Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christ Myth Theorist, Archarya S, Dies On Christmas

Kenn Thomas of the Steamshovel Press has alerted me to the sad fact that Acharya S, a leader and devoted theorist of the "Christ myth theory," died, perhaps not coincidentally, on Christmas, December 25, 2015. 

She was suffering from breast cancer.

Kenn Thomas (pictured) wrote me, "Acharya passed away—at Christmas. Gods of coincidence again making themselves known...Very sad but not unexpected. She liked your work and considered you a friend."

"Murdock served as a trench master on archaeological excavations in Corinth, Greece, and Connecticut, USA, as well as a teacher's assistant on the island of Crete. Murdock was proficient in English, Greek, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese just to name a few....this amazing individual who has passed away on December 25, 2015," wrote the Mythicist Milwaukee.

The following announcement was posted by N.W. Barker on giveforward.com on December 27, 2015:
I apologize for not posting sooner as this is a post I did not ever want to have to make - I regret to inform you that it is true that Acharya S/D.M. Murdock has passed away due to cancer on December 25th, 2015, oddly enough considering how much she wrote about pre-Christian religious concepts and rituals that probably led to Christmas type celebrations.
I have just lost my best friend. It was a privilege and an honor to know her and to work with her and be so close to her and her son for the last several years. She was truly extraordinarily special to us and so many others as well. The grief I feel for such a loss is unimaginable and heartbreaking. - N.W. Barker

A general biography of Acharya S contains the following information:
Acharya S, also known as D. M. Murdock, is the pen name of Dorothy M. Murdock, an American author and proponent of the Christ myth theory. She writes books, and operates a website named Truth Be Known. She argues that Christianity is founded on earlier myths and the characters depicted in Christianity are based upon Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and other myths. Her theories have received negative commentaries from academic scholars.
According to her website, Murdock received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Classics, Greek Civilization, from Franklin and Marshall College, after which she spent a year at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece.
Murdock began her website, Truth Be Known, in 1995.

In 1999, as Acharya S, she published her first book, The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, arguing the concept of Jesus Christ as myth. She states the Christ story is a fabrication.
Her 2007 book, Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ continues the theme of The Christ Conspiracy by expanding her theory questioning the historical validity of Jesus Christ alleging "early Christian history to be largely mythical, by sorting through available historical and archaeological data."
In 2009 she released Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection and The Gospel According to Acharya S.
She has been interviewed in Paranoia magazine.
In his book You Are Being Lied To, Russ Kick describes The Christ Conspiracy as "an essential book for anyone who wants to know the reality behind the world's dominant religion." In a book on American conspiracy theorists, Kenn Thomas calls her a "great chronicler of the conspiracy known as Christianity".
In his book In Search of Jesus, Baptist comparative religion scholar Clinton Bennett describes her views as being similar to those of radical freethinker Robert Taylor (nicknamed "the Devil's chaplain"), secularist MP and fellow Christ mythicist John M. Robertson, and American mythographer Joseph Campbell. In an article for The Christian Century, Butler University religion professor James F. McGrath describes her viewpoint as one that "once had some currency among scholars" in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but was subsequently abandoned.
Acharya S was criticized by Joel McDurmon, in part for the premise that Jesus was based on ancient sun gods because of the modern English homophones son and sun. Atheist activist and fellow Christ mythicist Richard Carrier criticized her use of the inscriptions at Luxor to make the claim that the story of Jesus birth was inspired by the Luxor story of the birth of Horus. Acharya S produced a rejoinder to Carrier's critique in which she describes the importance of the ancient Egyptian narratives of the birth of gods such as the one described at Luxor, the connections that existed between Egypt and the ancient Hebrew people and asks "[C]ould the creators of Christianity really have been oblivious to them?" Theologian Robert M. Price, who is sympathetic to the Christ myth hypothesis, wrote a critical review of Murdock's first book. However, he subsequently promoted her book Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled in The Pre-Nicene New Testament: Fifty-Four Formative Texts, and wrote the foreword to Who Was Jesus?: Fingerprints of the Christ.
In his book Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman discusses The Christ Conspiracy, which he calls "the breathless conspirator's dream". Ehrman says "all of Acharya's major points are in fact wrong" and her book "is filled with so many factual errors and outlandish assertions that it is hard to believe the author is serious." Taking her as representative of some other writers about the Christ myth theory, he generalizes that "Mythicists of this ilk should not be surprised that their views are not taken seriously by real scholars, mentioned by experts in the field, or even read by them." As a rebuttal of Ehrman's critiques, Price, Carrier, Murdock, and others, published the book Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth in 2013. ~ Wikipedia.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Wexler, Weather Underground, and Susan Saxe

It was sad to hear that Haskell Wexler died on December 27, 2015. He passed away at the age of 93, at his home in the "People's Republic of Santa Monica," as my friend, the late actor Richard Dysart use to call it. 

What a good life. Wexler was an incredibly skilled, socially conscious, internationally famous cinematographer, film producer and director. In 1993, Wexler won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers, the first active cameraman to be awarded. It was one of many honors he received.

Wexler's films frequently reflected his radical insights into our society, and I enjoyed his films deeply. Some of those on which he worked are among my favorites. They include In the Heat of the Night (1967), Medium Cool (1969), American Graffiti (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Bound for Glory (1976), Coming Home (1978),  Matewan (1987), Colors (1967), Mulholland Falls (1996), and *61 (2001).

As a former professor of documentary film and political member of the 1960s, I especially like his documentary Underground (1976).
Underground is a 1976 documentary film about the Weathermen, founded as a militant faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), who fought to overthrow the U.S. government during the 1960s and 1970s. The film consists of interviews with members of the group after they went underground and footage of the anti-war and civil rights protests of the time. It was directed by Emile de Antonio, Haskell Wexler and Mary Lampson, later subpoenaed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an attempt to confiscate the film footage in order to gain information that would help them arrest the Weathermen. ~ Wikipedia
From 1965 through 1969, I was an undergraduate student in anthropology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Demonstrations, sit-ins, teach-ins, and campus shutdowns marked those days, due to the Vietnam War and more. The SDS and Weathermen were part of life and part of the news, back then.

In the 1970s, moved on to Cambridge, for graduation school and jobs in social work. It was there, when I visited and was working with a female client of mine housed at an adult correction facility in Massachusetts, that I met and talked with the alleged Weather Underground member Susan Edith Saxe. (I'm still not sure she ever was a member, although they might have helped her stay "underground" for years.)

Saxe had been involved in a robbery in which a criminal in the crew had killed a policeman. No excuses, no defensive stance on my part about that. She was serving her time, and had begun a program working with woman prisoners who had babies while in prison. I found Saxe calm, centered, and extremely bright. The good she did for those women was, I always thought, rather unrecognized.

Saxe had gone to Brandeis. I went to Brandeis a few years later for a few semesters of doctoral work in social anthropology. Decades later, my son Malcolm would go there too, coincidentally, and play baseball for four years, then graduate with a degree in American History. It's a small world, after all.

It's intriguing to me how memories come to mind when someone like Haskell Wexler dies.

Wexler's art will be missed, but thank goodness his films live on.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Top Ten Evil Clown Stories of 2015


Top Ten Evil Clowns of 2015
by Loren Coleman, author of The Copycat Effect (New York: Paraview Pocket-Simon and Schuster, 2004).

Following in the tradition of my list from 2008, my notes on evil clowns (and Joker clones) that turned up in 2009, my documenting of real killer clowns in 2010, my list of evil clowns of 2011, weirdness in 2012, another compilation for 2013, and the creepy clown reports in California, countrywide in the USA & in France, ending up back in Aurora for 2014, here is a "top ten" gathering of "evil clown" stories for 2015.

(1) January 31, 2015. Merseyside, UK

Crooks dressed as clowns carried out a string of crimes in Merseyside and police have dealt with 14 incidents - from armed robbery to bogus charity collections - involving people wearing face paint and circus costumes, they reported at the end of the first month of the year.

One of the crimes was caught on camera, when a robber strolled into a currency exchange shop in Walton wearing a yellow wig, white face paint and a pink prosthetic nose and forced a terrified worker to hand over bundles of notes.

Another victim had an egg thrown at his car by a yob wearing a clown mask, reports the Liverpool Echo.

(2) July 2015

Early in July 2015, a Chicagoan took a cellphone video of a person dressed in a clown suit, trespassing at the city's historic Rosehill Cemetery in the dead of night. Julia Graham says she was “freaked out” at the figure as it ran toward the main gate. She and her husband were driving by around 10 p.m.

“When we get closer, we realize it’s a clown, which is super weird,” Graham said.

The first picture her husband snapped was of the clown scaling the 7-foot-tall gate at the Ravenswood Avenue entrance. That feat is no easy task, especially for someone wearing a clown suit. The North Side cemetery was clearly closed and locked for the night. Officials don’t know what to make of it because other than the trespass there were no complaints of vandalism.

(3) July 2015

In July 2015, a 12-year-old Elkhart, Indiana girl fatally stabbed her stepmother, and said an online horror story clown named “Laughing Jack” (pictured) told her to do it, it was revealed in court documents in November. The girl set her family’s apartment on fire and stabbed Maria Torres “at the direction of a fictional character found on the CreepyPasta website known as 'Laughing Jack.’”

Laughing Jack is a clown who befriends children as their imaginary friend before slicing them open and replacing their organs with candy, according to Urban Dictionary. The unidentified Elkhart girl “heard voices and had an 'alter ego' months before the stabbing and begged her father for help,” the court documents said.

(4) August 7, 2015. Hickory, North Carolina.

On Friday, August 7, 2015, a woman living in the 1300 block of 20th Avenue NE in Hickory, North Carolina, reported to police that at 4:32 a.m. a clown with an ax knocked at her residence. The suspect then began swinging an ax and attempted to cut the victim. The clown was wearing a mask and a multicolored wig. She was able to remove his mask and recognized him as an acquaintance before he left, according to the Hickory Daily Record. An arrest warrant was issued. Jimmy Daniel Raybon (pictured above), 28, also known as Robert Gross, turned himself in without incident at 2:15 p.m.

(5) September 2015. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Some people thought it was funny, but it is amazing no one shot the "killer" clowns that were scaring folks around the Las Vegas Valley in September of this year.

Matteo Moroni, the famous prankster behind DM Pranks in Italy, teamed up with Fright Dome-owner Jason Egan to bring the "killer clowns" to Nevada. They set up "crime scenes" with creepy clowns nearby and waited for real people to walk into the situations.

In the video, the clowns hang out in a gas station, the long hallways of Circus Circus and in an ambulance behind the hotel-casino. Each time an unsuspecting person or group walks into the created scenario and are scared almost into having heart attacks. Not funny.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article30923304.html#storylink=cpy

(6) October 2015. Kent, UK

"Clowns in vans chasing terrified children spark warning 'go straight home after school today and not to loiter,'" reported the Daily Mirror. ""Police are investigating after numerous reports of kids being approached by people wearing clown masks driving a van."

Phantom Clowns stalked St. John's Road in Kent. The incidents started after several reports in Tonbridge. On October 5 in Hectorage Road, pupils reported they were scared by people in clown masks.On October 7 and 8 there were also reports of a woman in the High Street wearing a clown mask. The following week in Tunbridge Wells, on October 13 and 14 there are reports of people wearing clown masks in a van on St John's Road. Some witnesses said the clowns wore black clothing and white masks.

No one was ever caught. (These are the classic Phantom Clowns that I discussed in Mysterious America.)

(7) October 15, 2015. Springfield, Missouri.

Police say they arrested a 30-year-old man on October 15, after he dressed as clown, carried a toy gun onto Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, and claimed he had a bomb and was going to take a hostage. James D. Robertson (pictured) was charged with making terroristic threats. Police found Robertson in a parking lot at the college. He told them he was formerly a student at the college and wanted to return but school officials ignored him. Robertson told police he dressed like a clown and carried a toy gun in order to make school officials pay attention to him. They did. Robertson did not have a car bomb. In the trunk of his car, police found a bag of charcoal with a note that said: "This is my CAR bomb!"

(8) November 24, 2015. Waukesha, Wisconsin.

This turns out to be merely unsettling, not evil. Around Thanksgiving 2015, the media began noting there were sightings of a man dressed up as a clown walking around Carroll University campus, Waukesha, Wisconsin. Some people, who said it was "creepy," took photographs. Waukesha police say they know who it is. Waukesha police told the local media the teenage boy is "developmentally delayed and is just doing this to see people's reaction. Both he and his parents were advised several times it would really help us out if he wouldn't stand out there doing that."

Police say they aren't aware of any crimes the teen has committed.

(9) December 24, 2015. Lakewood, Colorado. 

The ultimate costumed clown around Christmas, of course, is Santa Claus. In 2015, an evil Santa emerged near Denver. A stabbing suspect was on the loose Christmas Eve in Lakewood, Colorado, after allegedly stabbing a bus passenger early Thursday morning, December 24, 2015. At around 1 a.m., two people were riding an RTD bus when they got into a fight that ended when one of the passengers -- who police say was wearing a Santa Claus jacket -- stabbed the other. The suspect remains on the run. (For an infamous recent Killer Santa case, see the 2013 Pardo-Corvina story.)

(10) The Joker resurfaces

American University Press published a book of some note on the subject of evil clowns. Appearing in 2015, The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime, edited by Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner, is the first academic work to provide a comprehensive study of this villain dressed like a clown, illustrating why the Joker appears so relevant to audiences today.

In a related vein, Suicide Squad is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team of the same name. It is scheduled to be released on August 5, 2016. One of the most significant characters in the forthcoming movie is the Joker, being played by Jared Leto. During 2015, photos of Leto as the new Joker caused quite a stir. 

Top Ten Evil Clown Stories of 2015
© Loren Coleman, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

Crazy Vegas: A Car Into Crowds and Colombia/Columbia

What happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. The famous tagline for Las Vegas, "What Happens Here, Stays Here," was dreamed up in a brainstorming meeting of the ad agency R&R Partners in 2003. It hardly has become true.

On the evening of December 20, 2015, some strange situations occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada - which the whole world - if not the universe - heard about in microseconds. Twitter went wild.

The big event of the night in Las Vegas was suppose to be the Miss Universe Pageant (owned until this year by Donald Trump) at Axis at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino. But even that had problems. This is what happened at the end of that "beauty" event. It was being hosted by comedian, actor and TV personality Steve Harvey.
6:47 p.m.: Harvey announces that 10 million votes have been cast. Seal sings his hits, including Kiss From a Rose and Crazy, during the final walk.
6:58 p.m.: 2014 Miss Universe Paulina Vega takes her final walk. Harvey announces the final results: The second runner-up is Miss USA Olivia Jordan, the first runner-up is Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, and the new Miss Universe is Miss Colombia Ariadna Guiterrez. Colombia repeats! 
7:03 p.m.: Wow! Harvey admits to making a big mistake, and Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach is announced as the new Miss Universe! ~ Las Vegas Sun
Time out! Seal sings Crazy and Steve Harvey accidentally awards Miss Colombia as the winner of the Miss Universe Pageant when she was really the 1st runner up to Miss Philippines? Whoa.

Correspondent Rexlizardo shares the following:
Columbia is a historical and poetic name used for the United States of America and also as one of the names of its female personification.

Philippines is named after King Phillip the 2nd.
Phillip is from the Greek name Φιλιππος (Philippos) which means "friend of horses," composed of the elements φιλος (philos) "friend, lover" and 'ιππος (hippos) "horse."

I've previously discussed the the name game of Columbia, Columbus, and the Statue of Liberty being the goddess Columbiahere, here, and here.

Meanwhile, outside Planet Hollywood, where the pageant was taking place, all kinds of craziness was happening. 

In what is being called an intentional act, an African-American woman in her 20s, with a 3-year-old in a 1996 Oldsmobile, with Oregon plates, plowed into a crowd of people in front of the Paris Hotel. She then pulled the car back onto Las Vegas Boulevard near Bellagio Way, continued down the street, and plowed into another group of pedestrians in front of the Planet Hollywood. Police reported she might have done it a third time.

Those hit were not in the street, and approximately 36 were injured, six critical. One person, an adult, was killed.
Joel Ortega, 31, of Redlands, California, said he and his wife, Carla, were in Las Vegas for the weekend and found themselves blocked from walking on the sidewalk toward the Paris Hotel & Casino. They could see police investigating about a block away from the scene of the crash.
"At first, I thought it was a movie shoot," Joel Ortega said, "I thought maybe we'd see someone famous." ~ AP
Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell said the crash occurred at around 6:38 p.m.

The suspect fled the scene and police caught her at Flamingo Road and Koval. She was briefly barricaded in her car and refused to come out for a while before she was arrested.

The sync to the Paris Hotel seems obvious, regarding the recent Paris terrorist attacks. What is a bit more occult (as in hidden in its meaning) is the former name of the Planet Hollywood Vegas complex. The facility is the former Aladdin Resort & Casino. 
The Aladdin opened on March 31, 1966, with flower petals pouring from the ceiling and onto guests as they entered the hall. The opening entertainment included comedian Jackie Mason, the Jet Set Revue, a musical review that showcased The Three Cheers and the Petite Rockette Dancers in the Baghdad Theatre. Prell introduced an innovative main showroom policy by offering three completely different shows twice nightly with no cover or minimum charges.
A little more than a year after it was opened, the Aladdin was host to Elvis and Priscilla Presley's wedding.
In August 1969, the Aladdin completed a $750,000 makeover including renovations to the Sinbad Lounge, which became enclosed and leveled above the casino floor with Arabic motif. ~ Source
The old Aladdin met its end on on April 27, 1998, when the entire resort was imploded at 7:27 pm, except for the Aladdin Theatre to make way for the construction of an entirely new casino. (Footage of the implosion of the original structure was used in the closing credits of the film The Cooler.)

The new Aladdin opened on August 18, 2000, at 7:45 pm. It failed and was sold in bankruptcy on June 20, 2003, to the partnership of Planet Hollywood and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino opened on April 17, 2007.

The Aladdin/Planet Hollywood has served as the filming locations for various movies, including Going in Style, 21, What Happens in Vegas, Race to Witch Mountain, Get Him to the Greek, Knocked Up, The Hangover, and The Hangover Part III.

A car ramming happened this fall that was in the news, and another occurred in Las Vegas ten years ago:

On Saturday, October 24, 2015, at 10:31 p.m., a woman was accused of driving into a crowd during Oklahoma State's homecoming parade in Stillwater. Four people were killed, an unnamed juvenile, age 2; Nakita Prabhakar, age 23; Bonnie Jean Stone, age 65, and Marvin Lyle Stone, age 65, and 44 were hurt. The driver, 25-year-old Acacia Avery Chambers of Stillwater, was this month found competent to stand trial on four counts of second-degree murder and 46 counts of assault.

In Wednesday, September 21, 2005, three tourists were killed and nearly a dozen injured when a car barreled through the crowd on the Las Vegas Strip, on Las Vegas Boulevard between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue, and crashed into a cement barrier in front of Bally's hotel-casino. The 27-year-old man, Stephen Ressa, used a Buick LeSabre, his mother's car, to mow down a crowd of tourists on a Strip sidewalk. He was wanted by California authorities for allegedly severely beating his mother and threatening her with a butcher knife before driving off in her car on two days before the Las Vegas incident. Ressa was from Rialto, San Bernardino County, California.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Star Wars Alerts, Incidents, and Security

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened widely on Friday, December 18, 2015. The film had limited showings earlier in the week, and some events have caused alarm.

Even before the new Star Wars movie was nationally released in the US, the widest, most discussed level of theater security every reported has been noted by the media. Some theaters installed metal detectors, banned backpacks and costumes, and allowed patrons with nothing more than lightsabers to cos-play. In the wake of the Aurora theater shooting of 2012, the Lafayette movie shooting in July 2015, the attack at a performing venue in Paris a few months ago, and the San Bernardino terrorist shootings of last month, the Star Wars movie was considered a major target for trouble.

There seems to have been some, but the media appears to have quieted what is really occurring. And the security is high.

There have been hints of a few instances that have bothered theater owners this week.
In an incident Wednesday night [December 16, 2015], two men in their 20s who were “Middle Eastern in appearance” and “spoke with a heavy foreign accent” entered a theater inside a mall in Tempe, Arizona, without tickets, and one of the men began recording video of the theater with his cellphone “in one slow swooping motion,” according to documentation of the incident obtained by Deadline. When asked what they were doing by theater security, the men replied they had “just wanted to see the restaurant,” pointing to the concession stand, and then exited the theater to a patio, where both men made phone calls.
In a separate incident last week, a man reportedly drove up to a theater in Southern California and began asking suspicious questions including, “When are the most people here?” and “How crowded is it going to be this weekend?” before driving off in a car with no license plates. A second man reportedly drove up to the theater and asked similar questions, before again driving off in a car with no plates. ~ Source.
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) then sent a notice out to its members about these suspicious incidents, on Thursday, December 17, 2015, to be alert, aware, and heightened security.
One film buyer who has the film booked on the majority of their screens said they have five security guards employed at each theater. “We’ve hired security at every location to be safe,” the buyer said. “We will have five (guards) posted and reserve the right to check (customers’) bags. We will not let anyone walk in with a backpack or anything larger than a purse, and whatever they are carrying will be checked.” ~ Deadline
The incidents continued Thursday, December 17, 2015:
Moviegoers were evacuated from the Pacific Theatres at The Grove after a fire alarm was pulled on Dec. 17, 2015. (Credit: Michael Drake)
Hundreds of moviegoers were briefly evacuated from the Pacific Theatres at the Grove in Fairfax on Thursday evening. The evacuation occurred after a fire alarm was triggered inside the building, said Officer Norma Eisenman of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section. There was no threat to the theater or "anything else of that nature," she said.Several disgruntled movie fans took to Twitter and Instagram after the incident, which prompted a response from the Los Angeles Fire Department.Showings of the much-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens were interrupted, according to witnesses."As soon as the previews were over and the movie was about to start -- fire alarm. They evacuated the whole building," said an exasperated Andrew Gouch, adding that he had purchased his Star Wars tickets two months in advance."My kids want to still sit in there but … I don't know," he said. "I don't drink; I may start."The screenings resumed after firefighters determined that no fire had occurred and the building was safe. ~ Source.
A more serious threat occurred on Friday, December 18, 2015:
A showing of the new Star Wars movie was interrupted Friday in New Jersey after a theater was abruptly evacuated during the show. Friday night, police in Freehold Township announced that they had arrested a Middletown man and charged him with making a pair of bomb threats at the AMC Theater.
22-year-old Jesse Carroll of Middletown is charged with two counts of second degree Public False Alarm. He is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correction Institution on $200,000 bail with no 10% option.
On Monday evening, Dec. 14, and again on Friday afternoon, Dec. 18, notes were found in the men's room of the movie complex containing threats to either the theater management or specific threats of bombs inside the theater. One note on Friday afternoon read: "I'm coming for blood; 4pm bomb, 6pm empty mag in guests." ~ Source.

How widespread are these security measures? As of December 17, 2015, Disney (who owns the Star Wars franchise after George Lucas and Lucasfilms sold it to them) ceased the sales, display or brandishing of Star Wars blasters and any other type of toy guns as part of enhanced security policies.

There are also new metal detectors at the entrance of California's Disneyland and Florida’s Disney World. Furthermore, there is now a ban on individuals over the age of 14 wearing costumes or masks on the properties. Similar measures are going in place at Universal theme parks across the nation, reportedly. Random more extensive checks will now occur too, in addition to the bag checks that have been taking place at the parks for years.

Predictions, prevention and preparedness appear to be working.  Sometimes paranoid is really total awareness.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Along Old Route 66: The I-40 Killings

Death stalked I-40 on December 16-17, 2015.

I-40 in Oklahoma, west of Oklahoma City, parallels and replaces Old US-66. Just west of Oklahoma City is Weatherford. 

According to the copycat effect theory, a well-publicized violent event, like the San Bernardino terrorist attack, tends to be followed two weeks later by an incident that is a ripple of the original.

The San Bernardino shootings left 16 dead, which included the two shooters who died during the highway confrontation with law enforcement officers, on December 2, 2015.

Two weeks from December 2 was December 16, and it neared the stroke of midnight, Central Time, when a seemingly random act of violence visited a highway in Oklahoma.

Beginning just before midnight, allegedly Jeremy Doss Hardy, 36, of Pasadena, Texas, rode down I-40, near Weatherford, shooting at cars. (Hardy, early medieval English and French origin for "bold" or "courageous."  Doss, a topographic name for someone living on a hill, from Ladin dos, from Latin dorm, "ridge" or "hill top." Jeremy, Hebrew for "May Jehovah exalt," "Exalted of the Lord.")

In two vehicles, two individuals were shot dead early on the morning of Thursday, December 17, 2015. The shootings seemed random, and left victims Jeffrey Kent Powell, 45, of Arapaho, who had been driving with his wife, and Billie Jean West, 63, of Lone Wolf, according to a statement by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Powell was killed at approximately mile marker 93, near Hydro. It was a short time later that the Weatherford police on normal patrol found a vehicle on Airport Road (mile marker 84) just off I-40. Inside the vehicle was Billie Jean West.

After West’s car was found, a short pursuit ensued with the suspect traveling into Washita County and back into Custer County. At mile marker 50, Hardy pulled to the shoulder and surrendered, at around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday. Hardy then allegedly failed a breath test and was booked for alleged DUI. From the time he allegedly fired the first shot to the time he was arrested, Hardy had driven 70 miles, Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples said.

Peoples says that Hardy "was indiscriminately firing at people he obviously didn't know. He was shooting commercial trucks, cars, SUVs, it didn't matter."

Police believe "there wasn't a specific target" of Hardy's gunfire, Peoples says.

He says that "some of the actions described by witnesses indicate there was a road rage issue going on before the shots were fired."

These killings took place in Custer County. The county was named in honor of General George Armstrong Custer.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Will ISIS Attempt A Red Dawn?

Will December 18, 2015 be a new Colorado Aurora (which translates, literally, into Red Dawn), when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens? 

We have been down this road before

For more on the overlap between ISIS/ISIL and Star Wars, and this prediction, please read more here.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Beyond San Bernardino: What Force Awakens?

What has been awakened?

The San Bernardino event occurred on December 2, 2015. According to the traditional behavioral contagion/copycat timetable, watch the window of December 16, 2015, for more trouble. In addition, on December 18th, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a worldwide premiere that delivers too large of a publicity opportunity for a terrorist organization or individuals to ignore. Some say Sunday, December 20th is significant because of some Sandy Hook links. 
I don't know, but this is not over.

Be alert. Be safe.

"Star Wars" gets something very right -- the notion of religious authority in Islam.
Take Obi Wan Kenobi, for example, and his relationship with Luke Skywalker -- as well as Skywalker's relationship with Yoda. (Ignore, if you must, the filming of the most pertinent Jedi scenes in Tunisia, an Arab-Muslim country with a very long tradition of Islamic spirituality, or Sufism). The notion of the "Jedi Knights" is built very much on the quintessentially Muslim phenomenon of tariqah Sufism -- or the spirituality of the Sufi order.
Put aside the fact that all the Jedi nights have a garb that is basically a North African djellaba, which became popularized by Western adepts of Sufism in the 70s and onwards -- actually, let's not put that aside. But in any case -- it is abundantly clear that the small, green, Yoda is the Sufi master -- the murshid, or guide, that takes young Skywalker through the different levels of spiritual advancement, as he pursues the Absolute, al-Samad -- one of the attributes and "Names" of God in Islam. Or, if you prefer, "the Force." ~  "'Star Wars' or ISIS: Which is more Islamic?" by H.A. Hellyer, CNN, May 12, 2015.

The original Muslims at the time of Muhammad were in many ways similar to the Jedi of Star Wars. In fact, Muhammad did not himself use the word "Allah" (God), which derives from Christianity, but several different poetic synonyms for the one universal consciousness, or the Creation, which he often referred to as Al-Qaadir = the primal power, the destiny, which is quite similar to the term "the Force."
This word, basically "the Force", remains one of the "99 names of Allah" respected in Islam.
There may thus be an analogy in the collective subconscious between the training of Anakin by Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Anakin later turning to the Dark Side of the Force, and the development of these extremely barbaric and evil Islamist groups from Islam, such as ISIS and As-Shabaab, etc., i.e. the Force Awakens, and unfortunately that means that the Dark Side, Darth Vader/ISIS is trying to build its empire. 
Another noteworthy similarity: The Muslim greeting "May peace be with you" = the Jedi greeting "May the Force be with you." ~ Matthew Deagle

The Tunisian city of Tataouine, which has allegedly become a waypoint for IS fighters coming and going from their Libyan bases, is the inspiration and namesake of George Lucas's desert planet [Tatooine]. Source.

Colonel Mokhtar Hammami of the National Guard added: “I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that all is normal – in fact we’ve seen a big influx of foreign tourists and Tunisians.” He said the area around the sets was being patrolled by 1,500 troops…There are worries the inaccurate report [that Tataouine was overrun with ISIS fighters] will have further damaged the country’s tourist trade, already rocked by the attack [on March 18, 2015] by two Isis gunmen on the Bardo museum in Tunis which left 23 people dead. Source.

A murder-suicidal frenzy does not depend on strategic leadership, but only on the existence of the army of "lone nuts". ~ Maadi

Logan Again: Child Killing

The Logan name game appears, sadly, to have been in play again, this week.

On Monday, December 7, 2015, a 6-year-old boy named Logan was killed. Details of that tragedy, in a moment.

First, a reminder from last year:
The Name Game and Logan
In the 1970s, in Fortean Times, I first wrote an article about the "name game." I then extended my thoughts on this matter in my book Mysterious America (starting in 1983, through the revised edition of 2007), I highlighted in one chapter, the "Name Game," adding to the historically gathered examples.
I had first noted,
...devils' names and Fortean places. The fact that some areas had strange and weird vibrations or events connected to them gave Native Americans and later settlers enough evidence to actually label these locales after the Ruler of Hell. In America, the use of the name "devil" regarding certain geographical fixtures, therefore, gives some indication of a history of mystery surrounding these spots.
Needless to say, through my other books and this Twilight Language blog, the "name game" has been revisited often.
I've noticed, of late, that the name game is focussing on the moniker "Logan," and it is intensive, including mass shootings, especially for Utah.
In Gaelic the meaning of the name Logan is "from the hollow." In Scottish, the meaning is sometimes translated as "Finnian's servant."
Throughout 2014, I noted that Logan popped up, now and then, with the Ebola discovery, and in other incidents, too.

Now this bizarre story from Kentucky:

The Inquisitor, summarized the media reports and notes, in part:
A six-year-old Kentucky boy was stabbed to death by a man who broke into the family home in an apparent random attack. Logan Tipton was sleeping in his bed early Monday morning [December 7, 2015] when a stranger repeatedly stabbed him in the head with a kitchen knife, according to authorities. The suspect also tried to attack Logan’s siblings, but they only suffered minor cuts. Logan’s dad subdued the intruder, who is unknown to the family, until police arrived. “The boy’s father says his oldest daughter helped hide her siblings and fought with [the suspect] until her father could get there to help,” NBC News affiliate WTHR noted. The suspect, identified in multiple media accounts as Ronald Exantus, 32, is reportedly a registered nurse from Indianapolis, which is about 200 miles from the Versailles, Ky., pre-dawn crime scene.“According to court documents, the intruder… wandered around the home before walking up the stairs and stabbing a sleeping 6-year-old boy several times in the head ‘with a large kitchen knife that he obtained in the house,'” Fox 59 reported. In a court appearance on Monday, Exantus pleaded not guilty to murder and first-degree burglary and is being held on a $1 million bond. Authorities have been as yet unable to determine a motive for this horrible crime. The suspect is scheduled to be due back in court on December 14 for a preliminary hearing and on January 6. Additional criminal charges are also possible in the case.Exantus confessed to the killing, according to the New York Daily News and other media outlets. “Versailles police say they can’t find any connection between Ronald Exantus, who is charged with murder and burglary, and the Tipton family. Police say Exantus, who is originally from Florida, but lives in Indianapolis, does not appear to have any criminal history,” WKYT in Lexington reported. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty in the tragic death of Logan Tipton given that it was committed in the course of another felony.“Exantus’ attorney Bridget Holfer said she didn’t think Exantus was mentally competent and he may have schizophrenia. Police said Tuesday they did not why Exantus targeted the child or his house,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

There is a lack of clear history of the meaning of the name Exantus. It is frequently used in the Haitian language and appears to be French in origins. The name is found in Haiti, Florida, New York State, and is concentrated in one area in France, Ile-de-France.

Why would the Indianapolis resident Ronald Exantus pick Versailles, Kentucky, to randomly stop? Versailles, Kentucky, is named after Versailles, France, located near Paris.
The etymology of Versailles is clear that the argument tends to privilege the Latin word versare, meaning "to keep turning, turn over and over", expression used in medieval times for plowed lands, cleared lands (lands that had been repeatedly "turned over"). This word formation is similar to Latin seminare ("to sow") which gave French semailles ("sowings", "sown seeds"). Source

 Thanks for the lead to this recent Logan incident: Ezekielosiris