Weird Science
As Performance Art

Psychiatrist Showcased
Wife As Subject
by Chuck Shepherd

December, 1996

In a Virginia case reported in the Mental Health Law News, Susanna Van de Castle was awarded $350,000 against her psychiatrist-husband Robert for malpractice.

According to the lawsuit, after having diagnosed her as suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, he then married her and continued the therapy but also sought deals for a book and a movie about her, in addition to staging public lectures (charging admission) in which she was showcased as his subject.

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Taxi Driver Proves Not

Does Islam
Make Men Trustworthy?
by Chuck Shepherd

February, 1997

The Associated Press reported on Ms. Myassar Abul-Hawa, 52, the first female taxicab driver in Jordan.

Her business is brisk, in part because some devout Muslim men ask for her by name to chauffeur their wives and daughters so they won't be alone with male drivers.

As is sometimes the case in the U.S., Abul-Hawa turned to taxi-driving when she could not put to use her degree in English literature.

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Money Well Spent?

Demolition Company
President Hires Psychic
Chuck Shepherd

March, 1997

The president of a demolition company said he was about to hire a psychic to help explain the strange things being reported by his workers tearing down the old Troutman's department store building in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

He said doors were slamming without reason, tools disappeared and turned up in unlikely places, and stuck, locked doors spontaneously opened, among other things.

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Money Well Spent?

Priests, Psychic "Commune"
With Bureau Building
by Chuck Shepherd

March, 1997

Employees at the San Francisco Bureau of Building Inspections brought in a Buddhist priest, a Catholic priest, and a psychic to commune with the building after several workers and family members had recently been stricken with serious illnesses.

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Tattooist Wants Them Out

Pentecostal Church
Too Noisy
by Cliff Walker

December, 1996

According to a Washington Post report, Greg Piper, the owner of the Exposed Temptations tattoo shop of Manassas, Virginia, complained to his landlord that the newly-arrived, next-door tenant, the Blessed Victory Pentecostal Church, was out of place in the building and making so much noise with its music that it was affecting his work.

"[Tattooing's] like any kind of art. You want to focus on the concentration and the client," said Piper. "They have a drum set and a PA system," he told The Washington Post. "The noise was the only problem. The people were nice."

Downstairs at Bubba's Cycle Shack, the owner complained that ceiling tiles and merchandise fell to the floor during services.

The church didn't put up a fight, said a pastor, because "we're a people of peace." The the church announced it was moving.

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Bullets Turn To Water?

Zairian Mai-Mai
Guerillas Feared
by Chuck Shepherd

April, 1997

The New York Times, describing several civil sub-wars now raging in Zaire as President Mobutu's 30-year reign ends, reported on the "quixotic on-and-off conflict waged by Mai-Mai guerillas, who hide in the jungle and smoke large quantities of marijuana."

People fear the Mai-Mai because it is believed that bullets turn to water before hitting them, and stories circulate about how the mere threat of the Mai-Mais' appearance causes forces to retreat and surrender.

However, the Times reported, "When the Mai-Mai were killed in [a recent battle], it was speculated that they might recently have had sex, which, some Zairians say, destroys the Mai-Mai's protection from bullets for a day or two."

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Separationism In Reverse

"Monument" To
Catholic Upbringing Hung
by Chuck Shepherd

March, 1997

At a Penn State University gallery, student Christine Enedy's "25 Years of Virginity ... A Self-Portrait," supposedly a monument to the importance of Catholicism in her life, was hung, to the consternation of at least one state senator.

The work consists of 25 pairs of underwear with red crosses sewn into the crotches.

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Undesirable Christian Sect
Spurns Key Supporter

Klan Supporter:
Unclear on the Concept
by Chuck Shepherd

April, 1997

Ms. Courtney Mann, the head of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, who is a tax preparer and single mother, was rebuffed in an attempt to join a Ku Klux Klan-sponsored march in Pittsburgh, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Though she has been in the NAAWP for at least four years, the Pennsylvania KKK Grand Dragon turned her down because Mann is black.

"She wanted me to send transportation [for the rally]," said the Grand Dragon. "She wanted to stay at my house [during rally weekend]. She's all confused, man. I don't think she knows she's a black."

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Penis-Shaped Candy, Too!

Big Pink Plastic Penis
Worshiped in Japan
by Chuck Shepherd

April, 1997

The annual religious fertility celebration in Nagoya, Japan, designed to improve the rice harvest, featured as usual a 12-foot-long, bright pink, plastic penis, carried through the street, followed by displays of smaller organs and a giant banner of a blood-vesseled penis, testicles, and pubic hair.

Souvenir candy of the same shape was sold during the event, and at the end of a parade, the giant organ was placed on the fertility shrine.

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Church, Heirs Settle
Odd Estate Dispute
by Chuck Shepherd

October, 1996

The Unitarian Universalist Church and heirs of Jonathan Holdeen settled their 20-year-old dispute on the disposition of Holdeen's estate, which was created in 1945 as a series of trusts that eventually would have amassed so much money they would allegedly have funded the entire federal government and rendered taxation unnecessary.

In fact, the Church, which was a nominal beneficiary of the trusts, argued for their abolition in 1977 on the ground that they would soak up so much of the world's money that the administrators of the trusts would become too powerful.

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Satanic Panic

Parishes Fear Wafer
Theft, Post Guards
by Chuck Shepherd

February, 1997

St. Charles Catholic Church (Picayune, Miss.) and nearby St. Margaret Mary Church (Slidell, La.) posted security ushers at the doors to make sure that parishioners were not pocketing communion wafers. Devil-worshiping ceremonies often use wafers for symbolic desecration, and when six people were seen leaving St. Charles in December with their wafers, the churches' leaders began to fear a local Satanic conspiracy.

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Specimens from the Bottom of the Gene Pool

Another Bedtime Story
But how does this myth differ from
a religious myth, in the mind of a child
who was taught that the religious myth is true?

Diapers Thwart
Headless Killer,
Molestor Sentenced
by Chuck Shepherd

April, 1997

In Houston, Texas, Robert Perry Russell, Jr., 44, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexual assault and diapering of a 14-year-old boy, but police say the number of victims may have been as many as 10.

According to police, Russell liked to take boys out in a boat, tell them a tale about a headless killer seeking to rescue a toddler from the dangerous lake and who kills all other people, and suggest that putting on the diapers he happens to have with him would be a good way, should the killer appear, of convincing him of his toddler status.

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Specimens from the Bottom of the Gene Pool

Another Bedtime Story
But how does this myth differ from
a religious myth, in the mind of a child
who was taught that the religious myth is true?

"Alien" Caught Giving
Vaginal "Immunizations"
To Teens
by Chuck Shepherd
Source: The Los Angeles Times

September 16, 1995

Barry A. Briskman, 59, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in North Hollywood, California, for his inexplicably successful seduction of two 13-year-old girls.

According to the prosecutor, Briskman had convinced the girls that he was a space alien from the planet Cablell, sent to Earth to recruit a team of beautiful, super-intelligent girls for a female-dominated utopia headed by Queen Hiternia, who was temporarily based atop the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas. For their trip through space, Briskman told the girls he would have to immunize them vaginally until their "IRF" counts reached 100, and following each sex session, he telephoned the "Andrak 4000" computer to report the latest infusion and to get a readout on how many more IRFs each girl needed.

Briskman is presently in prison in Nevada for demonstrating similar persuasive skills on a 12-year-old girl.

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Specimens from the Bottom of the Gene Pool

Another Bedtime Story
But how does this myth differ from
a religious myth, in the mind of a child
who was taught that the religious myth is true?

Past-Life Affair
Consummated,
Teacher Sentenced
by Chuck Shepherd

May, 1997

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, schoolteacher Roger Katz, 50, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for having sex with a 14-year-old female student.

He was convicted despite his compelling explanation that had fallen in love with her after she saved him in a previous life (Tibet, C.E. 640) when she, then older than he, had stepped in front of an arrow meant for him.

Said Katz's attorney Aaron Wolf, "I hope my daughters find men who love them as much as he loves her."

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Blowing Salvation

Holy Communion
by Chuck Shepherd

August, 1997

Accuser Frank Martinelli, 50, testified against the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, for alleged sexual abuse in 1964 by Father Laurence Brett.

Martinelli said to the court: "He told me [fellatio] was okay because it was just another way of taking Holy Communion."

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Transvestite Fortune Teller
Does Brisk Business
by Chuck Shepherd

February, 1997

The New York Times reported that despite the troubles in Serbia, business was thriving for a transvestite fortune teller named "Kleo Patra," 36, who charges about $80 a session (a month's salary for the average Serbian) and includes as a client Mrs. Sloboban Milosevic, whose husband Mr. Patra supports.

A week before the great winter flooding in the Ohio Valley and two months before the North Dakota floods, Mr. Patra predicted the U.S.'s future was rosy except for impending floods.

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A Crime Waiting to Happen

Worshippers' Shoes
Stolen From Mosque
by Chuck Shepherd

February, 1997

In Sirnak, Turkey, thieves stole the 210 pairs of shoes left by entering worshipers outside the Vali Kamil Acun mosque.

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Balloonist Steve Fossett is
HANUMAN!

The Second Coming
of the Monkey God
by Chuck Shepherd

January, 1997

American long-distance hot-air balloonist Steve Fossett had to set down in the village of Nunkhar, India, well short of his around-the-world goal.

However, according to media reports, villagers were very helpful and friendly despite their first impression of him, which was awe, because they thought this descending figure was the second coming of their monkey god Hanuman, arriving in a space-station temple.

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Specimens from the Bottom of the Gene Pool

Defense: "Less Than Perfect"

Jew Kills Kids In Show
Of Religious Loyalty
by Chuck Shepherd

February, 1997

Avi Kostner, 52, pleaded guilty in Newark, New Jersey, to the murders of his kids, aged 10 and 12, which he said he committed because he feared his ex-wife would not raise them as Jews.

In arguing successfully against the death penalty, Kostner's lawyer continually referred to Kostner in front of the jury as merely "less than perfect."

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