The Mass Delusions of The Month – Angel Priests and Weeping Trees

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Look, I get it. Life can be difficult. We are constantly accosted with bad news; wars, everyone is obese, the economy is shit, no one has a job, Lady Gaga’s latest release is leaked and she has to declare a pop emergency; you know, bad shit.

That does not mean we have to all lose our sanity, our rationality and our common sense.

But apparently people are going off the deep end again and seeing shit that’s not real and spreading the “word” so that other people can fall “pray” to the same stupidity; otherwise known as Mass Delusion.

Case 1 – The Angel Priest

August 4, 2013

New London, Missouri (the middle of nowhere)

A 19 year-old girl is nearly killed in a terrible highway accident. Her older car’s metal is too thick for the “jaws of life” to rip through and she is trapped and will likely die in the vehicle as emergency workers are frantically trying to get her out of the wreckage. At the point at which it seemed all was lost and that she was likely to not survive, the young women asked if someone would pray with her and from seemingly out of nowhere a voice said “I will.” The voice belonged to a priest who according to the local fire chief and others on the scene had appeared out of thin air. The priest prayed with the girl and then another rescue team from a neighboring town arrived with fresh and better equipment and luckily they were able to extricate the young woman from the wreckage and medi-vac’ed her to the hospital. (The fact that a second crew came on the scene was commonly not mentioned. I would presume this oversight was intended to add to the mystic of the story.) When the rescue crew went back to thank the priest, he had vanished. The fire chief called it a “miracle” and people began referring to the priest as an angel.

Fortunately the girl survived and is doing well.

This story is touching and interesting but it became one of the biggest headlines for about 2 days even garnering national coverage in USA Today and all national TV news organizations. People who declared it a miracle and divine intervention site that of the nearly 70 photos taken at the accident scene, the priest appeared in none. People were posting it on Facebook by the thousands and tweeting it declaring things like;

“Miracle in Missouri: Mysterious Priest Appears at Accident Scene, Prays for Healing and Disappears”

“Mystery ‘Angel’ Priest Appears At Missouri Car Crash, Performs ‘Miracle,’ Then Disappears”

“This gave me chills and renewed my faith.”

“God sends an angel.”

All well and good I suppose if you are into that sort of nonsense but of course as anyone with a clear head could have predicted, the priest came forward on the 13th. He was no angel, nor was he sent by god, nor did he appear magically to only disappear later. He was and is a normal priest who was on his way across Missouri and saw the accident. But everyone wanted to believe he was sent by god and bought into the mass delusion that was created around the story.

What was missing from almost every account of the story, though was recognition for the rescue crews, the EMTs and the doctors at the hospital that saved her life. As if they were simply there to corroborate the miracle.

Disappointing, but expected.

 

Case 2 – Tears of God Crepe Myrtle

August 7, 2013

St. John’s Cathedral; Fresno, California

This one is so ridiculous it doesn’t even warrant 200 words, but there is a Crepe Myrtle tree in front of the church in Fresno, California that has an aphid infestation.The aphids (tiny little white soft-body bugs) eat the tree sap and squirt out what the arborist that examined the tree called honey dew (aphid poop). In the heat of the summer the honey dew is so heavy on the tree that it drips, buuuuut….

If you say “glory be to god” under the tree, “god’s tears will drip down onto you”, so dozens of idiots are flocking around the tree to have aphid shi…excuse me “god’s tear” drip onto them in hopes of a miracle.

Of course this isn’t the first time a “weeping” something or other has brought out the kooks. Last year, a different bunch of nut bags thought water dripping down a statue of Jesus at Our Lady of Velankanni in Mumbai, India, was holy. They went as far as collecting the liquid and drinking it, hoping to receive healing miracles. A guy named Sanal Edamaruku, a rationalist and atheist, not surprisingly determined the liquid was actually just sewage water coming from a leaky pipe. He, of course was later charged with blasphemy.

You gotta love complete irrationality. At least we do, otherwise we’d have a lot less to write about. The scary thing is that people so easily fall for shit like this that it just shows you how easily most people are manipulated. Of course there is no surprise that these manipulations come in the form of religion, and one religion in particular.

With all due respect,

The Chief