ReligionNewsBlog.com, Aug. 14 - 16, 2003
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Sat, Aug. 16, 2003
[Transcendental Mediation] TM courses halted as fees soar
Instruction in Transcendental Meditation (TM) on the Island has been suspended
indefinitely after overseas practitioners ordered the local office to start
charging $2,000 for initiation lessons.
TM practitioner Dr. Emily Liddell said teaching of the ancient Vedic relaxation
technique, which began in Bermuda 30 years ago, was in a state of hiatus.
I was considering taking up the role of teaching again but this was a curtain
coming down on that, said Dr. Liddell, who was head of TM Bermuda for 15 years
I wasnt upset or angry but it was a bit like a bomb had dropped.
Former TM teacher Frances Eddy said she was outraged at the price hike.
[Leroy Jenkins] Water touted as a tonic may make drinkers sick
If evangelist Leroy Jenkins hands you a bottle of his so-called miracle water at
his revival today through Sunday at the Charlotte Convention Center, you might
want to think twice about letting it pass your lips.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture has ordered him to quit distributing the
stuff because it was found to have contained a bacteria that can make you sick.
[Hate Groups] Laval rock concert angers rights group
A Montreal minority-rights group is calling for an investigation into an
apparently racist rock concert held Saturday night in Laval.
According to published reports, four white supremacist bands played at Laval's
Mad-Max bar in an event dubbed "Hatefest." Laval police confirm that a concert
took place, attended by about 125 to 150 fans.
[Religion Trends] Poll Shows Strong Disapproval of Religious Sanctioning Of
A strong majority of the public disapproves of the Episcopal Church's decision
to recognize the blessing of same-sex unions, and a larger share of churchgoing
Americans would object if their own faith adopted a similar practice, according
to a new Washington Post poll.
So broad and deep is this opposition that half of all Americans who regularly
attend worship services say they would leave their current church if their
minister blessed gay couples--even if their denomination officially approved
those ceremonies, the survey found.
[Mel Gibson] Mel Gibson: The passion of the film star who directed the Holy
It's almost always a bad idea for Hollywood stars to indulge their dreams and
invest their own money in pet projects others wouldn't touch with a barge pole.
Especially if they involve religion. Just look at John Travolta, who sabotaged
what had been a miraculous career revival a couple of years back with
Battlefield Earth, the L Ron Hubbard adaptation that was supposed to convert the
masses to Scientology but succeeded only in reducing them to helpless snorts of
And now comes Mel Gibson, who has exposed himself to even greater risk with The
Passion, his super-gruesome rendering of the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus
Christ, which he is bankrolling entirely out of his own pocket. The dialogue is
in Latin and Aramaic and the theology comes courtesy of his bizarre offshoot of
the Catholic Church, which thinks the Pope is a heretic and that the Jews bear
the brunt of historical responsibility for the crucifixion.
Fri, Aug. 15, 2003
[Eternal Life Church] More deaths are tied to religious cult
The Suwon District Public Prosecutors Office, which is investigating a religious
cult's alleged murder of its members, yesterday said several more members appear
to have been killed and buried secretly. The prosecution has secured a list of
the names of those who were allegedly murdered, sources there said.
[Falun Gong] Satellite hacked by Falun Gong, China says
Practitioners of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement commandeered China's
main television satellite twice this week, the Chinese government said Friday.
Sino Satellite, known commonly as SinoSat, was "taken over by illegal TV
signals" transmitted by Falun Gong at 9:05 p.m. Tuesday and at 8:23 p.m.
Wednesday, the Ministry of Information Industry said.
[Sikhism] GBP10m Sikh temple to be built in city centre
The stunning domed building planned for Berkeley Street, which will be one of
Glasgow's biggest public buildings, will be the first purpose-built Sikh temple
in Glasgow and will accommodate 1500 worshippers.
[Islam] The Politically Correct Gang Bristles at Truth on Islam
The president has nominated Islamic scholar Daniel Pipes to the board of the
U.S. Institute of Peace. This has resulted in a nasty eruption of McCarthyism.
Pipes' nomination has been greeted by charges of Islamophobia, bigotry and
extremism. Three Democratic senators (Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Christopher
Dodd of Connecticut and Tom Harkin of Iowa) have shamefully signed on to this
campaign, with quasi-Democrat James Jeffords of Vermont tagging along.
Pipes' nomination has been endorsed by, among others, Fouad Ajami, Walter Berns,
Donald Kagan, Sir John Keegan, Paul Kennedy, Harvey Mansfield and James Q.
Wilson. Who are you going to believe? Such unimpeachable and independent
scholars? Or a quartet of craven senators?
[Hate Groups : Scientology] Travolta 'eyes Scottish castle'
John Travolta's name has been linked with the purchase of a Scottish castle.
The American film star is rumoured to have viewed Lee Castle in South
Lanarkshire with a mind to buying it.
There is speculation that he wants to turn the historic building into a centre
for Scientology, the religion that Travolta has long supported and promoted.
[Eternal Life Church] Religious Sect Members Admit Killing
Members of a religious sect being questioned over the disappearance of other
followers yesterday admitted to murdering and secretly burying nine members
between 1984 and 1992, the prosecution said.
Four followers of the group were previously jailed for murder back in 1995.
[Polygamy] Utah Polygamist Convicted of Illegal Sex
A police officer accused of bigamy and illegal sex with a girl he took as a
third wife when she was just 16 was convicted by a jury Thursday.
Jurors ruled that Rodney Holm, an officer in the polygamous border towns of
Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., broke Utah law banning sexual relations
involving 16- and 17-year-olds when their partner is 10 or more years older,
unless the couple is legally married.
Holm, 37, was accused of having sex with Ruth Stubbs when she was 16. He was 32
when he allegedly took Stubbs as a ``spiritual'' wife, which is not a legally
Thu, Aug. 14, 2003
[Religious Insanity] Priests denounce non-believer decision
A scandal over the status of a Lutheran priest who openly avowed agnosticism
continued with a joint statement from 158 members of the clergy.
A joint statement issued by 158 priests and theologians denounced the decision
by Elsinore's bishop to lift a seven-week suspension order on a priest who
confessed he did not believe in God.
[Eternal Life Church] 2 bodies dug up in suspected cult killing
The bodies of two religious-group members were unearthed yesterday at a mountain
in Gyeonggi province. They were killed and buried by group members, the
The religious group known as the Yeong Saeng, or "eternal life," church has been
considered a cult, and created a stir in 1995 over a similar case.
[Eternal Life Church] Police uncovers remains of slain cult follower
The prosecution uncovered yesterday remains of a cult follower who was allegedly
slain and buried by their congregation members in a mountain in Anseong, south
The Suwon District Prosecution Office arrested Wednesday two members of the cult
group on homicide charges. The suspects confessed to killing two other
congregation members and secretly interred them in the mountain near the city's
Geumgwang Reservoir in the early 1990s.
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