04 October 2008

Hardcore Religious

An interesting story out of Phuket, Thailand where devoted Buddhist followers are performing the ritual known as Ma Song, which Fox News states the purpose is to "possess the bodies of devotees and perform self-torture to absorb the evil from their host bodies to themselves." A little rough on the eyes over your Saturday morning breakfast, but I've always been impressed with man's ability to self-mutilate. It shows a certain devotion (or fanaticism), which is a fascinating counterpoint to our basic nature of self-preservation.

Some other religious events involving bodily harm:

Ashura, which mourns the martyrdom of the third Imam at the Battle of Karbala.

Snake-handlers of the Pentecostal sect, who believe God will prevent them from being bit by the serpent.

While most bizarre religious practices are simply interesting, the Scientology Sea Organization military outfit is just frightening and should be best avoided. There's actually a L. Ron Hubbard street in Hollywood, and it is the only avenue in gang-infested L.A. that I recommend not veering down it at all cost.