The American Red Cross

New Orleans Banned Books Event 2014

  • When: Monday, September 22, 2014 @ 6:00 pm
  • New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, view map

This is our kinda people!

Co-sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library, the Jefferson Parish Public Library, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association, the evening promises to inform and entertain attendees with a stellar roster of participating authors and local luminaries.

Scheduled to read are the following: 

Thomas Beller, author of J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist

Nancy Dixon, author of N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature 

Bill Lavender, author of Q

Constance Adler, author of My Bayou: New Orleans through the Eyes of a Lover

Bill Loehfelm, author of The Devil In Her Way

Rebecca Snedeker, co-author of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

Kim Vaz-Deville, author of The 'Baby Dolls': Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition

Stephanie Grace, New Orleans Advocate columnist

Charles Brown, Library CEO & City Librarian, New Orleans

Nevada Barr, author of Destroyer Angel

Amanda Boyden, author of Babylon Rolling 

Maurice C. Ruffin, attorney and author with the MelaNated Writers Collective


 

"Live at the PinChurch" - Humorist and Musician, Eric Schwartz!

  • When: Friday, September 26, 2014 @ 8:00 pm
  • The PinChurch, You will receive the location upon ticket purchase, Metairie, LA view map

All the way from Los Angeles, CA, the amazingly-talented, Internet sensation, humorist, satirist and all-around killer-musician, Eric Schwartz will be live at the PinChurch in Metairie!

If you’ve been on the Internet, you’ve probably seen some of Eric’s socially-conscious and occasionally irreverent music videos. He’s an outspoken critic of various social policies including fundamentalist religion and wingnutty politics. His video, "Keep Your Jesus Off My Penis" has been downloaded over a million times.

Tickets $20.00 in advance - no onsite sales are available.

Click here to see some of Eric's performances

Buy your ticket here!


 

NOSHA Social, Aid, & Pleasure Club - Cemetery Clean-up with Save Our Cemeteries

  • When: Saturday, September 27, 2014 @ 9:00 am
  • Lafayette Cemetery #2, Washington Ave., between Loyola and Saratoga Streets, New Orleans, LA view map

This is an interesting chance to work in yet another cemetery in which we haven't previously worked. These projects have been very popular for our members, so we didn't want our group to miss out.

IF YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS, PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS NOT LAFAYETTE CEMETERY NO. 1, WHERE WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY WORKED.

Lafayette No. 2 is located on Washington Avenue between Saratoga and Loyola Streets

Gloves, trash bags, clippers, bottled water, sunscreen and bug repellent will be provided by Save Our Cemeteries.

If you have any questions, please e-mail soc@saveourcemeteries.org.

Thank you for your support!


 

A Bit Of Class by Wil Sinda

09/12/2014
Earlier this year at a monthly meeting, NOSHA member Wil Sinda did a reading  about his youth growing up in the Catholic Church that we felt more people would like to read. Please enjoy!

...continue reading
 

Book Review: Psychic Mafia by M. Lamar Keene

09/04/2014
If you spend time in bookstores, and if you’re of a skeptical bent of mind, you may have noticed that books debunking one or another kind of pseudoscientific nonsense are just not very popular. You’ll find a foot or more of shelf space occupied by books about ancient extraterrestrials, but at best an inch for the books that call such stuff nonsense (Wilson’s Crash Go the Chariots is a favorite of mine). You’ll find many feet of shelf space dedicated to a variety of psychic phenomena, and again an inch, if that, for the more down-to-earth doubters (James Randi’s Flim-Flam, say).

One of those unpopular but worthy volumes is M. Lamar Keene’s The Psychic Mafia, an insider’s exposé of mediums who help the bereaved living make contact with their departed loved ones. Originally published in 1976, the book has sometimes been out of print because practical thinking just doesn't sell. Happily, it was re-released by Prometheus Books during the 1990s, and is again easily available.

Keene’s book provides an unusual perspective, because he was not always an outsider.  He was a practicing medium for many years, a leader of various spiritualist groups, was noteworthy among his peers, and made good money at his trade. But over the years Keene developed a modicum of conscience. He gave up his lucrative psychic career, and then told his story in print.  The Psychic Mafia, then, is a confession, an admission of frauds committed and gullibility exploited.

Keene shows no respect for mediums and other practitioners of psychic arts. He explains in detail the secret files kept on clients, the dark rooms, black clothing, hidden co-conspirators, and trap doors used. He claims most other practitioners were just as crooked as he was, using similar tricks over many years, all while projecting even among themselves a false sincerity and carefully constructed plausible deniability.

Keene also shows no respect for the many clients he and other mediums bilked out of mountains of money.  In this estimation, most of his victims had such a strong desire to believe in contact with the spirit domain that they blinded themselves to ridiculously simple tricks and failed to exercise even the rudiments of skepticism. Taken in by the confidence and charisma of a successful medium, customers happily parted with their cash, and felt they were contributing to something of value.

I recommend this book for believers and doubters alike, but there are a few negatives to be mentioned. Keene (now deceased) comes across as very taken with himself, feeling superior to other psychics both for the quality of the frauds he perpetrated as a medium as well as for later developing a conscience and giving it all up.  He realizes how much some aspects of his practice resemble those of a mainstream church, but stops short of extending his accusations of fraud by that one last and logical step. Oddly, both Keene and the Reverend Rauscher, who wrote the introduction, also stop just short of calling all psychic practitioners frauds, holding on to the hope that legitimate mediums are practicing out there, somewhere, however indistinguishable they may be from the frauds.

The Psychic Mafiaby M. Lamar Keene. Prometheus Books (1997). ISBN-13: 978-1573921619

~ Jim Dugan, NOSHA Board Vice-President

New Episodes - The New Orleans Humanist Perspective

Program #172: Niki Papazoglakis
09/15/2014
Host Harry Greenberger talks with Niki Papazoglakis, Founder and President of Freagle, about her organization. http://nosha.info/
Views: 6
1 ratings
Time: 28:34 More in Education
Program #171: Dr. Mark Phillips
09/15/2014
Host Harry Greenberger talks with professor Mark Phillips, Ph.D., of the University of New Orleans, about the philosophy of religion. http://nosha.info/
Views: 6
0 ratings
Time: 28:38 More in Education

Watch more episodes on our Media page.

I'm a Humanist Because...

I'm a Humanist Because...
 I am a humanist because we need to embrace the natural world.
25 December 2013 | 10:37 am
 
nosha on blogspot
The New Orleans Secular Humanist Assoc. Blog - Contemporary resources for atheists and freethinkers in Louisiana
 

FSM

Membership & Donations

Becoming a member, or renewing a membership, is easy. Click on the membership button. If you would like to donate, go to the About Us page.

Membership is $20.00 per household. It's fast, easy, and mostly painless.

 

What is Humanism?

Humanists reject superstitious beliefs.

Instead, we can make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared values.

We can make the best of life by creating meaning and purpose for ourselves, and choosing to take responsibility for our actions.

It is important to act morally towards others, not because of a divine imperative, but because people have inherent dignity.

We have only one life, it is our responsibility to make it a good life, and to live it well.

Famous Quotes

Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family. - Stephen Colbert

Event Calendar

Looking for something to do? Check out our Calendar page for upcoming NOSHA events.

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NOSHA Archives

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Read previous issues of Nosha News, the official newsletter for the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association.

Proclamations

NOSHA has received several proclamations from the city of New Orleans. See Archive, for more information.

Reviews

Check out the Review Archive, for reviews for books, movies, tv, web, and media in general.

NOSHA produces a half-hour program, "The New Orleans Humanist Perspective," which airs on Cox Cable, New Orleans, Channel 76. See our Media page for more detail.

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2013 "Hope After Faith" Book Signing
ricky-125 has added a photo to the pool:
2013 "Hope After Faith" Book Signing
Jim Dugan asking a thought-provoking question. "Hope After Faith" Book Signing with Jerry DeWitt and Ethan Brown