Casting obloquy and irrational religion

There is a wonderful phrase used to convey some advice to the new Neophyte in the Golden Dawn tradition. Delivered in a speech shortly after the climax of the ceremony by an officer representing Fortitude and Severity and who help keeps the powers of darkness at bay, it reads:

..let me advise you never to ridicule or cast obloquy upon the form of religion professed by another, for what right have you to desecrate what is sacred in his eyes?

I remember clearly my experience of this exhortation. It was recited impeccably and delivered strongly on the inner levels by a Soror whose outer demeanour was that of a mousy librarian, but when clothed in the Godform of Horus exuded strength and power enough to make me feel like a chestnut being slowly roasted. So this adjuration has always stuck with me. Basically, we  are being charged by a pretty impressive officer-station to mind our Ps and Qs in relation to religious beliefs other than our own. A nice sentiment indeed, at least on the surface, but one I have always struggled with.

Years later, as part of my Tibetan tantric training I came across a related piece of advice all higher tantric initiates are expected to follow. The Vajrayana is clear that it is cruel to deride, castigate or cast doubts on a person’s religious or spiritual beliefs without offering them a deeper, Dharma alternative. This is because people’s beliefs and ideas about the world and the divine are often what gets them through the day, and to remove these at a stroke is considered unkind and damaging. I’ve seen this happen, and have been unwittingly part of a similar process as I describe in this post. It is not a pretty sight.

The GD injunction not ‘to cast obloquy’ needs a little unpacking. Its source lies in the Cipher Manuscripts where it is simply stated as “never condemn other religions”. However, I doubt the author(s) were referring to the type of madcap religious forms we find ourselves surrounded by the 21st century. At the extreme end of things, does this mean we never critique a religion, even when its tenants and ideology are abusive and dangerous? There are several forms of White Supremacy movements that are religious in nature and practice. I don’t know about you, but I am very tempted to cast a little obloquy their way. Do we simply accept these forms of religion? Do we, as the saying goes, respect people’s right to hold these religious views, but do not respect the religion itself?

Does refraining from ‘casting obloquy’ simply mean to shut our mouths like good girls and boys, while actually thinking certain religions are nuttier than a squirrel-baked nut cake? That might be fine if these religions were confined to living rooms and run down meeting halls, but often the more fruity a religion is, the more it is determined to enforce its views and ideas upon society, especially the non-believers. Do we say and do nothing in the face of religions that preach oppression and hate? As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Personally, I say, bugger that for a lark and have no problems laying into religions of hate and oppression, obloquy notwithstanding.

At the less extreme end of things, I started thinking more about this issue a week or so back after posting on Facebook that I was surprised that some magical folk still referred to ‘the Burning Times’ as a factual series of events, where Pagans were persecuted by ‘the church’. Nick Farrell, in his normal wise manner, responded by saying, “It is an article of religious faith a bit like the virgin birth.” If this is so, and I think Nick is technically correct, then have all my previous articles and postings back to 1989, where I critique the Burning Times as myth not history, been casting a little bit of obloquy? I certainly have been firm in my opinions.

Does the fact that people are consciously or unconsciously holding something as a ‘religious truth’ bar us from saying how stupid it actually is? Do we worry about offending them, or take heart from Stephen Fry:

It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that”, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I’m offended by that.” Well, so fucking what?”

My own take on all this is a little subtle and I try to take into account as many factors as possible – mythic and literal. I have no problem with religious myth when it is seen as just that – religious myth to make sense of the universe and deepen our relationship with the Mystery, the world and each other. When however myth it is seen as real space-time events, I get a little edgy and my obloquy starts to rise :). Take for example the two cases mentioned by Nick above – the Virgin Birth and the Burning Times. While they may be useful mythically, to view them as ‘real’ events is another matter and one that flies in the face of common sense and all evidence and which requires all sort of denials and doctrines to explain it all.

The Burning Times myth tells us ‘nine million’ people were burnt during the Witch persecutions of early modern Europe which were directed at existing and remnant ‘pagan’ religions. To maintain this as ‘true’ we have to ignore or claim conspiracy on the vast amount of evidence that places the number of executions as between forty and a hundred thousand, the vast majority of them of Christian folk, and the executions often organised by secular and local authorities, not state imposed Christianity. I’m sorry, but if you insist on these things as PHYSICAL FACT, then you may find a little obloquy and a few frowns coming your way.

Mythic image of the Burning Times

As Nick goes on the say, the idea of nine million people being killed at this time is preposterous as it represents a fair chunk of the population. If there were nine million Pagans back then, the effects would of their practice and religions would still be with us and would have influenced our society in obvious ways. I will admit when I first came across the nine million figure as a teenager, I did not have these deep and nuanced reactions. My first thought was, “that’s an awful lot of wood”. You see, as a kid I was deeply affected by the line from ‘Good King Wenceslas‘, “When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel” and the image of a peasant with sticks on his back to make his fire. I looked it up and found, despite Hollywood imagery, there was not an easily accessible abundance of ready firewood back then. And it takes a lot of wood to burn someone – which is one of the reasons why ‘witches’ were hung not burnt in England. So I was dubious about the nine million bit from the start 🙂

Similar problems arise with the Virgin Birth and Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. To claim that as PHYSICAL FACT Catholic theologians had to come up with all sorts of doctrines, including explaining how the baby Jesus moved through the birth canal and out of the Mary’s vagina. Basically, Christ is assumed to have a transcendent power which enables Him to move through physical barriers at will, just like a superhero. This is what the Council of Trent concluded:

He is born of His Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity, just as He afterwards went forth from the sepulchre while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which His disciples were assembled, the doors being shut…

On a mythic, metaphorical level, the meaning behind the Virgin Birth has many profound implications and avenues for esoteric explanation. However, it and the doctrine of Perpetual Virginity have rightly been seen as contributing to the creation of the Madonna-Whore complex and fostering all sorts of misogyny. So I find it hard not to critique this piece of religious doctrine since it has implications and damage far beyond those mature adults who have consciously chosen to ascribe to it. Should I take the advice to avoid obloquy to mean I should refrain from voicing such criticisms, because they are religious?

The myth of the Burning Times has, as far as I can see, no profound esoteric meaning that rescues it from the pile of ‘ideas-to-let-go-off’. It does mythically link contemporary neo-Pagans who are mostly free to practice whatever modern religion they like, with a persecuted minority who held fast to their ancient faith. But what use is such a mythic linking and identification? I can see how useful it is to have mythic links back to ancient wisdom traditions, Atlantis and wot all, but why the persecution? To me this is just plain silly and if it’s casting obloquy on religion to say so, then I guess I am not holding fast to the advice I received all those years ago.

What say you?

24 comments

  1. Mike Howard · July 17, 2012

    The point about the ‘Burning Times’ and the nine million is that it is just not true. Therefore by criticising somebody who holds such a belief, providing it does politely, is not offending them. It is merely telling them that they are wrong. I believe that most academics who have studied the figure of executions for ‘witchcraft’ have come up with a figure less then 100,000. While suspected ‘witches’ were burnt on the European mainland and in Scotland (although they were strangled first) in Englnd they were hanged. The only exception was when a woman was charged with ‘petty treason’ for killing her hubsnad by magical means.

  2. Mike Howard · July 17, 2012

    Sorry should read….The only exception was when a woman was charged with ‘petty treason’ for killing her husband by magical means

  3. Tom · July 17, 2012

    I’m not qualified to interpret the writings of the Golden Dawn, but the reason I see for not criticising the religious practices of others is not that the ideas are sacred but that the divine impulse is — and the way people express that impulse is made sacred by it. In other words, it is not the religion that you are criticising but the impulse — and, since that impulse is common to all, when you mock such a man’s religion or gods you are also mocking your own.

    In short, it is the man practising his religion who is sacred, not the words or actions he performs in its name; and he makes them sacred. To the extent that a “religion” does not proceed as a response to that impulse, I see no problem in criticising it.

  4. dirkt · July 17, 2012

    Peregrin,

    some years ago at a German Buddhism board, I had a conversation with a participant (who defines himself as a Buddhist) about Nibbana. His statement was, that Nibbana is the “silence in the silence, the destruction of the absolute self and the black hole of our existence”…. I struggled a bit with myself (as everyone is entitled to their own beliefs), but then answered something along the lines of: “Hey buddy, you know.. all good and well, but NIbbana is actually defined in Buddhism as simply the extinguishing of craving/aversion and delusion.” The result was a veritable shitstorm about me being dogmatic and so on.

    I asked, what his sentence meant (as its nonsensical: what is an “absolute self”, what is a “silence in the silence” and what is a “black hole of our own existence” and how does one achieve that and what sense does it make to do so?), but he couldn’t answer that himself. It was something, that he made up for himself, but had absolutely no idea about, what it should mean. He had no grasp of term Nibbana at all.

    I decided not to pursue the matter further, but I encounter things like these so often, especially in diverse New Age/Esoteric boards, that I sometimes ask myself, what purpose other than distraction from an otherwise boring personal life all of this has. There are so many people, who believe in literally anything, no one else still wants to believe in (Douglas Adam’s electric monk coming to mind), that I’m sometimes really shocked. There is no sense in all of that, no framework and soteriology (like you’ve in GD, Thelema, Wicca etc.), it’s just a wild mix of believes..of Spirits, ghosts, UFOs, Aliens, Intergalactic Federations, Indigo Children, Channeling, auras, contact with Arch Angles, “Energy work”, reincarnation, afterlife, distorted view of karma, witchcraft etc .. and all lumped together in a so self contradictory manner, that it makes my hair stand on end.

    If something makes sense to me, has a framework or a soteriology, I’m fine with that. I do not need to like it, and I might object, if it seems malicious.. but this New Age stuff?.

    What I do now is mostly leaving them just be. Who am I to question their beliefs? If it makes them happy, ok. Let them. On the other hand, it’s a fight against wind mills, if I try to bring at least a bit light into all this stuff, because I’m flattly refused. People WANT to beliefe in all that stuff. So the craking in the wood remains a Poltergeist, the glas knocked down by the cat was a ghost and every light in the night sky is an alien spaceship and for sure, the bad bad church burned millions and millions of pagan witches and mediaeval feminists (can’t even get the fact in their heads, that most of the witch trials occured in the early modern era and not in the middle ages) . But if all of this is a healthy spiritual attitude, I really really don’t know 😦

  5. dirkt · July 17, 2012

    So.. as an afterthought, I guess I’m posing the question here: exactly what defines a religion?

  6. dirkt · July 17, 2012

    Ähhh… as to the reason for the link to the “burning times”. You gave that answer to yourself > linked to a persecuted minority: makes you a fucking rebel. Nice self image 😉

    Take that away by stating the facts about the witch trials, you take away the rebel image. Where’s the fun in being a witch, if you’re not missunderstood and persecuted?

  7. Mike Howard · July 17, 2012

    I would agree as many Wiccans and neo-pagans suffer from a persecution complex and ghetto mentality. Trying to get themselves ‘officially recognised’ (what I call getting parental approval from the political and religious establishment) seems to be a major pre-occupation and part of what being a pagan or Wiccan is nowadays. Mind you, because you are paraniod does not mean they are not out to get you! 🙂

  8. Mike Howard · July 17, 2012

    In the UK where neo-pagan organisations have attempted to register as a charity as far as the Charity Commission is concerned+, you have to have a belief in a Supreme Creator. Would Buddhism or Scientology meet with that criteria? I presume there are Buddhist charities? In a recent case where a teenager was accused of harassing a woman working in his local McDonald’s because she was a pagan it was said in court that paganism is officially (legally) recognised by the state as a religion and he was found guilty under the UK’s religious and racial harassment law. The standard definition of religion is ‘the belief in and worship of a superhuman power, especially a personal God or gods’, which suggests that you don’t have to believe in a Supreme Creator to be recognised as following a religion. Of course in practise most of the old pre-Christian polytheistic religions and most indigenous ones did have one deity who took that role.

  9. Peregrin · July 17, 2012

    Hi all – thanks for the comments 🙂

    @Tom… beautifully said. Dovetails though into Dirk’s questions – how do we define a religion and in discern those not coming from a response to the ‘divine impulse’. Not so long ago, most folk would have written Neo-Paganism off on this basis. Not so now…

    @Dirk … great recounting of how people so easily say/conceive things to match our own inner perceptions, without examining the source and logic of those perceptions. Which of course is number 1 in all depth traditions 🙂

    @MIke… thanks for information on the historical and contemporary situation. It is very good to get this background.

    The link to persecuted folk I find very strange. I mean, modern Wicca and Paganism are hardly practised by people who are exclusively ‘alternative’ or on the fringes of society. There is a broad cross section of all classes and ideologies. From all accounts Gardner was a Tory and supported the establishment as much as anyone from his background and class.

    OK… much thoughtful words… thanks gents 🙂

  10. Mike Howard · July 17, 2012

    Uncle Gerald and his initiates were very much products of the establishment as you say (although he was pretty eccentric and they were mostly naturists, which was considered cranky). They were ex-colonial, middle-class or upper middle-class, mostly right-wing politically or at least centre-right. In their sometimes racist and homophobic beliefs occultists of that period and before were just products of their generation and the zeitgist. Then the 1960s and 1970s came along and the alternative counter-culture and Wicca and neo-paganism went political as it was influenced by the environmental movement, feminism, gay rights, ‘Goddess spirituality’, anti-nuclear protests etc etc. On a popular level it became more leftish politically. Today most people I know in the Craft tend to be generally left-wing in their political views or at least anti-Establishment (although I would say that reflects the general view in the UK at present that politicians, bankers, the police, journalists, c;lergymen are corrupt or hypocrites or both!). Of course one should not generalise and there are still plenty of occultists with right-wing views. Personally as a Luciferian I am a born rebel, hopefully one with a cause though 🙂

  11. dirkt · July 17, 2012

    Mike,

    Buddhism is not even officially recognized as a reliigion by the German state 😉
    Neither is Scientology, FWIW.

    There is the Deutsche Buddhistische Union e.V. (registered association), that is trying to get Buddhism recogniced as an official religion however, in order to do charitable work. So I guess, there a many German Buddhists that suffer the same kind of “ghetto-mentality” 😉

    There are two definitions coming from the antrophological side,that appeal more to me, than the narrow one about belief in a God or gods and goddesses:

    Religion is a system of beliefs and behaviors that formulates and answers questions that are important, recurrent, and must be answered.

    Arjun Appadurai

    (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men [and women] by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.

    Geertz (1973:90)

  12. dirkt · July 17, 2012

    correction:

    Deutsche Buddhistische Union e.V. is not trying to get recognized as a religion in order to do charitable work, they are doing charitable work, but this is in and of itself no reason to be recognized as a religion in Germany 😉

  13. Bashmu the Oracle · July 18, 2012

    What “deeper, Dharma alternative” would you propose to “the Burning Times”?

  14. Peregrin · July 18, 2012

    @ Mike – thanks for this info, again I am a little surprised at the left wing bias in the UK Craft. We have a full mix here in Australia, something that frustrates an ol’ leftie like me 🙂

  15. Peregrin · July 18, 2012

    @Dirk – hey thanks for this quotation and source. I do like it. 🙂

  16. Peregrin · July 18, 2012

    Hi Bashmu – GREAT QUESTION 🙂 well, I think there are two sides to it. Firstly, the myth gives a connection to ancient wisdom and traditions. This is great. But at the same time, what I would say is that the actual history of Wicca is stunning and inspirational in and by itself. If folk learnt and appreciated this, it is as awe inspiring as a secret tradition handed down from the middle ages. Hutton and Heselton and others show how Gardner and a small group were inspired by the divine to form a new religion that speaks so deeply to many folk it has spread like wildfire. All done from Suffolk and Hampshire and the like, not a distant land, in streets like our own. It is a wonderful reality that is every bit as impressive as the myth. Secondly, I do think, as others have said, there is a link to the idea of persecution etc. These motivations are mixed and individual, so it is hard to generalize. I do think a lot of them should be looked at the ‘higher dharma’ would be whatever self-discovery the individual has as to ‘why’ they like this mythic linking with the persecuted in the first place. It can be revelatory and transformational. Or, we could go the Reclaiming route as per Starhawk (though I would advise more actual history) and develop the myth to motivate us politically to work for actual oppressed groups today. THANKS 🙂

  17. Paolo Portone · July 18, 2012

    Chi ha paura (ancora) delle streghe?La scomoda eredità della caccia nel dibattito sto-riografico contemporaneo.
    Sono trascorsi più di cinque secoli dalla bolla papale “Summis desiderantes affecti-bus” (1484) con cui in Europa si diede inizio ufficialmente alla stagione della Grande Caccia alle streghe. Una persecuzione che per estensione geografica ,sistematicità e radicalità può a ben diritto essere considerata l’archetipo dei genocidi novecenteschi, Nonostante il recente ridimensionamento delle cifre del massacro che si consumò nel cuore dell’Europa civile e cristianizzata in piena età moderna, nessuno oggi mette in dubbio la gravità di un fenomeno che portò secondo le tesi oggi più accreditate alla istruzione di 300 mila processi e alla morte di circa 145 mila persone (Levack), in prevalenza donne,accusate di un reato eccezionale ma impossibile da dimostrare se non sotto tortura: lo scellerato patto con Satana e la conseguenze apostatica ed eretica adesione alla sua setta, dedita a spargere il maleficium nel cuore della cittadella cri-stiana. Ma se il dibattito sul numero delle vittime ha avuto il merito,malgrado revi-sionismi e negazionismi, di portare alla luce un fenomeno ancora marginale nella sto-riografia ufficiale, la ricerca scientificamente orientata mostra ancora non lievi diffi-coltà, se non vere e proprie resistenze, nel fare i conti con l’identità delle “streghe”, ideale capro espiatorio della inquieta società a cavallo tra medioevo ed età moderna. L’eredità delle vittime,reale e mistificata, continua a permeare la nostra memoria condizionando ,retroattivamente, il giudizio sui motivi che spinsero le autorità laiche e religiose a portare il Diavolo in tribunale insieme alle sue presunte seguaci. A distanza ormai di secoli dalla caccia, il mondo delle streghe continua ancora ad essere ignorato ,incompreso e forse anche temuto.

    Paolo Portone

  18. Donald Michael Kraig · July 21, 2012

    The original claim of 9 million killed during the burning times is usually unsourced. As I understand it, the original source comes from a statue that was displayed at the original Gardner Museum of Witchcraft. It was in memory of the nine million WOMEN who were killed during those prosecutions. This was later misinterpreted to be nine million Witches. Beyond that, I know of no source for the figure.

    The Burning Times lasted about 300 years. Let me start by saying that even one life killed during that time is one too many. If we assume that about 120,000 men and women (the number of animals[!] killed usually isn’t listed) were killed during that period (a figure near the top of most modern numbers), that means about 400 people per year were killed. If we say the number is a million, then there were 3,333 people who died per year. If it were 9 million, the average number of killings would be up to 30,000 per year. Of course, this gives an unfair number because these are averages, and what actually happened is that the prosecution occurred in waves, with cycles of much higher numbers of killings and much lower. However, it can be seen as useful to make a comparison.

    It’s estimated that in the U.S., 40,000 people die from car crashes each year.
    Worldwide, about 500,000 people die from the flu each year.
    About 1.8 million people died from AIDS related disease in 2010
    About 7.6 million people die from cancer each year.

    So judging the severity of the Burning Times based only on the numbers of people who were killed gives the appearance of unimportance to those times. That would be a false impression.

    The importance of the Burning Times is not that any particular number were killed, but that there was a specific effort to destroy Witches and heretics (and especially women). That is, the goal was to wipe out those who believed in different religions and/or different gods. It wasn’t just the numbers killed, it was outright terrorism. For 300 years people lived in terror of someone merely accusing them of the “crime” of being a Witch (whether it was true or not) leading to unbelievably inhuman torture and potentially death.

    The Burning Times were a period of three centuries of living in terror for the express purpose of destroying a people. The numbers of people who died for this are both important but inconsequential to the impact of this great terror.

    We should not forget that only 70 years ago, the same sort of terror was unleashed in an attempt to wipe out Jews, Romany, Occultists, Poles, Gays, and others who were not considered worthy of life according to those who had a faith–a quasi-religion–that included the belief in the racist myth of an “Aryan race.”

    Thomas Jefferson wrote (original source of concept is debated) that “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” The concept of the Holocaust and the Burning Times is not merely about numbers. Nor is it merely about what happened in the past. In my opinion it must ever remind us that it can be all too easy to blame our own problems on “others,” to blame change from “the way things were” when we were growing up on “others,” and to then seek to destroy those “others.”

    But although thinkers may be killed, thoughts are indestructible. The “eternal vigilance” to maintain freedom and prevent future Burning Times and Holocausts needs to include standing up to those who stand in the way of civilization and want to return us to those evil times. It also means being aware of our own beliefs that could too easily allow us to walk down the paths of prejudice, hate, and destruction hand-in-hand with the limitation of freedom.

    Whether it is just in our hearts or to the faces of tyrants, the response of the past, in the present, and for the future needs to be the same:

    Never again.

  19. Mike Howard · July 21, 2012

    The figure of ‘nine million’ did not come from Cecil Williamson, although he was probably the first one in the modern witchcraft revival to popularise it. It originated in a book written by a 19th century proto-feminist whose name escapes me right now.

  20. dirkt · July 21, 2012

    No one’s arguing that the witch trials weren’t an atrocity or in a way “down toning” the whole thing, based only on the numbers of human deaths…. but we’ve now a better understanding, what, why and how this whole thing occured, because we’ve more historical evidence, we can rely on, than in the 50’s.

    a) The victims were overall christian and not adherence of a surviving pagan underground religion.
    b) Only a minority were actual magical practitioners, while the majority were people who had nothing to do with magiic/cunning craft at all, but were framed as “witches” for various other reasons (fear, envy, being outcasts of society)
    c) A significant minority were women.
    d) The death toll wasn’t as high, as initially estimated (whitch doesn’t make it in any way “better”)
    e) The majority of the trials were done by the secular authorities, not by the Inquisition
    d) The whole thing was inspired more by fear, suspicion, panic and greed, than by an organized effort to persecute a religious minority.
    e) There was actual religious persecution in regard to (christian) heretics (e.g. the Cathars and others), and whitch in fact was the main occupation of the Inquisition, but this must not be confused with the witch trials/hunt per se.

    In light of these facts, the “burnig times myth”, Peregrin is pointing to, is an oversimplification of what (we now think) really happened, because it states: “X million people were killed by the Inquisition during the witch trials/hunt, because they were actual magical practitioners and adherence of a surviving pagan underground religion, that had to be wiped out .”

  21. Peregrin · July 22, 2012

    THANK YOU Dirk, for this sane and accurate response.

    I am in NO way dismissing the actual witch craze and its horror, I was using the myth (as in mythos, a ‘sacred story’ by which a culture/subculture makes sense of the world – the way the word is commonly used in reflective and academic works on Paganism) – the mythos of the Burning Times as an example to explore the question of sensitivity of religious beliefs. I am not going to get into a debate on the history of the development of the mythos and the facts it draws upon.

    Dirk has summarised these very well. Anyone who wishes to do the work and check for yourself, you can start with Wikipedia, look at the sources, then go to your local university library yourself. You will find Dirk’s summary is pretty much the current academic understanding.

    As I recently said on my Facebook page: I’ll try most things myself, plumbing, repairs, healing. But when I can’t get it to work or just right, I’ll go to a PROFESSIONAL – plumber, healer etc. The same with knowing the actual history of things – including religion and magic – my first point of call will always be the Academy. These are women and men who live their professional lives, studying and researching, 9-5.

    I wish more of my fellow magicy and pagan friends would give a professor the same respect they give a professional plumber.

    THANKS 🙂

  22. Donald Michael Kraig · July 23, 2012

    Peregrin, from reading your original post I NEVER THOUGHT AND NEVER BELIEVED that you were in any way dismissing the Burning Times as an actual horror and important myth. Rather, you were making a call for accuracy, something I support. I tried to show that even with accurate numbers, the Burning Times myth is valuable and important.

    I use the term “myth” for a specific reason as I also believe from your post that you understand the value of myth to our collective psyches. Myths are not, as some misrepresent through their ignorance and would have us believe, meaningless stories to amuse children.

    I also agree, as I interpreted your original post, that myths need to be modified to accurately represent known facts.That way they cannot be dismissed as “just a story” by those who do not understand the value of myths. The purpose of my original comment was to simply give my interpretation and amplification of what you had originally posted, not to stand in opposition to it.

  23. Peregrin · July 23, 2012

    Thanks for the clarification DMK 🙂 My response was not directed at your comments, but a range of other responses on other fora. Sorry for the confusion.

    I am now stopping comments on this post.

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