Religion News Blog, Apr. 30, 2003
- Religion News Blog, April 30, 2003
[Gideons International] Gideons bibles barred in these hotel rooms
A casino spokesman says the decision was made because the casino
expects to attract a diverse customer base.
The Bible Scriptures secretary for the Gideons' Atlantic County
chapter says he understands the casino's stance. But he also believes
the casino will eventually reverse its policy.
[Robin Marie Murphy] Family not happy with fight for new trial
Marsdens ritualistic murder was the third of three that shocked the
community 23 years ago.
Both Robin Marie Murphy and Carl Drew were each convicted of the 1980
murder. Murphy, though, was able to strike a deal with prosecutors and
pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Marsden case.
Last week, after serving 23 years in jail, Murphy requested a new
trial, claiming her constitutional rights were violated when she was
not given a full explanation of the charge against her
[Neil and Christy Edgar] Prosecutors oppose separate trials in Edgar
Johnson County prosecutors said today that they adamantly oppose
separate murder trials for the parents and baby-sitter of Brian Edgar.
A hearing is scheduled Wednesday in Johnson County District Court on
the request for a separate trial filed last week by Christy Edgar.
Christy Edgar, her husband, Neil Edgar Sr., and baby-sitter Chasity
Boyd are charged in Johnson County District Court with first-degree
felony murder in the child-abuse death of the 9-year-old boy in
The lawyers for Neil Edgar and Boyd are not asking for separate
[Aum Shinrikyo] Aum's Asahara still wields influence 8 years after
Joyu admits that Asahara still wields influence over followers and
stressed the need for Aleph to follow an independent path.
"We have to face up to the hard fact that parents will die one day,"
said Joyu. "We cannot gain the public's understanding unless we become
He made the remarks at a press conference in January this year, when
the Public Security Examination Commission decided to continue to keep
the cult under surveillance by the Justice Ministry's Public Security
Joyu, who was former Aum spokesman, officially assumed leadership of
the group in January last year and has gradually strengthened his
power within the cult since then.
From around last summer, Joyu began conferring holy names on followers
and holding the ritual of "Shakti Pat" or "divine touch" in which he
touches a worshiper's forehead to produce "supernatural effects."
A senior official of the Pubic Security Investigation Agency said,
"Joyu has no other choice but to stress that Aleph is independent of
Asahara." This is because the cult group "will remain under the
surveillance by public security authorities as long as the influence
of Asahara remains in the group," he said.
[Prem Rawat (Divine Light Mission)] Campus Speaker Criticized by
A controversial religious leader will speak at Zellerbach Hall
tonight, despite objections from former followers who claim he leads a
Former members allege Prem Rawat, head of Elan Vital, Inc., hides a
checkered past and is using the event to recruit new members.
Rawatformerly known as Guru Maharaj Ji, "Lord of the Universe" and
"Perfect Master"began Divine Light Mission in the 1970s when he was
13 years old.
Since 1990, Rawat has reworked his image. Divine Light Mission has
been replaced by the charitable organization Elan Vital, which
professes to spread peace and knowledge.
[Panawave] Bizarre cult refuses order to leave roadside squat
Local officials on Wednesday told white-clad members of a bizarre cult
that has mysteriously occupied a section of road to leave but had
their request rejected.
Members of the "Panawave Laboratory," explained to the officials that
a senior member was seriously sick so they could not leave for the
moment, adding that they were planning to leave on Saturday.
[Jehovah's Witnesses] Another Church Sex Scandal
Bill Bowen says by the end of the year he expects at least 100
lawsuits to be filed against the faith.
The problem is huge, he said. "It's of global proportions. You're
talking about tens of thousands of children who've been molested in
the last ten years. Tens of thousands, easily."
The Jehovah's Witnesses Headquarters disputes these numbers but says
they're aware of the problem -- and cites a letter it published last
May. It says "we have long instructed elders to report allegations of
child abuse to the authorities where required by law to do so, even
where there is only one witness."
[Hate Groups] Midland BNP candidate's tribute to Nazi terrorist
A Midland British National Party election candidate changed his name
as an homage to an American Nazi terrorist he idolised, the Sunday
Mercury can reveal.
Mark Payne, 35, changed his name by deed poll to Mark Matthews to
celebrate his Nazi hero Robert J Matthews after the white supremacist
was shot dead by the FBI in 1984.
Mr Payne, who is set to contest Coventry's Woodlands ward, also runs
an extreme right-wing book club from his small suburban home in the
predominantly Asian area of Radford in the city.
According to anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, The 14 Words UK
produces racist literature urging people to fight for white rights.
[Panawave] Cult raises spectre of subway gas attack
Cult members are outfitted in white costumes, gumboots and medical
masks and sport off-white baseball caps. Even spectacle frames are
taped over in white.
The cult reportedly believes that the colour white is an effective
shield against microwaves. They have also covered trees and plants
with white cloth or tape, creating a surrealistic scene.
Reports have ascribed a doomsday character to the Chino Shoho group as
it believes there is a 10th planet in the solar system and has warned
that something cataclysmic will happen in mid-May when the planet
Experts say the cult could one day become a social threat if the
authorities leave it alone.
[Twelve Tribes] Ex-Member Describes Twelve Tribes
Noah Jones was born in Island Pond in 1982 and left the Twelve Tribes
He says they look like a happy group, but are anything but.
"They spanked me from my feet to my neck," Noah explained. "All the
way. I was black and blue, basically, head to toe."
Noah said he's been hit with a two-by-four on a job site, he's been
beaten with reeds and locked in a basement.
He calls it a destructive group, a prison.
[Panawave] White-clad group blocks Gifu road
A group of around 40 people clad from head to toe in white continued
Tuesday to defy official requests to stop blocking a mountain road
straddled by the towns of Hachiman and Yamato in Gifu Prefecture,
local officials said.
The group, which calls itself the Panawave Kenkyusho (research
institute), drove into the area Friday from Fukui Prefecture in a
convoy of about a dozen vehicles, mostly station wagons and camping
trailers that are also draped in white cloth, officials said.
A male member told town officials the group is "moving from place to
place to avoid harmful electromagnetic waves."
[Panawave] Members of 'research group' erect checkpoint on Gifu road
According to sources, the group has blocked roads to carry out its
research in many places around the country, including Aomori, Kagawa,
Kanagawa and Okayama prefectures and Nagoya.
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