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Religion News Blog, May 14, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewBlog.com May 14, 2003 [Jehovah s Witnesses] Hearing slated for suit against church http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003325.html ... A
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14 7:44 AM
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      ReligionNewBlog.com

      May 14, 2003
      [Jehovah's Witnesses] Hearing slated for suit against church
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003325.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      A hearing will be held this week in the case of two sisters who have
      sued the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their former congregation in Wilton,
      charging that church elders ignored complaints of sexual abuse.

      Filed in August 2001 in Hillsborough County Superior Court, the case
      has spawned six files worth of court documents without coming close to
      being ready for trial.

      On Monday and Tuesday, Judge William Groff is scheduled to hear
      evidence and arguments on whether Jehovah’s Witness elders are akin to
      ministers, so their communications would be covered by the state’s
      “religious privilege” confidentiality rule.

      Groff previously ruled against the church on a number of requests for
      “summary judgment,” seeking to have the case thrown out on purely
      legal grounds.
      :===End Quote===


      [Jehovah's Witnesses] Ex-church elders get prison for bilking elderly
      woman
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003324.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Jehovah's Witnesses church elders who fleeced a 100-year-old Deer
      Lodge woman out of more than $6 million were remanded to Montana State
      Prison after a sentencing hearing in Powell County District Court
      Monday.

      Darryl Willis, 64, Helena, and Dale Erickson, 54, Missoula, were
      sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison with four years suspended each
      for felony charges of conspiracy and theft; three years with one
      suspended for felony conspiracy, and two years with one suspended for
      securities fraud, also a felony. That amounts to an aggregate 25 years
      in prison with 10 suspended.
      :===End Quote===


      [Offbeat News] 'Jedi' religion of choice for 20,000 Canadians
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003323.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      "Jedi" is the religion of choice for 20,000 Canadians, according to
      2001 census data released yesterday by Statistics Canada. About half
      of all Canadian Jedis live in B.C., a Statistics Canada official said
      yesterday, while Alberta and Ontario have 4,000 each.

      About 2,000 Jedi followers are scattered throughout the rest of the
      country, including Manitoba.
      :===End Quote===


      [Occultism] Chinese embrace occult over science in SARS fight
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003322.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Hiring sorcerers. Lighting firecrackers. Following advice reputed to
      be from a mystical talking baby. While China's government promotes
      science, thousands of its people are turning to the supernatural to
      fight SARS.

      The resort to tradition has prompted efforts by China's state press
      and the officially atheist communist government to discourage it.

      But multiple reports of what Chinese leaders consider dangerous
      superstition in widely scattered areas illustrate the scale of fear of
      a disease the Health Ministry said Tuesday has killed at least 262
      people on China's mainland. More than 5,000 others are infected.
      :===End Quote===


      [Panawave] Pana Wave Cult Raises Concern Among Japanese Authorities
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003321.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Japanese police are conducting searches and seizing vehicles at a
      dozen sites linked to a cult that has become a media obsession in the
      country. The Pana Wave group has been traveling the Japanese
      countryside clad in white from head to toe - even swathing their
      vehicles in white sheets. There is growing concern about this group,
      which bears similarities to a cult that released poison gas in a
      deadly attack in the mid-1990's.
      :===End Quote===


      [Panawave] Antenna tower sabotage follows cult-related threat
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003320.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Several bolts were found removed from a 30-meter-tall antenna tower
      here Wednesday after the local bureau of a national daily received a
      letter threatening to knock down the structure unless it stopped
      covering the bizarre "white cult," police said.
      :===End Quote===


      [Islamism] Saudi Religious Police Launch Website
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003319.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      The Al-Madina regional branch of the Saudi religious and morality
      police, formally known as "The Authority for the Promotion of Virtue
      and Prevention of Vices," recently launched its new website. [1] The
      site posts news items, citizens' violations, and includes a section
      that allows citizens to inform anonymously on persons they suspect of
      violating religious and moral laws. The following is a summary of the
      website's recent content:
      :===End Quote===


      [Religion Trends] Canadians losing their religion
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003318.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      A growing number of Canadians are losing their religion.

      In fact, 4.8 million Canadians, 16 per cent of the population,
      declared themselves as having no religion, Statistics Canada reported
      Tuesday in the latest and final report to come from the 2001 census.

      That's roughly the same number of Canadians that identified themselves
      as Anglican and United Church combined.

      A decade ago only 12 per cent of Canadians said they had no religion.
      The increase represents a staggering 44 per cent jump.
      :===End Quote===


      [Success Coaches] Here's Sound Advice: Write Book, Become Rich
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003317.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      When the Rev. Eric Butterworth, once a wildly popular preacher of
      self-improvement, died last month, his New York Times obituary quoted
      a 1987 Forbes story in summarizing his message: "That we alone have
      the power within us to solve our problems, relieve our anxieties and
      pain, heal our illnesses, improve our golf game or get a promotion."

      It was a thought that resonated then--and now more than ever. The 1987
      story noted the huge size of the self-help market. But it turns out
      that that market had hardly been tapped. Butterworth's successors have
      moved into publishing's big leagues: Our new list of the top ten
      self-help stars includes authors whose books often outsell even
      blockbuster novelists.
      :===End Quote===


      [Hate Groups] After 6 years away, reformed white supremacist remains
      angry
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003316.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Six years ago, she broke away from her husband and the National
      Alliance. She lost her children, her home, and her identity.

      Today, Kaiser has rebuilt her life. She regained custody of her three
      children, she is taking classes at a community college in Rochester,
      Minn., and she’s remarried a man whom she calls kind and gentle.

      But Kaiser still feels angry. She’s furious at the years of lies and
      brainwashing she endured from the National Alliance, which is
      headquartered in Pocahontas County.

      So she speaks out — in media interviews with “20/20” and Good
      Housekeeping; with a new book, “Bondage of Self”; and to groups like
      the West Virginia Hate Crimes Task Force, which she is scheduled to
      address Thursday afternoon. (The meeting is not open to the public.)

      “I feel these people raped my soul,” Kaiser said. “They took away
      everything that made Kirsten, Kirsten.
      :===End Quote===


      [Islamism] Editorial: The Enemy Within
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003315.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Those responsible are the new fascists. Merciless, cold and full of
      hate, with a demented vision of Islam, they declared war on humanity
      for the thoroughly un-Islamic goal of separating and insulating the
      Muslim world from the rest of humanity, as part of which they hope to
      terrorize Westerners into leaving the Kingdom.
      [...]

      We cannot say that suicide bombings in Israel and Russia are
      acceptable but not in Saudi Arabia. The cult of suicide bombings has
      to stop. So too has the chattering, malicious, vindictive hate
      propaganda. It has provided a fertile ground for ignorance and hatred
      to grow.
      :===End Quote===


      [Falun Gong] Swede held for China cult links
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003314.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      A Swedish housewife who is a follower of the Falungong religious sect
      has been detained by the police at the Immigration Department for the
      past two weeks without any charge, according to an informed source.

      Pirjo Svensson, who is in her fifties, was arrested at her residence
      on April 29 in Bangkok by policemen because she possessed literature
      related to the Falungong, the religious sect outlawed by Chinese
      authorities.
      :===End Quote===


      [Panawave] Japanese Cult Vows to Save a Seal and the World
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003313.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Although Pana Wave has been a harmless oddity so far, one community
      after another has chased it away, forcing its all-white motorcade back
      onto the highways, where the cortege of journalists who follow has
      grown by the week.

      It has not helped its image that wherever the group has stopped, the
      local police have recalled that the Aum sect — which killed 12 people
      and injured 5,500 in March 1995 in a poison gas attack on the Tokyo
      subway system — had similarly benign-seeming origins.
      :===End Quote===


      [Panawave] Police raid bizarre "white cult"
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003312.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Police raided locations connected to the bizarre "white cult"
      Wednesday for minor offenses amid persistent resistance from its
      members, investigators said.

      Law enforcers are determined to take the opportunity with Wednesday's
      raids to launch full-scale investigations in a bid to get to the
      bottom of the activities of the mysterious cult.

      A 66-year-old man, who is believed to be the second-in-command of the
      Panawave Laboratory, said the cult is poised to respond by taking
      legal action against law enforcement authorities.

      "We're no harm to society, and regularly report our activities to
      police. We'll take legal action. We only grow stronger and more
      powerful whenever we are bashed. Our group will never disband," he
      said in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun.

      The high-ranking cultist corrected a prediction that a major disaster
      will devastate the Earth on Thursday. "I think it will be delayed till
      around May 22."
      :===End Quote===


      [Panawave] Police to search Pana Wave facilities
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003311.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      The police suspect the group systematically used other persons' names
      in registering some of the 20 or so white vehicles which about 60
      members used while traveling through central Japan.
      :===End Quote===


      [Panawave] So, will the world end tomorrow?
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003310.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      The Earth is about to be zapped by deadly waves, according to members
      of Japan's Panawave cult. But even if doomsday doesn't happen, should
      we be worried by the nation's proliferation of bizarre sects?
      :===End Quote===


      May 13, 2003 (Continued)

      [Aum Shinrikyo] Trial of Sarin attack cult member ends, verdict 29
      October
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003309.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Defence lawyers for former senior Aum Shinrikyo cult member Tomomasa
      Nakagawa urged the Tokyo District Court on Monday [12 May] not to
      sentence him to death if it finds him guilty of involvement in the
      killings of 24 people in 11 cases, including the 1995 Tokyo subway
      sarin gas attack.

      In his final statement, Nakagawa, 40, said, "As a human being, a
      doctor and a religious person, I was a failure. I apologize for
      everything in my life."
      :===End Quote===


      [Falun Gong] Falun Gong marks 11th anniversary of its founding with
      protests in Hong Kong
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00003308.html
      :===Begin Quote===
      Falun Gong followers marked the 11th anniversary of the meditation
      sect's founding Tuesday with peaceful protests in Hong Kong against
      mainland China's efforts to stamp out the group.

      About 200 Falun Gong followers wearing trademark yellow T-shirts
      gathered in a downtown park and formed the Chinese characters for the
      group's slogan, ``Truth, compassion and forbearance,'' said local
      Falun Gong spokesman Kan Hung-cheung.
      :===End Quote===


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