I missed the deadline for an Easter Sunday blog post, partly because, unlike Jesus, I’m not an early riser, and partly because I got a bit carried away studying scripture. I might have to lay off the Bible study for a while, because I’m starting to see things that aren’t really there. Or are they? Incipient psychosis or hidden meanings in scripture?
Notwithstanding the foolishness of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, would it really come as a surprise to learn that the Bible is an integrated message system, the product of supernatural engineering?
So I was listening to my favourite metal band, Slayer. In particular I was listening to my favourite track on their Christ Illusion album, Skeleton Christ. And reading the lyrics. And I got to wondering, is Slayer, in fact, a crypto-Christian band and their lyrics also the product of supernatural engineering?
Psychosis. That’s what you’re thinking. But bear with me. The idea is not as crazy as it might at first seem. A strong case can be made that the band who gave birth to the entire heavy metal genre, Black Sabbath, was the first Christian rock band. If Black Sabbath is a crypto-Christian band, then why not too the undisputed (by me) masters of the genre, Slayer?
Here’s a verse from the Second Epistle of John.
many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. (NIV)
And here’s an excerpt from the lyrics to Skeleton Christ.
You’ll never touch God’s hand
You’ll never taste God’s breath
Because you’ll never see the Second Coming
It’s all a fuckin’ mockery
No grasp upon reality
It’s mind control for compulsory religion
And the Skeleton Christ
What if this song is not the attack on Christianity it superficially appears to be, but an attack on corrupt organised religion (“mind control for compulsory religion”) and the false gospel of the antichrist and those he’s deceived into worshipping a false Skeleton Christ? A skeleton, you see, is not “coming in the flesh”, it’s all dead bones, such as you might find in a whited sepulchre. It’s worth a thought, don’t you think? Feel free to take it cum grano salis.
Speaking of sepulchres, back to the main story.
I got to pondering the symbolism of stone in the Bible, and found this verse.
Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ (NIV)
You see where I’m going with this? Jesus is the stone. It’s no wonder the women couldn’t find Jesus in the tomb. He’d been rolled away! But by whom?
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. (NIV)
Please understand that I do not deny that it was “an angel of the Lord came down from heaven” who rolled away the stone. That is the plain meaning of this passage from the Gospel of Matthew.
But please do consider the possible hidden meaning in the possible alternative scenario I’m sketching.
Who would roll Jesus out of the way, so that his own disciples couldn’t find him, finding instead a decaying soon-to-be-Skeleton Christ? One of the Devil’s angels, for sure, if not the Devil himself.
Here are a couple of clues.
[Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (NIV)
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (NIV)
The angel’s appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow … like an angel of light or, indeed, Jesus himself transfigured. And, in a final coup de disgrâce, the angel then sits on the stone, making the Devil’s most feared enemy a buttstool for his sulfurous butt.
It’s a complete inversion of Bible truth. Which is, of course, the Devil’s calling card.
Beware of false prophets and false messiahs. And the Skeleton Christ.
See also Disposable Heroes.
I sense an impending ban on the so-called “legal highs”. Get stockpiling, synthapeeps!
‘Cuz if you don’t stock up now, you’ll be kicking your wicked habits sooner rather than later!
The witch burning anti-synthetics brigade has gone into overdrive!
Someone pressed the moral panic button!
Each morning, 17-year-old Jesse Murray wakes on his cardboard mattress in Christchurch’s hidden haunts and walks the streets, spitting into a white, bloodstained tissue before arriving at his destination.
His days are dictated by the opening and closing hours of the nearest legal high shop.
If he has the money, he will hand over anything between $25 and $80 a day – money he has begged for.
Despite it being illegal for him to purchase the drug because of his age, sometimes, out of sympathy, the storekeepers give it to him for free.
Watch this interview by Campbell Live reporter Jendy Harper and tell me that young Jesse Murray doesn’t have a great acting career ahead of him … if he can stay off the synthacrack!
But srsly. The unfortunate fact is that Jesse’s experience isn’t uncommon. (“Each time he tried to quit he began to vomit blood and convulse.”) Here’s a story left in the comments section on the 3 News website. It’s typical of many that I’ve read or heard.
Coming off synthetic cannabis is by far harder than coming off others drugs such as weed or P. Well in my experience any way. I had smoked weed for years. Done P too ! Quite often all together. Then once all that got to hard to find I started smoking synthetic. Worst mistake I every made. I got hooked fast. I was rolling joints to smoke at work. Walking down to Cosmic corner in my lunch break. I couldn’t stop. If I did I would get hot flushes, rage would fill me and I’d explode. One day I realised I couldn’t continue and locked myself in my bathroom for a week while coming off the stuff. It was literally the worst week of my life. I’ve never suffered such horrible symptoms before. I fear for those who still smoke the stuff.
This is a PR disaster for both the legal highs industry and those promoting the Psychoactive Substances Act as the pathway to sensible drug law reform. It was an error of judgement on the part of us drug law reformers not to speak out against the legal highs industry taking up the government’s offer to allow the ongoing sale of existing products for the duration of an extended interim period. We should have recognised that leaving 15 novel, untested synthetic cannabinoids on the market was an unacceptable risk.
The industry now looks to be shut down, if not by this government before the election, then by the next coalition government after the election. Winston Peters looks set to be “kingmaker” once again, and his NZ First Party has already jumped on the banwagon.
There is one remaining opportunity for the legal highs industry to reclaim the moral high ground and that opportunity is now. Voluntarily recall all your products! Before Peter Dunne cracks under the cognitive dissonance and bans all the substances.
Dissimulation is the truth and nothing but the truth. But it’s not the whole truth.
Dissimulation is a form of deception in which one conceals the truth. It consists of concealing the truth, or in the case of half-truths, concealing parts of the truth, like inconvenient or secret information. Dissimulation differs from simulation, in which one exhibits false information.
Now there’s nothing wrong with forgetting to mention key facts. But there’s something very wrong with intentionally omitting to mention them for one’s own nefarious purposes. That’s dishonesty.
Remember Juicy Puff?
It is, or was, a Cosmic Corner brand of fake cannabis. It has an interesting history. Back in July 2011 it was suddenly ordered off the shelves by the government and removed from sale .
A company ordered by the Ministry of health today to remove a legal alternative to cannabis says it had no idea it contained a prescription drug.
Director-general of health Kevin Woods ordered Cosmic Corner Limited today not to sell Juicy Puff Super Strength because it contained a benzodiazepine called phenazepam.
The same medicine was found in Kronic Pineapple Express ordered off the shelves by the government on Thursday.
Dr Woods said phenazepam could only be legally supplied when prescribed by a doctor or other prescriber.
It was not available in New Zealand and used only in one country for the short-term treatment of anxiety and as an anticonvulsant.
Phenazepam is an obscure benzodiazapine. So obscure, in fact, that many countries have not gotten around to making it illegal. So it is readily available online from legal high suppliers. The same suppliers who supply the synthetic cannabinoid(s) that are the active ingredients in fake cannabis products such as Juicy Puff!
However, the company said it was only a retailer of the product and did not manufacture or import the product.
Company spokesman, Mark Carswell said Juicy Puff Super Strength was one synthetic cannabinoid blend out of the fifteen sold by Cosmic to have been contaminated by a small amount, 240 parts per million, of the prescription medicine phenazepam.
The product had been purchased in good faith from an Auckland firm, London Underground, he said.
“Juicy Puff Super Strength is not intended to contain phenazepam, and Cosmic was not aware that it contained phenazepam.”
Cosmic would cooperate with the Ministry of Health to ensure a safe and efficient recall, Mr Carswell said.
People should return all unused Juicy Puff Super Strength product to any Cosmic store and they would be given a store credit.
Industry leaders would meet on Monday to consider a code of practice incorporating a testing standards to ensure materials were screened for contaminants.
It was a clear case of contamination. (Warning: May contain traces of nuts phenazepam.)
Of course, Juicy Puff was soon back on the shelves. Minus the phenazepam. Also, I expect its active ingredient(s) changed from time to time over the next couple of years, each time Peter Dunne banned its active ingredient(s) at the time with a Temporary Class Drug Notice.
Does Duncan Garner remember Juicy Puff?!
If the existence of idiots who ignore simple instructions, well-intentioned advice and plain old common sense is a sufficient reason to ban a psychoactive product, then Garner made a convincing case! Perhaps that was his intent. Duncan Garner is a prohibitionist. Whereas spokesman for the legal highs industry, Grant Hall, also smoked the product on camera at Radio Live. Recreationally. No worries.
That was back in May this year. By that time, and since, the active ingredient in Juicy Puff was, and has been, AB-FUBINACA.
Do I remember Juicy Puff?
I certainly do. It was one of my favourite fake cannabis brands. AB-FUBINACA is one of the best synthetic cannabinoids out there. It’s very trippy. You only need ONE toke of the stuff and you’re stoned as! (Someone should have told Duncan Garner.) In my experience, another couple of tokes will get you a bit more stoned, but after that don’t bother. The effects of the drug seem to have a ceiling. Also, tolerance builds very rapidly. And it leaves a truly disgusting chemical taste in your mouth. For flavour, the naturally occurring terpenes in cannabis can’t be beat. In fact, smoking herbal cannabis is a better, safer experience in all respects.
Cannabis can get you through times of no money better than money can get you through times of no cannabis. But in times of no cannabis, I’ve sometimes gone into Cosmic Corner and scored myself some Juicy Puff. But last time I went to buy some Juicy Puff at Cosmic Corner it wasn’t there. I asked Cosmic Corner where it had gone, but they were unforthcoming with any information other than confirming that it had gone.
Does the Ministry of Health remember Juicy Puff?
I figured that if it had been banned, the Ministry of Health would have notified us of the fact on their Interim product approvals web page.
In the past, when products given interim approval have subsequently had their interim approvals revoked, they’ve been *cut* from the page section headed Interim product approvals and *pasted* into the page section below headed Interim product approvals refused and revoked. Minus the information about the identity of the now banned active ingredient and its quantity. Why would the MoH delete that information?
But this time, it’s worse. Juicy Puff has altogether *disappeared* from the MoH web page. It’s not just that the Ministry has acted to conceal the identity of the active ingredient in Juicy Puff and its quantity. They’ve acted to conceal the fact that Juicy Puff ever existed!
Do you think I’m being paranoid? Well, recently I’ve been worrying a lot that I’m being paranoid. I figure that means that either I’m paranoid or I have an anxiety disorder. Either way, I’m not a well man. But I digress.
It came to my attention recently that Juicy Puff has, in fact, been banned or discontinued. Well, it has according to the Dominion Post, and here’s why.
Juicy Puff: Unconsciousness, seizures.
I think I know why Juicy Puff is gone from the official records. Back when it was still on the official records, and available to buy from Cosmic Corner, this is what the MoH told us about Juicy Puff.
Product name Psychoactive substance(s) Quantity Company name Physical address Status Interim product approval number Juicy Puff AB-FUBINACA 30mg per gm Cosmic Corner Limited 26-28 Essex Street, Christchurch 8006 Under consideration P0035
This is what the MoH tells us now about nine other products still on the market.
Product name Psychoactive substance(s) Quantity Company name Physical address Status Interim product approval number Apocalypse AB-Fubinaca 100mg/g Eversons International Ltd 5 Fitzroy Place, Christchurch Licence issued P0005 Outbreak AB-Fubinaca 100mg/g Eversons International Ltd 5 Fitzroy Place, Christchurch Licence issued P0006 illusion Peak AB-FUBINACA 40mg per gm Platinum Marketing Limited c/o Shieff Angland, P O Box 2180, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140 Licence issued P0026 Amsterdam Havana Special AB-FUBINACA 35mg per gm Platinum Marketing Limited c/o Shieff Angland, P O Box 2180, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140 Licence issued P0028 Blueberry Crush AB-FUBINACA 35mg per gm Platinum Marketing Limited c/o Shieff Angland, P O Box 2180, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140 Licence issued P0031 Tai High Bubble Berry AB-FUBINACA 45mg per gm Herbal Exports Limited P O Box 305062, Triton Plaza, Auckland 0757 Licence issued P0044 Master Kush AB-FUBINACA 45mg per gm Herbal Exports Limited P O Box 305062, Triton Plaza, Auckland 0757 Licence issued P0046 Lemon Grass AB-FUBINACA 40mg per gm Orbital Distribution Ltd 8 Cranwell St, Henderson, Auckland Licence issued P0051 Choco Haze AB-FUBINACA 40mg per gm Orbital Distribution Ltd 8 Cranwell St, Henderson, Auckland Licence issued P0052
Yes, that’s right. ALL contain the active ingredient AB-FUBINACA. All contain the active ingredient in amounts per gram GREATER than the amount per gram contained in Juicy Puff.
I put it to you that the Ministry of Dissimulation doesn’t want us to know that NINE products whose approval they haven’t revoked contain the very same ingredient—that purportedly causes UNCONSCIOUSNESS and SEIZURES—in amounts per gram greater than the one product whose approval has gone.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)
See also Ministry of Stupid.
Remember how Peter Dunne sold us the Psychoactive Substances Act?
Here‘s what he told the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs when he took the world stage in Vienna, Austria six months ago.
While we have placed more than 30 synthetic cannabis-like substances under temporary bans, but we are aware that there are potentially hundreds more that could replace them.
Last month, the New Zealand Government introduced new legislation into our Parliament that will end the game of catch-up once and for all.
We are going to reverse the onus of proof so the manufacturers of these products have to prove they are safe before they can bring them on to the market.
He said the same thing last year. It’s what he’s said all along, time and again. In his capacity as a Cabinet minister. On behalf of the New Zealand government.
As promised, we are reversing the onus of proof. If they cannot prove that a product is safe, then it is not going anywhere near the marketplace
Like some codswallop with your porkies? Lies. That’s how we got sold the PSA. But what we got was not as advertised. Quite the reverse.
1. Pass safety tests.
2. Approve for sale.
That was Plan A.
This is Plan B.
1. Approve for sale.
2. Build a large wooden badger.
Here‘s what Dunne said back in May, in his final bout of banning.
This is another blow to the industry and one of many we have delivered – but I fully acknowledge it is more of the cat-and-mouse game until we can deliver the killer punch in August when the Psychoactive Substances Bill will become law.
Deliver the killer punch?! He makes the Psychoactive Substances Act sound like the Jonestown Massacre! Could be something in the analogy.
Here‘s the page where the Ministry of Health tells us that synthetic cannabinoids pose no more than a low risk of harm to people using them.
Here‘s the page where the Ministry of Health goes into further detail.
(What did you understand we meant by “no more than a low risk of harm”? Let us tell you, because I think you misinterpreted us. We meant …)
feeling cut off from the world or what is happening
seeing, feeling or hearing things that are not real
high blood pressure
racing heart rate
shaking and twitching
eyeballs move up an and down rapidly
fainting or loss of speech and eyesight
extreme anxiety and panic
loss of contact with reality (psychosis)
extreme anxiety and panic
on-going nausea and vomiting
confusion and memory problems
high blood pressure
aggression and violence
less school attendance
less thought about the consequences of actions
less ability to focus and pay attention
Head rush when smoking cigarettes
Heightened sense of awareness
Mood changes (some reporting happier moods, some reporting an increase in anxiety)
Loss of co-ordination
Loss of balance
Nausea and vomiting
Sensitivity to light
Nausea and vomiting
Heightened sense of awareness
Head rush when smoking cigarettes
Pins and needles sensation
Sense of hopelessness
Feeling “left with all the dumb sh**”
Willing to take more risks
Pins and needles sensation
Use of cannabis to self-medicate symptoms
Now look here, Ministry of Stupid. I’m a libertarian and I don’t think you should be involved in regulating psychoactive substances at all. But I’m a realist too. I know it’s not like I have a choice. But didn’t I hear you say, “it’s for your own good”? If you really must get all paternalistic about it, couldn’t you at least get that bit right?
You know, you really dug yourselves into a hole when Peter Dunne was calling the spadework. Stupid is as stupid does. Stupid Dunne. But maintaining blatant contradictions on your website? That’s a special kind of stupid. Hasn’t anyone told you? When you’re in a hole, stop digging.
Notwithstanding what I said a couple of days ago, the moles from the Ministry of Stupid really have abdicated their tiny minds and evicted themselves from the realm of reality. Will they ever find their way back? They’ve lost their moral compass so maybe we should send out a search party.
Right now I’m
Feeling “left with all the dumb sh**”
I think I need a smoke.
Welcome to Part 4 of the series. This one’s a little different. Different because this time you know what you’ve been smoking *before* you smoke it! And that’s how it should be.
The list below is sourced from the Interim Product Approvals page on the Ministry of Health website.
The status of (products that contain) the following 10 chemicals is ‘Licence issued’.
PB-22 1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxylic acid 8-quinolinyl ester
5F-PB-22 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxylic acid 8-quinolinyl ester
* (S)-N-(1-amino-3, 3dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(5-fluoropentyl-1H-indole-3-caboxamide
The status of (products that contain) the following 6 chemicals is ‘Under consideration’.
There’s no doubt that the Psychoactive Substances Act is a watershed. Whereas previous posts were lists of synthetic cannabinoids that the government had *banned*, this is a list of synthetic cannabinoids that the government has *approved*. It’s unprecendented! But is it a good?
You might think that as both a libertarian and a psychoactive substances aficionado I’d be all for this ground-breaking, world-leading legislation. But I’m not. I haven’t resiled from my previous assertion that, when all is said and done, the Psychoactive Substances Act is pure evil. Here’s why.
Succinctly (in the words of Ringo Starr), “everything government touches turns to crap.”
Let’s take a closer look at the list.
Chemically speaking, we know the structure (identity) of PB-22, AB-FUBINACA, 5F-PB-22, CP-55,244 and AB-005. But what about SGT-7, SGT-19, SGT-24, SGT-42, SGT-55, SGT-56 and LDD/3? No one but the manufacturer seems to know what they are. I doubt that even the Ministry of Health knows what they are. Mere names mean nothing. See that bird? There is a difference between the name of the thing and what goes on.
What about CL-2201? No idea. I’d hazard a guess that it’s a chlorine analogue of AM-2201. Who knows?
What about Fluoropentyl, fluoro-1-naphthoyl? Chemically speaking, this is pure gibberish.
Essentially, the government has approved for manufacture, sale and use a bunch of *unidentified* chemicals. But it gets worse.
The compound on the left is PB-22 which has interim approval. The compound on the right is BB-22 which was banned as from 9 May 2013 by Peter Dunne. They are structurally similar. They are analogues.
Supposedly, under the now repealed section 4C of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, Peter Dunne was (with respect to BB-22) “satisfied that the substance, preparation, mixture, or article that is to be specified in the notice poses, or may pose, a risk of harm to individuals, or to society.” According to the Ministry of Health FAQ, PB-22 is “shown to pose no more than a low risk of harm to people using [it]” but BB-22 is “known to have adverse effects on people using [it].” How’s that supposed to work? I call bullshit.
But it gets even worse.
The compound on the left is AB-005 which has interim approval. The compound on the right is XLR-11 which was banned as from 13 July 2012 by Peter Dunne. They are structurally similar. They are analogues.
The problem here is that XLR-11 has been linked to acute kidney injury in some users. Now the Ministry of “Health” has seen fit to approve an analogue of a suspected kidney toxin for human use. But it’s legal so it must be safe, right? Yeah right.
The Psychoactive Substances Act has nothing to do with your freedom or your health. It has everything to do with big government and mammon worship.
The government has lost the War on Drugs. Now it’s taking an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach. And we should be afraid. Very afraid.