787 The Power of Belief

This weekend a momentous incident will have a great impact on all our lives … it will cut our timelines in half: BT and AT, Before and After Trump. Watch this space.

A quick note to my readers: I had a computer meltdown over Christmas (all’s well, Apple fixed my four year old MacBook Pro for free; thanks, Apple). But in the process I lost a bunch of emails which - long story short - meant you received notification of the same blog twice. Apologies.

I am fascinated by Belief. Now, let me ask you: How often do you spend two hours watching a movie? Quite frequently? I want to offer you an alternative this weekend.

Here is an opportunity to get introduced to a different medium to news and current affairs. How do you get your news? Tv? Newspapers? Heavens forbid, Facebook? Try Sam Harris' podcasts ... sure, they're lengthy, or you could say ... they treat current affairs with depth. Sam Harris thinks things through thoroughly. Inspirational.

Listen for two hours+ to this podcast by Sam Harris with Lawrence Wright, about The Power of Belief. You will spend time in the company of two intelligent, articulate and very well informed men … a couple of enjoyable hours, methinks … though, I warn you, it’ll probably be more than the prescribed two hours, because there are passages in this talk you may want to listen to again, they are that captivating ...

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with author Lawrence Wright about al-Qaeda & ISIS, Arab culture, 9/11 conspiracy theories, the migrant crisis in Europe, Scientology, parallels between L. Ron Hubbard and Donald Trump, the Satanic cult panic, and other topics.

Lawrence Wright is an author, screenwriter, playwright, and a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. His works of nonfiction include In the New World, Remembering Satan, The Looming Tower, Going Clear, and Thirteen Days in September. He has also written a novel, God’s Favorite. His books have received many prizes and honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for The Looming Tower. His most recent book is The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.


Lawrence Wright wrote Going Clear, about Scientology, and if you haven’t seen the movie based on his investigation, go to You Tube for a few background videos … it is mindboggling and it’s interesting to hear Wright talk more about Scientology.

Here's the trailer to the movie ...

... an interview with Lawrence Wright ...

... an interview with Alex Gibney, the director of the documentary Going Clear ...

... and an interview with Paul Haggis:

Below are a couple of tidbits from the podcast I liked especially, e.g. about belief:

“When we talk about belief it’s always hard to know what people actually believe is true or what they just accept and don’t spend much time dwelling on. You know, there are many people filling Christian churches who may not believe that Jesus rose from the dead, but they are in it for the community …

this, dear friends, is the crux of the matter as regards religions: It is all claptrap ... but people are there for the comforts and perks their communities provide; how about that!

... there are tons of reasons why people associate themselves with beliefs that they don’t actually believe. There are pastors who are atheists, but they don’t know what else to do with their lives.”

I've written about that subject GOD 4 as well as BELIEF in my book with no title, instead three definitions for the term en.light.en.ment

Another bit that fascinated me is about conspiracy theorists:

“… if you analize their view of how 911 happened, there is no doubt that the planes struck the buildings … (yet) there are people who believe that it never happened at all; it’s like the moon landing never happened. But the 911 truthers normally believe that the planes did strike, but “that’s not what would happen, if a plane hits a skyscraper …” “So, what happened?” “Well, there must have been explosives planted inside the buildings, to make sure that they fell …”

The two then analyze what must have gone on within the government and gov. agencies to suppress this “truth” … how thousands of people - not a single one of which in the end came forward and confessed to what “ really happened” - must have been involved in this deception. If you - like me - are bewildered by such conspiracy theory nonsense, this talk is riveting.

Enjoy those two hours … if you're at all interested in what's going on in the world, you can’t spend your time better, I believe. And, as you know, if someone believes something, it's practically impossible to make them change their belief!

Oh yes ... belief. Here's more: