Seventh-day Adventist Lies: Coming Soon To A Mailbox Near You

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I opened my mailbox today to find a copy of a book called The Great Controversy.  It’s unknown to most sane people, but it’s a second bible to the brainwashed followers of the Seventh-day Adventist cult.  People who know anything about me will know that finding it in my mailbox did not brighten my day.

At first, I thought some Adventist robot had come by and dropped it in my mailbox.  As the postman made his way down the other side of the street, I asked him if he’d delivered it.  He was very apologetic.

“Believe me,” he said, shaking his head, “I don’t like delivering it anymore than you like getting it.  But they dropped off six pallets of these things last night.  They went to everybody in town.”

I’ve written at length about my upbringing in the Seventh-day Adventist cult, so I’m not going to rehash any of that here.  If you’re interested, Google me and you’ll find it.  Right now, I’m more interested in the fact that the cult is obviously so desperate that it’s resorting to something called “The Great Controversy Project,” an effort to distribute massive numbers of this book all over the country.  It’s pretty funny, actually.

The Great Controversy was written by Ellen G. White (pictured above), the founder and so-called “prophet” of the Seventh-day Adventist cult.  (The cult likes to call her the “co-founder,” giving some of the blame to her enabler husband, but it doesn’t fly — it’s Ellen’s baby.)  The current edition was originally published in 1911, but it’s been around in one form or another since 1888.  There are volumes of her writings, much of which are taken up by her descriptions of the “visions” she claimed god showed her.  That’s what Adventists believe, anyway.  It is widely known — and has been for 30 years — that White was an accomplished plagiarist who shamelessly lifted at least 80% of her writings from the work of others, and not only did she fail to give them credit, she claimed that god “showed” her all of these things.

She was a stern, power-hungry woman who admitted in a 1911 letter (which was reprinted in her book Counsels on Diet and Food) that she was an alcoholic.  It’s also believed by many that, after being hit in the head with a rock when she was a child and being in what sounds an awful lot like a coma for weeks, untreated, she suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, which frequently results in religious fanaticism.  Her combined writings are a toxic blend of stolen work, emotional terrorism, ignorance, lies, and just plain lunacy.

She wrote, among other things, that god showed her that “other races” were the result of humans having sex with animals; that reading fiction can cause physical paralysis and insanity, and that masturbation — one of her favorite topics — would cause a long list of ailments including diabetes, bleeding of the lungs, insanity, cancer and death; that god took her to Jupiter, which she claimed was inhabited by “a tall, majestic people, so unlike the inhabitants of earth”; that England would attack and defeat the U.S. during the Civil War and that slavery would exist in the U.S. until the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Adventists are very proud of the “health message” that god showed Ellen and that she passed on to them.  This “health message” has at its center a vegetarian diet, which Adventists today will tell you is strictly for health reasons.  The sad fact is that even they don’t know the truth behind it because the cult has done a crafty job of covering up some of the more embarrassing claims made by their infallible prophet of god, especially to the faithful, who continue to be deliberately lied to about everything.  One of those embarrassing claims — the one that started the whole Adventist vegetarian thing — was that eating meat (and spicy foods) would inflame the “animal passions” in a human being and make him or her want to masturbate, and at the very foundation of Ellen’s “health message” was the claim that virtually all of the ailments that plague humankind come from masturbation.

Those are only a few examples of what the Seventh-day Adventist cult really is.  It’s all insanity.  But the cult places Ellen on the same level of significance as biblical prophets, which means all that insanity is the infallible word of god.

The fact that at least 80% of her work was stolen has been known for some time, but it wasn’t until the arrival of the internet that the information became available to anyone who was interested in finding it.  That has had an enormous impact on the Seventh-day Adventist cult, as it has on all religion.

In 2011, Josh McDowell of the Campus Crusade for Christ said that the internet was the biggest threat to Christianity in the world.  He claimed, “I made the statement off and on for 10-11 years that the abundance of knowledge, the abundance of information, will not lead to certainty; it will lead to pervasive skepticism. And, folks, that’s exactly what has happened.”  That “pervasive skepticism,” of course, has been aimed specifically at what McDowell and others are peddling.  They don’t like it.  It’s bad for business.  That “abundance of information” is inspiring people to turn their backs on religion’s lies.

Nothing damages the nonsense claims of religion more than access to information, and it has been devastating to the Seventh-day Adventist cult, because it has much more to hide than most.  Between 2000 and 2005 alone, 1.5 million people left Adventism.  I have nothing to back me up on this, but I’m guessing that most of those people left because they figured out it’s nothing but a scam on the same level as pyramid marketing or chain letters.

It’s one thing for someone like Ellen White — a Victorian-era alcoholic plagiarist who possibly suffered from brain damage, was obsessed with masturbation, and amassed a following of largely ignorant rural people who had trouble spelling their own names — to write the things she did at the time that she wrote them.  But it’s quite another for the fat, expensively dressed executives of the Seventh-day Adventist corporation to support what she wrote, to insist that it came from god, and to condemn anyone who doesn’t accept it in 2012 when they know it’s all a bunch of crap.

Adventism makes tithing a salvational issue.  If you’re an Adventist and you don’t hand over 10% of all your earnings to the church, you are damned.  That might sound silly to you, but imagine if you were raised to believe that.  My parents, Ray and Pat Garton, had very little in their lives.  They were uneducated and struggled to get by.  And yet, they never failed to give 10% of their meager earnings to the Seventh-day Adventist cult — because they were afraid not to.  In return, the church has done absolutely nothing for them.  When I was a boy, my mother used to clean the Anderson, California, Seventh-day Adventist church.  That was her job.  She was the janitor.  And they treated her like shit.  I watched it.  I was there.  I saw the contempt, the disdain.  And yet she practically wept with gratitude whenever any of those arrogant, hateful people so much as spoke to her.  She feels no different to this day.  She’s 82 years old and has told me more than once that her religion is the most important thing in life to her — more important than her family.

The cult has a vast private school system, second only to the Catholic church, which it despises and claims is the “beast of Revelation.”  However much the cult may rail against the Catholic church, it follows their lead in shuffling around any faculty members who get caught fondling or fucking their children; their crimes are covered up and they are transferred to other positions in other schools.  At the school I attended (then Lawncrest Junior Academy, now Redding Adventist Academy), we had a principal who, unknown to us at the time, had been a teacher at another school in the system and had been caught fondling little girls.  They covered it up and moved him, promoting him to the position of principal at our school.  The Adventist school system encourages its students to go into lucrative fields.  The “my son the doctor” syndrome is not limited to the Jewish faith — it is alive and well in Adventism, where the great hope is that all Adventist students will be financially successful so the 10% it sucks out of them will amount to as much as possible.

The Seventh-day Adventist cult is a corporation and the brand’s logo is Ellen G. White.  That logo has been tarnished for a long time, and word is spreading far and wide that the only thing the cult has to stand on — the lunatic writings of this perverted madwoman — is a lie.  Without White, the Adventists are nothing more than Seventh-day Baptists or Jews for Jesus.  Ellen is what sets them apart.  And she has been exposed.  (If this sort of thing interests you, all the information you need about White has been assembled at two large websites here and here.)

How does the cult respond to the fact that it’s hemorrhaging members?  By launching “The Great Controversy Project” and sending out massive numbers of this plagiarized book of fear and insanity that it hopes no one knows anything about.  It might show up in your mailbox soon, if it hasn’t already.

Hey, when your postman actually apologizes for delivering something to your mailbox, you know it can’t be good.

The cult puts up a great front for outsiders and has managed to fool many who know little or nothing about them into admiring them.  But within the invisible walls that surround this isolated, insular cult, Adventists are like spiders and snakes — they eat their own.  The damage they do to their own people, especially the children they raise in fear and ignorance, is incalculable.

I’ve been on Facebook for a few years.  I started an account mostly to promote my books, but I ended up meeting a lot of wonderful people who have, much to my surprise, actually brought a lot of enjoyment to my life.  The downside is that all the people from my Seventh-day Adventist past oozed out of the woodwork.  These were people I’d gone to school with or known in church as I was growing up, people who always disapproved of me, though they frequently assured me that they loved me “anyway,” to let me know they were such righteous folk that they were willing to love scum like me even though I didn’t deserve it.  On Facebook, they went to work on me immediately.  They did not see me as a person, of course, but as a project, as someone who needed to be fixed, brought back, saved.

Bob Mason, pastor of the Ceres, California, Seventh-day Adventist church, was one of the most active.  He was soooo nice.  Just gushing with sweetness.  He frequently pointed out to me, without hesitation or shame, that he was being nice to me even though I’m a horror writer and a non-believer, as if he expected some kind of reward.  When Christopher Hitchens died last year and I posted about it, Pastor Bob revealed his fangs when he made an intentionally nasty comment suggesting that I saw Hitchens as a secular Jesus Christ.  Up to that point, I’d tolerated his cloying, artificial sweetness — knowing full well that it was artificial — but after that, I deleted him.

Then I purged my Facebook page of the most offensive people from my Adventist past.  People like Sherrie Fuller-Wendt and her husband Scott, who can’t seem to open their mouths or type on a keyboard without saying something about Jesus or god or Ellen White, so deep is the trance in which they live.  Or David Blue, who wanted to know if I had any requests for him to pass on to god the next time they spoke.  Or any of the others who simply could not shut.  The fuck.  Up.  About their insane beliefs.  The contents of my Facebook page leave no doubt about who I am today and that I’m not interested in what they’re selling, but they didn’t care, because they don’t see me as a human being.  They see me as a possible “get,” someone they could lure back to their cult.  They are sad, pathetic people who, due to fear and willful ignorance, are unable or unwilling to see just how vile their behavior is and exactly what horrible people it’s turned them into.

I don’t seek them out.  I want nothing to do with the Seventh-day Adventist cult or its followers.  But it keeps popping up in my life.  I don’t want to hear Adventists — or anyone else — express their concern for my soul.  It’s none of their business.  The Seventh-day Adventist cult has done more than enough damage in my life, thank you very much.  All I want, more than anything, is for it to leave me the hell alone.  But it won’t.

And today, I opened my mailbox to find that perverted madwoman’s book, The Great Controversy.  It was there thanks to the pastor of the Anderson Seventh-day Adventist church, a sweaty-palmed little English homunculus named Terry Mason (no relation to Pastor Bob, as far as I know).  He gave the eulogy at my father’s funeral.  I walked out on it.  It was clear to me from his first few sentences that he did not know my father, not even a little.  Mason described him as a good man who “deeply loved god and his family.”  Nope, he didn’t know Dad at all, and couldn’t even successfully pull off pretending to have known him.  But those first few sentences were the only ones that even mentioned my father.  He then launched into a commercial for his cult with a retelling of the story of Lazarus, one of the zombies in the bible.  (Somehow, what I do — writing horror fiction — is wrong, but Pastor Mason has no problem with telling zombie stories at the funeral of a man he claimed to know but didn’t.)  So my wife and I stood up and left.

Like all clergymen, Mason is a professional liar.  But he’s a liar for a corporation/cult that is made up of nothing but lies.  Therefore, he has no qualms about sending to everyone in town a copy of a book that is known to have been plagiarized by a woman who admitted to being a drunk while she was telling everyone not to drink alcohol, a woman we now know — we don’t suspect, we don’t speculate, we KNOW — was full of the worst kind of steaming, glistening, fly-drawing shit.

All religion is a form of self-imposed mental illness, but the Seventh-day Adventist cult is a gothic insane asylum.  It’s members cling desperately to the lies it has indoctrinated into most of them from infancy onward, lies that come with crippling fear and paranoia and have rendered so many of them unable to function productively outside the cult.  And now it’s trying to spread its insanity in the form of this book of stolen words and deliberate falsehoods.  It may be coming to your mailbox soon.  If it does, it came from your local Seventh-day Adventist church.

My advice?  It should go straight from the mailbox into the garbage can.  With apologies to your garbage can.

About Ray Garton

I am the author of more than 60 books, including the horror novels LIVE GIRLS, CRUCIFAX, LOT LIZARDS and THE LOVELIEST DEAD, and the thrillers SEX AND VIOLENCE IN HOLLYWOOD, MURDER WAS MY ALIBI, TRADE SECRETS, TRAILER PARK NOIR, and my newest thriller, MEDS Please visit my website for more information: http://www.raygartononline.com
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27 Responses to Seventh-day Adventist Lies: Coming Soon To A Mailbox Near You

  1. MacJew says:

    Ray, much as I respect you, should I get one of these in the mail, it will most certainly not go in the trash. I’ll keep it for those just in case times when I’m out of toilet paper.

  2. Ray Garton says:

    LOL! ~(:-D

  3. Lynda M O says:

    Those people are flippin’ nuts. My mom is a fundie and I hate all religious crap and I love Dawkins and wept when Hitch passed. Damn those cigarettes he loved all the way to death. MacJew, I spit water on my keyboard when I read your comment; right on !~!
    <);~P (you inspired me to try to draw myself)

  4. yonnie says:

    Hey, I grew-up at Rio Lindo. My dad helped build the place and we lived there for almost 30 years(before, during and after construction. He also worked at PUC and the St. Helena Sanitarium. He was a lay-preacher on week-ends and we visited and passed-out literature every weekend as well as held prayer-meetings Wed. & Fri. My father had every book every written by Ellen, plus every reference book, etc… (vast library) By the time I was 15, I started finding excuses to not go to church and after 16 only went when dad insisted as I had my own wheels. My experience with the advents wasn’t as bad as yours, but I did leave as I couldn’t find how believing in a god made any sense and reading history lead me to believe that religion was an invention by those in power to rule the masses via fear of the unknown (death). I later came to the conclusion that religion and science were also incompatible and interfered with my work. I am now a complete atheist along with several other students I know from Rio.

  5. I never knew much about this cult/sect/collective of insanity, but there’s a church of them nearby my place and hell, if that book ever lands in my mailbox I’ll light the fireplace with it.
    There’s hardly something new about the religious insanity thing, people just love to cling to something, but it challenges me to imagine why someone would cling to THIS.

  6. Randall says:

    My father was an SDA minister. I lived at Rio Lindo Academy for several years as my father moved from church to church. There is a story in that all by itself. Reading Yonnie’s post makes me wonder if we met.
    I agree with Ray — saw it and lived in it. My parents even thought we were indirectly related to the Whites. How do I type “Splendid” in a sarcastic tone?
    My take on the exodus of membership is lack of relevancy. As more information comes available through the Internet and other sources, thinking people get the picture and look elsewhere for meaning in their lives. I prefer Monty Python myself. Their definition is a logical as any other.

  7. Zarathustra says:

    Aaaaah some kindling for my fireplace……

  8. Robster says:

    Even in Australia, these poor sad godbots are hard at work selling their nonsense. They delivered a copy of their little book of tripe in our mail box and followed up a week later with a ….visit! There were four of them, two young men, one from Papua New Guinea, one from the Phillipines and two more mature blokes, an Aussie and another from New Guinea. Funny thing, they seemed to agree with everything I offered in response to their nonsense and happily nodded when I suggested that their god (and every other god) is a dismal failure. I was then offered “free” tickets to an adventist “study seminar” to investigate the “truth” of the bible. It was presented in a very well prepared flyer, lots of colour pics and positive words full of smiling faces. When they were about to leave, the younger new Guinean wandered over and asked for my phone number, I was concerned that I’d be bombarded with endless calls, but he said he needed to get out but, as he was in Australia on a mission with the church he couldn’t move as he’d be sent home. I was unable to help. He was a nice kid, I don’t know how long he’d been entangled with them but he’d already realised just how silly it all was and said the only reason he’d become involved was to get a free trip to Australia. I do wonder hows he’s going. Poor kid. He could have said no, go away.

  9. HollyEva says:

    I will be angry if I receive one. For many reasons, but particularly for their casual waste of the money they’ve bilked out of their brainwashed membership. I hate the SDA church – my misled mother destroyed our family because of her susceptibility to it.

  10. Bronze Dog says:

    The SDA church makes me really glad my Christian upbringing was a very liberal one. I don’t envy those of you who grew up in such restrictive environments.

  11. noname says:

    I stopped attending adventist church after high school. During my college years I attended mainstream christian churches and occasionally reform jewish services at a nearby temple. During childhood I recall being told that adventism is the true religion but I don’t recall them saying, “We believe in such-and-such. Instead I was told that the Sunday Law will happen someday not “We believe it will happen”.

    I visit websites such as formeradventist.com and ex-christian.net. I seriously considered registering on the former because posters tell of their similar experiences with adventism, but since the constant quoting of scripture irritated me, I registered on the latter, which has been helpful for me.

    I never read any of Ellen White’s books growing up, but I remember reading children’s magazines such as Our Little Friend, Primary Treasure, and Guide, which would mention her occasionally. By the time I was a teenager I occasionally read Insight but I was old enough to make my own decisions and eventually stopped caring what she said about diet.

    As a 41-year-old man I still feel resentful towards adventism and I visit Gleaneronline.org to figure out why. I feel as though I should have gotten over it by now, but at times it’s difficult to do so. For those that may not know, Gleaner is a magazine from the Pacific Northwest. I used to live in Washington state back in the 1980′s, but now I now live in California.

    During childhood I didn’t know what a cult was and my brain wasn’t as fully developed as it is now. IMO the internet is a very useful tool because I can search for information anytime I want.

  12. Lark LaTroy says:

    It seems rather clear that Ellen G. White, could have been a pioneer for a sex positive culture. Well, if she hadn’t jumped into the deep end of pushy blue nosed idiocy. As with research done today, those that bitch the loudest about “teh gays”, are turning out to be more involved than they want people to know. Perhaps Lush White just couldn’t keep her hands out of her bloomers, so she complained about it, while trying to drown her guilt in booze.

    A sad tale really, like most religious icons. Just sad little people that couldn’t deal with their flaws.

  13. Sue Blue says:

    Ray, I’m totally with you in everything you said in your post. I was raised in the SDA cult; my mother and her side of the family are third-generation Adventists. My dad was sent to an Adventist high school to “straighten him out”, and he’s been a nominal Adventist ever since – I don’t know if he really believes, but he just sort of follows my mom’s lead. I left the church for good in 1989 but never bothered to have my name removed from the books. At sixteen I had a baby; I was brought back into the church after some teen rebellion by my mother, who, together with the youth pastor, convinced me that I was utterly damned and that I would condemn my illegitimate son to a life of perversion and crime and eventual damnation unless I crawled back to the Lord on my knees and paid my dues to the church. The pastor became a sort of “father” figure for my son…but he used that to get to me. I was sexually exploited and abused for nearly 10 years. I didn’t dare speak out because I was sure that as a teenaged slut and fallen woman, no one would believe me. I was sure I would be driven out of the community and left to my own resources, which as a minimum-wage worker with a child to support, were pretty slim. the pastor wasn’t the only one; an elder assaulted me during a church youth swimming party. My mother was always trying to hook me up with Adventitst men, who didn’t want a single mom as a future wife – only as a sex partner. The church women ignored me or despised me as a temptress. I turned over my tithe regularly, taught kindergarten Sabbath school classes, ate the VegeCrap, attended every church function…yet I was still just the prodigal slut. I wasted nearly 10 years in which I could have been improving my life for my self and my son on this organization of bigotry, fear, and guilt.
    I finally left, went back to school, and became a happy, successful atheist nurse. I’ve been happily married to my atheist husband for 21 years and have raised two happy children church-free. Yet the scars remain.
    My mother is still wasting what’s left of her life on the SDA church. Recently she received a retirement fund from a hospital where she worked in the 1970s. She turned the entire amount over to the church to salve her guilty conscience for not paying tithe during a time early in her marriage when she and my dad briefly left the church during the 1960s. Retirement money that could have been used to increase the comfort of their retirement years or help some of their grandchildren who are in need, or pay off their medical bills for my dad’s cancer – wasted on the church. My mother spends countless hours on her knees angsting over whether her children will be in heaven with her. She refuses to wear a wedding ring. The extreme Wiemar Institute lacto-ovo vegetarian diet nearly starved her to death. I see the damage Adventism has done to her life and I’m angry. I’m angry that the pastor who abused me is now dead and never answered for his actions. I’m angry that my sister and her children were violently abused for 15 years by her Adventist husband, who was an Adventist pastor with a Master’s degree in theology from PUC. When she appealed to the church for help, her husband was demoted and eventually kicked out of the church, but she was convinced by an Adventist marriage counselor not to divorce him. He later beat her so badly that she was admitted to a trauma unit with 3 broken ribs and a broken pelvis. She left the church and divorced him, but he continues to threaten and harass her and hold their children hostage in a never-ending war against her.
    I’m angry that I wasted all that time, effort, money, and emotion on a ridiculous but dangerous cult – years I can never get back and can never forget.
    Recently, two Adventist co-pastors from the local church tracked me down and showed up at my door. They had been contacted by the new pastor at my former church in another state who was trying to update church membership. My old pastor had told him where I’d moved.
    I’m afraid I was not very civil. I told them exactly what I thought of the SDA church, their cultishness, their crazy-assed beliefs, their batshit crazy “prophet”, and told them to get the hell out. My husband then threw them off our property. It felt so good to finally unleash some of that anger. Unfortunately, it probably just fueled their belief that people become atheists because of rebellion against god. In my case, my atheism had almost nothing to do with that – it was based on my college science education.
    Sorry for the loooooong rant, but your post was great and I just had to get the SDA monkey off my back! Thanks for pointing out the SDA bullshit. I just wish my mother would read your post!

  14. Sue Blue says:

    P.S. I burned my copy of The Great Controversy, along with several other Adventist publications, years ago. My mom still sends me the Gleaner and the Adventist Review, and they go straight into the recycling bin.

  15. Ray Garton says:

    That’s an upsetting story, Sue. The most unusual thing about it is that your sister’s Sadventist pastor husband was actually demoted and later kicked out of the cult. That’s not typical. Usually, the only thing you can do to get kicked out of the cult is start telling the truth about Ellen White out loud. I’m sorry you went through that, but I’m glad you’re past the worst. It never goes away entirely, though, because as you pointed out, you can never get back all that wasted time. And the emotional scars take a long time to fade. Congratulations on getting out of the cult!

    Thank you to everyone who’s shared their story. And I hope more will do the same.

  16. Robster says:

    Poor old Ellen White was a bit errr…ugly. She probably chose the dead magic jew and his genocidal father ‘coz she couldn’t get attention any other way.

  17. Sue Blue says:

    Thanks, Ray. I wish I could get those years back knowing what I know now. That thing with my sister’s husband was even worse than what I went through. He wasn’t actually kicked out at first; they went to a counselor and she was told to “work harder” to please him, and that divorce was sinful. It wasn’t until the police got involved (they were notified by the hospital when she was admitted with injuries that were obviously the result of a severe beating) that the church finally censored him and eventually defrocked him. It wasn’t because of concern for my sister; it was that having a pastor serving jail time made them look bad.

  18. Ray Garton says:

    Ah, so they didn’t actually do anything about it until he got caught by the REAL authorities. That’s typical. There’s a reason a lot of that stuff never gets reported — the victims are convinced that they shouldn’t report it. Nothing gets a faster response than the possibility of being publicly cast in a bad light.

  19. Andrew says:

    I recently received a copy of The Great Controversy, and it’s now on my bookshelf with all my other religion books. I’m not an Adventist myself, but they have a pretty big community here, and they’re pretty good people, by and large. Burning said book shows a profound lack of respect for others, and it’s not something I would personally condone. I am a little troubled, however, by such open hostility aimed at religion. I think some of these issues can be discussed more civilly with mutual respect.

  20. Ray Garton says:

    If you’re not an Adventist, Andrew, then what the Adventist community shows you as an outsider is what they want you to see and nothing more. I assure you there’s more, but they don’t want you to see it. You’re praising something you know nothing about and criticizing me for pointing out the foundation of lies on which this cult is built. That’s a little weird, if you ask me. But, hey, I wouldn’t want to discourage you from collecting all those books by frauds, fanatics and the mentally ill. I wouldn’t want the harm this cult does to so many to spoil your enjoyment of all those feverish visions and wailing jeremiads. Although how you can read with your head stuck so deep in all that sand is a mystery to me.

  21. Andrew says:

    I don’t mean to imply that I am more knowledgeable about the religion than one who belonged to it. I read the introduction to the collection “Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth,” and don’t doubt what was written there. Truly, religion can be used to justify some pretty horrendous acts. I just don’t know if it is fair to universally apply such criticisms to the entire faith and its adherents. I come from a Mormon background and my experiences have been far more positive. And I see a lot of the same criticisms from former members of my church, many of which I know are false. so I tend to take some claims with a grain of salt and acknowledge that biases are going to form on both sides.

    And as a note, I am able to read my collection of religious literature because I’m always interested in increasing knowledge about other cultures and customs. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that; it allows me to keep an open mind.

  22. Fallen Miracle says:

    Ray,

    This would seriously have too be the most honest and true evaluation of the SDA cult I have ever read. I too was brought up an Adventist and it has dOne a considerable amount of damage, stunting my growth in all areas of life. Even though my family left back in 83 after the Des Ford fiasco, dad has still held to many of their cult beliefs. But thanks to the anti SDA websites now on the net, I have been slowly deprogramming him. I also had a hell of a time dealing with those in power, the more questions I asked, the more I was black marked behind my back and treated like a threat. Now I am a proud atheist and am finally free from all their bullshit. I think they are a pack of lying cunts!

  23. Fallen Miracle says:

    I also want to add that this great controversy project is a huge money grab, and is going to make the church millions. MOst of them will end up in the bin, but I feel sorry for all those stupid enough whO reads it and then them and all their family gets sucked in to the cult. The damage it will do to their kids is irreversible , I wish they were all locked up!

  24. Ray Garton says:

    Andrew wrote: “I just don’t know if it is fair to universally apply such criticisms to the entire faith and its adherents.”

    You’ve accused me of doing something I haven’t done. I do not “universally apply” my criticisms in any situation. I haven’t done that here, and I think you know that. It is possible — and quite common — to criticize a religion without targeting every single person who subscribes to that religion. But I really don’t think that’s your issue here. Judging by your first post, your problem seems to be that I’m criticizing religion, period. You wrote, “I am a little troubled, however, by such open hostility aimed at religion. I think some of these issues can be discussed more civilly with mutual respect.” I think that’s the problem you have with this. It can be boiled down to two words: Stop that! Your plea for “mutual respect” is completely transparent because you’re not interested in anything mutual here, you just want me to shut up. And yet, just before that sentence, you wrote, “Truly, religion can be used to justify some pretty horrendous acts.” First, you agreed that religion can do horrible things, then you claimed to be “troubled” by hostility toward it. I hate to be the one to point this out to you, Andrew, but that doesn’t make any sense. You appear to be having an argument with yourself, not with me.

    “And I see a lot of the same criticisms from former members of my church, many of which I know are false.”

    If you’re a Mormon, then I’m not surprised that you hear similar criticisms because both cults have very similar problems. It’s possible that you’re simply not seeing the problem. That doesn’t mean the criticisms are false, or that no problem exists, it could simply mean you’re not seeing it. And it’s possible that you can’t see the problem because you’re part of it. I’m not saying you are, but that has been my experience. The people most resistant to the very possibility that their particular denomination or religion could be harming people are usually the people doing some of the harming. And that makes sense, doesn’t it? Just as people of one religion can see the cognitive dissonance and utter nonsense in other religions but not their own, the people within a religion who do the most harm to their fellow believers are unable — or unwilling — to see the harm they’re doing. My theory is that it’s because they enjoy it too much.

    You don’t seem to have anything to contribute here, Andrew, you just don’t like religion being questioned or criticized. You’re the Atheist Oasis equivalent of a troll, Andrew.

  25. MacJew says:

    As should be evident from my name, I’m Jewish. However, I will be first in line to point out the problems of my Religion. When Religion hurts people, then it becomes problematic. The NYC Mohels who use an outdated circumsizion ritual and end up giving babies a strain of herpes is a perfect example.

    Ray, I am a firm believer our pasts help shape who we are. You, however, are a prime example that our pasts do not define us. Instead, you have moved beyond it, marrying a beautiful woman, and you have proven again and again just how intelligent you are.

  26. Stardust says:

    I recently received a copy of The Great Controversy, and it’s now on my bookshelf with all my other religion books.

    Why? For what useful purpose?

    I’m not an Adventist myself, but they have a pretty big community here, and they’re pretty good people, by and large.

    How do you know that for certain. Many believers of various cults and sects put on their “friendly face” for outsiders…trying to lure potential victims into their web of insanity.

    Burning said book shows a profound lack of respect for others, and it’s not something I would personally condone.

    Why the fuck would you “respect” such a cult? Just because it’s is a religious cult it is worth of respect? I think not. That is the problem…too many think you must “respect” anything that is a religion. We can respect peoples’ rights to believe whatever bullshit they choose, but we don’t have to respect the religious doctrine and beliefs themselves. It is our right to burn such harmful shit so we are not personally responsible for inadvertently passing it along to some other person.

    I am a little troubled, however, by such open hostility aimed at religion.

    Your generalization makes me think that you might be a troll. This is an atheist site and what did you expect to find here? We bring up the harmful effects of religion that many of us have encountered and what we have seen practiced in the world in the name of various religions.

    I think some of these issues can be discussed more civilly with mutual respect.

    Try discussing mutual respect for other people’s beliefs or non-beliefs with a Baptist…they won’t consider it, or a Muslim in the Middle East as another example. All the while some of the moderates are pretending to be “tolerant” of non-believers, they are always considering how they can get you to come join them.

  27. Curiosity King says:

    Bravo on this article. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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