Archive | December 25, 2013

Will The Real Dr. Eben Alexander Please Stand Up?

Near-Death-Experience IllustrationLuke Dittrich has written a long essay for Esquire in which he posits that “Before his bestselling book Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife made Dr. Eben Alexander rich and famous as a “man of science” who’d experienced the afterlife, he was something else: a neurosurgeon with a troubled history and a man in need of reinvention”:

On December 18, 2012, the set of Fox & Friends was both festive and somber. Festive because it was the Christmas season. The three hosts, two men in dark suits flanking a woman in a blue dress, sat on a mustard-colored couch in front of a cheery seasonal backdrop: a lit-up tree, silver-painted twigs, mounds of tinsel, blue and red swatches of fabric, and, here and there, multicolored towers of blown glass with tapering points that made them look surprisingly like minarets. Somber because a terrible thing had happened just four days earlier, in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

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The Psychedelic Christian Radio of Pastor John Rydgren

rydrenFeel the need for some old time religion on this Christmas Day? The best delivery method may be the bizarre late-'60s psychedelic Christian radio programming of John Rydgren. WFMU writes:
Heading into the Summer of Love, Pastor John Rydgren was the crafty head of the TV, Radio and Film Department of the American Lutheran Church. The straight-looking Rydgren created a daily radio show called Silhouette in which he became the reassuring, resonant-voiced Hippy for God. Rydgren wrote, announced and programmed Silhouette, taking his musical and cultural cues from The Electric Prunes, Herb Alpert and the cover of Time (Is God Dead?), with a vocal delivery that was straight out of the school of breathy baritone radio seduction. New York's WABC-FM picked up Silhouette on a daily basis, but Rydgren and the American Lutheran Church aggressively syndicated the show beyond New York, and in that effort, they issued a double LP in 1967.
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Edward Snowden’s Alternative Christmas Message

First, a little bit of context for those of you not in a part of the British Commonwealth: on Christmas Day at 3 PM GMT the BBC broadcasts the Queen’s annual Christmas message. The UK’s underdog broadcast television network, Channel 4, has its own alternative message and this year its programmers chose Edward Snowden, the infamous NSA whistleblower, to deliver it. Channel 4 has been hard at work taking down the message from YouTube as fast as it can, so this version is via CNN with some commentary.

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Miracles: So What?

9839c6ee-a777-4189-a03e-6c0cc0b0128eLast year I bought a book from the internet titled Raised from the Dead: True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles by Father Albert J. Herbert (1986).  As one could probably guess, the anecdotes this book contains span many centuries and involve many people who had flatlined coming back to life, really incredible stuff.  Father Herbert treats the accounts in an old-school ‘devout’ manner, as though each incredible miracle were a natural matter of course and a testament to the will of God.   While inspiring, I found them just too incredible.  My own faltering set me on a mission to try to corroborate accounts of miracles with credible evidence.  Maybe by bringing back an olive branch, I could also inspire others to climb to the mouth of the cave (mixing metaphors, lol).

A miracle is a supernatural phenomenon (which we here at disinfo are to no small degree acclimated) but one that strings along a set of religious implications as well.  For example, Jesus performed 3 different types of miracles: healing, exorcism, and natural wonders.  However, numerous divergent religions will claim miracles on behalf of their deity(s).  One notable modern non-Catholic, undoubtedly among many, who is widely referred to as “miracle worker” is Sathya Sai Baba, who has many remarkable miraculous claims to his name.… Read the rest

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Massachusetts Police Seize More Than 1,000 Bags Of “Obamacare” Heroin

obamacare_heroinSign up for yours today. NBC Connecticut reports:

Massachusetts State Police say they made a major drug bust early Friday morning after a traffic stop led them to more than 1,000 bags of heroin, many of which where labeled with bright red “Obamacare” stamps. Massachusetts State Police Trooper Joseph Petty was on a traffic stop in the area of Route 91 in Northampton when a vehicle passed him early this morning.

The trooper noticed several violations and stopped the car in Hatfield, a town about 30 miles north of Enfield, Conn. Inside the car, police found 1,250 bags of heroin. Many of the bags appear to be stamped with “Obamacare,” a common nickname for the federal health care overhaul.

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Happy Saturnalia To All!

SaturnaliaA celebration dear to the hearts of the Disinformation team at this time of year is Saturnalia, one of the most popular Roman festivals. It was marked by tomfoolery and reversal of social roles, in which slaves and masters ostensibly switched places, with expectantly humorous results. Saturnalia was introduced around 217 BC to raise citizen morale after a crushing military defeat. Originally celebrated for a day, on December 17th, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week-long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd. Our favorite exposition of Saturnalia has long been the Electric Sheep comic strip, no longer easily available on the web, but we dug in the crates and are pleased to bring it to you. We did find it here and in a video created from the original website posted to Funny or Die:
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