Saturday, May 10, 2014

#1033: Linda Polley

Linda Polley in 2007 with her new
glasses (she had the previous pair
since 2003, but according to herself
she really liked the new ones).

Marcella Piper-Terry runs the website, where she blames vaccines for a large range of illnesses and ailments without a shred of evidence, understanding of science, reason or grasp of the post-hoc fallacy, but a lot of conspiracy theory. Her rants are insightful enough to be picked up by But she may not deserve her own entry.

The Polleys may be a different matter. In 1999 Gerald Polley founded his own religion of Spiritism, of which he and his wife Linda are the primary and possibly only practitioners – and since Gerald died in 2012, the congregation number has recently taken a rather substantial hit. The faith is based on a faith that, allegedly, originated 500,000 years ago on a planet named Hades and was brought to Earth by extraterrestrial colonizers, who themselves died in a cataclysmic event remembered in human legend as the Great Flood. The Polleys claim to have had this (and other things) confirmed through their contact with God, Jesus and Muhammad, as well as the spirits of John Lennon, Princess Diana, Patrick Troughton, and J.S. Bach.

Based on their experiences the Polleys have created a body of work including songs, drawings and short animations, some of which they claimed were made while channelling the spirits of dead artists (mostly done by Linda, who apparently was the one working full-time with the spiritual stuff the whole time), including a song concerning Hillary Clinton and cross-dressing, with lyrics containing the catchy passage “if you want your sons wearing skirts and panty hose, with lipstick on their faces and shiny nail polish that glows, then vote for Hillary.” Critics have noticed that the songs, putatively created by Lennon and channeled by the Polleys, resemble known American folk songs more than would be comfortable for most serious artists.

In the run-up to the 2000 presidential election, Gerald Polley claimed that Jesus had left Heaven because Bill Clinton was not impeached, and would only return should George W. Bush win the election. In 2007, he decided to try to run as a Republican presidential candidate himself on a platform of pro-choice, criminalization of homosexual acts, and tougher laws against hiring immigrants. North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth commented in 2007 that he was “unsure” whether Polley was a suitable candidate. Polley was, needless to say, not very successful; he wanted to try again in 2012, but died instead.

It is somewhat tricky to figure out precisely what the Polleys’ theological position is, but you can try yourself from their website here (or their “teachings” page here, or an Open Letter from God the Father to the Media of the World, denouncing Obama, here). Their video documenting the terrible situation arising from Muhammed having been attacked in the afterlife was removed from youtube but is (allegedly) available here (safety not guaranteed).

Diagnosis: To be honest I am not sure that the Polley’s religious endeavors are any more crazy than many others, but neither am I convinced that the world needs a new religion. Still, probably rather harmless, though the Polleys enjoyed a surprising amount of TV exposure in the 2000s.

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