Escape The Religion Industry

Read more of Garry Greenwood’s true life religious adventures as a once-top-level religious leader himself in his controversial and informative e-book ALL THE EMPEROR’S MEN  This link also leads to several of Greenwood’s other published articles dealing with his personal involvement as a religious leader with religions gone wrong. Read tales of Jesus in Japan, Cults of Gold, Tesla weapons, the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant, convicted Japanese war criminals and the coming armageddon and more. It may help you fill that void so often filled with religion. This may also be your chance to finally escape religion.

What if I’ve turned my back on all religions yet I am still very much open to the possibility of such phenomena as, life after death, spirits, reincarnation and that there’s a cosmic intelligence responsible for life as we know it (or don’t know it) plus more? I sometimes wonder what category should I belong to?

I’ve always thought that these are important issues and that we should all ponder from time to time as, let’s face it, life is important. I have always loved to consider such meaningful topics – where was I before I was born? What was I doing there and what, if anything, will I be doing when I die? I’m sure many people entertain these or similar thoughts at various times throughout their lives, too.

 

Sadly, for many of us, these and other critical thoughts and questions were hijacked eons ago, and still are today, by the ever-pervasive religion industry. Just as all human needs are serviced or filled by someone with the desired product or service, so too, the religion industry fulfills that same role. You could say it’s all a matter of supply and demand and it’s that demand that I wish to also focus on in my ‘Escape the Religion Industry’ essay. We are all aware that, for various reasons (mainly supply and demand), new industries come into existence whilst older or outdated ones eventually die out. This raises the question: when, if ever, will religions also cease to exist?

 

My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it.

An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.
-Carl Sagan, American astronomer and author

 

Since religions are currently fulfilling the needs of their adherents how would their demise come about? This a difficult question to answer simply, but by sharing my religious and spiritual experiences accumulated over many decades often as a religious leader myself, I hope I can add a little to this growing debate. I am not alone in this new quest – or perhaps you could call it a new kind of service industry, too, as nowadays any internet search will reveal a whole plethora of websites and forums dedicated to the same cause of urging religion followers to WAKE UP and take back control and responsibility for their own beliefs and actions.

 

I make no claims at being a religious scholar, but I speak with a certain degree of authority since I was once a high-ranking religious leader for around fifteen years as you will discover further on in this essay.

 

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.

Voltaire, French author and playwright (1694-1778)

 

 

HOW I CHANGED FROM A HAPPY AND CONTENTED PERSON TO A FIREBRANT

 RELIGIOUS ZEALOT AND THEN BACK AGAIN

 

I was brought up in Central Queensland, Australia, to be a happy, active and well-adjusted person. I loved nature and spent much of my spare time out in it often camping or taking long rides alone on my pet pony far out onto the vast grassy plains which surrounded my home. I felt free both physically and in my thoughts – and naturally assumed that this was how life was meant to be.

 

This idyllic way of being quickly began to fall apart when my mother was suddenly admitted to hospital for an emergency life saving operation. Her doctor, who was a devout catholic, convinced her at this most critical moment to convert to catholicism because he was of the opinion that this would enhance her chances of survival. My desperately ill mother agreed that if she did survive the operation she would comply and also have all the family convert, too. Mum survived, and it wasn’t long before I found myself religiously attending mass every Sunday – it was a mortal sin to miss Sunday mass and, as we were taught, mortal sinners were destined for the everlasting fires of hell, so what choice did I have but to comply. I am now of the opinion that any clergyman who preaches eternal damnation to a child is guilty of child abuse and should be prosecuted accordingly.

 

My Saturdays were now disrupted with special catechism or catholic dogma lessons and every Sunday, without fail, were of course disrupted by mass. I was quickly dispatched to a strict catholic school wherein, in those days (the 60’s), my mind was inculcated with a myriad of complex do’s and don’ts and their relevant fearful consequences for non-compliance.

 

I was soon stripped of my innocence and became preoccupied in avoiding, at any cost, the pitfalls leading to eternal damnation – and believe me, there were many. An ‘us versus them’ mentally began to overshadow anyone and everyone I knew or met.

 

Within six months of my forced conversion I was a transformed person. I was still only around twelve years old at this stage and no longer was I prone to let my inquisitive mind ponder deep and meaningful-to-me, concepts important for a fruitful life. I now had to accept the church’s view. There was no room for questioning and a form of inquisitive atrophy set in. I was told how the pope’s words were infallible – don’t think for yourself and keep studying the bible and the other prescribed texts. Any form of sex or sexual thoughts or feelings will lead to eternal damnation. I was already dammed then. Be pure and chaste like the clergy – I was taught. Nowadays, we discover how so many catholic and other clergy are being exposed as child molesters or pedophiles. To make matters worse many of these predators have been protected by their superiors and some have sought asylum in the vatican where they are hoping to be protected from prosecution or extradition. In my mind this also raises questions about the degree of complicity of any practising catholics who knowingly and willingly support the catholic industry knowing full well that this is an industry which protects and continues to give sanctuary to such criminals. Exactly where does the guilt and complicity end?

 

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
-Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist

 

Now, several decades later and in the autumn of my life, and back in my own mind again, I look back upon the sad absurdity of my situation then and it still makes my blood boil knowing that nothing much has changed in this industry – the catholic church being just one of the many service companies within the religion industry.  Looking back, I cannot imagine how I surrendered myself to such a power, to such an un-proven and un-scientific ideology. I cannot believe how quickly I gave away my desire to ponder and mull over, what I thought at the time, the big questions of human existence.  Such contemplation had once been important to me. Sadly, having now lost this ability and to simply accept whatever I was told, the seeds had been sown for what was about to come.

 

Unlike most religion followers, I was converted to religion: catholicism, something that most people never do. For most people it’s so simple – if you were born a jew, a muslim or a christian you simply adopted, without question, the religion into which, and by pure chance, or by default, you were born into. What’s startling is that although one’s religion was chosen simply by default people will then go on to claim it to be the most superior of all, and by natural extension come to see themselves as more special or more chosen than those of the other inferior religions – such is the power of geography in the destiny of humanity. Even without studying or experiencing other religions, for some, their default religion will be defended even to the point of their death or, more unfortunately, the deaths of others. Unbelievable!

 

You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion.

Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly.

It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, intelligent enough.
Alex Haley, author “Roots”

 

It reminds me a bit like product or company loyalty in the world of commerce – once a Ford automobile family, always a Ford family irrespective of the quality of competitors. I prefer to eat whole meal bread whilst many insist on refined white bread. It’s really that simple – and scary.

 

I must confess that I never did make a good catholic as my peers and teachers would have liked, instead I seemed more preoccupied in dodging the pitfalls which would have had me dispatched to the eternal flames. As I grew older and after a decade of no contact with the religion my mind and thoughts slowly returned to what I would consider a reasonable state of equilibrium. Slowly, I began to create my own opinions again and I even flirted with the popular new age industry of the 70’s and even studied much of their literature.

 

Like many people today I felt that there was a void or vacuum in my life – but what should I fill it with?

 

Religion is a byproduct of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil,

but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn’t killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?

 

Arthur C. Clarke, author

 

 

NOTHING COULD HAVE SAVED ME FROM WHAT WAS TO HAPPEN NEXT

 

I’ll never forget that fateful day I went to a new age festival held just out of town. I was mainly interested in just experiencing all the commotion, sights, sounds and exotic smells. Here, I chanced upon a very charismatic and highly educated medical researcher from one of Australia’s top universities. He had just returned from Japan wherein he had spent the past two years on a government research grant studying the inner-most functioning of the human brain. He was giving a lecture and I stopped to listen in. His credentials, degrees, charisma and sincerity were impeccable and I was interested in what he was saying. He claimed to have answers to many of my life’s questions. He even represented a new Japanese group intent on spreading this message and accompanying therapies. Thirsty for answers, I eventually joined his group and immediately felt a wonderful feeling of belonging. Finally, I had found a group of like-minded truth seekers and so I began to attend all their seminars and other activities.

 

My new-found charismatic leader soon became a good friend and before long I smoothly slotted into the role of second-in-command of this rapidly growing movement. Before long I too was traveling extensively throughout the Asia-Pacific region conducting seminars teaching the new-found oriental truths so eagerly accepted in the 70’s.  For many years I traveled throughout Australia, where I live, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, New Guinea, the Philippines, and more. I was truly run off my feet keeping up with demand creating our new Empire of the Sun. I even spent one year straight in the forests of Malaysia on the island of Borneo creating a regional headquarters as membership in this area was now in the thousands. It was here that I earned the title of White Witch Doctor. And what a Witch Doctor I was to become as I delved deep into a mysterious world of spirits, spirit possession and omens.

 

Lighthouses are more helpful then churches.
-Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father, author, and inventor

 

Our group’s dogma or product was a compilation of teachings on life after death, reincarnation, spirits, spirit possession, the coming Armageddon and the superiority of our product over all others. This was absolute and we were the Chosen Ones – the new and improved levites. We had the whole truth and only we would be saved.

 

In all my misguided fervor I was too blind to see the same parallel absurdities that I was once forced to take on board as a member of the catholic industry. Like all companies cash was always in demand and we needed plenty to expand our golden empire and here our members happily complied.

 

As my position and responsibility consolidated within the company I gradually became privy to their innermost trade secrets during specially arranged visits to the fatherland – Japan – the home of the gods. Here, amongst many things, I learnt how the Japanese emperor was a divine being and was destined to rule the world as in ancient times and how he had tried unsuccessfully to achieve global supremacy during the second world war. I was also introduced to many of the company’s top brass and discovered how many of them were once high-ranking military officers. I also learnt how Jesus had lived out his final years in Japan after escaping the crucifixion. They even took me to his grave in far northern Japan. They showed me references to his escaping crucifixion  in the Koran which explains why muslims don’t believe Jesus died on the cross.  How these two major religion industries, islam and christianity, could ever hope to find any common ground or compatibility is beyond me. It wasn’t just Jesus who found his final resting place in the land of the gods, but according to secret burial mound photos that I was shown, so too did Moses and Buddha as it was in this sacred land that the long-sought-after ark of the covenant was secreted away and is now in the possession of the emperor of Japan.

 

I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision,

to drain people of their free will–and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain.
Gene Roddenberry, Creator of Star Trek (1921-1991)

 

I guess by now you could be excused for thinking ‘why did I believe this dangerous ultra-nationalism or superstition and didn’t abandon this group and simply run away’?

 

Well, it’s not that simple. If you check out some the aforementioned links you will discover that much of this superstition is not just some of the beliefs of my group but are the current widespread beliefs of many Japanese people based upon old myths. I wasn’t exposed to these trade secrets till after I had been a member for several years – till it was safe to do so – till I was so brainwashed that I was prepared to believe and do anything. Underpinning these beliefs was the constant fear of failure. If I were to fail in guiding my group correctly to fulfill its mission of creating a global theocracy – global peace, we would all be banished to hell forever (sounds familiar). If anyone was to question any of the dogma it was a sign that they were possessed by evil spirits as this invisible ghoulish army was opposed to our glorious mission. The fate of humanity rested on our shoulders – and more so on mine.

 

Besides, this was now my well-paying elitist job. I was partly responsible for the nurturing and guidance of thousands of members in the Australasian region. It was now who I was, and it had taken fifteen years of hard work during the most productive years of my life. My void had long-since been filled and to suddenly negate everything was to negate myself.

 

How would you feel if you had been a faithful Ford person all your life and suddenly and it was revealed that Ford cars were crap after all and that the company was closing down? You would be very disappointed to say the least. It is for this reason that my essay is aimed more so at the young before the religion addiction has had time to take a firm hold.

 

 

Faith means not wanting to know what is true.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche, German philologist and philosopher (1844-1900)

 

 

The process of indoctrination or brainwashing was more of a slow drip feed over many years, which in turn, I passed onto members of the group. Superimposed upon everything we did was the ever-present mission to save as many people as we could and prepare them as seed people for the coming Armageddon. The seed people would then start a new world order – a new theocracy. In all my fervor I never thought to question who would rule over this theocracy until it was too late as we were discouraged from asking any questions as we had been taught questioning was a sure sign of spirit possession.

 

My aforementioned experiences within this group are presented only briefly here as this essay is not meant to focus in-depth on any particular religion company, including mine. Instead, I hope to encourage readers to see how religion companies operate in expanding their numbers and maintaining allegiance irrespective of how absurd, superstitious or dangerous their beliefs may be by presenting my firsthand experiences.  For my total experience plus more please obtain a copy of my e-book ALL THE EMPEROR’S MEN

 

Without being aware of my warped thoughts and deeds I became a company henchman, mullah, and firebrand preacher. I was convinced I was right – the company had convinced me that the world needed saving, that only we had possession of these new oriental esoteric truths and we needed to sell this message, or product, to the world – and we did. Branches were set up throughout our region whilst other regions did the same elsewhere. Globally there were around a million members in its heyday. Our clients included politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers and even a few clergy from other religion companies. We were an elitist company and we concentrated on quality thereby qualifying ours as the most supreme of all – similar to what all religion companies believe. We were well and truly in the race to see who could be the most arrogant of all.

 

So, by now, you might be asking again how did I escape this guilt-ridden, fear-based madness? Well, I’m gradually getting to that by sharing with you the depth of my involvement or degree of brainwashing. It took years to become what I became so please bare with me a little longer as I explain further whilst keeping in mind that these experiences are similar to what all religion industries offer, only that their dogmas will vary.  I also hope it helps you understand, at a deeper level, what goes on in the minds of the clergy irrespective of the company they represent.

 

I know now how crazy it all was, but let’s have a brief look at some of the equally weird, unproven, un-scientific and superstitious beliefs of some of the common religion companies. Please keep in mind that I do have some experience of the catholic company. Remember, I was once forced to become a member in my childhood and how I morphed from an easy-going, happy, naturally inquisitive religion-free child to one racked with a great fear of eternal damnation, a fear of god and an arrogance towards non-catholics.

 

Even as a reluctant catholic I eventually became to believe in the following: the infallibility of the pope, Jesus was born as a result of an immaculate conception, he could walk on water, turn water into wine, make dead people come back to life, died on a cross and came back to life three days later plus so much more. Some are believing that all of creation as we know it occurred a mere 6,000 years ago! In my opinion these people would be better served by joining the Flat Earth Society.

 

I was taught that I was a sinful unworthy person destined for eternal damnation but for Jesus dying on a cross and taking upon himself all my sins instead – I could go on but you may be understanding my point. But if you need more ponder a moment upon the absurd and arrogant belief that only catholics have the true faith. This is something common to all religion companies. Even in the afterlife they would all keep us apart by dividing cemeteries into the various religions and denominations. If you don’t believe your religion company to be the best – the one specially chosen by god for you as being the absolute, then why didn’t you change to another? The reality is that very few people do. Some religion companies prohibit changing or joining new ones – try becoming a jew, for example. Males should be aware that a prerequisite for membership requires having your penis mutilated as other religions do.  Try leaving islam. Be careful as you could be murdered as the link clearly warns.

 

I am left wondering what kind of god, whom I was taught made humans perfect in his image, would suddenly require his male subjects to chop some flesh off the end of their penis’. And this is a god that prefers the circumcision to be performed whilst still an infant or very young boys unable to make any informed decisions about the fate of their foreskins. How is this religion custom allowable in the eyes of any law?  And what are the origins of this wide-spread practice? Below you will begin to see how it has its genesis in the ancient, unproven and convenient Abrahamic covenants.

 

 

The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice: the sacrifice of all freedom,

all pride, all self-confidence of spirit; it is at the same time subjection,

a self-derision, and self-mutilation.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche, German philologist and philosopher (1844-1900)

 

It all goes back to a point I made earlier that it’s all a simple matter of conditioning. A republican family will always be republican, a capitalist society will always be capitalist and likewise a socialist society will always remain so, with the default factor being the major player. What this also means is that all our thinking regarding the major fundamentals of our existence have all been carefully thought out for us. There is no need to ponder the un-ponderables. All you have to do is follow and keep away from the competitors. Just leave all this important stuff to those who profess to know better. How absurd. How stupid. How lazy and dangerous. Just look at how this ignorant and arrogant form of mass population control is disturbing and threatening both regional and global peace all in the name of their gods, yahwehs, jehovahs or allahs.

 

I feel I speak with a certain degree of authority having lived as both a non-religious person and a religion company leader when I say I can so easily see the danger and underlying absurdity of this industry. It serves humankind no good.

 

Now let me return to the question of how I managed to take back control of my thoughts, beliefs and life after almost fifteen years as a top-ranking religion company leader. You may remember some of the beliefs I had taken onboard were equally as absurd, unscientific, dangerous and just plain stupid as those you will find in almost any religion company. Regardless of the efforts of my family and fiends to make me see reason I refused to listen. I was one of god’s chosen ones. I was entrusted with the highest truths, and that was absolute. I was even afforded special protection like all our members so as we could perform our sacred duties of saving the world. Who, in their right mind, would want to give all that up? How arrogant, dangerous – and common to all religion companies.

 

Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people,

religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.

 

Gene Roddenberry, Creator of Star Trek (1921-1991)

 

 

HOW I ESCAPED THE RELIGION INDUSTRY

 

For the second time in just a few years another car carrying five of our most promising and protected seed people had all been killed instantly in an horrific accident after leaving our center. That now made it a total of ten killed in similar accidents on their way home in just a few short years. Again the police asked me to help identify the bodies and as I struggled to figure out who was who I found myself wondering exactly what kind of god I was serving, for weren’t we all its chosen ones as promised by our guru? I couldn’t help notice the blood-smeared sacred prayer books as I struggled to determine whose prayer books belonged to who. It was awful and still I can hardly bring myself to recount the events for you here.

 

A crack had begun to form in my arrogant armor plating and I now struggled to contain it. I decided to take some time off to mourn and reflect upon the whole tragic event. During this time I decided to travel back to Japan, the source, and a country I had come to love. By chance, whilst there alone, I encountered kind people who seemed eager to share a very different view of my group and its origins. Through a series of meetings with both ex-members and others I was presented with documentary evidence showing that my guru was a high-ranking militarist during the Second World War and played an instrumental role in the infamous Rape of Nanjing  in Chinawherein 30,000 women were systematically raped then murdered and 300,000 surrendered Chinese troops murdered. I also learned that he was a personal friend of the Japanese emperor’s brother. He was his class mate at the elitist military academy wherein my guru also became a military instructor. He also became Emperor Hirohito’s personal bodyguard. He also owned a military aircraft factory.

 

It seems that most of the group’s top-brass were classmates at the same military academy, and one in particular, Mr Kiyoharu Tomomori, my guru’s personal advisor, life-long friend, founding member, second in command and confidante was a convicted war criminal. He earned his death sentence for his personal involvement in the torture and beheading of 33 air crew of downed U.S. aircraft. This was several days after Japan had surrendered to the U.S. This mass murderer later managed a re-trial and received a life sentence, but like all convicted Japanese war criminals was set free in 1958. I met him on a few occasions.

 

I also learned how, at the military academy at that time, recruits studied the notorious manuscript ‘The Protocols of The Elders of Zion’ – a supposedly jewish manuscript detailing a cunning blueprint for jewish world domination. And finally to my even greater horror, after studying this vile manuscript myself, I realized that our most sacred texts, said to be the word of god, contained many passages distilled from the ‘Protocols of Zion’. Some sections of this manuscript had even been lifted word for word into our divine texts. Another notorious world figure who once did this was Adolf Hitler when he wrote his Nazi bible – Mein Kampf.

 

 

In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny.

In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people.

Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries.

 

James Madison, American president and political theorist (1751-1836)

 

 

I was mortified and I was of there.

 

So those are the main facts and events that it took to shock me back into reality. Gradually I regained my ability to look at my group objectively for the first time and I was repulsed at what I saw. Understandably, I now look at all religions, ideologies and isms from an objective viewpoint and not one of: hoping it’s true, wishful thinking, blind faith or from a strong desire to simply belong.

 

Admittedly, mine was a rare and extreme experience and one that most will never experience, but this also means most followers of religion simply stay put within their cozy, blind faith religion company. I also hope that others will not have to experience what I did and this is why I feel so compelled to share my experience and awakening with you.

 

Over the following months and years I documented my findings in the form of my e-book, All The Emperor’s Men, plus several other related published articles. I shared my story in the media, via TV, radio, magazines and newspapers. As expected, I received a mixed response ranging from threats, verbal and written abuse to many more calls, letters and emails of support and gratitude from people who had also managed to escape the group and other religion companies. A recent Wikipedia  entry claims that because of my efforts in exposing the group over half its western members have now deserted it although membership continues to grow in Japan and some poor developing countries.

 

When I finally made the big escape I was also concerned with filling the void in my life which my group had filled for all those years. I didn’t have to worry over this for too long since the vacuum caused by my escape gradually became filled with my efforts and enthusiasm to alert everyone to the dangers of this group and to urge all seekers – those with a void in their lives, and those caught within the religion industry to stand back and take a good objective look at themselves and their religion company. Research its origins – is it based upon provable, documented and tangible facts and not upon ancient fables or folk lore, or simply because someone says it’s true.  Blind faith is a copout and never permissible. Check out its real aims, who are its leaders and where do its teachings come from. Claiming divine revelations is a sure giveaway and a sign of ultimate arrogance. If you were going to invest money in a company any sensible person would obtain corporate documentation and an accountant’s report first, so if you are going to invest your time, money and soul in a religion company doesn’t it make sense to do likewise? Is it selling a worthwhile product worthy of filling that void or could that void be filled with something better?

 

 

SO NOW WHAT SHOULD I BELIEVE IN?

 

This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.

 

John Adams, U.S. President, Founding Father of the United States

 

At the beginning of this essay I stated how I was open to the belief in god. I am not an atheist. I believe in a good life and a good life after death just as the famous Michelangelo stated: If life was found to be agreeable, then so should death be. It comes from the hand of the same master.  But I am against the religion industry hijacking and stifling spiritual progress as this is what they do. This is a great disgrace and the greatest blight of all. Observe the turmoil in the Middle East. The religious and sectarian hatred amongst neighboring countries is now so deadly and out of control it’s threatening to escalate into a much broader conflict and nuclear weaponry could soon be utilized.  We are witnessing arrogance so blind it sees only its self interest at the expense of everyone else. It’s the ultimate religion company insanity – it’s simply religion gone mad.

 

At the heart of this deadly game is a 4,000 year old highly disputed fable concerning a 170 years old man named Abraham from the land now known as Iraq.  The fable relates how a god made a covenant with this mysterious person whereby the god said to Abraham that he and his descendants could have ownership over the land of Palestine as they are his chosen or favorite people. No deeds of ownership or any proof of this secret deal have ever been forthcoming and today the jews recklessly use this ancient 4,000 year old fable as giving legitimacy to their illegal occupation. How convenient, and soon we may all have to pay a heavy price for an ancient myth which has somehow found its way into today’s world as some kind of official authority for land ownership and genocide.

 

Recently on ABC-TV (April 9, 2012), during a religious panel debate, I was surprised to hear one of the panelists, Cardinal George Pell, the popes representative here in Australia, admit unambiguously when questioned, that Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, etc, is all a myth (google it). He further admitted that humans probably evolved from Neanderthals. As a child I was taught that it was god who created us in his image.

 

According to Cardinal Pell, these infallible biblical stories are no more than myths. So, if there never was an Adam or an Eve, the originators of our original sin, I assume there never was or is such a thing as original sin which conveniently serves as the master thread that binds the judeo-christian religions, their sects and their followers together. All along it has been a man made construct. These now-busted myths suddenly make the crucifiction of Jesus unnecessary since we now learn that there never was original sin in the first place: the very reason why Jesus died on the cross to save us from it. How liberating!

 

Earlier, I mentioned how the state of Israel was also founded upon a dubious biblical tale which, in their eyes, justifies their supremacy and occupation of Palestine. Since the Adam and Eve story and the human creation story have now been confirmed as myths we should also assume the jewish-Israeli justifications also have their genesis in fanciful and self-serving myths. And shouldn’t we also view that cunning jewish construct, the omniscient, vindictive and almighty judeo-christian concept of god as simply another self-serving myth, too?

 

Eventually, we must all come to realise that the religion industry if founded solely upon the creation and sale of myths – and what convenient myths they have proven to be.

 

There will be no peace in the Middle East until the jews and others involved abandon their myth-based beliefs.

 

Similar to the above absurdity is Japan’s belief in being the cradle of humankind with its emperor still acknowledged as a divine being reigning over a divine or special people. Based upon ancient Japanese folk lore, Mt Fuji is described as the naval of the world – the most sacred place. The imperial seal of the emperor and the symbol of Japan is the sixteen pedaled chrysanthemum which symbolizes the sixteen different compass points which the ancient Japanese emperor sent his children into order to civilize the planet. The catch cry of the Japanese military during the 30’s and 40’s was  All the world under one roof – meaning all the world ruled by a Japanese theocracy under emperor Hirohito.  And they nearly succeeded if it wasn’t for the U.S. dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Such extreme and horrendous action was required to distract the ruling elite and its militarists from such a deadly belief. The group I helped lead for fifteen years, and other sections of the Japanese population, still promote these deadly myth-based beliefs and more. The All the world under one roof war cry was ultimately responsible for the deaths of untold millions.   

 

It’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to make our own efforts to live as harmonious as possible according to our situation and strive to expand our own concepts of the wonders of the cosmos. It’s one of the purposes for being here – to ponder, study, to feel awe, postulate and to share our ideas and understandings. This is not the responsibility of some rabbi, mullah, guru or preacher who claims he has it all figured out for you. It’s for you to discover. This is what the cosmos expects of you just as it also expected of you to feed and nourish you body, you must also toil to nourish your soul likewise. The cosmos and all its wonders are waiting for you. Fill your void with what the cosmos wants to give you directly according to your efforts. How can you have a void if it’s being filled to overflowing with such abundance?

 

At present there is not a single credible established religion in the world.
George Bernard Shaw, Irish-born English playwright (1856-1950)

 

Do spirits, life after death and reincarnation etc, exist? Probably, but you must go and discover these possibilities. This brief essay is not about my spiritual beliefs, it’s about my religion industry experiences. Nowadays, modern scientific research, together with proven and well-documented experiences are revealing all these possibilities and more. Scientists are postulating the existence of parallel universes, life on other planets and even a god particle. The Earth is no longer flat. Get on board and discover how it’s all unfolding. How can you have a void if you are on a path of such discovery? Realize that when that void has gone so too will the demand – and when the demand fades so too will the service providers – the religion purveyors.

 

I am aware that some readers will see my repetitive use of the phrases religion industry and religion company as somewhat provocative, but if you take time to examine their purposes, structures and aims as I have, you will come to see them as simply service providers creating and selling myths and at best, simple placebos. We have the void and they fill it with a variety of products – a simple case of supply and demand, and a very profitable tax exempt industry at that.

 

I’ve come to the awakening that you don’t even have to have any beliefs – isn’t it better to have a wholesome and inquisitive mind ever seeking that next piece of the cosmic jigsaw – forever seeking higher possibilities? There is a danger that beliefs can hold you to a specific point in time or in the distant past, but possibilities stretch on to eternity.

 

Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt,

tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782



Beckham was in Spain on Friday visiting with soccer superstar and fellow Nike endorser Cristiano Ronaldo.

The new Giants brass — coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman — have been open-minded about the top playmaker since their arrivals.

“It’s a clean slate,” Gettleman said last week at the NFL scouting combine. “I’m not worrying about what happened in the past. You want to know the why. You always have to get to the why. Eventually we’ll get to that. If you don’t get to the why, you can’t figure it out. You can’t fix it. So we’ll get to the why, and we’ll move forward.”

Requests for comment from Beckham’s camp have not been returned as of Saturday afternoon.

The video comes at an inopportune time for Beckham, who is looking for a lucrative long-term contract this offseason. He is set to play on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal worth $8.5 million.

On the acquisition of Landry, Thomas said: “This is really going to be one of the feathers in the cap of the offseason that John Dorsey’s having so far. To be able to acquire the top receiver who could be out there and available — and I think he did it for a fourth-round pick this year and they’re giving him like a seventh-round pick in 2019 — this is peanuts, baby.”

The Giants still want to see that Beckham has fully recovered from a broken ankle that ruined his 2017 season and were hoping he was past some of the incidents that marred the early part of his career. The enigmatic wide receiver was suspended for an on-field incident with cornerback Josh Norman in 2015 and has been fined numerous times by the league for his actions and behavior.

Mara said publicly that he was “unhappy” with Beckham after he pretended to urinate on the field like a dog after scoring a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles last season. Beckham kept a low profile after that Week 3 incident.

With Chancellor’s football future in jeopardy because of a career-threatening neck injury, the Seahawks have approached Shead about possibly playing strong safety next season.buccaneers_091



Reliever Andrew Bailey, 2009 AL Rookie of the Year, retires at 33

Andrew Bailey is calling it a career.

The 2009 AL Rookie of the Year on Monday took to Instagram to announce his retirement from MLB at age 33.

“Thank you to the fans for always cheering and demanding the best out of me. Thank you to my wife and family for the unwavering support over the last 12 years! I am looking forward to new challenges, new memories and hopefully many championships as I am excited to announce I will be joining the Los Angeles Angels MLB staff.”

Bailey had stints with the Athletics, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies and Angels before a recurring shoulder issue kept him sidelined for much of the 2017 season and limited him to just four games for Los Angeles. He finishes his eight-season career with 95 saves, a 3.12 ERA and 276 strikeouts in 274 1/3 innings over 265 games.

The right-hander struck out the first and the last batter he faced in the first inning, but labored in between. He fell behind leadoff hitter Jonathan Villar, 3-1, who then smashed a line drive to deep center that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.

After striking out the next batter, Nate Orf, on a splitter, Ohtani walked Ji-Man Choi. With clean-up batter Manny Pi?a up, Ohtani threw a wild pitch in the dirt. Catcher Martín Maldonado’s wild throw to second in a bid to catch the advancing Choi allowed a run to score.

Pi?a fouled out, and Ohtani then struck out Brett Phillips on four pitches to end the inning with 26 pitches. After lead-off hitter Keon Broxton homered off Ohtani to begin the second inning, the pitcher retired Nick Franklin on a fly out before getting the hook.buccaneers_025



Yankees open to playing Russell Wilson in Grapefruit League game

Russell Wilson could soon be getting in on the spring training action.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on Tuesday said he’s open to the Seahawks quarterback getting the opportunity to play and take a couple swings in a Grapefruit League game.

Basically, owners decided they were determined to stop soaring free-agent costs, which meant that free agents received either zero interest from other teams or were only offered contracts at or below their previous salaries. Under the rules at the time, if a free agent didn’t re-sign with his previous team by Jan. 8, he couldn’t negotiate with that team again until April ended.

With no options, free agents reacted in a wide variety of ways. Bob Horner, at 29 years old and coming off back-to-back 27-homer seasons, went to play in Japan. Andre Dawson famously gave the Cubs a blank check and let them write in his 1987 salary (the Cubs gave him less than half of his 1986 salary). Lance Parrish took $400,000 less than the Tigers were offering in arbitration to sign with the Phillies. Jack Morris was considered maybe baseball’s best pitcher, but he received zero offers outside of returning to Detroit and re-upped with the Tigers a couple days before Christmas 1986.

In his second MLB season, Gurriel, 33, slashed .299/.332/.486 with 18 home runs and 75 RBIs. Gurriel broke into the majors in 2016 after defecting from Cuba that year, but played in just 36 games. Last season, however, he appeared in 139 games while becoming an integral part of the Astros lineup.

Manager A.J. Hinch told reporters Wednesday that he wasn’t sure how long Gurriel would need to recover.

“I’m not sure, we don’t really know until he gets through the surgery and we get to meet with the doctors to find out what’s next for him, so I don’t have a timeline,” Hinch said (via MLB.com).

In Gurriel’s absence this spring, Tyler White, A.J. Reed and J.D. Davis will get time at first base, Hinch said. Utility player Marwin Gonzalez played 31 games at first last season.seahawks_107_7ca2290b1fa37517-180x180



Why Sherman would make sense: Ed Werder linked Marshawn Lynch to Sherman last year when the Seahawks were considering trading Sherman.

Richard Sherman ’s career in Seattle looks like it’s over . Unless he decides to return to the Seahawks with a new, cheaper contract , he’ll likely be playing for a new team next season. But which team would be the best fit for the veteran cornerback?

Lynch is under contract with the Raiders through the 2018 season, so there’s still a chance he reunites with Sherman in Oakland. Sherman could fill a legitimate need in Oakland.

Welcome to the first edition of Ask Jason, what may or may not be a recurring column in which I answer questions from readers about baseball or whatever other topics they choose.

I put the word out on Twitter and received what’s best described as a smattering of interest. But, hey, it’s a start. So let’s see how this goes. On to the questions …

I don’t think the Phillies are getting off easy. They’re in the middle of a rebuild, and though the end is in sight, there’s no need for them to spend big right now. They have some exciting young players to build around, most notably Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco, and most observers agree that things will be rockin’ in Philly by 2019 or 2020 (or maybe even sooner, according to SN contributor Jared Wyllys) with some strategic additions. Plus, there’s still talk that they’re after Jake Arrieta to help shore up their rotation, and they did sign Carlos Santana. So I don’t think they’ve done anything to warrant harsh criticism over spending.

Talib, however, is 32 years old. Parting ways with him saves the Broncos $11 million this year and $20 million in future salaries. It likely wasn’t a surprise for Talib, who tweeted “who’s coming to get me??” after an NFL.com report said the Broncos were looking to move him.

What does this mean for the Rams? It means that every quarterback who has to face Los Angeles this year ought to be worried. Talib paired with Marcus Peters and Lamarcus Joyner, who was just tagged by the Rams, makes that backfield awfully fierce.

The Rams defense was solid last year under Phillips. But this offseason has already seen several big moves from the Rams — trading with the Chiefs to acquire Peters , slapping the tag on Joyner , sending Robert Quinn to the Dolphins , bringing in Talib, signing Sam Shields , and shipping Alec Ogletree off to the Giants .seahawks_107_7ca2290b1fa37517-180x180



Kyrie Irving explains ‘bond that can’t be broken’ with LeBron James, Kevin Love

An intriguing storyline coming out of the NBA All-Star Game draft is the reunion of former teammates Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love.

It was an intentional move from James, who drafted his own team in the new All-Star format. He selected Irving as a starter and Love as a reserve, which marks the first time the three players will be together since Irving requested a trade away from the Cavaliers over the summer.

The trio played together for three seasons (2014-2017) in Cleveland, and made it to the NBA Finals each of those years. However, many wondered whether James would select Irving for his All-Star team.
I get asked a lot about how the game has changed for me under Brad Stevens compared to my time at Brose Bamberg. Both Stevens and my former coach Andrea Trinchieri are real perfectionists in terms of basketball. Both live the game to the fullest and think of seemingly nothing else, 24/7. Both have a very similar approach to the game, mainly considering ball movement.

Defensively, both are open to trying new things and cross-matches, like putting Al Horford on Ben Simmons and the like. Andrea tried similar things to cause problems for the opposing offense. Therefore, there hasn’t been that much change for myself. My role is very similar: play defense, provide energy, rebound, run the court, pick and roll, catch and shoot. I think I have done quite well in the NBA so far, and my goal is obviously to continue to get better in every single facet of the game!

Ball will be joined on the U.S. roster by teammates Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma along with 2017 Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, Celtics forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Bulls guard Kris Dunn, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. and Hawks center John Collins.

Joining Simmons (Australia) and Embiid (Cameroon) on the World roster are fellow Sixer Dario Saric (Croatia), Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (Finland), Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania), Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (Canada), Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (France), Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (Canada) and Kings guards Buddy Hield (Bahamas) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia).

On the other side of the ice, Anaheim has almost everyone back after skating through the season’s first half with a mixture of role players and guys who figured to be spending the winter playing for its AHL team in San Diego.lions_032



How should you approach power in your fantasy baseball draft?

We’re seeing historic power numbers in Major League Baseball these days, and as fantasy managers, that impacts our strategy. How does the recent power surge in baseball change your approach to drafts?

So how am I drafting with this knowledge? I want power where others lack it: Middle infield. There were only seven middle infielders (eight if you want to count Manny Machado) to record 25 round-trippers, so my thought process is that I can overextend a bit in an effort to get two of those guys and thus get significant value later in the draft when an Adam Eaton-type falls because the other managers need to bolster their power numbers.

If you’re looking for one general piece of advice, it’d be to not treat speed and power the same. A specialist like Billy Hamilton or a pair of 25-30-steal types can really carry you on the steals front, but you need to have pop up and down your lineup, even if you kick off your draft with someone like Giancarlo Stanton.

Future talent: 45 percent. For this category, we used a combination of the ZiPS projections for the minor league systems and Keith Law’s 2018 farm system rankings, in order to get the best of both man and machine. Farm systems are as important for contenders as rebuilders, given that nobody has enough money to obtain all of their needs by spending alone.

Financial support: 20 percent. Poorer teams and/or teams in smaller markets do have the ability to compete in baseball, but we’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t say that financial support of a team was just “nice to have.” Teams are ranked by their historical payrolls relative to revenue and market size.

Front office/ownership: 10 percent. Given its share, this category mostly functions as a tiebreaker for teams that are otherwise close. That’s not to say these things aren’t important, but a lot of front-office performance is already contained within the first three categories.

Jordan doesn’t fit that bill as he’s set for free agency after this season. However, the report suggests this pick would be in play if Cleveland is offered a younger player with multiple years of team control.

NBA franchises and internet draftniks alike are often consumed with the search for basketball’s next unicorn. The league’s newest future 3-point shooting rim protector has the potential to be a game changer in the small-ball era, allowing yet another roster to play big defensively while maintaining the offensive advantages of going small.lions_088



The biggest freak athletes at the 2018 NFL combine

As 2018 NFL draft prospects engage in drills and tests at the scouting combine in Indianapolis this week, let’s take a look at five players with the extreme skills and athleticism to turn heads:

Jackson reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.3s in the spring of 2017 and low 4.4s in the spring of 2016. Michael Vick ran a 4.33 at his pro day, and like Vick, Jackson has excellent arm strength. All of this, of course, assumes the Vikings don’t sign Cousins. If they break the bank for a quarterback, I’d change my answer to Cousins.

Schatz: Keenum. My guess is that other teams will look at Keenum and say, Yes, he had one fantastic year, but what is his regression going to look like in our system? The Vikings are the one team that can look at Keenum and know they have seen evidence he can play well for them. In the same system with the same teammates, there’s a better chance he can continue to play at 2017’s high level.

The Ohio State product had to come off the field in the opening quarter to have a member of the team’s medical staff put the finger back into place.

He played the rest of the season with the injury, taping two fingers together. It had no impact on his performance, as Bosa finished with 10.5 sacks in 12 games, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Bosa decided against having surgery to repair the injury during the offseason last year because by the time he got his finger examined after the season was over, the recovery period from surgery would have taken too much time away from his training.

Bosa’s recovery will take about six weeks, so it could affect how much he can do once the Chargers’ offseason program begins in April.

Bosa made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his second NFL season last year, leading the Chargers with 12.5 sacks. Bosa also recorded 70 tackles and four forced fumbles.patriots_029



Simmons’ late FTs gives 76ers 116-115 win over Bulls

Ben Simmons couldn’t recall winning a game from the free throw line at any level before Thursday night.

Still, the rookie stepped to the line with the confidence of a veteran.

“First of all, we needed a steal,” Simmons said. “I saw Joel get it and he kind of lobbed it to me.”

Portis had a chance for a game winner, but his short attempt — with Embiid closing from the weak side — just missed.

In May, Cuban said the Mavericks looked to lose as much as they could at the end of last season once the team was out of postseason contention. Dallas finished with the ninth-worst record in the NBA and didn’t improve its draft position through the lottery.

The Mavericks (18-40) have the third-worst record in the NBA but are among a logjam of seven teams with fewer than 20 wins. The team with the worst record will have a 25 percent chance of making the No. 1 pick in June’s draft.

Starting with the 2019 draft, the three teams with the worst records will share a 14 percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick, lessening the incentive to lose at the end of the season.

Hornacek choosing to start the 21-year-old Mudiay rather than Ntilikina is perhaps an indication that the coaching staff doesn’t believe Ntilikina is ready to handle a starter’s role.

Hornacek said Wednesday that Ntilikina, 19, had felt knee pain in recent weeks as his body grew accustomed to the NBA schedule. The coach also said Ntilikina felt significant fatigue at times recently, which is common for a rookie.

They also believe Burke, 25, can play both guard spots alongside Ntilikina, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, and Mudiay. Hornacek said Tuesday that he may change his lineups occasionally to see which groupings thrive together.

In addition to the young guards, wings Damyean Dotson and Troy Williams and big men Luke Kornet and Isaiah Hicks will likely play more often in coming games.jays_560_b73b09857ae124df-180x180



Trail Blazers take on skidding Suns

Portland had little trouble with the hottest team in the NBA on Friday.

Next up, the coldest.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 50 points and six 3-pointers when the Trail Blazers limited Utah to 17 points in each of the final three quarters in an 100-81 victory Friday.

The Blazers (33-26) never trailed while breaking the Jazz’s 11-game winning streak.

Next up, a team that never led.

Phoenix gave up the first 19 points and trailed 24-2 six minutes into a 128-117 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. It was never that close.

The Raptors trailed 110-108 with 3.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter after Middleton split a pair of free throws. Following a timeout, Toronto inbounded the ball to Valanciunas, who paused before driving for the tying dunk.

Toronto scored the first five points of the extra session, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Terry and Middleton capped an 8-0 Bucks run, giving Milwaukee a 118-115 lead with 1:58 left.

Valanciunas stopped the run with a dunk, but Antetokounmpo’s jumper with 13 seconds left put the Bucks up 120-117.

Home-field advantage has reigned supreme as of late, but that hasn’t always been the case, by any stretch:

This will be 4th Super Bowl in last 5 seasons to feature two No. 1 seeds. From 1994-2012, No. 1 seeds met in Super Bowl in only 1 of 19 seasons.

Home teams have always had an advantage when it comes to the playoffs. They are 89-53 in the Wild Card Round (0.627), 152-62 in the Divisional Round (0.710), and 94-46 in the conference championships (0.671). There are few reasons to explain why:

But none of that really explains why top-seeded teams are cruising through competition now more than ever. In the last five years, home teams are 35-15 (0.700) in the playoffs and the 2016 Cowboys are the only No. 1 seed to go down early.bears_091-223x223



Randle stars, Ball returns in Lakers’ 124-102 win over Mavs

Julius Randle had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and rookie Lonzo Ball made a triumphant return to the lineup as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 124-102 on Friday night.

It alleged Smith received $43,500 and was loaned another $73,500. Said Smith at the morning shootaround: “I’m a firm believer in God and everything happens for a reason. Whether it’s going to strengthen you or destroy you, you make that decision. But since I’ve been here, it’s been a class organization from top to bottom, starting with Mark Cuban and all the way down to players like myself. It’s been great, fantastic. I’m here to play basketball. Everything else to me is just noise and I have to block all that out.”

Lakers: The Yahoo Sports report also said rookie forward Kyle Kuzma received $3,000 and $6,500 in loans. Kuzma would not say prior to the game whether the story was accurate. “Hmm, I’m not going to say anything really,” he said. “Just gathering information about it and whatnot.” He called it a legal matter, though he did not believe he was in jeopardy. “I don’t know. I don’t think so,” he said. “That’s why we’re trying to gather information about everything. It is a federal investigation the NCAA is dealing with.” Kuzma did say the story was a distraction. “Yeah, for sure,” he said. “It’s the NBA right now and we’re focusing on trying to win games, and things like this come about, it’s definitely a little distraction.”

Teammates, coaches and athletic trainers tended to Butler for at least three minutes before he was carried off the court by two teammates. He was unable to put any weight on the leg as he was helped to the locker room.

Butler was seen hopping on one foot in the Toyota Center hallway as he headed to get an X-ray. Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said early evaluations by the team’s medical staff were inconclusive and that Butler will undergo an MRI on Saturday when the team gets back to Minnesota.

“You’ve got to wait for the doctors to do their thing,” Thibodeau said. “Until they do the MRI, it’s speculating. We’ll know more tomorrow. I don’t want to speculate on what it might be, but we’ll just hope for the best.”

Butler did not speak to reporters after the game but was in high spirits, according to multiple teammates. He also was visited in the training room by Rockets guard James Harden.jaguars_005-223x223