Friday, May 24, 2013

Boy Scouts Take a Half-Step Into the 21st Century

The celebratory announcement of Scouts for Equality,
an organization dedicated to making the Boy Scouts of America
relevant to civilized people.

Yesterday, 61% of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America voted to overturn its self-imposed ban on openly gay youth being allowed to participate. Sounds like a victory, right? In a way, it is.

But the Boy Scouts of America ("BSA") have only taken a half-step towards equality. Openly gay Scout leaders (adults) are still verboten. As long as the organization tells kids that it's not OK to be a gay adult, then it's telling kids it's not OK to be gay, period. On its face, the new policy shift seems non-discriminatory, but it really sends the message that gayness is something that teens will "grow out of" eventually.

Though it may seem weird to readers here that I care about what the Boy Scouts do at all, I guess I do because I earned the Eagle rank in the 1980s and therefore feel an obligation to use that "Scout cred" to speak up for people mistreated in the organization. So I've signed some petitions. I have good memories of camping, at least, and camaraderie. I remember wearing my 45 Grave t-shirt to Scout camp and exchanging cassettes with other misfit Scouts.

Moreover, the BSA is an organization that has as its honorary leader whomever happens to sit in the Oval Office. That means YOU, Mr. Obama. Also, it's an organization that, like Future Farmers of America, is federally chartered by Congress. That's right. Under Chapter 309 of the U.S. Code, the BSA is a chartered "patriotic organization." Seems like it's about time, then, for them to get on the right side of the Fifth and 14th Amendments.

After the BSA allows openly gay adults to serve with full equality, I hope it's just a slippery slope toward ending the insipid ban on atheists, too.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cult Video Interlude, Part 8: "I Don't Think At All"

WARNING: This post is a bit dark, a bit depressing, and maybe even a little more nauseating.

Frank Jones went by so many names: Da Free John, Bubba Free John, Adi Da, Da-Love Ananda, Adi Da Samraj, etc. He was part of the "Eastern mystic" cultural explosion following the freak-out of the 1960s, and in 1970 apparently had a visionary moment in the Vedanta Society Temple in Hollywood, California. Like just about every other self-styled guru, he realized he was a god-like being, or God himself. He then wrote books with esoteric titles, like The Knee of Listening and The Dawn Horse Testament. These books (and what I suppose must have been charisma) attracted followers to him, whom he proceeded to instruct, manipulate, and coerce in the ways of swinging, 70s-style.

As part of his "crazy wisdom," he intended to free a devotee of his or her "ego," which not surprisingly seemed to be code for foisting his power trip on people who wanted his approval while getting his own jollies at others' expense. Ego-shattering rituals could involve choreographed sex acts for the entertainment of Jones/God, but could also involve so much, uh, more than that. Here's just a taste of the vileness of Adi Da, from "Former members describe sadistic sexual predator, who says he's 'God'" (1985) by the intrepid cult-reporter Rick Ross:
Another former member told the press that devotees made porno for their master. A basement room became a studio for skin flicks. She said, "I heard him telling men and women go downstairs and do it, and I saw the women crying hysterically afterwards. Everything that was done was interpreted a lesson about your own lack of spirituality," she said. The same woman also told a reporter that once she saw Jones wife Nina come out of his house with hair ripped off her head and a black eye. [more]
A class act, that Adi Da. Lawsuits from abused former members of his Adidam organization eventually convinced, or forced, the troll-like Adi Da to flee with a cadre of worshippers to a private island in Fiji. Judging from the plethora of lengthy videos available on Youtube, it seems this Fijian lot could film video after video to their hearts' delight of the narcissistic Bald God.

I picked the video below at random, or maybe just because it was shorter than most of the others. In it, Adi Da Bubba Jones God pops a mint in his mouth, or a horehound drop, or more likely a fossilized turd, and proceeds to suck on it while telling a woman--who refers to him as simply "Beloved"--to "take on a life-long vow of not thinking." Uproarious laughter from his worshippers ensues, and he then smugly says, as quoted in the title of this blog post, "I don't think at all." So true, Adi Bubba God Free God Ananda Da Da Da Love Jones!

He's dead, by the way.


The moral of this story is: Anyone who claims he or she has the way to free you of your own ego, and then makes that freedom contingent upon your calling him or her "God" or "Bubba" or "Beloved" or some equivalent, is someone to be avoided at all costs.

More Rick Ross.