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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 7-8, 2004

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 7-8, 2004 Thu, Jan. 08, 2004 [Satanic and/or ritual abuse] Police apologize to family accused of sex abuse
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2004
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      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 7-8, 2004

      Thu, Jan. 08, 2004

      [Satanic and/or ritual abuse] Police apologize to family accused of sex
      abuse
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5573-.html
      The city's police chief publicly apologized today to 12 people wrongfully
      accused of ritualistically abusing three young foster children more than a
      decade ago. [...] Last week, a judge ruled that investigators had been
      malicious in their pursuit of a case against 12 members of the Klassen
      family.

      [Hate Groups] Terror Plot In Texas?
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5572-.html
      William Krar, 62, with ties to white supremacist groups, pleaded guilty to
      possessing a chemical weapon and faces life in prison, while 54-year-old
      Judith Bruey could get five years. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
      possess illegal weapons. [...] Photographs obtained by Dallas CBS station
      KTVT show illegal machine guns, boxes filled with 500,000 rounds of
      ammunition, homemade bombs, bomb-making instructions, antidotes for nerve
      agents and a Ku Klux Klan calling card. All of it discovered after fake
      documents Krar mailed to an alleged New Jersey militia member were actually
      delivered to a New York address.

      [Antisemitism] EU anti-Semitism seminar back on track after Prodi meets
      Jewish envoy
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5571-.html
      The World Jewish Congress alleged the European Union censored a study
      highlighting involvement of Europe's Arab minorities in anti-Semitic
      attacks. It also complained about an opinion poll in which Israel was named
      a threat to world peace more than any other country. Stung by the group's
      charges of anti-Semitism, European Commission President Romano Prodi
      abruptly called off an EU seminar on the issue. On Thursday, he met with an
      official from the group and said the event was back on.

      [UFOs] Officers say they spotted a UFO
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5570-.html
      Three Indiana police officers are now talking about their
      day-after-Christmas UFO sighting. Huntington officer Chip Olinger was
      warming up his car the afternoon of December 26th, when he reported seeing a
      circular object in the sky. He radioed officers Greg Hedrick and Randy
      Hoover, who saw it too.

      [Ahmadiyya] Bangladesh bans books by Muslim sect
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5569-.html
      The Bangladesh government today banned the sale, publication and
      distribution of all books and booklets on Islam published by the Ahmadiya
      Muslim Jamaat. [...] The ban came in the wake of agitation by some Islamic
      groups, who have also planned demonstrations in the capital tomorrow, for
      declaring the Kadianis as "non-Muslims".

      [USA] It's nothing personal
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5568-.html
      It seems that if Huckabee gets to know you at the Governor's Mansion, he'll
      help you. But if he doesn't know you, he'll maintain indifference even if
      the state medicates you so that you will be sufficiently sane to meet a
      legal standard of knowing what's happening when you get put to death.
      Singleton was too mentally ill to be a trusty. He was too nuts to profess
      credibly to being born-again. So we killed him. [...] The real point is the
      essential impracticality and unfairness of the death penalty as we apply it.
      Three guys commit similarly brutal killings. Two get convicted of
      first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Another, possessed
      perhaps of less able legal representation or unlucky enough to have a tough
      jury, gets the death penalty. All three men experience life's evolution. Two
      get good work for the governor. One of those professes to embrace the Lord.
      The third goes certifiably insane. The first two go free. The crazy man dies
      at our hands.

      [Islamism] New 'Taleban' clashes in Nigeria
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5567-.html
      Fighting has continued in northern Nigeria, involving a radical Islamic
      movement that calls itself the Taleban. The authorities had said they had
      crushed the uprising in Yobe State over the weekend but some Taleban youths
      fled to next-door Borno State. Local people confronted the Islamists,
      leading to clashes on Monday, in which seven Taleban and one local man died.
      Last week, the group stormed police stations, saying they wanted to set up
      an Islamic state in Nigeria.

      [Religious Intolerance] Muslims in Europe face widespread abuse
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5566-.html
      The State Department's fifth Annual Report on International Religious
      Freedom, released on Dec. 18, shows a frightening increase in anti-Muslim
      attitudes in several European countries, including some of America's
      strongest allies. The report cites the growth of Europe's Muslim immigrant
      population as the most common reason for anti-Muslim tensions in that
      particular region.

      [Islam] German Catholics: Muslim Scarf Political
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5565-.html
      The Muslim headscarf should be considered a political symbol and legislation
      banning public school teachers from wearing it should not extend to
      religious symbols that are part of the country's "Christian tradition," a
      German Catholic organization said Wednesday. The statement was the latest
      development in a nationwide debate that began in September after Germany's
      highest court ruled veils are allowed unless existing legislation outlaws
      them. The Federal Constitutional Court further said any new laws must treat
      all religions equally.

      [Abraham Kennard] Madonna supports local Kabbala initiative
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5564-.html
      The ancient Jewish mysticism of Kabbala is known for attracting celebrity
      devotees and on Thursday many of them will be out in force at the Tel Aviv
      Kabbalah Center's 'Spirituality for kids' ceremony. The event will feature
      a live broadcast from superstar Madonna via satellite from Europe, among a
      line-up of local political leaders, actors and artists. 'Spirituality for
      Kids,' is a ten-year-old intiative that aims to show children how to make
      the most of life.

      [Kabbalah] Kabbala may have led Britney to marry
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5563-.html
      Britney Spears's study of the Kabbala, a Jewish mystical practice, may
      explain her surprise wedding to Jason Alexander in Las Vegas Saturday, claim
      sources close to the star. The study of Kabbala is currently in vogue with
      various Hollywood celebrities, including Paul Newman and Madonna, who is
      believed to have introduced her young friend Spears to the ancient
      teachings. [...] The Kabbala's view on marriage, according to Hananya
      Goodman, who has written on the subject, is traditional, based on the
      teachings of the Jewish religion but "in a highly mystical and sometimes
      sexualized version." However, Goodman explained to The Jerusalem Post that
      the form of Kabbala practiced by celebrities such as Madonna and Britney is
      not the traditional teaching but a New Age version. He said, "Kabbalistic
      texts are a commentary on the Torah. The study of it assumes a knowledge
      which these actors and actresses do not possess."

      [Polygamy] Officials decry Colorado City abuse
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5562-.html
      Arizona Sen. Linda Binder and Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson
      briefed the London Bridge Rotary Club Wednesday about their efforts to
      combat polygamy and resulting abuse in Colorado City and Hilldale, Utah.
      The elected officials talked about recent allegations regarding sexual and
      physical abuse surrounding the polygamist group - a fundamentalist splinter
      group of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "As far as I'm
      concerned we have the Taliban sitting in our backyard," Binder said of the
      community. "It's Arizona's dirty little secret."

      [Nuwaubians] York accuser admits inconsistencies in statements
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5561-.html
      A woman who said cult leader Malachi York molested her for several years
      admitted under cross-examination Wednesday that some details of her
      testimony were inconsistent with previous statements. The 18-year-old
      woman, however, stuck by her story that York engaged in repeated sex acts
      with her from the time she was 8.

      [Mormon Church] Utah County to get 'Mormon academy'
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5560-.html
      "The glue that holds knowledge to students is their religious belief,"
      explained Glenn Kimber, the founder of Kimber Academy - a collection of
      private schools that focus on reuniting church and state with a heavy
      emphasis on LDS scriptures. In February, Kimber's "Mormon method" will be
      coming to Utah County with a new academy, which will be located in either
      Provo or Orem depending on final student enrollment.

      [Mormon Church] Ogden architect slain on Book of Mormon tour
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5559-.html
      Ogden architect Brett Richards was killed as robbers held up a bus carrying
      13 tourists on a Book of Mormon tour in Guatemala. [...] Book of Mormon
      Tours is operated out of Orem by Joseph L. Allen and his wife, Rhoda Allen.
      [...] Many Mormons believe archaeological ruins in Central America were
      built by people described in the Book of Mormon, which church founder Joseph
      Smith claimed to have translated from a set of golden plates. Travel
      agencies arrange tours to visit these sites, focusing on how they might fit
      in with the scripture.

      [Satanic and/or ritual abuse] Satanic sex cult allegations invented: judges
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5558-.html
      German state prosecutors said yesterday that they had dropped a probe into
      lurid claims of ritual killings and cannibalism by an alleged Satanic sect
      because they appeared to have been made up. The claims were made by a woman
      who said she had been a victim for 18 years of sexual abuse by members of a
      Satanic and cannibalistic cult, including relatives. [...] However, state
      prosecutor Horst Roos said investigations had found nothing to substantiate
      her allegations, and many of them had been proved to be untrue.

      [USA] USA: holding human rights hostage
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5557-.html
      Two years after the first inmates arrived in the US military base in
      Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Camp X-Ray and its successor, Camp Delta, have become
      synonymous with a government's pursuit of unfettered executive power and
      disregard for the rule of law. As detainees enter their third year held in
      tiny cells for up to 24 hours a day without any legal process, it seems that
      the current US administration views human dignity as far from non-negotiable
      when it comes to "national security".

      [USA] Amnesty International USA Statement on Today's Executions
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5556-.html
      "While more than half the world has abolished the death penalty in law or in
      practice, the United States has allowed Charles Singleton to be executed-a
      man who suffers from irrefutable mental illness. Global standards of decency
      prohibit the execution of 'persons who have become insane.' Singleton was
      said to be 'seriously deranged without treatment' and 'arguably incompetent
      with treatment.' It was only during an episode of 'drug-induced sanity' that
      the state of Arkansas scheduled his execution. "The execution of the
      mentally ill is another example of the arbitrary and unfair manner in which
      the death penalty system is administered. It clearly illustrates that the
      system is irrevocably broken and is one of the numerous reasons that support
      for the death penalty in the US is at its lowest level in 25 years."

      [USA] Mentally ill man executed in US
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5555-.html
      The state of Arkansas has executed a man with a severe mental illness.
      Charles Singleton, 44, was forcibly given anti-psychotic drugs which made
      him lucid enough under court guidelines to be put to death. [...] The
      European Union and Amnesty International had urged the governor to commute
      the death sentence, saying it was morally reprehensible to execute a person
      with a severe mental illness.

      [Science and Religion] Religious displays spur debate in nation's parks
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5554-.html
      With its eye-catching photographs of the Grand Canyon and the blue waters of
      the Colorado River, the hardback "Grand Canyon: A Different View" is a
      medium seller at the national park's bookstore. But the book's claim that
      the Grand Canyon was formed as a result of the great flood of Genesis and is
      therefore only a few thousand years old has thrust the park into the debate
      over whether it is fitting to display religious materials at public sites.
      The book by former Colorado River guide Tom Vail includes a collection of
      essays by fellow creationists, who favor a Bible-based view of the Earth's
      formation. Vail and his wife are the founders of Canyon Ministries, which
      organizes Christian whitewater rafting trips through the Canyon.

      [Books] When They Say Jesus, Which Jesus Do They Mean?
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5553-.html
      Stephen Prothero, chairman of the department of religion at Boston
      University, has written a cultural history of Jesus as American image and
      icon that presents such options, and many more, in vivid, engrossing detail.
      In the service of the all-American thesis that his sojourn in these parts
      has "liberated" "Jesus the person" from "Christ the theological sign," Mr.
      Prothero charts stages in the cultural revolution that freed the Lord of
      Hosts to become "a hero to those who could not embrace the beliefs and
      practices of traditional Christianity." [...] Within his narrative,
      ostensibly a popular and often entertaining account of the rendering of
      Jesus in song, story and spirituality, he has embedded a fairly detailed
      history of American religion itself - one of the subtle achievements of
      "American Jesus."

      [Islam] Vatican weighs into German row over religious symbols
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5552-.html
      The Catholic Church strongly attacked the President of Germany yesterday for
      suggesting that schools should prohibit Christian symbols if they went ahead
      with plans to ban the wearing of Muslim headscarves in the classroom.
      Cardinal Karl Lehmann, the head of the German Bishops' Conference, said
      Johannes Rau was wrong to equate the "political" headscarf with Christian
      symbols, which were an established part of German culture.

      [Nuwaubians] Former cult members says girls were groomed for sex
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5551-.html
      A former cult member told a jury Wednesday how the group transformed from a
      Muslim commune in New York to an extremist sect that groomed girls for sex
      with its leader, Malachi York. York, originally a Muslim cleric in
      Brooklyn, is on trial for molesting up to 13 girls and boys and bringing
      them to the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors compound in rural Georgia for
      sex.

      [Nuwaubians] Alleged victim: York stole childhood
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5550-.html
      An alleged victim in the child molestation trial of Malachi York described
      Tuesday how she and other children suffered years of sexual abuse at the
      hands of the cult leader. [...] In his opening statement, defense attorney
      Adrian Patrick said the evidence would show that the allegations were coming
      from members of four families that had fallen out of favor with York and
      were out to get him. [...] Last January, York pleaded guilty to federal
      charges and to 77 state charges of molestation. The plea agreement would
      have sent York to prison for 15 years, but a federal judge rejected the
      sentence as too lenient. York has not withdrawn his guilty plea to the
      state charges, though he has not been sentenced and could withdraw his plea
      before he is sentenced.

      [Nuwaubians] Alleged molestation victims to testify in cult leaders trial
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5549-.html
      York, 58, is the head of the mostly black United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors
      whose compound on a Georgia farm includes pyramid-like structures. He faces
      13 federal counts of child molestation and racketeering. Those who fell out
      of favor with York were forced to live in squalid conditions _ overcrowded
      houses filled with mice, cockroaches and backed-up toilets, she said
      Tuesday.

      [Summum] Request For Alternative Ten Commandments Monument
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5548-.html
      A religious group has asked a federal judge to require the city of Duchesne
      to remove a Ten Commandments memorial from a city park or allow it to build
      their equivalent nearby. The Salt Lake City-based Summum religious sect,
      which practices mummification, winemaking and sexual ecstasy, is seeking
      permission to build a monument of similar size displaying their Seven
      Aphorisms. Summum worshippers argue that the city is violating their First
      Amendment rights by allowing the Ten Commandments plaque and denying their
      request to build a similar one. The group has filed similar lawsuits in
      Salt Lake City, Ogden and Pleasant Grove. Judges threw out the suits
      involving Salt Lake and Ogden, though the dismissals were reversed on appeal
      by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In both cases, the cities chose
      to remove the monuments instead of allowing construction of the Seven
      Aphorisms.


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      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 7, 2004

      [Islam] Chirac says headscarf ban will protect religious freedom
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5547-.html
      French President Jacques Chirac told the country's top religious leaders
      that a planned law to ban Islamic headscarves and other insignia from
      schools would protect religious freedom and not "modify the bounds of
      secularism". "This is simply about France remaining faithful to the balance
      which has been established over decades and to reaffirm, respectfully but
      firmly, a principle and practices long present in our country," Chirac said.

      [Sikhism] Sikh leader ex-communicated, misbehaviour in Canada cited
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5546-.html
      The controversial leader of a wealthy Sikh sect, who defeated an attempt in
      court to oust him, has been ex-communicated for allegedly drinking liquor
      and participating in objectionable activities in Canada. The
      ex-communication of Harnek Singh Grewal means control of the Nanaksar
      movement and its assets of $20 million is up for grabs.

      [Catholic Church] Report backs US Catholic bishops
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5545-.html
      America's Roman Catholic bishops are keeping promises to try to stamp out
      child sex abuse, a report has found. Bishops pledged 18 months ago to
      better protect children and punish offenders, following a wave of abuse
      scandals. The review found that 90% of the nearly 200 Catholic dioceses in
      the US were in compliance with the pledge, adopted during a meeting in
      Dallas, Texas. But victim support groups rejected the report as biased, and
      accused senior clergy of still covering up the truth.

      [Allen Harrod, et. al.] Ritual-molestation claims are false, defense says
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5544-.html
      Dismissing as "fabrications" the testimony of children who described being
      ritually molested by a self-proclaimed religious prophet, attorneys for
      Allen Harrod and Irene Hunt launched their defense Monday, six weeks after
      the testimony began. Key to their arguments will be the testimony of
      several medical experts who are expected to say that an examination of a
      15-year-old Harrod daughter shows she could not have been raped by her
      father dozens of times, as she testified in court.

      [Osho] Celluloid Osho, quite a hit
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5543-.html
      The celluloid image of this century's most celebrated and controversial
      guru, Osho induces instant laughter and cheerful spirits in the swank
      pyramid shaped Osho auditorium. The occasion: Osho Film Festival 2004.
      Hundreds of maroon-robed Osho disciples laughed and cried in a joyous frenzy
      while watching the inaugural film Moments with Osho during the much-awaited
      festival organised by the Osho Commune International from January 3-18. In
      a span of 15 days, the ongoing festival will screen approximately 14 films
      on Osho, ranging from 25 minutes to an hour giving an honest glimpse into
      the public and private life of the 'Master'.

      [Osho] Nepalese to spread Osho's gospel in India
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5542-.html
      Fourteen years after godman Rajneesh aka Osho's death, a Nepalese disciple
      who spread the movement in this Himalayan kingdom plans to focus on India,
      the goal being an Osho centre in each village. Osho Tapoban in this city is
      a popular destination for disciples of Osho, who hit world headlines with
      tales of his lavish lifestyle and free sex in communes. Swamy Anand Arun, a
      59-year-old civil engineer from the Terai plains who became the first
      follower of Osho in Nepal and then his "ambassador" entrusted with
      establishing the movement in the Himalayan kingdom, says it was no easy
      task.

      [Osho] Glimpses into the life of the controversial 'guru'
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5541-.html
      From black slippers, an ordinary watch and an unstitched white cloth to
      Rolls Royces, diamond-studded Swiss watches, rich flowing gowns and Gucci
      goggles. This is the story of Osho, who first came into the limelight as
      Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. For the first time ever, the Osho Commune
      International here has organised a public screening of rare film and video
      footage providing extraordinary glimpses into the public and private life of
      the late controversial mystic (1931-1990).

      [Nuwaubians] Molestation Trial of Cult Leader Opens
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5540-.html
      The leader of a quasi-religious cult accused of molesting young followers
      was a vicious manipulator who coerced children into having sex with him and
      rewarded them with jewelry and candy, a prosecutor said Tuesday. But the
      defense said the government was oppressing a peaceful group.

      [Nuwaubians] Prosecutors say York had system for child abuse
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5539-.html
      Federal prosecutors told jurors Tuesday that Nuwaubian cult leader Malachi
      York maintained a carefully orchestrated system over the years to sexually
      abuse children. In opening statements in York's molestation and racketeering
      trial, prosecutors said York, 58, used older children he was abusing to
      introduce younger children -- sometimes their own siblings -- to him in
      order to gain their confidence, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie
      Thacker.

      [Nuwaubians] Cult leaders trial begins with witness saying she was sexual
      prisoner
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5538-.html
      Prosecutors began building a case Tuesday that York abused his power to feed
      his sexual appetite for boys and girls at his neo-Egyptian compound in rural
      central Georgia. The leader of the mostly black United Nuwaubian Nation of
      Moors faces 13 federal counts of child molestation and racketeering.

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] Dissatisfaction with policies Scientology Church

      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5537-.html
      A report about the Scientology Church in the Netherlands. In recent months,
      members of this church have left en-masse. One of them is the founder and
      late director of Scientology in the Netherlands, Caspar de Rijk. He
      disagrees with the way in which Scientology treats the philosophy of
      American founder, Ron Hubbard. [Preview of an item in a Dutch TV news
      program.]

      Anton,
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