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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 17-18, 2004

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 17-18, 2004 Sun, Jan. 18, 2004 [Toronto Blessing] Toronto Blessing Goes on 10 Years http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5706-.html Ten
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 19, 2004
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      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 17-18, 2004

      Sun, Jan. 18, 2004
      [Toronto Blessing] Toronto Blessing Goes on 10 Years
      Ten years ago this month, worshippers at a small church a stone's throw from
      this city's airport began laughing uncontrollably. They also made animal
      noises -- braying, barking, howling and roaring. They collapsed to the
      floor, staggered about as if drunk, shook and jerked; wept, wailed and
      yelped. Faces contorted with tics. Groans and guffaws hung in the air.
      Bodies lay prone on the carpet. To the uninitiated, this was eerie stuff,
      resembling mass hysteria more than religious worship. But to regulars at the
      Toronto Airport Vineyard Church (now the Toronto Airport Christian
      Fellowship, or TACF), this was the work of the Holy Spirit, and the genesis
      of a worldwide revival in the charismatic and Pentecostal movements. The
      phenomenon was first noticed on Jan. 20, 1994 and dubbed the Toronto
      Blessing by a glowing British press that acclaimed the strange signs and
      wonders at the church near the airport of Canada's largest city. [...] But
      some conservative Christians have charged the Toronto Blessing exhibits
      false teaching and bizarre behavior incompatible with the Holy Spirit. They
      say it's the work of the devil.

      [Polygamy] Officials plan info blitz to steer polygamists to safety
      Billboards and fliers will be used in a new campaign to assure women and
      children of polygamous families that they have a safe place to go should
      they choose to leave their homes. On Friday, law enforcement officers,
      advocates and child-welfare workers from Utah and Arizona met to prepare for
      what might be an exodus of women and children from the twin cities of
      Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. The cities straddle the Utah-Arizona
      state line about 40 miles east of St. George. "We're hearing that families
      are being torn apart," said Rickell James-Irish of the Division of Child and
      Family Services in St. George. Trouble started a week ago when 20 men, all
      prominent members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
      Saints, were stripped of their membership and told to leave town. FLDS
      leader Warren Jeffs ordered the men, including former Colorado City Mayor
      Dan Barlow, to leave their wives and children. If history held true,
      James-Irish said, the women would be married to other men in the community.

      [Islam] French Muslims Protest Rule Against Head Scarves
      The battle over the proposed law to ban religious symbols from French public
      schools spilled into streets on Saturday as Muslim demonstrators in capitals
      around the world voiced their opposition to what they say is a denial of
      religious freedom. The demonstrations were largest in Paris and other cities
      in France, where thousands of protesters marched against an anticipated law
      that would ban the wearing of Muslim head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and
      large Christian crosses in the schools. In an apparently well-coordinated
      show of solidarity with Muslims in France, protesters — from London to
      Baghdad — joined in. But the demonstrations were far smaller than their
      Muslim organizers had predicted.

      [Destiny House Church] New lease of life for former sect's HQ
      The owner of the building on Aberdeen's Lang Stracht where Word of Life
      (International) held its bizarre religious sessions today said a £1 million
      scheme had started to transform the building. [...] Word of Life had been
      the occupant of the premises since 1991. Another group - Destiny House -
      later took over. Members were barred from the building by Mr Handa in
      August. Word of Life ceased trading three years ago after amassing
      crippling debts of £160,000. Destiny House set up soon after. Word of Life
      pastor Jim Addison was involved in both groups but denied they were linked
      or that they had done anything wrong. However, some of Word of Life's
      ex-members alleged they were taken in as children and pressurised into
      rituals of "Deliverance" and "Spiritual Warfare", in which they had to vomit
      to rid the body of evil and simulated battling the devil with a sword. They
      also claimed they were pressed into parting with cash to support the group
      and were not allowed to mix with non-members for fear of "contamination".

      [Cloning] 'It's morally repugnant for anyone to clone a human being'
      Human cloning in one form or another has been on the horizon for 25 years,
      but yesterday’s announcement that a cloned embryo had been implanted in a
      woman’s womb for the first time still came as a shock to the medical world,
      politicians and ethicists. And it has reignited a fierce debate about
      controls on scientific research and the ethics of artificially creating
      human life.

      [Cloning] Scientists pour scorn on doctor's human clone boast
      A US fertility specialist flew into Britain yesterday to announce that he
      had transferred the first cloned embryo into a woman - but he refused to
      give a shred of evidence to back up his astonishing boast. With theatrical
      flair, Dr Panos Zavos, an IVF expert from Kentucky, told a packed press
      conference in London that he had created the first cloned pregnancy. He said
      that he had taken a skin cell from a man and fused it with the egg of a
      35-year-old woman and that in two weeks' time they would know whether a full
      pregnancy was safely established. His announcement was greeted with
      laughter and disbelief. A scientist compared it to recent claims by the
      alien-loving Raelian sect, who say they have created cloned babies.

      [Cloning] Religious Sect Claimed 'First Cloned Baby'
      A religious sect last year claimed to have produced the world’s first cloned
      baby. But the announcement by the Raelian movement met with extreme
      scepticism from scientists and have not been backed by essential DNA proof.

      [Cloning] Bizarre unveiling of 'cloning milestone'
      One sceptic present called it a "circus", and it was certainly a bizarre way
      of announcing what could be a milestone in medical science - if it proves
      true. The news conference called by controversial fertility expert Paul
      Zavos at a smart central London hotel lasted an hour, and it was around five
      minutes before the end when he dropped his bombshell. He announced he had
      transferred a cloned embryo into a woman's womb.

      [Cloning] Doctor Says He Has Cloned Human Embryo
      maverick U.S.-based fertility expert said on Saturday that he had
      transferred a cloned human embryo into a woman but leading scientists
      immediately expressed skepticism, saying it was highly unlikely. Dr Panos
      Zavos told a stunned news conference in London the embryo had been
      transplanted at an undisclosed location less than two weeks ago and that he
      was still waiting to see if it had implanted successfully.

      [Cloning] What Is Cloning and How Does It Work?
      Cloning is the process of making a genetically identical organism without
      normal sexual means. Practically, cloning means the creation of cells or
      even whole plants or animals using DNA from a single “parent” – bypassing
      the normal reproductive process. [Q & A]

      [Cloning] Cloning milestones since Dolly the sheep
      The claim by Dr Panos Zavos that he has implanted a cloned embryo into a
      woman's womb is just the latest in a series of developments in research into
      human cloning. [Timeline]

      Sat, Jan. 17, 2004
      [Islam] Muslim Scarf Protest Slated for Paris
      Police expect 10,000-20,000 protesters Saturday at a march through Paris
      against the outlawing of Muslim head scarves in schools. Other protests are
      expected in the United States, Canada and Britain. The demonstrations would
      be the biggest coordinated protest against a proposed law, which forbids
      Muslim head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in French
      public schools.

      [Islam] Muslims upset about removing scarves to get Alabama licenses
      Some Muslim women in Alabama are upset because state driver's license
      officials are requiring them to remove their head scarves if they want to
      get a license.

      [Islam] Veil ID woman wins case
      In a ruling set to create a country-wide precedent, a Muslim woman who went
      to court after being ordered to remove her veil for an identity photograph
      has won her case, Belgium's 'La Libre Belgique' newspaper reported today.

      [Islam] Spanish Women Praise Cleric's Conviction
      Spanish women's associations on Thursday hailed the conviction of an Islamic
      cleric who advised Muslims how to beat their wives, calling the ruling a
      triumph for women. Mohammed Kamal Mustafa, imam of the southern town of
      Fuengirola, was given a suspended sentence of to 15 months in prison on
      Wednesday. [...] The cleric will not go to prison as under Spanish law
      people with no previous convictions have their first sentences suspended if
      they are under two years. He was also fined $2,735. In his book "Women in
      Islam," published in 1997, Mustafa urged husbands to hit their wives "on the
      hands and feet using a rod that is thin and light so that it does not leave
      scars or bruises on the body." In his defense, Mustafa argued he was
      interpreting passages of the Quran and said he opposed violence against
      women. Trial judge Juan Pedro Yllanes rejected those arguments, saying they
      promoted discrimination against women.

      [Hate Groups] Owner To Remove White Supremacist Billboard
      billboard owner has agreed to remove an advertisement rented by a white
      supremacist group after a Jewish group organized a telephone campaign and
      threatened a national boycott. The Jewish Defense Organization launched the
      campaign against Sunshine Outdoor of Florida and its owner, Jerry Sullivan
      of Micanopy, to remove the advertisement from a billboard standing on
      Florida's Turnpike about 35 miles from Orlando. Sullivan had defended the
      sign on free speech grounds -- a long as the client paid.

      [Hate Groups] White Supremacists Show Up At Anti-Defamation Meeting
      Some local members of a white supremacist group showed up at a meeting
      Thursday night, which was called to discuss issues of racism in Omaha. The
      Anti-Defamation League is worried the white supremacist group called the
      National Alliance is gaining a foothold in Omaha. The League called a
      meeting about fliers the Alliance has been distributing in Omaha. The fliers
      protest interracial marriage, immigration and violence by minorities. "I
      consider these people dangerous I consider their ideas dangerous," said Bob
      Wolfson (pictured, right), of the Anti-Defamation League.

      [Ruben Ecleo] Ecleo runs for major from jail
      Jailed cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. is doing a Jalosjos as he is running
      again as mayor of San Jose, Surigao del Norte. Ecleo is locked up in Cebu
      City, facing parricide charges for the killing of his wife, Alona Bacolod.
      He is expected to win handily in the mayoralty race since majority of the
      residents of San Jose town are members of the Philippine Benevolent
      Missionaries Association (PBMA), of which he is the supreme leader. Former
      Rep. Romeo Jalosjos also ran — and won — as second district congressman of
      Zamboanga del Norte while behind bars for the rape of a minor.

      [Church and State] Senate OKs faith-based amendment
      After a three-hour debate Thursday, the state Senate approved and sent to
      the House a proposed constitutional amendment that would clarify that it is
      legal for faith-based organizations to spend taxpayer money on social

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      [Books] Cooking's spiritual dimensions inspire cookbooks
      Collectors can assemble selections of cookbooks to suit a wide range of
      interests, even those that might seem far from the material pleasures of
      eating. Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette has written several
      cookbooks, from Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery, near Millbrook,
      N.Y., where he's a resident monk and the monastery cook. Among his
      best-selling titles are "Twelve Months of Monastery Soups" (Bantam, 1998,
      $16.95 paperback) and "From a Monastery Kitchen" (Liguori, 2002, $14.95
      paperback). He also tends the monastery garden, and his recipes call for
      plenty of locally grown natural foods. Here's a sampling of other books
      that combine recipes with settings from religious life...

      [Nuwaubians] Alleged York victims deny cult leader molested them
      Five young women that cult leader Malachi York is charged with molesting as
      children told a federal jury Friday that York never touched them sexually.
      Three of the five women testified that federal agents tried to pressure them
      into saying York molested them after the FBI raided the Georgia compound of
      the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors in May 2002. It seemed like they were
      trying to get me to say something that didnt happen, said a 21-year-old
      woman, whom York is charged with molesting during a 1996 trip to Disney
      World. And it was like (the agent) got mad because I wasn't saying what she

      [False Memory Syndrome] Is Your Psychotherapist Qualified?
      Instead of fixing her marriage Carol's psychologist, Pat Mansmann, came up
      with a startling diagnosis -- repressed memories. "They had me convinced
      that my parents had raised me in a Satanic cult," Diament said. "That my
      father had sexually abused me even prior to that." Carol says Mansmann
      prescribed two controversial treatments. One was "rage therapy" which
      included beating pillows while screaming. The other, "detachment therapy."
      Mannsman urged Carol to move out of her home, away from her family. "You
      ended up losing your family over this?" asked Acosta. "I did," she replied.
      "My children haven't spoken to me in ten years." After nearly a year with a
      different therapist, Carol found out her memories of abuse were implanted by
      Mansmann. So she sued, as have other former patients.

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