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May 02, 2014

Satanic temple builds statue of Baphomet for Oklahoma Statehouse

It's a dick move, to be sure, but so is placing a giant Ten Commandments statue on public property. Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue For Oklahoma | The Escapist
The Satanic Temple's seven-foot-tall Baphomet statue, complete with beatific children gazing at it lovingly, is just about ready to take its place on the Oklahoma Statehouse lawn. The state of Oklahoma placed a monument to the Ten Commandments on the lawn of its capitol building in 2012, leading the New York-based Satanic Temple to apply for permission to place a monument of its own, on the basis that the government must treat all religions equally. By allowing a Christian monument on the grounds, it argued, the legislature opened the door to the placement of similar monuments to other religions. It's a silly idea, but the Temple took it to crowdfunding site Indiegogo and the internet, as it does, ran with it, raising more than $28,000 of a $20,000 goal. And while Oklahoma quickly took steps to shut down the effort by suspending the approval of all such permits, the Satanists are building the statue anyway. What they've come up with so far is actually pretty fantastic. The Baphomet itself is impressive and imposing, but it's the children that really sell it: You can almost see the rapturous joy on their faces as they gaze up at the fearsome visage of the Dark Lord Lucifer. And while dropping something like this on the lawn of a state legislature in the middle of the Bible belt might seem like asking for trouble, the Temple has that base covered too: It's making a mold of the statue so it can produce replacements as needed. . . .

March 03, 2014

“I grew up in a cult run by a sexual predator.”

I dare you to read up on Botkin Syndrome and not want to drive out to Iowa--or wherever these incestuous fundamentalists live--and just spit in their eyes. On Growing Up in Bill Gothard’s Homeschool Cult | Redemption Pictures
There’s barely a memory from the first twenty years of my life that isn’t run through by the thread of the Cult. We joined the Advanced Training Institute when I was in first grade. Bill Gothard’s materials were the foundation of my homeschooling curriculum for the next twelve years. The Institute’s books began to fill our shelves; their routine became part of our daily life. As a child and then a teen, ATI/IBLP formed most of my peer group. In the summer we went to the camps and the conferences. I attended the seminars as a child, then as a teacher. After I graduated from high school, I spent the next two years living and volunteering at the one of the Training Centers. My wife was exposed to the cult when she was growing up too, though not as deeply as I was. When we began our awkward courtship, we followed many of the rules and procedures prescribed by the cult. And in the years since then, I’ve found myself in the long, slow process of rooting out the remaining traces of the cult from my heart, reconstructing a faith brick by brick. When I tell my story, people say “You should hate God by now. It’s a miracle you’re a Christian at all. They’re right. It’s a miracle.