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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Mar. 5, 2004

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  • Anton Hein
    Hint: Use Religion News Blog s combined news tracker/news archive to keep track of groups, movements and issues:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2004
      Hint: Use Religion News Blog's combined news tracker/news archive to keep
      track of groups, movements and issues:

      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Mar. 5, 2004

      [Transcendental Meditation] M.U.M. officials: Suspect was calm after first
      Maharishi University of Management officials say Shuvender Sem, the student
      charged with fatally stabbing freshman Levi Butler Monday night in the
      university dining hall, did not appear to be a danger after the afternoon
      incident in which he allegedly stabbed another student with a pen. The
      university has come under fire from community members and from friends of
      Butler in the past few days for not reporting the first incident to police.

      [Islam] Wave of anti-Muslim legislation in Europe has broad support
      With immigration from Muslim countries rising throughout Europe, politicians
      across the continent are pushing for laws reining in the Muslim community.
      Unlike previous anti-immigrant movements, which were championed largely by
      nationalist politicians generally out of power, the anti-Muslim legislation
      is being pushed by politicians in power who represent centrist and leftist
      parties that traditionally worry about human rights.

      NOTE: For insight into _some_ of the reasons for this movement, see:

      France struggles to integrate its Muslim minority

      [The Body] Police keep eye out for Attleboro cult's children
      Cops keeping tabs on an Attleboro cult involved in the deaths of at least
      two children say they would move to rescue any new babies born into the
      brainwashing sect. ``Personally I have a concern that if there are kids born
      that they would be subject to harm,'' Detective Arthur Brillon said. ``I
      feel it would be my duty to call (the Department of Social Services).''

      [Books] Spiritual Dr. Seuss
      You can learn a lot about God by studying Green Eggs and Ham and the Grinch.
      That's the premise behind The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss, a brisk-selling
      book by the Rev. James W. Kemp of Lexington. Released in January, Kemp's
      treatise has already sold nearly 15,000 copies and is headed for a second
      printing. This week, the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's birth, Barnes &
      Noble is prominently displaying the book in stores across the country.

      [Seventh-day Adventism] SDA branches file writ against expulsion
      The Board of Trustees of 12 branches of Seventh-Day Adventist Church in
      Brong Ahafo on Tuesday filed a writ at the High Court in Sunyani seeking the
      order of the court to declare as null and void their purported expulsion
      from the church.

      [Seventh-day Adventism] Confusion Engulfs SDA Church
      The once peaceful church in the country, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA)
      church, is now embroiled in confusion and rancour, following the closure of
      12 branches of the church in the Brong Ahafo Region. When the executives of
      the Mid-West Ghana Conference (MWGC) announced the dismissal of the 12
      churches, the expellants also vowed not to go anywhere, saying "only court
      can stop us from being the members of the SDA."

      [Polygamy] One Woman's Crusade
      It was not an unfamiliar experience for Flora Jessop, racing north from
      Phoenix in response to a desperate phone call. Two teenagers said they
      feared being forced into a marriage with men who were decades older; who
      they might not even know, and who have other wives and dozens of children.
      Jessop, 34, has devoted her life to liberating girls from a Mormon sect that
      practices an extreme form of polygamy - a sect that she escaped from herself
      nearly two decades ago. She said of her mission: "It's like taking someone
      straight from hell - and bringing them to heaven."
      The sect is called the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints - the
      FLDS, a tiny breakaway group of Mormons.

      [Alternative Healing] What's the alternative?
      Guru is a rollicking comedy about the new-age movement in which actor-writer
      Clinton Marius takes a satirical dig at the Age of Aquarius. But while it's
      light-hearted, many alternative treatments provide valuable therapy. Here's
      an overview.

      [Internet] Church of England creates virtual parish
      The Church of England on Friday announced the creation of its first "virtual
      parish" and invited applicants for the position of "Web pastor."
      The purpose of the Internet church, or "i-church," according to the Web
      site, "is to provide a Christian community for those who wish to explore
      Christian discipleship but who are not able, or do not wish, to join a local

      [International Churches of Christ] Church lets go of old ways
      After losing its leader, facing accusations of cultism and other scandals,
      the Chicago Church of Christ attempts to keep from falling apart.

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] Bill would curtail prescriptions for mentally
      ill children
      The Church of Scientology's national campaign to attack the field of
      psychiatry has come to Beacon Hill, where several senators are sponsoring
      legislation to curtail the prescription of medication to mentally ill
      children. [...] In an interview, Moore defended the bill, but he said he was
      unaware of the involvement of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a
      group formed by the Church of Scientology in 1969. A group leader, Kevin
      Hall, helped craft the legislation.

      Note: The "Citizens Commission on Human Rights" (an ironic name for a
      movement involved in human rights abuses) is a front group for the Church of
      Scientology - a hate group that, among other things, makes false medical

      [Word of Faith Fellowship] Hearing set for ex-church member
      It has been a busy and emotional week for Lacy Wien. On Wednesday, her
      accusation against Word of Faith Fellowship leader Jane Whaley turned into a
      conviction for assault. Now, Wien and her lawyer Peter Lane of
      Rutherfordton have gotten a hearing scheduled for the end of this month to
      put a stop to what they say is excessive and unethical behavior by the WOFF
      attorneys in a civil suit. [...] [Wien's attorney] Lane spoke bluntly about
      his opinions on the church's practices. "It is my opinion that this place is
      not only bizarre, but the secular practices of this quote-unquote church are
      illegal," said Lane in a Thursday interview. "It is time for us to stop
      tiptoeing around this place." [...] Two of the multiple attorneys involved
      in defending the WOFF are Goldstein and John Gresham of Charlotte who are
      also representing the church in a federal lawsuit against the Rutherford
      County Department of Social Services. Goldstein's firm has been active for
      years in defending the Church of Scientology.

      Note: Given the mention of Scientology lawyers, it is helpful to know what
      Scientology's attitude toward the law is:

      "The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to
      The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on
      somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he

      is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his
      decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly"
      - Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, A Manual on the Dissemination
      of Material

      [Hate Groups] FBI sought death row interview with McVeigh to resolve
      In a drama played out behind closed doors, senior FBI agents unsuccessfully
      sought permission in 2001 to interview Timothy McVeigh to resolve lingering
      questions about the case before the convicted Oklahoma City bomber was put
      to death, officials say. The agents wanted to clear up uncertainties about
      McVeigh's whereabouts on specific dates that were left unanswered by his
      public statements and the evidence, essentially filling in gaps in his
      timeline before the bombing, the officials told The Associated Press. The
      plan was scrapped when the government couldn't resolve who would attend the
      interview or how it would be conducted. Officials also became distracted by
      the belated discovery of some 4,000 pages of documents that had not been
      turned over to McVeigh's defense during his trial.

      [Jomanda] Psychic 'misled actress to hopeless cancer death'
      Accused of misleading Dutch actress Sylvia Millecam to a "chanceless" death
      from cancer, psychic medium Jomanda was confronted on Wednesday with news
      that the Public Prosecution (OM) is set to launch a criminal investigation.
      After a Health Inspectorate report claimed on Tuesday that Jomanda was
      guilty of prosecutable actions, the public prosecutor OM said on Wednesday
      it will examine the matter and decide at a later date whether to launch an
      official investigation. Despite being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999,
      Millecam never believed she was suffering from the disease. Instead, the
      actress thought it was a bacterial infection and she died in August 2001,
      news agency ANP reported. Her alternative therapists also believed Millecam
      was not suffering from cancer and shortly after her death, Jomanda said she
      had discovered from "the other world" that the illness was something other
      than cancer.

      [Mormon Church] Mormonism at the U.
      The decision last month by the U. of U. history faculty not to hire D.
      Michael Quinn, a respected but controversial scholar of Mormonism, has
      caused one critic within that faculty to charge that her colleagues see no
      "intellectual or cultural merit in Mormonism." Other observers have chimed
      in that the U. generally neglects Mormon studies when it should be a center
      for this scholarship. We do not wish to draw conclusions about the decision
      not to hire Quinn, an excommunicated Mormon, as we are not privy to the
      discussions that took place. Those deliberations are secret, for good
      reason. If they were not, people would not speak candidly. We simply wish to
      observe that the U. should be a leading center for the study of Utah and
      Mormonism. To neglect that role would be to ignore what makes Utah unique,
      that is, the dominant role the LDS Church has played here since 1847 and
      continues to play today.

      [Mormon Church] (Coffee)house of worship?
      The LDS Church is not waiting for the courts to decide if a downtown Salt
      Lake City strip club is illegal. It is pushing the city to investigate
      claims it recently made in a lawsuit over the Crazy Goat Saloon's sexually
      oriented business (SOB) license. While the church didn't ask the city to
      revoke the saloon's seminude-dancing license, that is the church's ultimate
      goal. LDS Church attorney Alan Sullivan wrote a letter last week to city
      zoning and business license enforcement officers alleging the Crazy Goat,
      formerly the Dead Goat Saloon, is violating the city's SOB ordinance
      because, among other purported problems, it is within 1,000 feet of a place
      of worship. And he isn't talking about the LDS Church's Salt Lake Temple,
      which is a little more than 1,000 feet away from the Crazy Goat, 119 S. West
      Temple. The place of worship might seem an unlikely ally: The Main Street
      Coffee House, 149 S. Main St., which on Wednesday displayed a sign that said
      its coffee is so good, "you'll join our church of latte-day saints." Members
      of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not supposed to drink
      coffee or tea.

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      [Mormon Church] Judge Recuses Herself in Theatrical Swearing Case
      A federal judge who dismissed the lawsuit of a former acting student who
      accused the University of Utah of anti-Mormon bias has removed herself from
      the case after her decision was reversed. U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell
      recused herself last month without explanation after the successful appeal.
      The case has been reassigned to Chief Judge Dee Benson. No hearing date has
      been set. Christina Axson-Flynn, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of
      Latter-day Saints, claimed the university violated her freedoms of speech
      and religion four years ago when she feared retaliation from professors.
      While a freshman in the university's Actor Training Program, she refused to
      recite lines that contained the F-word or took "the Lord's name in vain."
      She said it was clear she would be asked to leave the university's acting
      program for not reciting the lines she believed violated her religious

      [Harry Potter] JK hints at more Potter
      The seventh Harry Potter book may not be the last we hear of the cult boy
      wizard, author JK Rowling hinted today. Instead, she may write another
      instalment about Harry as a grown-up. The writer has always maintained that
      the seventh book would be the last, but when she was quizzed by fans today,
      she would not rule out another book revealing the adult life of the magic

      [Falun Gong] China plans jam-proof communications satellite to keep ahead of
      China plans to launch a jam-proof communications satellite next year in a
      bid to keep a step ahead of Falungong and other groups using radio and TV to
      spread their messages, state media said. [...] One of the latest attacks
      occurred in October when members of Falungong, banned as an "evil cult" in
      China, blocked signals from SINOSAT, the existing communications satellite,
      as China was broadcasting its first manned space mission, the paper said.

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