Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#1659: James Goll

James Goll is the Director of Prayer Storm, Coordinator of Encounters Alliance, and co-founder of Encounters Network, as well as author of numerous books (we don’t know them in detail, but titles like The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, and Open Heavens, Dream Language: The Prophetic Power of Dreams, Revelations or Angelic Encounters are not testament to a healthy relationship with reality). Goll is a proponent of Seven Mountains dominionism, affiliated with C. Peter Wagner, and instructor at the Wagner Leadership Institute. So he is not only a raging fundamentalist, but a true dominionist of the kind who wants a literal reading of the Bible to serve as the law. Of course, he is also, demonstrably, a false prophet, and the Bible is pretty clear about what to do with those, but the laws of the Bible should presumably only be interpreted literally when they apply to those who disagree with Goll.

His Mitt-Romney-will-win-the-2012-election prophecy is actually rather hilarious: During a baseball game in a dream he had in 2008 “the external voice of the Lord came to me saying, When the nation has been thrown a curve ball, I will have a man prepared who comes from the state of Michigan and he will have a big mitt capable of catching whatever is thrown his way… But the Lord said there would be a man prepared who would come from the state of Michigan who would have a big mitt. Little did I know at that time that Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, was born in the state of Michigan. Little did I know, when I received this in 2008, that he would win his party’s primary for the 2012 national elections!” The level of delusion required not to laugh at this drivel is staggering, but apparently people listen to James Goll. His “prophetic insights” for 2014, for instance, were less detailed (they concerned the future, after all; descriptions predictions you allegedly made about past events can be as detailed as you’d like, but predictions about the future must necessarily be a bit woolier); they still managed to reveal an absolutely deranged mind: Apparently Goll meets with angels (including “warrior angels”) the way tinfoil hatters meet with aliens, and with the help of angels Goll has received prophetic insights about spiritual warfare, the visions of “prophet Bob Jones” and achieving “the full restoration of the supernatural” and such things. Goll has also written extensively on faith healing, claiming that it trumps “science and the medical arts” (though admitting that it is a bit unpredictable).

Diagnosis: Blathering maniac; ragingly insane fundamentalist of the kind one really should expect to meet only in parodies of fundamentalists. But despite appearances to the contrary, Goll isn’t funny.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

#1658: Bruce Goldberg

Some people believe that vampires exist or even that they themselves are vampires. Of course, what they mean by “vampire” varies, and common varieties are “psychic vampires” or “energy vampires”, where “vampire” seems to be mostly a fancier name for “asshole” (or to denote people that the paranoid loons who use this terminology have decided, for whatever reason or none, that they don’t feel comfortable around).

A good example of the kind of people who believe in vampires is Inanna Arthen. Another is Bruce Goldberg. According to Goldberg energy vampires (unconsciously?) drain the energy of those unprotected people around them – though he prefers the term “psychic parasitism” (duh!). In particular, energy vampires do their damage by telepathically draining their victim’s energy resources (yes, it’s that kind of “energy”). Apparently vampires also come in different forms, including “the ethereal type”.

Goldberg, however, endeavors to help them. He offers advice on how you can ostracize protect yourself from them on his website, and “highly recommend[s] my Spiritual Growth experience CD album and my book Protected By the Light to fully benefit from this topic,” of course. His website features articles like “Reincarnation Documented Live on Network Radio” (that would be Coast to Coast AM) and “Art Bell’s Past Life in Atlantis.” There is also “Am I a Time Traveler”, which even yours truly can’t make any sense of whatsoever, but apparently time travel will be discovered in 3050 and Goldberg has met such travelers: “The first time traveler I met in hyperspace (the fifth dimension) was a pure human calling himself Traksa. He lives in the thirty-sixth century on Earth when time travel is manifested by way of teleportation. This means that Traksa can beam his physical body back to our century without requiring a spacecraft. Time travelers use names that represent their current mission. One of Traksa’s assignments consisted of introducing me to Art Bell. If you spell his name backwards it reads ‘ASK ART!’ [just think about that for a moment] I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by Art nine times. Good work Traksa.” He’s even got pictures of his encounters. Well, they’re drawings. The drawings are done by his friend Janine Cooper, but Goldberg assures us that Cooper “got her inspiration from her own subconscious, not from photos or movies. Traksa told me that he telepathically directed her in each of the portraits,” so it’s entirely legit. He even has a book, Time Travelers From Our Future.

Goldberg also seems to have a history of using hypnosis to discover patients’ past or future lives as alien abductees, ostensibly to help them, and offers “Private Hypnotherapy Sessions By Computer” if you are willing to cough up $450.

Diagnosis: It’s hard to take him too seriously, but you never know. If it is a joke it’s not particularly professionally done, so either way Goldberg is probably a complete idiot.

Monday, May 2, 2016

#1657: Dan Golaszewski

Dan Golaszewski is a chiropractor who appears to be deeply into all sorts of insane woo and pseudoscience. His business is “[a]ligning spines and lifestyles with God’s ultimate intentions”, and he seems to believe that vertebral subluxion “results in a lessening of the body’s God-given, innate-ability to express its maximum health potential.” Oh, yes. That, and natural stuff – though it is not clear what makes the stuff he promotes any more natural than the alternatives except that he says so. Golaszewski promotes the idea that most health problems and diseases are caused by misalignment, in particular asthma and heart disease (his particular ideas seem to come from one Josh Axe), which chiropractors can help with because they often originate from the “arc of life.” Oh, yes. But he doesn’t offer “to diagnose or treat any diseases or treat any diseases or conditions other than vertebral subluxation…” or anything that might make him, you know, responsible for the advice he is offering (as per his disclaimer). It’s just that doctors don’t know everything about health matters and you shouldn’t really trust them but instead visit Golaszewski’s website, and so on.

Now, there are plenty of people like Dan Golaszewski out there. The only reason he is singled out in particular, is because we noticed the very typical manner in which his defenders responded to criticism.* 

Diagnosis: Crackpot. And what he’s doing is certainly not harmless. 

*This entry is a result of the Streisand effect.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

#1656: Lisa Goes

Pretty sure this is right.
A.k.a. The Rev

With great ignorance comes great arrogance, and with regard to health and lifestyle issues few groups demonstrate the effect more spectacularly as the hive of conspiracy mongering, scientific illiteracy, critical thinking failure and delusional confidence that is the Thinking Moms Revolution. The website offers advice on all sorts of health-related issues based on information from crackpot sites like GreenMedInfo, Mercola, NaturalNews and a range of anti-vaxx sites, as well as nonsense conjured up by their own powers of intuition. No, seriously. This is an anti-vaccine group, and although their Manifesto states that “[w]hen it comes to helping others, Thinking Moms are short on opinion, strong on scientific data, medical facts, nutritional healing options and documented legislative history,” their “scientific data” bears approximately the same relation to scientific data as their mental processes bear to thinking.

Lisa Goes’s is the author of their manifesto, which pretty explicitly endorses a strategy of never questioning any crackpottery or woo no matter how ridiculous it might be – as opposed to anything promoted by Big Pharma or backed by evidence, of course – including homeopathy and energy medicine. Goes is also a hardcore and notoriously clueless anti-vaccinationist and has contributed to Age of Autism, where she has been pushing familiar autism biomed nonsense. Indeed, her involvement in the anti-vaccine movement is far more insidious even than that: Goes was, for instance, pretty heavily involved in pushing Alex Spourdalakis as a cause célèbre for Age of Autism and their crackpottery, and against what they initially saw as the evils of Big Pharma (which it wasn’t); more details here.

Diagnosis: No, thinking doesn’t have much to do with Lisa Goes’s antics. Not a person you should listen to under any circumstance.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

#1655: Jeff Godwin

Many fundies have warned us about the dangers of pop music. It’s really a calling card for the lunatic fringe of maniacal fundamentalist. And, as Johnny Marr puts it, Jeff Godwin belongs to “the lunatic fringe of the anti-rock movement” – indeed, Godwin doesn’t hesitate to call out his fellow anti-rock activists as closet rock fans and devil worshippers and has for decades been Jack Chick’s go-to-guy for information about rock music and popular culture – Chick published Godwin’s first three books Devil’s Disciples: The Truth About Rock Music, Dancing With Demons: The Music’s Real Master, What’s Wrong With Christian Rock? One thing that distinguishes these and his other books from those of other anti-rock writers like Jacob Aranza, is style. Godwin’s books are poorly written, unstructered and argumentatively incoherent hate screeds characterized by fuming rage and lunatic ravings, whereas Aranza could fool you for four or five seconds before you appreciate the howling insanity expressed by his otherwise grammatically well-formed sentences.

According to Godwin, rock and roll music (yeah, we know) traces its origins back thousands of years. Its rhythms were written by Satan and his demons and have, accordingly, a subliminal power to control a listener’s mind. Those rhythms eventually found their way, via Africa, into blues, jazz and other forms of African American music and the rest of us received this Satanic curse through African American voodoo culture. Indeed, one of Godwin’s main ideas is the “voodoo beat theory”: The rock beat has the same time signature as the human heart (no, he hasn’t listened to much rock music), and hence clearly hypnotizes and brainwashes listeners into accepting a message so evil that it could only be Satan’s.

It’s not only the rhythms, though; rock music is loaded with references to sexual behavior of all kinds, and therefore encourages fornication amongst youths and inspires lust and rage, as well as preaching “rebellion, hatred, drug abuse,” it encourages “mind decaying, death-dealing drugs”, in slang terms only understood by teens, “suicide, fornication and the dark things of Satan”. Of course, it is not only promiscuous sex that is being promoted, but abnormal sex, as epitomized by that nexus of darkness David Bowie, the “limp wristed king of the abnormal world of Homo Rock”. All screamed rock vocals are in fact inspired by the sound of the “homosexual penetration of the male”, and whip crack drum beats are just a gateway to filthy and unhibited homosexual S&M. The hypothesis tells you not so much about rock, but might tell you things you might not want to know about William Godwin.

Of course, the actual messages have been backmasked (oh, yes), even though Satan’s presence has never required hiding. I believe that even now Satan and his demons are blaspheming and insulting God and the Lamb with their horrible rock record covers and backmasked broadcasts from Hell,” says Godwin. As opposed to some backmask lunatics, Godwin doesn’t think Satan has snuck into the messages without their knowledge, however; rock musicians, producers and promoters are outright Satanists who maintain secret but deliberate alliances with Satan and his demons (“the Lord has also revealed to some Christians that incarnate demons from the netherworld actually are members of some of the most popular bands ...”). How do they do the backmasking? Simple: Rock stars summon (literally) demons when they’re in studio to ensure hit records; the backmasked messages are merely the signatures of the supernatural presences. And once the demons have been brought into this world by the artists, playing a rock record is enough to call them up to possess the listener or anyone nearby. To say that “addiction to rock ‘n’ roll is a form of demonic possession,” is to make an understatement. And we’re not only talking about rock here: all of popular music is Satanic, since “NO ONE makes it big in secular music without selling out to Satan.” “We Are the World,” for instance, with its message of “Love is all we need” is wrong and demonic because “Jesus Christ is what this world needs!

Finally, Christian rock is a diversion created by Satan. The Christian content preached in Christian rock is feel-good, inoffensive religious messages and does accordingly not genuinely preach Christ, who according to Godwin is not this effeminate, mild and benevolent guy he’s sometimes portrayed as being; that mild and merciful guy is apparently a creation of Satan and good grief this guy is insane. A particularly sinister example is Stryper, as evidenced e.g. by their “To Hell With The Devil” album, which Godwin predictably (no, seriously: you must have seen this one coming) takes to mean “To Hell WITH the Devil”, which happens to be the fate of all Stryper fans, so there.

Accordingly Godwin recommends that parents should burn anything relating to rock in their homes immediately and double their daily prayer time. That’s the only way you can secure your home and your family from the gangs of roving rock-and-roll-summoned demons now during the final days of the Earth.

Diagnosis: Ah, yes. Another one of those who add a bit of color to life – probably harmless, but we should probably feel a bit of pity for him, at least until we realize that he really how unsavory of a character he really is.