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cleanhippie's Journal
cleanhippie's Journal
November 29, 2012

Who fakes cancer on the internet? Women

Who fakes cancer on the internet? Women
Posted by Donna Trussell on November 29, 2012

Faking illness has been around forever, but the Internet has ushered in new ways to seek attention, and to add convincing flourishes to the stories. These posers are few in number, but the trail of devastation they leave is huge. Real cancer patients and survivors like myself can not fathom such bizarre behavior. I’d love to wake up one morning and find out my diagnosis was just a bad dream, or a mistake at the lab. Most of us would give up every gift, every sympathetic gesture, every new friend if we could just return to the lives we had before cancer. To feel whole and vigorous again, to put death back into the mañana category — these seem like a distant, beautiful dream. Why would anyone willingly jump into the muck of cancer, even in jest?

But they do. Especially women, it turns out.


They presumably suffered from Munchausen syndrome (which affects women disproportionately) or perhaps Munchausen by Internet, a new phenomenon that some experts would like to see included in the next edition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

One study links the syndrome to narcissistic and/or sadistic personalities. The perpetrators easily fool their victims because humans fill in the details unconsciously, based on what they hope to be true. Palm readers and fortune tellers use the same technique on their customers.

But why are the cancer fakers so often women instead of men? I asked Harriet Lerner, psychologist and author of “The Dance of Anger,” about Munchausen and gender.

(Much more at link)


Please let us note: This article is written by a woman, and it goes much deeper than her attention-grabbing headline. (It did grab your attention, right?) I posted this because I found it an interesting read. My family and I recently found out that an acquaintance who claimed to have breast cancer was faking it. Turned out she was even faking it with her own family. I do not know what happened when they found out, as we have not spoken to her since finding out ourselves.
November 29, 2012

Why I'm A Christian

I'm a Christian. I don't know what kind of connotation that evokes in you, but I think it will be worth hearing my explanation of why I'm a Christian. I'd like you to know how my personal research, reasoning and meditations have led me to these conclusions. I'm attempting to present a non-threatening explanation which is, of course, my viewpoint. At the outset, I appeal to your reasonableness to hear, without prejudgment, a simple explanation that I feel is compelling.

First, realize there are more than a billion people now living claiming to be Christian. Probably no two would explain in exactly the same way what it means to be a Christian. That's because every one of us has had a different life experience and a different perspective. However, there are at least three ideas that are both minimally acceptable to all that are Christians and that may be unique to Christianity. These three ideas are the only three I'd like to discuss. Christians all believe there is a higher power that most picture as a personage, a ‘God', if you will. They also believe that Jesus as the son of God gave up his life as a sacrifice to benefit all those that avail themselves of his magnanimity. Finally, they all recognize the obligation to show love to others.

All I want to do is analyze these three ideas. I beg you not to go ahead of me. There is wide latitude even within those three issues. For example, I know committed Christians who live as close to the concept of sainthood as you could imagine, but whose views and picture of God are diametrically different, anywhere between viewing God as the wizard in the Wizard of Oz, a little old man who sits behind a giant computer screen and a conglomeration of buttons and knobs keeping order in the universe to the other extreme of God being a hardily a person as we would normally define a person.

Some Christians see God as a spiritual force found anywhere and everywhere in creation, a person, yes, in the sense of intelligence, feeling and goal-orientation. Christian views run the gamut between those extremes. Let's not debate these fine points now that are a life's project in itself. Let's just understand the basics of the three issues Christianity asserts as true, an eternal God or "Mighty One" as the original language of Christian scripture asserts. Christianity asserts that Jesus is the Son of God whose mandate was to die for all who might and will ever need that sacrifice to give them the psychological courage to go on. Finally, Christianity asserts that the only way one can ever be truly happy is to come to the point where you can put others' interests before your welfare. In other words, show "love" to others following the example Jesus set. That's all I'm asking you to consider with me.

(much more at link)


November 29, 2012

Even Pat Robertson Denies that the Earth is 6,000 Years Old

On today’s 700 Club, televangelist Pat Robertson appeared to break with many of his fellow fundamentalists who subscribe to Young Earth creationism regarding the age of the earth, disputing their notion that the planet is only around 6,000 years old. Robertson said that James Ussher, the seventeenth century bishop who to this day is heralded by Young Earth creationists for using the Bible to argue that the earth was created in 4004 BC, “wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said it all took 6,000 years, it just didn’t.” While many creationists believe that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark, Robertson insisted that dinosaurs “were on the earth before the time of the Bible, so don’t try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years, that’s not the Bible.”

However, Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network sells material arguing that the earth is 6,000 years old and that the Bible says dinosaurs and humans lived together.

Watch: (at link)


Well, I wonder what ol' Pat's flock will do with this info, considering that Pat SELLS creationist nonsense on his website.

Oh, and for those of us here that subscribe to the YEC theory (yes, there are some. Have a look at the recent "Creation Science At It's Best" thread for some stunning examples), when Pat Fucking Robertson says your idea is fantasy, you better believe him!
November 26, 2012

50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

Last month in Ireland, Savita Halappanavar died, and she shouldn't have. Savita was a 31-year-old married woman, four months pregnant, who went to the hospital with a miscarriage in progress that developed into a blood infection. She could easily have been saved if the already doomed fetus was aborted. Instead, her doctors did nothing, explaining that "this is a Catholic country," and left her to suffer in agony for days, only intervening once it was too late.

Savita's death is just the latest in a long line of tragedies directly attributable to the doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic church. I acknowledge that there are many good, progressive Catholics, but the problem is that the church isn't a democracy, and those progressives have no voice or vote in its governance. The church is a petrified oligarchy, a dictatorship like the medieval monarchies it once existed alongside, and it's run by a small circle of conservative, rigidly ideological old men who make all the decisions and choose their own successors.

This means that, whatever individual Catholics may do, the resources of the church as an institution are bent toward opposing social progress and positive change all over the world. Every dollar you put into the church collection plate, every Sunday service you attend, every hour of time and effort you put into volunteering or working for church organizations, is inevitably a show of support for the institutional church and its abhorrent mission. When you have no voice, there's only one thing left to do: boycott. Stop supporting the church with your money and your time. For lifelong Catholics, it's a drastic step, but it's more than justified by the wealth of reasons showing that the church as an institution is beyond reform, and the only meaningful response is to part ways with it. Here are just a few of those reasons: (list at link)

November 21, 2012

The Problem with Religious Moderates

The Problem with Religious Moderates

We can no longer afford the luxury of political correctness. When religion causes violence, its root claims must be challenged.

People of faith fall on a continuum: some draw solace and inspiration from a specific spiritual tradition, and yet remain fully committed to tolerance and diversity, while others would burn the earth to cinders if it would put an end to heresy. There are, in other words, religious moderates and religious extremists, and their various passions and projects should not be confused. However, religious moderates are themselves the bearers of a terrible dogma: they imagine that the path to peace will be paved once each of us has learned to respect the unjustified beliefs of others. I hope to show that the very ideal of religious tolerance-born of the notion that every human being should be free to believe whatever he wants about God-is one of the principal forces driving us toward the abyss.

We have been slow to recognize the degree to which religious faith perpetuates man's inhumanity to man. This is not surprising, since many of us still believe that faith is an essential component of human life. Two myths now keep faith beyond the fray of rational criticism, and they seem to foster religious extremism and religious moderation equally: (i) most of us believe that there are good things that people get from religious faith (e.g., strong communities, ethical behavior, spiritual experience) that cannot be had elsewhere; (2) many of us also believe that the terrible things that are sometimes done in the name of religion are the products not of faith per se but of our baser natures-forces like greed, hatred, and fear-for which religious beliefs are themselves the best (or even the only) remedy. Taken together, these myths seem to have granted us perfect immunity to outbreaks of reasonableness in our public discourse.


With each passing year, do our religious beliefs conserve more and more of the data of human experience? If religion addresses a genuine sphere of understanding and human necessity, then it should be susceptible to progress; its doctrines should become more useful, rather than less. Progress in religion, as in other fields, would have to be a matter of present inquiry, not the mere reiteration of past doctrine. Whatever is true now should be discoverable now, and describable in terms that are not an outright affront to the rest of what we know about the world. By this measure, the entire project of religion seems perfectly backward. It cannot survive the changes that have come over us-culturally, technologically, and even ethically. Otherwise, there are few reasons to believe that we will survive it.

Moderates do not want to kill anyone in the name of God, but they want us to keep using the word "God" as though we knew what we were talking about. And they do not want anything too critical said about people who really believe in the God of their fathers, because tolerance, perhaps above all else, is sacred. To speak plainly and truthfully about the state of our world-to say, for instance, that the Bible and the Koran both contain mountains of life-destroying gibberish-is antithetical to tolerance as moderates currently conceive it. But we can no longer afford the luxury of such political correctness. We must finally recognize the price we are paying to maintain the iconography of our ignorance.


IMO, THIS is where the conversation regarding religion needs to be taking place. Many of our moderate believers right here on DU claim that they want to find "common ground" where we can work together, and I agree with them. But in the way of finding that common ground is the obstacle that Sam is getting at in this article.

I urge you to read the entire article at the link, and then lets have that real discussion we all really want to have, and put an end to the snipe-fest that this Group has become. Any takers?
November 20, 2012

Lawsuit threat means Alsip Christmas tradition gets crossed off

To avoid what could be a costly lawsuit, the village of Alsip will break with tradition and not erect a cross on its water tower near the Tri-State Tollway this holiday season. The cross had been a fixture since the 1970s, Mayor Patrick Kitching said Monday. But after the Freedom from Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., advised Kitching it would file a lawsuit demanding removal of the cross, citing separation of church and state, Kitching decided to not wage a losing and likely costly legal battle.

Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said the group acted on a complaint received last year from an unidentified Alsip resident. “We work to keep religion out of government. We try to resolve things through education and legislation, not litigation. Towns can’t put crosses on public structures such as water towers because we have separation between religion and government,” she said.

In a letter to residents and businesses, Kitching wrote: “I am very saddened by this and had hoped we would not have to change tradition. However, in these economic times, the village cannot afford to waste any tax dollars on a lawsuit that simply cannot be won.


While Kitching goes on in the article to demonstrate his ignorance and anger at the loss of his religions privileged place, he wound up making the right call. He is to be applauded.
November 15, 2012

Which Professions Have The Most Psychopaths?

First off, psychopath doesn't just mean someone who cuts you up with a chainsaw -- though the majority of people who do things like that are psychopaths. What's the definition?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial char, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.

So which professions (other than axe murderer) do they disproportionately gravitate towards -- or away from?

And the next thing that comes to mind is: Why?

Most of the professions on the right require human connection, dealing with feelings and most of them don't offer much power. Psychopaths, by their very nature, would not be drawn to or very good at these things. On the other hand, most of the roles on the left do offer power and many require an ability to make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings. Psychopaths would be drawn to these roles and thrive there.

November 15, 2012

Accused molesting priest blamed God

A FORMER Catholic priest accused of molesting boys at a Victorian school told a colleague that "God made us this way and it's his fault", court documents allege. David Edwin Rapson, 59, is accused of abusing boys between 1973 and 1990, including at the Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury where he was a teacher. Rapson is facing a committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

In a statement tendered today, one of the boys alleges he was molested by Rapson in the school infirmary when he was in year 10. The boy said he was in the infirmary because he had been stung by a bee. He alleges there were a number of children in the infirmary at the time and Rapson made each drink a cup of Milo. The boy said the Milo tasted "a bit strong and quite acrid".

He said he saw Rapson, whom he called Brother Rapson, going to each bed and lifting up the blankets and making derogatory comments about the boys' penises. He alleges another priest came into to the room and asked Rapson what he was doing.

Rapson replied: "You know what we do here."

To which the other priest said: "You've really got to resist."

Rapson replied: "God made us this way and it's his fault."

The boy's statement said Rapson also told the other priest he was the same as him. A short time later Rapson allegedly molested the boy.


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