Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Time for Tabloid Religion News...

Yes, the Maharishi's is Timothy Leary, but the real news is the rise in Satanism!

The Vatican has never given up belief in the reality of demonic possession, but the practice of actual exorcisms has waned over the last few centuries. Now, however, the Vatican's chief exorcist has revealed that Pope Benedict XVI takes the problem very seriously and is "setting up exorcism squads to deal with the rampant growth of Satanism."

Father Gabriele Amorth is both the senior exorcist of the diocese of Rome and the founder of the International Association of Exorcists. He has condemned the Harry Potter novels as containing "the signature of the Prince of Darkness" and recently warned that diabolical influences can reach even into the Vatican.

Amorth told IBN that "the action of the Devil is a lot more widespread than in the past, not because he has more strength, but because he is given more space." He went on to complain that these days "prists and bishops know nothing about the subject. ... They believe in the Devil, but they don't believe much in the actions of the Devil, so they prefer to send everyone to psychiatrists."

Pope Benedict, who "is said to be a firm believer in the existence of evil," has called for hundreds of priests to be trained as exorcists and made available to every Bishop. "Thank God there is a pope who wants to fight the devil head on," Amorth told IBN.

Which reminds me of some advice...

Father Merrin: Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don't listen to him. Remember that - do not listen.

Friday, February 01, 2008

This is truly hell

Surfing Wikipedia I came upon the bio of Vladimir Mayakovsky. You've heard of him, right?

On the evening of April 14, 1930, Mayakovsky shot himself. The unfinished poem in his suicide note read, in part:

The love boat has crashed against the daily routine. You and I, we are quits, and there is no point in listing mutual pains, sorrows, and hurts.

Mayakovsky was interred at the Moscow Novodevichy Cemetery.

n 1930, his birthplace of Bagdadi in Georgia was renamed Mayakovsky in his honour. Following Stalin's death, rumours arose that Mayakovsky did not commit suicide but was in fact murdered at the behest of Stalin, however, there is no evidence that he was murdered. During the 1990s, while KGB files were being declassified, there was hope that new evidence would come to light on this question, but none has been found and the hypothesis remains unproven.

After his death, Mayakovsky was attacked in the Soviet press as a "formalist" and a "fellow-traveller" (попутчик) (as opposed to officially recognised "proletarian poets", such as Demyan Bedny). When, in 1935, Lilya Brik wrote to Stalin about this, Stalin wrote a comment on Brik's letter:

"Comrade Yezhov[head of the NKVD at the time], please take charge of Brik's letter. Mayakovsky is still the best and the most talented poet of our Soviet epoch. Indifference to his cultural heritage is a crime. Brik's complaints are, in my opinion, justified..." (Source: Memoirs by Vasily Katanyan (L.Yu.Brik's stepson) p.112)

These words became a cliché and officially canonized Mayakovsky but, as Boris Pasternak noted [1], it "dealt him the second death" in some circles.

Poetically, Mayakovsky had no followers among Russian poets, his style was never properly analysed or further developed. Mayakovsky, however, was the most influential futurist in Lithuania and his poetry helped to form The Four Winds movement [2]. He was also an influence on the writer Valentin Kataev.

Can you imagine? Having a boatload of talent, but because a detested jerk recognizes your talent, you are persona non grata with your peers, who think you're a jerk because a jerk respects your talent.

That is truly hell. Luckily Mayakovsky had already killed himself.