Brynne Larson and Tess and Savannah Scherkenback are all-American girls from Arizona, who enjoy martial arts and horse riding. But something sets them apart from most teenagers – they perform public exorcisms and often appear on TV chat shows.
This is the stupidest thing I’ve read in a long time, and that’s really saying something. There’s just such a rich vein of bullshit here, it’s hard to know exactly where to begin digging. Here, let me share some of the juiciest bits of this pure, undiluted idiocy:
”The spells and things that you’re reading in the Harry Potter books, those aren’t just something that are made up, those are actual spells. Those are things that came from witchcraft books.”
So if you point a stick at something and say “Wingardium Leviosa”, IT WILL FLY! Seriously, those are REAL SPELLS in those books!
The young women have been trained by Brynne’s father, the Reverend Bob Larson, who says he has performed more than 15,000 exorcisms.
Yes, snake oil is a very lucrative business, especially when you cater exclusively to the gullible and outright stupid.
Honestly, I’ve never tried to do any showmanship at all, I’m just demonstrating the power of God. We’re not doing it to play up to the cameras. I’ve seen some amazing things in private with nobody there.
Oh of course it’s not just theater, don’t be silly! Three black-belt ninja sisters who kick demon ass in a traveling show? Who wouldn’t take that seriously?
Tess, Savannah and Brynne have all been home-schooled. In Brynne’s case it was because her father’s profession led the family to travel widely. ’With going [to] over 20 countries and stuff, I don’t really have time to go to school, but I’ll just sit at my desk and work on calculus or read all my books,’ she says. ‘This is so much better than going to a stinky old school room.’
Yeah, she like totally digs calculus ‘n’ stuff while she kicks demon booty ‘n’ talks to God ‘n’ stuff. Yah, like totally ‘n’ junk.
I keep hoping that this ends up being a satirical comedy troupe, but sadly I think it’s real. Another wonderful American export.
I’ve heard the term “homeopathic” for many years but I’ve never bothered to check into exactly what it was. Then a few years ago I read a book that touched on the subject and described its basic principles, and it sounded like utter nonsense to me. Diluting a substance to the point where only a single molecule (if even that) still exists, then calling it “medicine”? They’ve got to be kidding. But no, this has been practiced for over a century as legitimate treatment for all kinds of ailments, and people actually believe it works — even on animals. Some of these treatments go beyond mega-dilutions into other woo-woo areas such as crystal therapy, “water memory”, flower remedies, and other such twaddlecock. The Wikipedia entry about it is a great read.
Comedy genius team Mitchell & Webb summed up these ideas perfectly in this sketch, which shows what would happen if homeopathy were the sole treatment offered in the ER. It’s so wonderfully bitchy.
The clincher for me, however, was watching James Randi swallow an entire bottle of a homeopathic sleeping aid onstage during a TED Talk. His point? If these things actually work, he should pass out and overdose within a short time. Needless to say, nothing happened during his entire talk. Not even a yawn. What more proof do you need? In fact, last year a large number of skeptics around the world pulled the same stunt, swallowing entire bottles of homeopathic “medications” to no effect whatsoever. The event was organized by 1023.org.uk, and if they do it again this year I’d like to participate.
This brings me to my own experience with this stuff. In November I was diagnosed with a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the joints — a form of arthritis, but one that falls outside the usual categories and can afflict people of all ages. (I’m only 40 for Mithras’ sake!) This has caused my right knee to become all but useless, and my doctor has put me on a couple of steroidal medications to fight the inflammation and help it heal. One of the side effects of the medication happens to be a loss of potassium and magnesium in the body, which results in leg and foot cramps. Ugh, they’re horrible.
So one day I was in Rite-Aid and spotted these pills that claimed to help leg cramps. ”Hmmm, this might be worth a try,” I thought. I’d already started taking potassium supplements, but these supposedly were good to take just before bed and even during cramping. So I paid $7.99 for a bottle and gave it a try that night. No cramps! The next night I did have cramps, though, so I took a couple of the pills and about 10 minutes later they went away. Hmmm. The next day I looked at the box more closely to see what the ingredients were. There was a long list, each with a “12X” or “6X” next to it. Whaaa…? That’s when I took another look at the front of the box, and waayyyy up in the upper right-hand corner I saw the word Homeopathic in itty-bitty letters.
The “12X” stuff means the original substance has been diluted that many times. And 12X (6C) dilution means there’s practically no substance left. Here, let Wikipedia explain:
A 2C dilution requires a substance to be diluted to one part in one hundred, and then some of that diluted solution diluted by a further factor of one hundred. This works out to one part of the original substance in 10,000 parts of the solution. A 6C dilution repeats this process six times, ending up with the original material diluted by a factor of 100-6=10-12 (one part in one trillion or 1/1,000,000,000,000). Higher dilutions follow the same pattern. In homeopathy, a solution that is more dilute is described as having a higher potency, and more dilute substances are considered by homeopaths to be stronger and deeper-acting remedies. The end product is often so diluted that it is indistinguishable from the dilutant (pure water, sugar or alcohol).
That’s like putting a drop of medicine into Lake Erie and then drinking the whole thing. Think that’s gonna be potent stuff? Dream on, tampon!
I immediately stopped taking them. Why? They seemed to work, right? No, not with this new information. The cramping wasn’t a nightly event, after all, so that first night I simply didn’t have any. The pills had nothing to do with it. And when I cramped up on the second night, they went away in about 10 minutes…just like they always have, all my life. So instead of paying $8 for some sort of muscle relaxant like I thought, I wasted that money on sugar pills that contained a bunch of diluted-to-nothingness ingredients. In fact, the only legitimate substance in this “medication” is quinine, which has its own interesting history (it was once used to fight malaria). I feel like an idiot for falling for it, but that Homeopathic label is very small on the box and the sheer amount of text crammed onto that package is a little ridiculous. Usually I’m more observant than that when buying medicine — but I was in a rush and in severe discomfort, and I just wanted to get out of there with my stuff.
Never again, my friends. The placebo effect is a powerful thing, it can make you think anything is possible. Even unscientific nonsense like this.
A little girl in a toy store rants about girls being stuck with pink princessy toys and boys being stuck with superhero toys. ’Tis a smart child who can see right through that gender-partitioning marketing bullshit! She’s my hero for the day.
I keep seeing this book everywhere called Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. It’s an automatic eye-roller, right? But then curiosity got the better of me and I read the synopsis online, and it’s even more ridiculous than I thought. Get a load of this:
Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didnt know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us.
Told by the father, but often in Coltons own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.
So his father is a pastor, and the story is told by the father but “often in Colton’s own words”? That, my friends, is all you need to know to call this book one huge crock of shit. God sits in a chair? Sure he does. I’ll bet he’s got a flowing white beard, too. And OF COURSE there’s a “last battle” coming. To those deluded by religion there always is! Christians are especially fanatical about the final battle, though — they really get off on all that war-for-the-righteous imagery. Onward Christian Soldiers and all that nonsense.
There are TONS of books written by people who think they went to Heaven and saw Jesus and God and whatnot, many of them children. I wonder how many are just like this: claiming to be the experiences of a child, but actually made up by an adult? It’s manipulative and evil to use children this way, though they’re hardly the only ones victimized by religion. People believe it’s true simply because it allegedly came from a child, as if children (or their parents) never make things up for fun and/or profit.
If you can’t keep your personal beliefs and your medical treatments separate, maybe you should stay the fuck out of medicine to begin with, hmmm? This case is especially offensive because it not only tries to “treat” gayness, but it does so with woo-woo homoeopathic (homo-pathic?) remedies which are rightly shunned by practitioners of real medicine. Are these people insane?
A Catholic doctors association in Germany believes it can cure the sexual orientation of gays and lesbians with sugar pills — though only at their request, the group says. But the homo-homeopathy has been harshly criticized by members of its target community.
…The religious association, which calls itself the “voice of the Catholic medical community,” writes on its website that while “homosexuality is not an illness,” a host of treatments are available to keep such “inclinations” at bay. Possibilities include “constitutional treatments with homeopathic tools … such as homeopathic dilutions like Platinum,” “psychotherapy,” and “religious counseling.” Among homeopathys controversial treatments are the prescription of “Globuli,” tiny pills that consisting mostly of sugar.
“We know about a number of people with homosexual feelings who find themselves in a spiritual and psychological emergency and suffer greatly,” UCP head Gero Winkelmann told SPIEGEL in a written statement. “If someone is unhappy, ill or feels they are in an emergency, they should be able to find options for help with us.”
The Catholics are especially notorious for interfering with people via hospitals and clinics by buying them up and then mandating that their doctors can’t perform certain services that they disagree with. Been raped and gotten pregnant? Too damn bad. They’ll make you have it, though they won’t do much to help raise it. After it’s born, it’s not their concern…
Well it looks like we will be at a Kylie Minogue concert in San Francisco when the Rapture supposedly happens this Saturday. Not such a bad way to end the world, is it?
Seriously, though. This guy has actually convinced others that the Rapture will not only happen, but it will be on a specific day. Such sad, deluded people.
A preacher from Oakland, California, has warned that the end of the world is nigh – 21st May 2011, to be precise.
At about 6pm, Harold Camping reckons 2 per cent of the world’s population will be immediately “raptured” to Heaven; the rest of us will get sent straight to the Other Place.
Everyday, Camping, an 89-year-old former civil engineer, spreads his Doomsday predictions via the Family Radio Network, a religious broadcasting organisation funded entirely by donations from listeners.
“It’s getting real close. It’s really getting pretty awesome, when you think about it,” the Independent quoted Camping as saying.
Secret Service agents harassed a 7-year-old because of something he said on Facebook that wasn’t even a threat. You know, when I see ridiculous shit like this I can’t help but think, “Wow…the terrorists really have won.”
After Osama bin Laden was killed, 13-year-old Vito LaPinta posted an update to his Facebook status that got the Feds attention.
“I was saying how Osama was dead and for Obama to be careful because there could be suicide bombers,” says LaPinta.
A week later, while Vito was in his fourth period class, he was called in to the principal’s office.
“A man walked in with a suit and glasses and he said he was part of the Secret Service,” LaPinta said. “He told me it was because of a post I made that indicated I was a threat toward the President.”
The Tacoma school district acknowledged a Secret Service agent questioned Vito and that it was a security guard who called Vito’s mom because the principal was on another call. The school district said they didn’t wait for Vito’s mother to get there because they thought she didn’t take the phone call seriously.