Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Coming Soon: Updated Website!

That's right, the team members here at WOTM Watchdog are updating the site and adding new features to the lineup! You may be wondering what the new and improved layout will include; here's a sneak peak:

  • A whole new look
  • Team member biographies
  • A discussion area
  • Lovemail and hatemail pages
  • An updated blog format
  • Multimedia
  • A secret weekly feature and more...

We've decided that our readers are worth it so we've gone all out and done it up right. We invite all of our readers to bookmark (the address will stay the same) in order stay up to date on the latest.

We are always open to feedback... just look for the "Contact" page on the new site and share your thoughts. If it's good (or bad) enough, it just might find its way to the lovemail (or hatemail) page! Thank you for your loyal readership.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Rational Response?

Mark this date down on your calendars.

On October the 22nd, 2007 at approximately 3:00pm Eastern Standard Time, something amazing happened. Something so incredible that, if I were not an atheist, I would be tempted to call it a miracle.

At this date and time, Todd Friel actually acted in a rational manner.

I know, I’m shocked too! And I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears. In fact, I’m so sure that even you, our loyal readers, won’t believe me, that I’m going to supply the link. (It’s the first thing on the show, so don’t worry about searching for it.)

A young man called into Way of the Master’s ‘Beep Talk’.

For those of you who don’t know, this is essentially a voicemail program that they utilize for people who want to call up and leave questions, comments, or criticisms. And while I doubt that they air even a small percentage of the criticisms they receive (in fact, I have yet to hear a single one), I will give Todd this much credit. He has actually chosen to use Beep Talk for something other than a way to have listeners sing his praises.

Call me a cynic, but I don’t expect this to last.

Now, for those of you who don’t want to sit through even a few minutes of Todd’s voice, this is what happened.

A young man called in and left a message of a medical nature. Although the beginning is a bit garbled, it seems that a faith healer told him he was healed and so he decided to stop taking his epilepsy medication. Since then, he has had seizures (obviously), and he asked Todd if this was because he had sinned in presuming that someone other than god could heal him directly.

Todd, shockingly, disabused the kid of this. He told the caller that he should resume taking his medication, because others have stopped taking their meds in similar situations and had died as a result.

That’s right. Todd did the rational, logical thing.

Before you faint, I should point out that Todd’s reasons weren’t completely rational. According to the Way of the Master worldview, god created everything for our benefit. Apparently that includes doctors, science and medication.

While they don’t understand evolution and embrace the pseudo-science of ID (intelligent design), it’s nice to see that the boys at WOTM haven’t gone completely over the deep end and rejected all of science. Todd put the health of someone over shilling his ministry. He may have used his bad philosophy to justify it, but he still deserves some credit for doing the right thing.

Does this mean that there may be hope for Todd, Ray and Kirk? Have they perhaps not gone so far into irrationality that we may yet call them back to the logical world?

Maybe. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Simple Counter-evangelism 101: Open-source methods

Ok I had a few requests on youtube to post a link to the text form of the "Simple Counter-evangelism 101" series of videos that I have made.

You see, it's a a document that contains all the tips and tricks that I have made concerning WOTM's tactics and against evangelism in general.

So I have compiled it as a PDF. Now there is a fun thing that occurs with this document. Here is where you can download it.

It's Creative Commons. Meaning? You can feel free to redistribute it and moreover ADD TO IT.

You see, as time goes by, evangelists change their tactics, or some other atheists have their own methods that are efficient as well. Those should be added to the document. I can't think of everything and while I do have plenty of experience in dealing with fundementalists, I am not alone out there.

So why not add to their experience and methods to the mix, and therefore STRENGHTEN the counter-evangelism effort? So, I have layed out a basic framework in the document, and you can all build on it.

In other words, I removed the "blank page problem". You don't have to fear the blank page, there is no blank page. So bring in your tips and tricks, bring in your ideas on how to make it better and redistribute it.

Soon enough, this simple pdf can grow into a book that brings in all the tools, tactics, and information to activists on what to expect, and what to do about it.

The truth isn't pretty, now add to the ugly!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Playing the martyr...

As an atheist, I can pretty much expect to be on the receiving end of abuse when listening to Way of the Master Radio every afternoon. Not direct abuse, of course. Todd and Ray always seem to be a bit reticent to actually come out and bad mouth their ideological enemies. They will, of course, glibly tell you that the bible says atheists are fools and that you're going to hell.

But that's not what I want to talk about. Instead, I want to hit on an interesting trend that has been occuring on the show. As much as Todd likes to go after the atheists, it's surprising how much time he spends going after other Christians.

Just the other day Ray witnessed to a Catholic at Seton Hall, but insisted on referring to it as Satan Hall.

Todd insists that former minister and current atheist Dan Barker was a false convert. Because, of course, had he actually believed he never would have changed his mind.

Anyone who comes to the show and speaks about Jesus' teachings on love and kindness is immediately labeled a liberal with no knowledge of the real Christ.

Of course, the Way of the Master would never refer to these people as Christians. At least not REAL CHRISTIANS (TM), which are the only kind that count. And the only way to become a REAL CHRISTIAN (TM), or so they would lead you to believe, is not by accepting Jesus. It's by accepting Jesus using the Way of the Master technique.

I can't really blame them for that. They're out there trying to sell a mean, they're saving souls! So of course they can't overlook their lost Christian brothers and sister.

Perhaps I'm a bit cynical, at least when it comes to the motives of Ray Comfort and Todd Friel, but I think they have a different reason for thinning their herd.

They want to be victims.

You hear it nearly every show. Either in one of their commercials (as if the show wasn't a two hour long infomercial for their products anyway) or in person Ray will give one of his stories about being verbally attacked or threatened while open-air preaching. He'll heap praise on the past Christian martyrs.

The problem, however, is that Christians are the majority in America.

How do you make yourself a victim when your people have bigger numbers than their competition?

They devise a test that no one can pass unless you already subscribe to the test-maker's brand of Christianity.

They visit Europe, where most people aren't religious and they really are the minority.

And then they return home and make their first targets are Christian self-help writers and a cartoon about the Ten Commandments.

It’s not about being Christian. And it’s not about Jesus. It’s about following the teachings of an overzealous New Zealander, a washed up comedian and a former child star.

If that can’t get you saved, what will?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Proselytes or Pitchmen?

I want to take a few brief moments of your time to point out something that most freethinkers are attuned to when it comes to evangelical Christians: they are buying and selling... souls. The WOTM crew does it in a very clever manner and disguises it with a false sense of concern for the eternal destination of your immortal soul but, come on, can they even demonstrate that such a "thing" or "place" exists? Of course they can't; that's where their carefully crafted, finely honed sales pitch comes into play.

A quick internet search will reveal a great deal of interesting information on the perfect sales pitch. Here is the tried and true harangue:

* Start with conviction
* Winning against negative sentiments
* Preparations are the Key to Success
* Use emotions in the sales process
* Complete focus on the customer
* Objections are buying statements
* Closing thoughts

The way in which these points translates to the cookie-cutter WOTM speech is blatantly obvious. Knowing that Todd, Ray and Kirk are not only attuned to these sales methods but employ them, we can further understand why Living Waters and Way of the Master marketable goods are in such high demand. They've cornered a very large evangelical Christian market; they sell their products to both evangelists and the newly-converted alike.

We have to ask ourselves if they are really concerned for our souls or if they are simply looking for the next great sales gimmick. In all actuality, Todd would make quite an effective and prosperous replacement for Kevin Trudeau.