Friday, July 21, 2017

Just For The Headline

I mean, seriously. Can you come up with anything that beats "Reptile Cult Feud Ends in Death?". That's an actual story today on The Daily Beast, and the story is just as weird as the headline makes it sound. It also hearkens back to the dangers of poor critical thinking skills and conspiracy theories, which I've covered here a number of times. Barbara Rogers and Steve Mineo were members of a cult led by a woman named Sherry Shriner. Here's how The Daily Beast describes her:

Mineo and Rogers were followers of Sherry Shriner, a self-proclaimed granddaughter of King David who calls herself a “Servant, Prophet, Ambassador, Daughter, and Messenger of the Most High God.” Shriner preaches that the “New World Order” is colluding with aliens and demons to take over the world; that a mystical substance called Orgone can kill zombies; and that reptilian aliens pose as humans and dump snakes down people’s throats to “scalp” their souls.

So let's see, in order: (1) The "New World Order" is made up of wealthy business folks who are not occultists and have nothing to do with demons. (2) Orgone is a thing, but there's no reason to think it would kill real zombies - that is, the ones from Haitian folklore. George Romero zombies only exist in the movies, not real life. (3) There are no reptilian aliens. They didn't exist in real UFO accounts until the miniseries V in the 1980's, which depicted reptilian alien invaders. (4) Even if they did exist, how dumping a snake down someone's throat "scalps their soul" is anybody's guess. So Mineo was clearly not a critical thinker. He seems to have bought into the whole thing, along with a bunch of other nonsense.

Mineo had been a disciple since at least 2004, he said in a video for his YouTube channel, where he also videos on 9/11 conspiracy theories and “Concentration Camps in America.” Some friends challenged his beliefs in reptilians. “I had messaged him with concerns, like ‘I want you to take a look at what she’s saying. It’s insanity,’” Laurie Alexander, one of Mineo’s friends told The Daily Beast. “I have to look at things from a biblical point of view, and biblically, what she’s saying is crazy. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that there’s some magic rock that’s going to protect us from aliens, demons, and other things. I’ve challenged him to find me the passage. He couldn’t.”

Yeah, that's really not going to work. The problem is that there are tons of things that aren't in the Bible that are real, even if Mineo's beliefs were ridiculous. First off, you can make a pretty good case that anything related to magic would not be included in the Bible, which takes a dim view of it. The Bible also makes no mention of aliens, but the fact is they probably are out there somewhere - we just haven't found any yet. So it's pretty easy to shoot that down.

Anyway, Rogers and Mineo had a falling out with the cult after Rogers posted on Facebook that she liked steak tartare. This led the cult to conclude that Rogers was secretly a reptilian alien. I like it too, so does that mean I'm part lizard?

Shriner’s followers allegedly interpreted the post about raw steak as sign that Rogers was not human but reptile. Mineo asked Shriner why one of her followers was “accusing my wife of being a reptilian,” he wrote. (Mineo and Rogers were not actually married, despite calling each other husband and wife.) “Because she eats raw meat?” Shriner asked.

“Orgone kills them,” Mineo wrote of the mystical substance that supposedly destroys reptilians. “The heavenly father knows that she’s not a reptilian. We’ve been friends for a long time and I always supported you. Out of all due respect I do take offense to this.”

The steak tartare conflict was still raw over a month later, when Rogers wrote another Facebook post addressing the reptilian allegations against her. “I like to try exotic foods and I will continue to do so,” she wrote. “Its fun and does not make me some inhuman entity. To think I am is quite laughable indeed.”

But the feud continued, Mineo explained in his YouTube video. “Sherry thinks that Barbara is a reptilian because Barbara posts pictures of food on her Facebook account,” he fumed. “Disrespectful.”

Do you know what this means, folks? It means that if you post pictures of your food on Facebook you're a reptilian! And that means the few of us who understand that nobody cares what we have for dinner are badly outnumbered. Facebook has about two billion users, and probably 80% of them post pictures of food. That's 1.6 billion reptilians already here. So really, the only question left is why they haven't taken over everything already? And I joke, but the story has a tragic ending. After splitting with the cult, Mineo tried to "expose" Sherry Shriner as a fraud. It did not go well. He and Rogers were attacked relentlessly by her followers online.

Mineo set out to “expose” Shriner. From May 29 to June 11, he uploaded five anti-Shriner videos including “Sherry Shriner EXPOSED By Her Own Followers!!!!” (parts one through three), “Sherry Shriner Is Extremely Desperate that she’s been exposed!” and “Sherry Shriner Supporters Are Mentally Sick.” In the latter video, which he uploaded four days before his death, Mineo said he and Rogers had been beset with attacks from Shriner’s followers since leaving her circles.

“I used to be a supporter of Sherry Shriner, and so were a couple others, but we got kicked to the curb and now we’ve got all these lies that are being set on us: for example, FBI and high-level witches, and all this crazy stuff,” he said. “Everybody that supports her has lost their minds. Look at these people’s comments. You’ll see it. They’re no longer truthers, they are worshippers of Sherry Shriner, and they are mentally ill people.”

Here was Shriner's response.

“They’re trying to spin it that I’m responsible for Steve’s death? No, Barb is,” she wrote. “I tried to protect Steve. I tried to warn him about Barbara Rogers and he wouldn’t listen to me. He thought I was insulting his ‘wife’... when I was just trying to protect him from her! I knew what she was! He began to realize what I said about her was true, and that’s why she killed him, to protect her lies and keep her secrets. They want to call me a cult leader? No. I’m just a humble servant and Messenger of the Most High. I’ve spent my life serving HIM and for that, I get beat up by Cain’s kids, libtards, witches, Satanists, and haters everywhere. I warned Steve Mineo she was a Vampire Witch Reptilian Super Soldier... and now he’s DEAD because he wouldn’t listen.”

Yeah... she's not doing herself any favors there. Can a person even be a vampire, a witch, AND a reptilian? When somebody accuses you of being mentally ill and you want to object, making it worse is totally the wrong thing to do. But here she sounds exactly like every occult leader who's gone off the deep end. Even the ranting, hyperbolic prose style is similar.

The only fact mentioned in that whole rant seems to be that Rogers did wind up killing Mineo. According to the criminal complaint, she testified that he was suicidal after enduring attack after attack by members of the cult, and asked her to shoot him. Some of Mineo's friends question that account and did not think that he was suicidal, but he was shot at close range and police found no evidence that he tried to fight back. Rogers also called police to turn herself in immediately after the shooting.

Of course, whether or not a person is suicidal, if you shoot them it's still murder. So Rogers will be going to jail one way or the other. It seems very plausible to me that the cult could have driven Mineo to such a state of mind, as attacks from people as deranged as this can be quite nasty and sustained over a long period of time.

As I see it, the lesson here is this - if you are following a leader, spiritual or otherwise, and they start spouting insane nonsense, get out. Get out now, and don't look back.

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