The documentary How To Go Out Of Your Mind - The LSD Crisis was made for Canadian TV in 1966 and features some great footage of Tim Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Meltzner on the grounds of the legendary Millbrook estate.
I remember my first acid trip vividly: Falls Church, Va., 1967, half a tab of Monterey Purple, listening to the Doors’ Strange Days and taking a beautiful early evening walk down a garden path blooming with the reddest roses I’d ever seen. From that day on, my relationship to the world around me was far more sensual and connected. The only “LSD crisis” I ever experienced was trying to get my hands on more.
If you have the misfortune of being connected to uptight, close-minded Christianist assholes on Facebook—and who doesn’t, it’s a hallmark of the era we live in—then you’ve probably been seeing links to this mind-numbing essay that’s been getting shared like crazy.
Titled “Distraction,” the muddled and confused logic of the piece begins with the caveat that the author and her husband had been discussing the instantly iconic Red Equals sign for marriage equality that many people are making their Facebook avatar, but wished for their own opinions to remain private. I don’t think it would take a genius, or even a Chick-fil-A CEO to figure out what they might be:
It dawned on me as I could not sleep last night where the real issue is. Regardless of your opinion on gay rights (positive, negative, or indifferent), there is a larger issue at hand.
Today is Wednesday, March 27th. Tomorrow is Thursday. About 2000 years ago, on that Thursday Jesus sat down for his last meal with his closest friends. One turned on him that night (Matthew 26:14-16, 25). Another claimed he would die with Jesus, only to deny he even knew him in the next few hours (Matthew 26:31-35). That Thursday night and into Friday morning, Jesus was betrayed, arrested, denied, endured trials, and sentenced to death (Matthew 26:47-27:26). Friday he was mocked, tortured, and crucified (Matthew 27:27-44). Matthew 27:50 tells us that he “gave up His Spirit”. For every flawed person who would ever walk the earth. Especially you. You who grew up in church. You who have never been to church. You who sit in the pew every week. You who mock the very One who created you. You, the imperfect one.
This Friday is called Good Friday, because we remember what God did for us by sacrificing His Son upon that cross. But do you remember? Or are you still trying to figure out who’s right and wrong on that legal issue?
Well played, Satan. Well played. You dangled the bait (and we all took it) for believers and nonbelievers/ believers and believers/ nonbelievers and nonbelievers to turn on each other, draw lines, AND DISTRACT EVERYONE FROM THE GOSPEL. You made it as simple as posting a picture on a social media site to make everyone lose focus of what this week is really about.
People are passing this nonsense around like it’s got… some value. This shit isn’t even idiotic and yet chances are it’s been coming thru your Facebook newsfeed repeatedly for the past 24 hours.
A fellow named Vincent zinged the author pretty hard:
So wait… fighting for equality for all individuals isn’t right in God’s eyes, because it’s close to Easter? Instead we should be doing what? Jesus preached throughout the Gospel that we should love each other as we love ourselves, and taught that we shouldn’t judge others and should instead love and respect our fellow man. How is standing up for equality and rights for all *not* honoring The Lord and His only begotten Son?
In that case, I guess we should tell the Supreme Court to wait until *after* Easter to hear arguments about what this symbol represents, and instead we should all open our bibles and intently study their contents until after Easter has passed.
To me, it seems that the symbol you say is bait from Satan is instead a reminder that Satan will meet swift resistance to his spreading of hate and bigotry.
You get an amen from me for that, brother!
Something that dawned on me as I was reading this reedonkulous tripe is how the stripes of the Red Equals symbol are congruous with the stripes of the American flag.
Love the ritual of the Catholic Church, but hate the… everything else? Welcome the new Pope by burning one of these awesome secular “prayer” candles featuring scientists Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye. Maybe pray for something like a radical change in the Church’s policy on birth control or homosexuality?
Oh this is good: As the papal conclave meets to select a new pontiff, it’s being reported by The Independent that the Vatican purchased a €23 million share of a Rome apartment block in 2008 that houses the Europa Multiclub, the continent’s largest gay sauna.
Cardinal Ivan Dias, the 76-year-old leader of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples and a senior Vatican “prince of the church”—due to participate in the election today at the Sistine Chapel—lives in a 12-room apartment merely yards from the sex club. There are 18 other Vatican apartments on this block.
There was one sentence that stuck out in The Independent’s reporting that I got a bit of a chuckle from:
Cardinal Dias, who is seen as a social conservative even by the current standards of the church hierarchy, is no doubt horrified to learn of the activities taking place a floor below.
Is he really? Why… tell me HOW could this be a surprise in any way to someone living in the same bloody building??? Raise your hands, how many of you reading this would be “horrified” to find that the largest gay bathhouse in all of Europe was a few yards away from your own front door? And under a circumstance like this one where the Catholic Church itself—the very organization that you yourself work for—would be the landlord? This is utterly preposterous. He sleeps one floor above it!
Furthermore, the Cardinal, is known for being a homophobe who has described homosexuality as both an “unnatural tendency” and a disease of the soul.
What I want to know is, what does Cardinal Dias think the Europa Multiclub is, if not THE LARGEST GAY BATHHOUSE IN EUROPE?
A Chipolte? An Abercrombie & Fitch? Has anyone asked him?
Most Americans are exposed to Scientology with a fair amount of distance between them and it, via celebrity gossip, infomercials for Dianetics on late-night TV and media exposes of the “church” founded by a speedfreak sci-fi writer/con man in the 1950s. When you live in Los Angeles, however, the present day minions of L. Ron Hubbard are all around you…
For several years in the early-mid 1990s I lived in the heart of Hollywood, and I was in the habit of reading the newspaper and eating breakfast at several cheap hole-in-the-walls I could walk to along Hollywood Blvd. Due to the proximity to a lot of Scientology’s real estate holdings, inevitably I’d see two or more Scientologists grabbing eggs and coffee wherever I happened to be, and often I’d have no choice but to overhear their conversations.
Eventually eavesdropping on Scientologists became a bit of a sport for me, something I could amuse myself with. The best conversations to tune into were the ones that would occur between two higher-ranking “Sea Org” types (the ones with the quasi-naval uniforms). Aside from the obvious, there was always one highly reliable element that nearly all of these conversations had and that was pure, unmitigated, hold-nothing-back, out and out vicious bitching. About something… but usually about someone. Someone they’d just rip to bloody shreds behind their back. They seemed to be such nasty, unhappy, bitter people.
The members of the Sea Organization are considered to be the Co$ “elite.” These are the evangelicals who have signed billion-year-long contracts, a “Gnostic” religious order within the Church of Scientology (think Jesuits), who dedicate their lives (all of ‘em, apparently, the Sea Org’s motto is “We Come Back”) to cleansing and uplifting the planet with the teachings of L. Ron Hubcap (If media reports are to be trusted, in recent years the Org seems to be more dedicated to making Tom Cruise feel like a very, very important person than converting the masses).
Every morning was like a fascinating sociological expedition and highly entertaining. These were some of the meanest, most judgmental individuals I’d ever seen in action. They were also, without exception, some of the squarest people I’ve ever laid eyes on. Like Republicans. Or Mormons. Bluntly, they were just losers. Remarkably unremarkable people who looked down their noses at everyone else, even their own teammates.
In my four years of personally observing these perpetually pissed-off Sea Orgres, it seemed pretty clear to me that one of the main draws Scientology must have for certain people—and especially for the ultra true-believer Sea Org “inner circle” types—is that Church doctrine, and the way they’re cloistered and told that they’re superior to everyone else, is actually what these people want, what they get out of it. They’re better than you and I are—and they know it—and they pity us for it (In the in-group parlance, a non-Scientologist infidel is charmingly referred to as a “wog”).
Like all zealots, these Co$ elites want to inflict their truth on others and yet they’re willing to submit to frequent lie-detector tests and sign billion year-long contracts? Please lecture me about “freedom,” won’t you?
Better still? According to the St. Petersburg Tampa Bay Times, Sea Org members are paid just $75 a week on average. Which would make you bitchy, I suppose, if you had contractually locked yourself in to such wages (and dormitory living!) for even a single year, let alone a billion of ‘em…
It’s an odd position to put yourself in. You’d think that if you’d reached a state of “total freedom” being willing to sign on in perpetual servitude for tens of thousands of your future incarnations to a vast pyramid scheme in which top-down authoritarianism is apparently a desirable sacrament would be anathema to you. But no!
In any case, here’s a patently ridiculous Scientology music video of probably mid 90s vintage.
On the radical Left, Upton Sinclair is mainly known for being a former Socialist candidate for Governor of California, and for writing The Jungle, his 1906 novel about the practices of the meat-packing industry (the nationwide disgust produced entire regulatory bodies to enforce food safety standards within a matter of months).
He was also super into the paranormal. This letter vouches for a psychic who won over Sinclair and his wife:
McDougall, my wife and I had a very interesting experience with him: I had four envelopes, tightly sealed and absolutely opaque. Each contained a letter form a person no longer living. Ford started talking about Jack London and told a lot about him, and then said, “You have a letter from him with you.” The four letters were in an inside pocket, and not visible. I gave him all four of the letters, and he kept turning them over in his hands in broad daylight while we watched him. They remained unopened to the end. He told us several things that were correct, about the contents of three of the letters. I made notes of what he said, and afterwards McDougall, my wife and I checked over the notes, and McDougall agreed with us that there was undoubtedly supernormal power
Call me skeptic, but seeing as this letter was written in 1938, and it was well known that Jack London and Upton Sinclair were both friends and socialist comrades, it feels a little like a lucky guess to me.
Sinclair’s 1930 book Mental Radio included anecdotes of his wife Mary’s telepathic experiences. William McDougall (referred to in the letter above) wrote an introduction to it and later established the parapsychology department at Duke University.
Proving once again how the Lord works in… um…. very mysterious ways, an Ohio man named Jim Lawry thinks he sees the face of Jesus in some… bird shit.
After visiting a McDonald’s drive-thru window in the town of Brooklyn, Ohio, Lawry noticed that a bird had crapped on his car windshield and that the mess resembled Jesus Christ. According to Lawry, the holy apparition, when seen from the outside of the car, looks like “regular bird poop.”
“A bird pooped on my car windshield and when I got inside the view was like Jesus looking down on Me,” he wrote on YouTube. “I had family + friends get in my car and they too were a bit amazed. Wanted to share this with you.”
Lawry videotaped the bird shit on his windshield and posted it to YouTube today, but then quickly removed it. I wonder why?
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
I'll repeat that: We're not necessarily endorsing everything you'll find here, we're merely saying "Here it is." We think human beings are very strange and often totally hilarious. We enjoy weird and inexplicable things very much. We believe things have to change and change swiftly. It's got to be about the common good or it's no good at all. We like to get suggestions of fun/serious things from our good-looking, high IQ readers. We are your favorite distraction.