Friday, 31 May 2013


Have you ever had a memorable first day or night at work? I certainly did. Thirty-five years ago today, I woke up unemployed and ended up staying awake for thirty-three hours.

Having heard about a security guard company in need of employees, I made my way to their office. I didn't expect to actually land a job since I suffered from poor vision. It was just something to do to show the Unemployment Insurance Commission that I was looking for work. Having been turned down by employer after employer, I felt as if I'd never find a job.

I found the office of Western Investigation Bureau in a cinder block building among the warehouses in an industrial area. After answering the usual questions, one guard gave me a uniform shirt and told me to report to a construction site at midnight.

I attended the Wednesday evening Bible study at the house church which I attended, then reported to work. A guard showed me the route I should walk and told me about what the company expected of me. In between patrols, we talked and listened to the radio. I always associate the song, "Life's Been Good," by Joe Walsh with that night since I first heard it then.

Though I felt tired, I survived the shift. But I couldn't go to bed as I had hoped. At the bus depot, I used the photo booth to take my security guard ID picture. Then I went to the police station to have my fingerprints taken. I went home to eat lunch, then visited the lady whose house I'd be looking after while she was on holiday. In the afternoon, I learned the woman's daughter's newspaper route and flower delivery route at the General Hospital. Then I received some last-minute instructions about caring for the lady's house and dog.

I arrived at my rented room at suppertime and went straight to bed. Even then, I wasn't left alone. The lady called after an hour to ask if I made it home safely. I panicked since I thought I had slept for twelve hours and missed my shift. After a few hours sleep, I woke, dressed, and rode the bus to the construction site for another eight-hour shift.

I wrote more about this surprising turn of events in my newly-published How I Was Razed book. Find out more about my journey from cultic superstition to the freedom in Christ at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers. My previous paperbacks are featured at the left hand side of this page.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


The final day or shift at a job brings many emotions to mind. Some folks love their work but the company has to lay off workers. Others love their work but want a better position somewhere else. My last job was one I despised but I needed the money. I did nothing to mark the occasion except to make sure I hadn't left anything undone.

Most DJs move from town to town without much fan fair. Not so with an announcer named Bob McCord. I forget how long Bob worked at CHED but it was at least a few decades. On his last afternoon shift, he celebrated like nobody I've ever heard in radio.

On May 26, 1978, I stood at a bus stop after job-hunting all day. When I switched on my transistor radio, I couldn't believe what I heard. Instead of the usual disco trash, Bob was playing songs from the fifties. Between records and commercials, he interviewed friends who dropped in to wish him well

One of the highlights was when a listener arrived bearing a purple candle. He had received it many years ago from CHED for being a loyal listener. Bob reminisced about his Loyal Order of the Night People club and how he worked the seven-to-midnight shift at the time.

Along with friends attending Bob's farewell broadcast, a company had sent all sorts of goodies and beverages. After one record, Bob couldn't speak for a few seconds because he'd just stuffed his face with a pastry. His friends certainly took advantage of his goof to laugh at him.

Bob also had fun with his boss, Jerry Forbes. He happened to like a song called  "Click Clack" by Dicky Doo and The Don'ts. At the end of the song, Bob played a sound effect of somebody being shot. "What happened?" Jerry asked after a few seconds of Bob's giggling. "I just shot Dicky Doo and his Don'ts," he managed to say between laughs.

Adding to the party atmosphere, his long-time friends sang along with the oldies Bob played. Bob also told a story about being at a bar and the band leader said he was going to sing songs that nobody remembered. If anybody in the audience could, they'd win free drinks. Bob said he won a year's worth of drinks on the house for guessing those obscure fifties songs. He never did say if he collected on that offer.

I still have the recording from that day which I made as soon as I arrived home. That was the wildest show I ever heard on CHED. The station now has a news, sports, and talk format. I miss the old days when zany DJs played sound effects, made up characters which spoke with funny voices, and generally made listening an adventure.

I mentioned CHED and the rock music I loved in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. The elders of the house church often chided me for my long hair and my taste in music. For more information, visit the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers web pages.

Friday, 24 May 2013

"If you want something done, do it yourself." I've heard that many times before, yet it wasn't always possible to heed that advice. How I wish I had the technology I own now forty years ago. I'm able to write, edit, format, and print off whatever I want to and do it all at home. Back in 1973, I had only pens and paper. Being almost blind, my writing was hard to read. I was also a bad speller with no large print dictionary to help me.

I used to hand out Christian tracts at high school. Without exception, my peers crumpled up the slips of paper I handed them and tossed them back in my face. Not only did that hurt my feelings but those tracts cost money. My dad gave me only enough cash to pay the rent of my tiny basement room and buy some food. Clearly, I had to find some other way to supply myself with tracts.

Then I came up with a brilliant plan. The house church I attended had a spirit duplicator. If I dictated my tract's text on tape and gave that to Sister Roberta, she could type it out and print off a nice stack of tracts for me to hand out at school.

After getting permission from the church, I sat down one evening and rattled off my text into the microphone. The next Wednesday evening, I handed Sister Roberta the reel of tape and waited.

Having heard nothing from Sister Roberta after a few weeks, I walked to the nearest pay phone and asked her about the progress of the tract. She said she was too busy but she'd attend to it someday. A month later, I asked her the same question and received the same answer.

I learned a lesson that year. If it's to be, it's up to me. Rarely do people get excited enough to help somebody with their project. It's better to do what you can and hire out the rest if possible.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity.  Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Believe it or not, I was once taught at the house church I attended long ago that I could curse weeds and they'd die off. Sister Roberta, not her real name, told me that a former member once cursed a garden for growing cabbages since she hated them. Like the superstitious fool that I was then, I believed her.

The next afternoon, when I returned home from work, I decided to use that weed-killing technique on my own garden. I held my left hand over the garden, the hand supposedly used for curses, and rebuked the dandelions and other weeds in the name of Jesus. I commanded them and their kind never to grow in that garden again.

As the days passed, I noticed new weeds popping up in my garden. It was actually the property of the landlord but his upstairs tenants weren't interested in using it. I felt frustrated. Praying one evening, I asked Jesus why the weeds were still growing. I had worked up my faith, yet nothing happened. I used Jesus' name but nothing changed. I even used the correct hand.

Thirty years later, I realize how abysmally foolish I had been. God is sovereign and Jesus' name isn't some sort of magic wand that will make whatever we want happen. The shame of my deception still persists today. Nobody in their right mind would swagger into the office of a president or prime minister of their land and order them to do things. Neither would any sane person stride into the throne room of a queen or king and treat that ruler like a slave. Yet many sincere Christians are led astray by charismatic TV preachers. Worse yet, they give money that could spread the gospel and feed the poor to those greedy false shepherds.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity.  Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Friday, 17 May 2013


What would you think of a farmer or gardener who deliberately caused lower crop yields on everybody else's land as well as his or her own? What would you think of a gardener who wanted to confiscate a key growth factor from everybody's yards? That would be a counter-productive action that would hurt the entire population, particularly the poor.

Governments around the world are being coerced into spending billions on rounding up something that helps with plant growth and hiding it underground. Less than a third of a percent of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is necessary for the growth of plants. It has been in much higher concentrations in the past, yet the planet wasn't destroyed. Life thrived during the age of the dinosaurs because of the richness of plant growth back then. Coal seams testify to the abundance of flora during that age.

As this chart shows, there was a high of 6,000 parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere around 400-million years ago. The second spike shows an even higher level of this plant-nourishing gas in the atmosphere about 175-million years ago. During those periods, no humans existed. Therefore the high level of CO2 can't be attributed to industrialization.

Scientists say that humanity has been around for only a few million years. CO2 has actually dropped, according to the chart. Even with the industrial revolution, humanity hasn't had much of an effect on the level of CO2 in the air.

Environmentalists claim that the earth is warming. Empirical studies have shown a decline in the earth's temperature since 2000. Additionally, Dr. Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph has been disprove and its flawed science discredited. Yet environmentalists still claim that the planet is warming. Having noticed how cold the winters in the northern hemisphere have been of late, I know that the climate is cooling.

Environmentalists claim that human activity is killing off many species. The climate is always changing, favouring one type of life form over another. The area where I live today was once tropical. It was also covered with a mile-thick sheet of ice at one time. Having examined the empirical facts and balanced them against the histrionic claims of environmental activists, I conclude that "climate change" is as big a hoax as was Piltdown man.

If this planet had more CO2, plants would grow better and yield more food for humanity. Famines would be greatly reduced and deserts would shrink. Livestock would also flourish because of the availability of plants to feed on. Capturing and storing this life-giving gas because it supposedly causes climate change will harm humanity and the creatures on this planet.

For more information on the true state of our privileged planet, visit the Cornwall Alliance web site.

I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. I fell for a charismatic house leader and his fanciful blasphemies. Visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers for more information about my journey to freedom.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Have you noticed that "how to" books can be tedious to read? One encyclopedic book is actually enjoyable to study. Along with scientific facts, it has plenty of humorous anecdotes.

David L. Fisher has written a brand new e-book called Encyclopedia Rabbitica, A thorough, informative, and fun book on understanding your pet rabbit.  The helpful information in this e-book will assist you in making  the most out of your relationship with all of your companion animals. If you have pets, this book can teach you a lot, and it will amuse you too. Fisher's book  explains their behaviors, the reasons behind them, and helps people and animals understand each other to the benefit of both.

Because rabbits are prey animals, they need to have their instincts understood by humans. Unlike dogs and cats, the trust of bunnies must be won. Fisher's book will guide you through the process of winning your rabbit's affection. His advice will transform your long-eared companion from a cowering ball of fur into a dynamic creature, full of curiosity and charm.

In addition to the knowledgeable advice and factual content, Fisher has included many excellent photographs of his rabbits. Having had bunnies in his home for more than a decade, he knows their behaviours intimately

Additionally, Encyclopedia Rabbitica is priced at only $2.01, a price anybody can afford. Visit LuLu to purchase this comprehensive book on rabbit behaviour and how to have the best possible relationship with your pet bunny.

When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living With Bunnies would make a great companion to Fisher's Encyclopedia Rabbitica. It verifies what he wrote and has many hilarious vignettes of bunny mischief. Though there are sad moments in my eight-year memoir of living with house rabbits, all pet owners realize that they must face the departure of their companions. For more information on When a Man Loves a Rabbit, visit the Bruce Atchison's books link at the top of this page.

Friday, 10 May 2013


What a shame that I didn't become a geologist. As a child, i loved rock collecting. Having heard about how gold, diamonds, and other precious jewels were found under the earth, I thought I might find some precious stones too. I never did but the ones I found still fascinated me.

When I was about five years old, I found a pinkish sort of pebble along the side of the road. I ran home and showed my mother. "This is a piece of feldspar, Mom said as she examined the squarish mineral.  That rock held my attention for quite a few days. The shininess of its sides and the colour thrilled me.

When I was sent to Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind, I found many exciting varieties. Through various adults, I learned about sandstone,quartz, and slate. British Columbia had more varieties of stones than Alberta due to its geological heritage. As the long years passed at that institution, I felt amazed at the colours and textures of the rocks I found.

I felt particularly excited by a palm-sized rock I found behind the school. It was black and very heavy. I thought it might be a meteorite so I showed it to my grade four teacher. She knew a geologist who might be able to identify the type of rock it was. She told me a few weeks later that it wasn't a meteorite but a lump of low-grade iron ore. Unfortunately, I lost it to the cleaning staff. I saw it sitting on the floor by my bed but I assumed I could put it away later. I forgot about it and when I came back from classes, it was gone.

The landscape people also deprived me of a special bolder that I discovered. It was brick red and about the size of my head. I foolishly left it on the lawn and when I tried to show it to my teacher the next day, it was gone. I felt so embarrassed, even though the teacher understood what happened.

Then I made a foolish mistake. A friend gave me a commercially-packaged rock collection. When my Cub Scout troop were told to make a rock collection by the pack leader, I stupidly entered the collection I was given. Not only was I lectured about lying but the leader confiscated my collection.

I still admire rock gardens and the occasional pretty stone that I find but my passion for rock collecting has long passed.  Even so, I remember the happy hours I spent smashing pebbles with bigger stones to make colourful sand and searching the road for fascinating bits of gravel. It kept me from dwelling on the fact that I was five-hundred miles from home and I wouldn't go back there until the next Christmas or summer.

I wrote more about my rock collecting activities, and how I got into trouble because of them, in Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. More information about it and my previous book can be found on the left side of this page. How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is my newest book. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers distribute e-book and paperback versions of it

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


This five-letter word seems to have so many different shades of meaning. Depending who you talk to, it could mean belief, credulity, or some sort of religious thing. My own personal definition of faith has undergone major changes throughout my life. I detailed them in my recently-published book, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity/i>.

Before I gave my life to Christ at a vacation Bible school in 1969, I thought of faith as believing that God existed. I thought that if I believed what the Sunday school teachers taught and if I was a good boy, I'd go to heaven when I died. To me, God was some distant person who we prayed to whenever we needed help.

Nobody told me about having a personal relationship with Jesus until that home-based VBS. I didn't know if that was possible since everybody I knew taught me the usual doctrine of good works. After pondering this for five days, I decided to give my life to the Lord. As a result, I knew that his sacrifice on the cross paid for my sins. My idea of faith then was that I was going to heaven because of what Jesus did.

Since nobody mentored me, I listened to radio preachers. This led me to The World Tomorrow, a program hosted by  Garner Ted Armstrong. His idea of faith was based in what people did rather than in Christ's atonement. Though I didn't observe the Sabbath and the feasts of the Old Testament, I felt proud of the supposedly advanced things I had learned.

This made me easily swayed by a house church which I attended in 1971. Their leader claimed to receive revelations from God. Furthermore, he taught doctrines which I found out later were blasphemous. One of those was that if we had enough faith, we could get what we wanted from God. His idea of faith was like a voltage applied to a relay. When it was high enough, the relay would close and let a far greater current flow. No matter how much I worked up my faith and squelched any doubts, my poor vision was never healed. After fifteen disappointing years, I gave up believing in God.

Since there was no fault or blame in evolution, I adopted that belief. It seemed to make sense in light of the dismal failure in believing in my own faith. I didn't realize later that if we were just the product of random selection, nothing could be considered wrong or right.  Ethnic cleansing and destroying less-fit human animals would have no moral consequence and couldn't be censured if that idea was true. In fact, many American states and Canadian provinces used eugenics legislation to sterilize mentally-challenged children so their defective genes wouldn't corrupt future generations.

Once I came to my senses and repented of my rebellion, I found out what faith truly is. Rather than mental ascent or a force to be built up, faith is trust that we place in God. Just as children trust their parents, so we learn to rely upon the Lord to help us through life. I used to wonder why I wasn't healed. Now I know that God is working through my disability to build my character. I've been told by others what an inspiration I've been to them. It's really the Lord renovating my character that these kind people applaud.

How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity shows how God led me out of ignorance and into the wonderful knowledge of his truth. Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute the e-book version while Virtual Bookworm Publishers stock the paperback edition.

Bruce Atchison, faith healing, name-it-and-claim-it, downside of evolution, exegesis

Friday, 3 May 2013


Novelty songs have been a favourite of many people, perhaps since the beginning of humanity. Even during the days of the cylinder record, artists with a sense of humor wrote and sang side-splitting ditties.

Having a love of word play, puns, and silliness in general, I've always enjoyed novelty songs. The first one I remember hearing was Don't Let The Rain Come Down. Being only five years old, I enjoyed that song by the Serendipity Singers. My brother, Roy, and I loved Susan Kristie's song, I Love Onions. I remember riding in Dad's Volkswagen as the radio blasted out that song back in 1966. A few years later, Ray Stevens recorded several novelty songs which I enjoyed immensely.

When I learned how to play the guitar, I wrote a few songs of my own. They were pathetic compared to the tunes that I loved but I had fun singing them.

Then I heard The Dr. Demento Show in the autumn of 1975. It was a gold mine of hilarious songs, some dating back to the turn of the twentieth century. I felt astonished and delighted when I heard all the silly ditties which Dr. Demento played each week. The show stayed on the local radio station for a year and then disappeared. I never knew what happened to it until recently.

Meanwhile, I heard a new singer named Weird Al Yankovic. He sang a parody of a Queen song called Another One Rides The Bus. I thought at first that he would be a one-hit-wonder like Joe Dolce and his song, Shut Up You Face.

As the decades passed, I didn't hear too many novelty songs on the radio. Then I discovered YouTube and all the wonderful songs that people had uploaded there. I spent hours searching for bands and artists who released novelty songs.

Whatever happened to Dr. Demento? To my delight, I googled his name and found his site. He still hosts a podcast, though no radio stations air his show at this time. It's too bad since I'm sure that University students would appreciate his treasury of humorous songs. If you wish to hear his programs and you have a PayPal account, visit his Dr. Demento streaming audio page.

Though I didn't mention this maverick DJ in my How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity book, I did mention my love of puns and word games. Check out this e-book and paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers pagesDemento