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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Oct. 29, 2004

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  • Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Oct. 29, 2004 Fri, Oct. 29, 2004 [Michael W. Ryan] Court Rejects Appeal Of Former Cult Leader
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2004
      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Oct. 29, 2004

      Fri, Oct. 29, 2004
      [Michael W. Ryan] Court Rejects Appeal Of Former Cult Leader
      An appeal by one-time cult leader Michael Ryan in a 1985 torture-slaying
      on a farm near Rulo was rejected Friday by a federal appeals court.

      [Church and State] MSU faith-based project violates Constitution, judge
      Magistrate Judge Richard Anderson ordered David Young, director of MSU's
      Office of Rural Health, to stop giving federal funds to parish nursing
      programs and particularly to the Carroll College Parish Nurse Center.

      The judge also ordered Young and MSU to stop housing the offices of the
      nonprofit Montana Faith-Health Cooperative and subsidizing it with a Web
      site, clerical and leadership services.

      [USA] Revealed: War has cost 100,000 Iraqi lives
      The first scientific study of the human cost of the Iraq war suggests that
      at least 100,000 Iraqis have lost their lives since their country was
      invaded in March 2003.

      More than half of those who died were women and children killed in air
      strikes, researchers say. Previous estimates have put the Iraqi death toll
      at around 10,000 - ten times the 1,000 members of the British, American
      and multi-national forces who have died so far. But the study, published
      in The Lancet, suggested that Iraqi casualties could be as much as 100
      times the coalition losses. It was also savagely critical of the failure
      by coalition forces to count Iraqi casualties.

      The researchers are savagely critical of the US General Tommy Franks for
      his widely quoted remark that "we don't do body counts". They say that the
      Geneva Convention requires occupying forces to protect the civilian
      population, and add the fact that more than half of the deaths caused by
      them were women and children is "cause for concern".

      The Lancet said it had received the study at the beginning of October and
      it had been "extensively peer-reviewed, revised and edited". It had been
      fast-tracked to publication "because of its importance to the evolving
      security situation in Iraq".

      [Nuwaubians] Sect members claim conspiracy against leader
      Pyramids, obelisks and a lonely sphinx stand deserted on the
      Egyptian-themed compound where as many as 500 members of a quasi-religious
      sect lived only five years ago.

      The United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors has gone quiet since its leader,
      Malachi York, was sentenced to 135 years in federal prison in April for
      molesting 14 boys and girls whose parents were members of his group.

      [Helge Fossmo] Curtain falls on Knutby appeals
      Pastor Helge Fossmo wants the sentence of life imprisonment for the murder
      of his second wife, Alexandra, overturned. But the prosecutor, Elin Blank,
      wants him found guilty of murdering his first wife too. She also wants
      Sara Svensson, the nanny who has admitted killing Alexandra Fossmo and
      attempting to kill a neighbour, sentenced to prison rather than
      psychiatric hospital.

      But the lack of conclusive evidence or indeed any form of agreement on the
      main points in the case has left the pundits utterly baffled as to the
      likely outcome - and has raised audience expectations of a session in the
      Supreme Court next year to complete the trilogy.

      [Witchcraft] Author Starhawk is a spiritual leader for Bay Area witches
      A practitioner of "the Craft" for three decades, Starhawk has become one
      of the leading voices in the Earth-based spirituality movement. Her
      classic text on witchcraft, "The Spiral Dance," has sold more than 285,000
      copies and has been translated into German and Danish. Some of her books
      are used in college curricula.

      Something else that sets Starhawk apart from ordinary witches is her
      passion for protest. She's participated in countless demonstrations,
      ranging from the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and the Lawrence
      Livermore National Laboratory to the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, in 2001
      and the World Trade Organization talks in Cancun, Mexico, in 2003. She's
      held vigils at Vandenberg Air Force Base and protested against Israeli
      troops in the West Bank. She's been arrested more than two dozen times.

      [Witchcraft] Britain’s witches stir it up for holiday
      Over the weekend, millions worldwide will don a witch’s hat, cape and
      broom or some other outlandish garb, but how do real witches celebrate
      Halloween? And where did the holiday originate?

      [Lord's Resistance Army] LRA Child Soldiers' Tales
      Onen is no ordinary teenager. He is a battle hardened youth who for two
      years carried out ambushes and burnt villages with the Joseph Kony's
      Lord's Resistance army.

      He shivers as he narrates the atrocities he committed and all of a sudden
      becomes speechless.

      The youth did not join the LRA rebels willingly and he is one of the
      thousands that have been abducted by the rebels during the 18 years of the
      northern Uganda insurgency. He is only lucky to have been rescued.

      [Anglican / Episcopal Church] Gay Priesthood Unbiblical, Obasanjo Tells
      African Bishops
      President Olusegun Obasanjo commenting for the first time on the gay
      bishop issue that has threatened the soul of the Anglican Communion ,
      yesterday, saluted the wisdom, courage and resilience of the African
      Bishops for standing so firmly against attempts to undermine the Christian
      faith and falsify the gospel and the Word of God.

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] Cruise's Nobel gig causes controversy
      Religious leaders in Scandinavia are outraged by the decision to chose
      scientologist star Tom Cruise to co-host the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize
      concert in Norway.

      Karl-Erik Nylund, a priest from Stockholm, Sweden, says: "They're a
      manipulative sect that takes over people's lives and finances. Cruise
      isn't going to be there as a missionary. But it's difficult to separate
      the artist Tom Cruise from Scientology Tom Cruise.

      [Islam] Upper Sharia Court to Rule in Hajara's Appeal November 10
      Hajara Ibrahim, the teenager condemned to death by stoning by the Lere
      Sharia Court in Bauchi State for being pregnant outside wedlock is to know
      her fate, November 10 when the upper Sharia court, Dass entertaining the
      appeal filed against the lower Sharia court judgment will give its verdict.

      [Yoga] Yoga promises students physical, spiritual gains
      Since coming to Duke, senior Franklin Winokur has regularly participated
      in what he describes as one of the most demanding workouts he has ever
      undertaken. Senior Deirdre Hess, on the other hand, has found an exercise
      routine that allows her to concentrate on de-stressing. These two
      students are describing the same activity: yoga.

      [Islam] Dispute splits Bulgaria's Muslims
      A young man stands on a balcony, his hand cupped to one ear as he sings
      out, calling his fellow students to prayer in a small Islamic studies
      center high in Bulgaria's Rodopi Mountains.

      The center, which trains men to be imams, is one several Islamic studies
      institutes that have been branded as "terrorist nests" by parts of the
      Bulgarian media and Muslim community leaders, who have suggested that the
      institutes are trying to foist fundamentalist ideas on a traditionally
      moderate Islamic community.

      The suggestions have brought alarm among members of Bulgaria's Christian
      Orthodox majority and have led to calls for tighter regulation of
      religious groups. While these concerns may be genuine, some commentators
      in Bulgaria say the allegations are a ruse in a dispute that has less to
      do with religion than with power and money.

      [Ruben Ecleo] Bacolod siblings oppose transfer of Ecleo case trial
      The surviving siblings of the murdered wife of Ruben Ecleo Jr. have
      brought to court their opposition to a move to transfer the trial of the
      parricide case against the cult leader.

      Angelito, Ricky and Josebel Bacolod filed an opposition with the Office of
      the Court Administrator, asking that the trial on the parricide case
      against Ecleo remains in Cebu.

      [Alternative Healing] Does Reiki have a place in Judaism?
      The ancient Japanese tradition of Reiki is emerging in Israel, and its
      fresh presence is posing a simple question in the heart of the Jewish
      world: Is there a place for Reiki in Judaism?

      Reiki, "universal life energy" in Japanese, is more popular in Israel now
      than it was five years ago, says Eli Navon, Reiki teacher at the Israel
      Holyland Reiki Center and the School for Alternative Medicine in Kfar Saba.

      "More people come to study- all kinds of people, including doctors," said

      As Japanese culture and healing are exported in the global village, Jewish
      practitioners face the challenge of integrating the foreign belief system
      into the Jewish domain.

      [Gilbert Deya Ministries] Woman Jailed Over 'Miracle Babies'
      A woman was yesterday sentenced to six months' imprisonment for helping
      register the births of the so-called "miracle babies". [...] Two of the
      children are alleged to have been born to embattled UK-based preacher
      Gilbert Deya and his wife, Mary, following miracle prayers by the couple.

      [Aum Shinrikyo] Court Rejects AUM Cult's Request to Stop Surveillance
      The Tokyo District Court turned down Friday a request by the AUM Shinrikyo
      cult to stop government surveillance of it, saying its founder Shoko
      Asahara continues to wield power over members.

      In handing down the decision, Presiding Judge Yosuke Ichimura dismissed
      the AUM members' argument that the law was unconstitutional.

      Ichimura said Asahara, 49, "even now has influence over the cult's
      activities mainly because senior cult members are still preaching absolute
      submission" to him.

      The cult, now headed by Fumihiro Joyu who was previously a close aide of
      Asahara, has tried to make efforts to shed its criminal image.

      But Ichimura said he sees no progress in the cult's efforts to reform.

      [Bible] Dutch Bible translation slammed as 'too modern'
      A new Dutch translation of the Bible to be published on Wednesday has
      attracted sharp criticism for being too modern and differing too much from
      the original Hebrew and Greek texts.

      The New Bible Translation (De Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling) was to be unveiled
      in Rotterdam on Wednesday and launched in Antwerp for the Belgian market
      on Friday. Ten years in the making, the publication is intended to offer a
      standard translation for the entire Dutch-language region.

      Well-known Dutch priests Huub Oosterhuis and Nico ter Linden claim the
      attempt to translate the bible into Dutch language has come at the expense
      of what the original authors meant.

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] Subway-tology!
      A poster being sold to mark the 100th anniversary of the subway has an
      underground message - and it has nothing to do with trains.

      The poster, which depicts a crowded Times Square subway station, contains
      what seems like an endless number of plugs for the controversial Church of

      [Artist Kathy] Jakobsen also unabashedly includes plugs for one of her
      children's books, "My New York," the book's publisher, Megan Tingley, and
      her agent, art gallery owner Frank Miele.

      Miele, reached at his gallery yesterday, confirmed that he is a
      Scientologist and that Jakobsen is a "committed Scientologist."

      Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority,
      defended the $10 poster as depicting "the actuality of Times Square and
      what is going on here."

      [Islam] Discovery of Quran leads man to new spiritual path
      When Amon Graves picked up the Quran, the holy book of Islam, there was
      something instantly familiar about it.

      Just a few years later the gangly kid who once played the tax collector in
      the annual church Christmas play had changed his name to Amon Muhammad and
      embraced the Muslim faith. Nowadays, he is Brother Amon, the spiritual
      leader of his hometown mosque, the person those who are in trouble go to
      for guidance.

      His road from Christianity to Islam, however, is more of a bridge than a
      path in a single direction.

      "I never let Jesus go. Muslims believe in Jesus as the messiah," said

      There are distinctions. Muslims believe Jesus is a messenger of God, but
      that the Prophet Muhammad was the last messenger of God. They do not
      believe that Jesus is the son of God or that God is comprised of the
      Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Christians generally do not believe
      that Muhammad was a prophet sent by God.

      [Science and Religion] Psychiatrist: spiritual belief helps mental illness
      People suffering with mental health disorders who have a faith in a higher
      power' have a better chance of managing their illnesses and improving
      their health.

      They even live longer, Dr Andrew Powell, a member of the Royal College of
      Psychiatrists, told a multi-faith meeting of mental health professionals,
      carers and patients in Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, on Thursday
      last week.

      [Nepal] Nepal courts Indian gurus to improve image abroad
      After renowned mountaineers Sir Edmund Hillary, Reinhold Messner and Peter
      Habeler, Nepal is now courting Indian spiritual gurus to portray the
      Himalayan kingdom as a safe destination.

      Nepal is hoping that the arrival of Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi
      Shankar, whose Art of Living Foundation teaches how to deal with negative
      emotions through breathing control techniques, will reinforce the image of
      Nepal as a safe destination for tourists, especially from India.

      [Obituary] Bryan Wilson
      Bryan Wilson was one of the most brilliant and influential sociologists of
      religion of the past century. It is impossible for any serious student of
      the subject to write about the state of religion in contemporary society
      without referring to his secularisation thesis or his work on sects and
      new religious movements.

      Bryan Wilson, sociologist of religion, was born on June 25, 1926. He died
      on October 9, 2004, aged 78.

      Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
      ApologeticsIndex.org: Research resources on religions, cults, sects, and
      related issues
      ReligionNewsBlog.com: News & news archive on religions, cults, sects, and
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