ReligionNewsBlog.com, Oct. 30, 2003
[Halloween] Religious leaders differ on acceptability of Halloween
The evolution of Halloween over hundreds of years has local religious
leaders disagreeing whether Halloween violates the teachings of both Jesus
Christ and the Bible.
[Nuwaubians] Trial For Sect Leader Moves To Brunswick
The child molestation trial of Nuwaubian Nation leader Malachi York will be
moved to Brunswick because of pretrial publicity, a federal judge announced.
U.S. District Judge Ashley Royal ruled Wednesday that the amount of media
coverage in the Macon and Atlanta areas would make it difficult to find an
unbiased jury in those areas.
[Mormon Church] Mormon missionary arraigned in Vegas on sex charges
21-year-old Mormon missionary was arraigned Wednesday in Justice Court on
charges of fondling two young girls in a church classroom.
[John Rubio and Angela Camacho] Rubio's troubled past brought up
John Allen Rubio grew up surrounded by superstition and dysfunction, and his
background coupled with drug use and worsening schizophrenia erupted into
the killings and decapitation of three small children, a psychiatrist said
[John Rubio and Angela Camacho] Defendant called insane while kids were
John Allen Rubio exhibits symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and by legal
definition was insane when he killed his three small children in March, a
psychiatrist testified Wednesday.
[John Rubio and Angela Camacho] Mother bares other motive in kids' deaths
It was financial desperation, not insanity, that led to the suffocation,
stabbing and decapitations of three small children, their mother told
police. Her second statement contradicted a confession she gave the night
before, hours after Angela Camacho and her common-law husband, John Allen
Rubio, were arrested when the children's bodies were found.
[John Rubio and Angela Camacho] Wife's statement says she helped kill three
Angela Camacho helped kill her three "cursed" children, but at her
common-law husband's suggestion, according to the first of two written
confession made to police and presented in court today. A written statement
by Camacho on March 11 was used against John Allen Rubio, 23, in the sixth
day of his capital murder trial.
[Goth] 'Goth' defined: Seminar sheds light on what is behind mysterious
[Gordon A.] Crews, who has written books and articles about the occult,
satanic involvement, gangs and school violence, presented pieces of his
research on Goth behavior during a seminar for law enforcement officials
Wednesday at the university's conference center on Anthony Road. About 30
officers from around Rhode Island and as far away as Boston attended the
[Hate Groups] South African Court Told of Plot for Coup and Ouster of Blacks
A white extremist sect plotted in 2001 to overthrow South Africa's
government, assassinate its former president, Nelson Mandela, and march more
than 35 million blacks and other nonwhites into exile along two
superhighways, prosecutors said in a Pretoria court on Wednesday. A police
informant described the bizarre plan during the first day of testimony in
the trial of 22 members of the extremist group, called the Boeremag, on
charges that include treason, murder and terrorism. The case is the first
treason trial since South Africa dismantled its white-ruled apartheid system
[Polygamy] Hatch Concerned Utah's Polygamy Ban may be Overturned
Sen. Orrin Hatch, who earlier this year had some kind words about
polygamists, is expressing concern that Utah's ban on polygamy may be held
invalid in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a Texas law
against consensual sodomy by homosexuals. "The legal argument is there,"
Hatch told The Salt Lake Tribune. "The current Supreme Court ruled that
whether a majority of the public opposes a particular practice as immoral,
it's not sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting that practice."
He also was concerned about the ruling's potential to legalize same-sex
[Polygamy] Safe haven proposed in polygamous town
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard wants a safe haven established in the
polygamous town of Colorado City to serve underage brides and abused
children. "The nearest (Child Protective Services) station is 30 miles
away, and that's unconscionable given what we know today," Goddard said
during a wide-ranging interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.
Colorado City and neighboring Hildale, Utah, are heavily populated with
members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a
splinter offshoot of the mainline Mormon church, which disavowed polygamy in
1890 and excommunicates those who practice plural marriage. Critics of the
sect contend underage girls are sometimes forced into marriage.
[Aum Shinrikyo] Was asylum seeker once a member of Aum cult?
A Japanese woman who is believed to have entered North Korea seeking asylum
in August has the same name and date of birth as a former member of the Aum
Shinrikyo cult, it was learned Wednesday. Members of Aum, which now calls
itself Aleph, have yet to confirm whether the woman in North Korea and the
former cultist are one and the same.
[Hate Groups] Md. Man Pleads Guilty to Weapons Charges
Lovell Wheeler spent nearly four months in jail after police seized
gunpowder, guns and ammunition from his home. He was unrepentant Wednesday,
telling Judge Lynn K. Stewart that he had been arrested on a warrant "bogus
as a two-dollar bill" by "jack-booted thugs." [...] Wheeler said he had been
falsely described in the media as a white supremacist and a member of a
neo-Nazi party. "I'm not white," Wheeler declared, turning to face the
courtroom crowded with reporters. "I'm a half-breed Indian. You can see by
the shape of my face. And I'm not a member of any organization." Police
raided Wheeler's house July 1 and seized 62 pounds of smokeless powder, 22
guns, ammunition, body armor and weapon parts. During the raid, Wheeler
handed officers literature from the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group
based in West Virginia, and told them a race war was coming, according to
[Satanic and/or ritual abuse] Sex abuse investigator questioned by accused
A man once accused of bizarre child sexual abuse resumed questioning his
accuser on Thursday in a civil malicious prosecution case that is seeking
$10 million in damages. Brian Dueck led a child sex abuse investigation in
1990 which brought more than 70 charges against several people. Most of
those charges were eventually dropped, but the accused are saying that his
investigation was part of malicious attempt to prosecute them. Richard
Klassen, one of the former accused, says he's waited years to finally have
his questions answered, but he says Brian Dueck's testimony has raised even
[Aum Shinrikyo] AUM founder Asahara's defense puts blame on followers
AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara's defense lawyers argued Thursday
that Asahara is not guilty of ordering two sarin gas attacks and other
crimes killing 27 people, and placed the blame on his followers.
[Russia] US Accused of Using 'Totalitarian Sects' to Destroy Russia
Government and religious officials in Russia are pressing for a campaign
against "totalitarian sects," which threaten national security, they claim.
Some officials accuse the United States of using the "sects" - including
Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, the Unification Church
(Moonies), and Hare Krishna - to undermine the Russian state. "Most
sectarian organization are of the U.S. origin," Yuri Polischuk, department
head at the health ministry's Moscow Institute of Psychiatry said Tuesday.
He said the inflow of sects was a "well-planned and coordinated action,
funded from abroad" and aimed at "subverting our state." Polischuk was
addressing a round-table discussion in Moscow, entitled "Totalitarian Sects:
Weapon of Mass Destruction." Participants in the forum, attended by interior
ministry officials, scholars, and representatives of the Orthodox Church,
suggested that the country amend its criminal code to more effectivelycombat
the sects' recruiting methods.
[USA] Evangelicals Sway White House on Human Rights Issues Abroad
The human rights issues offer a politically safe way for the president to
appeal to his base of white evangelicals, who leading scholars and pollsters
define by their membership in historically white evangelical denominations,
like the Southern Baptists and the Assemblies of God. Evangelical churches
believe that the Bible is truth, that members have an imperative to
proselytize and convert and that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.
"There are these issues below the radar screen that are of deep concern to
the evangelical community, and while they are sincerely held by the
administration, they also have the benefit of allowing the president to say,
`I have responded to what you wanted me to do,' " Rabbi Saperstein said.
"But they're not issues that will alienate large segments of the center in
America. These are all-win issues for the administration." The religious
dynamic at the White House reflects a larger change within American
evangelicals themselves, and their interest over the last decade in moving
beyond the divisive domestic issues that consumed them a generation ago -
abortion, school prayer, homosexuality, pornography - into an international
... Religion News Blog is a non-profit, reader-supported service provided
by Apologetics Index (ApologeticsIndex.org). If this service is of value to
you, please consider supporting us with a donation to help cover our
Research resources on religions, cults, sects, doctrines, and related
(News and news archives)
(Other research resources)