Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 12:25:24 -0700 Subject: [Atheist] AANEWS for June 30, 1996 (Part Tw

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Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 12:25:24 -0700 from: AMERICAN.ATHEISTS@listserv.direct.net Subject: [Atheist] AANEWS for June 30, 1996 (Part Two) Reply-To: aanews@listserv.atheists.org, AMERICAN.ATHEISTS@listserv.direct.net nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnn AANEWS nnnnnnnnnn # 82 uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu 6/30/96 (Part Two) The Fringe Watch... UFO CLUB MEMBERS TIED TO RADIUM DEATH PLOT? Now, here's a story that SHOULD be on one of those "unsolved mystery" style programs which deals with the strange, bizarre and paranormal. On Long Island, N.Y., authorities have arrested three men they suspect are linked to a death plot involving the use of radium. Police say that the men wanted to poison their victims with radium by planting it in food and in the air-conditioning ducts of their vehicles. All three are members of the Long Island UFO Network, a group which according to the New York Times and other sources has accused the government of covering up sightings of flying saucers. Research by AANEWS also indicates that the Long Island group believes that aliens may have started brush fires that burned thousands of acres last year in the area. Two years ago, the organization put together a slide and video presentation for display at a science fiction convention in Ohio which purported to show debris from the "mothership and six escape pods over Southhaven Park in Yaphandk, Long Island N.Y." according to one UFO mailing list. "The video will show close-ups of the crash sites and efforts by 'men in black' to clear the sites. Included is onsite footage of the retrieval of discernable dead extraterrestrial bodies, debris from crashed escape pods & structural wreckage near Brookhaven National Laboratories." As strange as that may sounds, the story behind the arrests and suspected radium plot is perhaps equally bizarre. On Thursday, June 13, John Ford and Joseph Mazzachelli were arrested and charged with planning to use radioactive materials to poison certain Suffolk County officials and political leaders. According to the New York Times, the intended targets included the Chairman of the local County Republican Committee; a legislator; and an investigator from Brookhaven. The two were denied bail, and held on charges of second-degree conspiracy. The Suffolk County District Attorney said that a search of the men's homes uncovered five canisters with radium, rifles, ammo, hand grenades, a mine detector, gas masks and "militia literature." The following day, Edward Zabo, an electrical inspector at Northrop Grumman (a major military contractor) was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a wepon and illegal possession of explosives. A search of his home found a container of radioactive material, weapons, detonators and "items apparently stolen from Grumman" according to the Times. It was also revealed that the Suffolk County DA, James Catterson, was also possibly a target of the alleged plot. One investigator told reporters that "Zabo may have been selling radium to pay" a back debt to the IRS. According to the Long Island paper NEWSDAY, "Ford is head of the Long Island UFO Network and has set about trying to prove the existence of space aliens. His whole thing was that UFO's were invading, said Joel Martin, who until 1994 hosted a radio and cable TV show on paranormal occurences and had Ford on the show as a guest several times. Martin said Ford claimed the military was covering up UFO crashses on East End." By June 16, more details in the case were being fleshed-in. Among the identified targets, Anthony Gazzola, the investigator at Brookhaven, was also identified as a vice president of the state Conservative Party. Ford had been active in local Conservative Party politics. According to Newday, "He's (Ford) part of the lunatic fringe that comes out every few years that tries to control the Conservative Party...He said Ford's goal for years was to be chairman of the Conservative Party, a goal that Gazzola said he squelched...Everything was a conspiracy involving the CIA and the FBI." Last week, during a bail hearing for Ford, the DA's office in Suffolk said that the defendant had been secretly taped and wanted to burn down the Suffolk Republican headquarters, then proceed to take over the Conservative Party and get "his own candidates elected." ******** THEISTWATCH SHORT SHOTS Harold, one of our Salt Lake City correspondents, insists that it's foolish for so many people to be ridiculing first lady Hillary Clinton for her association with a new age-style guru. Especially guilty, he notes, would be Utah's own Senator Orrin Hatch, who as a practicing mormon believes that "when he dies he will go to the planet Kolob" -- an artifact, it seems, of Mormon church doctrine found in the bizarre fantasy writings of LDS founder Joseph Smith. And that was BEFORE LSD. **************** The Amityville Horror still lives. Remember the 80's horror film complete with a house supposedly haunted by the dead spirits of a family which had been murdered there? That story ("based on true facts" according to promotional sound-bites and new age urban legend) was really the concoction of a real estate hustler who ended up selling the idea to Hollywood. But who cares about that diminishing, hazy line separating fiction and fact these days? Anyway, there is now another story involving the town of Amityville; a father is seeking legal custody of his young boy, claiming that the estranged wife (who happens to come from Amityville) is a practising witch. Walt Kern insists that his wife, Rana, slaughters animals and performs all sorts of mystical mumbo-jumbo in front of an altar in the bedroom. There are other accusations as well, but Mrs. Kern says she isn't a witch, although she has some female friends who are. Well, either witchcraft DOESN'T work -- after all, couldn't she "spell" away these tedious legal proceedings? -- or she is innocent, Amityville not withstanding. **************** Expect more trouble on the culture-wars abortion front, this time from revelations about "morning after" contraception. Many women have known that high doses of birth control pills can cut pregnancy risks up to 72 hours after intercourse. Now, birth control advocates are pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to hold hearings, arguing that the use of "morning after" contraception could cut rates of unwanted pregnancy and abortion. While Wyeth-Ayerst Labs, one of the biggest manufacturers of birth control pills, has not attempted to have its product advertised as a post-intercourse pill, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is already working on guidelines that will urge wider use of this method. Standing in the way will be groups such as the American Life League and other anti-choice religious groups. To them, the "morning after pill" is just another word for a-b-o-r-t-i-o-n. ALL told media this past week that they oppose any method which interferes with birth after the sperm and egg have joined. "Every time this method is used, the intent is to kill a baby whose life has already begun," said a League representative. *************** Coverage about a threatened boycott of the Disney Co. is uncovering some interesting gripes, and religious history. Recall that two weeks ago, the giant Southern Baptist Convention rattled its santimonious sabers at the even-bigger entertainment conglomerate, venting a long list of objections including Disney's policy of extending health benefits to unmarried, same-sex couples. Of course all that "gay promiscuity" that religious bible- bangers warn about is bad, but the concept of "gay marriage" and social acceptance of a steady alternative lifestyle, is even worse! Media coverage of the Baptist campaign against Disney has revealed a few fascinating gems, though. USA TODAY quoted one Baptist who objected to the Disney movie "Pocahontas," insisting that "they changed the story line...they did not bring out at all the fact that she was Christian." Another said "I remember Fess Parker quoted one of the Ten Commandments to an Indian tribe. That was great stuff." Still another suggested that "If...the values of the leaders of Disney trickle down through the products and the films...it's eventually going to have the hearts" of children, and pointed to "homosexual marriages and all those things" as part of the subtle message. Yeah, I guess Mickey will dump Minnie for a boyfriend, right? ******************** In Australia, religious groups have launched an effort to overturn that country's new law which permits assisted suicide. The legislation goes into effect tomorrow, July 1; but last week, Rev. Djiniyinni Gondarra of the Uniting Church filed a court challenge and wants the law set aside until its validity is proven. ****** Well, we've told you how Native Americans want religious sites in national monuments like Devil's Tower, Wyoming protected. Or how the Catholic Church in Los Angeles wants a cultural monument (like an old cathedral) torn down so they can build a new one. But this... but this... this tops them all. Last week in England, the Odinic Rite -- a group which claims to worship the ancient Norse god Odin -- urged the House of Lords to change the route of a railroad line which links Britain to France via the recently-completed "Chunnel". It seems that the rail line emerges about 100 yards from something called the White Horse Stone, believed by some to be "sacred," as it marks the site of the Battle of Aylesfordk, 445 c.e. The founder of the Rite is a fellow named John Yeowell, who told a committee of Lords that "it would be intolerable for any kind of ceremony or meditation to take place by the stone if the rail link was built, because trains could be seen and heard," (London Times.) Mr. Yeowell -- who prefers to be addressed as Ingvar -- says that the Odinists conduct a ceremony known as "blots", in which a horn of mead (a fermented drink) is "consecrated" and then consumed." Department of Transport representatives pointed out that while the department was not trying to belittle the beliefs of the Odinists, "it had never been proven that the battle took place on that site." Besides, you'd think that a tough guy like Odin could do PLENTY to stop a mere train! ********* Hmmmm... is food part of a political strategy? The Christian Science Monitor newspaper recently carried an article on relief efforts to assist the people in southern Sudan, where famine and civil war have been the rule for the past 13 years. The paper notes that "For the first time," pigs are being introduce as part of an effort by international aid agencies to overcome "war-caused food shortages among isolated communities in this region." Leading the charge in this seemingly humanitarian effort is the Catholic Relief Service, which is bringing in pigs from as far away as the Central African Republic, some 300 miles. But isn't pig farming a strange way to deal with famine? Not until you consider the politics of the region. The civil war in the sudan is cutting heavilly across religious lines, with the Muslim north fighting a mostly Roman Catholic and "animist" South. A spokeswoman for a U.N. relief agency said that "The idea of introducing pigs is certainly unusual and innovative," noting that other groups such as Operation Lifeline Sudan are concentrating on projects like fish-farming and rabbit-rearing. So far, the Catholics seem to be pushing the pigs. But the pig may be less of a food sources and more of a food weapon, considering the cultural bias which Muslims have concerning cloven animals like the pig. Large pig operations are already undergoing scrutinty in the U.S., and in places like North Carolina have created an epidemic of problems. The Church may have something more in mind considering the Muslim opposition in selecting pigs as a way of feeding people. This battle is about more than just pork chops! ************** About This List... AANEWS is a free service from American Atheists, a nationwide movement founded by Madalyn Murray O'Hair for the advancement of Atheism, and the total, absolute separation of government and religion. For information about American Atheists, send e-mail to: info@atheists.org, and include your name and postal address. You may post, forward or quote from this dispatch, provided that appropriate credit is given to AANEWS and American Atheists. For subscribe/unsubscribe information, send mail to: aanews-request@listserv.atheists.org, and put "info aanews" (minus the quotation marks, please!) in the message body. Edited and written by Conrad F. Goeringer, The LISTMASTER.

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