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Friday, September 19, 2008

What I mean when I say the fleeced are getting fleeced

I've used that phrase a number of times around fundies and used it several times over at Ray's when I used to post there. They never seem to get the meaning of it and in light of recent events here with one Mr. Burton, I'd like to shed some light on the meaning of the phrase.

The fundies over at Ray's never seem to understand that when we point out to them that he is making a killing off of them we don't necessarily mean that he is taking money directly out of each and every one of their pockets. Just because Ray doesn't charge for every single item associated with his ministry, doesn't mean that every single item doesn't mean more money in his pocket. It works like this:

Fundies think Ray must be a pretty honest guy because he tells them what they want to hear (a bunch of biblical blah-blah) and reinforces their confirmation biases about the world around them with his persistent parroting of ill conceived 'logic'.

Some of them will buy his products and some of them will just take the free swag and hand it out to their churches and friends, thinking that Da Jeebus is smiling on their soft little heads for doing so. What they don't get is that even if they personally didn't put money in Ray's pocket, by spreading his ministry they inadvertently do so because as a result of them helping to spread his ministry a certain percentage of other people will buy his products and/or disseminate his swag and in this way he makes money off of them indirectly. They think they are helping to spread the word of God, when in all actuality they are just helping to pad Ray's bank account.

So, in effect, they were fleeced once by buying into his lies about science and his illogical arguments, then they were fleeced again by either buying his junk and spreading it, or just passing on the free stuff so that he can make money off of others should they happen to buy products.

And how does this relate to the Terry Burtons of the world? It can be summed up in one sentence: Ray Comfort doesn't give a flying goddamned turd about Terry Burton or anyone else that is infected with fan worship for him or his ministry. That was made pretty evident by his dismissal of Terry in the comments over at Ray's. A certain faction of people who are unstable to begin with become a *wee bit* obsessed over people that they deem to be somehow more worthy that the rest of humanity, be it a religious figure, a celebrity, a love interest, ect. Often they take on the same likes, dislikes and viewpoints of the person they are obsessed with. I think it makes it easier for Terry or anyone in a similar situation as him to demonize other people if he thinks Ray hates them too. However, the darker side is that if the unstable person is ever wronged by their hero/heroine they often lash out at them due to having the only thing they thought was solid in their lives turn on them.

None of the above means that every person who puts themselves out there in the public eye has to cater to every mentally anguished individual that comes along. Actually, to do so would be pretty foolish because it would most likely only feed the fire. But one would think that seeing as how Ray, or someone on his staff, has to look at Terry's comments day after insufferable day, that they could have at least recognized that maybe they should give him more than a casual brush off. I did not expect Ray would give him anything more, but it would seem that anyone with any emotional intelligence at all would be able to comprehend that maybe since the guy drools at your feet continuously, there might be some mental repercussions for him by just dismissing him. And maybe, just maybe, you might want to care about that fact. But Ray has shown repeatedly and continually that the only thing he is interested in is himself.

Dealing with Terry on an individual basis is difficult at best, and he doesn't lend himself to eliciting warm and cuddly feelings in people. I do at least hope, for his sake, that he really does have some family that cares for him and can get him some good quality mental health help. I sense that this may not be the case. I do have a feeling that if someone in his life doesn't intervene that his situation could have a tragic end for himself or for someone else. I really, really hope that never comes to pass.


  1. I don't get how anyone on that blog can think Ray cares about them. They try to justify the money that Living Waters makes by saying he makes what he deserves to make because he spreads the gospel.

    I'm in New Jersey, and as far as I have seen, we have no evangelicals. (North Jersey, more metropolitan) I do regret though that we are home to Andy Schlafly.

    Needless to say though, if anyone ever gives me on of those million dollar tracts, I'll rip it up and throw the pieces in their stupid cunty face.

  2. I don't know... really, I don't. I still think Burton is a troll - a wind up artist for BOTH groups of people over at AC / CF / TSB - whatever it is called this month.

    I think Ray thinks that too - or rather, his Internet savvy staff - the people who post for him (cos it for sure aint 'all Ray all the time') - have told him that Burton could just be 'game'.

    So, if Burton is not real, Comfort is not always real - then blimey, what is real over there? Sometimes it comes off as one big slashing match.

  3. I've wondered before what I would do if someone tried to give me a tract. Here in Vegas we have evangelicals and Mormons, but the tract-givers usually stay down on the Strip and they are way outnumbered by the Mexican dudes trying to had out fliers for hookers.

  4. I take the tracks, I collect them, they are fun. I have one of Ray's dollars, a Chick tract, and few other ones.

    I still feel sorry for Terry and agree with the assessment of him in this post.

    @nonmagic - I was just in Vegas the real religious nutters are on Freemont. None of them wanted to talk to me in my JREF shirt....

  5. Matthew,

    I used to think the same thing about Terry. Now I just think he is a very disturbed man with a learning disability that makes him slow enough to be just above the cut off line for retardation (IQ around 70- 79).

    Someone, I can't remember who, said the other day that they didn't see how he could be smart enough to operate a computer and set up all the blogs he does, but deficient enough to act the way he does. Many really, really disturbed people live lives that on the outside look somewhat normal and they manage to maintain a certain level of functionality in their lives. some of them are even so 'normal' and functional as to seamlessly blend in with everyone else and never be detected until they do something harmful.

  6. Rocky,

    Did you go to The Amazing Meeting? I stay off of Freemont. I stay wayyy away from Freemont.

  7. I clicked on Mr. Burton's profile for the first time today, even though I've been lurking over there for a couple of months. Needless to say I went from being mildly concerned about his mental state to outright fear of him. I think it's far too late for family intervention. The guy has tons of blogs, TONS! I've never seen anything like it. My personal favorite is "X-Hookers for Jesus" Is blogging his profession? He is aware that you can write more than one post on a blog right?

    I don't feel the need to comment over at Ray's. I just find the fundies (mostly) amusing. As far as Ray's pocket being lined with money from the "faithful", more power to him. If they're gullible enough to believe it then they get what they deserve. No one can say they haven't been warned, on numerous occasions, as to what Ray's real motivations are. They won't be able to plead ignorance on the day of (bankruptcy)judgment.



  8. nonmagic,

    No, I was there with friends the weekend after labor day weekend. That weekend sucked though because Penn & Teller were off and it seemed like everything was under more construction than usual. I do plan to be at TAM next year though.

  9. Rocky,

    I want to be at tam next year, too. I love P&T !

    There is a lot of construction going on around here. I mean, it's always growing, but it got kind of ridiculous the past couple of years. Things are slowing because of the economy though.

  10. I would love to see Penn and Teller.

    The next time my fiance has business in Las Vegas we plan to see a show.

  11. P&T is a great show, if you are in Vegas it is a must. I have seen them once before, a few years ago, but want to see them again. Plus my gf has yet to see them.

  12. I have a very good friend who is a Christian ( he "introduced" me to Ray Comfort). He used to send me tracts. I told him to stop, because while I wasn't the smartest motherfucker in the world, you know, they insulted my intelligence. I told him I'd discuss anything he likes, but no tracts.

  13. I went to see Penn & Teller on Broadway many years ago.

    During the intermission, Penn was hanging out at the side door just talkings with some of the audience, including me.

    Very cool dude.

  14. BF,

    I have also heard from some people who have met him around town (he lives here) that is a really, really cool and down to earth person if you meet him out in public somewhere.

  15. I saw P&T a couple of years ago in Vegas and they were great. I got a couple of pictures with them. Lance and I have also really enjoyed their TV show. I would definitely see them again!

  16. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing them live. I will say, however, that Mr Jillette hails from the humble town of Greenfield, MA. There is absolutely nothing else notable about that place, which makes it even more amazing that he managed to emerge from it and be successful.

    I still watch their "Bullshit" episode on intelligent design every few weeks or so. Pure genius.

  17. I agree with NM about Mr. Burton (as usual ; ). You have a very good understanding of psychology, if I may say so.
    Also, thanks for the infos about Vegas you people are posting. Fascinating social structures you have there :)


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