Tag Archives: religion

They wanted him to be a good Christian

They wanted him to be a good Christian and it’s my fault that they failed.

It’s my fault that they are dead.

The suicide was obvious, the evidence clear. But the police never figured out his motives.

I know the motives.

I know the meaning of his scribbled message, the message that no fourteen year old should leave before he pushes a shotgun against his head.

“Save yourselves now. Join us in heaven before it is too late.”

The police thought he had gone insane; that he had brought them down into the bunker and that he shot them there for a personal reason that only seems significant for a fourteen year old. Maybe bullying or parental pressure or a punishment he thought unfair.

But all they wanted was to make him a good Christian. Continue reading

Jesus of Narnia

This story is also available in Polish.

Since the breakup Melanie lived in two worlds. In the weeks with me she lived in zoos and museums and books, in the weeks with her mother she lived in bible classes and religious movies and churches.

It was confusing for her, the constant switch from reading books to believing books and back. Maybe that’s why we failed to protect her.

It was in the summer. Melanie had just turned 10. Her first summer week was spent in a bible camp. When her mother finally dropped her at my place she also brought a big bag of books.

I still remember how Hailey cocked her head.

“You always want her to read. Now she has good books. What more do you want?” Continue reading

Angels at the Nursing Home

It was surreal when my mother told me about the ‘angels’ frequenting her new nursing home. She had been a die-hard atheist all her life and, even as I don’t mind believers, seeing such a drastic change in personality shattered the last of my illusions about her condition.

I visited the nursing home once a week, every Tuesday night as long as I got out of work early enough. But in her room, with my mother sitting in her armchair and looking at me with glassy eyes, I felt uncomfortable. Visiting became a chore, a responsibility, a duty to pay back all that she had done for me.

For the first weeks in the new home she still recognized me, but her condition worsened quickly. First she confused my name with that of old friends and colleagues of hers, then she stopped using names altogether. Like strangers at a party we talked about the weather, clothing, and items in the room. The staff told me she read the news every morning – but in our conversations she never knew about the events of the day. If anything, her memory slowly seemed to recede, as if the later parts of her life were slowly deleted out of her mind.

The only consistent things were the angels. My mother always said how grateful she was for their visits. She liked their white clothing and their bright smiles. She said they always took the pain away.

At first I thought the nightly visitors were staff members – but when I challenged the staff on why they were waking my mother up during the night they said they would never do such a thing. Hallucinations or illusions – that seemed to be the only option.

When I overheard my mother’s room neighbor talking about angels I still didn’t get nervous or worried. I thought it might be a myth, a story going around the nursing home and repeated so often that it stuck with even those patients that didn’t seem to remember whether or not they had eaten lunch.

A few months ago, while entering my mother’s room, I heard her speaking to a nurse about the angels. She said that they were coming every night, massaged her, and helped her fall asleep.

I took the nurse aside and asked her about the ‘angels.’ The nurse seemed as clueless as me, but she said that my mother wasn’t the only patient talking about angels. Most of the patients in the dementia wing of the nursing home had begun talking about the angels. The nurse said that the night guards were advised to regularly patrol the corridor and that they had watched nightly security tape recordings – but nobody entered or left the corridor.

The nurse tried to convince me that it was all just a matter of imagination. She said not to believe in those things and that the stories about angels would end as quickly as they had begun.

I believed the nurse. I felt uneasy, but the staff members seemed competent and were obviously doing their best to make sure that their patients were safe. In any case, all the patients were clearly saying only positive things about the angels – they helped to fall asleep, they took pain away, and they made the patients feel lighter and sleep better.

Whenever my mother talked about the angels I just ignored it. I shook it off; just like I shook off that she obviously didn’t know who I was or that our conversations were repetitive and exhausting. There are things you want to do for your parents, but the last I wanted to do was to try to re-convert her to atheism just because it made me feel more comfortable to see her as she had always been.

The dreams of angels were clearly good for her and helped her feel at ease in the unfamiliar surroundings.

Then my mother began to talk of death. I had many conversations with her about death, but none where she explicitly claimed to know who in the home would die next. She even named the dates. She said the angels told her about it.

Three patients died that week, and for each my mother predicted the correct day. An older man walked out of the home, stayed too long in the cold, and died from a lung infection on Thursday night. Saturday night two older women died from heart failure.

The next week my mother predicted another death for the night. I told the nurses about it and they said they were sure that the patient was stable. Still they promised to observe him closely.

The next day the nurses gave me a call. They said I had to come in, it was urgent.

A nurse of the night shift had found the patient at 3am, dead, with his shirt ripped apart and his mouth wide open.

They asked me how I had known. I told them that it wasn’t me; that my mother had told me about it.

The doctor said that maybe my mother was just a very receptive person. He said that she must have picked up on signals of heart failure that the nurses hadn’t noticed during the day.

Right after the conversation with the doctor I went out to buy a camera. I charged the batteries and at night placed it on a shelf in my mother’s room and turned it on. I felt guilty for it – as if I was betraying my mother’s trust – but I also felt I needed to make sure that she was alright.

In the morning I drove by to pick the camera up. My mother said that the angels had told her another patient would die, but they hadn’t told her – or maybe she didn’t remember – who it would be.

I watched the recording at work. I saw parts of my mother’s body that I never wanted to see, saw her go to bed; saw the nurse check on her and the light go off. At about 2:30am there was a sudden flash of light, then movement in the bed. My mother got up, walked towards the camera and turned it off.

That night I went back to the nursing home. This time I hid the camera under a stack of clothes while my mother was in the bathroom. I hugged her goodbye. She looked sad when I left, but didn’t say a word.

In the morning the nursing home called me. They said they had found my mother dead. They said it looked like a heart attack.

They didn’t allow me to see the body.

“It’s a medical thing,” said the nurse. “And believe me, you really don’t want to. Remember her as you last saw her.”

I felt a strange sensation in my chest when I went to her room. The white bed sheets were pushed to the side of the mattress and many of her items on the bedside tables were pushed over. The camera was still in place.

I remember every detail of that film.

I watched how my mother went to bed for the last time. I watched how the nurse checked on her; how my mother fell asleep.

Then, at around 2:30am the camera recorded a flash of light. My mother sat up in her bed. The window opened and two young men in white climbed into the room. My mother welcomed them.

They placed something in my mother’s hand. She placed the small object in her own mouth and seemed to swallow it; then she lay back on her bed while the men placed an object around her arm.

A tube from the object on her arm led to a long, thin object. The object filled with dark liquid. My mother smiled at the men.

The men packed the long object in a white bag; then they also pulled the first object off my mother’s arm. My mother stroked her own arm.

“That’s all, right?” She whispered.

“That’s all,” replied one of the men. “Here is your reward.”

They placed another object in her hand.

“It will look natural?” My mother asked.

One of the men nodded.

“Thank you,” my mother whispered.

The two men climbed back out of the window.

For a few minutes my mother lay on the bed with her eyes to the ceiling; then she placed the object in her mouth. She smiled, then swallowed.

Her body convulsed; her arms slapped against the mattress; her mouth opened wide. A sound of bones cracking; then her movement stopped.

Her body sank slowly back onto the blanket. Her mouth stayed wide open.

I went to the police the same day. I handed them the tape and my testimony. They called the director and staff in for an interrogation.

I expected them to call me too. When they hadn’t called me at all three days later I went to the station again. One of the officers led me to a separate room.

“Look,” he said. “Your testimony is not enough.”

“I gave you the tape.”

“What tape?” asked the officer.

We discussed for more than thirty minutes; I demanded to speak to his superior, who also claimed there was no tape. I demanded to speak to the next superior who claimed not to know anything about the case and that his officers would never lie.

I copied the tape of the first night as evidence that I wasn’t lying, that it was all true what I said.

Now, instead, they claim that I handed a tape in when I filed my report. They claim that I’m crazy and that the tape I handed in shows nothing but my mother sleeping, then getting up and turning the camera off.

By now I’ve been banned from the grounds of the nursing home. I could go to prison if I go back. But the last time when I was there; when I shouted at the director about a conspiracy and ‘angels,’ a lot of patient faces turned to me. And they all smiled.

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.

New Gods Have Risen and You Are Their Target

Exactly 21 days and 4 hours ago a young lady with blue eyes created new gods. I am not sure yet whether they can truly be called Gods, but I do know that you need to be warned.

It is futile to explain what exactly I am. Some have called me a guardian. What you need to know is that I am not on your side. I am not allowed to be on your side. My duty is to be neutral. Call me a scholar, or an observer – if I am a guardian, then certainly not yours.

The only reason I am transmitting this message to you is to maintain the balance.

I do not claim to understand the reason for all things; I will not even try to approach this topic. There may or may not be an original creator God.

What you need to understand is that anything you might ever have called ‘God’ was created by humans and for human purposes. That does not make gods figments of the imagination – quite the contrary. Their existence is real; independent of any particular human.

What is not independent is their existence from all of humanity and they always retain the seed that their creator planted.

You might have heard the quote of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that “God is dead; we killed him.”

Nietzsche was right in so far as there are very few true believers left and many of the old gods have died. A true believer is not one that goes to church or follows common rites; a true believer is one without doubt. The human pursuit for rationality has, quite successfully, decimated this kind of human.

A god dies when he retains no true believers. The old question “Why is there evil in the world?” is simply answered by the statement that evil retains belief. Suffering and pain have an impressive influence on the human mind – they focus and target the mind’s attention. Thus of the many gods that have outlived their creator – the first believer – only the violent and vengeful gods have strived.

Suffering is created by the gods so that, afterwards, they can strengthen their believers’ faith with acts of mercy and good luck.

You need to understand the above to understand what it means to create a god. You need to understand all this to understand what Mrs. Junnila has done.

A god is created by the first act of faith. The first believer has to fulfill exactly two criteria:

  1. The first believer needs to be free of all other belief.
  2. The first believer needs to believe with certainty and impenetrable faith.

In the modern world it is rare that individuals are free of all belief. Before they become teenagers too many of your species have already encountered and partially accepted parts of existing beliefs. In the past the creation of new gods was just as common as their death. Their creation depended on individuals that had either lost all beliefs, or, through good luck, never encountered existing beliefs. The gods’ death followed usually with the demise of the individual, tribe, or culture in which the gods were first created.

Mrs. Junnila, by acts of bad luck and the deeds of two of the existing gods, lost all her belief.

The death of her first child was an accident, a mere unavoidable occurrence. Mrs. Junnila had been raised without strict belief and so, despite her suffering, did not turn to an existing god.

That angered an existing god that I, to maintain balance, am not allowed to mention. But I do dare to say that this god is currently the strongest god in the region of what you refer to as Finland.

The strength of a god grows with the number of his or her believers and it is concentrated where the number of his or her believers are the highest. This, of course, is the reason why the areas in the world that have the highest number of believers are also the areas with the highest amount of suffering. A strong god can create more suffering and thus strengthen his believers’ faith or recruit new believers.

The leading god in Mrs. Junnila’s area recently lost a significant amount of influence, which does explain – but not justify – his unusually cruel methods and his unusual focus on Mrs. Junnila.

As the death of Mrs. Junnila’s child did not lead her to new faith the leading god aimed to set an example. It is well known among gods that young women and particularly young mothers are the most fruitful targets to spread their influence.

To cause Mrs. Junnila’s belief the god decided to take her ability to move her body.

Mrs. Junnila, when told about the permanence of her condition, did not react as the god expected. Gods, as you will by now have understood, are neither all powerful nor necessarily wise. Rather, their power is limited by the number of believers and their wisdom and understanding of the world by the wisdom of their creator.

Mrs. Junnila did not pray to or plea with the god. Instead she cursed religion as naivety and lost her last remnants of faith in the existing gods and their extensions. She even lost her beliefs in superstitious behaviors such as knocking on wood and metaphysical believes, such as that the stars can predict the future, most of which are remnants of gods that for long have been crippled and been bound to the beds on which they will likely die.

In this way, Mrs. Junnila became free of all believe and thus came to fulfill the first condition required to create a god.

The leading god was angered by Mrs. Junnila’s lack of faith and sent her nightmares based on the large amounts of horror fiction that Mrs. Junnila had enjoyed early in her life.

When even this step did not suffice to convince Mrs. Junnila to regain her belief – instead Mrs. Junnila began to trust that dark creatures were following her – the leading god bundled his faith with that of two other gods of the area and struck down on her husband and two of their remaining three children.

The existing gods did not predict that their combined actions would lead Mrs. Junnila to fulfill the second condition required to create a god: the certain and impenetrable belief in a new god.

You have to understand that it was not Mrs. Junnila’s fault. She merely made the connection between nightmares and real events. When she was told about the unlikely accident and the death of her husband and two of her remaining children she fell first into a mania that lasted about 48 hours.

Exactly 21 days and 4 hours ago, Mrs. Junnila awoke from her mania with sudden clarity and the certain and impenetrable belief that the creatures she had witnessed in her nightmares are real gods.

I am not allowed to mention the particular beings that Mrs. Junnila transferred from fiction to a reality as gods. But I need to stress that this messages reaches you because you, personally, have some awareness of these gods.

I cannot stop or influence Mrs. Junnila. I, just like the other gods, have tried. But Mrs. Junnila’s faith and with it the gods she created are too powerful for us to reach her.

I am also unable to stop the influence that Mrs. Junnila had on Ellie, her last remaining child. As, after the accident, Ellie spent most of her days in the same room as Mrs. Junnila while the latter was speaking about her nightmares, she has been converted.

This, in two ways is a dangerous situation. Firstly, Ellie’s belief has hardened and will likely last her whole life. Secondly, Ellie has now returned to her primary school and has successfully converted at least two other girls to the new gods.

Yes, it is true, current gods create suffering to entice humans to believe, but no gods have ever been as brutal. And while other gods do offer some mercy and answer prayers – those gods will not. Those new gods are creatures imagined our of pure horror and they will act accordingly as creatures of pure horror.

I am writing to warn you. I am writing to warn you that the new belief is spreading; the new gods are gaining followers and thus strength. It is only a matter of time until they are able to affect more than just the small area of Mrs. Junnila’s city. If I am not mistaken it is only a matter of weeks until their effect could reach, to some degree, around the world.

That is the reason I need to warn you. You are their target. You have doubts that the creatures you read about are merely fictional.

They will attack you with cruel fates. The nightmares will come.

For the sake of yourself, for the sake of balance and for the sake of humanity, I beg you not to believe in them. I beg you not to trust the nightmares. I beg you to not even for a moment believe that the creatures you read about could be real.

If you waver, even for just a moment, the new gods will gain strength. If you waver, even for just a moment, all that you hoped was fiction will become reality.

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.