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Wonder what Nostradamus had to say about this?

20 Nov

Atheist bloggers and forum owners are breathing a sigh of relief right now at the news that serial cyberstalker Dennis Markuze – AKA David Mabus – the seriously disturbed troll from Montréal with the obsession for Depeche Mode and Nostradamus (hence the dubious “Mabus” thing – DM, see?) has been arrested for the second time. He was first picked up last August and given a thirty-day psychological evaluation plus an eighteen month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to sixteen counts of criminal harrassment, though it took a five-thousand-signature-strong petition before the Montréal Police actually took the case seriously. Part of his sentence stipulated that he must stay well away from internet discussions and fora, which he did – for two months or so. Then it was business as usual.

He is infamous for spamming atheist blogs, message boards, fora and email inboxes with incoherent rants, obscene death threats and (perhaps most worryingly) random Depeche Mode videos and pictures of a Henry Hoover, all sprinkled liberally with triumphant crowing about how Nostradamus beat the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge. By “spamming” I don’t mean simply posting the same thing over and over; that’s amateur stuff. No, what set this guy apart, other than the Norman Bates ranting, was the sheer volume of his output. At the height of his career – a word chosen deliberately, as he was clearly out of control – Markuze must have spent literally hundreds of hours doing nothing else but venting his vitriolic vomit on the internet. Even automated spambots need a break now and then… well, okay, no they don’t, but it still takes nothing away from the fact that this is not normal behaviour. Particularly when he escalated from posting online death threats to showing up in person to atheist events, most notably when biology professor and outspoken atheist blogger PZ Myers, whom Markuze has been targetting for almost twenty years, attended the 2010 AAI Conference in Montréal. Luckily all he did on that occasion was make gun-fingers at the lady who papped him with her camera and then bugger off. It might have been a different story.

Many bloggers and forum users got seriously worried for the state of his health, especially his mental health, which is where the petition came in. Clearly he wasn’t going to seek help of his own volition, so the authorities were eventually persuaded to step in. Good thing too, since his psych evaluation diagnosed “bipolar disorder, compounded by alcohol and substance abuse”, which won him a spell in rehab.

Bets are now being taken on how long it’ll be before before he breaks his court order again.

PS – It’s become something of a tradition that, just like the famous Drury Lane Theatre’s “Man in Grey” whose materialisation guarantees a play’s success and longevity, so Markuze’s appearance is (or was) a sign that a blog or forum has made it, puts it on the map as it were, become something worth bothering about. Wonder what would happen if I said his name three times in front of a mirror..?


Words of Comfort: The Aftermath

28 Mar

Well, it’s over, the dust is settling. The verdict? Ray Comfort is as crazy – and/or dishonest – as ever. For anyone who didn’t see it live the recording should be available on the AE front page in a day or two. (UPDATE: Recording now online. Share and enjoy!)

I’ll attempt a skeleton review here, leaky memory permitting. To avoid spoilers I’ll put it under the fold, thus:

Continue reading

Words of Comfort

25 Mar

Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice…

… pull down your pants and slide on the ice.

Sorry; just slipped out. Bonus points, though, if you can identify the source of that quote. Points deducted if you Googled it.

(Where was I? Oh, right…)

This Sunday, clear an hour in your diary, grab some popcorn and a brew of your choosing, and kick back to watch The Atheist Experience
– details on the end of the link. Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did.

Ray Comfort’s coming to play.

Continue reading

Evil Golden Globe heretic unrepentant

21 Jan

Ricky Gervais on CNN defends his ‘offensive’ remarks at the recent Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Hollywood (warning – this video contains unhealthy amounts of Piers Morgan):

Apparently the video ends as it does because Moron cuts our hero off at that point and goes to a non-controversial break, returning with a different topic; the YouTuber who uploaded it didn’t think it was relevant to include all that.

Sell me your god!

15 Jan

As an atheist, I am occasionally asked (usually in a snide, derisory way) what would change my mind. The implication is that atheists reject any and all evidence of the supernatural, regardless of whether or not it’s rational to do so. Whatever is being discussed, we will always take the contrary position out of pride (or sheer bloody-mindedness). A common rider is that secretly we know the reality of god/s but outwardly reject it because we enjoy sinning too much. Which is a half-truth.

After giving it much thought, I’ve come up with an idea. For the purposes of experiment, I am going to be in the market for a god. Doesn’t matter which flavour, or how vengeful/spiteful/whatever it is. I am asking anyone who is a True Believer to exercise your salesman skills and sell your god to me.

What have you got to lose? Here I am, to all intents and purposes a lost sheep, actively wanting to be converted. How good are you at harvesting new souls for the faith? All you need to do is convince me. Bring your best arguments, paint your god in glowing colours, really push it for all you think it’s worth. Make me want to buy.

You can either email me or post comments below. If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t assume I’m censoring you. You’re just stuck in the moderation queue and I can’t guarantee my online presence every day (I have a life too, you know). Calm down and be assured I will get round to you.

Everyone else, I would ask you to spread the word. Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon – whatever it takes, let’s take this show on the road. Any resemblance to shameless blog-whoring is partially coincidental.

Assuming my little experiment attracts any responses, I shall post them at a later date.

What you could win!

Everlasting paradise, sitting at the right hand of your pet god of choice (or on it, if that’s what floats yer boat). Sorry, there are no cash alternatives.

What this is not

This is not an invitation for evangelical spam. If all you have is a collection of non-context bible or qur’an quotes, you have nothing. Certainly not a customer.

Neither is this an open invitation for preachy sermonising. I don’t need someone crowing about being better than I am because they believe, nor how I am doomed to eternal torment and torture unless I repent and sign up. It’s hard to imagine hundreds of thousands of new cars being sold in the UK each year with such a fire ‘n’ brimstone attitude.

Please, no Poes. It’s hard enough as it is without the waters being unnecessarily muddied.

Finally: before posting anything, please refer to this list of clichés. If any part of your sales pitch is on there, it shall be declared to be spam by definition.

These ground rules should not be considered exhaustive; I retain the right to judge each submission on its own merits (or lack thereof) and decide accordingly how best to handle it.

What are you waiting for? Don’t you want to start racking up those heavenly brownie points? Do you have the courage of your priest’s convictions? Bring it on!

Pat Condell: “Your faith is a joke”

16 Dec

As per my new arbitrary rule – “Any video I particularly like gets posted; some by default. Pat Condell especially.”

Atheism = Lack of belief, not belief in lack

18 Oct

Here is possibly the most rational ten minutes you will ever have spent at a computer:

(I recommend you check out the rest of the uploads on the QualiaSoup channel. You’ll be glad you did.)

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