The following first appeared in the private email list IVy-subscribers,
which was available to all those who subscribed to the
printed magazine, International Viewpoints.

A Word to the Wise from the Unwise
by Phil Spickler
20 May 1999

To whom it may concern:

       It seems to me that many eons ago, when I was reading what was then
called the funnies or comic strips, in something that resembled the Reading
Room of the famous British Museum, it was said by one who spoke sooth that
when in polite company, or even impolite company, or amongst friends, if you
would like such notions to continue intact, avoid two topics of conversation,
namely, religion and politics.  And truly, as the eons have sped by, I have
seen more friendships dissolve and more animosity occur among practically
total strangers who've barely known one another long enough to hate and
dislike than you can shake the proverbial stick at; and all because folks
failed to follow the injunction of "Don't discuss religion or politics."

      I'd say in retrospect, and in a small effort to explain the foregoing
phenomena, that if there were ever any invasion fleets to this planet, and if
there ever were any implants delivered to anybody, on any particular subject,
it seems fairly obvious even to a casual observer like myself that there must
be some pretty sturdy implants in the areas of religion and politics; and it
doesn't seem to take very much to stir these consarned things up.  And once
they get stirred up, unforgiving war, literally and figuratively, seems to

      And looking through one of these implants at a person who happens to
have a different one than you do makes that other person, whether it be in
religion or politics, look like a dirty stupid dog (please forgive the insult
to the noble canine, but I think you get the idea).

      'Course, if we took religion and politics out of the IVy list, I guess
there'd be nothing to talk about.  Or perhaps there would be some other
subjects.  I myself have a list of topics, as amazing as this may sound, none
of which contain any reference to religion or politics.  Yes, I know it's
hard to believe, but if you'll send me a self-addressed envelope, with return
postage guaranteed, and enclose 25 cents in uncancelled stamps, I'll be happy
to send you a copy of the list that has all these fascinating topics that my
research for the last ten million years revealed, and which nobody else
anywhere could possibly know about.

        As a point of relief from the effect of religious and political
implants, just get some distance from whoever you find in your local zone
composite that imagines that they are (A = A) some religious or political
denomination, and give said beingness heavy doses of acknowledgment and TLC,
sort of the way you'd handle anybody that was super-overcharged in a given
area, and at some point in time, when conditions indicate it, allow said
beingness to become free just to be again, in other words what it was before
it became a _______   ________, and when the big floating needle appears,
give everybody a big pat on the back and get some sleep.

      More to follow -- love to all -- your a-religious, apolitical buddy,

P.S.  Just in case it needs mentioning, please note: the opposites arise
together, and in truth, you can't have one without the other.  (Paraphrase of
a statement by Lao Tsu, dropped by the wayside just as he was leaving his
favorite Chinese take-out.)  ---P