Cue Dry Ice, Spooky Music!

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Via Fark, this 700 Club piece is the best bit of investigative journalism I've read in weeks.

A snippet, to entice you:

Jeff Harshbarger was only in the third grade when his parents bought an ouija board. It seemed like a lot of fun until he found out that it was no game.

[…]

Dan [reporting]: Soon after his experience with the ouija board, the presence Jeff felt in his home spoke to him.

Jeff: I woke up one night and literally there was a voice behind my ear saying "Jeff, come. Come here. There's something I want to show you."

Dan [reporting]: This strange force took Jeff on out of body experiences. During these times, he saw things days before he experienced them in real life. Then Jeff met a man who happened to be a practicing satanist.

You know you want to read it all.

By the way, this can also happen if you you let your kids listen to rock 'n' roll.

NEXT: Taxes, Patriotism, and Just Plain Goofiness

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  1. Ahh, the good old ideomotor effect.

  2. That story is absolutely true, the same thing happened to me only with Dungeons and Dragons.

  3. Funny, I have no desire to read it whatsoever.

  4. I must have a defective ouija board. The pointer keeps spelling out “JN 3:16”

  5. Probably from the same “reporter” that investigated how the telletubbies are turning your kid into a pillowbiter.

  6. The day I got my ouija board, I had my first beer and got laid, too.
    God bless that board. I still sleep with it.

  7. Sounds like he just switched deities. Maybe next year he’ll hear the call of Ahura Mazda.

  8. Are you sure that didn’t say “practicing satirist?”

  9. The 700 Club warns about dabbling in the supernatural.
    Priceless.

  10. Dan [reporting]: Jeff was soon closer to the presence than he was to his own alcoholic father.

    you think maybe it didn’t have anything to do with Satan or a ouiji board?

  11. this can also happen if you you let your kids listen to rock ‘n’ roll.

    I’m living proof of that…….

  12. I don’t think we can just dismiss this poor man’s experience – as a matter of fact when I was 12….what?…no, I’m not going to write that…will you just shut up for once??!!!%#^#….ack!

  13. Dan [reporting]: Jeff was soon closer to the presence than he was to his own alcoholic father.

    you think maybe it didn’t have anything to do with Satan or a ouiji board?

    Yeah I was kind of wondering the same thing.

  14. Funny thing about christians; there seems to be a competition amongst the converted as to who had a more fucked up past and how miraculous their recovery was. It’s spiritual one-up-manship. Sometimes I get the feeling that they’re actually saying “Oh yeah? Well, I used to be addicted to coke AND heroin and I whored myself out to get them! God thought I was so special that he came down in person to tickle my insides with love until I gave it up!”

  15. Jeff Harshbarger was only in the third grade…

    Betcha a dollar that he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia before he hits age 25.

  16. Ouija boards! I knew it was them! Even when it was the abusive alcoholic father, I knew it was them.

  17. Wow, this reads like classic paranoid schizophrenia. I wonder if a little Prozac might help with the voices.

  18. If we’re not careful, there will be entire societies built around the voices in your head that tell you to do things, and maybe they will collect all of what the voices have said into one book, which shall become the basis for their movement. Eventually they will create large buildings where everyone who follows the book can gather, and they will chant and sing songs. Perhaps one day they can even have their own television show, where they warn people to listen only to their special voice, not any others they might hear.

    I love the religious who mock other religions’ beliefs as absurd.

  19. I grew up just a few miles from Robertson’s CBN headquarters, so this sort of thing is old hat to me. In my early teens, I had a Sunday school teacher who told our class about the time he got a painting from someplace like India: the room where he hung the painting got bitterly cold and stayed that way. So he invited a friend over to pray about it, and after speaking in tongues they realized it was because the painting had, in the corner, the tiny image of a foreign god (and we all know foreign gods are demons in disguise, right class?). So my teacher and his friend lit a fire and threw in the painting.

    And then (dramatically lower voice) “We could hear the screams of the demon coming out of the flames.” But the room temperature soon went back to normal.

    Yes, I can beat anybody in a fundie-stupidity-story one-upmanship contest. What a sad ability to have.

  20. ‘Cause every day I shaved I saw the demons.

    You’d think he would just grow a beard.

  21. Ryo wins!

  22. that’s a week-assed Demon, that he could be destroyed by fire. Hell, shouldn’t fire make it stronger?

    Another thing I don’t get about demonology-obsessed Christians: If Jesus said that demons are powerless in his presence, and all it takes is prayer to defeat them, then how are they so damn scary?

  23. And then (dramatically lower voice) “We could hear the screams of the demon coming out of the flames.” But the room temperature soon went back to normal.

    Damn them demons and their propensity for making room temperatures unbearable! If only they could put their powers to better use, we might be able to stave off global warming.

  24. I love the religious who mock other religions’ beliefs as absurd.

    My boss subscribes to World magazine, which is a Christian right Time wannabe. A few weeks ago the cover story was Mitt Romney, and the article featured several political experts apoplectically frothing that (I am only mildly paraphrasing) “Hello, Mitt Romney is a Mormon! Does anybody really think it’s good to vote for someone who believes some whackjob heard God telling him what to write in a book and now does everything that fakey book says?”

    It was hilarious. Or really sad.

  25. that’s a week-assed Demon, that he could be destroyed by fire. Hell, shouldn’t fire make it stronger?

    I did ask the teacher how a little fire could hurt him when he was accustomed to hell. It’s the power of prayer or something. Thing is, air-conditioning costs are really high in southeastern Virginia and I didn’t see why you couldn’t put demonic paintings in all the southern-facing rooms, so long as you cordon them off with holy water or something.

    No, wait, that’s Popish. Catholic saints are also demons in disguise, you know.

    Anyway, that’s the teacher my mother grounded me over after he accused me of being a Satan worshiper and I said “I’ve sacrificed goats to Lord Satan before but I could always use a jackass if I had to. So watch out.”

    I don’t mean to pull a Guy Montag here, but I did in fact write about him last year on my blog. I posted the link into my name. (As an added bonus, the first comment is from that guy who claims he’s the second coming of the messiah. He doesn’t comment anymore, though. I miss him.)

    On-topic aside: one of my mother’s friends used to brag that she was one of the original 700 members of the 700 club. Something about that number of people chipping in to save the ministry, or something.

  26. Ellie paraphrased World magazine: “Hello, Mitt Romney is a Mormon! Does anybody really think it’s good to vote for someone who believes some whackjob heard God telling him what to write in a book and now does everything that fakey book says?”

    You mean that whackjob Moses and that fakey book The Holy Bible? Oh, wait, if we applied that standard we’d have no one on the presidential ballot to vote for.

    If evangelical Christians want to criticize Mormons, they need to be very precise about which allegedly whackjob beliefs they are mocking, yeah?

  27. At least they didn’t pull out the old one about how Ouija spelled backwards is “a Jeeeew.” That’s progress of a kind, isn’t it?

  28. SuperMike | July 5, 2007, 4:21pm | #
    Wow, this reads like classic paranoid schizophrenia. I wonder if a little Prozac might help with the voices.

    Doubtful, as Prozac is for depression, it’s not an anti-psychotic. Haldol might work though.

    As an added bonus, the first comment is from that guy who claims he’s the second coming of the messiah. He doesn’t comment anymore, though. I miss him.

    That’s pure foolishness, we all know David Koresh was the second coming of the messiah!

  29. When are they going to blow the lid off of ….

    Bloody Mary
    Bloody Mary
    Bloody Mary
    Bloody Mary

  30. That’s an awesome story, Jennifer. And did Jaime just admit to getting drunk and fucking his Ouija board? I mean, I can understand a chicken every now and then, but come on!

  31. I’ve sacrificed goats to Lord Satan before but I could always use a jackass if I had to. So watch out.

    ROFL, Classic Jennifer. Sorry about getting grounded (as if any prison could hold you 😉 Having these people in positions of authority must have sucked, but otherwise your childhood sounds like a laugh riot.

    My childhood was much more banal. It wasn’t till my late twenties that I realized how funny my religious upbringing was. I could grasp the absurdity of discussing world hunger over decaf and cheesecake at the time, but it took me years to reconstruct the consequences to social standing that were incurred based upon the results of one’s attempt to bake the body of the Savior.

  32. Funny thing about christians; there seems to be a competition amongst the converted as to who had a more fucked up past and how miraculous their recovery was.

    So true. So true.

  33. Far be it from me to think that CBN is making shit up for the benefit of their easily-bamboozled viewers but I think this story has an much truth as other Christian urban legends like “sounds of hell being heard in a deep Siberian well,” or “the Cassie Bernall story, or “atheists are trying to ban religious programming;” not to mention the entire “World-Wide Satanic Ritual Abuse Conspiracy.” While I’m sure such stories put asses into pews and dollars in the collection plates, I’d like to see a shred of evidence that any of it is real and not just written up in Pat Robertson’s office before the show.

    Warren:
    That story is absolutely true, the same thing happened to me only with Dungeons and Dragons.

    Tell that the The Pulling Report. 😉

    Everyone:
    A personal progress report: I have set up an appointment with a psychiatrist and I’m going to be seeing him in a few weeks. More to come later.

  34. did Jaime just admit to getting drunk and fucking his Ouija board? I mean, I can understand a chicken every now and then, but come on!

    No, I just spoon it.
    Then masturbate to my illustrated version of Dante’s “Inferno.”

  35. A personal progress report: I have set up an appointment with a psychiatrist and I’m going to be seeing him in a few weeks. More to come later.

    WTF?

  36. Show me a happy medium and I’ll show you a jolly fortune teller.

    Sorry, that’s all I got.

    /wanders off…

  37. That’s good, Akira. Just talk, though. Don’t hop on the pill thing right off the bat.

  38. Good luck Akira.

  39. Don’t hop on the pill thing right off the bat.

    I don’t know. I hopped on the pill thing right off the bat. Worked, too.

  40. G’luck Akira. I say go for pills if you think they’ll help, but keep in mind that they’re not magical. Which is sort of unfortunate, now that my cleric is level 6 I wanted to start learning real magic.

  41. “Funny thing about christians; there seems to be a competition amongst the converted as to who had a more fucked up past and how miraculous their recovery was.”

    We should have a libertarian version of this. I can see the posts already:

    “I was a paper-pusher in the Swedish health care system, when one day I walked by the bookstore and saw The Fountainhead on display in the window…it called out to me”

    “That’s nothing! I was a guard in a Cuban political prison, where we would ship children who traded lunch items at school for engaging in unsanctioned economic activity! And then Milton Friedman appeared to me in a dream…”

    “Ha! Fools! Until last week, I was director of Hugo Chavez’s program to nationalize and ration oxygen! Not only that, I confiscated the home of a hardworking self-made entrepeneur and handed it over to a drunk who spends his days watching football games, all because his mother has connections with the Party! But this morning, I saw the image of Ron Paul in my scrambled eggs, and I am forever reborn!”

  42. Not a thread-winner, Dave, but that was phucking phunny.

  43. It practically writes itself

  44. I grew up just a few miles from Robertson’s CBN headquarters, so this sort of thing is old hat to me. In my early teens, I had a Sunday school teacher who told our class about the time he got a painting from someplace like India: the room where he hung the painting got bitterly cold and stayed that way. So he invited a friend over to pray about it, and after speaking in tongues they realized it was because the painting had, in the corner, the tiny image of a foreign god (and we all know foreign gods are demons in disguise, right class?).

    You know, I always wondered – why is that demons and the devil always seem try to tempt God-fearing folks by being incredibly creepy? If you’re not a teenage kid trying to piss off your parents, how would some being acting creepy, inhuman, and menacing appeal to you? Why wouldn’t savvy demons project auras of warmth and kindness and use their dark powers, unsolicited, in order to protect kitten/puppies, children, and old people – and thus lower the wariness of the faithful?

    Worse: why does this supposedly work? 😀

  45. Here, I’ll do Joe’s for him:

    “I used to work on the Bush administration’s budget proposals, until I read “The Road To Serfdom” and realized his medicare entitlement would bankrupt our country. Now I develop proposals to nationalize all health care for the Democratic party.

  46. Just talk, though. Don’t hop on the pill thing right off the bat.

    Phbbbbbbbbt. Talk is cheap. Get all the pills you can. Don’t take them right away, first say you need something stronger.

  47. OK, Dave, I’ll bite.

    I was a dumbshit freshman in college at the University of Montana, raised my parents who always told me to find the “middle ground” on issues. I was religious at one point until I met (this is a true story, mind you) a nymphomaniac who read me the introduction to “The Fountainhead” right after a session of hot, steamy sex. I studied Rand after that for six straight years and wrote my graduate thesis on her philosophy. The nympho has since dropped her libertarian leanings and last I heard was working for the Nader campaign in Seattle. Meanwhile, I took what I could from Rand, settled on a more liberal-tarian position while still admiring her philosophy and the efficacy of free minds and markets.
    Ain’t that dope?

  48. And I’ll do Dan T.’s:

    “Hi, I use to have principles before I abandoned them for noncontextual pragmatism and now I hold down a government job and troll libertarian Web sites all day while collecting a paycheck off the backs of taxpayers.”

  49. Jamie,
    I think you’re on to something there. If I had a nymphomaniac read me the bible, it certainly might have been more appealing.

  50. If I had a nymphomaniac read me the bible, it certainly might have been more appealing.

    Especially if you both came right when she got to the armageddon part.
    /runs away/

  51. Magic EightBall > Ouija Board

    I like noncommittal prophesy.

  52. Alastair Crowley warned against the Ouija board. He said it provided a connection for very low-class entities.

  53. So Ouija Boards are the Coors Light of demonic summoning devices?

  54. jh (aka The Only Mormon Libertarian in the Entire U.S.)

    Not so! There’s at least 2 of us!

  55. Randolph Carter,

    High middle ages and onward exposure of Christian Europe to foreign religions, etc. was one of the biggest promoters of secularism (in a roundabout fashion) since that process started.

    Anyway, as Xenophanes stated (or wrote – I can’t remember if he actually wrote his thoughts down) if a cow had hands it would draw a God which looked like a cow. Spinoza used a similar line of reasoning to attack the notion of a anthropocentric God (by using circles and other geometric objects in place of a cow). perhaps, at least in one context, Xenophanes’ cow would look something like this. Found here.

  56. Alastair Crowley warned against the Ouija board. He said it provided a connection for very low-class entities.

    An entity with any class would have better things to do than give romantic advice to love-lorn teenagers. If I ever become an ethereal spirit assigned to Ouija-board duty, I’m spelling out messages like GET A LIFE YOU LOSERS.

  57. You know, I always wondered – why is that demons and the devil always seem try to tempt God-fearing folks by being incredibly creepy? If you’re not a teenage kid trying to piss off your parents, how would some being acting creepy, inhuman, and menacing appeal to you? Why wouldn’t savvy demons project auras of warmth and kindness and use their dark powers, unsolicited, in order to protect kitten/puppies, children, and old people – and thus lower the wariness of the faithful?

    Because like The Lord, the Devil works in inefficient ways.

    Besides, for some it’s so much easier to blame a parental inability to understand teenage rebellion on demonic possession than all that materialist science-talk about so called “hormones” and “puberty” that comes from those atheistic biology teachers who nearly flunked you out of high school.

  58. A personal progress report: I have set up an appointment with a psychiatrist and I’m going to be seeing him in a few weeks. More to come later.

    I can only assume this was included in this thread because… the ouija board didn’t work? I generally find hit and run a much more interesting yardstick for measuring my (in)sanity.

    On a more serious note, do what you gotta do, just watch out for the pills that give you side effects that need to be treated with more pills.

  59. Take the blue ones, but NOT the purple ones, dude. The purple ones are bad news.

    In honesty, Akira, good luck dealing w/ whatever issues you have. I have some limited experience with analysis, etc. and my only advice would be to not be super-skeptical and super-critical about your own emotional state.

  60. From Eric the .5b,
    Why wouldn’t savvy demons project auras of warmth and kindness and use their dark powers, unsolicited, in order to protect kitten/puppies, children, and old people – and thus lower the wariness of the faithful?

    You’ve reminded me of one of my favorite t.v. characters, Conan O’Brien’s Evil Puppy. (Link has annoying music from Carmina Burana, puppy is too cute for words.)

    Best of luck with your troubles, Akira. Be an educated consumer and keep an open mind about the options your professional provides for you. SSRIs helped me at a very rough time in my life. If your doctor prescribes them or anything else for you, I would not reject the idea out of hand.

  61. It is my understanding that Ouija boards only work with two or more people using it. Something to do with involuntary muscle movement. So the kid is either a liar about using it alone, is a nut job, or really did contact an evil spirit. I’ll go with nut job.

  62. Something to do with involuntary muscle movement.

    That’s spot on. It’s called the ideomotor effect, and it’s the culprit behind a number of “supernatural” things, including ouija boards, dowsing, and pendulums (pendula?).

    So pretty much any time some “entity” is giving you information through something moving in/under your hands, it’s really just you telling yourself stuff.

    Except for the Magic 8-Ball. That’s the real thing, man.

  63. Don’t hop on the pill thing right off the bat.

    I don’t know. I hopped on the pill thing right off the bat. Worked, too.

    Ditto here, and keep your chin up if you have to switch pills a few times. It makes a tough thing even tougher, but if you hate the side effects, don’t feel like you have to soldier through.

    Good luck.

  64. “It is my understanding that Ouija boards only work with two or more people using it.”

    In that the movements act through the subconsious, it seems to me like it would work with one person.

  65. “We could hear the screams of the demon coming out of the flames.”

    This sounds similar to a tale a cousin of mine told her younger siblings. She just got back from Seventh Day Adventist summer camp and told them about an experience she and her friends supposedly had at summer camp. She said they had a ouicha board that kept influencing them to do sinful things so they threw it away outside in the trash, but it kept appearing back in their room so they took it outside and burned it. Whenever, they burned it, it started screaming. These are probably all just variations of the same urban legend. I think my cousin was just trying to entertain her younger siblings with a scarry story she had picked up at summer camp.

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