Categories
documentary religion

Jesus Freaks

Back in the 60’s and 70’s there was a “Jesus Movement” in the United States where a lot of young people involved in drugs, rock & roll, and the anti-establishment hippie culture found “salvation in Jesus” and turned to writing music centered on Christ. Pretty soon, there were enough people interested in the genre, that in 1979 Creation Festivals were started as an alternative venue to traditional rock concerts.

[..]Creationfest, [is] a four-day Christian rock show-cum-revival held every summer in Eastern Washington where religion, politics, and music collide. It is here that thousands of eager young Christians gather to worship, save souls, and get “Crunk on Christ”. Jesus Freaks takes you deep into the heart of this contemporary Christian culture where religion and rock n’ roll make strange bedfellows. (25 mins)

Quotable quote: “I betcha Jesus can, like, ya know, he’s the baddest b-boy in the world, ya know what I’m saying—he can do the windmill while doing the robot and the electric boogaloo at the same time, ya know.”

(via Smashing Telly)

Categories
humor religion

Mr. Deity

Mr. Deity is a clever video series that, to some, might explain why God acts the way he does. I particularly liked episodes 2 and 4.

Categories
documentary religion

The Most Hated Family in America

Who is the most hated family in America? Well it might just be the Fred Phelps family. As a result of their extremist family religion preaching hatred and intolerance, protesting at the funerals of US soldiers killed in Iraq, and being all around not nice people, nobody seems to like them.

Louis Theroux of the BBC presents the documentary “The Most Hated Family in America” (Wikipedia link).

Warning: this video contains offensive attitudes from homophobic nutcases!

Fantastic Louis Theroux documentary about homophobic, anti-semitic religious lunatics (Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church) in the USA. Originally aired on BBC2 (UK). If you can look past the epithets without being offended, it’s a laugh riot. Fred Phelps comes across as REALLY stupid!

Originally aired on BBC 2, UK, April 2007

(via Waxy)

Categories
religion

The Rough History of Disbelief

In the “History of Disbelief”, Jonathan Miller goes on a journey exploring the origins of his own lack of belief and uncovering the hidden story of atheism. From the BBC here are all three parts:

The history of disbelief continues with the ideas of self-taught philosopher Thomas Paine, the revolutionary studies of geology and the evolutionary theories of Darwin. Jonathan Miller looks at the Freudian view that religion is a “thought disorder”. He also examines his motivation behind making the series touching on the issues of death and the religious fanaticism of the 21st century.

Categories
documentary religion

Jesus Camp

The scoop on what it’s like to be a kid growing up in a fundamentalist extremist Evangelical Christian environment.

Hit play or watch at Google Video.
Update: Looks like the video is no longer up at Google Video. Try Oscar Torrents instead.

Update: The full movie is posted on Vimeo:

Jesus Camp from Loki Films on Vimeo.

Categories
backmasking religion

Michael Mills and Beatles Forever

Otis F. Odder is reviving his 365 Days project on the WFMU Beware of the Blog! He opens it with the complete recordings of the Michael Mills Satanic Messages Radio Show and the complete Beatles Forever recordings.

Previously: Michael Mills and the original 365 days project (at that time it was available only in excerpted form).

Categories
religion

The Atheist Delusion

Edward CurrentPreviously The Atheist Delusion (flash). Non-believers are such fools.

Categories
backmasking psychology religion

Jay-Z and his Unconscious Influence

I came across a video clip of a preacher speaking out against the Hip Hop artist Jay-Z. Proponents of the evils of backmasking, like this preacher, argue that the effects of listening to music with backward messages are manifested in an unconscious manner on the listener’s subsequent behaviour.

He states that:

the heavy metal folks used to do that and they would put the backwards masked messages in your music and they’d say that your subconscious is smart enough—that right brain was smart enough to decode and flip that message so by the time it got to your left brain you understood it and you didn’t even know you understood it. You just acted it out. Because they have the song called Another One Bites the Dust — Queen. Played it backwards it said, I like to smoke marijuana. Yeah, and then they interviewed kids and kids say when they listen to it they just wanna get high, they just want to smoke weed and they had no idea that that message was being reversed in their mind and causing them to want to do that.”

I’d like to point out that contrary to this preacher’s claims, studies have shown that it is, in fact, impossible for the subconscious mind to “decode and flip that message”.

In volume 40, No. 11 of American Psychologist (November 1985), psychologist professors John R. Vokey and J. Don Read address the possibility of unconscious influence within reversed audio.

The proponents of backmasking argue that the effects of greatest concern are not the consciously perceived meanings of backward messages but rather those effects arising from unconscious or subliminal apprehension of the (forward) meaning of the material. Consequently, we also used tasks that required less in the way of conscious apprehension of meaning. We reasoned that if some subconscious mechanism existed for the interpretation of backward messages and their influence upon behaviour, then this mechanism should allow decisions to be made about content without necessarily revealing that content.

Their series of properly controlled scientific experiments included:

  • Identifying whether a backward message when played forward was a statement or a question – 52.1% accuracy (50% expected on the basis of random assignment)
  • whether they believed two sentences had the same meaning with only changes in the active or passive voice or whether the two sentences had different meanings — 44.81% accuracy (50% expected on the basis of random assignment)
  • identifying a series of sentences into whether or not they would make sense if heard in the forward direction – 45.2% accuracy (50% expected on the basis of random assignment)
  • categorizing statements of the sort, “Jesus loves me, this I know” into one of five content categories: nursery rhymes, Christian, satanic, pornographic, and advertising. 19.4% accuracy (20% expected on the basis of random assignment)

Upon the completion of their experiments Vokey and Read concluded, “we could find no evidence that our listeners were influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by the content of backward messages.”

I’m not one to deny that it does SOUND like Jay-Z has an anti-religious message in the reverse clip. It’s my belief that if such a message is intentional, its purpose is to gain publicity for his album. By pointing it out, this video has actually done a favour for Jay-Z. The prudent thing to do would be to ignore such obvious attention grabbing tactics. Nevertheless preachers like this one continue to disseminate the false claim that backwards messages within music can influence those listening. I think it’s because that message draws big crowds and allows the preachers to more easily sell copies of their sermons on DVDs.


[Jay-Z Subliminal Message – YouTube]

(Thanks Cody)

Categories
backmasking psychology religion

Michael Mills Famous Backmasking Mp3

Back in 1981 a man by the name of Michael Mills created a radio show comprised of many backmasking clips purporting to show that rock music was influenced by satanic forces.

Thanks to the January 12th entry of the 365 days project you can listen to Michael Mills – Hidden & Satanic Messages In Rock Music (9MB mp3).

This 1981 Christian radio show (with host Michael Mills) exposes the threat of secret messages in your Rock and Roll! During the 45 minute radio show he covers a ton of artists… I’m playing 4 of my favourite segments on… Led Zeppelin, Kiss, The Beatles and Queen.

While I did find it interesting to listen to, I hope that you, the astute listener, will pick up on his lack of respect for the scientific process and see his motivation is fuelled by a preconceived hatred for rock music.

For example, not only is Mills sure to tell the listener what they are about to hear, before they have a chance to listen objectively themselves he also plays the backwards clips in such an order as to create a satanic message of his own arranging.

Near the end of the mp3 he shares the story of a young girl that complained that her room turned “an eerie and almost deathly cold” and claims that after she destroyed her KISS albums, the chills went away and we are left to assume the girl lived happily ever after. With his rearranging of backwards clips, his anecdotal evidence and his priming of the audience we know that what he presented is not scientific; clearly his agenda is that of closed minded fanatic.

Having said that, it is of course very entertaining — so enjoy, and be sure to get a permit before destroying your old records in a good old fashioned, satanic cleansing, barrel fire.

Update: Michael Mills and Beatles Forever.

Categories
religion

Map Gallery of Religion in the United States

Religion continues to appear widespread in the United States, judging from this interesting and well-put-together map gallery of religion that uses information from 2000. It gives a really good impression of where different denominations and religions are popular.

distribution of religion by county

The two thumbnails above are adherents (left) and church bodies (right).

(via Digg)