Sunday, 23 March 2008

Christians & Sado-masochism: Filipino Jebus Lovers Nail Their Asses to The Cross On Easter Sunday

Crucification: One of the Most Painful Executions Inflicted On the Condemned

One of the loveliest traits of ardent Jebus lovers who go to extreme lengths to emulate their long-haired, gay-looking son of God superstar is perhaps the "What would Jebus Do" dogma: Jebus, it seems, is heralded as the penultimate Man-cum-God, and anything he ever did, from cursing fig trees to sporting a long mane and beard, can be gleaned and copied by the pious Jebus lover as an ultimate expression of their love for the God-Man dichotomy-cum-deity, who supposedly died on the cross two thousand years back as penance for humanity's blood debt, i.e The Original Sin.

Yet, some folks go beyond mere appearance: In their over-zealousness to feel the "pain" of their Lord's suffering, the more masochistic folks take it upon themselves to practice a mass orgy of gore, blood and pain: Indeed, self-flagellation by pious Christians have been practiced for centuries, not to mention their zest in tormenting pagans and other religious heretics. In a bid to purge their sins, which these ignorant buffoons thought was manifested in the form of the plague and other incurable diseases in the Dark Ages, Christians often took to all manner of tortures, such the bloodletting acts of self flagellation & other more extreme forms of self-immolation, such as impaling themselves to the cross to emulate their Man-God, Jebus. Pain, it seems, is a two-way street: Inflict pain on thyself, and enjoy the pure, unadulterated pleasure of inflicting pain on others.

Even in the 21st century, some jolly good Christians never fail to remind us of Christianity's almost fervent fixation with torture, blood-letting and a dash of Marquis de Sade's favorite theme: Sado-mashochism.

By Frances Harrison
Religious affairs reporter, BBC New
Health officials in the Philippines have issued a warning to people taking part in Easter crucifixion rituals.

They have urged them to get tetanus vaccinations before they flagellate themselves and are nailed to crosses, and to practise good hygiene.

On Good Friday dozens of very devout Catholics in the Philippines re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

It is something that has become a huge tourist attraction, although the Church frowns on the practice.


The health department has strongly advised penitents to check the condition of the whips they plan to use to lash their backs, the Manila Times newspaper reports.

They want people to have what they call "well-maintained" whips.

In the hot and dusty atmosphere, officials warn, using unhygienic whips to make deep cuts in the body could lead to tetanus and other infections.

And they advise that the nails used to fix people to crosses must be properly disinfected first. Often people soak the nails in alcohol throughout the year.

Every Good Friday, in towns across the Philippines, people atone for sins or give thanks for an answered prayer by re-enacting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Giving thanks

In the northern city of San Fernando alone there will be three separate improvised Golgothas - the biblical name for the hill where Jesus was crucified.

Four people there have pledged to have their feet and hands nailed to wooden crosses, while others will flog themselves while walking barefoot through villages.

Sometimes people repeat the penance year after year, like the fish vendor who will be nailed to the cross for the 15th and last time on Friday to give thanks for his mother's recovery from tuberculosis.

With long hair and a beard, wearing sandals and a crown of thorns, he is tied with cloth to the cross but also has nails driven through the flesh of his hands and feet, avoiding the bones.

I must admit, with a chagrin, that when I first came across this BBC article, I honestly thought that the Filipino health officials were broadcasting some kind of a heinous, cruel joke: It is as if self-flagellation on Easter Sunday, plus the liberal use of nails and other torture devices, is actually a normal and a sanctified act (It is, to the Jebus lovers. To the rest of us, this is just another form of perverse masochism masked under the umbrella of religion). The idea that "using unhygienic whips to make deep cuts in the body could lead to tetanus and other infections" seem almost laughingly trivial until you realize that these morons are practically immolating and bleeding themselves dry using some really menacing tools of torture.

Apparently, the health officials have all but given up on these folks: Sure, whip yourselves up to a bleeding frenzy, but please sanitize your torture equipments before applying them to your flesh, lest the infections that might set in your wounds would poison you, if you aren't already drained of blood after the crucification-cum flagellation orgy.

How anyone can go through such elaborate ceremonies of unparalleled pain and unnecessary danger is beyond me, or any other rational person for the matter.........but for the fish vendor to actually nail his ass 15 times to the cross is........well.......pardon the pun....... a real pain in the ass.

If there is anything else we can learn from this blood-letting episode, it is that Christianity is a blood-thirsty religion, constantly demanding blood sacrifices from its devotees as well as their God-Son deity. It is also a deadly reminder of the extremes which only religion has the power to inflict on the hapless masses, by removing logic, reason and rationality from their minds, rendering them hapless to all manner of trickery and non-sensible acts of a stupid, cruel piety.

The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity."
- John Adams, 2nd President of The United States of America

Friday, 21 March 2008

Offending Religious Sentiments

As a bonafide atheist and infidel, I am often appalled by the evils and blatant abuses of Religion and its mind-numbing effects on the religious flock. I, as well as other enigmatic atheists, know and understand that it is not just a few black sheep that has resulted in such gross abuses. As institutions that promote dogma and degrade skepticism and reason, religious institutions are designed, not by God, but devious religious leaders and political leaders since antiquity to control the masses.

Unfortunately, such criticisms can often lead to misunderstandings: Race and religion are often seen as conjoined twins. If you insult or criticize someone's religion, it somehow becomes grotesquely misconstrued as a uniquely racist and bigoted remark. & it is in exposing the flaws and hypocrisies of such idiotic opinions that I would like to address in this post.

Religion: The Race Factor

The Jews are an unique diaspora: Accursed with being the founding race of three major religions, their ethnic roots are deeply intertwined and rooted with their religion. When one speaks about Jews, one is equating an archaic religion, Judaism along with its unique race in one single breath. This gives the impression that when the majority of a ethnic group or race has converted to a religion wholesale, the religion is permanently seared into the ethnic group's culture and ultimately, its identity. Even a non-practicing Jew, such as the late Albert Einstein, cannot escape from this identity crisis of sorts.

In countries heavily populated by migrant races, a person's race can be stereotyped in accordance to their religions: Arabs, for example, are seen as Muslims; Caucasians as Christians and so on. We become so used to this stereotypical way of perceiving individuals that over time, religion and race becomes one single, unifying factor.

Religion and Race Are Distinctly Separate Issues

Such a delusion, however, cannot be further from the truth: While a person is born to a unique race because of the identity of his or her parents, religion remains a individual choice pertaining to belief.

For example, I am a Singaporean Chinese by birth. According to conventional bias, I am supposed to be a Buddhist. Yet, I was raised in an American-style, Baptist Church, destined for an ignominious life as a lay preacher. Despite a change in destiny, I managed to twist it right the third becoming an atheist.

Stereotyping is a uniquely inaccurate method of purveying a person's beliefs: Everyone has different character traits that do not always conform to conventional social standards.

Criticizing Religions

Unfortunately, religious sentiments sometimes run deep in the veins of fundamentalists: Any slight or criticism against their imaginary Sky God can equate to just about every known or even unknown injustices against their faiths (Or egos): Draw a Muhammadian cartoon, and it becomes a gross, indecent blasphemous act against religious sentiments. Paste Halal food stickers onto pork packages to sneak past pork bans in public schools, and it becomes a racist, bigoted act against Muslims. Decline a wafer and red wine in a Catholic Church because you refuse to partake in the cannibalism and vampirism themes of the Eucharist, and you are deemed offensive to the Vatican and bishops (Apparently, touching altar boys' asses isn't oppressive: Priests do that all the time as part of the "Partake").

Secular organizations, such as political parties or corporations, don't seem to equate criticisms with personal insults: If I criticize the policies of say, a political party, I am quite sure that supporters or that party, or even the party's candidates, will not equate my criticisms as offensive to individual persons, much less being equated as a bigoted, racist remark. If I complain about the ineptness of my laptop manufacturer, I am definitely not going to be denounced as being insensitive to the sensitivities of the manufacturer's workers. Yet, religions do not play the same rules as secular organizations: They want to intertwine their bullshit, nonsense beliefs with the privacies of their flocks, which makes criticisms against religion so personal and offensive.

Much as we atheists love to lampoon religions, we certainly have no interest in being racists and hot-blooded bigots. After all, religion is just another disreputable institution, and we infidels certainly know that religions should never be allowed to enjoy their "free pass" from critics every time their charlatans perform their heinous crimes against innocent people (and worst, innocent folks from their gullible flocks).

Sunday, 16 March 2008

A Rallying Cry From Atheists

(Written by my atheist friends from a Singaporean Atheist Group, Atheisthaven.)

Atheism is an abject failure.

As atheists we are in a unique situation. While we are ostracized,
marginalized, persecuted, prosecuted, abused and generally deprived of
our rights by unsympathetic regimes and autocratic systems in the real
world, it is in cyberspace where we can express ourselves freely to
some substantial degree. It is in this virtual realm that we dare
challenge theists and other proponents of illogicality and come away
truly victorious.

However, these victories, impressive as they are, cannot but feel
hollow. For all the reasoning and logic which made us, dare I say it,
ubermensch, we are unable to demonstrate our superiority where it
really matters. Dawkins and Hitchens might have made the world stand
up in recognition of the fallacies of religion, but is this
proliferation of truth and rationality changing the way people really

Sadly, the answer is no. Superstition still holds sway. To many,
atheism is a passing fad. People remain attached to their cherished
beliefs. After all, knowing the truth does not equate its acceptance.
Not only do people want to believe in something, they need to feel
wanted. Religion provides a very strong support in satisfying this
emotional need, as evident by the number of support groups, cell
groups, social and community structures the religious have put
together to bind its adherents.

It must be intoxicating knowing that `Someone' will always love you.
That `Someone' will look after you in every situation and never falter
in His efforts. To have this preposterous notion `validated' by your
fellow humans who actually help you in times of difficulties while the
`Someone' never makes an appearance must seem an affirmation to the
desperate. What religion does so effectively is to make each and
everyone of its followers feel special. Logic goes out of the window
in the face of this compelling emotional assault. It is an irony,
considering that rationality is painted over by a very real human need
which in turn is satisfied by an illusion instead.

This is where atheism fails so miserably. Atheists do not help each
other just because they believe in the same creed. The theists,
however, do so because their doctrine specifically wills it. For all
our arguments and justifications we do not deign to help one another
because we take the point of `not giving a damn about God' one step
further to include ourselves. I see friends who are Christians support
each other within their own church and cell groups. What do I see when
I look upon my fellow atheists?

Theist : 1 Atheist : 0.

Our endless debates with theists achieve little. We are wasting
precious time trying to convince people who do not want to be
convinced. People would rather live a happier life believing in a lie
than accept things as they really are and being less happy as a
result. Reading about the articles atheists post on the Internet makes
me think that all these well-meaning writers want are to amass as many
hits for their sites and to comment favorably on each other's writings
in the hope that the praised party, overjoyed at being appreciated,
would return the favor. We hide behind monikers like `infidel' and
`heretic', perhaps to impart some perceived quality in our cause, but
we do not back our words with concrete action. I have more respect for
the religious folk (the non-violent ones) who preach their gospel and
live their life accordingly than for self-proclaimed atheists who
cannot even be bothered to scrap their addled brains off the computer
screen to think: I am an atheist. What does this mean? What do I do?

Atheism is on precarious ground in this respect. And it is time to
stop the rot.

We must acknowledge that we are on our own. We have no god(s), no
temples, no institutions and nothing to rely upon. Social structure
and cultural norms, influenced to some extent by religion does not
give the atheist credence. In many parts of the world, atheism is
punishable by stoning. In more civilized climates, a priest who
incites violence against non-believers is at the most given a slap on
the wrist – he might even be lauded for his sense of justice. But an
atheist who gives credible reasons for his rejection of religion, and
quotes from reliable sources – he is making `seditious' remarks and
persecuted for being `anti-religion' . It is obscene. You can say that
people are treated equally in these modern times, but you cannot deny
that some are more equal than others.

In view of the many difficulties atheists face, I propose we take care
of our own. And we can do this through support groups.

A support group need not have a club-house or a fixed physical
location where members can convene. We can host a bulletin board
(forum) in cyberspace, much like what Atheisthaven is doing. However,
instead of `ghost members' and people who pack only rhetoric and
little else, such a group must consist of dedicated individuals who
genuinely want to make a difference. While we do not restrict the
membership to atheists (the non-religious, freethinkers, agnostics,
even Buddhists - especially those leaning towards a philosophical
bent may join), members must be committed. As this commitment takes
the form of certain obligations, we want positive individuals who
truly believe in improving themselves and others. Atheism by its own
nature, promotes self-reliance and an internal locus of control. All
efforts should have an egalitarian spirit in its core, mutual aid as
its strength, and self-actualization its ultimate goal.

This is strictly an informal group. No membership fee is required. We
only ask that members make an effort to know each other and to
interact, preferably face-to-face. This fosters cohesiveness which is
very important because people tend to help their own friends than
relative strangers.

What form should this aid take? At the most basic level, information
exchange. People who have questions can post them on the group site,
and those with the answers can promptly reply. Questions can range
from anything – potential job openings, which university to choose,
even where to get the best bargains! At a deeper level, members can
work on some task together or maybe enjoy a little soiree.

While we encourage members to look after each other's interests, we do
not look kindly to people who join for ulterior motives. This is not a
MLM (multi-level- marketing) scam, nor is it a dating agency. Promoting
any political agenda is also a no-no. In a nutshell, the group is
similar to a normal theist cell group, minus the praying and speaking
in tongues. Think of it as a secular social network, where normal
people (without a faith) make friends and chill out.

We must succeed in this endeavor. If sodden theists can organize
themselves, it would be a crying shame if intelligent atheists cannot
even produce a similar response. The time has passed for talking. Let
us show people that we are capable of doing great things, even without
divine edicts… because In Humanity We Trust.

Liu Weixian and Liang Xianghong
- 14/03/2008

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Bloody Mary Revisited; 50 Pious Folks Lose Their Sight

Virginity In the Clouds: Mother Mary Makes Her Grand Entrance

Some time back, I wrote about the phenomenon, pareidolia (link here): Our brains, it seems, harbors the odd tendency to view everyday, mundane objects as anthropomorphic beings. Charlatans of all shapes and sizes have seized this weakness in our human perception to exploit the gullible masses to the fullest: From Mother Mary sandwiches to the "Nun Buns", enterprising folks have been making a killing selling their half-eaten (and in certain cases, half-baked and half-cooked) chicaneries to the pious fools who fork out exorbitant sums of money just to have a piece of the deity for keepsake.

The sheer ludicrousness and pious stupidity of such deals aside, such delusional claims can sometimes lead to serious ramifications, as a bunch of pious morons in India would attest:

50 people looking for solar image of Mary lose sight

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At least 50 people in Kottayam district have reportedly lost their vision after gazing at the sun looking for an image of Virgin Mary.

Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’.

St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has recorded 48 cases of vision loss due to photochemical burns on the retina. “All our patients have similar history and symptoms. The damage is to the macula, the most sensitive part of retina. They have developed photochemical, not thermal, burns after continuously gazing at the sun,” Dr Annamma James Isaac, the hospital’s ophthalmologist, said.

Breath-taking Stupidity Amongst the Faithful

Like the snake-diddling Christians in America, pious Christians in India have the tendency to ignore all manner of danger in their hot-headed pursuit for the divine. To them, faith serves as an impregnable shield against damage from the elements.

And just like the Jebus lover who died from a viper's bite (link here), these Christians who so nonchalantly ignore the good doctor's advice suffered from varying degrees of damage to their retinas, and there is a chance that their eyesights may become permanently damaged from this ill-advised Mary-mania.

It is difficult for me, or any rational person for the matter, to fathom why Mother Mary had chosen the most inhospitable spot to show her true colours: Harmful UV rays aside, the good ole mother must have been suffering from a tinge of sadistic, maniacal urge: By appearing as a peripheral figure in the Sun, surely she ought to know better than injure the eyes of the "ye oh faithful"?

Mother Mary buns, pastries, solar images and all: These are depraved images of virgins that have never ceased to cloud the male ego since the advent of mankind.

As for myself, I will leave the god-sightings to the faithful. Pass me a glass of Bloody Mary, please. And don't forget the Havana cigar as well.

"There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious. We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice or good- will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us."
-David Hume

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Misogyny & The Bible

Women: The very image of motherly love and yes, the very object of lust which generations upon generations of pious, stupid old priests had ceaselessly reminded us. The images of bikini-clad babes sashaying down the beaches in insipid Baywatch episodes, nude, lewd naked women in porn magazines..... in whatever shape or form, the archaic Judaic-inspired monotheisms love to treat women as some kind of a wicked taboo.

In The Beginning..........

Paradise Gone Wrong: Eve Persuades Adam to Eat the Darn Fruit

& no wonder: Right off the bat, in the first few Chapters of Genesis, Adam and Eve, the first human creatures ever to be created by Adam's alter-ego, God, the role of the temptress became the indelible curse of women: Tempted by the talking serpent, who was actually the Devil in disguise, Eve persuaded Adam to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. While both were to bear the curse of their disobedience, Eve faired worst:

To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give
birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." -Genesis 3:16

In essence, God had, in his infinite grace, instigated what seems to be a mass-orgy of sorts: Instead of restricting the error of Adam and Eve well within one single episode of disobedience, he chooses Eve to harbor the first pregnancy on the planet, and thus ensuring that generations of generations of so-called sinners were spawned to carry on the debt of sin. Meanwhile, Eve becomes the archetypal figure of womanhood: The evil temptress who ruined her husband's good fortune in Paradise.

It is on account of such archaic nonsense that Catholics and other religious bigots are so adamant in their opposition against birth control and contraception: Sex, if anything else, is solely meant for reproductive purposes, so that women have no choice but to be punished for the sins of the first Mother, Eve.

The Unclean Woman?

If one is to study the insipidity of the bible, it is hard to miss out the fact that women bear the worst blunt of irrational prejudice: Women, if anything else, are anything but "clean":

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. ' 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. 4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

6 " 'When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. [

7 He shall offer them before the LORD to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl.

8 If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean."

-Leviticus Chapter 12: 1-8

It is quite difficult for us, in this time and age, to fathom how such erroneous, pious stupidity can have any place in our secular setting. Yet, if anything else, such biblical nonsense remind us that we have progressed a hell lot, even from a moralistic point of view, than the authors of such breath-taking stupidity.

As we can glean from Leviticus, the sight of bleeding virginals, be it from menstruation or child birth, is considered a disgusting act, not fit for Gawd's divine, ceremonial functions.

The idea that a woman has to wait for 66 god-damned days after giving birth to a girl, compared to 33 days, gives us an indicator of the lowly, filthy status of women in the minds of religious morons. The idea that women must be "clean" after menstruating or giving birth in order to be considered fit to enter Gawd's opulent churches is nothing short of bigotry; the extraordinary sacrifices of lambs, pigeons and what-nots merely amplifies the sheer ludicrousness of biblical-inspired misogyny.

Death Via Stoning

The hymen: a innocuous membrane in a woman's virginal, which really serves no other function than being a social indicator; a woman with an intact virginal is, categorically speaking, a virgin.

Since the dawn of human civilization, Man seems to harbor a deep fixation with virginity: Screwing a virgin on the wedding night is akin to animals spraying (with urine) on virgin territory. There is a sense of territorial ownership, no matter how bizarre and absurd that sounds, and religious dogmas (clearly, such chauvinistic nonsense can only be the work of sick, depraved men) merely reinforce what is already a male-ego issue: Women must invariably be the equivalent of vestal virgins on their nuptial nights. Failure to be one, it seems, may incur the wrath of religious authorities, as mandated by the good book:

If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.
-Deuteronomy 22:20-21:

Quite unfortunately for women, the hymen is not a indicator of sexual experience. The hymen is a notoriously weak membrane: Women who engage in sports, or have suffered from some physical trauma, are likely to suffer hymen tears that have little or nothing to do with engaging in actual sex.

The Submissive Woman

Now, you would think that the holy babble has something good to say about women.......well, you guessed it wrong.

Mandatory stoning of non-virgins and other stigmas aside, the role of women is unceremoniously spelled out in the bible: They must be submissive to their husbands, or any other male alter-ego in the family:

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.
-1 Corinthians 14:34

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.
-1 Timothy 2:11

Biblical Misogyny and the Everyday Christian

Judging by what is written in the bible, it is quite easy to understand why most Christian households are such oppressive environments for women: Women have no status in a heinously religious environment: Short of become an auto-bot version of a child bearing and child raising android, the average religious housewife has to submit to the every will and whim of a patriarchal husband.

Surely, in this time and age, we cannot depend on the holy babble to teach us what to do with regards to our attitude towards women. After all, stoning non-virgins to death isn't a very pretty sight (or anyone else for the matter, except maybe Falwell?).

"To no form of religion is woman indebted for one impulse of freedom."
-Susan B.Anthony

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Medical Science vs Quack Science

Surgeries: Certainly one of the most unpleasant experiences a person has to undergo. Even with the advent and rapid, herculean leaps of medical science, a patient who has to undergo surgery has to contend with spending at least a couple of weeks convalescing. It is not something for the faint-hearted, as I can personally attest, having undergone a minor arthroscopic surgery myself approximately thirteen hours ago.

A minor surgery it was, and such is the marvelous technology available, I was able to get out of bed (with crutches of course), and eventually out of the hospital, barely 5 hours after surgery, and I haven't touched my painkillers since the first ones I took minutes after awaking from general anesthesia. The original, debilitating pain in the left side of my leg knee is gone, and all I have to contend with is the mere inconvenience of an on-off itch underneath my heavy bandage, plus the occasional tinge in the stitched-up parts.

And yet, despite the potential for rapid recovery and cure, I had the misfortune of being lectured by a moron who contended that quack science, not surgery, would cure my medical woes.

The Abject Ignorance of Fools

Perhaps a little description of how events transpired would give a clearer picture: Immediately after I had announced that I had to go for my operation, my Assistant Project Manager (I work as a M & E coordinator for a contractor in a 28-million dollar project) was quite dead set against it: I had no replacements, and having occupied my post until my arrival he knew that the post of coordinator was a fool's errand. He proceeded, despite my protests, to go on a half-an-hour tirade against the medical profession.

Points he made include:

1. Chinese acupuncturists, or worst, sinsehs (doctors) would have alleviated my sufferings.

2. The doctors are out to operate on me for a fast buck (Note: I was admitted to a government hospital, not a private hospital).

3. Sordid tales about his nephew who is suffering from final stage cancer, and how the removal of a considerable portion of his guts caused his nephew to suffer immensely (Not that I am suffering from cancer anyway).

4. How the operation could have repercussions on my knee.

5. And the most ridiculous of all: Going to practitioners of black magic to cast my pain away!

Of course, I proceeded to re-butt him, point for point (The doctor he recommended was the same moron who caused my mum 4 years of agonizing pain, when she finally had enough and went for a 20-min op. The chronic pain hasn't surfaced since then. Talk about pseudo-science!).

The idea of losing to a young punk of less than 30 years of age didn't go well with the elephants-sized ego of this 52-yr old moron: He began his tirade about his experience in life, and reminded me that I should listen to elders. The problem with that kind of logic is that age and experience doesn't necessarily equate to wisdom and good advice: You can clean latrines for a good century, but don't expect to make more money than a Harvard graduate!

It then occurred to me that this APM of mine had a morbid fear of doctors: He seldom, if ever, listens to doctors, throws away medicine prescribed by them (I wonder why he visits them in the first place, sounds like an oxy-moron to me!), and has never gone for a surgery despite sound advice from physicians.

While I do not wish to criticize his approach and philosophy, the fact that he behaved like a tyrant and despot, trying to force his archaic, ancient, conservative and ultimately erroneous lifestyle upon me was completely out of line.

As for me, I have a dreaded fear of needles: I hate surgery, probably more than my APM, but rationale and reason tells me that medical science is my best bet for a good, speedy recovery. There is an element of fear, but I guess it is better to face reality in the face than to run away from it. As long as the problem remains unsolved, I will still have to live my life with this stupid, handicapped knee.

With the aid of 21st century medical science, it would be downright foolish to trudge into the tiny room of a quack doctor or a deranged priest in the quest for a cure, rather than the sagely advice of the good ole Doctor. I will bet my last dollar on real Science any day, any time and anywhere.

"...if you want to do evil, science provides the most powerful weapons to do evil; but equally, if you want to do good, science puts into your hands the most powerful tools to do so."

-Richard Dawkins