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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 5, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 5, 2003 [Lyndon LaRouche] Coroner denounces cult suicide claim http://www.religionnewsblog.com/4953-.html A coroner yesterday
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 6 8:26 AM
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      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 5, 2003

      [Lyndon LaRouche] Coroner denounces cult suicide claim
      A coroner yesterday rejected a report by German police that a British
      student who died while apparently fleeing a political cult had committed
      suicide. Jeremiah Duggan, 22, from north London, died in March after being
      struck by two cars on a dual carriageway outside Wiesbaden. He had been
      attending a anti-Iraq war conference set up by the Schiller Institute, which
      is led by Lyndon La Rouche, an American right-wing conspiracy theorist.

      [Transcendental Meditation] Denver voters opt out for public om
      A measure that would have required the city to sponsor such calming
      activities as music in public buildings and meditation was soundly defeated
      Tuesday. Supporters, including the former meditation teacher who dreamed up
      the idea, said the programs would make Denver a role model. Opponents called
      it a ridiculous waste of time for a city trying to deal with millions in
      budget cuts. [...] Peckman said the initiative would have paid for itself by
      helping to reduce crime and other negative social trends that could mean a
      net financial gain for the city of $80 million a year. "The central
      question that comes to mind is, 'Is this possible?'" Peckman said. "Yes, it
      is. The group practice of transcendental meditation can generate a field of
      peacefulness and calm over a wide geographical area."

      [Freemasonry] Safe or satanic? Church leaders argue over Freemasonry
      Anglican churchmen who are Freemasons have come out in firm defence against
      charges that they are involved in a 'secret and satanic' operation. [...]
      Membership in Masonic Lodges became an issue at the Sydney Anglican Synod in
      Australia last month. A motion was passed that said that Freemasonry and
      Christianity were "fundamentally and irreconcilably incompatible".

      [Media] ABC edits program after meeting with religious leaders
      Half a dozen religious leaders joined David Westin, the president of ABC
      News, and others from the network and the press for lunch on the 22nd floor
      of ABC's headquarters in Manhattan late last week. Some were quietly
      furious. The meeting had been convened to discuss ''Jesus, Mary and da
      Vinci,'' an ABC News special to be broadcast tonight. The show is a woolly
      and underthought treatment of the religious sophistry in ''The Da Vinci
      Code,'' the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. The producers, along with the
      show's on-camera reporter, Elizabeth Vargas, were troubleshooting. After the
      meeting Thursday, they rushed to the editing room to make changes to the

      [Books] Could the code be true?
      The Rev. Michael Fahey understands the draw of the national bestseller "The
      Da Vinci Code." He was fascinated by the book's twists and turns into
      Leonardo Da Vinci's art, architecture in England and France, and one of its
      more controversial subjects, the relationship between Jesus and Mary
      Magdalene. But he reminds all readers including Catholics the most
      important fact about the book - it's fiction. "People are looking for new
      meaning into Jesus," said Fahey, a theology professor at Marquette
      University. "They are fascinated by Jesus' private life. I've had friends of
      mine and my sister ask questions about the book, asking me 'is it true?' and
      my answer is, 'well it's a novel.'"

      [Hate Groups] Hayden mayor crushes Aryan Nations' Butler
      Richard Butler, the leader of the Aryan Nations white supremacist and
      anti-Semitic group, lost Tuesday's Hayden mayoral election. With 100
      percent of votes counted, Butler had only 50 votes (2 percent).

      [Aum Shinrikyo] Senior AUM Shinrikyo cult member appeals death penalty
      AUM Shinrikyo cultist Tomomasa Nakagawa on Wednesday [5 November] appealed a
      death penalty ruling the Tokyo District Court handed down recently for his
      role in the sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system and the murder of a
      lawyer and his family.

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      [Falun Gong] China sentences five to prison for Falun Gong activities
      Pushing the government's ``fight to the end'' against Falun Gong, an eastern
      China court sentenced five people to prison terms Wednesday for illegal
      activities linked to the banned spiritual movement.

      [Kabbalah] Madonna's Second Kid's Book Is Hokey
      Less than two months after her debut as a children's author, Madonna has
      returned to publishing with "Mr. Peabody's Apples." The book takes a more
      conventional approach to a picture book than Madonna's previous book, "The
      English Roses," which debuted atop The New York Times' list of children's
      best sellers and remained there for five weeks. [...] In her introduction,
      Madonna explains that "Mr. Peabody's Apples" is based on a 300-year-old
      Ukrainian tale called "The Baad Shem Tov." She says her instructor in
      Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, first turned her on to the story, which aims
      to demonstrate the power of words.

      [Homosexuality] Church sexuality guide calls for compassion
      Homosexual, bisexual and transsexual people should be treated with
      compassion and as equal Christians, a new Church of England guide published
      today says. The guide says that the debate about human sexuality "will not
      go away", and tells Christians they should remember that people "really do
      have homosexual and bisexual desires". Its publication follows the
      schism-threatening consecration last weekend of Gene Robinson as the
      worldwide Anglican communion's first openly gay bishop.

      [Religious Intolerance] County Jewish organizations protest evangelical
      The Palm Beach County Jewish community is reacting in different ways to a
      plan by an evangelic crusade by Jews for Jesus in Palm Beach County. [...]
      "The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), the public-policy arm of the
      Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, is unequivocally committed to
      the constitutionally protected exercise of freedom of speech and freedom of
      religion and opposed to discrimination of any kind," said Stephen
      Mendelsohn, chair of the JCRC. The JCRC is deeply disturbed and distressed,
      however, with the practices of these so-called ' Hebrew Christians ' that
      demean Judaism by suggesting it is not as valid a faith as that of the

      [Islam] Germany's Muslims claim harassment
      A community that had been left to its own devices in Germany has, since Sept
      11, 2001, become an object of scrutiny. It is a political U-turn that is
      building a wall of distrust between Muslims and non-Muslims which, some say,
      could fuel extremism. 'The state has a duty to look after security,' said Dr
      Nadeem Elyas, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD),
      the most politically active of the four large federations of Muslims in the
      country. 'But it must be done in a way that does not push the large majority
      of law-abiding Muslims on to the other side.'

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