Thursday, September 27, 2012

MODERN BURNING TIMES - As Occult, New Age Practices Increase, so Does Need for Exorcists


Evil has not fallen out of fashion. Exorcism is a rite developed — and promulgated — to meet a need that still exists, due to more people delving into New Age and occult practices.

And, yes, satanic worshippers are a reality.

“They come in the church and steal the Blessed Sacrament to use in a ‘black mass,’” explained Father Gary Thomas, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Saratoga, Calif., and the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose.

He has alerted his fellow priests to this danger — and trained his extraordinary ministers of holy Communion so that they note whether people receiving Communion are actually consuming it, not simply transporting it elsewhere for obscene purposes.

Father Thomas, a priest for 28 years, has even addressed people who appear not to be consuming the Eucharist.

“If I don’t know them, I’ll say, ‘Excuse me, will you please finish consuming the body of Christ in my presence?’” he said.

Father Thomas — the subject of the book The Rite and the 2012 movie of the same name — was one of a half dozen exorcism experts to speak at the Southern California Renewal Communities’ Catholic Renewal Convention held Labor Day weekend in Anaheim, Calif.

In addition to the workshops on healing, the Holy Spirit and prayer, the convention offered two tracks called “Christ Triumphant,” which focused on exorcism and deliverance ministry — a general track and a pastoral track for clergy and lay ministers.

The day preceding the convention, organizers also hosted a “mini-conference” for 175 registered priests and three bishops featuring the expert speakers (among them four active exorcists and one retired exorcist).

Which begs the question: Is exorcism simply a hot topic — or has the need for the rite grown?
It’s certainly a popular subject. The Rite was one of a handful of movies about exorcism released in the last two years, and a short-lived television series on the subject also launched. But that’s far from the point, says Father Thomas.

“There is a greater need for exorcism because there is a greater frequency of the practices of the occult, New Age and Satanism, both on the part of Catholics and other people alike,” he said. Conference speakers explained that  people begin experimenting with other traditions and rituals, often simply out of curiosity. They don’t realize that they are, at the same time, losing their spiritual center and turning away from God. 

That being said, exorcists are quick to state that most of the people who come to see them are not possessed.

Father Jeffrey Grob, exorcist for the Archdiocese of Chicago, declines to give numbers of people who come to see him — or people he has exorcized — but says simply, “I see far more people than I need to see.”

Like Father Thomas — who says the vast majority of people who come to see him are dealing with mental-health issues, not issues of possession — Father Grob says that most people who hope to call upon his exorcism expertise are actually dealing with psychological issues, or even with a faith life that has gotten off track.
“Spiritually speaking, they don’t need an exorcist. They need their parish priest; they need a spiritual director,” he said. “They need someone who will get them back in the practice of their faith — bring them back to reality.”

After all, he points out, even if a person is not actually possessed, a focus on darkness and evil can draw him into horrifying actions, even including satanic worship and ritualistic murder.
One example comes quickly to Father Grob’s mind: the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, a high-profile crime in Toledo, Ohio. The nun had been strangled and stabbed multiple times in the chapel of a hospital, which she was preparing for the Easter vigil Mass. When the case was reopened in 2003, the hospital chaplain — Father Gerald Robinson — was charged with her murder, and evidence of a cult of ritualistic satanic abuse was uncovered. Father Grob was called as an expert witness to answer questions about cult activity and satanic worship.
“It’s proof positive how far afoul things can go,” he says. “It’s so unbelievable — people don’t want to think about it.

“But things like this happen.”

Those attending the “Christ Triumphant” tracks of the recent convention were not hoping for sensational “Amityville Horror”-style stories. On the contrary, many said they have already experienced the presence of evil and have no need of corroborating stories from others. They simply want to learn how they can help in this important work. (Exorcists can only be priests, but laypeople can take part in the ministry by joining a prayer team or supporting the diocesan exorcist in other ways. Father Thomas, for instance, works with a medical doctor, a clinical psychiatrist and a psychologist as he discerns whether a “client” is suffering from a demonic possession or from a mental or physical disorder.)

“I want the tools to be able to pray for people I feel are being afflicted,” said Jean Cordero, a parishioner at American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach, Calif., who listened raptly to Father Thomas’ opening-day presentation.   

Similarly, Father Art Najera — currently working in the Diocese of Sacramento, Calif. — attended the convention to gain knowledge he expects to find useful as he ministers in his parish. People sometimes call to request their houses be blessed because they are experiencing strange phenomena there, he explained.

“The reality is the devil is more active now,” he said simply.

Despite the need for exorcism and recent media attention to the rite and the priests who administer it, the number of exorcists is small. There are more than 180 dioceses in the United States, for instance, but only about 60 known exorcists, says Father Thomas.

Speakers at the recent conference noted that not all Catholics properly understand the rite, and many tend to dismiss it as unnecessary.

But one need only read the Bible to see that Jesus himself was an exorcist, casting out demons from those possessed by them.

“It is the Church’s responsibility to provide the rite of exorcism when it is needed,” said Father Grob. “Our work is to return an afflicted soul back to the body of Christ.”
Register correspondent Elisabeth Deffner writes from Orange, California.

Balpreet Kaur, Sikh Woman, Proudly Sports Facial Hair In Accordance With Her Faith (PHOTO)

Huffington Post

A picture snapped surreptitiously andposted to Reddit's r/funny thread has drawn attention to a little known tenet of the Sikh faith.
"Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair," Balpreet Kaur, a college student, wrote in response to her picture.
Kaur, an Ohio State University sophomore studying neuroscience and psychology, is a baptized Sikh, and as such follows the so-called "5 Ks," or five physical symbols that date back to the creation of the faith by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699, according to BBC.
One of the tenets is kesh, or uncut hair.
"Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body - it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will," she added to her response on Reddit.
The photo was also picked up by, which lauded the student for her "graceful and fresh" response.
The poised student, who is also president of the Sikh Student Association and plans to be a neurosurgeon, also said that she believes that by not worrying on her outward appearance, she is able to better focus on actions that matter.
"When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away," she writes. "However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can."
While not alone in her adherence, Western culture's standards of beauty -- which involve all sorts of waxing and shaving -- have made many Sikh women disregard the rule.
According to Gurinder Singh Mann, a professor of Sikh studies at UC Santa Barbara, more and more women have begun to treat the religious requirement as flexible.
"The winds of all this modernity and secularism are growing," Singh Mann said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
For Kaur, however, there's nothing to be ashamed of.
"I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positive] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am," Kaur wrote. And, she added, if you're out and about on the OSU campus, by all means come by and say hello.
sikh woman beard

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A screen goddess: Sharon Stone looks perfect in peach as she re-shoots scenes as Aphrodite for Gods Behaving Badly

Daily Mail

She's re-shooting scenes playing the part of Aphrodite for upcoming movie Gods Behaving Badly.
And Sharon Stone looked every inch the goddess as she took to the streets of New York City in a peach silk dress on Monday. 
Showing off her slim figure in the slinky garment, the 54-year-old actress looked positively ethereal as she walked around the set of the upcoming movie. 
Goddess: Sharon Stone looked positively ethereal as she re-shot scenes for Gods Behaving Badly in New York City on Monday
Goddess: Sharon Stone looked positively ethereal as she re-shot scenes for Gods Behaving Badly in New York City on Monday
Twirling and sashaying in her showstopping gown, the blonde beauty couldn't keep the smile off her face as she posed for photographs.
Stone completed her look with a set of spiralling curls piled on top of her head, as well as gold cuff jewellery and matching heels.
And with her natural beauty shining through, she could sure give a real-life goddess a run for her money.
The Basic Instinct is back on home turf following a recent stint at Milan Fashion Week. 
Pretty in peach: The 54-year-old actress looked simply stunning in a flowing silk gown, while her blonde locks were teased into tight curls
Pretty in peach: The 54-year-old actress looked simply stunning in a flowing silk gown, while her blonde locks were teased into tight curls
Pretty in peach: The 54-year-old actress looked simply stunning in a flowing silk gown, while her blonde locks were teased into tight curls 
During her time in the Italian city, she was spotted putting on a number of amorous displays with toyboy lover Martin Mica, 57, who could perhaps be to thank for the star's happy glow of late.
Co-starring Alicia Silverstone, Gods Behaving Badly is a film adaptation of Marie Phillips' best-selling satire novel of the same.
It tells of a young mortal couple, Silverstone and Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who encounter a group of Greek gods living in New York City.
The intersection of the Gods and the mortals threatens not only the couple’s budding relationship, but the future of everything else on the planet.
Smitten: Sharon Stone has spent the last few days with her toyboy lover, Martin Mica, at Milan Fashion Week
Smitten: Sharon Stone has spent the last few days with her toyboy lover, Martin Mica, at Milan Fashion Week

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Lady Gaga Responds to ‘Fat’ Criticism With Underwear Yoga Photos, Launch of ‘Body Revolution’


Pop diva Lady Gaga, recently ridiculously criticized by the press for gaining an extra 25-30 pounds, responded by posting photos of her undressed figure in perhaps her boldest fashion statement to date: compassion and acceptance. Along with bra and panties, Gaga wears the burden of what many women of all ages face and boldly exposes it with the caption: ”Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15.”
The singer is fighting back against the media’s response to her weight (which, on her tiny 5’1″ frame is more noticeable. Also, she also dances on stage in barely no clothes for a living) by posting pics of her half-naked self and asking us all (if you’re a little monster) to get involved by sharing your own photos on a section of her website she launched today called Body Revolution.
She put out the call: ”Hey Guys its Gaga… Now that the body revolution has begun, be brave and post a photo of you that celebrates your triumph over insecurities.”
As an avid yogi, we’re used to seeing Gaga in her underpants. But what makes this more meaningful is her courage to get personal about it and use her celebrity to promote self-acceptance.
From the Body Revolution homepage:
My mother and I created the BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION for one reason: “to inspire bravery.” This profile is an extension of that dream. Be brave and celebrate with us your “perceived flaws,” as society tells us. May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous.
Gaga is known for making waves, but we’re looking forward to the difference this 26-year-old has the potential to make, which her yoga teacher Tricia Donegan had told us about all along:
Lady Gaga is something very special, because she is a woman of service. She uses her talent to make this world better, and that’s because she practices yoga. We are using her celebrityism so that people will listen. She is blessed that she has talent, but what’s special about her is that she’s going to change the world.
Viva la Body Revolution. Be the change.
top photo via jezebel

World News - Woman thrashed for practising witchcraft

The Himalayan

BARDIBAS: A woman at Sahasaula VDC-5 in Mahottari district has been physically tortured on the charge of practising witchcraft.

Thirty-year-old Devi Yadav has been thrashed by her neighbours alleging her of practising witchcraft, the victim's family said.

Neighbours Ram Ekwal Yadav, Siyaram Yadav and Sanjeev Yadav had thrashed Devi on Monday, police said.

Police sub-inspector Ram Dular Mandal said that injured Devi has been taken to Janakpur zonal hospital for treatment.

Matt Smith on 'Doctor Who' future: 'I'd be mad to wish it away'

**Told you it was a rumour, now stop asking;-)

Digital Spy

Doctor Who star Matt Smith has again confirmed that he has no immediate plans to leave the show.

Last month, a tabloid report claimed that the 29-year-old was quitting the sci-fi drama, but Smith later spoke out to deny the claims, insisting that he is "not leaving any time soon".

Doctor Who S07E05 - 'The Angels Take Manhattan': The Doctor (Matt Smith)

"There are absolutely things I'd like to do," he told the Radio Times. "I'd love to go to the States and do a film, but for the moment, I've more than enough to keep me busy, and it's work I love."

Smith, who has played the Eleventh Doctor since 2010, described his role on Who as "an amazing, extraordinary job".

"I don't think there's any point in concerning yourself with what you might be doing if you weren't doing this," he argued. "It would be madness - total madness - to be wishing it away when it's such a gift."

Smith's Doctor Who co-stars Karen Gillan (Amy) and Arthur Darvill (Rory) will exit the series in this Saturday's (September 29) episode, which Darvill has described as "exciting" and "emotional".

New companion actress Jenna-Louise Coleman will then join the show full-time at Christmas.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Exclusive: J.K. Rowling takes career in new direction

USA Today

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Surely, somewhere, at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, lies a dusty, never-before noticed spell book. In that book, J.K. Rowling, the celebrated creator of Harry Potter, could find the formula that would transform her into a critically acclaimed writer of adult fiction.

But Rowling isn't relying on magic as the release date for her adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, draws near. She believes her reputation for creating great characters and compelling stories will trump any spell that Harry or his mentor, the all-powerful Professor Dumbledore, could ever conjure.
In her only U.S. newspaper interview before Thursday's publication of The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown, $35), Rowling, in a sit-down interview in the Scottish capital where she lives, shares with USA TODAY why she wrote the novel that takes her career in a new direction, and the excitement she feels in the run-up to its release, five years after the final Potter book was published.
"Of course this might change tomorrow, but I thought I would feel more nervous because it's been five years -- and this is a very different kind of book -- but actually I feel quite excited," says Rowling, who appears relaxed and self-assured during the interview this month in unmarked business offices she keeps in one of this city's ubiquitous Georgian-era townhouses.
"I don't think everyone will like the book," she says. "But I'm proud of this book. I like this book. It is what it's meant to be. As an author, you really can't say more than that. I don't mean this arrogantly, but if people don't like it, well, that's how it should be, isn't it? That's art. It's all subjective. And I can live with that."
In a wide-ranging interview in which she talked about her writing, her family, her participation in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics and her testimony last fall in the British inquiry into the press phone-hacking scandal, Rowling, 47, offers an intimate look into her life as one of the world's most beloved writers, one whose books have sold 450 million copies around the world (there are no numbers available on e-book sales). Her vivid imaginings of the life and adventures of a boy wizard, published from 1997 to 2007, have spawned amusement parks, toys, video games, blockbuster movies and Pottermore, her fan site for everything Harry Potter.
And because Pottermania is deeply rooted in our pop culture landscape, Rowling says she understands and accepts that many readers would rather she just keep writing about the boy wizard.
"Yes, I understand that point of view. If you love something -- and there are things that I love -- you do want more and more and more of it, but that's not the way to produce good work. So as an author I need to write what I need to write. And I needed to write this book."
Patricia Bostelman, vice president of marketing for Barnes & Noble, says The Casual Vacancy could be the biggest book of the year. "We're very optimistic about this book. She's a gifted storyteller and very skilled at creating characters and creating worlds."
For months, details of The Casual Vacancy's plot have been scant, and the book has been embargoed until it goes on sale Thursday with only a selected number of journalists given access. But Rowling, on a sunny fall day in Edinburgh, speaks in great detail about the storyline, the characters and how the book came to be. (USA TODAY was given access to the novel.)
If Harry Potter came to her while she was traveling on a train in England, the idea for The Casual Vacancy, she says, came to her five years ago aboard a plane over the USA on her way to a promotional event for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the series that made her one of the richest authors in the world.
"I can't remember what triggered it," she says. "It just came to me. It's hard to sum up the idea, but it was for a disrupted local election, and I could see immediately that that was a perfect way to get into a small community, of examining a lot of different characters of different ages. I'm very drawn to that type of book. I like to get in among a set of people and get to know them very well."
In the novel, the tiny (fictional) British village of Pagford is turned upside down after one of its parish councilmen, Barry Fairbrother, dies. Rowling uses his death as a way to examine the inner workings of the village government, and more important, the lives of its residents.
"It was also an appealing idea because I could see that I could set it in the kind of town that I knew," Rowling says. "Although Pagford is not Chepstow, the town where I grew up -- it's smaller and the geography's wrong -- still it's an area that I know. It's an invented place, but it does owe something to the West Country (southwestern England), which is where I lived all my life really until I was 18 and I left home."
The run-up to the book's release has been relatively low-key because that's the way she wanted it. "As much as is possible I wanted this to be a normal book publication. Some of the furor that surrounded a Harry Potter publication was fun. I always loved meeting readers. I always loved doing events where I got to speak to readers, but some of it, candidly, wasn't fun at all.
"The thing took on a life of its own. Some of it was just sheer insanity, and I couldn't control it. I couldn't stop it. I couldn't rein it in. Incredible as it is to look back on it, I'm never going to be chasing that again. It was an amazing time, but it was also often stressful, and it felt like a massive weight of expectation. This is a very different kind of book, and I'm very happy that we're just doing it differently."
The Casual Vacancy takes a microscopic view of a handful of families in Pagford, including that of Krystal Weedon, a somewhat out-of-control teenager living in poverty with her toddler brother, Robbie, and her mother, Terri, who's struggling to overcome drug addiction.
"In some sense, the whole plot can be summed up with â??What do we do about Krystal?' and by extension, 'What do we do about all those people who are in a poverty trap?' But for Krystal, it's more than that, isn't it?" Rowling says. "Krystal is dealing with addiction in her family, she's dealing with decades of increasing poverty in her family with everything that means, and she's also caught in the crossfire of a local battle because this beautiful West Country town of Pagford is furious that it has jurisdiction over and responsibility for what we call a council estate (low-income public housing). So Krystal is caught up in this local battle, and of course in examining this tiny little local battle I get to explore what I think are fairly universal themes."
It's no accident that poverty and its related problems are a core issue in the novel. "The Weedon family was a way to talk about things which are also very close to my heart: poverty, what poverty means in our society, in an affluent Western country, the attitudes that are exposed in other people by the existence of such a family," she says. Rowling, who was once a single mother who relied on government assistance to care for her daughter, has established a charitable trust that helps people in need.
Because of the book's social themes, Michael Pietsch of Little, Brown, Rowling's American publisher, told USA TODAY in August that the novel "reminded me of Dickens because of the humanity, the humor, the social concerns, the intensely real characters."
Rowling says she's flattered but "uncomfortable if anyone thinks I'm walking around thinking myself the new Dickens. I think that's presumptuous of anyone, but I was conscious when I started writing The Casual Vacancy of what I wanted it to be. I did want it to be like a Trollope or a Dickens or Mrs. Gaskell in the sense that I'm taking a small community, literally a parochial community, and trying to analyze it and anatomize it in the way that they did. I really like those 19th-century novels. That's the kind of thing I love reading."
This is a very British novel, but Rowling isn't concerned about how it will be received outside the U.K. "I think there's a possibility that some people will not enjoy the book. It is a very English book, and it needs to be a very English book, because I'm talking very specifically about a society I know very well.
"I do think the themes in the book do translate across any national border because ultimately we're talking about our human responsibility, whether you think we should all be entirely self-reliant and people sink or swim, or you think we should be extending a helping hand and whether that should come from government and so on. And these are very contemporary themes in a lot of countries, particularly in the financial mess in which we find ourselves."
She's also ready for how the book will be received by critics. "Writers generally write to be published, and so as much as I can be, I'm ready for what comes my way. I haven't published this with any expectation. I've published it because it's what I really wanted to write. My writing path isn't dependent on what people expect or say of the work. I will just keep plowing my furrow."
Nor does she care if there's never a film made based on the novel.
"Personally, I don't think this is a very filmable book. That is one of the things I like about it. I think it's a very novelly novel in that a lot of what goes on happens internally. You need to understand what's going on inside people's heads. So even though a lot happens in the novel, part of the appeal of it for me is that so much of it happens in people's interior life, and film isn't necessarily the best medium to portray that."
That is so much the polar opposite of the Pottermania that gave birth to eight movies based on the seven Potter novels. The movies and the novels are the roots of the Potter legacy, but they live on through her website, Pottermore, which she says is a refuge for her.
The site is a publishing venture for the Potter e-books. On the other hand, it's a place where she posts in increments the plethora of Potter material that never made it into the books. "That's a nice giveback to fans, and it's nice for me too because it's a very low-pressure way of doing it. I can release material when and as I want. I'm also generating a little new material on the site for free, and I've loved that." (Little, Brown will publish The Casual Vacancy as an e-book as well as a hardcover Thursday.)
As important as it is for Rowling to control her publishing ventures, it's even more important that she have complete control over media coverage, primarily because of her determination to keep her children out of the limelight.
Rowling has been married since 2001 to Neil Murray, a physician. They have three children. Jessica, 19, from her previous marriage, is now a university student. Their son, David, is 9, and their daughter, Mackenzie, is 7.
"I try very hard to keep a distinction and draw a line between my professional life and my personal life," she says. "On the one hand you do want to be honest about the life experience that informs your work. On the other hand, I became well-known at a time when the British press didn't always behave in an exemplary manner towards people like me." She's referring to incidents when she and her children were photographed without her permission and her home address was printed in newspapers. "It's not that I don't want to share myself, it's simply that I have to make a decision about how best to bring up my children."
It's why she accepted an invitation to testify last fall in the phone-hacking scandal.
"I had to think quite hard about doing that," she says. "You're in a paradoxical situation. You're sitting in there trying to explain why you'd like privacy, and you're sort of invading your own privacy to explain it. So that was tough, and there were things I didn't say on the stand because a couple of them were the worst experiences I had with regards to the press, because I would have in doing so invaded my and all my family's privacy too much. I was valuable to the inquiry because I had consistently tried to keep my family out of the spotlight, and I hadn't succeeded."
What she did testify about were the numerous times her children had been photographed without her permission, the journalists who camped on her doorstep and the time a reporter somehow managed to tuck a note to her into her daughter's school backpack.
Meanwhile, she and her family live a normal life in Edinburgh "within certain limits. I do get recognized, but I must say Edinburgh is a fantastic city to live if you're well-known. There is an innate respect for privacy in Edinburgh people, and I also think they're used to seeing me walking around, so I don't think I'm a very big deal. The average Edinburgh person is very respectful of a person's right to mooch around and get on with things and go to the supermarket."
One of her public appearances this year included her participation in the tribute to children's literature during the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London. While watching a rehearsal, she recalled that "when that section arrived and the huge Voldemort grew up out of the middle of the stage, I had one of these moments that I have every so often when my entire body goes cold and I think, â??How the hell did this happen?' And I'm staring at this 18-meter high Voldemort or whatever he was and I was thinking, â??That was once an idea in my head that no one knew about.' It was a few scribbled lines on the back of an envelope, and now it's represented on arguably the biggest stage in the world."
It was, she says, "the most humbling moment. I felt awed by it. Sometimes the Harry Potter stuff becomes white noise. It's part of the culture which is amazing, but every now and again you do have one of the those moments of â??Oh my God, how did this happen?' And that's definitely one of them."
Rowling won't set in stone when she'll next publish. "I don't want to commit. I was simultaneously devastated and liberated actually by finishing the Potter books. I truly was devastated -- â??My God, it's over. I will never again write Harry, Ron and Hermione,' but at the same time there was a massive sense of liberation so, selfishly, I don't wish to promise I will produce a book a year from here on in. I feel free now. Maybe that sense of freedom will mean I produce books more frequently. It could be. I just don't know."
And Potter fans will have to live with the fact that she's not writing anything for young adults. "No. Nothing nothing, nothing," she says emphatically, "and it would be challenging because of what I did with Harry. I have no plans to go there at the moment but never say never. If I had an amazing idea I probably would do it."
Very near completion, she says, is a book for children. The ideal reader would be 7 or 8. "I think the next thing I publish will be for children, but I don't really want to be held to that because I also know what my next book for adults will be and I really like that too so it depends. I've always had more than one thing going."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pagan Pride festival upsets Catholic Youth Organization


Two very different cultures met on one large open field and it led to some tense moments Saturday afternoon.
For the fourteenth year in a row, Broad Ripple Park was home to the annual Pagan Pride Day, an all-day event that started early this morning to commemorate the autumnal equinox.
Saturday was also a cross country meet for the Catholic Youth Organization which involved hundreds of kids and parents. It turns out the festival rented the field for the day and the CYO participants had to run around the festival.
"They can do it someplace else. It is inappropriate here. It is embarrassing. I was outraged by it," said one parent.
"You have a constitutional right to believe what you want and that is part of the freedom from religion," said a festival participant.
Both parties seemed to come to terms eventually.

Johnny Depp Attends Damien Echols' Book Signing In Continued WM3 Support

Perez Hilton Filed under: Johnny Depp > Bookz > Bestiez
johnny depp damien echols life after death book signing
When he's not busy making movies or lending his sexy narrative to rap music, Johnny Depp also likes to support causes close to his heart.
And the latest stop in his wonderful person tour??
Damien EcholsLife After Death book signing at the Union Square Barnes & Noble!!
As we've previously reported, Depperz attended TIFF with Damien to watch the premiere of West of Memphis — a chilling, new documentary that captured more of the West Memphis Three's case.
Damien was sentenced to death after he and two others were found guilty for the murder of three children. Of course, the lack of evidence against them was atrocious… which eventually led to new DNA testing and their eventual freedom from the 18 years of imprisonment they suffered.
And the rest is glorious history-making with Johnny!
[Image via Pacific Coast News.]

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


This is a simple one for a Doctor Who magnet! 

Who is your favourite Doctor and why?  Be creative and have fun.  You can draw, write or video you answer and I will post some of the better ones here!  I will have the drawing on Sunday.

Good Luck!

It's Official - James Gunn Confirmed to Direct and Rewrite GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Last month, we reported the exciting news that James Gunn (Super) was in talks to directMarvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  Today, Gunn has confirmed that he will direct the film, and he will also rewrite Chris McCoy and Nicole Perlman‘s script.  Guardians is by far the strangest Marvel movie to date (a talking space raccoon is just one of the more bizarre elements), and getting an offbeat voice like Gunn in the director’s chair is a savvy move on behalf of Marvel and President of Production Kevin Feige.  I’m also jazzed that he’ll be writing the script.  As we saw with The Avengers, when the director is also the writer, the project can truly take on a unique personality.
Hit the jump for more including a statement from Gunn.  Guardians of the Galaxy is due out August 1, 2014.
james-gunnGunn announced his hiring on his Facebook page by releasing this statement:
For a month or so there’s been a lot of Internet speculation about my involvement with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Until now I haven’t said anything, because I’m trying to be less expulsive about this project than I am about the rest of my life. But last night I got the go-ahead from Kevin Feige to let you all know that, yes, indeed, I am rewriting and directing Guardians of the Galaxy. As a lifelong lover of Marvel comics, space epics, AND raccoons, this is the movie I’ve been waiting to make since I was nine years old. Kevin, Joss, and all the folks at Marvel have been amazing collaborators so far, and we’re committed to bringing you something majestic, beautiful, and unique. I am incredibly excited. I am also incredibly grateful to the fans and the press for all their words of encouragement and support regarding my involvement with this project since the news first leaked. Thanks – you have, honestly, touched and overwhelmed me. And that’s it for now. Other than the occasional photos of my dog and cat here on Facebook, I’ll talk to you again in August 2014 when Guardians is released!
Iguardians-of-the-galaxy-movie‘m sure we’ll hear a little more from him before August 2014, although it will be in an official capacity rather than his usual off-the-cuff remarks from his Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Last week, Joss Whedon commented on what we can expect from Gunn’s take on the material:
“He has a very twisted take on it, but it all comes from a real love for the material. It’s going to be hard for the humans to keep up. I know he’s going to come from left field and I’m going to go, ‘What?’ And then, ‘Of course, why didn’t I think of that?’ And then I’m going to beat him!”
For those unfamiliar with Guardians of the Galaxy, the team of intergalactic defenders features the characters StarLordRocket RaccoonDrax the DestroyerGamora, and Groot.  It’s been speculated that this movie will do the heavy lifting of transitioning the villain Thanos into The Avengers 2.