When this story about a Buddhist yoga retreat gone wrong popped up a few weeks back, most everyone focused on the “grisly death” aspect included in the headline. Which, fair enough, deaths that are grisly are not to be ignored, and this one—with the dehydration and delirium in the middle of the Arizonan desert—allowed for particular gruesome imagery. But one of the lesser-mentioned aspects of this tale is buried in the 11th paragraph:
“Others spoke of bizarre initiation ceremonies at Diamond Mountain. Sid Johnson, a former volunteer who also served on its board of directors, said his involved 'kissing and genital touching.'”
Of fucking course it did.
From the Roman storytellers who communed with Mt. Olympus, to the sandal-wearing gents of Jerusalem, to pick-any-cult-leader-ever, a recurring theme throughout history is that dudes will pretend they have a heightened sense of awareness for sex. Because they're “enlightened” and full of chi—or however the fuck that works—they'll be able to suggest awkward sexual rituals, and cop massive feels on their ever-trusting students.
Now, I'm not knocking the entirety of yoga, or any quasi-spiritual exercise that white people who make six figures are into for brief periods of their life. Do yoga. Sure. Go nuts. But don't put your teachers on an unimpeachable pedestal by believing they're enlightened individuals who've reached some higher level of being and can do whatever they want to you because of it. Mostly, they're just trying to recoup some of the large amount of money they spent getting certified to become an instructor. And if they're guys and you're an attractive young female wearing tights and doing all sorts of contortions with your body right in front of them for extended periods of time, well, they're trying to bang you.
Onto the roundup!
- Lawmakers in Israel had a long discussion as to whether or not they should “commemorate” the genocide of 1.2 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire/Turkey between 1915 and 1918. (I'm guessing this more to be a somber memorial kind of commemoration than, say, a blowout bash.) The timing is curious because, for years, Israel hasn't touched this because relations between them and Muslim-heavy Turkey were peachy. But a few years back, Israeli soldiers and Turkish activists had a bit of a brouhaha, which leads to this symbolic middle finger.
- Let's see if we can connect the dots here: An Italian soccer player goes all machismo while announcing “queers” shouldn't be allowed on the country's national soccer team. Italy is home to The Vatican.
- At least 93 people, mostly Shia pilgrims gathered for a religious festival, were killed last Wednesday in Iraq via all sorts of bombs and shootings. The chaos continued on Saturday, when at least 32 Shiite pilgrims were killed via car bombings.
- In southern Yemen, 17 Al-Qaeda folks were killed by the military while “taking back” Shuqra, the third town under Islamist militant control that's now been “recaptured” by Yemen.
- Hundreds signed a petition to Saudi King Abdullah asking him to lift the country's ass-backwards and surely-guided-by-the-patriarchic-principles-of-religion ban on females driving automobiles.
- Relics believed to be from Biblical hero John the Baptist were dated as being from the 1st century. Now, this doesn't necessary mean these are his actually bones—finding that specification would likely be impossible—as much as it just allows folks to believe thusly, which simply proliferates the creepy death cult and bone worship of Christianity.
- Remember that jerk-off pastor from Florida who got everyone in a tizzy by burning Korans? Well, he put up a display in front of his church showing President Obama, gay pride flag dangling from his feet, being hung in effigy by Uncle Sam. That's symbolic!
- Suicides by military members are averaging nearly one a day now, the fastest pace during our decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Hickory Flat Fellowship in Canton, Georgia put up the following message on their church-sanctioned sign: “The Best Way To The Top Is On Your Knees.” Which, oddly enough, is the same method in Hollywood.
- Peter Lucas Moses, 27-year-old leader of the Black Hebrews radical religious sect, pled guilty to murdering a four-year-old boy who he believed was gay. His evidence was that the young boy was seen “hitting the backside of another young boy.”
- Speaking of gay, are you? Better cancel that vacation to Ethiopia, which, according to a government official who is Christian and pro-life, is going to become “the graveyard of homosexuality.”
- Former San Diego Charger Kevin Ellison set his bed on fire with a marijuana blunt because God told him to do so.
- The pastor of a Georgia-based megachurch was arrested last week for punching and choking his 15-year-old daughter after an argument about her going to a party. He denies the charges, but the main thing to take away from this story is that the pastor's name is Creflo Dollar. Goddamn Dollar, guys. It's right in the face of his donation-giving congregation.
- A newspaper in Louisiana ran an ad by a crazy person who believes Obama, if elected, will start murdering Christians.
- Marsha Looper, candidate for Colorado State Rep., sent an email to her supporters announcing that she voted against same sex civil union measures despite having a gay son of her own: “God is truly to be praised for Marsha Looper because she also has a homosexual son,” reads the email. Oh yeah, also, by sending out the email she outed her own son to the world.
- Ridley Scott admitted that, in the universe of Prometheus, Jesus was “an Engineer.” Related: Prometheus is a shit movie.
- And our Person of the Week: Father Bob Pierson from Edina, Minnesota, who spoke out last week about why it's OK for Catholics to vote no on an anti same-sex marriage state amendment. He uses all sorts of Biblical teachings to support his point-of-view, and even gets some good Pope hazing in for good measure. The whole thing's worth a watch.
Previously - A Rare Appearance