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Irish Gulags For Women: ‘Everything You Know About God Is Wrong’

The following is a small portion of Sam Jordison’s "’Irish Gulags for Women': The Catholic Church’s Magdalene Asylums," one of 41 articles in Disinfo’s new anthology, Everything You Know About God Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Religion, edited by Russ Kick. Other contributors include Richard Dawkins, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Rushkoff, and H.G. Wells. All major religions, and some minor ones, are covered. (More information is here.)

Here is the first fifth of Jordison’s article:

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Al-Qaeda’s Forerunner

‘Not many people can tell you much about the November 1979 takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by Islamist militants. That’s partly because the Saudi authorities, as is their way, kept a tight lid on information during that fateful two-week period when the regime’s survival seemed, for the first time, in danger. Little changed afterward by way of transparency (even if the Saudis released a fascinating Arabic-language video on the event, pouring opprobrium on the militants). That is why Yaroslav Trofimov’s just-published book The Siege of Mecca is so valuable a document, not only in describing the murky events surrounding the takeover almost 28 years ago, but also as a backgrounder on the depth of Salafist tendencies in Saudi Arabia and the later emergence of Al-Qaeda. Trofimov, an Asia-based reported for the Wall Street Journal, has written extensively on Islam and the Middle East. An earlier book, Faith at War: A Journey on the Frontlines of Islam, from Baghdad to Timbuktu, was selected as one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post.’ (Reason article).… Read the rest

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The 9/11 Survivor No One Can Remember

‘Ms Head’s account made her one of only 19 survivors who had been at or above the point of impact when the planes hit. But no part of her story, it turns out, has been verified.

‘The family and friends of the man to whom she claimed to be engaged say they have never heard of Tania Head and view the relationship she describes with the man, who did die in the north tower, as an impossibility.

‘A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch, where she told people she worked at the time of the terror attack, said the company had no record of employing a Tania Head.’ (Guardian article).

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Sui Generis?

‘Did the prisoners at Leavenworth consider suing Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel for ripping off the saggy belt-less trousers they wear in the prison yard? Did hundreds of anonymous graffiti artists sue Stephen Sprouse for printing tags on Louis Vuitton satchels?’ (Village Voice article).

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Outlaws

‘As "The Kingdom" progresses, the role of the F.B.I. squad begins to inflate. At first, under the guiding hand of the local investigator, Colonel Faris Al Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom), the agents are largely confined to their quarters and barely permitted to disturb the crime scene. As the rules relax, the film turns into "C.S.I.: Riyadh," with Sykes fishing around in bomb craters for twisted clues, and, by the end, the fantastic four

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The Weirdest Sex Stories Of 2007

‘2007 has been a great year for sex. OK, every year is a great year for sex. But this year is especially interesting, with reports of sexsomnia, vegansexuals, man boobs, female promiscuity, double penises, horny old folks, cosmetic vagina surgery, publicly funded sex-change surgery, and the decline of marriage and co-sleeping. Among this year’s hundreds of Human Nature stories, five trends and discoveries stand out.’ (Slate Magazine article).

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Jim Marrs: America’s PSI Spies Penetrate The Kremlin

Behind the doors of the CIA and U.S. Army Intelligence, science and ESP come together like a movie in the electrifying scenes of Jim Marrs’ new book, PSI Spies: the True Story of America’s Psychic Warfare Program. The author of best-sellers that have revealed the secrets and the conspiracies of the Federal Government, Marrs traces in PSI Spies the evolution of remote viewing and the use of this mental technology from the hidden laboratories of the 1970s to a new generation of viewers now being trained by former PSI spies.

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HillaryCare 2.0

Will she flinch? For months now, that’s been the big question about Senator Hillary Clinton and health care. Nobody questioned her command of the issue or her interest in the subject. She’d proven all of that in 1993 and 1994, when she headed up her husband’s health care task force and then became chief spokesperson for his ill-fated plan. But precisely because she "has the scars" from that experience, as she likes to say, many people wondered whether she’d be up for trying all over again. Would she be vague, figuring she had the least to prove on the matter and that details could only come back to haunt her? Would she settle on something less than universal coverage, figuring the political support for it was too weak? Would she kowtow to the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies, which had started donating to her campaigns?

‘The answer seems to be no, no, and no.… Read the rest

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Sexuality In The Confessional: ‘Everything You Know About God Is Wrong’ Exerpt’

Muslim students’ conference, the Sixth Dalai Lama’s erotic poetry, the actual Jesus you find in the Bible, the unknown authors of the Gospels, the musical legacy of nonbelievers, the non-legacy of the Ten Commandments, anti-Semitism in the "Left Behind" novels, sexy Hindu sculpture, atheism, exorcisms, Confucius, the Tibet myth, dung gods, Osho, snake-handlers, Magdalene Asylums, Mark Twain’s little-known takedown of Christianity, and much more, plus 50 images (including a photo of three little girls smoking pot as part of a church service) and a comic (by Neil Gaiman). (More information is here.)

‘"Good Books" contains definitely informative and hopefully entertaining reviews of thirteen religion books, most of which are unfortunately hard to find. Over half were published by university presses and carry hefty price tags, so they typically are spotted only in university libraries, but the info they contain is simply too fascinating to let molder on dusty shelves.… Read the rest

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