Friday, September 25, 2009

The Twelve Steps of S. K. A. (Serial Killers Anonymous) -- by Richard C. Speaks

1. We have admitted to ourselves that murder is shameful, and wrong.

2. We have accepted the fact that we are not, and have never been, a higher power. We are murderers. Nothing more.

3. We have accepted responsibility for all the harm we've caused others through our selfish and immoral actions.

4. We must control ourselves, but we are weak. We need help.

5. We have searched within for the reasons to why we are driven to commit atrocity after atrocity. Knowledge is power. Know thyself.

6. We have decided to be honest with ourselves and the group. Anything said at an SKA meeting, or to an SKA sponsor, is strictly confidential.

7. You must never reveal the existence, or location of the SKA meeting place.

8. You must report to your sponsor, or to the mentor of the group, anything that might become a possible threat to the existence of SKA and to its membership. Day or night. Let's not take any unnecessary risks!

9. The SKA meeting place is neutral territory. Violence will not be tolerated.

10. To err is human, and relapse is a part of recovery. Just because you've acted out again doesn't mean that you should stop trying to stop. Call your sponsor before you lose control. Let SKA help you.

11. Keeping trophies only feeds your lust for violence. They can also incriminate you. Get rid of them.

12. Clean and sober helps to keep the demons away. Unless you're on meds.

Drawing by Robert Graysmith

The 12 Steps of S. K. A. comes from my screenplay, and novel in progress, ANONYMOUS. My script can be found collecting dust on TRIGGERSTREET.COM.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What's Up With Sodom? -- by Richard C. Speaks

God's Homophobia part 3 of 3

The Sodom and Gomorrah (S&G) story has been used to condemn homosexuals, and even to justify intolerance and persecution by the just and faithful followers of Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Jesus, and his followers, down through the ages. Those detested towns, S&G, have been used as a metaphor to denounce idolatry, sorcery, and sex in the Bible so often that I won't even bother to quote them all.

Did this tale of terror really happen? Is it really about what we've been told it's about, or has the meaning been overwhelmed by the very idea of a drunken mob attempting to gang bang a couple of angels?

To get to the heart of the matter I've decided to do a line by line comparison with the doublet of the S&G story found in the book of Judges. The story of Gibeah of Benjamin is separated by five Mosaic books, and nearly a thousand years of pseudo-history. Both stories read like some super scary prison shower scene.

The Gibeah story is devoid of angels and miracles, but contains many uncanny similarities. The tale of a traveling holy man, with his man servant and concubine, being threatened with gang rape by a drunk and horny mob in a strange town at sundown, and the fiery destruction that followed. Is this one hell of a coincidence, or is this the retelling of the same story, set in different time periods? Both books were probably written after the fall of Babylon by the resettled Hebrews, who were trying to salvage their cultural identity. The mention of domesticated camels in Genesis is a telling clue, as camels weren't domesticated until much later than the age depicted.

Predating and postdating events and stories is still a common practice. Think Romeo and Juliet vs The West Side Story, or the modernized Leonardo DeCaprio film. Think the original Scarface vs the brilliant DePalma remake, or New Jack City. I'm sure you can come up with many other examples yourself, dear reader. George Washinton never chopped down a cherry tree, because the Chinese hadn't planted them in America yet. You get my point.

This story was probably retold so many times that it became distorted, morphing into two separate fables, and winding up in the Bible twice. Perhaps there was an inciting incident. Maybe it was just an ancient version of an urban legend. Who can honestly say?

You be the judge.


When the two angels reached Sodom in the evening, Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom. As soon as Lot saw them, he stood up to greet them, and bowed to the ground. 'My lords,' he said, "Please come down to your servant's house to stay the night and wash your feet. Then you can make an early start on your journey." "No," they said, "We shall spend the night in the square." But he pressed them so much that they went home with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking unleavened bread, and they had supper.
GENESIS 19:1-3

As they approached Gibeah in Benjamin, the sun was setting. So they turned that way to spend the night in Gibeah. Once inside, the Levite sat down in the town square, but no one offered to take them in for the night. Eventually, an old man came along at nightfall from his work in the fields. He too was from the highlands of Ephraim, although he was living in Gibeah; the people of the place,however, were Benjaminites. Looking up, he saw the traveler in the town square. "Where are you going?" said the old man, "And where have you come from?" "We are on our way", the other replied, "From Bethlehem in Judah to a place deep in the highlands of Ephraim. I have been to Bethlehem Judah and now I am going home, but no one has offered to take me into his house, although we have straw and provender for our donkeys, and I also have bread and wine for myself, and this maid servant and the young man who is traveling with your servant; we are short of nothing." "Welcome," said the old man, "I shall see that you have all you want. You cannot spend the night in the square." So he took him into his house and gave the donkeys provender. The travelers washed their feet, then ate and drank.
JUDGES 19:14-21


They had not gone to bed when the house was surrounded by the townspeople, the men of Sodom both young and old, all the people without exception. Calling out to Lot they said, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so that we can have intercourse with them."
GENESIS 19:4,5

While they were enjoying themselves, some townsmen, scoundrels, came crowding round the house; they battered on the door and said to the old man, master of the house, 'Send out the man who went into your house, we should like to have intercourse with him!"
JUDGES 19:22


Lot came out to them at the door and, having shut the door behind him, said, "Please, brothers, do not be wicked. Look, I have two daughters who are virgins. I am ready to send them out to you, for you to treat as you please, but do nothing to these men since they are now under the protection of my roof."
GENESIS 19:6-8

The master of the house went out to them and said, "No, brothers, please, do not be so wicked. Since this man is now under my roof, do not commit such an infamy. Here is my daughter; she is a virgin; I shall bring her out to you. Ill-treat her, do what you please with her, but do not commit such an infamy against this man."
JUDGES 19:23,24


But they retorted, 'Stand back! This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge. Now we shall treat you worse than them.' Then they forced Lot back and moved forward to break down the door. But the men reached out, pulled Lot back into the house with them, and shut the door. And they dazzled those who were at the door of the house, one and all, with a blinding light, so that they could not find the doorway.
GENESIS 19:9-11

But the men would not listen to him. So the Levite took hold of his concubine and brought her out to them. They had intercourse with her and ill-treated her all night till morning; when dawn was breaking they let her go. At daybreak the girl came and fell on the threshold of her husbands host, and she stayed there until it was light.
JUDGES 19:26


When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your feet! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city."

In the morning her husband got up and, opening the door of the house, was going to continue his journey when he saw the woman, his concubine, lying at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold. 'Get up', he said, 'we must leave!' There was no answer. He then loaded her on his donkey and began the journey home. Having reached his house, he took his knife, took hold of his concubine and cut her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces; he then sent her throughout the territory of Israel. He gave instructions to his messengers, 'This is what you are to say to all the Israelites, "Has anything like this been done since the day when the Israelites came out of Egypt until today?" Take this to heart, discuss it; then give your verdict."
JUDGES 19:27-30


Then Yahweh rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire of his own sending. He overthrew those cities and the whole plain, with all the people living there.
GENESIS 19:24,25

Yahweh defeated Benjamin before Israel and that day the Israelites killed 25,100 men of Benjamin, all of them trained swordsmen.
JUDGES 20:35

But the signal, a column of smoke, began to rise from the town, and the Benjamites looking back saw the whole town going up in flames to the sky. The Israelites then turned about, and the Benjaminites were seized with terror, for they saw that disaster had struck them.
JUDGES 20:41


A Levite priest may not be an angel, but he would be sacred, especially in the time before Israel had a king. God's wrath, in Judges, was carried out through bloody civil war, and the end result was much the same as in Genesis: fiery destruction, and infamy.

Were these ghastly tales merely about God's hatred for male homosexuals? That's an over-simplification for the lovers of hate to exploit. I think these Bible stories were really about disloyalty to Yahweh, and the blatant disregard for the custom of offering hospitality to travelers. A big deal in days of old. A cautionary tale meant to scare the flock away from pagan practices. Beware of the customs of any strange town you may visit. Stay true to the faith that frightens you most. Backsliders make Yahweh angry. All kinds. 

Pagans spilled sperm on their altars. The Yawehists spilled blood. That's why sex became taboo. Fornication was the new Original Sin. Original Sin was originally Adam & Eve's disobeying God and attaining the knowledge of wrongness. To the Yahwehists, this knowledge was the reason why sexuality had become a bad thing. Carnal knowledge. The pagans loved their Earth Mother. The Yahwehists feared their vengeful god. Yawweh was a bully and a major hater. The pagans celebrated sex. The conquors deemed it a shameful thing.

He (God) condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by reducing them to ashes as a warning to future sinners; but rescued Lot, an upright man who had been sickened by the debauched way in which these vile people behaved -- for that upright man, living among them, was outraged in his upright soul by the crimes that he saw and heard every day. All this shows that the Lord is well able to rescue the good from their trials, and hold the wicked for punishment until the Day of Judgment, especially those who follow the desires of their corrupt human nature and have no respect for the Lord's authority.
2 PETER 2:6-10

They have become deeply corrupt as in the days of Gibeah; He will remember their guilt, He will punish their sins.

What if the Levite had picked the wrong night to visit Gibeah, or S&G? The night some ceremony to some pagan fertility goddess was being celebrated. All were expected to attend to assure a successful harvest. Declining to attend would be unthinkable. But the Hebrews were a peculiar people. The townsfolk were probably roaring drunk by then, and highly pissed off that some snooty foreigners were blowing the ceremony, and risking the town's prosperity. They probably did come calling. Demanding that the hold-outs come and join the fun, or move on. I can see that. When in Rome, or S&G, do as they do.

They probably could've picked their partner, if they hadn't been too uptight to join in the festivities. All they were asking for was a small contribution of seminal fluid for the common good of the community. The Levite threw his concubine (sex slave) to the wolves instead. That was his contribution. Too bad for her.

Lot escaped to the hills with his two daughters before the war broke out, got stinking drunk and knocked them both up in a cave. It was all their fault anyway, as reported in Genesis. They made the poor man get drunk and horny! Lot turned out to be an upright fellow after all. At least his pecker was upright long enough to do the dirty deed with his daughters. What a wonderful roll model!

This was just too good a tale not to retell, but it was much easier for the ancient Hebrew scribes to use Canaanites in this cautionary fable about pagan rapists, than to rehash the shameful behavior of their own kindred. Maybe that's why the S&G version was the popular one. Racism appears to be the only sin left out of the Good Book. That, and slavery. I'm such a damned nit-picker!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Holy Hookers & Sacred Sodomy -- by Richard C. Speaks

God's Homophobia part 2 of 3

Linking the religious intolerance for homosexuals and prostitutes down through the ages to the pagan fertility cults of old may seem like quite a leap to most of you, but the Bible has already made that connection for us. All I've got to do is let the Bible prove my point for me. The three no-no's all sprung from the age-old struggle of the monotheists to irradicate their greatest competitor: the fertility cults. See for yourself.

I shall not punish your daughters for playing the whore, nor your daughters-in-law for committing adultery, when the men themselves are wandering off with whores and offering sacrifice with sacred prostitutes...
HOSEA 4:14

There must be no sacred prostitute among the women of Israel, and no sacred prostitutes among the men of Israel.

Ceremonial prostitutes were nearly ubiquitous throughout the Fertile Crescent. They were highly regarded among the fertility cults of old, and nice to have around when you're horny.

In the epic of Gilgamesh, a temple prostitute, Shamhat, was commissioned by the king to seduce the beast-man, Enkidu. She estranged him from the animals, and made a man out of him. New girlfriend. Old friends must go. Same old story. Enkidu and Gilgamesh became inseparable later on. Hmmm...? The patriarch Jacob slept with his own daughter-in-law, Tamar, mistaking her for a pagan prostitute. The authors of the gospels have suggested that Mary of Magdala may have been a ceremonial prostitute, before JC came along, and turned her around. But that's another tale for another time.

This sacred vocation was not gender specific. There were professional sperm-spillers to suite the tastes of every male worshiper in the community. The point of this was to symbolically re-impregnate Mother Earth, and to appease the other god, or gods of that town.

Quite a few Hebrews worshipped Yahweh and other gods at the same time. Finally God had to lay down the law:

Moses turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, tablets inscribed on both sides,inscribed on the front and on the back. The tablets were the work of God, and the writing on them was God’s writing, engraved on the tablets. When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, ’There is the sound of battle in the camp!’ But he replied: ’No song of victory is this sound, no lament for defeat this sound; but answering choruses I hear!’ And there, as he approached the camp, he saw the (golden) calf and the groups dancing. Moses blazed with anger. He threw down the tablets he was holding, shattering them at the foot of the mountain. He seized the calf they had made and burned it, grinding it into powder which he scattered on the water, and made the Israelites drink.
EXODUS 32:15-20

The first time Moses climbed the mountain to receive the tablets of Testimony from God, the things God was preoccupied with were'nt so anal. They were mostly ceremonial instructions and such. Moses broke the first tablets of the law in a pique at the foot of God's Mountain. The second time up the mountain was very different. The LAW was revised.

The Hebrews had relapsed to pagan ways in Moses' absence, with the cooperation of Aaron, his brother, the high priest. After that Moses became an obsessive-compulsive control freak about clean and unclean conduct. Sort'a like Howard Hughs and his germs. Fornication became the new Original Sin. Yaweh became a jealous god. Nothing connected to fertility cult practices was to be tolerated. Sex was for procreation only -- not for worship, not for ritual, not even for mutual enjoyment. Sex became a shameful thing.

You shall have no other gods to rival me. You shall not make yourself a craved image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or earth beneath or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God...
EXODUS 20:3-5

Yahweh's chosen people were frequent backsliders, as you can see.

They had built themselves high places, and had set up pillars and sacred poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. There were even male sacred prostitutes in the country. He (King Rehoboam) copied all the shameful practices of the nations whom Yahweh had dispossessed for the Israelites.
I KINGS 14:23,24

Sacred poles and pillars were obviously phallic symbols. KJV calls the ceremonial male prostitutes, the Sodomites. That's why I'm quoting from the New Jerusalem Bible, which is more accurate and easy to understand.

Asa did what Yahweh regards as right, as his ancestor David had done. He drove the male prostitutes out of the country and got rid of all the idols which his ancestors had made.
I KINGS 15:11,12

He pulled down the house of the sacred male prostitutes which was in the Temple of Yahweh and where the women wove veils for Asherah.
II KINGS 23:4-7

Tamar put a veil over her face to disguise herself as a sacred hooker, so that she could trick Judah into knocking her up (GENESIS 38:13-18). The reason for the wearing of veils was to make the sex act less personal, and more symbolic. A possible origin for the term: "Bag that face, so we can get it on!" -- or something like that.

The Temple was filled with revelling and debauchery by the gentiles, who took their pleasure with prostitutes and had intercourse with women in the sacred precincts, introducing other indecencies besides.

Mark, then, what I command you today. I am going to drive out the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites before you. Take care you make no pact with the inhabitants of the country which you are about to enter, or they will prove a snare in your community. You will tear down their altars, smash their cultic stones and cut down their sacred poles, for you will worship no other god, since Yahweh’s name is the Jealous One; He is a jealous God. Make no pact with the inhabitants of the country or, when they prostitute themselves to their own gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will partake of their sacrifice, and then you will choose wives for your sons from among their daughters, and their daughters, prostituting themselves to their own gods, will induce your sons to prostitute themselves to their gods. You will not cast metal gods for yourself.
EXODUS 34:11-17

The man who has intercourse with a man in the same way as with a woman: they have done a hateful thing together; they will be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

You will not follow the laws of the nations whom I am driving out before you; they practice all these things, which is why I detested them.

I'm not sure what JC's position on this issue was. He was far more concerned with religious hypocrisy among the higher ups. I believe his was a political mission. More on that later.

The writers of the epistles echo the OT's sentiments: Fags are the devil! They must die for being the way they are. God detests gay men. Being a gay Christian makes about as much sense to me as being a Jewish Nazi. Talk about being your own worst enemy!

This black sheep infidel says: What the hell? Be a gay Christian if that floats your boat. Ignore all the verses that bother you. Try and have it both ways. After all, you're forgiven. Right? Who knows? Yahweh might've been misquoted again. Better not spill any sperm though. Just to be on the safe side. Even a wet dream can make a guy unclean all day! (LEVITICUS 15:16,17) 

Mrs. Betty Bowers explains the Bible-based marriage: