Tag: Michele Cosper

Go to Vegas. -“God”

by on May.01, 2014, under Atheist

“If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.”

 Thomas Szasz

I was living in a  studio apartment in Tacoma, Washington. I was 22 and nothing was going my way. I had two jobs and another one on its way. I was planing on taking the Series 6 to sell insurance for Woodbury Financial. I was a server at Jillian’s in Tacoma and also working as a host at a casino called Freddie’s.

In 2001, I was a promising young all-nude entertainer at a local gentleman’s club. It was a wonderful job. Everyday I would learn something new about myself, compliments boosted my confidence, and I had the most money I’ve ever had. I was a spiritual guru trapped in a stripper’s body.

I was listening almost exclusively to Dr. Wayne Dyer and I wanted to motivate people. I wanted to give a little happiness to the lonely. Manifest your destiny! Everything happens for a reason. You get what you give. Everything was great until it wasn’t.

I was watching the news in the early morning when I saw a plane hit the second Trade Center tower. When I arrived to work a handful of regulars filled us in on the latest news. No one really knew what was happening. All the girls were worried. Everyone was worried. When people are in fear for war or the unexpected they don’t spend money on lap dances.

The hit was catastrophic to a new dancer’s career. I panicked. Interviewed for several positions at various locations and stopped dancing. It felt like more security, but I just spread myself out too thin. I was over-worked and under-paid.

After a few months of working I became muddled with depression. Maybe it was all the rain, but whatever it was I found myself alone in my studio searching for change. I lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling. I was 22, and I needed to do something with my life. But what? Vegas was in the back of my mind, but I didn’t want to go alone. Tormented with not knowing what to do, I tossed and turned until I heard the Lord’s voice a voice in my head. “Go to Vegas.” And that’s all the confirmation I needed.

I was on the phone with my girlfriend, Joy, the next day. I gave my noticed of leave and never looked back. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.


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Free Willy!

by on Apr.29, 2014, under Atheist

Think of a movie any movie.

– Justin West Freewill1





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God is a Great Cup of Coffee

by on Apr.28, 2014, under Atheist

“People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s Ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; its about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.”

– Neil Degrasse Tyson


When one takes the time to compare scientific evidence with the bible, the arguments for religion loses its validity. Growing up without easy access to the Internet made it difficult, but today we have Google and Wikipedia. More and more people are learning about the history of our existence and the origin of belief as our technology advances. Most religions can be looked up and researched by using the Internet.

Growing up in the 1990’s, I wanted to figure the right way to live but I didn’t have the proper access to knowledge. I assumed that there must be a god, and I sought out finding the right god instead of entertaining the idea of no-god. There is definitely a negative connotation with the association of being an atheist and I didn’t want any part of it. But when I really understood what it meant to actually be an atheist I let go of religious fear.  It took me a long time to accept that there could be no god.

I know it can be hard to understand. Looking for answers, I went to church three times a week hoping my life would change. When that didn’t work I went to psychics thinking god had a plan for me, but I wasn’t understanding exactly what he wanted me to do. I went for months until I started learning to read tarot cards myself. I read countless pseudo-scientific books. Water energy. Rock powers. Speaking in tongues. God loved me, this I knew, but as for my destiny I waited for it… crediting god for any good fortunes that would come my way.

I was scared when I let god go at first. I thought something bad would happen to me. Then I realized how dependent I was to god’s plan. The actual idea god having a plan for me. I started doing things because it was something I genuinely wanted to do instead of waiting for divine intervention. In the past I would constantly curse myself for not understanding god’s divination. I’d talk to myself a lot. Pray for help. Look for signs. Anything which wasn’t easily explainable I attributed to god. It became natural for me to believe god had a hand in everything. The weather = god, my great cup of coffee = god, traffic = god… I had forgotten what it was like without god because I had been entrenched in the idea of doing the right thing for god instead of doing things for myself. I started believing I have a plan for myself.

What an epiphany to let the idea of god go and do things because I wanted to. I was amazed by the lack of guilt I had for  just being human. I let go of the feeling of being constantly watched and I became free. I realized god didn’t make me the person I am. The people around me, the books I read, and the decisions I made defined me. The gods from my imagination were left behind and now I had room to grow.

Holy Shit. I was free.


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All is One, unless you have a camera

by on Apr.27, 2014, under Atheist

“There are ideas within Buddhism that are so incredible as to render the dogma of the virgin birth plausible by comparison.”

– Sam Harris

Hanauma Bay


1998 was an amazing year. I had turned 18, got rid of the crazy boyfriend and I was going to Hawaii for a week with my mentor. Jackie was a wonderful person to invite two teenagers into her home and made it her mission to make sure I used the “vision” and “gifts” I had.

On our way to Hawaii I read a book about Buddhism provided by the airline. By the time we had landed in Hawaii I was converted. I was suppose to be a Buddhist!

Hawaii is an amazing place to visit. People from all over the world live there. The International Market place was filled with booths, many of the vendors selling similar items and they were all ready to make a deal. I got a silver ring from a fast-talking Japanese woman. Beaches are like nothing I’ve ever seen in the States. I spent a day snorkeling and being one with the fish… until an ugly one bit me. I communed with nature and paid my respects to those lost at Pearl Harbor. I was reborn. I knew I was suppose to be in Hawaii. We learned about pineapples from the Dole plantation. We had good karma.  We even picked up a hitchhiker.

In bed, I would wonder about my past lives and wonder who I would be in my next. I would attribute all of my bad luck and decisions to karma from a past self. I must have been a real asshole. But in this life I had a chance to balance my karma out. I was aware. I was enlightened.


We located a beautiful Buddhist temple with gardens and koi fish ponds. It was breathtaking. I approached the main temple building and removed my shoes. A funny thought run through my head… What if Buddha broke my camera?

Then it happened. I pointed my cheap disposable camera at the Buddha statue to take a picture.

My camera broke.

I believed something magical happened to me, but I didn’t get rid of any of my worldly possessions when I got back to the mainland. Instead I started finding meaning in meaningless things. Worst of all, I started believing other people had past lives and the reason they had bad experiences was because… you know, karma.


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Now introducing… The Devil

by on Apr.25, 2014, under Atheist

“Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk.”

Tom Waits


My friends and I  met the Devil on a Saturday night in 1993. We spent the night at Lisa’s house and Joanie finally had permission to hang out with us. I had decided to make a Ouija board out of plain paper and we used a glass lens as a makeshift movable indicator. In black marker, I wrote out the alphabet, numbers, hello and good-bye on the piece of paper. We placed our fingers on the lens and asked our first question.

“Who are you?”

The glass first moved in circular motions…  then stopped at 6, moved sharply away and then back to 6, and once more moved erratically then one last time at 6.

We were all delighted it had worked… but frightened… it worked. Continuing on, we wrote down each new message the board would reveal to us. It managed to shape our young minds to superstitious, god-fearing pseudo-psychics.  We grew tired of playing with the board eventually, but we never spoke about the science behind what really happened. Maybe it was a prank pulled off by one of the girls? Or perhaps another explanation is in order?

The Ouija phenomenon has been criticized by many scientists as a hoax related to the ideomotor response, which is a really cool reality. Basically, we unconsciously moved the indicator. Unlocking our collective unconscious with a piece of paper. Real science is so interesting.

A conscious prank or an unconscious misunderstanding… I just wish we had Wikipedia then and the winning lottery numbers for the next hundred years.

Meanwhile in 1993…

“Who are you?”

The glass moved over the letter and spelled D-E-V-I-L.

Then we promptly asked, “Who will we marry?”


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Circus, Circus

by on Apr.23, 2014, under Atheist

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity”

Albert Einstein

My dad was US Navy sailor stationed on the USS Carl Vinson, aircraft carrier. USS Carl Vinson My mom was born on the island Mindanao, in the Philippines. When she was old enough, she would travel north to Manila and become a maid. She met my dad when he was stationed at US Naval Base Subic Bay. In 1991, it was closed and the Philippine government reopened in 1992 as the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Three months before I was born, David Cosper and Luisa Ortega were married in 1979. I was born January 27, 1980 at 6:57 AM on a Sunday. I was 8 pounds  and 8 ounces.

Michele and Richard Cosper as babies

Richard, my brother, was born December 29 of the same year, but on a Monday. In 1982, our family moved to America. My parents had a handful of military friends and we would often move from base to base. One of my dad’s friends was a real computer hack. His name was David, too, and he loved computers as much as my dad. He made a roller ball controller for his Commodore computer system to play pong with. I played pong on the PC for the first time. It was a bootleg version. Later my dad would have several bootleg versions of games like Defender, Zork, and Sundog. I loved watching my dad play Sundog. When my dad wasn’t overseas, he was playing on the computer or he was planing our next trip to Reno, Nevada. We had a Westfalia Van our parents would pack up on a Friday and we would be on the road to Reno right after school. It took my dad 4 hours to drive to Reno from Mountain View. When they got there, they would often leave us in the van in the parking lot. Richard, Cindy and I would wait until one of them emerged from the casino. Then they would take us out for pancakes, asked if we had seen mom or dad, then take us to Circus, Circus, hand us a roll of quarters each and tell us not to leave the arcade. For hours they would leave us, checking up on us and giving us more money until they ran out.       Circus, Circus is where I developed my love for Dirk, the Dragon Slayer, Gauntlet, Street Fighter, claw machines, pinball, and pancakes. After leaving us alone for hours, my parents would reward us with our face being painted.



One day while walking with my current boyfriend around downtown Las Vegas we ran across a sign.


“We Care About Your Children. Please don’t leave your kids unattended.” Especially in a parking lot in a van.



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Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

by on Apr.20, 2014, under Atheist

“Man has never been the same since God died. He has taken it very hard.”

– Unknown 



I love Cyanide and Happiness.

I know this will offend lots of people. I think it is hilarious. Today was Easter and my Facebook friends let me know with status update like “He has Risen!” “Hallelujah!” “Praise onto Him!” and so on. I was somewhat disappointed I didn’t have many secular friends posting. I was REALLY disappointed I had so many believers as friends. Some who are a part of my family, some long time friends and other who lurk around unnoticed. I like to think some of the lurkers are atheist. It is difficult being an atheist when most of the people you grew up with are staunch Christians. I am sure I’ve lost lots of friends due to my secular posts. Just wanted to share my disappointment on my blog and encourage everyone to question everything… even the gods.  Be kind. Be funny. Be creative.


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Science camp

by on Apr.19, 2014, under Atheist

“It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”  
— Mark Twain 


The 1990’s would be a religious turning point for me. I found God in Science Camp and I  was traumatized by visions of Hell.

The school I was attending was planning a week long trip to a redwood forest campground in California. I was ecstatic about the trip.  All of the students who were going got a list of things to bring. My dad helped me pick out a poncho, sleeping bag and an assortment of other goodies. He was apprehensive about the trip, but I insisted I was old enough to go.

I love California redwoods. The trees seem to go up and up for miles. Banana slugs were everywhere. We learned about conservation and recycling. Our cabin counselor was an overweight redhead named Sherri. One night, after we had our daily activities, one of the girls wanted to hear stories of the gospel… Sherri agreed to tell us as long as we wouldn’t tell anyone. She explained that if we told anyone she would lose her job. I wanted to hear this forbidden knowledge so I made no protest about hearing these stories. Then Sherri began to tell the five of us about Jesus and how he was crucified for our sins. I listened in my bed and fear crept within my 11-year-old mind. I started feeling guilty about Jesus dying for me. I was upset. I tried to hold back my tears, but Sherri could hear the muffled sounds of my sobs. The other girls took notice, too. I was embarrassed because I had never heard this story before. I knew I was saved, but I didn’t understand why Jesus died for me. I would shut me eyes really tight but all I could see was a dead man’s face bleeding from his head and staring back at me. They were saying all of this stuff was real. It wasn’t like the ghost stories I had heard before. I thought they were lying to me. I’ve seen scary movies, heard ghost stories but they were all fake. I was told they were fake, using mirrors and fake blood, no one really died.  Sherri hushed me and tried to comfort me. She explained I was born into sin, but god gave his only son to die on the cross so we don’t have to suffer for sin. She prayed with me.

Sherri paid a lot of attention to me after that night. She made sure I didn’t tell any of the other teachers or counselors. I was confused and stuck at camp. The other girls in my cabin were extra nice to me too. I think they felt bad for me not knowing the story of Jesus and how he rose from the dead. They would braid my hair and talk about god with authority.

When I returned home, I was a changed little girl. My dad knew something had happened but he didn’t know what. I would ask him in private about our family’s faith.  “Dad, what religion are we?” He was shocked by the question. “Well, Michele… your mom is Catholic and I don’t have a religion. But I believe in God.” He could tell I didn’t understand. “You see Michele, there are hundreds of different religions out there. You can pick any one you want.” And that was that.

Sherri kept in touch with me for a few months, sending me letters and calling occasionally. She sent me a pamphlet containing The Lord’s Prayer and she would pray with me on the phone. It felt strange and perverse. I eventually stopped taking her calls, but I still used the prayer she gave me.


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I Sold my Soul for a Snickers

by on Apr.18, 2014, under Atheist

“If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.” 
Christopher Hitchens 


Melissa asked me if I wanted to attend church with her for a Snickers bar. She would often tell me I was going to go to Hell because I didn’t go to church. I didn’t really care about Hell, but I really loved chocolate.

It was 1989, The New Kids on the Block had just release “Hanging Though” and I was nine. Melissa and I were schoolmates and shared a handful of mutual friends. She was quiet, wore green plastic rimmed glasses and often wore long dresses. I was surprised when she asked me to go with her. I was a tomboy, liked playing in the dirt and I almost exclusively wore jeans (unless it was picture day). I knew some kids went to church but I had never been. I was getting candy, so why not? My dad wasn’t keen on the idea, but I begged him and he reluctantly let me go. He told me I wouldn’t like it.

We never had a Bible in our home, never prayed or went to church. My mom was raised Catholic, but never taught me or any of my siblings about Jesus, God or any of the saints.


My mom had a statue of Jesus and a saint. She would often pray or talk to them. My dad never prayed to them, and his distancing from her religious practices made my mom look crazy. My mom claimed the statues watched us while they were away. They often left us home alone and we were scared of the statues until we accidentally knocked them over and one of their head’s popped off. My brother and I truly thought that somehow these statues would tell on us.  Imagine our surprise when we realized they made up the stories to keep us in line.

I asked for my Snickers as soon as I got on the church bus and saw Melissa. She was super happy to see me and saved a seat for me next to her. She beamed and bragged to the other church members on the bus she had brought me. She gave me my chocolate and I was happy.

The building was like many of the churches I would see in the future. I ignored the message board while I exited the bus and entered the church with Melissa. I was mesmerized by how clean and new everything felt. We sat down and waited for the service to start.

The auditorium was vast. I don’t remember what we sang or if we sang at all. I remembered being saved. There was a hush of silence as the preacher began his Sunday ritual. He acknowledged the new faces then proceeded to start the first prayer. As the members of the church had their heads down in prayers, the preacher asked anyone who had not been saved to stand up and come to the front. I was confused. Melissa looked over to me and in a whisper told me I should go up. I did. I was then taken to another room with a handful of other children to be saved. I was still confused. Was this a shot I was getting? What is it to be saved? From what?  I knew I had all my shots and figured my parents would have taken me to get “saved” if it was important… nevertheless here I was. The adults asked us to gather in a circle. Then they prayed with us and asked us to let Jesus into our hearts. Still confused I did as everyone was doing. Then I was saved. I was asked if I felt the Holy spirit and I wanted to say no but instead I said yes… just like the other kids.

On our way back home Melissa asked if I wanted to come again next week. I asked if there was going to be any candy. She said no.


I didn’t understand why anyone would want to go to church. Dad was right. My dad is the “I told you so” type of daddy. Richard my brother was curious and he would eventually follow the same path as I did, except I think he got a Kit Kat.

Melissa and I didn’t continue to become friends. Instead she grew resentful towards me because I’d only go to church for candy. I was going to Hell according to her and I was a sinner.



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I am an Atheist

by on Apr.16, 2014, under Atheist

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” 
— Stephen Roberts


I didn’t wake up one morning and decide I was an atheist.

I have countless journals where I have written about enlightenment, soul searching and prayers. I blamed my imperfections and my bad luck on the crimes I created within my mind and I thanked God for all the good things he sent me. Years I would spend, searching for a sign to show me who to become. I was meant for something great. My imaginary friend would give me advice about relationships, what to order for dinner and a myriad of ways to save other people. Especially their souls. I thought I could see auras, sense if a person was bad, a drug addict or had the healing touch. God would bring me all I needed and… everything happened for a reason.

I spent most of my twenties thinking I knew all the answers. Like most twenty year old people I trusted in God’s plan. I wasn’t always like this. Growing up, I did not have a predominate religion to follow. My mother was kind of a Catholic, while my dad showed absolutely zero interest in any religion (and I am so grateful for that). My mom would pray to a little plastic statues of  saints while my dad played computer games.

The teachings of Christ weren’t where I learned how to be a virtuous person. Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar taught me to be a virtuous person. Ultima 4 is a role playing game in which you become a virtuous warrior, bard or wizard. If you do anything bad, like steal or lie or kill the innocent, you lose part of your virtue. It sucked when you lost your virtue. You would have to repeat good deeds and in order to beat the game you would have to be a virtuous player. Needless to say, there was a lot of saving and reloading.

Christ would be introduced later with a Snickers.


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