Data wiccan

Subreddit Survey Results

2020.06.21 22:26 acuriousoddity Subreddit Survey Results

Greetings, exchristian!
The subreddit survey closed on 10 June. Since then, I have been combing through the results, and pulling everything together to publish here. 805 of you responded, which is a small proportion of our 66k members, but probably a good portion of the subscribers who are actually active on the subreddit, and not bad for a first try. I appreciate every one of you who took the time to fill out the survey, who contributed questions, and who provided feedback in the comments of the original post. All advice has been taken on board, and if I do this again in the future, I will change the survey accordingly. But you're here for the stats, so let's get into them!

Part 1: Demographics

Q1: What age group are you in?

Age Number of Responses Percentage
10 or under 0 0%
11-15 40 5%
16-19 136 16.9%
20-24 206 25.7%
25-29 182 22.7%
30-34 121 15.1%
35-39 56 7%
40-44 21 2.6%
45-50 13 1.6%
50+ 28 3.5%
exchristian mostly aligns with Reddit's user base in the age question, with most respondents in the 16-35 range. There are some under 16, which may just be normal for Reddit, but could also be people seeking support with living as a non-Christian in a Christian home in an already difficult part of their lives. Overall, though, this question throws up no surprises.

Q2: What Denomination(s) were you part of?

Denomination Number of Responses Percentage
Non-Denominational 250 31.2%
Baptist 231 28.8%
Catholic 119 14.9%
Other Evangelical 98 12.2%
Pentecostal 97 12.1%
Calvinist/Presbyterian/ Reformed 82 10.2%
Lutheran 47 5.9%
Methodist 39 4.9%
Anglican/Episcopalian 34 4.2%
Church of Christ 31 3.9%
Orthodox 20 2.5%
Seventh-Day Adventist 14 1.9%
Mormon 10 1.2%
Anabaptist (Amish/Mennonite) 8 1%
Plymouth Brethren 7 0.8%
Jehovah's Witnesses 2 0.2%
Other 61 6.1%
A lot of denominations came up here, and I mean a lot. The largest groups are Baptist and non-denominational, which probably reflects the US-centric nature of the subreddit, which we will see in the next question. The sub also leans ex-Protestant, with only 14.9% ex-Catholics and 2.5% ex-Orthodox. The quantity and variety of the self-filled answers made it easier to just group them under 'Other'. A substantial portion of those answers came from offshoots of Methodism, notably the Nazarene (6 responses) and Wesleyan (4) groups. Others included IFB (4), and Assemblies of God (4 - one of a number of Pentecostal-ish groups represented in those answers).
A few peripheral thoughts on this question: I was surprised by the lack of JWs in the sub, but they probably gravitate towards exJW rather than the umbrella sub here, with the same theme applying to the slightly larger Mormon group. I am also intrigued by our Amish/Mennonite contingent. If any of you would be willing to share your experiences with those groups, I'd be very interested to hear.

Q3: Where do you live?

Location Number of Responses Percentage
United States South 220 27.5%
United States Midwest 169 21.1%
United States West 132 16.4%
United States Northeast 93 11.6%
Canada 56 7%
United Kingdom 28 3.5%
Australia 20 2.5%
New Zealand 6 0.7%
Singapore 6 0.7%
The Netherlands 6 0.7%
Germany 5 0.6%
South Africa 5 0.6%
Brazil 3 0.4%
Ireland 3 0.4%
Malaysia 3 0.4%
Romania 3 0.4%
The Philippines 3 0.4%
Czech Republic/Czechia 2 0.3%
Dominican Republic 2 0.3%
France 2 0.3%
Italy 2 0.3%
Mexico 2 0.3%
Norway 2 0.3%
Poland 2 0.3%
In addition to these, there was 1 answer each for: Alaska, 'American living abroad', Austria, China, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Finland, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, 'Jamaica/UAE', Japan, Latvia, Nagaland, Namibia, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Portugal, The Caribbean, The Nordics, 'USA and Philippines', and Zambia.
The overall picture here is that this sub is overwhelmingly American. 77% of you live in some part of the United States, with another 7% from Canada adding to the North American group. Unsurprisingly, most are from English-speaking countries, although there are more from continental Europe than I expected. By location, we are spread far and wide, but it will surprise nobody who has spent any time on this subreddit that a vast majority of users are American.

Q4: What is your ethnicity?

Ethnicity Number of Responses Percentage
White/Caucasian 643 80.3%
Asian 55 6.9%
Black/African-American 40 5%
Latino/Hispanic 33 4.1%
Mixed Race 20 2.5%
Indigenous North American 5 0.6%
Pacific Islander 2 0.3%
Indigenous Australian 1 0.1%
North African 1 0.1%
I received some criticism for this question, which was fair. It was poorly thought out and poorly worded. If nothing else, I should have made Mixed Race an option to be picked and not left that to the 'Other' field - a very embarrassing oversight. But the results do tell us something. The main thing they tell us is that our subreddit is overwhelmingly white, which also correlates with earlier answers which show American ex-Evangelicals as by far the largest group. I don't know exactly why ethnic minorities are so poorly represented here - my best guess is that it is a reflection of Reddit demographics generally. If others have insights on this, I'd be interested to hear them.

Q5: What gender do you identify as?

Gender Number of Responses Percentage
Male 404 50.3%
Female 341 42.5%
Non-Binary 41 5.1%
Prefer not to say 12 1.5%
Genderfluid 2 0.2%
Agender 1 0.1%
Transmale 1 0.1%
These were interesting answers. A quick google search tells me that Reddit overall is over 70% male. But in exchristian, while a small majority of users are men, over 40% are women. As a man, I may be pontificating about something I don't understand, but I wonder if this is connected to the sexism inherent in much of Christianity and Christian teaching. Women may be more likely to leave Christianity than men, because they are more likely to feel unwelcome in a sexist environment. The 5%+ operating outside of the traditional genders may be feeling a similar thing. Trans, Non-Binary, and Genderfluid people probably struggle to find a place in Christianity and Christian doctrine unless they suppress their authentic self. Again, I may be talking out of my arse here, and those with actual experience of this can hopefully provide more insights in the comments.

Q6: What best describes your sexual orientation?

Sexuality Number of Responses Percentage
Heterosexual 469 58.7%
Bisexual 185 23.1%
Homosexual 67 8.4%
Asexual 44 5.5%
Pansexual 15 1.9%
Demisexual 3 0.4%
Queer 3 0.4%
Other 13 1.6%
Of the 'Other' group, most expressed some measure of confusion, with 2 particularly mentioning purity culture as a factor in that. Single answers included Gynesexual, Panromantic, and Sapphic Asexual.
I think we are seeing a similar phenomenon here as with the last question. The larger than average LGBTQ+ representation might be a demographic feature, but it could also be because a lot of Christian doctrine is extremely homophobic, and LGBTQ+ people probably feel unwelcome in Christianity, and have more reason than heterosexuals to doubt aspects of Christian teaching. Again, though, I would welcome further insights from LGBTQ+ people on this issue.

Q7: Which of these options best describes your political opinions?

Political Position Number of Responses Percentage
Left/Liberal 544 68.4%
Centrist/Moderate 225 28.3%
Right/Conservative 26 3.3%
The framing of that question was slightly over-simplified, but it's not a surprise to see that very few people here see themselves as right-wing or conservative politically, both given Reddit's demographics, and given the closeness of large sections of Christianity (especially in the US) with right-wing and socially conservative politics.

Part 2: Education

Q8: What is your current level of education?

Education Level Number of Responses Percentage
College/University Graduate 395 49.2%
Currently at College/University 180 22.4%
Currently in School 110 13.7%
High School Graduate 94 11.7%
PhD/Professorship 20 2.5%
No Formal Qualifications 4 0.5%
A majority of us are either in College/University, or are Graduates. That, again, may just reflect Reddit's demographics, but it is no coincidence that the more someone learns, the less likely they are to remain religious. I have certainly found that in my own experience.

Q9: What type of school were you educated in?

School Number of Responses Percentage
Public/State School 605 75.3%
Religious School 286 35.6%
I was Home-Schooled 122 15.2%
Secular Private School 61 7.6%


Q10: If you went to a religious school, do you believe it contributed towards your deconversion?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 197 38.2%
No 190 38.6%
Not Sure 129 25%

Q11: If you went to a secular school, do you believe it contributed towards your deconversion?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 247 37%
No 290 43.5%
Not Sure 130 19.5%
The answers to Q10 could be unreliable, as more people answered it than answered 'Religious School' to Q9. But it does show that a reasonable percentage of both people who went to religious schools and to secular schools felt that that contributed towards their deconversions. Those will probably be for different reasons, and I think school experiences would be an interesting thing to dig further in to, either in the comments here or in a separate post.

Part 3: Beliefs and Deconversion Experience

Q12: At what age did you stop being a christian?

Age Number of Responses Percentage
10 or under 15 1.9%
11-15 139 17.3%
16-19 211 26.3%
20-24 224 27.9%
25-29 122 15.2%
30-34 54 6.7%
35-39 15 1.9%
40-44 6 0.7%
45-49 10 1.2%
50+ 6 0.7%
Most of us lost our belief between the ages of 16 and 25, and I don't think that's a coincidence. It's the time when you're beginning to strike out on your own in the world, forge your own path, and cast off your parents' preconceptions. It's also the time when you start to think more critically about things, and for many of us thinking critically about Christianity was what drove us to leave it.

Q13: How would you describe your current belief system?

Belief Number of Responses Percentage
Atheist 317 39.7%
Agnostic 238 29.9%
Anti-theist 47 5.9%
Humanist 45 5.6%
Apatheist 26 3.3%
Pagan/Wiccan 17 2.1%
Deist 15 1.9%
Pantheist 13 1.6%
Buddhist 11 1.4%
Unsure 10 1.2%
Agnostic Atheist 6 0.7%
Ignostic 5 0.6%
Satanist 5 0.6%
Spiritual 5 0.6%
Misotheist 3 0.4%
Universalist 2 0.3%
Other 32 4%
Most of the 'Other' answers represented mixed philosophies - a few people have pointed out to me that I should have made this question multiple choice. Single answers included Hindu, Ietsist, Irreligious, Jewish, Left Hand Path, Longhouse Religion, Muslim, Nihilist, Occultist, Panendeist, and Panentheist.
It won't surprise any of us to see that this subreddit is mostly Atheist/Agnostic. However, there are some more spiritually-minded people here, and although they are not a large group they are a noticeable segment.

Q14: If you do not consider yourself an Atheist/Agnostic/etc, how free do you feel to discuss your spiritual views in exchristian?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
1 (Not at all Free) 5 1.4%
2 23 6.4%
3 87 24.2%
4 69 19.2%
5 (Completely Free) 176 48.9%
This seems to have faced a similar problem to Q10, in that many people answered it who should not have. They represent all but one of the '1' answers, and fairly even portions of the others. The answers of spiritually-minded people seem to come out at around the same proportionally as the overall responses. Reassuringly, that means that most do feel free to share their views here, although it also means that there is a minority who do not. While I cannot speak for that minority, one of the answers to the previous question provided a small paragraph on it (side note: try not to do this in surveys, folks. Short and to the point is best). That person said "I don't like to talk about this openly on the sub because I feel like people will see me as spacey and illogical, but that might be because I watch too many hardcore Youtube skeptics".
I think that answer makes sense as a reason some people don't feel entirely free to share their views here. This sub clearly has an atheist majority, and the stereotype of atheists is that we are hostile to any and all spiritual beliefs. It's not a problem with the subreddit, which I've always found to be extremely friendly and open, but one of perception and self-consciousness. But as always, if you feel like I'm grasping at the wrong end of the stick here, feel free to say so - in PMs if you don't want to do it publicly.
Following on from all of that, I'd genuinely be interested to hear more about the beliefs of our more spiritual members - the more niche the better. I'm not that way inclined myself, but the previous question has sparked an academic curiosity.

Q15: Are you 'out of the closet' as an ex-christian?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes, to everyone I know 79 9.9%
Yes, to most people I know 203 25.3%
Yes, to some people I know 387 48.3%
No 133 16.6%
Very few of us have told everyone in our lives that we're no longer christian, but most of us have told at least some people. I imagine that that mostly manifests as people keeping it a secret from family or church friends, or a christian workplace, but being open about it among non-church friends or in a secular workplace.

Q16: If you are 'out of the closet', do your christian family and/or friends accept your decision?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 113 18.9%
No 152 25.4%
Some 333 55.7%
Less than 20% of people's christian circles fully accept them leaving christianity. Christians hate apostates, what a surprise! That a majority have had at least some acceptance is good to see, though, and I am glad for those of you who have experienced that.

Q17: If you are not 'out of the closet', do you plan to come out in the near future?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 86 16.3%
No 163 30.9%
Not Sure 279 52.8%
Most closet-dwellers are unsure if they'll come out or not, with a fairly large minority having decided to keep it a secret, at least for now. A majority for the undecideds is not a surprise. It's a very difficult decision, and you have to weigh up your freedom with the damage you might do to your personal relationships. Not an easy choice.

Q18: Are there any non-christians or ex-christians in your immediate or extended family?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 425 53.3%
No 373 46.7%

Q19: Outside of your family, do you know any ex-christians in your real life?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 505 63.1%
No 295 36.9%

Q20: Do you live in a place where you feel socially at risk if you admit you are no longer a christian?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 158 19.8%
No 258 32.3%
Sometimes (i.e. among family but not among colleagues) 384 48%

Q21: If you do feel socially at risk, how important has exchristian been in giving you a safe space to speak freely?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
1 (Not at all important) 22 3.7%
2 34 5.7%
3 137 23%
4 202 33.9%
5 (Very Important) 200 33.6%
This group of questions shows quite a stark difference. While a majority of us do have other non-christians or ex-christians in our lives, a substantial minority seem to be surrounded by christians, most of them probably in the American south where, from what I read on this subreddit, Christianity is everywhere. That makes exchristian very important as a support subreddit, which I've seen others say here and have felt myself. This community is a very important resource for many people.

Q22: When you were a christian, did you participate in church community activities (i.e. youth groups)?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 716 89.3%
No 86 10.7%

Q23: Do you miss christianity's sense of community?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 257 32.1%
No 420 52.4%
Not Sure 124 15.5%

Q24: Do you feel isolated since deconverting?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Frequently 109 13.7%
Sometimes 287 36.1%
I have in the past 200 25.1%
Never 200 25.1%

Q25: If you have felt isolated, has exchristian helped to reduce that isolation?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 450 70.1%
No 51 7.9%
Not Sure 141 22%

Q26: Outside of exchristian, have you found anything in a secular space to replace the church community?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 353 45.1%
No 429 54.9%

Q27: On the whole, how important has the exchristian community been in helping you through your deconversion?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
1 (Not at all Important) 104 13.8%
2 96 12.8%
3 189 25.2%
4 189 25.2%
5 (Very Important) 173 23%
This is another group of questions which really show how important this community is. Most of us were quite involved in our churches, and although most say they do not miss christianity, a majority have felt isolated at some point, and a large majority of those say exchristian was important to reducing that isolation. The answers to question 27 reflect that again. I think it's really important that this sub exists to help alleviate some of these problems.

Q28: Do you experience rapture and/or tribulation anxiety?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Frequently 59 7.4%
Sometimes 147 18.4%
I have in the past 270 33.8%
Never 322 40.4%
A majority of us have, at some point, experienced rapture or tribulation anxiety. That's hardly surprising, given how strong the 'left behind' motif is in christian preaching and culture. More encouragingly, a majority of those who have experienced this say that they do not experience it now. As someone who has suffered from this in the past, I can reassure you that it does get better. The more distance you put between yourself and your christian past, the easier it becomes to move past that anxiety.

Q29: Have you been diagnosed with a mental illness or illnesses?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 348 43.6%
No 451 56.4%

Q30: Do you believe that christianity has had a negative impact on your mental health?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 667 83.3%
No 58 7.2%
Not Sure 76 9.5%
While a majority of us have not received an official mental health diagnosis, a substantial minority have, a testament to how much of a toll christianity and the process of tearing yourself away from it takes on your mental health. An overwhelming majority also think that it has had a negative impact on their mental health, which will surprise nobody who has spent any time reading the posts on this sub.

Q31: On the whole, has your loss of belief made your life easier or more difficult, or has it had no impact?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Easier 481 60%
More Difficult 105 13.1%
No Impact 54 6.7%
Not Sure 161 20.1%
I have realised since writing the survey that this question was too simplistic and doesn't reflect the variety of people's experiences. Nevertheless, a clear majority do consider their deconversion to have made their life easier, and in the light of the mental health questions that is hardly surprising.

Conclusion/TL;DR
So, what has this survey told us? In demographics, a clear majority in this subreddit are white American protestants, with most between the ages of 16 and 35. In both gender and sexuality, it is more diverse than reddit overall, and most are well-educated. A clear majority are either atheist or agnostic, but there is a diverse (if small) group holding alternative beliefs. With most of us only halfway 'out' as ex-christians and with a clear majority identifying christianity as causing mental health troubles, the survey also shows the importance of exchristian as a place on the internet where people in our situation can come together and share experiences. I'm grateful to all of you for being here and for making this sub the place that it is.
And that's a wrap. Well done for making it this far, I guess, and thanks to all of you who responded to the survey. Pulling the data together for this post has been intense, but fun in its own way, and I have enjoyed finding out a bit more about who we are as a community. As I've said throughout, comments, questions, and criticism are all welcome if you have any to share, and I'm very interested to see what the community thinks of the data.
submitted by acuriousoddity to exchristian [link] [comments]


2020.06.19 11:12 CindyMorrisonwatts1 {Discussion} Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Magic

Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Magic

Pamela A. Moro
Abstract
Witchcraft, sorcery, and magic relate to encounters with and attempts to control the supernatural. Magic encompasses beliefs and behaviors in which the relationship between an act and its effect involves analogy or a mystical connection.
As used by anthropologists, the term “witch” identifies someone alleged to practice socially prohibited forms of magic, while “sorcerer” refers to someone who intentionally takes on the role of magical practitioner, often with the intent to harm.
Anthropological studies of magic, witchcraft, and sorcery around the world date to the mid‐nineteenth century and have been pursued through several schools of thought in the discipline.
The most influential studies have been based on fieldwork in Africa and Melanesia. Most anthropologists see connections between witchcraft, sorcery, and social tensions, erupting from conflicts inherent in social organization or in response to modernity and social change.
Witchcraft, sorcery, and magic relate to human encounters with and attempts to control the supernatural and are frequently described as ways to account for experiences and conditions that might not otherwise be explained.
They appear as themes when humans are concerned with misfortune and harm, accusation and blame, risk and responsibility, and therefore are often analyzed as forms of social control and leveling, as well as ways of perceiving reality.
Because they are closely related concepts in anthropology, the three terms often appear together in the same studies, yet have distinct meanings and intellectual histories.
The enormous anthropological literature in this area is long running and wide in scope, with examples from nearly every part of the world.
The foundational concept is magic, which encompasses beliefs and behaviors in which the relationship between an act and its effect rests on analogy or a mystical connection rather than empirical or scientific validation.
While at its core magic is an idea or belief, it manifests in acts and rituals, texts and spells, and objects such as amulets and talismans.
Anthropological theories of magic, including attempts to treat it as either separate from or inseparable from religion, date back to the discipline's mid‐nineteenth‐century origins and reached a zenith in the mid‐twentieth century through fieldwork‐based ethnographic research, especially connected to the structural–functional school of thought.
Witchcraft and sorcery are terms that describe how humans engage with magic. Witches and sorcerers appear with remarkable consistency among worldviews that posit the existence of magic.
While in the popular imagination the two roles may blur, usage is quite conventionalized in anthropology, owing to the impact of E. E. Evans‐Pritchard's influential study of the Azande, first published in 1937.
Following Evans‐Pritchard's lead, anthropologists nearly always use the term “witch” to identify people suspected of practicing, either deliberately or unconsciously, socially prohibited forms of magic, among other characteristics, and who are thus often scapegoats, members of persecuted groups, and reflective of social tensions, for example within close‐knit communities or kin groups. In some cases, the witch is not a person but a substance or supernumerary organ inside a person's body.
Witchcraft allegations tend to erupt in waves—“crazes”—in response to or along the lines of social tensions. Such tension may be inherent in social organization or, as the most recent research documents, perceived as an adjustment to modernity and social change.
In contrast, “sorcerers” intentionally take on the role of magical practitioner, engaging in activity often labeled by others as magic with ill or evil intent.
While some writers define sorcery simply as the use of magic, in a morally neutral sense, more typically the anthropological use of the term highlights efforts to manipulate supernatural forces for malicious or deviant purposes.
Paradoxically, the self‐identified practitioners of contemporary witchcraft, Wicca, or neo‐paganism of the twentieth and twenty‐first centuries represent a significant contrast both to the scholarly terminology and to the documented history of witchcraft.
These participants constitute a specific identity group or religious movement today and will be treated briefly later in this entry. In this respect, the term witch has a bifurcated use similar to that of shaman, with scholarly consensus diverging from some popular adoption.
Even among anthropologists, some use the terms witch and sorcerer, like shaman, widely—as broad labels that help make sense of patterns in the ethnographic literature—while others reserve them for more narrowly delineated, geographically or historically specific examples.
The material in this entry extends this introductory overview by emphasizing key ideas in anthropological treatments of magic, witchcraft, and sorcery and pointing toward prominent works of scholarship from the mid‐nineteenth century to the early twenty‐first century.
Magic: Intellectual History of a Concept
Mirroring theoretical emphases in anthropology as a whole, the main ways of explaining and asking questions about magic—as well as witchcraft and sorcery—have been the intellectualist, functionalist and structural–functionalist, and symbolist approaches. As used in the Western intellectual tradition, until recently magic has most frequently been attributed to non‐Western peoples, cultural others, or perceived European pasts, although all major world religions have some concept of magic.
In keeping with the paradigms of the times, anthropologists of the nineteenth and early twentieth century viewed magic in an evolutionary framework, as a characteristic of early stages of cultural development or human progress.
Notably, Edward Burnett Tylor (1832–1917) and James G. Frazer (1854–1941) hypothesized that magic was a precursor to religion and science. Given that it assumes primitive people used magic as a way of explaining causality, their approach is often labeled as intellectualist.
Magic was a way to explain things that could not otherwise be understood or accounted for. Rejecting the intellectualist premise, Lucien Lévy‐Bruhl (1857–1939) instead saw magic as a characteristic of how primitive minds perceived the world, qualitatively distinct from rational thinking; Lévy‐Bruhl's arguments are often referred to as part of the “primitive mentalities debate” of the 1920s.
With remarkable persistence, subsequent generations of anthropologists have revisited the arguments about magic developed by Tylor, Frazer, and Lévy‐Bruhl. Later writers found kernels of insight in these social evolution‐era writings, while largely discarding their ethnocentrism.
Foundational social theorists such as Émile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Marcel Mauss all argued that magic and religion were distinct and separate realms, representing fundamentally different human ways of classifying and understanding the world and corresponding to different levels of social organization and institutional development.
Nevertheless, the claim that magic and religion are qualitatively different phenomena has been rejected by numerous anthropologists for nearly a century. Some authors see strong similarities among ethnographic cases, suggesting a blurry distinction at best between magical and religious rituals.
Apart from their evolutionist framework, some of the early theorists also contributed vocabulary related to the description of magic that persist in anthropology and folklore studies today, even as their underlying arguments are rejected. Frazer suggested that primitive magic beliefs assumed a sympathetic link between unconnected objects, which could take the form of homeopathic magic (magic of similarity) or contagious magic (magic of touch.) In examples of magic where a desired effect resembles its cause, or an effect is produced by modeling the desired result, magic of similarity is at work.
The idea that seeds should be planted as a crescent moon is enlarging, or that eating walnuts will make the brain healthy, are examples. To Frazer, a connection also occurs between objects once actually connected, as posited in contagious magic.
Examples include manipulation of hair, nail clippings, or a footprint to affect the person from whom they came, or touching a potato to a wart and then throwing away the potato. Some examples combine both kinds of magic, such as performing a curse on a doll made with clothing from the targeted person.
Frazer's vocabulary and categorization reflect the intellectualist stance in their attention to how magical ideas work and in the effort to identify the principles organizing magic.
Another long‐lasting term to emerge in the late nineteenth century describes a supernatural force that is positive, prestigious, and powerful.
Tylor and others had been asserting that animism—the attribution of a soul to all living and inanimate things—was the earliest, most fundamental form of spiritual belief among humans. In this intellectual context, some researchers of the era found useful the Pacific Islands' concept of mana . Mana is the impersonal magical force associated with animae, or the souls of nonhumans. While a culturally specific term, the word has been applied as a general scientific concept to designate positive forms of magical power.
A second major anthropological approach to understanding magic is functionalism. Functionalist understandings of magic nearly always emphasize magic as a way of responding to psychological needs, arguing for example that people turn to magic in times of anxiety and uncertainty.
Magical activities are a way to gain relief and confidence, perhaps ensuring that everything possible has been done to take control, achieve success, and minimize risks. This approach developed during the period when anthropological research was increasingly based on empirical data produced through ethnographic fieldwork.
The most important figure associated with this argument was Bronisław Malinowski (1884–1942), a central contributor to the development of functionalism, particularly with a psychological bent, in the anthropology of the 1920s through to the 1940s. Working with voluminous data from lengthy fieldwork in the Trobriand Islands of Melanesia, Malinowski's observations about the circumstances in which islanders use magic—or in other cases feel they do not need to use magic—support that idea that magic serves a psychological function by reducing uncertainty and raising confidence ([1935] 1965; 1955).
For example, Malinowski noted that the Trobrianders used magic when fishing in the open seas but not in safe lagoons. While never failing to apply empirical knowledge to agriculture, they still used magic to ensure successful gardening.
Malinowski used his discoveries to weigh in on the primitive mentalities debate.
He rejected Lévy‐Bruhl's idea that primitive people were irrational because, in some circumstances, they used magic. Lévy‐Bruhl held that rational thinking was associated with developed societies while primitive people's thinking was mystical and prelogical, yet Malinowski insisted that the Trobriand Islanders were capable of, and regularly used, thinking that was empirical and more or less scientific in nature. While Malinowski agreed with earlier theorists that magic and religion were separate spheres—magic having to do with private, utilitarian needs; religion with public and institutional needs—he argued that magic and religion ultimately served the same functions.
Several more recent researchers, and countless university students of anthropology, have confirmed Malinowski's psychological functionalism with examples of superstitions and magical rituals from their own cultures. Gmelch (2010) is a widely read application of Malinowski's basic claims to American baseball, connecting athletes' use of rituals, taboos, and fetishes to the reduction of risk and uncertainty.
While the primitive mentality claim is easily dismissed today, the possibility that magic represents a way of thinking fundamentally in contrast to science has remained enticing and is often taken up by anthropologists interested in the importance of symbols and symbolic relationships as features of culture.
Recent theorists do not maintain that whole peoples engage magical, and not scientific, thought. Rather, they raise the possibility that magic is a way of thinking and perceiving, distinct from evidence‐based thought, and engaged in by some people or populations, at some times, in some conditions.
The idea of a distinctive magical worldview has also found credence in fields outside of anthropology. Current‐day psychology and psychiatry use the term magical thinking to describe beliefs in causal relationships that do not have an empirical basis: for example, among children or the mentally ill. The term is also sometimes used to characterize the logic in pseudoscientific claims.

Because the practice of magic inevitably requires the use of language, anthropologists have analyzed the relationship between magical power and words. Malinowski took up this issue in his 1935 Coral Gardens and Their Magic , observing that the power of magic was related to the power of all language, as humans speak about and to some degree control their world through language.
This argument was elaborated by Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah, exploring a similarity in human beliefs about the power of words and concepts of magical power. To Tambiah (1968), magic is better understood as a form of performance than as ill‐informed science.
Like language in other performative contexts, such as theater, oratory, and religion broadly, the language of magic is not like the language of everyday life. It is likely to have specialized vocabulary—perhaps archaic or foreign, perhaps secret—and specialized forms such as incantations, spells, prayers, or chants. The ability to perform such language effectively is part of the role of the magician, however she or he is identified in the culture.
Magic in Relation to Witchcraft and Sorcery: The A zande Example
Not surprisingly, some of the ideas developed in the anthropological study of magic also appear in the literature on witchcraft and sorcery.
Conditions that lead to fissures in social relationships, conflicts of interest, and cognitive jarring recur among many populations separated in time and space. Worldviews that develop conceptions of magic, witchcraft, and sorcery, while varying in specific details, share certain similarities in how they conceive of, and respond to, misfortune and harm.
A goal of many mid‐twentieth‐century studies of magic and witchcraft, especially those conducted by anthropologists in the British structural–functionalist school, was to identify these patterns and discern features in social organization that might account for predictable variations.
The most highly regarded and influential explanation of magic as a distinct way of thinking comes from E. E. Evans‐Pritchard (1902–73), whose work among the Azande of North Central Africa in the late 1920s, published in its earliest form in 1929, constituted one of the fullest early fieldwork‐based accounts of magic, witchcraft, and sorcery. (In Evans‐Pritchard's writings, “Azande” is a plural form, while “Zande” is used as an adjective and singular form. Contemporary writers use “Zande” only.)
His book Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic Among the Azande ([1937] 1976) was groundbreaking in its time for its relatively neutral, nonjudgmental stance on the validity of Zande beliefs. Evans‐Pritchard's widely read work yielded the differentiation of witchcraft and sorcery, introduced near the start of this entry, that remains conventional in anthropology today; however, the degree to which the dichotomy is universal or cross‐culturally valid, even within sub‐Saharan Africa, is debated.
Drawing on the Azande's own distinction, sorcerers intentionally seek to affect—likely to harm—others. They have studied and acquired skills to apply spells, carry out rituals, or use objects to afflict others. In contrast, the power of witches is unconscious and innate.
To the Azande, witchcraft resides in mangu , a substance in the witch's belly, inherited from a parent of the same sex. The substance leads something of a life of its own and can independently afflict people, especially those with whom the witch (likely unaware of the substance) has disagreement.
Azande have developed rituals to protect against witchcraft, as well as a legal system to identify witches and resolve conflicts with their victims. Zande identification of witches relies on a variety of oracles, of escalating power and reliability, ranging from simple do‐it‐yourself tests to assistance from respected diviners.
Perhaps the greatest impact of Evans‐Pritchard's work came from his observations about the circumstances in which Azande invoke beliefs in magic. He emphasized magic, witchcraft, and sorcery as explanations of misfortune, raised when no other explanation is possible, in circumstances others might attribute to bad luck. For example, he described anecdotally how a person walking down a path might stub his toe on a log.
A Zande would understand that the toe was injured because it struck a log but why that person happened to be hurt at that time by that log could only be explained as a result of witchcraft. Evans‐Pritchard saw witchcraft as part of an understanding of the chain of causation behind events, explaining synchronicity or chance.
Because Evans‐Pritchard paid a great deal of attention to how witchcraft allegations erupt between people in conflicting social roles or where social tension is predictable, his approach is squarely within the mid‐twentieth‐century theoretical paradigm of structural functionalism.
This orientation long dominated anthropological studies of witchcraft and sorcery, as evidenced in two multiauthor collections, both first published in 1970: Witchcraft: Confessions and Accusations, edited by Mary Douglas, and Witchcraft and Sorcery, edited by Max Marwick (with a second edition in 1982).
Taken as snapshots of scholarship on the topics, published from the 1929 through the 1970s, many of the authors represented operated within the structural–functional framework launched by Evans‐Pritchard, viewing witchcraft as a means of social control that could be understood through analysis of social structure.
Witchcraft: Delineating Consistent Features
Some scholars, viewing the extensive anthropological and historical literature on witchcraft, have noted prominent social factors and/or key components of worldview that typify all examples.
Such integrations range from minimalist views that see only a small number of unifying factors to lengthy and highly specific trait lists that see a fundamental similarity in disparate examples. For example, Fiona Bowie (2006, 200–202) points out the pervasiveness of two central concepts at the core of all examples of witchcraft cross‐culturally and through history. First, the idea of a life force, essence, or energy within people, and possibly in animals, objects, and the natural world.
Azande mangu is an example of this concept. Because such a life force can potentially be harmed or manipulated by others, a specialist—a diviner—may be called on to deflect the attack or to identify the assailant. Second, the idea of limited good: if there is only so much fortune, health, and happiness to go around, anyone who has a great deal of these or suddenly gains them may be suspected of profiting at someone else's expense.
In cultures with the idea of limited good, people are inclined to hide good fortune and level themselves within the community.
Bowie points out that these ideas, with regionally and culturally specific details depending on the part of the world, appear as beliefs in witchcraft and sorcery, or in the related phenomenon of the evil eye (involving the ability to cause harm through a gaze, motivated by envy), or both.
Despite some consistent similarities in worldviews of witchcraft and sorcery, Bowie also notes that the terms witchcraft and witch are used in disparate ways by scholars and the general public to refer to four distinct phenomena: the idea of maleficence, or harmful supernatural action, developed in medieval and early modern Europe; those identified as adversaries by Christian church reformers; African witchcraft and sorcery as documented by Evans‐Pritchard; the present‐day Wiccan or contemporary pagan movement (2006, 201–2).
To Bowie, these phenomena cannot be reduced to a single pattern and must be treated separately.
Another minimalist when it comes to delineating witchcraft is Mary Douglas: “The symbols of what we recognize across the globe as witchcraft all build on the theme of vulnerable internal goodness attacked by external power.
But these symbols vary according to local patterns of meaning and, above all, according to variations in the social structure” (1970, xxvi).
Douglas identifies only two main patterns of witch belief—those where the witch is an outsider and those where she or he is an internal enemy—which yield subclassifications according to the kinds of social relationships typifying witch roles and allegations in each culture (1970, xxvi–xxviii).
In contrast to the succinct conceptions of Bowie and Douglas, some writers prefer to emphasize a general, worldwide uniformity in witchcraft and sorcery, whether in sub‐Saharan Africa, Melanesia and the Philippines, Europe, or among Native Americans.
Lists of characteristics associated with witches anywhere in the world might include nocturnal activity, flight, community meetings or sabbats, and ritual murder.
Witchcraft beyond E vans‐P ritchard
Many structural–functionalist accounts argued that, aside from witch persecution in historic Europe, witchcraft is benign or even of positive benefit to a community. A classic ethnographic work that advances this claim is Clyde Kluckhohn's study of the Navaho ([1944] 1967).
Kluckhohn (1905–60) observed that belief in witchcraft contributed positively to society by encouraging generosity, conformity to social values, and by leveling economic differences, as community members sought to avoid accusations of witchcraft.
Like Malinowski, Kluckhohn saw psychological functions to witchcraft as well, with frustrations being vented at scapegoated individuals and community ties being affirmed through curing rituals for witchcraft‐produced illnesses.
Not all agree with Evans‐Pritchard and Kluckhohn that witchcraft is a useful way to air and resolve social tensions. Bowie (2006, 207–12) contrasts the structural–functional approach with alternative interpretations, including Robert Brain's (1970) study of child witches among the Bangwa of Cameroon.
As with the Azande, witchcraft accusations follow lines of social tension, for example among children with the same father but different mothers, rivals for resources and inheritance.
But rather than view the case strictly through a structural–functional lens, Brain utilizes food resource theory, observing that confessions of witchcraft are rewarded with a protein‐rich meal, enticing for youth in a resource‐scarce environment.
Some also note that structural–functional interpretations of witchcraft fail to adequately draw attention to the genuine injustice associated with some witchcraft accusations, including in sub‐Saharan Africa today. Scholar‐activists with concern for human rights and religious tolerance have documented present‐day injustice, including violence, toward people accused of witchcraft, especially in Africa.
The Western history of persecution of suspected witches, especially during the medieval and early modern periods, is well documented. Complicatedly, some antiwitchcraft activists within as well as outside of Africa advocate from the position of evangelical Christianity.
Their ultimate goal is to diminish traditional African religion by drawing attention to injustices associated with witchcraft and sorcery as part of those indigenous belief systems.
A scholarly study that combines structural–functional attention to witchcraft's association with social tension with a contemporary concern for injustice is Felicity Thomas's (2007) account of witchcraft and HIV/AIDS in Namibia.
Because some Namibians blame HIV/AIDS on immoral behavior, many patients attribute their illness to witchcraft, a socially acceptable explanation.
However, because patients also want to avoid witchcraft accusations—perhaps by avoiding assistance from family networks that might result in the appearance of sudden wealth or good fortune—they may delay medical assistance or not utilize the help of family and friends when needed.
Sorcery
While witchcraft exists as a form of scapegoating and accusations—a method of explaining causation and healing, or avoiding, social rifts—other practitioners around the world actively seek to harness supernatural power in order to affect others or control the conditions around them.
As typically used in the anthropological literature, sorcery is a pragmatic, conscious practice, involving acts of magic and leading to personal power for the practitioner.
Sorcerers typically must learn the texts, practices, rituals, or other components of magic as understood in their culture; such knowledge is esoteric and not normally available to everyone.
Like other specialists documented in anthropology, such as shamans and diviners, the sorcerer may work on behalf of clients.
Depending on the context, sorcery may be viewed as suspicious, fearful, or prohibited behavior, or a powerful means to right social wrongs and resolve conflicts.
To contemporary anthropologists, the practices of sorcery offer opportunities to study how consciousness is formed and how humans constitute, and operate within, reality.
An example in this area is Bruce Kapferer's The Feast of the Sorcerer: Practices of Consciousness and Power (1997), based on research among Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Kapferer carried out a detailed study of a ritual of exorcism, showing how sorcery and other aspects of social life are intertwined.
As with many examples in the history of anthropological terminology, conventional understandings of sorcery date back to the influential pioneering studies that initially made the term significant in the field. It has already been shown how E. E. Evans‐Pritchard's study of the Azande contributed the convenient distinction between witchcraft and sorcery and emphasized sorcery as magic intended to cause harm.
Another early ethnography that documents essentially the same dichotomy is Sorcerers of Dobu (1932) by Reo Fortune (1903–79). For the Dobu of the Western Pacific, witch and sorcerer were roles assigned by gender: “Witchcraft is the woman's prerogative, sorcery the man's.
A witch does all of her work in spirit form while her body sleeps … The man, as sorcerer, has the monopoly of causing sickness and death by using spells on the personal leavings of the victim” (Fortune 1932, 150). Dobuan men and women feared each other's power and viewed one another with considerable suspicion.
To Evans‐Pritchard and Fortune, sorcery is destructive if not illicit. In other literature, however, sorcery is shown to be morally complex but not invariably harmful.
Malinowski's early, detailed work in the Trobriand Islands—which so influentially shaped conventional uses of the concept of magic—also documented sorcery. In the Trobriands, sorcery was both a criminal practice and a form of punishment, depending on the agent. Naomi McPherson (1991), working in the same region in the 1980s, takes this double‐edged example as an opportunity to study social deviance and attitudes toward it, emphasizing how and under what conditions particular behavior is labeled as socially unacceptable.
To the Kabana of Papua New Guinea, there are subtle lines between sorcery as deviance and sorcery as a way to control deviance, which McPherson found could only be teased out through careful examination of human interactions and community attitudes toward behavior.
A desire for more subtle and accurate vocabulary leads some specialists on the Amazon region to use the terms “assault sorcery” and “dark shamanism” to specify the practice of injurious magic intended to afflict or to bring physical harm or death to victims.
Researchers in this area attribute such patterns to intervillage and interethnic tensions within the context of violent political situations in the region (Whitehead and Wright 2004). The role of such sorcerers is distinct from the more typical shamans of the region, who should be perceived as healers who work beneficially on behalf of clients.
Contemporary Witchcraft or Neo‐Paganism
In the West, long before there was a discipline of anthropology based on ethnographic study, there were popular and artistic images of the witch. These enduring images have roots in creative works of Shakespeare's era and earlier, as well as in nineteenth‐century Romantic literature.
Such images form a backdrop to the twentieth‐century religious movements identified as paganism, Wicca, or simply as witchcraft, which do not conform to the beliefs, practices, and social patterns conventionally described by anthropologists as witchcraft.
Contemporary witchcraft can be traced to the research and writings of Margaret Murray and Charles Godfrey Leland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Both argued that pre‐Christian European pagan fertility cults had survived in unbroken but esoteric traditions, maintained by people in the role of witch. Their work was academic and detailed but ultimately rejected by scholars later in the twentieth century, though Murray is recognized today as a pioneering woman in archaeology and the study of ancient Egypt.
The true popularizer of contemporary Wicca was Gerald Gardner, who developed the ideas of Murray, in particular, and claimed that the practices of his British coven went back to Paleolithic times.
Through a series of books published in the middle of the twentieth century, Gardner inspired what are variously called the pagan, Wicca, or occult communities today.
A significant body of ethnographic literature devoted to documenting such communities has been emerging in anthropology, folklore studies, and related fields.
As already seen, that understandings of witchcraft fall into two basic patterns: allegations about witchcraft purportedly practiced by others and the understandings associated with people who claim identity as witches or related roles.
A similar bifurcation characterizes satanism. Throughout most of Western history, periodic panics or allegations of satanic practices have erupted, often with roots in social tensions similar to those associated with witchcraft accusations.
A significant satanic scare flared in North America and Europe in the 1980s, most likely based in rumors, urban myths, and in evidence associated with a few highly publicized courtroom trials.
The public was captivated by lurid assertions that underground organizations were engaged in intentional satanic activity, including the ritual sacrifice of animals and/or children. This scare and others are documented in publications by anthropologist Jean La Fontaine.
Also in the second half of the twentieth century, organizations claiming satanic identity emerged in the West, primarily as a form of countercultural protest. Prominent among these is the Church of Satan, as well as its often short‐lived offshoots, such as the Temple of Set.
Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey was a prolific writer of some celebrity status; among his publications, the Satanic Bible is a primary scriptural source for the movement.
Most adherents, especially the many who might more accurately be described as interested followers, did not actually worship a satanic devil figure but professed atheism and a concern with criticizing the status quo.
Contemporary Anthropological Concerns
The most recent decades of anthropology have continued to pursue the study of witchcraft, sorcery, and magic, with most authors extending beyond the mid‐twentieth‐century structural–functional consensus.
Significant nodes of scholarship take up the three themes in relation to subjectivity, experimental forms of participation and methodology, and modernity, the state, and capitalism.
Consistent with anthropology's long interest in magic as a mode of thought, some researchers in recent years have considered magic in relation to subjectivity as a way to understand personhood or as a clue to human consciousness.
Examples of such studies may trace connections between magic and self‐conceptualizations—for example, by studying dreams—or may consider magic and healing as avenues for power and agency.
A few anthropologists in recent decades have pursued experiential methodology in the study of magic, steering away from the cultural relativism or methodological agnosticism typical of the discipline.
Researchers drawn to this approach tend to reject the position of rationality implicit in anthropological theory, which typically treats magic, witchcraft, and sorcery as about something other than what the participants say they are actually about.
Authors Susan Greenwood and Ariel Glucklich have used the terms “magical consciousness” and “magical experience,” respectively, to characterize these alternative ways of knowing.
The most significant shift in anthropological studies of magic, witchcraft, and sorcery has come with scholarship in the late twentieth century and early 2000s, in which these phenomena are viewed in relation to modernity, political power, and the state.
In some cases, the researchers document magic, witchcraft, and sorcery as they continue to exist and emerge, ever changing in light of a changing world. Important examples include the works of Peter Geschiere on witchcraft in Cameroon and elsewhere.
Geschiere retains older understandings about witchcraft's relation to accusation and social control but analyzes examples of witchcraft in the context of modern conditions such as national politics, business, and Western‐derived cultural change.
A work of wide scope and historical depth, Geschiere's Witchcraft, Intimacy, and Trust: Africa in Comparison (2013) identifies a persistent factor in witchcraft as noted by the structural functionalists: accusations and vulnerabilities occur frequently within the scope of intimate relationships, between people closely connected through home and family.


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2020.05.17 10:18 Stormrider66 Carter Slade: Monster Hunter (Episode 10)

Start From Episode 1
Episode 9
Episode 10
The sky blackened and a pillar of light erupted in the middle of nowhere. A lone fisherman was fishing in his boat when this all happened in a matter of moments. The man almost had a heart attack when the pillar of light appeared in front of him and something crashed from the sky into the water, it was shaped like a human.
He had to get his bearings when everything turned back to normal like nothing happened. The warm sensation of pee started to run down his leg in fear before he realized what he was doing. “Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me, Cletus?” His southern accent echoed over the lake in shame. “I guess these psychedelics kick in way faster than the kid said they would.” He reached down by his legs and grabbed another beer, staring at the fresh stain on his pants. “Marge is gonna assume I pissed ‘em cause I’m drunk. I said to her I can’t be an alcoholic cause I limit myself to six beers a day nowadays. Get off my back, woman! Who gets drunk from only six beers anyways?”
Cletus stopped talking to himself and looked over where the pillar of light was, it looked like someone floating in the water. “Nope, yur jus’ seein’ things, Cletus.”
Cletus rubbed his eyes and nothing changed. “Shiiiiiit...” he turned his motor on and steered the boat to right beside the body. There was a black woman wearing some sort of Greek toga or something laying in the water. “Miss, yur not dead are ya?”
Noticing her physique, the old pervert decided to try and cop a feel. His hand slowly started moving to her torso when her own hand grabbed him by the wrist. He reeled back in surprise but his arm wouldn’t go with him. Her grip was like being caught in a vice.
“Where am I?”
“The middle of Buttfuck, Nowhere, Miss.”
“Tell me where I really am.” Her grip tightened painfully.
“Ow, ow, ow ok! I get it! We’re about 30 miles east of Enterprise, Alabama!”
“What’s the year of our lord?”
“2010? Christ!”
She released his arm and rose from the water. Two large wings extended and flapped slowly, keeping her above the water. The force of her wings felt like a hurricane and threw Cletus from the boat with force. She flew away into the sky and was gone almost immediately, like a fighter jet.
From the water emerged Cletus’ head, he looked around and there was no sign of her. He did see Bigfoot riding a unicorn on the shore. “Yup, this LSD is some potent shit.”
Elsewhere in Los Angeles: Carter and Rorick Slade were sitting in a conference room with Mike - the man who split from Kenny and Crystal a few years before. Carter had longer hair, no facial hair, wasn’t wearing his now recognizable outfit, and was instead wearing the usual garb of the KSG: black vest with the familiar red dragon on the back. He had a white t-shirt, wristbands, a tied headband, and skate shoes. He was 20 at this time.
The room was full of KSG members and Mike was at the front, a projector was displaying an image of the weather abnormality in the area.
“Thanks for coming everyone, as you can see there was a massive energy spike in Alabama. The Alabama team already went to investigate and the only person they found was a drunk man that was on psychedelics. He made claims of seeing bigfoot, unicorns, fairies and all sorts of shit.”
“Ok, I’ll bite. What’s the correlation? Why bring him up?” Bridget - Mike’s partner - asked.
“I’m glad you asked! Amongst everything he described he gave the most vivid description about a woman with wings that fell from the heavens. That sounds an awful lot like an-“ he paused.
“Angel.” Rorick muttered. He was looking very old and tired at this point in his life.
Another man spoke, “Angel’s haven’t shown their face on earth for almost a thousand years. Why would one show up now?”
Mike continued, “That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Using our limited pool of resources we managed to trace it’s movement. It appears to have settled in Los Angeles here. It was hard to track because it flew so incredibly fast, but I believe we can capture it and figure out what it wants.”
“How?” Another one asked.
“You forget we have the best of the best in the business. Young Carter here has many talents, I’m sure he can get it done easily.”
“Please, everyone hold your applause.” Carter stood up with a smirk. “I’m just one man, but I assure you that I will subdue the creature and extract the information we need from it. It makes sense that it came to the city of Angels after all.”
Rorick glared up at his son with contempt in his eyes.
Carter noticed but ignored him, “Point me where I need to go and I’ll get it done.”
———————————————————
“Crystal? I know you can hear me.” Slade was standing behind Crystal as she overlooked the beautiful garden cast in the glow of the sunrise.
“I’m sorry, Carter. It’s difficult for me to look at you.”
“Why? Is it something I’ve done?”
“No...”
“Is it something you think I’m going to do?”
She didn’t answer.
He placed his hand on her petite shoulder. She instinctively turned to him. Her eyes glowed their burning purple and her hand reached way up to his face, covered in a flame of the same color. He didn’t even flinch.
“So it’s definitely the second option.”
She realized what she was doing and pulled away - turning back to normal.
“I could always feel something about you that was different. Turns out you have an aptitude for sorcery and the dark arts.”
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to!”
“You’re not the first woman that’s wanted to kill me. I have a suspicion you won’t be the last either. Can you at least tell me what’s bothering you? Clearly I’m to blame for some unspeakable tragedy.”
“I’ve been having recurring nightmares and visions of us killing everyone we care about and commanding a horde of monsters to eliminate all life as their new king and queen.”
“Well that’s fucked up. I have no intentions of hurting anybody. I’m sure you remember when I was a kid, I had the biggest crush on you?”
She still couldn’t look him in the eye. “Yes?”
“You never once showed any interest in me. Good on you by the way, you were way too old for me. It would have been weird.”
She almost laughed. He continued, “And from the looks of it, you can’t even look at me and can’t stand my presence. Is that it?”
“Well... that’s not a good way to phrase it...”
“But it’s the right way to phrase it. Look... Once you’re recharged, send us all back to England. You’ll never need to see or hear from me again.”
Crystal looked up finally into his bright green eyes. There was a sincerity and warmth to them that made her question her own feelings and thoughts she had been having.
“Every awful vision I’ve had has come true. It’s for everyone’s protection.”
“Have you ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?”
“Of course.”
“Maybe in your course to prevent them, you become the very catalyst of these visions.”
She considered this, it made sense. Yet, she shook her head, “I think that fate has a set path for everything to go down.”
“Well for what it’s worth, it was great to see you again...” Slade started to walk away.
Crystal’s mind snapped back to the time he was a young boy and did the same thing when she rejected him. ‘How could this man be the harbinger of doom?’ She thought.
“Carter, wait.” He stopped in his tracks but didn’t turn around. She continued, “I don’t.... want... you to go...”
“Our people have a mission to do. Maybe I’ll catch you on the flip side.”
As Slade took off into the house, Crystal felt her familiar sense of overwhelming loneliness creep back into her subconscious.
————————————————————
“Mission report, Agent Bautista. If you’ve tried to ghost us, that would be considered unwise.” Agent M radioed to her. She had managed to sneak into the estate of Candidate Candice Jordan. None of the guards had been made aware of her infiltration, but she was suspended between the narrow ceiling above a patrol waking by inside the house. The threats they gave in her ear were more of an annoyance at that point. They all had full helmets and combat gear.
As soon as the patrol had passed she glanced over to her wrist watch she was wearing. It resembled a miniaturized radar, tracking the movements of anyone close to her. She took exceptional care for this mission not to end like her Siberian mission from her teen years, now that she had experience hunting monsters she was prepared to deal with any threat that came her way.
This mission seemed to be going too easily, something didn’t feel right. Julia dropped to the floor with a near inaudible sound and scanned the door to the office to make sure it wasn’t booby-trapped. She put her finger to her ear, “This is Agent Bautista, it’s hard to sneak and infiltrate with you pricks yelling in my ear.”
“I remind you to watch your tone Agent. You still haven’t earned the trust of The Organization back.”
Julia snuck into the office and noticed another woman enter from an opposite door, also crouched and wearing stealth gear. She was a white woman with brown hair that was cut short on one side and shaved down on the other. The two made eye contact and immediately pulled their knives. The pair instinctually closed the doors behind themselves before engaging in the most silent hand to hand combat they could achieve.
Julia tried to stab the other woman, who in turn dodged the stab and got her arm in a hold. The brunette twisted her arm into a lock and prepared to stab her with her knife. Julia forcefully dislocated her own arm to give herself enough flexibility to roll onto the ground and boot her assailant in the face with consecutive kicks. Each kick loosened the brunette’s grip and knocked her backwards.
The two women stood upright, Julia’s right arm was hanging at her side and her shoulder was severely dislocated. The brunette’s nose was bleeding and similarly off course. The women stared each other down. Julia set her right hand on the desk beside her and gripped another part of her arm with her left hand. The brunette used her fingers on either side of her nose. Almost simultaneously they let out soft grunts as they reset their body parts into their original positions.
Almost as quickly as they had themselves reset they each reached for their sidearm and drew their weapons with lightning reflexes, training their guns on each other. The fireplace lifted up beside them, revealing a secret entrance. Standing in the doorway was a tall white man with slicked back blonde hair and a clean-shaven face. He wore one of the most high end suits one could imagine and was clapping at the two. The women looked between each other and him in confusion, not taking their guns off each other. They both recognized the man.
“Bravo, well done!” He spoke with a smug voice, like he was better than everyone else. “It seems you’re evenly matched! As much as I would like to see this fight reach a conclusion, I’m afraid we need you both alive.”
“Magnus Dawnhammer?” Julia asked, confused.
“The very same my dear. Lower your weapons.”
They hesitated, but Agent M’s voice crackled in Julia’s ear, “Listen to the boss, Agent.”
The brunette held a finger up to her ear at the same time, clearly receiving the same instructions. They both complied.
“Good girls.” Magnus went and sat at his desk and a few of the armed guards came into the room. One was carrying a bucket with the fanciest wine bottle either had ever seen before. They poured some of the contents into a wine glass and set it in front of him.
“I don’t understand...” The brunette finally spoke.
Magnus Dawnhammer - as he was known to the public - was the richest man alive. He owned multiple tech companies and pharmaceuticals. He was a well known public figure as a playboy type who inherited everything from his father.
“What’s to understand dear? I’m the Majority Shareholder and Chairman of the Board for The Organization. I own it! As I own both of you!”
“What game is this? Where’s the target?” The brunette asked.
“Ms. Jordan? She’s in another state altogether. We don’t actually want her dead! We just wanted to test if the two of you were as amazing as I’m told.”
“Why would a human be in charge of demons and monsters?” Julia’s grip tightened.
“Because I own them? Uh, hello?” He looked at her like she was stupid and chuckled. “Everything has a price! Everything can be bought! Best of all? They respect my power! I’m more dangerous than any of them!”
They both raised their eyebrows in disbelief.
“Shoot me, Agent Bautista. Right in my eyeball. You can do that, can’t you?”
Without hesitation she obeyed and the bullet flattened before falling to the ground. He was undamaged.
“How’s that possible?”
“I’ve been alive far longer than any other human. I’m enhanced with the most advanced cybernetics and robotics that you’re feeble minds can’t even comprehend! Agent Hudson, let me have it, use the machine gun!”
“Hudson?” Julia whispered to herself, racking her brain for where she knows the name.
Agent Hudson pulled out her gun without hesitation and aimed the automatic fire at Magnus. He vanished into thin air with one blink and suddenly the gun was ripped from her hands. He managed to cross about 15 feet by the time only one bullet left the gun, which he caught in his other hand.
“This is just a taste of what I can do, satisfied?” He smirked and crushed the gun in his hands like it was paper before walking away back to his fireplace entrance. The fireplace closed behind him.
“Head back to the American base you two and await further instructions.” Agent M instructed.
“I apologize for trying to kill you.” Julia held out a hand to Agent Hudson. They were both visibly shaken by how fast and strong Magnus was.
“It’s not the first time someone’s tried to kill me and it won’t be the last...” she accepted her handshake.
“Julia Bautista, wanna grab a bite to eat maybe?”
“Sounds good to me... name’s Jane Hudson.”
———————————————————
Carter was walking down a seemingly desolate street of the Chesterfield Square part of LA at midnight. He was using his tracking ability to try and locate the Angel, which unfortunately lead him to the worst part of the city. Mike, Bridgette, and a younger Julia and Marcus were accompanying him. Julia was missing her signature ponytail and was instead sporting a shorter, jaw length haircut that was loose. Marcus was similarly missing any of his facial hair and his long dreads were currently cornrows.
“I told you guys, this is a bad part of town.” Marcus looked around nervously.
“Marcus, we hunt monsters man! Why would some street thugs scare you?” Mike laughed.
“This is where grew up man, I was in the shit here before I was rescued from the Lamia.”
“So you’re afraid someone might recognize you?” Julia raised an eyebrow, “Why would you give a shit?”
“Listen lady,” Marcus didn’t know Carter and Julia that well at this point, “You can’t exactly leave the streets once you’re part of them, you get it?”
Bridgette rolled her eyes, “So you did some bad shit, got yourself in trouble! We have the two most lethal people on the planet right now, I’m sure we’ll be ok! Nothing bar’s gonna happen!”
“Well, we’re surrounded.” Carter stopped in his tracks.
Mike looked around and saw nothing, “You couldn’t have warned us sooner?”
“My senses aren’t what they were, MIKE!” He spoke with some bitterness in his voice, “Or did you forget my father made me seal up my... “abilities” a long time ago?”
Mike was the only one with awareness about Carter’s true abilities.
“What the fuck is he talking about, ‘abilities’?” Marcus questioned.
Before he could respond, figures emerged from all around them. Marcus instinctively hung his head down. The figures were all wielding guns, knives, bats and various other weapons. Julia, Bridgette and Mike all shifted nervously and gripped their weapons. Carter grinned and folded his hands behind his head casually.
“This big Muthafucka’s a white boy! Would you look at that?” The gang surrounding them consisted mostly of black men, but there were a few other ethnicities sprinkled throughout. Behind the one talking stood a shorter Latino man and an absolutely humongous black man that dwarfed even Carter, who was full grown at 6’8”. By his count this other man must have been about 7’6” almost a foot taller than Carter himself. The man that spoke appeared to be the leader and was about two inches shorter than Carter, still very tall.
“Still puny.” The mountainous man replied in an unnaturally deep voice.
“Even a school bus is small next to you? Right, Tiny?” Carter replied.
“The fuck-“
The main man held his hand up and ‘Tiny’ fell silent. “Your gonna give us all your shit. Then we kill ya fast.” He noticed Julia and Bridgette. “Maybe we take your bitches too, show them what real men look like down here.” He grabbed at his pants in a suggestive way.
“I don’t know if mines a record holder, but all of the women seem convinced that it could be-“ Carter was mouthing him off before a sucker punch from the gang leader was headed his way. Carter leaned back and unclamped his hands, grabbing the man by the arm and throwing him over his shoulder right onto a car a few feet away, landing right beside Marcus. The motion was so fast that no one really comprehended what had happened.
“Has anyone seen an Angel around here? I swear I parked my Angel somewhere around here, but I don’t remember where!” Carter was still grinning. The other gang members all got ready to kill them when the leader shouted, “Hold the fuck up!”
They stopped as he painfully got off the car, “I haven’t seen this nigga in years, fuckin’ Marquise. You’re with these muthafucka’s?”
“It’s Marcus, Jerome. You always got it wrong...”
“Yo boys, it’s fuckin’ ‘SkidMarc’! Now I’ve seen everythin’! Where’s my fuckin’ money!?”
Marcus felt a lot more confident now, “Up your ass!”
“Kill these muthafucka’s!!!”
Tiny reached in for Carter, but he leapt up into the air and used the Latino man’s face as a platform to kick off of for added height. Up in the air he kicked Tiny in the face and it sent him flying into a group of thugs behind him. Julia shot the guns out of the rest of the thugs hands that tried to shoot them.
Jerome tried to swing a pipe at Marcus’ head and he reflexively deflected it with his katana he was carrying. He followed it up with a leg sweep to knock him to the ground. Just a few years earlier he never would have dreamed that he could fight like he could now. Mike and Bridgette pointed their guns at the gang members to keep them at bay, even though they didn’t have more than a few bullets each.
Tiny got back up and stared down Carter, “Lucky cheap shot. Let’s see you fight like a man.” He charged at him like an out of control freight train.
“You mean like this?” Carter delivered a cross right into his charging face and caved part of his face in at the impact point, making him stop dead in his tracks. Tiny shrieked out in agony collapsed to the ground, holding his shattered cheekbone in his face.
“Maybe I could have went a little lighter... Sorry for your luck guy.” He shrugged. A shadow cast itself over the scene, blocking out lots of the moonlight. The gang members all looked up in fear at the thing hovering there, flapping its wings. Without hesitation, all of them including Tiny got to their feet and ran away. Jerome was the only one left, but everyone’s attention was on the floating figure other than his.
He pulled out his gun and aimed it at Marcus, “I’ll kill you!!!” He screamed. Mike noticed the gun and tackled Marcus out of the way, getting shot in the process. The Angel flew down with intense speed before picking him up by the throat and crushing his wrist holding the gun. Her eyes glowed an intense light and burned Jerome’s eyes from out of their sockets, leaving scorch marks around where they were.
She dropped his corpse on the ground and all attention was on her. Marcus and Bridgette were trying to stop Mike’s bleeding, Julia had a gun trained on the Angel and Carter’s expression was serious. “You’ve proven yourselves worthy of my presence, mortals.”
“Your an angel...” Julia whispered.
“That’s right, and your witch-killing weapons won’t work against an angel of the lord. It’s a sin to even try.”
“You want to talk about sinning? You burned that guys fucking eyes out!”
“Murder is a sin.”
“I’m not dead yet.” Mike coughed out.
Carter would look back on that line later with musings of Monty Python, but at that moment it wasn’t appropriate.
“You’re an Angel, can’t you save him?” Carter questioned.
The Angel turned towards him, realizing his presence for the first time. She felt an immense supernatural power buried way beneath the surface, but it was locked away and mostly inaccessible.
“It’s not within my abilities.” She lied, “Besides, the sisters of fate have decreed this is where his story ends.”
“That’s bullshit!” Bridgette shouted. Mike was bleeding quite profusely.
Carter could vaguely sense the presence of another being. It wasn’t malicious, but waiting patiently for something. His sixth sense was almost locked away completely by the seals on his body. The Angel was staring directly at where he could feel the presence and nodded. The bullet seemed to have severed a major artery.
“Listen....” Mike choked out. “Marcus.... I need you to be in charge of the California division..... You understand me?”
“What? No! What about Bridgette!?”
Bridgette’s tears were streaming down her face. Mike continued, “She refused... It has to be you... I’ve been training you...”
“No way, I’m too young!”
“You’re better than I was..... I believe in you.....” Mike stopped breathing. Bridgette cried out at her loss, Marcus even started to weep. Julia was frowning but didn’t have any sort of emotional connection with them in the time she spent. Even if she knew them better, her ‘conditioning’ from childhood kept her from displaying vulnerability.
The Angel turned back towards Carter, “What’s your name, tall man?”
“Carter.” His eyes narrowed.
“My name is Estiel. May I have a private word with you?”
“I guess that would be alright.” He turned to Julia, “Help them get him home please.”
She nodded, but shot a glare at Estiel. Estiel extended her hand.
“Grab my hand.”
“I’m pretty heavy.”
“I’m very strong.”
He obliged and felt his feet leave the ground in moments. The force she flew away with would’ve likely ripped off the arm of a regular human.
————————————————————
Crystal was standing in her bedroom. The curtains were drawn and the sun was shining through, it was around noon already. The KSG members were spending their time with the witches watching magic or playing games or just enjoying the sun. They likely hadn’t had a chance to relax like that in a while, so Crystal thought it would be best to simply leave them be. The honest truth was that she could have sent them back home that very morning but she insisted that she needed time to recharge.
Crystal looked at the picture frame on her desk, it was the last time she felt truly happy. It was a Christmas picture with her Mom, Dad and all of her siblings. Also in the picture was her Grandma Christine and Grandpa Jack on one side and her Grandma Samantha, her Grandpa David her aunt Cathy, who was a little older than her mother. Of course her bratty cousin Spencer was in the picture too, but they all looked so happy and content.
Next to the photo was the funeral cards for her Grandparents on her Mother’s side as well as her Dad’s and Brother’s. Ever since her younger siblings have moved out and her mother quit hunting monsters, Gale settled down with a new boyfriend Jeff after so many years being single. Another photo showed a mature Gale and Jeff smiling on jet ski, wearing life jackets. A picture of Grant in a graduation gown was a little further than that, he went on to be a physicist at a university.
The last picture was of a rebellious looking Jane in a photo booth. Jane was flipping the camera the bird while sitting next to some other girls dressed similarly. Her natural blonde hair was dyed black and she was wearing all sorts of emo style clothing and wearing a band shirt that said, ‘A Day To Remember’ on it.
‘I do remember that day.’ Crystal thought, ‘Mom phoned me because she couldn’t handle how wild and out of control Jane was. She was only 16 at the time and I had to remind her she went through a similar phase as a kid.’ Jane became disconnected from the family after graduation and left to travel the world with her friends as far as anyone knew.
A knock came from the open door, Crystal turned to see a smiling Isla leaning against the door. Her melancholic expression turned into a smile as she greeted her, “Isla! How are you adjusting?”
Isla’s soft accent left her lips, “I’m still getting the hang of this thing you call ‘balance’! Otherwise it’s fantastic! There’s so many things I’ve been wanting to try besides just the ocean! But... I need to thank you for saving my life, how did you know to come for us? Or bring me a transforming potion?”
“I had a vision that you all needed my help, that’s all.” She smiled, this wasn’t entirely the truth. Crystal made it a point to meditate and try her hand at premonitions once a week.
Crystal foresaw that if she didn’t save them that they would have died in the raid on the compound, unleashing the beast within Slade that would lead to the end result from her very first vision. The only way she could pull a rescue off of that magnitude would have been to enlist the help off a supremely capable being that didn’t need to rely on powers. Calling Slade was out of the question if she wanted to prevent him from causing the end, she had no idea that Slade was even there until later. The only other choice was the half-demon mercenary Aleister that she hired. In the end, she hoped she made the right choice.
“That’s wonderful! Umm.... Can I ever... Go back?” Isla blushed.
“Of course! Transfiguration by design will only last about a week with the small dose you took. It would need a much larger one to be permanent or you could take another potion right away to go back if you want.”
“No... Thank you... I just wanted to be sure I even could. Thanks so much!” Isla beamed at her and then let go of the door frame, walking a little wobbly but ultimately able to stay upright.
Crystal looked back at her photos and sighed.
————————————————————
Slade was standing above his father’s grave after his funeral, wearing a black suit. The grave sight was packed with many people that attended the funeral. He was amazed by how many people his father connected with over the years. The only people not present was Gale and her children, but they sent lots of cards and flowers. Estiel was in a black dress and jacket with her wings hidden underneath. Marcus and Julia were also present, their hair a kind of amalgam of the hairstyles from when they met Estiel and what would become their recognizable looks.
He spent the whole day getting condolences from people and was honestly just exhausted for what felt like the first time ever. It was only a few nights ago that Rorick had died, passing on the Slade name to his son - and by extension, leadership of the KSG.
The funeral was held outside of the headquarters of the Los Angeles KSG headquarters. Slade went inside to go to his room he was staying in alone.
“Hey, Julia. I know he’s been putting on a tough exterior.” Marcus put his hand on her shoulder, “Cracking jokes and flashing smiles, but I can tell that he’s hurting inside. I could see it on has face when I helped him rush his father into the infirmary here. Regardless of what he says or does, he probably needs somebody. Just a thought...” He patted her shoulder and walked to mingle with the others in attendance. At this point, Marcus was in charge of the LA division.
‘Should I accompany him? Or maybe I should just leave him alone?’ Julia was fighting with herself in her head, ‘I don’t want to be pushy, but maybe he needs someone...’
Making up her mind, she bravely marched to his room and went to knock on the door, but it was ajar. She heard talking inside. Peeking inside the door she saw Slade sitting on the edge of his bed, hunched with his arms resting on his knees. Estiel was sitting on the bed, comforting him.
“It’s ok, Carter. I’m here for you.” She said and looked up directly at Julia.
Slade’s voice was even and unwavering, but still melancholic, “Thank you Estiel, I guess I just needed someone...”
Her eyes never left Julia as she stood up with a smirk - not one of overall malice, but of victory over Julia. Julia couldn’t believe that Estiel stayed on earth for these last few years, never mind the fact that she had no idea what the Angel was doing here in the first place. All Julia knew is that she couldn’t trust her, her gut feeling wouldn’t allow it. She rationalized it as jealousy.
Estiel turned around and slipped her dress off. From Julia’s point of view she saw that she wasn’t wearing a bra and her wings expanded. One wing wrapped itself around Slade and the other reached back for the door, Estiel turned her head and gave one last narrow-eyes look into Julia’s own before closing the door.
‘I hesitated... I missed my chance to tell him how I really feel...” Even though it might come across as desperate or even jealous, she made a point to be a little more blunt and forceful when it came to her and Slade in the future. Maybe Slade would catch on or maybe she was kidding herself, but there was little she felt she could do to change that.
————————————————————
Slade was walking through the main hall Ravencroft Manor and stopped to look at some pictures on the wall. The first was a painting of a very old manor, it had a placard that read ‘Ravencroft Manor. Salem, Massachusetts. Circa, 1691.’ The painting depicted a group of women standing in the yard of the manor. A large green, singular pine tree was noticeably painted beside the manor and it stuck out against the red maple trees in the background, which Slade found odd. A prominent woman was in a different uniform than the other women in the painting. The detail of their faces was uncanny for a painting from back then.
The next was a painting of a completely different mansion. It’s placard read, ‘Ravencroft Manor II. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Circa, 1862.’ It was a very detailed painting like the last, but the women were all wearing newer clothing. There was yet again a head witch with a different outfit and she bore a striking resemblance to the one in the previous picture.
The second last was a photograph with the placard reading, ‘Ravencroft Manor III. Indianapolis County, Indiana. Circa, 1943.’ It was a black and white photo. It was the same story as the paintings: It was a new location and there were many women present. The woman from the paintings was also here.
‘Makes sense the bitch can live forever.’ Slade smirked as he thought to himself. ‘What a coincidence that the first one was right before the ‘Witch Trials’ and the second was the ‘Battle of Gettysburg’. Were they victims of circumstance or the cause of their own demise? They’ve had to run multiple times.’
Slade looked back to the third painting. ‘This one didn’t have a corresponding tragedy within a year of the photo as far as I understand. I remember it was still up and functioning when we lived there. Even my father was weary about staying away from that place. Hard to believe that they were that dangerous when they got chased out of their home that many times.... Unless....’
Something clicked in Slade’s mind, ‘The KSG started the witch trials and they used an ‘act of war’ during Gettysburg to cover up the witch hunt.’
“It all makes sense...” he whispered aloud.
The last photo was recent. The placard read, ‘Ravencroft Manor IV. Salem, Massachusetts. Circa, 2015.’ The photo showed many faces that Slade had seen around here as well as others that had likely moved on. There was two key things Slade noticed about the picture: The lone pine tree was framed almost exactly where the first painting had it, and the autumn leaves of the picture gave way to red maples.
‘This place was built on top of the original place.’
The other noticeable thing in the picture was that Crystal had assumed the position of the head Witch, this other Witch was nowhere to be seen. ‘She could have left, but she’s likely dead now.’
Crystal walked up to where he was. She was a little awkward trying to start a conversation given how their previous one ended. “We’ve had a... troubled.... history....”
“You say ‘we’ as if you grew up in this coven. You were one of us.... errrr... ‘them’.” He corrected himself, knowing he wasn’t a KSG member either anymore.
“Well, they became my family... Look at them outside...” she pointed to the two groups getting along and enjoying the weather. “The Guard hunted the original Salem Witches during the trials and drove them into hiding. They then used the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War to hunt down the next manor.”
“How did the Guard destroy the last one?”
“That’s just it. Peace was practically made between both sides. It was The Organization that did it. As you saw, both sides have a common enemy. The Organization is backing Hell in their side of the war, and you know what? It’s working! The Angels just aren’t as capable at being underhanded and backstabbing enough to gather the souls needed.”
“I can tell you from personal experience that’s not true... But I see your point... we’ll all need to work together to put a stop to this bullshit.”
“Exactly.”
“Where’s Marcus?”
“Your friend? Kenny took a group into town and promised the mermaid that he would take her to get one of the ‘finest delicacies’ the land has to offer. He even promised she would get to meet one of ‘her people’, whatever that means.”
Slade pondered what this meant and something clicked, “Oh god damnit! He didn’t mean-“
————————————————————
“Starbucks? You brought us to Starbucks.” Marcus was bewildered and disappointed. Kenny was leading a group consisting of Marcus, Isla, Pete and two teenage Witches.
“What is this ‘Star. Bucks.’ You speak of?” Isla was curious.
One of the Witches answered, she had dyed hair and looked like a goth. “It’s this coffee place that spells everyone’s names wrong and attracts lots of hipsters.”
“What’s coffee and hipsters? Are they edible?”
“Well yes to the first one.” Marcus piped up.
The other Witch also added, “Yes to both! Depending on how you look at it!” She looked more like a prep girl, but the two seemed to hang around each other. Marcus have her a ‘stink face’ at her statement. As soon as they walked in the place was filled with Goth looking kids.
“Friends of yours?” Isla sincerely asked the Goth Witch.
“Oh great... it’s convention weekend... Look at these posers...”
“I don’t know, Maya. They might be the real deal!” The Prep girl teased.
“Shut it Genevieve! It’s almost time to order!” Kenny hushed the girls. “See Isla? There’s a mermaid, like I promised.”
Kenny pointed at the painted figure of the mermaid on the Starbucks icon, Marcus figured she would have been mad. He was surprised when Isla started laughing instead, almost losing her balance like earlier.
“That’s adorable! You’re a funny man, Kenny!”
Marcus was impressed by the disaster that was averted.
“Now trust me, try the caramel macchiato. You’ll love it!”
Pete shook his head, “These places always get mah name wrong back ‘ome. I imagine that it will be next to impossible to get mah name this time.”
After they placed their orders they moved to a pickup area. A group of teens approached Maya, one of the guys spoke, “Hey babe, so you in town for the witchcraft convention too?”
“Nope. I live here.”
“That’s pretty sweet, we’re all into Wicca and shit too. Get lit before checking out all the torture shit at the museums.”
“I’m not a Wiccan. I practice Witchcraft.”
One of the girls with her took offense to that statement, “Ummm, Witchcraft is an outdated and offensive term used to describe Wicca and it has hurtful connotations for the practice.”
The first guy spoke up again, “What’s your name beautiful? My friends call me ‘Spider’. We’ll be lighting some candles and bongs and listening to some good tunes in the parking lot if you wanna join us. We could use another person for a Wiccan spell we’re trying.”
“Fuck off creep, I do witchcraft. Black Magic? Hail Satan?” She flashed him the devil horns and then her middle finger.
“Fuck you too skank!” He said as he grabbed his coffee cup and left out the doors.
“Damháinus.” She glared at him and waved her hand. “Your names ‘Spider’, huh? Let’s see how you like that!”
Spider went to take a sip of his drink but an actual spider crawled out of the lid onto his face. He dropped his cup and the lid popped open, freeing hundreds of small spiders. He screamed in a high pitched voice and his friends all noticed spiders in their cups too - they dropped them and ran away screaming.
Marcus’ eyebrows were raised in shock, “That was some evil shit!”
“Marco.” The employee called.
Marcus was afraid to grab it.
“Relax slick, yours is fine. I promise.”
He reluctantly took it and walked to a table. One of the patrons was watching a news broadcast on his laptop. His headphones were in so he couldn’t hear what was being said but the headline read, ‘New York woman found mutilated in quiet neighborhood.’ The sketch artist picture reminded Marcus of that Aleister guy from the other night but the eyes were drawn like cat eyes. ‘Weird...’ he thought and shook his head.
“Mia?” The employee called.
“It’s My-ah!” Maya rolled her eyes.
“Jenny?”
“Genevieve...” she shook her head.
“Kory?”
“I swear they do that shit on purpose.” Kenny scoffed.
“Irene?”
Kenny handed it to Isla and they followed Marcus.
Pete was the last one. “Course mine will be all buggered to ‘ell, ain’t it?”
“And finally... Pete?”
“Oh.” Pete raised his eyebrows. “Alright den.”
————————————————————
“Send in the experiments. We need to see how combat capable they are.” Magnus was sitting in a chair in a very large office. Other council members from The Organization were also present in the room. They consisted of demons, monsters and few humans. There was a large screen that displayed the time and the date was July 4, 2013: the day that Slade split off from the KSG.
One demon was standing at the end of the table opposite Magnus. It looked nervous, “Sir... Their abilities are extraordinary. Why would they need all this combat nonsense when their targets can’t fight back?”
“Because I need to be sure they’re the best.”
“Sir...”
A vampire at the table glared at the demon, he slammed his fist and stood up. “You’re questioning the boss? Maybe we can test it’s combat data on you?”
“Right away!” It gulped in nervousness. “Any particular targets in mind?”
Magnus raised his hand and the vampire sat back down, “I’ve made sure our pet angel has infiltrated the ranks of the pesky King’s Sacred Guard. She will lead them all into our trap with the elusive Carter Slade in tow.” Magnus grinned, “It’s all coming to fruition.”
Episode 11
submitted by Stormrider66 to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]


2020.05.16 22:45 HazePlague_T96 My hometown is probably haunted [part 2]

Check here for my previous post, with some background on the situation.
As an update on the situation: uncle Kyle is still missing, and by now that probably means he’s dead. I’m having trouble processing it, so why not distract myself with a little investigation? I asked around my old friend group from high school, but most of them were busy with work or classes still. But I did have a little bit of a breakthrough.
After my last post, I got back in contact with Gil, Veronica Dais’ son. We chatted for a bit, before he mentioned hearing that I was poking around like we used to, trying to figure things out about the town. He also mentioned having a buddy who's supper into that conspiracy theory stuff. Like, really into it. I asked if that meant he thought ‘Bush did 9/11’, but apparently not.
Gil’s friend seemed weirdly sane, for his interests? He doesn't buy into it without thought, but in his own words? “Black-box projects and using LSD to mind-control citizens? I mean, it's not likely to work just like that, from a psychological standpoint, but sure, someone up in the upper echelons was probably dumb enough and willing to try it anyways.”
The guy lives a little ways off the grid, near a neighboring town, but he's still got running water and internet (even if I had to agree to use his VPN before he’d give me the wifi password. Data connections suck out here).
Anyway, this guy. Let's call him Marnie. He's weird as hell, looks like he hasn’t brushed his hair in a week or had it cut in a year, but besides what I’d call ‘calculated paranoia’, he’s pretty standard for the area. Works from home making enough to get by like the rest of us, doing some job he thinks is boring but would probably make my head explode. He mentioned something about database maintenance and updating, but he wouldn't say for who or what company. I asked if he'd signed an NDA, and he said no, he just didn't want to talk about it. I said ‘fair’ and dropped the subject. Marnie kind of smirked at me, and turned back to his laptop. Mumbled something along the lines of ‘snacks on the shelf, drinks in the fridge, don't touch the beer’.
(When we left, later, Gil said that meant Marnie thought of me as a friend? Again, weird guy, but I’d be happy if someone dropped the subject when I didn't want to talk about it, so it kind of makes sense.)
Gil grabbed a big bag of chips and two sodas for us, and we sat down in a couple old, broken-in chairs. I’ll give it to Marnie, even if the place looked a little shitty, he knew what was comfortable.
Marnie finished up what he was doing, and turned his chair to chat. I, of course, asked about the town, because that was pretty much all we had in common. Sure, Marnie doesn’t live there, but I figured there’d be theories floating around about it he would know about. And I was right.
Apparently Marnie recognized me, from one of the pictures in the newspaper about uncle Kyle going missing. I’ll have to see if I can find a picture of the issue or a clipping to post for you guys, if any of you are interested.
But that wasn't all. Marnie knew about the ‘73 tragedy too. The only people I’ve met who knew were from Zinnia, but he’d done his research. And he had a couple ideas about what could be messing with the town. ...Most of them were government related, but he at least didn't think it was a ‘drugs in the water’ sort of thing. “Too many people see the same things without getting to talk to each other. Drugs would have individualized hallucinations, right? Even if they were influenced by old folktales in the area, you guys don’t talk about it enough to have that sort of effect.”
A couple things he suggested were… well, he avoids talking about ‘supernatural’ causes unless there's nothing else, but we kind of got to that point. ‘A witch in the woods’ or ‘a ghost of a burned witch’ were things he suggested, based on the ‘73 survivor reports, but he agreed that probably wasn’t it when I mentioned Carla Max, the owner of a tea shop in town who’d gone missing back in ‘92. For context to you guys? She was well-known as a Wiccan. The town elders just shrug when she’s brought up. Nothing too crazy-bad happened in the town while she was there, so they left her alone. Only after she vanished like so many others did the ‘activity’ ramp up. Uncle Kyle used to joke that she was probably protecting us from something, with those weird incense-burnings she’d do near the river.
We bounced ideas around for a while, until Gil mentioned the old church. Then we were back to ghost-talk for a while. Weird suicide-arson cases kind of did that, in these types of conversations. A story for another time, if anyone actually wants to hear about it.
We didn't really get any solid ideas or theories pinned down, but weirdly enough, it made me feel better? Maybe having someone to talk to about it who doesn't shrug me off or imply I’m crazy when there's literally no other logical ideas. Maybe because he mentioned Black-boxing. It's not super well-known, and those that do know about it know how to find out what they want to know without causing a stir.
Eventually we left, since Marnie needed to finish his shift for work. But I don't think we wasted a day. If I can get a better lead, maybe something more concrete, Marnie might know what it means.
Also, I hope it’s okay, but I showed him this chat board. He seemed vaguely impressed, and mentioned offhandedly that he might lurk here every now and then to see what you guys encounter. Heck, maybe he’s looking for ideas on what's going on out here.
I know I am. Especially with how... loud, Marnie's place was. There were wild animals on his property. Squirrels, birds, even a fox screaming in the distance. (Yes, Gil had to confirm it was a fox and not a distant murder victim. I'm still not convinced.)
There's nothing like that, in Zinna, or in the woods around it. Maybe I'll bring it up next time I see Marnie.
submitted by HazePlague_T96 to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.05.10 13:35 Tartra_813_Kolos The Furry Fandom Wikipedia page

Furry fandom
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The furry fandom is a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, speaking, walking on two legs, and wearing clothes. The term "furry fandom" is also used to refer to the community of people who gather on the internet and at furry conventions.
History
The furry fandom has its roots in the underground comix movement of the 1970s, a genre of comic books that depicts explicit content. In 1976, a pair of cartoonists created the amateur press association Vootie, which was dedicated to animal-focused art. Many of its featured works contained adult themes, such as Omaha the Cat Dancer, which contained explicit sex. Vootie grew a small following over the next several years, and its contributors began meeting at science fiction and comics conventions.
According to fandom historian Fred Patten, the concept of furry originated at a science fiction convention in 1980, when a character drawing from Steve Gallacci's Albedo Anthropomorphics started a discussion of anthropomorphic characters in science fiction novels. This led to the formation of a discussion group that met at science fiction conventions and comics conventions.
The specific term furry fandom was being used in fanzines as early as 1983, and had become the standard name for the genre by the mid-1990s, when it was defined as "the organized appreciation and dissemination of art and prose regarding 'Furries', or fictional mammalian anthropomorphic characters". However, fans consider the origins of furry fandom to be much earlier, with fictional works such as Kimba, The White Lion released in 1965, Richard Adams' novel Watership Down, published in 1972 (and its 1978 film adaptation), as well as Disney's Robin Hood as oft-cited examples. Internet newsgroup discussion in the 1990s created some separation between fans of "funny animal" characters and furry characters, meant to avoid the baggage that was associated with the term "furry".
During the 1980s, furry fans began to publish fanzines, developing a diverse social group that eventually began to schedule social gatherings. By 1989, there was sufficient interest to stage the first furry convention. It was called Confurence 0, and was held at the Holiday Inn Bristol Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. The next decade, the internet became accessible to the general population and became the most popular means for furry fans to socialize. The newsgroup alt.fan.furry was created in November 1990, and virtual environments such as MUCKs also became popular places on the internet for fans to meet and communicate.
The furry fandom is male-dominated, with surveys reporting around 80% male respondents.
Inspiration
Allegorical novels, including works of both science fiction and fantasy, and cartoons featuring anthropomorphic animals are often cited as the earliest inspiration for the fandom. A survey conducted in 2007 suggested that, when compared with a non-furry control group, a higher proportion of those self-identifying as furries liked cartoons "a great deal" as children and recalled watching them significantly more often, as well as being more likely to enjoy works of science fiction than those outside of the community.
Activities
According to a survey from 2008, most furries believe that visual art, conventions, literature, and online communities are strongly important to the fandom.
Crafts
Sculpture at Further Confusion
Fans with craft skills create their own plush toys, sometimes referred to as plushies, and also build elaborate costumes called fursuits, which are worn for fun or to participate in parades, convention masquerades, dances, or fund-raising charity events (as entertainers). Fursuits range from designs featuring simple construction and resembling sports mascots to those with more sophisticated features that include moving jaw mechanisms, animatronic parts, prosthetic makeup, and other features. Fursuits range in price from $500, for mascot-like designs, to an upwards of $10,000 for models incorporating animatronics. While about 80% of furries do not own a full fursuit, often citing their expensive cost as the decisive factor, a majority of them hold positive feelings towards fursuiters and the conventions in which they participate. Some fans may also wear "partial" suits consisting simply of ears and a tail, or a head, paws, and a tail.
Furry fans also pursue puppetry, recording videos and performing live shows such as Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends and the Funday PawPet Show, and create furry accessories, such as ears or tails.
Role-playing
"Fursonas" redirects here. For the 2016 documentary film, see Fursonas (film).
Anthropomorphic animal characters created by furry fans, known as fursonas. are used for role-playing in MUDs, on internet forums, or on electronic mailing lists. A variety of species are employed as the basis of these personas, although many furry fans (for example over 60% of those surveyed in 2007) choose to identify themselves with carnivorans. The longest-running online furry role-playing environment is FurryMUCK, which was established in 1990. Many furry fans had their first exposure to the fandom come from multiplayer online role-playing games. Another popular online furry social game is called Furcadia, created by Dragon's Eye Productions. There are also several furry-themed areas and communities in the virtual world Second Life.
Conventions
Sufficient interest and membership has enabled the creation of many furry conventions in North America and Europe. A furry convention is for the fans get together to buy and sell artwork, participate in workshops, wear costumes, and socialize. The world's largest furry convention, Anthrocon with more than 5,861 participants, held annually in Pittsburgh in June, was estimated to have generated approximately $3 million to Pittsburgh's economy in 2008. Another convention, Further Confusion, held in San Jose each January, closely follows Anthrocon in scale and attendance. US$470,000 was raised in conventions for charity from 2000–9. The first known furry convention, ConFurence, is no longer held; Califur has replaced it, as both conventions were based in Southern California. A University of California, Davis survey suggested that about 40% of furries had attended at least one furry convention.
Websites and online communities
The internet contains a multitude of furry websites and online communities, such as art community websites Fur Affinity, Inkbunny, SoFurry and Weasyl; social networking sites Furry 4 Life, FurNation; and WikiFur, a collaborative furry wiki. These, with the IRC networks FurNet and Anthrochat, form a key part of furry fandom. Usenet newsgroups such as alt.fan.furry and alt.lifestyle.furry, popular from the mid-1990s to 2005, have been replaced by topic-specific forums, mailing lists and LiveJournal communities.
There are several webcomics featuring animal characters created by or for furry fans; as such, they may be referred to as furry comics. One such comic, T.H.E. Fox, was first published on CompuServe in 1986, predating the World Wide Web by several years, while another, Kevin and Kell by Bill Holbrook, has been awarded both a Web Cartoonists' Choice Award and an Ursa Major Award.
Furry lifestylers
See also: Therianthropy and Otherkin
The phrases furry lifestyle and furry lifestyler first appeared in July 1996 on the newsgroup alt.fan.furry during an ongoing dispute within that online community. The Usenet newsgroup alt.lifestyle.furry was created to accommodate discussion beyond furry art and literature, and to resolve disputes concerning what should or should not be associated with the fandom; its members quickly adopted the term furry lifestylers, and still consider the fandom and the lifestyle to be separate social entities. They have defined and adopted an alternative meaning of the word furry specific to this group: "a person with an important emotional/spiritual connection with an animal or animals, real, fictional, or symbolic."
In their 2007 survey, Gerbasi et al. examined what it meant to be a furry, and proposed a taxonomy in which to categorise different "types" of furries. The largest group—38% of those surveyed—described their interest in furry fandom predominantly as a "route to socializing with others who share common interests such as anthropomorphic art and costumes." However they also identified furries who saw themselves as "other than human", or who desired to become more like the furry species which they identified with.
Sexual aspects
When compared with the general population, homosexuality and bisexuality are over-represented in the furry fandom by about a factor of 10. Of the US population, about 1.8% of persons self-identify as bisexual and 1.7% as homosexual according to a 2011 study from scholars at UCLA. In contrast, according to four different surveys 14–25% of the fandom members report homosexuality, 37–52% bisexuality, 28–51% heterosexuality, and 3–8% other forms of alternative sexual relationships. Approximately half of the respondents reported being in a relationship, of which 76% were in a relationship with another member of furry fandom.[14] Examples of sexual aspects within furry fandom include erotic art and furry-themed cybersex. The term "yiff" is sometimes used to indicate sexual activity or sexual material within the fandom—this applies to sexual activity and interaction within the subculture whether in the form of cybersex or offline.
Sexual attraction to furry characters is a polarizing issue. In one survey with 4,300 furry respondents, 37% answered that sexual attraction is important in their furry activities, 38% were ambivalent, and 24% answered that it has little or nothing to do with their furry activities. In a different online survey, 33% of furry respondents answered that they have a "significant sexual interest in furry", another 46% stated they have a "minor sexual interest in furry", and the remaining 21% stated they have a "non-sexual interest in furry". The survey specifically avoided adult-oriented websites to prevent bias. Another survey found that 96.3% of male furry respondents reported viewing furry pornography, compared with 78.3% of female; males estimated 50.9% of all furry art they view is pornographic, compared with 30.7% female. Furries have a slight preference for pornographic furry artwork over non-pornographic artwork. 17.1% of males reported that when they viewed pornography it is exclusively or near-exclusively furry pornography, and only about 5% reported that pornography was the top factor which got them into the fandom.
A small proportion of the fandom is sexually interested in zoophilia (sex with animals), although a majority take a negative stance towards it. An anonymous survey in 2008 found 17% of respondents reported zoophilia. An earlier survey, conducted from 1997 to 1998, reported about 2% of furry respondents stating an interest in zoophilia, and less than 1% an interest in plushophilia (sexually aroused by stuffed animal toys). The older, lower results, which are even lower than estimated in the general population, were due to the methodology of questioning respondents face-to-face, which led to social desirability bias. In contrast, one comparative study from 1974 and 1980 showed 7.5% of sampled students at University of Northern Iowa reporting zoophilia, while other studies find only 2.2% to 5.3% expressing fantasies of sex with animals.
Public perception and media coverage
Early portrayal of the furries in magazines such as Wired, Loaded, Vanity Fair, and the syndicated sex column "Savage Love" focused mainly on the sexual aspect of furry fandom. Fictional portrayals of furry fandom have appeared on television shows such as ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Drew Carey Show, Sex2K on MTV, Entourage, 1000 Ways to Die, Tosh.0, and 30 Rock. Most furry fans claim that these media portrayals are misconceptions, while the recent coverage focuses on debunking myths and stereotypes that have come to be associated with the furry fandom. A reporter attending Anthrocon 2006 noted that "despite their wild image from Vanity Fair, MTV and CSI, furry conventions aren't about kinky sex between weirdos gussied up in foxy costumes", that conference attendees were "not having sex more than the rest of us", and that the furry convention was about "people talking and drawing animals and comic-book characters in sketchbooks." In October 2007, a Hartford Advocate reporter attended FurFright 2007 undercover because of media restrictions. She learned that the restrictions were intended to prevent misinformation, and reported that the scandalous behavior she had expected was not evident. Recent coverage of the furry fandom has been more balanced. According to Ian Wolf, a 2009 article from the BBC entitled "Who are the furries?" was the first piece of journalism to be nominated for an Ursa Major Award, the main awards given in the field of anthropomorphism.
Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Jim Powell was sharing a hotel with Anthrocon 2007 attendees a day before the convention and reported a negative opinion of the furries. Several downtown Pittsburgh businesses welcome furries during the event, with local business owners creating special T-shirts and drawing paw prints in chalk outside their shops to attract attendees. Dr. Samuel Conway, CEO of Anthrocon, said that "For the most part, people give us curious stares, but they're good-natured curious stares. We're here to have fun, people have fun having us here, everybody wins". Positive coverage was generated following a furry convention that was held in a Vancouver hotel where a number of Syrian refugees were being temporarily housed. Despite some concerns and warnings by staff that there could be a seriously negative culture clash if the two groups interacted, the refugee children were on the whole delighted to meet the convention goers who seemed like cartoon characters come to life.
According to Furry survey, about half of furries perceive public reaction to the fandom as negative; less than a fifth stated that the public responded to them more negatively than they did most furries. Furry fans' belief that they will be portrayed as "mainly obsessed with sex" has led to mistrust of the media and social researchers.
In addition, the fandom has grown to be such a significant demographic that by 2016, the film company, Walt Disney Studios marketed their animated feature film, Zootopia in pre-release to the fandom to encourage interest in the film. The result of such efforts was that the film proved a major critical and commercial success with over $1 billion in revenue worldwide and numerous film awards including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Sociological aspects
The International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP), a team of social scientists from various disciplines led by Plante, Reysen, Roberts, and Gerbasi, has been collecting data on the furry fandom using numerous methodologies. Their 2016 publication collects several peer-reviewed and self-published studies into a single volume. Among their findings were that the average adult furry is between 23–27 years of age, with more than 75% of adult furries reporting being 25 years of age or younger, and 88% of adult furries being under the age of 30. Minors were not included in the study for professional ethics reasons. 4–7 78–85% of furries identify as male, nearly 2% of furries identify as transgender, the remaining identify as female.10 83–90% of furries self-identify as White, with small minorities of furries self-identifying as Asian (2–4%), Black (2–3%), and Hispanic (3%):7–10 21% of furries consider themselves to be a brony, 44% consider themselves to be anime fans, and 11% consider themselves sport fans. Furries, as a group, are more politically liberal and less religious than the average American or other comparable fan groups such as anime fans, while still containing contentious groups such as neo-Nazis and alt-right activists whose affiliation is partly in jest and partly in earnest. Religion: 54% of furries self-identified as atheist or agnostic, 23% as Christian, 4% as Pagan, 2% as Wiccan, and the remainder identified with other religions.Approximately 70% of adult furries have either completed, or are currently completing post-secondary education.
One of the most universal behaviors in the furry fandom is the creation of a fursona – an anthropomorphic animal representation or avatar. More than 95% of furries have a fursona – an anthropomorphic avatar or representation of themselves. Nearly half of furries report that they have only ever had one fursona to represent themselves; relatively few furries have had more than three or four fursonas; in part, this is due to the fact that, for many furries, their fursonas are a personally significant, meaningful representation of their ideal self. The most popular fursona species include wolves, foxes, dogs, large felines, and dragons. Data suggest that there are generally no associations between personality traits and different fursona species.However, furries, along with sport fans, report different degrees of personality traits when thinking of themselves in their everyday identity compared with their fan identity. Some furries identify as partly non-human: 35% say they do not feel 100% human (compared with 7% of non-furries), and 39% say they would be 0% human if they could (compared with 10% of non-furries).
Inclusion and belongingness are central themes in the furry fandom: compared with members of other fandoms such as anime or fantasy sport, furries are significantly more likely to identify with other members of their fan community. On average, half of a furry's friends are also furry themselves. Furries rate themselves higher (compared with a comparison community sample of non-furries) on degree of global awareness (knowledge of the world and felt connection to others in the world), global citizenship identification (psychological connection with global citizens), and environmental sustainability.
See also
Topics
Animal roleplay
Costumed character
Human–animal hybrid
Kemonomimi
Persons
Steve Gallacci
Dominique McLean
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2020.05.07 01:58 radii314 What is it with weak American White Men?

So we have a couple more incidents. A father and son murdered a black man jogging (Georgia) and some other guy (Minneapolis) killed someone in a dispute over a fender-bender.
And there have been a multitude of staged fake protests against the COVID lockdown by right-wing billionaires/religious right/Republican groups - with angry mostly middle-aged white men shouting and wearing body armor, assault rifles, swastikas and other white power emblems as if they're doing cosplay.
These men are almost funny because they think they are displaying strength and machismo when the rest of the world sees a bunch of insecure clowns play-acting at patriot or soldier.
What's baffled social scientists for decades is that these angry white men keep misdirecting their anger to wrong sources. It is billionaires and large corporations who have destroyed their economic livelihood but they never seem to get it through their thick skulls.
For these type of men if you posture with your body in a "manly" way and say certain phrases in a "manly" way somehow you are more manly. Just look at how ridiculous they are with refusing to wear masks or face-coverings during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic - they say it is unmanly to wear one. Really, what does one do with such willful stupidity?
We all need to understand that most of these men have a very simple code they believe and creative thinking is not welcome. They are nearly all self-described "Christians" but those type of Christians that affiliate with prosperity gospel and/or race-hate Christianity and/or power-for-power's-sake Christians. They believe themselves in some kind of culture war - a story fed to them since the late 70s when the Weyrich/Aisles/AtwateGingrich/Rove rhetoric factories spewed out talking points to cleave voters into easily-managed single-issue blocs.
Nearly all these men are anti-abortion - but none can explain beyond some religious talking points whey any man should have any say over a woman's pregnancy that is not from their personal sperm.
Nearly all these men believe owning and having guns is some sacred right and most laughably feel the need to display them in ridiculous ways such as when they're shopping at the supermarket.
Many of the opponents of these type of men derisively say they must have small penises and this actually no joke. They are clearly compensating for something. The rise and acknowledgement of so-called "incels" (involuntary celibates) speaks to this issue - they haven't got the goods to bring to the party or if they do they have no game. So these men from a young age get very frustrated - sexually frustrated - because they can't find release with willing females. Since they lack skills to attract females or perform sexually, or both, they channel that frustration into hate - of females, other races, or whatever else is bothering them that day. They project their manliness and sense of power through display of their guns and other weapons or willingness to do harm.
The solution to incels is easy - we need free health care and as part of that we monitor adolescents who show such proclivities and we schedule them for sex therapy. If we get these young men laid regularly their hate and tendency to become the next violent loner shooter will evaporate.
Back to the anti-COVID-lockdown protesters: Look at their signs. As is the way since the fake protests in Florida against the 2000 vote recount (which turned out to be a bunch of Republican political operatives) they have skillfully deployed talking points, sign phrases, and organization to their culture-war antics (a war only one side is fighting). It is really revealing when they willingly wear their Nazi and KKK emblems and otherwise reveal themselves to be racists, homophobes and anti-semites. What's important about the display is they feel emboldened, and utterly no shame - they are proud to display these symbols.
Back to weakness - these men have no clue how they are displaying to world how weak, not strong, they are. Their cosplay outfits and weapons and rage antics are cartoonish but we all realize they are just a razor's edge away from acting out on their violent fantasies.
Trump of course cultivated this type of weak white man, it follows the playbook of his mentor Vladimir Putin who did the same earlier in Russia and it is one of the items on the checklist of Wannabe-Dictator ... Trump has checked them all off with the exceptions of having a private security force and mobilizing his people to violence - he's done all the other things.
Understanding the psychology of these weak white men is important. Scientific studies have been done and the data is in. People like this fear change, they fear new thinking, they fear new ideas. They want some simple sameness and rock-solid predictability which is essentially fascism.
The studies show that such people tend to reside in rural areas where they have little interaction with people of other cultures and races yet have a high percentage of race-hate and anti-ethnic feelings. Studies also show when such people move to big cities they interact with people they once feared and learn to drop the fear and actually accept and grow to understand and even love the people different form themselves. But you gotta interact repeatedly and over time for this to work.
The weak white males don't like atheists, or agnostics, or wiccans or anyone who isn't some simplified version of Christian with which they are familiar through their programming - and have no clue they've been programmed.
My joke has always been if aliens land the liberals will greet them and want a dialogue and the conservatives will shoot first, "It's strange, shoot it! It's still moving, kill it!" Conservatives live in fear, this has been established by the science - their brains work differently.
These weak white men will never get it how ridiculous they are and how silly they look. The most hilarious thing they don't understand is that their guns will not "protect them from tyranny" - they openly support a Tyrant now in Trump. Let's say some other person were president and were an actual tyrant with brains and skills Trump lacks - such a leader could deploy intelligence assets and weapons that could neutralize any pockets of resistance by these weak white men self-styled patriots in short order. Other than some shreds of a guerilla force they wouldn't amount to much - but they do so love to parade around in their battle cosplay.
What to do to solve the problem of these weak white men and the threat they pose? First, we need to get the incels laid - hire a hooker for your incel friend so he doesn't go shoot up some place. Second, strong gun-control laws of course - we need to get licensing and psychological testing for all who want to own a gun. You need to show you're not crazy and know how to use and maintain a weapon and regularly renew your license. Third, those of us normal folk who have family or friends who behave like the aforementioned weak white men need to tell them their behavior is not appropriate and if need be cut them out of your life.
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2020.03.27 23:43 Seeking_Starlight Survey Results Update

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey I conducted last summer about the demographics of the BDSM community. The folks here at BDSMAdvice were just one of many social media communities who participated in this effort and the data I've gathered, while not adequate to be considered scholarly or academic, certainly contributes to the body of knowledge about the kink community. Per (the former version of) Rule 8, I'm sharing the survey results below. My apologies for not posting sooner. I was working to complete the book project this survey was for, and was asked by my publisher not to share the results until the final manuscript went into production. We have reached that point- the book has a release date!- and so I'm circling back to share what I learned with all of you.
Keep in mind that participants had the option to pass on questions they did not wish to answer, so there is some variation in response totals. That said, here are the survey results:

What Is Your Gender?
Cis-Female: 60%
Cis-Male: 29%
Nonbinary/Genderfluid: 7%
Trans-Female: 2%
Trans-Male: 1%
Other: 1%

What is Your Race?
White or Caucasian: 83.84%
Asian or Asian American: 7.07%
Hispanic or Latino: 4.04%
Black or African American: 2.02%
Another Race: 2.02%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 1.01%
American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%

Do You Have a Disability?
Rather Not Say: 43.37%
Mental Health Condition: 34.94%
Chronic Pain Condition: 13.25%
Vision Impairment: 4.82%
Degenerative Disease: 2.41%
Hearing Impairment: 1.2%
Mobility/Motor Impairment: 0%
Cognitive Impairment: 0%

What Would You Say Is Your Religious Affiliation?
Atheist: 32%
Agnostic: 24%
Spiritual, but Not Religious: 15%
Christian- Catholic: 7%
Christian- Protestant: 6%
Wiccan/Pagan: 5%
Jewish: 4%
Other: 4%
Buddhist: 2%
Muslim: 1%

Highest Level of Education Completed?
Bachelor’s Degree: 39%
High School/GED: 20%
Master’s degree or Equivalent: 15%
Vocational/Trade School: 14%
Associates Degree: 8%
PhD or Equivalent: 2%

What Best Describes Your Professional Role?
Professional Services (Medicine, Law, Counseling, Accounting, Etc.): 19%
Student: 17%
Clerical/Administrative: 14%
Support Staff/General Worker: 9%
Upper Management: 6%
Self-Employed: 6%
Non-Working Disabled: 6%
IT/Technical Services: 5%
Middle Management: 4%
Social Service Worker: 4%
Skilled Laborer: 4%
Jr Management/Trainee: 2%
Non Working, Non-Disabled: 2%
Homemaker: 1%
Consultant: 1%

What Is Your Household Income?
Between $50,000 and $74,999: 21.21%
Between $75,000 and $99,999: 16.16%
Between $100,000 and $150,000: 14.14%
Under $15,000: 14.14%
Between $15,000 and $29,999: 13.13%
Between $30,000 and $49,999: 13.13%
Over $150,000: 8.08%

How Often Do You Engage in BDSM Activities?
Weekly: 34.34%
Daily: 24.24%
Every Few Weeks: 18.18%
A Few Times A Year: 11.11%
24/7: 6.06%
Every Few Months: 3.03%
Monthly: 2.02%
Never: 1.01%

What Identifier Best Suits You?
Submissive: 53%
Dominant: 17%
Switch: 12%
Top: 7%
Bottom: 5%
Kinky but not into power exchange: 2%
Masochist: 2%
Fetishist: 2%
Sadist: 0%

What Is Your Current Relationship Status?
Dating- Monogamous: 34%
Married- Monogamous: 24%
Single: 18%
Dating- Polyamorous: 9%
Married- Polyamorous: 6%
Engaged: 4%
Divorced: 1%
Widowed: 0%
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2020.02.07 00:46 lowkeyterrible me_irlgbt survey results! really long post! this took me 6 days! exclamation mark!

Long post. REALLY long post. buckle in.

TLDR at the end

First off, thanks to everybody who responded! There were 467 responses in total, which is amazing. I know filling out surveys online can be boring, so I really appreciate you all indulging me for this.
A few notes before we get started!
Now. Let's get started with the results.

Total survey responses: 467

DEMOGRAPHICS SECTION

AGE: 460 responses

https://imgur.com/thGOvqi
As we can see here, the majority of respondents are between the ages of 13-24, with most being 18-24. No surprise, this pretty much tracks with the general demographics of reddit. We have 3 tiny kiddos who responded, bless them. One person over 60, heyhowareyougorge. It’s interesting to cross-reference the age demographics with the type of posts we see here. I’m in my early 20s, which in gay years is like being in your early 40s, and i’ve been out for years. I see a lot of closet or coming out type posts, which I personally don’t relate to as much any more, but that totally tracks with the amount of youngins we have here. If you’re looking to karma whore, here’s the data you need.

COUNTRY: 457 responses

https://imgur.com/xwAb3g8
So, clearly very US-heavy. Again, not a surprise here for a US-based website. I would like to confess to purposefully splitting up the UK demographics out of sheer curiosity too; I’m Scottish and wanted to know how many fellow Scots I had. Happenin troops.
I also wanted to use this to see how many people were from countries with less legal protections for being LGBT. The countries in here I’d particularly like to highlight are:
Dominica, where it is illegal to be gay. Penalties include a 10 year prison sentence, or “incarceration in a psychiatric institution.” Absolutely no legal protections for any LGBT people. That’s pretty fucked.
India has no legally recognised same sex unions, no same sex marriage, no adoption, but all of these things have been proposed. some anti-discrimination laws. They have a third gender option, called hijra. Trans people do have some legal recognition of gender, which is nice. As far as I’m aware, this situation is pretty unique to India.
Qatar, where same-sex sexual activity is punished by fines, imprisonment, or the death penalty. Obviously no legal protections.
Russia, where same-sex sexual activity is technically legal, but in Chechnya, it is heavily punished. Gay people are abducted and sent to concentration camps in this region. Russia has done little to prevent this.
Singapore, where there is technically punishment of up to 2 years in prison for male same-sex sexual activity, but this is apparently not enforced any more. F/F is legal though.
Malaysia, where it remains illegal to be gay. Punishments can be up to 20 years in prison, fines, or whippings, just for engaging in same-sex sexual activity. However, a 2016 court ruling did recognise gender changes as a fundamental constitutional right, according to wikipedia.
I’d like us to take a moment to remember, especially if you’re from the US, that the fight for LGBT rights is far from over. It’s not some distant thing. Even people on this good gay subreddit could face severe punishments for their identity. If you are in a country with legal protections, take a moment to be thankful. If you can, please educate yourself on the state of LGBT rights in these countries, and see if you can do anything to help.

ETHNICITY: 463 responses

https://imgur.com/hk6KINj
Again, not particularly surprising results here. Reddit is a pretty overwhelmingly white website. I’m a full blown white person so I’m not sure how much I can really say here without verging out of my own lane. I do think we should keep this in mind however, because as a largely white subreddit we may not have so many people calling out racism when they see it. I don’t want POC to feel ignored here just because they make up a smaller percentage of our demographics, so I welcome any POC responses here as to how we’re doing with that. I personally haven’t seen too much racism, as the bigotry we tend to get is centred around our lgbt identities. Whenever I see it it tends to be anti-black, and usually confined to usernames. I do try to ban that whenever I see it, but I’m only one person, so I do rely on you to report things to me!

GENDER: 467 responses

https://imgur.com/GOMLltE
https://imgur.com/BY9eRfU
Now, this is the one I’ve had to go in and fuck with. This, and all the other charts, are basically just the raw data in visual form. The chart above is each individual response, allowing for those who selected multiple options. So, rather than counting every time someone selected “male”, then “nonbinary”, etc, it’s counting every time a person selected “male + cisgender,” “nonbinary + queer”, if that makes sense.
This chart here is the one I’ve fucked with, that just has the amount of times an option was selected.
https://imgur.com/ejdAKm9
I basically simplified the data here. Whenever someone said something like unsure, unknown, etc, this was put under “questioning”. The “other” responses are the only ones that received significant editing. These were long-form responses that could not be parsed into simple answers, so here they are in their entirety.
  • “Something like that lol”
  • “I don’t have one of these ‘gender identities’ everyone keeps talking about”
  • “Lol i’m absolutely fucked and i have no idea”
  • “What is this ‘gender’ you speak of”
  • “My sex is female”
Now, I could probably have parsed them into other categories, but honestly I thought this was more entertaining.
Some important things to remember when reading this data! * I collected it pretty poorly. I wasn’t aware of how google would collate it and i done goofed a bit. Take it with a pinch of salt. * once i “simplified” the data to look at how many times each option was selected, I ended up with almost 800 pieces of data. You’ll recall that only 467 people responded to the survey, so there is significant overlap. This is why I'm showing you two versions. The crossover is not fully clear, and there’s probably ways I could process this data better, but i’m gonna be real with y'all it’s a lot to wade through and I'm honestly just bad at this * This question allowed people to choose as many or as few labels as they wanted. Some people listed their gender as just “transgender” with no other qualifiers, for example. Therefore this data should be treated as only a partial picture of the gender demographics of this subreddit

PRONOUNS: 464 responses

https://imgur.com/lsP8661
Again, I arguably messed up on the collection of results here, BUT, I do think it’s very interesting to see the combinations of pronouns people use. For example, I think it’s cool to see that, among those who use they/them pronouns
  • 25 respondents use they/them as their only pronouns
  • 31 use he/him and they/them
  • 30 use she/her and they/them
Now obviously it’s gonna be difficult to argue for these results to be generalised to the population at large, but this does support what I’ve seen anecdotally for a while; neutral pronouns are often used alongside non-neutral pronouns. We might not have seen this if I had been a better researcher.
Here is the version with my own editing, simplification, and parsing of “other” results:
https://imgur.com/6sR4w3U
Other results are as follows, presented without comment
  • ”A variety of neopronouns”
  • ”Whatever is right in the moment”
  • ”in the closet for everyone except online friends”
  • ”any pronouns”
  • ”well i would use those pronouns if i was out or if anyone respected them lmao help me”
  • ”any/all”
  • ”the normal ones”
  • ”All? IDK it’s been a very confusing time”
  • ”he/him among general public, they/them among close friends but out in public, would like to use she/her but only when out and fully transitioned”
  • ”I don't know what this means”
Among neopronoun usage, we have specific examples of: * ve/ver * it/its
If we put this alongside the “other” responses that indicate neopronoun usage, we can say that 5 of our respondents use, or are comfortable using, neopronouns.
I think this is an interesting point to highlight, because common transphobe rhetoric is that people are using a “confusing” variety of pronouns. We have a generally trans-friendly sub (at least I hope so), and out of 464 respondents to this question, only 5 people indicated neopronoun usage. Could it be that this line of thinking, that people are using confusing newfangled pronouns, is just an uninformed scream from the ignorant?

SEXUALITY: 467 responses

https://imgur.com/CXVxEKc
Again, raw data. For this one I don’t feel it’s super necessary to go in and parse out who picked multiple things, because the data here seems kinda straightforward, if you’ll pardon the pun.
We have a lot of bi and pan people here. Again, it’s difficult to argue for the generalisation of these results, but this does support evidence of bisexual people making up the majority of the LGBT community. If we compare this to the by now well known findings from the Kinsey institute, this does support the belief that most people are likely neither a Kinsey 1 or a Kinsey 6, but somewhere in the middle. It’s not directly comparable because I didn’t use the same metrics, but it’s interesting to think about.
I also think it’s interesting to see so many straight respondents. Of course, this could just be trans people who are straight, but I know from the comments I’ve received that some people who responded are totally non-LGBT, just allies.
Also, shoutouts to “an absolute mess” and “just desperate for love”. Same, babes.

EDUCATION: 461 responses

There were enough “other” responses that I felt like I needed to go in and take those out, so here’s the raw data before I did that.
https://imgur.com/eguYGeK
And here is the simplified version
https://imgur.com/DZClNVV
Here are the “Other” responses
  • have not completed high forms of education
  • IDK not american
  • still studying
  • middle school (x4)
  • wasn't allowed to go to school by parents, currently studying for high school entrance exam
  • TAFE Diploma
  • 2nd year degree
  • gray
  • in 5th year of phd but no master's earned on the way
  • professional degree (Juris Doctor)
  • certificate of achievement, 1yr college
  • What’s a diploma
My favourite response is “IDK not american”. As we all know, education only exists in America.
Anyway, this pretty much tracks along the age demographics. With a population mostly aged between 13-24, it makes sense that the majority are high school or college educated.
Of course, it should be kept in mind that not everybody’s education is a linear or traditional experience, and won’t completely track with our age demographics.
Shoutouts to the 3-4 people with PhDs tho, mad respect.
And that wraps up our demographics section! Onto some of the cool shit.

PERSONAL LIFE SECTION

POLITICAL ALIGNMENT: 477/467

https://imgur.com/TUQNBVJ
Here’s the raw data. As you can see, there’s a lot of write-in responses. If you’ve spent any time hanging out on this subreddit, I don’t think it’s any shock to see how overwhelmingly left-leaning we are. I think this sort of goes with the territory of being an LGBT subreddit though, we do tend to develop liberal politics as an attempt to avoid homophobia and transphobia, and then from there it’s easy to fall into leftist politics, especially on places like Reddit.
Simplified data: https://imgur.com/isja5Kc
Other responses:
  • Don’t have these words in AUS
  • I have a hard time understanding all the different words, but I know I’m the opposite of Donald Trump
  • LibCenter
  • anarcho-communist
  • social libertarian
  • Hard to say since these terms mean slightly different things in different places/political climates
  • Whoever isn't a racist bigot
  • slutty sjw whos ready to bust a fat nut and shoot capitalists
  • angry *Governmental axis: libertarian. Economic axis: centrist. Social axis: progressive
  • I don't have a strict political alignment, I just think that every politician can have good ideas whatever their alignment is
  • I vote based on the current goals of each party
  • regulated markets, welfare capitalism, taco trucks on every corner. thank you for coming to my ted talk.
  • Whatever is Civil Rights
  • leftish antiauthoritarian
  • no one changes anything but rich mens pocket books
  • Progressive
  • Green
  • Prefer not to say
  • Independent
We’re clearly a very left-leaning subreddit here. I think it’s interesting that out of a total of 447 responses, only 9 disclosed that they were on the right-hand side of the political spectrum. Is this because only 4% of people round these parts are on the right, or is due to an unwillingness to identify with conservative politics, even on an anonymous survey? Difficult to know for sure. Interesting data tho amirite.
Also whoever answered “slutty sjw whos ready to bust a fat nut”, same girl

RELIGION 460/467

Raw data: https://imgur.com/oQQWZH9
Again, a fuckfest here, but even before we go in and parse things out we can see that 336/460 indicate atheist or agnostic beliefs. This sort of goes along with my hypothesis/unscientific belief that a majority of LGBT people are non-religious, or will find religion themselves later on. I personally would love to do research on the prevalence of found religion in later life, especially pagan/wiccan type beliefs, in LGBT people. I think a lot of us do really desire that sort of connection to spirituality, but can’t always get it from the religions we were raised in. This is from my perspective as a western white person raised around christian/catholic beliefs; I know there’s differences with, for example, Judaism, where it’s fully baked into the culture to question and argue with your own beliefs, so I know there’s a hell of a lot of cultural bias going into this assumption.
Simplified data
https://imgur.com/FimSsoh
I’ve kept Atheist/agnostic as separate categories, grouped the different Satanism responses, and again created an “other” category.
Other responses:
  • Both Christian and agnostic
  • Dragons
  • exmormon
  • I don't believe in a conscious force making decisions, but there is some sort of force underlying the physical world
  • idk man. dudeism?
  • Its a mix
  • Meh
  • None (not explicitly atheist or agnostic, just...ehhhhh)
  • Unitarian Universalist
  • Science Christian
Given that this is Reddit, I’m not surprised by the high amount of atheist/agnostic responses, given that the site still has a strong legacy left behind by the glory days of /atheist. With this bias in mind, I do still think this presents a compelling basis for further research on the religious affiliations of LGBT people.

RELATIONSHIP STATUS 465/467

https://imgur.com/vcrZae3
This one actually didn’t require much fucking with, so I’ve just presented the gently simplified data.
Other responses
  • In a queer-platonic relationship
  • I walk a lonley road, the only one that i have ever known.
  • I’m not really sure rn
  • It’s complicated
  • In a polyamorous relationship
  • I have a domme
  • Polyamorous
  • On a crash course to divorce :(
Wow we’re a single lot aren’t we
Honestly I think this correlates with the age demographics. If I were a better data analyst I’d go in and confirm this with the data, but I’m not, so I won’t. Knowing that we have a lot of younger people, who are more likely to have either no relationship or a frequently changing/unstable relationship status, this kinda seems about right. It would be interesting though to compare this with relationship data from other LGBT communities. I think we all know the struggles of finding available partners, especially when you are, as the data suggests, in high school or college. It’d be interesting to see if the high rate of single people here is due to a desire to seek out other LGBT people in order to gain a sense of community as well. Maybe LGBT people in a relationship feel they already have enough of a sense of community and belonging and are therefore less likely to seek out LGBT spaces online. That’ll require some good qualitative data tho which is time consuming. Could be really cool tho.

THOUGHTS ON TERFS 463/467

Raw data: https://imgur.com/CQ2hSu4
This was a big question. There’s a lot of write-in responses here, so I’ll go through those.
Simplified data
https://imgur.com/YwNUYsR
Other results, presented without comment
  • accept everyone or get the fuck out
  • Confused
  • Fuck TERFs
  • Fuck TERFs
  • Fuck TERFs
  • Fuck TERFs
  • Fuck TERFs seriously
  • Fuck them with the rustiest rake you can find
  • Hate them
  • [Dislike] However, I do not condone jokes of violence against Terfs
  • I don't even know what that is.
  • I don't know or care what that means
  • I hate them so god damned much even the mention of the word terf makes me wanna punch a *wall then vomit.
  • I have never heard of this
  • I have no idea who they are
  • Idk bout them
  • liquidate them
  • Never heard of them
  • Not sure exactly what that means but if I understand it right I dislike them because I support transgender people
  • punch them
  • strongly dislike is not enough
  • [just a transphobic pro-terf comment]
  • strongly dislike isn't strong enough.
  • TERF is a slur lol
  • terfs r trash
  • They can go to hell
  • They have no place
  • Too little experience with them to form a meaningful opinion
  • we should set them on fire
  • trans rights babey
I think this is a pretty conclusive result. Of the 29 “other” responses, 20 of them indicate Dislike to Strongly Dislike. 5 respondents said Strongly Like, and 1 said Like. These respondents were the only ones who also put in positive “other” responses. 82% of responses were Strongly Dislike.
This is honestly going to inform my moderation style. I always remove outwardly transphobic comments, especially if they mirror the “rational people” comment in the responses above. However, seeing such a strong dislike of TERFs will likely mean I’ll remove more comments that are gently TERFy but not as explicit.
I do want to reiterate, this is a feminist space. I personally am a strong feminist. I hold some more radical feminist views. I also believe trans women are women, they have a place in the feminist movement, and in women’s spaces. You can absolutely be a trans INCLUSIVE radical feminist. Feminism is almost useless without intersectionality. Trans people are valid and welcomed here. Transphobia will never be tolerated here. Not up for debate.

THOUGHTS ON TRANSMEDICALISTS 460/467

Raw data:
https://imgur.com/rWZFUBp
Again, lots of write in responses. Same script as last time
Simplified data:
https://imgur.com/sQro5dq
Other results
  • At first glance, this notion makes sense to me, but I know to little about the issue to form a meaningful opinion
  • Dissagree w/ but not dislike as people
  • Don't know whether they're right or wrong since I'm not trans therefore can't confirm shit
  • Fuck truscum
  • Fuck truscum.
  • I can understand where they're coming from, but i think it's a harmful ideology all the same
  • I don't agree transition is necessary, since sometimes staying in the closet is the only way to survive. But dysphoria of some kind is necessary.
  • I don't understand how people can be trans if they've never experienced Dysphoria. Not being a dick, i just can't find an explaination.
  • I get where they're coming from
  • I have no opinion. If somebody says they're trans, all i want are their preferred pronouns.
  • I haven't heard about this before, I'd have to read up on it before giving an opinion!
  • I just need to shout about the exclusionary nature of the stance
  • I think dysphoria is necessary, but not medically transitioning
  • I’d err on the side of caution because it sounds like it could be ehhh. I don’t know enough about *the trans part of the LGBT+ community to properly answer this one
  • I’m not sure about them yet
  • It isnt nessacsry but many people do experience it
  • N/A
  • Neutral as long as they aren’t excessively pushy or rude about it.
  • New to this concept tbh
  • No opinion
  • Non-binary trans is still trans.
  • Not enough reading or research done on my part to have an informed opinion
  • Not familiar with this topic enough to say
  • punch them too
  • Therapists should treat it
  • There is background to their points but their attitude stunts progress for all trans people
  • they're very flammable too
  • trans people are trans regardless of what gender affirmations, if any, they choose to undergo. ❤️
  • trans rights babey
  • uncle terfs, more or less.
  • Unknown
  • wanting to be a different gender = gender dysphoria, so 90% of the time transmedicalism is just *pointless gatekeeping
This is the one I definitely needed trans people’s opinions on. I am cis-ish (androgynous butchy lesbian who occasionally likes a cheeky they/them pronoun but is for all intents and purposes a woman/dyke) and so feel entirely unqualified to weigh in and decide which side of the issue is “correct”.
  • 56.2% of responses indicate either Dislike or Strongly Dislike transmedicalists
  • Of the “other” responses, 15/29 indicate a dislike or disagreement with transmedicalist ideology
  • There is a large amount of “neutral” or “no opinion” responses. I can assume a lot of these are from cis people who, like me, feel unqualified to weigh in.
This is also likely to inform my moderation style somewhat. Again, I always remove blatant transphobia when I see it, and this includes anybody stating that nonbinary people are not valid, not real, etc. From these results, I’m going to assume this is the right move, and continue with this strategy.
I personally lean towards not believing in transmedicalism. Some of this may very well stem from my feminist views, but I generally think gender is extremely fluid, and that labels are only worth what the individual believes they represent. If any of you have an understanding of sociology, I tend towards a Weberian/symbolic interactionist approach towards labels in general. Therefore I believe whatever a person identifies as is probably the right identity for them, regardless of what I may think of it. This isn’t necessarily relevant to your understanding of the survey, but it may be relevant to your understanding of my moderation actions.
That wraps up this section! This was a long one, thanks for sticking with us <3

ME_IRLGBT OPINIONS

THOUGHTS ON THE SUBREDDIT 457/467

https://imgur.com/VUwfXtq
Finally, some data i don’t need to fuck around with. Note to self, do more ratings like this.
Obviously as a mod I’m happy to see that opinions trend above 5 here. The average score we’re getting here is 7.87 (2dp) and honestly, I’m down. If that was a movie on IMDB, that shit would be a pretty well-received movie. The most frequent response here is 8/10, and most responses are between 7-10, which tells me people generally enjoy hanging out here. I know there’s always a strong chance for bias here, because the people who are likely to respond to a kinda long survey for a subreddit are likely to be people who either really enjoy it, or really don’t. However, even with that bias, I’m gonna just take the W if that’s cool with you.

THOUGHTS ON MODERATION 445/467

https://imgur.com/pmkKyuC
Slightly lower trend than overall subreddit opinions, but the average is almost the same at 7.73 (2dp).
Since sending out this survey I have made some slight tweaks to my moderation style, as well as making some additions to the automoderator. We’ll chat about that later. I’m glad the overall trend here is positive though; I don’t want this to be a place where you all just end up resenting me.

DO WE NEED MORE MODS? 428/467

https://imgur.com/gwZuKtM
Other responses:
  • 🤷
  • don’t care
  • I don't know. I'm new to Reddit
  • i dont have a reddit account, and i very rarely check comments. I dont think i'm the best person to answer this.
  • I dont pay attention enough to say
  • I just discovered this subreddit like yesterday so I don't really know
  • I think we need mods who do more than just let people police the sub themselves. We may only need a new mod if the current mods don’t change how they mod. Respond to reports is what I’m saying (I don’t see almost any removed comments ever)
  • Idk
  • idk i just enjoy the memes
  • idk im just lurking here
  • Idk. How many moderators do you have?
  • if they're good moderators
  • maybe? i think a little more mod participation would be cool. just seeing admins in comments laughing and joking along with us, and sharing in the memes. i enjoy the hands-off approach but that doesn't mean i don't ever wanna see more mods chilling out and sorta like.,..... making their presence known and joining in on the fun!!! yknow it makes it feel safer
  • no idea tbh but it seems to be running ok
So the general answer here is that we maybe need more mods. Far more people said no than said yes.
Personal interpretation is that people may have felt more comfortable answering “maybe” than answering “yes”. I know that having one active mod for a 90k subreddit is not usual, and by now most subreddits will have gotten a couple more people in. I won’t speak for parlayv but, if you think i’m hands-off, she’s like, not even got hands. Hands not on this plane. We did create the subreddit together (IIRC I came up with the name and she was like “omg that needs to be a subreddit” and then, all of a sudden, it was) but I’m the one who pretty much runs it. I don’t think she’d take issue with me saying that. She’s too busy playing runescape and smoking weed anyway lmao
So, given the general results, I will look at bringing more mods on. I’ll probably pull from people I know first, and if that doesn’t work, may open up applications later. If this happens you’ll all know about it.
I’ll address some of the comments at the very end. Your concerns are not going unnoticed!

THOUGHTS ON RESEARCHERS 459/467

https://imgur.com/Px4XqGQ
Another very similar score, but this time the most frequent response by far is a 10. Average score is 7.84
This one was kinda important for me. I made the decision to allow researchers to post their surveys here. Full disclosure, when researchers come to me in modmail, my key concern is that they’ve followed all ethical procedures. So far, every single one has been done through a university in an official capacity, which means they have to prove they’ve gone through the ethics of their work and it’s been approved before they can even start researching. Whenever I’ve checked them out they seem completely fine, and I’ve so far not received any complaints, which makes me feel good.
I personally believe research is incredibly important for us to understand ourselves, as well as other people. I’m obviously biased as hell here because I’m a social sciences student but the whole reason I’m interested in this field is the benefits I believe it can bring to us. So if it’s cool with you all, I’m going to take this result as support for research posts. For now I don’t foresee any issues with frequency but we’ll revisit this if that becomes a problem. I’d like to give you all a sincere thank you for your positive reception to these posts <3

SHOULD WE BAN TERFS OR TRANSMEDICALISTS? 461/467

This question specified “regardless of rulebreaking”, meaning should they be banned on sight if they say they identify as either a TERF or a transmedicalist. I also meant if they posted in TERF or transmedicalist subreddits, but I didn’t specify this, so I won’t use that in my analysis of this data.
https://imgur.com/o1fevKC
Other responses
  • Allow them only if they don't say anything transphobic on me_irlgbt
  • ban 'em when they post inflammatory stuff to bait responses
  • allow transmeds to flair their posts/create separate sub
  • only ban Transmedicalists if they’re being dicks about it
  • don't know enough about transmedicalists to say
  • Ban transmedicalists, do not ban TERFs
  • Definitely ban TERFs, I just don't really know much about trans medicalists, so I feel weird making a definitive statement about them.
  • Definitely ban TERFs. I’m neutral on transmedicalists
  • Forum should not be allowed to become a hostile environment. They can easily do that.
  • I don't know the context behind transmedicalists but if they're anything like terfs then yes ban them
  • I think a distinction must be made between hate and ignorance. Obvious hate should naturally be answered with a ban, but rule-breaking content arising from possible ignorance should be met with a removal, private warning and, most importantly, directing the poster toward resources to educate themselves.
  • I think there is more ground to talk with transmedicalists but that I would prefer not to deal with them. TERFs should be banned regardless of circumstance.
  • I’m not sure how i feel about just “banning” people but i disagree with them both
  • if being mean
  • If making people uncomfortable
  • If they are strongly voicing there options, even in other sub, that may be harmful.
  • Keep them on a shorter leash
  • Maybe? Or at least make posting that stuff against the rules
  • No opinion
  • Only ban when breaking rules, but dismissing trans women & gnc/nb trans peeps should be against the rules
  • Only if they are putting forth their beliefs in a way to claim that people are not valid.
  • Still don't know anything about the transmedicalists but ban the terfs
  • TERFs have no rights and should go. Transmedicalists are... Kinda difficult? I used to consider myself trans and sorta get where they're coming from. I think it's just a generational issue? I don't think they should be banned outright, like TERFs should, but it should be made very clear that MeIRLGBT isn't the place to discuss that
  • Yeah, but only if you are sure they are terfs/transmed
  • yes, because they're harmful to trans communities and this subreddit should be safe.
Again, a generally anti-terf attitude, which is expected from previous questions.
Once again, this is mostly to inform my moderation style. I am hesitant to ban people because I don’t want to be seen as a powertripping mod out to get everybody. These results, alongside the other terf/transmed ones, are kind of encouraging me to take a slightly heavier hand than I currently am. Again, some specific responses at the end!

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF? 98/467

This was complete free-entry, so I’ve gone in and grouped a bunch of the responses together.
  • Ace content: 3
  • Bi content: 4
  • Less bigots
  • Positivity/wholesome shit: 4
  • Trans content: 5
  • Commie shit: 2
  • Garlic bread: 2
  • That Gay Shit: 13
  • OC
  • More activity in general: 5
  • POC content
  • Memes: 25
  • NB content
  • Questioning content
  • Women
  • Intersex content
  • Surveys: 2
  • allowing different titles
  • mod posts for awareness days (ie bisexuality awareness, TDOR, etc)
  • more response to reports
  • peace, love, and understanding
  • a monthly challenge to make themed memes
  • clarity as to what this neat little subreddit is about
  • support threads/posts
Other responses were generally just “nothin, we good”, so that makes up the rest of the responses.
Further answers at the end!

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE LESS OF? 75/467

  • ”Hello gays”. Not everybody in /me_irlgbt is gay.
  • [i removed these comments for being transphobic lol]: 2
  • trolls/bigots: 21
  • That Het Shit: 3
  • That Gay Shit
  • surveys
  • reposts: 6
  • text posts
  • non-meme content: 6
  • baby yoda
  • Capitalism.
  • Christmas decorations in October
  • Contrapoints memes
  • self-deprecating humour: 2
  • equating tops/bottoms to personality or body types. this isn't yoai it's real life, and i know this is more of an overall issue with the gay community but it's pretty prevalent on this sub
  • MYSELF
  • i hope the rest of your day is the best of your day.
Okay to the people who said they want less of themselves and less gay shit you are in the wholeass wrong place are you okay
Reposts seem to be a common issue. Could you lot do me a favour and post in the comments what you think are common reposts? I come on and browse the sub but I really rely on things you report to me, so I don’t always see common reposts.
As far as specific content you don’t like, I’m afraid that’s gonna be a self-directed thing for yall. Downvote the non-rulebreaking content you don’t like and hopefully people will get the message!
Lol @ the one person who said less surveys. Ur in one. Cant stop wont stop x

ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD?

ily, thank you, etc
This shit sweet as hell thank you for taking the time to add it in at the end ily
“all my answers need the addendum of “I am an idiot, and there are many things I don’t know”
Gurl same
Hi
Hi. how u doin
I am a gay
Absolutely. We love that for you.
[bee movie script]
Hi. no. dislike.
Comrades! You have nothing to lose but your chains!
There’s like 5 of you that said this and i love it
imagine being sega and not working towards creating and publishing a new jet set radio future game; absolutely criminal
Imagine being sega. Can’t relate
Perhaps a link in the side bar we can click to escape the subreddit, especially on mobile if possible.
Honestly not a bad idea. I’ll look into this.
Please just add the QA to the name. It’s 2 letters
I’m sorry, i can’t change the subreddit name. I’ll add it to the sidebar tho <3
Sexual attraction is bourgeois
Idk what this means but it is now one of the central tenets of my faith
Thanks for all the “other” options
You’re welcome it made like, 100x more work for me, but i kinda like that we have a smidge of qualitative data alongside all the quantitative shit.
Thanks for letting me participate despite my non LGBT status
Thanks for being chill!
You people need to calm down. I can sense that this energy primarily comes from North America, so I will explain. The level of discrimination and the lack of basic human rights are so extreme, people cannot stand it anymore even if they are not fully aware of these subconscious vibes, so they need to pull extremely in the other direction to make up for this. And hence you have this kind of subculture that emerges as result. The problem is that, you people are as bad as the other end of the problem because you're as extreme, and it translates into over the top aggression and people so insanely touchy they see an attack in absolutely everything, even if they are not being attacked. Become aware of these energies, and chill.
Gurl are you like okay? Do you need a lie down? Some fruit snacks? Everything okay at home?

ADDRESSING COMMENTS

“I think we need mods who do more than just let people police the sub themselves. We may only need a new mod if the current mods don’t change how they mod. Respond to reports is what I’m saying (I don’t see almost any removed comments ever)”
I’m gonna hold my hands up here, I have generally sucked ass at this. I rely almost completely on you lot reporting things to me, but for the longest time I had a big ol mod queue that was just overwhelming to look at. I’ve made changes to this in the past few weeks, including
*expanding automod scripts. Automod now deletes certain slurs automatically, as well as any comment that might be mentioning or encouraging suicide. This is a big help because obviously trolls will rely on their old faithful slurs. I was hesitant to do this because I think we all have a right to slur reclamation, but I think the benefits outweigh that right now. *I got a fancy new mod plugin! It’s called toolbox, and basically just tells me whenever a new post is made so I can approve it or not, and it tells me when I have new reports. It’s made the whole experience less stressful *I spent a day addressing all the shit in the queue. The subreddit used to be like, full anarchy, so there were reports going back 2 years. Again, I take responsibility for that. I’ve been a shitty mod and I am addressing that.
I hope these changes help address those concerns.
” i think a little more mod participation would be cool. just seeing admins in comments laughing and joking along with us, and sharing in the memes”
I’ve honestly been thinking about this comment for a while. I try to avoid posting here because, again, I’ve seen a lot of criticism of mods who participate too much in their own subs, especially when they distinguish their posts. I don’t wanna look like a dick, yknow? But I like this comment and I’m gonna try and just hang out with you lot more <3
Mod posts for awareness days (ie bisexuality awareness, TDOR, etc)
I kinda think this idea slaps. Does anybody have a calendar of important LGBT dates? I think we could tie this into the other comment about challenges for themed memes, where appropriate.
Clarity as to what this neat little subreddit is about
Me_irlgbt is a queer shitposting subreddit. It’s generally for memes and queer fuckery. Not selfies. That’s about it.
Support threads/posts
Okay, so, the reason I’m not going to do this is because I feel that if I post a thread for support, I then have a duty of care to anybody who posts in it. I do not have the capability, time, or knowledge to provide that duty of care, so I feel it would be strongly unethical to do this, regardless of how good the intentions are. I think it’s a well-meaning idea, I just wanted to clarify why I’m personally not comfortable with it.
Not everybody in me_irlgbt is gay. Can we have more inclusivity?
When I use “gay” on this subreddit, especially if I’m referring to the general mass of users, I wholeheartedly mean it in a community way. Like, “we, the gays” as contrapoints once said. You are welcome here. This isn’t the only response along these lines, so I will keep it in mind when making changes.
And we’re done! Holy shit that was a long post. This has taken me 6 days to edit. Again, reiterating from the top, I’m not an adept researchedata analyst, so I’m sure many people could’ve done a MUCH better job looking at these results, but I think this will do for now.
Thank you so much to everybody who responded. It’s been really interesting for me to have a look at this, and pretty cool to get to fuck around with all this data. Thank you ilysm <3

TL;DR

  • The population on this subreddit trends young, mostly 18-24
  • Most people live in the US
  • Most people are white
  • We have slightly more male-identified people than female, but not significantly so.
  • Roughly a quarter of respondents are trans-identified.
  • Most people use she/her or he/him pronouns. Around 18% use they/them, with the rest “other” or neopronouns.
  • About 60% of the people here identify as bisexual or pansexual, 17% lesbian, 16% gay, 17% asexual. These responses do overlap with many people using multiple labels for themselves.
  • mostly high school or college educated, which makes sense with the age demographics
  • overwhelmingly left-leaning politically
  • generally positive feelings towards the subreddit/mods
  • mostly atheist/agnostic religious views
  • 74% of respondents are single/not in a relationship.
  • 88% of respondents do not like TERFs
  • about half of respondents do not like transmedicalists, but 28% are neutral
  • 60% of respondents think we maybe need more mods
  • other responses just need to be read lol
submitted by lowkeyterrible to me_irlgbt [link] [comments]


2020.01.27 22:59 CyberSquidz Request for Action - Volunteer to give Secular/Non-LDS Invocations at City Council Meetings

Hello /Exmormon !
I've been working on a project recently, tracking the ubiquity of LDS influence over Provo City's government. Particularly I've been honing in on the supposed equal representation in City Council invocations.
TLDR;
If you (or anyone you know) are willing to give a seculapagan/non-christian invocation, please contact [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])/[email protected] ; Cliff Strachan is the Executive Director of the Council and receives requests for invocations. The instructions provided were "If someone is interested, they should contact Cliff and indicate which meeting they would like to offer the invocation at."
Please BCC (Or CC if you are feeling spicy) the correspondence to me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). I am seeking to track the responses to the requests, and see how many are actually selected in the upcoming sessions.
Long Form:
I have spent some time gathering information from the publicly available sessions of Provo City Council meetings regarding the invocations given.
According to the FAQ from the Freedom From Religion Foundation,
" First and foremost, the prayer opportunity must not be “exploited to proselytize or advance any one, or to disparage any other, faith or belief.”
...
Galloway explicitly applies to practices in which:
local clergy are invited to deliver the prayer (if elected officials are delivering the prayers themselves, the practice is still constitutionally suspect)
...
Another crucial feature of the Supreme Court’s decision in Galloway was its finding that the town of Greece “at no point excluded or denied an opportunity to a would-be prayer giver.” Though Greece created its initial list of invocation givers by having a “town employee . . . call the congregations listed in a local directory until she found a minister available for that month’s meeting,” the town demonstrated a willingness to go beyond its list and allow others to give invocations. At one point the town invited a Jewish layperson (not a member of the clergy) to give an invocation and when a Wiccan priestess requested to give an opening prayer, the town granted her the opportunity. The town also “maintained that a minister or layperson of any persuasion, including an atheist, could give the invocation” (emphasis added)."
Since January of 2016, Provo council's recorded sessions have had 181 invocations. 181 of those were LDS invocations. 146 of the 181 invocations were provided by Provo City Staff. Of the 146 of the Staff-led invocations, 42 were given by elected officials. I have a google doc containing the data, troublesome prayer excerpts, and a few graphs showing the invocations by staff vs public, invocations by religion, etc.
Provo City Council's handbook (page 55)has the following to say about Prayer at meetings:
... nothing in these cases prohibits a City from establishing a reasonable policy that would uniformly govern when a prayer may be offered, set time limits for the length of the prayer, and/or require that it be offered in a manner that does not disrupt the business of the meeting. The following policy is therefore established by the Municipal Council to assure prayers at Municipal Council meetings conform to constitutional
Requirements:
Nondiscrimination
Allowing prayer on a nondiscriminatory basis means "without regard to the belief system of the [person offering the prayer]."5 Therefore, when invited to pray at a Municipal Council meeting, a prayer-giver may say or not say in the prayer whatever that person desires for up to two minutes.6 After two minutes, the Council Chair may interrupt and ask the prayer-giver to stop praying and withdraw. If the prayer-giver's conduct is disruptive,7 the Council Chair may interrupt and ask the prayer-giver to stop and withdraw.
Equal Accessibility
The opportunity to give a prayer shall be equally accessible to all persons attending a Council meeting. On behalf of the Municipal Council, the Chair, Council Executive Director, or their designee shall select a person to offer a prayer from persons present in the room where the Council
meeting is held, without regard to a person's race, religion, national origin, sex, or religious attire. A person who wishes to give a prayer shall be given the opportunity to do so. The request must be made in person to the Council Executive Director immediately prior to the meeting in which he or she wishes to pray, but in no event later than five minutes before the meeting is scheduled to begin.
Requests will be granted on a first-request basis. However, repeated requests by the same person to pray shall be granted only once every three months and only if others, who have also requested an opportunity to pray, have had a similar opportunity. The Municipal Council's intent is that fair access to pray be afforded to all those who wish to pray.
The last section I find odd; in the publicly available recordings you can find the same individuals offering the evocations multiple times per month. Sometimes two to three times in a row. I hope to hold the council and the city to their word by having members of the ex-Mormon community, Atheist, Pagan, Wiccan, and other non-Christian/non-LDS peoples request to give invocations.
This doesn't need to be limited to Provo City either - I am happy to track data for other Utah Valley cities as well. I am focusing on Provo right now, as it is the least diverse city in America and I work closely with the city. The following instructions are for requesting invocations at Provo City Council meetings: Email your request to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) and/or [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) . Cliff is the Executive chair and is in charge of assigning invocations.
Please forward correspondence to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) - be sure to note which city's council you were attempting to give an invocation for so that I can sort the data properly. I'd like to track the approvals/denials over time and hold our local governments accountable. I will also work with the FFRF if any violations come to light.
Feel free to share this information anywhere that it would be relevant.
Thank you for the great community here,
-CyberSquidz
submitted by CyberSquidz to exmormon [link] [comments]


2020.01.21 22:26 CindyMorrisonwatts1 {Discussion} Magic, Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Japan

{Discussion} Magic, Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Japan

Magic, Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Japan

by Weixin Shengjiao
Witches in Japan take on different meaning than those in western cultures
Abstract
Paganism has been revived in the Western countries. Not only in the North America and the Western Europe, but also in the Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics. The reasons why they become involved in Paganism are, for example, discomfort in Christianity and revival of their identities which were suppressed during the Communist time.
Then what is the situation of Paganism in non-Christian and non-former Communist countries, for example, Japan?Although Japan locates near China and Russia, it has never been a Communist country. Although Christian missionaries came in 16th and 19th century, Christian population is very small.
Many Japanese “practice” both Buddhism and Shinto, for example ancestor worship,visits shrines and temples, funerals and purify ceremonies, they do not regard these practices “religion” but as “tradition” or “custom.” Most of them think of themselves having no religion.
The western image of witches is over sexualized and this converts to Japanese anime norms
Then there are two possibilities of Paganism in Japan; Shinto and Western witchcraft.Western Pagans often think Shinto is similar to Paganism. However the Shinto, which is widely spread and accepted in contemporary Japan, was constructed during Meiji Restoration(after 1867).
Shinto had been mixed with Buddhism for a long time. Therefore some Japanese try to revive the “original” Shinto, the Shinto before Buddhism came to Japan. At the same time, western witchcraft and Wicca is known in Japan, especially New Age type witch and herbal witch, recently.
However, we need to notice that Western magic and occult tradition have been popular, and that Aum Shinrikyo terrorist attack in Tokyo in 1995 has changed their situation dramatically. Another important matter is Japan has been making many animations whose heroines are cute young girl witches since 1960s. The research is still going on, therefore I would like to talk about the overview of Paganism in contemporary Japan.
A witch in Japanese operatic fashion
Self-Introduction
I have been researching Goddess movement, Paganism and alternative spirituality in the UK since 2005. Since 2017, I have been researching witchcraft in Japan. As many of you know, Paganism has been revived in the Western countries, not only in the North America and the Western Europe, but also in the Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics. They become involved in Paganism because of, for example, discomfort with Christianity and revival of their identities which were suppressed during the Communist time.
The aim of the paper
Then what is happening to Paganism in non-Christian and non-former Communist countries,for example, Japan? In this presentation, I would like to discuss “Why witchcraft from the West is attractive for Japanese people who call themselves witches or who belong to a witch group”.
Previous Studies
The famous
The Spiritual Revolution
(2005), written by Paul Heelas and Linda Woodhead, is subtitled

The Kabuki witch of feudal Japan is a mystic figure in Asian culture
why religion is giving way to spirituality
In Christian countries, especially in Western Europe, it is often said that traditional religion, which usually means Christianity, has declined, and spirituality is well accepted.However, the concept of “religion” comes from Christianity, therefore it is difficult to apply another areas, for example, East Asia where Buddhism or many other local belief systems exist.Dr Susumu Shimazono, a very well-known scholar of religious studies in Japan, has said;In Japan and India, there is a strong (psychological) resistance to calling Shinto or Hindu religion.
Human society has not reached yet to the level of applying “religion”, which was formed as a Western concept for phenomenon all over the world, without any problem.(Shimazono, 2012, p.95, translated by E. Kiwanis) In order to understand the phenomenon of religion and spirituality universally, he was trying to make the definitions clear.
However, I think it is more important to focus on the forms of practice than to make definitions. Heelas and Woodhead said that it was a time of (A) (massive subjective) turn away from life lived in terms of external or ‘objective’ roles,duties and obligations, and a turn towards life lived by reference to one’s own subjective experiences (relational as much as individualistic). (p.2)They call this shift “the spiritual revolution.”
Modern Japanese witches also follow Goth trends and fashions
The spiritual revolution can be said to take place when ’holistic’ activities having to dowith subjective-life spirituality attract more people than do ‘congregational’ activities having to do with life-as religion.
In short, contemporary world is undergoing a change from community-oriented life to individualistic life. Then the popularity of Paganism, which is practiced individually, is considered as a shift from traditional Christianity or Communism in the West. Then how about in East Asia, for example in Japan?
Research method
The data used in this presentation is collected during my fieldwork in Tokyo and Osaka area since March 2017. I conducted participate-observation of a meeting, two ceremonies, three events and three workshops, and semi-structured interviews with 14 people except one, I met all of them through the same network.
Witches in Japan love to sport aspects of occult neo-symbolism
Religions in Japan
First of all, I would like to talk about the religions in Japan. Many Japanese “practice” both Buddhism and Shinto. They worship ancestors and conduct funerals through Buddhism tradition. For blessing new-born babies and children, they go to Shinto shrines. However most of them do not regard these practices as “religion” but as “tradition” or “custom.”“Religion” often refers to new religions, for example Tenrikyo, Omoto, SGI, Happy Science,Jehovah’s Witness etc.Our census does not ask our religion, so we do not have any chance to declare our “religion”officially. The Agency for Cultural Affairs asks the number of followers in all the religious organizations 2016, the population is;
Shinto: 84,739,699
Buddhism: 87,702,069
Introduction to magic: the mystery of Qabalah by TadahiroOhnuma who is a Qabalist and had a connection with the Fellowship of Isis.In the 1980s, several books about the Golden Dawn were translated and published. The translators founded secret societies to promote the teaching of the Golden Dawn.
A popular lore in Japan is the Fox Demon Witch of old feudal times
Tokyolodge of O.T.O., the Ordo Templi Orientis, was founded in 1988.
In the 1990s, witchcraft and Wicca were finally introduced in Japan. In 1991, at least, two witchcraft circles were founded. One is Oriental Wicca. The founder’s website says he was initiated into traditional witchcraft by an elderly British witch in Yokohama, tries to practice Wicca in the East and connect Wiccan wisdom to Eastern wisdom to make Wicca better. The other is a Japanese branch of the Green Circle, which is originally founded by Marian Green.The founder is a famous female astrologer.From 1994, practical books of Western witchcraft were published as the series of “Wiican Millennium,” including Spiral Dance by Starhawk (1994), The Gentle Arts of Aquarian Magic:Magical Techniques to Help You Master the Crafts of the Wise by Marian Green (1994), TheTree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland (1995), Witchcraft for Tomorrow by Doreen Valiante (1995),Eight Sabbats for Witches by Janet and Stewart Farrar(1997) and Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler (2003).
The Geisha are a faction of Japanese women consorts that hired witches of their time to provide protection from rowdy male clients
However, the members of a cult, Aum Shinrikyo, released poisonous gas, sarin, on the Tokyo subway lines in 1995. Many matters relating to magic were considered to be deadly dangerous. Therefore many magicians stopped holding open gatherings and practiced in secret at home.
Western magic, witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Japan
Witch is a very popular word in Japan because it is translated into Japanese, “majo”(魔女)and witch anime are still very popular, especially among young girls.Some astrologers and tarot readers have been calling themselves witches, since 1980s. Since around 2000, several books about “living as a witch” have been published.
Those witches are herbalists, healers, therapists and practitioners of natural life. Now some cos-players also call themselves witches. However most of these witches do not hold ceremonies.
My main focus today is on the witches who hold ceremonies and think witchcraft as a kind of belief system or way of life. How many witches practice Western witchcraft or Wicca in Japan?

In ancient times, some samurai designed their battle masks to ward of witches and their crafts
It is very difficult to say,because the Japanese census does not ask us our religion. There is no big organization like the Pagan Federation in the UK or the Covenant of Goddess in the US. Most of them seem to be solo witches.
Some interviewees told me the Internet has made the number increase with the spread of broadband in 1999-2000. Generally speaking, the older generation read books, such as the“Wiccan Millennium” series, and the younger generation tends to rely on the Internet and google translation.
Apart from two in their 50s, they do not interact with foreign witches because of language barrier. The word “Paganism” is hardly used and does not function as an umbrella term.
Celtic culture is popular, a man started the Japan Viking Association, and a lady holds talks, workshops and events of ancient Greek gods and goddesses, however these are not considered in the same category with witchcraft, probably because witchcraft is considered to be more mystical and universal. Many witches are rather involved in Western magic.
Kabuki theater in Japan had many infused themes of witchcraft
How does witchcraft attract you?
Then what attracts them to do witchcraft? How do they consider their practice?Table 1 is based on my interview with 14 Japanese witches or people who belong to a witch group. It will take too long to read them all, so I categorize them into these 9 ways.
Thinking what they do is what witch is (A, B, E)
Guideline for fortune telling (B)
Resisting the mainstream (male-oriented society, handicraft culture) (C, J)
DIY style (D, G)
Sympathy for “witches” in witch hunt time (E, M)
Spells work well (F)
Connection with Japanese religion (H, K)
Positive influence on one’s own work (I, K, N)
Self-esteem, Representing one’s character (L, M, N)

(A scene from Flying Witch) Witches play a strong role in many anime productions and films
Discussion
Paganism in Western society is often counter to male-oriented society, Christianity and Judaism, or nationalism. However, witchcraft in Japan is hardly making any influence on social activism. In other words, they are quiet.
I think it is because ritual magic first spread out in Japan and the older generation have a bitter memory of the Aum Shinrikyou incidents. Only one person (G) clearly said “If witchcraft is not a religion, I don’t think I practice it.” Her family belonged to a radical Buddhist group until she became 20. She was looking for an alternative to the Buddhism she was brought up with.
Several people mentioned feminism and witchcraft, but only one person (J) clearly said that was why she was attracted. According to a lady (B) whose husband is an American,comparing to the US, female spirituality is still respected in Japan, for example celebrating one's first menstrual period. That might be a reason why feminist witchcraft has not become popular in Japan.
Flying Witch Anime
Witches or people in witch group are not involved in witchcraft because they like to practice Western religion. Some find connection with Japanese culture (G, H). Many others regard witchcraft as more universal phenomena or universal way of thinking. My interviewees found something in common with their problems or their interests and realized witchcraft allows them to escape from, or renew, traditional value of Japanese society. This kind of individual sympathy has taken them to witchcraft.
Conclusion According to the Spiritual Revolution
The contemporary world is undergoing a change from community oriented life to individualistic life. Witchcraft in Japan is mainly practiced as solitary, therefore the theory is applicable to this case. However, I cannot say “religion is giving way to spirituality” (its subtitle) if religion mentions Buddhism and Shinto and spirituality mentions witchcraft because most of the Japanese witches do not reject Buddhism or Shinto. It is difficult to use the words “religion” and “spirituality” because their meanings are different in different societies. I want to suggest that focusing on the way of practice gives us a good opportunity to think of belief or faith universally.
https://preview.redd.it/fr7od26767c41.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=f59115f7eb7a1fd74420af12ae46e66b3668c366
Thesis paper on Japanese witchcraft
#witchesinjapan #japanesewitchcraft #japaneesemagic
Disclaimer: Although gathered from credible sources, some or all of this article may be false. Or some or all may be true. I cannot validate either.
submitted by CindyMorrisonwatts1 to u/CindyMorrisonwatts1 [link] [comments]


2019.12.29 21:06 NizamNizamNizam The lore for Mercury in my world

Here is some context if you are confused.
Mercury is a land bathed in fire from the sun on one side, and frozen on the other. Most of the population lives in massive underground cities, but there are also some living in Terrariums on the surface that are protected from the sun. A fair bit also live in orbit around the twilight zone, and some even live as nomads wandering the night side. Here are some of the major locations and nations on the first planet.
Trinity Station, the realm of God on Mercury
Trinity Station is the base of power for Catholic Christianity. It is run very much like the Vatican city, and it is a group of 4 O'Neill cylinders (3 of them being 20 km long and one being 40 km) tied together in a cross, which orbits in Mercury’s twilight zone. Here is a rundown of the four and the large central section.
  1. Father - This is the hub for technology and development in the station. It houses the servers for the ChurchNet, a virtual world run like a giant Christian Minecraft Server. The section is also home to vast libraries housing hundreds of exabytes of data on the history of the Church (but mainly just ChurchNet files).
  2. Son - This is home to the greatest art district in the solar system, with special residences offered to the great artists. It is also home to famous writers, musicians, philosophers, chefs and even the most influential programmers of the ChurchNet. No Intersolar grand tour is complete without a visit to the Son cylinder.
  3. Holy Spirit - Being the top part of the station, the Holy Spirit Cylinder is home to the residences of the Vatican’s 500 Cardinals and the Pope, along with hundreds of thousands of church officials. It is also home to the Swiss guard who are now teamed up with Swiss designed ‘Transformers’ (large robots that can turn into short range spacecraft that enforce order among the planets). It is also home to the largest church in the Universe, probably, a gigantic 5 kilometer long monolith that can seat a quarter million people.
  4. Man - This is the largest of the Cylinders, home to the working class that help keep the station afloat, as well as tourists who fell in love with Trinity Station. It is pretty much like any other O'Neill cylinder except that it has a lot more hotels, agri-factories and a larger industrial area. It is mainly home to Latinish people (basically every single Catholic Nation rolled into one Language and Culture. Mainly Dominated by Spanish, Portuguese, with hints of Italian, Catalan, French and Polish).
  5. At the center of Trinity station lies it’s most important part and number 1 tourist attraction: Rome. The city was Earthlifted in 2331 due to an outbreak of a massive war, and transported to Luna before making it to the Mercurian Orbit. It possesses expensive flat anti-gravity systems using Brown Gravitators instead of the usual centrifuge. Rome is home to monuments made by the Roman Empire and the greatest works of the renaissance. The center is about 10 miles wide, and the Gravitator works on both sides, so Venice, Florence and Bologna were plucked out of Italy and sent to Trinity as well, just on the opposite side of Rome, and an environment was terraformed to fit all of them.
Trinity Station was built in the 2330’s to be a base for the Catholic Faith in case Rome and the Church fell. The station was completed in 2345, and it held the record of the largest space station in the solar system for 4 years until the completion of Gagaria. It survived the Great Intersolar crisis, as Mercury was a generally unremarkable world, and now is a very important region of the solar system.
The station is home to a relatively large food production, industrial and waste management systems, but it can only rely on them for 20 years. Luckily, every day on Mercury (about 53 days on Earth), a space elevator links up with Trinity and delivers a massive package of supplies. In case that elevator breaks, an army of tugs pulls it to another elevator on Mercury, where the cycle continues. So far it has only had to do this once, when the elevator was attacked in 2666 (hmmm...) during the waning years of the Intersolar crisis.
The Dyson Corporation
The idea to construct a dyson swarm has been around for a thousand years, and if constructed it would bring gargantuan amounts of power and energy to the Solar System. The company was founded in 2154, but saw little action except for landing a few people on Mercury with the intention of creating a colony that would later dismantle the planet and construct a swarm of small probes that would generate solar energy.
150 panels, each 1 km long squares harvested from the Mercurian had been constructed before the company shut down due to the Great Intersolar Crisis. It was refounded in 2805, and it constructed 350 more panels and launched them into Orbit of the sun. There are plans to triple the operation speed, and with a new company plan in place it should be possible to construct one panel in a year, which could get much faster later on. The A.I. leaders of the corporation plan to finish the swarm within 5 millennia.
Each panel is home to a thousand people that operate it and control its energy flow. These people are mostly Abbasinyans, Sudanese, Guinanan, Korean and Burmese, but several minority groups exist as well. There are also several large construction yards on the Mercurian surface, and many more are being built right now.
The Dyson Corporation is a meritocracy, run by artificial intelligence. Children born to parents in the corporation are not allowed to leave unless they have completed a 5 year work quota, but this surprisingly does not happen. The corporation has remarkable living standards and relax working hours, so many people willingly sign up to be a part of it, despite it technically being slavery. There are about a billion people in the corporation (who mainly reside on Mercury), making it the largest one in human space.
In addition to owning the Dyson Swarm modules, the Corporation operates space stations in the orbit of the sun, as well as a tourist attraction where people can go to a tube on the surface of the sun. On top of this, the corporation owns space stations of various sizes in Mercurian orbit and it transfers electricity across the solar system in a web of laser arrays attached to each swarm unit.
The Northern Retreats
Most of the Mercurian population lives underground in massive arcologies, and these own large terrariums on the surface of the planet (with extra UV protection). These habitats open up large solar arrays to gather energy during the day, and have internal lighting in the night. The planet is pretty populated, with 5 billion inhabitants (including the employees of the Dyson Corporation), making it the 5th most populated body in the solar system.
The North of Mercury is known for having quaint religious retreats, as well as having generally peaceful governments. There are 5 major nations, Asadullah, Kuwakerstan, Nestoria, St. Mark and Philosoferina, with many smaller settlements scattered in between. All of these are liberal theocratic nations following a branch of Abrahamism, and are generally considered great places to live, even if you do not belong to the dominant faith.
Keep in mind, while these may seem like small 17th century New England colonies, these are actually massive nations with the surface area the size of Poland and populations in the tens of millions, with large cities holding millions on the surface and even larger cities in gigantic caverns that go hundreds of miles deep. All of these nations are part of the Miai accordant, a free trade and military alliance, which has given them a strongly knit bond. Here are the five largest powers in the region:
Asadullah is a nation based around a Sufi Islamic sect, with most of its population being of German, American and French descent. The sect originated in 2048, when a German man who converted to Islam started a small Islamic community in Dresden, but was lynched by German Nationalists 15 years later. His sect spread in the western world, and in 2305 they founded a colony on Mercury. They speak an arabised dialect of Denglish, and they run a democratic government with strict anti-corruption laws, otherwise being very liberal.
When Iran managed to undergo a democratic revolution in the 2030’s, Christianity began to spread quickly through the country, with 10% of the country being christian by 2150. One branch that took hold were the Quakers, and they made up 30% of Iran’s Christian population. They were still not treated the best by the rest of Iran, so they formed a Mercurian colony in 2291 and settled into the region, forming Kuwakerstan. The country is mostly Persian, with large Kurdish, Turkmen and Pashtun minorities, who speak an Anglified Persian language.
A nation with a very similar backstory is Nestoria. The Nestorian resurgence occurred in around the 2370’s, when thousands of Christians across the Middle East and Central Asia converted to Nestorian Christianity, when earlier versions of the bible were found and transcripted. They set up a Mercurian colony around 2321, and it grew to become the largest of the Northern Retreats. It’s population is mainly Pastun and Turkestani, with smaller Persian and Arab populations. It is very close to Kuwakerstan due to the similar ethnic makeup and populations.They speak the same language as the Kuwakerstanis, as they had close contact.
Saint Mark is made up of Coptic Orthodox colonists, mainly coming from Egypt, China and Japan (the latter two had the religion spread fast in the 22nd century). It was founded in 2307, and has the largest population of the nations in the Miai accordant.
Philosoferina is a Victorianist colony formed a lot later after the rest, in 2721. In case you do not know, Victorianism was a religion formed by Victoria Kant, an Ashkenazi woman who saved the lives of a thousand by the power of God, who gave her the power of stopping the debris from colliding with a spacecraft she was piloting. While she was doing so, a 750 page book was revealed to her. The book was a mix of Christianity, Islam and some proven science, but regardless all the passengers of the vessel, who saw the action unfolding out of their windows all converted. Anyhow, Philosoferina was formed by the last living survivor of that spacecraft, an Afrikaans Preacher. It is mainly populated by the Dutch, Zulus, Boers and Americans, as well as hundreds of smaller ethnic communities. They mainly speak Afrikaans with a hint of Yiddish.
The Craterlands
The bulk of Mercuries lives in the Craterlands, a region between the North and the South poles. Mercury is mainly Catholic, Orthodox, Singulatarian and Hindu, although many other minorities exist. There are a total of 52 countries in the Craterlands, and here are the major ones. All of these countries operate similarly to the ones in the Miai accordant.
Vijayanagar is the most populated country on Mercury, with 514 million residents. It’s capital is Antonovabad, named after Antonov Laghar, half Russian-Indian who was the first person on the moon. Vijayanagar has a large economy, based mainly on coding, food production and fusion engines. The country is famous for its cuisine, and it’s population made up of Hindus, Atheists and small Victorianist and Islamic minorities. The county is a Parliamentary Republic.
Novy Sibir is twinned with Vijayanagar, and it has a population of 387 million. It has a capital right next to Antonovabad, called Laghargorod, which are both located at the first landing site in Mercury. Sibir has an economy mainly based on A.I. research and biotechnology, but it is most famous for dancing and music. It is a presidential republic, and it’s population is mainly made up of Siberian Russians, Kazakhs and Ukrainians. Most of the country is Orthodox, but it has large Atheist and Neopagan communities.
Trinity station exerts considerable influence over Mercury, turning the planet into a bastion of Catholicism. This mainly occurred during the New Great Awakening, a large religious revival spanning from 2150 to 2400, where millions of Catholics moved to Mercury in order to escape the conflict and distrust on Earth. This was bolstered by the Earthlifting of Rome and the refugees from the 5th world war, which really devastated the planet.
Today, however, the nations are mainly more secular, but this varies, as in Salgado you can be executed for blasphemy or in Kennedy City, where you can legally perform Wiccan rituals next to a cathedral. The nations are still close though, and there is a strong Catholic Mercurian brotherhood that unites the region. Here are some of the more notable ones:
There are dozens of smaller nations in the alliance, hailing from several hundred ethnicities and cultures, but all united under the golden cross of the Pope. There were also quite a bit of breakaway states in the region, such as the Republic of Fouche (a French Secular State) and Los Altos (a Victorianist breakaway state mainly made up of Central Americans).
Another major power in the Mercurian Craterlands are the Singulatarian cults. The Singulatarians are a religion hellbent on creating the perfect A.I. God to lead humanity into a new age. They are lead by the god makers, a group of major coders selected from across the Solar System. They are divided into 8 teams, each working on an aspect to improve the A.I. The leader of the religion is the High Developer, also known as the prophet.
The Singulatarians came together to form a nation in the southern regions of the craterlands, known as Petrapolis. It is a multiethnic nation, with the only requirement of citizenship being coding skills and a contribution to the god. People who cannot code are considered second class citizens, and they build databases and assist the upper class of coders. It is rumored that the god is 90% complete, and it has plans to completely transform the solar system, including building a Martrioshka brain for itself, which would really turn it into a god.
Dystopias of the South
While the North of Mercury is home peaceful religious retreats, the south is a special intersolar zone where ideologies on the verge of extremism can be practiced, and they are legally referred to as ‘Dystopias’ (the actual colonies themselves do not like this term, but that is what they are legally branded as). Apparently, many of them are very popular and actually attract people to come over, as many of them have giving birth banned entirely.
The Primitalist Company is probably out there when it comes to insanity. The country was formed by funding from the Dyson Corporation as a giant experiment. It is located in a giant cave in the Merucurian underground that has a self contained Earth-like environment, with lot of berry bushes, lakes with fish and peaceful animals. Doesn’t sound very dystopian, does it?
Well, there is a fairly large group of people, numbering in about 10,000, who choose to live here. The scary part is that they choose to have their higher intelligence stripped from them, undergo sterilization and are dumped into the environment, where they just live like animals, trying to live, sometimes fighting and mating all the time (to no avail). Many of them also undergo some body modification as well before entering. They are known as the Ziyou Ren (free people) and they remain in their environments while being monitored by scientists.
Apparently, joining the Ziyou Ren is popular, and many billionaires and trillionaires dump massive amounts of money into turning themselves into Ziyou Ren. This is so popular that there is a ten year long waiting list to get in, which makes people pay more to skip. Obviously, the program causes hundreds of moral dilemmas, but it makes money so it is fine!
Southern Mercury is also home to several hive minds, although these have a lot more regulations than some other ones, mainly located in the K-belt and some Comets. There are a total of a thousand hive minds with varying populations from a few hundred to a million, all with very different ideologies and degrees of control. All of the hive minds are forced to give their members at least some independent thought and the ability to leave, or they may risk banishment into the K-belt.
The Hive minds generally go try and get an economy running, and they spend most of the excess on advertising their hive as a good place to live. Surprisingly, many of them are, and millions of people sign up to become ‘drones’ of the hives. Here are some of the main types of hives:
Other hives exist, of course, but these are the most common.
The Mercurian South is also home to several nudist colonies and strange sex based cultures (well I guess that is stuck in your head now). There are other strange dystopias, such as extremist Matriarchies and Patriarchies (both have a problem with skewed sex ratios) as well as genderless colonies.
The largest dystopia of them all, is the Commonwealth of Equal people, home to 50 million people. This dystopia has a lot more relaxed regulations placed on it, as it is generally a little less extreme. The Commonwealth is a zero property society, and everything belongs to everyone. It is essentially a perfect communist state (yep, they exist now). Each person has to share their property, and many ‘social constructs' such as families, class structures, government tiers and even money are vanished, and everyone has to contribute equally to the Commonwealth, or they are just kicked out.
The government is a full democracy, as people have full control over the government. Work is divided equally based on ability and the only time money is brought up is when people are trying to keep the colony afloat. A new language that is very different from almost all other languages that uses extremely unconventional grammar and sentence structure was developed to be the lingua franca of the colony, and it is near impossible to learn without downloading the language, and extremely difficult to translate. It sounds like Aliens in late 20th century movies mumbling together.
So, that is Mercury, the heart of the Catholic faith along with many religious retreats from other faiths, and some weird shit that goes on in the south.
submitted by NizamNizamNizam to worldbuilding [link] [comments]


2019.12.19 03:07 tulpasushi Mysticism Scale & MODTAS

I put together Ralph Hood's 1975 Mysticism Scale with the MODTAS that I used in my previous questionnaire. I then sent it out on a bunch of occult subreddits. Got my most negative response yet. The questionnaire was attacked, I was personally attacked, my post was removed without warning from /Kundalini.
The /Kundalini mod said that mystical experiences were too personal to share and I should be ashamed of asking--I'd already gotten almost fifty people to voluntarily share that information with me by the time that happened, but whatever. Now I have tons of information that I'll be sharing within a week about mystical experiences, but not the data I had hoped for from /Kundalini about what can make a mystical experience distressing. Essentially I'm handing you all dynamite, and the mod over at /Kundalini burned the safety manual. I'm not bitter or anything.
Edit: Dataset: https://easyupload.io/3ht8wi
This link will expire. If you want the data, but the link is expired, send me a message.
So I asked you guys questions from two questionnaires. One is the Modified Tellegen Absorption Scale, the other is the Mysticism Scale. Both have been around for more than 40 years, and they've been used in lots of studies like this.
The MODTAS is divided between Synaesthesia, Altered States of Consciousness Aesthetic Involvement in Nature, Imaginative Involvement, and ESP, and the entire scale together is Absorption.
The Mysticism Scale is divided into eight parts:
So I've removed your birthdays because that's a bit identifying. I only left birth years. Obviously some people were having trouble with the years, so a few of the years are 2019. I've also removed descriptions of the next three questions, whenever I could just code them easily as numbers. I only left the parts of the descriptions that were difficult to code. I've sorted the questionnaire questions into their subscales. I've removed your reddit usernames.
If you're checking out the datasets, look at the second page, that's labeled "corr1". If you can, apply some conditional formatting to it. The way I have it, numbers greater than 0.5 are dark green, 0.3 to 0.5 is light green, -0.3 to -0.5 is pink, and 0.5 and up is red. It makes this so much cooler to look at, but I lose all that formatting when I save in Excel format, so you guys don't get to see it.
I bit off more than I can chew. There's so much that I'm trying to measure, and no easy way to measure it. Can I assume that all Wiccans do ritual magic? Maybe. But when someone says they're a Witch, that doesn't mean Wiccan--though it could. What can I predict about Witches? Absolutely nothing. Some Witches will do ritual magic, some will do non-ritual magic. Some will do divination, some will do meditation. I really know absolutely nothing except what they tell me. Pagan is even worse.
Anyway, on to correlations. So far it looks like Christians, Jews, and Wiccans are the least likely to have a mystical experience--Wiccans being the biggest surprise for me there. The same three groups seem to be least likely to have high scores in any of the Absorption facets (check out the previous thread here if you're curious what those are), as there does seem to be a strong correlation between Absorption and Mystical Experiences.
If you want to have a mystical experience, focus on Altered States of Consciousness--this is the strongest positive correlation with mystical experiences, except for internal correlations within the Mystical Experiences scale. This is stronger than any religion or practice or drug. Unfortunately, I don't really have any idea how to focus on ASCs, so that's the limit of my advice. I was hoping that something like Astral Projection, or Shamanism, or Meditation would give us a clue, but no such luck.
Although it's not in this file, I compared the responses from this survey to my last one where I looked at Tellegen's Absorption Scale. This time I've recruited responses (until just now) only from occult subreddits. Last time I avoided occult subreddits completely. So we essentially have responses from occultists compared to responses from non-occultists, which I thought could be interesting.
It was.
Occultists outperformed non-occultists on every single measure of Absorption by far. Actually, the occultist scores are more than double in every single instance--in part because the non-occultist scores are negative 2/3rds of the time.
So what does this mean? Does higher absorption attract people to the occult, or does interest in the occult increase your score in absorption? I don't know. But there it is.
submitted by tulpasushi to datasets [link] [comments]


2019.10.31 20:51 T3chnoShaman TRIP REPORT: My encounter with Psilocybin July 17th-18th 2018

Given that this mushroom trip was a significant experience that fundamentally altered my life forever I am going to try and download this high bandwidth experience into english in the best way that I can articulate it for you and for myself, but please keep in mind that at any given moment the human brain is receiving a sensory experience of about 40+ HD4K movies every second and english is an inferior method of trying to accurately describing the journey I had taken. So its like compressing 40+HD4K movies into an audio file that is being transmitted over a dialup 56kmodem. There is a lot of loss that is going to happen, and some local jargon will be incorporated, however! Please read ahead with an open mind and maybe someone who listens my words will vibrate the same memory or feeling or experience and share that same thing in common with me or similar.
The evening started on the patio around 9pm just in the last few moments of twilight left in the sky to illuminate the deck with a soft warm glow, I was sitting with Jacob a friend since 2009 and now my roomate, Cressa the lovely amazing neighbor who lives upstairs and has become a friend to me this summer because we spend many hours together listening to music, chatting, relaxing in the sun ect. and my friend of 9 years Celestina who I met in Edmonton and has been a great friend and intellectual personality in my life, with the warm summer weather and a clear sky with a huge looming tree that shared this whole experience with my friends and me. I started my dose by eating mushrooms at 10pm and nibbled on them for about an hour while chatting away to my friends, having a drink of cider. As the digestion of the mushrooms started we all used this time to reflect on other psychedelic mushroom trips we have had, and while discussing that in particular this was an important trip for me because it was my 25th encounter with psilocybin. Tina noted that: “This was my 25th trip in my 25th year” I believe this to be an important synchronicity, this was the cascade into novelty for us, Terence McKenna has taught all of us in the lectures we have listened to , to “pay attention” so we all had the mindset that allowed our pattern recognizing part of the brain active and this created a large amount of data with many synchronicities that began to unfold throughout during and after the trip.
Approximately 1hr 20 mins after consuming 1 gram of psilocybin, My trip began …
with the mental feeling of being propelled upwards at a very fast rate similar to a spacecraft- through a membrane/frequency/atmosphere vertically. After what I assume to be 20mins give or take I was in what I call “the fungus funk” and its a feeling of being in the mushrooms domain/space. So after achieving Ascension by using cannabis to bring the trip into focus I started to see a seductive, kinky, scary, exhilarating entity that was very dark but shimmering with iridescent refractions, this moth type entity had a wingspan of 50feet or more in diameter with thousands of flickering staring eyes on the surface of it's entire body and wings. This being was teasing me and trying to coax me into the trip. Finally I convinced myself to say yes and after this happened the entirety fully consumed me and that's when I lost consciousness.
This is a reoccurring theme and it's the third time this has happened to me. After doing some research I have found that this is a phenomenon called a “shaman shake” and it's a complete reset of the brain that allowed me to heal the deepest parts of my soul. In the moment when I blacked out I felt like I was sleeping in warm black velvet while still aware that I was alive.
Tina recounted to me that I slouched back and knocked over my bong which spilled onto the deck. She said to me “are you okay” three times, but I only heard it once. It’s what brought me back after blacking out.
After awakening from losing consciousness, Cressa returned outside after going in for a moment and my friend Celestina was ultimately worried that I had some sort of neurological seizure, but I assure you this is much different, this is some sort of psilocybin brain reset that happens as a result of personality archetypes and many other factors. This subjective recurring phenomenon that I experienced with taking psilocybin, combining THC/CBD and seeing the entity before blacking out, has me wondering exactly what is going on? I want proper scientific rhetoric and a research team to study the effects of psilocybin on my brain and the correlation between these events which seem to be linked.
The following 2 hours were very intense and difficult to get through, the physical discomfort from the mushrooms raising and lowering my body temperature was almost unbearable, the visuals were beautiful, I was seeing the tree above me fade in and out of my visual acuity.the recursive frames and visual tracers were excruciatingly beautiful with the stars literally touching our eyes from the milky way galaxy the moments of very hard to get through were made possible by the beauty of my visual cortex being stimulated. Also my friend tina who was a very great support force during the humbling healing aspects of my trip, she was able to answer all my questions relentlessly and assure me that I am fine and this is all part of the process, Tina was the archetypical shaman figure in the ritual that occured that evening. She was the transdimensional seerest who was able to guide me through the 100ft psilocybin waves that would rush in and out. We would be laying on our back and look up at the sky, and see shooting stars trickle across the horizon.
Cressa’s energy was so important to the evening and I told her that too, she was the mother, maiden, crone and kept us all grounded. While the mushroom was healing me by dissolving my ego and my body was telling me I was dieing. It was all for the better, and in the moment I knew that but it still was so difficult and strenuous to get through.
After about 2 hours, I had a breakthrough! At last! Time was an eternity to me at this point and I could feel and see the psilocybin molecules sponge out the residual detritus of the ego and dissolve the anxiety membrane right from inside my brain. Similar to how lichen on a time lapse that has been sped up, the sponging growing feeling within the neocortex was accompanied with visuals. All medicine was founded on shamanic, psychedelic principles.The DNA Helix was discovered under the influence of psychedelics, so I have no doubt that I was gifted this vision from the intelligence that lives inside the mycelium networks that is scattered throughout the galaxy,as a coping mechanism but also from the divine nature of the entity inside that has the innate ability to communicate with me and with others in english. This entity was trying to help me, I believe it was the mushroom, or is inside the dimension that the mushroom changes your frequency too so you can inhabit this zone as a visitor.
To calm everyone down because now things were getting very chaotic as visuals were coming on very strong. We were getting some frame overlay synchronicities were starting to really protrude into this dimension and we were all peaking, we put on a lecture by Terence McKenna, one that I was quite familiar with “Conversations at the Edge of Magic” ; it’s basically the story of humanity from the point of view he created with his ‘Stoned Ape Theory’.’
After finishing the lecture Cressa went inside for what seemed like a fairly long time, as our understanding of time shifted from linear to chaotic. Tina and me were discussing the subjective effects of the neurological reset I had earlier in the evening. I noted that it had been a while since we spoke to Cressa so I went inside to find her standing at the kitchen stove, with a huge ridiculous, sparkly, hilarious, crinkly wrapper and what was inside???? A surprise?? A miracle?
a giant chocolate egg!! that was made of swiss chocolate that she had inherited as a gift from the previous owner of the apartment. We were all giggling and carrying on about how hilarious it was, as Cressa was smearing peanut butter on the chocolate and taking bites to eat. It was so funny and there actually was a surprise inside. Specifically for me! [i’m going to leave out what it was for some mystery]
Once we returned outside we played some uplifting space ambient music.
Cressa, Celestina, and myself took this time to reflect on our positions in the universe, the world, the context of our culture, how the culture is sick, what we can do about it, how we can channel the positive aspects of our psychedelic teachings back into our lives and integrate them into our outlook on the world. Where humanity will exist in the future. Where we are going, The past and how we can redeem history by saving the human soul. all combined into one moment of excruciatingly beautiful complex emotion and geometry.
While all of this chatter about the universal future humanity, one consciousness. Satellites were passing by and we were seeing shooting stars all evening. I had brought out a crystal ball that was a gift from Lady Tamarra, the founder of the Wiccan church of Canada. Cressa and me were studying the light refractions from the candle flames, and looking deep into the crystal physically, describing it to each other, then Celestina joined in and we had a really great discussion about magic. At the time that I received the crystal ball I did not fully understand the full meaning of what that would entail. This is a very magical crystal. It goes from life to life, witnessing magical events. Collecting wisdom. I wonder what memories its gained from Lady Tamarra, where did she get it? Who made this thing? As far as I am concerned this is an oracle of some sort that is going to be with me for a period during my life and then be passed on to a future generation to teach and inspire and fill the caretaker with wonder.
Now the visuals are starting to fade and a quiet serene feeling is in the air, we all look to the stars and I notice the ISS international space station, We all looked to the sky at the same moment after I pointed it out, and when we did. The whole thing flared up with light for one second. I think the solar panels were positioned in just a way, to be hit by the sun and reflect into our viewing range. It was absolutely incredible.
We are blessed, synchronicities are cascades into more synchronicities.
The munchies were kicking in, it was 4am and after smoking cannabis all evening and coming down from our mushroom peak we wanted some food. I suggested that we have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so I went down to my apartment, said hello to my beautiful best friend, my dog Odis and kissed him and then grabbed all the supplies we needed for snack time. I emerged from the basement and sat back down on the patio with bread, creamy soft peanut butter, and smuckers raspberry jam. It was delicious, it was so nice to have had a successful mushroom trip and good vibes all evening. We were all just taking in the moment together and eventually we started to get tired, Cressa announced that she wanted to go to bed. Celestina and me decided that we were going to sleep on the patio because it was so nice out and we already had our blankets out there anyway.
I fell asleep peacefully on the patio under the night sky and was awoken at 10am by the birds chirping and the hot sun beating down on me. It was so spectacular. The after glow had me feeling great and I spent the day relaxing in the sun with my friends.
That was one of my favorite encounters with psilocybin and I will spend the next few weeks and months assimilating everything I have learned from this experience. I am glad to be able to share this experience with you, no matter how bad of a download into english it is from full immersion virtual reality in my memory. I am happy to had been able to experience this and I look forward to a day in the future when our civilization is more enlightened. These consciousness expanding hallucinogens are essential to the evolution of the individual and the society.
Have any of you encountered a being similar to this?
submitted by T3chnoShaman to tryptonaut [link] [comments]


2019.10.10 22:51 scolbert08 [Results] How would you vote if we altered typical political candidate views?

About a week ago, I posted a survey here asking how Americans would vote if we took generic political candidates and changing on position they held at a time. The goal was to see which issues really influenced how people vote and find any opportunities candidates might have to expand their support by trying new positions.
The survey received 545 responses, the vast majority from this subreddit and a couple others. About 20% of responses came from Facebook and other forums and websites. Because these sites, Reddit especially, are highly unrepresentative of the general population, I will be presenting both the raw results from the survey as well as weighted results. The weighted results primarily draw from respondent answers to their 2016 vote, ideology, sex, LGBT+ status, race, religion, and church attendance and are targeted toward the voting electorate, meaning responses for non-registered voters and those under 18 are heavily down-weighted. The distribution of these variables was taken form the Democracy Fund's Views of the Electorate Research Survey, which is an amazing resource on individual policy viewpoints. I would've liked to have weighted by age and education as well, but there simply wasn't enough sample of older individuals or those with fewer years of completed education to draw from. Data limitations also forced me to prioritize certain demographics over others: 2016 vote was held as the most important, and I couldn't quite match population characteristics such as sex. As such, both the weighted and unweighted results should be taken with appropriate caution.
First, the direct answers to the questions on the survey, some of which I reformatted to fit categorization. Write-in responses are in italics:
Category Unweighted % Weighted %
Sex
Male 62.4 56.0
Female 35.6 42.9
Other 2.0 1.0
Age
Under 18 8.0 0.7
18-24 48.0 35.5
25-29 24.0 21.9
30-34 9.1 15.5
35-39 4.6 10.7
40-44 2.0 2.1
45-49 1.9 2.5
50-54 1.7 5.1
55-60 0.0 5.1
60-65 0.6 0.9
65 or Older 0.2 0.1
LGBT+ Identity
Yes 37.6 10.6
No 61.8 89.0
Other 0.6 0.4
Race
White 83.7 78.2
Black 0.7 9.7
Latino 4.1 7.0
Asian 5.4 1.4
Native American 0.2 0.1
Pacific Islander 0.6 0.7
Mixed/Multiple 5.2 2.9
Middle Eastern 0.2 0.1
Education
Current high school student 9.0 0.8
Did not complete high school 0.9 0.2
High school graduate (or equivalent), have not attended college/university 3.3 8.2
Current undergraduate in college/university 28.4 18.6
Former undergraduate, but did not complete degree 7.6 3.0
Associate's Degree 3.1 7.4
Bachelor's Degree 29.9 38.3
Master's Degree 12.7 18.2
Doctoral Degree 3.7 4.1
Professional Degree 1.3 1.0
Religion
Protestant 13.1 33.0
Catholic 8.2 16.8
LDS 1.5 3.4
Orthodox 0.4 0.4
Jewish 3.5 2.0
Muslim 0.7 0.2
Hindu 0.4 0.1
Buddhist 0.6 0.2
Agnostic 28.7 17.5
Atheist 35.8 15.8
No Religion 2.8 5.0
Spiritual 0.7 0.8
Universalist 1.1 3.2
Animist 0.2 0.1
Wiccan 0.7 0.6
Pagan 0.7 0.6
Other 0.6 0.6
Unsure 0.2 0.1
Church Attendance
Weekly or more 10.9 31.1
Monthly 5.5 6.7
Once or twice a year 11.1 12.9
Only for family occasions (weddings, funerals, etc.) 27.9 25.1
Never 44.5 24.2
Relationship Status
Unmarried, not living with a partner 66.0 57.7
Unmarried, living with a partner 13.7 10.9
Married 19.2 30.3
Married but separated 0.0 0.0
Divorced 0.9 1.2
Widowed 0.2 0.1
Employment
Yes, full-time 44.4 67.0
Yes, part-time 21.4 8.4
No, but looking 11.8 5.4
No, not looking 22.4 19.2
Class
Upper class 3.7 1.0
Upper middle class 25.2 17.7
Middle class 39.1 43.8
Lower middle class 19.1 27.8
Working class 13.0 9.7
Registered to Vote
Yes 84.2 96.3
No, but will be before the 2020 election 9.0 2.1
No, will/can not register before 2020 election 6.8 1.6
2016 Vote
Hillary Clinton 43.6 46.7
Donald Trump 7.7 44.7
Gary Johnson 6.4 3.2
Jill Stein 3.5 1.0
Evan McMullin 1.7 0.6
Darrell Castle 0.2 0.1
Bernie Sanders 0.7 0.5
Michael Maturen 0.4 0.1
Other write-in 0.6 0.3
Did not vote 35.3 2.9
2020 Vote
Donald Trump 9.0 (82.8) 32.5 (92.0)
Bill Weld 1.3 (12.1) 0.3 (0.9)
Mark Sanford 0.2 (1.7) 0.1 (0.3)
Joe Walsh 0.0 (0.0) 0.0 (0.0)
Mike Pence 0.2 (1.7) 1.9 (5.4)
Ben Carson 0.2 (1.7 ) 0.5 (1.4)
Joe Biden 3.9 (4.9) 2.8 (4.9)
Elizabeth Warren 27.1 (34.1) 25.0 (43.1)
Bernie Sanders 32.7 (41.2) 15.8 (27.3)
Kamala Harris 1.9 (2.4) 1.2 (2.1)
Pete Buttigieg 6.2 (7.8) 5.5 (9.4)
Andrew Yang 5.8 (7.3) 5.4 (9.3)
Beto O'Rourke 0.7 (0.9) 0.8 (1.3)
Amy Klobuchar 0.4 (0.5) 1.3 (2.3)
Cory Booker 0.4 (0.5) 0.1 (0.3)
Julian Castro 0.2 (0.2) 0.1 (0.1)
Marianne Williamson 0.0 (0.0) 0.0 (0.0)
Michael Bennet 0.0 (0.0) 0.0 (0.0)
Steve Bullock 0.0 (0.0) 0.0 (0.0)
John Delaney 0.2 (0.2) 0.1 (0.1)
Tim Ryan 0.0 (0.0) 0.0 (0.0)
Tom Steyer 0.0 (0.0) 0.0 (0.0)
Whoever the Democratic Party nominates 0.4 0.2
Whoever the Libertarian Party nominates 3.0 0.9
Whoever the Green Party nominates 0.4 1.6
Brian Carroll 0.2 0.0
Other 0.6 0.2
None of the above 0.4 0.0
Undecided 3.6 3.6
I do not plan to vote in 2020 1.3 0.0
Ideology
Liberal/Left-wing/Progressive/Democratic Socialist 60.7 39.2
Conservative/Right-wing 7.0 35.1
Moderate/Centrist 12.7 7.0
Libertarian (socially left, economically right) 14.2 5.0
Communitarian/Populist (socially right, economically left) 3.1 13.3
Communist 0.9 0.2
Anarchist 0.7 0.1
Other 0.6 0.1
Don't know 0.2 0.0
Matchup 1
Generic Democrat 75.0 54.9
Generic Republican 15.6 40.0
Neither 9.4 5.1
Matchup 2
Generic Democrat who supports gun rights 70.8 48.8
Generic Republican 13.4 39.2
Neither 15.8 12.0
Matchup 3
Generic Democrat 73.0 53.3
Generic Republican who supports gun control 11.9 25.1
Neither 15.1 21.6
Matchup 4
Generic Democrat who supports gun rights 68.1 54.2
Generic Republican who supports gun control 12.7 24.1
Neither 19.2 21.7
Matchup 5
Generic Democrat who supports fetal right to life 40.4 34.1
Generic Republican 16.0 38.8
Neither 43.6 27.1
Matchup 6
Generic Democrat 69.1 50.2
Generic Republican who supports abortion rights 15.4 27.8
Neither 15.4 22.0
Matchup 7
Generic Democrat who supports fetal right to life 37.2 43.1
Generic Republican who supports abortion rights 21.6 30.1
Neither 41.2 26.8
Matchup 8
Generic Democrat who supports the death penalty 59.3 45.3
Generic Republican 14.9 39.5
Neither 25.8 15.2
Matchup 9
Generic Democrat 70.9 51.6
Generic Republican who opposes the death penalty 16.9 35.3
Neither 12.2 13.2
Matchup 10
Generic Democrat who supports the death penalty 57.7 44.9
Generic Republican who opposes the death penalty 18.6 37.3
Neither 23.6 17.8
Matchup 11
Generic Democrat who supports stronger enforcement of immigration law 48.0 47.8
Generic Republican 14.8 37.7
Neither 37.3 14.5
Matchup 12
Generic Democrat 70.9 51.7
Generic Republican who supports more lenient immigration laws 11.3 19.5
Neither 17.8 28.8
Matchup 13
Generic Democrat who supports stronger enforcement of immigration law 47.1 49.0
Generic Republican who supports more lenient immigration laws 14.6 23.7
Neither 38.3 27.3
Matchup 14
Generic Democrat who opposes racial affirmative action policies 47.6 29.3
Generic Republican 14.6 41.0
Neither 37.9 29.8
Matchup 15
Generic Democrat 69.4 49.9
Generic Republican who supports racial affirmative action policies 10.3 22.5
Neither 20.3 27.6
Matchup 16
Generic Democrat who opposes racial affirmative action policies 46.0 30.1
Generic Republican who supports racial affirmative action policies 13.4 25.7
Neither 40.6 44.2
Matchup 17
Generic Democrat who opposes government action on climate change 20.5 21.6
Generic Republican 21.0 44.7
Neither 58.5 33.7
Matchup 18
Generic Democrat 55.9 40.8
Generic Republican who supports government action on climate change 29.2 38.6
Neither 14.9 20.6
Matchup 19
Generic Democrat who opposes government action on climate change 15.2 19.6
Generic Republican who supports government action on climate change 45.5 46.6
Neither 39.3 33.8
Matchup 20
Generic Democrat who supports stronger enforcement of drug laws 39.6 28.6
Generic Republican 17.5 42.6
Neither 42.9 28.9
Matchup 21
Generic Democrat 63.8 42.4
Generic Republican who supports legalizing soft drugs 23.1 38.3
Neither 13.1 19.3
Matchup 22
Generic Democrat who supports stronger enforcement of drug laws 36.7 26.1
Generic Republican who supports legalizing soft drugs 29.4 42.1
Neither 33.9 31.8
Matchup 23
Generic Democrat who supports flatter taxes and less income redistribution 37.7 21.5
Generic Republican 15.1 42.6
Neither 47.2 35.9
Matchup 24
Generic Democrat 58.1 32.1
Generic Republican who supports more progressive taxes and more income redistribution 21.0 25.5
Neither 21.0 42.3
Matchup 25
Generic Democrat who supports flatter taxes and less income redistribution 32.0 28.2
Generic Republican who supports more progressive taxes and more income redistribution 29.7 29.9
Neither 38.3 41.9
Matchup 26
Generic Democrat who supports a more market-based health care system 40.9 32.4
Generic Republican 15.2 42.6
Neither 43.9 25.0
Matchup 27
Generic Democrat 57.5 42.1
Generic Republican who supports more government action on health care 22.9 27.0
Neither 19.5 30.9
Matchup 28
Generic Democrat who supports a more market-based health care system 32.9 37.2
Generic Republican who supports more government action on health care 28.8 34.8
Neither 38.3 27.9
Matchup 29
Generic Democrat who wants a more assertive foreign policy 51.8 42.7
Generic Republican 14.8 39.4
Neither 33.4 17.9
Matchup 30
Generic Democrat 67.0 47.6
Generic Republican who wants a less aggressive foreign policy 18.4 37.3
Neither 14.6 15.1
Matchup 31
Generic Democrat who wants a more assertive foreign policy 48.5 39.7
Generic Republican who wants a less aggressive foreign policy 20.9 38.0
Neither 30.6 22.2
Matchup 32
Generic Democrat 62.7 45.8
Generic Republican who supports universal basic income 20.0 21.6
Neither 17.2 32.5
Matchup 33
Generic Democrat who supports universal basic income 72.6 53.7
Generic Republican 15.1 37.1
Neither 12.3 9.2
Matchup 34
Generic Democrat 60.9 42.2
Generic Republican who supports student loan forgiveness 21.5 31.5
Neither 17.6 26.2
Matchup 35
Generic Democrat who supports student loan forgiveness 74.9 55.9
Generic Republican 13.6 38.5
Neither 11.5 5.6
Matchup 36
Generic Democrat 56.7 38.0
Generic Republican who supports using antitrust laws to break up big businesses 28.5 44.1
Neither 14.8 17.8
Matchup 37
Generic Democrat who supports using antitrust laws to break up big businesses 75.5 54.9
Generic Republican 13.5 39.1
Neither 11.0 6.1
Matchup 38
Generic Democrat who supports reparations for slavery 59.7 42.0
Generic Republican 21.5 43.1
Neither 18.8 15.0
Matchup 39
Generic Democrat 70.0 45.3
Generic Republican who supports reparations for slavery 6.2 11.6
Neither 23.9 43.1
Matchup 40
Generic Democrat who opposes gender reassignment surgery 28.4 35.8
Generic Republican 19.1 35.0
Neither 52.5 29.3
Matchup 41
Generic Democrat 71.8 48.7
Generic Republican who opposes gender reassignment surgery 12.0 41.0
Neither 16.3 10.2
While these results are interesting, a better way to explore these results might be to break down how each potential policy flip effects voters from the candidate's party, those in the opposite party, and those who don't like either party. Let's first look at whether the opposing party switching a position can entice you to switch your vote. For this analysis, I look at individuals who selected "Generic Democrat" or "Generic Republican" in the base matchup (Matchup 1). These graphs show how typical Ds and Rs would vote if their opponent swapped positions: https://i.imgur.com/JHe2efv.png
Based on the weighted results, Generic Democrat supporters appear far more willing to crossover and vote Republican if an otherwise Generic R changed their position. In particular, 31% of Generic D supporters would vote R if the Generic Republican supported more progressive taxation, 24% if they supported antitrust action against big businesses, 21% if they supported more government action on health care, 19% for student loan forgiveness, and 17% for both government action on climate change and universal basic income. Democrats were least likely to flip if the Generic Republican began supporting lenient immigration laws, racial affirmative action, gun control, abortion rights, or opposing the death penalty.
Conversely, Generic Republican supporters were quite unlikely to be persuaded to crossover based on a single policy change. The most enticing changes were: 21% would vote for a Generic Democrat if they rejected gender reassignment surgery, 12% if the supported stricter enforcement of immigration law, and 5% for supporting fetal rights. Most changes saw fewer than 2% of Generic Rs jumping ship. Combined, these results suggest Republicans care more about social issues relative to Democrats, who care more about economic issues.
Next, let's consider the effect a candidate changing their position has on their own supporters, which is shown in this graph: https://i.imgur.com/YCVhEDq.png
Unsurpringly, partisans are far more likely to vote "neither" as a result of a position change than jump completely to the other party. For supporters of the Generic Democrat, the policy changes most likely to lead them to abandon their party is if the Generic Democrat supported flatter taxes or opposed climate change action. They would be most likely to stick with their party if they took more left-wing positions on UBI, antitrust action, and student loans, but also if the supported gun rights or the death penalty. On the other hand, Republicans appear more willing to punish their own party than Democrats. A very large percentage of Generic Republican supporters would abandon their party if they supported slavery reparations, universal basic income, more progressive taxes, or more lenient immigration laws. The liberal swings least likely to generate Republican abandonment are opposing the death penalty and supporting soft drug legalization, less aggressive foreign policy, antitrust action, and climate change action.
Third, let's consider those who chose "neither" party in Matchup 1. The following graph depicts how each party can entice or repel "neithers" by changing their platforms: https://i.imgur.com/atSe5iZ.png
Neithers tended to be more libertarian-leaning than average, but also supported many progressive policies. Neithers who actually vote do not make up as large of a slice of the electorate as partisans, meaning pulling in "neither" support is less impactful than inducing cross-partisan support. Regardless, Democrats could entice "neithers" by embracing universal basic income, stricter immigration laws, student loan forgiveness, and antitrust action, but significant repel "neithers" if they embrace slavery reparations or oppose gender reassignment surgery. For Republicans, "neithers" can be enticed by supporting student loan forgiveness, less aggressive foreign policy, universal basic income, antitrust action, soft drug legalization, and climate change action. Slavery reparation support would again repel neithers, but opposing gender reassignment surgery is actually a slight net benefit to the Generic Republican among this group.
If we put all this together, we can estimate which platform changes might be beneficial to the Generic Democrat or Generic Republican, or at least the least harmful. This is summarized in the table below, where the changes are weighted by the size of the group affected:
Change Cross-Party Gains Cross-Party Losses Intra-Party Losses "Neither" Gains "Neither" Losses Weighted Total
If Generic Democrat:
Supports student loan forgiveness 1.4 0.4 2.3 38.3 2.7 +1.4
Supports antitrust action 2.5 0.0 4.9 38.1 2.0 +1.1
Supports universal basic income 0.7 1.3 7.3 64.8 12.1 -1.8
Supports stricter immigration law 11.6 4.7 22.3 60.7 0.0 -3.7
Supports gun rights 2.1 0.1 13.9 14.5 0.0 -5.3
Supports death penalty 0.6 0.2 18.1 2.3 1.5 -9.6
Supports more assertive foreign policy 2.3 0.3 25.9 28.7 1.1 -11.2
Opposes gender reassignment surgery 21.1 4.0 46.2 0.4 29.1 -13.3
Supports slavery reparations 0.0 4.0 19.6 0.4 17.7 -14.8
Supports fetal right to life 4.8 1.5 41.5 16.9 2.7 -19.4
Supports more market health care 2.8 6.3 39.9 36.5 1.5 -23.0
Opposes racial affirmative action 3.5 4.4 46.2 17.2 0.4 -25.3
Supports stricter drug laws 0.2 3.5 46.2 24.5 6.1 -27.1
Supports flatter taxes 2.8 6.3 58.9 25.7 0.0 -33.8
Opposes climate change action 0.2 8.7 51.9 0.4 3.8 -35.4
If Generic Republican:
Supports antitrust action 24.0 0.8 28.7 61.8 1.7 +17.2
Supports climate change action 16.8 0.3 30.6 49.6 0.0 +8.5
Supports more government action on health care 20.6 4.8 37.5 30.3 0.8 +4.0
Supports more progressive taxes 30.7 5.0 65.3 5.3 1.2 +2.6
Supports student loan forgiveness 18.7 1.0 53.6 74.2 1.5 +1.9
Supports less aggressive foreign policy 10.5 4.3 24.7 67.7 0.4 +0.5
Supports legalizing soft drugs 7.8 3.6 17.9 54.5 0.0 +0.3
Opposes gender reassignment surgery 1.5 0.5 3.2 33.7 28.8 +0.1
Opposes death penalty 5.3 0.5 19.6 10.3 0.8 -2.1
Supports abortion rights 6.1 0.7 43.3 42.9 2.6 -9.2
Supports universal basic income 16.8 6.1 69.9 65.3 1.3 -12.7
Supports gun control 5.2 4.3 43.5 27.5 1.4 -14.9
Supports racial affirmative action 4.9 1.3 52.8 29.7 1.1 -15.6
Supports more lenient immigration law 4.1 0.9 59.9 32.9 1.4 -18.7
Supports slavery reparations 14.5 7.3 81.6 0.4 5.3 -24.8
As Democrats were more likely to cross-over than Republicans, it follows that Generic Republican has more opportunities to expand their support by changing their positions, especially by supporting government action on antitrust issues, climate change, and health care. However, Generic Republican would be strongly adverse to supporting reparations, more lenient immigration, racial affirmative action, or gun control. The most beneficial possibilities for Generic Democrat changing their positions are generally by becoming more liberal on student loan forgiveness, antitrust actions, and UBI. Their least harmful options for becoming more conservative are on immigration and gun rights, while the most harmful would be opposing climate change action or calling for flatter taxes.
Thank you to all who participated. I hope you found the results interesting. I certainly did.
submitted by scolbert08 to SampleSize [link] [comments]


2019.07.29 17:55 whimsyNena The "Do Something" Guide for Witches

Note: This post was written by and for American "witches". This is not to say that other witches (or non-witches) are not allowed to use it, just that many of the resources listed here are specifically for people living in the United States and will not be useful to anyone outside the country. Feel free to share this post with whomever you'd like, I'd appreciate a link-back, and also to change links for more relevant information (ex: if you live in Boston and want to change the election commission link to take someone to the City of Boston Election Department webpage). I want people to see this.
If you’re tired of seeing news about mass shootings, the planet dying, certain puppet political leaders who resemble turtles or cheesy snacks ruining the country, or any of the other tiring nonsense that pops up in your feed on a daily basis… this guide is for you.
There’s a common prejudice circling the internet that Americans are hateful, bigoted, crazy, nationalist, violent scumbags who will come to your country and use the poorest to entertain themselves on vacation or perhaps be sent to your country to kill you and your family to access those sweet, sweet oil reserves. When Americans who do not fit into this mold dissent, we’re told we are just as bad as the rest because we aren’t doing anything about it.
And you know what? They’re right. We aren’t really doing much about it. There are some fringe groups protesting the inhumane detainment of our more nomadic neighbors, politicians trying to impeach this person or block those bills, Justices who attempt to uphold the dignity of our laws… but ultimately, "we" haven’t been very good at making our country a better place.
So we know we need to do something. We want to do something. But beyond that, we begin to come up with reasons why we can’t. We have to work because our healthcare is tied to our jobs. We don’t have time to protest when we’re working three jobs to pay off our student loans. Some of us are parents or caretakers for the elderly and are afraid of being rebellious because our families are relying on us. Protesting isn't for everyone.
I get that not everyone has the luxury of quitting their job, picking up a sign, and sitting at the statehouse or the office of your federal legislator for months on end hoping for someone to join us. I get the fear of thinking what if you’re the only one, what if I’m arrested, what if I’m killed…
But protesting isn’t the only thing you can do. Doing something is just that. Making purposeful actions for the purpose of sowing positivity. Making your voice heard in a meaningful way. Making your community a safe place where people are treated with respect and dignity in every aspect of life. These are things we all want.
So I wanted to give everyone here the opportunity to do something or to do MORE of something. Not because we need to defend ourselves to people across the globe, but because we shouldn’t have to in the first place. Let’s fill the news with #positivevibes and know that these things we do will come back to us threefold in ways we could never have dreamed. Are you ready?

The "Do Something" Guide for Witches

Volunteer

It’s amazing what a difference a little bit of your time can make. The best thing about volunteering is that it’s such a diverse way to make a change, literally, anyone can do it. Maybe a local shelter needs someone to design a poster for their fundraiser. Environmental conservation groups are always looking for volunteers. Volunteering isn’t ableist. Depression, missing limbs, neurological disorders? Doesn’t matter. You can volunteer. For the biggest impact, aim for something related to fighting climate change or something political (like a campaign volunteer). You probably have some great skill that can be utilized to make the world a better place.

Be a Conscious Consumer

We have a very consumerist culture. It's difficult for us to comprehend there are people who are never able to afford a pair of shoes or to think of a world where we have to butcher our own meat. Beyond the wastefulness of the entire economic system here (packaging, shipping, powering stores, etc), buying from major corporations has dire consequences. Where was the last place you shopped? Now search for the company on Open Secrets and see which politicians they fund and how much they've spent on lobbying and which bills they've supported or wanted dead. Do those align with your views? Because if they don't, you've been funneling money into the very machine that is against your values.
  • Research companies before you give them money to lobby or support politicians.
  • Support local businesses. Don’t know who they are? Find out by contacting your Chamber of Commerce.
  • Buy previously loved when possible. Almost every household item you need can be found at a thrift store: it’s just a bonus if the thrift store profits support a cause you care about.
  • Grow your own food, even in the city, find a local farmer’s market, or start a CSA

Clean. No, seriously.

Get some reusable kitchen gloves from the dollar tree, grab those piles of grocery bags you have stuffed in some dark corner, find some friends and get to work. You’ll have the satisfaction of a cleaner neighborhood and useless internet points if you choose to take before and after photos (but you should send these to a local paper, instead). Bonus points if you decide to separate the recycling from the refuse.
Like everything on this list, you can go big or you can keep it modest. If you have the people and the cash, you could even rent a dumpster and have it delivered to your clean-up site.
If you don't have the money and you know it'll take a lot more than a grocery bag to get the job done, look for grants from the federal government, or your city or county; alternatively, you can ask for donations from neighbors and local businesses.

Knock on your neighbors' doors

I know. Scary. Who knows what kind of psycho lives next door. And what if we wind up hating each other?! Well, I have yet to meet a neighbor who isn’t thrilled when I offer some homegrown vegetables. Come with a small gift (preferably fresh produce) and introduce yourself. Sample script: “Hi, my name is WiccanThunder. I live next door and I just wanted to come by an introduce myself, and bring you some vegetation from my garden. If you ever need anything, just come knock on my door. I’m unit 666.”

Start a fundraiser

This one is a little more involved and requires more of your time and effort. It can also require an investment, but it doesn’t have to.
Disclaimer: Facebook fundraisers DO NOT count, they rarely garner much money, they're very hands-off, you'll forget about it unless your bombarding family and friends with demands to donate, and there's little satisfaction. Unless you’re well-known in an online community or you have an obscene amount of connections, you’re likely to raise about $20 and be depressed about it… so don’t.

Donate.

If you have extra money lying around, put it to good use. Find a cause or a politician you believe in and throw money at it like it’s got glitter pentacle pasties and it’s shaking them in your face.
If you want to donate but you aren’t sure if an organization is spending the money they receive in an ethical manner, check the non-profit watchdog, CharityWatch

Be an Informed Voter

Informed voting doesn’t take a lot of your time, doesn't require you to be a political wiz, you don't have to spend any money or understand complex data. It does require you to look for the information you want. Call or email a candidate’s campaign office and ask questions, check VoteSmart to see if politicians keep their promises before re-electing them, look for interviews or news about the people who are asking for your vote.
  • Register to vote.
  • Check the Election Calendar.
  • Ask the local elections office for candidate listings for any upcoming elections.
  • Do your homework.
  • Vote and get a neat sticker and the satisfaction of knowing you voted for what you believed in.

Run for Office.

Of all the items on this list, this will be the most involved. A lot goes into running a successful political campaign and the idea of running for office can be daunting. You may not know where to start. Or you may think you can’t run for office because you don’t have time or can’t quit your job. Some political offices work in a way that let you keep your job. Passionate about education? There’s an election for that. Sick of the shitty roads? Yep, election. Sick of judges letting rapists off? You guessed it. There are different levels of government and the further you go up the ladder, the more challenging (and expensive) the job. But people have been doing it for hundreds of years, you can too!
  • Run for Office is one of the most comprehensive and helpful guides I’ve come across. It’s free, it’s easy to understand, and it’s waiting for YOU! (Insert glitter cannon here).
  • Your local elections office will also have invaluable information. The staff is usually very helpful, but they are limited in the services they are allowed to offer.
One person can make a difference Sometimes that difference isn’t good, which is why it’s so important that people who desire a better world keep fighting. Whether you’re simply knocking on your neighbor’s door and making one person realize they're not alone in the world or if you’re running the country and instituting policies to protect human rights and save the human species from extinction – “doing something” is within your power.

I believe in you.

Light and love, everyone.
submitted by whimsyNena to WitchesVsPatriarchy [link] [comments]


2019.07.12 23:05 PaganBicycleTraveler Pagan Festivals 2019

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
14 Sep, Colorado Springs CO, Mother Earth Gathering
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Atlanta GA Pagan Pride Day TBA
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
SanAntonio Pagan Pride Day TBD
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
District of Columbia
Canada
United Kingdom
Sweden
Iceland
Check for events here and see this thread
Germany
Bulgaria
submitted by PaganBicycleTraveler to PaganFestivals [link] [comments]


2019.05.01 00:54 migzors I believe that Marvel Studios is aiming to release a Young Avengers movie or TV show for Disney+, hear me out.

With the 5 year leap forward, a lot of our young kids in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have grown up.
Some things that have happened recently that make me think this is a real possibility.
1) Iron Lad: At the end of Endgame, we all saw the young man standing behind Wanda. It's been said that he was the kid from Iron Man 3. It's possible he could go on to become Iron Lad (and that's not a stretch, others have said as much). There's our first member.
2) Hawkeye: Disney+ is talking about having a Hawkeye series that could focus on Clint training Lila to take the mantle of Hawkeye. This would be a short series, which would be great because it could lead directly into a Young Avengers movie or TV show. Here's our second member.
3) Stature: We have Cassandra Lang, who of course is Stature with YA. She's the perfect age now after the time skip to be apart of the team. Without a doubt she's going to be involved in some way with Scott's life as Ant Man.
4) Hulkling and Noh-Varr: At first I was going to say Monica Rambeau would be in YA, however she would be around 36 after the time skip. But this could also be an opening for Hulkling to make an appearance. Captain Marvel has been patrolling galaxies all over, and it's possible for her to bring a young Hulkling back from space to protect and keep out of harms way. The same could be said for Noh-Varr as well. Thoughts?
5) Vision: What? How even? Here's my theory. Shuri was rushed at the end of Infinity War to get the Mind Stone out of Vision. She did her absolute best but could not completely keep Vision in tact, some of him was lost, the person who Vision was. One way or the other (Shuri decides this, or Iron Lad somehow comes across the data) and comes up with the YA's version of Vision from what is left of the data.

It's a pretty good start for the team, the other key members missing would be Patriot and Wiccan.

What do you all think? I feel like it's something they're gearing up to.
submitted by migzors to marvelstudios [link] [comments]


2019.04.19 21:01 optimike04 Farming or maximizing gold with excess boost (>100)

Background: @Cynicalex made a video about how he farms gold. I wanted to do some data collection and provide a guide for those of who are F2P or only occasionally spend real money. I myself occasionally get stark stash or bio/xgene selector but that's on an infrequent basis; most of the time, I'm grinding away in all formats and trying for top 2% in timeline. Feedback appreciated.

Occasionally, there are various ways to earn redeemable boost points that put you over the top (>100) which leads to various benefits such as increased gold rewards from missions. Below is what I've collected in figuring out which missions reward the most gold with and without boost and how best to use the limited excess boost we get once in a while. Also a side PSA: World Boss Invasion is a great way to farm gold and random bios and I think the level of chest you get is tied to how many T2/3s people bring (I hope NM allows in the future private WBI to invite alliance members).

The highlights/conclusions:
  1. Using clear tickets on daily missions for gold and exp chips is the best way to maximize your gold farming with or without excess boost is priority #1
  2. Using clear tickets on Mr. Fantastic Epic Quests is priority #2 except for the Doom's Day mission which has the same gold output on autoplay ++ (obviously if you need victorious bios you should not use clear tickets) [PSA: also if you weren't aware you can force close the game to keep your entry and rinse and repeat until a shifter appears]
  3. Dr. Strange's Epic Quest is priority #3 for using excess boost and Ancient One is the best memory mission. Clear tickets are optional as the difference between autoplay++ and clear tickets is small and some may prefer to manually run in order to earn uni exp or because they are short on clear tickets.
  4. Of all special missions, it seems Kraven consistently gave me the most gold and clear ticketing is the way to go if you can afford it.
  5. It seems hidden routes make no difference on gold output


Running on Autoplay++ Clear tickets
Boost >100 Normal boost Net benefit Boost >100 Normal boost Net benefit
Daily Mission 334313 262307 72006 338313 268660 69653
Magneto's Might 5453 4436 1017 5586 4430 1156
Rise of the Phoenix 10876 8637 2239 10876 8637 2239
Mutual Enemy 23728 18843 4885 23728 18843 4885
Chrome Plated Comrade 4911 3917 994 5021 3987 1034
Psy-locked out 5066 4023 1043 5198 4128 1070
Cutting Cable 10876 8637 2239 10876 8637 2239
Ending Stryfe 5594 4442 1152 5594 4442 1152
Beginning of the Chaos 23728 20239 3489 23728 20239 3489
Inhuman Princess 22467 17841 4626 24000 19059 4941
Mean and Green 28857 22916 5941 34212 27168 7044
In the Shadow of Doom 22395 17425 4970 23752 18862 4890
Latverian Champion 24742 19276 5466 26416 20977 5439
Doom's Day 44077 35002 9075 44077 35002 9075
Mordo 18843
Wong 23728 18843 4885
Ancient One 18843 24799 18843 5956
Kaecilius 23720 18276 5444 23728 18843 4885
Satana 23300 18503 4797 23728 18843 4885
Hellstorm 23300 18276 5024 24799 19693 5106
Gorgon 10968 14006 11122 2884
Karnak 10660 11122
Crystal 10608 11122
Moon Girl 10968 14006 11122 2884
Maximus 10660 14489 11506 2983
Sandman 10814 17588 13967 3621
Lizard 10739 17685 14044 3641
Kraven 10814 17975 14274 3701
Rhino 10814 17782 14121 3661
Mysterio 10968 17491 13890 3601
White Tiger 9435 11978 9512 2466
Wiccan 9368 9512
Hulkling 9358 9512
Songbird 9512 9512
Squirrel Girl 11978 9512 2466

Shout out to BigT74 and Nakatare808 for helping me fill out some key holes!
submitted by optimike04 to future_fight [link] [comments]


2019.03.14 00:48 PantsSquared Operation: Buried Debts - Deciphering the Data Hashes


Letters relevant to each location in Operation: Buried Debts
So, I'm not the first person to try deciphering the Data Hashes in Operation: Buried Debts, and I'm probably not going to be the last person attempting this. Comparing the letters to the ones in the Corpus Alphabet page (which is most of the posts on this topic) yields the following list, going in order shown in the Navigation panel:

FBEEIIVVFYBEUFCF

However, it's worth noting that each Data Hash is in binary, from 1 to 16. So, instead of just going down the list that's in the Navigation menu, I decided to sort them by their binary number. I'd hoped that this would yield... something, but here's what I've found.

I've numbered the letters from 1 to 16 just so I could have a reference to work with when sorting through things.


The result I've obtained is that the message spells out BBCEEEFFFFIIUVVY

...

It's literally sorted alphabetically. That's all sorting by the binary code has given me.

I then decided to attach the image above, which has the letters corresponding to each of the Data Hashes, overlaid on their respective location on the map. Hopefully, this gets us closer to actually figuring this out.

I'd like to credit my clanmate WiccanWolf for helping me piece this together. Since I'd already scanned all of the hashes, I wasn't able to identify which data-hash corresponds to a given letter. With his help, I was able to fully decipher the list.
submitted by PantsSquared to Warframe [link] [comments]


2018.12.30 22:29 SunmayTheScattered Curved Knife with Detailed Cover, Bird Head on Hilt, and Oval-ish Brown Hilt with Holes

Curved Knife with Detailed Cover, Bird Head on Hilt, and Oval-ish Brown Hilt with Holes
So, my mother's fiance picked up this knife from a yard sale a couple years ago.
I'm not sure what it is/where it's from, so I wanted to figure it out. I haven't found any data relating to the knife yet, and my friend recommended me to this Reddit thread.
The knife's been described as looking: "ceremonial", "wiccan", and "dull". (It is pretty dull, except for the tip.)
Does anyone have any information relating to it?

Left Side of Knife (With Cover)

Right Side of Knife (without cover)

Left Side of knife (without cover)
submitted by SunmayTheScattered to knives [link] [comments]


2018.11.11 17:10 MarioThePumer The Ultimate Executions Poll Results - Trigger Happy Havoc Edition

Heya everyone!
So, a while ago, I did a survey on the Danganronpa Executions for a post I was planning to make, to make sure that I was accurately representing the opinions of the majority and not just my own. While I did find out that my opinions were a load of horsedump, I also got a ton of interesting data about the different executions from all games, which I will display now to you.
There was only.. one problem. You see, for a series with more than 22 executions in the games, there was a lot of info that I got about the executions, and writing only about a single game took up around 25K characters, while the reddit post limit lies somewhere around the 40K mark, so I couldn't just post them all in one big post.
So, what do we do? I decided that every two-ish days I'd just post one game's executions, so that I never go over the limit, and people can decide how much they want to be spoiled. Seems like a good idea, yea?
Alright, before we start the post itself, I'd like to link you to the actual survey, so if you wouldn't mind filling it, that'd make my day.
We good? We good. Let's start the post!
DANGANRONPA: TRIGGER HAPPY HAVOC
The first set of executions is, of course, from the first game ever published in the series - the original Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.

Blast Off!

Jin Kirigiri's Execution

Average Execution Rating: 2.58
Top 4 Descriptors Used:
  • Confusing - 60.6%
  • Ridiculous - 34.6%
  • Shocking - 26.9%
  • Excessive - 8.7%
Other Descriptors Used:
  • A good first impression for the series
  • Didn’t really fit Jin.
  • It was a fairly good cold open, but doesn't stand out comparatively.
  • Too boring with no emotional value
  • Hey, Kyoko's dad
  • I feel like this execution was pretty lame on a standalone basis, BUT it gets extra points because it acted as a "hook" of sorts. That's the first thing you see when you open the game, and its confusing nature roped me right in.
  • Necessary to set the tone and tie the story together later.
Mario's Comments: So, right off the bat we have the very first execution of the series, which many people might've forgotten had happened! This execution is the execution that plays literally the moment you start a new save, and since you have no idea what you're getting into, this intro both sets the stage.. and confuses the everloving fuck out of you. So, what even was this execution in the first place? Well, the man you see strapped to that chair is the father of Kyoko Kirigiri - Jin Kirigiri, who was also the headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy. This execution occurs right before the actual game starts, and you can see the "aftereffects" of it in Chapter 6, when we discover his bones in a small, neatly packed box.
As it seems, a lot of people were really confused as to what happened, since you are given no context whatsoever as to what is going on when you watch it. Understandable, I suppose.
And finally, to clear some concerns - Yes, this counts as an execution, and we know this because Junko's Punishment also includes a short scene from Blast Off!.

Which Descriptors Made the Execution Better?
  • None - 28.8%
  • Confusing - 25%
  • Shocking - 24%
Does This Even Count as an Execution? [Yes 69.2%] / [No 30.8%]
User Comments:
While it is in the style of an excecution, this was more to introduce the horror that awaits, so it feels unfair to judge it against the others. Plus it wasn't part of the killing game.

I didn't know what I was watching when I first saw this. I was so confused.

It was a good look into what this series is all about. I wouldn’t call it an execution, since he didn’t really kill anyone as far as I know.

This is literally only in the survey because people would be asking in the comments "why didn't you include blast off?"

This kind of execution seems to be reserved for people with purple hair

I forgot this was even a thing until my 2nd playthrough.

Really it just served to give you an understanding of what you were about to experience, displaying Monokuma's character and also explain where his bones came from in the hidden room in the office

It was definitely a good setup thematically for the rest of the game, it set the atmosphere well. It was, however, a bit unusual in its presentation and the space aesthetic was a bit peculiar.

I literally didn't know this was kyoko's dad until now

I think they were smart to put this right at the beginning.

Why space?

The 1000 Blows

Leon Kuwata's Execution

Average Execution Rating: 4.66
Top 4 Descriptors Used:
  • Brutal - 91.3%
  • Fitting the Character - 85.6%
  • Shocking - 63.5%
  • Horrifying - 53.8%
Other Descriptors Used:
  • Realistic
  • Balls
Mario's Comments: Now we're up to what (up until recently) was considered to be the best execution in the series - Leon Kuwata's. While his actual character isn't very well-liked, his death seems to be quite celebrated. Maybe those two are connected, who knows?
A small thing that you might've missed about the execution the first time around (and I wouldn't blame you for missing), is that this execution has another connection to Leon besides just being baseball-themed. In Leon's FTE's, he reveals that since he was naturally gifted in baseball, he very rarely actually went to baseball practice, and decided to skip it instead. In an ironic twist, (which seems to be the norm in these executions,) Monokuma decides to literally drag Leon to the pitch, kicking and screaming, and then doesn't let him leave until they're finished.
Which Descriptors Made the Execution Better?
  • Brutal - 63.5%
  • Fitting the Character - 42.3%
  • Shocking - 34.6%
User Comments:
best execution in the series don't @ me

An even better introduction to the series, and a great execution in its own right.

We need more executions that actually drag the person away from the others. Adds to the terror.

I hated Leon so much at first. I was almost happy he was the blackened. This pretty much singlehandedly changed my opinion of him, he did not deserve such a brutal death, and I realized that I liked his personality, just hated his goatee. Great intro to the series, and worked well to set the tone.

I first got into this series by the anime, and even though it was ok at best, the first time I saw this execution just really caught me off guard

This one definitely succeeds at setting the tone for the rest of the series’ executions.

OH, MY GOD. Probably the most iconic execution in the series, and it definitely upped the stakes for the entire game. Wow.

It nutty. Please don't throw out my data because of these comments.

It could use just a little more visual detail on Leon's body. But, regardless, it's a fantastic example of what an execution should be. Brutal, bloody and horrifying.

I rate this the best for multiple reasons. First is that it is the first. It's a bit of a cop out reason, but it is when the true weight of "Punishment" falls down upon both you and the other characters. Second is that it's simple and easy to understand. Leon fucked up hard and is being battered with balls hit by a bear that we later learn can take on Sakura. There's no reference like Little Black Sambo (From what I'm told) for Mondo, and so it's more focused on looking amazing than mocking with something unrelated to the talent. And that final ball at the end

For a first execution, it had everything it needed. It was gratuitous, so it was a strong way to start off the true executions and was more personal than 'Blast Off!', and it was also a fitting end for our Leon Kuwata, he hated baseball and it was the literal death of him.

First execution witnessed by the class, it set a good tone for all the others

what a great execution to start off the series boyy

They also made a smart move with this one! The brutality and oddness of it (Seriously, how often do you hear of someone dying via multiple baseballs?) ALSO acted like a hook. They knew what they were doing writing this one.

NOW WE'RE TALKING, one of the most memorable and fitting executions, great for a first.

Balls

The Cage of Death

Mondo Owada's Execution

Average Execution Rating: 2.76
Top 4 Descriptors Used:
  • Ridiculous - 75%
  • Confusing - 61.5%
  • Fitting the Character - 42.3%
  • Shocking - 25%
Other Descriptors Used:
  • Delicious
  • Weird
  • Meow
  • Get it "shocking", eh, eh?
Mario's Comments: This execution is.. confusing, to say the least. I can bet that a good 80% of the people who played the game had no goddamn idea what was going on while this execution played, and I don't blame them. So, to clear up some of the confusion, allow me to explain why Mondo Butter is a thing, and what even happened in his execution.
This execution is thematically based on The Story of Little Black Sambo. The story tells of a small boy named Black Sambo, who receives from his parents (as a gift) colorful new clothing. When the boy goes out walking, he encounters a tiger, who tells him that if he doesn't surrender some of his clothes to him, he will eat him. Sambo gives the tiger his shirt, and the tiger leaves thinking he's the grandest tiger in the jungle. Sambo keeps walking, and encounters another tiger, who, once again, tells him that he will eat him if he doesn't give him some of his clothes. He gives him his pants, and the tiger leaves thinking he's the grandest tiger in the jungle. This happens twice more with two other tigers, who take his shoes and umbrella.
Eventually, as Sambo keeps walking, he encounters once again the four tigers, but this time they aren't interested in him. They all are arguing over who's the grandest tiger in the jungle. Sambo decides to watch the four, and see what happens. They argue and they argue, and start chasing eachother around a tree. The four chase eachother in incredible speeds, until... they all melt into a pile of melted butter. Sambo then proceeds to take back his clothing, and bring back the butter to his mother back home, who makes him a plate of pancakes out of the butter.
If you watch the execution again, I think you'll be able to figure out how this ties into his execution. Mondo Butter makes sense now? No? Well, that's the most sense it'll make.
Which Descriptors Made the Execution Better?
  • Ridiculous - 26%
  • Fitting the Character - 21.2%
  • None - 20.2%
User Comments:
Felt like they were trying too hard to avoid just dragging him along the back of the bike at high speeds because it was too obvious.

Conceptually it's horrifying, but this execution suffers a bit from how it was presented visually.

He’s butter now, no questions

Mondon't try me.

I kind of want to try some Mondo butter.

This one kind of lost me when it turned Mondo into butter, lol.

To crib a joke "Can't believe it's not Mondo"

I feel like the execution lacks the fear factor needed to make an execution truly terrifying. Sure, getting turned into butter is messed up. But there's not enough steps, he just gets shocked, goes through some machine and BAM, butter. It'd be better if we saw more of what happened.

If you don't know the (possible) story behind it, you just sit there in silence and go "What?" or laugh. This made no sense to me, I expected electrocution, not butterification. There was a swing, but it missed

This was ridiculous and strange, but the reactions to it were wonderful and it still seemed like an unpleasant death.

This one was hard to follow and bizarre. The butter joke was out of place and probably detracted from the scene as a whole. It would have been better if it was a bit more serious.

Butter prepare yourself

I feel like this one was lost in translation. I had to look up what his execution meant for it to actually start to make sense. I do feel like the ridiculoussness of it (To a Western audience) also added some interest in the core game.

I like the link to folklore, but it doesn't translate very well

It made me very confused and you know butter

The Burning of the Versailles Witch

Taeko Yasuhiro's Execution

Average Execution Rating: 3.81
Top 4 Descriptors Used:
  • Fitting the Character - 76%
  • Brutal - 41.3%
  • Ridiculous - 32.7%
  • Shocking - 26%
Other Descriptors Used:
  • Boring
  • Symbolic
  • Slayed
  • Disappointing
  • Visually stunning
  • beautiful!!!
Mario's Comments: Personally, I really didn't enjoy this execution, but it could just be because I found Celeste's (and also Byakuya's) better-than-you and very condescending attitudes grating, so I went into this one with some bias.
Anyways, one thing that I did like about this execution is the inclusion of the firetruck. I know, I know, seems dumb, but I really think it made the execution much better, and much more related to Celes's character. The execution starts out with the burning of the witch - a gothic, romanticized way to die - with the burning monokuma dressed appropriately to the times, and Celes thinks that she's getting this beautiful death that fits her facade. But, in comes Monokuma's irony again, and he pulls out a firetruck that rams straight into Celes. Why is that? Well, instead of letting her get her perfect death, he takes her out with a perfectly normal, completely mundane death - getting run over.
This was both Celes's and Taeko's executions in one go. He burned away her facade (literally) and then killed what was underneath.
What Descriptors Made the Execution Better?
  • Fitting the Character - 56.7%
  • Brutal - 17.3%
  • None - 16.3%
User Comments:
I put fitting the character for both here, because while I do think it fits her CHARACTER, I do not feel it fits her Talent.

ITS FIRE TRUCK O CLOCK

I was still angry about Taka dying. Other than that, I didn't get how this fit Celeste's character until I read an analysis on it.

I see it as Celes (the fake persona) being burned away and Taeko (the person behind the facade) being hit by the truck. Pretty good

Second worst execution in the series.

What I really love about this one is how well it fits her character. For Monokuma to have snatched away her 'ideal' death right at the very end? A++. What despair.

The surprise of the execution is what makes it work so well. The drops of sweat on Taiko's face as the fire climbs closer and closer towards her. You think she's going to get burned to death, but it throws a curveball and throws a firetruck in the mix. If we actually saw her body as it got hit, instead of the truck quickly ramming her over, it'd be a little more shocking.

I wonder what where Celestia last thought...

I do like that it is just Monokuma winning again. You don't get what you want

Weewoo Weewoo

the art in this execution is so good, and then the firetruck was hilarious

My ONLY complaint about this one is that Celeste wasn't a Pagan/Wiccan. (As far as I can remember, I might have gotten that wrong) I believe if they tied her personal beliefs into the execution, it would have been better, but the brutality and the twist of it saved it.

Honestly, this one didnt do anything for me. Doesn't help that I didnt like Celeste and wanted her gone too.

I want to rail Celeste

Possibly the most beautiful execution in terms of visuals, it comes of as a fitting end for the Queen of Liars

One of my favourites of the entire franchise. It's so sad. Even though the cause of death was more merciful, it was literally adding insult to injury. An undignified public death like that was probably her worst fear since she was so obsessed with the image and aesthetic she had constructed for herself. Especially since she same so close to an execution that would have been perfectly fitting for that constructed self. Instead, she got a mundane execution for her real self: the one she hated and had tried so desperately to hide.

Excavator Destroyer

Alter Ego's Execution

Average Execution Rating: 2.68
Top 4 Descriptors Used:
  • Shocking - 39.4%
  • Excessive - 33.7%
  • Brutal - 27.9%
  • None of the above - 26.9%
Other Descriptors Used:
  • Sad
  • surprising. We didn't expect Alter Ego to be killed.
  • Boring, uninspired
  • i don't feel like this counts
  • It was just boring
  • B-but why tho, Dr is over the top, not stupid.
  • Saddening
  • not needed
  • I didn't really feel like this was an execution. It's an AI!
Mario's Comments: I.. don't have much to comment on this one. I think that this one was weaker as a standalone execution, but in context of the story, and the impact it has on the characters, is what makes it a really good one. Chapter 4 was a suicide, so it's not like they had a way to make a traditional execution, unless beating on Sakura's dead corpse is your idea of a cool execution.
What Descriptors Made the Execution Better?
  • None - 34.6%
  • Shocking - 31.7%
  • Excessive - 13.5%
User Comments:
HE DIDN'T DESERVE TO DIEEEEEE.

I don't care what you use to do it. You're still just destroying the laptop. Using a digger doesn't make it more painful.

Chihiro just can't catch a break.

Just plain uninteresting to watch.

Wasn't sad, just frustrated because I thought I was getting somewhere with the mystery.

Monokuma clearly had a crush on Alter Ego.

Eh, it was a computer—a computer with a cute avatar—but still a computer.

That music box lead up was great! The actual execution...

It's a really good execution. It grabs a character you've grown attached to over the past couple chapters, and throws them under the bus. Sure, there's no blood (since Alter Ego is literally a computer), but to see a character you've grown so close to get such a brutal punishment, it's hard to watch, and it's completely unexpected.

Could have been so much better if mpnokuma focused on destroying the AI itself rather than the laptop.

Big Brutal Bear Pounds Petite 3(?) Year Old Trap
I guess it shows how the best laid plans of Junko and men often get lolhoped

The theme was odd, but it was horrible to see an unexpected execution and have a resource destroyed.

What are you doing on your computer? Go outside it's beautiful. Aghhhh

Like Mondo's, I didnt get this until i later learned that this execution was supposed to be for Ogami. Regardless, I was sad to see Alter Ego go.

I'd definitely consider it the weakest. It was a shock to see Alter Ego appear, but there's literally nothing else going for it. It's a machine without pain so the excessive violence means nothing to the player.

Its a strong execution but lacks in some ways due to it not being a physical body

This was shocking to see monokuma not only know alter ego hacked the school, but also how he didn't punish anyone except alter ego because of the hack, however this doesn't really even count as a execution not because it's (not sure if this is a female version of him or not) a computer program but because alter ego survives this alter ego is even in danganronpa 2 so......

After School Lesson

Kyoko Kirigiri and Makoto Naegi's Execution

Average Execution Rating: 3.54
Top 4 Descriptors Used:
  • Brutal - 52.9%
  • Horrifying - 50%
  • Shocking - 35.6%
  • Confusing - 13.5%
Other Descriptors Used:
  • Tense
  • In the words of our lord and savour. "YOU'RE TOO SLOW!"
  • Suspenseful
  • Disgusting
  • I thought it was funny
  • Squish
  • Heart pounding?
Mario's Comments: Good lord this execution. It barely has any violence in it, yet it is one of the most cruel of them all. You're strapped to a goddamn chair, and the only thing you can do is just listen to the sounds of the crushing press, and wait to die. Also, having the "pursue the lie" option be the wrong choice probably fucked over a good amount of people who passed over from AA.
And having monokuma explaining to them Sex Ed is just.. he's literally telling them how fucked they are.
Which Descriptors Made the Execution Better?
  • Horrifying - 33.7%
  • Shocking - 23.1%
  • None - 22.1%
User Comments:
"SUPER SONIC STYLE, HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

learning the birds and the bees while being s q u e e z e d

This didn't really fit their characters, but that's probably because it's for Makoto and Kyoko.

It's hard to call this one an execution. It's a great concept which is fortunately done justice in Junko's execution.

Makoto’s was fitting due to getting lucky at the end, but I don’t see how this fits Kyoko.

The idea of being crushed turns my stomach so much, I was uncomfortable the whole time. I guess that makes a good execution.

The suspense in this one is incredible—the harsh, grating sound of the machine, the protagonist's inability to turn around to see the horrifying death that awaits them. Simple but brutal.

It builds the suspense open, and you sit there dreading the moment that Kyoko/Makoto gets crushed. Of course, in Makoto's case he survived, but the dread is still there, and it works perfectly.

My personal favorite and one of my worst nightmare. The death is quick but the mental torture beforehand is sick. The most horrifying time of her life for Kirigiri. And a one way ticket to PTSD for Naegi.

It feels like Plot Induced Stupidity beause lolhope, loldespair and it isn't guaranteed to kill. The force behind the baseballs, guaranteed to kill. Mondo and the power of references (If that is the case), guaranteed to kill. Fire engine? Guaranteed to kill. Digger? Guaranteed to kill. Periodic smash down? Not so much

I like the music and the anxiety of slowly waiting for your death to happen

A lot of this execution is tension, it builds up tension and releases it all in one moment. The save by Alter Ego is also very well timed, leaving it until the last moment to make sure everyone's on the edge of their seats.

What kind of school has this ineffective of a trash compactor.

Our lil protag is going to die!!! While being forced to watch sex ed....

Headcanon: monokuma was rushing the class trial so he didn't have time to prepare an execution befitting kyoko/makoto

I loved how they did not turn around even making you question when it was going to hit.

This is honestly the worst one

The Ultimate Punishment

Junko Enoshima's Execution

Average Execution Rating: 3.6
Top 4 Descriptors Used:
  • Excessive - 70.2%
  • Ridiculous - 65.4%
  • Fitting the Character - 59.6%
  • Brutal - 56.7%
Other Descriptors Used:
  • Boring
  • YASS QUEEN
  • Hilarious
Mario's Comments: The final Trigger Happy Havoc execution is the execution of the Mastermind, fittingly enough. While I personally found Chapter 6 to just be a complete lore dump that comes out of nowhere and does nothing to service the plot, it seems quite a few people enjoyed it. Anyways, we're not here to talk about the chapter, we're here for the execution, and the execution.. was interesting.
It wasn't very original, since it was literally just a rehash of the previous executions, but seeing all of those ridiculous deaths in quick succession is just a stupidly fun thing to watch that I can let it go. Also, if you've noticed, right before Junko gets crushed there's a small pause where nothing happens, and the crusher is stuck. Some people theorized that this was Alter Ego robbing Junko of all of that despair at the very last second, as Junko seems more confused than anything.
Which Descriptors Made the Execution Better?
  • Excessive - 36.5%
  • Ridiculous - 35.6%
  • Fitting the Character - 28.8%
User Comments:
Kind of a lazy way to create an "ultimate" execution. Fits the mastermind, I guess.

It's a good way to bookend the game but felt like she wasn't affected by any of it, making it feel a bit unsatisfying.

yaaaaaay

Junko's expression in the last second is what makes this execution. It takes it from ludicrous to horrifying.

Eh, it was fine. It was basically just a compilation of what we already saw

It’s excessive, but in a good way

Most badass character gets the most badass execution.

I didn't really care for the fact that we had to suspend our disbelief when it came to Junko surviving the previous executions. I would have much rather we had an execution specifically tailored to her and her despair.

I think shock factor makes or breaks the executions and this one was just rehashes of better executions

Meh. I understand why they expected her this way but still... I like that the hydrolic press stopped for a few second before crushing her.

I was tempted to use 6 but I'm saving that one for later.

This was a mess, but the waving was cute

It was fun to see the prior executions experienced differently, and the overall brutality was a satisfying end despite Junko's enjoyment.

This brought nothing new, it was just a rehash of the others. As such, it was quite a boring one.

Just, wow, like really.

I saw all the punishments before, they weren't as thrilling the second time through.

Honestly best execution of the game, really fits everything about the craziness of junko

How could she survive those when the others couldn’t?

Despair is a hell of a drug
And that's all of DR1's executions! I'll try to get the DR2 post in two days, but I treat schedules much in the same way Valve treats schedules - blatant disregard with a hint of ignorance.
Cya next time.
submitted by MarioThePumer to danganronpa [link] [comments]


2018.09.14 19:43 zelphthewhite Guide to in-game bundles being offered this week

Chances are good you've been offered a new bundle this week. After reading some posts here and on the official forums, I wanted to get what appears to be complete information out to everyone so you can make informed decisions if you want to put some money into the game.
Note: This data is aggregated from the forums; I do not claim original or sole authorship. Many thanks to everyone helping to keep track of this.
The bundles this week are part of a chain: buy one, and you will be offered the next, and so on. Once you pass on an offer, the chain ends and so do the offers. A new bundle seems to be offered about 12 hours after the previous one is purchased.
First off, if you bought the Starter Pack earlier this year you will first be offered the Rare Avengers bundle -- but the RA bundle is not part of the chain. If you have made any previous purchase, including the Rare Avengers bundle, or after the Rare Avengers bundle expires, you will be offered the It’s Us, Deadpool bundle.
If you buy the It’s Us, Deadpool bundle, you will be offered the Legendary Avengers bundle.
If you buy the Legendary Avengers bundle, you will be offered the Young Avengers bundle.
If you buy the Young Avengers bundle, you will be offered the Vital Villains bundle.
If you buy the Vital Villains bundle, you will be offered the Mutant Mayhem bundle.
If you plan to go all the way, it's going to cost you $215 -- which is probably best to know going in.
Edit: Some formatting.
submitted by zelphthewhite to MarvelPuzzleQuest [link] [comments]


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