Religion News Blog, Mar. 3, 2003
- Religion News Blog, Mar. 3, 2003:
[Hate Groups] KKK backs Augusta ban on women
A new controversy over racism and bigotry threatens to engulf the
worlds biggest golf tournament as the Ku Klux Klan wades into the row
over the exclusion of women from the club that hosts the US Masters.
A splinter group of Americas notorious white supremacist movement
says the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia has the right
to pick whoever it wants as its members and plans to show its support
for the club by demonstrating at next months event.
[Catholic Church] Reports to Detail N.H. Church Sex Cases
In dueling reports, the state attorney general and New Hampshire's
Roman Catholic archdiocese both hope to shed light on a dark chapter
in the state's priest abuse scandal.
[False Memory Syndrome] Ending the 'Memory Wars' does not redeem the
The wars turned on a bizarre psychiatric opinion: that a child when
sexually abused by a trusted parent or teacher could "repress" and
forget the experience even while it was happening. These "repressed
memories" could then produce unexplained mental depression later in
life unless a therapist drew them forth with such procedures as
As the wars wind down, three books together give a full picture of
these events. One describes in vivid detail just how vicious the
battles were and how the falsely accused were mistreated by the
judicial system. The second explains just how false evidence and
misdirected testimony were produced, leading to the erroneous
convictions and false memories. The third brilliantly explains just
how our minds are built so as to develop beliefs that go beyond
evidence - and how in most other circumstances this feature is
[Falun Gong] Lu calls on nation to view Falun Gong abuse as a
Following reports last month of the mistreatment of Taiwanese Falun
Gong members at the hands of Hong Kong immigration, Vice President
Annette Lu yesterday called on the public to view the incident
as a serious violation of human rights.
[Mike Murdock] Profit in the pulpit
Part 1 of 3.
A Denton televangelist who says his mission is to rescue people from
poverty is living lavishly, while the ministry he founded spends most
of its money on overhead, an examination finds.
[Mike Murdock] Ministry gives money to Murdock's relatives
Part 2 of 3. (Part 3 tomorrow)
Some of the ministry's chief beneficiaries are Mike Murdock's
relatives, documents show. The ministry, incorporated in 1973 to
spread the Gospel and provide charity, gives money to or employs Mike
Murdock's father, sister, son and niece.
[AUM Shinrikyo] Noose tightens for Aum's Matsumoto
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Aum Shinrikyo founder
Chizuo Matsumoto when they present final arguments April 24 on his
role in two deadly nerve-gas attacks and other crimes, sources said.
[Internet / Hate Groups : Scientology] Big Brother and your browser
What appears to be the first case of this sort arose in 1996, when the
Cult Awareness Network--which warned of the dangers of unconventional
religions--was sued into oblivion by the Church of Scientology. A
bankruptcy court judge placed the group's assets including
cultawarenessnetwork.org up for auction--and the winning bidder
was--you guessed it--Scientology.
The disturbing thing is that it would be legal for the Justice
Department to seize control of a purportedly illegal site and set up a
sting operation tomorrow.
Mark Rasch, a former federal prosecutor who's a vice president at
Solutionary in McLean, Va., represented Cult Awareness Network during
its demise. After Scientology gained control of
cultawarenessnetwork.org and promptly began reading e-mail sent to the
old addresses, Rasch told me on Friday, "people thought they were
communicating confidentially with an anti-cult group when they were
talking with their enemies."
[Human Rights Violations, USA] Saudis: No Particular Concern
In a move expected to infuriate religious conservatives and
human-rights advocates alike, the Bush administration has decided to
reject the recommendation of a special government commission to place
Saudi Arabia on an American blacklist of countries that violate
[Catholic Church] Victims of Priests' Abuse Seeking Redress Outside
Anderson's presentation at a conference of survivors of sexual abuse
marked a pivotal moment in the scandal gripping the Catholic Church.
Frustrated after months of pleas for change inside the church, the
victims' movement is shifting tactics and applying pressure primarily
from the outside by lobbying state legislators and assisting grand
"In the past, survivors always tried to force changes from within,"
said Susan Archibald, president of the Linkup, a victims' support
group that gathered here for its 11th annual meeting. "But at the end
of last year, we were still disappointed by the level of transparency
and accountability accepted by the bishops. So we decided to fight
from another direction."
[Hate Groups] Anti-Gay Group Demonstrates Against Play In
A handful of demonstrators from a Kansas group known nationally for
its anti-gay views picketed a Mary Washington College performance
Saturday night of a play about the notorious murder of a gay student.
The anti-gay demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka,
Kan., were met by about 400 students holding a candlelight vigil.
The reason for the groups' presence was a performance of a play, "The
Laramie Project," about the murder in 1998 of openly gay college
student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., and the community's reaction
to the slaying.
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