A New Cyber Bullying Game and the Girl Who Stood Up To It

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Last night, while reading my Google Alerts for Bullying, I came across a very interesting but disturbing story. The link on the alert led me to an article about a new bullying game on Snapchat. In this game, players are encourage to come up with the worst possible insults they can hurl at another person, be it about their appearance, personality, weight or anything else. My reaction to this was, “Who in their right mind would come up with something like this?” I mean isn’t there enough crap in the world without people wanting to hurt others through a game. The article was published in several British newspapers so the game might be just in the UK, although it will probably spread world wide if allowed to continue. Personally, if it does, I think that any victim of this Snapchat abuse should do the American thing and sue the game’s creator. Obviously, there are a lot of sickos in the world.

Rachaele Hambleton and her 12 year old daughter Betsy

Fortunately, this story has a happy side to it. One 12 year old girl from Devon, UK named Betsy Chamberlain stood up to all those who play this game. She wrote her own story on Snapchat saying how disgusting this game was and it was cruel and mean and that she would have no part in playing it. Betsy’s mother, Rachaele Hambleton states how proud she is of her daughter for taking this stand against this horrible bullying game. Well Rachaele, I’m proud of Betsy too for the same reasons. Rachaele has now written about this game in her own blog, Part Time Working Mummy, to warn people of the potential dangers of this game. She has also alerted many parents to it as well. Hopefully, this will go far in getting victims to speak out if they are being bullied online or anywhere else.

An additional thought, inspired by my beautiful Aspergers mind, came from the only online comment on the article. It simply states, “Now blogger is an employment option.” You sorely missed the point here mate. Yes the mother works part time and yes she writes a blog but she doesn’t do it for a living. I don’t know anyone who writes a blog for a living. In my case, there is a indirect financial motive for writing Peaceful Rampage and that is so you will all go out and buy my book, “He Was Weird.” But I work a full time job plus two part time ones and none of them are to do with blogging. The thing is that Rachelle Hambleton wrote her article in order alert others to the dangers of this game and to rightfully give praise to her daughter Betsy for being brave and standing up for what she believed was wrong. I praise Betsy too.

To view the newspaper article in The Sun, here’s the link: https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/3016323/mum-horrified-when-daughter-tells-her-about-new-snapchat-bullying-game-but-is-left-proud-by-her-response/

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488915055&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

I Should Have Told My Story

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With all my reflection of my past, another ‘what if’ arises to play with my Asperger’s mind. This one goes back to late 1986, early 87 when I attended Queen Mary College in London. During that time, I was feeling very angry towards the United States after receiving a letter that for me at the time was the straw that broke the camel’s back and had me declaring that I hated my country. That event was the Veteran’s Administration refusing to give me any of my Veteran’s Education money on the grounds that my course of study wasn’t approved.

I told my immediate friends, both American and British, about my feelings and all of them were very sympathetic towards me. However, I toyed with the idea that I should tell my story to the college newspaper. I thought it might be a good story about how an American veteran is being so badly treated by his country. I’m sure that many a British student and a good number of Americans would have been surprised and impressed at what I had to say. So why didn’t I?

The main reason was that I was afraid of being thought of as an attention seeker. This was something I was accused of being in my childhood and in my young adult life, I went too far the other way out of fear of being thought of as such. Furthermore, there was the two extremes of British politics at the college. On the left, I would have been seen as a martyr against the Imperialist American state. The positive being that they would have jumped on my story as proof of how America treats the working class, even though they served the country. I know I would have been caught up in that furor. Meanwhile, the right would have been quick in their attempts to discredit me. They would have tried to make me out to be some whinging crybaby and downplay the validity of my accounts. Not that I feared anything from them really. Then of course, it would have put the other American students in an awkward situation, again, I wouldn’t have cared too much about that. However, most would have said nothing in public while secretly wishing me that it all would work out for me.

Another thing to note would be the fact that I would have said something a few British students might not have liked. See, during my year at Queen Mary, there was this stereotype by British students that all American ones were filthy rich. That surely didn’t apply to me and because of that, I would have attacked that stereotype. Some British students would have taken offense to that. I don’t think the college administration would have been too happy with me either for accusing the college of thriving on the myth that all American students were rich. In my defense, I would have likened myself to Fredrick Douglas, an escaped slave who spoke for the abolitionist cause. When he was talking about slavery in the South, he was a hero but when he spoke out against prejudice in the North, it didn’t sit too well with people. It might have been the same with me in regards to the US and the UK.

In hindsight, I think that I should have told my story to the college paper, warts and all. I would have gotten it all off my chest and not have been such an angry young man. I realize now that most of my anxieties over why I didn’t do it wouldn’t have impacted much on my story and it would have explained a lot to people about me. It wouldn’t have been attention seeking either and I think that people might have been generally interested in what I had to say. Of course, if there were blogs thirty years ago, it would have been that much easier.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488318403&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

The Role of Music in Literary School Shootings: He Was Weird

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mybookcover

After reviewing two prominent books about the role of music in the school shootings which take place in their stories, I have decided to write about my own novel, “He Was Weird.” Before I launch, I would like to point out that, originally, I read both “Nineteen Minutes” and “Endgame” while I was writing my own story out of fear of being accused of plagiarism. Those fears were put to rest quite quickly although reading about the role of music on those stories gave me ideas for my own in that regard.

Mark, the protagonist from the story, is never really into music. In fact, in one scene, he states that Marilyn Manson is Satanic. Therefore, you, the reader, don’t really get much insight into his musical tastes because there is none to get. However, after Mark carries out his big atrocity by shooting up his school, it doesn’t stop some people from insisting that he was driven to his crime by music. During a phone in radio programme, some caller insists that he Marilyn Manson and violent video games were the reasons behind Mark’s killing spree. Even the talk show host downplays those comments.

Marilyn Manson-

Marilyn Manson-

The argument that music was at fault for Mark’s school frenzy doesn’t end with the radio phone in. Maybe one of the officers from the Ramsgate Police Department was listening to the broadcast because when they go to Mark’s house and confiscate his things, they do so with the idea of him being under the influence of films, games or music. Sadly for them, they find nothing to substantiate their claim. The only computer games they find are the Age of Empires games and an ice hockey game. Though that doesn’t stop some from stating that Mark’s amazing ability to play the Age of Empires games influenced his decision to shoot up his school. As a result and I’m going off track a little here, parents of the victims try to use it to get a teacher at the school fired and one tries to sue Microsoft. The same goes for films. The only two they find are for “Saving Private Ryan” and “A Bridge Too Far.” Both are bloody World War II films but no one would want to admit that they were an influence on a school shooting. Although watching those films before the big day does help de-sensitize Mark to all the blood he sees when he shoots everyone. That leaves music. Well, the police only find two CDs belonging to Mark. One his a commercial rock sounding band called the Guiding Lights and the other is a hardcore thrash metal band called Demonslayer. However, despite the different genres, both bands have one thing in common, they’re both Christian rock bands! After a couple of songs about Jesus on both CD’s, the cops have to conclude that music couldn’t have influenced Mark to shoot up his school.

After much thought and four posts, I am left to conclude that music has very little or nothing to do with anyone shooting up their school. There are other factors as to why this happens and often the case, as in the three books, it is bullying. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to accept that bullying may have something to do with it and find it easier to blame music no matter how preposterous it might sound. I think that until something changes, then music will continue to be wrongly blamed for terrible tragedies.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487691409&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Role of Music in Literary School Shootings: Endgame

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endgame

As there were no victories for the bullies to post about, I am able to continue my theme of the role of music in school shootings in books. This post looks at the novel “Endgame” by the late Nancy Garden.

R.I.P Nancy Garden

 Nancy Garden

Since it’s been awhile since I have posted anything relating to this very good novel, I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick run through. The story is about a boy named Gray Wilton who is on trial for shooting four of his fellow students dead and wounding several others at his school. “Endgame” is centred around the conversations between Gray and his lawyer. Gray tells the lawyer all about the bullying he had suffered at the hands of the jocks at the school. Many of the things done to him are some of the most horrible account of bullying I have ever read about. It’s no wonder why in the end, Gray snaps in the way he does.

Now the million dollar question: What did music have to do with the shooting? In this case, the answer is fairly straight forward. Gray is a really good drummer. So good in fact that he plays at the Christmas concert. Unfortunately, this also leads to another bullying incident because right before the concert, his bullies destroy his drum kit. Furthermore, Gray does find relief in music and that is used against him after he carries out the shooting. Pupils and teachers say that he’s into rebellious rap music and heavy metal, although that’s never mentioned in the story. However, it is enough for many out there to conclude that Gray was influenced by music to carry out his crimes. Once again, we see music being wrongly blamed for a shooting just because it is easy to do so.

Actually, Endgame had me reflecting back to the Jonesboro, Arkansas shooting. I keep thinking of that teacher saying about one of the shooters that, “He was a fine boy before he started listening to that Tu-Pac Shaker and Bugs Harmony.” I wonder if Nancy was thinking the same when she wrote “Endgame.” Unfortunately, she is not with us to ask her. Still, I think she would agree that blaming music for Gray’s actions is completely ridiculous.

To buy He Was Weird go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487108071&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher Suspended for Showing Anti- Bullying Film, Outrageous!

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Instead of my intended post, I decided to post about an event I read online tonight. A teacher in North Carolina was suspended for showing an anti- bullying film to her class. The film in question is called “All You Need is Love.” It’s about a world where homosexuality is the norm and straight people are denounced for their lifestyle choices.

Ashley is a young girl born of two normal mothers. She discovers she has a liking for boys which is against the norms of this particular society. Her peers find out about her hetro-sexuality and begin bullying her for it. Like many victims of homophobic bullying, those in authority like teachers blame Ashley for her suffering on account that she is straight. Her parents aren’t much help either. When she is badly beaten up, all Ashley’s parents can talk about is moving out of the town. In the end, Ashley takes her own life.

Having watched the film, I can say that there is nothing shocking, inappropriate or unusual about it. The bullying Ashley suffers is typical of the bullying many people suffer, I know, I suffered it too. So my question is, why are so many parents up in arms about it. Furthermore, I think that suspending the teacher over it is overreacting in a big way. My first thought is that this type of thing is typical of America. Something that appears controversial takes place and the knives and torches come out before all of the facts are known. What’s also an interesting note is that most of the pupils who saw the film were not upset by it. Rather, they saw the anti bullying message in it.

Okay, the vehicle in which the anti bullying message may seem quite controversial. After all, we don’t live in a world where homosexuality is the norm, it’s still more the reverse. However, bullying knows no bounds and can happen anywhere for anything. I know that all too well too. Therefore, I think it was right of this teacher to show the film and alert children to the dangers of bullying as it can happen anywhere.

To view the film: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/teacher-suspended-after-showing-students-anti-bullying-video/491662577

The Role of Music in Literary School Shootings: Nineteen Minutes

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Riding on the momentum from my last post about the influence of music in school shootings, I will look at this through some of the books I’ve posted about in the past. All of them are about school shootings. This post takes on Jodi Picoult’s best seller, “Nineteen Minutes.” For those who haven’t read it, it’s about a boy named Peter Houghton, who is so badly bullied, he goes into the school one day and shoots ten people dead and wounds eight more. The book goes back and forth between the events that led up to the shooting and those that come after and it’s very well done in my view.

After the shooting in the story, the police search Peter’s room and remove all sorts of evidence. Among all the books and online instructions on how to make bombs, they also take his DVD’s, one of which is “Bowling for Columbine,” and his CD collection. One of the albums taken is from a band called Death Wish and on the album is a song called “Judgement Day,” which many people say the lyrics of the song vividly describe the setting behind Peter’s shooting up of his school. Needless to say, many people begin to blame heavy metal music.

Not too much further along in the story, the lead singer of Death Wish and I love this name, Raven Napalm, gives a press conference. In it, he states that no one says anything when America sends kids overseas to fight and die for oil but when one kid fails to see the beauty of life and shoots up his school, then everyone points fingers at heavy metal music. Maybe he’s got a point here. Unfortunately, except for the fact that Peter listens to heavy metal in general, not much more is said on the subject.

What I found amusing is Jodi’s description of Mr. Napalm. It is practically Marilyn Manson to a tee. The black hair, eye shadow and lip piercings described in Raven Napalm’s appearance immediately brought Marilyn’s image to mind. Furthermore, Marilyn did say something along the same lines as his fictional counter part after Columbine. I am not suggesting she plagiarized anything, she didn’t. However, I do think she was very influenced by Columbine and Marilyn Manson, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Marilyn Manson- could this be Jodi Picoult's Raven Napalm?

Marilyn Manson- could this be Jodi Picoult’s Raven Napalm?

In short, I’m glad that in “Nineteen Minutes” Jodi seems to reject the notion that music had anything to do with the shooting in the story. All throughout the book, Peter is described as a loner and a victim and that heavy metal was his way of dealing with all the crap he was getting on a daily basis. Point, not everyone who listens to metal is a bullied loner. I just wanted to get that out because for me, “Nineteen Minutes” deals with the real issues that led to the shooting, the main one of these was the bullying.

Next post: Endgame by Nancy Garden

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485979678&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

Does Music Cause School Shootings?

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Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

When Columbine happened, there seemed to be a lot of people chimed in that Marilyn Manson was to blame. That the two shooters who carried out the massacre were driven to their crimes by the music of Marilyn Manson. Students at the school and many parents from the area were all certain that the two boys were hard core fans of the infamous singer. This was later debunked as investigations emerged that they were neither Manson fans nor of the trench coat wearing brigade. However, the accusations aimed at Manson nearly ruined his music career.

In the documentary film, “Bowling for Columbine,” during his interview with Michael Moore, Manson points out that on the same day, the US Air Force dropped more bombs on Kosovo than at any other time during that campaign. The bombings were sanctioned by then president Bill Clinton. Manson pointed out that the president has more ability to influence people that Manson does.

Columbine wasn’t the only school shooting where music was blamed. When the shooting occurred in Jonesboro, Arkansas, music was blamed as well. One US Senator stated that music was at fault and even got one of the teachers to say of the elder shooter, “He was a fine boy until he started listening to Tu-Pac Shaker and Bugs Harmony.” What the senator omitted was that the boy sang in the church choir and at ages 13 and 11, they know how to steal and drive a van and knew right where to get the guns for the big day. The 13 year old stated that the reason he shot only girls and a female teacher was because one girl ‘jilted’ him by refusing to become his girlfriend on demand. Sorry, that doesn’t sound like any musical influence to me.

A study by Alfred University lists the reasons why school shootings occur. There are sixteen of them and I don’t see music listed at all. The closest is viewing of violence in movies, games and videos. FFI, you can check it out yourself:  http://www.alfred.edu/teenviolence/whydoshootings.cfm

Music being responsible for school shootings also occurs in fiction as well as fact. Two of the books I have talked about on this blog have music blamed in some way for the school shooting that occurs in the story. I also have a little fun with it in “He Was Weird.” Therefore, my next three posts will talk about the shootings in those stories and the role music is believed to have played in them. I’ll start with Jodi Picoult’s “Nineteen Minutes” in my next post. Maybe then, I’ll have some understanding why people are quick to blame music for school shootings.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485376494&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

My Confusion of Religion and Music

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Many Born Again Christians who knew me in my teens and young adult years blamed the Marine Corps for my straying from the faith. Many but not all because some blamed music. The funny thing was the fact that there was a great deal of truth in that but not as some might imagine. See, I wasn’t turned from my faith because I began listening to Motley Crue albums, no, music played a role in my disassociation with Born Again Christianity in a different way, which I will now explain.

When I was fifteen, I worked the first of three summers at a Bible Camp based on the one mentioned in “He Was Weird.” My musical knowledge at the time was limited to AM radio and it was meeting people at the camp who had much more extensive musical knowledge who enlightened my musical experiences beyond that of mainstream radio. During the summer of 1976, I was introduced to musical artists such as Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Jim Croce and even KISS. Although I knew of the Beatles, thanks to one friend, by the time the summer finished, I could practically sing the Sgt Pepper album by heart. What all of these musically wise co-workers all had in common was the fact that they were all very strong Christians. When the summer was over, I further investigated my new knowledge and began exploring musicians on my own initiative. That’s how a became a big Jefferson Starship fan. Furthermore, my musical knowledge would grow deeper when I would return to work at the camp over the next two summers.

Sure, there were those of the older generation and some younger ones who declared rock music to be of the devil. It was after the third summer when I heard someone from my local church youth group state that KISS was an anagram for Knights in Satan’s Service and I stopped listening to them. But for the most part, I listened to what I wanted without any finger pointing. In addition, when the church went roller skating, no one stopped the rink deejay from playing main stream music. So, I saw nothing wrong with listening to music.

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My musical knowledge and appreciation expanded thousands fold when I joined the marines. It opened up my experiences to all sorts of music including my love for Southern Rock. Therefore, when I left the service, I had all sorts of musical knowledge and experiences to build upon and was as knowledgeable as many of my contemporaries. As for being a Born Again Christian, I still had the faith but by that time, I was using Ephesians Chapter 2 verses 8 and 9 to justify not bothering with the works. That didn’t stop one of my old friends trying to bring me ‘back to the fold.’

I went to church with my friend and even to some of his young adult evenings. I found them fun but there was no spiritual uplifting for me. Then at one such function, those Christians began talking about the evils of rock music and how it was of the devil. My friend even confessed that he was having a difficult time in destroying his record collection to which one person advised him to simply put them in the bath and turn the water on to warp them.

This is what I found confusing. I had come to love rock music through friends who were just as good Christians, maybe better, than the ones who were now denouncing music. This contradiction caused great confusion in my mind because I saw nothing spiritually wrong with most music. If anything contributed to my divorce from this form of Christianity, it was this confusion over music.

Yes, KISS was still a religious football kicked around by these Christians as an example of the evils of rock and roll but further artists were being thrown in. Michael Jackson was attacked because he was a Jehovah’s Witness and buying his records was supporting that ‘false’ faith. Then more anagrams came in. The band WASP was awarded two: We Are Satan’s People and We Are Sexual Perverts. Furthermore, female artists Stevie Nicks and Grace Slick both supposedly practiced witchcraft and a couple of years later, so did Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart. To me, it was just getting ridiculous. Then the final straw came after Live Aid when these so called Christians condemned the artists who performed saying they should have given 10% of their money instead of twenty minutes of their time. I wonder how many of these ‘Christians’ gave that much of their money. If it wasn’t that, my final straw with Born Again Christianity would have come a year later when these persons would show up at concerts and tell us we were all going to hell for seeing a concert.

WASP

WASP

My attitudes towards  music remained with me when I began investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, (Mormons.) During one of the discussions, I was ready to come out and ask the missionaries teaching us if I joined their church, would I be expected to burn my AC/DC albums. Fortunately, my then wife was a bit more diplomatic and managed to steer the conversation to that vein so my question was answered.  Mormonism is more of a play on the conscience. When listening to any music, one is supposed to ask themselves, “Would they feel comfortable listening to it if Jesus were listening with them?” If the answer is no, then don’t listen to it. When I was young in the faith, there were a few albums I could answer yes to. Most had swearing in the lyrics and there was one song where the singer came right out and sang “Hail Satan.” But most of what I listened to I felt okay with. So, if anyone asks, music had nothing to do with my choice to leave the faith.

Contrary to what some Born Again Christians might think, I haven’t chosen music over God. In fact, I can listen to Christian rock just as I do non-Christian rock. I do really like Stryper. Just don’t tell me that I’m worshiping Satan because I listen to music because I’ll tell you where to go.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484762670&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

Religion is the Biggest Contradiction of All to Me

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Sometimes when I write a post, it opens my mind up for further contemplation on the subject I’ve posted about and paves the way for future posts. This is a good thing as I don’t have to dither on what I’m going to write about each week. Last week’s post on how contradiction has negative effects on me has been successful in influencing this week’s post.

Probably the biggest contradictions I’ve had to deal with in my life is those imposed on me by religion. For those who haven’t been following Peaceful Rampage from the early years, allow me to recap history. In my teens, I was a stalwart Born Again Christian. Like so many people who possess traits of Asperger’s Syndrome, I believed what was taught ultra literally. Not just what I read in the Bible but what was said by ministers, Sunday School teachers and others who I perceived to have standing in the church and to be good Christians. However, there were times that these people seemed to contradict each other and at times, the scriptures and that effected my faith.

The two biggest contradictory occurrences both happened when I was 17. During that summer, I worked away at a Christian summer camp and had a relationship with a female colleague there. When I came home at the end of the summer, I was determined to carry on the relationship despite the fact the girl lived 85 miles away. Naturally, to do this was complicated but I tried to have faith. Some, including members of my family thought that I was wasting time chasing after a girl so far away. However, what kept me on course was messages from two ministers who basically said that one night stands, short term and meaningless romances were a sin because that wasn’t love, it was lust. Therefore, I concluded that if I treated what I had with that girl as a summertime romance, I would be sinning against God. This contradiction messed with my head for the two years, I considered myself to be with this girl. It only ended when she rejected my proposal of marriage and that played a major part in my departure from wanting to do what God wanted.

The second instance started when I was 17 but lasted a good seven years and revolved around my time in the Marines. Some people in the church and my mother weren’t too happy my decision to enlist. They thought that me being such a good Christian, that I would become corrupted by the evil heathens that made up the US military. At the same time, however, many of them would pontificate Romans 13 and obeying the government. Ministers and teachers both stated that if we were called to go to war, we have the obligation to go. Furthermore, some, especially some of the younger Christians used to tell how the Vietnam draft dodgers were all in danger of hell fire for disobeying the Lord. This was a contradiction that in my mind, bordered on hypocrisy. Saying that you should obey your government in one hand but the other, discouraging young people from actually serving their country. That for me was the final straw with the Born Again faith. While I admit that I did become corrupted in the military, it wasn’t because of the evil heathens but because I got to the end of my tether with these contradictions. Saying that, I never renounced my faith in Jesus. I still professed to have faith but and justified it with Ephesians Chapter 2 verses 8 and 9. My statement was that if you’re saved through grace and not of works, why bother with the works?

In my very late twenties and thirties, I did find a faith that was right for me. That was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or better known as Mormons. I didn’t find contradiction with the teachings save one, which I will go into in a moment. I will not go into any argument as to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I look at it this way, we can accept the Bible and Muslims, the Qu’uran, so why should the Book of Mormon be any different? Besides, if Joseph Smith did make it all up, he must have one hell of an imagination.  Another point about it is that I have read this book and found absolutely nothing blasphemous. However, I have found a contradiction. Mormons believe that murder is an unpardonable sin. Also, if somebody had something valuable of mine and refused to give it back, even after I had given him money for it, and so one night, I waited for him to be passed out drunk, killed him and got my possession back, I still would be guilty of murder. In the opening chapters of the Book of Mormon, this happens when Nephi kills a man named Laban because he refuses to give back the brass plates belonging to Nephi’s father. It is written that the spirit of God commands Nephi to do this but why would God have somebody commit and act which is really an unpardonable sin? This contradiction gets to me and saying that it’s not important isn’t the answer because it’s important to me. For the record, this wasn’t the reason why I eventually left the LDS faith.

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Now for the shameless connection to “He Was Weird.” In the story, Mark does become a Born Again Christian but God never delivers him from his bullies. When he sites the ‘turn the other cheek’ passage for not standing up to his bullies, he is rebuked and told that it doesn’t mean he needs to be a punching bag. The contradictions with his faith are one of the things that lead him to use Deuteronomy Chapter 20, verses 16-17 to carry out his big climax.

At the moment, contradictions in religion have resulted in me becoming a spiritual anarchist. I believe in the teaching of Christianity including Mormonism but to follow any faith would be detrimental to my mental well being because of the fact that I would believe things so literally and contradiction would cause nothing more than stress and anxiety. Therefore, I have chosen to remain happy.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484157798&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

I Don’t Do Contradiction

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The confused guy from The Last Show

The confused guy from The Last Show

Nobody likes contradiction. It causes confusion, raises anxiety levels and can make the person causing the contradiction appear stupid even if being contradictory wasn’t the intention. For most of us, contradiction is a severe stress on the mind but that multiplies many more fold with someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.

There are two distinct reasons why contradiction is dangerous for anyone on the Autistic Spectrum. One is the fact that most people with ASD take what is said to them literally. In many cases, it is seen as carved in stone gospel fact. Therefore, anything in contradiction can cause confusion with a person with ASD. If it doesn’t cause confusion, any new contradictory message to what that person believes can be outright rejected because said person has been told what they have been told already so this new contradiction can’t be true. No matter how much evidence is presented that it might be. The person with ASD has already been told one fact and has made their mind up, end of.

The other reason is that with many people with ASD, all information gets through and those who know can back me on how much overload that can cause in the brain of the ASD person. Any contradiction to what a person has believed for a length of time can very easily overload the brain, especially if that particular receiver of information has difficulty in processing information. Yet another reason why contradiction is a danger to people who have ASD.

While there are small instances of contradiction playing havoc with Mark’s mind in “He Was Weird,” none of the events are that consequential to the story. Although they are a contributing factor to Mark snapping. However, there are plenty of instances in my own life where it has been consequential. One such and I’m not blaming my mother here, is that I was taught never to pester people. For most of my childhood, this was a great tool for me. However, when I was seventeen and looking for part time work a contradiction set in. On several job applications, I was told by the prospective employer that they would be in touch. They never did and I never pursued it because in my mind, that would be pestering people. It was then that I was told that I should bug those employers and let them know that I was there. This was a major contradiction in my brain because it went against everything I had been taught over the years and it took me a long time to process it into my brain.

Another one was when I was in the marines. During the four years I was wearing a crew cut in the service of my country, it seemed everyone commented on my short hair. People who saw pictures of me with longer hair before I went in said I looked better with it. Then I get out and do grow my hair. Yes, I went from one extreme to the other but all of a sudden, everyone began saying that I looked better with shorter hair. The effect that had on my brain was near catastrophic. It totally sent my mind into a massive overload and it highlights another effect contradiction has on me and I’m sure I’m not the only one. At times, I can perceive people who deliver contradictory information as hypocrites.

Today, in my more advanced years, I am able to deal with contradiction much better. This comes from years of mental conditioning and like many things with my life, painful trial and error. Still, I don’t always handle contradiction very well and will never master it.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483565248&sr=8-1&keywords=he+was+weird