Wednesday, 20 February 2008

RIP Shawn Lonsdale

It's starting to make its rounds now.

I was directed to this from the JREF forum.

Shawn Lonsdale, a critic of the Church of Scientology, was found dead over the weekend.

It's being ruled a suicide.

The St. Petersburg Times had a report on the matter.

I never met him, but it does not mean that I haven't heard of him.

RIP Shawn Lonsdale, your work will not go in vain.

At this point may I suggest that you stop reading here.

Now I had said something in the JREF forum about his manner of death, but I thought it was something else.

The article above says:

" They found a garden hose stretched from the exhaust pipe of Lonsdale's car into a window of his home..."

I saw "exhaust" and "hose" and thought he was found in his car.

Except that he wasn't.

There is one thing that bugs me the most about this, why kill yourself in that manner? It seems to be rather complicated instead of killing yourself in the car.

They are waiting for a toxicology report though. I hope that you could still get some fingerprints off the hose but because it is in Florida I doubt that there would be any good ones.

Until they reveal the toxicology report and do a proper investigation (Lonsdale was on the receiving end of death threats) I think that he may have been driven to suicide, and this will go down in the history books as a successful example of "Operation Freakout"-like tactics being used by CoS.

The problem that I can see in such a death is that you need to determine if there was carbon monoxide present in his lungs. He was found at 12:20 pm so if there was foul play and he was murdered then I would most likely assume that they will find CO in his lungs because he might have been asleep.

12:20 was around the time that an odour was detected. If the odour was due to putrefaction then he would have to have died sometime on Thursday at the minimum. If not then the odour would be something in the exhaust fumes.

And now we get to the more interesting bit. If he was found with no CO in his lungs at all then it means that he was already dead. Unless it was an accidental overdose on something (which, given the circumstances seems to be pretty unlikely) then there would be a wound or presence of the drugs, that killed him.

If there are any drugs in his system that induce sleep but he wasn't taking them at all, it would mean that someone killed him and staged a suicide.

Although there is plenty of evidence that supports a motive for CoS to kill him, I don't really know if they did. It would be one of the worst things for them to receive publicity for killing a critic, it would be good for the critics though, but would CoS really kill someone for criticising them?

Strangely the answer based on available evidence suggests that they would. If they would really go ahead with it, I am not so sure.

Shawn's work will not go in vain, people like Anonymous will see to that, and we may also see his name remembered in what could only be called a battle cry.

May you rest in peace, free from all the troubles that you have had to face in the world.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

The Seahorse Farm

Sunday saw me tagging along with my family as we went to the Seahorse Farm in Port Adelaide.

I have to say that it was fun.

I mean what isn't to love about seahorses?

On a more serious note the Seahorse Farm is designed to stem the trade of wild harvests of seahorses for aquariums. They say at this present time farming isn't viable for the silly people with their pretend medicine stuff because it is cheaper to get them from the sea.

There also is the rather important fact that farming seahorses means that you will get more of them. Very few baby seahorses actually live to adulthood in the wild but far more will live if they are farmed.

But back to the seahorses.

It was fun watching them. If you know anything about seahorses then you would know that they are somewhat lazy, and they will use their tails to grab onto anything, even other seahorses. So you would at times see a seahorse that was being used as an unwilling anchor for another seahorse.

They had a couple of tanks with baby seahorses. It was amazing to look at them, they were like fully grown seahorses except in miniature. And they had taken a colour as well.

They had some other things there as well. There were a few clownfish, some other animals that you can find off the coast and under the jetties, and we also had the opportunity of patting a dog shark. If you have ever patted a shark then you would know that it is rather similar to patting wet sandpaper.

Finally there were two other animals that you could look at.

The first were some Weedy Sea Dragons, which are okay to look at but there was also an amazing looking Leafy Sea Dragon, which is the state emblem.

If you ever find yourself in Adelaide I say with all certainty that you should go to the Seahorse Farm. Honestly, do it. Go now if you have to.

Thursday, 14 February 2008


If there are such things as Plovers, then what exactly is Plove?

Another Post on Scientology

The JREF forum has a few Scientologists. Recently one of them has mentioned that he has been on the receiving end of abuse because of his religion.

That is one problem with Anonymous. It suffers in real life from the same thing that you find on internet forums. People can say far more insulting things when they don't know where you are or even who you are.

The problem is that there are times where you can't really separate the religion from the person. This is something of a different case. The idea of Project Chanology, like any criticism that has been dealt against Scientology, is usually not against the religion itself, but against the actions of the organisation that is Scientology.

My proof?

Go on a little journey and learn about the Freezoners.

They are basically the Scientology version of the initial Protestants.

They had a problem with certain practises of the Church of Scientology and basically broke away. They follow Scientology principles like a Scientologist but one of their tenets is that it will be free.

They allow criticism of what they do and don't really care about it. In Germany they are pretty much free to do as they will because they obey the law and don't act in a manner that is contrary to democracy.

Compare that to the Church of Scientology, an organisation known for breaking the law (Operation Snow White), being a vexatious litigant by suing people to destroy them financially, libel and slander against SPs, and even blackmail. They cry persecution when they don't get things their way, but willingly persecute people who disagree with what they say and do, cry abuse against the mental health organisation but abuse their own through the RPF (here is a good article to read about this) and you can't say that Lisa McPherson wasn't abused.

The actions of CoS are hypocritical and manipulate freedoms that the law gives us to their advantage but willingly deny people of their rights, by censoring speech when it doesn't suit them.

An organisation that tries to destroy their critics (Operation Freakout for example) deserves to be picketed. The problem is that the only way to do this effectively is to be anonymous, which opens the door to abuse from the people who don't really deserve it, low org members and Public Scientologists.

The real people who deserve to be on the end of this abuse are either safely away from any protesters in their million dollar mansions (I mean proper higher ups, not celebrities) or are there filming the protests, recording the phone calls, and writing the press releases (the OSA) and also the SO who control the organisation.

They are the ones who should suffer, but don't, and the ones who suffer, shouldn't.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Anonymous v. Scientology

I've actually been a little lazy in regards to this. Project Chanology has been going on for quite a while now, on Sunday there were protests.

I was expecting there to be something about it in the newspaper on Monday because the Scientology office thingy (they have a fancy name for it) is only a few metres away from the Advertiser building.

And there was. And here is a gallery of various people in masks.

I would have gone but I had to go to work on that day. And I didn't have a mask.

For those that don't know Project Chanology has its roots back in early 2008, when someone decided to post some Scientology videos of Tom Cruise getting some fancy medal of valour thing. posted the video and kept it up there even after being threatened with a lawsuit.

Anonymous took offence and started bombarding Scientology with some rather childish stuff and a controversial DDoS attack on their website, which people like Andreas Heldal-Lund denounced.

After that they decided to hold protests, be more peaceful, and that is what they did.

Operation Clambake did quite well when it came to posters. I think that it is because it is pretty much the place to go to learn about CoS.

According to The Advertiser 150 people showed up, so that is 50 less then in Melbourne and the same amount as Sydney, but as a percentage of population represents 0.01% of Adelaideans
compared to 0.0036%, 0.0056%, 0.0020% 0.0027% of Sydneysiders, Melbournians, Brisbournians and Perthites (Perth based on the higher number).

Apart from allowing me to say that Adelaide did better as a percentage of population then the other Australian cities, there is another reason for me to say this.

CoS called Anonymous "cyber-terrorists" and they also said (from The Advertiser, the story has already been linked to):

"Anonymous is perpetrating religious hate crimes against Churches of Scientology and individual Scientologists for no other reason than religious bigotry"

This is the hypocritical statement of the _____.

A little interactive fun. Choose what you think fits the blank best:

  1. Month
  2. Year
  3. Decade
  4. Century
  5. Millennia
  6. Since Time Began
  7. Since Xenu Convinced the Galactic Council That Forceful Movement of a Certain Percentage of the Population for the Purposes of Reducing Overpopulation by Killing them on Earth Was A Good Idea.
(Also I don't think hypocritical fits there, what should that word be?)

But then again Scientology considers any negative criticism to be an attack, and the people who do it to be criminals and religious bigots. Picketing CoS buildings is not a religious hate crime. I would ask them how it is but I am certain that they wouldn't give a straight answer or any answer at all.

So what should you do against an organisation which has stolen government documents that were negative to the organisation, tried to drive a critic to suicide, just because she wrote a book critical to CoS, destroy families (if you can only read one link, make it this one), continue to cry persecution when they aren't considered a religion, and continue to this day ruin the lives of people branded SP (suppressive person)?

What they want is to be able to do all this, on top of scamming people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and not want us to stand up and do anything about it. Well you know what Church of Scientology? You can't attack people who disagree with you and then cry foul when people do something that is far less violent or damaging then what you do. Google may have removed the googlebomb on dangerous cult but you know what, you basically are even with your religious status in Australia.

Besides, have you guys ever thought that maybe we like our engrams?

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Creationism in Europe?

Yahoo news reported this yesterday and here is basically the same thing from The Guardian.

I found it rather strange to hear this at all.

I mean it was only in October when the Council of Europe said that governments should "firmly oppose" creationism but then they are mentioning Britain specifically, which probably means something.

British people usually say that they are the first group who are affected by the influence of American culture and then it spreads to the rest of the continent.

If creationism is allowed to gain a foothold in the UK then it will slowly gain footholds in other countries. Even Catholic countries where our favourite, yet probably unwilling supporter, St Augustine of Hippo, would command more influence among more devout followers but could be quote mined to support creation.

There are historical religious figures that have supported a literal Genesis, and apparently this has been talked about among the Russian Orthodox.

The problem that I have found, as have many people, is that there are clear and quite obvious contradictions in the Bible and in Genesis.

St Augustine of Hippo wrote about an allegorical interpretation mainly because a literal interpretation did not fit his belief about the creation of the universe.

More contradictions can be found at the Skeptics Annotated Bible (the link takes you directly to the Genesis contradictions).

If you want to believe a literal interpretation of the Bible then how do you reconcile yourself with the many and apparent contradictions in the Bible?

The answer is clearly "Blind Faith".

That is what the creationists are encouraging people to believe in blind faith. Such faith is a dangerous thing to have, especially in regards to an important thing like evolution.

As long as the Poms stand up to such a threat then you can keep it down to a minimum. I would think that the first positive step would be to stop them from building a Christian theme park. The second would be for the Government to implement evolution into the Islamic schools that teach Quranic Creationism (but the article doesn't say where, which is important), you can't let some schools teach the wrong thing and tell other schools that they can't. On second thoughts that second point should be first.

If there are already schools that teach Creationism albeit a non-Christian creationism and you are letting them with government funds then you have just given the Christian creationists a foot in the door. Let them teach it in a religion class, just don't let them brand it a science.

If you go ahead and allow them to teach it in science classes then you can do so. I'll be happy to take a job that requires some knowledge of evolution to work. I've always wanted to live in Europe.

There is one other thing that I think should be mentioned here. Why is it that so many creationists are Protestant? There seem to be a rather small representation of Catholics and Orthodox creationists even though they make up a large percentage of Christians in the world.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Something from 2006

This has been making rounds on the net.

It's from 2006, but it seems everyone now is looking at it.

Some guy got kicked off a My Little Pony forum for trolling. Maybe a pretend one.

You can really imagine some of the pictures, here is the Stalin one.

I did like what he did when someone spoke to him about nudity...

Never Understood, Never Will Understand

I never really understood certain things about blogging, except for one thing. Some people use it as a diary. They post thoughts and feelings and stuff like that and basically act like open books.

The few times on my old blog when I did that was at a time when I knew that people didn't really care what I had to say.

Now I am at the situation where people do care. The problem I face now is that I have things that I want to say, but they are things that I don't want people to know. I can't really make it a private thing because that wasn't really what this blog is about. And I see no point in wasting space on Blogger or any other blogging site on a blog that I would update even less then this one.

I don't like wearing my heart on my sleeve but at times I wonder if I should.

(PS, as you can see one of the tags is "silliness" there is a dual meaning there, but the more obvious one is that I usually tag my posts with either "musings" or "silliness" or sometimes both)