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Everything posted by Fuego

  1. Your ticket reminds me of the town in which I grew up. A university town, the cops would sit silently outside of parties and wait for coeds to make it to the sidewalk with a beer and then arrest them. Not ticket, arrest. They looked for any and every reason to pull people over and ticket them, I assume to keep money flowing in.
  2. My brother in law and his wife isolated their kids to prevent exactly this. 24/7 propaganda until their teen years. He is deeply driven by fear and rules, and it shows in his approach to life. Only he can free himself. The kids only social circles are within church and church camps. But there is always hope. It took me 30 years.
  3. This is where having a good spy network helps out tremendously.
  4. I read the story. Not surprised. The level of stupid in this country, especially in power, is at one of the highest points ever. Sound bites that echo and inflame already held beliefs are valued more highly than anything factual that contradicts them. My concern now are the variants that the unvaccinated are creating and unleashing on the world. My local circle of vaccinated musicians are just starting to do gigs and jams again, and 30 people in a backyard without masks makes me nervous, as does going to restaurants. Even breakthrough sickness is still hard to face. Some friends that have compromised immune systems are still having to isolate socially. But when bellowing idiots mock the attempts to mitigate the spread, it makes me wish a boatload of the virus on them and their families. I look at all the ones it could have culled from the gene pool and didn't, while it took many good people...
  5. I've heard Heilung say that their music is better when you don't understand the lyrics, as they are going for a deeply felt primal group experience rather than actually worshiping a particular god.
  6. Is the claim that these factors are always and only the cause of diseases? I get that they (stress, rage, anxiety, depression) can exacerbate immune system problems, but to claim that they always are the cause seems absurd. My guess is that if that is the actual claim, they would default to the past lives idea and dragging in karma or stress from a previous incarnation. I've been away from all of that for so long I don't know what they claim these days.
  7. Then there are the believers that do claim miracles, growing back body parts and even raising the dead. I promoted such a preacher for 9 years, fully believing him because his men also claimed to have seen and experienced these things. They seemed like genuine people. It wasn't until I caught him making up a long involved story (when I had hours of video showing otherwise) that I snapped out of it. I didn't understand why his men would fall in line with him when they knew it wasn't real, but then I recalled all the cults I'd studied over the years and how a charismatic leader's favor becomes super-important to the cult. And then in the last couple of years I also realized that their particular brand of Pentecostalism demands that belief be treated as real even when it hasn't manifested. To do otherwise is to give in to the devil. So the claims of raising the dead were just them treating belief as reality. They had other strange practices like having to eat their own vomit if they puked while eating something the local Indians served them, because it would offend the Indians otherwise. You can't eat puke and not puke again, so it was bizarre (and I witnessed it at a meeting where many of us had food poisoning). It's a cult, nothing more. Then again so is Christianity, just a popular one.
  8. Hmm. I never thought of the high as a negative unless it became destructive, or a thing in itself. I guess in both cases it can be, but not necessarily. In the spirituality part of the forum there are a couple of threads discussing the use of psychedelics in secular spirituality. They aren't addictive at all, and can bring up some buried trauma or expose some nasty character traits and make one deal with them, or envelop the user in depths of love and interconnectedness with all life here and elsewhere, hence the spiritual aspect (and they introduce the mind to vastly different perspectives on self and others). But the goal is to bring back into daily life useful attitudes and perspective that make us better people. The high in itself can be amazing, but trying to stay there is pointless. The movie "The Razor's Edge" has the main character realize that it is easy to be a holy man on a mountain, but that it must be brought back down into the street to be of any point. I don't really like the effect of alcohol when I get anywhere close to being wobbly. It doesn't bring any insights to me, and keeps me from driving or doing anything. But over a dinner, a beer or cocktail can be a nice extra. The goal there isn't the stupor, but the dining and social experience. With church I experienced some wonderful and unusual things once I got into the Pentecostal realm (and a million times more fake woo). Seeking the presence of god was the goal, and some experiences seemed to confirm that as the right path. Some of the more secular spiritual paths would say that there is nothing to find, just to recognize what is already here from other perspectives. I'm interested in your reaction to these thoughts.
  9. Very well said. Our minds get programmed by our parents and family culture in deep ways, and often they aren't good ways. As children, we expect the adults to have a good grasp of reality and help us become prepared to deal with life. Now that we are adults, we can see that nope, adults are often just a mess and pass that on to their kids. But recognizing that and making a conscious choice to be different is our most powerful ability, even if the changes are slow baby steps. Fear is the base power of religion, and that is what duped me into first believing. I was a kid afraid of monsters and saw an advert for "The Exorcist". Scared the shit out of me and led to 30 years of hardcore faith. But it was a childish decision based on Hollywood special effects, nothing more. All of the years of studying the scriptures and trying to find the presence of God were a constant shell-game of belief despite evidence smacking me in the face that there was nothing real about the god I was seeking, and the scriptures that purport to be historical documents are made-up stories. We stick with it for so long because of the social bonds we form with other believers and family. Breaking out of such a social circle can be difficult, but becomes easier when we can shift to another circle. We do need human support, and finding new friends with similar interests can help re-orient the mind and emotions. I used to be a terribly invasive person because church was teaching me that we had to pursue holiness or be damned. That kind of attitude isn't tolerated outside the church except in other kinds of cults and families. When I left church I began learning about music and began hanging out with other amateur singers, performing on stage and hiring instrumentalists. They became one of the social circles for me. When you get involved in things you enjoy, it naturally provides opportunities for relationships. Dance lessons were another fun way to meet others and let go of the church programming. But it does crop up in my mind and emotions occasionally. The songs, the phrases, the mannerisms of people I used to consider important. That's ok. It no longer has a hold on me, but was part of my life experience for decades. So welcome, and I hope we can be helpful to you in finding your strength and forming new paths in life.
  10. This is art. Elizabethan Yodel Metal Focus- Hocus Pocus
  11. Enforcing fundamentalist beliefs (no, not love your neighbor as yourself, or take up your cross daily, or sell all you have and give to the poor) at the Southern Baptist Convention Back in the 80s, there was a resurgence of taking the Bible more literally, believing in demons and angels, and actively doing something called spiritual warfare that sold lots of books and speaking engagements. Any time believers can feel like they are at war, they tend to embrace the faith more strongly. Show them how the culture has embrace the devil, and they will fervently burn books, records, etc. This blurb is the same thing. It's the same fervency that drives Boko Haram and other fanatics globally. Rightness has been spelled out for them and they will embrace it, though only the parts that don't involve caring for others (especially foreigners), dying to selfish desires, and forsaking the pursuit of money. They are almost a caricature at this point, but there are a lot of them that have an unbending smug anger that drives them to control others.
  12. Now that things are starting to open up more, and social activities are beginning to happen, get involved with stuff you like doing that involves women. Music, dancing lessons (that worked for me and for my dad), whatever hobbies you have may have local interest groups. That may be the most natural way to meet people. Or branch out into things you don't yet know, but might enjoy. And remember, the ladies like a nice body just like we do, so do what you can to make yourself attractive to whatever section of culture you like.
  13. The one I usually hear is that the vaccine contains something to help them program you for some kinds of responses, and make you more malleable to 1. be a slave 2. bow to the Beast 3. prepare you for off-world conditions The list goes on and on since it is imaginary and no one has isolated anything that can do anything but cause an immune response to a spike protein.
  14. True, and the USA and UK "civilized" societies were also established through much violence and genocide of the natives, and exported wherever we seek control. I noticed this tendency to gloss over the nasty yesterday when I was watching a fan-video of clips from Vikings set to a Heilung song (though the band itself promotes brotherhood of man). I get the attraction to a primitive tribal setting (until we need medical help), but celebrating a brutal culture of war and taking of slaves struck me as distasteful, but it "worked" as a culture for quite some time, as did the other world cultures of Rome, Greece, etc that took over and imposed their ways. The inherent violent tendency of humans hasn't really changed on a national level, it has just been sanitized so we feel better about ourselves. Working for real change that helps people is still important, and there are a lot of us still trying to do that despite the last 4 years of popularity of a president who idealized the opposite.
  15. We lost the underlying motivation to make it work. When we have a social circle that all believe and reinforce the belief any time our brains start to see through the malarkey, the shell-game of excuses eventually seems normal and accepted until something more upsetting gets our attention and helps unravel the stack of lies we believed. Plus many of us are inclined to want magic answers and a feeling that we have an invisible friend with super-powers giving us an edge on life. But we don't. Unfortunately, many millions in several religions do believe that, and shape the laws and culture of nations around the planet. Occasionally we make advances, and then mental and often violent fundamentalists resurge and set humanity back several centuries (see pic).
  16. You've made some great steps towards a solid life of your own based in maturity and healthy choices. That is outstanding. We each process death differently. My sister had a heck of a time while the boys were more factual, until the funeral at least (for me).
  17. My questions have been answered to my satisfaction. So much of the issue has to do with how average humans interpret reality and the many emotional motivations we have to settle for a quick answer. In an optical illusion (see example), the apparent evidence seems to point to a clear conclusion, but our senses are not developed sharply enough to discern reality without help (science, math, and tools we make). Not many humans are motivated to question our senses, our culture, our upbringing, our social circle, our patriotism, or anything else that shapes our beliefs. Much of stage magic is based on exploiting these tendencies and imperfections in our senses. The attached picture seems to show swirls of green and blue divided by rose. But the green and blue are identical colors. Our senses say that is crazy, they are obviously different. But the actual difference is the smaller counter swirls of orange or rose which are not actually continuous. The surrounding color or orange or rose influences how we see the green or blue (which on its own seems between the two apparent colors). By using a graphics program, one can zoom in and do a color comparison. At that point fact is shown by a tool even though our senses still see two colors. I used an image format called PNG that preserves this effect. Saving as a JPG destroys the integrity of the illusion because it approximates the colors to save file size.
  18. Thank you all! Those are some great insights. I'm going to try and summarize below. Let me know if you'd clarify or change what I got from your answers. 1. We all have to believe at some level since we can't verify each and every fact, especially when the facts are outside of our field of expertise. But we can look for peer review, whether an authority is speaking from science and expertise, or whether there is something else motivating the claims. An informed decision is based on trusted sources, and the trust comes from the sources being vetted as authorities. However, if a person has already built up belief in sources that are viewed as authorities but are not really, the belief can be very powerful but misguided. And there can be legitimate disagreement between vetted authorities, as well as understanding that vetted authorities can often have side agendas especially if they are paid to represent a position. 2. Sometimes belief begins with a strong motivation, perhaps always. Most religious conversion does not come about by examining history and fact, but by an emotional appeal to cosmic love, eternal life in paradise vs icky damnation, salvation from troubles (overeating, alcohol, monsters in the closet). Often there is social reinforcement of the decision when other believers celebrate the decision. Emotional motivation will carry people through all kinds of contrary evidence, sometimes even pretending to "expose the lies" of unbelievers. Any little thing can be interpreted as validation and reinforcement of the belief, "God helped me find my car keys! Glory!" and major misses are chalked up to silent divine will or ignored for the sake of fitting in with the other believers. We see this all the time in financial scams online or over the phone, and the popular multilevel marketing pyramid schemes. Add to this the natural embarrassment of realizing I was gullible, and I will tend to keep on believing against my better judgment because otherwise I have to admit to being fooled. And that magic prize looks so enticing... So belief is often rooted firmly in emotions rather than any kind of verifiable facts. 3. In the case of the 120 US Generals signing their names to a letter endorsing fallacious conspiracies, they could have a certain degree of paranoia from years of fighting enemy ideas and are looking for enemies where there are none. And they have likely never lost a war, so losing an election that they backed strongly may be causing them distressing emotional dissonance and claiming that there was cheating and fraud is a way to feel like they are still being champions of the American cause. 4. In a mature person, when belief becomes willful ignorance that excludes evidence either by not looking it or by pushing it away, it becomes stupidity. Whatever the motivation is that drives the ongoing decision to believe, there really is a dividing line between confirmation bias and actually weighing evidence to find truth, even if it is uncomfortable.
  19. I'm pondering the current political climate and watching as 120 former armed forces generals sign their names to a letter stating they believe the election was stolen, despite courts repeatedly rejecting the claims for lack of evidence. They believe that Marxism is taking over the United States (bear in mind these are people that have actively fought Communists), despite being able to buy and sell and promote their views without being imprisoned. I see the anti-vax folks believing all kinds of odd things about vaccines from making us into 5G antennas to track us to "shedding" the vaccine so others get vaccinated just by being near. I see the anti-mask folks saying they believe masks are a conspiracy to deprive us of oxygen and cause us to become sick. Belief is critical to Christianity and other religions that make it the deciding factor in whether a person will be part of the chosen in-crowd or not, and the cults reward those that choose belief over facts and evidence. "We're fools for Christ!" "Faith is evidence for things not seen" Belief is therefore the most important aspect of something they think is critical for survival, and they get social rewards for that belief. These are people that sometimes have a good education, have risen to top level strategic positions (though the military has its own kind of indoctrination), and yet belief trumps anything to the contrary, and their crowd, the chosen ones, gives them kudos for believing the secret/obvious knowledge and standing against the devil/Marx. So is it a form of stupidity (just bullheaded walking off a cliff), or a defect in human thinking that lets otherwise intelligent people get scammed and then promote the scam like their lives depended on it? We see it in quack cures (which are also promoted during this virus time), and one lieutenant general swears by the malaria drug for keeping free of COVID, though it does nothing in that regard. Are they all conditioned to religious thinking and that same format is being exploited? It feels like we need some kind of anti-malware installed to help sort this defect (meaning it isn't stupidity per se, but people get conditioned to behave in a way that ignores demonstrable reality). I suppose my underlying thought is that "you can't fix stupid", but perhaps the other has an off switch.
  20. The question you gave (as pointed out above) is rephrased as "Conform to my belief or I'll kill you". Many would just pretend so as to escape slaughter and perhaps plot ways to subvert the cult. Some might give the finger to the dictator/group and be done with life, preferring death to what the world will become under a totalitarian religious cult.
  21. I always rephrase the story in terms of a mommy who bakes some brownies, fills the whole house with the yummy chocolate smell, sets them out on the table and then tells the kids "You can have all the vegetables you want, but eat any of these brownies and I'll kill you." If she meant that literally, would she be a good mommy or the most evil one ever? What if she justifies it by claiming to be "holy"? The kids eat the brownies anyway, so in her infinite love takes just one and beats him to death in front of the others. "Now then, my anger is satisfied and all you have to do is tell me that this was the greatest love ever demonstrated... or I'll take you in the back yard and burn you alive." Would we honor and adore the mommy for being wise beyond our understanding? Would we make movies depicting this as miraculous love? Would we say "I'm glad that she made even one way for us to not be burned alive"? Nope. We'd lock her up as a psychopathic narcissistic child abuser and murderer.
  22. Welcome! Actually, rather than books this forum is one of the best places to interact with those who have deconverted and the variety of experiences we have had because of the changes. From age 11 I spent 30 years as a wholehearted believer (Nazarene, Baptist, Pentecostal) and church was one of the first places I had friends and a social life. I typically set aside any questions and problems with the faith in confidence that I would someday understand them fully, rather than seeing them as actual problems and that I had been duped from the beginning by well-meaning people who had also been duped. After having gone into the faith as far as I could, hungrily seeking the presence of God, I had an experience that was like an emotional slap in the face. It wasn't enough to unplug my faith, but it was the first crack that started me questioning. I spent the next year praying, fasting, seeking a resolution to the issue and was quite unwilling this time to make excuses. I wanted a real God instead of a constant shell game of "just believe" when reality was showing me something quite different than my beliefs. Reality was showing me my god was an imaginary friend, and the pressure from other believers was always to pretend strongly that he was always in complete control even if it didn't look like it. After a year of silence and seeing more clearly that I had been fooled into belief through childish fears and snake-oil promises, I found this forum and deconverted fully. What I found instantly was that my religious head had been filled with noise, a constant invisible war with demons and angels and taboos about emotions and sex and music that all went silent when I figured out it was all imaginary. What a relief! That was about 14 years ago and since then I've had a new view of myself and the planet as something to explore and enjoy. I took up singing and found a wonderful new community of musicians with whom to play. I find that the important morals of the Bible have nothing to do with an angry petulant god that wants blood, and everything to do with being kind to each other. Every day I uncover more childhood fears and anxieties to examine within, and find my way out of them with self kindness instead of an imaginary parent/god glaring at me and expecting unquestioning devotion or face punishment. All of that dropped off and I can take my time thinking and pondering, and continue to explore life. COVID time has brought in all kinds of emotional challenges for just about everyone, and I'm trying to use the resulting feelings to explore my reactions and learn more how the mind works. I still have Christian songs pop up in my mind since I spent three decades only listening to that instead of secular music. So that is to be expected. It isn't any kind of god behind it, just programming of my mind. I can appreciate some of it, but some lyrics are just awful slavish lies that kept me in a cult for most of my life. I can't tolerate the cult much anymore, and find the abuses of the faith to be astronomically larger than any perceived benefits humanity has derived from it. Freedom, kindness, empathy, compassion, logic, and science are ways that bring about a better world, as is the choice to embody them each day. I hope you find the inner peace and resolution you seek.
  23. That's very much the "teaching" effect underlying the use of these things. Rather than just the ride itself is what we do with the insights when we are back in normality. One older guy I follow on youtube said that in the last few months (due to his use of DMT) his perspective on his wife and life in general has been transformed into one of great appreciation and recognition of the tremendous love he's been given rather than seeing others as a general annoyance and treating them as such. Another youtube guy who is about as non-woo as they come is always looking for the practical side after the ride (which can sometimes bring up emotionally hard shit we are avoiding), saying it sometimes turns the experience into the effect of years of therapy if we are open to being changed.
  24. That is exactly what they have done to you since birth. Nothing has changed except your own self, and toxic people will do anything to get you back under their control because they like it that way (even if they think it is "right" or "the way God ordained", etc) Another crisis, another "offense", another proclamation from god, another "forgive me" with no intention at all to change. You are making strides in a new direction in life, and they will never encourage you in that because they can't manipulate you into being what you always were before. But they will try every play in the book to derail you emotionally. You will need to learn to disconnect the old programming in your reactions and see it for what it is, manipulation and control. You are now in control of your own life, every choice you make leads you to more freedom or more entrenched childhood cycles. Pursue things that actually bring joy and freedom to make yourself better. Change is always a hard thing because we tend to prefer the familiar even when it is harmful.
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