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The Poisonous Ones Strike Back: A Visit To A Snake Handling Church

Updated on June 20, 2014
Source

Merely another thin veiled attempt to bypass the rules as you are probably aware of if you've been keeping up with the band of POs.

Nothing really new around the Hub these days as the staff continues to ignore queries about the unethical Related Search ads which grace every one of our pages even during our share of time. They are used to drag our visitors away from our articles and make HP money by horning in on what once was our share of viewers.

I am indeed disappointed in HP as they apparently disregard complaints they know are justified. They can run up an alley and holler fish as far as I'm concerned. There, I've said it and I'm not taking it back. Strong words for strong feelings I suppose. Anyway, here's the tale:


Culture shock arrived in Clear Springs in !960.
Culture shock arrived in Clear Springs in !960. | Source

Sherman's Sewer

At the age of 14, I had the opportunity to visit a snake handlin’ church over in the next county. I being Jason Carmichael, son of Robert and Sarah Carmichael, long time residents of Clear Springs Georgia. Four years ago Interstate 75 brought the outside world right through our one-traffic-light town. All of a sudden, people with strange accents wearing funny clothes were walking the streets. Yep, the dreaded Yankees I’d heard so much about from my grandparents, had returned with a vengeance.

I-75 also brought a measure of economic prosperity to a few dirt farmers as their land was needed for the highway and exits. The counties the highway went through also gained much from the taxes that new motels and gas stations along with a myriad of other businesses which sprang up along the route.

However, the further one traveled east or west of the 4 lane highway the less educated the population seemed to be. Clear Springs was introduced to new culture in the form of a heavily trafficked viaduct heading for the Florida sunshine.

Source

The Invitation

I’ve always a very curious youngster--my father said so anyway--and I jumped at the chance to attend a homecoming dinner at afabled house of worship in the area. I’d wangled a personal invitation to the dinner on the grounds at a genuine snake handling church. It came in the form of an invite from one of my grandfather’s former sharecroppers.

His name was Lucas McCall, a confirmed bachelor of indeterminate age--I’d guess either 50 to 60 years old at the time--who also performed odd jobs for the aforementioned church and would never miss out on a free meal if he could help it. Old Luke knew I’d been hankering to see the snakes and the folks who held them so he asked me to attend with him.

As I had never been of a religious nature myself, my father looked suspicious when I asked permission to go with Luke, but I suppose he figured I’d be just as well off in one church as another. He finally gave it the okay much to my surprise and delight.

Ole Rufus waiting for another snack to appear. He's not picky at all.
Ole Rufus waiting for another snack to appear. He's not picky at all. | Source

Curious As A Cat.....

The next Sunday Luke picked me up early to help him feed his array of animals--both chickens and wild pets--before we prepared to head over to the church located in the next county over. His cages contained a possum, a raccoon, as well as a skunk, which was allowed to run free around the grounds. There were always half a dozen cats running around with all of them having only 3 legs to do the running with. I had questioned Luke on a former occasion as to what had happened to the cats to allow them to possess only 3 legs.

“A cat is a curious animal,” Luke answered. “They jest cain’t abide not knowin’ what’s a-goin’ on anywheres close by. When a new cat shows up, it sees ole Rufus the coon in his cage and--being naturally nosey--strolls on over to get a closer look. As the cat gets closer, ole Rufus reaches through the cage and grabs whichever cat leg is nearest to ‘im, and pulls it inside. Rufus then chews off the leg before the cat goes away a bit wiser and not so curious anymore.”

I pictured in my mind a new cat arriving and asking the other members of his species what happened to their legs. I suppose they told the new guy to ask the strange looking creature in the cage and then sat back and watched as a new member of the club was born. I’ve never had much use for cats since then. I asked Luke why he didn’t just let the coon go. “I think Ole Rufus would eat the rest of the cats if I did that,” Luke said. “I believe he has a taste for kitty cat now that he’s used to it.” Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

It was a peaceful looking place, on the outside at least.
It was a peaceful looking place, on the outside at least. | Source

Dressing For the Day

We wore our best jeans and a white shirt in honor of the occasion. This was a novel idea to me as back then wearing blue jeans or any other non-dress clothes would get one seriously frowned upon in any of Clear Springs‘ local houses of worship.

Luke had picked me up early in his old panel truck in which he kept his tools and such other job related items. He’d tried to wash some of the dust off of the old vehicle, but it only made it appear older than it was. It was the thought that counted I suppose. Respect comes in many forms I’d learn at an early age.

We arrived at the First Holiness Baptist Church of God In Heaven before most of the attendees got there, parking Luke’s old truck behind the church under a big live oak tree. “I allus parks here when I come on certain Sundays,“ Luke said. The building itself was everything one would expect of a church which allows the handling of serpents.

Among other things, Luke had brought some blocks of ice for the sweet tea used to wash down the chicken n’ dumplings, barbecued pork and chicken, and various other dishes soon to appear along with the crowd.

There's always barbecue at a church Homecoming Day.
There's always barbecue at a church Homecoming Day. | Source

Walkin' The Walk and Talkin' The Talk

Having finished with our duties, Luke and I headed inside where there was already a loud sermon in progress. Like the parishioners themselves, the inside of the old building was bare of any decorations. The unpainted walls and pews giving evidence that bright colors and gaudy possessions were not favored by their lord.

The owner of some very flexible vocal cords--presently in the midst of admonishing the attendees--was the pastor of the church and according to Luke, “He’ll git all het up ‘fore the days over, he allus does, specially on Homecoming Day.” I didn’t know what ‘all het up’ entailed, but it did sound very interesting at the time.

There were several other visiting preachers from around south Georgia who took turns preaching during the day, especially after everyone got their fill of food during mealtime. I kept waiting for a preacher to call for the snakes and finally, he did. “Oh Gaw-ud,” he pleaded towards the ceiling “watch with joy-uh why your servants-uh prove their faith-uh in thee-uh.”

Raising his arms toward the heavens, the preacher then reached down under the old wooden pulpit and pulled two enormous rattlesnakes from beneath it. He let them squirm, their rattles making the sound one never forgets once they hear it for the first time.

After talking gibberish for a few minutes--apparently the much vaunted unknown tongues I‘d also heard tell of--he passed the snakes along to the parishioners to also prove their faith in kind. No, not everyone wanted to hold the snakes, and they weren’t forced to, but they were stared at disapprovingly by the 'real believers' if they didn‘t at least touch one of the creatures on some part of its body.

A sort of snake dance began as the fever heightened among the church folk.
A sort of snake dance began as the fever heightened among the church folk. | Source

The Right Place At The Right Time...

It was only a matter of time before someone got bit by one of the snakes. These creatures could only stand so much being grabbed and shook before one of them got pissed off enough to strike someone. As luck would have it, that person was me.

As the biggest of the snakes was being passed to the person sitting next to me, it suddenly struck me on the wrist leaving two red marks where the fangs broke the skin. I sat there for a moment--it seemed longer some said--while the congregation had gone almost silent as word got around about my apparent faithlessness.

Luke was sitting beside me and later on the way home he described the scene for me as if I wasn’t there to know about it myself. “I seen you wuz a-goin’ down so I grabbed your head to keep it from bonkin’ on the ole pine pew so hard. Your eyes wuz a-starin’ at nuthin’ an’ finally rolled back in your head. Everyone thought you wuz a goner.

That preacher though, he just went to prayin’ and hollering’ for the lord to have mercy on an obvious sinner, to help this child see the light. In about 5 minutes you set up and said you felt better as the other folks started singing and patting you on the back. The preacher never seemed so happy as he wuz today.”

"What's that thing in the cage over there? I think I'll over and check it out."
"What's that thing in the cage over there? I think I'll over and check it out." | Source

Not So Different After All..

“So,” I asked, “How much did the preacher pay us after all that acting, Luke?” He smiled and said, “one hunnert dollars in cash, honey chile.” Yes, if you hadn’t guessed it yet, the snakes belonged to Luke. Of course, he had not only milked the venom from the snakes early that morning, but had pulled their fangs out just in case. Rattlesnakes have several sets of fangs and would grow more in the future.

He also knew how to make them strike when he wanted to and did so at the proper moment by squeezing the snake in a certain spot during the time he passed it by me. A couple of prearranged fang marks made by a sharp hat pin finished the desired effect if they weren’t closely examined. And Luke made sure they hadn't by wrapping my wrist with his handkerchief.

“I know of two other churches where they handle snakes and the preachers there will want a piece of the action if you can get away again.” I thought about those three legged cats again and how people weren’t a whole lot different after all. “Heck yeah Luke,” I replied, “I still got two good legs and one good arm left anyway.” The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways…

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© 2014 Randy Godwin

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    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Oh it goes further. I don't know which one commented on my blog. I deleted the comment and it was harrassing and then she told me that I was reported for harrassing her here on HubPages. HP really needs to get a grip on this.Now I have set those comment as moderated for everyone.

      Mind you this slader was not on one of my posts or questions, but on someone else's and all I did was agree withthem, then the slander and then another slander and they think it is OK for them to do that because they are claiming that I am slandering them. What the EFFis wrong with these kinds of people!!!!????

      The hub that you can see, if it is still there, is: https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Those-Who...

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Oh it goes further. I don't know which one commented on my blog. I deleted the comment and it was harrassing and then she told me that I was reported for harrassing her here on HubPages. HP really needs to get a grip on this.Now I have set those comment as moderated for everyone.

      Mind you this slader was not on one of my posts or questions, but on someone else's and all I did was agree withthem, then the slander and then another slander and they think it is OK for them to do that because they are claiming that I am slandering them. What the EFFis wrong with these kinds of people!!!!????

      The hub that you can see, if it is still there, is: https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Those-Who...

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Check out the new Hub, Marcy. It isn't usual offering. :)

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Power-To-The-POs-S...

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      In case Deb reads this - I agree - please don't leave the community. Your work is still here (you might want to disable the comments section? I think that's still an option?). And nobody here on this thread treats you that way. I didn't realize that was happening to you. Sorry I wasn't aware - I am good at slapping people down when they hurt my friends.

      Meanwhile - Thanks, Randy & aa lite for the explanation on the acronym! I'd have gone for PC - makes it sound like 'politically correct,' with a different & secret meaning!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Okay guys, we have a clean slate to dirty up with our musings. You'll find it here:

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Power-To-The-POs-S...

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      Re: deletion. Nah. As far as I know, only forums are a TOS no-no.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Like Para said, don't be a stranger round here, Debbie. You're still one of us ya know. :)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Want me to delete it,Para?

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      Oops, my previous comment was accidently under wrong ID. Oh, well. It was a comment as opposed to a forum post, the world will not end as we know it.

    • paradigmsearch profile image

      Person of Interest 2 years ago from SoCal, USA

      LadyG. I read it. Still no reason not to continue dropping by here in the Cool Kids Corner. :D

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I am leaving Hupages and here is why and wehre you can find me. All my published hubs will stay on HP.

      http://debshodgepodgelodge.blogspot.com/2015/03/my...

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Someway! Why are you rising so early these days? And how is Raven doing? :)

    • profile image

      SomewayOuttaHere 2 years ago

      Good morning POs! Spring is here! Daylight savings should be banned! Getting up in the dark again and with the frogs.. the birds aren't even awake. Later and peace all!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      You are correct, aa! I'd forgotten exactly what Mark called our little group. :)

      Pleased to hear you're mending well, Phyllis. Don't overdo it merely because you're feeling better. I should get the new hub published sometime today. It's not my regular type of tale, but it is a true story. Don't tell anyone though. :P

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hey, Randy and folks. This is my first day spent entirely alone since I got home from rehab a week ago. I am walking with more balance and strength, did some laundry, tidied up the kitchen, sat outside in my walker in the warm sun for an hour and just feel good about my progress and life in general. I have some aches and pains here and there, but that old tormenting sometimes excruciating pain in my lower back is gone thanks to an excellent surgeon.

      Randy, I am looking forward to your new PO hub. Hope all is well with you. I see you are gaining on the visitors here - awesome!

    • aa lite profile image

      aa lite 2 years ago from London

      Technically Mark Ewbie referred to us as the 'poisonous clique'.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It does on occasion, Marcy. Mark Ewbie called us the "Venomous Ones" and it morphed into the "Poisonous Ones." We mean well though. :)

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      Does PO stand for p****d off?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      The tale is as true as I could write it. Shhhhhhhh!

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      I'll read every word of it. Maybe post the juicier excerpts in the forums. Maybe. :D :D :D

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Writing a new PO hub at the moment, Para. It will closely coincide with my 6 year anniversary here. I may vent a bit about HP, then and now.

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      Well, looking forward to a banner productive week. Z and a new hub might even be in the mix.

      Gonna give the hubscores and EC labels situations a week or two to settle down and see what happens. Then I imagine I'm going to have some more hubs for website fodder.

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      Randy. Yes. Those EC labels really are deadly for those of us deemed unworthy. Plus, the other stuff is starting to get me down, http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/129197

      Hollie, re: Z. I don't have anything worthy of spamming this thread yet. :D

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      If HP handles the EC controversy as usual, they'll stop posting comments on threads at all and simply remain silent until everyone gets tired of complaining about it.

      Remember when the Related search ads suddenly appeared on our Hubs and Paul and other members of staff never explained why we didn't receive a share of the revenue? They simply ram this stuff down our throats because we refuse to swallow it.

      Some of the EC hubs are bull$#it. Quality my asp!!!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I got it and a big thanks!!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Para Thank You. I want to use it for my blogs because it would be much easier to see all of my hubs there then adding a link to them in my articles or pages. It look neater!

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      LadyG, re: HP widget inquiry. Bottom of page at https://hubpages.com/help/ads . I think the thing has gotten me traffic once in awhile, but nothing to write home about. As far as I'm concerned, every little bit helps.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Oh I understand about tabs. I have at the very least 6 open every day.

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 2 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      Thanks very much, LadyG. I enjoyed reading that hub, btw. Brain not fully engaged, got loads of tabs open and the rest is history.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      HollieT here is is:

      I'm well thanks, PDS. I, too, get warm, fuzzy feelings but it's completely hormonal. Let's see your store, PDS. Have you used any of your own pics? Have you been playing around with photo editing software? I like Gimp and Paint.net.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      HollieT I saw it and denied it there. Hold on, I didn't delete it but saw it there first so let be go get it and post it here.

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 2 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      LadyG, I've just left a comment on one of your hubs which should have been placed here for PDS. I'm really sorry :( Do you think you could delete and copy and paste here? Many thanks.

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      I just discovered Pinterest widgets and immediately plopped one on my website. Me thinks a little extra money potential there. I also did a Twitter one while I was at it.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sounds like you're snug as a bug,GM. Beautiful sunshine here in the swamps with temps near 70. No one I know owns a snow shovel. :P

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Good afternoon to all. New York City has been barraged with snow. I am nestled in my bed, watching youtube history channel documentaries and some horror dvds. Also I am writing hubs here and there.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Para, I started using them about a year ago, but I had done nothing with them becasue of the limitations of some sites in using them, mostly here. You cannot use those kinds of things hee or on any other social writing site, except for your own. Now that I started really gettinginto Google Blogger I am using then lots. I have had some click on them already. The thing in getting clicks is that you have to ask many vendors/advertisers on your rakuten account. There are soooooo many of them and they all have specific advertising qualifications, but that doesn't stop you from applying to have their ads on your blog. I do highly recommend thim for use on your own blog or websites.

      Thaks for taking a look at my blogs.

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      LadyG, good website you got there! How long have you used Rakuten Linkshare? Do you highly recommend them?

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      Hollie!!! How the heck you been? All is well here. Every time I break out my camera, you give me that warm, fuzzy feeling. I've been sidetracked from Z, thanks for reminding me; I think now may actually be a good time for me to make it my next project again, leastwise until another good hub idea comes along.

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 2 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      Happy Saturday, Campers!

      The weather is absolutely gorgeous in Manchester, would hang out the washing but left it a bit late. I hope it's gonna be nice tomorrow as well. PDS, how's your Zazzle experience working out? Have you sold anything yet?

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      That too went in your spam folder. I give up!!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      My comment just now did not show up..again.

      So here it is again:

      This is what I got back from Amaozon showing no activity on my account there:

      I'm sorry for any concern your recent Amazon Associates reports have caused you. I checked your account and the reason you are not seeing any report updates since August 2014 is because there have been no sales since then. Reports are updated every 24 hours. The last sale I see made through your links was in June 2014 and those earnings would have been available for payout in August 2014.

      I wasn't able to locate any links to Amazon.com at your site, http://ladyguinevere.hubpages.com/.

      If you'd like us to test the functionality of your Amazon.com links, please use the link below to contact us, and send us the URL for the page on which these links are stored so we can make sure they are working correctly.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      This is the letter that I got back from Amazon about the payment page not showing any activity:

      I'm sorry for any concern your recent Amazon Associates reports have caused you. I checked your account and the reason you are not seeing any report updates since August 2014 is because there have been no sales since then. Reports are updated every 24 hours. The last sale I see made through your links was in June 2014 and those earnings would have been available for payout in August 2014.

      I wasn't able to locate any links to Amazon.com at your site, http://ladyguinevere.hubpages.com/.

      If you'd like us to test the functionality of your Amazon.com links, please use the link below to contact us, and send us the URL for the page on which these links are stored so we can make sure they are working correctly.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I too have had problems with Amazon, Debbie. I don't however, blame HP for it as I don't use any of HP's in-house programs.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      That's really odd about the Amazon account, Lady G - I personally don't think HP would knowingly do anything 'not right,' but I would imagine that the numerous tweaks and adjustments to the system could interrupt something like that.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Well I think it is down right dead around here. I had been asking questions on the Q&A, but that got borings and so did most of the answers. I have started a few blogs now. No big numbers in readers or anything ...yet. I had some of these a long time ago and just went back to ...gosh re-do them all and the sroie or posts that were there. I am not going to wait for the money to make that one site and have taken a few hints from people like PDS and a few others to go back and take a better look at Google Blogger. So that is what I have been up to lately and will be doing for the next few weeks.

      Thank you PDS for sparing me from spending money that I do not have and make money on Google and Amazon and Rakuten Linkshare

      btw Amazon and HP has screwed me over. Found that HP did have my Amazon right and I aksed Amazon why I did not have anything on my payment reports. Come to find out HP did something with my Amazon account and I had to fix it, but when I added my information it now comes out as an external link. Go figure! I never changed anything and I have always had an amazon account and had that in my payments here. I do not know what happened but it happened in August of last year.

      Well if you want to go check out my blogs they are listed, so far, on my main blog here:

      http://debshodgepodgelodge.blogspot.com/

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It's very frustrating to deal with staff on problems such as EC and Related Hubs cause, Marcy. I know this personally having dealt with them before on similar issues. Izzy and I had some of our hubs singled out on a forum thread by Paul E when he was attempting to explain why our traffic suddenly disappeared literally overnight. He described my writing as "awkward to read"and Izzy's writing not treated well either.

      I used to get into it with Jason M before he left the staff here. Coincidentally, after every one of our disagreements on the forums I would get a short ban for something ridiculous. lol!

      I'm pleased to see there are others who aren't afraid to ask questions of staff. Many of the veterans who once did so have been muzzled or permanently banned from the site. Some of the former members made AP thousands a month. That's gratitude for you! :(

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      Randy - I am sad (disgusted, maybe) to know how slow the site was to respond to the issues you mentioned. I remember a few years ago another Hubber posted a hub title on the forum that had the "F" word in it, and demanded to know why it was still published. That was the step needed to take it down, but I cannot believe it was the first time that item was reported.

      Recently, I 'bumped' a forum thread that had caused several of us to complain about the OP - he had plagiarized a textbook, was under 18 (but later changed his profile) and generally wasn't publishing original material (I think Relache had reported him, too). I reported him again & I suspect our good friends jumped on it as well. The entire thread then disappeared - it is GONE. I don't know if they banned him and jettisoned the thread to get rid of the outrage, or kept him online for the money & deleted it to shut us up. I don't know enough about the 'way back' machine to find it. And I can't remember his name. "Ken" something. Makes me ill.

      Yes - a new thread would be great. Please leave the trail of breadcrumbs here!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I was here when HP decided sub-domains would help get us in Google's good graces so we became somewhat separate form the main site, Now they've changed their minds once again. Many of the veterans warned staff about the spammy hubs HP allowed to remain on the site--including those horrible Indian Auntie hubs which sometimes displayed full nudity photos on the page.

      But HP refused to clean up the site and we all suffered from the penalties from Google because HP was making too much money from those horrible hubs. They also allowed disreputable hubs to remain which made visitors think they were complaint sites for big businesses such as cellphone companies. People were posting their passwords and other info on the pages. Some of these misleading pages had received over 5 million views and we like to have never got HP to remove them.

      Many of us continued to report these pages with no result until HP was penalized for them. You've probably noticed merely reporting hubs with violations or terrible info is very difficult. This tells you something about how much HP is really concerned with cleaning up the site.

      I'm going to publish another of these chat hubs in a day or so as this has so many comments it loads real slow. Stay tuned for the new hub.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      Thanks, Randy - I feel badly for those who have been here since the first year or two the site was created. That includes Paul and the other owners/admins - it's their livelihood, and Google changed the game on all UGC sites. That does not mean that I agree with the current latest efforts to stay afloat (as someone mentioned above - the doom & gloom quote is sobering).

      I'll be back here - I am so glad Para steered us to this thread!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Marcy, and welcome to the PO hub. Some of the best people hang around here and most know what the EC hubs are all about. Just another attempt at gleaning more money from our writing for HP's own benefit.

      I've been here right at 6 years now and I;m not pleased at all at the way HP is doing things now. The related hubs--although most are not even close--is merely another ploy to keep readers on the site for HP's own benefit, not ours.

      Thanks for asking hard questions of the staff for those of us who cannot. Don't be a stranger and feel free to stop in and chat--or vent--whenever the notion strikes you. :)

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      Hi, Randy & Gang - now I know where to hang out here! Some of my favorite peeps are here!

      Thanks for the shout-out on this thread, Randy. I'm very dismayed at the EC decision - it's something that was not discussed when they first created it (and they failed to 'promote' those hubs). As mentioned here, most people don't know they're even in the program - some probably think it's an 'honor' and don't pay attention to it, and some who are not in it don't know it exist & don't read the HP news or gossip.

      As someone else mentioned - I wish HP had thought out the Squidoo purchase more thoroughly. It appears the Squid's owners are the only ones who made money on that deal, and HP is suffering. However, even when we report the spam accounts and hubs that migrated in, usually nothing is done about it. Sad situation here.

    • aa lite profile image

      aa lite 2 years ago from London

      Hey Mark, tub of lard was on hignfy I believe, can't quite remember who it replaced now. Not sure if it would be fit for Cameron, perhaps a tub of chicken fat? Or something spineless and slimy? Tub of earthworms?

      I love reading the analysis of why he doesn't want to do the debates. He's worried that Milliband might turn out not to be as hopeless as the conservatives like to paint him, which is basically their whole strategy. Also he'd rather the opinion was spread by the rightwing dominated press.

      I was in the EC program, can't really be bothered to opt out. I don't think it is doing any good, probably isn't doing harm either. I agree with Hollie, I think the big event was buying Squidoo. Or at least giving squids such a big grace period. Compared to such steps joining or opting out of various programs seems insignificant. Haven't written a new hub for months.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 2 years ago from Jamaica

      I agree Randy and am glad to be your voice whenever you can't. I haven't seen one good explanation fro HP, but the reasons they are giving don't make any sense to me at all. I am a bit upset about the whole thing so maybe I'm not thinking clearly.

      Phyllis, I hope this doesn't affect you negatively. I am sorry that you had to opt out because of my thread. I opted out when my traffic tanked and the same day I opted out, my traffic began to rise.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I just opted out of the EC program again after some serious thoughts based on reading your thread, Cardisa. Sure it was a good feeling to be recognized with an EC award, but I am more aware now of these tricky little games going on that keep promising more for the writers as our earnings slowly sink.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad to hear from you, Cardisa. Hope you're doing well on my favorite island.

      Yes, the whole EC thing stinks of personal gain, especially on HP's end. The explanations for why they are doing this are so vague it smells to high heaven. It's probably a good thing I'm banned from the forums cause stuff like this really makes me angry.

      For some hubbers, having a chance to win a fifty dollar prize in the monthly drawing is worth being in the program. Many have nothing to lose anyway. But for some of us old timers, it has the feel of us being manipulated into taking part in an iffy program which may, or may not, have a serious impact on our earnings and traffic.

      At any rate, I appreciate you, Marcy, and my friend Para asking thestaff some hard and important questions. I'm right behind you guys! :)

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 2 years ago from Jamaica

      Hey Randy, got your message. Boy, this thing has really upset a lot of hubbers. I don;t log in much but today I was really shocked at what I saw. This in an unfair advantage for those of us not in the program.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Para! :) You are a gentleman and a scholar.

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      Randy, message delivered. :)

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 2 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      I just wish that they hadn't bought Squidoo. Didn't we all start to do well (relatively) until then? And why would you even think of buying a sinking ship? If Squidoo were selling then they were f8cked, no wonder given the content, even worse than here. And HP just let all that shi9e make it to their site. Think Paul E should resign on the basis of stupidity.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      PARA--Tell Cardisa thanks for bring the EC controversy to such a discussion. If I wasn't banned I'd be all in that shit. Reminds me of when I started the thread about the Elite program when I was "accidentally" banned for a few days. LOL!

      It's bad enough when HP puts ads on our pages we get nothing from, but to use the excuse that only 3% has opted out of EC program when most probably didn't realize they were automatically entered into it.

      First subdomains were the thing to get us out of Google's bad graces and now. it's the other way around. I just wish they'd make up their dern minds! :o

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 2 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      Hey Randy and Izzy, I look in but usually too knackered to comment. I'm on leave this week so found some energy- and missed y'all :)

      aa, they do sound like they take quite a bit of looking after, and life is difficult enough as it is. Bloody kids always spoil things, but it's a shame the geckos died- not necessarily your fault though, like you said in another post you never can tell what these quitters can and can't adapt to.

      Cameron is a first rate sh*t-bag. I'm so enjoying the pummeling he's getting over these debates. Did you hear him at PMQ's? 'we're having a debate now' and then goes on to personal attacks and not answering the questions. He's such a complete and utter ahole- PMQ's is not a debate, he's supposed to answer questions which of course he never does. He's lost the election.

      On the plus side it's good to see that some of the women (pretty impressive women, imho) are to be included in the debate. However, I'd prefer if Caroline Lucas were to replace Natalie Bennett.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Doing so on your own site, Mark? Satisfaction is something to shoot for. I shoot at it all the time and occasionally hit a bulls eye. Though other times it's mainly bull$#it.:P

    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 2 years ago from Euroland

      Hi Randy. I am creating my own content without HP rules, links,ads,related authors and Google slap. No money in it but a small amount of satisfaction.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Your the best at what you do...no doubts about it bro. Always thanks and my pleasure.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Alastar!

      What are up to, Mark? :P

    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 2 years ago from Euroland

      Empty chair and a tub of lard.

    • aa lite profile image

      aa lite 2 years ago from London

      To be honest Hollie I got a bit fed up with the geckos. The adults on their own were fine, but when they and children these had to be reared in individual little tanks, this took time and it all got a bit much.

      I've also been considering getting a chameleon but I thought I would try a reptile less life for a bit and see how I manage.

      I am rather bummed out by the news that the geckos got very stressed cause I didn't insulate them on the trip to the pub. It just shows how fed up I got with looking after them also fed up with gecko dealer who kept putting the date of collecting them.

      I am hugely enjoying the Tory/TV people spat over the election debates. At first I thought Cameron had the upper hand in this, but then I read that the TV stations have the decisive weapon of the 'empty chair' option (hold the debates and empty chair Cameron if he doesn't agree). Delicious!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

      aa, do appreciate you confirming some things I was considering concerning the lizards. And I appreciate Randy's kind offer but we'll let the cute guys roam where they will and not try to transplant them a bit off where they normally occur. Your transplanted gray squirrel prob over there is known here and is most unfortunate. They used to- maybe still do- get shot out of pecan trees by the score and other factors keep them from getting completely out of control over here. Very ubiquitous these squirrels are in the parks and stuff as you can imagine.

      Mr. Godwin, you sir, get a tap on the wrist for that last sentence of yours. Except for a time or two, I've never seen anything grammatically incorrect in your writings and certainly never anything but superb talent in your creations- fiction or non-fiction, or in your storytelling powers and awesome twist-endings:)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      How is your home life, Izzy? Is everything okay with you now? I haven't talked to you in a while but been thinkin' bout you. :)

      Things on HP seem to be in a mess right now with the HubPro program freaking everyone out. I opted out because most of HPs new ideas seem not to work out very well. I'll just manage to scrape by with my unprofessionally edited crap. :P

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 2 years ago from UK

      I wouldn't dare Randy. Politics is really dirty in Scotland right now. They'd sweep up my split with ex-husband and make out I'd abandoned the children.

      I've died a thousand deaths for them, already.

      You have to be squeaky clean. Even then, the Press here turned on a wee lass of just 20, because of things she wrote on social media while just a teenager.

      The Press here are pro-Union. Pro-neoliberal, Pro-Austerity.

      I've already read about how the folks in the World Bank made a simple mistake in their analysis.

      Anywaywe are not here to discuss world politics.

      I am more worried about the HP ad that appears right on my typing line and makes me click-thru to get rid!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Hollie and Izzy! Long time no see for both of you, especially you Izzy. I thought you might be running for political office or something. :P

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 2 years ago from UK

      My top 5 hubs were all unpublished about 2 years ago! Then read about changes to hubscore algorithm in weekly email.

      Another thing, Hubpages is now too greedy for webspace. Things take ages to load, like my typing right now, but usually just the hubstats page. At least on the ipad...might be a problem with it, or Chrome's ipad version. Funny it's only HP giving me lag.

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 2 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      How come you sold the geckos aa? I can't imagine you geckoless, I'm sure this can't last. Feel like I haven't been here forever, and the forums died some years ago, IMHO.

      Where's worst of and nursey when you need them.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      The forums have been deceased so long they no longer smell, Para.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the input, aa. I've considered the impact on the environment in Alastar's region of the country and can really see no serious effect as it's fairly close to that of mine except a little colder. He mentions skinks being present there and we have them also. The skinks and anoles seem to get along fine when they encounter each other as far as I can tell.

      Flitting around France huh? Well whoop-de-doo, ain't you somethin'? :P

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      The forums are so dead , mold is growing on them. I've once again given up trying to liven things up.

    • aa lite profile image

      aa lite 2 years ago from London

      Hey, sorry I haven't answered. Have been travelling to France so off the internet.

      There are definitely cases of lizards adopting to new terrains. For example the lizards I kept which are originally from Madagascar have apparently settled very successfully in Hawaii and Florida.

      But each case is different, it depends on how different the conditions are from their natural habitat as well as how hardy the lizard is. Some can handle environmental changes quite well, others drop dead if the conditions aren't exactly right.

      Then there is the question of whether it is right to move species around, and again that depends on the exact case. Sometimes it can have a big effect on the native population. E.g the American grey squirrel took over Britain and caused the native red squirrel to die out. There are so many interconnected factors that it is impossible to predict what will happen.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad to help, Para! :) Just beginning to write again after a long vacation, so I'm no help at the moment.

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      Randy, thanks for your comment on my latest hub masterpiece. Heck of a note my having to start a new account...

      Meanwhile, I wonder if I should get a snake and a gecko and do a YouTube video... Not. :D

      Anybody got a worthy hub I can mention on my main website? Just a thought.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Ha! I've been called a smartasp many times in my long life, Alastar. Beth sez hay back. Catch you on the flip side, as we used to say back in the 70's. Kids today probably don't know the significance in the saying with CDs being the norm.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

      You sure know your asp's all right, Randy loll. Later good man. Oh, been a while, say hi to the missus!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Perhaps aa would grace us with her presence and her experience, Alastar. I'm not that knowledgeable about reptiles other than snakes.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Like to hear aa's thoughts for sure. Maybe it the question is can a lizard species thrive somewhat out of their normal range. On reflection their range is more like 50 miles south and east of here. Could it be even a small lower annual temp would make a difference? Might have to be satisfied with the skittish blue-tail skinks and seldom seen gray lizards cause I'm thinkin' how i'd hate to move your fellows from their happy home in Ga. :)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It's possible they would survive if they found the right place to hibernate during the winter, Alastar. Perhaps aa would know?

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Aw thank you Randy. You should have joined 'em? Do you think they'd survive 40 miles beyond their range? I mean, they're 30 miles to the south and 40 miles to east. How much difference would it make as concerns they're surviving year after year do you feel?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I'll see about catching you some this spring, Alastar. I saw a couple today sunning by the pool. They were sunning....not me. :)They are fun and interesting creatures to watch.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

      That question is little too much for my addled mind at the moment Randy, got up this morn and rambled on before the OJ but it has gotten better...but not enough. However, If you've got any extra anoles this Spring I'll pay for shipping. Their natural range seems to end about 30 or 40 miles from here but maybe they'll make it in the gardens after eating plenty of bugs. We sure could use the color and activity of the interesting little rascals up here.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Me too, Phyllis! But then, HP often tries things which don't work out too well in the long run. I've witnessed this on more than a few occasions on my almost 6 years around this hood. :o

      This is one reason I'm reluctant to 'jump on the bandwagon' when these new 'suggestions' come out from staff. Many of the staff do have 100's as their profile scores, but I'm really not impressed with their writng at all. Ya think there's some numbers being manipulated somewhere? Oooooh......I think there is..........:P

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      " ... a high quality hub idled for low traffic is better than a low quality high trafficked hub." Now that really boggles my mind, Randy. Seems a--backwards to me. LOL....

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Having a good laugh at staff trying--and losing IMHO--to explain why a high quality hub idled for low traffic is better than a low quality high trafficked hub. Good luck with that! :P

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Egad, aa! I'll still may ask you lizard questions from time to time, though. I can send you some anoles if you get lonesome. :)

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      But, aa!!! You were my favorite gecko person!!! I am saddened.

    • aa lite profile image

      aa lite 2 years ago from London

      I sold all the geckos! Except that a few apparently died overnight due to me not keeping them warm enough in transit to the pub. Dealer will no doubt want a refund, which really I should give him.

      But I am gecko less. I have to say it is a bit of a relief.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Here's got fans all over, Phyllis; so do you for that matter. We've still got one or two of your stories in folders, Phyllis. Going to run one of yours soon. My, so much coming up though. A first person hand-written face-to-face encounter in trusted to me between a ghillie-suited hunting professor and a very large wild panther that had both species stalking the same turkey in the Mts. of Georgia. Riveting reading. A new one coming up on a rival to the famed 27th Club phenomena. An expedition into the Pisgah mts. with author Tom Burnette. Much more, all very exciting. If you've got a new idea for a guest story let me know!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Phyllis! I've been a bit lazy since the holidays but spring in the air has gotten me motivated to write something new, both here and other places. Hope you too are doing well! :)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Greetings Randy. I, too, look forward to another story from you. I always check check your articles on Alastar's site, looking for new ones and often re-reading my favorites. Hope all is well with you. Take care, my friend.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I have a few blog sites and am working on one of them today and refurbishing it and adding more content. I also have more product pages, that we are not allowed to have here. So look for my page for new blogs on it:

      http://debshodgepodgelodge.blogspot.com/

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

      At your convenience, Randy, certainly. I'll just tell the contacts to check out your HP site.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Been doing more research than writing lately, Alastar. I hope to get back in the groove shortly and start writing more stuff, for myself and for others as well. I hope to get you a new tale sometimes soon. :)