Saparmyrat Niyazov outlawed opera, ballet and men listening to car radios. He decreed that the month of January should be named after him and April after his mother. He published a book of his spiritual thoughts that became required reading not only in schools, but for all those wishing to pass their driving test. Even for central Asia, the absolute rule of Sapurmurat Niyazov was colourful. He had his face everywhere including watch faces, vodka bottles, statuettes and public portraits on the street.
Some of his demands varied from the strange to the absurd:
Ordered the building of a palace made of ice to accommodate up to 1,000 people in the Turkmen desert.
Built numerous monuments to himself including a gold-plated statue that rotates to face the sun at all times
Plastered his own image on carpets, vodka bottles, watches and launched his own brand of perfume. When he dyed his hair black, he made it illegal to own watches which showed him with grey hair
Banned opera and ballet, long hair or beards for men and the playing of recorded music at any public event
Published a book of spiritual musings or “vessel of knowledge, wisdom and sound thought”, the Ruhnama, and introduced it into the country’s legal code
Changed the name of January to Turkmenbashi, and the name of April to that of his mother
Closed all hospitals except those in the capital, Ashgabat
Decreed the building of a desert zoo host penguins among others
Urged young people not to get gold dentures saying: “Those of you whose teeth have fallen out did not gnaw on bones. This is my advice.”
Via The guardian
Along my journey of research into different cults and sects and societies i have been introduced to the aetheist UFO religion called the Raelians who were founded in the seventies and focus on on the social ideas of sexual self-determination, individualism, and humanitarianism in the spirit of sharing and responsibility. Such supporters are they of individual non judgemental thought and freedom that there is even a Rael’s Girls website that gives support to those who want to work in the sex industry. They even have their own Rael Radio.
Last week I visited the Power and Taboo exhibition at the British Museum. For the inhabitants of the Polynesian islands in the eastern Pacific, the gods were always present in the world. But, while their powers could be life-enhancing, they were also potentially dangerous and had to be contained. Godly power was controlled by means of the concept of tapu, from which the word taboo is derived.The power of the gods of the eastern Pacific could be present in people, places, objects and activities. This power was potentially good, but potentially harmful and had to be managed and contained. The concept of tapu describes the practices of controlling godly power. Strictly observed tapu restrictions were applied to a range of activities on the islands of the eastern Pacific. Tattooing was one of these. It was fab and really amazing to learn all about the sacred objects that the polynesian’s made that embed their values of the various gods.
Kou (an important beverage for high-ranking people. It is made from the root of a shrub, the pepper plant Piper methysticum and acts as a mild sedative, relaxing both the body and mind.) woodbowl