Shrine Lickers

The Virgin hazmat suit recluse vs. the Chad public shrine licker:

However, the actual Iranian government – literally run by mullahs – was less appreciative of their devotion. The shrine lickers were arrested and are facing sentences of 74 lashes and/or imprisonment. And yes, they also closed down the mosques.

Ironically, actual theocracies may have better prospects dealing with fanatics than more liberal countries with strong, politically influential religious constituencies to whom politicians must pander.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing books, reviews, travel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. JohnPlywood says

    “Pretty” metals like copper, gold, silver, nickel, etc and their alloys have anti-viral properties which should keep the virus from adhering to these surfaces.

  3. Virus transmission comes much more easily from breathing in air from people’s coughs and sneezes than from ingestion. As long as there are no crowds at the shrines, these shrine-lickers are probably safer than idiots going to beach parties or nightclubs.

  4. JohnPlywood says

    Qom, Iran has very high levels of radon gas:

    In fact, this region of Iran is extremely radioactive due to naturally occuring radon gas coming from the Earth’s soil.

    Ramsar, Iran, which is a 5 hour drive from Qom, and also a Corona hotspot, has the highest background radiation levels of any inhabited place on Earth. The cause is radon gas:,_Mazandaran#Radioactivity

    Radon has immunosuppressive effects on lung tissue:

    Interestingly, radon exposure caused and increase in the T- and B-cell responsiveness to mitogens in the spleen and PLN. Since there is little evidence of direct radiation dose from radon in lymphoid organs, our studies demonstrating immunological alterations suggest an indirect effect of radon exposure that may have significant repercussions on the development of hypersensitivity and increased susceptibility to infections and cancer in the lung.

    It is easy to see how Iran could be disproportionately affected due to its unique radioactive burden.

  5. TelfoedJohn says

    It’s popular in Italy to use a microwave to heat up water for coffee – it’s a little quicker. I wonder if exposure to constant low levels of microwave radiation effect the lungs or immune system.

  6. I thought this was going to about this story

    The fact is that in many ways this women is worse than any devout Muslim spreading disease, long term think about who damages society more?

  7. The Big Red Scary says

    A public service announcement from the peanut gallery of Anatoly Karlin’s blog:

    The “micro” in microwave is relative to radio waves. Microwave frequencies are quite small compared to visible light, and minuscule compared to beta or gamma rays from radon gas. Since the energy of a wave is proportional to the square of amplitude times frequency, the only way to harm yourself with microwaves is by cranking up the amplitude and getting burnt. And injuries from microwave oven are so rare there seem to be only a handful of known occurrences:

  8. The Big Red Scary says

    Also, bear in mind that wifi is microwaves. If they were harmful, then we would all be toast.

  9. Virus transmission comes much more easily from breathing in air from people’s coughs and sneezes

    I think you’ll have trouble finding evidence of this being a significant transmission vector.

    Nose picking, on the other hand…

  10. Felix Keverich says

    It will stick to your tongue before you can swallow it. I read there are a lot of ACE2 receptors on a tongue.

  11. nokangaroos says

    Radon is an alpha emitter, like all its six nonvolatile daughters – resulting in highly localized irradiation of the lungs. In the open it usually gets diluted quickly, but miners´lung cancer (“Bergkrankheit”) has been known since the middle ages.
    Unless you ARE a basement dweller atop a uranium deposit I wouldn´t worry 🙂

    • That certain metals are so poisonous bacteria do not like them is not, imho, a reason to lick them (though there is a distinct subculture of silver worshippers; silver steel DOES work – and not only against werewolves).
  12. “influential religious constituencies “ – Them Jews. Them Orthodox Jews in New Jersey. Two orthodox weddings busted by police which later had to apologize and apologize….for daring to interfere with them Jews.

  13. Korenchkin says

    No matter how resistant all it takes is one unlucky incident and you have potential for disaster

  14. JohnPlywood says
  15. Of course. Masih Alinejad = Voice of America shill. “She now lives in New York City.”

  16. Cops bust FIFTH gathering in a New Jersey Jewish neighborhood in two weeks as community continues to ignore social distancing rules and hold parties

  17. Entitled and dumb “liberated” women are far more damaging to society than any virus known to mankind.

  18. Lockean Proviso says

    It will stick to your tongue before you can swallow it. I read there are a lot of ACE2 receptors on a tongue.

    So then follow with a shot of 120-proof liquor, savoring it for a bit before sending it down the hatch. This will kill viruses but increase risk of oral cancer. However, the increased chance of cancer would be farther in the future than COVID-19.

  19. It’s difficult to savor the taste of 120-proof hootch. Does the alcohol content need to be that high in order to benefit from the killing of viruses?

  20. Philip Owen says

    Qom turns out to be a steel town with a new mini mill being fitted out by Chinese workers from Wuhan. So we have.

    #SARS_COV_2 initially spread across the world by #Wuhan #steel industry. China world leader in steel. Here are the early centres of infection excluding capital cities.

    #Lombardy, also leather industry connections with Wuhan
    #Qom, also texitile industry connections with Wuhan
    #Lorraine (France’s hot spot)
    #Gwent (UK’s hot spot) – Chinese owned steel works and much else.

    These are all steel towns with ageing populations (Qom younger) Add Indonesian collieries supplying China. And hey, Germany and the US less accepting of Chinese steel. I looked at TB and pollution. They don’t fit.

    How the party started doesn’t matter any more but I think the Chinese commerical rep on his travels may have sseded the world with this bug quite early on.

  21. Lockean Proviso says

    Yes, 60% alcohol (120 proof) is the minimum for antimicrobial activity. True, one wouldn’t actually ‘savor’ such a high proof booze. For shrine licking it takes a little extra, though good luck finding liquor in Iran.

    I like whiskey for sipping sometimes but above 100 proof adding a little water helps make it more tasteable. It’s a vice not to be indulged in too frequently.

  22. Right, chalices and spoons for communion in the Orthodox Church are made of silver which is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Crosses and icons that must be kissed are made of silver and covered by embossed sheets of silver (riza).
    OTOH, Communion is not given indiscriminately. In principle, and in general practice, the communicant should approach the chalice in a state of both physical and spiritual cleanliness which requires much preparation (fasting, prayers, and absolution given after confession) and with ‘fear of God’ and faith that the mysteries are for remission of sins, cleansing and sanctification of the soul and body.
    The priest has the discretion to withhold or delay communion until the communicant had recovered his state of cleanliness through penance (epitimia) which may be quite long (in some cases life long, with communion given on the deathbed).
    Receiving ‘unworthily’ and hypocritically (like Judas) the mysteries is ‘eating and drinking damnation to himself’ (1 Cor. 11:29).
    As it happened, this scare coincides with the Easter Lent when weddings are forbidden as well as all kind of revelries anyway. It is a period when the stress falls on individual worship which can be done in the ‘little churches’ that are the homes of the believers. An icon, a candle, a prayer book is all you need. Of course Liturgy, the bloodless sacrifice, must continue to be performed even without public.
    But it is sadly true that the closure of churches, interdiction of all religious activities, implicit accusations that Christians are spreading the virus, along with the hysterical war against the ‘paedophile’ Church which continues unabated, smacks of persecution.

  23. No problem at all: let them stay in their community and prevent them from getting outside for 3 weeks.

    Do not let them get out.

    Even if sick.

  24. Indeed, silver is well known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

  25. I prefer 80 proof cognac or brandy for sipping slowly. I’ve tried 100 proof Slivovitza and definitely prefer the tamer 80 proof.×1000/products/2663/2341/badel_sljivovica_1__84400.1339608199.jpg?c=2

    Badel 80 proof is sold everywhere in the States. At $20 a bottle, it’s reasonably priced too.