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Religion News Blog, May 6-7, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, May 6- 7, 2003 May 7, 2003 [Mungiki] Media twisting my comments, says Murungaru http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003243.html
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 2003
      ReligionNewsBlog.com, May 6- 7, 2003

      May 7, 2003

      [Mungiki] Media twisting my comments, says Murungaru
      :===Begin Quote===
      The minister said he had not defended Mungiki as claimed by the media
      when suspected sect members caused mayhem in Kayole recently.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] Rabbi speaks out against anti-Semitic propaganda
      :===Begin Quote===
      A local rabbi sided yesterday with the police decision to nab three
      men accused of littering area lawns with anti-Semitic propaganda over
      the weekend, saying the arrests might give the trio pause.

      "The police should look for a legal excuse to lock them up even if
      it's protected under the First Amendment," said Rabbi Mendy Kivman of

      The National Alliance, a West Virginia-based white supremacist group,
      penned the propaganda, urging people to warn their children about
      Jews, end aid to Israel and attack the so-called "Jewish media
      :===End Quote===

      [Satanism] Officials: Animals Killed, Mutilated As Part Of Satanic
      :===Begin Quote===
      A dozen dogs, cats and deer were found dead -- mutilated and skinned
      -- in Lorain County.

      NewsChannel5's Debora Lee reported that officials believe a Satanic
      cult is operating out of LaGrange Township.
      :===End Quote===

      [Panawave] Fukui Prefecture considers ways to block 'white cult'
      :===Begin Quote===
      Municipalities in Fukui Prefecture are considering sealing off roads
      in a bid to block the notorious white-garbed Panawave Laboratory cult
      from occupying areas in their territories, officials said Wednesday.

      The Izumi and Ono municipal governments are discussing sealing off
      roads leading to Fukui where the cult has its main "laboratory."
      :===End Quote===

      [Church / State] A large-scale battle over a small cross
      :===Begin Quote===
      Court case tests whether a cross in the Mojave National Preserve
      breaches the church-state wall.
      :===End Quote===

      [Islam] Iraq's clerics divided on role
      :===Begin Quote===
      The return of these clerics to their communities in the holy cities of
      Najaf and Karbala could to some extent influence the kind of
      government Iraqi Shia are seeking in their country.

      The United States has accused Iran of sending agents into Iraq to
      promote an Iranian-style theocracy, but most Iraqi Shia clerics are
      advocating a separation of religion and state.
      :===End Quote===

      [Sabbatharians] Kentucky Sabbatharians Prepare For Armageddon
      :===Begin Quote===
      One religious sect, however, is counting down the days from a
      strange-looking compound on a Grayson County hilltop, WLKY NewsChannel
      32's John Boel reported Monday.

      Many people have been wondering what's going on up on that hilltop.
      The compound is growing, and so is suspicion. The Sabbatharians say
      the war in Iraq is just another sign that the end of the earth is
      near, fulfilling biblical prophecy, Boel reported.
      :===End Quote===

      [Mungiki] 'Mungiki': Why the Laxity?
      :===Begin Quote===
      This is the first time that Mungiki was in the limelight since its
      leaders went underground earlier in the year over suspicions of
      perpetrating the killing of 60 people in the Rift Valley provincial
      capital of Nakuru. The previous week, police had just bonded the
      sect's leader Ndura Waruinge to keep the peace or face charges of
      inciting Mungiki members to violence.

      If Mungiki's atrocities were bizarre, their defence by the Minister
      for Internal Security and Provincial Administration Dr Chris Murungaru
      was perplexing. The minister argued that Mungiki was not a criminal
      gang but a semi-religious organisation.

      He went further to explain that many criminal gangs operating in the
      Eastlands estates of the city were masquerading as Mungiki members to
      extort money from public transport vehicle operators. Quite a gem from
      the pharmacist, who recently just chuckled off claims associating him
      with Mungiki activities.

      Dr Murungaru ought to know that the government he represents has vowed
      to fight insecurity and any threats to individual life and property.
      It does not matter whether that threat is posed by a "semi-religious"
      organisation or a criminal gang.
      :===End Quote===

      [Ravi Shankar] Breathing lessons: Indian spiritual leader's meditation
      world tour comes to Bay Area
      :===Begin Quote===
      In India, he's like a rock star, attracting tens of thousands wherever
      he goes. But this Ravi Shankar isn't the sitar player who hung out
      with the Beatles. He's a spiritual teacher. A guru who's brought
      lessons of joy, peace and yoga to more than 2 million people in more
      than 140 countries.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups: Scientology] Kennedy Takes Aim at Ritalin Provision
      :===Begin Quote===
      Psychiatrists and at least one lawmaker are taking on the Church of
      Scientology’s support for a provision in a House special education
      bill that seeks to prevent teachers from requiring students to take
      medication for attention-deficit disorder.

      “It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.)
      of the provision that was added to the Individuals with Disabilities
      Education Act reauthorization, which passed the House last week. “I
      suspect it probably had its antecedents in the community that believes
      that all medication for kids with [attention-deficit disorder] is

      Kennedy and members of the psychiatric profession say the provision,
      which has been aggressively backed by the Scientology-founded Citizens
      Commission on Human Rights, is an attempt to achieve what opponents
      charge is Scientology’s broader goal of abolishing the field of
      psychiatry altogether.
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: Like Scientology itself, its anti-psychiatry front group CCHR is
      a hate group

      [Hate Groups: Scientology] House nixes honor for substance-abuse
      :===Begin Quote===
      On Thursday, freshman Rep. Terry Harrison, D-McAlester, appeared
      surprised that his Senate Concurrent Resolution 29, sponsored in the
      Senate by Sen. Frank Shurden, D-Henryetta, sparked opposition.

      The resolution commends Narconon Arrowhead, a nationally recognized
      drug and alcohol treatment facility located at a former state lodge in
      Pittsburg County.

      The measure doesn't mention the facility's ties to Scientology.

      The resolution failed 43-50. It had passed the Senate a day earlier,
      but not before Shurden fielded questions on the facility's licensing
      with the state.
      :===End Quote===

      [Ahmadiyya] Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, 74, Leader of Muslim Sect, Who
      Claimed to Be Prophet, Dies
      :===Begin Quote===
      Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, spiritual leader of the evangelical
      Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, which seeks to reinterpret Islamic doctrine in
      the light of the modern age, died on April 23 in London, where he had
      lived since fleeing Pakistan in 1984. He was 74.
      :===End Quote===

      [Reiji Kiraku Nijo–kai] Religious guru dupes disciple out of 123
      million yen
      :===Begin Quote===
      Emiko Hirabayashi, leader of the Reiji Kiraku Nijo-kai religious
      group, talked the victim into handing over the money by saying, "Banks
      will go under any time now. It's much safer to entrust the money to
      me," and "I have to purify the money to revitalize your fortune." In
      reality, she used the money to cover her heavy debts.
      :===End Quote===

      [Panawave] Pana Wave sect convoy eyes Yamanashi base
      :===Begin Quote===
      About 50 members of the Pana Wave Laboratory sect, known for its white
      attire and its belief that the world will descend into chaos on May
      15, cut across Nagano Prefecture on Tuesday, apparently heading for a
      facility it owns in Yamanashi Prefecture.

      On Monday morning, a statement was issued by the group, allegedly
      featuring the words of Pana Wave leader Yuko Chino, a 69-year-old
      woman who is reported to have terminal cancer.

      Pana Wave members said her condition is slowly deteriorating.

      According to the statement, which is characterized by strange jargon,
      the "approach of the Nibiru star will be delayed nearly a week from
      Monday, and those who do not listen to this message will face death."
      :===End Quote===

      [Alternative Healing] Parents, prosecutors battle over brain surgery
      for Michigan toddler
      :===Begin Quote===
      Surgeons say 2-year-old Noshin Hoque will probably die within a year
      or two unless the tumor growing deep in her brain is removed. But the
      operation itself will probably kill her or leave her blind or

      Given those odds, the little girl's parents, Jalaz and Shaheda Hoque,
      decided not to let doctors operate, and instead started taking her to
      a Montreal homeopath for herbal and nutritional treatments in hopes of
      curing her.

      But now Michigan prosecutors have taken the Hoques to court to force
      them to go ahead with the surgery in a case that revisits the question
      of who should decide what is best for the child when it comes to
      lifesaving medical treatment.
      :===End Quote===

      [Neil and Christy Edgar] Parents, baby sitter of Brian Edgar to be
      tried together
      :===Begin Quote===
      They were charged together, and now the parents and baby sitter of
      Brian Edgar will be tried together for his death.

      A Johnson County judge today rejected Christy Edgar's argument that
      she could not receive a fair trial if tried with her husband, Neil
      Edgar Sr.

      The Edgars, and their family's 19-year-old baby sitter, Chasity Boyd,
      are charged with first-degree felony murder in Brian's death in

      The 9-year-old suffocated after he allegedly was wrapped head-to-toe
      in duct tape as a punishment at the family's Overland Park home,
      according to previous court testimony.
      :===End Quote===

      [Panawave] Japan cult guru 'close to death'
      :===Begin Quote===
      The alleged leader of a mysterious Japanese cult has said that she
      will die in the next few days.

      The woman, who claimed to be Yuko Chino, the guru of the Pana Wave
      Laboratory, told Fuji TV that she would lose her fight with cancer in
      four to five days.

      Members of her group have threatened to take revenge for her death
      with the extermination "of all humankind".
      :===End Quote===

      [Panawave] Doomsday cult claims stray seal as savior of humanity
      :===Begin Quote===
      The convoy of white-garbed Panawave Laboratory members entered the
      central Japan prefecture of Yamanashi on Tuesday, and is heading
      toward their final destination of Oizumi, where they are expected to
      await the end of the world, which they claim will occur on May 15.

      Despite claiming she is a terminally ill cancer patient, a
      surprisingly animated and lively Chino argued that the most important
      issue at the moment was to save "Tama-chan," a stray bearded seal that
      now lives in a river in Saitama Prefecture.

      "I will die in four or five days from now but that's nothing as
      important as Tama-chan. We've been feeding him every day since last
      summer," Chino told the Fuji reporter inside one of the cult's vans.

      Sources said Panawave members believe that "rescuing" Tama-chan would
      spare mankind from certain destruction on May 15 -- the day when a
      massive earthquake triggered by the tilting of the Earth's axis will
      devastated the planet, according to cultist publications.

      Tensions are rising in Oizumi, where cult members have constructed
      dome-shaped structures, which they claim to be resistant to any kind
      of natural disaster, in preparations for doomsday. The Panawave
      facility also has two makeshift swimming pools, apparently built to
      house the wandering seal.
      :===End Quote===

      May 6, 2003

      [Polygamy] Woman Obtains Order Against Polygamist
      :===Begin Quote===
      A 32-year-old Cedar City woman was granted a protective order Monday
      against her polygamist husband and given temporary custody of their
      three children.

      Tamara Phelps, 32, one of several "spiritual wives" of Orson
      William Black Jr., requested the order in 5th District Court in March.
      Black had been charged Feb. 27 with two felony counts of conspiracy to
      commit sexual conduct with a minor and three felony counts of sexual
      conduct with a minor in Superior Court of Arizona for Mohave County.

      Black's address is listed in court documents as Hildale, Utah,
      which is right over the border from Colorado City, Ariz., where the
      crimes allegedly occurred between 1998 and 2001.

      The two communities are home to members of the Fundamentalist
      Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a breakaway sect that
      practices polygamy.
      :===End Quote===

      [Panawave] Japanese cult guru gives her first interview
      :===Begin Quote===
      Wearing surgical-style white robes, flowing headgear and face masks,
      they claim that white cloth can help them avoid exposure to harmful
      electromagnetic waves sent out by communists.

      The woman told Fuji: "I cannot live in one place because of

      Tomoya Morishita, the Fuji reporter who obtained the exclusive
      interview with her, told other journalists later that the woman, who
      unlike her disciples, was dressed in a light-blue sweater and navy
      blue trousers, was "just like an ordinary granny."

      "She did not look like someone seriously ill," the reporter said. She
      was quoted as saying, "I will be fine as long as I get energy from the

      The reporter said the inside of the van was covered with white paper
      and mysterious whirlpool patterns.
      :===End Quote===

      [Islamism] What drives Western Muslim adolescents into the arms of
      fundamentalism and deliberate death?
      :===Begin Quote===
      The British police said on Friday that Sharif wasn't on their books.
      They hadn't marked him down as a suspect. Nor did they know anything
      about Asif Hanif, his alleged co-conspirator. Hanif did kill himself
      and three innocent bystanders at the bar. The Hanifs lived in west
      London and were more religious than the Sharifs. But then, friends of
      Hanif said last week that his teenage religious passion was for
      Sufism. If this is true, it's incredible. Sufi mysticism is about as
      far away as you can get in Islam from the doctrines of Osama bin

      To hear that someone who was once Sufi has turned himself into a human
      bomb is like hearing that a former Anglican nun has bombed an abortion

      The shock is becoming commonplace as terrorist tourism grows.

      In all cases, friends remember the change brought by the embrace of a
      suicidal faith which gave life and death purpose.
      :===End Quote===

      [Islamism] Making of a martyr: From pacifism to jihad
      :===Begin Quote===
      As the 2,000-strong congregation made its way home through the rain
      last week, those who knew Hanif were still struggling to fit the
      middle-class, learned and spiritual Muslim they knew to the picture of
      the Islamic martyr that was emerging from Israel - a 'shaheed'
      prepared to kill and be killed for the cause.

      Hounslow mosque has a reputation as a moderate institution influenced
      by a deeply mystical form Islam known as Sufism, based on meditation
      and prayer. Followers of the radical Al-Muhajiroun group, which has
      claimed Hanif as one of its own, were expelled from the mosque seven
      years ago.

      Many close to Hanif still believe his identity may have been stolen,
      so out of character does it seem for this gentle six-foot giant known
      as 'the teddy bear' to have committed an act of violence.
      :===End Quote===

      [Islamism] Suicide bombing leaflets' UK link
      :===Begin Quote===
      Leaflets published in the Midlands urging Muslims to become suicide
      bombers have been found in Israel's occupied territories. The
      discovery fuels fears that Britain has become a haven for Islamic

      Now Israeli authorities have demanded that Britain launch an immediate
      investigation into al-Sunnah, the organisation based at Birmingham's
      Centre for Islamic Studies, which published the leaflets.

      One leaflet published just before the outbreak of war against Saddam
      Hussein urges Muslims to become martyrs in Afghanistan, Iraq and
      Palestine. Supporters are asked to send donations to a NatWest bank
      account at its Digbeth branch in Birmingham.

      The al-Sunnah group is known in radical Muslim circles for its
      hard-core stance over the occupation of Palestine and the involvement
      of Western governments in the support of Israel. However, the
      organisation has had a generally low profile in Britain - until now.
      :===End Quote===

      [Polygamy] Struggling with Polygamy
      :===Begin Quote===
      Is the lifestyle an ongoing commandment from God or a religious excuse
      for abuse?
      :===End Quote===

      [Human Rights Violations, USA] Death row Scot up for appeal
      :===Begin Quote===
      Amnesty International are to attend one of the final appeals available
      to a Scottish man waiting on death row in America.

      Kenny Richey has spent 16 years on death row after being convicted of
      an arson attack on an apartment block that killed two-year-old Cynthia

      The human rights organisation, which campaigns for the abolition of
      the death penalty, said it was especially concerned at the case.

      It described it as "one of the most compelling cases of innocence
      human rights campaigners have ever seen."

      Amnesty said new evidence has since emerged casting serious doubt on
      the question of Mr Richey's guilt.

      A spokesman said this new evidence appears to have been accepted by
      the state, which nevertheless intends to press ahead with the
      execution process.
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: According to some U.S. prosecutors, evidence of innocence is not
      necessarily cause to stop an execution:

      [Amish] Ohio to exempt Amish from insurance
      :===Begin Quote===
      Although businessman Atlee Kaufman pays the state about $4,000 a year
      in workers' compensation premiums for his furniture parts store, he
      says he'll never make a claim. It's against his beliefs.

      He and other members of the Amish sect believe in taking care of one's
      own liabilities and that filing an insurance claim goes against
      Biblical principles of trusting in God.

      "If we don't use it, why should we pay it?" asks Kaufman, 52, owner of
      77 Coach Supply in Mount Hope, about 35 miles southeast of Akron.

      Ohio lawmakers are finally listening. The state, like others with
      large Amish or Mennonite populations, is set to exempt members of
      religious sects from paying insurance premiums if it goes against
      their principles.
      :===End Quote===

      [Jehovah's Witnesses] Jehovists' congress foiled in Georgia
      :===Begin Quote===
      More than one hundred Christians on Sunday foiled a congress of the
      Jehovah's Witnesses in the village of Ortasheni in Georgia's Gori
      district. All approaches to the village were blocked.
      :===End Quote===

      [Christianity] Fab Four's friend lives by different tune
      :===Begin Quote===
      Ken Mansfield, a 30-year veteran of the music industry and close
      friend of the Beatles, has lived a life of extremes.

      When Mansfield was working in the music industry, he lived a lifestyle
      filled with parties, drugs and decadence. He was a record company
      executive who worked closely with the Fab Four when they were in the

      Nowadays, his lifestyle fits at the other end of the spectrum, he
      said, filled with the peace and serenity of knowing Jesus Christ.

      Mansfield wrote a book called The Beatles, the Bible and Bodega Bay
      and he's gotten e-mails and letters from pastors saying, ''Thank you
      for delivering me. I can be a Beatles fan and a Christian, too.''

      As for the Beatles themselves, Mansfield said, they never picked up
      religion, except for George Harrison, who followed the Maharishi
      Mahesh Yogi.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hare Krishna] Trial to evict ‘holy cows’
      :===Begin Quote===
      A trial has begun in the New York Supreme Court for an injunction
      seeking the eviction of two “sacred” cows and farm animals from the
      home of a Hare Krishna couple in a village in the USA.

      Mr Raymond Bulson, the lawyer representing the village of Angelica in
      Allegany county, said Mr Steven Voith and Mrs Linda Voith did not have
      a valid animal permit to house cows and other farm animals and hence
      the litigation against them.
      :===End Quote===

      [Transcendental Meditation] Spiritual center must pay taxes
      :===Begin Quote===
      A spiritual center near Boone where patrons practice transcendental
      meditation is not exempt from taxes, despite claims that it's an
      educational institution, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

      The decision reversed the Court of Appeals' opinion and upholds a
      ruling by the N.C. Property Tax Commission that the Maharishi
      Spiritual Center of America is not an educational, scientific or
      charitable institution that qualifies for a tax exemption.

      The center is part of the 7,000-acre Heavenly Mountain resort
      established by followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Beatles'
      guru and founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement.

      In his own review, Tyson said he concluded that providing some short-
      and long-term meditation courses, as well as Vedic science and
      Sanskrit courses, did not qualify the spiritual center for tax

      "Thus, while the spiritual center does offer some educational activity
      that is not its primary purpose. The record clearly establishes that
      the primary purpose of the spiritual center is the practice of
      meditation" by adherents who have been a part of their group for 20
      years, Tyson wrote.
      :===End Quote===

      [Human Rights] Andreas Heldal-Lund receives human rights award
      :===Begin Quote===
      In Leipzig, the city of the East German civil rights movement, we will
      bestow the Human Rights Award of the European-American Citizens Rights
      Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA to Mr.
      Andreas Heldal-Lund.

      Mr. Heldal-Lund is an Information Technology professional and free
      speech proponent who created and maintains the most famous Internet
      site in the world -- Operation Clambake http://www.xenu.net/ -- that
      exposes and opposes the fraud and human rights violations of the
      US-based Scientology organization.

      Scientology has attacked Mr. Heldal-Lund and his Internet Service
      Providers with lawyer threat letters and a black propaganda campaign,
      and caused a succession of ISPs to terminate his service.
      :===End Quote===

      [Terry Nichols] Okla. Bomb Conspirator's Ex-Wife Testifies
      :===Begin Quote===
      Two days before the Oklahoma City bombing, conspirator Terry Nichols
      called a U.S. senator's office to complain about the fiery end to the
      Branch Davidian siege in Texas, an aide to the lawmaker testified
      :===End Quote===

      [Deepak Chopra] Golf with Deepak
      :===Begin Quote===
      If Deepak Chopra had written the Bible, Moses' staff would have been a
      nine-iron and Jesus would have walked across a water hazard. According
      to Chopra's new book, the road to spiritual enlightenment is a
      well-manicured fairway.

      For golfers seeking an excuse to skip church on Sundays, this is a
      major theological breakthrough.

      "Golf for Enlightenment" is the 35th book by Chopra, the New Age guru
      whose résumé of spiritual accomplishments includes an essay titled
      "Does God Have Orgasms?" and a $35-million libel lawsuit -- later
      settled out of court -- that he called "an act of love" designed to
      raise the magazine to "a higher state of awareness."
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] Zundel declared national security threat
      :===Begin Quote===
      Ernst Zundel’s controversial stay in Niagara might soon be over after
      federal Immigration Minister Denis Coderre trumped his claim for
      refugee status, declaring Zundel a threat to national security.

      Zundel, notorious for his controversial views on the Holocaust,
      complained the process smacked of a “banana republic-style
      :===End Quote===

      [Human Rights Violations, USA] U.S. Frees 22 Terror Suspects From
      :===Begin Quote===
      The Pentagon released 22 prisoners Monday from the high-security
      compound for terrorist suspects in Cuba, possibly including some

      An defense official interviewed by The Associated Press had said he
      believed juveniles were among those to be released. News that several
      boys between the ages of 13 and 16 were among the prisoners drew
      criticism earlier from human rights groups and a call for their
      immediate release.

      Some of the detainees have been held for a year and a half without
      charges and without access to a lawyer.
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: The sidebar included with this news item adequately explains why
      Apologetics Index / Religion News Blog includes information about U.S.
      human rights abuses.

      [Zhong Gong] Exiled leader of Chinese spiritual movement charged in
      :===Begin Quote===
      The exiled leader of an outlawed Chinese spiritual movement has been
      charged with beating and kidnapping his housekeeper, the Pasadena
      Star-News reported Monday.

      If convicted, Hongbao Zhang, also known as Zhang Hongbao, could face
      deportation, and that could mean a death sentence in his native
      country, according to experts on his movement.

      Zhang was granted asylum in the United States in April 2001, after a
      lengthy immigration trial. Politicians including then-Senate Majority
      Leader Trent Lott and Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., were among those who
      lobbied on his behalf.

      Zhang founded the Zhong Gong movement in 1987. Millions practice its
      exercises, which are similar to the traditional Chinese health
      practice known as qigong.

      Chinese authorities began cracking down on Zhang's group shortly after
      a ban was imposed in 1999 on a similar and better-known sect, Falun

      During his immigration process, Zhang's lawyer, Robert L. Shapiro,
      said his client had been falsely accused by the Chinese government of
      raping 20 women, forgery and illegal boundary crossing.

      "The Chinese government outlawed his group as a cult and trumped up
      false criminal charges against him," Shapiro said, adding that Zhang
      would be executed if returned to China.
      :===End Quote===

      [Panawave] Cult decamps, issues bizarre statement about Tama-chan
      :===Begin Quote===
      About 50 members of a white-garment cult who had been camping on a
      village road in Kiyomi, Gifu Prefecture, since last week resumed their
      move Monday evening for the first time in 65 hours, but in a bizarre
      development issued a statement about Japan's celebrity seal Tama-chan.

      Panawave Laboratory issued a memo in the name of its leader calling
      for the protection of the bearded seal, which has been spotted in
      rivers around Tokyo since last year and has drawn much attention in
      :===End Quote===

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