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July 9, 2011

First World Problems (9/7/2011)
I had a flu vaccination in late May, so what has been laying me low for the last week must have been one of those common colds that quackery has a myriad of cures for. I tried some alternative medicine but that didn't work. I was surprised at this, because I had carefully followed the steps used to make homeopathic cold remedy - I filled a small bottle with water from the tap, printed out a label that said "Homeopathic Cold Remedy", stuck the label on the bottle and then put a drop of water from the bottle under my tongue every hour for twelve hours.

I might have got better faster if my locality hadn't experienced wind storms gusting to about 140km/h, causing extensive damage to infrastructure. I was without power from Tuesday to Friday, and even though I was able to borrow a small generator to keep the lights on it wasn't sufficient to provide heating in the below-freezing temperatures. Still, I was one of the lucky ones. A 70-year-old man was found in a house in a nearby suburb suffering from hypothermia. He had been trapped in his house for three days without light or heating and was found when emergency workers came to clear fallen trees. Also lucky in a sense were the passengers in this train that had a tree fall on it. They were trapped in the train for some hours but by what will inevitably be called a miracle there was nobody in the upper deck of the carriage that was crushed. The damage to the train was so severe that the carriage had to be dismantled to clear the line because it couldn't just be towed away.


Commuter train with a tree on top of it


Damage to overhead train wires
(Both photos from the Blue Mountains Gazette)

I live on top of a mountain and the loss of all electric power to the area meant that water couldn't be pumped up to fill reservoirs so we had immediate restrictions on water use, although I must admit that ideas of washing the car or watering the lawn while the trees in my yard were attempting to become horizontal didn't assume high priority. The local telephone exchange also managed to find out how good the backup batteries were, which was not very good at all so the phones went off.

So, coughing, spluttering, blocked nose and weepy eyes, no electricity for heating or cooking, no telephone or Internet ADSL connection, no trains, water restrictions (but no way to boil water for coffee anyway), sub-zero temperatures and wild winds knocking down trees. How was your week? Now all I have to do is figure out how to get this broken branch out of the tree that is suspending it over my lounge room.



See more SMBC here


Getting the word out (9/7/2011)
Thanks to my good Friend Ken McLeod, this advertisement appeared in the local paper in Bangalow, home of the Australian Vaccination Network. We eagerly await the "Letters to the Editor" in the next edition. With any luck, some people who deserve to be offended will be offended and will start wailing about free speech and how evil people are trying to suppress it. The fact that freedom of speech implies the ability to publish criticism will be ignored by them, just as they ignore the scientific evidence of the safety and efficacy of vaccines.


Speaking of taking offence ... (9/7/2011)
Remember those cartoons in the Danish newspaper back in 2006 that caused offence to Muslims and resulted in death threats and mass hysteria among the offended people? You might also remember that the rest of us said "So what? Nobody has the right to not be offended".

A few more cases of people being offended have arisen lately.

A Muslim group in Sydney has arranged for a billboard campaign to educate people about Islam. Here is one of the signs that they have paid for.

This has caused a mental meltdown in some Christians, who find it grossly offensive and claim that it is a lie. I'm neither a Christian nor a Muslim, but even I know that it is in fact correct. Muslims include Jesus in their list of prophets (just as Jews include Jesus in their list of teachers and holy people). They even believe he was "born of a virgin" and could perform miracles. They don't, however, accept that he was part of God, just a very holy human sent by God. One of the problems of the excessively religious is their lack of knowledge of what other people believe, and this case presents a perfect example. Criticise Islam as much as you want, but don't tell Muslims what they do and don't believe.

The next one is much more sensitive, as it touches on aboriginal spirituality, and as any country with a still-existing indigenous population knows, criticism of ancient myths is very incorrect. An art gallery a few kilometres from my place had a statue made to place in the front garden of the building. The gallery owners forgot to ask some people who live several thousand kilometres away on the other side of the continent to ask their ancestors for permission to display it. The far-away people got offended, the local council refused permission to display the statue, the gallery owners took the matter to court and lost, and now this work of art is to be hidden from public view. What makes this whole matter even more ridiculous is that I got the picture of the statue from a newspaper story and while it is grossly offensive to the dead ancestors of some people who live further from Katoomba than London is from Moscow to have a few thousand people a year see the images on the statue itself it is perfectly acceptable to display the images on the web site and in the printed edition of one of the largest-circulation papers in the country. I have no problem with respecting indigenous culture, but respect should not mean grovelling prior to rolling over completely. At least nobody mentioned the Rainbow Serpent, or there might have been real trouble.

The last example of offence taken has been inflaming the skeptical and atheist community for a week, so whatever I say will be sure to offend someone. The story started when Łberskeptic Rebecca Watson, known to all as Skepchick, was assaulted in an elevator. The assault took the form of a man who was attending a conference she was speaking at saying something about how he liked her talk and asking if she would like to come to his room for coffee to discuss it further. The conversation took place at 4am, so it can be assumed it happened after some serious socialising, Ms Watson said "No" and the man accepted this. Nothing more happened. Both parties got out of the lift at their respective floors and went to their separate rooms.

Then the fun started. Ms Watson flew into blog mode and complained that this was an example of the rampant misogyny and disrespect for women ingrained in the skeptical movement. Others took up the baton, and then to the horror of all right-thinking people, Saint Richard Dawkins posted the following sarcastic "letter" to a mythical Muslim girl as a comment on a blog:

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and ... yawn ... don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so...

And then the fun really started. Ignoring completely the point that Dawkins was making, the attack turned on him. He felt the need to explain that he was using sarcasm to make a point, but his point was rejected. Hysteria escalated (and yes, I know the etymology of "hysteria"), and the last comment I saw from Ms Watson accused Dawkins of being a privileged, rich, white male, something which had seemingly escaped everyone's notice before, and also suggested that she had been the subject of attempted rape at skeptic events, apparently on multiple occasions.

I think everyone should shut up about this and get on with the important things in life. The skeptical and atheist movements are probably representative of real life, with no more sexism or misogyny than any other heterogeneous groups. Ms Watson is perfectly allowed to feel that men asking her questions at 4am in elevators is creepy and makes her uncomfortable, but when she says "No" and the man responds accordingly then the problem has passed. Men are entitled to ask polite and ingenuous questions of women in elevators without being suspected of being closet rapists, particularly when the persons involved have a connection through attendance at an event, and they have no right to be too offended if they get a brusque rebuff. Richard Dawkins is entitled to make heavy-handed, sarcastic allegories without being driven from the movement and declared a pariah.

If we skeptics are going to laugh at religious people being offended by anti-religious jokes or cartoons then we have to be prepared to be offended ourselves and then get over the offence. And for those on both sides of this silly argument - throwing people like either Rebecca Watson or Richard Dawkins overboard serves nobody except the forces of unreason that we are supposedly united against.



See more Jesus and Mo here


Climate change and all that (9/7/2011)
Australia will be introducing a tax on carbon dioxide production and this has predictably drawn out the climate change deniers. Not-a-real-Lord Monckton has been travelling the country telling us how there's no need to do anything about a problem that doesn't exist, talk-back radio has been drowning in ignorance faster than Tuvalu after the glaciers melt, politicians have been spinning like gas-fired turbines and the tabloid newspapers have been telling us how people earning $150,000 per year will be so broke they won't be able to afford holidays in Bali or fuel for their jetskis and SUVs while pensioners will be getting ridiculously generous compensation handouts that will enable them to buy jetskis and SUVs. Or some such nonsense.

I will be writing an article for Yahoo!7 about this threat to the future of the world. It will appear here next week. Unless the temperature tomorrow is lower than today, because any climate change denier knows that this disproves global warming.



See more by Fiona Katauskas at New Matilda


Speaking of writing ... (9/7/2011)
The latest edition of Australia's best science magazine, Australasian Science, is on the newsstands now, complete with my regular Naked Skeptic column. This month it's about that other favourite of tabloid newspapers and talk-back radio, the danger of mobile phones.

I urge everyone to subscribe to this excellent magazine, and I'm not saying that just because I write for it. Each month there is a collection of articles written by experts in a language suitable for non-experts.

As well as my article there is an great piece this month by my friend Loretta Marron taking on universities that degrade their reputations and those of their alumni by hosting schools of chiropractic. Unfortunately the institution that granted me a couple of pieces of paper to hang on the wall holds the distinction of being the first real university in the world to succumb to this nonsense, so I'm probably even more annoyed about this descent into "teach anything for money" than Loretta is. And it has to be for money, right? No respectable university would teach it because it had any intellectual content or any relevance to medicine or health.



See more XKCD here


All things must pass (9/7/2011)
After eight years of fighting medical quackery and nonsense, I have decided to retire the Australian Council Against Health Fraud. I simply don't have the time to do it any more, and in any case most of what I put on the ACAHF web site also appeared here. When I give talks nobody seems to care what organisation I represent, and I usually get introduced as being from ratbags.com anyway. Having an actual incorporated organisation meant paperwork, accounting and tax duties, and I think my time can be better spent than filing in forms and worrying about when bureaucrats require things to be submitted. I would like to thank all the people who supported ACAHF over the years, and I can assure you that the good work will be continued right here.



See more Freethunk here

July 23, 2011

It's show time, folks (23/7/2011)
I know it's a bit hard to read on this screenshot, but if you happen to be at a loose end in Sydney during the morning of July 28, you can fill in the time by watching Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination Network tell a judge why they don't like what the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission had to say about their activities. The fun starts at 10am in the NSW Supreme Court, 184 Phillip Street, Sydney. I'll be there, and probably up for lunch afterwards.


And while you've got the diary out (23/7/2011)
On Sunday, July 31, from 1pm onwards you are invited to the inaugural South Coast Skeptics in the Pub. It will be held at Mariners in Orient Street, Batemans Bay. I'm probably not going to be able to make it, but if you are up for the drive from Sydney, Canberra or anywhere else then I recommend the event. Speaker will be Ken McLeod, who will no doubt talk about his adventures involving the Australian Vaccination Network.

Batemans Bay is a delightful town about 4 hours drive south of Sydney. The drive down the coast is very pleasant, with lots to see, or you can take the inland route through Goulburn and look at farms stretching between the horizons. Either way, it's not a difficult drive and the scenery is good to look at.


The things I suffer for you (23/7/2011)
On Saturday, July 23, I attended a seminar about vaccination conducted by chiropractor Nimrod Weiner at the Newtown Community Chiropractic centre. Actually, it was a seminar about anti-vaccination. Several of my friends attended as well, and we were criticised by the audience for doing such dreadful things as pointing out errors made by the speaker. I will be writing a full report based on the 80+ PowerPoint slides that we saw, but that will have to wait until I have more time and my blood pressure returns to normal. To give you an idea of what went on, complimentary references were made to people like ex-Dr Rebecca Carley, ex-Dr Wakefield and quackery salesman Joe Mercola. Many of the citations in the slides didn't actually link to anything that could be checked, but even so, Mr Weiner managed to tick a lot of the squares in anti-vax bingo.



How is my psychicness holding up? (23/7/2011)
Last year I managed to score 81.25% correctly with my psychic predictions for the year, easily beating all the professional psychics around here, who managed an average of 7%. Now that 2011 is half over I thought a progress report for this year might be useful.

1. Everybody knows there will be a state election in NSW in March. The incoming government (of whatever flavour that wins) will announce that things are much worse than they knew before the election and consequently railway projects first announced as far back as the 1930s will have to be delayed
The North West Railway, probably the most important infrastructure need for Sydney, will not connect to the existing rail network in the way that was intended. The change will mean that it will only be capable of carrying half the passenger load that is needed and there will be no direct connection to the centre of Sydney.  
2. The 2011 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology will be awarded for an achievement which will not be a cure for all forms of cancer. The winner will not be a homeopath, chiropractor or naturopath. 
Nobel announcements will be made later in the year 
3. At least three people will announce that they will be running for President of the USA in 2012. One of these potential candidates will be barking mad.
Need I say more than "Donald Trump"? 
4. There will be a sex scandal involving a football team and a girl with a Twitter account. 
There's still several months left. 
5. To avoid spoiling William and Kateís special day, Prince Charles and Camilla will not announce before the wedding that they are about disrupt the succession to the throne because Camilla is pregnant.
William and Kate are married. Camilla is not yet pregnant. 
6. A highly-paid Sydney radio announcer will say something terribly stupid on air and will be suspended until the outrage dies away. Then he will be reinstated. 
Still enough time for this to happen. 
7. Petrol prices will reach peaks just before holiday weekends. This will be blamed on the price of Tapis crude, the cost of refining in Singapore, the high value of the Australian dollar, the low value of the Australian dollar, and possibly the phase of the moon (at Easter).
The price of petrol rose by 20 cents per litre (16%) on the Thursday before the most recent long weekend. Enough said. 
8. The Australian cricket team will score more than 300 runs in a test match. 
Surely their form will improve in the next season. It couldn't get worse. 
9. Newspapers and tabloid television current affairs shows will carry stories warning of the danger of radiation from mobile phones. Physicists referring to Einsteinís 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect will be ignored.
Happened all over the newspapers in June. See here and here. 
10. A major musical act will announce retirement. This will be reconsidered following the success of the "Farewell Forever, Iím Not Coming Back" tour. 
The Eagles? John Farnham? Anyone? Anyone? 
11. There will be floods, droughts, blizzards, landslides, tsunamis or earthquakes affecting nine countries with an "A" in their names.
Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, United States, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Canada 
12. Scientists and environmental groups will claim that the floods, droughts, blizzards, landslides, tsunamis or earthquakes are evidence of climate change. Climate change will be denied in response.
See any scientific site about climate, any dark green environmentalist site or any climate change denial site. It's all there. 
13. A prominent sporting identity will be caught out having extramarital affairs. Evidence will be something stupid done by the identity, such as leaving lewd text messages on his phone for his wife or girlfriend to see

"Sex Scandal Puts Australian Football Agent Ricky Nixon In Hot Water" - The most prominent player agent in the country, 40-something Ricky Nixon, managed to let a 17-year-old girl video him on a motel bed in his underpants. YouTube inevitably followed. It was apparently not a sexual encounter, but you have to take your clothes off when you are snorting cocaine in a motel with an attractive school-aged girl.

 
    

So, 8/13 or 61.5% so far, and almost five months left of the year. I wonder how the professionals are doing.


He's been writing stuff (23/7/2011)
My next Naked Skeptic column for Australasian Science magazine is away being turned into ink on paper. You will be able to read it here as soon as subscribers and people who shop at newsagents have it in their hands.

Yahoo!7 NewsI've also written an article about that dreadful carbon tax for Yahoo!7 News that should get climate change deniers into a mess of mouth foam, not that that's hard to do - all you have to say is something scientific. There seems to be some problem loading stuff up to the Yahoo!7 site at present, so you can read the article here.


Remembering the last Space Shuttle flight (23/7/2011)


See more Red Meat here


Look what's back! (23/7/2011)
There was a ripple on the surface of the swamp. Bubbles of methane rose from the rotting garbage at the bottom. A familiar smell of putrefaction spread across the surface. And there it was - yes, the Gutless Anonymous Liar had put in an appearance.

For those unfamiliar with GAL, it is the alter ego of Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group. Mr O'Neill has had me as a project for many years and has never tired of lying to people about me, my family and this web site. I have to give him credit for persistence as an ordinary person would have given up when faced with the level of failure that Mr O'Neill has experienced.

Previous correspondence from Mr O'Neill can be seen here, and you can see him pretending to be someone else here.

Google archiveFrom: Anne Onime <anonymous@rip.ax.lt>
Newsgroups: misc.health.alternative
Subject: Dead Organs of the "QuackBusters"
Message-ID: <59329d81f1c59bbdfb461960ba247539@rip.ax.lt>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 17:44:09 +0200 (CEST)

Welcome back, Mr O'Neill. You haven't been around for some time. Where have you been?

Tragic news....The "Australian Council Against Health Fraud" is no more! According to Bowditch, the "council's" only member,

You have access to the membership list? Please email me a copy. If you can't, which you can't, you will be revealed as the liar we always knew you were.

Oh, did I just defame Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group by calling him a liar? Why, yes I did. And unlike Mr O'Neill, I am not too frightened and ashamed to use my own name.

Sue me, Mr O'Neill. Like you have promised to do on so many prior occasions.

"after eight years of successfully fighting health fraud, the ACAHF" is closing its doors. Really.. "eight years of successfully fighting health fraud"...Examples please... And where, according to the now defunct organization, are the vast sums of monies raised for ethical investment? (Bowditch wouldn't know ethical if it bit him in the arse.)

You have access to the ACAHF's bank accounts? Please email me a copy. If you can't, which you can't, you will be revealed as the liar we always knew you were.

Oh, did I just defame Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group by calling him a liar? Why, yes I did. And unlike Mr O'Neill, I am not too frightened and ashamed to use my own name.

Sue me, Mr O'Neill. Like you have promised to do on so many prior occasions.

There is no scarcity of ignorance, arrogance, lies and deception amongst the "quackbusting" movement. Setting up pretend organizations like the ACAHF is no different than Barrett's limp organ, Quackwatch or Polevoy's flaccid Healthwatcher. Barrett and Quackwatch are delightfully under siege in the well publicized law suit with Doctor's Data and Polevoy hasn't published anything new on the internet for over two years or in fact been seen anywhere since he lost his law suit against Ilena Rosenthal. Juicy rumours have it that Polevoy declared bankruptcy to avoid the Rosenthal judgement and has been forced to close the doors of his pustulating pimple spa and is now showing up at a run down walk-in clinic in downtown Waterloo plying his trademarked brand of abuse on new unsuspecting patients.

It is quite a humorous delight to witness these incredible little pricks getting everything they deserve and in a very public way. One the best parts of all of this is "The Bolen Report". Bolen reports and Barrett, Polevoy cringe while Bowditch brilliantly rebuts by calling Tim, Pat....Brilliant!

I have to say this for Tim Bolen, Mr O'Neill - unlike you, he is not frightened and ashamed to use his own name. Why do you always post anonymously, Mr O'Neill?

You truly deserve the title Gutless Anonymous Liar.

Oh, did I just defame Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group by calling him a liar? Why, yes I did. And unlike Mr O'Neill, I am not too frightened and ashamed to use my own name.

Sue me, Mr O'Neill. Like you have promised to do on so many prior occasions.

July 30, 2011

The day in court (30/7/2011)
The matter of the Australian Vaccination Network versus the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission made its appearance in Court 10A of the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, July 28. Unfortunately, the judge was called to a more urgent matter in the morning so the action didn't start until 2:45 in the afternoon, leaving little time before the official court closing time of 4pm to get anything done. The case has been adjourned until some time in the future. I intend to be in the court on that day as well and I will publish the date as soon as I know it.

There were two Sheriff's officers at the court all day to provide security, and they were just as frustrated as the rest of us by the delay. I checked every floor of the building that had a court room on it and the only court with added security was the one we were in. Someone had to ask for the security, and it wasn't us and I doubt that it was the HCCC. That leaves Meryl Dorey and the AVN. Why she thought she would need protection from anyone is a mystery, particularly as she is on record in at least two places (on her blog and in a radio interview) as saying that nobody has ever heckled or disrupted any AVN event. (I attended one such event in 2002 and I believe I was very polite and retrained, resisting all urges to jump to my feet and point out "inaccuracies". At later events people offered to stand at the door to prevent me getting in.)

Needless to say, there were no threats by SAVN members about the Perth seminar or anywhere else, but facts have never been a hurdle for Ms Dorey in the past so why should the be on this occasion? I couldn't help myself, and my fingers flew to the Twitterboard.

This prompted the following message from Ms Dorey to the AVN's Facebook page (which I can read but cannot comment on):

There are a few things I would like to point out to Ms Dorey. The first is that there were two guards, not three, but we have become used to Ms Dorey "getting things wrong". The second is that I was indeed proud of the fact that she is so frightened of any opposition that she feels the need to invent threats. Another is that linking me with Australian Skeptics is getting a bit old, particularly as I have pointed out to her on many occasions that she was defaming me long before I ever knowingly met anyone from the organisation. The Supreme Court has been informed that money was wasted on unnecessary security as neither I nor any of my friends have disrupted the AVN's activities in the past. The point was also made that if we were ever to think of heckling or disruption it would not be in a Supreme Court courtroom.

For such a champion of free speech it seems a little strange that Ms Dorey should think that security guards are needed to stop people speaking freely. She wrote a long piece about the importance of dissent and speech freedom recently, and I added the following questions. Do I have to say that my questions were not published, let alone answered?

In an interesting aside, Ms Dorey actually is having her freedom of speech restricted. For some reason her barrister called her as a witness before the evidence on which she was to be cross-examined had been presented to the court. The judge adjourned the hearing until a later date but pointed out to Ms Dorey that she is still a witness under oath and cannot discuss the case with anyone at all. (She can't even talk to her lawyers, much less anybody else.) Eagle eyes will be watching the various outlets for Ms Dorey's thoughts over the coming weeks and I am sure that any breach of the judge's direction will be communicated to people who matter very rapidly indeed.



See more Lola here


That makes sense, Alf (30/7/2011)
I am sorely tempted, but this needs no comment.

Well, maybe just these comments:


A night out with the creationists (30/7/2011)
Well, that's what we expected when a hardy group from Western Sydney Freethinkers went to the Archangel Michael and Saint Bishoy Coptic Orthodox Church at Mt. Druitt to see a talk about young Earth creationism. The talk was an intersection of two programs - a tour of the country by leading creationists from Creation Ministries International and a series of discussions at the Church about issues relevant to faith. As the speaker from CMI was Dr Carl Wieland we were prepared to hear lots of nonsense (and that we did).

The bookThe format of the event was to have four speakers on a panel who could present their positions and then turn the night over to questions from the audience. Dr Wieland represented the young Earth group, who claim that everything was created in six twenty-four hour periods about 6,000 years ago, that almost all life on Earth was destroyed in a massive flood about 4,000 years ago except for the plants, people and animals that were carried on Noah's Ark and that all people on Earth are descendants of the eight people on the Ark. There was a science teacher who represented theistic evolution (although he said he didn't really believe it!), and a medical student who gave the case for Intelligent Design (and looked uncomfortable doing so). A biologist from the University of Western Sydney had been invited to give the scientific position, but unfortunately he was not able to attend. Our first real surprise was when we were approached by the priest and asked if we would like to provide the fourth speaker. We declined on the basis that none of us were scientists, plus some of us had seen Dr Wieland in action before and had no desire to spend time in a maze of twisty little logical fallacies. (A debate I had participated in some years ago with Answers In Genesiss, the previous name for CMI, had taught me that debate was pointless with people who make up the rules as they go along.))

As it turned out, we didn't need to be on the panel, because the audience did our job for us. Normally at events like this the skeptics are in a very small minority, but these people took the idea of a discussion session about religion and faith seriously. It helped that the Orthodox tradition is not based on the literal truth of scripture, but even so it surprised us a little to hear Christians asking a creationist for evidence. This certainly had not been the case on other occasions where I had heard speakers from CMI present their fairy tales. (See here and here for examples.)

After the formal part of the evening was over a lot of the congregation wanted to talk to us, with several of them saying that they would like to come to our Freethinkers meetings. Some of us are planning to go to further discussions at the church (the next one is on the most difficult topic for any member of the major monotheistic religions - the coexistence of evil with an omnipotent god).

What looked in advance like an event where we would be cringing at the nonsense that we have been hearing for decades while sitting in a crowd of true believers turned into an enjoyable night out which met a major aim of our Freethinkers group - interaction with people with other belief systems to the benefit of both sides. They aren't likely to convert many of us to Christianity (the creationists certainly aren't) and we don't expect them to renounce their faith, but we have established a dialogue which can only benefit all of us as we learn about what others think and believe and think about the justifications for our own positions.

On behalf of our group I would like to thank Father Antonios Kaldas and the members of his church for the welcome and hospitality they showed towards a group of admitted non-believers. If only all churches were so accepting and tolerant.



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