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Posted: 05 July 2008 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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unsmoked:“On the subject of women as chattels of their husbands, here’s
an interesting quote, at least closer to the topic than forgiveness:

“The difference between freethought prohibitionists and Christian prohibitionists was that the freethinkers wanted to make drunkenness grounds for divorce - and to make it possible for a woman to leave a violent husband without incurring social stigma - whereas the Christians, while viewing drunkenness as a vice, did not consider either drinking or violent abuse grounds for leaving a marriage.”

(“Freethinkers were as divided in their views on temperance as on many other political issues.”)

Quoted from ‘FREETHINKERS - A History of American Secularism’ by Susan Jacoby”

First let me say, I really wish someone would smoke you so you wouldn’t have to remain unsmoked. tongue wink

Great book, aye? Read that one awhile back meself.

You have to admit though, even then, the freethinkers were more on target in their attempts to aid women in their plight toward equality and ability to rid themselves of a controlling, violent male.

Too bad more men in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century, and I dare say twentieth century, weren’t more like the Charles Ingalls character in “Little House on the Prairie,” that way the freethinkers wouldn’t have had to come up with escape routes for these otherwise trapped women.

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Posted: 05 July 2008 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 04 July 2008 05:27 AM

Does no one care what the fundamentalist mormon men are doing to “their” women and children?

Does no one care what the mainstream mormons are doing in their secret ceremonies in their temples?

I care in the sense of being curious what particular kind of superstitious woo-hoo they’re peddling, and I care if they’re breaking any laws. But beyond that, no, not really.

The recent YFZ Ranch raid, however, has so far been a travesty, and looks like it’s shaping up to be a gross violation of civil rights. The call that spurred the raid is currently thought to be a hoax by authorities. It turns out they had no actual evidence of abuse as grounds for launching the raid. The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that there was insufficient evidence to separate the children from their parents, and ordered them returned.

I’m not a big fan of Mormonism, but holy shit. If these people aren’t breaking any laws, they have as much right to believe what they want as we do, and this raid in particular looks like it was fueled by unjustified paranoia and religious persecution.

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Posted: 05 July 2008 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 05 July 2008 04:13 AM

First let me say, I really wish someone would smoke you so you wouldn’t have to remain unsmoked. tongue wink

This sent me scurrying to the dictionary to see if I could find anything good about being smoked. 

Like with ‘isocratic’, Webster isn’t helpful with ‘unsmoked’.
Turning to ‘smoke’ as a verb, I find that it means to undergo punishment.  “Smoke him!”  Is this something Tony Soprano might say?  Or, maybe I could find it in the Book of Numbers:  “And God said to Moses, ‘Smoke them all!  Every last man, woman, and child. No, wait.  On second thought, save out the 32,000 virgin girls and divide them up among your men, THEN smoke the rest.”

Could this be where Joseph Smith got his notions about polygamy?

Wait, further down here it says in Webster: smoke: to stupefy (as bees) by smoke.  That’s it.  Christians go to church every Sunday, the doors are closed and they get smoked, like bees.  The honey is collected, and then they are let out into the sunshine to work for another week.

Support the good word: Numbers 31:15

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=4&chapter=31

[ Edited: 05 July 2008 02:26 PM by unsmoked]
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Posted: 05 July 2008 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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derekjames - 05 July 2008 11:53 AM
isocratic infidel - 04 July 2008 05:27 AM

Does no one care what the fundamentalist mormon men are doing to “their” women and children?

Does no one care what the mainstream mormons are doing in their secret ceremonies in their temples?

I care in the sense of being curious what particular kind of superstitious woo-hoo they’re peddling, and I care if they’re breaking any laws. But beyond that, no, not really.

The recent YFZ Ranch raid, however, has so far been a travesty, and looks like it’s shaping up to be a gross violation of civil rights. The call that spurred the raid is currently thought to be a hoax by authorities. It turns out they had no actual evidence of abuse as grounds for launching the raid. The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that there was insufficient evidence to separate the children from their parents, and ordered them returned.

I’m not a big fan of Mormonism, but holy shit. If these people aren’t breaking any laws, they have as much right to believe what they want as we do, and this raid in particular looks like it was fueled by unjustified paranoia and religious persecution.

I guess, dereckjames, it depends on one’s definition of abuse. If you don’t think mind-control and brainwashing children from birth into a cult—(and even some mainstream mormons think the fundamentalists are cultists)—is abuse, then I suppose you and the Texas Sup. Ct. are correct to return their children to their equally brainwashed parents.

Read this, and then decide: are the mainstream mo’s “breaking any laws?”

Subject:  Naked Touching II: Old Men Gone Wild
Date:  Aug 22 11:36
Author:  Deconstructor
The thread on “naked touching” in the temple reminded me of something I had completely forgotten. Tyson Dunn’s excellent explanation of the initiatory ordinance triggered my memory:

While reading Dunn’s post, I recalled an incident that occurred to one of the missionaries in the MTC in the Provo temple.

One morning the guys in my room all went to the Provo temple to do temple work. At the last minute, we decided to do initiatories instead of doing an endowment session.

Big mistake.

Instead of taking in an endowment session where we’d get to sit across the room from a bunch of veiled women, we spent two hours almost naked getting touched by old men.

And it gets worse!

It’s weird enough going through the intiatory ordinance ONCE for your own endowment. But doing a two-hour initiatory session for the dead is borderline traumatic, especially for four young missionaries.

I got through it without much touching, despite going around and around from little cubicle to little cubicle with my little poncho-thing constantly flapping open.

But when we completed the session, one of the Elders with us came out of there completely white. He had this shocked look on his face as if something bad had happened to him. He refused to tell us what was wrong and stayed very quiet the rest of the day.

A few days later he told me what happened. He said every time he went through the initiatory, one of the old men stroked his private parts with the oil. Strange, since this didn’t happen to any of the rest of us, just him. He said he was so shocked and scared and he was in the temple, that he didn’t know what to do. So he just let the old man keep doing it.

Maybe he was making it up, but he sure looked shook up. I’ve never heard anyone else have this experience in the temple, but there’s no way any of us would have ever done an initiatory session again.

Are cults legally protected under freedom of religion in your opinion?

Also, if this is what the mormons are doing in their “mainstream” temples, what do you suppose they’re doing in these isolated communities?

[ Edited: 05 July 2008 02:22 PM by isocratic infidel]
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Posted: 05 July 2008 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 05 July 2008 06:14 PM

Are cults legally protected under freedom of religion in your opinion?

Also, if this is what the mormons are doing in their “mainstream” temples, what do you suppose they’re doing in these isolated communities?

No one is legally protected under freedom of religion to abuse or sexually assault someone else. But the problem in the Texas case was lack of evidence in many of the cases. The initial phone call looks like a hoax, and then the prosecutor was not able to present any evidence of abuse in many specific cases. Now, a 13 year-old who is pregnant would be some evidence. And the elder in your example could offer his testimony of what the old man did to him. But he apparently didn’t want to do anything about it, and unwillingness on the part of an abused person to testify is often a problem. But you can’t relax the evidentiary standard and convict without any proof - that would undermine the whole justice system and would be unconstitutional. Soooo, you have to take each case as it comes and see if you can prove abuse.

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Posted: 05 July 2008 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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unsmoked - 05 July 2008 06:11 PM
isocratic infidel - 05 July 2008 04:13 AM

First let me say, I really wish someone would smoke you so you wouldn’t have to remain unsmoked. tongue wink

This sent me scurrying to the dictionary to see if I could find anything good about being smoked. 

Like with ‘isocratic’, Webster isn’t helpful with ‘unsmoked’.
Turning to ‘smoke’ as a verb, I find that it means to undergo punishment.  “Smoke him!”  Is this something Tony Soprano might say?  Or, maybe I could find it in the Book of Numbers:  “And God said to Moses, ‘Smoke them all!  Every last man, woman, and child. No, wait.  On second thought, save out the 32,000 virgin girls and divide them up among your men, THEN smoke the rest.”

Could this be where Joseph Smith got his notions about polygamy?

Wait, further down here it says in Webster: smoke: to stupefy (as bees) by smoke.  That’s it.  Christians go to church every Sunday, the doors are closed and they get smoked, like bees.  The honey is collected, and then they are let out into the sunshine to work for another week.

Support the good word: Numbers 31:15

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=4&chapter=31

LOL
I was just being a wise ass… That said, I guess you never heard of the euphemism “having one’s pole smoked”  ?  Not gonna find that in the ole Webster’s!

And you would be correct, oh unsmoked one, ole Joe probably employed all definitions, including the euphemistic one.  big surprise

Isocracy: (From New WOrld Dictionary, second edition): A system of government in which all people have equal political power.  (at least it’s not too idealistic!)
Also, if ya want, you can:
Google Isocrates. A very fine ancient Attic orator and philosopher (436-338 BCE) who was taught by the sophists. In his Panegyricus (380 BCE) he wrote: “partim in pompa, partim in acie illustres” or “Let Athens and Sparta lay aside their jealousies. Let them assume, jointly, a leadership which might be difficult for either, but which would be assured to both.”

Safe to say, the dude was really into the balance.

[ Edited: 05 July 2008 02:54 PM by isocratic infidel]
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Posted: 05 July 2008 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Thanks Bruce, and I get the whole need for evidence, but: “Are (or should) cults legally protected under freedom of religion in your opinion?” and, in your opinion: “Is mind-control and brainwashing innocent children abuse?”


(All play and no work is costing me today!)

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Posted: 05 July 2008 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 05 July 2008 07:01 PM

Thanks Bruce, and I get the whole need for evidence, but: “Are (or should) cults legally protected under freedom of religion in your opinion?” and, in your opinion: “Is mind-control and brainwashing innocent children abuse?”

A cult in and of itself is protected as an exercise of freedom of religion. If tactics are used to coerce people to join or stay in the cult, or to abuse children, then those actions may fall under some other criminal statute such as kidnapping, assault or terroristic threat.  I am not aware of a specific penal statute in Texas that relates to “mind control” or “brainwashing,” except to the extent that it may involve some other criminal activity, such as those mentioned above. Each state is different, however.  I think most states are hesitant to start getting into what constitutes brainwashing of children, since it may be difficult to draw the line between that and legitimate teaching or training. How would you draw the line if you had to write the statute?

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Posted: 05 July 2008 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 05 July 2008 07:53 PM

I think most states are hesitant to start getting into what constitutes brainwashing of children, since it may be difficult to draw the line between that and legitimate teaching or training. How would you draw the line if you had to write the statute?

Surely this question is worthy of its own topic.  Bruce, could you chose a category, give the topic a title, and get the ball rolling?

One title suggestion:  Truth or Consequences - is it legal to teach children lies?

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Posted: 06 July 2008 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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unsmoked - 05 July 2008 09:17 PM
Bruce Burleson - 05 July 2008 07:53 PM

I think most states are hesitant to start getting into what constitutes brainwashing of children, since it may be difficult to draw the line between that and legitimate teaching or training. How would you draw the line if you had to write the statute?

Surely this question is worthy of its own topic.  Bruce, could you chose a category, give the topic a title, and get the ball rolling?

One title suggestion:  Truth or Consequences - is it legal to teach children lies?

Well, I just wrote on the “narcissism coefficient” thread that a Christian starting a thread on an atheist forum is a stronger indicator of narcissism, so I’m hesitant. Your title suggestion begs the question about what is a “lie,” and (assuming by “lie” you mean religion) in the legal context it would require a legislature to decide if a particular religious faith or doctrine is a “lie.” That is not something that legislatures are competent to do, and would, in any event, run afoul of the 1st Amendment or similar provisions in other free countries. But, if you focused on tactics, not content, you might be able to get somewhere.  So, taking your child to Sunday School is one thing, but forcing the child to listen to hours of video-taped lectures while depriving him/her of sleep or food would be another. If you wanted such a statute to pass constitutional muster, you would have to focus on the methods of inculcation, not the content, IMO.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 05 July 2008 07:53 PM
isocratic infidel - 05 July 2008 07:01 PM

Thanks Bruce, and I get the whole need for evidence, but: “Are (or should) cults be legally protected under freedom of religion in your opinion?” and, in your opinion: “Is mind-control and brainwashing innocent children abuse?”

A cult in and of itself is protected as an exercise of freedom of religion. If tactics are used to coerce people to join or stay in the cult, or to abuse children, then those actions may fall under some other criminal statute such as kidnapping, assault or terroristic threat.  I am not aware of a specific penal statute in Texas that relates to “mind control” or “brainwashing,” except to the extent that it may involve some other criminal activity, such as those mentioned above. Each state is different, however.  I think most states are hesitant to start getting into what constitutes brainwashing of children, since it may be difficult to draw the line between that and legitimate teaching or training. How would you draw the line if you had to write the statute?

Quite a challenging assignment there Bruce.
I would like to see the fed. govt. consider implementing a similar law (if not exact) to this one in France.

**While this is currently under some attack, (mainly by religionists of the mormon, muslim, jehovah’s and those of the guru-wanna-be persuasion—or in their words the “religious minorities”),  I think the About-Picard Law is ethically sound and in line with Human Rights—whereas cults and cultists are not—while still allowing for freedom of religion, it allows the dissolution of groups defined as cults or cultuelles:

The 2001 About-Picard Law tightens restrictions on associations and provides for the dissolution of groups, including religious groups, under certain conditions. These include: endangering the life or the physical or psychological well-being of a person;

The psychological well-being of the children born into the FLDs is endangered by the practices of their so-called religion.

placing minors at mortal risk; violation of another person’s freedom, dignity, or identity; the illegal practice of medicine or pharmacology; false advertising; and fraud or falsification.

having a baby at age 14 and 15 can place a minor at mortal risk; arranging and enforcing marriage on a minor infringes on an individual’s freedom and identity; and the FLDS’s men regularly violate the women’s freedom, dignity and identity.

further guidance for a statute in the U.S. could be gleaned from Susan Landa:

VII. ARE RELIGIOUS CULTS PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT?

A.      Religious Beliefs Are Protected

The first amendment to the United States Constitution provides in part that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”... “this includes the states’ judiciary.” The free exercise clause of the first amendment grants religious freedom to hold religious beliefs. This guaranteed right prohibits “any governmental regulation of religious beliefs
. . . .“Thus, the individual has an absolute, protected right to hold religious beliefs. The government is further prohibited from penalizing or discriminating “against individuals or groups because they hold religious views abhorrent to the authorities . . . .”

Although not all cults are religious, the great majority have a religious basis or focus and look to the first amendment for protection. Because of this, when litigating a case involving a religious cult, it is important to refrain from litigating the validity of the cult’s religious beliefs. Even the religious beliefs which are “‘rank heresy to followers of the orthodox faiths’ are protected by the constitution”; that the “religious rite is curious, unusual, unenlightened or abhorrent” does not prevent it from characterization as religion.

However, whether the cult does in fact qualify as a religion is, in most cases, not at issue. It is false to assume that if the group is religious the state will not have authority to prevent the cult’s abusive practices.

B.      Religious Conduct Is Not Protected

There is no absolute fundamental right of total religious freedom to act. While the government cannot interfere with the individual’s religious beliefs and opinions, the government may prohibit religious conduct and practices motivated by those beliefs. The first amendment does NOT prohibit the government from regulating and legislatively restricting the religious conduct of individuals and groups which
are prompted by and result from religious beliefs, principles and convictions. “Although religious belief is protected absolutely from governmental regulation, religiously motivated conduct is subject to a balancing test that weighs the interests of the religious group against the state’s interest in regulating or forbidding the activity.” The state’s regulation of religious acts must be justified by a “compelling state interest.”... “The government’s ability to enforce generally applicable prohibitions of socially harmful conduct, like its ability to carry out other aspects of public policy, ‘cannot depend on measuring the effects of a governmental action on a religious objector’s spiritual development.”  No religious group has the authority or constitutional protection to act contrary to or in disregard of the law. To permit illegal actions based on religion “would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.”

and:

The cult member parent involved in a custody dispute may argue that the court, by granting custody based in part on the parent’s religious involvement, is violating the cult member parent’s freedom of association. However, the state’s interest may be sufficiently compelling if custody and restrictions on visitation are in the best interests of the child’s health, safety, and welfare.

These seem like pretty good guidelines and considerations in creating a statute, don’t ya think?

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Posted: 09 July 2008 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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zacharys: “[What does the About-Picard Law say how it would handle it when they break up a cult?”

I have no fookin’ clue.

zst: “The break up of the Texas cult was being partly handled by another church. I think it was the Baptist church if they just convert them from one cult to another that won’t be much of an improvement.”

Actually zach, this would be a small yet vast improvement.

The differences between the FLDS and Baptists is vast indeed. There is not the level of mind and lifestyle control within Baptist communities. Compare the conduct the differing beliefs motivate: does the minister in a baptist church arrange for fourteen year old girls to marry 50-year-old men?  (Do you have any idea how repulsive it must be for a young girl to know that she is going to have to let some dirty old, wrinkly man put his gross hairy thingy inside her?) This kind of conduct is criminal. And we need a statute protecting these young girls from these disturbed older men. (And Bruce here is a lawyer, so… ya never know… maybe I’ll be able to talk him into writing up said statute…. but it’s gotta pass constitutional muster.)
So, with just this one comparison alone, you can see that converting from one cult to another can in fact be an improvement. 

Got any additional suggestions, zacharys?

I was trying to come up with a statute that would comply with First Amendment rights (keep in mind though, this only mental masturbation…) with a splash of Human Rights thrown in.

This seems to me to be a determining factor in defining a cult leader as opposed to a “regular” religious leader. The law goes after the “mainstream” preacher guys who commit crimes, it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is to stop the conduct of men such as Warren Jeffs.

It seems simple: If the conduct of the “leader” infringes on an individual to have possession of their own consciousness, then that is a “leader” who needs to be put away in a prison or mental institution.
The members of the cult will probably need help also… maybe Bruce can open a center… wink  (I did my part last night all night helping a cop and mother find her son who stayed out until 5 a.m. this morning…)
Rant rant rant, vent vent vent. I’m done now.

  This seems the best answer to Bruce’s question of:  How would you draw the line if you had to write the statute?

“the government may prohibit religious conduct and practices motivated by those beliefs.”

and this:

No religious group has the authority or constitutional protection to act contrary to or in disregard of the law. To permit illegal actions based on religion “would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.”

So ya wanna write the statute Bruce, aye-babbay?

[ Edited: 09 July 2008 03:10 PM by isocratic infidel]
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Posted: 09 July 2008 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 09 July 2008 07:08 PM

So ya wanna write the statute Bruce, aye-babbay?

What the heck. Here’s my first draft, which I am now submitting to you, the committee chair, for further deliberation, consideration, lobbying and bribing.

Mental Coercion Of Minors

A.  In this section “mental coercion” means the practice of compelling or manipulating a person to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, deprivation of needs, drugs,  alcohol, or psychological techniques.  “Mental coercion” does not include normal teaching, training and discipline of a minor that is otherwise legal.

B.  A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly subjects a person under the age of 18 years to mental coercion.

C.  An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

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Posted: 09 July 2008 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Mental Coercion Of Minors

A.  In this section “mental coercion” means the practice of compelling or manipulating a person to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, deprivation of needs, drugs, alcohol, or psychological techniques.  “Mental coercion” does not include normal teaching, training and discipline of a minor that is otherwise legal.

B.  A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly subjects a person under the age of 18 years to mental coercion.

C.  An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

BrAVo!

(Where’s the smiley with clapping hands.)

What’s the max and min for a third degree felony?

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Posted: 09 July 2008 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 09 July 2008 08:47 PM

What’s the max and min for a third degree felony?

In Texas, 2-10 years and up to a 10K fine. I modeled it after the kidnapping statute, which seems like an analogous crime. I only meant this as a starting point. Any suggestions?

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