Friday, January 14, 2011

NO! Demons and Satan are NOT REAL!


It is sad that in the wake of the Tucson shooting, the Hell-mongers and demon-purveyors still can't keep a lid on it. In certain corners of the far flung fundamentalist empire, nutcases are still on record asserting Jared Lee Loughner may well be "possessed" or Satan may have had him in "his" grip which is why he went loco and shot 18 people, killing six.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Demons and Satan are no more real now than they were before Loughner's insane deed, and this is indeed where the bear sits with the buckwheat: for while demons and Satan remain the stuff of unstable or degenerate minds, we do know mental illness is real - and according to the latest estimates, 1 in every 5 Americans is afflicted with this illness, with 1 in 20 seriously mentally ill.

But it is convenient to invent or perpetuate the bullshit of "demons" to either avoid personal or collective responsibility for last Saturday's horrific events.

Personal responsibility, because people then act however they want and just say "the Devil made me do it". Collective responsibility, because if we can allow for a supernatural mcguffin to be the cause of Loughner's actions then we can further suppress funding for mental health care, even as states now slice nearly $2 billion for such care in their budget cuts. Then, we all scratch our butts and wonder when it will end, when via our tax cutting and spending lockdowns we've sown the very fertile soil to continue such outbreaks.

Little known by the Hell -demon mongering idiots is that in Yeshua's time, before the dawn of modern psychiatry, ordinary schizophrenia and schizoid personality disorders were commonly believed to be "demonic possession". Thus, we had biblical allegories and stories referring to Christ "casting out" Beelezebub from sick people, and even animals. But modern biblical scholars now understand these were metaphors for seeking cures (at that time) for the mental illness that stalked the population even then.

Indeed, the Catholic Church's ritual of exorcism was founded and promulgated not on the belief that possession was real, but that the afflicted person believed it was real. Thus, the rite of exorcism was initiated on a memetic template to cure the belief in the person's possession, not any objective possession per se. Up to now, indeed, no one has been able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that any demonic possession has ever occurred, never mind absurd fictional portrayals like those in 'The Exorcist'.

Doubts that possession was real probably surfaced first just after the period of the Inquisition. This is because the tortures and executions of the Inquisition were self-sustaining, because none of the greatest theological minds could figure out how one might exterminate demons or Devils permanently by killing the allegedly possessed. Because they could not be killed, and could still possess humans (according to the Inquisition), then whenever you tortured a heretic or apostate to death – the possessing devil or demon would just skip to another forlorn soul, who in turn would have to be killed. With that possessing demon jumping to another ,…..and so on keeping the Inquisition’s fires and torture wheels going indefinitely.

Eventually, the Church's great brains figured out they could potentially slaughter every single living member of the "Body of Christ" yet not be able to get at the demons or Satan himself! In other words, their own feverish delusions were having them on, leading them to excessive actions and reactions that didn't do a damned thing to advance the welfare of the "Body of Christ".

Adding fuel to Satan-mania was the Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer (Dean of Cologne University) and Jacob Sprenger (Dominican Inquisitor General of Germany). This was the book which gave the prescriptions for exposing those possessed, or under the influence of familiars or witches or other demonic entities (succubi, incubi) under a Bull issued by Pope Innocent VIII.

Because this book allowed persecution to spread to tens of thousands of women - as "witches" - it soon became evident to the best and brightest that belief in demonic possession was in fact a recipe for self-extermination, not purification!

At the very least it meant one half of humanity being exterminated, since generally, throughout the Middle Ages, the belief persisted that the female was closer by far to the demonic hordes, by virtue of her enhanced carnality. Indeed, the demise of male virtue as well as mental power could allegedly be traced to female wiles, and what better way to enhance them than using a herb like savin (given by a witch)

Given the “evidence” of any one or all of these the accused witch could be apprehended and subjected to “the question”. This meant usually prodding her flesh with special instruments to locate the mark of “the Beast” (666) or any similar mark usually associated with the Devil. If a first pass wasn’t enough gradually more pressure and torture would be applied, usually ending up in some sort of disfigurement being found eventually and attributed to the Devil. According to author Peter Stanford (‘The Devil’, 1996, p. 162):

Witches and warlocks provided an easy target for the Church, intent on rallying the faithful with a bout of demonization

Probably over a half million innocent women throughout the West underwent such appalling tortures merely to appease savage and depraved minds they didn't have a demon lurking inside them.

Thus, the road to rejecting demonic possession was replete with horrible suffering and endless death. In other words, nearly 2 million innocent humans had to be brtualized, maimed or slaughtered, before humans (at least in the West) figured out that retaining a belief in demonic possession did not redound to their benefit.

Sadly, while the curse of belief in demonic possession has retreated in the more enlightened West (thanks to the continuing benefits of rational skepticism and the Enlightenment) these dark ideas and supersititious notions persist in the less developed world.

For example, in one ABC 20-20 segment from 2006, a priest in an African country had just declared two young children “possessed by the Devil” and requiring exorcism. They were then tied down, and he proceeded to viciously bite their exposed flesh as they screamed piteously, trying to drive out the alleged “demons”. For this “service”, the priest would be paid $50 U.S. or the equivalent of half a year’s wages in this country.

After the excruciating ordeal which also included flogging them with branches, the hapless children were set free to their mother, declared a “witch” and shunted out of their village as outcasts. They would be deprived of all communal support and also the basic life necessities.

The segment ended by noting there were now thousands of such outcast kids roaming the landscape without refuge or hope. One such child was shown going door to door trying to get food, rejected everywhere. The piece went on to note how this vicious practice went on unabated because anyone in the community could - for whatever reason - point anyone else out as "possessed". Because no objective test existed, thousands became named and were tortured then expelled, keeping the country in a primitive state.

Is there a way to cure or limit the spread of demonic disease? NO, not demonic possession, which is a vicious myth used to afflict the powerless, but the BELIEF that actual Devils and Hell exists. A belief that fuels and foments the sort of vile actions of the African priest, as well as the vile acts actions and insane rituals that continue in this country- practiced by a certain enclave of fundamentalist whackos.(In his chapter, ‘The Fundamentalist Fringe’ (op. cit. p. 227), Peter Stanford recites how Josiah Strong’s perverted Devil- obsessed form of Christianity has come into our relatively modern times and wreaked havoc on the gullible and mentally vulnerable. )

Decades of research disclose only limited value for psychotherapy, and in any case, the true believers and upper echelon (priest, bishops, ministers, preachers) are seldom subjected to treatments, only their forlorn victims.

What is needed is a non-negotiable agreement or contract that obligates anyone who practices religion in any form to reject demon-mongering – including all exorcisms or other manifestations that even indirectly validate the Satan-Hell myth.. And – if they do not – they must submit themselves for "demonic expurgation" by whichever method works the best and drives demonic belief from their brains.

Probably the optimum method right now is electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). Much different from the antiquated version (shown for example in the movie, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'), the new ECT uses milli-amp range bursts for brief periods of seconds to re-energize and renew the brain for improved reality cognition.

Yes, this is extreme, but given the horrific effects of demonic or Satanic belief it's clear we can't allow it to seize control of more vulnerable minds. Thus, we have to treat those minds that initiate or spread the beliefs at their source as major sources of mind virus infection.

A last possible option, but not yet developed, is the implantation of quantum dot electrodes in strategic parts of the brain, such as the amygdala and temporal lobes.

Quantum dots are tiny ( ~ 1 -2 nm) conductors that operate to control, electrical -neural information loads. They're small enough to be integrated with brain tissue, neurons to alter brain functions, including eliminating Satanic ideations. This can be effected via the replacement of primitive neural maps residing in the brain's "fear center" or amygdala, with more organized neural maps which strip the atavistic residue as they are impressed. (You can think of it almost like placing fresh new kitchen tiles over worn ones to the point the latter are no longer remotely evident).

However, the successful use of these devices remains at least 10 years away, certainly for therapeutic purposes.

In the end, we need to eliminate not "demons" - which don't exist now or ever, but the belief in such - for the good of the human family!

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