Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Virus Guy

I've had someone try to give me a virus on this site three times. I haven't been able to find anywhere on Blogger to report the guy, so I'm posting this message to warn readers to stay away from him.

You can identify Virus Guy by the comments he leaves. He'll say Click Here or Here, or some variation on that theme, with each 'here' being a link. If you click on either link, or on his name (he's used several, the latest being Salar), you'll be taken to a website that warns you that you have a virus and must install virus protection software. The site gives you the option to download the software or decline, but no matter what you choose it will start to download to your computer.

I was almost fooled by this; I'd like to say it was my brilliance and Internet savvy that saved the day, but in truth it was my wife. However, I was at least smart enough to go and ask her if she wanted this helpful software loaded onto her computer. She knew it for what it was right away.

I've been deleting Virus Guy's comments from this blog, but he's bound to try again. Keep an eye out for those comments and don't go anywhere near them! And if any of you know how I can report him to Blogger, please let me know.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Who Really Rules The World?

This is the first Jehovah's Witness tract to appear on this site. Their tracts aren't as plentiful; mostly JW's give out copies of their magazines - Awake & The Watchtower - instead.

Published by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, this tract poses an interesting premise; our world is in fact ruled by Satan and his demons.

Well, that explains how George W. got two terms.

Seriously, though, this tract tries to convince readers that Satan's ownership of us is the reason the world is so messed up. It's a nice thought, really, because it lets all of humanity off the hook. No factual evidence backs up this claim; the tract relies solely on Biblical quotes and stories to prove its point. For example, the tract discusses the time when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. He offered Him all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would fall to his knees and worship him. How could Satan offer Him the world, the tract asks, if it wasn't his to offer? Ah ha! And Jesus does not deny Satan's ownership, either. So there.

As with most tracts, you have to already believe the Bible in order to accept the Biblical truth at face value. If you don't, what reason do you have to believe that Satan rules us, rather than us simply ruling ourselves?

Having run out of material to back up the World Emperor Satan claim, the tract spends the next two pages off on a tangent about demons. Apparently, demons pretend to be dead people to fool people who go to mediums and seances. This kind of involvement is called Spiritism, and the tract urges readers to "resist all its practices regardless of how much fun, or how exciting, they may seem to be."

Demons also promote "literature, movies, and television programs that feature immoral and unnatural sexual behaviour." What do you suppose those unnatural behaviours are? Probably not navel penetration, I'm guessing.

The tract ends not with the usual 'Save me' prayer but an announcement that "the time is near when Satan and his cohorts will be no more!" How this will happen is not revealed.

This tract, while mostly text, isn't as lame as one might guess. There's some interesting background on Satan and his great rebellion against God, and the stuff on unnatural sexual behaviour is either hilarious or deeply offensive, depending on how you choose to look at it.

It is worth noting the tract never mentions how Satan came to rule the world - quite the glaring omission. Also, the tract doesn't ask the reader to convert. Instead, it says that "those who do God's will" will "enjoy life forever in God's righteous new world." Good on them. I hope they have a good time.

And I hope their other tracts will be better than this one.

Likely to Convert - 0
Artwork - 4
Ability to Hold Interest - 4
Unintentional Hilarity - 3
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - 3

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


A woman handed me this in a subway station on my way home from work. She told me that "the wrath is coming, to Canada as well as other countries." Glad to hear we won't be left out.

I told her the tract had a nice cover, but the words were unlikely to grab anyone's attention. I don't think she understood what I meant. She offered me another from the same publisher (Canadian Bible Society), but it wasn't any better.

You know, it occurs to me the religious community might not wholly appreciate the work I do critiquing their tracts. Just a hunch.

Anyway, Trinity is another quote tract. The cover is a lovely stained-glass window, but the inside is mostly Bible quotes and way too much white space.

Notice I said mostly. The introductory paragraph is slightly intriguing, as it talks about why the Old Testament "never refers explicitly to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." No, it isn't because they hadn't come up with the whole Trinity concept yet. Instead, the Old Testament "insists on the unity of God" because of "the large number of polytheistic religions of the time." Neat. It doesn't save this tract or anything, but it's the most interesting thing it has to say.

Sorry, subway lady, but if you want to save us from this wrath thingie, you'll need to find better tracts than this one.

Likely to Convert - 0
Artwork - 5
Ability to Hold Interest - 2
Unintentional Hilarity - 0
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - 0

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Eternal Life Is A Free Gift

This one's going out to the three cute girls I met on the subway on Sunday. I saw them reading this tract, and asked if I could review it for this blog. Thanks, girls!

Sadly, it's not one of the good ones. Published by the Fellowship Tract League, it's just three pages of text with a lame clip-art cover (and not even the good clip art, either).

The message inside is nothing new, nor is it presented in an original or creative way. You're a sinner, you're going to Hell, good works can't save you, you can't save yourself, you gotta be born again. Blah, blah, blah, heard it all before.

Still, this 'free gift' does have some amusing bits. To make sure we understand what Hell will be like, this tract says it will be "eternal burning!" With the quotation marks and exclamation point. And those two words were in bold and italic typeface. They could have done each letter in different colours, but that would have been overkill.

There's also some of that old time Biblical talk. Apparently, Jesus once said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee..." Wow. Don't hear a lot of that nowadays. And you gotta hand it to the Lord, one 'verily' would not have been enough. Later we get a description of life, described as "a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." Love the use of 'eth' in there. Just sprinkle a few eth's into daily conversation and you get instant Biblicability.

The same goes for 'hath', as in this sentence: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins." You can't go wrong with hath.

I gotta tell you, Fellowship Tract League, this Free Gift of yours looks suspiciously like a cheap tie you bought at Value Village. Or a Santa-shaped tin you re-gifted from a friend. You won't be saving any souls with this one.

Likely to Convert - 0
Artwork - 0
Ability to Hold Interest - 3
Unintentional Hilarity - 4
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - 0