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There’s a report of some student hysteria at Pierre Charles Secondary school in Grand Bay. There are lots of perfectly natural causes, but not the utter nonsense as reported following:

“One man is calling on citizens to be aware of the evils in society. His call comes in the wake of yesterday’s incident in Grandbay, involving unusual behavior by over twenty students of the Pierre Charles Secondary School. Most say it is a spiritual phenomenon. The St. Joseph resident, Matthew Ferreira, describes himself as a victim of demonic activity. Ferreira tells Q95News, he is familiar with the situation and wants citizens to know that there is a way out. Ferreira says there should be a level of education and acceptance before such a situation can be handled.”

Mr. Ferreira, we had a comedian, Flip Wilson, whose most famous routine was of a troublesome child who when caught would exclaim “the devil made me do it”. It was so funny because the claim is known to be so absolutely silly; perhaps only grand mom, who had religious indoctrination all her life, might believe it. It is odd that you call for education, because real education, not indoctrination in mythology, would solve the apparent mystery. America has seen mass hysteria, from the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century to the swooning audiences at Beatles concerts – and we understand the behavior to be simple mass hysteria (a form of mob psychosis).

There are no such things as the devil or demons. They are mythology. Today’s religion is tomorrow’s mythology and folklore. The religion that teaches about a devil and demons replaced (by force) religions originally belonging to people who were kidnapped in Africa and sold into slavery in the Caribbean.

There is a natural explanation. That does not mean we can always or easily find it – there are many natural phenomena that we presently understand that was misunderstood for centuries – but the phenomena are and always were natural.

Even in America, which is considered “advanced”, some 50% of the populace claims to believe in the literal existence of angels, etc., a story like the one above receives a generally sneering reaction. People in America say they believe in what religion teaches, but they don’t really. If they did, they would not use birth control, get abortions, work in weapons plants or serve in the war in Iraq. They just say they’re religious because it’s the expected thing to do. When our politicians make claims about how religious they are, the voters discount the claims of the ones whom they know are posturing and they steer completely clear of the ones that they believe are serious. Europeans are far more sophisticated than Americans and generally are not religious at all in comparison.

That the statement above received credible publication in Dominica bothers me because I’m afraid that in America and Europe – where we depend for tourist trade – Dominica will as a result appear to be backwards.

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2 Comments »

Comment by Steve
2007-11-25 08:53:42

I was astounded by the hysteria surrounding this case of… hysteria, so well done for making a stand!

Comment by Dan
2007-11-25 13:44:08

Thank you, Steve.

 
 
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