December 15, 2007

Book Review: The Thundering

First Thunder: An Adventure of Discovery, by MSI (Society for Acension, 1996, ISBN 0-931783-07-0)

This book was written by: MSI, who, according to the last page of the book, "personally trains teachers of the seven spheres described in his books. He presently resides at the Society for Acension's academy in the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina." He also writes in the introduction to Second Thunder that "I am an Unbounded Being. Living in a human body, I experience the Ascendant continually, twenty-four hours a day." At the time of the book's publication, MSI was willing to teach seminars on Ascending in exchange for a reasonable fee.

What is in this book: "a Teaching founded by Christ and his beloved Disciple John, a precious knowledge with enough power to transform the Earth within a single generation" (p.28). However, First Thunder lays out this teaching in a first-person narrative, where an everyman with "no fondness for cults or anti-Christian practices" (p.11), who admits that the sight of a parked Acura makes him "irritated at my poverty and chain of failures,"(p.20) finds out that his friend Ollie "has been studying and Ascending with a group of monks who belive they are following the true but hidden teachings of John--and of Christ" (p.11).
Ollie meets a violent death--struck by a car--and the narrator travels to the Ishaya monastery with a love interest and an academic doctor, where the three of them learn that a group of monks "wanted to keep [the teaching of Acension] a secret for monks only; they belive it's too good for average people and belongs only to those who give up all worldly desires and dedicate their lives completely to God." (p.24) The three of them and the monks struggle with the decision to make this knowledge "from the Apostle John" (p.76) available to the public.

What is not in this book: Tables, charts, or easy-to-read lists of the Seven Spheres. This is because in a conversation with Boanerge, Son of Thunder, the narrator learns that "a 'how-to' manual simply wouldn't work in today's world" (p.239). Also, "there'd be a lot of superficial people, just skimming through the pages, not trying the techniques to see if they worked. And, once you'd printed the Attitudes, they'd become public knowledge, there'd be no more confidentiality."(p.238-239)
This is a bold choice, as a dialogue between the everyman, the love interest, and the embodiment of modern scholastic knowledge exploring the teachings that are "most assuredly" from the Apostle John (p.73) could be insightful and enlightening in the hands of a skilled author. However, they risk coming across as repetitive and leaden, with little to break up the pages and pages of discussion if laid out in the inept prose of someone just pushing an agenda.

Would you recommend this book to Lion-O? Possibly, but he would need at least need a "Cats - HO!" and preferably two more instances of thunder if he wanted to get serious about activating the Eye of Thundera in the Sword of Omens to rally the other Thundercats.

Would you recommend this book to Hulk Hogan? Maybe. These meditations are supposed to bring about paradise on earth, but it is unclear as to whether that paradise contains a bitchin' high-tech boat.

What is interesting about this book: The factual liberties taken by the author "to enable those who prefer to belive this book is just a novel to be able to do so easily" (afterword). These include Ollie's death, an explosion in Skala harbor, and the deaths of 105 of the Ishaya monks during the India-Pakistan war. They also help to tone down the electrifying and potentially controversial nature of the Seven Spheres Teachings, which would be completely riveting if separated out on their own:

"Use Cognition after each repetition of each of the Attitudes. Praise Attitude, Cognition; Praise Attitude, Cognition; Praise Attitude, Cognition. Then Gratitude, Cognition; Gratitude, Cognition; Gratitude, Cognition. Then Love, Cognition; Love, Cognition; Love, Cognition. Like that." (p.274-275)

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December 2, 2007

Book Review: Everybody's Talking 'Bout Crop Circles

The Talk of the Galaxy: An ET Message for Us? by Paul LaViolette, PhD (Starlane Publications, 2000, ISBN 0-9642025-3-0)

This book was written by: Paul A. LaViolette, who is the author of five books, and who holds a BA in physics from Johns Hopkins and a PhD from Portland State. According to his website,, Dr. LaViolette is the developer of subquantum kinetics, which resolves the field singularity problem, the wave-particle dualism, and the field source problem, and he is also co-developer of the Gray-LaViolette feeling tone theory which explains how the brain/mind forms creative thoughts. His website also states that "He is the first to discover that certain ancient creation myths and esoteric lores metaphorically encode an advanced science of cosmogenesis. His contributions to the field of Egyptology and mythology may be compared to the breaking of the Rosetta Stone hieroglyphic code."

What is in this book: A discussion of pulsars as artificially created by an advanced galactic society to indicate key points and events within the galaxy. Dr. LaViolette makes this argument by showing that pulsars themselves are too regular (or not regular enough) to occur naturally. Although the individual pulses of a pulsar are irregular, "precise regularity emerges only when many pulses have averaged together to produce a time-averaged pulse profile," (p.10, emphasis the author's) which looks absolutely identical to a time-averaged pulse profile made up of the average of a number of other pulses made by that pulsar. If the fact that these time-averaged pulses are all occurring at exactly average intervals and have an exactly average duration is not enough to convince skeptics, "the highest concentration of pulsars is not found near the galactic nucleus, as one might expect if pulsars were natural stellar objects born out of supernova explosions."(p.20) Instead, these location of these pulsars indicate "a network of beacons [that] would have meaning only from our particular Galactic locale with its particular perspective for viewing the Galactic center direction."(p.25, emphasis the author's) Dr. LaViolette uses "star lore mythology"(p.48) to show how these beacons commemorate a catastrophic event that occurred around 14,000 BC, by appearing in constellations like Orion, who is "a memorial set in the sky to honor those who died in this global catastrophe."(p.88-89)
The same technology that created these pulsars may also be in use by aliens to make crop circles "as a way of giving us blatant demonstrations of the technology that we hopefully will one day develop ourselves to protect our planet." (p.149)

What is not in this book: Indecision regarding the course of action that needs to be taken regarding with advanced technologies. The Starburst Foundation research institute, of which Dr. LaViolette is president, "has advocated that governments who are developing microwave phase conjugate technology for military warfare instead redirect their efforts toward setting up a force field shield for the purposes of planetary defense. The project could be called Project Centaur, named after the Centaurus constellation which depicts a Centaur with raised shield, presumably protecting our solar system from the onslaught of superwave cosmic rays and cosmic dust." (p.148-149)

Would you recommend this book to proponents of Intelligent Design? Maybe. Dr. LaViolette himself writes that he "began to consider the possibility that pulsars might be a natural phenomenon and that their conveyed message might reflect the presence of a high intelligence permeating the universe and attempting to make its presence known to us on a grand scale"(p.123). However, he "thought of a different method of generating pulsar signals that made it possible to once again reconsider the hypothesis that pulsars might be artifacts of Galactic civilizations,"(p.123) so they might have to throw down over whether pulsars are generated by god or aliens (unless they were closet Raelians).

Would you recommend this book to someone with a speech impediment? Yes. It might give them solace to know that while their problems making themselves heard are dwarfed by the communication problems that these aliens have been facing.

What was interesting about this book: The author's diagrams of advanced technology, like figure 45, the proposed schematic of a phase conjugate microwave resonator and associated aerial plasmoid. (p.133)
Also of interest is the author's proposed course of action:

"We may already know enough about the galactic core explosion message of the pulsar network to allow us to devise a return message that would let nearby Galactic civilizations know that we are aware of their transmissions. We could recreate the Crab-Vela pulsar arrow [....] Since our transmissions would symbolically be laying out an arrow along the ground, we should be prepared to expect a close encounter or landing somewhere beyond the tip of our "Vela pulsar" transmitter. It would perhaps be prudent to mark out a specific landing site using an array of landing lights."(p.151)

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December 1, 2007

Bitterly Books: What is in this Blog?

Bitterly Books takes caustic, uncomplimentary tours through ill-advised and poorly executed nonfiction. Because nonfiction is where it's at.

Sure, you could piss your life away reading about assorted Beowulves and Kings Lear, but they'd never teach you how to earn a six-figure salary or cope with a loved one's video game addiction.

Has Harry Potter ever explained what to do if you're big, beautiful, and pregnant? Do you think that kid from Twilight is going to know why men and women talk differently?

It's true that various bawdy pilgrims and green knights have their place in a well-rounded education, but you've also got to educate yourself about the secret message hidden in your hands and why the American Economy is now, and will always be, in great shape.

You'd better get started.

That's why Bitterly Books presents this guide to nonfiction. It's arranged by the following categories:

Books about Personal Growth: All books help you grow and develop as a person, but these books make a special effort to help you step outside your comfort zone and take the risks necessary to more fully realize your potential. Whether you're focused on earning a bigger salary or fulfillment of a more spiritual nature, this category--the site's largest--will have something to meet your needs.

Books about Cutting-Edge Science and Health: There's so much medical advice out there that it's difficult to know who you can trust. Fortunately for us all, the publishing industry always views the distribution of safe, reliable health information as more important than crass money grabs dressed up in Ph.D. credentials. That's why you can assume that anyone who has published a medical-themed book has done so from a desire to further the cause of science. You may not have known that water will kill you, or how to deal with being overweight and pregnant, but now you're both forewarned and forearmed (unless you lost your forearms in some kind of industrial accident, which would be a terrible shame). This category also holds the site's number one destination for people who use the search term "kat von d nip tats".

Books on Parenting, Family, and Relationships: We could all use an instruction manual for those potentially frustrating, often uplifting, and always complicated interactions with others. Where do you turn for advice on dealing with your difficult daughter? What if you wanted to know what your pet was thinking? And wouldn't it be nice if someone else finally agreed with you when you said that newborns are ugly? These books will help you prepare for adolescence, kindle a romance when you're easily distracted, and get to doin' it in front of your kids.

Books about the Universe: Oh, the truth is out there, all right. And the truth is that aliens are trying to talk to you, if they haven't already taken over your body or sent their emissaries to meet you. You may also be interested in looking at the books in this section to learn that the Big Bang never happened, and sometimes aliens are indistinguishable from schizophrenia.

Books about Religion and Spirituality: Is your life missing something? Have you been collecting material possessions at the cost of your soul itself? These books will share the secret teachings of Montana monks, wisdom of the Aztecs, and even the Catholic Church's advice on strengthening your marriage through divine assitance. See how you can guide yourself through spiritual emergency or visit a magical island of thought.

Books about Mental Disciplines: From the Confucian wisdom of the far east to the new-age spirituality of the west coast, these books draw from a number of sources to help you learn fringe skills like psychokinesis and telepathy or practical techniques like lie detection and memory enhancement. This section includes books on losing stress and manifesting miracles.

Books about Government and Laws: Do you want to know what it's like to go to prison, or what really happened on September 11? These books include works on a new world government for the new millennium and what the church has been up to.

All Books. Really, why limit yourself? Follow this link to read every Bitterly Books profile ever written. Go ahead, knock yourself out. We don't judge here.

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