Material pertaining to the infamous Princess Diana death of August
1997 was recently recovered on a ‘recovered’ laptop by Blatherskites
Greg Barrett and Dave (daev) Walsh… Read a Blather special on the
phenomenon of bisociative coincidence.
POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK
Father Dougal: God, I’ve heard about those cults Ted. People
dressing up in black and saying Our Lord’s going to come back and
save us all.
Father Ted: No, Dougal, that’s us. That’s Catholicism.
Father Dougal: Oh right.
(From TV Comedy Series *Father Ted*)
On March 22nd, *The Irish Times* published two articles on the antics
of Mike Garde, Ireland’s *Cult Watchdog*. In response, we issued a
letter of criticism to the paper’s letters editor, which has yet to
appear in print. If there were any other critics of the cult articles,
their incensed reactions are also absent from the letters page.
What follows is an edited version of the letter despatched:
It was with some despair that I read the almost xenophobic
22nd article on Mike Garde, ‘The Cult Watchdog’. My copy of the
Concise Oxford English dictionary (not that I use it as a bible of
‘true’ language) describes a cult as ‘a system of religious
worship esp. as expressed in ritual’. One of the many definitions
of religion given is ‘a particular system of faith and worship’.
However, in everyday vernacular, the term ‘cult’ seems to carry
pejorative baggage, referring to any suspicious, occult, or simply
‘crazy’, form of belief. This has not been helped by a tradition
of hyperbolic media coverage of Waco, Heaven’s Gate, the Order of
the Solar Temple, and other tragedies.
While I full accept that some of Ireland’s ‘new religions’ have
questionable methodologies, and a fair share of disgruntled
ex-members, I find it incredible that we, as a nation, can still
allow our biggest umbrella cult (by dictionary definition), the
mainstream Christian churches, to decide what does or does not
constitute a ‘cult’ (pejorative definition). Are we to allow the
big religious bodies to employ dog-in-the-manger tactics?
As a cheerful agnostic, I bear no grudge to any religion in
particular, but naturally enough, I would be concerned by any the
behaviour of any organisation, religious or otherwise, which seems
to be exploiting members. It’s worth bearing in mind that only
recently, Pope John Paul II apologised for the sins of Catholicism
in the past.
In closing, may I suggest that if any body is to take
responsibility for keeping an eye on suspect ‘cults’, that it
should be a Government sponsored independent body and not only
include theologians, but also members from *every* Irish religion,
regardless of creed or size, as well as members that are
unaffiliated to any particular faith.
Is mise, etc.,
Dave (daev) Walsh
The Cult Watchdog, *The Irish Times*, March 22nd,
‘Trust in God and everything will be alright’,
*The Irish Times*,
March 22nd, 2000
Giselle Ladouceur (who lives in Niagara Falls, New York, USA) is
the winner of our most recent Blather competition, and receives a copy
of Paul Devereux’s *Re-Visioning the Earth*. There is no Blather
competition running at the moment, but anyone interested in
sponsoring a prize should consider contacting us
For more on Paul Devereux (who we thank for his generosity), visit his
*Re-Visioning the Earth*:
- Considered by the author to be one of his most important
this book looks at the interaction of human psychology,
perceptions and spiritual sense with the natural world through the
ages, and explores the nature of place, especially sacred place.
It ranges from the neurophysiological workings of human cognition
to the poetic power of ancient sacred monuments – “the planet
without, the world within”. It includes much experiential
material. A highly original, perceptive, groundbreaking work. It
will take years for the scope of its message to truly sink in.
Stanley Krippner, venerable consciousness researcher and Professor
of Psychology at Saybrook Institute, San Francisco, says of this
book: “Paul Devereux has articulated new ways in which humans can
be at home with their earth… based on sound ecological
principles as well as profound knowledge of the lifestyles of
ancient and indigenous peoples. It is not an exaggeration to
suggest that this book may be a survival manual for the 21st
century.” Dr Rana P.B.Singh, President of the Society of
Pilgrimage Studies, says that this book “will be a path-maker for
work on eco-psychology”
BOOK REVIEWS – recently added:
Flann O’Brien: Comic Genius – At Disinformation
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‘For everyone interested in the wildlife, flora and fauna of Ireland
including environmental and conservation issues.’