It’s very easy to see signs in literally everything. Depending on your perspective, you can see good or evil in anything in the world. Recent discussions about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has some people concerned that it may not be what it’s being billed as by tens of thousands of people and dozens, perhaps hundreds of celebrities.
Rather than make a post that can be filed under the Seeing-Conspiracies-Everywhere category, I’m simply going to not participate and give the reasons why I came to this decision (and why I’m recommending against it to friends and family).
What is the ALS IBC?
If you have a Facebook account or a television, chances are you already know what you need to know about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but just in case, here’s the shortest comprehensive description we could muster:
- Started in July, 2014
- Intended to raise donations and awareness of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- The Challenge: make a video of you pouring a bucket of ice water over your head and donate money to ALSA
- Once wet, nominate three other people to do the same thing, giving them 24 hours to comply
- Estimates put challenges completed over 100,000 and donations breaking $100 million
It all sounds great and it’s going viral with people like Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg, President George W. Bush, and Bill Gates (pictured above) promoting it to their millions of fans and followers.
Why I Won’t Do It
I know. I must be either a heartless beast or a conspiracy-theorizing fool if I won’t do the ALS IBC. Before you pass judgment (not that it will make a difference), here are the reasons that I won’t participate (in no particular order):
- There are plenty of worthwhile charities that are losing attention and funding as a result of this viral fad. I will be donating to several of those. That’s not to say that ALS isn’t important or that research for the disease is less worthy than others, but it’s had its day in the sun. Other charities have been hurt as a result of not being as “hip” as this one.
- ALSA funds embryonic stem cell research, though they claim that the current project is nearing completion. Until I am led to sound doctrine that declares that human embryos of any form are not sacred, I cannot support the practice.
- Some are claiming that the act itself is a ritualistic, false baptism. As insane as that may sound, it has some legs. Unfortunately, nobody that I’ve found has put together a sound proof or even a lucid hypothesis that this might be the case with some calling it an Illuminati trick to “cleanse” people.
This last one is, of course, exceptionally farfetched. As I stated earlier, it’s possible to see evil or good in any action or aspect of life. There’s a thin line between being watchful and being paranoid.
The modern religion of Non-descript Do-goodism even has its own baptismal rite. #IceBucketChallenge
— Barton Swaim (@BartonSwaim) August 19, 2014
Is there anything to the claim? Could we really be seeing a way to get people to unwittingly participate in a pagan ritual of sorts? No hard evidence that we’ve found points to this, but here are some interesting notes:
- Oprah started off her IBC by proclaiming, “In the name of ALS…”
- Corey Griffin, co-founder of the challenge, died at the age of 27 after a strange diving accident where he jumped from the 2-story Juice Guys building into Nantucket Harbor and drowned.
- Lady Gaga said nothing in her challenge and used a silver urn to pour her water.
- All of this is happening in what has been by far the busiest “real news” year in recent memory. There has been so much happening around the world that demands attention, it’s odd that so much of it is being given to a symbolic action for a charity that affects so few families in the country.
What does it all mean? Probably nothing. However, the Ice Bucket Challenge has had plenty of attention and my participation will not be useful even if there is nothing to the claims of pagan rituals or embryonic stem cell research.
My efforts will go to other worthy causes.
For fairness, I’m going to post the video by Anita Fuentes that really started the minor frenzy surrounding a potential Illuminati scheme. To me, she’s stretching way too far to come to her conclusions, but nobody could doubt where her heart is on these matters.