Pondering on Teal Scott (and rambling on my own spiritual journey)

I gotta say it, I’ve watched a number of her teaching videos over time and feel plenty contain nuggets interesting enough to be worth storing in my playlists. Why? Because human psychology in the broadest sense is fascinating, and I enjoy playing with all sorts of information and ideas. Doesn’t mean I agree with all or even half of what someone has to say even if they can at least offer up useful nuggets or metaphors I personally find useful and can carry forward (for however long, some obviously wind up abandoned along the way).

However, I’m actually not much of a “new-agey” type, don’t get into crystals and herbs and never owned a pair of Birkenstocks. As a teen, for a year or so I dabbled a little with Wicca and astrology (and how many didn’t in the ’90s? lol), but then again back after I lost my religion (at approx. 14) I went in search of tidbits from all kinds of religions and belief systems over the next few years, until finally settling on just calling myself an agnostic and checking out on spiritual inquiries for nearly a decade. Turned my attention to politics instead and identified as a libertarian since before I was eligible to vote.

But I came up with my Grandma’s take on Christianity, which was highly spiritual and didn’t contain all that much of the fire and brimstone teachings churches down South are known for. I was steeped mostly in what she had to say and read to me, and her main focus is that Jesus loves us all, that we are all God’s children. And though I abandoned all religions, that belief remains in my heart. Nowadays I’d spell it out a little differently, but that’s irrelevant since no religious teachings can be anything other than metaphors. Such is the nature of trying to describe the indescribable — our languages and imaginations are too feeble and limited for the task, though scientific inquiries have introduced us to new ways of approaching this age-old question of what exists beyond life as we directly experience it.

(For the record, in case it matters, my Grandma is a lifelong tee-totaling Republican and Methodist, about as far as one can get from being a liberal hippie.)

A person’s personal beliefs are their own and are completely incapable of being shown in-full to others. No matter how one attempts to explain it, we just can’t know from inside one another’s minds. Words conjure up different memories and ideas, each one of us possesses unique fusions of thoughts and feelings based on how we personally have engaged with the world and what we’ve been exposed to. Plus people’s imaginations differ widely.

About a decade ago I went to dabbling with atheism and trying that on for size, but it felt too restrictive. Continue reading

Fleshing out what’s been stated by Paul Elam and some of his followers on AVfM on the topic of rape trials and jury nullification

A few comments received in my flooded “Open Letter to MGTOWs I’ve Offended” post deserve a special response in a separate post. This pertains to a quote I take direct issue with posted by Paul Elam on July 20, 2010:

I make the following pledge as an activist, and as an American that believes fully in the rule of law. Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.


If you are sitting on a jury hearing a case of rape, the only way to serve justice is to acquit.

Better a rapist would walk the streets than a system that merely mocks justice enslave another innocent man. And better a system that cannot be trusted as it is, be corrected from within by a single honest citizen in the name of real justice.

[Bold emphasis mine]


In this instance, the comment thread is less relevant because the article was written by the FOUNDER and itself carries the most weight. Notice though, the only comments on there are from 2013 since apparently all old ones were removed when he took that article down for a while. So whatever disagreements people in the MRM professed having back then are not showing anymore, though the article itself is back up.

(That article and a few others were brought to people’s attention thanks to Dave Futrelle’s blog where you can find links to more of Paul Elam’s stated views. [Not a fan of Dave Futrelle, but he did call a lot of attention to all of this.])

Paul Elam posted a follow-up to that on August 1, 2010 on AVfM:


A particularly relevant snippet from that 2nd article by Paul Elam:

This is a problem so intractable and entrenched in the culture that any attempt to address it through conventional means is certain to result in failure and vilification.

So, what do you do within the system when the system is the problem? What do you do when laws that purport to serve the cause of justice can be so easily wielded as an instrument for revenge or the next rung up on a political ladder? And when there is all but impunity for those that do so?

What do you do when courts practice tyranny and innocent men are ground to dust along with their rights?

What do you do when these concerns are dismissed out of political expedience by a system that has built, with the majority of public support, a brick wall around its own systematic malfeasance?

Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. And there is no better example of extreme than in the way this false rape culture has run common decency and sacred rights into the ground.

One possible extreme is jury nullification. When a law or system of applying laws becomes the source of injustice, jury nullification has long been a viable option.

Nullification occurs when a jury acquits a defendant despite the weight of evidence against him. It is legal and completely moral depending on the application.

For instance, a 1930’s white jury finding a white male not guilty of murdering a black man despite a mountain of evidence that points to a conviction would be an immoral application of this principle.

But on the other hand, what would you think if a cancer patient were on trial for possession of marijuana, and you knew that drug was the only resource they had to help them tolerate their chemotherapy? Would it be immoral to ignore the law and let them go?

The law is clear. Marijuana is illegal. If they were in possession of it they were breaking the law. Should we not then send them to jail?

Now, I am not comparing an accused rapist to a cancer patient, but simply pointing to the fact that when the legal system fails to seek justice, when it is, in fact, undermining the very concept of justice, juries are equipped to put a stop to it.

Now what if you are on a jury in a rape trial, and you know that it is highly likely that evidence that may be exculpatory has been deliberately hidden from you? What if you think there is a genuine possibility that the trial is more about the career of the prosecutor than about the pursuit of justice?

What if you know you cannot trust what you are seeing?

In your mind, here and now, I challenge you to ask yourself. What kind of impact do the answers to these questions have on the concept of reasonable doubt?

And I would argue that if you are aware of how the system actually works, then you must be aware that reasonable doubt cannot be ascertained in a rape trial. There is just not enough trustworthy information in many cases to make that judgment, and unfortunately as a juror, you are not able to discern if the case you are seeing is one of the ones that has been tainted.

There are perhaps exceptions to this. If the state is able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that breaking and entering, an abduction, the use of a weapon or extensive bodily harm occurred during the alleged attack, then a guilty vote may be justified.

But I say perhaps for a reason. Remember the Jovanovic case? He was convicted of kidnapping with the other charges. It never happened. The Albert case as well. There were “injuries” involved there. All consensual. And he was convicted anyway. So even with these possible exceptions the state could be running a political circus instead of a legitimate trial.

Now, as to nullification, it is easy to conclude that the chances of getting 12 people on a jury knowledgeable enough of the system to see it for the railroad that it is, are highly unlikely. Actual acquittal is out of the question.

Never happen.

But in most cases it still takes unanimity to convict. It ususally takes unanimity to convict on retrial as well. It takes only one to bring the system down, even if only for the time being. And it is a system so tainted that it quite clearly needs to be corrected- for the sake of justice.

[That was directly copied and pasted.]

And most comments there (which Paul Elam decided to leave up this time around) aren’t disputing the idea. Go have a look.

A few particularly fucked-up excerpts come from a comment by someone named Benjamin [published May 12, 2011]:

“To avoid being sodomized is one of the prime directives (if you will excuse the phrase) to being a man. IMO, and from my observations, a man is put into an un-righteous and unnatural position of submission to other men who are trying to dominate him gruesomely. This particular crime, especially if allowed to spread throughout a society and become entrenched, will quickly lead to the absolute denigration and dissolution of the family, the extended family, and “civil” society. (Please see this element and its terrible results in prison societies, for reference.)”

“In contrast, a woman who is similarly taken in the ‘exit’, has a very unpleasant time, I don’t much doubt. But, no danger is created to her place in society nor to the family itself nor to society itself, by that. In such a case, she is *rather roughly* put into her natural position of being submitted to a man. (Surprisingly, I actually worked with a man whose Granddad advised him to use this strategy with his wife! Granddad had, for decades, whenever his wife became altogether too b!tchy with guests or whomever, taken her upstairs and initiated sex with her via “an alternate route”, if you will. Granddad actually is reported to have said, and I am not making this up[!], that his wife would come back downstairs basically purring and back to being just as sweet as you would like, again.)”

“It may not be any fun, OK! But it is a far cry from what you asked Mark, about a man’s being sodomized.”

“To ask about the forced taking of a woman in the more natural mode, though, is WAY far away from the topic of the forced sodomy of a man! Those two are not even in the same ballpark.”

To read his full comment and others, see: http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/government-tyranny/on-jury-nullification-and-rape/comment-page-1/#comment-37605


Holy shit! WTF??!  Seriously???

Another notable comment on there:

Jean Valjean says

April 29, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I think that as soon as jury nullification is used a few times the feminists will call it the backlash of the patriarchy and demand that anyone engaged in JN should be charged with a crime.

Sadly, I’ve never been called up for a jury duty but I have long wished to have an opportunity to sit on a rape trial just for this purpose.

Here’s finally one voice of reason:

Rachael says

June 8, 2011 at 7:49 AM

So…. because of a few false convictions ALL rapes shouldn’t be prosecuted? You are ridiculous.


Now, addressing this second article by Paul, I’d like to acknowledge that it’s one thing to vote to acquit if you have reasonable doubts, but it’s quite another if those doubts are sown purely due to ideological reasoning and personal politics. Though apparently humans cannot prove above bias so as to treat a situation objectively because it’s the right thing to do. No, and that’s how the U.S. got corrupted in the first place. And that’s all he’s really advocating more of, not for people to truly be skeptical and turn off their personal biases so as to judge the specific case in question or to demand all relevant information be made available in these trials. No, instead it’s about turning evermore jurors into activists who treat each case as opportunities to further their own causes, even where it’s completely inappropriate and overwhelming evidence (Paul’s own words) is presented. I might understand if the evidence is purely circumstantial and jurors are honestly left with doubts and questions, but otherwise it’s just horseshit bias invading the courts in an attempt to offset the bias they’re convinced is running the other way. Basically playing a tit-for-tat game with people’s lives and our justice system. What society can continue to function if citizens embrace such strategies?

It was/is wrong when feminists do this, and it is wrong when MRAs attempt to do it too. How is more corruption of our courts going to rectify these wrongs? When the principle of protecting men eclipses the principle of dispensing proper justice to the best of our ability, you’ve lost me completely.

And this is why movements drive me nuts. The ideological bullshit winds up mowing right over individuals in its wake because they’re seen as mere examples, not real people, and innocents on one side of the aisle or the other wind up hurt by the system because we the people are assholes who can’t give our personal, heavily-biased agendas a rest!

False accusations do occur and it is the responsibility of the jury to keep that in mind and to scrutinize the evidence carefully. But we’re not just talking date rape here, folks. And why would concern over evidence tampering or police/prosecution misconduct only be framed here as relevant in rape trials?

The system is begging for an overhaul, but this isn’t the way to go about it, not for me anyway. I, for one, cannot support this approach.

“Candid Conversation with Elliott Hulse”

Getting to know Elliott Hulse:

I really appreciate his videos and am a subscriber. His inspiring and intelligent content helps reinvigorate my faith in human potentiality. smile

The parts where he talks about partnerships and later sex are very insightful. On the woman’s role in developing the virtue of saying “no” through building up one’s character to better guard one’s soul — I get it and very much agree. It really isn’t about what clothes we wear or whether we’re chaste; it’s more of an issue of what we allow, what we seek out, being cognizant that we each lose a small piece of ourselves to each person we’re sexually intimate with. Yes, that is so true.

More pondering on the philosophy of Marcuse

Marcuse came back across my radar again today, so I decided to give Professor Rick Roderick’s lecture on Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man another listen. Completely worthwhile.

Pausing at 4:19, yes, I totally understand everything stated thus far and am keenly aware of this “dark side” that accompanies the narrative(s) based off of “instrumental reason” (Marcuse’s term to describe this trend toward heavy reliance on science in the absence/diminishment of religions). We like to assume we are ‘evolving’ as quickly as our technologies, and it appears we’re assuming wrongly.

Continuing on and quoting excerpts from Roderick’s lecture…

“It simply turned out not to be the case that we became less afraid in the face of the unknown. No, the unknown became more terrifying than ever.”


And no, we don’t have enough time to learn in-depth about various fields of research, not when many of us spend a decent amount of time trying to earn a living. There’s not enough time or energy, so most of us rely on the expertise of somebody else whose logic seems to jibe. But how the hell do we know? We’re trusting them to know. And people tend to be driven toward agreeing with whatever the majority vote appears to be (articles advertising the claim”the vast majority of scientists believe in climate change” immediately spring to mind).

“We built up an intellect hard enough, as it were, to see through these mystifications, but any intellect that powerful has a tendency to become totalitarian. This is the fundamental problem. And nowhere would that be more evident than in the experience of the Germans, who were great at their technology, the advance of science and so on, a world as instrumentally rational […] but the flipside of Enlightenment has been to sort of give up before the overpowering forces of technology in a more abject surrender than any that was ever called for in religion, to abjectly just to surrender before the powers of technology. And given the current state of the powers of technology, they far surpass the characteristics that we associate with God.”

Very good excerpt. I love this man’s presentations.

“What had been a myth became a technologically-achievable reality.” […] “Now we have systems, ‘rational’ systems, […] instrumentally rational. That leads to a further paradox Marcuse locates in modern rationality, and that’s that instrumental rationality, and I want to associate it with sort of atomic bits of what I’ve been calling information, as opposed to knowledge, and instrumental singular decisions based upon them. You put these together and the outcome isn’t rational, the outcome is irrational, and dangerous.”

Significant portion of the talk follows. And that’s very much how I’m seeing things too. Trying to micromanage everything and everyone will not lead to order, it will lead to a new form of chaos, most certainly not the sort of life most of us would really want if an alternative still seemed possible.

“Science marks off this terrain of reason, but outside it it pays no attention, it gives no guidance. Why are there things outside of instrumental reason at all? That’s the theme of the whole course. The self under siege could never find meaning in this denuded form of thinking and living, where all that you’re up to is making rational decisions one after another. That’s not a rich enough notion of experience for human life.”

“The Enlightenment, in other words, carries myths right along with it, it did not kill it. And it may be that this entwinement of Enlightenment and mythology is what is most important to understand about the situation that we’re in now, by that I mean in the late 20th century, because now our technologies are themselves quasi-mythological.”

“[I]ndividual instrumental reason, left to its own, produces irrational results.”

Game Theory and unavoidable paradoxes.

A “society massively soaked in drugs.” Hear, hear. It’s the only way we’re able to put up with one another.

Alienation, rationalization, banalization…so true. Nodding along with what Roderick is describing there.

“Much easier to be a cynic than to deal with complexity. Better to say everything is bullshit than to try to look into enough things to know where you are. Better to say everything is just silly or pointless than to try to look into systems of this kind of complexity and situations of this kind of complexity and ambiguity that we have to deal with now.”


On the apathy exhibited in college students in the ’90s, Roderick shared this sentiment:

“And it is a fair question to ask whether a society that produces this reaction in its young is worthy of existence at all. It really is, it’s worth asking whether it’s worth being here at all.”


That’s what I’m wondering too. What’s the point if we’re only headed toward creating hell on earth?

Seems to me if we’re going to live we ought to be able to carve out meaningful lives within cultures that make sense to us as social beings, that is to say lives and communities we exercise some control over and help direct in an engaged way. Instead we’re being alienated from the processes of living and are being rendered cogs in a wheel we’re simply born into and don’t individually possess the power to effectively go up against. That leaves people bewildered and scared, dependent and clingy on authorities to protect us from so much we do not understand, from supposed military threats to those cracking up within our own society, from economic disasters to damage caused by weather. We are becoming child-like in our inability to care for our own selves aside from “whoring” ourselves out to employers and waving around money to get our needs taken care of. That’s all most of us know how to do these days.

“…we don’t have all the answers, that we have not even formulated all the questions correctly.”

Unmasked with George Carlin

I love listening to his stories. Listened to his audiobook Last Words, read by his brother, a couple years back and learned a lot more about him, and the interview above serves as a nice accompaniment.

I can’t help but envy his stance in no longer choosing to “have a stake” in the direction of our species. My prayer is that a little piece of George’s spirit will float down and somehow infuse me with a “fuck it” button as well.

“Malcolm X: Make It Plain”

Malcolm X: Make It Plain (Full PBS Documentary):