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The Sassquatch's Lair

Beliefs and Practices

Self-Spirituality and Channeling

Prominent examples of channeling in the New Age movement include Jane Roberts’ claims that she was contacted by an entity called Seth, and Helen Schucman’s claims to have channeled Jesus Christ. The academic Suzanne Riordan examined a variety of these New Age channeled messages, and noted that they typically “echoed each other in tone and content”, offering an analysis of the human condition and giving instructions or advice for how humanity can discover its true destiny.

For many New Agers, these channeled messages rival the scriptures of the main world religions as sources of spiritual authority, although often New Agers describe historical religious revelations as forms of “channeling” as well, thus attempting to legitimate and authenticate their own contemporary practices. Although the concept of channeling from discarnate spirit entities has links to Spiritualism and psychical research, in the New Age movement the Spiritualist emphasis on proving the existence of life after death is absent, as is the psychical research focus of testing mediums for consistency.

Luc Paquin

Russia

The Russian word for witch, ved’ma literally means “one who knows”, from Old Slavic “to know”.

Spells

Pagan practices formed a part of Russian and Eastern Slavic culture; the Russian people were deeply superstitious. The witchcraft practiced consisted mostly of earth magic and herbology; it was not so significant which herbs were used in practices, but how these herbs were gathered. Ritual centered on harvest of the crops and the location of the sun was very important. One source, pagan author Judika Illes, tells that herbs picked on Midsummer’s Eve were believed to be most powerful, especially if gathered on Bald Mountain near Kiev during the witches’ annual revels celebration. Botanicals should be gathered, “During the seventeenth minute of the fourteenth hour, under a dark moon, in the thirteenth field, wearing a red dress, pick the twelfth flower on the right.”

Spells also served for midwifery, shape-shifting, keeping lovers faithful, and bridal customs. Spells dealing with midwifery and childbirth focused on the spiritual wellbeing of the baby. Shape-shifting spells involved invocation of the wolf as a spirit animal. To keep men faithful, lovers would cut a ribbon the length of his erect penis and soak it in his seminal emissions after sex while he was sleeping, then tie seven knots in it; keeping this talisman of knot magic ensured loyalty. Part of an ancient pagan marriage tradition involved the bride taking a ritual bath at a bathhouse before the ceremony. Her sweat would be wiped from her body using raw fish, and the fish would be cooked and fed to the groom.

Demonism, or black magic, was not prevalent. Persecution for witchcraft, mostly involved the practice of simple earth magic, founded on herbology, by solitary practitioners with a Christian influence. In one case investigators found a locked box containing something bundled in a kerchief and three paper packets, wrapped and tied, containing crushed grasses. Most rituals of witchcraft were very simple-one spell of divination consists of sitting alone outside meditating, asking the earth to show one’s fate.

While these customs were unique to Russian culture, they were not exclusive to this region. Russian pagan practices were often akin to paganism in other parts of the world. The Chinese concept of chi, a form of energy that often manipulated in witchcraft, is known as bioplasma in Russian practices. The western concept of an “evil eye” or a “hex” was translated to Russia as a “spoiler”. A spoiler was rooted in envy, jealousy and malice. Spoilers could be made by gathering bone from a cemetery, a knot of the target’s hair, burned wooden splinters and several herb Paris berries (which are very poisonous). Placing these items in sachet in the victim’s pillow completes a spoiler. The Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and the ancient Egyptians recognized the evil eye from as early as 3,000 BCE; in Russian practices it is seen as a sixteenth-century concept.

The Lost Bearded White Brother

Beliefs and Practices

Self-Spirituality and Channeling

The New Age movement exhibits a strong emphasis on the idea that the individual and their own experiences are the primary source of authority on spiritual matters. Thus, it exhibits what Heelas termed “unmediated individualism”, and reflects a world-view which is “radically democratic”. As a result, there is a strong emphasis on the freedom of the individual in the movement. This emphasis has led to some ethical disagreements; while some New Age participants stress the need to help others because all are part of the unitary holistic universe, others have disagreed, refusing to aid others because it is believed that it will result in their dependency on others and thus conflicts with the self-as-authority ethic. Nevertheless, within the movement, there are differences in the role accorded to voices of authority outside of the self.

lthough not present in every New Age group, a core belief of the movement is in channeling. This is the idea that humans beings, sometimes (although not always) in a state of trance, can act “as a channel of information from sources other than their normal selves”. These sources are varyingly described as being God, gods and goddesses, ascended masters, spirit guides, extraterrestrials, angels, devas, historical figures, the collective unconscious, elementals, or nature spirits. Hanegraaff described channeling as a form of “articulated revelation”, and identified four forms: trance channeling, automatisms, clairaudient channeling, and open channeling.

Luc Paquin

Remington XP-100 Mk01

Remington XP-100 Mk02

Remington XP-100 Mk03

Remington XP-100 Mk04

Remington XP-100 Mk05

The Remington XP-100 (from eXperimental Pistol number 100) is a bolt action pistol produced by Remington Arms from 1963 to 1998. The XP-100 was one of the first handguns designed for long range shooting, and introduced the .221 Remington Fireball (often called .221 Fireball), which is still the fastest handgun cartridge ever produced by a major ammunition maker. The XP-100 was noted for its accuracy and is still competitive today in the sport of handgun varminting, which it helped create.

Overview

The XP-100 was based on Remington’s short action bolt action carbine, the Remington Model 40X, which influenced the later Remington Model 600 rifle. The XP-100 was initially introduced with a 10¾” barrel set into a nylon stock with an unusual center-mounted grip. Chambered in .222 Remington in early prototypes, the short barrel produced significant noise and muzzle flash. Subsequently the case was shortened to reduce powder capacity to a volume more suited to the shorter barrel of a pistol. The resulting cartridge, the .221 Fireball, produced factory loaded velocities of over 825 m/s (2700 ft/s) from the short barrel, and accuracy rivaling the parent .222 Remington, one of the most accurate cartridges made.

All but the XP-100R model were single shot designs, while the XP-100R had a small internal magazine (holding four rounds), similar to most bolt action rifles. The R model – for “repeater” – was made 1991-1997 in .223 Rem., .250 Savage, 7mm-08 Rem., .308 Win., .35 Rem., and 350 Rem. Mag. It was reintroduced in 1998, this time without sights, in .223 Rem., .22-250 Rem., .260 Rem., and .35 Rem.

Model History

The XP-100 went through a number of changes during its production run, and many variations were only available through the Remington Custom shop. The most significant changes in the later versions were to barrel length, which went to 14½”, and the grip location, which was moved to the rear of the stock. The calibers changed; with the elimination of the original 10¾” barrel, the reduced powder capacity was no longer such a requirement, and the chamberings switched to standard commercial rifle cartridges. By the time the XP-100 was discontinued, it faced stiff competition from other bolt-action pistols such as the Savage Striker as well as the versatile Thompson Center Arms break-action Contender.

Model Production by Year

  • XP-100 (1963-1985)
  • XP-100 Varmint Special (1986-1992)
  • XP-100 Silhouette (1980-1997)
  • XP-100 Hunter (1993-1994)
  • XP-100 Custom (1986-1997)
  • XP-100R (1998)
  • XR-100 (2005-Present)

Caliber Production by Year

  • .221 Remington Fireball (1963-1985)
  • 7 mm BR Remington (1980-1985)
  • .223 Remington (1986-1997), (2005-Present in XR-100)
  • .35 Remington (1986-1997)
  • .250 Savage (1990-1992) Custom Shop only
  • 6 mm BR Remington (1990-1992) Custom Shop only
  • .22-250 Remington (1992-1994) Custom Shop only, (2005-Present in XR-100)
  • .308 Winchester (1992-1994) Custom Shop only
  • 7 mm-08 Remington (1993-1994)
  • .204 Ruger (2005-Present in XR-100)

Current Production

The XP-100 action was used as the basis for a new single-shot rifle from Remington called the XR-100 Rangemaster.

While the XP-100 has disappeared from Remington’s lineup (Remington is primarily a maker of rifles and shotguns), the .221 Fireball remains in production. The Model 700 rifle has been available since 2002 in a .221 Fireball chambering; while it lacks the velocity attainable with the vastly more popular .223 Remington, the short .221 Fireball delivers most of the performance with far less noise and flash.

The Sass

Beliefs and Practices

Theology, Cosmogony, and Cosmology

Cosmogonical creation stories are common in New Age sources, with these accounts reflecting the movement’s holistic framework by describing an original, primal oneness from which all things in the universe emanated. An additional common theme is that human souls – once living in a spiritual world – then descended into a world of matter. The New Age movement typically views the material universe as a meaningful illusion, which humans should try to use constructively rather than focus on escaping into other spiritual realms. This physical world is hence seen as “a domain for learning and growth” after which the human soul might pass on to higher levels of existence. There is thus a widespread belief that reality is engaged in an ongoing process of evolution; rather than Darwinian evolution, this is typically seen as either a teleological evolution which assumes a process headed to a specific goal, or an open-ended, creative evolution.

Within the New Age movement, it is often unclear how divine beings are divided from those entities which are believed to exist between divinity and humanity. In the literature, there is much talk of non-human beings who are benevolently interested in the spiritual development of humanity, and which are variously referred to under such names as angels, guardian angels, personal guides, masters, teachers, and contacts. New Age angeology is nevertheless unsystematic, reflecting the idiosyncrasies of individual authors. The figure of Jesus Christ is often mentioned within New Age literature as a mediating principle between divinity and humanity, as well as an exemplar of a spiritually advanced human being.

Luc Paquin

MSC/MPC

Measure of Skill in Supported Conversation/ Measure of Level of Participation in Conversation (for partner with aphasia)

The MSC and MPC are two complementary measures designed to capture elements of conversation between adults with aphasia and their speaking conversation partners. The MSC provides an index of the conversation partner’s skill in providing conversational support. The MPC provides an index of the level of participation in conversation by the person with aphasia. The article A Set of Observational Measures for Rating Support and Participation in Conversation Between Adults with Aphasia and Their Conversation Partners presents the background to the development of the MSC/MPC, and includes preliminary psychometric evaluation.

Please click here to access the measures.

Kagan, A., Winckel, J., Black, S., Duchan, J. F., Simmons-Mackie, N., & Square, P. (2004). A set of observational measures for rating support and participation in conversation between adults with aphasia and their conversation partners. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 11(1), 67-83.

Norma

Oceania

Cook Islands

In pre-Christian times, witchcraft was a common practice in the Cook Islands. The native name for a sorcerer was tangata purepure (a man who prays). The prayers offered by the ta’unga (priests) to the gods worshiped on national or tribal marae (temples) were termed karakia; those on minor occasions to the lesser gods were named pure. All these prayers were metrical, and were handed down from generation to generation with the utmost care. There were prayers for every such phase in life; for success in battle; for a change in wind (to overwhelm an adversary at sea, or that an intended voyage be propitious); that his crops may grow; to curse a thief; or wish ill-luck and death to his foes. Few men of middle age were without a number of these prayers or charms. The succession of a sorcerer was from father to son, or from uncle to nephew. So too of sorceresses: it would be from mother to daughter, or from aunt to niece. Sorcerers and sorceresses were often slain by relatives of their supposed victims.

Papua New Guinea

A local newspaper informed that more than 50 people were killed in two Highlands provinces of Papua New Guinea in 2008 for allegedly practicing witchcraft.

The Lost Bearded White Brother

Beliefs and Practices

Theology, Cosmogony, and Cosmology

Most New Age groups subscribe to the view that there is an Ultimate Source from which all things originate, which is usually conflated with the divine. Various creation myths have been articulated in New Age publications outlining how this Ultimate Source came to create the universe and everything in it. In contrast, some other New Agers have emphasised the idea of a universal inter-relatedness that is not always emanating from a single source. The New Age worldview emphasises holism and the idea that everything in existence is intricately connected as part of a single whole, in doing so rejecting both the dualism of Judeo-Christian thought and the reductionism of Cartesian science. A number of New Agers have linked this holistic interpretation of the universe to the Gaia hypothesis of James Lovelock. The idea of holistic divinity results in a common New Age belief that humans themselves are divine in essence, a concept described using such terms as “droplet of divinity”, “inner Godhead”, and “divine self”. Influenced by Theosophical and Anthroposophical ideas regarding ‘subtle bodies’, a common New Age idea holds to the existence of a “Higher Self” which is a part of the human but which connects with the divine essence of the universe, and which can advise the human mind through intuition.

Luc Paquin

Beliefs and Practices

Although there is great diversity among the beliefs and practices found within the New Age movement, according to York it is united by a shared “vision of radical mystical transformation on both the personal and collective levels”. The movement aims to create “a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas” that is inclusive and pluralistic.

Theology, Cosmogony, and Cosmology

Hanegraaff noted that the existence of divinity was “mostly an integral and necessary part of New Age ideas”. However, he added that within the movement, such ideas regarding the nature of divinity “reflect a marked aversion to rigid, doctrinal definitions”, with New Age theology exhibiting an inclusivist and universalistic approach which accepts all personal perspectives on the divine as being equally valid. This intentional vagueness as to the nature of divinity also reflects the New Age idea that divinity cannot be comprehended by the human mind or language. There are nevertheless a number of traits that are repeatedly associated with divinity in New Age literature, the first of which is the idea that it is holistic, thus frequently being described with such terms as an “Ocean of Oneness”, “Infinite Spirit”, “Primal Stream”, “One Essence”, and “Universal Principle”. A second common trait is the characterisation of divinity as “Mind”, “Consciousness”, and “Intelligence”, while a third is the description of divinity as a form of “energy”. A fourth trait is the characterisation of divinity as a “life force”, the essence of which is creativity, while a fifth is the concept that divinity consists of love.

Luc Paquin

CAMS

Developed with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, via the Ontario Stroke Network, the Communicative Access Measures for Stroke (CAMS) is a set of simple and practical measures, which may be useful in developing heath equity plans, accreditation planning, service quality improvement initiatives and continuing education needs assessments related to stroke care in various healthcare settings. The measures include three questionnaires for evaluating status and satisfaction with communicative access in stroke care:

  • CAMS1 Policies and Procedures
  • CAMS2 Frontline Practice
  • CAMS3 Patient Satisfaction

This tool will be in helpful in developing health equity plans, accreditation planning, service quality improvement, and continuing education needs for stroke survivors in various health care settings.

CAMS will be ready in Winter 2015.

Norma