RSS

Category Archives: First Amendment

Happy Independence Day! Everyday.

No Flag-waving, Sunshine Patriotism. It’s all Phony. We are Celebrating Truth, Instead.

Our gift to our readers, followers, and supporters on this Independence Day. From the movie Idiocracy (2006), President Camacho’s State of the Union address:


Editor’s Note: Idiocracy is a 2006 American science fiction satire/comedy film. The film tells the story of two people who take part in a top-secret military human hibernation experiment, only to awaken 500 years later in a dystopian society where anti-intellectualism and commercialism have run rampant, and which is devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights. The main character, Joe Bauers, the definition of “average American”, is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for the top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes five centuries in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed down that he’s easily the most intelligent person alive. Many in the media and commentators call the film a “documentary” rather than a comedy, and discuss how the theme of the film is actually coming true!


We’re celebrating the REAL America. We’re celebrating the Catskills!

Unlike most journalism and unlike most media, Smalbany is Independent, totally Independent, and doesn’t sell out for cash, ratings, future promises. Smalbany cherishes the guaranteed freedom of press and opinion, and will never abuse that guaranteed right. Smalbany is no slave to any special interest, any politician, or bribery of any kind. No other area print or online media can make that claim. That’s why we are the areas most read and most trusted journalistic source for truth and openness.

As of July 4th, 2019
471,413 Readers and GROWING!
539 Unique Articles – Did YOU provide a tip or a lead?
1,973 Reader Comments (Approved) – Did YOU comment?
74,145 Comments (Total) – Thank you if you did!

(To receive new articles and comments by email, click the FOLLOW THIS BLOG button on the right and enter your email.)

The Smalbany a.k.a. Albany, NY, team wish all of our readers a safe and peaceful Independence Day 2019.

The Smalbany Blog again celebrates their 5th Independence Day, Yes! 5 years already serving the community and beyond. Smalbany Blog confirms and re-asserts their

  • Independence from allegiance to any political party, ideology, special interest, religion, or group; Smalbany’s only allegiance is to Truth and Fairness.
  • Independence from greed and avarice as a motivation; Smalbany does not allow advertising and does not ask for donations nor even accept donations, if offered; Smalbany doesn’t owe anyone anything but justice and fairness.
  • Independence from ignorance and lies; Smalbany never posts an article without checking the facts and looking at both sides of the story.
  • Idependence from hearsay, rumor, or gossip. What you read on Smalbany has been investigated and vetted; that’s how we keep our credibility.
  • Independence from fake loyalty to any flag or national myth; Smalbany is supranational, above any nation or national symbol, Smalbany avoids idolatry and false prophets.
  • Independence from fear; Smalbany knows more than it posts, and keeps the scoundrels and villains in the community and beyond on their guard.
  • Independence from corruption in public services, public servants, elected officials; Smalbany doesn’t ask any public servant or elected official for any favors. This means that the crooks in government can’t buy their way out of their crimes.
  • Independence from any blame or guilt; Smalbany has always maintained the highest level of integrity — and will continue to do so — and has nothing to fear from the powers to be.

And speaking of misinformation, Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed. The actual resolution of independence was made on July 2, 1776, by the Second Continental Congress in a closed session. So why July 4th? The declaration resolution was publicized on July 4, 1776. In 1781, the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration. But it wasn’t until 1870 that the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees, and only in 1938 did Congress change Independence Day to a paid federal holiday; in 1941 the day was expanded to become a “national” holiday. (5 U.S.C. § 6103). (Source: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th, last accessed on July 3, 2019)

That’s the kind of Independence we at Smalbany wish each and every one of our contributors, followers, readers, and supporters. We wish you all a Smalbany Independence Day, every day!

The Hudson River represents natural freedom and independence. Keep it pure and free.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 4, 2019 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 2019 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Albany, Albany Classis, Albany County Civil Service Department, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Elections, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Boris Jordan, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Business, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Carver Companies, Carver Companies, Carver Construction, Carver Laraway, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Church, Church of St Patrick Ravena, Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Industrial Park, Coeymans Town Board, Columbia Greene Media, Columbia-Greene Media, Conservative Party, Constitution, Daily Mail, David Soares, DEC, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Homeland Security, District Attorney, Easton Mountain, Elections and Voting, FBI, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Freedom, Freedom of Speech, George McHugh, Government, Governor Mario Cuomo, Greene County, Greene County Board of Elections, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Greene County Independence Party, Greene County News, Hudson Valley, Independence Party, Internet Speech, Jason Tantra, Joe Stanzione, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Corporation, Johnson Newspaper Group, Jordon J. Anthony, Joseph Stanzione, Justice and Courts, Lafarge-Holcim, LafargeHolcim, Law, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mark Vinciguerra, Miami-Dade District Attorney, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Town Board, New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State, New York State Constitution, New York State United Teachers, News Herald, NYSUT, Office of the Attorney General, Pledge of Allegiance, Port of Coeymans, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena News Herald, RCA, Reformed Church of America, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Russians, Russians are Coming, Sabic, Sex 4 Sale, Smalbany, Suffolk County District Attorney, Sycamore Country Club, Tantra 4 Gay Men, Terry Hagen Memorial Golf Tournament, Times Union, Times Union, Times Union Blogs, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, Uncategorized, United States Attorney, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, United States Department of Justice, United States Government, US Department of State, US Senate, Washington County District Attorney

 

Sex for Sale: The Follow-up II

It’s not a question of whom you choose to love, how, or where. That’s a very personal right.

But it is a question of who is offering services, what services, how and where. There’s a difference between love, sex and Sex-4-Sale? There’s a difference between the backseat, the bedroom and the public arena, even if that arena appeals to a small segment of society.

We play too many games with language and fail to understand that language is connected with meaning, and meaning with values, and values with emotions. Just think what we have done to the simple four-letter word “love” in American English. We’ve destroyed it. Now just think about what “friend” meant at one time. and what “friend” means now in the post-Facebook era. “Friend” has become meaningless. When the basics — those little things most people take for granted and which make human beings into persons, that is, the things that change them from a What? to a Who? — lose their meaning and value, so do you and everyone else.


Have We Become Meaningless as a Doormat?

The United States once had meaning and value. It’s not only a question of ideology, or policy, or of how we think and what we do as a nation. It’s also a question of who we let in the country legally and what they do once they’re here. That’s a specific question of what our government is doing to protect the American way of life and living; literally, what it means to be the United States and the American people.

Are They Doing Their Jobs?

Or Are They Tantamount to Traitors?

Are you doing your job?

One of the questions we should expect the United States State Department and the Department of Homeland Security when vetting an applicant for entry in the United States and even more seriously, when admitting an applicant for entry in order to operate a business. The State Department and Homeland Security have been miserable failures in the past, and their failures have been the source of a great deal of tension, anxiety, dispute, anger, and suffering here in the American homeland. All of it unnecessary if our government would stop squabbling among themselves and do their jobs.


Editor’s Aside: The State Department authority for issuing visas is the Consular Service in the particular country. In the case of the UK, the applicant must have a valid UK passport, and will be able to obtain a visitor’s visa that is good for 90 days. Once here, no one — well, almost no one — keeps tabs on the “visitor;” he or she can do pretty much whatever and go pretty much wherever he or she wants. Many will take the risk and work illegally, and get away with it. But that’s no surprise to a nation who has been taking it from behind for so many years at Mexico’s pleasure. When the going gets really tough, the US government just makes them another US territory and pays them benefits without taxation, just like what happened with Puerto Rico. Everybody likes screwing Americans, even Americans.


We’ve recently had George McHugh and Carver Laraway in our sights because they are perpetrating a fraud on Coeymans, and need to be brought under control and fast. Residents are coming out with some very scary stuff about McHugh and Laraway, and our fact-finding is confirming much of what is being said. You don’t have to go far, for once the Albany Times Union is picking up on what McHugh and Laraway are up to, and more recently an individual with some very inside information has come forward and is ready to tell it all about McHugh and Laraway.

We’ve already raised important questions about George McHugh and Carver Laraway and their involvement with Russian businessman, Boris A. Jordan, and their marijuana businesses. We’re wondering why the Albany Times Union and the Ravena News Herald haven’t picked up the story, and Why? both papers are silent on the Russian connections in Coeymans. Well, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to guess why Mark Vinciguerra and his — or should we say George McHugh’sRavena News Herald haven’t uttered a word about the Russian connections.

Back to “Sex for Sale”

Is T4GM Selling Sex Services on a US Visa?

But that’s another story. We’re getting off track so let’s get back to “Sex for Sale” and our continuing follow-up and investigation.

Washington County, NY, District Attorney
Jordan J. Anthony
Are you doing your job?

In two previous reports we drew attention to an unusual case of a British subject calling himself Jason Tantra, who claims to be in the US on a visa issued in the UK, and operating a business in the US, again authorized by the US consular authorities in Britain. We reported our concerns that Mr Tantra does not give his real name, does not publish or disclose any information about his business registration, no address, and no tax information. Yet the United States government has issued Mr Tantra a visa to be in the US, to work here, and to operate a business here in the United States.

We have reported that Mr Tantra — if that’s his real name, which we seriously doubt — operates a sex and spirituality business called Tantra 4 Gay Men, a business that provides massage services, instruction in what he calls Tantric sex practices, and even calls his operation a “school” that provides instruction and even issues “diploma certificates.”

That’s it in a nutshell. If you want to read the previous articles, please go to these links:

Our initial interest was the fact that this Mr Tantra had the balls to have a website removed because the site had published critiques of Tantra’s operations and his claims. That was important because we very strongly believe in freedom of expression and the right of every citizen to express an opinion. We also questioned the right, the legality, and the ethics of silencing a citizen because some pervert doesn’t like what he or she has to say. In other words, we had concerns about violation of constitutional rights by both the Internet service provider and by Mr Tantra.

Are you doing your job?

Well, the case has taken on an energy of its own, and we totally support the continuing investigation of Mr Tantra, his company Tantra 4 Gay Men (T4GM), his collaborators in the United States, including the LGBT retreat organization, Easton Mountain (Greenwich) in Washington County, New York, and the law enforcement officials in several states.

Our Government is Stooping to Record Lows

We agree that IF Mr Tantra and T4GM have been granted authorization to operate in the United States, that is, IF Mr Tantra actually has a visa to work in the US, and IF T4GM has actually been approved to operate in the United States as a business operation, our government is stooping to record lows. What possible contribution can a fraudulent, yes we said FRAUDULENT company make to any economy, local, regional, or national, to merit its authorization by the US government? On the other hand, Mr Tantra and his business may be operating without authorization, and what he has shared about his visa, the authorization to operate T4GM in the United States, his tax status, and his qualifications — apart from his statement that his services are “unregulated,” a statement with which we have taken issue and with which we disagree — then there’s a serious problem here that needs to be investigated. That’s exactly what one citizen is demanding.

We have documents that are addressed to a number of government agencies, demanding that Mr Tantra and his T4GM be investigated and that the truth be told. We  have contacted Mr Tantra at his organizations UK email via his T4GM website (What a mess that is!) and Tantra has responded with some very contradictory and defensive reactions, including threats of legal action and blocking further communications. So much for openness.

Mr Tantra has no idea about the big mistake he made by doing what he has done. So, we looked further into his operations and his collaborators’ operations, and we’d like to share some of the content of the documents we have.

Are you doing your job?

One citizen has send demands for investigation to the following local, state and federal government officials:

  • US Citizenship and Immigration Service
  • Homeland Security (Albany, NY, Regional Office)
  • District Attorneys in Washington County (NY), Suffolk County (MA), Miami-Dade County (FL)
  • The Attorneys General of New York, Massachusetts, Florida
  • United States Attorneys for the Northern District of New York, the District of Massachusetts, the Southern District of Florida

The concerned citizen has also contacted several newspapers in Washington County, NY, and Her Majesty’s Home Office (UK), Department of Fraud Investigation.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter sent to the officials:

I am writing to you with a concern relating to the following areas:

  1. Operation of a sex services business by a foreign national in the United States, the state of New York, and sister states.
  2. Collaboration with said operator by a New York group operating as the Easton Mountain Retreat Community, located in Washington County, New York,
  3. Granting of “Diplomas” in a three-module series of training for payment by an unaccredited and unauthorized “school” of Tantra
  4. Provision of instruction, therapy, massage services, health services, psychological services, etc. by unlicensed individuals or individuals not qualified or credentialed to offer such services in the state of New York or elsewhere
  5. Questionable state and federal tax status and filings, reporting by Jason Tantra/T4GM
  6. Visa status and the nature of the business approved for operation in the United States and the State of New York granted to one Jason Tantra or T4GM.
  7. The possible perpetration of a multifaceted fraud by Mr. “Tantra” and his business, and his collaborators in the United States and in New York state, and elsewhere (e.g. Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, etc.)
  8. Violation of civil rights by Mr. Jason Tantra by causing the suspension of an entire blog for criticizing Tantra’s operations and his T4GM operation in the United States. Mr. Tantra has admitted to demanding the suspension of the site once he was notified of the existence of the posts.

On information and belief and on the basis of personal communications received from one Jason Tantra, a British subject sojourning in the United States on a so-called visa, and the operator of a vaguely described business not only in New  York State, particularly in Washington County, at the venue calling itself the Easton Mountain Retreat Center, where said Jason Tantra by and through his so-called business T4GM, ostensibly provides a variety of sex-oriented, psychological therapeutic, instructional, etc. services, some of which I allege require accreditation, approval or licensure, which the operators do not have, or appropriate supervision for which the operators are not qualified or do not provide at all.

The fact that Mr. Jason Tantra — whether that is a pseudonym, an assumed name for the purposes of selling his snake-oil programs, or is his actual name is in question — is a British subject in the United State on a visa of some sort, and alleges that the business he is operating in the United States under such visa has been vetted by the United States authorities, is far from credible, and if true, raises significant questions of how such a visa should be granted to operate such a business in the United States at all!

Read the entire letter to the Washington County DA, J.J. Anthony demand 19Jun19 da wash co redacted.

Are they doing their jobs?

 

Sex for sale? The Follow-up.

We became interested in this Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men because of what superficially appeared to be a First Amendment violation; upon investigation it’s far bigger than what we originally considered a cat fight between two individuals having different opinions on some arcane subject. This is now a question of what the federal authorities are allowing to get into the country and how the federal and state authorities are ensuring compliance with our laws.

Yes. There is a First Amendment question here, and Yes! we are still asking What right does someone have to limit another person’s free expression of opinion? Yes! We are asking the question of Why? if corporations are given the same rights as flesh and blood citizens, Why are they not held to the same standards? And YES! We are asking Why? If Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men are doing what they appear to be doing, what they say they are doing, Why aren’t our immigration, state department, homeland security, federal and state tax authorities, federal attorneys, state attorney generals, county district attorneys doing their jobs and responding, investigating, and reporting on “companies” like Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men?

This is still in effect, isn’t it?

We’re still concerned about the First Amendment question. How is it that an individual — a guest in this country, in fact — can demand that another individual — a citizen of this country — be silenced for exercising his Constitutional rights? Does that mean that say, GE, can kill a conversation that is critical of their environmental policies by just asking WordPress or another blog service provider to remove the conversation? And does that also mean that if a blog is critical of government or a government official, the blog can be silenced? Isn’t that where tyranny and dictatorship starts? Yes, people, there’s a glaring First Amendment violation here but there’s also a frightening precedent, too!


The first three lines of History of the Tantra Religion,[1] the author, a. renowned scholar and philosopher of Indian culture and religion scholar, N.N. Bhattacharyyaa, states the purpose of that remarkable book: “to present in a historical outline, the genesis, development and structural analysis of what is known as the Tantric tradition of India.” And he does just that in exquisite detail.

What occurred to me when reading the book is that Dr. B. covers even the most minute detail of the evolution of the Tantra tradition but says practically nothing about “sexual practices, orgasm, Tantric sex, etc. In fact, out of the some 500 pages of discussion, only 5 index entries  can be found under “sex rites” and those entries are but a couple of words mentioning erotic practices. Nothing is mentioned about Western neotantra or the perverse monetarization of the Tradition in the West but for a condemnatory statement in the Introduction (see below).

What is very conspicuous in Dr B’s  answers the question, What is Tantra? in these words:

Tantra was primarily the way or means to understand the mysteries of life and the universe…Tantra arose as the sum total of man’s knowledge of the objective world around him. It was a way of life that sought the significance of knowledge , not in the realization sic of an illusory absolute, but in the day-to-day activities of men, in the simple facts of life like agriculture…etc., and in experimental sciences like alchemy, medicine…with a deliberate theoretical orientation that the structures of the microcosm and the macrocosm are identical and that the key to the knowledge of nature is to be found in the body.

As we mentioned above, the conspicuous short shrift given to Western tantric practice, including those key figures in Western Tantra like theosophist Leadbeater and others, is a clear indication that Dr B. does not consider the Western perversion or its proponents to be worthy of consideration in an otherwise exhaustive treatment of the History of theTantra Religion, the revealing title of the book.

This is borne out by Dr Bhattacharyya’s concise and strident assessment in the Hindu perspective on what Tantra has become in the West, and writes concerning the union of opposites, that is, male and female, and how it has been perverted by opportunist used-car salesmen:

Bisexuality is inherent in all beings and this aspect has to be exercised in order to understand the truth of one’s own nature. Sexual partnership is therefore the best expression for the most intimate relation between the two opposites…Such rationalizations of Tantric sexual elements are basically subjective, the interpretations being in all cases largely conditioned by their author’s outlook and approach. Anyone working on Tantrism cannot ignore the sexual elements, but difficulty arises when the entire Tantric tradition is superimposed on these elements… Sole emphasis on things sexual has resulted in the publication of numerous books on Tantra containing glimpses of modern sexual psychology and burdened with erotic photographs of the Konarak-Khajuraho tradition;[2] in the development of the queer [viz. bizarre, peculiar, strange][3] conception of modern Tantric art depicting varieties of copulative acrobatics; in the production of pornographic fictions sanctified with Tantric quotations; and in the emergence of a class of recent godmen or gurus giving spiritual sanction to all forms of vulgar and gross sensualities of their moneyed clientele. All this is due to the insistence on a ‘misplaced reality ’in Tantric studies, which even the most qualified scholars could not avoid.” [our emphasis]

Translation: Tantra has been hijacked by unscrupulous, ignorant fakes who have reduced it to vulgar and gross sexuality by ignorant dealers in cheap sex thrills.

Our inquiry was not limited to books and publications by scholars; we also consulted with authoritative sources, that is, living organizations, in both the United States and in India, the home of authentic Tantra. With our request for opinions we send the link to Tantra 4 Gay Men, and asked the organizations to visit the site and to tell us what they thought in response to the fair question:

Is the person, Jason Tantra, offering Tantra or Neotantra, or no Tantra at all; in other words, are the teachings and “spirituality” expounded on the site compatible with what is properly called Tantra, or must they be equated with a Western perversion of the Tantric tradition?

The consensus was unanimous: Mr. Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men is not Tantra at all.” One commenter, after having visited the site and reviewing several of the videos, described Jason Tantra as “confused.”

At a more basic, superficial level, googling tantric sex will set your hair on end when you read some of the rubbish out there; none of the sex-service providers don’t know shit from Shinola® about Tantra or even the yoga they are sexualizing in their undisguised pornographic offerings.

So we really have done our homework, as you have learned to expect from us when we get our teeth into an issue. What we have found it that there’s something very fishy going on and something needs to be done about it.

You don’t have to work your way through 500+ pages of scholarly writing or contact more than 20 authoritative organizations to find that the consensus of most authentic, genuine proponents of Tantra call the Tantra of the likes of Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men, and neo-Tantra overall, to be the product of poorly developed persons obsessed with sex, or charlatans appealing to the appetites of spiritless and bored materialists.

Worse still, and very concerning, is the question of Why? adult human beings need to pay outrageous amounts of money to get naked in a group setting and practice promiscuous sex in weird positions? It’s either purely exhibitionist or they can’t satisfy their need for human touch and attention in normal interpersonal engagement or Facebook and social media just isn’t doing it for them.

Now, we’re not lambasting or pillorying the LGBT community, or rather the gay men who are the primary targets of the tantra charlatans, simply because Jason Tantra and Tantra for Gay Men has attracted our attention. Nor are we singling out Jason Tantra or Tantra 4 Gay Men; there are many such operations going on in the US alone. There’s something intrinsically pathological about the whole thing. we have studied the Tantra 4 Gay Men site, reviewed the videos, listened to Jason Tantra’s ravings, and we remain unimpressed and very concerned. we have also obtained access through a reader to the Tantra 4 Gay Men site and must note that most of the members are late-to-middle to senior gay or bisexual men. What that means to me is that Jason Tantra is appealing to — and very possibly exploiting, even if it is with their self-destructive consent — a very vulnerable group of men who may be marginalized in terms of their appeal to desired love objects, who may find it difficult to find others of their age and persuasion, or simply are incapable of getting what they think they need outside of paying for it!

The fact that Jason Tantra is selling sex services is obvious, conspicuous. The act that Jason Tantra’s “ teachers” include rent boys and a former porn “model/actor” is undisguised (See “Masseurs“). The fact that Jason Tantra himself, is a narcissist, and running an escort service for men who can’t otherwise find someone to accompany them on trips is obvious (J. Tantra offers his companioning service at Holiday Companion. He’ll travel with you and provide 3 hours of service a day.). Look, if you’re a whore or a prostitute just be honest and say so. If you’re running an escort service and a sex massage service, just say so! Don’t use the name of a time-honored religion to disguise your perversion.

Take Jason along with you on your next trip.

The fact that Jason Tantra claims that the United States State Department and the United States Homeland Security have vetted him and his operation and have granted him a visa to work in the United States and to operate his business in the United States is a shameful statement on how the United States government conducts its own business!

The fact that Jason Tantra operates under an assumed name and provides no details as to his identity or any legal details about his “company”, such as a business registration number or an employer identification number certainly raises questions as to his legality and the legal status of his “company.”

We have contacted the relevant federal authorities, the New York State Attorney General, several district attorneys and are awaiting their responses, reports.

Jason Tantra/Tantra 4 Gay Men, according to their website, offers “programs” in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and in isolated locations across the US. The locations are a secret. The payment details are a secret. Where’s the state authorities and the federal authorities in all of this?

We became interested in this Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men because of what superficially appeared to be a First Amendment violation; upon investigation it’s far bigger than what we originally considered a catfight between two individuals having different opinions on some arcane subject. This is now a question of what the federal authorities are allowing to get into the country and how the federal and state authorities are ensuring compliance with our laws.

Is this Tantra operation a fraud being perpetrated on a group of vulnerable men? Is this Tantra operation a fraud being perpetrated on several states and the feds? Is this Tantra operation a fraud that totally misrepresents a three-thousand year old religious tradition? Are we confronted here with a psychological and moral disease, a spiritual syphilis, a public health crisis which, like so many before it, is being ignored by our government and the public servants we pay to keep watch over such plagues?

Yes. There is a First Amendment question here, and Yes! we are still asking What right does someone have to limit another person’s free expression of opinion? Yes! We are asking the question of Why? if corporations are given the same rights as flesh and blood citizens, Why are they not held to the same standards? And YES! We are asking Why? If Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men are doing what they appear to be doing, what they say they are doing, Why aren’t our immigration, state department, homeland security, federal and state tax authorities, federal attorneys, state attorney generals, county district attorneys doing their jobs and responding, investigating, and reporting on “companies” like Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men?

We’re still concerned about the First Amendment question. How is it that an individual — a guest in this country, in fact — can demand that another individual — a citizen of this country — be silenced for exercising his Constitutional rights? Does that mean that say, GE, can kill a conversation that is critical of their environmental policies by just asking WordPress or another blog service provider to remove the conversation?


And does that also mean that if a blog is critical of government or a government official, the blog can be silenced? Isn’t that where tyranny and dictatorship starts? Yes, people, there’s a glaring First Amendment violation here but there’s also a frightening precedent, too!

This has now become a question of how corrupt our local, state, federal government has become, and because of that corruption, how much corruption it is allowing to insidiously infect our American culture and society.

We are posing these questions to our public officials and authorities and we demand a response, answers!

The Easton Mountain “retreat community” is in Washington County, near Greenwich, in New York State. They regularly host Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men. Perhaps the Attorney General or the Washington County DA could start there asking questions? They’re in New York State and certainly should be able to answer questions, especially about operations, licensing, taxes, etc. Maybe those government officials should be showing as much interest in this issue as we are.

Easton Mountain is just another open-air j/o club or bathhouse posing as a legit retreat center

What’s even more disgusting — and you thought it had already hit rock-bottom – is that the freaks running Easton Mountain have the ignorance and gall to actually publish “Seven Principles of Tantra” . You can clearly see that Easton Mountain is just another open-air j/o club or bathhouse posing as a legit retreat center. Easton Mountain and their source, Rudy Ballantine, another fake guru/fraud, are egregiously misinforming their public and taking them for total fools! They know NOTHING about Tantra except that their perverse version of it is making them money. There are laws protecting the public against fraud and fraudulent practices! So where are our law enforcement people on all of this?


Notes

Update: We’ve bee provided with access to view the articles critical of Jason Tantra and Tantra 4 Gay Men and the content of the blog suspended by WordPress in response to Jason Tantra’s whining. To read those posts, please go to Neotantra Frauds.

[1] Bhattacharyya, N. N., History of the Tantric Religion. Second Revised Edition. (Manohar: New Delhi, 1999)  ISBN 81-7304-025-7

[2] The Khajuraho Group of Hindu temples and Jain temples in Chhatarpur district. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures. The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures with intricate details, symbolism and expressiveness of ancient Indian art.

The Konark temple of the sun is also known for its intricate sculptures of gods and goddesses, animals of many species, and tableaus from everyday life; the erotic sculptures of maithunas depict sexual union in ritualistic and romantic situations. These show couples in various stages of courtship and intimacy, and in some cases coital themes. Notorious in the colonial era for their uninhibited celebration of sexuality, these images are included with other aspects of human life as well as deities that are typically associated with Tantra, and these images may be the same kama and mithuna scenes found integrated into the art of many other Hindu temples. The erotic sculptures are found on the temple’s Shikhara, and these illustrate all the bandhas (mudra forms) described in the Kamasutra.

[3] Dr B’s use of this word is more in the sense in which it is understood in his culture, that is, peculiar, strange, eccentric. It does not even imply the meaning given it in the West to describe aberrant behavior and formerly used to describe homosexuals, or the more contemporary use of the term to describe a broad spectrum of non-normative sexual identities and politics.

 

Tantra or Sex Services?

We have received responses to several of our inquires and it doesn’t look good for Jason Tantra or Tantra 4 Gay Men. Several authoritative Tantra experts have condemned Mr Tantra’s site and his claims, as have several published papers. It seems the authoritative opinion is that Mr “Tantra’s” claims for himself and for his “teachings” are simply not Tantra at all, and, as one expert puts it, it “site looks more like sexual activity for gay men than serious tantric practice.” We agree. We are also reviewing a Google site that discusses Mr Tantra and his organization and we will include that information with the information received from government agencies in our next report. While the fact that Tantra 4 Gay Men and Mr Jason Tantra may be perpetrating a fraud on a vulnerable group, we are more interested in his visa, tax, and licensure status — but our US government agencies tend to drag their feet when it appears they might have been duped. We are contacting the New York State Attorney General’s office to make inquiries, since Mr Tantra is “appearing” at the Easton Mountain retreat lodge in New York State. Maybe a sting can be arranged.



Just when we thought that there could be nothing weirder than local politics and politicians, up pops a case that seems even more bizarre. We’ve received information on what appears to be a feud between two apparently vastly different organizations, rather individuals, on of all things, the question of Tantra vs. Neotantra vs. gay “sacred” sexuality. Yes, you are reading correctly, and NO, we’re not joking.

The bottom line is this: Yes! Lady Liberty is weeping because the Constitution is burning. We think that there is a civil rights violation here. If you believe you have been the victim of a civil rights violation, you should seek legal assistance through one of the many civil liberties organizations or through a private attorney. Get a free consultation or, if you need to spend $100 to defend your rights, it’s definitely worth it. Civil rights are fundamental rights and there are plenty of safeguards in the US justice system designed to ensure that your rights are protected.


Warning: This content deviates from our normal subject matter so we do urge caution, since it does contain material and discussion that might be considered “offensive” to some sensitive individuals.


We receive a great many tips on possible stories to cover so when we received this one, it piqued our curiosity and we started digging. Anyone who is familiar with this blog knows that when we identify an issue, we start the research process that includes deep fact-finding to verify the facts and the actual issues. This case is no different — or is it? Actually, it is different in two important ways:

First, it is pretty one-sided because the one party, an individual calling himself “Jason Tantra,” apparently from Bristol, England, and operating a company called Tantra 4 Gay Men, a company with a Bristol, UK, address, is battling with an American organization, not a commercial entity but an apparently spiritual-religious entity, largely because of a difference in doctrine and interpretation of what exactly Mr Tantra (Sorry! But that’s what he calls himself, and has refused to give his real name.) is offering in his so-called “sensuality workshops,” that are being offered in places like New York (Manhattan), Massachusetts (Boston), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), and other “discreet” venues in the US. Of particular interest is a so-called “festival” that is hosted by the largely LGBT “retreat center” calling itself Easton Mountain Retreat Lodge, in New York.

Unfortunately, because Mr Tantra went ahead and complained to WordPress, the social media platform, about the articles, WordPress suspended the blog owner’s site — actually in violation of their own Terms of Service — and so we have no way of reviewing what the author posted or the impact it might have had. That’s a double-edged sword because (1) we normally would investigate both sides, and (2) if Mr Tantra caused the site to be permanently deleted by WordPress, Mr Tantra has no basis to prove his allegations.

The second difference is that we are not particularly interested in the superficial issues of a squabble between two individuals or organizations but the cherished principle of freedom of expression, and its protection at least in the United States of America under the provisions of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. That’s a serious issue that we will likely focus on and the question of the extent of a person’s right, if any such right exists, to deprive another person of his/her right to freedom of expression, even if person No. 1 feels that person No. 2 is unfair or inadequately informed. The second part of this question is that of due notice. In New York state, at least, before anyone can be deprived of his or her rights or privileges, the law requires that s/he be provided with due notice.If that is not done, then there is the possibility that yet another protected right, that of due process, may have been violated.

Now, of course,we operate as journalists and not as attorneys, so our questions may or may not have legal weight in a real-life dispute, but they are worth considering because if those rights can just be arbitrarily eroded just because of a difference of opinion or because there is some sort of economic competition between the parties, which is not the situation in this case, then it can affect each and every one of us in various ways. The cherished American protected right of freedom of expression, including opinions, should not be cast so lightly aside simply because one party has a paranoid delusion of competition or an inflated sense of right, or simply because he doesn’t like what someone has to say.

Unfortunately, thanks to Mr Tantra’s draconian step of somehow inducing WordPress to suspend not just the posts about Mr Tantra or his company but allegedly the blogger’s entire site, has, as mentioned above, deprived us of the opportunity to review the particular posts but also places Mr Tantra and his company in a very different light.

We are navigating perilously close to tyranny by private interests and corporations

Moreover, it raises important questions about your rights and the arbitrary and unilateral adverse actions taken by social media, especially relating to your right to express yourself. When social media operators like Facebook and others can simply vaporize an account or a site without having to give an explanation, we are navigating perilously close to tyranny by private interests and corporations, and government not protecting our rights.

You see, in the UK there are very different concepts of freedom of expression and the laws differ considerably; in the UK you’d have less protection and more liability, that is, if you are subject to those laws. In the United States, the rights of freedom of expression are constitutionally protected and have received very broad interpretation in the courts.

Mr Tantra is a UK subject allegedly working in the United States on some sort of a visa. He claims also that his company and its services received extensive scrutiny by “the Visa office” of the “US embassy,” who allegedly authorized him to operate his business in the United States. We have requested details of his claims but Mr Tantra has refused so far to produce any documentation.

Our information indicates that Mr Tantra operates his business not only in the United States generally, but in several states, including New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and others. This raises the question not only of authorization generally to operate a business in the US but to operate a business in several sister states. Again, Mr Tantra is silent on these questions.

A very salient question we posed in the course of our initial exchange was that of taxes. Does Mr Tantra file federal returns and state returns for his income and revenues generated by his activities in the several states in which he operates his business. Mr Tantra states that he does file returns, that an accountant files his returns, and that he pays substantial taxes, but Mr Tantra does not provide a taxpayer identification number or any other documentation of his claims. We have requested at least some proof of his statements but have not yet received any.

Mr Tantra operates a business in the United States but doesn’t actually say what it is. We have visited his Internet site and from what we can glean from the information there — it’s a bit confused and well, ambiguous and vague, but see for yourself. Here’s the link: Tantra 4 Gay Men / Jason Tantra. We have also viewed a number of his YouTube videos which we find a bit amateurish and rambling but there are clear indications on both his Internet site and his YouTube videos that his company concentrates on sex practices, intimacy, tantric (sensual) massage, orgasm, awakening and enlightenment, bliss, and ecstasy. All of the keywords we’ve been able to identify are oriented towards gay men or “men who love men.” Seems like an unusual type of business or company to receive authorization from a US embassy to operate in the United States but who are we to decide US policy, we’re only voters, citizens, and taxpayers. Right?

Whatever. We have asked Mr Tantra to provide any copies of any blog articles he have from the suspended blog. We have also requested specific information from Mr Tantra so that we can be fair and even-handed in our upcoming report.

Mr Tantra’s responses are rambling and in part contradictory so we don’t really know if he understands what we are asking for, or if he is refusing to provide the documentation. Of course, he is under no legal obligation to even talk us but we feel it is in his interest to cooperate. We can’t accept simple statements as proof of what he says; we need to have something solid, official to show he’s legit.

As most of our readers know, we know where to find information and so we have contacted state and federal agencies with our requests for information. But in the meantime if any of our readers know of Mr Jason Tantra or his company, Tantra 4 Gay Men, we’d like to hear from you.

Since we have far more than 400,000 readers worldwide, we’d like to hear from anyone, not just Americans or persons in the US, but anyone worldwide who knows of Mr Jason Tantra, his company, Tantra 4 Gay Men, or who has participated in any of his “programs.”

We’d particularly like to hear from the author of the posts that so upset Mr Tantra or the owner of the blog that was suspended at Mr Tantra’s demand. Better still, if anyone can provide copies of the blog articles concerned, that would be a real boon.

We do know that the gay retreat venue Easton Mountain, is hosting at least two Jason Tantra events this year: the Tantra4GayMen Diploma Program: Healing & Surrender Module (there are apparently 3 modules) and The Tantra Experience, and in past years has hosted Mr Tantra for a number of events and he is allegedly next presenting there June 22-28, 2019, for some kind of “diploma-certificate” program he offers. It gets pretty pricey at between $1,999-$2,199, depending on whether you want multiple occupancy rooms or camping. You can find his US offerings at US Events and Workshops.

We do emphasize that our interest in this case has nothing to do with the parties’ squabble or the particulars of their offerings, even considering we do not have the advantage of details from Mr Tantra’s alleged adversary. We are examining and investigating this case because of the First Amendment issues and the overall issues of doing business in the United States and the laws regarding taxation, filing of returns, what you can and cannot do with or without a license to do it, and generally the principles of freedom of expression.

Moreover by posting links to the various sites of interest we in no way whatsoever intend to suggest that we support or do not support those operators. The links are provided solely for the information of our readers and serve no other purpose or intent whatsoever.

We have communicated with Mr Tantra and have informed him that if we do not receive reliable documentation from him by June 5, 2019, we will proceed with our findings without his inputs. We feel that’s only fair.

We’ll get the answers one way or the other.

 

Update: We have initiated inquiries on this matter with the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the Office of the United States Attorney, Civil Rights Office, in addition to our other inquiries.

Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!
Special Notice & Legal Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.
 

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.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 13, 2018 in 1984, 19th Congressional District, 2017 Elections, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Addiction, AFL-CIO, Albany, Amanda L. Mueller, Amanda Mueller, Amedore Homes, American Legion, Anheuser-Busch, Antichrist, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Block, Blocked, Catholic, Censorship, Chaplain Services, Church, Church and State, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Town Board, Columbia-Greene Media, Community, Conspiracy, Constitution, Corporation, Daily Mail, Death care, Deathcare, Elected Official, Ethics and Morality, Evil, FaceBook, Facebook, Facebook unfriend, First Amendment, Freedom, Freedom of Speech, Funeral Home, George Amedore, God, Government, Greene County, Greene County News, Groupspeak, Groupthink, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Immorality, Immorality, Internet Speech, Johnson Newspaper Group, Justice and Courts, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mark Zuckerberg, Mind guards, Mindguards, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Morality, New Baltimore, New York, New York State, New York State Education Department, New York State Funeral Directors Association, New York State United Teachers, News and Information Media, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, NFDA, Nineteen Eighty Four, NYSED, NYSUT, Obstruction of Justice, Official Misconduct, Orwell, Paranoia, Parent Negligence, People of Faith, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Political Expression, Politics, Public Office, Ravena, Ravena News Herald, RCA, Reformed Church of America, RegisterStar, Retaliation, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Room 101, Service Corporation International, Small Town, Stereotype, Suffering, Teachers, Teachers Union, The Daily Mail, Thought Police, Times Union, Town Board Meeting, Town Council, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Transparency, Vaporization, Vaporize, Village Council

 

RCS Communities Mourn a Special Son

On July 20, 2015, suddenly, unexpectedly a special son of the RCS community for more than 75 years was summoned home; a colorful, memorable, well-liked, loved and respected member of the RCS community, Rodney A. Krzykowski, died but he left an American legacy and true meaning for those of us who are still able to know the American pioneer spirit when we see it. Rodney will be truly missed by many of us. He should be missed by all of us.

In fact, you can thank Rodney Krzykowski for this Blog! This very blog owes its existence to Rodney Kryzkowski. Think back to 2012, when the crooks, conspirators and special-interest lackies (James Latter, Howard Engel, Alice Whalen, Joe Tracey, Josephine O’Connor, Matt Miller, the RCS Sports Association, and the nefarious Delucas, Cathy and Dirty-Hands Jerry) were ambushing and backstabbing, and lying their way into controlling the RCS school board and the $42,000,000+ budget. This blog was started to defend Rodney and to expose the crooks and conspirators for what they were. That was three years ago and we’re still going strong, thanks to Rodney and the raw deal the crooks were handing him.

RodneyK_FrameRodney Krzykowski was a man of few words but those words held incredible meaning. He was an honest man, a man who shot from the hip with deadly accuracy, as many of the members of the RCS board of education, like Mr James Latter, Mr Howard “Bray” Engel, Ms Alice Whalen and others too numerous to name, learned very quickly and have the scars to prove it. Rodney was intelligent and did the math before he opened his mouth, unlike the current Latter board, and when he spoke, he made sense; he never learned double-speak.

Rodney embodied a very rare pioneer spirit and didn’t have very much use for government or the crooks government seems to attract and feed. He was brilliant when it came to researching even arcane subjects and doing his homework. Unlike most of our elected officials and public employees, Rodney thrived on intellectual challenges;if it was out there, he’d find it, and when he did Watch out! Town of Coeymans. Most of the local sheeple tended to condemn him on unsubstantiated misinformation spread by the local incest clubs. Surprised? Unlike Rodney, everyone else had something to say about his politics but none of them really knew anything at all about him or his politics. We did, though, and we must admit that he was on to something, not a fanatic or an anarchist, but a true crusader, a man whose principles guided him, and a man who thumbed his nose to ass-kissers and clique-members. When you spoke to Rodney, you had an instinctual perception that the man was special, honest, had a pioneer integrity that is almost extinct these days.

dove with olive branch

Rodney was a mechanical genius. He loved his cars and he loved racing them. Yes, Rodney raced stock and modified his cars himself, frequently creating machinery to get a job done. If something needed customizing he could conjure up an apparatus to do it. Makes you wonder that he never went the patent route with his creations; the man could have been a millionaire.

Yes, he could have been very comfortable but he preferred to remain simple and work for what he had. If you knew Rodney, you would have to agree with us that you would find it very difficult to find anyone who was a harder worker than he. The man never stopped.

Whether with friends — he was always welcome in many local homes — hanging out in local automotive shops, or at the Medway Café, where you could find hm regularly, he was quiet, minded his own business, but was always available if you wanted to chat. In fact, there was no one still living who knew more about local property histories, businesses, families, and government than Rodney Krzykowski. If you needed to know anything about the property that is now the Port of Coeymans or Don Trickie’s escapades, you’d ask Rodney. He could tell you what was there, what’s still there, who put it there and, if it’s not there anymore, where it went.

tail between legs_looking rightRodney was also an avid history buff and could talk your ear off about the Constitution, the developmental history of taxation, property laws, and the list goes on. He scared the living bejeebers out of local officials, lawyers, judges, because they were ignorant of most of what Rodney had spent years researching. Most local officials rely on an ignorant community and they have their way with the poor bastards; Not with Rodney K! He’d send those dirty dogs packing with their cruddy tails between their legs. We need more Rodneys to keep things kosher in town and village halls.

Rodney owned a tavern and most recently RAK Tire Recovery and the former R.K. Winners Circle. He was not only a businessman and entrepreneur but active in community organizations, too. He was a member of the Ravena Grange and the County Grange and was elected to serve on the RCS board of education. He even raced stock cars at Lebanon Valley for many years.

Rodney was a self-made man, a good man, a generous friend. We are deeply saddened by the way his death was hushed by his family, and how his community was deprived of the opportunity to grieve his death, how Rodney’s friends and admirers were deprived of the opportunity to mourn the loss of a friend and model citizen. We were outraged by the pitifully scant obituary that was tucked away, almost invisible, in a Sunday Times Union. Rodney deserved better, much better. In fact, quite a number of Rodney’s friends and acquaintances were shocked and offended that he was disposed of like a box of old newspapers. A number of those friends and acquaintances even offered to chip in a couple of hundred dollars each to cover a proper viewing and funeral but Rodney’s daughters allegedly wanted to make quick work of it all — the Babcock Funeral Home of Ravena (NY) — a real monopoly in the Ravena area, big prices small productions — , known for its sloppy service, probably didn’t do much to help the general situation.

But the well-hidden, cheapo obituary did announce that Rodney’s memorial service was to be held on

Saturday, August 1, 2015
at 11:00 a.m. at the
Trinity United Methodist Church
Coeymans Hollow

We hope that everyone who knew Rodney will be there to show their support for this fine man, and to show that true American pioneer spirit still has a place in our decrepit culture. Let’s see how Trinity United Methodist will manage to appropriately and fittingly celebrate Rodney’s life; are they up to the task? (See Editor’s Note.)

Editor’s Note: The turnout at Trinity United Methodist Church for Rodney’s memorial service was standing room only. Rev. Meager rushed the actual service a bit and the hymns could have been a bit more energetic but overall the event was a fine tribute. The Grange did a beautiful tribute, and the eulogies spoke only well of Rodney and his contributions to the community. It was a proper tribute to a fine man, and we’d like to thank the community for showing up and doing Rodney proud.

Rodney,
You grew in wisdom, age, and grace and learned through suffering.
May the Lord bless and keep you.
May choirs of angels welcome you and lead you into paradise,
May the martyrs come to welcome you
and take you to the holy city,
the new and eternal Jerusalem,
where you may find respite in the bosom of Abraham;
where Lazarus is poor no longer,
where every tear is wiped away.

There may you find eternal peace.

StJohnsAshfield_StainedGlass_GoodShepherd

We’ll remember you, Rodney.
The Editor

 

Trouble in Paradise? Somebody Gave Mayor Misuraca the Horns! How Safe is Your Home?

We’ve been quiet for a couple of weeks, taking a bit of a break from the nauseating work of watching Ravena, Coeymans, and New Baltimore self-destruct. We’ve also been hoping in vain that some things would change once Misuraca and Warner took a break from monitoring this blog. Well, as we expected, nothing positive has happened, it only got worse.


Some food for thought…

Several days ago there was a house fire in the hamlet of Coeymans. The fire fighters attempted to use a nearby fire hydrant but couldn’t; it was too rusted and wouldn’t deliver. They had to haul ass farther down Rt 144 to find a hydrant that would work. What do you think about that? How much $$$ do we need to ensure our fire-safety in Ravena-Coeymans?

Hydrant-in-a-Body-Bag You'll find a number of these in and around Ravena; also some that are so rusted they can't be used! Some don't work at all!!!

Hydrant-in-a-Body-Bag

You’ll find a number of these in and around Ravena; also some that are so rusted they can’t be used! Some don’t work at all!!!

So we’d like to ask Mr Mayor “Mouse” Misuraca, Ravena village trustee Nancy Warner, and fitness bimbo Cathy Deluca whether Ravena needs a Heaps and Fatness Center or fire hydrants that work. Don’t you think that the $6,000 the Ravena Health and Fitness Center is losing every month could be better spent on ensuring the community’s safety? The whole community, that is, and not a handful of mouthy post-menopausal morons. Why don’t you ask Mr Mayor or Ms Warner or Ms Deluca what their priorities are? Couldn’t the more than $100,000 in the Ravena village budget for the Heaps and Fatness clowns be better spent on ensuring our fire hydrants are in working order, instead of wrapping them in body bags telling us they can’t be used? And what about the dozens of others that aren’t working but don’t get marked. Yes! We’ve received information from a reliable source that there are at least 8 other hydrants in the village that should be replaced! Next time you’re out in your neighborhood, why not check the condition of your hydrants. But take a barf bag with you; you’ll probably need it because the situation will make you sick! While Nancy Warner is peeing down your legs and telling you it’s ice-water, maybe she’s going to squat over the next house fire with her clown friends Cathy Deluca, Michelle Robbins, Christine Schnyder, Rowena DeDade, and Tony-the-Hose Ricciardi and wife Cathy, and smother it with bullshit?!?! You don’t need a half-brain to figure out the priorities in this community but Mr Misuraca and Ms Warner don’t seem to be able to do that. And clowns like Robbins, Schnyder, DeDade and the Ricciardi bunch haven’t got a clue; they talk community etc. but don’t know their arses from their elbows! Let’s dump the Fatness Center and put the money to better use rather than padding Cathy Deluca’s already amply padded bottom!

Burning-House

But what’s really hilarious is that the News Herald recently reported that Cathy Deluca’s partner, that useless-heap-of-walrus-excrement Dirty-Hands Jerry Deluca, who left the Coeymans Police Department with his darling Gregory “Dumplin'” Darlington — word on the street is that they had to leave or be prosecuted — to take a job with the lobbyists at the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, returned recently to Ravena-Coeymans, allegedly instructing local fire-fighters. What was he instructing them in? No, not how to be a dirty cop. And No! Not how to cook a résumé. YES! How to wrap defunct fire hydrants, of course! Now if that isn’t ironic tell us something that is.

Well, Ravena and Coeymans residents and property owners you really have to start talking about this situation and doing something about it. You see, once your insurance companies get wind of this … Well, either you won’t have insurance or your rates are going to go through the roof. Maybe you’ll think about this when your house or your neighbor’s house is belching smoke. But then that will be a bit late, won’t it?


Who Gave Ravena Mayor William “Mouse” Misuraca the Horns?

That’s our first question. We had no idea mice could grow horns but they do in Ravena. Ravena Mayor Misuraca, Mayor “Mouse” has gotten the horns. Now there’s real word-play for a mayor of Italian descent! But it’s true.

Yup! Just look at the Ravena Mosher Park sign: Misuraca got the horns!

Yup! Just look at the Ravena Mosher Park sign: Misuraca got the horns!

You really have to wonder about this guy, Misuraca. He’s like an immature adolescent and has no ethics, it seems. Nor does he have any shame. Shouldn’t Ravena’s municipal signs have a little more dignity or should even the signs be an embarrassment to the good people of Ravena.

It seems Misuraca can’t get control of village hall but sure can play his childish games at taxpayer expense. Who authorized the little ego trip for Mayor “Mouse” and put the horns on the “Moose.” Doesn’t anyone have any sense of dignity? Doesn’t anyone have any idea of what it means to give a man the horns? Ask any Italian! Apparently Mayor Misuraca can’t think that far.

moose horns

Mayor “Mouse” Misuraca Got the Horns!

And then there’s the question of who paid for the mayor’s ego trip? Let’s FOIL the bills for the signs and see what it cost.

But that’s a drop in the bucket when you consider how Misuraca is still dicking around with Nancy Warner and Cathy Deluca and the money pit Ravena Health and Fitness Center.

It makes you physically sick when you read the Ravena News Herald and Bryan Rowzee’s ass-kisser reports. Two or three locals show up to plead for the Fitness Center, even one from Selkirk who’s stupid enough to pay non-resident dues to play with Cathy-the-Crook and her minions. That bimbo from Selkirk pays about 3-times what she’d have to pay if she joined Planet Fitness about the same distance away! Need we say more? DUH!!!

News Herald “reporter” Bryan Rowzee has to play nice-nice with Ravena village hall and report all the right stuff; Rowzee’s wife works in the Ravena building department! Can’t rock the boat that pays the bills. Right?

But Rowzee’s got to keep on the good side of Ravena village hall and Nancy Warner, Cathy Deluca’s backer in village hall, because Rowzee’s wife works in the Ravena building department, and obviously, if Rowzee doesn’t play nice-nice with Warner and Deluca, his wife might get her walking papers and Rowzee would end up having to get a real job. But where would he do that? Yeah. So Rowzee keeps feeding local readers the smoke-and-mirrors reports and doesn’t quite get to the meat and potatoes of how bad it is in Ravena village hall.

Now, we’re not saying that Christine Schnyder of Ravena or Michelle Robbins of Selkirk are, in reality, really stupid; it may just be the way Bryan Rowzee chose to quote them or the parts of their statements he chose to include in his article that make them appear and sound really stupid. We do find it pitiful that Michelle Robbins has to find her “second home” at the crumby Ravena Health and Fitness Center. Really, Michelle, you need to go into therapy and/or find a real life, girl! Rowena DeDade certainly hit the nail on the head when she is quoted as saying that the Fitness Center has a “personal touch and a community feeling.” Yes, Rowena, you are lonely and need a friend, but that sort of “personal touch” will give you a creepy disease and the “community feeling” you get you can get at the local bar, too…like the Halfway House, run by your mayor!

It’s questionable whether Rowzee was interviewing the local psychiatric population out on day-pass but if he is quoting Schnyder, Robbins and DeDade as the voice of the people, we have to ask the people of what planet? Robbins seems to think that the Fitness Center “draws a wider population to the village and its businesses.” If that were true, then the Fitness Center would have enough members to keep it out of the red…It does not. And WHAT LOCAL BUSINESSES, Michelle???? Are you nutz? There are no more local businesses of any interest to any “wider population.” That convinces us that you are REALLY, REALLY stupid!

Tony Ricciardi and his wife Cathy seem to think that traveling to Delmar to go to Planet Fitness would keep them from supporting local businesses. Well, we’d like to let Tony and Cathy in on a little secret: Planet Fitness is not in Delmar and hasn’t been for quite a few years now. The place closed about 5 years ago when the Glenmont club got up and running at full steam. Well, so much for Tony and Cathy and their credibility. Let us know when you wake up, Tony, and become aware of what’s going on around you. Like you’re real believable: You don’t even know where planet fitness is!!! (Why didn’t Bryan Rowzee, pathetic little wannabe reporter that he is, catch that little gem?)

So there you have it: Three hormonally and metabolically challenged, lonely locals telling the rest of the community that they want their little therapy group and we can all pay for it. And then you have the Dizzy-Pair, Tony and Cathy, who are not quite aware of what’s going on around them. They all want it their way and want the rest of us to pay for it. Now, back to Mayor “Mouse” and his merry band of rats…

Mayor Misuraca and others on the board note that the Fitness Center is fiscally irresponsible and is not attracting the PAYING members it needs to support itself. Of course, Nancy Warner, one of the crooks who was instrumental in getting the thing installed by some very suspicious behind-closed-doors manipulations and deals, can’t back down and will come up with any asinine response to keep it (If she loses this baby, it’s likely the dam will burst on her unlawful activities and she’s dead in the water). Let’s face it, there have been a number of instances in the past two years where insiders got thrown in and turned on their cronies. There’s no honor among thieves. If Nancy were to to the responsible honest thing and admit it’s a dead fish, Cathy Deluca and hubby, Dirty-Hands Gerry Deluca, formerly of the Coeymanzi Police Department, will likely turn on her and…Well, you know the rest of the story. Nancy Warner’s up to her neck in Fitness Center doo-doo, right up to the point where they’ll put the noose if she doesn’t watch her step. Must be horrible living life having to look over your shoulder and not being able to trust anyone. Ask Nancy Warner.

So, if Mayor “Mouse” and his merry band of rats have a majority that feel the Fitness Center is a poor investment, losing money, not keeping its head above water, we have to ask the question: WHY IS IT STILL THERE? WHY HAVEN’T YOU CLOSED IT YET MISURACA?

There was a glimmer of hope, though, when two weeks ago Ravena Mayor “Mouse” Misuraca got his horns locked with Nancy Warner at a public session of the Village of Ravena village board meeting. You’d almost think he had a pair, wouldn’t you?

Our question is this, after seeing Mayor “Mouse” on the front page of the Ravena News Herald with an Eagle Scout: How hypocritical can you get when you are allowing crooks to run your village hall departments, when you knowingly waste more than $6,000 a month on a money pit like the Ravena Health and Fitness Center, and you can still occupy the same space as an Eagle Scout? Where are that scout’s parents, we’d like to know.

BUT HERE’S THE REAL STORY WE’RE WORKING ON….

You’ll recall how we recently published a story on how the Ravena Village Board attempted to dump a member of the Ravena Planning Board without consulting anyone, not even the president of the Planning Board. It’s come out Why? they tried and failed to oust that member and How? it’s really coming back to bite them. Here’s how…

We have been provided with a Notice of Claim against the Village of Ravena that has been served on Mayor “Mouse” and his cronies for attempting to illegally tamper with the Planning Board and to mess with the member they tried to get to resign for all the worst — and wrong — reasons. We’ll be publishing that Notice of Claim and commenting on it very soon, probably this weekend! The town of Coeymans was also served with a Notice of Claim because of the number of moles in Coeymans town government who report to Ravena village hall (but we’re not going to mention Tom Dolan’s name yet).

But that’s not all. We’ve also obtained papers on the operations of the Ravena Building Department and one Mr Sandy Debacco, Village of Ravena building inspector, who is also working for the town of Coeymans and for the Albany County Airport! The fact that Mr Debacco doesn’t have to eat or sleep but can hold three jobs isn’t so surprising; quite a few village employees do the same thing but no one but us seems to read the documents, because it’s very difficult to even verify they exist. But crooks can run but they can’t hide! Remember our article on the disclosure of all those village of Ravena employees’ personal information, including social security numbers? It does get worse.

This story surrounds the pattern of retaliation against village residents and property owners that was a hallmark of the John Bruno reign of incompetence and terror and, it appears, is still a part of Ravena’s agenda, continuing under the current bartender mayor, William “Mouse” Misuraca under the supervision of his madam-in-waiting, Nancy Warner, a relic of the Bruno reign. The story is a story about retaliation and incompetence, that’s for sure. But it also exposes how the village of Ravena and those in village hall take care of their own and to hell with the rest of you! What makes it so tantalizing is that it’s all in black and white, we have the documents. And it involves fraud, too.

Our story has all of the trappings of a good detective novel: Dirty government, corruption, conspiracy, fraud, money, favors. You name it! And you’ll get to read it all right here.

Stay tuned!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2015 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, Abuse, Abuse of Public Office, Al Visconti, Alan Court, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County Civil Service Department, Albany County District Attorney, Alicia Nieves, Annette Demitraszek, Annette Demitraszek, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Barbara Cumm, Bill Bailey, Bill Bailey, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Freeman, Bob Ross, Bryan Rowzee, Capital District, Carmen Warner, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Chris Gibson, Chris Gibson, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Claire Roberts, Coeymans, Coeymans Building Inspector, Coeymans Industrial Park, Coeymans Town Board, Conspiracy, Corruption, Crime and Punishment, David Soares, Edward Beck, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, Eric T. Schneiderman, First Amendment, Formal Written Complaint, George Amedore, Government, Harold Warner, Henry Traver, Hypocrisy, Indifference, Intimidation, James Shear, Jason Leonard, Jena Misuraca, Jerry Perrine, Joel Coye, Joel Coye, Joel Trombley, John Luckacovic, John Rosato, John T. Bruno, Josephine Bruno, Josie Biscone-Bruno, Keith Mahler, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Kris Biernacki, Kristine Biernacki, Kristine Biernacki, Larry Conrad, Laverne Conrad, Lee van Etten, Mary Ellen Rosato, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Mayor Bruno, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misdemeanor, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Republican Club, New York, News Herald, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Pete Lopez, Peter Masti, Phillip Crandall, Ravena, Ravena Building Inspector, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Health and Fitness Center, RCS Central School District, Retaliation, Rosie Rarick, Scott Conners, Selkirk, Stephen Flach, Thomas E. Dolan, Timothy Golgoski, Tom Dolan, Vanessa Hoyt, Village Clerk, Village Council, Village of Ravena Planning Board, William Bailey, William Bailey, William Misuraca, William Misuraca