Thursday, August 30, 2012

#350: William Schnoebelen

A.k.a. Christopher Syn (name taken in the 1970s for numerological reasons)

William Schnoebelen is an evangelist, author (sometimes with his wife Sharon) and lecturer, known for his anti-Mormon, anti-masonic (yes) and anti-Wiccan views and for his fundamentalist Protestant viewpoint. His views are slightly more insane than Jack Chick’s (Schnoebelen is published by Chick Publications), and possibly only challenged by Gene Ray. He currently runs his own organization With One Accord Ministries (website here). His antipathy toward the organizations mentioned above can partially be explained by the fact that he is, in fact, himself a former Mormon and wiccan, as well as a Gnostic Bishop with the Monastery of the Seven Rays, voodoo priest, and member of the Church of Satan. He claims to have reached a high rank with the Freemason (reaching “Palladium Masonry”, which is a well-known hoax and doesn’t exist), and to have been part of the Illuminati (he has published the video “Exposing the Illuminati from within”: two parts, here and here. You get an idea of where he comes from.

To top it, Schnoebelen claims to have been a practicing vampire from 1979, and has released a nine-hour DVD program titled “Interview with an Ex-Vampire: A True Story” (hosted by one Stephanie Relfe, who provides a biography of Schnoebelen here), although there is ample evidence that Schnoebelen doesn’t quite know what “True Story” means. Unfortunately his vampire activities came to an end (he was also a practicing sorcerer) in 1980 when he failed a saving throw against an evangelical bank clerk who promised to “be praying for you in Jesus’ name,” was turned, and subsequently lost all his magical powers. He doesn’t like D&D, by the way (more on that below), and there is probably a connection here.

According to none other than Schnoebelen, part of Schnoebelen’s spiritual education was extra-terrestrial, apparently.

Sort of to complete the circle, he also has an “N.D. degree” from Trinity College of Natural Healing in Indiana, and is also certified by the Certified Natural Health Professionals organization in Warsaw, IN. His profile is here.

Among Schnoebelen’s numerous books are “Masonry: Beyond the Light”, which exposes the freemasons as Satanists; “Wicca: Satan’s little white lie”, which exposes Wiccans as Satanists; “Mormonism’s Temple of Doom’, which exposes Mormons as Satanists, and “Blood on the Doorpost”; which tells you how to conquer the Satanism in your life and achieve success through the power of the Law of Attraction and The Secret (yes, that The Secret). He may be most famous for his attacks on Mormonism, however, since some Mormon responders actually took it as a serious threat. Together with one Ed Decker Schnoebelen raised concerns about, among other things, the spires on Mormon temples, claiming that they were really “Satan's spires” and represented “an up-side-down nail pointing defiantly toward heaven, as if to impale the Lord Jesus Christ anew when he comes in the clouds” and that because of “the trapezoidal shape” of the spires they “draw demons like fly paper”.

Besides such high-flown theology, Schnoebelen’s book “Space Invaders” is about UFOs and seems to assume that the eponymous Arcade game is a real-life documentary (“Bill shows how the "cute little space aliens" have their roots in the rituals of such black magicians as Aleister Crowley” and “reveals how flying saucers and ‘alien abductions’ may well figure into the end-time plans of the Beast. Drawing on Genesis 6”). Schnoebelen knows, since Schnoebelen has been a vampire. What more expertise in magic and the occult do you need?

He is no fan of Harry Potter, and produced a video “Harry Potter: Politically Correct Paganism” with Jan Markell (already covered) and one Wendell Amstutz. Neither is he a fan of Dungeons and Dragons, which involves evil, brainwashing (“Erosion of family values – the Dungeon Master (DM) demands an all-encompassing and total loyalty, control and allegiance”), real sorcery, Satanism, immorality (“male characters in the game often try to seduce female characters”) and – worst of all – science (“In this worldview, there is no sovereign God; but rather the universe is run like a gigantic piece of machinery”). Updated here.

Diagnosis: Clinically unable to distinguish imagination and reality (preciously few of his claims about his own past have been substantiated) the amazing Bill Schnoebelen is one of a kind. He’s probably harmless.

#349: Don Schmierer

Don Schmierer is an insanely lunatic and thoroughly evil person. Together with Scott Lively and Caleb Lee Brundidge, Schmierer participated in a 2009 workshop in Kampala to, pretty much, provide the architecture for the Ugandan anti-gay bill (discussed here). Schmierer is a board member of Exodus International, an organzation devoted to promoting “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ”. After the law passed in Uganda and brought about some horrible deaths Schmierer said he felt “duped”, arguing that he had been invited to speak on “parenting skills” for families with gay children and that, although he claimed homosexuals could be converted into heterosexuals, he had no idea some Ugandans were contemplating the death penalty for homosexuality.

There are reasons to think Don is not as stupid as he claims he is, and even if he were he would nevertheless be responsible.

It is telling that he mentioned receiving threats and more than 600 hate mails related to his visit: “I spoke to help people,” he said, “and I’m getting bludgeoned from one end to the other.” No, Don. You are not the victim here, and you don’t get to claim that you are.

Diagnosis: Vile loon who should be charged with crimes against humanity; he is a representative for a very dangerous trend: extremist religious organizations who, unable to establish theocracy or use violence against those they dislike in the US, targets Africa instead – and are extremely successful at it. Exodus (headed by one Alan Chambers) is one such organization.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

#348: Debbie Schlussel

Debbie Schlussel is another rightwing columnist and blogger. She has done some right stuff, in fact, such as looking into Sean Hannity’s “charity work”, but that doesn’t alter the overall assessment. Her main focus is targeting what she regards as negative elements of American Islamic society. That means, in general, typical wingnut populist idiocy and deliberate misinformation. See here - Schlussel responded to this one by calling Mediamatters “far left”. The idea that this counts as a response tells you a lot about what kind of approach Schlussel takes to reality. She also compared them to Nazis (in particular, for some arbitrary but predictable reason, George Soros). In 2010 she claimed that the new Miss USA, Rima Fakih, was a terrorist because she was of Lebanese descent. Her sources were apparently the voices in her head. In 2007 also complained that atheists targeted her for, uh, blatant racism; she argued that this was natural, however, since atheists are Muslim-lovers and most of them will, in a few years, be fanatic Islamists. She also blamed the Virginia Tech shootings on the Muslims, of course, so it comes as no surprise when she voices her shock and horror that Whole Foods actually sells food to Muslims. In a civilized society they would be indicted for supporting terrorism!

To take a few more examples: Schlussel has also claimed that it was OK for the Europeans to take the US from the Natives because, well, because the Natives were also immigrants some twenty thousand years ago, and she is adamant that “freedom of religion” does not mean or encompass “freedom from religion”. During the captivity of American journalist Jill Carroll, Schlussel claimed that Carroll hated Israel and America, implying that she sympathized with her captors and explicitly calling those who disagreed with her “blind worshippers of Jill Carroll”. In 2007, she asserted that WNBA player Anna DeForge is a bad role model because she is a lesbian, and in 2011 she stirred up some dissatisfaction by suggesting that CBS reporter Lara Logan deserved the sexual assault she suffered while covering the protests in Egypt. There is a pattern here.

Diagnosis: Described as “Ann Coulter without the charm”, Schlussel is a deranged dimwit and some may suspect truly mentally ill; she is still pretty dangerous, however.