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Gems's Avatar Joined about 6 years ago
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Go to: Subjection and Escape - Parts 2 and 3

Gems's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Gems

Also, I forgot to say I think it's great that Richard found the kindness and the time to reach out to you. It only reaffirms my already good opinion of him as a human being.

Thu, 04 Feb 2010 06:36:00 UTC | #438348

Go to: Subjection and Escape - Parts 2 and 3

Gems's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Gems


Just read all three parts of your story. I am amazed at and applaud you for both your strength to have come through what you did and your courage and unflinching honesty in examining your experience afterwards. It really moved me.

I have actually forwarded them on to a female Muslim friend of mine. She is a friend from university so I have known her for some years but only very recently have we started to talk about her faith (mainly due to my fear of offending her if the subject came up)- it seems to me that she is suffering from a lot of the psychological symptoms you described e.g. compartmentalisation. She is intelligent and highly educated and has a very enquiring mind, however she has a very strong emotional attachment to Islam as it is the religion of her family and what she was brought up in. She is also very anxious and possibly depressed, which I think is linked to the fact that she is now in the process of having an arranged marriage (having broken up with her white, atheist boyfriend, a relationship she had to keep secret from her entire family). She has told me she does sometimes wonder whether God really does exist and perhaps all her anguish over the past year has been for nothing, but then she ignores it and seems to have thrown herself even more passionately into her religion, almost as if to justify having broken up with her ex because he wasn't a Muslim. But, possibly tellingly, she tells me the only man who has interested her so far out of those her parents have introduced her to has admitted to her he is actually agnostic! And despite the fact that in practice he is a devout Muslim, thereby ticking all the boxes for her parents, she says she could never marry him because he doesn't believe in God! She is very confused and fragile. Anyway, in short, I really want to help her- not from a desire to convert her in any way to become an atheist for my own satisfaction (though I believe ultimately that is where her mental freedom lies, although it may mean her being disowned by her family), but because I care about her happiness and hate to see her so distraught. I have been wondering what material I could possibly suggest for her to read and really wanted a personal account directly related to Islam and then, as if my 'prayers' were answered, your articles appeared! So thank you, hopefully your story will resonate with her.

Wishing you all the best for the rest of your life,


Thu, 04 Feb 2010 06:20:00 UTC | #438346

Go to: Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry vs. The Catholics

Gems's Avatar Jump to comment 278 by Gems

Fry and Hitchens were wonderful. I thought Ann Widdecombe was unpleasant but I had no idea she was such a vile piece of work. Thankfully she's retiring and won't be seeking re-election as an MP.

Thu, 19 Nov 2009 17:47:00 UTC | #414822

Go to: Homeopathic A&E

Gems's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Gems

Brilliant. Someone needs to send this to Prince Charles

Mon, 13 Jul 2009 19:12:00 UTC | #378723

Go to: Brain That Changes Itself: into the abyss

Gems's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Gems

Interesting article. Can anyone help me to understand how the artificial vestibular apparatus continued to have an effect after the patient removed it from her tongue i.e. how is there a residual effect? The article says:

The jerking has stopped, and her brain is decoding signals from her artificial vestibular apparatus.

...somehow these tingling sensations on her tongue are making their way, through a novel pathway in the brain, to the area that processes balance.

Perhaps I'm missing something obvious, but I would have thought that her tongue needed to continue to receive electric signals from the device (which her brain has learnt to interpret in order for her to keep her balance) in order for the effect to last? Can anyone shed any light?

Mon, 28 Jul 2008 17:02:00 UTC | #209154

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