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Who are the Thought Police in Your Community? Do you know?

“As members of a community, even as citizens of a nation, we are frequently exposed to and have to cope with what is known as groupthink, a phenomenon that may seriously compromise our image of ourselves, our relationships with family, friends, neighbors, community leaders, and may also compromise our moral rights of personal dignity and autonomy. And yet, groupthink is precisely what underlies much of our “training” in how to be good citizens and in the so-called education programs and our social organizations, and is pandemic in most of the institutions in which we work. Groupthink,  shamefully, has been a part of our religious institutions since time immemorial. Agendizing, brainwashing, programming.”

Anonymous Contributor.

We, as citizens, as members of our community, parents and educators, as human beings we are told that we have an inherent and guaranteed right to speak freely and openly about most subjects without the stigma that might apply to a person living and working in a different country. We would like to think that people, especially our elected leaders and our educators, tend to listen to us and give some weight and importance to what we have to say; consequently, we can and should play an important and proactive role in deciding how we live, work and are governed, and in order to do this, we must make our leaders aware that we are aware of the groupthink phenomenon, its dangers and risks, and implement ways of avoiding this insidious, infectious, and fatal phenomenon in our communities and in our lives. Once people are made aware of the groupthink phenomenon and ways to identify it and prevent it, we are on the path to reclaiming the efficacy and authenticity we once enjoyed but lost in the wake of the development of corporate control of our institutions and the chilling of interpersonal relations by online social media.

Groupthink.[1] It’s everywhere and it’s toxic! It’s dehumanizing. It perpetuates lies and factoids. Yet you love it! It makes things so much easier when you don’t have to use your own brain and you allow yourself to be programmed to think, speak, act, perform according to the in-group’s agenda.

Irving Janus mainstreamed the term in 1982. [2] According to Janis, groupthink

“[h]appens when in-group pressures lead to deterioration in mental efficiency, poor testing of reality, and lax moral judgment. It tends to occur in highly cohesive groups in which the group members’ desire for consensus becomes more important than evaluating problems and solutions realistically. An example would be the top executive cabinet (the president and vice presidents) of a firm, who have worked together for many years. They know each other well and think as a cohesive unit rather than as a collection of individuals.” [my italics]

We can find groupthink in our workplaces, churches, schools, social media, government, and Yes! even in our homes.

Janis identified eight symptoms of groupthink, which are noteworthy and which I will briefly describe below.[3] Persons affected by groupthink may exhibit any of these symptoms:

  1. An experience of the illusion of invulnerability. This illusion produces an unreal sense of optimism and the sense of empowerment to take risks, sometimes extreme, which the individual would not otherwise take.
  2. Acceptance of a collective rationalization. The individual ignores the red flags and warnings and refuse to reassess their biases, prejudices and assumptions regarding reality.
  3. Belief in the inherent morality of the group. The individual and members of the group are convinced of the righteousness of their beliefs and become indifferent to the ethical or moral effects and consequences of the group’s decisions and actions.
  4. Establishment and adoption of stereotypes of out-groups. Stereotypes are a facile way of dealing with the “others” and do not require thinking or decision-making. De rigueur negative presumptions and characterizations of the “enemy” render rational and effective responses to conflict unnecessary. Cookie-cutter responses are the result.
  5. The imposition of direct pressure on dissenters. Any deviation from the presumptions and dictates of the group results in sanctions. Individuals, group members are discouraged from expressing alternative views, or representing positions conflicting any of the group’s views.
  6. Requirement of self-censorship. The individual and members of the group are required to ensure that any questions, doubts and deviations from the group’s “consensus,” program, or agenda are not expressed. The individual must “watch his/her mouth” or be sanctioned.
  7. The illusion of unanimity. The views and judgments, decisions and actions of the “group” or of the group’s statutory and declared leader(s) and majority are assumed to be unanimous, justified and reliable.
  8. The presence of self-appointed ‘mindguards’. Certain members isolate and “protect” the group and its leader(s) from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions. These are the “thought police” who ensure that any information that can potentially threaten the group or its leaders is filtered out and neutralized.

In other words, the phenomenon of groupthink seems to have grown out of and fits perfectly into the framework of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” with its implications of superpower invulnerability, collective processing of carefully cooked data and information, a sense of moral superiority of the group’s decisions and actions, the facile handling of non-members by the application of stereotypes, direct suppression and sanctioning of any opposing thought or expression — the individual “watches his mouth” to avoid attracting attention to himself and possible sanctioning —, all communications and indicators seem to indicate that “everyone is on the same page” and “stands united.”  Finally, the self-appointed “mindguards,” the Orwellian “thought police,” ensure that everyone toes the mark, knows his place, and follows the “party line.” Sounds awfully much like PC, political correctness, doesn’t it?

The Thought Police or Mindguards ensure that you don’t think out of the box.

As I mentioned above, groupthink is easily observed in our schools, churches, public servants, social groups, the workplace, etc.

Here’s an example that comes from my college days when I worked as an encyclopedia salesperson. We were trained to ask potential purchasers questions that they could not disagree with, such as, for example: “You do care about your children’s education, don’t you?” or “You want your children to have the best available information for school, don’t you?” Once they answered in the affirmative, they were cooked. It was sort of like asking a veteran the question, “You do love your country, don’t you?” Or a clergyperson asking a dissenter, “You do believe in God, don’t you?” Ask those sorts of questions and you get a commitment to groupthink; the rest follows once the individual is on the slippery slope to group membership, willingly or not.

It’s certainly easy enough to self-test yourself by asking yourself if any of the above symptoms could possibly apply to you…but be aware of the sneaky symptom of “self-censorship” because you might actually be unaware that you are self-censoring; you may actually believe that what you say you believe is in fact what you believe. (Please go back and reread that last part. It’s important and you really didn’t understand it, did you?!)

Everyone connected to the same “brain”, the core-group’s!

Here’s a real example: I was at my fitness center and struck up a conversation with a guy who was working on a neighboring piece of equipment. The conversation started out on muscle groups and doping, use of anabolic steroids, doping scandals, and how natural fitness was desirable over and against taking performance enhancers. The conversation drifted to the inquiry, “What do you do?” The guy was intelligent, apparently well-read in the subject of performance enhancers in athletes, and was no dummy. He responded by telling me he was a “personal income tax auditor” for the state of New York. What followed was a textbook example of groupthink. He commenced by telling me how interesting his job was because he was making sure everyone stayed honest. Everyone should pay taxes. Not everyone was honest, some people were honest but ignorant. The tax department and auditors were there to protect the public. He was happy doing what he was doing, and he liked his work. He was protecting honest citizens from the crooks and the parasites. New York state took care of its people unlike those states with no personal income tax, states that provided sanctuary to people who want to keep their fortunes but not share by paying personal income taxes. Basically, you can’t argue with this guy because what he is saying is superficially true, ethical and moral. But, and there’s the clincher, his thinking from one subject to the other was schizoid! He was very individualized, independent, even liberal when discussing the social and personal impact of performance enhancers on non-professional vs. professional athletes, and the use of performance enhancers in the guy-next-door who works out to stay healthy or attractive. His lock-step “tax department” jargon and speech, almost soapbox preaching, was groupspeak, the product of groupthink. Can you identify the symptoms?

Here are two more examples I found on a professional networking site, LinkedIn, which is slowly morphing into a Facebook-type social media space. Whereas LinkedIn was originally intended to be a forum facilitating networking among professionals, the parasites slowly infiltrated and started their social justice preaching and religious proselytizing.

One characteristic of social justice and religion is that both are fertile ground for a bumper crop of groupthinkers. Example 1: Social Justice. This example is remarkable because it is so homogeneous in the majority responses and because of the sheer number of responses: 5,013 Likes, 321 comments! Synopsis: A young woman with Down’s syndrome appears in what is obviously a staged video, in which she receives a call from a fast-food chain, Chik-Fil-A, in which she is offered a job paying $11.50/h. It is her first real job and she is elated at the offer and accepts.

The groupthink: Actual comments: “Awesome!” “Wonderful!””Isn’t Chik-Fil-A a great company!””The story brought tears to my eyes!” “It made my day! We need more stories like this!” But many of the comments were condescending: They mentioned “learning disability” and how remarkable it was that this young woman had “won,” how employment “is a right,” and other misguided slogans associated with what we know as PC but was described by Janis as groupthink. The censorship/sanction/thought police action: A commenter posted some reasonable, dissenting, conflicting thoughts about the reality of the situation in terms of stereotyping highly functional Down’s syndrome  persons as having “learning disabilities,” a bucket term that stereotyped them unfairly. That she was hired on her merits and if she didn’t have what Chick-Fil-A needed and wanted, she would not have gotten the call. That Down’s syndrome persons are highly desirable in service jobs with customer contact because of their personality characteristics, as was pioneered by McDonald’s some time ago, and that these corporations are exploiting vulnerable persons with Down’s syndrome because they are perfect for these low-paying jobs, and it creates a very positive social image for the corporation, so-called “organizational health.” (See the McKinsey report below.)

Needless to say, the “mindguards” were quick to respond, and butchered the commentor for being “a Grinch,” for not “caring” and for his “dripping sarcasm.” Not a single comment out of more than 300 comments and replies accepted the truth of what the commenter wrote; almost all condemned him for not sharing the majority’s groupthink. (Click here to read the actual comments made by the commenter and some of the replies.)[4]

The value of hiring persons with Down syndrome is not lost on the corporations![5]

The economic benefits of hiring persons with intellectual challenges is not lost on the corporations, as is demonstrated by the McKinsey report[6], but we’re not supposed to talk about the dark side of Julia’s hiring because the group think won’t allow anyone to pop their bubble of denial or distract them from their happy, be nice, love fest by suggesting reality. That’s groupthink.

Here’s another from the same site, LinkedIn. This time it was a religious fanatic known popularly as a “Jesus-freak,” someone who posts an inflammatory statement about how Jesus is the truth and everything else is a lie. First of all, such posts are more Facebook quality and have nothing to do with professional networking, so it shouldn’t have been on LinkedIn in the first place. So the original post by one David Wood, who describes himself as the “Executive Producer Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Resurrection of Jesus Christ LLC, School Of Hard Knocks,” and his project as:

“The Resurrection Project unites the Body of Christ, to launch a global love movement, a feature length movie, and a video game, and tell the story of Jesus’ Christ resurrection and the 40 days that followed. “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ” is the greatest love story ever told.” www.theresurrectionofjesuschrist.com [Author’s note: My italics; I have not undertaken any editing of Mr. Wood’s English.]

His post was simply:

That was it. My first reaction was that Islam never claimed that Muhammad was God. Nor does Buddhism teach that Buddha was a god. The name applied to God in Arabic, and hence in Islam is Allah, which is merely an equivalent of the English, God, so that point is really moot. And the fact that Wood claims that his Jesus is the “only one God” reveals a bit of tunnel vision, even religious and theological ignorance. This is groupthink at one of its worst moments!

My point is this: Approach that post as I did, with the above reasoning, and you will obtain a clear lesson in groupthink.  The post received 51 Likes and 15 Comments but was seen be hundreds, perhaps thousands who didn’t want to “offend” by responding. (Or perhaps because religion is not as popular as Down’s syndrome? Or because the message was so bizarre? Who can say for sure?)

Those three examples should suffice to convince even the hardcore groupthinkers of their affliction.

The kinds of groups that are particularly at risk for the groupthink phenomenon are, of course, groups that we could characterize as cliques, whether consisting of 3 or 3000 persons. Cliques don’t need to be small and a whole company or department may become a clique. The group or clique should be cohesive for groupthink to develop; cohesive factors may include ethnicity, similar interest, and physical appearance. Members of a clique often isolate themselves as a group and tend to view the clique as superior to anyone outside the clique.

Cliques can form in any age group but they are most associated with groups whose members have gotten stuck in an adolescent or late childhood developmental stage, the stage when individuals normally form and become members of such groups. Accordingly, groupthink is characteristic of individuals who may have gotten stuck in a pre-adult developmental stage.

Facebook is a well known huge groupthink-collective in which groupthink can be diagnosed at various levels in the interactions from the very top, where the Facebook Standards and the thought police are active censoring deviant thinkers, that is, anyone who may not agree with Facebook or its policies, to the smaller yet equally repulsive “groups,” which may be “open,” “closed” or “secret”. The problem and real danger associated with Facebook and other social media that functions by exploiting the groupthink phenomenon is the sheer numbers of people who can be and actually are affected by the clique(s).

The proven disorder of Facebook Addiction or Internet Addiction Disorder make the problem even worse because once subscribers are addicted, they are captivated by the groupthink phenomenon and cannot escape.(See our article on Facebook Addiction Disorder on this blog.)

It’s the beginning of the end of open communication, autonomy, and due process.

Another problem is what I would call the “Room 101” factor[7]:  the fact that in terms of groupthink, when Facebook decides to deactivate an account for one reason or another, whether for a period of time certain (days, weeks, etc.) or permanently, this “punishment” practice has a psychospiritual effect on the affected individual, similar to being shunned or banned froma group or a clique. It is a powerful motivator to keep people under their thumb, a control strategy, that works extremely well once Facebook has hooked a person, and the person is sufficiently invested in Facebook in terms of time spent online and digital friends collected, such that the now addicted subscriber will feel the psychosocial pain of being “deactivated.,” in a sense placed in isolation by Facebook without the benefit of due process. Yes, it’s the beginning of the end of open communication, autonomy, and due process. Similar, in fact, to “vaporizing” a dissenter in Orwell’s “1984” where the dissenter is simply made to disappear, as if he never existed. [8]

The recent reports of Facebook’s cooperation with the US and Israeli governments to deactivate certain Facebook pages because their messages are “inconvenient” is a very disturbing step taken in the direction of thought control, Thought Police and Mindguards. That’s why we’ve been trying to get through to our readers to campaign against social media like Facebook! (See our articles on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg‘s ambitious agenda to become God. Once he’s got a fifth of the world’s population addicted to Facebook and can control what they read, hear, see, and say, he’s well on his way to become the next Dictator in Heaven.)


The same “vaporizing” occurs when someone “unfriends” or “blocks” another subscriber who may have violated the group-leader’s or the group’s groupthink policies. Have you been Facebook vaporized recently? You wouldn’t know if you had been because Facebook strategically keeps it a secret; only the vaporizer and Facebook know it. Same applies when someone has a grudge against you on Facebook: they simply report you for such-and-such, and you find yourself deactivated. Groupthink à la Facebook!

The groupthink phenomenon can be avoided but only if the clique or the group is willing to acknowledge the phenomenon, to recognize it in their group, and sees the benefits of avoiding the phenomenon.

Fred Lunenburg (2012) proposes a number of possible ways to avoid groupthink in a group, including[9]:

  • Encouraging group members to state and air objections, doubts, and questions,
  • Promoting impartiality rather than stating preferences and expectations of the group at the outset,
  • The group leaders should periodically discuss the group’s policies and practices and report their transactions back to the group, inviting feedback,
  • Members should be invited to challenge the views of core members (and leaders),
  • At least one member should play the role of devil’s advocate, expressing objections or critiquing group policies and practices, and beliefs,
  • Where there is devil’s advocacy, members should spend time and effort evaluating the warning signals of developing groupthink inherent in adverse responses,
  • Alternative scenarios should be constructed by group leaders in evaluating any rivaling intentions,
  • In the case of a member who appears to consistently rival the group’s polices or practices (Red flag! Think groupthink!), the member should be asked to express as vividly as he can all his residual doubts,
  • Group leaders or core members should present the entire issue to the group to elicit feedback and insights before making any definitive choices or decisions.

Group coherence and decision making has clear benefits over individual decision making. This is especially true when a decision must be made under conditions of uncertainty.[10] Some of the benefits described by Bonito (2011) include[11]:

  • Improved decision quality
  • Higher level of creativity and creative thinking
  • Improved decision acceptance and organizational learning
  • Increased decision understanding
  • Enhanced effectiveness in establishing objectives, identifying alternatives
  • Greater decision accuracy and avoidance of errors and glitches

Admittedly, these benefits may be less related to the actual outcomes of decisions than they are to group morale and satisfaction; we can agree that groups should and probably do perform better when

  • Group members present a variety of relevant skills that differ sufficiently but do not create constraints or conflicts;
  • There is a division of labor or effort, input;
  • Individual inputs can be “averaged” in such a way as to arrive at a group “position.”

Are you controlled by the Thought Police, the Mindguards from the cradle to the grave?

By now you might be asking yourself the question: “That having been said, and while applicable to business decisions or to Facebook and other moderated social media, how does that apply to spiritual care or to our lives in our communities and the nation at large?” Well, in order to answer that question, I have to ask you to step out of your stall in the sheeple box, and think about the environment in which you live. Ask yourselves if you can identify groupthink in these situations:

  • In your church or faith community. (Hint: How do you talk about other faith or belief groups)?
  • In the Sports Association or Social Club. Do you have to toe the mark in what you talk about?
  • In your political or social club (Hint: When at a Republican Club or Democratic Club or American Legion occasion, are you careful what you say?)
  • In your children’s schools (Hint: Do you speak your mind at a Board of Education meeting or just sit simmering? At a PTA meeting what do you feel you can discuss? Do you even attend any of these?)
  • At town board or village board meetings (Hint: Do you speak your mind at a board meetings or just sit simmering? Do you even attend any of these?)
  • Have you ever avoided going somewhere or doing something because you were concerned what “they” would say?
  • Are there subjects or topics or language that you avoid specifically to avoid being stereotyped or labeled? Do you choose political correctness over truth and honesty? Do you do that out of fear of the Mindguards?

Are you being stalked by the community or social media Thought Police, the Mindguards?

At home do you have open discussions with family members or are some subjects simply avoided or off-topic? Are the Thought Police at work in your home? Or are you letting the Facebook and social media thought police do their work for you? Have you seen your kids today?

When is the last time you looked at what your schools are teaching to your children? Have you ever openly questioned what they are being taught? Or are you letting the Mindguards manage your kids’ minds?

At work do you challenge social injustice or do you simply turn your back hoping it won’t hit you next? Are you open in discussing what you feel needs to be considered for change? Do you suggest improvements? Or are you living in constant fear of being “vaporized,” “unfriended,” “blocked” by your employer or even your workmates and coworkers?

Have you been castrated by the Thought Police, the Mindguards?

Most of us will find ourselves interacting throughout our entire lives with employers, educators, community members, governing bodies, committees, or just with our families. We take these interactions for granted; that’s a big mistake..Each of these environments is at high risk of the groupthink phenomenon, and we need to start thinking about the nature and quality of those interactions. Can you identify the symptoms of groupthink in any of your relationships or interations?

We frequently say that “emotions are contagious,” but we don’t frequently admit that not only emotions but the environment created by the attitudes and thinking of leaders and core members in a group are just as contagious in the form of groupthink.

Organizations like schools, religious institutions, government, social organizations are hotbeds for the groupthink

Those of us who are aware of our lives will admit that each group or community has its own culture, and if we are to work effectively with the members and effetively serve the ourselves and our community, we have to be aware of the groupthink phenomenon as it most certainly exists in that group or community. Ask yourself if you feel your teachers, your administrators, your elected officials, local law enforcement are listening to you and your concerns and their attitude towards the “necessary evil” of your opinion must be tolerated rather than facilitated. That attitude extends to all the members of the community, including educators, elected officials, law enforcement, etc.,  and the symptoms of groupthink can be quickly and easily identified if you care to look. How do we deal with that situation armed with the awareness of the probable existence of groupthink?

Organizations like schools, religious institutions, government, social organizations are hotbeds for the groupthink phenomenon because they are founded on very clear principles of operation and program; they have their” agendas.” The objectives and goals of the group are clearly defined and the members are controlled by the assignment of specific tasks and imposing protocols. The agenda is clearly defined. You simply don’t dissent or rock the hospice boat. Groupthink.

Institutional Agendas Define the Group.

 

As “tradition” the groupthink may have developed as a response to the local culture, whether it be socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, etc. In this case, it is a response to the exigencies of doing living and functioning with that demographic mix, and is almost a requirement for survival. Is this “positive” groupthink? Perhaps, but it goes without saying that unless the establishment leaves the door open to open discussion, sharing of insights, correct interpretations of warning signs and red flags, it can quickly transmute into “negative” groupthink.

As the organization leaves the traditional, local, “family” orientation or organization and moves towards the group or the corporate systems, groupthink becomes more of a high risk than a positive stabilizing factor. This is where the culture of the group or corporation overshadows the individuals that move it as well as those who consume its products and services. Rather than being an evolving, “living” organism, it is a monolith. Again,I can’t help but cite Facebook or the federal government as outstanding examples of such a negative development.

A number of large multinational corporations like IBM, 3M, Anheuser-Busch have recognized the threat posed by groupthink and have implemented and developed processes to prevent or at least to mitigate its deleterious and prejudicial effects within the components of the organization and on the organization as a whole. Lunenburg (2012) discusses some of the ways they have approached prevention of groupthink by way of methods like devil’s advocacy and dialectical inquiry. McDougel and Baum (1997) discuss the application of devil’s advocacy to stimulate discussion and avoid groupthink in focus groups.[12] McAvoy et al. discuss how devil’s advocacy and the principles of sensemaking can be used in a method they call the “agitation workshop” as a method of challenging the false consensus created by the groupthink phenomenon.[13]

Do frequent meetings and evaluations work to avoid groupthink? More likely than not, they may actually promote groupthink when leadership reiterate at each meeting the same expectations at the outset, setting the stage for a more limited and controlled conversation that does not allow for alternative discussion. But such meetings and evaluations and be highly productive if, at the outset, the leaders or facilitators are aware of the symptoms of groupthink and some of the methods to directly avoid it, as well as the quasi-paedagogical methods of enhancing creative thinking, even improving performance by institutionalizing dissent!

We can and should play an important and proactive role in making the organizations and leaders with whom we work aware of the groupthink phenomenon, its dangers and risks, and ways of avoiding the phenomenon in our environments. Once people are made aware of the phenomenon and ways to identify it and prevent it, we are on the path to reclaiming the efficacy and authenticity we once enjoyed but lost in the wake of the development of corporate control of our institutions and the chilling of interpersonal relations by online social media.

By using your brain you can avoid the dangers of groupthink!
The Editor


Notes

[1] Irving Janis originally coined the term groupthink in 1972. (Janis, Irving L.  (1972).  Victims of Groupthink.  New York: Houghton Mifflin.)

[2] Janis, I. L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascos (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

[3] For a more comprehensive discussion of the eight symptoms please refer to Janis’ Groupthink, Psychological Studies, above. A brief and very helpful overview of groupthink is provided in What is Groupthink? (http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm, last accessed on January 8, 2018, 2018).

[4] The “Julia got a job!” obviously scripted video is synopsized on YouTube in the following words: “A heartwarming video shows the moment a teenage girl with Down syndrome receives her first job offer. A girl named Julia gets a phone call from a Chick-fil-A employee in Rancho Murieta, California. ‘I was just calling to offer you a position here,’ the woman says on speaker phone. ‘Your pay rate would be 11.50 per hour, would you like to accept?’ ‘I do,’ Julia says, her face overcome with emotion. As the woman tells her that she will start in December, Julia breaks down in tears of happiness. ‘Oh my gosh,’ she can be heard saying as she thanks the woman profusely. Julia’s family then encircles her and gives her a massive hug while chanting ‘Chick-Fil-A’. “ (AutoNews- Source:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5101331/Teen-girl-syndrome-cries-s-given-job.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490)

[5] According to McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that serves private, public and social sector institutions, in a report entitled, “The value that employees with Down syndrome can add to organizations,” we read “[H]owever, some companies have chosen to tackle the far more complex challenge of hiring people with intellectual disabilities. Those that have done so have found that these people can add value to organizational health (an organization’s ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than competitors so that it can sustain exceptional performance over time). Employees with Down syndrome are a particularly interesting topic of research, as they have a number of characteristics that both increase the challenges associated with inclusion and bring added benefits.” [my italics] (McKinsey & Company (2014) “The value that employees with Down Syndrome can add to organizations” (Vicente Assis, Marcus Frank, Guilherme Bcheche, and Bruno Kuboiama), last accessed on January 9, 2018.)

[6] Ibid.

[7] I’m referring to the notorious Room 101 described in Orwell’s novel “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” the room in the Ministry of Truth (MiniTru in Newspeak), where dissenters were taken for “processing,” most never to be heard from again. “You asked me once,” said O’Brien, “what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”  (“1984” Part 3, Ch. 5)  In “1984” the Inner Party persecutes individualism and independent thinking known as “thoughtcrimes” and is enforced by the “Thought Police.” The Ministry of Love (Miniluv), the ministry in charge of torturing dissidents.  The protagonist Smith is subjected to many forms of torture and is forced into the horror chamber known only as Room 101.

[8] Mind Control – George Orwell BBC 101 Documentary last accessed on January 9, 2018.

[9] Lunenburg, F. (2012).” Devil’s Advocacy and Dialectical Inquiry: Antidote to Groupthink”. International Journal of

Scholarly and Academic Intellectual Diversity, Vol 14, No. 1, pp 1-9.

[10] Nikolaidis (2012) defines uncertainty as “the condition under which an individual [or group] does not have the necessary information to assign probabilities to the outcomes of alternative solutions. (Nikolaidis, E. (2012).  Design decisions under uncertainty with limited information. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.)

[11] Bonito, J. (2011). Interaction and influence in small group decision making. New York, NY: Routledge.

[12] McDougal, C., F. Baum, (1997) “The Devil’s Advocate: A Strategy to Avoid Groupthink and Stimulate Discussion in Focus Groups,” Qualitative Health Research, Volume 7, Number 4, pp 532-541.

[13] John McAvoy, Tadhg Nagle and David Sammon, (2013) “A novel approach to challenging consensus in evaluations: The Agitation Workshop,” The Electronic Journal Information Systems Evaluation, Volume 16 Issue 1,  pp 45-55.

 
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Church, Government, Schools, Parents are Failing to Protect Our Children!!!

Republished with Permission of the Author and the Owner of the
Church, Ministry and Pastoral Care


The Church, rather than aiding and abetting the moral and spiritual demise of the human being; rather than cooperating and collaborating with the evils of social media, better named social disease; rather than having a clearly socialist, heretic pope blurting out his heresies over Twitter; rather than pastors preaching the pabulum of social justice and socialism rather than moral values and virtue, the Church and churches are failing us miserably! The Church and churches are failing not only the faithful or those hungry for spirituality but also those of us who are active in teaching, preaching, ministering, and propagating faith traditions and spirituality.

Pope Francis & the Roman Catholic Church Collaborate with Facebook

The Church is Failing Us!

We need to start re-assessing ourselves, our life styles, our priests, pastors, ministers, rabbis, and imams. We need to put a stop to the corporations and their snaking into our lives, our souls, our families! We need to start with disciplining Twitter, Facebook, and other social media who are destroying ignorant and even savvy adults, have even claimed presidents and popes who have succumbed to the addiction, and who are now laying claim to our most vulnerable and valuable members of our society, our children!

Anti-pope Jorge Bergoglio on Twitter

Where are the bishops, the clergy, the rabbis, the imams on these pernicious, scurrilous, specious, and evil developments? I’ll tell you straight out: Our bishops, our clergy, our rabbis, our imams, and our profane secular leaders are willing accomplices to the destruction of the human spirit by so-called social media, especially the filth-monger Facebook and its Antichrist founder, Marc Zuckerberg and his demonic minions!

Anti-pope meets Antichrist.
Jorge Bergoglio and Marc Zuckerberg
The Match Made in Hell

What has happened to the Churches’ pilgrimage on the higher moral road? They’ve ended up in a drainage ditch!

This blog is all about awareness, awakening. This is a blog is all about awakening the spirit in spirituality and authentic faith practices among all faith and belief traditions. This blog is all about awakening the human spirit. Because it’s about awakening the human spirit, I feel compelled to write this article about how Facebook is killing the human spirit. I’m going to divert attention from our commentary on church and congregation and spiritual development to a very alarming and dangerous situation being created by the social media drug, Facebook. I am diverting to this subject because it concerns our most vulnerable and valuable asset, our children. Please take the time to read this article and to seriously consider how Facebook is striking at the very core of humanity — how Church and clergy are aiding and abetting the assault on humanity —, and how we must do something to stop Facebook’s uncontrolled control of their subscribers and now this unabashed agenda targeting young children. It’s tantamount to digital pedophilia, child abuse at its worst, because it’s targeting their social and spiritual development, only to ensure that Facebook dominates our society. An the Church, not only the Roman Catholic Church but all Christian denominations and most non-Christian traditions are aiding and abetting the development. Think of the ramifications! What has happened to the Churches’ pilgrimage on the higher moral road? They’ve ended up in a drainage ditch!

Facebook’s Worst Idea Ever? A Messenger App for Kids


In an online article in Family, Facebook’s Worst Idea Ever? A Messenger App for Kids [New Jersey Family, December 4, 2017], author Megan Muesen writes:  “Facebook says it will collect some data, including children’s names, the content of their messages and data about how they are using the app. Facebook also reserves the right to share information with third parties (which may have their own privacy policies regarding children) and says it won’t use data from Messenger Kids to create ads…It’s hard to navigate the ever-changing internet landscape, especially at a time when children under the age of eight are spending an hour per day staring at a screen.” But can we trust Facebook to protect the best interests of our children, or can we expect Facebook to protect its own interests, especially its bottom line and revenues?

Facebook is more of a social disease than a social opportunity. It has robbed us of our ability to communicate in human terms, it has created addicts of most of its users. Facebook is a trap that lures unsuspecting people into what they think is a unique opportunity to connect and then treats subscribers like a bunch of idiots blocking accounts at random for days for any so-called violation of Facbook rules, and informing the user that they “may have violated” a Facebook rule. “May have”?  What does that mean. You don’t know and Facebook “systems” doing the blocking don’t care.

You complain that you “don’t have time” to do this or that in your day. Did you ever keep track of the time you spend on Facebook? Try keeping time you spend on Facebook each day for a couple of days. Just jot down Time On/Time Off. You’ll be amazed at how much time you spend on that cyberdemon. Now visit this article and find out if you’re addicted to Facebook (or any other Internet site). You’re an addict and don’t even know it.

Children are becoming fFcebook shadow people

It’s a form of self-deceiving, self-defeating, self-destructive behavior (SDB). This is a serious problem and everyone using Facebook and other social media should be aware of this devastating self-perpetuating, deadman’s spiral behavior. It develops insidiously and has dire effects. Self-destructive behavior is real, is affecting huge numbers of people using social media, and is highly addictive. It’s even affecting the Church and religious and belief traditions of all types.

Got Messenger? Even worse still. You may think you’re important getting all those notifications and messages but Guess what? you’re getting them from other addicts. Anyone who needs request a chat, a video call more than once or twice a day to the same person really needs to get back to reality and get a life. They, you’re addicted.

Just like any other drug, social media takes control of your life even only after a short time of recreational use a.k.a. social use. All it takes is a little bait and those susceptible to addition are hooked like a fish. Remember the time when someone asked you if you had a Facebook account and you actually said No. Facebook now reports that it has some 1.4 billion users worldwide, many of them addicts in the First World, but many also in the second and third world, people who are very vulnerable and susceptible to the wrong messages being disseminated by Facebook users and by Facebook itself. Imagine the scenario where presidents and popes have accounts on Facebook and Twitter and send their public propaganda to millions, billions worldwide. No think of the invisible, clandestine operations that are no doubt going on behind the scenes or behind the profile and “friend” you’ve been sharing your secrets with. Sure, keep indiscriminately “friending” every cyberfreak that comes along. Sure send them a picture of your private parts. Sure, send them anything they ask for. The cheap thrill now will cost you plenty later. That’s a fact of self-destructive behavior, by the way. Read my article.

The whole Federal Law thing about protecting children from online exploitation is a load of bulls***, people. See through the agenda!

Facebook recently launched a new app targeting young childrenFacebook launches a version of Messenger for young children; the app is targeting children and is designed for children ages six to 12 (!!!!). Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), a US federal law, is supposed to  protect underage children from exploitation online, and it’s the reason so many online services require children be 13 years of age or older in order to sign up. Facebook says the new app is only available in the US. Surprised? But the still open question is this: How does Facebook ensure that its present members are a certain age before sign-up? It’s obvious it can’t verify the age of a non-existent person and Facebook is crawling with non-existent persons. Just check out the profiles and subscriber names! Facebook can’t verify an account holder’s name or age, it’s that simple! They rely on what the account holder provides, and that’s usually fake! So the whole Federal Law thing about protecting children from online exploitation is a load of bulls***, people. See through the agenda!

Facebook is going after the next generation of users by targeting children!

Is this your child’s future? Staring for hours every day into an electronic device?

Facebook’s own spokesperson provides a damning statement on Facebook’s real agenda: Facebook is going after the next generation of users by targeting children. Facebook’s Public Policy Director Antigone Davis writes, “Children today are online earlier and earlier.” Davis goes on to say that “research shows that kids are using apps that are intended for teens and adults.” Davis says Facebook collaborated with National PTA on a study showing observing 1,200 American parents of children under the age of 13, with three out of every five parents saying kids under 13 are already using messaging apps, while 81 percent say their kids stated using social media apps as early as eight.” That statement clearly reads that children are already using adult apps, and are chatting and messaging, despite any toothless federal law and the stupidity of their parents! Facebook’s own statement clearly points out that Facebook is going after the next generation of users by targeting children! Facebook is creating a pipeline using young children to become regular users of the Facebook cyberplague.

It’s evil, it’s filth, it’s degenerate.

It hat what the PTA is all about? Parents should demand discipline of any teacher, any school, any school board of education that promotes or allows Facebook, Twitter, or Messenger to be used by students or who promote using social media for communicating school business. The same goes for any parish, congregation, synagogue, temple, mosque that promotes social media as a means for communication among their members. It’s evil, it’s filth, it’s degenerate.

Facebook has proven it cannot be trusted with youth data in the past

In an online article in Wired, Kristen Strader, campaign coordinator for the nonprofit group Public Citizen, says Facebook has proven it cannot be trusted with youth data in the past, pointing to a leaked Facebook report from May that promised advertisers the ability to track teen emotions, such as insecurity, in real-time. “Their response was just that they will not do similar experiments in the future,” says Strader. At the time, advocacy groups asked for a copy of the report, but Facebook declined. [Source: Facebook for 6-year olds?]

It’s not about social media, it’s only about social control.

Messenger Kids. Facebook is going after the next generation of users by targeting children!  Messenger Kids is targeting the 8-13 age group and Facebook is asking parents to give their approval so children can message one another. By enlisting the parents as willing tools to sacrifice their children, Facebook is betting that the app can introduce a new generation of users to the Marc Zuckerberg’s ever-expanding social control universe. Zuckerberg’s greed, arrogance, and intrusion into the family has no bounds! He has to be stopped along with his Facebook evil. It’s not about social media, it’s only about social control.

The glaring arrogance and undisguised attack on our young and children, undermining the role of parents and significant others is unforgivable! The idolatry has become overwhelming and I’d rather not continue supporting it. It is clearly dehumanizing and is doing much damage to our people. The recent announcement of an app for the 13 and under is one of the the most disgusting and ugly attacks on children and their social, moral and spiritual development yet seen in our history. We have to make a move and I am doing my part by this protest: I’m deleting all of my Facebook accounts! I urge you to do the same.

The new app is tantamount to child abuse, akin to pedophilia. Parents who allow it should be damned. In a NY Times article, New Facebook App for Children Ignites Debate Among Families, there is a huge debate among parents who, on the one hand are concerned about “Facebook’s snaking its way into his children’s lives at an early age would most likely do more harm than good,” and those who feel that technology is an inevitability and appreciate “Facebook’s approach with the new app.” The parent interviewed who appreciates Facebook’s newest perversion is, of course, from the LaLa-Land, California, home of Silicon Valley and Facebook. Surprised? Sure, such parents are more than willing to abandon their children to their electronic devices; that provides more me-time for the parents.

I’ve often referred to Facebook and other social media as an addictive drug. Modern science has identified it as being addictive and has even given it a name, Internet Addictive Disorder, and a sub-category of Facebook Addictive Disorder, with its own set of psychiatric signs and symptoms. What more evidence do we need than our own behavior, self-defeating, self-deceiving and frequently self-destructive, to prove to us that Facebook is doing irreparable damage to adults, and is now targeting an even more vulnerable group, our children, and they’re asking parent to cooperate in their own children’s destruction.

One parent’s position on this issue is worth reading. Jenny Anderson tells us “Why I Won’t Let My Children Near Facebook’s Messenger for Kids,” and it’s clear how one parent is aware enough to put her foot down. We need more parents like Jenny!

You should be more worried about your children and social media!!!

STOP FACEBOOK! RAISE YOUR VOICES! WRITE TO YOUR LEGISLATORS! CONDEMN MARC ZUCKERBERG AND HIS EVIL EMPIRE, THE SHEEPLE OF FACEBOOK! SAVE OUR CHILDREN!!!!

We have to make a move and I am doing my part by this protest: I’m deleting all of my Facebook accounts! I urge you to do the same.

The Forgotten Lesson: Christ’s love for the children.

Thank you for reading!

Rev. Ch. Harold
Church, Ministry & Spiritual Care

 

 

The Greed and Insanity of the American Funeral Industry: Dissolving your dead.

Editor’s Forward

From Deathcare Professional to Disposal Professional

At some point in time, the American funeral director has gone from deathcare professional to disposal professional. It’s really gotten out of hand and it’s time the American people started thinking better about themselves and started telling the government and the corporations to stop treating us like so much municipal waste. This doesn’t happen without the involvement of legislators and government. If funeral directors are forced into providing an immoral but legal service, who’s to blame them? We can boycott them and refuse to use them, and send our loved ones to someone who can treat them with human dignity. It’s our choice and we’d better start thinking about it before someone else makes the choices for us. This new movement in the funeral industry is just disgusting!

The Editor


Excerpt from the article by
Republished with Permission of the Author
Rev. Ch. Harold W. Vadney, BA, [MA], MDiv
Interfaith Bereavement Chaplain/Thanatologist

Dissolve and Flush: Funeralized Alkaline Hydrolysis.

The Newest Technology for Disposing of Dead Human Beings.


In the West, interment, inhumation, entombment have been the traditional  methods of disposing of dead human bodies, that is, prior to the late 19th century with the revival of cremation as an alternative. Until about 1880, cremation was anathema, unless, occasionally, at times of extraordinarily large numbers or dead, such as during war time, during epidemics, or following natural disasters, mass graves or incineration of the corpses was preferred to avoid further catastrophe in terms of public health. Fire cremation was revived in the West as a quasi-pagan option attributed to non-Christian freethinkers and masons or simply to anti-social elements but then took a different tack by appealing to the public health and environmentally conscious elements in conventional society. Today, economic concerns both consumer and industrial take precedence. The dominant market economies in the industrialized West, particularly in the USA, UK, and some Western European countries, as well as the insatiable appetite of post-modern, post-Christian cultures for novelty and individualism, have left the door ajar for the entry into the funeralization professions of an industrialized process called alkaline hydrolysis (AH), an industrial process invented in the late 19th century as a way of dissolving in strong chemicals farm animal waste for use as fertilizer.[1]


“Omnes homines terra et cinis” Sirach 12:32
[“All human beings are earth and ashes”]

In a particularly beautiful description of how the pre-Vatican II Church thought of the human being, and in poetry that was possible only in a more sensitive epoch of human history, one reads:[2]

“The old Church holds on to her dead with eternal affection. The dead body is the body of her child. It is sacred flesh. It has been the temple of a regenerated soul. She blessed it in baptism, poured the saving waters on its head, anointed it with holy oil on breast and back, put the blessed salt on its lips, and touched its nose and ears in benediction when it was only the flesh of a babe; and then, in growing youth, reconsecrated it by confirmation; and, before its dissolution in death, she again blessed and sanctified its organs, its hands and its feet, as well as its more important members. Even after death she blesses it with holy water, and incenses it before her altar, amid the solemnity of the great sacrifice of the New Law, and surrounded by mourners who rejoice even in their tears, for they believe in the communion of saints, and are united in prayer with the dead happy in heaven, as well as with those who are temporarily suffering in purgatory. The old Church, the kind old mother of regenerated humanity, follows the dead body of her child into the very grave. She will not throw it into the common ditch, or into unhallowed ground; no, it is the flesh of her son. She sanctifies and jealously guards from desecration the spot where it is to rest until the final resurrection; and day by day, until the end of the world, she thinks of her dead, and prays for them at every Mass that is celebrated; for, even amid the joys of Easter and of Christmas, the memento for the dead is never omitted from the Canon. She even holds annually a solemn feast of the dead, the day after “All Saints,” in November, when the melancholy days are on the wane, the saddest of the year, and the fallen leaves and chilly blasts presage the season of nature’s death.”[3]

The Church of bygone days frequently used prose poetically and quoted liberally from the Church Fathers and even from the ancient philosophers and historiographers like Plato, Seneca, Socrates, Cicero many of whom, though pre-Christian, did not eschew the notion of the immortal soul.  St Augustine writes, “We should not despise nor reject the bodies of the dead; especially we should respect the corpses of the just and the faithful, which the Spirit hath piously used as instruments and vessels in the doing of good works…for those bodies are not mere ornaments but pertain to the very nature of humankind.”[4]

Cremation made an occasional appearance in isolated periods of Western history or in outlier regions where Christianity had not yet attained dominance; cremation was largely associated with non-Christian, pagan cultures.

In the East, in places where Hinduism and Buddhism had a firm foothold, cremation was and continues to be the norm. In some geographical areas such as in parts of Tibet, where the ground is unfavorable to interment and wood is a scarce and valuable resource, exposure of the corpse or dismemberment of the corpse and consumption by carrion-eating birds, so-called sky-burial or, in its form where the dismembered corpse is cast into a fiver for consumption by fishes, water burial, is practiced.

A similar practice of exposure is found in Zoroastrian communities in Iran, in the so-called towers of silence or dakhma, where the dead are brought, exposed, and consumed by vultures; the skeletal remains are then later collected for disposal.

While isolated instances of cremation are reported both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, burial or entombment was conspicuously the norm. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, burning of a corpse was a final act of abomination, reserved for only the worst elements of society.

One of the common misapprehensions of the Church’s aversion to or discouragement of incineration of the human body as a routinely available option for final disposal is that it was associated with pagan or freethinker practice, or with attempts to dissuade believers from faith in a bodily resurrection. While this might have some historical substance and may be represented by some early writers, it is but a minor hypothesis.

Ancient flame cremation practiced by the ancients.

As Eusebius describes early Christian aversion to flame cremation in a statement that still holds plausible, “” they (the Pagans) did this (cremated) to show that they could conquer God and destroy the resurrection of the bodies, saying, now let us see if they will arise.” In other words, cremation was a challenge to the belief in bodily resurrection as taught and believed in the early Church.

Furthermore, no less a figure than Cicero advances the notion that incineration was of ancient practice in Rome, and suggests that inhumation was a practice that predated the Roman practice of cremation. In fact, some noble Roman families never permitted their bodies to be burned, and Sulla is said to have been the first Roman who ordered his body to be cremated after death, lest his bones should be scattered by his enemies.[5] The pontiffs of pagan Rome would not acknowledge a funeral to be complete unless at least a single bone cut off from the corpse, or rescued from the flames, had been de posited in the earth.

Ancient Greece and Rome did practice cremation at various points in their histories but the ultimate disposal of the remains continued to be burial; either a part not consumed by the flames or the “bones” of the cremated corpse were ultimately buried in the earth. Cremation was by no means consistently the norm or the preferred method of disposal in Greece or in Rome.

Pope Boniface VIII forbade all violent modes of disposing of the dead as savoring of barbarism. “The respect due to the human body requires that it should be allowed to decay naturally, without having recourse to any violent system;” so says Grandclaude. A forcible argument against cremation is also found in the Catholic custom of preserving and honoring the relics of the Saints and putting their bodies or portions of them in the altar. It would be no longer possible to have the most important relics of future Saints if their flesh were to be consumed by fire.

That brief sampling of ancient teachings and beliefs regarding the question of incineration of human remains, arguably a “violent system” of disposing of human remains, should suffice to provide a background for the remainder of this discussion. For a more detailed discussion, I refer the reader to the Reverend Bann’s article cited above.

It was only in the late 19th century that a cremation movement came into being, and then only owing to the deplorable conditions in the cities which were rapidly outgrowing their boundaries due to immigration from rural areas, and the resulting encroachments on the previously outlying churchyards and, with population growth and densification, poor sanitation, and high mortality rates, consequent overfilling of existing cemeteries literally to the point of overflowing.

The urban slums of the Industrial Age.

Such were the conditions that gave rise to the public health concerns of reformers who claimed that the dead in the cemeteries were evil, that their miasmas leached out into the water and the spaces of the living, causing disease, suffering, and death. It was the evil dead rotting in the earth and their juices that were public health enemy No. 1. The open sewers and living conditions of the larger cities, and the putrid waters of the rivers flowing through them, of course, were not to blame.

And so, an alternative method of disposal of the dangerous and filthy dead had to be found, one that did not threaten to gobble up valuable real estate, and one that could be justified in the face of Church and religious objections. Cremation was the most obvious answer for purifying the unclean corpses. After all, since time immemorial fire was the great purifier.

In the beginning, therefore, the initial impetus was the miasma theory of pestilence, and corpses were to blame. Then, around 1880, the germ theory of disease was born. It debunked the established miasma theory of disease, and stated that disease was caused by specific organisms, germs. No problem for the cremationists, who were quite agile in dropping the miasma theory and accepting the germ theory but corpses were not yet off the hook, so to speak.

If germs were the cause of many of the diseases afflicting the population, wouldn’t the putrid rotting corpse be germ heaven? And if you have all those corpses lying about doing nothing but what corpses do, that is, rotting and defiling the air with the aromas of putrecine and cadaverine. Those same rotting corpses were breeding grounds for pestilence and a simple hole in the ground was not very likely to contain the little vermin. Cremation, the great sterilizer, would be the cremationists’ next slogan. But it didn’t last long.

The interests of the economic-minded would carry the day both in terms of the environment and the economy, and that campaign agenda is with us to this day. Basically, the dirge goes: “Why allocate so much valuable land to the dead when the living can profit by it?” Land for the living! After all, as corporations like StoneMor can confirm, cemetery real estate and the real estate occupied by the cemeteries represents a vast fortune. Someone has to tap into it.

The countries of Europe afflicted with the spirit of rationalism had no problem dealing with cemeteries; they just overruled the Church and legislated that the state had ultimate control of the citizen in life and in death. The Church could fall back on canon law but ultimately had to acquiesce to the state’s overwhelming power, and so the cemeteries were secularized. Once secularized they were emptied and their occupants relegated to ossuaries or catacombs en masse, and anonymous in their tens, even hundreds of thousands. In many instances, their eviction from the cemeteries and relocation to the quarries was done under cover of night, in order not to offend the living or present an obstacle to commerce.

France was one of the first Western nations to desecrate consecrated ground and defile the dead.

In countries where the Church, Roman Catholic or mainstream Protestant dominated, the faithful were expected under established sanctions, to obey the doctrines of their faith. For most mainstream Christians, and for all Orthodox Jews and Muslims, cremation was an abomination, and burial in the earth or entombment were the only acceptable methods of sepulture. And so it remained until 1963, when the Roman Catholic Church relieved it’s ban on cremation and, while not encouraging cremation, did not censure those who opted for incineration as their preferred method of disposal. Upto then, those choosing cremation were pro forma classified as apostates, atheists, pagans, free-thinkers, or Masons.

The 1960’s was a decade of revolutionary reform in practically every aspect of life: politics, religion, morals, education, all of which ultimately found expression in attitudes towards life, death, dying and after-death.

Alkaline hydrolysis (AH)[6], aquamation[7], resomation[8], biocremation[9], call it whatever you like it all literally boils down [no pun intended] to taking a dead human body, placing it into a pressure cooker, adding water and chemicals, heating, cooking, draining, rinsing. The dissolved flesh and organic matter is then flushing into the sewer system. What is left is bones and any metallic or synthetic material in the body (artificial joints, pacemakers, sutures, etc.). The metal such as artificial joints etc. will be recycled or “repurposed.”  The bones will be dried and ground up into a sandlike powder and returned to the family or otherwise disposed of.

The actual patented process, alkaline hydrolysis (AH) is a process developed for waste disposal. “Waste disposal” is the actual term used in the patents. AH was developed for disposal of infectious or hazardous waste by dissolving it into a “safe and sanitary” end-product. In fact, the actual wording of one of the patents is: “it is an object of this invention to provide a system and method for safely treating and disposing of waste matter containing undesirable elements, such as infectious, biohazardous, hazardous, or radioactive elements or agents.”

AH was developed for dissolving, liquefying organic matter into a disposable liquid that can be recycled as a fertilizer or simply flushed down the drain. It’s actually a technology that was developed in the late 19th century for disposing of animal waste, and which was developed in the mid-20th century for disposal of farm slaughter waste and for elimination of medical school cadavers, is now being promoted as the new eco-friendly take on cremation. Alkaline hydrolysis a.k.a. water cremation a.k.a. biocremation —  in reality just using a Draino®-like chemical to dissolve the dead human body and flush the remaining human sludge down the drain into the public sewer system — is the new rage in technology. Some funeral homes in about 14 states, where the process is now legal in the United States are now offering it as an alternative to cremation. It’s disgusting and will be a hard sell, since it will be acceptable only to the really bizarre element out there. I hope to clarify some of the issues in this article.

This is not how human beings should be treating their dead.

Download the complete article here:
Dissolve and Flush_article draft


Notes

[1] See also History of Alkaline Hydrolysis by Joseph Wilson. Wilson is the chief executive officer of Bio-Response Solutions, one of the first companies involved in the industrialization and marketing of alkaline hydrolysis for the disposition of human bodies. Joseph H. Wilson, The History of Alkaline Hydrolysis, e-pub, September 2013, 3, http://www.goodfuneralguide.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/History-of-Alkaline-Hydrolysis.pdf last accessed on October 29, 2017). The original patent filed by A.H. Hobson, U.S. Patent No. 394982 (1888), describes the process as a “… process of treating bones, which consists in digesting the bones in an alkaline solution in the presence of heat, then separating and concentrating the solution, thereby forming glue, gelatine, or size, in then digesting the remaining hone in a strong alkaline solution, so as to completely dissolve the remaining nitrogenous matter, and bring-the same into a more readily assimilable form…” (Claim 2), and as “certain new and useful improvements in the treatment of bones and animal waste or refuse generally for the purpose of rendering the same more suited for fertilizing purposes, and for obtaining gelatine, glue, and size…” (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/US394982.pdf last accessed on October 28, 2017).

[2] By way of precluding any possible suggestion of supercessionism, I would like to state from the outset that I am citing Roman Catholic writers in much of this discussion not because I am so biased but because I would rather use as my foundation a more systematized, mature, and stringent authority, which, if necessary can be attenuated or mollified mutatis mutandi in further arguments, rather than a more loose, liberal, or permissive approach as represented by the more progressive Protestant or post-Christian denominations. Although I practice as an interfaith chaplain, I am steeped in a more classical tradition than many of my contemporaries, and I ask that my readers take that subjective proclivity into consideration when reading my statements.

[3] Brann, Rev. H.A., DD, “Christian Burial and Cremation.” American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. X (Jan-Oct 1885). Philadelphia: Hardy & Mahony. p. 679. Reverend Brann provides a rather comprehensive background and discussion of Roman Catholic sources and thinking on cremation, which, in my reading, is remarkable in its tolerance, given the sociopolitical climate in which it was written (1885-6).

[4] De Civ. Dei Cap. XIII, p. 27, Vol. 41, Migne’s Patrologia.

[5] Desecration by scattering of one’s bones appears to be a thread running through much of ancient human history. Compare Sulla’s concern with the Biblical account (I Kings 31:12) of the incineration of the bodies of Saul and his sons to prevent desecration by the Philistines.

[6] US Patents 5,332,532, 6,437,211, 6,472,580, 7,183,453, 7,829,755, and U.S. Patent No. 7,910,788 (method).

[7] “Aquamation: A Greener Alternative to Cremation?” By Marina Kamenev/Sydney, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 (http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2022206,00.html, last accessed on October 28, 2017)

[8] “Innovation in sustainable end of life choices” the slogan of the Scottish company Resomation®(http://resomation.com/, last accessed on October 28, 2017).

[9] “Biocremation. A Natural Choice.” (http://biocremationinfo.com/consumers/what-is-bio-cremation, last accessed on October 28, 2017)

 

Thanatology Café: Where the conversation is about death.

Two great things about death and dying are happening right here in Ravena. First of all, A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes has expanded their operations to a new location in Ravena, at 9 Main Street, in the former Pero Memorial Chapel. Now the Ravena area has a choice; no more funeral monopoly in Ravena. Maybe there’s not much choice in life in Ravena but at least there’s a choice in death.

The second great thing is that Thanatology Café: Where the conversation is about death, is being launched right in Ravena, at the RCS Community library.

Be sure to mark the date: Saturday, April 9, 2016, 2-4 p.m. The program starts promptly at 2:00 p.m. so don’t be late. There will be light refreshments.

The organizers do ask that you sign up at the RCS Community Library using the sign-up sheets available there. You can also sign up at thanatology.cafe@gmail.com. When you sign up via email, you’ll receive an initial registration form that you should fill out and bring with you to the program on April 9.

What is Thanatology Café?

We thought you’d never ask!

joke's over


Thanatology: [than-uh-tol-uh-jee] the study of death and dying, and bereavement, especially the study of ways to understand the coping mechanisms, meaning-making, transcendence and transformation to support the bereaved and mourners, and to lessen suffering and address the needs of the dying and their survivors.


It’s a  totally unique program and it’s called

Thanatology Café.

It’s a place where anyone can come in and talk about their thoughts, concerns, and interests centering on death and dying, bereavement, grief, society and death, spirituality and death, the death industry, our responsibilities as human beings who will die some day.

Thanatology Café is a safe place to talk about the ultimate mystery and to share thoughts and concerns about death and dying. It’s a place where you won’t be judged, no agenda will try to convert you or attempt to sell you something. It’s neutral ground, a sacred space where you can open your heart and mind to benefit everyone.

Thanatology Café will also be a source of valuable information from professionals who work in the field of death and dying. The program will include speakers, presenters, or even a film for discussion. But most of the time it will simply be a place to freely express ideas and thoughts, to share with the entire group or in smaller groups working off their own energies, monitored by a facilitator.

Thanatology Café is going to be offered in at least four counties: Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Greene to start. Since community libraries are centers for education and information and are central to most communities, the organizers will be holding the regular monthly sessions in community libraries throughout the area. There will also be other sessions for special interests or to organize special events like tours etc. to historic sites. One such site is Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, where Uncle Sam is buried along with a slew of other historic figures. But the crematorium chapel is a must see and TC is working on a tour for sometime in May or June 2016.

Thanatology Café is an important resource for first responders, church bereavement groups, bereavement ministries, and even funeral directors (TC will host several presentations by funeral directors with Q&A sessions).

Thanatology Café is for everyone and the invitation is open to anyone who needs or wants to talk about death, dying, grief, mourning, spirituality, traditions and superstitions, the funeral business. The field and conversation is wide open. Only the participants will decide.

Click the link to visit the Thanatology Café blog.

Don't be one. Join us at Thanatology Café on April 9th, RCS Community Library. The Editor

Don’t be one. Join us at Thanatology Café on April 9th, RCS Community Library.

The Editor

 

News Herald Still Tries to Polish a Turd

For our readers’ convenience we have inserted links to articles on this blog that are referenced in this article. Just click on the links and read the article.


The Ravena News Herald never seems to miss a chance to impress us—negatively, of course—and this latest issue (Ravena News Herald, October 9, 2024) is not an exception. In fact, start sockpuppet Bryan Rowzee again betrays local readers with an unusually slanted and biased report—even for lackey Rowzee— on the town of Coeymans discussion on eliminating another duplication of services that is eating up taxpayer dollars in Coeymans: the outdated dispatcher services. But Rowzee simply repeats what some of RCS’s star hypocrites and liars dribbled at a Coeymans town board meeting two weeks ago. Yes, readers, Rowzee’s report is two weeks old! The devious Rowzee and his editors make readers think the information is recent by not giving the date of the meeting, making it appear that it’s more recent. Don’t be deceived, readers, you’re paying your $1 for local news that’s two weeks old. Rowzee and the morons he quotes in his “report” don’t provide any facts or figures, just pure speculation and unfounded opinion—most of which is quoted from the turdy lips of local elected officials, public servants, and former board members, the very people you’d expect to get up and talk facts and figures. But, Hold on! Have we forgotted where we are? This is RCS. Not exactly the land of truth, reality, facts and figures.


Don’t be deceived, readers, you’re paying your $1 for local news that’s two weeks old.

So how do you, some of you readers of the rag, Ravena News Herald, and stupid enough to pay $1 to do it, know what they’re talking about? When you get no facts or truth, it’s like climbing stairs to nowhere. You can’t get to the second floor without steps or a ladder, and they’re keeping you from getting the stairs or ladder.

Here’s another example many of you might be more familiar with. It’s in the town of Bethlehem, just about halfway between Ravena and Albany, very visibly positioned to be seen and read by people traveling on 9W towards Albany.

No Mr Ratmeyer, this is not God's handwork?"

No Mr Ratmeyer, this is not God’s handiwork?”

What this is, really is:

  • A distraction from the real awesomeness of God’s handiwork (which the sign is obliterating)
  • A poor quality, computer generated, enhanced, artificial excuse for the real thing (which if you weren’t reading Ratmeyer’s signboard, you’d actually see God’s handiwork!)
  • An example of the incomplete and flawed theology that local churches are feeding the famished faithful (Do they really know what it’s all about ?)
  • A very good example of the general misinformation and dysinformation that the American people are getting from their elected officials, their media, and—as our example shows—even from their churches! (Misinformation overload!)
  • A silly and feeble attempt to inspire a materialistic and individualistic mass of flesh passing by to come to their senses and recover, to salvage what’s left of their inheritance.

What it is, really is: A Lie.

In fact, it is a gross perversion of Calvin’s two-book theology of revelation: The book of Holy Scripture and the Book of Creation. The Reformed Church of America, an offshoot of Calvinism, like so many of our local churches, especially those of the minor and miniscule denominations, preach a misguided and misinformed theology to a very badly spiritually and religiously ignorant community. Ratmeyer’s Bethlehem Reformed Church isn’t the only one on the path to hell. We reported on this blog the demise of the New Baltimore Reformed Church under the misdirection of Ms Susan Kerr (read the article at: New Baltimore Reformed Church: Slow Agonizing Death).  But Ratmeyer’s signboard is nothing more than a feeble attempt to send a message, a very poorly thought message, to an audience who haven’t a clue what he’s driving at. In fact, it’s such an offensive perversion because Ratmeyer appears to have fallen victim to the very thing that is destroying the soul of the very humanity he is so impotently attempting to reach: the electronic video screen. How many souls has the electronic video screen already destroyed by drawing the observer’s attention into its nothingness while at the same time distracting the victim from reality, from the real world, from the real beauty around him or her. What was said of television a decade or two ago was that had torn families apart; today it’s the home computer, the iPads and so-called smart phones (that are smarter than their victim users) that are finishing what television started: the destruction of a social, family-oriented, community-conscious society. And the misnamed, insidious so-called social media like Facebook (Pink Obama” Sean Eldridge’s same-sex hubby Chris Hughes’ contribution to the decay of America—and now Eldridge wants your vote to make him a national lawmaker, a US congressman! No gay way!) which is in fact asocial, antisocial media that has disabled interpersonal communications and relationship building to new levels.

Now let’s get to our point, polishing turds.

Brian Rowzee and the Ravena News Herald Use a Lot of this.

Brian Rowzee and the Ravena News Herald Use a Lot of this.

So let’s get back to the News Herald and it’s misinformation and lies. While Rowzee makes very certain all of his friends get quoted, he conspicuously avoids any facts like:

  • How many dispatchers are concerned
  • How much money is being spent on the dispatchers and the dispatch office(s)
  • How much money will be saved if the dispatchers are eliminated
  • How many calls the dispatchers handle in a week, a month, a year
  • What kind of calls are they handling (life-and-death, car doesn’t start, cat-in-a-tree, etc.)
  • The fact that Albany County has a very sophisticated network of 911 dispatchers who can handle just about every emergency
  • That most of the dispatchers are family members of town and village employees (No surprise, right?)
  • That if Coeymans keeps the dispatchers, they will necessarily have to spend a bundle to update their outdated equipment and more money to train the dispatchers, something that you’re already paying for in your tax dollars because Albany County provides the dispatching service.
  • That if the dispatchers are eliminated, the town of Coeymans can save more than $350,000 in the budget.
  • That now that do-do cop Gregory Darlington has finally left the Coeymans p.d., the town can leave that position unfilled and save another more than $100,000 (Darlington was paid more than $100,000 if you include his benefits, pension, and town vehicle he drove around).
  • How does that pan out in terms of eliminating the Coeymans police department overall and letting the Albany County Sheriff and the New York State police do what they’re being paid to do. (Read our article at: Supervisor Flach: On Eliminating the Coeymans P.D.)
  • And finally, What brand of turd polish are you using to make local shit shine, Mr Rowzee?

So let’s ask Mr Rowzee and his editors, and his bosses Mark Vinciguerra and John B. Johnson of the Johnson Newspapers Corp., the corporation that owns the Ravena News Herald and Mr Bryan Rowzee, who is also part-owned by the village of Ravena: Where are the facts, the figures, the real meat and potatoes of the issue?

Looking at Rowzee’s so-called report:

Nothing you're likely to get from Bryan Rowzee or the Ravena News Herald!

Nothing you’re likely to get from Bryan Rowzee or the
Ravena News Herald
!

It seems that Mr Tom Dolan, local democrap party official and sitting town of Coeymans board member, didn’t attend the information-gathering meetings with the other board members, when they met with Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. Why doesn’t Mr Rowzee dig a bit deeper into the reasons why Dolan fell short of his obligations to this community to do everything possible to be as well informed as possible?

Rowzee reports that “two visiting village [of Ravena] trustees” attended the meeting and commented. Wait a minute, wasn’t it the village of Ravena who a couple of years back told the town of Coeymans that town employees could not address the village board meetings? And didn’t Michael Biscone, village attorney at the time, put that in a formal letter to the town? (Read the article at: Business as Usual in Ravena: Violation of Constitutional Rights!) And of all people from the village to make any comments on anything, we have Ravena’s Bill Bailey and Nancy Warner making statements!

That’s the same Bill Bailey who was told a couple of months back by town code enforcement officer Laverne Conrad in a public meeting on water delivery that Bailey was “telling the board a load of crap” (Read the article at: Conrad to Bailey: “You’re telling this board a load of crap!”). While we have little regard for that snake Laverne Conrad and his crooked deals and illegal land development projects (Rea our article at: Got Creek? The Case of the Missing Stream…,  , he’s right Bailey does talk crap. He’s known far and wide to talk crap. He never has any solid facts and mumbles any shite that happens to make its way into his muddled head. But Rowzee quotes him voicing his concern about New Scotland and Rensselaer, Westerlo, says Bailey, “I don’t believe…pay for dispatch and receive the service.” Duh! What’s your point Bozo? And, excuse us, isn’t Rensselaer a city and a county on the other side of the river? What in hell does Rensselaer have to to with Coeymans? How does Rensselaer compare to that hovel New Scotland or Westerlo? Any answers Mr Bailey, Mr Rowzee? Oops, they’re talking a load of crap AGAIN!

Typical Rat Response

Typical Rat Response

Both Mr Bill Bailey and Mr Tom Boehm, who lost the public’s confidence in the last elections when he was voted out, were apparently concerned with “timing,” and that the town’s inquiry is being made around budget time. Duh No. 2. This is a question, Mr Bailey and Mr Boehm, of trimming a considerable amount of money from the town budget. When in hell else should it be considered you two morons? Are you suggesting that dead wood should be kept in the budget and the budget approved, then the dead wood discussed and possibly eliminated. Sounds like the way Bailey runs Ravena and Boehm used to run Coeymans: put the cart before the horse and wonder why nothing happens.

And of all people to be talking about behind-the-scenes meetings, and decisions made in secret, sounds like Mr Boehm is losing it. He was voted out of office because of his secret meetings, his fake press releases and conferences, his general dishonesty. But now that Boehm is out, he’s got a lot to say. Well, who would know better than Tom Boehm about sneaking around and leaving the public out of the loop. Answer: Ravena sitting trustee-who-can’t-be-trusted, none other than Nancy Warner. That’s who!

Nancy Warner should know all there is to know about making decisions behind closed doors and secret meetings. Just about two years ago she conspired with Cathy Deluca and insider Robert Fisk to purchase more than $40,000 in used fitness equipment from Fisk. The equipment was used in a health club under Cathy Deluca’s management that failed. The club and its contents were owned by Ravena insider Bob Fisk. That purchase was made behind closed doors but the history gets even more scandalous.

pack of liesNancy Warner and others on the Ravena village board met secretly with Cathy Deluca and decided that Cathy Deluca would get a health club in the space occupied at the time by the RCS Community Library. So Nancy Warner and the Ravena village board made life as miserable as possible for the library and even raised the library’s rent by more than $600 a month, punishing them for not moving out. But nothing was said that the premises into which they were to move was not yet ready because the cousin, Don Persico, of sitting Ravena board member, Rocco Persico (voted out of office in the last elections but still employed by the RCS school district as a school psychologist), because Persico was waiting for the bank to approve a loan so he could continue the work. Smell a rat yet? If you do it’s called a Nancy Warner!

It gets better. Well, the village of Ravena board under Warner and Bailey, then create the Ravena Health and Fitness Center, without public input and go on to budget more than $100, 000 to support it in its first year in the Ravena budget. $40,000 for used equipment, no public input, secret meetings. $100,000 for an unnecessary health club, no public input, secret meetings.

Coconspirators & Losers: Nancy'Warner's Team.

Co-conspirators & Losers: Nancy Warner’s Team.
Rocco Persico, John Bruno, Martin Case

Then, they appoint Cathy Deluca to be the director of the Ravena Health and Fitness Center—by this time she’s already managed two previous health clubs into oblivion and failure—, she has no qualifications at all—except that she’d previously managed two health clubs into oblivion—, and then fraudulently push through her position as a civil service position, non-competitive, with associated benefits–the director of the Albany County Civil Service Department who approved the application lost his job shortly after we started investigating the misuse of the process— (Read our article at: Ravena Laws Unconstitutional! Violation of Protected First Amendment Rights AGAIN!), and Warner pushed to pay Deluca more than $30,000 plus benefits. $40,000 for used equipment, no public input, secret meetings. $100,000 for an unnecessary health club, no public input, secret meetings. $30,000 for an unqualified insider, Cathy Deluca, to manage the illegal Ravena Health and Fitness Center, using the illegally purchased used fitness equipment. No public input, no public meetings, all behind closed doors.

But Rowzee quotes Nancy Warner as saying, “If this is going to involve the entire town and include the village, I think we need to just be made aware of what is going on.” Really, Nancy? You thieving hypocrite!

Shame on you, Nancy Warner.

Shame on you, Nancy Warner.

You’ll remember last year when Nancy Warner and former mummy-mayor John Bruno were targeting the kids in Ravena, getting ex-Coeymans police chief Gregory Darlington to harass them with his patrols. That stopped abruptly when we reported on the situation and filed a notice of claim against Ravena and the town of Coeymans police department for violation of civil and protected rights. Have you all forgotten Nancy Warner’s involvement in the misdemeanor and civil right violations charges against Cathy Deluca and the obstruction of justice complaints brought against the Coeymans police department when Cathy Deluca filed a false report and lied to the Coeymans police, trying to bring a harassment charge against a local resident who was visiting the Ravena Health and Fitness Club. Even though the resident recorded the entire visit, from the point of leaving his car to the point of driving off, completely proving that Cathy Deluca had lied, she was kept employed. (Read the article at: Criminal Complaint: Catherine M. Deluca a.k.a. Cathy Deluca, Claude A. Wheeles, Ravena Health and Fitness Center) Then officer Jason Albert, now “detective” Jason Albert, investigated but like a good little soldier obeyed when told to drop it, was rewarded for his obstruction of justice and playing the favorites, insiders game with that promotion to detective. (Read the article at: Criminal Obstruction of Justice & Official Misconduct: Gregory Darlington, Coeymans PD)Isn’t that enough on its own to eliminate the Gestapo Coeymans police department and fire all of the thugs employed there? Wouldn’t that be enough to fire Cathy Deluca? They fired a village employee for using a village postage stamp but kept criminal Deluca on? (Reade the article at:Village of Ravena Served: Cathy Deluca and Ravena Health and Fitness Center under Fire and Bruno, Deluca, Warner Squirming to Cover It Up) Go figure!

Oh! Did we mention that Nancy Warner “supervises” the village of Ravena court? It just so happens that her husband, the corrupt, civil-rights abuser ex-Albany cop, Harold “Hal” Warner is the Village of Ravena justice. Pretty cozy, isn’t it? But the notion of conflict of interests, abuse of public office, and public corruption hasn’t yet entered Ravena’s vocabulary, and, if what we’ve been able to observe in Ravena mayor William “Moose” Misuraca’s performance, it’s not likely those words will be used very soon either.

By the way, the Ravena Health and Fitness Center pays no rent, does not pay for the facilities, is failing to attract enough members to even come close to paying Cathy Deluca’s salary, let alone the $100,000 budgeted for the money pit, but Ravena mayor William “Moose” Misuraca and his village board have not made a single step towards eliminating Cathy Deluca’s playpen and wasting Ravena tax dollars. Why is that Mr Misuraca? Why is it, Mr Rowzee, that you never utter a peep about these issues that are so important to residents and this community?

Bryan Rowzee has been reporting for the Ravena News Herald at least for as long as all of this has been going on. He works in the RCS Community Library (see the photo on the same page of the October 9, 2014 Ravena News Herald, where he’s posing with other library employees). But Rowzee, whose wife is employed by the village of Ravena as a secretary in the building department, is very careful to report just the right things and quote the right people, isn’t he. Bryan Rowzee is just as guilty as the crooks he paints in such rosy colors in his so called reports. Why? Because the village of Ravena employs his wife!

Another insignificant loser to take the speakers podium was former town of Coeymans board member, Dawn Rogers, voted out in the last elections, and a close collaborator of Guess who? You got it, Tom Boehm and Tom Dolan. She makes up the third in the Coeymans Three Stooges Losers’ Club. Dawn Rogers never had much to say while on the board but she’s pretty perky when it comes to joining in with the crooks’ choir, isn’t she? Rogers couldn’t be heard or when heard, believed while on the board, why should she now have such credibility? Maybe Mr Rowzee can answer that question.

The others, other than Jolene Hopkins, who was staged together with her prop-child to tear at some heart strings and support the other phoneys, was not an Oscar-winning performance. It was too easy to see through her and her story. Why is it these crooks always get the kids involved? That should be a form of abuse of a child!

Coeymans ex- police chief, Gregory Darlingon, did what all good rats do.

Coeymans ex- police chief, Gregory Darlington, did what all good rats do.

The other speakers are really insignificant because their statements were made only to protect their own turf, their own jobs, the jobs they got with the town for their relatives. Fire chief Travis Whitbeck, former Coeymans police chief Gregory Darlington (who announced his abrupt resignation later that very night) really had their own pockets in mind and had nothing, really, to say about facts and figures or anything constructive. Even Darlington, the coward, chose to resign rather than stand his ground and fight for his dispatchers and his department. Like a rat, he abandoned ship. (Our guess is that race-ticket-carrier Albany County district Attorney, another corrupt rat-keeper, P. David Soares, is expected to take Darlington in. Darlington will then be able to sit next to his wife, who already works for “Pudenda” Soares.) Albany will never change as the capital of corruption. But did we expect anything else?

Maybe if local residents boycott the Ravena News Herald and the other newspapers owned by the Johnson Newspaper Corp. (like the The Daily Mail • Chatham Courier • Windham Journal • The Mountain Eagle • Ravena News-HeraldGreene County NewsRiver Chronicle) and its officers like Mark Vinciguerra and John B. Johnson, they might give Mr Bryan Rowzee some guidance on how to report real news, true facts, and genuine figures so that the community is informed and educated, not just fed gossip and propaganda! Hell! We might even be able to get recent news honestly reported and not reports on events that are more than 2 weeks old!

extraAnd We Thought the Village of Ravena Couldn’t Stoop Any Lower
They Can!

There’s one other story that needs to be covered here. That’s the one where Ravena resident Regina Palmer has had to appear before the Ravena village board to be humiliated into asking to make installment payments for charges levied by the village of Ravena for “discovering” a water leak in the delivery line from the water mains. Maybe Ms Palmer should inquire with the village authorities about the village’s offer in the late 90’s to foot the bill for residential service lines from the village mains to the resident and to foot the bill for the digging! It’s in the public record! Dozens of homes got it done, and it’s still done for insiders ‘quietly’. Doesn’t that make better sense? Do you think Palmer should have had to pay twice for the digging? We think NOT! Not while they’re paying crooks like Cathy Deluca $30,000 a year for What? And more than $100,000 a year for an illegal health club? And how many tens of thousands on botched up roadwork? It’s no wonder there’s no business in Ravena-Coeymans. It’s no wonder half of Ravena-Coeymans’ properties are either distressed, vacant, or up for sale. Way to go Ravena! Just try that on our property and learn what a good ass-kicking feels like!

Ms Palmer has kindly provided more specific details on the situation. Please see the comments for more information: We would like to correct the report we posted on the Palmer property and water line leak between the main and the Palmer home.Property where Gina Palmer resides in is not in Ravena. The location that the digging occurred was not on Ms Palmer’s property, it was in fact under the road. When they discovered the leak, they did indeed show me where it was and told me it was my responsibility since the leak was in the residential line not at the main. After inquiring about how I would go about fixing a leak that was under a state road, Henry did provide Ms Palmer with the names of local contractors who could do the work; however, Ms Palmer suggested that since it was already dug up that they should go ahead and fix it. Palmer was told that there would be a charge and she agreed to have them do the work. Palmer reports that she personally thought the fee they charged was more than reasonable compared to what other contractors may have charged for this same work. Palmer says she appreciates that the Ravena board accepted her request to make payments.

Our response: It was improper for Henry Traver to have recommended local contractors to Ms Palmer. That should have resulted in a complaint to the village Board. If the leak was under a state road, we don’t understand why Ms Palmer agreed to pay for the repair. Why didn’t she inquire further how Traver and his crew of dunces established the property lines. If they were digging under a state road, how could they know that the leak was on Palmer’s property? Why  would Palmer agree to pay for the digging before a proper investigation had been conducted? Seems to us that Palmer falls in to the general category of Ravena self-made victims. We think that what Palmer did in this instance is like handing a drug addict a joint. Palmer actually enabled these crooks to continue their unlawful and crooked games with Ravena residents.

Nevertheless, Ms Palmer is an adult and can do whatever she likes. We consider what she does in its effects on the general community, however.

It's A Shame We Can't Get Good FactsYour Editor

It’s A Shame We Can’t Get Good Facts
Your Editor

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on October 9, 2014 in 18 USC § 4 - Misprision of Felony, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Albany, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County Civil Service Department, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany Police, Albany Regional Synod, Andrew Cuomo, Arlene McKeon, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Barbara Cumm, Barbara Finke, Bethlehem Reformed Church, Bill Bailey, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Ross, Bryan Rowzee, Capital District, Carmen Warner, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Cecilia Tkaczyk, Chris Gibson, Chris Gibson, Chris Norris, Christopher Norris, Claude A. Wheeles, Coeymanazis, Coeymans Bulding Inspector, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Board Meeting, Columbia-Greene Media, Craig D. Apple Sr., Daily Mail, Danielle Crosier, David Soares, David Wukitsch, Dawn Dolan, Don Persico, Dr Alan R. McCartney, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Endangering a Minor, Eric T. Schneiderman, FBI, FBI Public Corruption Squad, George Acker, George Amedore, Gerald Deluca, Government, Governor Mario Cuomo, Greene County News, Gregory Darlington, Harlan Ratmeyer, Harold Warner, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Incompetence, Inspector General, Intimidation, Irresponsibility, Jason Albert, Jena Misuraca, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Joan Ross, Joel Coye, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, John T. Bruno, Johnson Newspaper Group, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Larry Conrad, Laverne Conrad, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Martin Case, Marty Case, Mayor Bruno, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor, Misinformation, Mismanagement, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nepotism, New Baltimore, New York State, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Civil Service Department, New York State Police, News Herald, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Oreo Obama, P. David Soares, Paul Tonko, Perjury and related offenses, Pete Lopez, Police State, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Pudenda David Soares, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena Health and Fitness Center, Ravena News Herald, RCA, Reformed Church of America, RegisterStar, Rocco Persico, Selkirk, Shame On You, Smalbany, Stephen Flach, Synod of Albany, The Daily Mail, Thomas A. Boehm, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Tkaczyk, Tom Boehm, Tom DiAcetis, Tom Dolan, Town Board Meeting, William Bailey, William Misuraca

 

New Baltimore: Brooks says she will leave clerk’s office

Smalbany Blog Puts on the Pressure and We Get Results!

In an article appearing in the Daily Mail today, on Thursday, March 6, 2014, reporter Jim Planck reports that highly criticized New Baltimore Town Clerk, Janet Brooks, has submitted her letter of resignation to the New York Secretary of State. According to the report, “Brooks, who has been on the job for nine-and-a-half years and was just re-elected to another two-year term in November, submitted her letter of resignation Wednesday to New York State Secretary of State Cesar Perales.’

New Baltimore Town Clerk Janet Brooks
Resigns After Criticisms of Abuse of Public Office

Janet Brooks Resigns as New Baltimore Town Clerk Town Hall Saves A Bundle in Pain-in-the-Ass Relief

Janet Brooks Resigns as New Baltimore Town Clerk
Town Hall Saves A Bundle in Pain-in-the-Ass Relief

Brooks was re-elected last November as incumbent to serve another term as New Baltimore town clerk but quickly became the subject of a controversy suggesting misuse of public office, corruption, and generally abuse of the public’s trust when it surfaced that she was collecting a full-time salary and putting in only part-time in the office. According to one reliable report, Brooks was at work only 8 days in the month of January 2014. In addition, Brooks actually had two deputies doing her work for her.

We reported extensively on Brook’s alleged misuse of her office and the fact that she balked when the newly elected New Baltimore Town Board entertained a resolution to establish fixed hours for the office of the town clerk. See our article at “If you want me to do my job, you’ll have to pay me more…”.

Canned Response: “careful consideration of (her) health issues” Hemorroids?

In the Planck article, Brooks is reported to have claimed “careful consideration of (her) health issues” was the reason for her resignation. That canned statement is second only to disgraced politicians wanting to spend more time with their families. We have a burning question: Wasn’t Ms Brooks aware of her “health issues” last November, when she ran for re-election, hoping to continue her scam on New York State and New Baltimore Taxpayers? Or did thes “health issues” crop up with the discovery of her abuse of public office, and she found herself on the hotseat with a bad case of hemorrioids having to answer some sticky questions. Yeah, that’s it: Brooks’ health issue is hemorrhoids, Right?

JUST RESIGN!!!

JUST RESIGN!!!

Regardless of the phony reasons for the resignation, Brooks gave notice that the resignation will take effect in two weeks, on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. This means that the office of town clerk for New Baltimore will accordingly be on the ballot for the next general election on Nov. 4.

New Baltimore Town Supervisor Dellisanti Talks Some Shite…

What irks us is that newly elected Town of New Baltimore supervisor, Nick Dellisanti, was less than candid when commenting on Brook’s and her service. The Planck reports Dellisanti to have said:

‘Brooks provided valued service to the community.’
“She was there nine-and-a-half years,” said Dellisanti. “She served the public well.”
***
“She did a very good job,” he said, “and she’ll be missed.”

That just might explain Mr Dellisanti's lack of candidness.

That just might explain Mr Dellisanti’s lack of candidness.

C’mon, Dellisanti, stop buttering the cabbage and have some balls! Tell the media what you think! We would have expected a bit more of honesty from Mr Dellisanti, given that his team was instrumental in exposing Brooks’ misconduct in office and given the fact that this blog published a scathing article on Brooks’ misconduct and made its own inquiries with the legal department of the Office of the State Comptroller and the Examiners’ Office specifically citing the Brooks case. The Comptroller’s legal deparment has been “looking into” our inquiries. But to be very clear: according to our information, our investigations, our inquiries, Ms Brooks provided a valued service to herself and her pension over the “nine-and-a-half years.” Ms Brooks served herself well and “did a very good job” of that. And yes, Mr Dellisanti, we’re sure you’ll miss Ms Brooks…like an inflamed hemorroid!

After March 19, when Brooks formally and physically ceases to be New Baltimore Town Clerk, her personally hand-picked insider appointee who has been Brooks’ “first deputy clerk”, Marjorie Loux of Hannacroix, another insider player, will perform the clerk’s duties during that period, as NYS Town Law requires that a town’s first deputy clerk “shall possess the powers and perform the duties of the town clerk … during a vacancy in the office of town clerk.”The law also requires the “first deputy” to have the knowledge and skills to perform, and to have taken an oath of office. Has that ever been done? Can we really trust a Brooks appointee to do an honest job, considering Brooks’ history? That’s an interesting question only the incumbent town board of New Baltimore will be responsible for answering until a new clerk is elected in November.

Loux has previously served as deputy clerk under Brooks’ predecessor, Barbara Weeks, a star performer who died suddenly, leaving the positon vacant, and the town also has a second deputy clerk, Diane Jordan (wife of controversial highway superintendent “Do-Me-A-Favor” Denis Jordan), both factors which will undoubtedly complicate the coming transition, and certainly will not resolve any of the tensions. But the question does arise, does the town of New Baltimore need all these deputies? Hell NO! What we need is a clerk who does the job and maybe a deputy who can step in if necessary, but less than part time and optionally compensated for that time unless adjustments can be made by substituting another employee and allowing comp time. That’s a legal issue that needs to be examined by the board and the town attorney. But now’s the time to start considering candidates, possible deputies for appointment, whether the deputy will be compensated, and other associated issues. Now, not at the last minute.

Well, now that Ms Brooks has announced her resignation, she’ll have more time to grind away at the organ (Whose? Now, now!) at the troubled New Baltimore Reformed Church (check out our article on the NBRC at New Baltimore Reformed Church: Slow Agonizing Death), where her pal Susan Kerr is mounting (Oh! My!) her offensives on patriotism the flag) and the American male domination of…well, they’re dominating something, aren’t they? You’ll have to sit in on one of her sermons to find out what in hell they’re dominating. Damned if we know!

The investigation must continue beyond any resignation and the inquiry must include whether there was criminal activity involved. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet; it ain’t over, pals.

Things are looking good in New Baltimore these days. Another cockroach is out of town hall. Things are looking mighty bleak for New Baltimore Democratic Committee chair Diane Lewis, now that her party’s fixtures are being scrapped one-by-one and removed from New Baltimore town hall as the corruption is exposed. Lisa Benway and Christopher Norris are next. Stay tuned for our report on their corruption in office.

Feels Better Already! the Editor

Feels Better Already!
The Editor

Stay Tuned: Our Next EXPOSED! report will talk about how Susan O’Rorke, Lisa Benway, and Chris Norris may have been involved in a conflict of interest scam involving NYMIR insurance brokers and campaign contributions to O’Rorke and the New Baltimore Democrapic Committee under Diane Lewis! Stay Tuned

For more information on Benway and Norris, see our articles: Double-Talk, Double-Standards, Double-Jeopardy: An Editorial & A New Baltimore Resident’s Letter to the Editor: Benway, Norris Obstructing the Board?

You Read it on the Smalbany Blog, Again!

“Qui tacet consentire videtur ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.”
“Silence is admission when when the accused ought to have spoken and was able to.”

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Posted by on March 6, 2014 in 2Luck.com, Abuse, Accountability, Andrew Cuomo, Andrew Vale, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Dorrance, Bob Knighten, Bob Ross, Bryan Rowzee, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Charles A. Bucca, Charles Bucca, Christopher Norris, Columbia-Greene Media, Conflict of Interest, Conspiracy, Corruption, Crime and Punishment, Daily Mail, David Wukitsch, Demand for Removal, Demand for Resignation, Democratic Party Committee, Denis Jordan, Diane Jordan, Diane Lewis, Donovan's Shady Harbor, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, Eric T. Schneiderman, Favoritism, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, Government, Governor Mario Cuomo, Greed, Greene County, Greene County Board of Elections, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County News, Greene County Sheriff, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Incompetence, Investigation, Irresponsibility, Janet Brooks, Jean Horne, Jeff Ruso, Jessica Mosier, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Farrell, Marjorie Loux, Mark Vinciguerra, Media Bias, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Nepotism, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Conservancy, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Reformed Church, New Baltimore Town Board Member, New Baltimore town council, New York, New York State, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Our Town Party, Pete Lopez, Public Corruption, Public Office, Ravena News Herald, RCA, Reformed Church of America, RegisterStar, Resignation, Responsible to the People Party, Robert Dorrance, Sally Russo, Shame On You, Shelly van Etten, Silence of the Press, Smalbany, Susan K. O'Rorke, Susan Kerr, Termination, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Times Useless, Town Board Meeting, Town Clerk, Town Council, Town Supervisor, Transparency, VanEtten, Wolf in Sheep's Clothing