Pharyngula

Et tu, New Zealand?

They’re popping up everywhere, and now in
New Zealand:

A Trust which teaches schoolchildren about evolutionary and creationist views of the universe wants to build a $30 million dinosaur park and museum, probably on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The Dinosaurs Aotearoa Museum Trust is working with Wellington’s Weta Workshop, which created characters for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, to create life-sized dinosaurs in a 40ha theme park.

Founders Darren and Jackie Bush run a Wellington business called Dinosaurs Rock which runs programmes about dinosaurs and geology for schools, giving children both the scientific theory of evolution and the biblical view that the world was created by God in seven days about 6000 years ago.

May they all go bankrupt.

Comments

  1. #1 Paul
    June 1, 2007

    This in the same week as our Prime Minister confirms that New Zealand has no state religion, and will not have a state religion – much to the ire of the fundamentalists of the Destiny Church.

  2. #2 Lynet
    June 1, 2007

    What???

    Ok, I’m off to write Weta Workshop an email right now. They can jolly well listen to a fellow citizen.

    I seriously thought we were above that sort of nonsense.

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    much to the ire of the fundamentalists of the Destiny Church.

    has somebody got a link to an expose on the Destiny Church in NZ?

    I’ve been hearing horrific rumors of predatory behavior and displacement of moderate churches by these guys, and I think it would be VERY worthwhile to explore the phenomenon in depth, to show exactly how this shit spreads like a cancer in many communities.

    thanks

  4. #4 Dark Matter
    June 1, 2007

    Enough of these “museums”, large and small,
    and they can effectively bypass the education system
    altogether. A 8th-12th grader may get some exposure to
    evolution theory for a couple of weeks out of the year,
    while these places will have creation stuff going on
    all the time with the local churches giving them an
    endorsement no doubt….I’m sure they will start
    networking to pass along what works in getting people
    to doubt evolutionary theory.

    Looks like “the money” is into a new local-level strategy
    resulting from their recent court losses?

  5. #5 Aa
    June 1, 2007

    “May they all go bankrupt”

    I’ll drink to that.

  6. #6 Arnosium Upinarum
    June 1, 2007

    From the Underground Command Bunker deep in Kansas… says, “I look forward to the day when PZ Myers publishes a book and/or makes an actual scientific contribution.”

    You are an obvious liar, sir, for you obviously do not look forward to anything that crosses your fragile sensibilities, nor do you acknowledge the importance of “actual scientific contribution” through educational means other than the publishing of a BOOK.

    BTW: How deep down in there are you? Just curious.

  7. #7 Rey Fox
    June 1, 2007

    “Founders Darren and Jackie Bush run a Wellington business called Dinosaurs Rock which runs programmes about dinosaurs and geology for schools, giving children both the scientific theory of evolution and the biblical view that the world was created by God in seven days about 6000 years ago.”

    This sounds even worse than the American ones. At least they’re upfront in that they have an axe to grind. But “both”? Why don’t they just put the Scientology creation story in there too? Have some lovely alien dioramas? The intellectual laziness is staggering. What a couple of nincompoops.

  8. #8 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    bounce troll, please.

  9. #9 Sonja
    June 1, 2007

    PZ needs to get to New Zealand right away and open the competing giant squid museum. Cephalopods head-to-head with the wacko creationists — my money’s on the squid.

  10. #10 Arnosium Upinarum
    June 1, 2007

    Drat. And I thought New Zealand a wonderful place to retire to in order to get away from the crap. Maybe Antarctica then.

    Glad to see the Kansas worm got whacked. (I’m still curious how low he goes).

  11. #11 Dark Matter
    June 1, 2007

    Ichthyic wrote:

    has somebody got a link to an expose on the Destiny Church in NZ?

    Here’s something I found on the net..

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4079566a11.html

    Destiny intolerance unchristian – church leaders

    from the article…

    The Destiny Church leader called for New Zealand to acknowledge its Christian heritage before this week’s Asia-Pacific Interfaith Forum at Wai-tangi.

    Sound familliar?….passing along the same propaganda
    from one part of the network to the next…

    later in the article..

    Fellow St Matthew reverend Clay Nelson says the debate should not be about protecting New Zealand’s Christian heritage, but protecting religious freedom.

    “Any religion that requires the power of the state to protect its influence is no religion, it is a political party.”

  12. #12 Arnosium Upinarum
    June 1, 2007

    As Ichthyic says, Yes, bounce the troll. He’s a gusher of bullshit and waste of our time.

  13. #13 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    thanks, DM.

    If you (or anyone), runs across an article detailing the growth and history of the Destiny Church, i would be most appreciative.

    I think there is a chance to squash these folks, but it has to be quick and decisive, and based on showing how they have been displacing traditional moderate churches in New Zealand, and how they have been able to do so.

    cheers

  14. #14 Buffybot
    June 1, 2007

    Like anywhere, the creationist mega-church phenomenon is infiltrating NZ churches. It isn’t yet the issue that it is in the USA, but the Baptist fundamentalist churches are using the same playbook as in Kansas. Within the past couple of years there’s also been a mass mailout of ID material to schools, but so far as I’m aware nearly all recognised that it was crap and threw it away. Damn American cultural imperialism. ;-)

    I’m writing to Weta too.

    Do these Bush characters have anything to do with the Nature Discovery shop? It’s in a Wellington mall, has a ton of cool sciencey stuff I would have loved, but it’s also a trojan horse for bullshit propaganda like Creation magazines. Last time I was in there they’d taken hominid fossil model-making kits and white-outed references on the boxes to ‘millions of years’. So I spent a few minutes scratching it off with my fingernail.

    I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Destiny Church, and they certainly come close to qualifying as a cult. They do enforced tithing, hostile takeovers of existing moderate congregations, and aggressively recruit in prisons, often targeting gang members. Brian Tamaki’s finances should be well worth an audit. It’s time for the vast non-fundy majority of us New Zealanders to stop being so nice and start a backlash.

  15. #15 ScienceBreath
    June 1, 2007

    I was really angry to read this in the local paper this morning. For years I’ve been telling friends that the creationist madness in the U.S. would eventually reach our shores–as does most American culture, both good and bad.

    There is another insidious activity that I only recently become aware of here in New Zealand. That is, the teaching of religion in state (secular) schools! Certain state schools technically “close” for 30 minutes one day a week and the local religion provider (usually evangelical) drops by to brainwash the kids about Jebus and the bible. It happens at the beginning of the day and relies on the apathy of parents–most of whom haven’t the slightest idea of the dangers to which they are exposing their children.

    What really fucks me off is that my tax dollars are paying for those kids to educated for an entire day, five days a week.

  16. #16 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Destiny Church, and they certainly come close to qualifying as a cult. They do enforced tithing, hostile takeovers of existing moderate congregations, and aggressively recruit in prisons, often targeting gang members. Brian Tamaki’s finances should be well worth an audit. It’s time for the vast non-fundy majority of us New Zealanders to stop being so nice and start a backlash.

    there it is again. not the first time I have heard stories exactly like this of Destiny Church, as mentioned previously.

    Hasn’t ANYONE done a published piece detailing the history of this bunch, exactly where they came from, how they are displacing moderates, etc.??

    I don’t want to go down there next year, only to find the place overrun with fundies.

    Please, someone find out who these people are so we can work together to stamp out this mindless mindlessness before it’s too late.

    These people need a very bright light shone on them RIGHT NOW.

  17. #17 Christian Burnham
    June 1, 2007

    The British are still catching up:

    Intelligent design has place in science lessons, says Church of England
    http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2093476,00.html

  18. #18 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    oh, i dunno about that, Christian.

    read a little closer and you’ll find that article is mostly based on an offhand comment made by one person who conceded that while it COULDN’T be taught as science, it might fit in a history class:

    “You would get howls of protest from the scientific community, which would say there is absolutely no place for it in the curriculum. But you could do it in history of science,” she added, pointing out that religious education lessons in CofE schools include discussions of different beliefs.

    and

    The church today hastened to play down the significance of her comments.

    no need, really, once they are put in context.

  19. #19 Stanton
    June 1, 2007

    “Ka ngaro i te ngaro a tea Moa”
    We are lost as the Moa are lost

  20. #20 Buffybot
    June 1, 2007

    Ichthyic,

    This is the partial results of a google quickie. The prison recruiting is something I learned about first-hand in my former work. There are wiki articles on both Destiny Church and Brian Tamaki. To really give yourself the creeps, check out their own website, http://www.destinychurch.co.nz.

    That said, there appears to have been disturbingly little investigation into their activities, and the varying threads haven’t been effectively brought together. When you consider that BT’s next move is into politics, this is worrying. There is mention of the Nuremburg on the Pacific anti-gay marches, the anti-secularism protests, the financial shenanigans, and the cult-like control of the church members, but the big picture is being missed.

    There’s a Destiny congregation just down the road, and I’m thinking of heading down there for tomorrow morning’s service. Don’t think there’s any danger of my being converted, and I’ll report back on what happens.

    http://www.rickross.com/reference/destiny_churches/destiny_churches3.html

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_national_story_skin/451171?format=html

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10442669

  21. #21 John Danley
    June 1, 2007

    Fuck ‘em, every last one. People don’t want the truth, they want what is specious.

  22. #22 Bill Bruce
    June 1, 2007

    You might want to check out the actual web site for that Dinosaurs Rock in NZ.

    http://www.dinosaursrocknz.com/

    All I can find on the school parties page is a small paragraph that says ‘Creation sensitive on request’. So seems to me, that whilst this particular part of their program is seriously misguided, that their usual message is scientifically mainstream.

    Could be worth keeping an eye on though.

  23. #23 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    thanks, much, Buffy.

    that’s a great start.

    I’ll check that info out and look forward to hearing your “report”.

  24. #24 mena
    June 1, 2007

    Founders Darren and Jackie Bush run a Wellington business
    Probably not even remotely related but this made me wonder if there could be a genetic defect in that line if they were.

  25. #25 Fifi
    June 1, 2007

    PZ,

    Just to cheer you up before the weekend, the Church of England now wants ID in the classroom.

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329963630-110908,00.html

    I thought those ones were innocuous. No so, it seems.

  26. #26 dargndorp
    June 1, 2007

    Ichthyic probably meant to give http://www.destinychurch.org.nz/ as the website for this weird club.

  27. #27 Stevencnz
    June 1, 2007

    Interestingly the article linked to states:
    Their trust’s objectives are to develop “a world-class educational museum-park” and “a forum/facility where different world interpretations of science are presented without bias in the light of development of scientific knowledge”.
    and yet they are ok with Creationism?

    one slick webpage:
    http://www.dinosaursrocknz.com/
    google only gets three references for creation in the whole site:
    one talking about tuatara being taogna for the Maori (ie religion anyway)
    2 offering to make events ‘Creation sensitive’

    I fail to see how facts can be presented as such and still be creation sensitive

    then again, if this is the same Darren Bush:
    http://www.connect.org.nz/?sid=16

  28. #28 DP
    June 1, 2007

    For those concerned about a rise of fundamentalism in NZ, the news from the 2006 census is actually good – the number of people identifying as Christian in NZ dropped 5% from 60% in the 2001 census to 55% (and the majority of these are Catholics and Anglicans), and the number indicating no religion rose from 29% to 35%. There may be some shuffling of the deckchairs among the christian sects/cults but Destiny is a small minority in a group (the christians) who will soon be a minority here. Every society will have a few whackos, but overall the trends in NZ will not support a growth in anti-science/creationism.

  29. #29 Buffybot
    June 1, 2007

    OK, Ichthyic. There’s a service tomorrow morning, so I’ll go along and watch the craziness, and hope they don’t do bag searches, because if anyone finds my human evolution study notes they’ll probably burn me at the stake.

  30. #30 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    they’ll probably burn me at the stake.

    well, uh, not that i wouldn’t be concerned for your safety, or anything, but that WOULD be telling!

    OTOH, martyrdom just doesn’t play well on this side of the fence.

    better leave the notes at home.

    :p

  31. #31 kaw
    June 1, 2007

    PZ — Maybe this would be preaching to the choir (so to speak), but it seems like you have a good platform from which to point out some of the excellent alternatives for dino-entertainment that we should be supporting.

    For example, the St. George Dinosaur Museum at Johnsons’ Farm. This little museum, in the heart of Mormon country, teaches kids about paleontology and geology — none of this young earth crap. It also offers a good example of private-public stewardship of paleontological resources. (No, I’m not affiliated with the museum or the St. George Tourism Board…just a recent visitor.)

  32. #32 Stevencnz
    June 1, 2007

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2006/12/secular-country.html
    a pretty graph of the religious affiliations of NZ and the change from 1991 to 2006. Basically Christian dropped 17% and ‘No religion’ jumped about 14%.
    Also has links to the latest data and tables for the last 3 census

  33. #33 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    Ichthyic probably meant to give http://www.destinychurch.org.nz/ as the website for this weird club.

    holy crap (pun intended)!

    the parallels with Jim and Tammy Bakker are remarkable!

    any tax investigations of these two yet?

  34. #34 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    I notice the vast majority (all but one) of their sect-camps are on the North Island.

    anybody have any feedback on why?

  35. #35 John Wilkins
    June 1, 2007

    Some years back, I was travelling through the North Island and I encountered my very first creationists in the wild (i.e., not in a church or science v. religion talk). I am unsurprised that there is a creationist movement there. The Presbyterians seem to have had a lot of influence over the years. But I think that this is a very small social minority there.

  36. #36 Oliver
    June 1, 2007

    Yup, moving to NZ from Europe when I was a child it was the first time for me to be exposed to Creationists. I guess it helped “fix” my instilled Catholic faith, since Creationists are just great at acting as eye-opening mirrors to moderate Christians. It’s like- do I actually believe this crap. Growing up as a Catholic in a mainly Catholic community you don’t learn about the crazy old Testament stuff and it all seems quite reasonable to you until fundie tries to explain to you that you’re not actually Christian unless you believe the Earth was made in seven days and the flood actually happened.

    However, and this is where most people’s opinion here will differ with me, I think that being brought up in a moderate church will act as a safety net from less desirables.. I think that a Catholic has little chance of being devoured by the raving fundies or scientologists or whoever, compared to say an atheist child that ends up not becoming heavily exposed to scientific issues. As such I think fostering and supporting moderate religion may in the end be socially safer than driving the militant atheism. I just don’t think people are smart enough to handle it..
    I’d be very interested to see what people think.

  37. #37 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    I think that a Catholic has little chance of being devoured by the raving fundies or scientologists or whoever,

    it sounds reasonable, in that a stable worldview tends to self-correct and not easily be disrupted.

    OTOH, I have heard that this “Destiny Church” is as predatory as some of the fundie churches are in the US, and is literally “eating up” a lot of moderate churches along the way.

    which is kind of why I am curious about it. If this is true, that they are predatory, how does that work? what is the method they use to convert moderate churches into another of their sects?

    also, in the graph that stevencnz posted, some might have noticed that the only religious category that had increased was “other”.

    not seeing the destiny church listed as a category, I wonder if it tends to account for the increase in that category?

  38. #38 Stevencnz
    June 1, 2007

    Ichthyic asked:
    I notice the vast majority (all but one) of their sect-camps are on the North Island.
    anybody have any feedback on why?

    Simple population dynamics:
    The South Island has significantly smaller population (about 1 million) and this is very spread out. These smaller centers already have established Churchs (e.g. Karamera has 2 for ~600people) so Destiny can not move in.
    Most of the low income jobs are in the North Island (and particularly Auckland (1million+ people in one city)) as are the largest populations of under-educated people (both generally and specifically about religion).
    Churchs in general have a strong influence on many immigrants from the Pacific Islands, these cluster in Auckland.

    A sound engineer friend of mine went to a Destiny meeting a while ago and noted they they were using subtle sound quees to impart emotions to audience as well as naming and shaming for 10% of incomes.

    One thing that is also heatening is the Absolute number of most religions is decling. The ‘other’ catagory is basically anyone who claims ‘Christian’ but does not fit into one of the larger. IIRC there are 30 or so ‘Chrisian’ Varients that are under 10,000 members. There is likely a lot of movement within them (e.g. my Uncle has moved 5 times in my memory)

  39. #39 Scott Hatfield
    June 2, 2007

    “May they all go bankrupt.”

    Amen to that.

  40. #40 Matty Smith
    June 2, 2007

    I’m so ashamed of my nation at this moment. Worse still, I grew up on the Coromandel Peninsula! If I have to see such absolute trash every time I go home I will not be impressed.

    For shame Weta Workshop too.

  41. #41 beajerry
    June 2, 2007

    If you drive through downtown Roswell you’ll see the UFO museum/shops still limping along, as sad as they are.
    I wonder if the creationist museums will last as long.

  42. #42 David Hunter
    June 2, 2007

    I’m confused, why are people appealing or annoyed at Weta? They are a business that makes models, not a scientific institution… Did any of you complain when they made models for the Lord of the Rings despite it’s lack of scientific credibility… Surely Weta are welcome to make models for whatever mythology they want.

  43. #43 Buffybot
    June 2, 2007

    In short, because Lord of the Rings and King Kong weren’t pretending to be either scientific or educational.

    I accept that they have the right to accept commissions from whoever, but it’s still disappointing.

  44. #44 Stevencnz
    June 2, 2007

    Jurassic Wairarapa
    BY ANDREW BONALLACK, MASSEY UNIVERSITY JOURNALISM STUDENT.

    Wairarapa is being eyed for a $30m world-class dinosaur theme park backed by the special effects whizzes that made Lord of the Rings.

    Wellington-based travelling museum Dinosaurs Rock says it is in discussions with Weta Workshops – who won Oscars for their special effects in the Lord of the Rings – and also a confidential “major supporter”. (NOTE: further reading of the article reveals that Weta may not tbe the “major supporter”

    “Jackie and Darren are such wonderful characters – unique, go-getting New Zealanders – and they bring such vitality to learning and education.”

    Mr Taylor said it was “stretching” to say that things were moving ahead.

    Lord of the Rings creator Peter Jackson has a property near Masterton and has used dinosaurs in his recent hit King Kong, but a spokesman said yesterday he had no knowledge of the project and had no association with Dinosaurs Rock.
    http://times-age.co.nz/storyprint.cfm?storyID=3694153

    no mention of it being creationist rot but…

  45. #45 fragment
    June 2, 2007

    There’s a brief comment by “Dinosaur Darren” on this page:
    http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/feedback.php?&ArticleID=1427

    I agree Fully,- New Zealand …DinosaursRockNZ.com In Christ service Dinosaur Darren

    He’s agreeing with an article called “The Fundamental Mistake of Theistic Evolutionists”

  46. #46 fragment
    June 2, 2007

    Now this is bizarre. Take a look at this page:
    http://www.dinosaursrocknz.com/kiwi_dinosaurs.htm
    A bit past halfway down there’s a bunch of clickable dino pics containing text like this:

    Date of origin: Creation day 6, 4300 BC
    Late Cretaceous 75-65 mya

    WTF?

  47. #47 Ex-drone
    June 2, 2007

    As a Canadian who worked in the US for many years and was required to travel often to the UK, Australia and New Zealand, I noted strong cultural similarities between Canada and New Zealand. It sounds like New Zealand is beginning to experience the same encroachment of fundamentalism as Canada has. Megachurches, televangelists, fundamentalist advocacy groups, creationist exhibits and fronts for US-based social conservative think tanks will get a foothold. It’s shocking to watch the infection set in, but unlike in the US, it will never achieve the influential power of majority status. It will, however, hang around as an annoying, chronic inflammation that weakens the nation’s immune system of reasonableness.

  48. #48 the amazing kim
    June 2, 2007

    Well, that’s what you get for breeding with sheep.

    (sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry)

  49. #49 Ichthyic
    June 3, 2007

    any word from buffybot on the wonders of the Destiny Church?

    I hope she didn’t get caught on her fact-finding mission!

    from the links provided, and what I’ve heard and been able to track down myself, it does indeed look just like a Jim and Tammy Bakker escapade.

    I don’t know if folks from NZ know about those two, but they were raking in bucks left and right from the fundie rubes in the US in the 70′s and early 80′s, until Jim was convicted on several felony counts.

    btw, he was released from prison a few years back, and guess what the first thing he did was?

    that’s right, started up his “ministry” again, and already has thousands of “followers”.

    now, Jim was more of a horrendous huckster than someone who wanted to see fundies take over the US, but still… is there any reason to allow this shit to continue at all?

  50. #50 Buffybot
    June 3, 2007

    Hi,

    No need to call the authorities – I just got back home after the evening service. Yesterday I happened to tell a friend that I was going along for a nosey-park, and she was genuinely concerned for my safety, which shows how they’re regarded in the wider community.

    The congregation was fairly small – I’d estimate 150 at the most, and they were predominantly Maori and Pacific Island. Bit listless too – Pastor Whateverhisnamewas was exhorting everybody to repeat words after him, but only a few diehards in the front row were responding.

    My overall impression: Moneygrubbing pyramid scheme. First up was hard-sell tithing, complete with relevant scriptures on the powerpoint. There were two collections being done simultaneously – the normal tithes, and a coin collection to support the TV broadcasts. I politely declined when the bucket came my way. The usher collecting spotted the noob, and came to say hello to me afterwards. Asked me why I’d come, if I was an Xtian, that kind of thing. She said that she had joined the church because of her support for the anti-gay march, which was kind of disturbing, because on the surface she was so nice and friendly.

    Next segment was the sermon proper, and revolved around a lot of tedious gibberish about Jacob’s ladder. I thought longingly of the iPod in my pocket. Short version of this was that everybody but them was going to burn in hell, and it was their job to save them. Same old, same old. HUGE emphasis on recruiting, hence the pyramid scheme comparison. From what I can gather, they’re divided into ‘cell groups’, each with a leader. There was huge pressure to convert the non-Christians before it was too late. No doubt this emphasis on numbers is not unconnected to the tithing. The language and the technique was very much that of Amway, or a chain letter. A lot of wish-fulfillment fantasy too – they were told that their destiny was to rule the universe. Literally.

    For the final third of the service it was back to the tithing. Ponying up a 10th of income was explicitly conflated with responsibility to God and family. There was a lengthy spiel about how they were going to build a new church, and if the children had to sit on cold concrete that would be the fault of the selfish (and named) non-tithers. Massive and blatant guilt trip laid on everybody there. Pastor Thingy said that perhaps they’d have a tithing (comfy seats and heaters) section, and a non-tithing section, where they’d have to shiver on the floor. I’d estimate that about a third of the service was devoted to soliciting cash. Bishop Tamaki likes to cruise around like a rock star with an entourage of luxury vehicles, so not difficult to guess where that’s going. Which made me angry. It’s hard to judge these things, but the people there did not give me the impression of being prosperous, and it’s just despicable to some venal scumbag to exploit their altruism and good intentions like this.

    There was a strong political element, with a denouncing of separate church and state, and the government was characterised as being all feminists, homosexuals and secular humanists (all referred to with a similar level of disgust).

    Lastly, there was a prayer, complete with emotionally manipulative music in the background, and the invitation for people like me to renounce their lives of sin and sexual perversion, come up front and accept Jesus.

    Of course I didn’t, but could understand why someone would, if they were there with family or friends who desperately wanted them to, and were carried away by the music. I was reminded of an account a friend gave me of being hypnotised at one of those stage shows. He said that while he was up there clucking like a chicken, he was thinking that he had to do it so that the hypnotist wouldn’t be embarrassed – he found a way to rationalise what he was doing.

    The worst of it is, I think I’m going to have to go back next week, because Brian Tamaki is coming down, and I’d be interested to see the Bish in action. I also want to have a scout around the brochures and booklets on the information table. Even if they do twig that some atheist, feminist, evolutionist, secular humanist devil-spawn is in the house, I’m sure they’d just see it as a conversion challenge.

  51. #51 Ichthyic
    June 3, 2007

    thanks! that was a nice bit of undercover work.

    Indeed, it IS the Bakkers all over again. Well, hucksters know what works.

    If they would just stick to the money issue, though, it wouldn’t bother me…

    it’s this:

    The language and the technique was very much that of Amway, or a chain letter. A lot of wish-fulfillment fantasy too – they were told that their destiny was to rule the universe. Literally.

    that really bothers me.

    Ok, so here in the US, some states have anti-pyramid scheme laws, and several of these kinds of churches have actually been busted under them.

    anything like that in your neck o the woods?

    also, what do you think:

    better to try to convince them to cut back on the “destiny” BS and stick to the pure hucksterism,

    or are they really insane, and need to be put out of business entirely?

  52. #52 Donald Wolberg
    June 3, 2007

    This is ironic and very sad. Greatcontributions to the science have been made by Aussie and NZ paleontologists–remember Ediacara and much, much else. Despite this, professional paleontologists struggle for employment, research funds and places to put their fossils, a situation even more dire than in the U.S. or Europe.

  53. #53 k.e.
    June 3, 2007

    Bring back the inquisition and have the Chinese run it I say. That way with their thoroughness and penchant for doing everything in triplicate (twice), some good old showing of ‘the instruments’ and a couple of burnings at the steak (pun intended) people might find some other way to rip off the truly stupid.

    Personally I’d go for a little Polynesian tradition and mysticism and make proper use of those tourist nik naks sold as canibal cutlery.

    http://www.handicrafts.com.fj/ShoppingCart.aspx?CategoryId=1&SubCategoryId=1

  54. #54 Hueta Tarei
    July 5, 2008

    hey ol u theologians or whatever u call yrselves I am in my early 60!s and when I started school I can remember a prayer starting the day off then I went to high school the same thing the bat would cum out the daily psalm as well well b/4 destiny started I have been in evry denomination which my aunt had services at her home she invited evry one that knocked on her door discipling the word of God from jehovah witnesses to mormons and the evangelistics started it was like a wave had hit the country I grew up in this but at the end of the day people fell back into the same ol same ol like its alrite to be a good sinner as long as u repent,the way I see the scriptures is knowing the difference of sinning,in short don!t sin the sin that u have just repented to,I went to a crusade of an evangelis and this woman had gone up 4 deliverance she received salvation as well she had been healed off her disease a doctors report had been produced anyway on the second nite after her healing she returned to the crusade and as good as called him a fake,she was asked what she did for a living she didn!t but she frequented the pubs and back streets she was told to change her life style and job,she actually went back to this crusade when it came back into the country and testified to her healing and the life style she had been leading ie,after her healing she went straight back into the place where she had gotten her sickness from.
    what I am saying is why r people knocking destiny I am in destiny it has saved my life and bought my sons out of the mob also my eldest son was worse than the two who were in the mob now serves in the church,2nd u people whine about thithing ok whats the difference with smokers and boozers no one is at the doors telling them don!t waste yr money on booze or smokes if anything they encourage or is this the problem Destiny has taken a lot off young girls from 12years up off the streets of Auckland and the numbers are there if u want to check out their friday nite discos and u wont find any drunkards or dope smokers leaving and it aint a cult I have been in destiny now 3years of the 7 years it has been going.I thithe 1 tenth of my wages and get a rebate of $600.00 do u get that back cigarette smoking and boozing no, so where does that go check our prime ministers spending,for what the prime minister r trying to do 4 the countries the Bishop Brian Tamaki at least is out there picking up the homeless and helpless for Jesus Christ and there is proof in the churches of Destiny so for those who can!t handle thithing for the church go back ti yr smoking and boozing at the end of evry smoke and drop of booze have a good look at it and thing about that ash and drop of booze other than a hangover and a stink breath plus polluting the air, what do u get back,so leave Destiny alone and look over yr shoulder u never know whose behind especially the person who is checking out the church may yr day be a good one in service the body of christ do discerne the likes of u cuz god does show his shephards ie the pastors who u are b/4 u enter the doors,ps,don!t go dressed up to kill, you!ll really feel out of place,they don!t wear shoes it!s holy ground.God Blz and have a good day……

  55. #55 Hueta Tarei
    July 5, 2008

    why r people knocking destiny I am in destiny it has saved my life and bought my sons out of the mob also my eldest son was worse than the two who were in the mob now serves in the church,2nd u people whine about thithing ok whats the difference with smokers and boozers no one is at the doors telling them don!t waste yr money on booze or smokes if anything they encourage or is this the problem Destiny has taken a lot off young girls from 12years up off the streets of Auckland and the numbers are there if u want to check out their friday nite discos and u wont find any drunkards or dope smokers leaving and it aint a cult I have been in destiny now 3years of the 7 years it has been going.I thithe 1 tenth of my wages and get a rebate of $600.00 do u get that back cigarette smoking and boozing no, so where does that go check our prime ministers spending,for what the prime minister r trying to do 4 the countries the Bishop Brian Tamaki at least is out there picking up the homeless and helpless for Jesus Christ and there is proof in the churches of Destiny so for those who can!t handle thithing for the church go back ti yr smoking and boozing at the end of evry smoke and drop of booze have a good look at it and thing about that ash and drop of booze other than a hangover and a stink breath plus polluting the air, what do u get back,so leave Destiny alone and look over yr shoulder u never know whose behind especially the person who is checking out the church may yr day be a good one in service the body of christ do discerne the likes of u cuz god does show his shephards ie the pastors who u are b/4 u enter the doors,ps,don!t go dressed up to kill, you!ll really feel out of place,they don!t wear shoes it!s holy ground.God Blz and have a good day……