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  NIGHTSPOTS

Soul for Sale
by Amy Wooten
2006-04-05

This article shared 2049 times since Wed Apr 5, 2006
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Marilyn Monroe once said, 'Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a $1,000 for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul.'

Now, if the price is right, anyone can purchase a soul on eBay!

Individuals selling themselves on eBay isn't new. In June, a woman got $10,000 for getting a permanent tat of an online casino company on her forehead. She's definitely not the first, or last, idiot to auction off body space for company logos. In fact, eBay has created an 'Advertising Opportunities' category for such odd auctions, where people offer ad space on anything from their cars to their unborn child's noggin! As if that weren't bizarre enough, the latest trend is to sell a part of yourself that isn't even tangible.

All philosophical and theological banter set aside, let's take a peek at the World Wide Weird's latest craze.

Leave it to a local to start the fire. Chicago DePaul student, Hemant Mehta, 22, caused a stir when he 'sold his soul' on eBay for $504 in February. The self-professed Atheist admits that his 'crazy' idea has gotten 'out of hand,' but he has absolutely no regrets.

Mehta's proposal was to willingly, and with an open mind, attend church for every $10 bid. The winning bid went to a former evangelical minister, Jim Henderson of Seattle. The two agreed that Mehta would attend 15 different services and write about them on Henderson's website.

'I figured maybe a few people would find it amusing,' Mehta told Nighspots. 'Maybe I'll get $10 or something.' Forty-one bids and oodles of emails later, Mehta said the focus had changed completely. He honestly didn't expect so much buzz.

Despite a few people who have told Mehta that his journey isn't the proper way to find God, feedback has been mostly positive. His blog, www.ebayatheist.blog-spot.com, not only documents his experience, but is a hot spot for discussion between the religious and Atheist communities.

Though Mehta made it very clear from the get-go that the experience would most likely not change his beliefs, the journey has been educational. He has attended about half of the churches he said he would attend.

'I haven't found God,' Mehta admitted. 'I haven't gotten any closer to that. But I am learning about a lot of stereotypes I hadabout church in general.'

So did he spend the money like a typical grad student? Not quite. Mehta donated the money to Secular Student Alliance, a group to which he belongs. 'It's kind of like Campus Crusaders for Christ, but for Atheists," he explained.

In hopes of provoking thoughtful discussion, a Connecticut individual recently auctioned off the 'concept' of the soul, writing, 'Be the first to purchase a very important piece—a purchase that has, until now, been thought to be the privilege of one specific being.'

On March 11, the winning bid came from user 'tomsauction' for $64. The winner will receive a framed certificate of the transaction, the option to be highlighted on the official website for this topic and an invitation to participate in panel discussions and blog postings.

Sixty-four smackers and he didn't even get the artist's actual soul, just got a crappy piece of paper.

While both auctions have caused more philosophical discussion than controversy, just wait for the media to get a load of 25-year-old John Kanafoski. On March 18, this Georgia resident posted his own soul for sale. According to the post and Kanafoski's site at www.kanafoski.com, he was in a bad car wreck in 2004, which messed up his back. After losing his job, apartment and health, he's willing to do just about anything to afford an MRI and an epidural. He is requesting that the winning bidder contact him first to see if he is willing to do what is asked of him, which makes things slightly less exciting.

'I don't really know how to sell a soul from a human, but whatever it takes to get me fixed to where I can at least pick my child up when he cries will make it well worth it for me,' Kanafoski wrote.

Whatever it takes? Hmm...


This article shared 2049 times since Wed Apr 5, 2006
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