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are all aware that, for various reasons (mainly supply and demand), new industries come into existence whilst older or outdated ones eventually die out.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

 

Report: Packers not expected to sign Dez Bryant

Jason Witten thinks Dez Bryant is going to sign with the Packers, but Witten was hired by ESPN to be an analyst, not a reporter.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Packers are not expected to sign Bryant.

The Packers did have some interest in Bryant when he was first released by the Cowboys, according to the report. But after the Packers drafted wide receiver J’Mon Moore in the fourth round, wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the fifth round and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth round, that interest waned.

“For me, I use the hell out of my Adidas merch because if everybody has their style — JC’s got his streetwear, Swish has got Supreme — if you had to describe mine in one word, it would be ‘comfort,'” Larry Nance Jr. said, comparing his usual clothing to that of teammates Jordan Clarkson and JR Smith.

After going 1-15 in 2016, Jackson promised to take the plunge if the Browns finished with the same record in 2017. Of course, the Browns notoriously went winless last season.

“It’s going to be a cleansing of the Cleveland Browns,” Jackson said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “That’s what it will be.”

To sweeten the deal, Jackson vowed that, for every franchise employee who joins him in the water, he will donate $100 to his foundation that fights human trafficking.

Jackson’s jump will be held at a private location and be open to employees only.

“At the beginning of the year, we weren’t playing nearly as well as we are now because there was an adjustment period,” said Carlson.

It was a learning experience for both the veterans and the rookies.

A few years ago, the Steelers moved $4 million in wide receiver Antonio Brown’s salary from later contract years to earlier contract years in order to avoid a holdout. It did not change the fundamentals of the contract; it simply altered the pay schedule. Last year, the Patriots added incentives to tight end Rob Gronkowski’s contract and gave him a chance to earn an additional $5.5 million. This year, the Broncos did something similar for cornerback Chris Harris.ravens_006



Was Tom Brady’s “I plead the fifth” a joke?

Some have suggested in the wake of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s invocation of the Fifth Amendment when asked whether he feels appreciated by the Patriots that it was all a joke. And maybe it was. But here’s the real punchline to “I plead the fifth”: By resorting to humor, Brady avoided answering.

Eventually, he called it a “tough question,” before saying that everyone wants to be appreciated by their employer. So he didn’t say yes. And this is one of those situations in which anything other than yes necessarily means no.

If there’s anything to that, it’s fair for players like Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski to wonder whether Belichick deviated from his “do your job” mantra to allow something other than a laser-focused desire to win a Super Bowl to influence his thought processes. If the Patriots had won (and they nearly did), it wouldn’t have been an issue. They didn’t, and many think Butler’s absence from the game made the difference.

The loss has, for the second time in three years, put Butler in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover (bringing a much different fifth into play). Butler’s interception to clinch Super Bowl XLIX threw the Seahawks into disarray, and Butler’s presence on the sidelines has potentially knocked a dynasty off its axis.

During an interview on WFAN, the 37-year-old Manning said he tried to not let it overwhelm him.

“For the first time ever, I didn’t know what the future held,” he said, via the New York Daily News. “I tried not to overthink it and draw conclusions off information I didn’t know. Just had to say, ‘Hey, I have to be positive through the season, offseason, and just work out and be ready for whatever is thrown at me.’

“Obviously, I was very excited to hear news from Mr. Gettleman and Mr. Mara they wanted me back. I work extremely hard to keep my job and when you almost lose something it makes you appreciate it even more. That’s certainly the case here.”

Had the Giants invested in a quarterback with that pick, it would have started a clock that might have had a year or two, or perhaps much less time. But they made a conscious decision to build around him for the two years left on his contract, assembling what could be a very productive offense.broncos_065_bd10520178894a2b-180x180



Broncos will let Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly compete for No. 2 spot

So much for the Broncos’ plotting to move up to No. 2 to draft a quarterback. Not only did Denver not get a quarterback in the first round, it spent none of its 10 picks on one.

Instead, the Broncos will continue to develop Lynch, the 26th overall choice in 2016, and Kelly, a seventh-round pick in 2017 who missed his rookie season while rehabbing.

Pat Shurmur’s not a fan of the termbuy in. It implies a reluctance on the part of the buyer, which is why the new Giants coach wants his staff, in their first months here, to establish something the players can believe in, rather than trying to get some half-hearted signing off on what’s happening. So to use Shurmur’s term, in doing what he and GM Dave Gettleman did two weeks ago at the draft, they implicitly showed the football world they believe in Eli Manning.

For the first time since 2009, the Cowboys don’t have Bryant as their No. 1 receiver. The Cowboys’ new receivers coach, Sanjay Lal, convinced the Cowboys to sign one of his former players, Deonte Thompson. Dallas also signed Allen Hurns, who Jacksonville cut after he missed 11 games with injuries the past two seasons.

They have Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley returning.

Tavon Austin, whom the Cowboys traded for on the final day of the draft, is listed as a receiver, though the Cowboys will use him in multiple roles as their web back. They drafted Colorado State’s Michael Gallup in the third round.

I don’t think the Giants were out on the 2018 quarterback class. My sense has been that they liked USC’s Sam Darnold quite a bit, and weren’t totally opposed to the idea of using the second overall pick on the position. They had their shot at it, just like they did in 2004, when the franchise took its big swing in moving up to get Manning. But there was a player there they loved: Saquon Barkley. And the freedom the Giants felt to take him, and pass on that shot, shows the rest of us there’s a lot of truth in what the Giants have been saying for most of the offseason: This remains Eli’s team. If there was doubt?broncos_131_a52cec69b93f017c-180x180



Aaron Judge reminded Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez that he’s more than just a big bat.

The Yankees slugger showed off his arm strength and accuracy when he unleashed a pinpoint throw from the right-field corner to cut down Vazquez while attempting to turn a single into a double on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

Will Yankees-Red Sox in London break the NFL’s UK stranglehold?

Russell Wilson expects Seahawks to franchise tag him in 2020 More As more and more quarterbacks like Matt Ryan and Jimmy Garoppolo are signing massive contracts, the Seattle Seahawks are reminded of an important deadline extending their own franchise signal caller. Quarterback Russell Wilson has two years remaining on his contract he signed in early 2015. However, Wilson and his camp are not expecting a long-term extension once the deal expires in 2019. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Wilson expects to be franchise tagged by the Seahawks, similar to former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins in Washington.

I would say that it’s right for him to be bothered by that; we were bothered by that, Glasgow said. It’s frustrating in a lot of ways for us. I mean we were our own harshest critics, and I think that is something that we took very personally and we tried to get that worked out and I think that that’s something we will also improve this year.

Where Glasgow lines up his third season remains undefined. The Lions have touted his positional flexibility since drafting him in the third round out of Michigan two years ago, but the outside-looking-in assumption projected a full-time move to center once Travis Swanson’s contract expired.

I think I’m an interior offensive lineman, he said. I’ll play left guard, I’ll play center, I’ll play whatever they ask me to do.

The Lions added Frank Ragnow in the first round of this year’s draft. He is coming off back-to-back dominant seasons snapping the ball for Arkansas, and was considered by most analysts as the best center in the draft. Plus, his experience at guard was on the right side, where T.J. Lang is firmly entrenched.

Reading the tea leaves, it seems likely the rookie will play center and Glasgow will stick at guard.sharks-003



Snell strikes out 9, Rays top Red Sox for 7th straight win

Blake Snell worked into the eighth inning and struck out nine, and the Tampa Bay Rays held off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Friday night for their seventh consecutive victory.

Wilson Ramos hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the Rays, who handed the Red Sox just their second loss in 10 home games and spoiled Xander Bogaerts’ return to Boston’s lineup. Rob Refsnyder and Daniel Robertson also homered for Tampa Bay.

Bogaerts had Boston’s first hit off Snell (4-1), a leadoff single in the fifth. He went 3-for-4 in his first action since missing 15 games with a broken bone in his left ankle.

Betts doubled again in the eighth off Chaz Roe and scored on a single by Martinez.

Rays: Activated 3B Matt Duffy (strained right hamstring) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham.

Red Sox: Activated Bogaerts and placed IF/OF Brock Holt on the 10-day DL because of a strained left hamstring.

Rays: RHP Yonny Chirinos (0-1, 2.92 ERA) went 4 2/3 innings Sunday while allowing two runs on four hits in his first appearance as the Rays’ fourth starter.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (2-2) gets his third start in the first month of the season against his former club. Price pitched seven scoreless innnings in each of the first two starts against the Rays.

That’s according to Fanatics, which runs the official NFL online shop and is the world’s largest online seller of licensed sports merchandise.

The private company won’t divulge specific numbers, but a Fanatics official told ESPN that Barkley sold more jerseys on draft night than any other player in its history.

All drafts aren’t exactly equal, as marketing speed gets quicker each year. On Thursday night, for example, Fanatics started selling jerseys within minutes of a player being drafted.

The previous best-seller for Fanatics on draft night was Johnny Manziel in 2014. Because Manziel was drafted 20 picks behind Barkley, the Giants’ newest pick had a jump start of a couple of hours.dolphins_003



Ryan Shazier walks on AT&T Stadium stage, announces Steelers’ pick

Ryan Shazier was a showstopper yet again.

The Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker produced the moment of the NFL draft Thursday night when he walked onto the AT&T Stadium stage in Dallas to announce his team’s first-round pick — safety Terrell Edmunds — at No. 28 overall.

Teammates have privately lauded Shazier for his ability to walk on his own, though Shazier has been private about his process.

This offseason, Shazier told teammate Roosevelt Nix on a podcast that he plans to resume playing at a high level. Shazier is under contract for $8.718 million but will not play this season.

Shazier has spent most days at the Steelers’ facility working out or helping in the scouting department. The Steelers see improvement all the time.

“He’s taken some very inspirational steps,” Colbert said. “That’s a huge lift not only for him but for us. To see where he’s come from to where he is and knowing where he might be able to go, it’s just beyond inspirational.”

The matchup initially is about rust vs. rest — the Lightning got a full week off after eliminating the New Jersey Devils in five games, allowing them time off while the Bruins needed a full seven games to advance past the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I think the guys are excited,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “You always say you want time off, and we’ve had six days. The guys want to get back into it. There’s a lot of ‘Let’s get this going.'”

Boston won the first three meetings in the regular season by a combined score of 10-4, so the Bruins can have confidence going into the matchup, regardless of seeding and home-ice advantage.

The Bruins are a well-rounded playoff team, ranking in the NHL’s top six in scoring, goals allowed, power play and penalty kill.

The Lightning are a tiny bit better in scoring, leading the league with 3.5 goals per game, and barely better on the power play, converting 23.9 percent of their opportunities.

Tampa Bay’s special teams were a strength in the series against New Jersey — their penalty kill, once a liability, killed off 16 of 19 Devils power plays, and the Lightning went 5 of 9 on power plays in the first three games before an 0-of-10 drought in the final two, both Tampa Bay wins.sl_cardinals_045



Martavis Bryant calls trade to Raiders ‘a blessing and an honor’

Calling it a “clean slate and a fresh start for me,” Martavis Bryant said he was embracing the trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders.

Patterson transferred to Michigan in December after two seasons at Ole Miss. He asked the NCAA to waive its usual rule that keeps transfers on the sideline for one year because he says his former coaches at Ole Miss led him to believe the scope and possible punishment related to an ongoing investigation into rules violations at the school was smaller than it actually was.

Patterson is one of several former Rebels who left the school as underclassmen this offseason after the NCAA banned Ole Miss from playing in a bowl at the conclusion of the 2018 season. At least six of the other recently departed players are also petitioning or plan to petition for immediate eligibility.

After grabbing the rebound of the blocked shot and calling a timeout, the Cavs inbounded the ball to James, who buried a 3-pointer to give the Cavs a 98-95 win and a 3-2 series lead.

Although that 3-pointer still would have been enough for a Cavs victory if goaltending had been called, the non-call still didn’t sit well with the Pacers.

“Give him credit where credit is due. The 3 was big-time. Definitely huge,” Oladipo said. “But who’s to say they even run that play? We don’t know what happens. It’s unfortunate. It really sucks that they missed that [goaltending call].”

“We can look at the replay,” Pacers forward Lance Stephenson said. “Clearly, clearly a goaltending.”

Running back Dalvin Cook, his promising rookie season cut painfully short at four games because of a torn ACL in his left knee , has passed the six-month mark in his rehabilitation and remains on track for full action when training camp begins.

He’ll be a limited participant in practices this spring and minicamp, head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said, and has impressed the team at each stage of his recovery. There’s no reason why he won’t be ready to play in the season opener on Sept. 9.sl_cardinals_002



Gonzales, Mariners edge sagging White Sox 1-0

The Chicago White Sox experimented with an unusual 4:10 p.m. start time Tuesday, and the early returns are in.

“I love it,” Seattle Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales said, “Talking to a couple hitters in the first inning, guys just said, `Anything that comes out looks like a fastball. You don’t know what it is.”

Seattle broke out on top against fill-in starter Chris Volstad (0-1) in the fourth when Kyle Seager doubled and scored on Haniger’s hard grounder up the middle, both with two outs.

“Definitely didn’t see the ball as good as yesterday, but it’s the same for both teams, so you got to get the job done any way you can,” said Haniger, whose streak of four straight games with a home run came to an end. “Just trying to hit the ball hard, and it squeaked through and got the run across.”

After Yoan Moncada’s leadoff double chased Gonzales in the seventh, reliever Dan Altavilla retired the next two batters before Marc Rzepczynski got the final out of the inning.

Juan Nicasio pitched the eighth and Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his ninth save in as many tries.

Differences of opinion are to be expected, and the truth is that typically when a critic is laser-focused on one or two names that seem out of place to them, it means that they actually agree with most of the rest of the list. And there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s actually a feature of fantasy baseball, and not a flaw. If you were in a league with me and we had a distinct difference of opinion on one or two players, the end result could well be a trade in which we both think we’ve gotten away with a steal.

However, when we’re talking about rest-of-season rankings and it’s still April, there seems to be more of a disconnect in terms of why some players move up after a bad start or down after beginning the season on a tear. The reason for this counterintuitive player movement is because after such a small sample of at-bats, with very few exceptions, there’s no real reason to change our preseason view of what we expect players to accomplish.

By way of example, let’s compare Ian Happ and Javier Baez — a pair of Chicago teammates who were ranked within a round of each other heading into the season, with the following projected 2018 stat lines:

However, here’s the thing. We can’t suddenly assume that either of these players will produce at this pace the rest of the season. If we did, then we’d also have to assume that Jed Lowrie will be a .363 hitter when the season comes to a close, and I don’t think anybody out there — save for Lowrie and some family members, perhaps — believes that to be the case.jets_053



NFL Draft: The best chances from Down Under

Hopefuls from Australia and New Zealand are not foreign to the NFL Draft.

The first Australian ever drafted was defensive and tight end Colin Scotts, who was taken at Pick No. 70 by the St.Louis (now Arizona) Cardinals in 1987.

But history tells us the Kiwis got in first, with Christchurch-born USC linebacker Riki Ellison taken in the 1982 draft at Pick No. 111.

Punters almost never declare for the NFL Draft early – according to ESPN Stats & Information, only two punters who have left college early to enter the NFL draft having been selected: Bradley Pinion (drafted 165th overall by the San Francisco 49ers in 2015) and Chris Gardocki (No. 78 by the Chicago Bears in 1991).

With the Bears and Oakland Raiders in need to fill that position, expect Dickson to be a name called out early on Day 3 of the draft.

A professional athlete who stands over two meters tall and weighs more than 150kgs is rare. It’s even more rare if an athlete of that stature can run 5.12 seconds in the 40-yard dash with an arms measure of 90cm. Meet ex-South Sydney Rabbitohs player Jordan Mailata. Mailata is an enormous athlete aiming to make the transition from the NRL to the NFL.

The Pelicans went 1-3 against the Warriors this season, the win coming April 7 in a game in which Warriors guard Stephen Curry (knee) didn’t play. Curry remains questionable for Saturday’s game as he continues to recover from the same MCL sprain in his left knee.

But the Pelicans are riding high given just how dominant they performed in a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference first round.

Their optimism is largely based upon just how dominant Davis was in that series. The 25 year-old All-Star averaged 33 points and 11.8 rebounds in the series, setting a tone that the rest of his teammates followed. When asked what he expected to see from Davis in this series, teammate Jrue Holiday responded with a confident answer.

“What happened last series,” Holiday said.

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is trying to instill that confident belief within his team before the series begins. Like Davis, he believes that the young group is ready for prime time.

“I tell the guys all the time they should embrace this opportunity to compete against this team,” Gentry said. “Because what they’ve done the last four years has been phenomenal, really. An opportunity to win two championships and lose another that everyone thought that they may have an opportunity to win. It gives you a great gauge as to where your franchise is, and where your team is, and where you need to get to really.”jets_106