Christianity before it became Paulinity.  This is seen in the legends laurelled around the first century popes—for whom there is no evidence, as Christianity borrowed salvation, baptism (including baptism of the dead in ancient Corinth (DeMaris, Richard (1996). Corinthian Religion and Baptism for the Dead (1 Corinthians 15:29): Insights from Archaeology and Anthropology. Provo, UT, USA: Maxwell Institute, p. 675) that gave rise to the ideology of the Mormons: Hugh Nibley, “Baptism for the Dead in Ancient Times,” in Nibley, Hugh; Compton, Todd; and Ricks, Stephen (1987). Mormonism and Early Christianity (Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Deseret Book and FARMS [Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies]), pp. 100-167), the Eucharist, heaven, hell, a virgin born Son of God—and more—from ancient Pagan religions. This matured under the mythological Pius I.

Legend has Pius I following Hyginus as pope. Concerning Pius I, there is no concrete information and no records.  The claim that he established Easter as a Christian celebration is wrong; that he decreed that Jews who converted to Christianity and” should be admitted and baptized) are forgeries.  It is said that Pius was influenced by Justin Martyr—but Justin has not been universally accepted as a Christian as he was judgmental, xenophobic and as his Dialogue with Trypho (especially chapter 80) shows, Justin was out of touch with the Greek world where Christianity began.  The only existing record of Pius I comes from a spurious source: Shepherd of Hermas (also known as The Pastor), written between the late second century and early third century and thus of no value to the discussion, save to note that it includes the line “The Pastor, moreover, did Hermas write very recently in our times in the city of Rome, while his brother bishop Pius sat in the chair of the Church of Rome.” The problem with the Pastor is that the author claims he was a former slave—and if he was the brother of Pius, both would have been slaves, which would be a stumbling block towards the papacy. (Caius, translated by S.D.F. Salmond, in Muratori, Lodovico Antonio (1738-1742) V.C. Antiquitates Italicae Medii aevi. Sive dissertations de moribus, ritibus, religion, regimine, aliisque faciem … Mediolani, Italia: Ex typographia Societatis Palatinae in regia curia. Vol. 3, col 854). Outside of that one line, nothing else exists.

Anicetus, it is claimed, followed Pius I.  Everything attributed to this claimant who has no documentation of having been a bishop or even having lived, can be traced to a different pretender or a later innovator. Anicetus’ main claim to fame was that he “dealt with” the Gnostic “heresy”—a heresy that lasted for generations more (Irenæus. Adversus Haereses III.iv.3 and iii.4).  What the Gnostic texts show is that few Roman Christians and no “bishop” had power over neither the Gnostics nor their theological interpretations. Other heretics included Justin Martyr (Eusebius Historia Ecclesiastica  IV.11). Justin, for example, did not believe in the immortality of the soul:

Trypho: “‘Therefore souls neither see God nor trans-migrate into other bodies; for they would know that so they are punished, and they would be afraid to commit even the most trivial sin afterwards. But that they can perceive that God exists, and that righteousness and piety are honourable, I also quite agree with you,’ said he.

Justin: “‘You are right,’ I replied.

Trypho: “‘These philosophers know nothing, then, about these things; for they cannot tell what a soul is.’

Justin: “‘It does not appear so.’

Trypho:“‘Nor ought it to be called immortal; for if it is immortal, it is plainly unbegotten.’ …

Justin: “God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, and therefore He is God, but all other things after Him are created and corruptible. For this reason souls both die and are punished: since, if they were unbegotten, they would neither sin, nor be filled with folly, nor be cowardly, and again ferocious; nor would they willingly transform into swine, and serpents, and dogs and it would not indeed be just to compel them, if they be unbegotten” (Dialogue. IV-V).

Justin argued that the Jews (from which all Christians descended) erased parts of the Old Testament:

“And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy…

Trypho remarked, “Whether [or not] the rulers of the people have erased any portion of the Scriptures, as you affirm, God knows; but it seems incredible.”

“Assuredly,” said I, “it does seem incredible”

(Justin Martyr. Dialogue with Trypho, LXXI, LXXIII). If “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), how can Justin claim parts were lost?  Furthermore, while the early Christians assumed that Jesus was a “new man”, the congregations held that the world was only about 3000 years old, yet Justin wrote: “And He was predicted before He appeared, first 5000 years before, and again 3000, then 2000, then 1000, and yet again 800; for in the succession of generations prophets after prophets arose” (The First Apology. XXXI).

Justin did have much in common with other pagan religions, especially Mithras, in his claim that Jesus was born in a cave:

And when those who record the mysteries of Mithras say that he was begotten of a rock, and call the place where those who believe in him are initiated a cave…they have attempted likewise to imitate the whole of Isaiah’s words?…’he shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong rock. Bread shall be given to him, and his water [shall be] sure…’ (Trypho, LXX).

But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him. I have repeated to you what Isaiah foretold about the sign which foreshadowed the cave (Trypho LXXVIII).

The greatest apostasy found in Justin Martyr is his claim that Jesus died on a cross  (crux):

“And the physiological discussion concerning the Son of God in the Timæus of Plato, where he says, He placed him crosswise in the universe, he borrowed in like manner from Moses; for in the writings of Moses it is related how at that time , when the Israelites went out of Egypt and were in the wilderness, they fell in with poisonous beasts, both vipers and asps , and every kind of serpent, which slew the people; and that Moses, by the inspiration and influence of God, took brass, and made it into the figure of a cross , and set it in the holy tabernacle , and said to the people, If you look to this figure, and believe, you shall be saved thereby. And when this was done, it is recorded that the serpents died, and it is handed down that the people thus escaped death. Which things Plato reading, and not accurately understanding, and not apprehending that it was the figure of the cross, but taking it to be a placing crosswise, he said that the power next to the first God was placed crosswise in the universe. And as to his speaking of a third, he did this because he read, as we said above, that which was spoken by Moses, that the Spirit of God moved over the waters. For he gives the second place to the Logos which is with God, who he said was placed crosswise in the universe; and the third place to the Spirit who was said to be borne upon the water, saying, And the third around the third. And hear how the Spirit of prophecy signified through Moses that there should be a conflagration. He spoke thus: Everlasting fire shall descend, and shall devour to the pit beneath” (First Apology, LX).

The cross, however, comes from Plato’s Timaeus (Robert Grigg, “Symphōnian Aeidō tēs Basileias”: An Image of Imperial Harmony on the Base of the Column of Arcadius” The Art Bulletin 59.4 (December 1977:469-482) p. 477, note 42).

Martyr is a cornucopia of absurdities who went so far as to have Jesus becoming equal to the god Prometheus:

“And then, when Jesus had gone to the river Jordan, where John was baptizing, and when He had stepped into the water, a fire was kindled in the Jordan” (Dialogue. Chapter LXXXVIII).

There is no fire in mentioned in any biblical account of Jesus’ baptism (see Matthew 3:1-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34). Justin simply taught this without biblical support.

The actual attack on those who twisted reality came from other groups or individuals, such as Polycarp of Smyrna.

While one can labor over all the other popes that the Roman Catholic Church claims to have sat in the chair of Peter (a chair more mythological than real), none can claim the title before Siricius (d. 398) who was the first to use it (Epistle VI in P. L. XIII, 1164), and then only with imperial permission. The Bishop of Rome (later called the Pope) the senior religious figure in the Western Empire which was drifting into a Dark Age of superstition while enlightened thinking and dialogue continued strong in the East at Constantinople. 

Siricius

The Bishop of Rome was seen officially as the chief Christian cleric only by imperial proclamation postulated in 380 by the Edict of Thessalonica. The fact that Siricius did not to set himself apart, but assumed the role of a spiritual father or leader—unlike today’s bishops, cardinals and popes who have made the outlandish, unbiblical and unhistorical claim initiated by Pius IX that they speak infallibly and have primacy over other bishops, endeared him to the imperial house and to the people. The claim that all bishops of Rome spoke infallibly, based on Matthew 16:18, is neither biblical nor provable by history in any of its facets.

The only Supreme Pontiff was the Emperor, as Justin Martyr noted: 

The Emperor Caesar Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Supreme Pontiff, in the fifteenth year of his tribuneship, Consul for the third time, Father of the fatherland, to the Common Assembly of Asia, greeting: I should have thought that the gods themselves would see to it that such offenders should not escape. For if they had the power, they themselves would much rather punish those who refuse to worship them; but it is you who bring trouble on these persons, and accuse as the opinion of atheists that which they hold, and lay to their charge certain other things which we are unable to prove. But it would be advantageous to them that they should be thought to die for that of which they are accused, and they conquer you by being lavish of their lives rather than yield that obedience which you require of them. And regarding the earthquakes which have already happened and are now occurring, it is not seemly that you remind us of them, losing heart whenever they occur, and thus set your conduct in contrast with that of these men; for they have much greater confidence towards God than you yourselves have. And you, indeed, seem at such times to ignore the gods, and you neglect the temples, and make no recognition of the worship of God. And hence you are jealous of those who do serve Him, and persecute them to the death. Concerning such persons, some others also of the governors of provinces wrote to my most divine father; to whom he replied that they should not at all disturb such persons, unless they were found to be attempting anything against the Roman government. And to myself many have sent intimations regarding such persons, to whom I also replied in pursuance of my father’s judgment. But if any one has a matter to bring against any person of this class, merely as such a person, let the accused be acquitted of the charge, even though he should be found to be such an one; but let the accuser he amenable to justice.

(The First Apology. LXVIII; Epistle Of Antoninus To The Common Assembly Of Asia). The letter (epistle) is considered spurious.  A future bishop of Rome would not usurp this title until late in the fourth century. 

The earthquakes were interpreted by many early Christians as a sign of the End Times when god would return to the earth and purge it of evil and evil-doers, leading to a great war—a war that fleshes out the horror story of John Patmos.  The letter argues that such a thought is nonsense and that End Times is a concept created by those who feel themselves persecuted.  The Emperor was not a Christian, as noted in his words, “some others also of the governors of provinces wrote to my most divine father, to whom he replied that they should not at all disturb such persons, unless they were found to be attempting anything against the Roman government.”  The word “atheists” meant anyone (basically the various Christian cults) who did not accept the official gods; it should be translated as “without the gods” not as “against god”; the problems of translation and interpretation are numerous here as the people to whom this letter was addressed were basically illiterate and seeking immediate answers written down for them, without having to use their own marginal reasoning intellectual powers.

While numerous historians consider the character of Antoninus a success and his reign “a blessing”, there are others who take a different, unfavorable view, as with Schiller, Hermann (1887). Geschichte der rom. Kaiserzeit. (Handbücher der Alten Geschichte: Ser. 1., ; 3. Abt. 2) II, p. 138. Eusebius op. cit. IV.26.10; Marcus Aurelius forbade “spontaneous” outbreaks of violence against Christians as it was disruptive of the pax or peace of the realm, loc. cit. IV.13, which later Christian apologists have attempted to define as an acceptance of Christianity and subtle reference to imperial approval—that is a misreading of the document—as Christians did die, either because of being found guilty of inciting others, or because of their determination to commit suicide, which “the brethren of believers” declared to be “martyrdoms” even though the deaths did not qualify as martyrdom—a situation that even present day apologists acknowledge:

“The pages of the contemporary apologists, though lacking in detail, are ample proof that capital punishment was frequently inflicted. The passive attitude of Antoninus had no small influence on the internal development of Christianity. Heresy was then rampant on all sides; consequently, in order to strengthen the bonds of discipline and morality, and to enforce unity of doctrine, concerted action was called for. The tolerant attitude of the Emperor made possible a broad and vigorous activity on the part of the Christian bishops, one evidence of which is the institution of synods or councils of the Christian leaders, then first held on an extensive scale, and described at some length by Eusebius in his Church History. In this way, it may be said, the Emperor contributed to the development of Christian unity”

gives the contemporary reader more insight into the charges brought against Christians as being “workers” against the empire, withdrawn, exclusive, and unsupportive.  The synods were anything but peaceful, with bishops drawing weapons, congregants screaming, participants impeaching opposition parties and philosophies and theologies, and the bans against “heresies” returned in kind and extent.  Under stronger secular rulers, such nonsense and barbarity of the early congregations was not tolerated (Tertullian, Ad Scapulam, ix: the last treatise Tertullian wrote as a Christian before he left the cult in disgust and became a “born again pagan”, being attracted to the New Prophecy (Montanism with a theology similar to contemporary Pentecostalism and the New Apostolic Reformation; as Eusebius wrote:

“And he [Montanus] became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning.”

Eusebius, op. cit., V.xvi,7, who noted such actions have no biblical foundation; later Tertullian in De Resurectione Carnis (On the Resurrection of the Flesh) argued that the New Prophecy cleared up ambiguities in scripture, which the traditional church rejected; recognized female bishops and presbyters, and other “worldly” activities denounced by Epiphanius, Against Heresies, 49.2.5, thereby acknowledging its existence) despite being the teacher of Cyprian (and predecessor of Augustine); cf. Quacquarelli, Antonio (1957). Tertulliani Ad Scapulam. Prolegomeni, Testo Critico e Commento. (Opuscula Patrum, i.) pp. 131. Paris, France: Desclée et Cie., 1957; the only existing copies are dated from the fifteenth century.  My personal copy is Q. Septimii Florentis Tertulliani Apologeticus et Ad scapulam liber: accessit M. Minucius Felicis Octavius Cantabrigiæ: Ex officina Joan. Hayes … : impensis Henr Dickinson & Rich. Green …, 1686 . [8], 135 p.).  What is unique in this document is the introduction of “holy oil” to be used by and for extreme unction by “the brethren” facing death (Tertullian, Ad Scapulamiv): an old and pagan custom going back at least 3000  years from Pharaonic Egypt (the

Hieroglyphic at Abyd

Pharaoh is depicted being anointed by Horus (sun-god and “father” of Pharaoh) and Thoth (god of wisdom), the oil of which is symbolically depicted as a stream of ankh); the Abhishekionians believed that the virtues of one killed could be transferred to survivors if the latter rubbed themselves with his caul-fat: the fatty membrane that surrounds internal organs; such anointing has a long history in Hindu theology, as well as most other religions.  It was a major part of Gnosticism and is discussed in the Gospel of Philip as well as the Acts of Thomas.  In Buddhism, butter (including that of yak) is commonly used.  Hindus use anointing oils to get rid of illness and bad luck as well as demonic possession.

The Gods anointing, sanctifying, and bestowing authority on Egyptian Pharaohs

Anointing is not unique to Judaism nor Christianity, but was incorporated into both by “pagan” cultures and theologies.  Judaism adopted it for the ritual of enthroning a king from the Pharoahs, Hyksos and ancient Sumerians, while Christianity incorporated it from the various rituals current in Alexandria, Egypt and the cult of Horus where much of the Jesus story is found.

What can be discovered in existing records is not only the absence of information for apostolic succession and the papacy, but equally important is the reality that most of what is allegedly Christian is far older than the Bible.  Its message is found throughout the Roman Empire in earlier civilizations.  The creation of the Bible was nothing less than an attempt to revise or rewrite history so as to control an ignorant people.

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Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Bishop of Rome, Church history, Roman Catholicism

Psychology of Suicide and Bullying–and how religion, school/classmates and family affect both

Katherine van Wormer, MSSW, PhD and Chuk Odiah, M.Sc, PhD of the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, presented a study on suicide-murder and the death penalty, in 1999 (van Wormer, Katherine and Odiah, Chuk (1999). “The Psychology of Suicide-Murder and the Death Penalty” in Journal of Criminal Justice, 27(4), pp. 361-370). The UNI professors detail suicide to be not only a violent act but an act that is frequently the result of violence.

Violence is perpetrated by bullies: parents, children, religious and government figures, schools (teachers, principals, classmates, and so forth) and at the workplace by coworkers, supervisors, bosses, and owners.  Violence is also the weapon used by others who wish to appear and take on the trappings of authorities. 

Bullying leads some people to commit violent acts against others in quest of paying the supreme penalty for their actions: “Suicide, in other words, [is] not as the consequence of murder but, rather, … its cause”, van Wormer and Odiah claim.  Those who want to die, but are afraid of the believed pain in suicide, will seek out someone to kill them: either by putting themselves in harm’s way, paying an assassin, killing another person in hopes that law enforcement officials will end their existence, or killing and then taking their own life in fear that state retribution could be more painful.

As I noted in my earlier book, Evangelical Terrorism, suicides and violence are especially prevalent among fundamentalists groups and those that preach hatred is peace and tolerance is weakness, as found in Islam, Pentecostalism, The FAMiLY, and Latter Day Saints and is increased among evangelical fundamentalists to the point that they form a psychological dictatorship that destroys hope and personal self-esteem (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1986). Evangelical Terrorism: censorship, Falwell, Robertson, & the Seamy side of Christian Fundamentalism. Irving, TX, USA: Scholars Books).  Religion, while many psychologists have not commented on it because they have not studied it and its effect on others, is one of the greatest tools for subordination of people and the illusion(s) it fosters can weigh heavily leading many into reprehensible acts or violence, as with the jihad movement in Islam and Christian terrorists in India, Norway, and elsewhere.

Suicide is never the “coward’s way out” as popular legend has it–suicide takes courage.  It is not an action that is haphazard nor accidental.  It is not committed rashly, or suddenly.  It is premeditated, and is usually a response to violence that the victim can no longer endure, or is the product of neglect. The suicide victim sees no alternative and no place to go as the family, church, school, and coworker offers no understanding, help, or proffer solutions, and as said earlier, usually are the reason for the suicide.

Bullying in groups

Most young suicide victims take their own lives because they feel estranged and left-out of a significant circle of others, or are harassed and ridiculed by others for any number of reasons, as I will detail. 

Those who ultimately commit suicide frequently see themselves as outcasts.  Older students bully younger students; better built students bully those who are frail and appear unable to take care of themselves.  Older girls will bully younger boys: especially within families where the older child is the girl and the victim is a second son who appears as a threat to the ranking order of the siblings, since in many families there was a partiality or preference for a male child. The same is true if the first-born is a boy, the second born is a girl, and the third and subsequent are either gender but when the first-born is a boy, the boy tends to look upon others within the family as rivals unless the family unit treats all children equitably.  It is a primitive animalistic form known as a “pecking order” as is common with poultry and other animals where the senior member retains control rights by pecking at new members of the group or those introduced into the group without the consent of the leader.  Alfred Adler, who worked with Sigmund Freud, called it Ichgebundenheit.

Older children will bully younger children

When the suicide victim feels abandoned or neglected by his or her family there is ans increased potentiality and possibility of the lowering of self-esteem in the estimation of the one contemplating suicide.  If the one contemplating suicide believes that he or she is ostracized by a religious, fraternal or familial group, or is being bullied by someone who feels that by bullying another he or she is superior (whereas in reality they are suffering from an inferiority complex) the potential suicide victim withdraws more from the family or fraternal circle, finds escape in cyberspace and makes “friends” (acquaintances) who can be imaginary or implants by those who oppose the individual and desire that he or she commits suicide. 

Stronger and larger people will bully weaker and smaller people

Suicide is seen as a way of escape, as well as a way of asserting the victim’s final right of control over the self and to leave the confines of the primary unit: the family, church, school, or group, which the future suicide victim  internalizes, consciously (openly), subconsciously, or unconsciously as a way of fighting the bully by depriving the bully of his or her conquest over the victim.  The victim of bullying is afraid to, justifiably, strike out and hit the bullying parent, grandparent, son or daughter, niece or nephew, uncle or aunt, religious leader, teacher, or classmate regardless of age, gender or physical condition of the bully.  The idea of “respecting one’s elders” and “authority figures” has been ingrained by all religions as a way of maintaining their hold over the congregant (e.g. Sirach 3:1, ‘Mata Pita Guru Daivam’ in Hinduism, Exodus 20:12, Koran 4:36 and 6:151, Ephesians 6:12), but none of the world’s religions consider the reality that some parents are bad people, hurt and harm their children (Abraham did attempt to slay his own son: Genesis 22:5, Koran 37:100-111, a prototype for John 3:16, where god demands that Abraham “sacrifice a son” to him) to the point where the child commits suicide (it is a statistic that 44% of all suicides are the result of abuse at home; while the statistics vary from 60-90% accusing the father as being less sympathetic, especially in Australia, there is little mention of the social climate the father was brought up in, as in most patriarch societies, the male is taught to be aggressive and violent).  By not striking back as some victims are now doing by learning judo and other self-defense techniques including carrying pepper spray or weapons (read here and here and here and here), suicide becomes the last resort, especially when the future suicide victim believes that his or her religion rejects protestations against bullies if they are in the family or the religious center.  This is equally true when the person contemplating suicide is castigated or slammed because of a perceived lifestyle that is labeled as being outside the scope of what the faith has codified as acceptable and there is no one to talk to about personal matters.

Bullying by grade level (USA)

The rise in cases of bullying are getting more notice.  There are new studies and demographics illustrating this paralyzing phenomena.

Bullying can be emotional or psychological as well as physical.

Until recently, few have looked at the bully and what motivates bullying. The bully is anyone: a parent, classmate, religious figure, sibling, etc. Because bullies are found in every walk of life, every vocation, every religion and social outlet, it is critical to understand the psychology of a bully if we are to better understand the psychology of the person committing suicide. 

A bully is any individual struggling for attention, authority, and sadistically revels in causing emotional, psychological, and/or physical pain. The bully can be a narcissistic bully, imitative bully, impulsive bully, accidental bully.  What they have in common is low self-esteem and the desire to control–which is the reason for such bully organizations as Opus Dei (international, but originally started in Spain) and the Tea Party in the USA. This is especially true among religions seeking absolute control over the individual as occurred in the Roman Catholic Spanish Inquisition that led to the death of millions and thrives to this day in such nefarious groups as Opus Dei, Councils of Bishops or Elders, one-dimensional religious groups such as  the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church (WELS), Pentecostalism, Mormons and evangelical communities such as within the New Apostolic Reformation of the twenty-first century.  It is found from Poland to Peru, the USA to UK, Canada to Chad, and throughout the world. 

With today’s advances in technology, sadism of the bully is made easier.  Sadism is a mental disease (Holt, S. E., Meloy, J. R., & Strack, S. (1999). “Sadism and psychopathy in violent and sexually violent offenders”. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. vol 27(1) 1999, 23-32), and most sadists are mentally ill, especially those who use religion as a cover for their hatred and bullying: seeking pleasure by creating, watching, and continuing suffering in those who submit to their cruelty (Kernberg, O. F. (1983). “Paranoid regression, sadistic control, and dishonesty in transference.” Revista de Psicoanalisis Vol 40(2) Mar-Apr 1983, 323-328; Lloyd, D. W. (1991). “Ritual child abuse: Understanding the controversies”.  Cultic Studies JournalVol 8(2) 1991, 122-133; and, Radomski, J., & Sulestrowska, H. (1988). “Aggressive-sadistic behavior as a major symptom in schizophrenic psychosis in a 13-year-old boy”.  Psychiatria Polska vol 22(3) May-Jun 1988, 269-271; the role that sadism plays in religion is acute, especially in such sadistic groups as Opus Dei; cf. Sorensen, A. (2003). “Evil between ontology and inner experience – Georges Bataille”. Psyke & Logosvol 24(1) 2003, 361-389, and Hammand, J. (2000). “The Rod of Discipline: Masochism, Sadism, and the Judeo-Christian Religion,” Journal of Religion and Health. vol. 39.4,  pp. 319-328, as found in Proverbs 13:24, and enjoined by such sadists as the Roman Catholic church–especially Opus Dei, Martin Luther (Luther, Werk 54:157, 234-235, in German) and Jean Calvin (who defined anyone who rebelled against religious authority as a child, and decreed that “children can be executed” for rebellion, with young children being hanged, and very young children being hanged by the arms; Picot, History of Geneva, in 8 vols., t. II, p. 264, p. 355, cf. Robert M. Kingdon, Adultery and Divorce in Calvin’s Geneva. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press, 1995, pp. 355-357 seq; Calvin also demanded the death sentence for adultery and blasphemy: “Sur les paillardises, adulteres, blasphemes, juremens et despitemens de Dieu”), most Protestant groups, and Islam, and hate groups such as Focus on the Family and the state legislature of Michigan). Today’s bullies can cause irreparable mental anguish and suffering by spewing hate messages on the internet: the most common means of choice being Facebook, MySpace, or other popular sites. 

What is a bully?

The bully has a distinctive pattern of deliberately harming and humiliating others in order to get what the bully wants: attention, subjugation of others to order them around as he or she wishes, adulation, and reverence.  To this end the greatest bullies in the world are members of the clergy, and those who claim to be defending “the faith”, who insist on a common lifestyle of and among the faithful, with the leaders of religions being the most bellicose, braying “you must stay married even if your partner has no love for you,” “you must marry to keep the precepts of god to ‘go forth, be fruitful, multiply,” “you must carry an unwanted zygote/fetus even if it is the product of rape, incest, has little to no chance for survival, or will be complete at the time of its birth,” and so forth (cp. Chernus, Ira (2006). Monsters to Destroy: the Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin. Boulder, CO, USA: Paradigm Publishers). 

Realities of bullying

Religion, in most cases is a shield to protect the sadism of the bully.  Those who bully in the name of religion use their assorted scripture to justify their actions.  They claim that what they want, their deity also wants. The bully sees himself or herself as the hand of god–a god of raw vengeance and cruelty whose will must be done if there is to be peace on the planet (cp. Luke 22:42 and Psalm 40:7-8).  Furthermore, the bully uses the idea of his or her god as his or her way of spreading the faith, being obedient to the faith, and having unquestioned loyalty to the faith: the basic foundation of the most odious and opportunistic organization known as Opus Dei.

Opus Dei New Hampshire protesting abortion

Abortion is among the favored bully clubs of the conservative religious, especially among the Roman Catholic hierarchy where none of the men could become pregnant (if they could, as I have written earlier, abortion would be proclaimed a sacrament), but still belt out “No abortion!” This mantra is ministered to those without measure, regardless if it is a child who has been repeatedly raped by a family member, or been sexually assaulted

Children abandoned on streets of Peru

by a classmate, teacher, religious official, or any other person—even though carrying the fetus to term can irreparably scar the student emotionally and psychologically. Children who are raped and become pregnant are abandoned on the streets of towns and cities, from Los Angeles, California to Lima, Peru–and beyond (The Consortium for Street Children’s State of the World’s Street Children: Violence report (2007) p. 17).  While the “Pro-Life” forces want to “protect the unborn” they do nothing to help it once it is born and, in the case of Roman Catholic countries, abandon the baby and the mother to poverty and life in the street–with the sole source of income frequently being prostitution, but the infant, if it survives its early years, is set to work in bazaars and open air markets.  The churches, schools, and communities do nothing but bully the abandoned children, especially those who become pregnant, by screaming “No abortion.” Those who are born have little chance of any future in any nation, and are subject to bullying.

Abandoned girl working in market in Peru

Many poor, around the world, turn to drugs before contemplating suicide. 

Glue sniffing in Peru

While drugs are expensive, they can be stolen, purchased with prostitution, or found in inexpensive formats, such as glue sniffing that is becoming increasingly popular among the poor in Latin America and other Roman Catholic controlled countries.

Bullies seek out those who lack assertiveness and radiate fear—telltale signs that bullies gravitate to in the same manner as sadists and masochists find each other.  After religion and religious leaders, the second greatest number of bullies comes from within the family: with the bullies being older siblings in most cases.  Sex is often a criteria, with older siblings worried that younger ones will masturbate and will either encourage or take the child to a prostitute—the reason being that the sin of Onan was masturbation (it was coitus interruptus: Genesis 38:8-10), while prostitution is referenced repeatedly in the Old Testament, even with Onan’s father having sex with his daughter-in-law in Genesis 38:15-16, and so forth).  The story of Onan and his “sin” has become a mainstay for Opus Dei.

Opus Dei is the greatest and most powerful organized hate group in the world, its tentacles reaching out and controls schools around the world, strangling personal identities and suffocating the flicker of democracy and freedom, teaching hate and doing nothing to counter bullying.  It continues to live the story of Judah and his whoring ways while distorting reality and rifling in on human sexuality as a target to control people. 

In Perú bullying is especially common in Opus Dei colegios, and in other religious schools—where celibacy and virginity are preached as admirable goals but seldom practiced and little is said unless a girl comes to class pregnant (some as young as the age of ten and eleven)—and then to be bullied for becoming pregnant while at the same time denied an abortion or offered comfort if the fertilized zygote/fetus is the result of rape or (more commonly) incest.  When I taught, for a short time, at one of the more exclusive Roman Catholic secondary schools in Lambayeque Province in Peru, it was common to hear 12 and 13 year-old girls warn female classmates that if they did not have sex with boys they would not be allowed to participate in their groups.  Those who refused the orders barked out by the wealthier students were hounded both on the patios and open areas, chided as being lesbians, and were physically attacked: their hair pulled, stomachs punched, and notes slipped to them urging them to commit suicide; when I reported this to the principal—who has since been transferred to Rome—the religious Order in charge of the school did nothing.  The priest only nodded and returned to his prayers. 

When I complained to those who claimed to be psychologists, I was informed “it is the culture, here” and instructed to say nothing.  Sexuality was far higher than contraceptive use because of religious leaders’ disapproval, and it was not on infrequent occasions that I would enter the restroom to find students from ages 12 to 18 engaged in sexual acts.  

After reminding students who were openly fondling one another during a video in the library that such action was inappropriate behavior and I would not accept it, I was denounced by the students as being against “our culture” as such action “is better than homosexuality.”  There is such an overwhelming fear of homosexuality, with the Biblical story of Onan being used as an example of incorrect sexual activity, that anyone who is not involved in heterosexual sex is automatically ridiculed, bullied and, as I heard on numerous occasions, told that they would “be better off dead”—statements that brought a rigid orthodoxy of concurrence from the priests.

The cruelty of bullying in school

Students who did not conform to the sexual code of the school had their lockers vandalized, obscene graffiti sprayed on the doors and on their personal belongings, books destroyed, and material stolen.  This matched what I had heard at other parochial (basically Roman Catholic, but equally prevalent in Baptist, Adventist, and other Protestant centers), private, and secular schools, and was intense at public schools. More than 70% of all students (85% female, 60% male) had gone through this form of sexual harassment and bullying, with teachers and classmates equally prone to bullying those believed to be “virgins”.  While I was teaching in the provinces, the same was common in Lima, but the percentage was higher in the shanty towns surrounding the capital city–especially in the public schools where education is at best a farce (the teachers are unprepared, their educational background minimal, their understanding of engaging students nonexistent, and their purpose for teaching was to earn money), as demonstrated when Antonio Chang, then Minister of Education, tested 300,000 teachers in 2005, and only 151 barely passed (surprisingly, 76% of the population approved of the testing).  I quit within a few days and began publishing on corruption in Perú’s education system and schools and universities.

The twisted standards on human sexuality were everywhere I taught: not to be engaged in heterosexual sex brought bullying, becoming pregnant presaged bullying, and seeking out and possibly obtaining an abortion did not assuage the bullying but intensified it frequently leading to the rape/incest victim to committing suicide even though abortion to save a woman’s life is technically legal although Cipriani (a close friend and supporter of the Peruvian dictator Fujimori and his daughter Keiko and son Hiro, as Cipriani’s goal has always been total and complete control over all of Peru; read Footnote 1, below) continues to chortle that such an abortion is murder (while the cardinal has been investigated as an accomplice in murder in Lima, and regularly interferes with the private life of all Peruvians—including non-Catholics) even if the carrier of the fetus dies (there are between 350,000 and 400,000 abortions each year in Peru) and is supported by 53% of the people polled, there is the other side that notes: Este tipo de discrepancias revelan las verdaderas intenciones de la ley. … controlar la capacidad de las mujeres de tomar decisiones sobre su cuerpo. Permitimos que el aborto se practique, pero no de manera abierta porque esto último daría demasiada libertad a las mujeres en una decisión que sentimos que afecta el sostenimiento de la sociedad. [Such discrepancies reveal the true intentions of the law. … control the ability of women to make decisions about her body. We allow abortions to be carried out, but not in an open manner because that would give too much freedom to women in a decision that we feel that affects the sustainability of society] also read here.  The youngest female became a mother at age five

Women in Peru protest in favor of abortion

Watch what happens in Peru here: http://vimeo.com/15606635 given the current ignorance of Carlos Alberto Tejada Noriega, Head of the Ministry of Health in Peru.  It is past time to say no to the Roman Catholic church that is destroying Peru and Latin America by its antiquated and illogical ideology that is not supported by medical science.  Bans on abortion risk the lives of women and increase poverty: twin goals sought by Lima’s cardinal Cipriani and Opus Dei.  In Peru and Latin America, religion is the greatest and most deadly bully with the bully club swung against the young by Opus Dei and Lima’s Juan Luis Cipriani. 

Josemaria Escriva (founder of Opus Dei)

Opus Dei uses sex, intimidation, religion and its assorted paranoia of promises of perdition and persecution in this world and “the next” as a means to control its members and those people with whom its members associate.  The leaders of Opus Dei have declared war on dissent, demand censorship of books, magazines, articles, even open forums at universities.  While Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code is fiction, the account of Opus Dei is based on fact (read Footnote 2, below), including the claim that scruples and traditional values are to be rejected if it can lead to converting anyone to “the faith” and self-flagellation required of believers, while the flagitious founder of Opus Dei—Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer y Albás (9 January 1902 – 26 June 1975) who had the support and endorsement of Karol Józef Wojtyła—the agathokakological man who would become Pope John Paul II and was instrumental in declaring Escriva a saint as a political move depraved of any charitable characteristics—wrote in his book The Way that the faithful will use secrecy to obtain end results (The Way, No. 839), compromise is a form of laziness and weakness (The Way, No. 54), true Roman Catholics must follow blindly “in obedience” all Church teachings (The Way, No. 617 and in 941): “Blind obedience to your superior, the way of sanctity. Obedience in your apostolate, the only way; for, in a work of God, the spirit must be to obey or to leave.” Submission to religious authority is understood to be a good in itself, while calling non-Catholic schools, “pagan schools” (The Way, No.866).  Modern enlightened thinkers, such as Voltaire (The Way, No. 849) were/are instruments of darkness.   Opus Dei is like the Vatican has spent its history on suppressing truth, distorting what was said, and codifying rules to maintain a docile following. Private interpretation of anything is forbidden; students engaged in interpretation must interpret and translate according to the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church. Bullying of those who do not conform or follow The Way is at the forefront, especially if celibacy is determined for a student by a numerary (one of the chosen followers of Opus Dei whose election is foretold: John Allen (2005). Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church. New York, NY, USA: Doubleday Religion; while the complete list of Opus Dei members is not available to the public, some lists do exist).  

As corrupt as is Opus Dei, Opus Dei is equally matched in the USA by numerous certified hate groups:  Focus on the Family, The FAMiLY, Americans for Prosperity, Lion and Lamb Ministries, Eagle Forum, and so forth, where bullying is seen as a challenge to “fight back with the gospel” and those who complain are considered weak for not “offering their pain to Jesus.”

The third greatest number is found in the workplace or school (a typical bully is Donald Trump, who was known as a bully since he was age 13).   Bullying in the workplace is on the rise: the bullies being coworkers, supervisors, managers, corporate leaders, and owners (cf. Sperry, Len (ed., 2009). “Workplace Mobbing and Bullying” in Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. 61.3 (September), pp. 190-201; cp. Kilburg, Richard R. loc. cit., pp. 268-275; and, MacDoanld, Geoff and Jensen-Campbell, Lauri A. (2010), Social Pain: Neuropsychological and Health Implications of Loss and Exclusion. Washington, DC, USA: American Psychological Association). 

Women are among the greatest offenders of bullying on the job

Frequently it is “the boss” who is the bully, making unreasonable demands, telephoning the employee at the employee’s home at unusual hours, and requiring evaluations only to ridicule them showing the boss’ insecurity and frequently inability to do the work required, while self-glorifying himself or herself by degrading the individual who does the most, has the greatest talent and offers the soundest solutions that could profit and benefit the company and coworkers.  Forms of workplace bullying include: moving employes without advanced notice,  replacing long-existing contracts with new short-term contracts on less favourable terms with the accompanying threat of “agree to this or else”, increasing workloads, changing work schedules, changing roles and assignments of employees, blocking or terminating career progression paths, making sexual demands, insisting on conformity, requiring “favors” including menial and demeaning tasks. At the same time as bullying is increasing in the workplace, so, too, are workplace suicides, mass murders followed by the killer taking his or her own life.  In Canada, one out of every six people are bullied in the workplace, and for many it is god’s vengeance and the fulfillment of the promise of Opus Dei.  In the USA, 70% of all employees experience bullying at work, while Spain records only 14% report being bullied (but that is because Spanish workers are afraid to come forward and admit to being bullied and have been threatened by employers and the churches if they speak out against bullying, as employers and religious leaders claim that such actions are the will of god).  Most bullied people consider god to be the architect and enforcer of bullying.

Lori Drew and daughter Sarah Drew

Many of those who are bullied are not only bullied at work or in school, but it is increasingly more common to be bullied in cyberspace: over the internet.  Cyberbullying has led to numerous suicides, and the cyber bullies are not just other classmates or coworkers, but their friends and family, as is the case with 50-year-old Lori Drew of Missouri who was found guilty cyberbullying in a federal court for her role in the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meir (United States vLori Drew, 259 F.R.D. 449 (C.D. Cal. 2009). The judge later acquitted Drew who admitted to her instigating the bullying, claiming that she did it to protect her family and was working to help her daughter Sarah take action against the friend who had decided against remaining a friend of her daughter after transferring to a local Roman Catholic school and had made new friends.  Drew knew Megan Meier personally: the

Megan Meier

young girl lived only four houses down the street from the Drews. This led the Drews to create a fictitious internet lover: Josh Evans.  Drew, who wrote as if she were Josh, wrote to Megan that the world would be a better place if she killed herself–a common ploy among cyber bullies.  Megan, after reading the e-mail from Josh was found a few minutes later having hanged her self in her bedroom closet.  This repeated itself in Missouri when Elizabeth Thrasher (age 41) cyber bullied the 17-year-old daughter of her ex-husband in May 2009 by putting the teenager’s photo, workplace, e-mail address and cell phone number on a section of Craigslist for people seeking sexual encounters.

Elizabeth Thrasher

Suicide is the eleventh largest killer in the USA.  It has equally astonishing statistics worldwide.  No less than one million people succeeding in killing themselves every year around the world. It is the third main reason for deaths among the young: ages 15 to 24, with suicides now occurring even in those who are in their pre-teenage years.  To actually commit suicides depends on factors such as fearlessness and being able to tolerate pain and to act impulsively.  Fearlessness is a conditioned response that leads to enduring abuse: whether from abuse by others or by their own hands, and it grows gradually until the suicide has grown tolerant of physical discomfort but cannot cope with the mental anguish that bullies from the pulpit, at the table, in the classroom or school yard heap out like sewage from their own twisted mentality to torture those least able to understand aspersions and defamation and have no one to whom he or she could turn for succor or for understanding. 

Cyber bullying

While most adults age 40-65 turn to suicide as a way to avoid facing financial bankruptcy, job or family loss.  In the USA it is primarily an escape route for men, with in the US is 17.7 per 100,000 among men compared to 4.5 per 100,000 women committing suicide in 2005

Women, more than men, attempt to harm themselves (which is wrongly labeled as attempted suicide) because of living in overcrowded conditions, conflict with their families (extended and internal), with disrupted childhoods, history of drinking, criminal behavior, and violence. Individuals under these stresses become anxious and depressed and then, usually in reaction to a single particular crisis, they attempt to harm themselves and frequently their children. 

Bullying statistics

Children commit suicide because they are ridiculed about their weight, size, perceived sexual orientation, or academic and social performance.  Those most responsible for suicide among children are classmates, teachers, and family members.  Religion has its role as well, in child suicides, especially in Islam where children are openly recruited to be suicide bombers to prove their love for their god (Allah).  The rise in child suicides in Muslim lands in the Middle East has grown sharply, with children as young as four and five committing suicide in religious devotion.

Child suicide bomber in Muslim world encouraged by the family

Suicide affects both the victim and those who remain after the death. The most common response is denial.  The immediate family, most commonly, rejects that there was any estrangement within the family, arguing that all were happy and mutually loving, and that the act was not suicidal, but the result of an unfortunate accident.  Research shows the opposite:  the suicides are frequently the result of family bullying: a parent or sibling or other relative attempting to control a weaker member or a member who is different from the bully or the family.  This is commonly the case with a homosexual member who is bullied by heterosexuals in the family into having a “companion” of the opposite gender. 

In many Latin and Muslim communities the presumed homosexual family member is taken to a prostitute if a male as early as age ten, or raped if the suspected homosexual is female (Hovey, JD (1999). “Religion and suicidal ideation in a sample of Latin American immigrants.” Psychological Reports 85:171–177; the article further notes fear of religion stops many Latin Americans from completing a suicide attempt). There is no claim within the article that religion is good—or bad—but that fear can control actions, something that all dictators have learned and used against people throughout secular and religious history.  It was fear that sustained and led to the raison d’être for Christian and Arab crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Thirty Years War, Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, the current curia in the Vatican and the protestations of the German pope, and the Latter Day Saints Apostleship.  The same is true if the victim placed himself or herself outside of the family’s religious beliefs, circle, or institution, especially if the victim was homosexual and his or her religion denounced/condemned homosexuality and enjoined reparative therapy (a malpractice that has been denounced by every professional psychological and psychiatric association (cf. Kjaer R., and Selle, M.S. (2004). Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen.  September 23, 124(18):2396, cp. Saocarides, CW and Kaufman, B. (1994). “Reparative Therapy” in American Journal of Psychiatry January 151(1):157-159).

Homosexuality is a major problem of perception.  Orientation is genetic (in a private communication I received from Professor Katherine van Wormer at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. van Wormer noted that she is not convinced that homosexuality is genetic; as she wrote: I’d say biological; it seems to stem from activity in the mother’s womb. I agree it’s not a choice….; I will do further research on this issue for another article. My thanks to my colleague, as I took an early graduate degree from UNI in 1968, and feel the university to be one of my many homes) and not chosen nor conditioned according to the American Psychiatric Association and all other health organizations.  Homosexual orientation is not a mental disorder. Bigotry (cf. Vedantam S. “Psychiatry ponders whether extreme bias can be an illness.” Washington Post. December 10, 2005: A1; and, Dunbar E. (1997). “The relationship of DSM diagnostic criteria and Gough’s Prejudice Scale: exploring the clinical manifestations of the prejudiced personality.” Cultural Diversity and Mental Health 3:247-257), homophobia, xenophobia, however, are mental disorders (read here and here).

Homophobic bullying in the UK

The individual who commits suicide because he or she is labeled, discriminated against, or bullied as a homosexual may not be homosexual—but the stigma placed on homosexuality through ignorance codified as religion will inspire and encourage some to commit suicide.  This ignorance about homosexuality is especially true in fundamentalist religious movements (especially among Mormons, WELS, Orthodox Jews and Roman Catholics) where parents, religious officials, and family read bad translations of ancient literature and attempt to instill and include the word homosexual within the alleged sacred text—even though the word homosexual was not even coined until the end of the nineteenth century (Albert Philibert Franz von Schrenck-Notzing; Charles Gilbert Chaddock (1895). Therapeutic suggestion in psychopathia sexualis (pathological manifestations of the sexual sense), with especial reference to contrary sexual instinct. Philadelphia, PA, USA: F. A. Davis; it does not appear in any English American Bible before 1973 (New International Version: NIV), and does not appear in any of the original languages: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, etc.).  The cruelest religions in this regard are Judaism, Christianity, and especially Islam and the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), even though homosexuality is not mentioned by name, yes same-sex love is (as with the case of Jonathan and David (1 Samuel 18; if one reads the Bible literally), Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:14 seq, cp. Genesis 2:24), and others; Romans 1:26-27 is about shrine prostitution if read in the original and not through a faulty translation, cp. Aristides, Apology Sec. 16, paragraph 2).

Those who reject suicide as a motive to leave torment behind are mistaken.  While Ernest Becker (1973), argued that the human notion of death is strongly psychoanalytical, views the fear of death as a universal phenomenon, this is incorrect, as it implies that all people fear death because of some divine punishment (such as hell) awaiting the suicide or that there might not be an afterlife (Becker, Ernest (1973). The Denial of Death. New York: Free Press).  This ignores the material showing that the suicide victim wants to escape pain and suffering brought on by any degree of bullying: from name calling and erroneous biblical recitations as Dakota Ary preachificated in Fort Worth Texas, or protestations by grandstanding teachers such as Viki Knox of New Jersey who prophesied “eternal damnation” for any member of the LGBT community, to the mealy mincing of reality by Iowa’s religious Fuehrer Bob Vander Plaats—a theocrat seeking the end of democracy in the USA and establishment of a theocracy on the order of Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann,  Rick Santorum and Governor Sam Brownback who converted from evangelical Protestantism to Roman Catholicism are both members of Opus Dei who want a government in the USA on the order of Iran, and others who has no training in theology or psychology (in this quest they are supported by the four USA Opus Dei bishops: Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio, Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri and Bishop Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York all who have opposed any anti-bullying legislation or rights for women; there are a total of 24 Opus Dei bishops in the Roman Catholic church.   This has not stopped Vander Plaats who has set himself up as an authority on human emotions and psychophysical identification, justifying the survey that shows that two out of three people in the USA believe that organized religion (churches) actively contribute to suicides among LGBT people even though all religions have homosexuals in their leadership roles from pastors and rabbis to priests and bishops, even in Islam that claims it has no homosexuals (as with Iran) but where Imams and ayatollahs also have mortal sexual desires and needs equal to anyone else.   

One point that Becker is correct about is that some suicides are committed as a way to show the world (the family, the religious organization, the community and so forth) that the person committing suicide has strength, fortitude and the ability to carry out a deed: an act of heroism.  However, it is also, at times, a way for the suicide to blame others without resolution to refine, define and establish his or her own identity as a person of self-worth.  If the suicide fails, the individual who sought the solace of death fails to achieve the role and laurel of a hero.  This can lead to further mental illness and/or antisocial behavior.

Those who are either unable or unwilling to end their own life, will kill another in quest of having someone kill them (Thomas, E. (1997, July 28).  “Facing death”.  Newsweek, 20-30. Karwarth, R. (1992, November 7).  Death-his own-was killer’s goal.  Chicago Tribune, 1. Kennedy, D. Homant, R. and Hupp, T (1998), Suicide by Cop, The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin67, 30-48). In this case, death is the promise of peace.  This is more common among believers in some external force, such as religion, but at the same time those who profess a religion are less likely to commit suicide or seek out ways of exiting life in fear of “other world judgments” and concepts of heaven and hell, than are those without a religious affirmation, confirmation or indoctrination.  Atheists have the least difficulty in committing suicide successfully (Dervic, Kanita; Oquendo, Maria A.; Grunebaum, Michael F.; Ellis, Steve; Burke, Ainsley K; and, Mann, J. John. “Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt.” The American Journal of Psychiatry. December 1, 2004, vol. 161. pp. 2303-2308).  However, one must be cautious when using this statistic as the authors note, as religious countries, especially those that are controlled by the Roman Catholic Church under-report suicides because of the stigma the Roman Catholic Church attaches to suicide (cp. Kelleher MJ, Chambers D, Corcoran P, Williamson E, Keeley HS: “Religious sanctions and rates of suicide worldwide.” Crisis 1998; 19:78–86).  A more accurate reporting, although still under-reporting is found in the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations (UN), where Roman Catholic countries are showing a greater number of suicides since 2003. The lowest rate of suicides, evidence shows, is in Islamic controlled nations, such as Malay, where Islam strictly forbids suicides, and an attempt at suicide can bring capital punishment and the death sentence that carries a stigma to the family as a whole. Again the problem is religion as Islamic leaders (civil and religious) prohibit full reporting, and many suicides are not investigated because of family objections, while many are considered “honor killings” that are both voluntary (suicide) and involuntary (murder) which is seldom reported and less often dealt with given its religious and family overtones. In China, over 75% of all suicides are in the rural areas and the majority of suicides are among women lacking dowries. Suicides in Japan, where there is one suicide every fifteen minutes by the year 2006, are high among students, given the emphasis on academic success and the movement of a class into a profession. Those who claimed that they were /are atheists or had no religion had abandoned religion as a consequence of depression or hopelessness, frequently because of terrorism within religion itself: the concept of unforgiving god, the fright of the existence of a possible hell and torment in an afterlife, and family pressure to practice the community faith. 

In the USA, the greatest pressure is found in Mormon families where, regardless of the stress a family member feels, or because of depression commits suicide, the family is quickly on the defensive, arguing that the family is loving group, compassionate, caring, and they have no idea of why the suicide occurred.  This is classic denial (abnegation) of reality, as the family protestations are an effort to shore up the family itself as being the foundation for growth and community (cf. Neeleman J, Halpern D, Leon D, Lewis G. (1997). “Tolerance of suicide, religion, and suicide rates: an ecological and individual study in 19 Western countries”. Psychological Medicine 1997; 27:1165–1171).  The tragedy is that it is universal as seen in the World Health Organization statistics on suicides 2003.

As Sigmund Freud noted, abnegation is a personal or family defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is kept out of conscious.  In psychodynamic psychology, denial is found in any person who unconsciously puts up a barrier to experiencing what is too painful to consciously bear, especially the loss of a family member, personal pride, or reputation.  While the person rejects the idea that a family member committed suicide, that is a ruse for denying responsibility: being open to talking with the person before the suicidal act took place, or defending “the family honor” or the “family name” or reputation.  To this end a family will argue against anyone who claims the suicide was the result of a dysfunctional family situation, the inability to communicate interactively with the family members (the one in denial will protest that she or he was always receptive to a discussion)—but not about certain aspects, such as human sexuality, which is why most LGBT members leave the home, seek a life of their own without family encumbrances, and when faced with bullying for others or the bullying of silent distance between them and their families or significant others will commit suicide. (cf. Freud, Anna. (1937). The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense, London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis. (Revised edition: 1966 (US), 1968 (UK)); and, Paulhus, D.L., Fridhandler B., & Hayes S. (1997). “Psychological defense: Contemporary theory and research.” In Briggs, Stephen; Hogan, Robert Goode; Johnson, John W. (1997). Handbook of personality psychology. Boston: Academic Press. pp. 543–579).

Numerous studies show that members of the family: from parents to siblings as well as grandparents and cousins, actually bully those who are less prone to defending themselves and their individual rights.  Highly critical parents and older siblings can have a negative effect on the self-esteem of the younger children in the family (cf. Safer, Jeanne (2002). The Normal One: Life with a Difficult or Damaged Sibling. New York, NY, USA: The Free Press).  Families deny that children have rights, and in many cases, because of strong religious ties, especially within the Mormon, Roman Catholic and evangelical communities, praise parents who are overly strict with their children.  This leads to a rise in both bullying and suicides.

It is the feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shame by a family when one of its members commits suicide that leads to outbursts, denial (frequently denials even of the death or cause(s) of and/or for the suicide) that accompanies the advent of the feeling of anxiety.  Anxiety is felt as an increase in bodily or mental tension and the signal that the organism receives that allows it the possibility of taking defensive action towards the perceived danger by claiming another source, reason, or person is responsible for either the actual suicide or for mistranslating the cause célèbre that created the anxiety.  This, of course, is psychological transference neurosis. 

Sigmund Freud saw transference neurosis as occurring in patients who would not accept reality by arguing that the blame lay with the physician or therapist [today it could be a writer, newspaper, or other source], stating that transference neurosis is: “a whole series of psychological experiences are revived not as belonging to the past, but as applying to the person of the physician at the present moment”  (Sigmund Freud, “Case Histories 1 – Dora and Little Hans”, The Penguin Freud Library, Volume 8, 1990); cp. Freud, Sigmund (collected 1959). Clinical Papers. New York, NY, USA: Basic Books, vol. 2, p. 125, 251, 344, vol. 4, p. 43).  It is at this point, as Freud argued at length in several works, that religion takes over; while the illusions offered by religion can temporarily satisfy, religion and its confessional stands can lead to neurosis that are both egotistic and self-protecting, as well as antisocial where guilt is fostered by “giving into temptation” rather than eschewing it in favor of prayer or corporal acts of mercy and charity.  As Freud wrote: “Unredeemed backslidings into sin are even more common among the pious than among neurotics, and these give rise to a new form of religious activity, namely, the acts of penance of which one finds counterparts in the obsessional neurosis (Freud, op. cit. vol. 2, pp. 33-34; cp. Freud, Die Traumdeutung) leading to the repression of reality and what occurred (Freud, Collected Papers, vol. 4, pp. 86-87, 90-91 with emphasis on countering unbearable thoughts in vol. 1, p. 155).

Bullying is abusive and aggressive behavior of a person who is mentally ill.  It is expressed emotionally, physically, and verbally and frequently leads to thoughts of suicide or the act of suicide. It is most commonly found in the school, church, and the family—and it is in these three areas that it is most commonly denied and little is done to stop bullies braying from pulpits as they pound their religious literature, or from the teacher’s desk where the instructor rants about a student’s clothing, hairstyle, selection of friends or life style, or at the breakfast or dinner table where the authority of the patriarch is preached as if the family leader was somehow divinely ordained.  To question authority is forbidden, and to differ from the family leader invites the same corporal punishment that was dealt out to Martin Luther by his parents who beat him until the blood ran from his skin, allegedly for stealing one nut (Roland H. Bainton (1950), Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. New York: NY, USA: Abingdon-Cokesbury, p. 23; cp. Erik H. Erikson (1962). Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History.  New York: NY, USA: Norton Library, pp. 67-68 seq.). Numerous studies, both clinical and historical, show that bullying is linked to family violence, which explains Martin Luther’s verbal and written assaults on both the Jews of Germany but on the peasants in rebellion in his Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern (1525), but the writings of those who take to cyber bullying and physical bullying as with the two students who were bullied into killing their bullies before committing suicide in 1999 at Columbine High School.

Eric Harris (left) and Dylan Klebold (right)

More than two-thirds of the academically brilliant students are bullied. More than one-third harbor thoughts of violent revenge; about half will enact or act out their scenarios for revenge.  The was the case with two senior students, Eric David Harris (April 9, 1981 – April 20, 1999) and Dylan Bennet Klebold (September 11, 1981 – April 20, 1999), who decided to hunt down their bullies and taking charge of their own lives.  On April 20, 1999, the two youths killed  thirteen classmates and wounded another twenty-four at Columbine High School in Colorado.  Harris and Klebold were among the most gifted—and the most bullied—at Columbine. Peer rejection, ridicule, and bullying—all of which create a lifelong tendency to depression—was a daily experience for Harris and Klebold that would erupt like a smoldering volcano.

Harris and Klebold shot their tormenters, giving expression to their growing hatred of being targeted by others who had nothing but scorn for them. Harris kept a log of the troubles he faced, and wrote about his growing hatred for the school and society, and began to pen death threats against those who bullied him, including calling both young men homosexuals (which several students said was wrong, as neither use was gay; in fact in the reports left by Harris and Klebold, the two acknowledged they called others “fags”: this is popularly known as “pecking order” psychology, first discussed in 1921 as Hackordnung by Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe in Zeitschrift fuer Psychologie, 1922, 88:225-252, and in teenagers, it is commonly linked to bullying (read here and here);  the two felt left out and had, over a year plotted revenge), while the athletes at the school taunted them as not being “men” who were involved in other “manly actions” and were accosted for dressing “differently” (Goldberg, Carey. “For Those Who Dress Differently, an Increase in Being Viewed as Abnormal.” New York Times. May 1, 1999) being known as the “Trenchcoat Mafia”. 

No one at Columbine took notice or action to intervene; even the families of the two youth and their victims remained silent save for one mother who was ignored. It remains the scenario for today’s talented and today’s bullies—the bullies who write on Facebook and on bathroom walls for their victims to commit suicide as the victims now speak openly of killing classmates, teachers, deans, preachers, pastors, priests and parents who bully them.  It is an epidemic—one that no religion can halt nor erase (Kim YS, Leventhal B; Leventhal (2008). “Bullying and suicide. A review”. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 20 (2): 133–54). The solution is tolerance, acceptance of differences including multiculturalism that the Norwegian Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breveik rejected, and giving space and attention to those who appear troubled. Conformity is not essential for a fluid and dynamic society.  People commit suicide when there is no tangible, immediately ascertainable hope—religion cannot fill that void.  People fill the void as people are real and tangible.

FOOTNOTES

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru

(1) “No abortion!” is the maniacal mantra chanted by one of the most ignorant and cruel bullies in South America: Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne cardinal presbyter of St. Camillus de Lellis (the first Peruvian cardinal from the clandestine and dangerous Opus Dei movement), who is supported by two other Peruvian Opus Dei bishops and the collective college of bishops of Peru.  Although Cipriani has been under prolonged investigation for the murder the liberal Jesuit and his predecessor, Monsignor Augusto cardinal Vargas Alzamora (1922-2000), the majority of the clergy in Peru rallied behind him because of his position in the church in Peru.  Vargas Alzamora—a stern and stalwart critic of Fujimori—was poisoned after suffering a “long illness” following his mandatory retirement when Cipriani was installed in his place. 

Cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora

While Vargas Alzmora was more liberal that his successor, he was no liberal, but declared that there was room to co-exist with the guerrilla faction that was attempting a take over of the government, insisting that the Roman Catholic Church sought justice and peace but not at the point of a gun—and that the Church would always align itself on the side of the poor—the exact opposite view expressed by Cipriani who supported the dictatorship of Fujimori.  Vargas Alzamora established his own social welfare structure, known as Fe y Alegria (Faith and Happiness) and for a long time as the primate of Peru, took young people who wanted to develop their spiritual life to see the overwhelming poverty of the shanty towns on the outskirts of Lima so that his students could see exactly what social injustice means. On the other hand, Cipriani only stands with the wealthy and powerful;

Peru politics and church interference

he condemns women who seek equal rights, self-determination and choice, denounces students who demand greater freedom in the church, and rejects the spirit of democracy, fitting Peru to meet the identification of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) that follows Nazi unofficial ideology of Kinder, Küche, Kirche (it was actually defined by Kaiser Wilhelm II (Depew, Chauncey Mitchell and Champlin, John Denison Champlin (1910). Orations, addresses and speeches of Chauncey M. Depew. New York, NY, USA: privately printed (8 vols), p. 260), but taken over by the Nazis and instilled in the Nazi Wahrmacht of which Ratzinger was a part until he deserted and became a temporary prisoner of war in 1945). 

Cipriani is widely unloved and denounced by clergy and faithful as returning the church to its ignominious days of the Inquisition. When Cipriani’s elevation was announced, it was publicly denounced, and when an open-air Mass was held in celebration, it had few who attended, with the exception of the militantly conservative New Catechumenate movement and fraternity dedicated to the Lord of the Miracles. Cipriani denounced anyone who questioned his word or interpretation of anything as traitors.  The Peruvian Conference of Bishops condemned the protesters’ “disrespectful behavior” as an “anti-witness” and declared that Pope John Paul II’s decision to include Cipriani in the newest group of cardinals “must be respected and accepted by the faithful. Therefore, no offense against [Cipriani] is justified, let alone during a sacred celebration.” This cost the Peruvian Conference of Bishops popular support, especially among students who saw it as a return to the Dark Ages, leading many to abandon the Roman Catholic faith, and the bullying of its priests and bishops.

While Vargas Alzamora had worked as a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and helped with the official re-evaluation of Liberation Theology acknowledging the right of the poor for political and social freedom, the work was rapidly undone by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger who saw in it too much of Marxism.  This delighted the small minority of Spanish-Peruvians who celebrated their enrichment at the expense of the poor—and quickly swung to the one-time professor of agriculture Alberto Fujimori—whom Cipriani championed.

Vargas Alzamora rejected Fujimori.  When the Japanese born president declared that he had won a second term (technically, by the Constitution that Fujimori suspended, he could not be president since he was not Peru born), Augusto Vargas Alzamora declared the second “re-election” illegal. From that day forward, many knew it was a matter of time before Vargas Alzamora would be “replaced.”  Those who supported him were openly bullied: students, parents, clergy, other Peru bishops, leading many to seek his death.

There is debate if the assassination was at the hands of Fujimori’s now-jailed spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos who had Los Barrios residents and students from various universities murdered on the orders of Fujimori who was encouraged by his daughter, the current Congresista Keiko Fujimori who (at age 18) replaced her mother as First Lady and tried to cover up her father’s physical assaults on his wife; or if Cipriani did or had an aid do the actual murder. Former Justice Minister Fernando Olivera traveled to the Vatican in 2001 with letters purporting to show Cipriani sought the “elimination and incineration” of videotapes linking him to Montesinos after the church took money from the spy chief and requested an additional $120,000 “donation”; read: http://www.odan.org/media_peru_cardinal_upset.htm, the article is a reprint from the 2004 publication in The Wall Street Journal and various other publications; the accusers of the nefarious prelate include two other Perú bishops; the Vatican later declared the letters to be fake since they cast aspersions on a cardinal within the church). 

Cipriani’s crepitating actions match the barbaric “Right to Life” movement in the USA, which is identical to that of Nazi Germany, that demonstrates in front of schools and clinics using Photoshopped images of aborted “fetuses” and warning women that they will “go to hell” if the women “abort your child [sic]”, and their spiritual ancestor: Adolf Hitler who prohibited “Nordic stock” German women from obtaining an abortion (while forcing abortions on Jewish women without their consent).  This was a common occurrence under Dictator Alberto Fujimori in Perú who had more than 200,000 mountain women forcibly sterilized in his crusade to cut down poverty. 

Fujimori saw the “mountain women” as ignorant women who were not adding to his wealth or the fascist state he had created after suspending the Perú Constitution and ordering the mass execution of dissenters: La Cantuta: the National University “Enrique Guzmán y Valle”, July 18, 1992, pulling students and teachers out of the classroom; two years later a corrupt military court sentenced ten of Fujimori’s special assassins to prison terms from one to twenty years, ignoring evidence provided by generals that Vladimir Montesinos, Alberto and Keiko Fujimori’s closest friend and various military generals were the primary parties responsible. On June 14, 1995, one year after the bankrupt trial had ruled obediently to the presidential bully, Fujimori’s congress approved a law (many claim that Keiko Fujimori was the author of the legislation) granting amnesty to military, police and civil officials involved in human rights violations committed from 1980 through that date; those sentenced for the Cantuta massacre were freed; later Cardinal Cipriani was ordered to testify about what he knew, as many saw him as a conspirator eager to dispatch all students who he considered to be leftists or even terrorists.  This was but a copy of the La Rochela Massacre in January 1989, where paramilitary groups were organized to “persuade” [bully] anyone who opposed them, including children and students.

(2) Brown, Dan (2004). The Da Vinci Code (New York, NY, USA: Doubleday) is correct in the assessment and pictorialization of Opus Dei.  Followers (numeraries) do self-flagellate their flesh/skin; wear a spiked chain (known as a cilice) around the thighs for at least two hours, and kiss the floor saying “Serviam” (Latin for “I will serve).  The majority of Opus Dei bishops and cardinals come from South America and Spain, but there are four in the USA who demand unwavering loyalty to themselves and their “calling” to refute “liberalism” and bring “strayed Catholics” and Protestants back to a conservative church that hails the Spanish Inquisition as a glorious past in Roman Catholic history–complete with the millions of murders the sacerdotal clergy committed “in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.”  The members take cold showers and sleep either on a board or on the floor in memory of the misery Jacob and Jesus is alleged to have experienced–without a pillow (cp. Genesis 28:10-19a, Matthew 8:20, which is even incorporated/plagiarized in Islamic theology).  They attend Mass daily, hear lectures on selflessness, and strictly segregate the sexes. 

Opus Dei rejects Vatican II as it gave recognition to individual consciences and ideals and did not place much authority on the magisterium of the church. This was apostasy to the founder of Opus Dei and to such renegade popes as John Paul II and Benedict XVI who are strong admirers of Josemaria Escriva, whom John Paul II, over the objection of many in the Roman Catholic church denounced as a fraud and imposter, raised to “sainthood”–most of Escriva’s opponents reject that title and imposition by a pope many believe was already senile. 

Father John McCloskey, a prominent member in Washington, has attacked the “liberal establishment” in the USA.  McCloskey has won the support of one-time US Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), as pose seek a theocracy to replace democracy.  McCloskey urges the creation of schools to teach Latin and Greek, devotion to the Mass and strict obedience to the bishops, but also demands solid educational training (minus theories such as evolution and human rights) so that the future generations can be similar to Escriva.

Opus Dei $75 million headquarters (New York City)

Opus Dei has no respect for labor, and in France forced workers to toil for free. Girls as young as fourteen have been forced to work from seven in the morning until ten at night, seven days a week–and when given a paycheck are forced to endorse it and turn it over to Opus Dei.  Corporal mortification of workers is applauded, and the organization notes that Mother Theresa of Calcutta and John Paul II practiced their concept of corporal pain and hunger, winning the support of Benedict XVI who is considered a closeted member of the group.  To “fan out across the world”, Opus Dei raised from middle-income to wealthy Roman Catholics in every walk of life (US Senators, British Members of Parliament, sports figures, entrepreneurs on every continent, entertainment figures, and so forth) over $75 million to build its headquarters in New York City, USA.  It is tightly attached to powerful bishops in the USA and throughout South America, finding support especially among the hierarchy of Peru, led by Cipriani of Lima, and Darío Castrillón Hoyos, of Columbia.  Its stated goal is to take over the world and

Opus Dei central headquarters Rome

force everyone to be Roman Catholic–Opus Dei’s idea of what Christianity must be: from the end of human and civil rights, the glorification of the male head of the household, strict obedience of children, rejection of bullying charges against priests and nuns, and the silencing of complaints and lawsuits against clerical pedophiles in the Church, in the same way as John Paul II ignored the issue and worked against those who levied charges, and Ratzinger (Benedict XVI who is openly called the Inquisitor General of the 21st century) has been especially effective in silencing dissent.

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