The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Friday, April 23, 2010

Is there a new religion in California?

Two days ago, someone arrived on my site with a search that is both ambiguous and bizarre. Arriving from California, they had used the search terms "Church of Ainan Cawley".

Wow. I thought. That could mean one of two things...but the way it was expressed pointed towards the second of those two things. Firstly it could mean they were searching for the church that Ainan goes to (but less likely, because of wording). Secondly it could mean that they were actually searching for a cult/sect/religion, called "Church of Ainan Cawley." Now, that really surprised me.

I gave it some thought. If they had been searching for a church which Ainan attends, I think it more likely that they would use terms like: "Which Church does Ainan go to?" Or "Ainan goes to church at...": something like that. However, if a person was searching for a church centred around Ainan they would most probably search for "Church of Ainan Cawley"...which they did, or "The Church of Ainan Cawley". You should note that they used a capital C for church, which does seem to indicate that it is a name of something, and not simply a search for which church he might attend.

Now, I cannot know why that person typed in that particular search, but it does lead me to wonder whether, probably in California, somewhere, there might be a nascent cult, built around Ainan Cawley. You may think this absurd (and it is, in its own way, of course)...but it is not unprecedented. Here, in Malaysia, there is a child prodigy (not Ainan) who is considered something of a religious figure, in some ways. They speak of him as a "saint". So, religious thoughts can become attached to children, by some.

If it is so, that there is a cult built around Ainan starting to grow somewhere in the world (probably in wacky California itself), I wonder what tenets they have? What do they believe in? What are they saying about Ainan? How are they representing him? Why did they choose him?

Perhaps it is someone's idea of a joke. However, from what I see happening in Malaysia, to another child prodigy, I can't be sure. Perhaps, indeed, there is a cult-like organization now being built around the image of my son.

For comparison's sake, the Malaysian boy is believed to have special powers. There are claims that he can "see the future" and that his gifts are somehow from God. I don't know how many people actually believe these things about the boy - but some do, it seems, for these "facts" have even been mentioned in newspapers here.

So, on the off-chance, that the search for "Church of Ainan Cawley" actually does signal the existence of a real, nascent church, if anyone should hear anything about it, please post below. I would like to hear what's going on, if any such thing is going on.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
Syahidah's IMDB listing is at

Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 6:29 PM 


Blogger Christine said...

California is crazy. There are many religions that are on the fringe there. I really do hope nobody started a "Church of Ainan Cawley". That would be insane. I do wonder why people want such things. They feel some sort of need to have something to worship.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

It would be bizarre, Christine, if they have. What worries me most is what they might be saying: what are their expressed views and beliefs? What might they be saying about Ainan? It is all rather strange.

Yes. California loves its array of unbelievably strange about Hollywood for a start? (Just kidding.)

Well, if someone has started one, no doubt we will hear more about it in due course...assuming it grows enough to be heard from, other than a random search on the internet.

How are things for you in Korea?

8:22 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Next week the students will have midterm exams. They are all tired. Next week I will have to teach only a few days, and the rest I will be most likely watching them take their tests. I think I should do some fun things next week or else the students will get quickly bored.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I agree. You should give them something new to do...preferably enjoyable.

As for the exams: does that mean you will be buried under lots of marking? (I always hated exams for that reason!)

Good luck with it all.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Ainan still with HELP University?

I read a recent article reporting that he is still seeking enrollment to university, preferably from USA or Aussie?

2:15 AM  
Blogger Pashupati said...

Don't worry, I've already heard about a Church with capital C who had a similar but slightly different name. I can't remember it yet. Maybe the searchers had the same problem: can't remember the "Church" name.

4:10 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes. Ainan is still at HELP University. I am afraid that article is out of date in its information. Some of it is also a little confused...

Thanks for pointing this out.

Ainan is enjoying HELP and we like it here in Malaysia, so it is proving to be a good move, so far.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Dear Pashapati,

If the name is SO similar that it can be confused, then perhaps the similarity is deliberate. I would like to find out more about this if you can recall any details, I would much appreciate it if you could comment below, further.

Thanks for the tip.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I don't have to mark tests, much to the envy of the Korean teachers. I do think I am lucky, yet it is stressful enough to be in a foreign country.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, there are adjustment and isolation issues. You are completely apart from the life you led before - and some people find that difficult. A new life must be built...but some people really enjoy that: finding out about a new world and its people. I hope you do.

Best of luck.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quote: "to another child prodigy"
you mean there is another ainan?
who is it?

anyway, there are lots of crazy church people. On bbc, i heard about a man who wore a cloak and said he was a jedi from the jedi church.Lol

10:33 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

No. There is no "other Ainan". There are other child prodigies, however. The one I am referring to is in maths. His name is Adi Putra. His family refer to him as a "saint". They believe he has powers from God. He has appeared in newspapers in Malaysia using "psychic" powers to find lost (murdered) children. There is an air, in his marketing, that he has some kind of religious value. It is rather unusual. There is more I could say...but I think you should get the general idea, by now.

Yes, there are crazy church people all over the world. Sometimes, however, what they say catches on and becomes a new growing religion.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is Fintan and Tiarnan? Are they as bright as Ainan? Just curious in case 2 more religions have to be made.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should update your location under your profile now that you are in KL.
By the way, how is Ainan doing at Help? How challenging is their programme? Good luck to Ainan and his brothers!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes. Ainan is still at HELP. He is managing well with the courses and enjoying them. He says he is much more satisfied with his education now, than when he was in Singapore (wrong level, insufficient challenge...boring). We are lucky, I think, that it is working out.

His brothers are fine. They are bright boys but different to their needs will be different too. They are much younger of course (6 and 4) so we will have to see what they will need, in the years ahead.

Thanks for asking.

Best wishes

7:02 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Re. two more religions. If so, they would be very different to Ainan's! Both boys are bright, but very different to I don't know if the same situation would develop. We will see how they grow in the years to come.

7:03 PM  

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