Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Christmas Shoebox Appeal Is A Manipulative Indoctrination Campaign.

OCC

Christmas is coming, which means it’s almost time to dig out that awful sweater, retrieve the decorative tat from the attic and pay tribute to everyone’s favourite magical zombie Jew-God. This has something to do with sprouts too, for reasons unknown.

However, unlike Jesus, one thing guaranteed to return is the Christmas Shoebox charity appeal (AKA ‘Operation Christmas Child’). This appeal usually makes itself known via your offspring’s school, your place of employment or various other local establishments such as pubs or supermarkets.

Operation Christmas Child’ is a seemingly commendable endeavour whereby the general public are asked to fill up empty shoe boxes with unwanted toys, which the charity then transports to children in less privileged regions.

For anyone in possession of a pulse – this will understandably feel like a worthy cause. But are you aware of the charity’s robust ideological goals and troubling behaviour?

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Is CJ Werleman A Plagiarist?

Image Taken From https://www.facebook.com/pages/CJ-Werleman/207324500344

Image Taken From https://www.facebook.com/pages/CJ-Werleman/207324500344

Update: 22/10/2014 – Soon after publishing this article on 17/10/2014, the charges of plagiarism contained within were confirmed to be accurate, revealing CJ Werleman to be a serial plagiarist. As a result, many new developments have occurred – including the discovery of 14 additional instances of plagiarism and a number of Werleman’s publishing outlets taking action against him. I have now added additional footnotes to highlight these developments.

I recently documented a number of concerns regarding the unpleasant behaviour of ‘Author’ and ‘Social Commentator’ CJ Werleman in my article: ‘CJ Werleman: Misrepresentation, Dubious Ethics and Unoriginal Hackery’. Expressed within that article and reproduced below are my thoughts on some of Werleman’s published writing:

‘[Werleman] is simply regurgitating past hack jobs and slapping sensationalist headlines on them’

‘…you’ve already heard this elsewhere, many times before, many years ago.’

‘Also, what he has cobbled together in his attack on Harris has already been written by others many years ago’

I attributed his imitative output to an absence of original thought rather than something altogether more cynical. But it’s now possible my feeling of ‘having read this all before’ was a symptom of literally having read some of this before.

The above article mentions Dr. Peter Boghossian (@PeterBoghossian), which subsequently prompted a conversation between us. During our conversation, Dr. Boghossian called attention to some things he’d identified in CJ Werleman’s writing that I hadn’t previously considered, and so I decided to conduct an independent investigation to determine whether or not CJ Werleman is guilty of actual plagiarism. (Parts of Dr. Boghossian’s letter have been reprinted here with his permission.)

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CJ Werleman: Misrepresentation, Dubious Ethics and Unoriginal Hackery.

strawman

I own a couple of Werleman’s books: ‘God Hates You, Hate Him Back’ & ‘Jesus Lied – He Was Only Human‘. I’d never heard of him beforehand, but I was happy to receive them as Christmas gifts a few years back – my Dad’s cool like that.

They’re ok – they don’t cover any new ground, the humour is a bit too school yard for my taste and reading them created the impression of an author who’d spied an opening in a growing a market – but it doesn’t really matter. I decided they were essentially good, as they were accessible (that’s a polite way of saying ‘dumbed down’).

The so-called ‘Four Horsemen/New Atheists’ are often accused of being elitist, as if that’s somehow an invective. Whilst not really sharing this concern, I think I understand one aspect of it. We have a group of incredibly intelligent, likely privileged (white – must mention white!) and qualified individuals who write on topics in such a manner that may require a life-time worth of research and expertise to fully get to grips with. Not everyone feels this way of course, but it’s not necessarily entry-level stuff for some either. I count myself amongst those that have their own intelligence challenged (and often pummelled) by the ideas these people so effortlessly hold court on. So I also consider any contribution to a body of literature that’s critical of religion to be a good thing, especially if it reaches a broader audience.

Needless to say we won’t be seeing Werleman follow up with ‘Allah Hates You, Hate Him Back’ or ‘Muhammad Lied – He Was Only A Charlatan’ any time soon, as he’s currently preoccupied with the deeply courageous task of mocking Republicans, ‘New Atheists’, and bravely highlighting the dangers posed by talk show hosts & neuroscientists (see the article ‘What atheists like Bill Maher have in common with medieval Christian crusaders). Islamic terrorism can wait – or rather, is explained away as a product of politics, not a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam – as though the two are mutually exclusive. Drop in a pinch of white guilt, a dash of masochism and you’ve already heard this elsewhere, many times before, many years ago.

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A Pointless Email Exchange

emailbin

I’ve decided I don’t blog nearly enough, so therefore will be inflicting upon you this pointless email exchange.  Partly in the hope that someone may be able to discover the deep meaning hiding amongst its inanity.  Consider it a challenge.

I recently released a podcast on the dangers of blasphemy laws, which, for reasons that should be apparent to anyone with a pulse, spent a significant portion focused on Islam.  I then received the following emails.  It’s worth noting that I have a particular dislike for those that use a lot of words to say precisely nothing. I’m also not a fan of new age platitudes with delusions of knowledge either.  I may update with further replies should they arrive.  I’ve changed the name to protect identity:

 

From: Fredericka
Date: 23 Jun 2014 11:20
To: Godless Spellchecker
Subject: Ep. 22, July 22th 2014, ”Blasphemy”: a Comment

If ”Anti Semitism” legally exists and gets punished, then ”Anti [any other Ethnicity]” should exist and be treated the same Way [which is the Equality needed within the so called legal System]. If ”Islamo Phobia” exists, then any other ”[Religion or Creed or political Orientation] Phobia” should exist, and be treated the same Way [see above mentioned Equality]. If Criticism of religious [or theist] ideological Thoughts and Doctrines [and Books] and charismatic Leaders is allowed and needed, then Criticism of any other [even atheist] ideological Thoughts and Doctrines [and Books] and charismatic Leaders should be allowed and needed. Let’s talk about every Religion and political Ideology [be it theist or atheist] and criticize them all: criticize their classist, racialist/ethnicism, discriminating Tenets, and their ”slavist Mentality” [which is based on the Creed that certain People must be priviledged and are superior than Others, and that many other People must be discriminated against and are inferior than Others]. Be fair altogether, be equanimous, that’s what we [living sentient (human) Beings] need on this Planet or Earth. Inner and outer Light/Happiness, inner Goodness and outer Strength to Every1.[accordion]

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Who Does Mo Ansar Think He Is?

No Ansar

Update 15/05/14: It seems time has truly been called on Mo Ansar’s ‘career’.  Numerous sources have now compiled articles exposing his deception.  Please see the appendix at the bottom of this post for a collection & the #MoCV Hashtag I created.

“Picture all experts as if they were mammals” – Christopher Hitchens

I’ve always liked these words of wisdom from Hitch, but I’ve found them particularly resonant over the last few years.  Social media has, for better or worse, afforded everyone a soap box of sorts.  A digital arena where ideas can be propagated or challenged.  It’s also equipped us common-folk with a direct line of access to so-called ‘Public Figures’.

Don’t like their opinions?  Well, now we can let them know without so much as a postage stamp.
The ‘Public figures’ I’m referring to in this instance are those frequently wheeled out onto our telly screens for topical news segments.  They confidently share their ‘valuable’ insight into “escalating tensions…” concerning some such thing or other, or press the “importance of tolerance…” etc etc. Sometimes they inform us with authority that  “Men are raised to hate women”. You know the sort.

They know what they are talking about.  Of course they do.  They’re on our telly screen after all.
This brings me to my fascination with Mo Ansar.  And it is truly a fascination.  The mystery surrounding the existence of his UK media profile brings me such joyous puzzlement I want to embrace and squeeze him.
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Team #GFGS Returns – Let’s Do Something Good Again!

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Would anyone like to help me do something good again? Back in 2013 I launched ‘Good For Good’s Sake’. This came about after being overwhelmed by the level of compassion & activism displayed by those that engage in the online ‘atheist community’.

I strongly felt that if this shared camaraderie could be channelled in a charitable context, we could really help some people who needed it. As atheists we share only one thing for definite; absence of belief in gods. Our politics, cultural backgrounds and our world-views may differ. Some of you may think Michael Bay makes good films for instance. BUT. There’s one thing I feel we could all agree on: the only thing required to be good is the recognition that it is good for its own sake. We don’t do good for the promise of eternal life, or post-death reward. We don’t do good because it is a doctrinal imperative. We do good because we have empathy, and as conscious creatures, we have concerns for the well-being of our fellow primates across the globe.

With this in mind, Team #GFGS has raised a staggering £22,773.03 for charitable causes so far. We’ve done this by ourselves, without media or corporate backing. Without promoting an ideology, or indoctrinating as a condition of our good deeds. A small group of people, in an even smaller pocket of the World Wide Web came together to achieve something that will make a positive difference to many people. That has to be good, right?

This brings me on to our third charitable drive. Are you up for the challenge? I’ve decided to choose Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Many of you will be familiar with what they do already. For those that aren’t, please see the below video and their website here.

MSF is an entirely Secular charity that delivers emergency medical aid on a global scale to those who need it the most, regardless of race, religion, creed or political affiliation. As with the last fund-raiser, this one will also end on Christmas Day 2014. Be a part of something important.  You can donate online by clicking ‘Sponsor Me’ below, or text ‘GFGS50 £5 (or any amount) to 70070. Spread the word where you can. Please keep an eye on my Twitter feed for updates. If you wish to hold an event for Team #GFGS to raise some money, please let me know!

Be good,

GS

Special thanks to @Wavish for the #GFGS logo

Click to be part of Team #GFGS

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