I have discovered a YouTube channel that seems to be dedicated to the type of investigative journalism you would think ALL newspapers, magazines, and websites that are media sources would do often to expose frauds in the world. Alas, they don’t, so YouTube personalities often have to do it. And this channel is one of the best at it!
New York (CNN Business) James Murdoch, the youngest son of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, made a dramatic break from the family business on Friday.
He resigned from the board of directors of News Corp, the family’s publishing empire, and said he was exiting the company over “disagreements over certain editorial content published” by its news outlets and “certain other strategic decisions.”
James Murdoch, whose older brother Lachlan Murdoch serves as the CEO of Fox Corporation, had already left that side of the family business, partly due to his disgust of Fox News.
But he had remained on the board of News Corp — something that had intrigued friends of the family.
The younger Murdoch repeatedly clashed with his father and brother’s conservative political views, occasionally even in public. He donated to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and fumed about climate change denialism.
By staying on the board of News Corp, he was “testing the proposition of making change from the inside,” an insider said in an interview earlier this year.
Friday’s move indicates that he has given up on that proposition.
The News Corp umbrella includes papers such as The Wall Street Journal and New York Post. It also includes the book publisher HarperCollins and a raft of newspapers in the United Kingdom and Australia.
A spokesperson for James Murdoch had no further comment and said that the letter spoke for itself.
In a joint statement, his father Rupert Murdoch and brother Lachlan said, “We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Those further endeavors could include additional investments in news startups and other media enterprises. He launched an investment company, Lupa Systems, in early 2019.
His Friday resignation from News Corp represents his growing distance from the family business.
But he is still connected to the family through the Murdoch Family Trust, which holds key voting shares in both companies.
Rupert Murdoch has four votes in the trust, and his four adult children have the other four votes. What happens to the companies in the event of Rupert’s death is a constant source of media industry speculation.
On Friday night a source indicated that the resignation letter was not the result of any abrupt action within New York.
On the contrary, the source said, tensions had been building for months.
In January, for example, James and his wife Kathryn joined the criticism of Murdoch properties’ coverage of wildfires in Australia.
A spokesperson said at the time that James and Kathryn had “well established” views on climate change and were “particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
Here is proof that not all people raised to be degenerate bigots stay that way. Not even people brainwashed by media outlets like FOX News. We can only hope that in the next few decades, James Murdoch helps bring down the Fox media empire and allows news coverage to be truly fair, balanced, and HONEST, like it always should have been!
Formal negotiations toward JCPOA began with the adoption of the Joint Plan of Action, an interim agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries in November 2013. Iran and the P5+1 countries engaged in negotiations for the next 20 months and in April 2015 agreed on a framework for the final agreement. In July 2015 Iran and the P5+1 confirmed agreement on the plan along with the “Roadmap Agreement” between Iran and the IAEA.
The United States certified in April 2017 and in July 2017 that Iran was complying with the deal.
On 13 October 2017 President Trump announced that he would not make the certification required under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, accusing Iran of violating the “spirit” of the deal and calling on the U.S. Congress and international partners to “address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons”.
Declaring that he would not certify the deal, Trump left it up to Congress whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran and “blow up” the deal. But Trump’s aides sought to enact rules indicating how the United States could “reimpose sanctions”, and Trump listed three items that could provide such a “trigger” for leaving the deal: Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile, Iranian rejection of “an extension of the deal’s existing constraint on its nuclear activities”, and “evidence that Iran could manufacture a bomb in less than 12 months”. Trump described the deal as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”.
On 8 May 2018 the United States officially withdrew from the agreement after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum ordering the reinstatement of harsher sanctions. In his May 8 speech Trump called the Iran deal “horrible” and said the United States would “work with our allies to find a real, comprehensive, and lasting solution” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms. The IAEA has continued to assess that Iran has been in compliance with JCPOA and that it had “no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009” Other parties to the deal stated that they will work to preserve the deal even after the US withdrawal.
Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal, despite Iran appearing to comply with it, badly damaged the reputation of the USA as a global power that could be trusted by allies and enemies alike.
And the Universal House of Justice (UHJ), the supreme government body of the Baha’i Faith, didn’t help matters much. Here is a message it sent out to various Baha’i leadership bodies in 2016, soon after the deal with Iran was established.
As you are aware, following recent political developments, great interest is being expressed by the business community around the globe in establishing economic relations with Iran. Companies considering such developments are presumably bound to adhere to ethical business practices everywhere in accordance with both their national and international standards.
You are asked to request your Offices of External Affairs to identify such companies—in collaboration with relevant government agencies, like-minded groups and other non-governmental organizations—and to develop strategies to approach them with a view to learn about their commitment to ethical standards in their businesses in Iran. As they gain greater insight into the social reality in that country, they will come to appreciate that these standards should include, for instance, eschewing any form of discrimination in their employment practices or their treatment of employees, be it against women or minorities. In this context the economic oppression of the Bahá’ís by the government of Iran can be brought to their attention. As these companies may naturally be looking to recruit hard-working, skilled and honest Iranian individuals to assist in establishing their businesses in Iran, the history of discrimination against graduates of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education could be explained to them.
This initiative, carefully conducted and well-coordinated, in addition to the activities called for in the letter dated 5 February 2016 addressed to you, has the potential to have significant impact on the economic situation of the Bahá’ís of Iran and will also be appreciated by many as a contribution to the betterment of the condition of Iranian society as a whole.
The only thing that stunt would ever do, once the Islamic Republic of Iran found out about it, was renew persecution of the Baha’is living in Iran! And I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason the nuclear deal was rejected by the Trump Administration was because Baha’is persuaded Trump and other Republicans that unless and until Iran totally legalized the Baha’i community in Iran, the nuclear deal was a bad idea. Even though the two issues are totally unrelated.
If I was an Iranian, even if I wasn’t a Muslim, even if I was an atheist living there, I would HATE the Baha’is and their UHJ for the stunt they pulled against my country and would condemn the USA for withdrawing from the nuclear deal. There was no honor in that move! And the UHJ has NEVER said anything about what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians since the 1980s, has NEVER said anything about violations of human rights in general, but they scream about violations of the rights of Baha’is by Iran.
YouTube personality Matthew Santoro is well known for his funny but highly informative videos. Here are several examples:
And most ironic of all:
Why ironic? Because he just made THIS video, and it’s no laughing matter!
It sucks to see such a normally joyful guy get his spirit broken by something not his fault. I know how that feels, so I hope he gets a good lawyer and sues the movers he used to get a ton of money back for his trouble!
Here are excerpts from it in red and my responses in blue.
I am writing this for lay members of Unitarian Universalist congregations. I believe there is a crisis in the national UU movement, and I believe that laypeople are in the best position to help resolve it. The rub is, very few laypeople are aware of the crisis…
Why would you assume that? Many reports about what has been happening over the past few years have been published online and in print, by bloggers like myself, on Facebook, and even in the UU World magazine itself.
I’m a UU minister. I first learned about the UU movement in 1960, as a teenager unhappy with my Catholic upbringing; I decided then that if I ever returned to church, it would be to a UU church. In the early 1980s, I started attending a UU congregation, which I then joined. I was granted UUA ministerial fellowship in 1994 and was ordained in 1995. I served two UU churches, 1992-2012. I am now semi-retired, preaching a total of about twenty times a year at a dozen or so UU churches in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
So he is someone who has credibility because of his long association with UUism. Granted.
The crisis I see is that a majority of our UU national leaders have become committed to a particular ideology that threatens two aspects of UUism: our commitment to social justice, and our values of reason and free expression.
These leaders — at the Unitarian Universalist Association, in our two seminaries, and in the UU Ministers’ Association — have become so committed and intransigent that I have started to think of the ideology that has captivated them as a mental virus with which they have become infected. By this analogy I do not mean to imply that they are mentally ill, of course, but only that they seem stuck in a rut (think Communism, 1917-1989). Victims of this mental virus can be recognized by their calls to “dismantle our white supremacy culture.”
I would think that efforts to dismantle white supremacy culture IS promoting social justice. And people have used their own reason and free expression to call for it. Freedom can’t be one sided.
I said this mental virus threatens the UU commitment to social justice. I was present at a ministers’ meeting ten years ago at which someone who had just ended a term on the UUA Board reported that there was then a consensus on the board that the UUA racial-justice strategy — at the time called “Journey Toward Wholeness,” and underway for thirteen years — had accomplished disappointingly little. What the UU leaders of today are doing is to double down on this same strategy.
While the name “Journey Toward Wholeness” has been retired, and the rallying-cry has changed from calling on whites to “confess our complicity in institutional racism” to calling on all to “dismantle our white supremacy culture,” the underlying strategy has not changed.
The racial-justice strategy our leaders are pursuing is a strategy that doesn’t work to make Black lives, or any other lives, better.
New hiring practices help UUA live into its values
Careful attention to hiring practices has diversified the staff of the Unitarian Universalist Association and deepened its commitment to antiracism, antioppression, and multiculturalism.
Last October, at a symposium on Black theology sponsored by Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Carey McDonald, executive vice president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, shared exciting news with the Rev. William G. Sinkford: In just over two years, the UUA had more than doubled the number of people of color in top leadership roles, meeting an ambitious diversity goal Sinkford set for the UUA during his ten-week interim co-presidency in the spring of 2017.
Sinkford, the first African American elected as UUA president, had led the association from 2001 to 2009. In his final full year as president, the UUA’s Leadership Council—its senior staff, including the president—was 14 percent people of color; the staff as a whole was just under 14 percent people of color. Eight years later, during the final year of the presidency of Sinkford’s successor, the Rev. Peter Morales, the first Hispanic president of the UUA, people of color made up 20 percent of all employees, but the number of people of color on the Leadership Council had not changed. For an association with a stated commitment to antiracism and multiculturalism, the numbers of people of color, especially in top leadership positions, frustrated and angered some UUs. Critics said the UUA was routinely favoring white ministers when hiring for senior positions, and a denominational crisis over hiring practices erupted in March 2017, three months before the end of Morales’s second term. Morales and two other top officials resigned in April 2017.
Instituting a shared model of leadership it had not used before, the UUA Board of Trustees named three people of color as interim co-presidents—Sinkford, the Rev. Sofía Betancourt, and Dr. Leon Spencer—until a new president could be elected in June 2017. The board also established a Commission on Institutional Change to assess institutional and structural racism in the UUA. The co-presidents announced a hiring freeze until new policies could be set and added two people of color to the Leadership Council: Jessica York, the interim director of Ministries and Faith Development, and Carey McDonald, the UUA’s Outreach director.
Soon the co-presidents announced new hiring goals: at least 40 percent of people in managerial and decision-making positions on the UUA staff should be people of color and/or indigenous people, they said, and, overall, the UUA staff should be 30 percent people of color/indigenous people. While no UUA employees were to be terminated to meet the goals, the policy was to guide all new hires.
At the BLUU symposium in Saint Paul, McDonald told Sinkford that today, through focused and concerted effort to transform UUA culture, the Leadership Council is 42 percent people of color, and the overall staff numbers have risen to 30 percent people of color.
“My response,” says Sinkford, “was to be both impressed and delighted.” Moreover, Sinkford encouraged McDonald to make sure the story got told: in less than three years, the UUA had moved from a particularly low point to a place of celebration—albeit qualified by a clear recognition that there is much work to be done.
So it appears the latest efforts have been more successful than those of the past because clear difference in policies and practices were made. So what’s the problem now?
The reason I lean toward the analogy of a mental virus infecting the majority of our national leaders is that I have no doubt that they are well-intentioned, and for the most part capable, people, yet their behavior is to me incomprehensible. I can only understand it if I imagine them as victims. Just as a physical virus, like the one causing COVID-19, exploits laudable human traits to gain entrance to our bodies — like our human desire to be physically close to one another — the mental virus of which I speak seems to have gained entrance to our leaders’ minds by exploiting their laudable qualities of empathy and passion for social justice. But the result is that their judgment seems to me impaired; they are no longer thinking clearly.
So just because you do not understand the motivations behind the people you disagree with, you claim they are somehow diseased! That’s no way to have a fair dialogue on the matter, but then again if you wanted that, you would not be publishing your insults in Mel Pine’s blog, right? He quit the UUA, so most UUs wouldn’t even notice his works now. It’s now an anti-UUA echo chamber.
I said that the mental virus also threatens the UU values of reason and free expression. This is clear from the treatment accorded over the last year to Rev. Todd Eklof of our Spokane, WA congregation. Rev. Eklof wrote a book, The Gadfly Papers, that expressed concern about the crisis in UUism to which I have been referring. Since the book’s appearance, the UU Ministers’ Association has publicly censured him and then expelled him; he has been fired by a UU seminary as a supervisor of ministerial interns; and he has been removed from UUA fellowship by the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee. These organizations have claimed procedural irregularities as the reasons for their actions, but upon close inspection I don’t find that any of their explanations hold water. And as a result of the example that has been made of this one minister, UU ministers across the land are intimidated.
Eklof wasn’t punished merely for writing a dissenting book. That was absolutely his right. However:
With the election of a new President of the UUA at the 2017 General Assembly (GA), it seemed like we could start to move forward to heal the racial divisions. But then came the GA of June 2019, which was held at Spokane, Washington. Imagine the shock among the attendees when the minister of the UU church at that city, Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, backstabbed the rest of them with a book he had written and was trying to distribute at the GA without prior notice. This book, titled The Gadfly Papers: Three Inconvenient Essays by One Pesky Minister, attacked all the efforts to solve the racial problems, angering many non-white UUs. When the UUA leadership tried to talk to Eklof about what he was doing, he refused to meet with them, putting them in the awkward position of expelling him from the GA itself! (Emphasis mine)
The betrayal was felt so strongly because Eklof’s congregation was supposed to be HOSTING the General Assembly, which was expected to continue dealing in unity with racial issues. Eklof’s stunt would be like me as a known critic of the Baha’i Faith invited to a meeting of mostly Muslim people and after arriving instead of giving a speech criticizing that Faith, attempting to give attendees there copies of this:
No, I wouldn’t do that! That would only get my @$$ thrown out of there. You can’t force people to listen to a message they didn’t expect to hear and are not receptive to. Eklof should have known better!
I hate writing this essay. As a minister, my instinct is always to bring to the people in the pews a message that is positive. And what I have written today is hardly that.
Somehow, I doubt you hated writing that too much. I never hate writing anything I feel strongly about and think is important. And I write a LOT of negative stuff on my blog.
What I have said today is that UUism is under attack by those sworn to uphold it. They are destroying the commitment to reason and free speech that attracted so many of us in the first place. And they are wasting our energy on an approach to racial justice that doesn’t work.
How would you know it doesn’t work? Can we wait another decade or so and find out?
What can be done? You might think, “This should be brought up at General Assembly.” But General Assembly is not really democratic, according to the UUA Board’s Fifth Principle Task Force (2009), and the UUA has since become even less democratic because all UUA Board members are now elected at-large and do not represent local constituencies.
Well, a lot of UUs of color didn’t think the UUA was democratic enough because their views were not being heard. Now they are and….that bothers you. You know, if people who have been privileged are not feeling a little uncomfortable about social changes, then the changes are meaningless, merely window dressing without substance.
What can be done? All I can suggest is that lay UUs look into these matters for themselves and, if they agree with me that the situation is alarming, express their unhappiness loudly to their congregational leaders, to their Regional staff, and to the UUA itself.
UUs in the pews, please help!
And what will you do if they don’t agree with you and even oppose outright your opinions as I do? Quit being a UU also?
What a waste of keyboard strokes! As a UU layperson myself, I feel profoundly insulted by Rev. Richard Trudeau’s diatribe!
The illustration above is supposed to represent the concept of “Progressive Revelation” held by Baha’is. But there is a problem with it. Baha’u’llah, the one who actually founded the Baha’i Faith, never talked about Krishna, the Buddha, or Zoroaster as Prophets or Manifestations of God. He mentioned Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and the Bab. NO ONE outside the line of “Abrahamic” religions, not even the one you would have expected, Zoroaster, who lived in ancient Persia and founded the religion that dominated Persia from his time all the way until the Islamic conquest of Persia.
Abdu’l-Baha, the son and successor of Baha’u’llah, spoke of the Manifestations of God as follows:
Prophets are in general of two kinds. Some are independent Prophets Who are followed, while others are not independent and are themselves followers.
The independent Prophets are each the Author of a divine religion and the Founder of a new Dispensation. At Their advent the world is clothed in a new attire, a new religion is established, and a new Book revealed. These Prophets acquire the outpouring grace of the divine Reality without an intermediary. Their radiance is an essential radiance like that of the sun, which is luminous in and of itself and whose luminosity is an essential requirement rather than being acquired from another star: They are like the sun and not the moon. These Daysprings of the morn of Divine Unity are the fountainheads of divine grace and the mirrors of the Essence of Reality.
The other kind of Prophets are followers and promulgators, for their station is contingent rather than independent. They acquire divine grace from the independent Prophets and seek the light of guidance from the reality of universal prophethood. They are like the moon, which is not luminous and radiant in and of itself but which receives its light from the sun.
The universal Prophets Who have appeared independently include Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muḥammad, the Báb, and Bahá’u’lláh. The second kind, which consists of followers and promulgators, includes Solomon, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. For the independent Prophets are founders; that is, They establish a new religion, recreate the souls, regenerate the morals of society, and promulgate a new way of life and a new standard of conduct. Through Them a new Dispensation appears and a new religion is inaugurated. Their advent is even as the springtime, when all earthly things don a new garment and find a new life.
As to the second kind of Prophets, who are followers, they promulgate the religion of God, spread His Faith, and proclaim His Word. They have no power or authority of their own, but derive theirs from the independent Prophets.
Note that he mentions Ezekiel as a lesser Prophet. But Ezekiel wasn’t a true Prophet. I debunked that idea here:
Question: To which category do Buddha and Confucius belong?
Answer: Buddha also established a new religion and Confucius renewed the ancient conduct and morals, but the original precepts have been entirely changed and their followers no longer adhere to the original pattern of belief and worship. The founder of Buddhism was a precious Being Who established the oneness of God, but later His original precepts were gradually forgotten and displaced by primitive customs and rituals, until in the end it led to the worship of statues and images.
Consider, for example, that Christ admonished the people time and again to heed the Ten Commandments of the Torah and insisted upon their strict observance. Now, one of the Ten Commandments forbids the worship of images and statues.122 Yet today there are a myriad images and statues in the churches of certain Christian denominations. It is clear and evident, then, that the religion of God does not preserve its original precepts among the people, but that it is gradually changed and altered to the point of being entirely effaced, and thus a new Manifestation appears and a new religion is established. For if the former religion had not been changed and altered, there would be no need for renewal.
In the beginning, this tree was full of vitality and laden with blossoms and fruit, but gradually it grew old, spent, and barren, until it entirely withered and decayed. That is why the True Gardener will again plant a tender sapling of the same stock, that it may grow and develop day by day, extend its sheltering shade in this heavenly garden, and yield its prized fruit. So it is with the divine religions: With the passage of time, their original precepts are altered, their underlying truth entirely vanishes, their spirit departs, doctrinal innovations spring up, and they become a body without a soul. That is why they are renewed.
Our meaning is that the followers of Buddha and Confucius now worship images and statues and have become entirely unaware of the oneness of God, believing instead in imaginary gods, as did the ancient Greeks. But such were not their original precepts; indeed, their original precepts and conduct were entirely different.
Again, consider to what an extent the original precepts of the Christian religion have been forgotten and how many doctrinal innovations have sprung up. For example, Christ forbade violence and revenge and enjoined instead that evil and injury be met with benevolence and loving-kindness. But observe how many bloody wars have taken place among the Christian nations themselves and how much oppression, cruelty, rapacity, and bloodthirstiness have resulted therefrom! Indeed, many of these wars were carried out at the behest of the popes. It is therefore abundantly clear that, with the passage of time, religions are entirely changed and altered, and hence they are renewed.
People who have actually studied Buddhism would take great offense at how it is described there.
After I left the Bahá’í Faith, one of the first things I did was start studying Buddhism. I went and read some of the poli canon, I studied Zen and general Mahayana teachings, and studied meditations and books written by both modern and historical Buddhist scholars.
You can find some idolatry in Buddhism just the same as any religion, but to pass it off as merely that is reductionist, colonialist, ignorant, and downright bigoted. I’m not a Buddhist, but Buddhism and general eastern spiritual practices have provided me with FAR more spiritual understanding than anything Abdul bahá ever said or did. The fact Abdul Bahá had the audacity to lose Buddhism to such a great degree on its own is enough reason to call the bahai Faith bullshit.
I was infuriated when I studied Buddhism and found the Baha’i Faith lied to me for five years.
The Buddha isn’t a prophet and was not sent by any god. He is not a manifestation of god with unattainable innate knowledge. Gautama Buddha said ANY man or woman could become like him, he didn’t gate keep enlightenment like the Baha’i narrative does.
Yeah I have and I hate it. It essentially spits on the historical accounts of Buddhism and sets up this conspiracy theory that the religion was the oneness of God. It would be an understatement to call it a bastardization of the dharma. I doubt Abdul Baha has any education. He showed no proof of any divine knowledge of the religion and he had no possible resources to learn about Buddhism to any extensive amount. The material conditions at the time weren’t there.
The stuff about Confucianism just makes no sense. It claims the world has somehow lost Confucius’s teachings even though he wrote them down? It just seems like another excuse to not address the vast difference between the very foundations of both religions. Except it’s even worse in the case of Confucianism because the Confucianists were very firm legalists. I doubt we “lost” the original teachings.
And do I have to explain that the Baha’i Faith itself departed long ago from Baha’u’llah’s original teachings? When will it be renewed?
Efforts have been made to renew the Faith, but with almost no success. So I have accepted that it is doomed to collapse completely in a few more decades.
The next Manifestation of God is not expected to come for 1000 years after the time of Baha’u’llah and less than 200 years after the Baha’i Faith was founded, it has already been broken down into a degenerate cult. So we might as well just discard it and find a better way on our own.
Mary Kay Letourneau, a former Seattle elementary school teacher who famously served time in prison after admitting to sexually assaulting her 12-year-old student, Vili Fualaau, died on July 6, 2020, KING 5 News reported. Letourneau was 58. After being convicted of child rape and doing jail time, she was sent back to prison after breaking her plea agreement to never see Fualaau again. She later married Fualaau.
KING 5 reporter Susannah Frame tweeted on Tuesday night that the former sixth-grade school teacher died of cancer.
Frame shared a photo of Letourneau and her longtime friend and attorney Anne Bremner. She tweeted, “Anne remembers her friend tonight as ‘one of the most alive people’ she’d ever known. She also said Letourneau was a dedicated mother of her two girls and ‘did everything right by them.’”
Photo of Mary Kay Letourneau and longtime friend and attorney Anne Bremner. Anne remembers her friend tonight as "one of the most alive people" she'd ever known. She also said Letourneau was a dedicated mother of her two girls and "did everything right by them." pic.twitter.com/4awZsPPikR
Letourneau is survived by her children, Steven Jr., Claire, Nicholas and Jacqueline, whom she had with her first husband, Steve Letourneau. She is also survived by her two daughters, Audrey and Georgia, from her relationship and marriage with Fualaau. The couple separated in 2017 and their divorce was finalized earlier this year.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Letourneau was babysitting her younger brother Phillip, 3, when he drowned in the pool at their Corona del Mar home. In 1998, Dr. Julia Moore, a psychiatrist who evaluated Letourneau and diagnosed her with manic depression, said, “There is no question that her brother’s death, combined with other traumas Mary Kay suffered later, contributed to the tragedy of her life today.”
Marcia Tinae wrote on her Facebook page, “Condolences to my nieces! Me and the kids love you guys Audrey Lokelani Fualaau – block all the noise and keep pushing okay. Love you always fam! Rest in love Mary Kate LeTourneau.”
OK, you may read the rest of that crap if you like. I will just say this:
First, both Susanna Frame and Anne Bremner are idiots, just like Letourneau. I can never understand a teacher throwing away her original family to violate one of her own students, at least TWICE, and be stigmatized afterwards! She should have been locked up in a mental hospital for the rest of her life! No release, no chance to hook up with her former student. And no allowing her to raise the girls she bore by that student, either! Imagine if as teens they also were fucked and impregnated by their teachers, because of the outrageous example set by their parents! Mary Kay Letourneau normalized one of the most destructive acts to our modern education system imaginable.
In the exBaha’i forum in reddit, several teenagers and others have offered testimonies about losing their faith in their youth, even if they were raised in it. Still others have offered criticisms explaining why they would never convert to the Faith. One actual Baha’i even criticized the Faith in the Baha’i subreddit itself!
The frontman of a leading Christian rock band has admitted he no longer believes in God.
“After growing up in a Christian home, being a pastor’s kid, playing and singing in a Christian band, and having the word ‘Christian’ in front of most of the things in my life — I am now finding that I no longer believe in God,” Hawk Nelson frontman Jonathan Steingard wrote in a nine-page confessional on Instagram.
The 36-year-old Canadian rocker admitted that losing his religion occurred over several years of serious doubts — even while penning some of the band’s most overtly Christian tunes.
He said he was only now ready to “share my deepest truth” because Hawk Nelson “isn’t playing shows or making new music at the moment” and he no longer needs the band to support his family.
He said he was only now ready to “share my deepest truth” because Hawk Nelson “isn’t playing shows or making new music at the moment” and he no longer needs the band to support his family.
While he did not say outright that he was leaving the band, he made it clear he was leaving the religious rock movement.
“I no longer fear losing my place in Christian music. I know this means giving it up voluntarily,” he said in the lengthy confessional.
Steingard says he had long felt “uncomfortable” with parts of worship that “felt like some kind of weird performance art.”
But his “belief in God truly began to unravel” when he started challenging different versions of Bible stories, he said. “Once I found that I didn’t believe the Bible was the Perfect Word of God — it didn’t take long to realize that I was no longer sure he was there at all,” he wrote.
That realization left him in a “very dark place for a while” as he feared being shunned by his family and friends.
“I feel like I’ve mostly emerged from that dark place now — because I’ve discovered that life really does go on,” he said. “My family is showing me incredible love and support, even though I know this grieves them.”
He admitted being “terrified to post this” — and insisted he was “not looking for a debate.”
“Just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all,” he wrote.
Hawk Nelson told People that “God is still for Jon and he still matters,” saying, “that truth doesn’t change just because we question it.”
“We are called to love one another unconditionally, as God loves us,” Daniel Biro, Micah Kuiper and David Niacaris said in a statement.
“Ever thankful and grateful for how God has used this band, the music and the relationships and how he continues to do so.”
It is clear that he was a Christian only because he was raised in it, and his being the son of a clergyman must have made him think he needed to measure up to his father’s example. But if his spiritual orientation was not Christian, that was a futile effort.
Once I found that I didn’t believe the Bible was the Perfect Word of God — it didn’t take long to realize that I was no longer sure he was there at all
That’s quite a leap from Christian fundamentalism to agnosticism, though I myself made that leap at age 20. But it should have been obvious from Day One that the Bible wasn’t perfect. Didn’t he ever read it before?
When researching the Bahá’í Faith, please do not limit yourself only to the officially-sanctioned literature of the Bahá’í Administrative Order.Here are a few observations…
1) The Bahá’í Faith exists solely to perpetuate itself, 99% of its focus and activities are toward this one goal, growth in membership. Throughout their history they have been preparing their members for the “entry by troops” of new converts, which has yet to materialize. They do a minimal amount of humanitarian or charity work.
2) Bahá’ís use terminology in ways that was not intended. Bahá’ís don’t have censorship, they have “review.” They don’t proselytize, they “teach.” They don’t have missionaries, they have “pioneers.” They don’t have prophets, they are called “manifestations.” And so forth.
3) Bahá’ís have a “lo is us” sense of historical persecution. If you look at their history, though, most would call it just fruits. During the founding of the religion, the forebear Babi sect led a violent, apocalyptic revolution in Iran, and some of their members later attempted to assassinate the Shah. Their leadership were exiled to the Ottoman Empire where schismatic violence within the group later led to house arrest. Of course, this is all billed as being persecuted.
4) Bahá’ís lament how others view them in a conspiratorial light, when in fact, again, this is based on historical reality. In Iran the Babis had the protection of the Russian ambassador (Russia being an imperial power that had seized wide swaths of territory from Iran and at one point the Russian ambassador had to approve Iranian cabinet ministers). In the Ottoman Empire, Bahá’ís conspired with the Young Turks, who deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid II in a coup. Later, they would assist the British, and their leader `Abdu’l-Bahá earned knighthood, being designated KBE. With their headquarters in Haifa, Bahá’ís have cooperated with the state of Israel, to the extent that some of the Bahá’í World Center buildings are built on land expropriated from absentee Palestinian land owners.
5) Bahá’ís inflate their membership numbers. Comparing census data of various nations to self-reported data confirms this. The outside data Bahá’ís often cite, like from the Association of Religion Data Archives, only uses self-reported data, creating a circle.
6) In the community I was a member of, even in the lifetime of Khomeini, there were Persian Bahá’ís who would regularly travel to Iran during their summer holidays to visit family. When I would ask them how that was possible, their response was always along the lines that the arrested Bahá’ís were those who were administratively and politically active, almost to the point of referring to them as “troublemakers.” The Bahá’í Administrative Order uses these news stories of alleged persecution very astutely to generate media attention. A Google News search for the term “Bahá’í” shows a predominance of news stories regarding Bahá’í temples and discrimination. Otherwise, the Bahá’í Faith generates little to no interest.
7) Bahá’ís initially hide from members some of the more unsavory realities of their religion. Men and women are equal, but women are barred from serving in the highest organ of the religion, the Universal House of Justice, and will presumably be barred from the local and national Houses of Justice that the current LSA’s and NSA’s will one day evolve into. The hierarchy is billed as being democratic, but only in the sense of council democracy as it still exists in Cuba where individuals elect local committees, who then elect national committees, who then elect the Universal House of Justice. There is a parallel appointed hierarchy. With no politicking or partisanship allowed, elected members in the higher ranks serve for life until they die or retire, and are subsequently replaced by nomenklatura.
8) Bahá’ís hide from members some of the more unsavory realities of their history. After Bahá’u’lláh their leader was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and then Shoghi Effendi. By the time Shoghi Effendi died, all the living descendants of Bahá’u’lláh had been excommunicated from the religion for various offenses, including marrying a “lowborn Christian girl,” a term he would later defend. Shoghi Effendi was also designated the “Guardian,” by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The Guardian was supposed to designated subsequent Guardians, but did not do so, although the entire Bahá’í administrative structure depended on it.
9) Ignoring failed prophecies, like `Abdu’l-Bahá declaring the peace of the world to come by the year 2000. Those of us around in the 1980’s and 1990’s remember the crescendo, and the anticlimactic ignoring of reality and denial of the build up.
10) Many Bahá’ís books have been posthumously rewritten to remove references to to failed prophecies and prominent individuals who left the Bahá’í Faith for various reasons. These rewrites are more than minor edits and constitute a different process than “Bahá’í review” which the euphemism used for pre-publication censorship.
11) Bahá’ís claim earlier religions are valid, but in reality they only do this in an Islamic sense (i.e., the earlier revelation was perverted over time). For example, they deny the parts of Bible written by Paul. Or when Muhammad says he is the last prophet, Bahá’ís say that was true only for the Adamic Cycle, but now we are in the Bahá’í Cycle.
12) The Universal House of Justice has noted that only “A fraction of the total numbers of unique works have been published in the original languages or translated into Western languages.”The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the central book of the Bahá’í Faith written by Bahá’u’lláh, was only officially translated into English in 1992, by which time other translations, such as one by the Royal Asiatic Society, were becoming increasingly available through dissemination via the internet. My personal opinion is that the material in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is so objectionable that the Bahá’í authorities wished to shield Western believers from its contents, as they do from Bahá’u’lláh’s other works by not publishing the originals or providing translations.
I could go on.If you’re wondering why I am sending you this message, it is because of my personal experience with the Baha’i Faith. If years ago I knew what I know now, I would have avoided years of commitment and devotion, not to mention financial contribution, to a religion that was presented inaccurately. In the final analysis, I do not believe the Baha’i Faith to be true.For over ten years I did “leave it alone.” But a couple of years ago I went on Wikipedia, just to browse, and sure enough the same canards and lies were being repeated. I had never been to Reddit before, but a Google search on a topic brought me here and, sure enough, the same material was being presented. That motivated me to “set the record straight.” At some point, I felt like I needed to call people on their bullshit. My only intention is to present an unbiased truth as documented in the historical record, most of it from Baha’i sources no less.
@Tufan 19 This symbol is not the Trademark of the Baha’i Administration. Only the “Most Great Name” is.On August 28,1934, the Most Great Name symbol was registered as a trademark (Trade-Mark 316,444). Similarly, the “Bahá’í” trademark (Trade-Mark 245,271) was registered with the Patent Office on August 7, 1928. These trademarks have not prevented the use of the term “Bahá’í” by groups considered Covenant-breakers by the Bahá’í Administrative Order, as upheld in repeated failed litigation. As early as 1941, the New York Supreme Court dismissed a court case brought by National Spiritual Assembly and Trustees of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada against Mirza Ahmad Sohrab for the use of the word “Bahá’í.” The judge granted a motion to dismiss, stating that “the plaintiffs have no right to a monopoly of the name of a religion. The defendants, who purport to be members of the same religion, have an equal right to use the name of the religion…”
@Dale Husband It’s easy for me to answer these “few observations”. In fact, I addressed one of them to some one else here. Yet, it seems too hard for him to answer as to why choose a Baha’i star as a profile pic. Why choose to confuse people as to your real motive. That’s why I refuse to waste my time any more with this thread.
With great sadness we announce the death of Sarah Rae Grossman, age 22, of Columbus, Oh (formerly of Springboro, Oh) on May 30, 2020. Born October 7, 1997 in Naperville, Il, Sarah is survived by her parents, Todd and Christi Grossman, and sister Jessa Grossman, of Springboro Oh; Grandparents Lonnie and Thelma Mullins, Mel and Shelley Grossman, and Phillip and Sue VanKersen, and many loving and amazing friends, aunts, uncles and cousins. She was a 2016 graduate of Springboro High School.
Sarah graduated May 3, 2020 from The Ohio State University with an Honors Degree of Bachelor of Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Her specific course of study within the EEDS program (Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability) reflected her life passions. Prior to the Covid pandemic, Sarah planned to complete a second degree in Spanish in 2021 while attending the Universidad of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It is impossible to find the words to describe her kindness, unique spirit, and unwavering dedication to her convictions. Sarah was a fierce but compassionate supporter of environmental issues and social justice. A genuine friend who loved and cherished her extraordinary friendships. She was the most caring and thoughtful daughter, a beloved granddaughter, and a loving sibling and best friend to her sister Jessa.
Sarah had spent the past two summers in Guatemala researching the harvesting industry. After graduation she planned to pursue work promoting positive environmental, climate and land use policies, assisting migrant workers and indigenous communities. She wanted to help the voices of the underserved be heard. She opened our eyes to both lovely ideas and ugly truths. In addition to being a full time student, she was a hard working employee, having held over six jobs in her short life, most recently at Stauf’s Coffee, and Chadwick Arboretum in Columbus, Oh. Sarah loved nature and being outdoors- hiking in the great National Parks of this country, collecting and caring for plants, watching the sun set and the moon rise. She had many interests that brought her joy- creating ceramics and art, finding that awesome thrift store find, and she definitely loved her coffee! She had visited nine countries- always wanting to learn about the world through the eyes of another. She lived a short but full life.
We will forever miss those big dimples and sweet smile. Those who knew her will understand what a beautiful soul the world has lost.
And how did she die? According to posts on Twitter:
white supremacists had this story taken off of eastfeed because they know public opinion will be won over if it becomes widely known that the cops killed a young white woman with chemical weapons. share and save, people. always screencap. rest in power, sarah grossman pic.twitter.com/tl35EMwgb0
— Homodox Academy is an antifascist organization (@HomodoxAcademy) June 5, 2020
I will always take the time to pay my respects to a fallen Ally. Sarah Grossman thank you for standing up alongside us to combat this injustice I am so terribly sorry that you had to lose your life during a peaceful protest! We won’t let you’re name be forgotten #blacklifematterspic.twitter.com/5jlz2RKRuD
Hey, this claim is currently unsubstantiated. As such, her family is asking that tweets like these be taken down until such time as they can prove them and are ready for all of the negative attention that has come upon them.
One of the four Klansmen in the car from which the shots were fired was Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant Gary Thomas Rowe. Rowe testified against the shooters and was given witness protection by the FBI. The FBI immediately began a smear campaign and leaked to the press what were purported to be salacious details about Liuzzo. The FBI attempted to downplay the situation and to discredit Liuzzo by spreading rumors that she was a member of the Communist Party, was a heroin addict, and had abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African-Americans involved in the Civil Rights Movement. All of the rumors were entirely false and were wholely fabricated by the FBI.
THAT woman could have been my mother or grandmother!
If it turns out that Sarah Grossman did not die because of tear gas, we should correct the misinformation. But she is worth remembering anyway. So is anyone who takes a stand (or drops to a knee, for that matter) to protest injustice.
With all the protests erupting across America regarding the murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands (and knee) of a white cop, I am reminded of an incident that illustrated to me why police can’t always be trusted, even if they don’t kill blacks at all.
Back when I was living in Arlington, Texas, I was traveling down highway 360 when I was pulled over by a cop. He approached my car and said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
I said, “No clue, officer. I know I wasn’t speeding. In fact, it is impossible to speed on this highway; it’s too congested.”
The cop then said, “Are you lost? Do you need help getting somewhere?”
I said, “No, I’m fine.”
The cop let me go. But I have no doubt that he did so only because of my white privilege. But I was driving a 2002 Saturn that was in such poor condition that I’m sure the cop seeing it from a distance assumed it was being driven by a poor black or hispanic man. So if instead I had been a person of color, he likely would have written me a ticket for some made up excuse and I would have had to go to court to fight it and still risk losing the fight in front of a mostly white jury. I already knew that traffic tickets are a convenient means of a city to raise extra money without raising taxes on most citizens, not merely a matter of public safety. And what better way to keep minorities down than by targeting their pocketbooks?
In 2018, I downloaded and began playing an app on my new smartphone titled Choices: Stories You Play created by a mobile gaming company called Pixelberry Studios. It features stories of romance that you have some control over by making decisions on behalf of the stories’ Main Characters. The characters include teenagers in high school, young adults in college, older adults dealing with mysteries and fighting criminals and other powerful enemies, and even some historical scenarios.
I read this story online many years ago and think it worth sharing and repeating forever, so…..
A NYC Taxi driver wrote:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’
‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’
‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..
‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.
‘Nothing,’ I said
‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.
‘There are other passengers,’ I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.
‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
One of my basic principles of being an Honorable Skeptic is what I call the malleability of my opinions, as expressed this way:
Because I am honorable, I sometimes willingly concede points made by my opponents in debates with them. This should never be seen as a sign of weakness. When I know I am right about something, I will fight to the bitter end to support my case and discredit my opponent because in some cases I do see my battles as a struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, or ignorance and knowledge. But I am also willing at times to listen to my opponent and consider his point of view, especially if that person is known by me to be honorable. If we do not listen to others, how can we ever grow in knowledge?
In the past, I opposed the legal concept of statutory rape, thinking it an outdated and irrational one, much like laws in the past banning homosexual relations or interracial unions. But recent events have made me reconsider my position and try to understand why otherwise enlightened people would be so insistent that teens should never be allowed to have romantic and sexual relations with older partners, even of their own choosing.
I remember watching this many times as a child along with the Saturday morning cartoons. It never occurred to me that what I was seeing was white supremacist propaganda. But some on YouTube have pointed that out!
In a blog entry from over a decade ago, I directly assaulted the credibility of the Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi, who led the Baha’i Faith from 1921 until his death in 1957. To this day, I consider The Fatal Flaw of Baha’i Authority to be my one of my greatest works and the ultimate refutation of the Baha’i Faith as led by the leadership based in Haifa, Israel.
I have also debunked the credibility of Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, the very document that Shoghi Effendi based his authority on.
It is shocking enough that the so-called Guardian did not uphold the Covenant at the time of his death. But what if I told you that he also broke it while he was alive?
When he was Guardian, Shoghi Effendi would often expel dissident Baha’is from the community, including nearly ALL his closest relatives. But a reading of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha reveals that he should NOT have had that power and he was abusing his position as Guardian!
After declaring the absolute authority of the Guardian, Abdu’l-Baha says this:
My object is to show that the Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God, cast him out from the congregation of the people of Bahá and in no wise accept any excuse from him.
So the Hands of the Cause of God are expected to expel those disloyal to the Guardian, not the Guardian himself. Meanwhile….
Should any of the members [of the Universal House of Justice] commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the Guardian of the Cause of God hath at his own discretion the right to expel him, whereupon the people must elect another one in his stead.
So the only expulsion the Guardian is empowered to do is to remove members of the UHJ from that body, and not necessarily from the Baha’i community completely. So how did Shoghi Effendi gain the same power to expel Baha’is completely as the Hands of the Cause of God? By merely asserting he had that power already! But if he did, then the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha really should have read:
My object is to show that the Guardian of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as he finds anyone beginning to oppose and protest against him, cast the Covenant breaker out from the congregation of the people of Bahá and in no wise accept any excuse from him.
The Constitution of the United States of America grants Congress, not the President, the power to declare war, but it also grants the President the rank of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. But the last time Congress did declare war was in December 1941, right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Yet the USA has fought wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq without a Congressional declaration of war, because of the President taking advantage of his position of Commander-in-Chief. This is straight up TYRANNY the American people should NEVER have tolerated!
Likewise, Baha’is the world over blindly assumed that Shoghi Effendi had the right to expel people from the Baha’i community. He didn’t even start to appoint living Hands of the Cause of God until 1951, thirty years after he began his Guardianship and he NEVER served as a member of the UHJ! Why not? Was his megalomania so problematic that he was never willing to share power with anyone in his early days as Guardian?
Then he never should have been Guardian to begin with.
Imagine you are a famous horror novelist, like Stephen King, with millions of fans around the world. You decide to write a historical fiction novel set during World War II and focusing on the Holocaust. You write the story about a concentration camp as accurately as possible, depicting the atrocities committed there in graphic detail and the Nazis involved as cruel and powerful, while their Jewish victims are shown to be helpless, the story only ending with the liberation of the camp by Allied forces. At no point do you endorse anything about Nazism, nor do you attack the Jewish community. And yet, after the novel is published, you are accused of being pro-Nazi, anti-Semetic, racist, and white supremacist, and you get tons of hate mail and even some death threats, causing you to go into hiding and consider quitting writing altogether. This despite you having made statements damning the Nazis and supporting Zionism in the past; the novel is considered proof of your true nature by people who are your sworn enemies.
This is similar to the situation I am facing right now. Let me provide some background.
In 2017, Roy Moore, a right-wing religious extremist and former judge, ran for a place in the U S Senate, but lost to Democrat Doug Jones. During his campaign, it was revealed that he had violated the bodily autonomy of several young girls when he was decades younger, disturbing the people of Alabama enough to make them reject him. This was at a time when the #metoo movement, asserting the right of women to no longer tolerate sexual harassment from men, was a major social force. I decided to support this movement by discussing it on my blog.
Thus on December 18, 2017, I wrote and published a blog entry titled, “Why I am far better than Roy Moore”. I described an actual incident I had with a young girl and how, even when given a chance to molest her, I chose NOT to do that and let her go because I respected her body and mind enough to do so. Far from being an endorsement of child sexual abuse and pedophilia, it was a total condemnation of those things and a warning to adults about how to treat younger people.
Because the girl I was with seemed to be giving me romantic signals, I mistakenly thought she had a crush on me and so I thought I needed to address that issue directly with her. But instead, she clearly explained that she only saw me as a friend and was not in love with me. The moment she made that clear, I dropped the subject and moved on. My error was thinking her overly affectionate nature was something more. That’s it. I made NO attempt to seduce the girl, tell her she HAD to have sex with me at any point, or anything so disgusting. That simply didn’t happen!
Last year, I had a dramatic falling out with Wahid Azal, who like me was an activist against the Baha’i Faith. But unlike me, he was the leader of his own “Bayani” cult based on the teachings of the Bab mixed with Marxism and other left wing extremist views. I refused to endorse his cult and when he was expelled from the ExBahai subreddit for disruptive conduct, I sided with the moderators of it against Azal. That turned him against me and over the next several months, he proceeded to accuse me of being racist, a white nationalist, a pro-Baha’i operative in league with the Baha’i leadership in Haifa (he also accused the ExBahai subreddit moderators of that), and even of being gay and also lusting after Azal’s wife before she died (hardly what a gay man would do, eh?). Of course, he could make none of those claims stick because there was no real evidence for any of them and I had made my rejection of racism and other forms of bigotry all too clear on my blog, and everywhere else for that matter. So what else is there to do when you are desperate to smear me?
By this time, I had long forgotten about the blog entry I had written about Roy Moore and the little girl I’d been with and had moved on to many other things in my life. But Wahid Azal found that blog entry and he and his cult followers began to spread links to it in various places, and he also made a video attacking me titled (I kid you not) “Dale Husband confesses to being a Paedophile”.
Needless to say, that is an outright lie, just like all the other lies that bastard has told about me. The only thing I ever confessed to on the blog entry in question was facing a difficult situation with a child and treating that child like an independent person rather than a sex object. A pedophile is a person attracted sexually only to children and aggressively seeking them out for sexual purposes, disregarding their own feelings and needs. Not only do I condemn such a thing, I actually believe convicted child molesters deserve the DEATH PENALTY! Indeed, I even condemned Moses, God’s supreme lawgiver, for endorsing child sexual abuse and genocide, as depicted here:
After learning what Azal had done, I asked a friend of mine, the same one I consulted in making the controversial blog entry, what I should do. She said, “Unfortunately in my experience very little weight is put into someone’s intention, only in other’s perception. I would probably take it down if I were you, but there’s no action that will immediately make this problem go away for you. Good luck, friend. Things like this are never easy.” So I removed the blog entry from public viewing.
So this is how utterly low Azal has sunk and now I am going to have to be a lot more aggressive in dealing with him and his lies on YouTube as well as on reddit. Any chance of him and me reconciling in the future is gone forever.
Fortunately, it seems that some progress in getting rid of him has already been made.
A few months ago, I was contacted via Facebook by Hamid Farnagh and he requested I provide material for his magazine, which is dedicated to criticizing the Baha’i Faith. I complied and soon portions of my writings appeared there, along with a description of me.
I then requested he send me an English translation of what was written so I could be sure my writings had been properly represented. He promised me he would do so, but his efforts were delayed by his contracting the coronavirus, which he survived. Once he got well, he kept his word to me and I got the translation in email, which I then downloaded and read. Now I will share that text with my readers.
After receiving several harassing phone calls today from someone trying to get me to pay money for a package to be delivered to me that I didn’t even order, I have finally had ENOUGH of a dating site known as Mingle2!
I made an account there about eight years ago. Here are screenshots of my profile there:
The very first message I got on the site was an introduction to it.
Welcome to Mingle2 – Please read!
PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE MESSAGE. IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Mingle2.com is a free dating site. You can contact as many people as you like for free!
Our goal is to help you find relationships that matter in your life. Every day we work hard to make this happen.
To make the most of your experience here, please follow these simple guidelines.
Be safe. Everything you need to contact people is available on the site. Be suspicious of people that message you and want to talk to you offsite via phone, email or IM in their first contact with you. These people are sometimes scammers who try to convince you to give them money. As a rule, NEVER give anyone you meet on the site money.
Have fun. Start by uploading a good photo of yourself. People who upload a photo get 10X the activity of people without photos.
Invest a little time in your profile. This is your first impression, make it count.
Invite your friends. Dating doesn’t have to be lonely. Invite your friends and make it more fun. Get their advice or check out their friends.
Spend some time in the forums. It’s a great place to meet other people.
Use features like BLOCK USER on people you don’t like. It’s simple and effective
Just have fun. Everyone here is here for the same reason, so just be yourself and have a good time, the rest comes naturally.
INBOX MESSAGING & INSTANT MESSAGING RULES
If you are lewd, rude or crude in email messages to others, this can get you banned permanently. We store complaints and our system will ban you if you accrue too many complaints.
Do not send people unsolicited “sexual” messages or else you will get banned when they report you.
Do not spam or solicit funds from other users (duh!). You will be reported and banned.
Do people obey the rules of this site? Apparently not! I have made contact with a wide variety of women over the years, and it seems EVERY SINGLE ONE was a scammer! In most cases, women who were supposed to be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area would turn out to be in another state, like California, or even an African country! They and I would communicate for several weeks or months and inevitably, if they didn’t lose interest in me, they would demand I send them money or gift cards. After what happened to me in 2018, I would tolerate that crap no more! EIGHT YEARS IS LONG ENOUGH TO BE MADE OF FOOL OF!
A message from four years ago:
For your safety – Please read!
Because we are a free dating site, anyone can sign up – including scammers and other undesirable people. Since our inception, we’ve made user safety a top priority and we’ve built many systems to combat such undesirables. It mostly works and we are making improvements everyday. However, it is impossible to make a full-proof system.
So please be wary of anyone who asks you for money or who says he/she can make you money. Mingle2 is a dating site, not a financial service, right? You can also help us combat the problem by reporting that user.
If someone asks you to visit their “webcam” or go to another site that’s a “webcam” please ignore these scammers and report them to us. We are in no way affiliated with these scammers and work hard on banning them daily.
As always, we hope you enjoy the site and make some valuable relationships.
Sincerely, The Mingle2 Team
I don’t believe them anymore. I now think the website itself is a scam and that most of the accounts there are Mingle2 employees, not real women. I will shut down my account and move on.
I was just informed of someone even more insane and dangerous than Wahid Azal! But the parallels between them are striking. Both came from Iran and both settled in Australia. Both have acted like cult leaders at one time or another.
Verona van de Leur: The star gymnast who reinvented herself as a porn actress
The simple act of cartwheeling at the age of five begins Verona van de Leur’s story, a childhood passion which in turn led to a desire to be an Olympic gymnast.
In the intervening three decades, she became a Dutch national treasure known for her sporting prowess.
But injury curtailed her career and her life spiraled out of control. Locked out of the family home, she says she spent two years homeless and endured a fractious legal battle with her father.
Things got even worse when she was imprisoned, convicted of blackmail in 2011. She says she came within seconds of stepping in front of a train to end her life.
She says redemption came working as a porn actress and, now at the age of 34, Van de Leur has penned her autobiography, laying out details of her life.
She is adamant there are no regrets. Of her foray into the adult movie industry, which she says she stopped last year, Van de Leur told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell: “Actually no regrets because I was living on the streets … I would still do it, so I don’t have any regrets, not the way I did it, no.”
Engrossed by watching gymnastics at the 1996 Olympics, she set her heart on competing at the Games. The medals followed, with silver both at the World and European Championships. She was named Dutch sportswoman of the year in 2002 just before turning 17.
Lisa Deen, who works as a freelance sports journalist specializing in gymnastics, describes Van de Leur as “one of the greatest gymnasts in the Netherlands’ history.”
‘Left with a black hole’
To start with, Van de Leur loved the life of being a gymnast.
“It’s quite strange but it’s also fun of course — I mean you’re a teenager and everybody’s watching you in a good way, asking for an autograph, so it feels special, of course,” she says.
“Your parents are proud, your family’s proud, everybody’s talking positive about you. But you have all the pressures coming and you have to succeed at the next competition again and again.”
Trying to pinpoint when things began to unravel is hard for Van de Leur.
At times, she thinks it could have been as early as the age of nine when she took up gymnastics competitively.
What’s not in doubt is that the downward spiral started in 2003 following an injury. Suddenly, Van de Leur says, she had nothing.
“If I look back, it’s just a sport, a hobby you’re good at,” she says. “But at the time it was printed in my head, ‘This is what you are. You are only a gymnast’. And for me there was no life besides it … For the people around me, I was only that robot, only the gymnast and I didn’t have friends.
“So, if your sport is falling apart, there’s nothing left so you have this black hole.”
Van de Leur says her falling out of love with gymnastics reached its peak in 2008 when she announced to the media at the European Championships that she was walking away from the sport that had defined her life. She was just 22.
Her first reaction was happiness it was finally over, and for once she felt like she was taking control of her own life. However, when she told her parents, she says they remonstrated with her, concerned Van de Leur was turning her back on potential earnings.
In her opinion, their attitude was that “money was more important than their own daughter.” Around that time, she returned to the family home only to discover she was no longer welcome, she says.
‘Locked out of home’
CNN tried to contact Van de Leur’s father for comment via email, phone and social media but proved unsuccessful, as well as her sister.
“I tried the locks, I had a key as I was living there and you try it and it’s not working,” Van de Leur recalled. “You first think, well, it must be a mistake or I’ll just call home. They didn’t answer, they didn’t open and then I realized I wasn’t welcome anymore.”
So, she slept in her car with her boyfriend that night, first annoyed and then heartbroken that her family had rejected her. She says, “The last time I saw them was in court.”
A court summary of the case says Van de Leur argued that in 2008, her father, who acted as her agent, “withdrew an amount of €9,000 ($9768) from the claimant’s payment account without the consent or knowledge of the claimant, of which only part of the claimant was repaid or related to costs incurred on behalf of the claimant.”
She added: “I’ve asked for the accounting and where’s my sponsorship money and all the money I get from gymnastics when I won and it was just all gone. The only thing was to get justice to go to court so that’s what I did.”
An attorney listed as Van de Leur’s father’s lawyer at the time declined to comment to CNN citing code of conduct.
The court summary states that Van de Leur’s father argued that he had “incurred costs including moving the claimant’s personal property out of her trainer’s home, buying gifts for the trainer and her family, replacing locks in the defendant’s home and staying with family related to potential threats.”
However, in February 2009, a court of The Hague ordered her father to pay her €1,355.89 ($1471) as well as allow Van de Leur to return to his home to retrieve a number of items: a sunbed, tracksuits and leotards, and various presents, and to stop running a website in her name.
Reflecting on facing her parents in the court room, Van de Leur said: “From the beginning, I know I lost everything and money doesn’t get parents back.”
‘I wasn’t used to showing myself nude’
For two years after her family fallout, she says she was homeless. During that time, Van de Leur was arrested for trying to blackmail a couple having an extra marital affair — she was charged with extortion — which resulted in her spending 72 days in prison.
“In that time, being homeless, I didn’t care anymore how I got money for food,” she said.
“But even in that worst situation I know it was not my right to determine the law and, yes, I regret that I didn’t choose or find another option in that period of time. Maybe it’s good for me that I have been punished for 72 days to realize I was wrong, and I was.”
When out of jail, the adult industry — first as a webcam model and then making videos with her boyfriend — seemed a good way out. The couple is still together 13 years on.
“I saw it as a chance,” said Van de Leur. “It was a big contract so I could build something, starting my business. I was starting as a webcam model. It wasn’t physical contact, so computer screen was okay. I wasn’t used to showing myself nude, of course.”
The reaction in Holland to her dramatic career change, she says, was mixed, but having been homeless and in jail, Van de Leur saw her new job as offering her a fresh start.
“I didn’t say at the time I lived on the street or where I was coming from but for me this was actually a step up and they only saw that I was going down,” she said. “So, I kept it in my mind, it’s my life, it’s what I like to do and I always saw it as work.”
Van de Leur also made a return to the gymnastics world at the World Championships in Stuttgart last year where she worked as an analyst for the Dutch media, but she returned home prematurely before the event had finished.
As she reflects on the various twists and turns of her life, Van de Leur says she wishes she had been smarter at a younger age when her gymnastics career was taking off.
Above all these days she wants to embrace life — having come so close to ending it all.
It was amid the dispute with her family, that Van de Leur says she went to a railway line to kill herself.
“I went to the train and I was just counting from 10 to zero and I didn’t jump,” she recalled. “I don’t know why but it was really the moment that it could be all over.
“I was thinking about my family that I lost, I was living on the street, I had nothing, nothing to eat, no money in my hands, so I had nothing to live for.
“That was what I was thinking at that moment but, when the train just passed, I don’t know something snapped maybe. I still don’t know why I didn’t jump, I was crying and then just walked away.”
Now, Van de Leur says that moment gives her strength and that she’s learned to “enjoy every moment of her life.”
A harshly judgemental person would condemn her for going into porn, but she clearly only did that out of necessity because her own family rejected her for no longer being a source of income to them. If I had been this beautiful girl’s father, I would have loved and supported her even after she had quit being a gymnast, and encouraged her to pursue other interests as she got older. Then she might not have gone into porn.
But the ultimate hero in all this is the unnamed boyfriend. He never abandoned her, even after she went into porn and no doubt showed off her body to other guys to make money. That would have driven away most other love partners. But he stayed with her, even in the darkest times. He literally saved her life!
Over the last week, new reporting has provided corroborating evidence for a decades-old allegation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden, a charge that has been denied by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign.
Timeline of the allegations
In March, former Biden congressional staffer Tara Reade told podcaster Katie Halper that in the spring or summer of 1993 that the then-senator from Delaware had cornered her in a private hallway when she was delivering a duffel bag. Reade alleges that Biden began kissing her, propositioned and reached under her skirt and began touching her.
The Biden campaign has denied the allegations.
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s communications director, said in a statement to the New York Times earlier this month. “He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
The Associated Press contacted 21 former Biden staffers, none of whom said they remembered any complaints filed by Reade, who was a 29-year-old staff assistant at the time. Reade said that after complaining, her duties were scaled back and she was eventually told she wasn’t a good fit before being given a month to find another job. Reade said that she filed a written complaint at the time with a Senate personnel office, which could be with the rest of Biden’s senatorial papers at the University of Delaware. The university has said that an archive related to the former vice president “will remain closed to the public until two years after Mr. Biden retires from public life.”
Last year, Reade said in multiple interviews that Biden had touched her shoulders and played with her hair but did not mention assault.
On Monday, Business Insider published a story from veteran investigative reporter Rich McHugh that included an on-the-record interview with two women who said that Reade had told them about the incident in the mid-’90s.
“I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” Lynda LaCasse, Reade’s former neighbor, said. “And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.”
“I don’t remember all the details,” added LaCasse, who said she was a Democrat who still supported Biden. “I remember the skirt. I remember the fingers. I remember she was devastated.”
Another woman, Lorraine Sanchez, told McHugh that she recalled Reade complaining to her in the mid-’90s that her former boss in Washington, D.C., had sexually harassed her and that she had been fired for raising concerns. Sanchez and Reade worked together in the office of a California state senator.
In March 2019, former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores alleged that Biden had kissed and touched her inappropriately in 2014. In response to Flores’s allegation, Biden said it “was never my intention” to make Flores or another woman feel uncomfortable.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately,” he said in the statement. “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
He added that he did not recall the alleged interaction with Flores, but said, “We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences.”
Shortly after those allegations were made, a half dozen other women spoke up to say that Biden had made remarks or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable, although none alleged assault. One was Reade, who told a local California newspaper that Biden had inappropriately touched her and made her uncomfortable. She did not raise an accusation of assault. In 2019 interviews with the Washington Post, Reade said that Biden “touched her neck and shoulders but did not mention the alleged assault or suggest there was more to the story.”
In an April 12 story on the allegations, the New York Times talked to a number of staffers who said they had not heard of the incident and said it was out of character for Biden. However, two former interns told the Times that they “recalled that she abruptly stopped supervising them in April, before the end of their internship,” which echoes Reade’s claim that her duties were scaled back.
The mother’s call
Last week, the Intercept published an August 11, 1993, call to Larry King’s CNN show. Although not identified at the time, the caller was Reade’s mother, Jeanette Altimus, who Reade says she told about the alleged assault at the time it occurred.
“I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington?” said the caller, who was identified as a woman living in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where Altimus resided at the time. “My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.”
King replied, “In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?”
“That’s true,” said the caller.
Congressional records list Reade’s last month of employment as August 1993.
It is possible that Biden does indeed have some personal boundary issues, but so do lots of other men, including Donald Trump, he who said he wanted to grab a woman by her “pussy”. That did not stop Trump from getting elected in 2016, however. So why throw similar accusations at Biden? And more to the point, why NOW?
Since this incident was said to occurred in 1993, the proper time to bring it forward would have been in 2008, when Barack Obama had just chosen Joe Biden as his running mate. Then Obama could have dropped Biden and chosen someone else to be the next Vice-President, increasing the chances of Obama winning later. But not a peep about the matter came out…..until THIS year, when Biden is running for President against a man who is KNOWN to be a pervert. Could this be a desperate last ditch effort by Republicans to ensure the reelection of Trump?
Democrats have a problem I call “moral puritanism”, which one would have expected Republicans to have had with their conservative ideology. But clearly morality is no longer an issue if Republicans are willing to elect to the Presidency a twice divorced serial adulterer with scandalous business practices and NO political experience at all. As long as Trump can ramrod the right-wing agenda through the Congress and the Supreme Court, Republicans can overlook moral issues. By contrast, Democrats are often willing to turn on their own politicians for similar issues, which is why Sen. Al Franken resigned after he was accused of sexual misconduct. In hindsight, I think THAT WAS A CRITICAL MISTAKE. Franken should have kept his seat in the U S Senate and faced the voters in the next election.
By making similar allegations at Joe Biden, Republicans hope Biden can be discredited enough to force the Democratic Party to reject him and choose another candidate, who might turn out to be weaker. Biden won the primaries because the rank and file Democratic voters consider him the strongest candidate; they themselves would be less likely to support wholeheartedly anyone else, and the centrist non-partisan voter even less so.
We hit absolute rock bottom with Donald Trump and even if the allegations against Biden are true, he is still better than Trump. After Biden purges the Presidency of Trump’s filth, we can then elect an even better person as Biden’s successor, and ultimately raise up an entire generation of young men who will know better than to violate the bodily autonomy of women. It’s too late for older men like Franken, Trump, and Biden who were raised with different standards and we need to be realistic about that. As long as Democrats and Republicans are NOT on an even playing field, this bloodletting among Democrats must end! We can move forward only by ensuring that Republicans and fellow Democrats can’t make political issues out of private behavior.