Even in the Bible Belt, pagan symbols dot Birmingham
Those of you who read my column regularly know that I never post political or religious pieces. However, a recent Fox News story regarding Pagan and Wiccan holidays at the University of Missouri prompted a whirlwind of religious debate across the nation.Fox News stereotyped Pagans and Wiccans as “Compulsive Dungeons and Dragons players” or “middle-aged, twice-divorced older women living in a rural area working as midwives”, and said that the bad part about Wicca was “well, witchcraft”. Negative stereotypes aside, Fox News also mentioned that there were relatively few Wiccans and Pagans in the United States (There are ~1 million).
I decided to research Wicca culture in the Magic City. What I found was that Pagans do live in Birmingham, and their influence is all around us, whether we realize it or not. Read full story studentmedia.uab.edu
Theological Meaning of Wicca
Unlike many of the world’s religions, Wicca is a religion whose theological meaning cannot be found within the pages of one sacred text, nor can it be determined by studying a specific body of work. The theology of Wicca is not determined by one head leader speaking for a body of believers. Instead, Wiccan theology is best explained by examining its principles. Read full story opposingviews.com
A Photographer Remembers Wounded Knee, 40 Years Later
Forty years ago, a caravan of more than 50 cars full of demonstrators pulled into Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. That day marked the beginning of a 71-day occupation led by members of the Oglala Lakota tribe and followers of the American Indian Movement, attempting to address long-standing grievances — not only with the U.S. government but also with tribal leaders.
Over those 71 days, Pine Ridge was effectively barricaded from the outside world. Electricity was turned off even though it was winter, and food and medical supplies were halted. Two Native Americans and one FBI agent died before the standoff ended. Read full story npr.org
Chad Stambaugh Presents New Guide to Paranormal Investigations FRESNO, Calif. – In his new book “Paranormal Investigations: The Proper Procedures and Protocols of Investigation for the Beginner to the Pro” (published by iUniverse) author and retired Marine Chad Stambaugh takes readers into a controversial world: the supernatural.
“Paranormal Investigations” shows both the beginner and the professional when and how to correctly operate the different types of equipment integral to a paranormal investigation: cameras, camcorders, voice recorders, digital video recorders, EMF detectors, dowsing rods, pendulums and more. In addition, Stambaugh details the correct procedures for conducting both public and private investigations, including how to deal with clients, what to look for, how to look for it, and how to document an investigation. Read full story sfgate.com
Pagan Pride festival dispels myths
Amanda Hyde admits it was the spells and rituals that drew her to paganism as a rebellious teenager. But more than a decade later, that shock value has long subsided.
“There are a lot of misconceptions,” she laughed.
For 10 years now, Hyde has organized Pagan Pride Day in Hamilton as a chance to celebrate their beliefs and give outsiders a glimpse into their lifestyle to dispel the myths.
“A lot of people think of pagan people as fringe folk. But you come here and you meet teachers, police officers, government workers…” she said of the volunteer-run event. Read full story from metronews.ca
Sponsored by the Pagan Organization of Diverse Spirituality (PODS) they manage to attract a few people in and out of the event who were curious enough to learn more about the different religions that were represented. Each stand had their own unique religion that branches off from the Pagan religion. The beliefs ranged from Troth to Witchcraft and Wiccan and each stand handed out information on them. Read full story from dailcampus.com
Arts & Entertainment:
Why Witches Will Replace Hollywood’s Obsession With Zombies & Vampires
Maybe you’ve noticed something in Hollywood when it comes to action and horror movies; they jump on the popularity of a trend faster than you walked out of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. We’ve already been treated to a debacle of 80s cartoon remakes, with Transformers, G.I. Joe, The Smurfs, and a new Ninja Turtles reboot headed our way, courtesy of Michael Bay. But Hollywood, faithful as you’d expect to deliver what the people want, goes beyond that.
When a zombie movie is released to major success, a multitude of zombie films randomly appear to be thrust into screens everywhere. After Danny Boyle’s 2002 feature 28 Days Later, we were treated with Resident Evil, House of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Dawn of the Living Dead, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Shaun of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, Zombieland…you get the point. The fact is, we saw a whole lot more big budget zombie flicks after the success of one, and it’s not just a case of the undead. Read full story from whatculture.com
Before Haskins got the job, she performed a spell with candles. Then everything fell into place.
Haskins is 22, lives in Gillette and applies her faith as a “solitary practitioner,” meaning she is not affiliated with a group.
Among pagans, Wyoming is a state of solitary practitioners, the result of low population, wide spaces between cities and towns and dozens of pagan sects. The exception is Laramie, which has the Wolf Tree Kindred. Read full story from standard.net
Man ‘used witchcraft to traffic children’ for prostitution An alleged people trafficker cut the chest of a vulnerable 14-year-old girl with a razor during a series of “juju” witchcraft rituals aimed at terrifying young recruits into silence before selling them into prostitution across Europe, a court heard yesterday.
Osezua Osolase recruited and raped impoverished young Nigerian orphans and forced them to undergo West African rituals in which hair, nails and blood were removed to “cast a spell” over them and ensure their obedience, Canterbury Crown Court was told. Read full story from indpendent.co.uk
Witchcraft at Fourah Bay
Two boys of No. 3 Foster Street, at the Fourah Bay community, East of the capital on Thursday, September 13th openly confessed of practicing wizardry, after being conjured by a witch doctor called, Umaru Kamara, a native of Yoni Bana Chiefdom.
The eldest of the confessors named Osman Njai and his cousin, Amidu Savage, 13 and 12 years old respectively, confessed to a mammoth crowd of family members and relatives including journalists and people of that community that they were responsible for the multiple mishaps facing their family relatives in the spirit realm. Read full story from sierraexpressmedia.com
Medieval ‘Vampire’ Skull Found
The remains of a medieval “vampire” have been discovered among the corpses of 16th century plague victims in Venice, according to an Italian archaeologist who led the dig.
The body of the woman was found in a mass grave on the Venetian island of Lazzaretto Nuovo. Suspecting that she might be a vampire, a common folk belief at the time, gravediggers shoved a rock into her skull to prevent her from chewing through her shroud and infecting others with the plague, said anthropologist Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence.
In the absence of medical science, vampires were just one of many possible contemporary explanations for the spread of the Venetian plague in 1576, which ran rampant through the city and ultimately killed up to 50,000 people, some officials estimate. Read full story from livescience.com
Kevin Carlyon, of Dane Road, St Leonards, well-known for offering Tarot card readings to residents, has branched out to copying old video films onto DVD, and discovered a lot of footage of the Victorian attraction, some dating back to the 1930s.
He hopes to create a DVD that can be sold in order to raise funds for the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (HPWRT).
The pier was devastated by fire in October 2010.
Mr Carlyon said: “I don’t sit and watch people’s films through but as my computer is next to the recorders I do catch bits and there seems to be a fascinating amount of footage of Hastings Pier in its heyday. The earliest that I’ve seen is old cine film transferred to VHS which must come from the 1930s. Read full story from hastingsobserver.co.uk
The result is this great list of 27 books that range from introductory to scholarly in nature and cover the entire gamut of Pagan religions — Witchcraft, Wicca, Shamanism, Asatru, Druidism, Egyptian and Hellenic.
These books grapple with issues of sexuality, tell personal stories of faith, and provide information on the various Pagan religious rites. HuffPost Religion hopes that this list will be equally valuable for those who identify as Pagans, as well as those who are interested in Paganism, both academically and as a spiritual pursuit. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com
Radical Faerie Camp
went to BC Radical Faerie Camp as a reporter seeking to capture Faerie culture, but Faerie culture captured me.
The low-profile Faeries have undergone a resurgence in Vancouver in the last three years, reviving once-dormant weekly coffee events downtown and adding another in East Vancouver. The group held its first BC Faerie Camp last year; I attended the second camp with 72 Faeries on Victoria Day weekend. I was transfixed and transformed, forging genuine bonds with other queer men, a wonderful respite from attitude-filled, frigid Vancouver.
There are no rules, but Faerie rituals turn tradition on its head. Instead of applause, for example, Faeries hiss. Nobody leads Radical Faeries or defines its mission. Read full story from xtra.ca
Christian Author Tells How God Took Her Back From Witchcraft
A feeling of being abandoned by God and a curiosity about the pagan religion of Wicca led her to a 10-year life immersed in witchcraft, says a first-time Christian author. S.A. (Seleah Ally) Tower said she wants to share her story in order for others to learn how she escaped a very dark period in her life.
Tower told The Christian Post that her book, Taken from the Night – A Witches Encounter with God, is meant to tell her spiritual journey from first being a doubtful Christian, then to a witch, and later to a born-again believer in Jesus as authentically as possible. She wants the book and her testimony to help others who have experienced the same struggles in the spiritual realm. Read full story from christianpost.com
Taking the Taboo out of Wicca Jamie Dana was only in eighth grade when his life was shaken by the tragic loss of an infant child within his family. Unable to find an answer or explanation that made sense to him, he began a spiritual journey that led him to Wicca. Now the High Priest hopes to share his knowledge with others in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
According to Dana, Wicca is an earth-based religion that is both dualistic, meaning there are two equals, and polar, meaning everything has an opposite such as light and dark and life and death.
“We believe everything is connected to a divine essence and that everything has a soul or spirit, and anything that is put out affects that divine essence which affects you,” he explained. Read full story from theweekender.com
‘Wicker Man’ followup is more of a straw man
The original 1973 version of “The Wicker Man” is a horror classic. The 2006 remake starring Nicolas Cage is an unintentionally hilarious diversion.Unfortunately, “The Wicker Tree” — director/writer Robin Hardy’s completely unnecessary followup to the 1973 film, which he directed from Anthony Shaffer’s screenplay — is neither.
It’s neither good nor bad enough to be entertaining, and you find yourself wishing the inevitable and unsurprising conclusion would just hurry up and arrive already.
Not quite a sequel and not quite a remake either, “The Wicker Tree” tells basically the same story as “The Wicker Man,” only with a much less interesting and far more grating cast of characters. Read full story from timesdaily.com
Between 35,000 and 40,000 fans are expected to be in attendance this weekend at Phoenix Comicon 2012. Those planning ahead as weekend attendees will want to book reservations with the Hyatt Regency which is across the street from the Phoenix Convention Center.
Phoenix Comicon one of the biggest underground events that happens annually in Phoenix area. Art and techno paganism are running wild at these fun filled gatherings, but basically it is good clean fun times for young and old alike. Read full story from examiner.com
America’s first president wrote the letter to a Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1790, assuring American Jews that their freedom of religion would be protected. The document will go on display this summer for the first time since 2002 in an exhibition at Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History.
For nine years, the letter has been kept out of public view, in storage at a sterile Maryland office park a few hundred feet from FedEx Field, where the Washington Redskins play. CNN took an inside look at the document in September. Read full story from cnn.com
Accused priest: ‘I was helping priests and helping victims as best I could’
Philadelphia (CNN) — The highest-ranking cleric to be charged with child endangerment testified Wednesday in the landmark child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial in which he and another Philadelphia priest are defendants.Dressed in clerical garb, Monsignor William Lynn took the stand inside the packed Common Pleas courtroom under the watchful eye of Judge Teresa Sarmina. He was calm, confident and very matter-of-fact during direct examination by one of his defense attorneys, Thomas Bergstrom.
“I felt I was helping priests and helping victims as best I could,” Lynn told jurors, swiveling in the witness chair.
Lynn is accused of knowingly allowing dangerous priests to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to children. Also on trial is the Rev. James Brennan, who is accused of the attempted rape of a 14-year-old. Both Brennan and Lynn have pleaded not guilty. Read full story from cnn.com
The verse, Exodus 23:1, offers this admonition: “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness.” (New Revised Standard Version)
It comes in a section following Moses’ bringing the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai. “Exodus 23:1″ also is the title of a new song from rapper Pusha T, which may explain why it’s trending. Read full story from cnn.com
James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.
Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and “numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination”. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Why shouldn’t paganism have a place in RE lessons?
Last month it was suggested that Cornish schools should study paganism in religious education. This modest proposal provoked a splenetic and histrionic reaction from Cristina Odone, in the Daily Telegraph. She seems to be under the impression that the schools’ new remit is to “teach witchcraft and druidry”. For an exciting moment, I had a vision of Hogwarts’ latest Ofsted inspection proving inspirational to Cornish educational authorities, with parents in Truro and Penzance being sent appropriate memos for their children’s latest classes (“Please supply: cauldron x 1, athame x 1, candles x 4. Child must bring own goat.”)
“How long,” Odone asks, working herself up to a tirade which one can only hope is tongue-in-cheek, “before the end of term is marked by a black mass, with only health and safety preventing a human sacrifice?” Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Ghost Box Paranormal Tool Reveals Compelling Ghost Evidence
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — There’s a paranormal tool that’s been used by ghost hunters for the past couple years, known as the ghost box. A paranormal investigator from Massachusetts has used the ghost box in his own home, and shared a video that reveals some compelling paranormal evidence, with possible proof that ghosts may actually exist.
Phillip Brunelle has been interested in the paranormal since his youth, and recently he founded ATF Paranormal Investigations and shares ghost videos and paranormal evidence on his YouTube channel, Mass Most Haunted. Read full story from technorati.com
‘Alien Abduction’ Research Suggests Episodes Are Actually Lucid Dreams
Hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens. In a typical case, an abductee recounts lying in bed one night when an eerie feeling overcomes him, and alien beings appear out of nowhere. The extraterrestrials transport him to a spacecraft and subject him to a battery of physical and psychological tests. After what seems like hours, he is returned to his bedroom unharmed, and finds that the whole ordeal transpired in minutes.
Abductees think their traumatic experiences were real. However, most psychologists think abductions are lucid dreams or hallucinations, triggered by an awareness of other people’s similar experiences. One recent experiment, in which participants trained in lucid dreaming techniques were able to dream up vivid alien encounters, supports this hypothesis. But if each perceived abduction is just the latest in a series of hallucinations, what was it that triggered that first dream or delusion? How was the alien abduction story born? Read full story from huffingtonpost.com
Last year, the Commission released a review of the Act, after an increase in the number of false accusations of sorcery were slammed by human rights groups.
But it’s making headlines again as six people accused of sorcery or witchcraft were killed in West Sepik Province by people who had taken the law into their own hands. Read full story from radioaustralia.net.au
Magic Mushrooms Could Treat Depression
After a psychedelic trip on magic mushrooms, people often describe the experience as mind-expanding, consciousness altering, emotionally insightful and even spiritually transcendent. Now, scientists have peered into the brains of people tripping on psilocybin — the active ingredient in mushrooms — and their results revealed a few surprises.
Instead of opening lines of communication between sensory-oriented regions of the brain, psilocybin appears to shut down activity in two key areas of the brain that regulate our sense of self and integrate our sense of awareness with our sense of the present. Read full story from discovery.com
Now an archaeological dig hopes to find out just what happened to a granite cross which vanished 60 years ago.
Legend has it that a Catholic priest ordered it to be removed from the front of St Patrick’s Church in Wicklow town because of its explicit carvings.
Other rumours say local residents had complained it attracted fairies.
Some residents, though, believe the cross may have been buried in the church grounds by Fr Matthew Blake, now deceased, because he disliked the carvings of nude women on it. Read full story from independent.ie
UFO spotted in Devon
Gary McDermott snapped the glowing red object, with bright flashing lights, after stopping his car to photograph a low-flying helicopter in Plymouth.
The disc-shaped UFO flashed across the sky – just as he was taking the picture – before it disappeared into the night at 9pm on Sunday.
Mr McDermott, who was working night shifts on the city’s famous Royal Albert Bridge, said: “I just couldn’t believe what I had just seen.
“It must have been a UFO – and I cannot believe I am saying that because I don’t believe in them usually. I am always sceptical.
“But this was definitely not a normal aircraft. It was red, the shape they say UFO aircraft is, and had two bright lights coming out of it. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk
Paleontologists recently found ten nests—each containing up to 34 tightly clustered eggs—in a nearly vertical cliff in Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Both the nests and the previously discovered embryo date back 190 million years. Read full story from nationalgeographic.com
The Rise and Fall of the ‘C’ word (Celts)
Currently, the term ‘Celtic’, and its variations, is alternatively loved of loathed by archaeologists, historians, the general public and the media. Why is this? What has happened to the way the word is defined that causes disparity? How did this word mean previously rational archaeologists such as John Collis, Simon James and the Megaws spentd years arguing about the use of ‘Celtic’ as an archaeoligical term? Read full story from heritagedaily.com
According to the program’s coordinator, Stephanie A.L. Molholt, there are currently no Native American Studies programs in the state of Maryland so this one “meets a compelling need.”
She said the program enhances and furthers the school’s mission “by linking CCBC to under-recognized and under-served communities in Maryland and the U.S.” Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
Firebombs Targeting a Mandir and the Hindu Community in New York (CHAKRA) A group representing American Hindus (Hindu American Foundation) condemned a series of firebomb attacks that occurred at five separate locations late Sunday night in New York. Four of the firebombs targeted locations in Jamaica, Queens, including a Hindu temple housed within a residential property. This event was broadly ignored by mainstream media outlets and while no damage or injuries resulted from the attack, the temple’s priest, Ramesh Maharaj, who also lives in the house, believed the firebomb was intended to cause significant harm. A security camera outside the temple caught the attack on camera and helped police create a description of the suspect. Ray Lazier Lengend, a 40-year-old New York man of Guyanese descent, was arrested yesterday. Reportedly, he confessed to all five attacks and cited “personal grievances with each location.” Read full story from chakranews.com
In their annual New Year’s forecast, the priests warned the world could see more earthquakes and increased global warming, and they cautioned that people should also be vigilant against matrimonial discord.
That may not be a very cheery message, but it’s a lot better than the fire-and-brimstone prophecies that that some have attributed to the Maya, whose calendar cycle ends on Dec. 21, 2012. The priests say they see a spiritual end to old things, but not a physical end to the planet. Read full story from washingtonpost.com
Yet the academy can justify building Falcon Circle for outdoor, earth-centered spirituality — and the price tag, spokesman Don Branum said today.
The $80,000 figure includes $26,500 spent on erosion control on the east side of the hill where Falcon Circle is situated, Branum said.
The academy did spend $51,484 on creating Falcon Circle, dedicated in 2010, for a small group of cadets — only three in Fall 2011 semester — who identify themselves as Pagans.
“The Air Force Academy did it because it’s the right thing to do,” Branum said. Pagan soldiers, he said, also have served and died for their country.
It’s not a waste of money, said Col. Robert Bruno, the academy’s senior chaplain. Read full story from denverpost.com
Reality checks available at Bloomfield library
‘ve been reading a book called “Buddhism Plain and Simple” by Steve Hagen. The early chapters explain that the problem most people have is their failure to pay attention. They feel disconnected from the reality of their own lives.
This is a simple concept, but it’s hard to grasp. Two other books I read last month illustrate that fact clearly. Eric Weiner’s “Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine” is light and funny. Debbie Nathan’s “Sybil Exposed” is terribly sad.
In many ways, Weiner reminds me of myself. He is a man who lives largely inside his own head. He is also a gastronomic Jew.
I was in college before I realized that the religious observances of my family had more to do with food than faith.
Weiner was a successful writer with a wife and child when agonizing stomach pains sent him to the hospital. While he was waiting for test results, a nurse asked him a chilling question.
Woman walks naked to reunite with lover, rescued
CHENNAI: A 25-year-old woman, spotted walking naked to a temple in the Chennai suburb of Pallavaram on Tuesday night in a reported bid to reunite with her lover, was handed over to her parents on Wednesday.
Renuga (name changed) had come from Cheyyar in Tiruvannamalai district to fulfill the ‘vow’ on the advice of a woman practitioner of witchcraft, the police said. Read full story from indiatime.com
Tomomi Maishigi’s father and a monk performed a ‘waterfall service’ on the 13-year-old where she was allegedly bound to a chair by a belt and placed face-up underneath a water pump for five minutes at a Buddhist church in Kumamoto, south Japan. Read full story from yahoo.com
Paranormal group scares up spooky tours in East Bridgewater
EAST BRIDGEWATER —Take a healthy dose of local history, add some props and costumed characters, throw in dark nights and a visit to Central Cemetery – and you have the makings for a spooky evening on the Historic Ghost Tour of East Bridgewater Village.
For the fourth year, the Massachusetts Area Paranormal Society will be hosting the ghost tours on Friday and Saturday nights, starting Friday and lasting through Nov. 5.
“It’s historic, it’s educational, it’s exercise, it’s scary, it’s just a real fun-filled night, ” said Lorrie Parker, tour organizer. Read full story from enterprisenews.com
New Archaeological Find Discovered: Holy Trinity “Lie” Uncovered
An unprecedented new discovery—which some predict will “devastate” Christianity in the years to come—seems to show that the “Holy Trinity” of “God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is nothing more than a pale echo of an ancient and very powerful “Three-in-One” religion once common throughout Europe.
Richard Cassaro’s controversial new book, “Written in Stone: Decoding the Secret Masonic Religion Hidden in Gothic Cathedrals and World Architecture,” exposes the Christian religion as a Potemkin village of watered-down paganism by exposing what he calls the “Great Lie of the Trinity” that suppressed the spiritual traditions of ancient Europe and covered up important spiritual practices and principles that had been the guiding light of man for thousands of years. Read full story from prweb.com
Sláinte! Feile Na Marbh
That which we know as All Hallows Eve actually began as a harvest festival several millennia ago in Ireland. Though the evening’s popular colors are black and orange, they might as well be Forty Shades of Green, for the customs of the celebration are Irish as the shamrock.
The ancient Celtic year was divided by the four seasons and reckoned by a lunar calendar. The full moon that rose midway between the Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice was called Samhain. It was the most scary and sacred time of all. Read full story from irishcentral.com
“THE WICKER TREE” grows in the U.S.
Fango has learned that writer/director Robin Hardy’s THE WICKER TREE—the British helmer’s semi-sequel to his 1973 classic THE WICKER MAN—has been picked up for distribution in North America and the UK, as early as this fall. The film’s international sales agent, High Point Media Group, will screen THE WICKER TREE at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival on May 14 and 16. Read full story from fangoria.com
Art exhibition offers a psychedelic experience
Visitors are invited to take a trip through hallucinogenic patterns, optical illusions and cosmic landscapes when the latest exhibition at The University of Queensland opens this weekend.
New Psychedelia takes over the entire ground floor of the UQ Art Museum from Saturday, May 7 with pieces by 43 contemporary Australian artists, including one that requires 3D glasses.
“A new psychedelia has undoubtedly emerged in the past decade as an off-spring of the rave party, but also out of the décor of virtual reality and what William Gibson dubbed the ‘consensual hallucination’ of cyberspace,” Dr Edward Colless writes in the exhibition catalogue.
Curator Sebastian Moody said it was debatable whether recent explorations of psychedelia are in fact a countermovement to the “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” mentality of the 1960s. Read full story from ug.edu.au
Deadly weather in US could become the norm
It’s been a severe start to the spring season in the United States. Tornadoes have ravaged the southeastern US, flooding threatens much of the Midwest, and wildfires are scorching Texas. But according to researchers, a confluence of seasonal oscillations in weather patterns, rather than climate change, is to blame. And growing populations mean that grim casualty figures from such events may become the norm.
“I don’t think there’s any way of proving climate change is responsible for the weather patterns this week and week before,” says meteorologist Howard Bluestein, of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Read full story from newscientist.com
Apache Leader Jeff Houser on Use of Geronimo’s Name
The day after the news spread that the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, or bin Laden himself, was code-named Geronimo, Fort Sill Apache Tribe Chairman Jeff Houser asked President Obama to issue a formal apology for associating one of the most enduring and heroic figures in Indian country with the name of the man who epitomized global terrorism. Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
The location was in the shade cast by the Survivor Tree, an oak that was recently planted at the World Trade Centre for a second time. The first time was in the 1970s, but the tree was later engulfed in rubble on 11 September 2001. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
The archbishop of Canterbury has said the killing of Osama bin Laden left a “very uncomfortable feeling” because it appeared as if justice had not been done.
Bin Laden was shot dead in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Sunday. It has since emerged that he was unarmed when US Navy Seals fired at him.
Lambeth Palace had previously refused to comment on the death of Bin Laden but, when asked at a press conference what he thought of the killing, Dr Rowan Williams replied: “I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling; it doesn’t look as if justice is seen to be done. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
How Many Intelligent Aliens are Out There?
OK, I’ve had enough. I’ve been looking up at the night sky for 20 years and not once have I ever seen anything that has aroused my suspicion that an alien visitor has popped by Earth to take a look.
The thing is, I am contacted far too often by people saying they have seen an unidentified flying object, or UFO. Being terribly literal, they probably have seen something “unidentified,” and it may look like it’s flying; whatever it is, it certainly is an “object,” but it doesn’t mean it’s aliens. Read full story from discovery.com
The figures, made public because of a Freedom of Information Request Act, reveal 14 recorded UFO sightings in the past five years, along with 26 reports of ghosts, 11 witches and two of zombies and vampires respectively. Read full story from countrytimes.co.uk
What is often not fully absorbed by onlookers, though, is the underlying role that religious doctrine – or “pulpit power” – plays in the environmental debate in the US. On the one hand, you have the “Creation Care” movement which is prevalent in some quarters of the Christian Church. On the other, particularly among evangelicals, you often see a vitriolic reaction aimed towards environmentalism. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Police in Munkyuong said they were overwhelmed with the investigation and declined to provide further details.
But local media depicted an elaborate reconstruction of the crucifixion of Jesus, with the victim wearing a crown of thorns and dressed only in his underwear. He put nails into the cross first, then drilled holes in his hands and hung himself on the cross, reports said. Read full story from cnn.com
Zam Zam water is taken from a well in Mecca and is considered sacred to Muslims, but samples from the source suggested it held dangerous chemicals.
Tourists can bring back small amounts from Saudi Arabia, but it cannot be exported for commercial use.
An undercover researcher found large quantities of bottles being sold in east and south London, and in Luton.
The president of the Association of Public Analysts said he would “certainly would not recommend” drinking it. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
Nigerian kids ‘slain as witches’
HUNDREDS of Nigerian children have been severely beaten, burnt or killed after being accused of witchcraft, a British charity was to tell an inquiry overnight.
Stepping Stones Nigeria has compiled a dossier of more than 250 cases of severe violence against children accused of being witches in Akwa Ibom state. Children as young as two have been burnt, poisoned, buried alive or chained up because their families believed they were witches, according to the report. Read full story from australian.com
Pagan Freedom Day 2011
An ancient pagan Greek historian and author Thucydides (460-404BCE) once wrote “The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” It takes courage to publicly announce ‘I am Pagan’ in South Africa, but that’s exactly what Pagans do every year on Freedom Day.
In January 2004, this initiative was formally chartered as the Pagan Freedom Day Movement (PFDM). Since 2004 Pagans of every religious persuasion, including Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Asatruars and many others, have mingled and shared with other South Africans in celebration of their constitutionally guaranteed freedom to practice their own personal religions, and to gather openly with others of like mind, without fear of persecution or prejudice. Read full story from newstime.co.za
The 13 meter (42 foot) tall statue of Amenhotep III was one of a pair that flanked the northern entrance to the grand funerary temple on the west bank of the Nile that is currently the focus of a major excavation. Read full story from washingtonpost.com
Three-dimensional mapping has “erased” centuries of jungle growth, revealing the rough contours of nearly a hundred buildings, according to research presented earlier this month.
Though it’s long been known to locals that something—something big—is buried in this patch of Guatemalan rain forest, it’s only now that archaeologists are able to begin teasing out what exactly Head of Stone was.
Using GPS and electronic distance-measurement technology last year, the researchers plotted the locations and elevations of a seven-story-tall pyramid, an astronomical observatory, a ritual ball court, several stone residences, and other structures. Read full story from nationalgeographic.com
Still, apparently some people are seeing too much in a flashy, potentially campy summer blockbuster. Star Foster at the pagan blog Pantheon looks into why “Thor” matters. Remember how people were turned onto Wicca after seeing “The Craft”? Wait, did that really happen? I knew some Wiccans back in high school, but I can’t recall the movie being a huge influence. Anyway, Foster sees a similar thing occurring with “Thor” and neopaganism: Read full story from indiewire.com
Rebuilding Japan’s disaster-hit towns may take a decade
TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) – The reconstruction of Japanese towns and cities devastated by a deadly earthquake and tsunami last month could take a decade, an advisory panel to the government tasked with coming up with a blueprint for rebuilding said on Tuesday.
The March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which left a large swathe of Japan’s northeast in ruins, killed at least 13,000 people, forced about 130,000 into shelters and is estimated to have caused $300 billion worth of damage.
“The first three years would be needed for tasks like rebuilding roads and constructing temporary housing,” said Jun Iio of Japan’s Reconstruction Design Council, formed after the quake to advise the government’s rebuilding efforts. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
THE STEYTLERVILLE MONSTER
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – A monster plaguing the town of Steytlerville struck again over the Easter!
There were two sightings of a terrifying shape-shifting monster reported over Easter in the province of Karoo in South Africa.
“Two men were walking near a tavern when they saw another man wearing a black jacket. One of the men, identified only as Nozipho, went up to the stranger and asked him, “What is your problem?” said Nelani.
When the stranger did not respond, Nozipho went closer and saw that the man had no head. The man then turned into a dog that was “very angry” and “as big as a cow”, Nelani said. Read full story from weeklyworldnews.com
I was raised to be a priestess (of Hinduism), grew up surrounded by world scripture and philosophy, and was taught by learned scholars and mystics. But my religious education didn’t really begin until I started talking — and listening — to other people from other ways of life. I had a great foundation but it had to evolve beyond what I could experience as an individual. Understanding is a journey, and it’s nice to have company if you can get it. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com
The church has cut a deal to acquire the historic Los Feliz studio lot that has been home to pubcaster KCET-TV Los Angeles for the past 40 years. In a lengthy statement, the church said the deal allows it to “establish one of the most advanced centers used by religious broadcasters with the ability to harness 21st century broadcast technology and production power to deliver its message to the the largest international audience possible.” Read full story from variety.com
Sathya Sai Controversies and the Art of Guru Bashing
It is not uncommon now that for many Gurus, Rishis or Seers who have emerged from India, there has always been an unprecedented number of vicious attacks launched on them. These have come in the guise of slander, misquotes, false allegations and myriad smear campaigns.
Moreover it is interesting to note that most of these attackers often turn out to be either individuals who have been suffering from dysfunctional complexes or personality disorders, or pseudo spiritualists, fundamentalists and Christian missionaries working at religions conversion of Hindus, or self-appointed- rationalist experts with highly opinionated, insular theories or dishonest television reporters and interviewers sensationalizing and tarnishing the image of Hinduism and Hindu Gurus, keeping with the trend of unprofessional, ignorant reporting and the highly biased- ‘paid news syndrome’. Read full story from chakranews.com