The Creepy Fundamentalist Homeschool Cult That Trained the Duggars

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Bill Gothard, founder of Advanced Training Institure. Credit: Institute in Basic Life Principles (CC)

The Duggar family has been tearing up the Internet of late. Never one to be left behind in the race to jump on a rapidly vanishing meme, Gawker goes deep into what it calls the “bizarre horrors of the Advanced Training Institute, its founder Bill Gothard, and its many overpopulated families”:

You know about the Duggars, the evangelical Christian family whose 19 children catapulted them to fame through Discovery Health specials and TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, and you know about Josh Duggar, the eldest son, who admitted last week to molesting several underage girls as a teen—including his own sisters.

You’ve seen some examinations of the dangerous, backwards logic that helped fuel that systematic and highly preventable sexual abuse, and some explorations of the culture of authority and fear promulgated by the Duggars’ uniquely patriarchal brand of Christianity.

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Jeffrey Sterling vs. the CIA: An Untold Story of Race and Retribution

A dozen years before his recent sentencing to a 42-month prison term based on a jury’s conclusion that he gave classified information to a New York Times journalist, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was in the midst of a protracted and fruitless effort to find someone in Congress willing to look into his accusations about racial discrimination at the agency.

Jeffrey Sterling. Still from the film “The Invisible Man."

Jeffrey Sterling. Still from the film “The Invisible Man.” has obtained letters from Sterling to prominent members of Congress, beseeching them in 2003 and 2006 to hear him out about racial bias at the CIA. Sterling, who is expected to enter prison soon, provided the letters last week. They indicate that he believed the CIA was retaliating against him for daring to become the first-ever black case officer to sue the agency for racial discrimination.

As early as 2000, Sterling was reaching out toward Capitol Hill about his concerns.… Read the rest

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If Psychedelic Drugs Were Legalized, Capitalism Would Destroy Religion

supercomputer3Going full on into a shamanic or Occult practice is beyond weird, because the vast majority of people think you’re completely nuts for gasp, actually paying attention to your inner world (let alone blasting it all over Facebook, friend me). “Do you mean that stuff is real?” they’ll ask. Well, yeah, but ultimately insisting on dividing thoughts and visions into convenient categories of “real” or “not real” is a pretty ridiculous way of conceptualizing consciousness. Aaaand you’ve already lost them. Which is why maybe the best thing you can do as a mystic is point out over and over how utterly batshit and illogical western spiritual thought is in the first place. We should never ever forget that this is the refractive lens through which we view everything having to do with the soul. In a culture that prides itself on a bizarro academic sense of rationality, there is zero rationality in the popular way we view spirituality period.… Read the rest

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Speaking Art to Power


Andy Nowicki writes at Alternative Right:

It is not enough, after all, simply to buck the trends of the times. Determined and thoroughgoing defiance does show guts, of course, and this is something to be praised and admired in and of itself, to be sure. But he who would be an caroler of dissidence ought not merely assign himself the task of being as offensive as possible with his song of sublime subversion, rendering himself a mere aural nuisance or (to shift to a different metaphorical sense)  an “eyesore in the architecture.” Instead, the willingness to offend, even mortally offend, must be accompanied by an awareness that one isn’t primarily addressing himself to those of his time. Topicality must ever be tempered with patient comprehension of the arc of history. “Today is not forever,” as the saying goes; put otherwise, the temporal is not the eternal.

As grating as present preoccupations of our would-be rulers can be, their prescribed ideologies ought not vex us too greatly, because these gruesome manifestations of “totalitarian humanism” possess no intellectual heft whatsoever; they amount to little more than shoddily-constructed fortresses made of mud, which have no chance of surviving the soon-to-be incoming tide.

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Film The Police!

Brave New Films just released a new short film about police brutality with a call for us all to do our civil duty and film the police:

From Brave New Films:

Some lawmakers are still pushing to criminalize the recording of police activity in public – and because we know we need more, not less, police accountability, we made this short film to share online!

In 12 states, it is illegal to record audio of police without permission and these states and others are now pushing for further laws criminalizing recording outright.

Filming the police is a right. And it is the only thing bringing the severe injustice of current policing tactics to light.

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Vampire Legend Came From Rare Genetic Disorder Porphyria

Did you know that vampire myths may actually have come from Medieval fears of a rare genetic disorder called porphyria? Guardian Liberty Voice has the story:

The origin of the vampire myth may not have come only from the excitable minds of Middle Age peasants. Instead, a rare genetic disorder called porphyria might have started the tales, according to biochemist Dr. David H. Dolphin of the University of British Columbia and other scientists.


Photo: Lua Morales (CC)


Porphyria is a rare group of at least eight blood disorders. A patient is diagnosed with porphyria if any of the eight different enzymes that create porphyrin, a body chemical which transforms into heme (another chemical the body needs) when in contact with iron, are affected. A patient lacking in any one of the eight enzymes is not able to produce heme, which is responsible for items such as cell differentiation and protein synthesis.

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Jean-Philippe Tremblay: Shadows of Liberty

Shadows of Liberty reveals the extraordinary truth behind the news media: censorship, cover-ups and corporate control. Filmmaker Jean-Philippe Tremblay takes a journey through the darker corridors of the US media, where global conglomerates call the shots. For decades, their overwhelming influence has distorted news journalism and compromised its values.”

Ron Placone and Jean-Philippe talk details about the film, the Media Reform movement in the United States, theories on why the film received so much attention world-wide but little in the US, and what this grassroots film-screening tour has been like.

If the above player does not work, go here.

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Atheists Make Americans Think of Death

What do you think of if/when you think of atheists? If you’re American there’s a good chance the thought of atheism inspires further thoughts about death, per Discovery News:

Atheists consistently rank among the lowest of the low in the court of American public opinion. Now, research suggests one reason why: Thinking about atheists reminds people of death.

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Photo: Trish Steel (CC)

In fact, prompting people to think about atheism triggered death-related thoughts just as strongly as, well, directly prompting people to think about death, a new study finds. These death thoughts help trigger a subconscious dislike of atheists, said study leader Corey Cook, a social psychologist at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Not only do thoughts of death put people in a negative frame of mind, Cook told Live Science, but they also prompt people to hold more tightly onto their own values.

“There’s a little circular thing going on where encountering atheism will make people grasp their values closer and then become more negative because atheists are perceived as not having values,” Cook said.

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The Sexy Origins of the Oneida Silverware Company

It is difficult to imagine how Oneida Community Limited would feel today if the legacy of Oneida lived on into the twenty-first century as nothing more than a silverware company. It is the only domestic silverware manufacturing company left in the United States. Few people in America havent heard of it and if you havent, go check your silverware drawer right now for you very likely own forks or spoons produced by them.

John Humphrey Noyes would want to be remembered for many of the other roles he played in his life: historian, utopian leader, philosopher, a religious man and the person who coined the term “free love.” His book History of American Socialisms is a widely referenced title in many books dealing with the subject of socialism in America.

It was during this period that the community began to practice some of Mr. Noyes’ more controversial beliefs, including group marriage.

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