May 31, 2009

Crystal Healing (Not sexual healing, not Crystal Bernard)

Healing with Crystals by Pamela Chase and Jonathan Pawlik (Career Press, 2001, ISBN 1-56414-535-2)

This book was written by: Jonathan Pawlik, Pamela Chase, and the (uncredited) Crystal Devas. "Devas are the 'higher selves' for the kingdoms of Nature,"(p.12), and Jonathan channels them and includes their messages in the book. Although they only communicate twice in the first 140 pages, they get exceptionally chatty in Chapter 12, "Planetary Healing."

What is in this book: Instructions for owning and operating crystals, which are actually a lot like housepets. Pets that occasionally ask to be buried in dirt. "Crystals like to be stored in sunlight and open spaces. They like to be used and enjoyed"(p.34). You can ask your crystal questions about where it would be most comfortable: "Would you like to be on the window sill? By the bed? Etc."(p.51) and question it about its uses: "Shall I place you in my receiving hand, on my heart, on my third eye?"(p.51). Prolonged use will pollute and/or deplete your crystal's psychic energies, so you will periodically need to clean and recharge it. Luckily, your crystal will tell you whether it wants to be immersed in salt, rain, smoke, running water, your breath, or the earth (p.49). Sadly, as with pets, your relationship will eventually come to an end. That's when it's time to "ask the spiritual consciousness of the crystal whether its work with you has been completed [.... and] ask it what element (earth or water primarily) will be most beneficial for its internal balance, and take the crystal where it needs to go"(p.37). Fortunately, these partings are usually less messy and rarely involve a veterinary bill.
While you and your crystal are working together, you can apply the teachings from part two, "clearing out the blocked energy that impedes growth, infusing positive healing energies, and expanding spiritual awareness through contacting the higher self"(p.81).

What is not in this book: Ways to use crystals as weapons, which is an all-too-real possibility. Inhabitants of ancient Atlantis abused crystals in "battles for supremacy where specially constructed crystals were placed underground and activated with the sun in a special process"(p.28). This is accepted as fact because "there has been a lot of information channeled, or intuitively received, about the Atlantean civilization,"(p.27) and it has been further corroborated by the Goldblum/Lauper documentary, Vibes.
This book chooses to focus on more constructive crystal uses, such as healing energy imbalances and storing information. For example, a crystal under your pillow can help you remember your dreams. "Double-terminated crystals are nice for this purpose, and you maybe [sic] able to tape a small one to your third eye"(p.108).

Would you recommend this book to BeyoncĂ©, Lil' Kim, or Missy Elliott? I'd have to think about it. I don’t know if Cristal Divas would be willing to take advice from Crystal Devas, but they may have a lot in common. The devas say "I have the ability to instill confidence and courage in all who choose to work with me"(p.142, channeled), which could just as easily have been said by one of the divas. Then again, it can also be attributed to spirits inhabiting wood, modeling clay, latex, and earwax.

Would you recommend this book to Billy Mays: No. Chase and Pawlik have designed the perfect vehicle for crystal sale tie-ins, but they lack the killer instinct of a true closer. "We could mention here that we were able to travel to Arkansas and buy clear quartz crystals at a time when they were much less expensive,"(p.129) but they don't.

What was interesting about this book? The illustrations.

Figure 10-1: This costs extra in Thailand

Figure 10-4: What not to do with the passed-out girl at the frat party

Digg this Stumble Upon Toolbar

May 14, 2009

Age of Seduction

When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction by Beth Moore (B&H Publishing, 2002, ISBN: 978-0-8054-2465-2)

This book was written by: Beth Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries. Moore admits that even though she began vocational ministry to serve God when she was eighteen, "I had already broken virtually every promise I made to Him by the time I was twenty!"(p.34) It turns out that temptation is "an intense encounter with the kingdom of hell," which she knows because "I am convinced it happened to me"(p.93). She's okay now, though, and writes that “I really am a pretty normal person”(p.xiv).

What is in this book: Three parts, starting with a warning that "Satan is heightening his attack on devout believers"(p.xii), moving to a discussion of methods to "fortify ourselves against Satan's full-scale attack on the lives of the elect"(p.xiii), and ending with a map of "the road home for one who has been deceived and seduced by the enemy into a season of ungodliness"(p.xiii). These three parts are relayed in a conversational tone using colorful metaphors including "we have doused the term afraid with our bottled water until it slips comfortably into sentences such as, 'I'm afraid the ball game might be rained out'"(p.3), "Try to visualize your Father's expression when you saddle up your beast of deception, jump on its back, and leave the safety of home"(p.282), "If I commit sexual sin, I have a much harder time dumping the garbage"(p.24), and "The lion is in the yard"(p.177). Note that the last term is not a euphemism for a lesbian sex act, despite how it reads in the following paragraph that describes a woman who "feels convinced and devastated by her sin [of lesbianism]"(p.178):

She hates herself, but she doesn't know how to fix it. She just tries to be as good as she can. She gets involved at church and does everything she can to stay busy. Then one day a woman joins her prayer group. Not just any woman. A woman in active bondage to homosexual sin. The rules change. The problem once confined to the mind has weakened the nails on several slats of the fence. She looks up and the lion is in the yard. (p.178)

What is not in this book? Conventional wisdom. If there's one thing I've learned from lifetime movies and cop dramas, it's that the "age of seduction" is 12-15 years old. That's the age at which a girl's abusive stepfather is most likely to scream at interrogating police officers that "she seduced me!" (Alternate scenarios involve the girl's vehemently-in-denial mother screaming that her husband was seduced by her no-good slut of a daughter.) It turns out that the "age of seduction" is actually the present day, where Satan is seducing the godly and "the casualties are growing in number by harrowing leaps and bounds"(p.7). In fact, now is especially dangerous because Satan has been increasing his efforts. "We are living in the time closer than ever before to the end events of Christian history"(p.8). Go back and read that sentence again. It's even more accurate on subsequent readings!

Would you recommend this book to the liberal demagogues who have seized the American news media to further their own agenda of godlessness and secular humanism? Goodness, no. This book contains too many metaphors that could be taken out of context, like “That woman needed to die and be put out of her misery” (p.96) or "Suppose we had a wicked president who knew he had already been defeated in the election and his removal from office was imminent. Can you imagine how he might wield and abuse his power in the little time he had left? On a mammoth, humanly incomprehensible scale, I belive that's what we're presently experiencing"(p.20) or "The Body of Christ is being sexually assaulted by the devil!"(p.31). Wait, that last one actually stands on its own pretty well—"The Body has got to be taught how to guard her virginity"(p.31).

Would you recommend this book to a judge from the Tri-State Chili Cook-Off? No, they need its more specialized cousin, When Godly People Make Ungodly Smells.

What was interesting about this book? There is no middle ground when it comes to sin. "Any sign of relating sexually to anyone besides our marriage partner signals a demonic scheme of seduction. I believe that includes any intrusion into the thought life or what the world calls the 'fantasy life'"(p.164). Of course, "Please don't think for a moment that all seduction is sexually oriented. Most assuredly it is not"(p.22). By these definitions, it turns out that I was also seduced into sin. Fortunately, "If sins have been committed against a church body or a group of people, forgiveness should be sought through a heartfelt confession of a general nature if the details are unedifying"(p.229). Now I can clear my conscience by addressing the Salvation Army for a moment: I am truly sorry for that thing I did in that place that one those seventeen recurring times. I think you know what I'm talking about. And if you don't, well, let's not wallow in the unedifying details.

Digg this Stumble Upon Toolbar

May 1, 2009

A Bug Years in the Making

How to Profit from the Y2K Recession: …by Converting the Year 2000 Crisis into an Opportunity for Your Investments and Business by John Mauldin (St. Martin’s Press, 1999, ISBN: 0-312-20706-9)

This book was written by: John F. Mauldin. Mr. Mauldin is an investment analyst, an expert on the Y2K problem, and a member of the Knights of Malta. It is unclear whether Mr. Mauldin belongs to the Knights of Malta that is the pope's militia or the one that is operating outside the pope's control. However, Sir Glen may be able to clear up the confusion if you write to him at his AOL address, assuming that the order of Malta webpage doesn't answer your questions.

What is in this book: Sound financial plans. After all, “Buy-and-hold will continue to be a good strategy until it stops working, and then it won’t be”(p.159), so you should be prepared. Mauldin says that “for a long time, I have been a believer in market timing”(p.182), and if you want to profit from the Y2K Recession, “I think that you should have a significant percentage of your money in bonds at this time”(p.192). You’ll make a killing in the market because “as we will see, the Y2K Recession takes bonds from boring to glamorous!”(p.190) That’s why “you should sell all, or as much as you can (and then hedge the rest) of all your stocks and equity mutual funds now”(p.189), regardless of any capital gains/losses, penalties, or tax consequences.

What is not in this book: Sugar coating. When the millennium bug finally hits us, it’s going to be bad, people. “Y2K is going to be like Smoking Joe’s left hook. It is going to hit us seemingly from out of nowhere”(p.131), and although the new millennium isn't bringing oceans of blood, typhoons of fire, or a hail of brimstone, “The worst effects of the Millennium Bug are going to be economic. It will cause the Y2K Recession”(p.12, emphasis the author’s). When it hits, “the Y2K problem is going to be the cause of the mother of all traffic jams on the information highway”(p.2), and because of it “America will likely suffer the loss of millions of jobs”(p.96). Eventually, “historians will look back one hundred years from now and note the irony of a brief, but severe, global recession caused by a simple programming decision that interrupted an ongoing global expansion”(p.293). Hopefully, those historians will be studying ways to avert the unwarranted influence that society routinely hands over to concepts like the millennium crisis, the Billy Bass, and the Macarena.

Would you recommend this book to a boy scout? Hell yes. Appendix B of this book contains a contingency-planning document that is vital for anyone who wants to be ready for the millennium recession. Sure, “you will notice that you’re already behind. Don’t despair, just do what you can. Every bit of preparation will make the transition easier”(p.311). No matter how far you've fallen behind, it's never too late to be prepared.

Would you recommend this book to a Mormon? I think so. After spending so much money to fight gay marriage in California only to lose in so many other parts of the country, they need to stop thinking about prophets and start making profits.
The responsibility for directing the nature of our corporate response lies with our religious institutions”(p.329), and those religious institutions need to show us how to kick people while they're down. “If in the process of becoming compliant, you realize that your industry is more exposed than most realize, you might want to start thinking about how you would exploit a competitor’s delivery problems”(p.109). If that's not in the bible, it should be.

What was interesting about this book? John Mauldin. His powerful friends have asked him to spend a lot of time speaking at important events. “I have sat with presidents of banks, both large and small”(p.74), writes Mauldin, and he relays an anecdote that occurred “recently, [while] I was speaking at a Y2K conference for programmers”(p.8). In fact, he says that “In the middle of October 1998, I spoke at the largest hedge-fund conference in the world”(p.129). His travels give him a unique insight into the way that the financial industry is preparing for the Y2K recession, and “while speaking at high-level investment conferences (mostly for hedge funds), I have been exposed to discussions about ‘derivatives’”(p.267). The unique insight provided by these relationships has shown him the severity of our situation because “about two weeks after that near-meltdown [triggered by the collapse of Long Term Capital Management], I was flying to Bermuda to speak at a hedge-fund conference [....] That weekend when I attended the largest hedge-fund conference in the world to talk about Y2K, the number of hedge-fund managers who took the problem seriously was a definite minority”(p.269).

Digg this Stumble Upon Toolbar

Read more reviews...