ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 21, 2003
[Sikhism] Federal Court Rules in Favor of Controversial Sikh Temple
Sutter County is home to a large Sikh population, but shear number haven't
helped one congregation find a place to build a temple. Instead, it took
intervention by a federal court. [...] This time, instead of seeking a
different piece of property, the congregation went to federal court.
Ultimately, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Sutter
County's denial violated a relatively new federal law limiting land use
decisions that get in the way of religious practices.
[USA] America's Guilt: the Prisoners in a Legal Black Hole
President Bush yesterday described more than 600 detainees at Guantanamo Bay
as "illegal non-combatants picked up off of the battlefield". But there is
another glaring illegality here - which is entirely the responsibility of
the US Government. At Guantanamo, hundreds have been held without charge for
two years, abandoned in a legal black hole. Before arriving in London, Bush
insisted that the proposed military commissions for prosecuting these
prisoners held at the US base would be "in line with international accords".
Nothing could be further from the truth. As currently proposed, these
tribunals would trample the most basic principles of international law.
- Note: The author, Kenneth Roth, is executive director of Human Rights
[Islam] France to punish Muslim challenging Jewish judge
The French government ordered the Paris prosecutor on Friday to bring
charges of contempt of court against a convicted Muslim conman who asked for
one of his judges to be disqualified because she was Jewish.
[Satanism] Scary video led to charges
Two girls and their mother spent six years in constant fear, hiding from a
devil worshipper who had allegedly raped the girls hundreds of times while
he baby-sat them. [...] The final straw came on Halloween when the family
received an anonymous "Friday the 13th" videotape depicting two sisters
[Aum Shinrikyo] Cult saga of sex, spies and defection
In a bizarre twist in the torrid relations between Japan and North Korea, Ms
Kitagawa, a Japanese national, has tried to defect to the communist state.
[...] For far from being an anonymous club worker, Ms Kitagawa turns out to
be involved in one of the most loathed religious cults in Japan, espionage,
and of course, sex. The cult is the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult, which
was responsible for the 1995 sarin gas attack on Tokyo's subway. When news
of her defection attempt broke, Aum's successor, known as Aleph, issued a
statement saying it once had a member by the same name. Then came the
clincher: an Aleph spokesman, Hiroshi Araki, revealed she had been acting as
a mole inside the cult, working for Japan's Public Safety Investigation
Agency, the country's equivalent of the FBI.
[Bible Code] Bible prophecy profits BBC2
BBC2's Horizon continued its successful run last night when more than 3
million viewers tuned in to watch a documentary about a man who has used the
Bible to predict that the world will end in 2006. Bible Code, the second in
the current run of the long-running science series, profiled American
journalist turned author Michael Drosnin, who claims he can predict the
future using a 3,000-year-old code hidden in the Bible.
[Hate Groups] Gunmaker suit reinstated
A federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit Thursday alleging gun industry
sales tactics put weapons into the hands of criminals -- in this case a
white supremacist who killed a mail carrier and wounded three children.
[...] The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a
case that was tossed out in 2001 by a Los Angeles federal judge before it
went to trial. It had been filed against gun manufacturers and distributors
whose weapons were used by white supremacist Buford Furrow, who wounded
three children at a Jewish day care center in Granada Hills in 1999. Furrow
then shot a Filipino-American postal worker to death as the man was working
on his route in Chatsworth.
[Hate Groups] Skinhead sentenced in Fox Lake hate crime
A former Fox Lake man today was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 3 years
1 month in a federal penitentiary for holding a knife to the throat of an
African-American teenager and threatening her life in a hate-crime attack.
Shaun L. Derifield, 23, a member of the white supremacist group, the Lake
County Skinheads, also was ordered to serve three years of supervised
release and pay a $6,000 fine in connection with the August 2002 incident
during a hearing this morning in U.S. District Court, Chicago.
[Witchcraft] Witch Sues Christians Under Controversial Hate Laws
Controversial new hate legislation already being applied against two
Australian pastors accused of vilifying Islam, is now being used by a witch
who objected to warnings made by elected officials about occult activity.
Christians in the state of Victoria, many of whom opposed the law when it
was being drafted, say their fears are being realized: The state's Racial
and Religious Tolerance Act is enabling members of one religious group who
object to the beliefs of another, to take legal action against them.
[Falun Gong] British Cult Follower Freed by Chinese
A British cult follower who was detained for a week by Chinese officials
said today he had been released after authorities found no evidence against
[Faith Healing] Faith Healer Pleads Guilty To Practicing Without License
A faith healer has pleaded guilty to unlawfully practicing medicine after
selling antibiotics to an undercover police officer and injecting drugs into
a man who later died. Reina Chavarria of Los Angeles was arrested in
October 2002 and entered her plea Tuesday. Chavarria gained notoriety in the
Hispanic community because she was praised by radio host Renan Almendarez
Coello for her faith healing services.
[Brainwashing] Stressed to Kill: The Defense of Brainwashing
As sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo stands trial this week, his insanity
defense relies on a controversial claim rarely heard in courtrooms: The
defendant was brainwashed to kill. [...] But social scientists and legal
scholars are split over whether brainwashing is junk science or a real
phenomenon. "A pseudo-scientific myth," says psychologist Dick Anthony, a
leading opponent of brainwashing theories. "The concept can be wrongly
exaggerated and equally wrongly denied," counters psychiatrist Robert
Lifton, a pioneer of mind control research. Is brainwashing hogwash or not?
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