ReligionNewsBlog.com, Feb. 15, 2005 [Alternative Healing] Running on faith http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10316 Around 15,000 spiritual healers practise in
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, Feb 15, 2005
ReligionNewsBlog.com, Feb. 15, 2005
[Alternative Healing] Running on faith http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10316
Around 15,000 spiritual healers practise in Britain, so it is important
to examine whether their techniques do more good than harm. The term
covers a great many approaches: reiki, johrei, therapeutic touch,
intercessory prayer, faith healing and distant healing all fall under
the umbrella of spiritual healing. The common denominator is that
healers of all types claim to somehow channel "healing energy" into the
patient's body with the intention of improving health. The concept is
as simple as it is unproven - nobody, for instance, has so far been
able to measure the "energy" that these healers are talking about.
Even contemporary memories are iffy, especially when their recall could
become the basis of a lawsuit or other financially motivated action,
according to a Tucson forensic psychiatrist.
"Memories are much more fluid and flexible than we like to think.
Studies have been done that show under even fairly innocuous
conditions, you can cause a person to believe that the incident had
happened or likely had happened," said Dr. Bennett Blum, who
specializes in forensic and geriatric psychiatry.
[Children of God / The Family] La Jolla Foundation Donated to Charity
with Ties to Sex Cult http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10312
An East County charity with close ties to a notorious sex cult has
received tens of thousands of dollars from one of La Lolla's most
prominent foundations. Records filed with the Internal Revenue Service
show the Waitt Family Foundation gave $28,305 to the Family Care
Foundation in Dulzura between 2001 and 2003.
Waitt Family Foundation chief administrator Al Panico told LOCAL 8 that
he was “shocked and surprised” when he found out about the connection
between the Family Care Foundation and a sex cult called The Family
that once advocated sex with children.
[Dena Schlosser] Jury: Schlosser not capable of standing trial http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10311
A jury deliberated for about nine minutes this afternoon before
determining that a Plano mother accused of cutting off her baby's arms
and killing her is not mentally capable of standing trial.
[Transcendental Meditation] Flyaway peace palaces http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10310
Big-talking flying yogics and their "Peace Palaces" seem to have flown
the proverbial coop in Toronto.
With the formal announcement of a University of Peace promised for
Toronto portlands last March, there are no visible signs of
construction. Rather than hammers, drills and saws, the only sound to
be heard in the portlands is the piercing cry of seagulls.
Ditto for sound coming from construction of the nine peace palaces
planned for Canadian soil, and no word either on the fate of the 2,000
square metre peace palace to have begun construction in Ontario, in
[Mormon Church] Bill aimed at stifling anti-LDS protesters is full of
Rep. Douglas Aagard, R-Kaysville, is pushing a new state law aimed at
restricting protesters at the LDS Church's General Conferences. To make
the bill seem broadly based, he went beyond restrictions on protests at
a "place of worship" and extended the rules to protesters at a "health
care facility. "
[Mariology] Last child who claimed to see Virgin Mary dies http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10308
Sister Lucia Marto, the last of three children who claimed to have seen
the Virgin Mary in a series of 1917 apparitions in the town of Fatima,
has died, Portuguese media reported. She was 97.
Forensic experts in Italy have come up with this computer-generated
sketch of a fair-skinned young Jesus with wavy hair and dark eyes,
based on historical data and images from the controversial Shroud of
The image was created with the same technology used by police to age
the faces of long-time missing people or wanted criminals.
[Unification Church] Local mosque to decide Muslims' role with Moonies http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10306
The question of whether Muslims should participate in conventions run
by the Unification Church, otherwise known as the Moonies, will have to
be decided at the local mosque level, the Colorado Muslim Council
decided at its monthly meeting Sunday.
The council had agreed to discuss the controversial practice by one of
its longtime members, Muhamad Jodeh, who since 2001 has actively
promoted interfaith conventions run by the Rev. Sun Yung Moon.
[Lord's Resistance Army] Ugandan army says 19 LRA rebels killed in
The attacks took place in remote parts of Gulu and Pader districts,
where the elusive LRA has waged an 18-year-old war against the
government of President Yoweri Museveni.
Both sides embarked on the most significant peace talks for a decade in
December and the government has announced a limited ceasefire zone to
facilitate more talks -- but outside the zone fighting has continued.
[Personality Tests] The cult of personality tests http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10317
Personality tests are increasingly popular as management tools, yet
many of them are no better than astrology at describing character or
predicting behavior. Though we may regard personality tests as harmless
fun, or an annoying nuisance, in fact important decisions may hang on
their results -- making their widespread use deeply troubling.
[Islam] Despite religious restrictions, Saudis mark lovers' day http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10301
The kingdom's attitude toward Valentine's Day is in line with the
strict school of Islam followed by the kingdom for a century. Like
Valentine's Day, all Christian and even most Muslim feasts are banned
in the kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, because they're considered an
unorthodox creation Islam doesn't sanction.
Beyond the ban, it's a challenge for couples to be together on
Valentine's or any other day because of strict segregation of the
sexes. Dating consists of long phone conversations and the rare tryst.
Men and women cannot go for a drive together, have a meal or talk on
the street unless they are close relatives. Infractions are punished by
The muttawa, or religious police, mobilize a few days before Feb. 14,
making the rounds of gift and flower shops. As Feb. 14 approaches, the
flush of red fades.
[Christian Science] Christian Science facility proposed http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10300
Christian Science has seen its share of critics over the years. Founder
Mary Baker Eddy believed that disease was caused by false beliefs and
that drugs borrow their power from human faith. If someone becomes ill,
they can cure themselves by reconnecting with God.
That belief has led to a number of high-profile court cases, often
involving parents who declined to seek doctors for sick children. More
than a decade ago, an 11-year-old Minnesota boy died when his mother, a
Christian Scientist, refused to take him to a hospital. A jury returned
a multi-million dollar verdict against the boy's mother and the church.
[Clint Brown] Singer-pastor took long road to prosperity http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10299
In 2002, a lucrative year for Clint Brown's music career, he and his
family charged $242,256 on two American Express cards alone. The
following year, they rang up $215,701 on the same cards. Some of the
credit-card charges were paid for by the church, which is reviewing the
Two developments have cast a spotlight on Brown and his 6,000-member
church. A former congregation member filed a lawsuit claiming $200,000
she gave Brown in 1999 for a new church was a loan, and not a gift, as
the church maintains. And Brown's 38-year-old wife, Angela, filed for
divorce last year in Seminole County.
Using details from the divorce file, news accounts provided a rare
glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the minister who runs the 25-acre
FaithWorld complex, all the while nurturing a music career on the side.
[Polygamy] Alleged Death Threats Against Judge Probed http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10297
Third District Judge Andrew Valdez said in court this past week that he
had gotten law enforcement protection at his home last weekend, but he
did not know why until learning about it at an emergency hearing where
a 16-year-old girl testified that members of her polygamist family had
threatened to kill him and others.
[Gerald Krein] Oregon man had been soliciting suicides for at least
five years http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10295
An Oregon man, who was arrested after he tried to set up a mass suicide
on Valentine's Day, had been urging women to kill themselves for at
least five years, officials confirmed.
[Alternative Healing] Spiritual healing fails test in health study http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10290
Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, reiki and reflexology have
gained huge public approval in recent years for the treatment of
anything from epilepsy to cancer.
But spiritual healing – a mix of meditation, prayer and laying of hands
– has been re jected by Scottish researchers after a ?27,000 academic
study found that the technique has no effect in helping to relieve the
symptoms of asthma.
[RLDS] Leader's resignation puts Community of Christ on unfamiliar
The succession plan for the Community of Christ has always been simple:
The church's leader designated his successor, and the membership
accepted that choice.
Now, the resignation of W. Grant McMurray without naming a new
president has forced the church and its 250,000 members into unfamiliar
territory. And so they wait for "discernment" - in other words, for God
to show them who the new leader should be.
[Hate Groups] Neo-Nazi threat on Dresden anniversary http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10287
Ceremonies to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Allied
firebombing of Dresden could be disrupted today by the biggest neo-Nazi
demonstration in Germany since the Second World War, police warned.
[Yoga] Faith, healing and ... yoga http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10286
As yoga teacher at Jackson's First Baptist Church, Mason integrates
Christian spirituality into a physical art with Hindu roots. And though
some Christians shun yoga because of its Eastern origins, Mason
embraces the practice that helped heal her body and spirit after
debilitating cancer treatments.
[Religious Merchandising] Spirit of enterprise http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10315
New Age has shed the anti-capitalist trappings of its 1960s revival to
align itself with the dogmas of the new, globalising market, embracing
the ancient teachings of Adam Smith, the economic patron saint of the
Enlightenment, if not enlightenment
[USA] Coalition calls FBI probe of pastor 'alarming' http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10303
The media has been telling the tale of the senior pastor of Southwest
Christian Church being interrogated by FBI agents over the topics of
some of his sermons, including the pastor's speaking out against
abortion and homosexuality.
This week, the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional
Values Coalition based in Washington, issued a formal statement calling
the incident "alarming."
[Kenja Communication] Rau angry at sister's visit http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10278
The 39-year-old former Qantas flight attendant was expelled from the
secretive Kenja cult, after being humiliated in a cruel ceremony in
She joined other members of the cult at a get-together in October 1998
where witnesses said she was humiliated, "demonised" and expelled.
[Children of God / The Family] Hewlett grant went to cult-linked
The Flora Family Foundation, an heir to the HP fortune, gave a Southern
California charity with ties to an infamous evangelical sex cult
$61,500 during the past three years, but a top foundation official said
it never would have made the grants had it known about the connection.
The donations were made to the Family Care Foundation, which has
extensive links to the Family International, formerly known as the
Children of God.
But when the phone rings in her Flagler Beach mobile home, the caller
is likely to be a terrified parent, a therapist asking for advice, or a
former cult member desperate for help in readjusting to society.
While she's not a psychologist, Giambalvo describes herself as a
self-trained "thought-reform consultant." And although heart surgery in
1999 ended her days of traveling cross-country to lead interventions to
extricate members from cults, she remains a leading force in the
controversial anti-cult movement.
Giambalvo advocates for ethical standards for professionals working to
free people from cults. Abductions and forced de-programmings were
never her style.
"The ends don't justify the means," says Giambalvo, who's been involved
in more than 200 successful voluntary interventions from 1984-99.
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