In 2012, I visited Philadelphia and took some time to explore the various buildings and locations where the United States was essentially built. Philadelphia was once the capitol city of America, and even today you can explore all of those government buildings where the founding fathers worked on building a free nation principled upon freedom and liberty. However, if you explore those buildings and locations with your eyes wide open, you’ll also come across evidence of the Masonic underpinnings of America as well. I touched upon some of these when I explored the symbolism on the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia, and the fascinating historical architecture of the Philadelphia City Hall. It has always been amazing to me that while most Americans are quite aware of the history of the United States told by the history books, very few people are aware of the story that has gone untold – yet remains just as core to the founding of the country, and to the characters and motives of the men who tirelessly worked so hard to build a new nation based on freedom and liberty. Some of those Masonic principles are in fact traced back to European freemasonry, and a lot of those ideals were influenced by the original Bavarian Illuminati (the Perfectibilists). Those principles, and much of the secret “teachings” of freemasonry today utilizes symbols based upon Euclidean Geometry dating all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Early freemason writers, as well as writings by Adam Weishaupt that also influenced early freemasonry writings, made claims that those geometric symbols and calculations have meanings that ran much deeper than the simple calculations used by the builders of the Pyramids and other ancient structures. Today, Masons are a fraternal bunch, but the “secret teachings” members receive make it a sort of [...]
Browsing Religion and Cults
When the word cult is used, it’s typically used to describe a fanatical sect, but the Salvia cult isn’t a typical cult. The answer to what the saliva cult is depends on the person responding. If it’s someone opting to try salvia as a recreational drug, chances are you’ll get a very negative response about the mind altering plant. Few people abusing the plant’s hallucinogenic properties have pleasant experiences. So why is it growing in popularity among party-goers? Mostly, because it’s a fast and short trip that doesn’t have any lasting side-effects. At least, none that are presently known. People are curious and want to experience salvia firsthand, but many are only one-time users, because their trips are not euphoric and often frightening.
The Bridgewater Triangle. For many long years, it has been an area of massacres, wars, murders and other events too evil to even mention. There are secret places where people have been tortured. There are spots where suicides have occurred, where UFOs have been sighted, where strange and unnatural creatures have been spotted, and where satanists have performed surreal animal-sacrifice rituals. Now, there is a documentary that documents nearly every major legend and story that has allegedly occurred in and around the area. That documentary is aptly named “The Bridgewater Triangle” and it is a 90-minute film that’ll serve as an important source of information for generations of researchers to come. I had the luck to attend the Coast City Comicon in South Portland, ME on November 9th, 2013 – and to my surprise, there was a full screening of the film listed on the schedule. Naturally – I attended. The following is my critique of the film. This contains reflections on how the different elements of the legends were handled, which stories were covered, and how the information was presented. This comes from the perspective of an open-minded skeptic, who has had an interest in the events in this area of Massachusetts for the last five years. If you have an interest in the paranormal, and whether or not you’ve heard of the Bridgewater Triangle in Massachusetts, you would be well served to read through this review before sitting down and watching the film yourself.
It was a media sensation, the kind of headline that makes people click on links with a twinge of inspiration and hope. This was what happened with the newsflash that first appeared to be a mystical and spiritual visitation of an angel at the scene of an accident. The scene was one all too familiar. It was Sunday and 19-year-old Katie Lentz was traveling through Center, Missouri on her way to attend church with friends in Jefferson City, Missouri, when a drunk driver slammed head-on into her car, flipping the vehicle upside down. Lentz was pinned inside the twisted metal that had once been her late model Mercedes. Rescue workers struggled for over an hour trying to free the young woman from the compacted wreckage. A YouTube video of a local news reporter interviewing Fire Chief Raymond Reed shows various still photographs of the EMTs working to free the young woman from the car. The news reporter explains that the twisted metal had dulled the rescue workers equipment, making it impossible to free her. (1)
Secret archives could contain allegations of sexual abuse by as many as 100 priests and other clerical staff of the Catholic Church in Scotland says the former head of the Church’s working party on child protection. The archives stretch back more than 50 years. Alan Draper, the former head of the child protection party compiled a report of “problem priests” in the 1990s. Mr. Draper has dismissed plans made by the Church to publish annual reviews of sexual abuse allegations made against priests as mere “window dressing”. According to a report in the Scotsman, the retired social work director said that an independent commission should have access to the secret archives of each of the eight dioceses in Scotland. (1) In his report, the chairman of the Catholic Church’s party on child protection identified 22 problem priests from between 1985 and 1996. In the wake of these findings, Mr. Draper believes that a study analyzing a 50-year period would identify as many as 100 priests and other members of the Church caught up in accusations of sexual abuse. The Catholic Church recently announced that it would publish audits dating back to 2006 when procedures scrutinizing the allegations were first put into place in Scotland. The reports, which have been put together by the Church’s National Office of Child Safety, will include all of the allegations made against priests and other members of staff and how these cases were resolved. The audits will be released in the autumn of this year. The procedure and reports will be repeated annually. However, Alan Draper believes that the procedure is not adequate or sufficient and that an independent investigation is needed. “This organization [the Church] now lacks all credibility. This is a step, but it is a very small step, and it is not [...]
Biblical archeology provides fascinating insight into the lives of those living during the Old and New Testaments. In fact, relics uncovered from Biblical times have to be amongst the most sought after remnants that archeologists can find. In recent years, numerous objects have been dug up and heralded as providing important perspectives on the contents of the Holy Bible. The latest alleged Biblical discovery certainly takes some beating in the rewarding stakes – a possible piece of the cross that Jesus Christ was crucified on. Archeologists working on the ancient Balatlar Church in Turkey believe that they have found a stone chest which contains objects that may be directly connected to Jesus Christ. “We have found a holy thing in a chest. It is a piece of a cross, and we think it was [part of the cross on which Jesus was crucified]. This stone chest is very important to us. It has a history and is the most important artifact we have unearthed so far,” Professor Gulgan Koroglu, head of the Balatlar Church excavation told the Huffington Post. (1)
There is nothing quite like unearthing an ancient city to capture the archaeological imagination and get historians’ pulses racing. When such a discovery is made on the war-torn lands of Iraq, which due to decades of violence and war archaeologists have been unable to properly excavate the land, the find is even more compelling. When British archaeologists announced the unearthing of a sprawling complex near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, it is hardly surprising that the discovery as been described as being “breathtaking”. The complex is believed to be approximately 4,000 years old and is likely to have been an administration center for the city of Ur, one of the world’s earliest cities, at the time when Abraham lived there.
When a group is likened to “mafia-style organized crime rings”, you immediately assume the group in question is involved with organizing prostitution or drugs. When you learn that the “mafia-style organized crime ring” refers to the Catholic Church, you are surprised, although admittedly, not as surprised as you think you should be. The Catholic Church has been beleaguered with scandal in recent years, so much so that even the world’s faithful of this embattled institution have been shaken. At the core of the scandal is the increasing number of cases which have surfaced claiming priests had sexually abused children and then veiled behind a wall of silence. In the summer of 2011, the Catholic Church in Germany promised a full investigation into the sex abuse claims, an inquiry that was meant to restore faith in the tormented establishment. The Lower Saxony Criminology Research Institute (KFN) was given the responsibility of investigating the cases. However, shortly after, the Church called off the investigations, claiming there was a breakdown in trust. “The relationship of mutual trust between bishops and the head of the institute has been destroyed,” said the Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann. (1)
While every religion has its own beliefs, traditions and customs that seem somewhat unbelievable to outsiders and non-believers, the Mormons have their fair share of unique values. What makes the Mormon beliefs particularly out of the ordinary is that Mormons dedicate so much time and energy trying to help non-Mormons. Editor’s Note: Before reviewing this article, please read through our article about the Underground Mormon Genealogy Database, where TSW explores the unusual underground vault – evidence of another unusual Mormon belief that the dead can be baptized as Mormon, and even when they were never Mormon or expressed any desire to be Mormon when alive. Mormons are essentially Christian people, who belong to the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” (LDS). The LDS church was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith. While Mormons fundamentally identify as Christians, some of their beliefs diverge from mainstream Christianity, such as the central belief that God speaks to children. Unlike true Christianity, Mormon beliefs include the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible. One of the most glaring differences between Mormonism and Christianity is that Mormon doctrine asserts that God was once an ordinary human being who once lived on earth like an everyday man. (1) In placing a huge emphasis on the family and taking care of one another, it doesn’t seem surprising that there are approximately 7 million Mormons in the United States and it is the fastest growing religion in North America. (2) In emphasizing family values and involving people in communities, non-Mormons can largely relate to these central aspects of Mormon beliefs. There are however many facets of the Mormon religion that are not as “believable” or as easily related to and some that are not publicly admitted to.
Many people are aware of the fact that the Mormons are extremely productive genealogists, carefully collecting and cataloging records and documents about not only their own families, but the genealogy records of almost every family in the United States. The LDS Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) started the process of putting genealogical records like birth, death and census records onto microfilm in the 1930s. By the 1950s, the church had already built up a library of 100,000 rolls of microfilm – archiving family records of decades of Americans. A massive “library of the dead”. The Church needed a large and secure location for its growing archive, and so decided to start blasting a cavern into the side of Little Cottonwood Canyon – burrowing nearly 700 feet into the massive granite cliffs. Eventually, the blasting crew hit a rock that couldn’t be blasted as easily anymore – plus they struck water. The water became a resource that transformed the underground archive facility into a self-sufficient vault that could withstand a nuclear blast and provide running water to those inside. (1) After over fifty years of archiving records to microfilm, the church boasts the largest genealogical collection in the world – a collection that the church is actively digitizing, and offering for free to genealogists on the Internet.