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LAAG TALK: Jonny Scaramanga, ex-Xtian fundamentalist, & DARWIN DAY CELEBRATION!

  • Feb 12, 2014 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

11/2/14 GOOD NEWS - STRIKE IS OFF (says TFL)

It's Darwin Day, come along and celebrate! Our speaker this month, Jonny Scaramanga, is very suitable for Darwin day as he attended a fundamentalist Christian school in the '90s where he learned that the Loch Ness Monster disproved evolution, God disapproved of the NHS, and homosexuals were an abomination to God. He talks about what students learn in these schools today, and what we should do when the parent's right to freedom of religion conflicts with the child's right to a sound education.



Jonny is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Education, where he is researching student experiences in Britain's 50 Accelerated Christian Education schools. He has written for the Guardian, the Times Education Supplement, New Humanist, and Liberal Conspiracy. His broadcast appearances include BBC Radio 4, BBC2, BBC local radio, and Channel 4's 4Thought TV. His blog is at leavingfundamentalism.wordpress.com, or you can follow @JonnyScaramanga on Twitter.

P.S we're told that yes, it was Jonny's family link to Ian Fleming that led to add the Scaramanga character in the Bond films!

And Jonny is a rock singer btw! More about him below...

_______________________________________________________

ENTRY:

£5  non members/ non RSVP'd
£3  LAAG/CLHG members, £2 NUS (RSVP'd)

Please note:

  • People who are no shows more than twice in a year (from now on) will not be eligible for discount, so please update RSVP's ;-)
  • RSVP facility will close automatically, at 17:00 on the day of the event. ★★ If you have a genuine issue after that time, or are a 'maybe' for some reason, just comment in the boxes below & that'll be just fine.
  • This is guide only & we won't be draconican, but it is a courtesy that shouldn't need to be asked for, especially when it possibly denies others from attending fully booked events.

__________________________________________________

19:00- 19:20 General arrival upstairs (please get drinks and order any food DOWNSTAIRS first)

19:30 Discussion /Talk starts PROMPTLY, till latest 21:30 (but flexible)

Social time, drinks & nibbles, till 22:30

_________________________________________________

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER AND THIS EVENT:

Hey, I’m Jonny.

I grew up in the UK as a Christian fundamentalist. Most people think this kind of fundamentalism does not exist in Britain, or it is limited to certain ethnic communities, like black pentecostals. They have no idea what fundamentalists believe, and certainly no clue what it’s like to be one.

I know all of these things. I know what it is to be lied to for an entire childhood, and then to spend your 20s trying to separate fact from fiction while worrying that you could be condemning yourself to eternal damnation.

So I am writing a book about it. This blog is for the research I turn up along the way that doesn’t fit into my book.

I’ve written about fundamentalism for the Times Education Supplement, and discussed it on BBC Radio 4′s Sunday programme, hosted by Edward Stourton.

  • Feel free to add your own questions or comments in the comments boxes below (these comments boxes are for pre and post event discussion TO DO WITH THIS PARTICULAR MEETUP - please use the forum to start discussions about anything else)
  • Though these midweek events are usually structured talks/debates/discussions, they are nevertheless fairly informal; so the bar is usually open upstairs in the break and feel free to order food and have it during the event (simple but pretty good we've been told).
  • We start the discussion promptly at 19:30. As a courtesy to others, please try to turn up by 19:20 ... if at all possible :-)   If a late arrival can't be helped, no worries, just come in quietly :-)
  • The usual end time for discussion is 21:30pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion, and usually we have some social time afterwards until 10:30pm (or until the pub closes!)

 

The meetup fee either goes towards costs of running the group, and towards our campaigns and activism.

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  • Georgi L.

    We're ready to go now, here's the CAMPAIGN with Jonny: http://www.meetup.com/London-Atheist-Activist-Group-friendly-community/messages/boards/thread/41931372/0/#[masked]

    Please share the campaign with whomever and wherever you can.

    March 19, 2014

  • Georgi L.

    For those who missed the talk, here is an interview with Jonny where he explains a lot of what he spoke to us about, what he went through etc: http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/leaving-fundamentalism-an-interview-with-jonny-scaramanga/

    February 20, 2014

  • Priscilla R.

    Thanks Ginny & Adrian and all the Crew in organising! The discussion should be continued!

    2 · February 13, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      Thanks Priscilla - it will be. We've made it into one of our major campaigns and are following up with Jonny to see what ways we can best get behind him. http://www.meetup.com...­]

      February 15, 2014

  • Andre

    I think this was the most upbeat speaker I've seen on a Devereux Wednesday.

    2 · February 13, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      Being 'upbeat' about such a traumatic experience and topic is no mean feat is it? But the message is all that better communicated for not being solemn and/or pompous.

      February 15, 2014

  • Georgi L.

    Hi all, for those who wanted to see the notes/slides, we have uploaded them onto our 'files' section - parts 1 and 2 (FILES is another resource you may not have seen - it's under 'MORE' from the top pull down menu.) Or for the lazy ;-), link is here: http://www.meetup.com/London-Atheist-Activist-Group-friendly-community/files/

    February 14, 2014

  • Roma

    Well done Jonny for escaping and telling the tale of child abuse in religion which is condoned in this society. Good luck in your campaign to bring this to the attention of all.

    February 13, 2014

  • Joanne

    Excellent talk by Jonny. Still feeling a little bit gobsmacked and getting my brain to believe that schools like this can exist.

    February 13, 2014

  • Paul R

    Superb talk by Jonny; entertaining and disturbing in equal measure.

    I'm looking forward to getting involved in the upcoming LAAG campaign.

    February 13, 2014

  • Mihai M.

    The talk was fantastic! Shocking, disturbing and at least to me, pretty unknown. Jonny had a great presentation, and just the fact that he was able to often lighten the mood with humour shows he's up to the task to do something about this. Thanks again to Georgi and Adrian for organizing another great evening for us!

    February 13, 2014

  • Georgi L.

    Huge thanks to Jonny for a talk that was bound to shock - and it's perhaps more shocking that despite relating the abuse of these children by someone who has been through it first hand, government doesn't want to know. I suppose it's become unshocking that nothing is done or taken seriously - look at FGM, which was outlawed in 1985 yet still no single prosecution after 66000 reputed cases. Similarly here legislation exists but scrutiny/action are missing.

    We shall be getting Jonny's 3 point plan and making this into a major LAAG campaign, which I think hinges on the rites of parents currently trumping rights of children, and the lack of value placed on critical thinking in education. This goes hand in hand with Boghossian's 'Faith is a vice'

    2 · February 13, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      We will be putting up the slides from Jonny's presentation Michael, so at least you'll get to see those. Hope to see you soon

      February 13, 2014

    • Michael S.

      Excellent! Thanks Georgi, hope to see you guys soon.

      February 13, 2014

  • Daniel

    Can we please use our two anti hero atheist drawings on something?

    1 · February 13, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      LOL. You mean the ones from Jonny's talk?

      February 13, 2014

    • Daniel

      Yep. I'm thinking their pictures with "warning atheism causes car crashes" I think that was what happened to one of them?

      February 13, 2014

  • sandra

    Very good and unsurprisingly disturbing when not laughing at the absurdity

    1 · February 13, 2014

  • Daniel

    Great talk in a relaxed fun style. Still got the seriousness accros aswell.

    1 · February 13, 2014

  • Adrian

    Excellent talk by Jonny. A combination of humour and shock. Highly enjoyable.

    February 13, 2014

  • Adrian

    Here's the update from TFL as to how you can get to Temple for this event and spare a thought for the hard-done-by £50k pa tube drivers. District line looks like it's a reasonable service.

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/strike-advance-travel-advice-11-to-13-feb.pdf

    February 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Excuse me Adrian, the tube strike has not been over pay. It is about all ticket offices closing and the loss of 960 jobs - nothing to do with tube drivers pay. Whatever your political leanings or attitudes to strikes, I thought everyone knew this. Not nice to see the spreading of misinformation on here. Isn't tonight's talk against exactly that thing?

      February 12, 2014

    • Adrian

      Well it was quite obviously a filppant remark. However I do think that striking if a 1970s answer to what here is a 21st century problem. I am being progressive because I've seen what happened in Sweden, where unions accepted the march of time and worked with government to solve these issues. Here there has always been an adversarial stance which is unproductive and childish. Unions are out of date and need of reform, and replacement. Everyone voted against electoral change and there has never been any question that it would be illegal for politicians to lie. These are issues of democracy (which I'm not a fan of either, and yes I have an alternative with no politicians and no dictator, but people dislike change so I guess it won't come to fruit) .

      2 · February 13, 2014

  • Tim

    I'm hoping next week's repeat tube strike doesn't happen, or I might have to cancel my RSVP.

    February 6, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      can't

      February 12, 2014

    • Jason

      Hi Belle. You will find plenty of liberalism and progressive thinking in this group but if hearing one point of view that you disagree with is enough to convince you that you have come to the wrong place, then you may be right. There are a very limited set of core values here and they don't extend to having a particular view on a particular industrial dispute.

      4 · February 12, 2014

  • haggis_lad

    Work has decided I need to fix somebody else's screw up. Not sure I will make it. I pray I do ;-)

    1 · February 12, 2014

    • Mihai M.

      I've already missed a few meetings lately. But I'm already on my way for tonight. Can't wait!

      1 · February 12, 2014

    • haggis_lad

      Bollocks, praying isn't working and neither is child sacrifice!! Have fun guys.

      1 · February 12, 2014

  • Adrian

    Tube strike off!

    February 11, 2014

  • Roma

    Embankment is closed for about 9 months as they're putting in new lifts. Buses go from Charing Cross or it's a ten minute walk from there.

    February 10, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      Thanks Roma. (Damn stupid tfl.gov.uk doesn't say this - instead it just gives you the journey to embankment station - how misleading! Sigh)

      February 11, 2014

  • David S

    Sorry, organizers, I've got to pull out; too much water around for comfort out here.

    February 10, 2014

    • Adrian

      There's a joke there, but I'm not going to say it lol. Well that's a shame, but seeing the floods on the TV I can't say I blame you. See you soon.

      February 10, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      Oh dear, Martyn has also been without power I guess due to flooding. Hope you can sort it out soon M.I. (May the force be with you! xx)

      February 10, 2014

  • Paul R

    1 · February 5, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      This bit in particular: Together with the Muslim Schools Association, the CST has its own inspectorate, the BSI. The inspectorate was set up by the schools to “respect their distinctive ethos”. Since this ethos is the most contentious aspect of the schools, this strikes me as a wholly unwarranted privilege.

      Organisations that ought to be holding these schools to account failing to protect the childrens’ interests. UK NARIC, the international qualifications comparison body, actually maintains that ACE-based qualifications are the equal of A-levels. The inspectorate ought to send a clear message to parents and staff at these schools that the current standard of instruction is unacceptable. We need scrutiny, not legislation.

      1 · February 8, 2014

  • Georgi L.

    As it's Darwin Day (and we have a singer/guitarist as our speaker!) there is likely to be an impromptu jam celebratory session - Jonny is up for it too. So if anyone wants to bring any instruments - especially guitars, then please do so!

    1 · February 6, 2014

  • Jason

    Mortified to have to miss this but I'll be working late :(

    February 4, 2014

  • Georgi L.

    Here's Jonny's facebook page that exposes Christian teaching and methods : https://www.facebook.com/groups/exposeace/permalink/668388373202712/

    February 4, 2014

  • Michael S.

    Thanks Georgi, nice to meet you!

    1 · February 4, 2014

  • Michael S.

    This will be my first meeting. Very much looking forward to being in the presence of like minded people. And educating myself a bit!

    1 · February 4, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      A warm welcome to you Michael! Look forward to meeting you

      1 · February 4, 2014

  • Priscilla R.

    It looks like this event it is an obvious choice as tickets to BHA were gone! Anyway it has been ages I have not attended any talk!

    February 4, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      No punk-rock-PHD singer-speaker there, no chocolates, no cakes (AND its 5 times the price! ;-)

      February 4, 2014

  • Yussef

    It seems like I would not make it because of a mandatory circumstance. Apologize for that, and, hopefully, I'll attend the afterwards meetings.

    January 30, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      No problem Yussef, see you another time

      1 · January 30, 2014

  • Norman H.

    Sorry you are going to think I am avoiding you all. I have cancelled because my wife eventually agreed to come to the BHA Darwin day event. I would have enjoyed Jonny's talk. See you all soon.

    1 · January 29, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      Hope you both enjoy it, see you soon Norman.

      January 30, 2014

  • Yussef

    Well, it will be my first time to attend – and, also, for the first time to attend "Athiest" meeting. Hopefully it would be good!

    2 · January 29, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      Welcome Yussef, look forward to meeting you :-)

      1 · January 29, 2014

    • Yussef

      Thanks! Me too :-)

      1 · January 29, 2014

  • Mary G.

    I would love to have come to this but unfortunately it clashes with the BHA Darwin Day lecture :-(

    January 28, 2014

  • Cloe

    Got it wrong. It's actually 'Question Evolution Day'....
    http://www.piltdownsuperman.com/p/question-evolution-day.html
    ...awkward

    1 · January 19, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      The scary thing is these people think they're smart

      January 19, 2014

  • Paul R

    Here is a link to the ACE curriculum. http://www.christian-education.org/Downloads/Scope_and_Sequence_level1-7_UK.pdf

    This statement on p23 sums it up.

    "Discovers the Bible to be the final authority in scientific matters"

    That's it then! Forget the scientific method and experimental results, peer-reviewed research articles and scientific debate because it's all negated by the ramblings of the Big Book of Bronze Age Myths.

    This dangerous nonsense must be challenged.

    2 · January 19, 2014

  • Graham B.

    Unable to attend because of the Darwin Day Lecture the same evening. However, I was lucky enough to hear Jonny give this talk (or similar) at Conway Hall a year ago - what he has to say is of great significance given this and the previous governments' eagerness to promote faith schools - why? is the big question - and the difficulty of some of the inmates freeing themselves from a one-sided 'education'. And Jonny really is an engaging communicator. Thoroughly recommended talk.

    January 15, 2014

  • Stephen Y.

    Here's a link to the the kind of harmful religious indoctrination of children our taxpayers money is funding in uk schools. Surely there must be a way to end this madness. Maybe we could all send this short video to our local MPs and those in authority who are supposed to represent us all. Any other ideas? This is a very serious and growing problem.
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VoUJlgXzCb4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    http://youtu.be/VoUJlgXzCb4

    1 · January 5, 2014

33 went

  • Georgi L. +2
    FOUNDER, ORGANISER, cat herding faith virus boghossinator, Co-Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Adrian
    FOUNDER, Cat herding KingHell of Puns, Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Andy S.
    Good wit' the Ladeez apparently!
  • Paul R
    Quiz Brainbox
  • Cloe +3
    Initiation Organiser ;-) Charlie Sheen, Horny Devil, Shots Queen
  • Eric
    Likes an escort ;-)
  • Daniel
    LAAG's best beard? Must be mountains that need climbing ;-)
  • Caroline C H
    Blue is my colour!
  • Adam
    ORGANISER (non meetings), resident gambling shark!
  • Roma
    A naughty one!
  • Joanne
    Sweet as Bro!
  • Stephen Y.
    Bright Sparky
  • Mihai M.
    Been 'initiated' and survived!
  • Andre
    Tee-total whimsy
  • frances j. +2
    Frances 'songbird' Janusz
  • David M.
    Premium LAAGer! & Twitter Star
  • Roger
    ORGANISER, A "lert" to smut
  • Anita
    Glamourous Songbird!
  • A former member
  • A former member

Your organizer's refund policy for LAAG TALK: Jonny Scaramanga, ex-Xtian fundamentalist, & DARWIN DAY CELEBRATION!

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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This covers: This is to help with LAAG's activism and the Ministry of Reason project.

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