Wednesday, April 29, 2020

#2331: Sandra Ann Taylor

No woo like quantum woo. Now, lots of promoters of woo like to throw around scientific or scientific-sounding terminology, unconcerned with and usually oblivious to what the terms actually mean. The most oblivious and helpless attempts are those – and there are plenty – that invoke “quantum”, a term usually thrown out in connection with other words in a manner that scientists who actually understand quantum physics would probably perceive as more or less random. A good case in point is Sandra Ann Taylor’s book Quantum Success: The Astounding Science of Wealth and Happiness. What the phrase “quantum success” could possibly really mean is hardly the point here, and the book has as little to do with quantum physics as it has to do with science (or astounding), or as it is actually useful for achieving any kind of success whatsoever. Yes, it is simply The Secret fan fiction all over again, and The Secret, as you probably know, is more or less just the New Age variant of the prosperity gospel. Taylor has also written the book Secrets of Success: The Science and Spirit of Real Prosperity, the title of which sort of gives the game away. 

Now, according to Taylor fan Laura Lee, “[Taylor]’s formula for abundant living is actually based in the principles of quantum physics, and you can actually tap in to these powerful forces to make your dreams come true.” Taylor’s “formula” is of course not based on quantum physics, but Laura Lee is a New Age talkshow host and knows no more about quantum physics than does Taylor. According to Taylor’s website, the book has been called “the real science of consciousness creation,” though she doesn’t give any references for the claim; apparently it has also “been applauded by scientists, businessmen, and worldwide leaders in the field of consciousness dynamics for being the first book of its kind to connect success and achievement to the science of personal energy patterns.” The claim that “scientists” have applauded the book is made somewhat less impressive by the mention of “the science of personal energy pattern”, which demonstrates that Taylor does not have the faintest idea what the difference between science and making shit up as you go could possibly.

These are not Taylor’s only books about quantum something, however; she has also written Your Quantum Breakthrough Code: The Simple Technique that Brings Everlasting Joy and Success, which sounds a little bit like a spam email title, just dumber, and her website also offers THE QUANTUM ORACLE, a “53-Card Deck and Guidebook” – if you purchase it, you will also “receive exclusive access to a group reading call with ME!”, which at least shows that she taps into parts of quantum physics you won’t learn about in close-minded university courses. And her claimed areas of expertise are not limited to quantum whatever; her books also include The Akashic Records Made Easy (the Akashic records, for those not in the know about New Age mythology, are an alleged compendium of all knowledge, existing in the non-physical plane – yes: a spirit library, and you can access it for a meager fee or through special prayers; various theosophy writers claim to have read it all with interestingly contradictory results), The Hidden Power of Your Past Lives: Revealing Your Encoded Consciousness and 28 Days to a More Magnetic Life (no, “magnetic” probably doesn’t mean magnetic; otherwise its hard to imagine why you would want to achieve what the book promises), as well as Secrets of Attraction – The Universal Laws of Love, Sex, and RomanceThe Truth About Attraction: Sorting Out the Lies from the Laws (yes, Badger’s Law and Truth, Triumph and Transformation: Sorting Out the Fact from the Fiction in Universal Law, which promises something that Taylor seems exceptionally poorly positioned to provide. Her website also offers the Act to Attractworkbook and journal. Taylor even has a radio show, Living Your Quantum Success, on Hay House Radio.

Taylor is one of the Starbringer Associates. Her colleague and coauthor of Secrets of Success is Sharon Anne Klingler, author of such books as Advanced Spirit Communication and Public MediumshipThe Magic of Gemstones and ColorsIntuition and Beyond: A Step-by-Step Approach to Discovering Your Inner VoiceLife with Spirit and Power Words: Igniting Your Life with Lightning Force (sounds like a bad idea), as well as the Speaking to Spirit workbook and cds; together, Taylor and Klingler have also produced an Akashic Tarot set of cards. 

Diagnosis: Firmly dedicated to dumbing down humanity as much as possible through pastel colors, fluff and magic handwaving. And though it might seem hard to grasp how people could actually fall for this nonsense, Taylor’s books do seem to have been somewhat successful. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

#2330: Roy Taylor

No, he is probably not much more than a deranged lunatic with web access, but Roy Taylor, of something called Roy Taylor Ministries, is one of those people who help make the Internet such a fascinating place. Taylor is a conspiracy theorist whose general theme appears to be impending Armageddon, and he seems to see the signs everywhere. His webpage is here.

So for instance, according to Taylor, “[b]oth Russian sources and US military have confirmed a huge military tunnel beneath the BERING STRAIT, linking SIBERIA with ALASKA. No, it was not DUG out, but BORED OUT using nuclear power that melted it’s way through solid rock, six miles a day.” Some readers might have expected a reference to these confirmations, but Taylor isn’t concerned with such details (turns out the source is Pam Schuffert, of course); instead, he cites Bible verses that, with interpretive help from Taylor, might be given an ominous slant – “knowing the scriptures as I do I know that the Kings of the East and their vast armies will come to America from out of the North to participate in the last battle of God Almighty. These armies will come to America from Asia and from the Middle East. These armies of the Kings of the East will travel like a train across Russia and Siberia to the Bering Strait. They will then travel under the Bering Strait by way of the existing Bering Strait Tunnel into Alaska (North America). The Bible says that these heathen armies will continue on down through Canada and into America (the Zion of Bible Prophecy) where they will be destroyed.” He backs up the idea in part by an email he received from an unknown source (possibly spam), according to which “AMERICA WILL BE DIVIDED LIKE A PIE AND GIVEN AWAY TO THE HEATHEN PIECE BY PIECE,” which is scary since “[t]his is exactly what the prophetic song ‘American Pie’ says” (it really isn’t.)

Taylor’s main project, however, seems to be something called “Global Warming and the Sixth Angel”. Precisely what it involves is somewhat hard to determine (you can try yourself here), but the premise is that although “[m]illions of people believe that there is a definite climate change going on but they cannot agree on what is causing it. Some scientists believe that it is just a natural occurring weather cycle and these same people most certainly do not know why it is happening.” Or put differently: since Taylor doesn’t know and cannot be bothered to find out, then no one knows. But it is certainly a conspiracy, and it has to do with the UN, “which is in opposition to Christianity” and largely controlled by “Russia, and China (Kings of the East), which are declared enemies, of Christianity” – this is why “[n]o mention of Jesus Christ is allowed in the United Nations,” for instance (bet you didn’t know that!). And at present, “the only thing that would stop the anti-Christians, from eventually attacking America, would be our surrender, and our acceptance, of rule by the Red World Government controlled by the Red-Jews [but of course]. Their goal is world rule (Note that they want to come out of the shadows), they have worked at it for centuries, they have stated, that they will make no compromise in their goal, and they claim Marx, and Lenin, as their guide.” The global warming connection appears to have been lost along the way here, but Taylor has a lot of material organized somewhat confusingly, so we might have missed something. But here you can at least read about “The Days of the Son-of-Man, The Armies of God, and UFO’s,” which is a “Bible study project” that “will explain what UFO’s are, where they come from, and what they are here for.” It’s a fascinating collection of youtube clips and free use of imagination, but part of the point is to counter the idea that UFOs are somehow Satanic; indeed, we “believe the attempt by false prophets in the mainstream church to convince the world that Satan is at the helm of the UFO phenomenon will add great weight to that deception.” Taylor seems to have an unusual understanding of “mainstream”. 

Diagnosis: Mostly harmless fun and fluff and color. There seems to be enough of these people around to have a real effect on elections, however, which tarnishes one’s enjoyment of sites like Taylor’s a little.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

#2329: Jared Taylor

Jared Taylor is the pseudo-intellectual founder of the white nationalist magazine American Renaissance and probably one of the leaders of the alt-right – indeed, he has been called the “Intellectual Godfather” of the movement (or “the cultivated, cosmopolitan face of white supremacy [; h]e is the guy who is providing the intellectual heft, in effect, to modern-day Klansmen”), descriptions that shouldn’t come across as flattering to ordinary, reasonable people. Taylor’s primary policy goals are apparently 1) a return to “pre-1965” standards for allowing immigrants into the country to ensure that “European people” and their descendants are a larger percentage of the population, 2) to give more power to white power organizations, and 3) for explicit white supremacy to return to being one of the dominant ideologies in the US. Achieving these goals means raising “consciousness” among white people, such as making them see that “blacks and whites are different[; w]hen blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization – any kind of civilization –  disappears”. This is accordingly what he and his magazine have set out to do. (Unusually for people with his political allegiances, Taylor consistently rejects anti-Semitism, which has put him at odds with other alt-righters and white supremacists, such as David Duke.) His Twitter account was permanently suspended in December 2017.

Taylor has strenuously rejected” being labelled “racist”, maintaining rather that he is instead a “racialist who believes in race-realism,” which is a difference only perceptible to, well, racialists. He has also said that he is not a white supremacist, describing himself as a “white advocate”. He is also a promoter of the white genocide conspiracy theory, and has hosted the Suidlanders on his AmRen podcast to discuss the topic.

Taylor’s influence is sufficiently wide-ranging to make its mark also in contexts that should make some people embarrassed, such as the Trump administration (Taylor is a firm supporter, of course). Jesse Lee Peterson is also sympathetic to Taylor’s ideas.

Diagnosis: It scares us a bit that we are finding these people so boring that we cannot be bothered to give them the detailed entries they deserve, but they really manage to be bother boring and truly scary at the same time.

Hat-tip: SPLcenter

Sunday, April 19, 2020

#2328: James Taylor

James Taylor is an Oklahoma pastor (University Church) who is anti-gay enough to tour with people like Peter LaBarbera. Part of his stand on LGBT issues is of course anchored in the Bible. Now, many people like to point out, to Biblically-minded LGBT opponents, that the Old Testament, for instance, doesn’t merely prohibit homosexuality but also has rather strict rules e.g. against eating certain foods – are categorized as “abominations” in Leviticus, for instance – which might be taken to mean that people like Taylor are somewhat selective in their use of the Old Testament. Well, Taylor has actually responded to that sort of observation: thanks to “refrigeration” it is no longer a sin to eat foods like pork or shellfish, while since there is no equivalent to refrigeration for homosexuality, it remains a sin. He also claimed the people who are really trying to “pick and choose” biblical principles here, are the gay-affirming Christians. This is a notably poor attempt at defending what is ultimately an indefensible position - although it is always interesting to see fundies go for radical moral context-dependence. 

Taylor is also the author of It’s Biblical, Not Political, which is concerned with ensuring that you, the reader, are voting for appropriately conservative candidates in elections (yes, it’s obviously political and not Biblical, and the title is really a pretty feeble attempt to suggest otherwise), and a one-time Tea Party candidate. He is also a climate change denialist, assigning all responsibility for and ability to affect climate to God.

Diagnosis: Stock fundie idiot. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#2327: Douglas Taylor

Religious debates over the Harry Potter series” denotes debates initiated by fundies of various stripes who struggle to distinguish fiction from reality, and who claim that the Harry Popper novels contain occult or Satanic subtexts. There are lots of these people, and we’ve covered a number already, from Richard Abanes, through Marshall Foster to Berit Kjos. Douglas Taylor of the Oneness Pentecostal Church (or Jesus Party Church – we have seen both, and the latter sounds much more fascinating) in Lewiston, Maine, is another. After being denied a city permit to burn books, the Rev. Taylor has held several annual gatherings at which he cuts the Potter books up with scissors. “It’s no secret I enjoy what I’m doing now,” said Taylor, and we don’t doubt that he does, but added that he would have preferred to burn the books – “the Bible gives me the authority to burn magic books,” said Taylor. He also added that the book-shredding wasn’t censorship (because he was destroying his own property); what really is censorship, he claimed, is the fact that Bible studies (by which he means proselytizing, of course) are not allowed in public schools; meanwhile, bringing the Harry Potter books inside schools apparently does violate the division between church and state, as Taylor sees it. His supportive wife Susan helpfully explained that “if you do not have the spirit of God in you, you have the spirit of the devil in you,” which is not a particularly healthy way of viewing the world.

To Taylor, an installment in the series like Chamber of Secrets is nothing other than an instructional manual for the dark arts that can ensnare children in a destructive obsession with the occult. Satan is the inspiration for the Potter series, Taylor says. Of course, it doesn’t take much testing to determine that the spells described doesn’t actually work, but Taylor’s is not the kind of mind crossed by the idea of testing its hypothesis against reality or checking whether the ideas it entertains are correct. “‘Harry Potter’ is repackaged witchcraft,” Taylor says, and “our ministry is not going to remain quiet.” His events have actually managed to draw some protests, too, a fact to which Taylor replies “Controversy! I love it, and I’m on the cutting edge of it. Amen! This is a beautiful opportunity that J.K. Rowling has provided for me. It’s so sad that so many ministers are missing this opportunity.”

Diagnosis: In fairness, he does seem to be mostly hungry for attention, but he certainly manages to come across as a notoriously unsavory fellow. Just stay out of arm’s reach, and you’ll probably be fine.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

#2326: Deborah Taylor

Deborah Taylor is the fundamentalist leader of “a growing Army of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Priests, Rabbis, committed Intercessors, Deliverance Ministers, and Mighty Prayer Warriors” at something called “Worship Word Warfare”, and an ardent fan of Donald Trump, to the extent that she sometimes seem to have trouble distinguishing Trump from Jesus himself. The goal of her ministry is “to encourage, edify, pray for, and intercede for YOU, as well as setting captives free from demonic possession and demonic oppression,” and they have ostensibly “witnessed many supernatural miracles, healing miracles, and debt cancellation,” not the least of which is the election of Donald Trump. Indeed, Taylor hosts a weekly “TRUMP TUESDAY PRAYER CONFERENCE CALLS,” where she and her followers “unite to intercede for our President, First Lady and First Family, our Vice President and his loved ones, our military, our law enforcement, our leaders and our nation.” One of the things that needs to be prayed away, is apparently a concerted effort by socialists to overthrow the government of the US in the name of “liberalism”. 

According to Taylor, “prayers can literally prevent evil attacks” and “GOD ANSWERS EVERY PRAYER”, making prayer a powerful tool in the spiritual warfare people like her are engaged in. And make no mistake: the demons these people are fighting are real – not just metaphors. 

She also offers dream interpretations, since dreams may be God “trying to warn you about something,” and she has herself “had many prophetic dreams that have come to pass and the Holy Spirit has explained the meanings to me, preventing calamities” – i.e. she interprets the dreams to signify precisely what she wants them to signify. She also offers prophecies underpinned by numerology (roughly: fortune cookies with accompanying Bible verses), though the prophecies are of course sufficiently vague to accommodate plausible deniability.

Diagnosis: Pretty standard from associates of the New Apostolic Reformation, but “standard” in this context means wild-eyed crazy. At least most of her recommendations and claims remain at the level of vague and wordy, but you should probably not listen to anything she says in any case. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

#2325: David E. Taylor

David E. Taylor is a faith healer who claims that Jesus himself has appointed him to be America’s Moses, in order to help bring the country “deliverance from murder (abortion), drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, lesbianism, gambling, murder/homicides, corruption, and wicked government.” The appointment was apparently confirmed by God’s appearance in a cloud in Canada; indeed, “there are witnesses who can attest to this Face to Face Appearance of the Lord in Canada.” We are sure there are. 

From the cloud, God told Taylor that the US is chosen “to be His representative in the Earth like as was Israel,” and that Taylor was to lead it – the background idea being that “after every 400 years in certain dispensations and generations the Lord God makes a notable appearance by coming down on Earth from Heaven to that nation in that generation for the World” (like Israel ostensibly were in bondage for, well, over 400 years) and “now in your day America has entered her 400th year.” The veracity of the request was apparently proven by the fact that Taylor, at the time (2006), didn’t know that America’s first settlement at Jamestown was established in 1607. “Wow!!”, says Taylor’s promotional materials. 

The cloud incident wasn’t Taylor’s first chat with God. Now, a central theme of the New Apostolic Reformation is that God is directly communicating with newly appointed apostles (in which case He seems to be lying to them with startling systematicity), and Taylor’s official biography states that “[s]ince 1989 from the time that he was 17 years old, he has been granted well over 1000 face-to-face visitation appearances from Jesus Christ personally.”

And Taylor is not a nobody on the fanatic fringe of the religious right. In 2011, for instance, he was Lou Engle’s cohost for The Call: Detroit, which was arranged for the purpose of converting Muslims to Christianity and free’ gays from homosexuality. He is currently head of his own multimillion prosperity church Joshua Media Ministries. Here is a video of Taylor receiving a yacht on his “Miracle crusade against cancer” campaign – yes, he claims to be able to cure cancer, but you need faith (and he needs a yacht), so if your cancer isn’t cured your faith was probably not strong enough; apparently Jesus himself told Taylor to “attack cancer and when thousands begin to see cancer fall, faith will arise again, and other sicknesses will fall!” In 2016 he predictable ended up in some trouble for his almost astonishing – even for a prosperity gospel preacher – level of spineless grifting and greed. After the deposition for his handling of the church’s money in 2016, Taylor once again received some attention in 2019 for having turned his ministries into “a slave labor cult”.

Taylor has written a large number of books, a recurring topic being how to recognize prophecies and God’s messages when decoding your dreams.

Diagnosis: Primarily a grifting piece of pond scum, but he does, indeed, seem to be genuinely delusional on top. His whole existence is a sad tragedy for us all.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

#2324: David Chase Taylor is a conspiracy website run by one David Chase Taylor, an exceptionally paranoid conspiracy theorist originally from the US – where he founded the website in 2007 – but now apparently living somewhere in Germany, where he moved after having declared that he is actually the messiah. The website is dedicated to pursuing Taylor’s interpretation of the truth (remember Badger’s law), which appears to be, roughly, centered around the idea that the CIA is really located in Switzerland, from where they want to kill everyone with Malaysia 370 and 9/11 attacks and, not the least, race wars. Most of all, they want to kill David Chase Taylor, since he is the messiah. For a global cabal that controls everything, they are strikingly ineffective at achieving some of their goals.

This request my predate his discovery that he is the Messiah
and that Switzerland is really a giant base for the CIA/Roman Empire
And unfortunately for them, Taylor is out to reveal and spoil their plans for state-sponsored terrorism and wicked Illuminati schemes. Thus far, he has prevented the planned 2011 Superbowl Nuclear Plot, the planned 2014 Superbowl Nuclear Plot, as well as a long row of “live” assassination attempts on a range of public figures. Taylor has also written several books detailing the evil plans, including the Bio-Terror Bibleand Greenland Theory: Apocalypse Now (which seems to be written in a single paragraph and is available here; it seem to consist entirely of random PIDOOMA pseudohistory to show that the Roman empire still exists and controls everything, as it has always done, though their main seat is currently located in Greenland). 

Now, Taylor’s ideas seem to form some kind of grand system, and it is, in a sense, laid out in the Greenland book, though “system” might be the wrong word since it suggests some sort of coherence constraint (random word soup might be more apt). Apparently central to the stream of thought is the claim that “[b]riefly, the Roman Empire, commonly referred to as Ancient Rome, evidently faked its own death 715 years ago and now excerpts [sic] command and control over all 206 nations of the world though its primary proxy state of Switzerland (home of the CIA) which was coincidentally formed in c.1300 AD, approximately 715 years ago.” Also, 1300 years have apparently been fraudulently added to the calendar and we are still in 720 AD. Though its starting point is already far down the rabbit hole, Taylor’s story goes rapidly downhill from there.

Among the other ideas more or less connected to that idea about the Roman empire, we can learn that

-       The name Santa Claus (S+N/X+T+C/K+L+S) acronymically and/or consonantly equates to ‘Sent to Kill System’ because Special Forces would travel from Greenland to the underworld on December 24th in order to execute assassinations, coup d’états, terror attacks and wars (e.g., Roman Vikings).” Details here (recommended). Apparently “Santa lives at the North Pole (i.e., Mt. Olympus or Mt. Zion) which is found in Greenland, home of the Roman Empire,” and he “accomplishes his tasks with the aid of the Jewish Race who are considered his ‘elves’ because they are much smaller in stature than the Greco-Romans, otherwise known as the Giants of Greenland. Santa Clauses’ wicked plans are executed in the underworld via Santa’s Workshop, otherwise known as Switzerland, home to the CIA.” Yes, he is real, but not what you think he is.
-       Bigfoot is a reference to the real, giant inhabitants of Greenland who are descended from the Greco-Romans.
-       Paul Walker was assassinated by the CIA to highlight the term “Fast and Furious” for … some reason.
-       JFK was assassinated by the driver
-       Taylor is a global warming denialist. He is also an Arctic and Antarctic, denialist. Apparently the “concepts of ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ were originally designed by the Roman Empire in Greenland in order to deceive the world into thinking that the Greenland ice sheet along with the polar ice caps are melting or at risk of melting,” whereas in reality the Greenland ice sheet doesn’t exist. A quote from his aforementioned Greenland book: “Because Greenland admittedly has mountains, valley, rivers and weather systems, a congruent and stagnant sheet of ice year round is not scientifically possible. In respect to the argument that Greenland is near the North Pole (which does not exist) and thus experiences colder weather, there are a few scientific facts which have conveniently been left out of the equation. Firstly, it is a well-known fact that hot air rises. Therefore, Greenland and the North Pole should, in theory, be the warmest place on Earth when using the accepted basketball-like model of Earth. Secondly, since Greenland and the North Pole sit atop the Earth, they should receive more sunlight than anywhere else on Earth, destroying any notion of polar ice caps. Sunlight translates to heat, regardless of where it is found. Lastly, considering that Greenland was named Greenland because it was once green, the argument that its location atop the Earth is somehow responsible for its ice age-like climate is ultimately null and void.” We have no idea where he is going with this attempt at reasoning. Neither, it seems, does he. The Ice Age movies, though, are nefarious CIA propaganda.
-       Alex Jones is a government agent tasked with deflecting our attention from the real conspiracies.

As for his claim to be the messiah, it is described in some detail here (definitely worth a read). A brief excerpt to give you the gist: “Although Jesus Christ allegedly existed 2,000+ years ago, he holds the title of Messiah and has been deemed the Savior’ of mankind. The reality is that mankind didn’t need a Savior back then like they do now. Therefore, the story of Jesus depicted in the Holy Bible is the story of the future Messiah which has now been identified as David Chase Taylor. Aside from all the physical traits and similarities, the trials and tribulations suffered by Jesus are reflected in the life of David Chase Taylor. That is to say that the persecution allegedly suffered by Jesus has been inflicted upon Taylor tenfold who has been subjected to unspeakable tortures and persecution over the last 7-years in his quest to save humanity from extinction.” You think that verges on crazy? You haven’t seen the beginning of it before you get to the parts about the Mayan calendar, his cat, the Obama–666 connection and his very lengthy description of his own physical appearance. Apparently he decided to reveal his identity because, well, we’ll let him explain: “After months of deliberation and with great trepidation, I begrudgingly announce that I am the so-called Messiah. I do not reveal this for fame or gain but rather out of self-preservation for it’s far less likely that the Geneva-based CIA will assassinate me prior to the end of the Maya Calendar in 2017 once I announce that I am the Messiah.” 

Pam Schuffert is apparently a fan.

Diagnosis: Again, we may be subject to criticism for covering people like David Chase Taylor here, but he’s become sort of a legend, and he does, in fact, have fans who actually think he’s onto something. Probably mostly harmless to anyone but himself, though. 

Hat-tip: Rationalwiki