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
Over the past several years the paranormal field has been flooded with new groups springing up every day at an astonishing rate. With new shows popping up every season, it seems to have encouraged many people to explore the unknown. Although these shows have really opened some doors it has also created a nightmarish reality for clients looking for real help and for the people who are dabbling in the paranormal as a hobby.
First off let’s examine the shows themselves. All of these shows that are currently on television have been produced by people who have never ever been a paranormal investigator or actually researched the paranormal. These producers are out there to entertain and have no idea what it actually is like to be a paranormal investigator. All of the paranormal teams receive emails from producers looking for locations. They are very quick to fly out to a location and interview clients without following any protocols or concerns for their actions. I have personally received complaints of location producers interviewing clients with negative hauntings in their home and making false promises to help them. Of course they leave and all hell breaks loose in the client’s home and they never hear back from the producer. These shows are out there for ratings, nothing more than that. They are happy to exploit the teams for personal information on case files. No team should ever give up client information without contacting the client first. Even then it makes me question the teams themselves and wonder if they are media hogs wanting their 15 minutes of fame. These producers have no morals and are happy to exaggerate, exploit and stage evidence in order to gain more ratings.
Now let’s take a look at the type of investigators these shows are inspiring. Remember when watching these shows they are for pure entertainment purposes only. Too bad this has been the only education that new investigators receive. So many young investigators follow their lead without seeking any training or education. The biggest pet-peeve that I personally have with this is the fact so many feel that provocation is the best method of investigating hauntings. They never stop to consider the fact that most hauntings are people, human and deserve respect not belittling vulgar comments. So many of them are thrill seekers and nothing more. Very few of them analyze audio or do evidence review. They live in the moment and have no care for actually being a productive part of the paranormal research.
The other nightmare that has stemmed from these new teams is the chaos of them working on private cases. Most of these teams are not out there to help but thrill seekers wanting to push the limits. They have no understanding of types of entities and have no care what their actions will result in. I have personally been horrified with the stories my clients and even other investigators divulge to me. The most recent one was from an investigator who openly told me that they brought an Ouija board into a client’s home just to see if it worked. The thing that made this even more horrifying is that I personally told this investigator the ground rules months ago, which they broke every one of them without ever thinking what it would cause for the clients or themselves. This just sickens me and boils my blood to no end.
These shows also hardly ever talk about dangers within the paranormal field. Most new investigators don’t ever stop to consider there are dangers in this field. Of course there are the obvious dangers of hazardous conditions of the locations but there are also other dangers. When going out to investigate there is protective measure that should be followed. The biggest danger is taking a hitchhiker home. Every investigator has the possibilities of developing an attachment, even when you follow the rules. Attachments happen often within the field but mostly with hot headed newbies who tend to challenge entities then find themselves up a creek without a paddle. Over the past year I have received five new clients that are actually investigators themselves. It just makes me cringe! It is all fun and games until they find themselves in a situation that they have no clue on how to resolve.
Another danger is the lack of education and narrow minded individuals who have no clue about the types of entities. So many of these people only classify entities into either human or demonic. Mainly this occurs due to television. So many shows throw out the word demonic for ratings and the scare factor. These teams have only used television as role models and never consider elementals, thought-forms, psychic vampires, and parasitic entities to name a few. There are many different types of spirits but so many jump to the big D word, Demonic. Personally I do believe in demonic spirits but over the many years of investigating there is not one case I would ever label as demonic. Let’s face it; on the food chain we are pretty low on the totem pole, only ants to such ancient entities as these things Television has flooded the minds of many people that their homes are demonically possessed. This has created a nightmare in itself. There are certain methods in identifying what type of entity you are dealing with but, most of these newbies have no clue on how to do so. The cold hard fact, if you can’t identify the type of spirit, you can’t resolve the problem.
Now let’s look at how to identify the type of team you are searching for. This is especially vital if you are suffering from a hostile haunting:
What is the mission statement?
How much experience do they have and what are they considering as experience? Watching television and reading books is not considered experience.
Look at the team itself and each investigator. What is their paying professions, educational backgrounds and read their bios if available. Make sure they are not letting just anyone into their team. Also it very important to see if the team does a background checks on each of their investigators.
Does the group have a formal set of investigation guidelines and rules? Are they requiring each investigator to attend seminars and other forms of training? Do they have liability disclosures and client contracts? This can indicate how serious and professional the team is.
Are they going to public investigations or holding meet-up groups? Note: Any group that is willing to take anyone on any person wanting to explore the paranormal is not a real team. They are only meet-ups, a group of people out for the thrill of it.
One major problem in this field is self-titling. Anyone can earn the title Reverend or Minister by purchasing it through the Internet. Authentic means they have theological training through either a college or a church. Also note the newest addition to these self-titles is the term demonologist. True demonologists have spent many years in a formal educational system studying theology and the occult. Most people who hold these titles on Facebook are self-titled and not authentic. This can actually make the problem worse than better, so be careful.
Do they charge for their services? Never ever pay any team to come out to investigate or preform a cleansing. This is a major red flag… No one can ever guarantee to rid your home of spirits.
Guaranteed services: Again no one can ever promise to rid your home of spirits. Also remember not all spirits need to be removed. Only small percentages are considered hostile and most are misunderstood due to television programs creating fear and terror.
Get references if they are available. If not you can also Google the team to see what others are saying about them and to perform a background check.
Examine their website with a fine tooth comb. Especially pay attention to their evidence if they have it available. If they have clips or videos of them investigating are they using provocation? Are the disclosing private information? There are many teams out there that are happy to post a picture of your home all over the internet without ever thinking of privacy.
What methods do they follow? Are they 100% science based or spiritual? If it involves a private case that needs help it is best to have a mixture of science and spiritual aspects. Also make sure the group is not 100% male or 100% female. There should be an equal balance.
Lastly, it is up to the client looking for help or the person wanting to join a paranormal team to make sure the team is reputable. There are no governing authorities over the paranormal field. This makes it even more important to do your research beforehand. With so many new shows coming out has only created a side show carnival of thrill seekers. Be careful and educate yourself before ever becoming involved with any team. Always remember the television shows are only entertainment and there is a lot of exaggeration and staging involved with them. They are only out for ratings and not out to educate the public. Eventually I do believe there will be some sort of governing body over the paranormal field but until then it is essential to do your research and don’t buy into the television hype!
Woman Killed and Burned in Colombia over Suspected Witchcraft
A woman suspected of practicing witchcraft was murdered and her body burned over the weekend in the Colombian town of Santa Barbara.María Berenice Martínez’s naked body was found inside her house with blows to the skull, her hair ripped out and burn marks, according to Colombian press reports. The killers had tied the door shut with a rope so she couldn’t escape.
After killing Martinez, the murderers took her hair and some photos to the patio and set them on fire as her six dogs barked at them.
Police suspect two men of committing the crime, though Martinez’s sister—also named María—says more people may have known about the plot. Read full story from foxnews.com
As autumn starts to draw in, thoughts turn to the pagans of our ancient past
The nights are growing longer and on many trees the leaves are slowly turning from green to gold, heralding the arrival of autumn. We seem to have missed out on the season of summer this year and crops of fruit and grain are poor at a time when they should be in abundance. Good hay is virtually unobtainable but the wrapped round bale has allowed us to at least salvage a fodder crop of some sort. The summer we have just endured reminded me of a passage in David Thomson’s book Woodbrook, when he wrote of helping to make hay in a wet season in Roscommon in the 1930s. Read full story from independent.ie
Federal safety minister hexes job posting for prison witch in B.C. VANCOUVER — Public Safety Minister Vic Toews appears less concerned about the quality of spells cast from behind bars than he is about a backlash from taxpayers, cancelling a Corrections Canada tender for a priest to nurture the spiritual needs of witches in prison.
Earlier this week, the federal prison agency put out a request for a proposal for a Wiccan chaplain in British Columbia who would provide about 17 hours of service a month, about an hour less service than the department says it needs for the Jewish faith. Read full story from vancouversun.com
‘Paranormal Activity’ producer branches out into haunted houses
In the underground dressing room of a dilapidated theater in downtown Los Angeles, a Hollywood art director is telling a chilling tale.”It was closing night in the 1930s, and the owner’s wife desperately wanted to be the magician’s assistant,” said Thom Spence, a burly man with two earrings, long sideburns, a mustache and a soul patch. “But after Magi the Mysterious put her in the vanishing box, she never came back.”
In less than a month that story will come to life at the 88-year-old Variety Arts Theatre under the direction of film producer Jason Blum — not as a play, movie or TV show, but as a haunted house. Read full story from latimes.com
Hagar, the camerawoman for Amy Bruni and Adam Berry, made an unexpected appearance on the show last night after being attacked and scratched by an invisible entity – but this didn’t go unnoticed by Grant Wilson.
Grant contacted Hagar this morning via Twitter to congratulate her on her appearance on “Ghost Hunters” after receiving a tweet from her telling him how much he was missed. Read full story from examiner.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
Earth Hour is a unique opportunity for you to become more sustainable and do something positive for the environment. It’s been the source of inspiration for millions of people taking steps towards a cleaner, safer future. It’s not just about saving energy for one hour, it’s about going Beyond the Hour with lasting, behaviour-changing actions for a sustainable planet.
There are lots of ways you can take action for Earth Hour. Whether you’re a social media fan or a hands-on organiser, you’re sure to find some inspiration right here! Read full story at earthhour.org
Arts & Entertainment:
Documentaries: The Witches of Gambaga and Sweet Crude
Earlier this week I watched two really interesting documentaries that I thought I’d share with you here briefly. The first is Witches of Gambaga by Yaba Badoe (mentioned here at Amy Reads previously as she wrote True Murder and was featured in African Love Stories). This short film (at 55 minutes) talks about the Gambaga witch camp in Northern Ghana where women go for sanctuary who are accused of witchcraft. Read full story from amckiereads.com
Zimbabwe: It’s Time to Destroy Witchcraft
Witchcraft can be defined and described by people depending on their life experiences. Different contextual, cultural experiences and understandings have led to the classification of witches into black, white and red witches with different functions attached to their names.
The Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines the word witch as one who practices black art, or magic or possessing evil supernatural or magical power backed by demons and works in league with the devil or a sorcerer or sorceress.
My life experiences have informed me that witchcraft is an enemy that hates progress with perfect hatred. Witches have an ugly and nasty agenda for people, communities and nations. Therefore witchcraft can supervise personal and also national disasters. Besides this, witchcraft is an evil force that quenches people’s destinies and national destinies. Read full story from allafrica.com
NYC schools ban on dinosaurs, Halloween
NEW YORK — In a bizarre case of political correctness run wild, New York educrats banned references to “dinosaurs,” “birthdays,” “Halloween” and dozens of other topics on city-issued tests.
That is because they fear such topics “could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students.”
Dinosaurs, for example, call to mind evolution, which might upset fundamentalists; birthdays are not celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses; and Halloween suggests paganism. Read full story from myfoxny.com
The Dartmouth Anomaly Research Team investigates strange phenomenon in historic places, like the Yankee Pedlar. They were joined by other investigators from Worcester Paranormal. They are at the 121-year-old Torrington hotel in part because of the recent movie, “The Innkeepers,” which told a fictional story of hauntings at the hotel and was filmed on location at the Torrington landmark. Read full story from courant.com
Exorcism victim’s last moments
Four women and a 15-year-old minor accused of the “satanic” murder of an uMlazi teenager, were all released from custody on Thursday after being granted bail at the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court.
Sinethemba Dlamini, 15, was found dead by police on March 10 with her intestines lying next to her at her home in uMlazi.
Fundiswa Faku, 29, Lindela Jalubane, 38, her daughter, Nokubonga Jalubane, 18, Nonhlanhla Mdletshe, 21, and the 15-year-old minor all pleaded not guilty.
On Thursday, Magistrate Anesh Sukdeo granted each accused bail of R500 and released the minor into her father’s custody.
He said the accused had satisfied the court by presenting it with exceptional circumstances to be granted bail. Read full story from iolnews.co.za
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
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
Paranormal Hide and Seek: Interview With Ghost Hunters International ‘s Barry FitzGerald
Since 2008, Ghost Hunters International has traveled the globe, its team members using their knowledge of the paranormal and technical know-how to try to substantiate — or debunk — claims of ghostly sightings. Last month, the GHI team, led by Barry FitzGerald and co-lead Investigator Kris Williams, returned to Syfy for a third year of investigations.
In the season opener, “Rising from the Grave,” GHI visited Trinidad and the Lopinot Plantation to check out reports that the spirit of Count de Lopinot, a cruel slave master, rises from the grave on his cocoa plantation. FitzGerald and the team remained in Trinidad for the following episode, “Sensing Evil,” and journeyed to a former leper colony on Chacachacare Island. This episode also featured an investigation at the Frigorifico Meat Packing Plant in Argentina where the ghostly apparitions of four murdered workers have been seen throughout the building. Read full story from thenortonreport.com
Sacred Site Preserved but Ceremonies Affected
Through centuries, Northern Arapaho hunters tracked deer, bison and antelope across the plains at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in present-day eastern Colorado, where tribal members who lived there are remembered in Denver with streets named after Chief Little Raven and others.
Today, Arapaho people return to their homelands and its sacred places: “Not too far from here there are important sites,” said Nelson White, keeper of the sacred bundle of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. “North, tipi rings. Nearby, that medicine wheel. Medicines in the mountains to the west. And the (Valmont) butte itself is a marker where the people used to go.” Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork
Cherokee Holiday Powwow Welcomes Dancers, Spectators
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Calling all fancy dancers, jingle dancers and grass dancers! The Cherokee Nation will host the 59th Cherokee National Holiday’s intertribal powwow on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 -3. One of the largest powwows in the state, the event takes place at the Cherokee Nation cultural grounds located behind Sequoyah Schools on W. 810 Rd. south of Tahlequah, Okla. Gourd dancing, social dancing and competitive dancing will be featured, and the powwow is free and open to the public.
Cash prizes of up to $600 will be awarded to the top four contestants in the adult, golden age 55 and up and juniors age 6-15 divisions. Registration is open from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Ladies will compete in the areas of cloth, buckskin, jingle and fancy shawl dancing, and male contestants will take part in straight, traditional, grass and fancy dances. Contestants must register and remain in full regalia and participate in both grand entries to be eligible for cash prizes. Read full story from cherokee.org
Prosecution rests in polygamist sect leader trial
San Angelo, Texas (CNN) — Texas prosecutors rested their case Wednesday in the sexual assault trial of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs after playing a key piece of evidence for jurors: an audiotape they allege documents his sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.
One juror wiped her eyes as she listened to the recording. Another looked at Jeffs out of the corner of her eye. Still another had a hand covering her mouth.
The tape contained praying at the beginning and end, and in it a man alleged by prosecutors to be Jeffs addresses the alleged victim by name. At one point, the man asked her how she feels, and a girl replies in a small voice, “I feel fine, thank you.” At another point, the man appears to address other people who are present. Read full story from cnn.com
That’s according to a new theory that says this smaller moon eventually went careening into our moon and is still there, in the form of mountains on its far side.
Scientists have long puzzled over those mountains, and the fact that the two sides of our moon are very different. The near side has flat lowlands, while the far side is high and mountainous.
Erik Asphaug, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, says he was at a talk about this asymmetry when he got an idea. “I thought, ‘Well, you know, what about just something colliding with the moon, in such a manner that it didn’t form a crater, but it just made a big splat?’ ” he recalls. Read full story from npr.org
On Tuesday night, the jury heard audio recordings that, prosecutors said, show Jeffs instructing a 14-year-old victim and his other young “wives” on how to sexually please him in order to win God’s favor. Read full story from cnn.com
Over the history of cinema there have been many films that have been called the scariest movies. Many of these movies are horrific, gory and frightening on many different levels. Some people are scared by monsters while others are frightened by real life horrors, but all these movies scare people in many different ways. Read full story from screenjunkies.com
Sadly, it was only the latest in a series of incidents which have marked Roberta Stewart’s life since her husband’s death.
The truck was to have been Sgt. Patrick Stewart’s coming home gift, a purchase he and Roberta, had planned together.
In 2005, he and Chief Warrant Officer John Flynn, both Nevada Army Guardsmen were killed when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.
Monday morning, the truck he had wanted, the one she bought, now bearing new Gold Star license plates as a tribute to their sacrifice, was parked outside her Sparks apartment, it’s windshield smashed by a large brick. Read full story from kolotv.com
Children of the paranormal
I have been doing paranormal research now for over 11 years now. I have written four books on the subject and dozens of articles. I have also been to dozens of places around the US in nearly 20 states. To this day, in spite of many attempts and visits to notoriously dangerous locations, I have never been attacked or injured by a ghost, spirit, demon, entity, evil energy, ifrit, jinn or anything similarly supernatural. I am starting to feel a bit left out. When is my hair going to be pulled? When am I going to be poked, kicked or prodded? When is my immortal soul going to be in danger? I mean, if you watch some of these shows on television you would think this sort of thing happens all the time. Well, at least once or twice a week and maybe more on “sweeps week” and Halloween. Read full story from examiner.com
But now the house is the subject of a paranormal investigation after ghostly orbs and other phenomena were caught on camera.
Photos of Nancy Alanis’ dog, Jenny, taken at Terror Mansion the day before the dog died, gave the first clues of paranormal activity. Read full story from ksat.com
Atheists pick the wrong ground to fight
It is so common that zealous individuals take actions that seem wholly against what they claim they stand for it is almost a cliche; those who object to abortion as murder commit murder to get their point across, the heinous mass killing in Norway was meant to “protect” traditional values, Republicans claim to be defending US soldiers while they cut their pay and strip them of benefits, and multiculturalists out to protect “free speech” want to ban objectionable words and phrases. Neither left or right is free from this hypocrisy, and it continues to hamper public discourse and objective consideration of opposing viewpoints, and a group here in NYC that I agree with in principle has done something I wholly disagree with, attempting to force the removal of a “cross” at the Ground Zero memorial. Read full story from examiner.com
Montreal First Peoples’ Festival: Fun!
Montreal is North America’s festival city during the summer, and one of the most exciting is the First Peoples’ Festival. This year’s festival—the 21st annual event—takes place August 2–9.
The year’s theme is “And now, the world,” according to Andre Dudemaine, Innu, the co-founder and director of Land InSights, a nonprofit organization that organizes and sponsors the event.
“Artists from First Nations of the whole planet will come to meet their North American counterparts and showcase their works. It is an opportunity here on Native land to reaffirm messages of welcome and peace they left as sovereign peoples to all the world’s peoples,” Dudemaine says on the festival website. Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
Witchcraft accusations and human rights abuses in Africa
Witch‐hunts have become epidemic throughout Africa. Although witch‐hunts have historically been viewed as gender specific, with a large percentage of victims still identified as elderly and solitary women, recent reports show that victims of witch‐hunts include both women and men of all ages. read full story from paganrightsalliance.org3
Reconstructions of daily life in ancient Roman cities such as Pompeii are plentiful, thanks to centuries of archaeological research. But that is not the case for the later Roman or ‘late antique’ period (AD 300-650) that saw the long transition from the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages.
This is set to change now – thanks to a three-year project called ‘Visualising the Late Antique City’ – that will see the University’s Dr Luke Lavan, a lecturer in archaeology, leading a team studying artwork, excavated artefacts and the ruins of ancient cities from around the Mediterranean. Although Constantinople is now obscured by modern development within what is now Istanbul, other sites in Turkey, Tunisia, and Italy are expected to reveal much of the urban landscape of the period. Read full story from pashorizons.com
Zak Bagans, the lead investigator of the ‘Ghost Adventures Crew’, insisted the alleged paranormal activity inside the Beverly Hills mansion where the ‘A.I.’ finalists were staying sounds legit and “possibly demonic.” Read full story from zeenews.com
DVD Review: Devil’s Playground
Devil’s Playground is one of the best examples of a schizophrenic horror film I’ve seen lately – and I don’t mean this in a good way. It hovers between horror, action and movie of the week melodrama, switching in tone so fast that you’ll probably give yourself whiplash as you struggle to make it through the full 90 minutes. Read full story from brutalashell.com
Lifestyle & Religion:
How Can A Bunny Lay Eggs?
While the Easter bunny may play second fiddle to Santa Claus in the pantheon of holiday myths, the wiggly-nosed critter actually has deeper historic roots than ol’ St. Nick.
The Easter bunny’s origins predate Christianity, whereas Santa Claus came to popular attention in the 4th century. Like the Easter eggs it is said to circulate, the Easter Bunny is an icon of fertility. The arrival of spring on one hand is a symbol of renewed life for people, but it also is the mating season for rabbits and hares, and it’s the time when birds lay eggs. If you put that together with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you wind up mixing Easter with the Easter bunny. Read full story from krdo.com
Cambodia: where fear, magic and murder intertwine
BOMNOK, Cambodia — In the midday swelter of early hot season, Pah Eang shivered and walked into a mountainous forest she’d once visited every day. She said she was scared. She hadn’t been to this place, open and silent, in five months. Not since the killings and whispers of magic.
Pulling at her red sweatshirt, Pah dissolved into the Cardamom Mountains that ripple through western Cambodia, and began her search for a place that keeps this 22-year-old awake at night and plagues what’s left of her family. Her path wound deeper until everything was quiet and the only mark of humanity was a bamboo-thatched hut in a clearing so idyllic the savagery of what had occurred there was difficult to imagine.
Last September, Pah’s father and younger brother were killed around 1 a.m. in this hut. The father, Pheng Pah, 46, was stabbed to death while his son, Pah Broh, 15, had his throat slit. When the bodies were discovered the next morning, some villagers in this deeply rural community 25 miles from a paved road rejoiced. They said the father and son were “sorcerers” and had deserved to die. Read full story from globalpost.com
The Episcopal Church:The Way of Balaam
Manchester Cathedral to host tarot card readers and healers at ‘new age’ festival screamed a headline in a British broadsheet. The cathedral will also feature crystal healers and ‘dream interpretation’.
Fortune tellers, meditation experts and traditional healers will fill the pews during the day-long festival in May. The Bishop of Manchester, Rt. Rev Nigel McCulloch, said he wanted to celebrate ‘all forms of spirituality’. Bishop Nigel said the unconventional activities are not incompatible with Christian belief. Read full story from virtueonline.com
Sources close to the process told Bloomberg that investigators were also examining whether BP’s executives, including former chief executive Tony Hayward, made statements that were at odds with what they knew during congressional hearings last year. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
County’s Paranormal Society explores haunted hotel
Could Sonoma State be haunted? You should ask our own team of ghost adventurers, the Sonoma County Paranormal Society (SCPS) headed by Lead Investigator, Sonoma State sophomore and Environmental Studies and Planning major Joshua Goudy and friends. The SCPS spend their free time studying locations rumored to be haunted for proof of life after death.
Goudy and his crew will be visiting the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, Calif. on Tues, April 12., a location famous for multiple instances of paranormal encounters.
The SCPS is made of a core group of five students of both Sonoma State and the Santa Rosa Junior College with a common interest and the desire to share experiences in their studies of paranormal activity. Read full story from sonomastatestar.com
Lost in Triangulation: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mathematical Slip-Up
Artist, inventor and philosopher Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was without a doubt a genius. Yet, there is some criticism. In his book 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance (William Morrow, 2008) British author and retired submarine commander Gavin Menzies claims that da Vinci swiped most of his ideas from the Chinese. Menzies’s theory was poorly received by the world of science. Besides, isn’t da Vinci’s brilliance beyond question? Definitely, but the Dutch mathematician and artist Rinus Roelofs did find an error in one of the Renaissance man‘s drawings. Read full story from scientificamerican.com