#TaoFu Self-Defense is a strategy for responding to temptation to vice with truth (honesty, including intellectual honesty) and virtue. Exercises will be provided here from time to time and some will be interactive while others you can practice on your own. Practicing these exercises will help you defend yourself against temptations to vice as well as those with whom you interact and their apparent commitment to vice at any given moment.
EXERCISE 1 (ON YOUR OWN?):
Think about someone or something you strongly dislike (and/or hate) and challenge yourself to identify/come up with 5 things you like about him/her/it. The purpose of this exercise is to manage your temptation to Wrath (i.e. Hate).
[Rev. Minister Angela Smith's Commentary: I believe I am reasonably unable to come up with five things I like about the man who sodomized me when I was 6 years old. In fact, I can't come up with a single thing I like about that person. But, for a time I've greatly disliked Hillary Clinton though recognize her good sportsmanship in donating to Donald Trump's campaign in 2016. So, I understand if there are some people or some things you strongly dislike and/or hate for which you can't even name a single thing you like about them. In such a case, I suggest liking knowing the fact that they are a temporary condition because their death or end is guaranteed at some point and meditating on how unlikable the thing or person you dislike is to you and how you'd feel if you were disliked to that extent by someone else. If you think "If I sodomized a child, I'd hate myself and commit suicide like Jeffrey Epstein or request the death penalty like Westley A. Dodd," then you are not being hypocritical if that's truly how you feel about someone who did that to you or anyone else. Honesty is the best policy and God doesn't require anyone pretend the vicious and deceptive are likable but asks that you objectively review all available facts in context before passing judgment and if you don't you are exhibiting the vice of prejudice to some degree so may be in no position to judge fairly if at all.]
EXERCISE 2 (With A Partner/Opponent):
This exercise is inspired in part by Roast Battle at the World Famous Comedy Store. Choose an opponent/partner with which to do this exercise. It can be done in person, online, by phone, or by e-mail. If you'd like to challenge Rev. Angela Smith to a Roast Battle, it will be done via e-mail and here are the rules for Roast Battles at COPE:
1. Either 5 (minimum) or 10 (maximum) Roast Comments Each
2. Each participant provides 1 roast comment, waits for the return roast, then after the return roast responds until reaching limit set for exercise.
3. To challenge Rev. Angela Smith, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with subject "Feedback Roast Starts Now", open with your first roast and set the limit of 5 or 10 each. If you want Rev. Angela Smith to go first so you get the last word, let that be known by expressly stating that. The roast exchange when finished will be posted with your first and last name (sans contact info unless you want to include that) as feedback at https://www.cope.church/feedback.htm .
To give you an idea of what a Roast Battle with Rev. Angela Smith might look like, a #TaoFu Short of that is provided below:
#TaoFu Corey Feldman says: "The homepage for COPE has contradictory bible passages, namely Deuteronomy 14:1-2 and John 8:44. Am I a child of God or the spawn of Satan? Pick a lane."
Rev. Angela Smith says: "It's your choice and actions speak louder than words. Haim killed it as "Lucas" and was the way better pick for that role. You suck. Your cuteness wore off a long time ago and any charm along with it. And, "Dream A Little Dream" was barely watchable and not believable with you as the romantic lead, #SorryNotSorry. You should've been the stupid sidekick."
#TaoFu Corey Feldman says: "Always nice to meet a fan of my work. So, have you seen all my films? Did you see "Gremlins"? You own a copy, don't you? Haim wasn't in it. And, I'm assuming you saw me play a vampire at some point too. Nice one."
Rev. Angela Smith says: "I do own a copy of "Gremlins". But, not because you are in it. My favorite scene is the story by Phoebe Cates' character where her father died taking the theater of Christmas too far in trying to come down the chimney to surprise her. Do you think everything that you are remotely involved in that someone is aware of means they are your fan? Well, Michael Jackson denied it and Corey Haim denounced it. #NotAFan."
#TaoFu Corey Feldman says: "You are so full of shit. You are not a fan, right. That explains why you know so much about me. And, would you actually cast me in "Dream A Little Dream" as Haim's character with him as mine? That's an awesome idea for a sequel. It could be "Freaky Friday" meets "Dream A Little Dream". I bet we could use CGI or something to have Haim be in it too. I could use a voice-modulator and play both roles! You love me!"
Rev. Angela Smith says: "Here's my roast for this one. See https://www.cope.church/faqs.htm #7."
#TaoFu Corey Feldman says: "So fucking lazy. Here's my response: https://www.heal-online.org/sbajester.htm."
Rev. Angela Smith says: "Does everyone in Hollywood get involved in cults or is it just those with inferiority complexes who need an entourage or harem to feed their delusions of grandeur when they can't get legitimate work in their chosen field?"
#TaoFu Corey Feldman says: "I'm humble enough to participate in this shit, aren't I? Namaste yourself bitch!"
Rev. Angela Smith says: "#WhatCheneySaid."
The purpose of this exercise is to help keep everyone humble without subjugating anyone because all are equally welcome to provide feedback/participate having agreed to do so. And, each participant is given equal opportunity and consideration. It promotes the virtues of humbleness and equality while assisting to manage temptations to Vanity.
EXERCISE 3 (For individuals with trauma-related stress or anxiety):
Contemplate or meditate on the following question: "If someone in my environment is allergic to my favorite shampoo, am I responsible for changing shampoos or is the allergy sufferer responsible for addressing their particular issue?" In the event you do not use shampoo, Rev. Angela Smith is allergic to pitted fruits (i.e. peaches). In the event you do not use shampoo and/or do not eat or use pitted fruits such as peaches in any way, go with polyester. Rev. Angela Smith also has an allergic reaction (small breakout of hives) to polyester. In the event you do not use shampoo, do not eat or use pitted fruits, and don't use polyester, perhaps you enjoy peanuts or products containing peanuts like a Snickers Bar and can substitute that.
Now, if you decide the allergy sufferer is responsible, particularly where you were unaware of the allergy in advance and intended no harm, would you find it unreasonable for the allergy sufferer to expect you to stop using items that trigger an allergic reaction? What would you suggest they do to address their allergy symptoms without requiring you to discontinue use of the item(s) that trigger an allergic reaction?
The purpose of the above exercise is to practice honest reason and patience for the sake of empathy, fairness, and equality to avoid hypocrisy (which is a vice that involves the promotion of inequality by expecting more of others than you do of yourself).
[Rev. Minister Angela Smith's Commentary: I always have Benadryl (or
equivalent) on me which helps me manage any allergic reaction I have in most
instances. I can't at this time afford an EpiPen. I only
breakout with hives where something I'm allergic to just touches my skin.
One time at a bath and body shop they asked me to try a lotion and I asked
if it was hypoallergenic and they said it was hypoallergenic. So, I
agreed. My right hand with the test spot immediately broke out.
I asked what was in it and if it contained pitted fruit oils. They
confirmed it contained apricot oil. They immediately assisted me in
getting it off my hand. But, I had hives in that spot for a couple of
days. What I learned from that is to expressly ask if there is pitted
fruit or anything that results in a severe reaction for me in a product
before trying it even if they claim it is hypoallergenic. I didn't
demand they stop selling the lotion with the apricot oil because I
understand that most people do not suffer from the same allergies I do so it
would be unfair to them to expect everyone adopt my protocols particular to
my body. I am not allergic to peanuts and enjoy Snickers candy bars.
I'm not going to stop eating Snickers and I will protest if there are any
more bans on peanuts. I think peanuts should be brought back to all
ballparks where they've been banned out of consideration for a small
minority who can take precautions to avoid exposure and bring emergency
supplies to prevent and/or address a spontaneous allergic reaction.
What I find most annoying besides my allergies as an allergy sufferer is
that other people get annoyed and comment with judgment where I actually
can't control it and it annoys me more than anyone else, I guarantee it.
I can treat the symptoms with remedies in my price range and have the right
to make my own medical decisions where I know the risks and benefits and my
body so can make the most informed choices regarding my own health.
I'd appreciate more tolerance for those who suffer allergic reactions, but,
I understand sneezing can be considered a form of assault depending on
whether there's an actual epidemic at any given moment. But, unless
you are Damien from "The Omen" and unable to get physically ill in any way
because you are the spawn of Satan, please recall a time you've sneezed or
even passed gas that was displeasing to others but something you couldn't
help before judging me or any other allergy sufferer. I promise you we
hate allergies. I used to get the shots. I've tried so many
remedies and treatments. I really would love to not have allergies.
I was bottle-fed formula. Just try to avoid acting or speaking as if
I'd be better off dead because allergies are so miserable. That isn't
helpful at all and tempts me to wish you had at least one severe allergy too
so you'd understand and have some compassion. It shouldn't have to be
that way and for most people it isn't.]
What I find most annoying besides my allergies as an allergy sufferer is that other people get annoyed and comment with judgment where I actually can't control it and it annoys me more than anyone else, I guarantee it. I can treat the symptoms with remedies in my price range and have the right to make my own medical decisions where I know the risks and benefits and my body so can make the most informed choices regarding my own health. I'd appreciate more tolerance for those who suffer allergic reactions, but, I understand sneezing can be considered a form of assault depending on whether there's an actual epidemic at any given moment. But, unless you are Damien from "The Omen" and unable to get physically ill in any way because you are the spawn of Satan, please recall a time you've sneezed or even passed gas that was displeasing to others but something you couldn't help before judging me or any other allergy sufferer. I promise you we hate allergies. I used to get the shots. I've tried so many remedies and treatments. I really would love to not have allergies. I was bottle-fed formula. Just try to avoid acting or speaking as if I'd be better off dead because allergies are so miserable. That isn't helpful at all and tempts me to wish you had at least one severe allergy too so you'd understand and have some compassion. It shouldn't have to be that way and for most people it isn't.]
EXERCISE #4 (This is to be done on your own.)
Ask a question you believe you should know the answer to but don't instantly recall and come up with the answer without asking anyone else nor checking any available references online or otherwise.
Sample Question: What was the name of Gargamel's cat on "The Smurfs"?
The purpose of the above exercise is to exercise your memory and humble yourself in knowing you don't know everything including things you think you should know or probably can recall. If you recall, the purpose is to rejoice in knowing what you know. Refresh your own memory without help and appreciate your ability to verify when needed from an independent source.
[Rev. Minister Angela Smith's Commentary: What I do to exercise my memory (in a fun way that doesn't involve trauma triggers at all) is I think up a random question I believe I should know but would have to think to recall and seek the answer in my own memories. The most recent one I did was "What was the name of Gargamel's cat on "The Smurfs"?" I haven't watched "The Smurfs" in ages and have not seen the films or don't recall them really if I did. I couldn't come up with it for days. I finally looked it up because I still didn't recall it. Also, "The Smurfs" wasn't really my scene that much and I didn't watch it as much as say "Starblazers" or "Scooby Doo" or "Looney Tunes" when talking cartoons/anime. So, I knew that would be amazing if I could recall it. No, but, I recalled Gargamel and PapaSmurf and Smurfette etc etc etc... I kept stopping on Jinx but then I thought maybe Jinkies which has nothing to do with a cat but something Velma says on "Scooby Doo". Then, I thought Jinx was the name of Sabrina's cat on the Teen Witch one.]