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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 19 - 22, 2004

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  • Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 19 - 22, 2004 News about religious cults, sects, alternative religions and related issues Mon, Nov. 22, 2004 [Peoples Temple]
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 22, 2004
      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 19 - 22, 2004
      News about religious cults, sects, alternative religions and related issues

      Mon, Nov. 22, 2004
      [Peoples Temple] Foreign Trade Minister calls on PNCR to disclose all on
      Jonestown tragedy
      "It is the greatest tragedy from the national and international

      This was the way Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation
      Clement Rohee described what happened at Jonestown in 1978.

      Speaking with Martin Goolsarran of NCN Television, Minister Rohee said
      this nation needs full disclosure on what took place in that part of

      [Christian Exodus] Christian group plans mass exodus to South Carolina
      Church and state is the age old debate over how much each should be
      connected to the other.

      One man says he has the answer and his name is Cory Burnell, "The
      particular reason we've looked at this strategy is that we've come to the
      conclusion that across the nation, Christian conservatives really are
      having trouble getting any voice at the national level."

      Burnell is the leader of "Christian Exodus ." It's a group of Christian
      activists who say the nation is so far off the proper path, they will move
      to a place where many already share their views, set up a Christian
      government and possibly, split from the other state

      [Peoples Temple] Keeping her brother's memory alive
      For many, the date of Nov. 18 passes each year without much thought.

      For 74-year-old Shannon Ryan Torphy, it always passes with a recollection
      of her older brother, Leo and the Nov. 18, 1978, shooting in Jonestown,
      Guyana, that killed him.

      "I remember . . . I always remember. He was my brother and I lost him,"
      she said recently while seated on a couch of her room at the Brookside
      Assisted Living facility in Freehold.

      It was on that date that California Democratic Congressman Leo Ryan, 53,
      was gunned down by members of the Rev. Jim Jones' People's Temple in
      Guyana, South America.

      [Mormon Church] Retailers set sights on Mormons' pocketbooks
      On a shelf at Wal-Mart's Sandy store on State Street — next to a line of
      jewelry boxes and figurines — sits a 15-inch statue of the Angel Moroni,
      boxed and ready for holiday shoppers, many of them predictably members of
      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who recognize the Book of
      Mormon character as the figure perched on more than 100 LDS temples

      While many may well be turned off by the hawking of one of the faith's
      signature symbols — made in China for Wal-Mart and selling at $19.86 —
      there are few better clues about the growing market for LDS products, and
      the money to be made from some 12 million Latter-day Saints. Once
      considered a tiny niche market, the church's rapid growth in the past two
      decades portends more targeted marketing by both LDS and secular retailers
      to an ever-growing audience.

      [Islam] Terror probes turn up an even more zealous brand of Islamic
      An ultra-radical Islamic ideology mixing zealot-like devotion and holy war
      creed is drawing more scrutiny in anti-terrorist probes from the Middle
      East to Europe — with increasing indications that its base on the fringes
      of Islamic extremism could be widening.

      In existence since the 1960s, al-Takfir wa al-Hijra has offered
      intellectual inspiration to al-Qaida and other militant groups. But
      authorities now worry about followers becoming more aggressive with
      recruitment and retaliation against perceived foes of Islam, such as Dutch
      filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

      Officials in the Netherlands say the Dutch-Moroccan suspect — accused of
      killing Van Gogh on a busy Amsterdam street earlier this month — hosted
      gatherings of immigrants influenced by the Egyptian-founded Takfir
      ideology, which strives for a purified form of Islam and condemns anything
      or anyone deemed an enemy of the faith.

      [Islam] U.S. Muslims grapple with issues
      Should Muslims seek to return to Islam as it was practiced 1,000 years
      ago? Is homosexuality halal (permitted) or haram (forbidden)? These and
      other debates raged on — though generally in calm, respectful tones — as
      more than 100 Muslims from across the country came together to attend a
      three-day conference sponsored by the Asma Society, a New York City-based
      Muslim nonprofit group espousing religious tolerance and cultural exchange.

      [Hate Groups] Judge refuses to acquit Hale
      "This is a case involving an intelligent, educated defendant who tried to
      walk a very fine line, soliciting another person to commit a crime of
      violence but doing so in terms designed to make it appear that he was only
      discussing abstract philosophical concepts," wrote U.S. District Judge
      James Moody.

      [Media] A bet on Christian readers for The Jerusalem Post
      The Jerusalem Post, an English-language newspaper born in Israel in 1932
      as The Palestine Post, is about to get new owners who are betting they can
      rebuild its circulation by reaching an international readership of Jews
      and fundamentalist Christians.

      Sat, Nov. 20, 2004
      [Religious Merchandising] What would Jesus eat?
      Poor Jesus Christ. What with coming up with one-liners for T-shirts and
      bumper stickers and approving the cars that we drive -- let alone running
      the White House for the next four years -- He must be almost as busy as

      According to The New York Times, His latest brand extensions include the
      Riverview Community Bank in Minnesota, a "Christian financial institution"
      whose deposits have grown from $5-million (U.S.) to more than $75-million
      in the past 18 months, and the chain of Curves fitness centres (based in
      Waco, Tex.), which Entrepreneur magazine calls the "fastest growing
      franchise in the world" (and whose born-again founder Gary Heavin donates
      10 per cent of profits to Operation Save America, a radical-right
      anti-abortion group). Said Heavin in an interview with Today's Christian:
      "I couldn't dream this big . . . but I serve a God who is."

      [Catholic Church] Devout Catholics 'risk lung cancer'
      After nine hours of candle burning, the normal daily amount, the
      atmosphere in the Roman Catholic basilica in Maastricht, Holland, had
      readings between 12 and 20 times higher than European clean air guidelines.

      The air quality was worse than in an area used by 45,000 vehicles a day.

      [Jehovah's Witnesses] Man Shot Outside Blockbuster Refused Transfusion
      According to a coroner's investigator, Davis said no to offers of a
      transfusion because he's a devout Jehovah's Witness, and his religious
      stance prevented him from accepting blood from others.

      [Internet] And on the eighth day, the Lord created spam
      The growth area in unsolicited email is now spam containing religious
      mesages. And the bad news is that unlike commercial spam, it's not illegal.

      [Internet] Not All Spiritual E-Mail Is Sent With Divine Intentions
      Get ready for spiritual spam. An e-mail security company Friday reported
      an uptick in evangelical missives crusading across the Internet.

      [Ruben Ecleo] Ecleo to ask for delay in slay case until SC rules on venue
      After the parricide case of Ruben Ecleo Jr. was raffled off to another
      judge for the sixth time, the cult leader’s lawyer said his client will
      ask the court to defer further hearing the case until the Supreme Court
      rules on his motion to transfer the case to Manila.

      [Polygamy] Union vote to exclude Kingston relatives
      Struggling coal miners at the Kingston family-owned Co-Op Mine in
      Huntington now can vote to join the United Mine Workers of America union
      without fear their voices will be drowned out by co-workers related to the
      polygamous clan.

      In a ruling handed down this week, the National Labor Relations Board
      (NLRB) in Denver determined workers at the mine who are related by blood
      or marriage to the Kingston family won't be allowed to vote on UMWA

      [Netherlands] Popular Dutch lawmaker would shut border to Muslim
      immigrants for 5 years
      One of the most popular politicians in the Netherlands said Friday his
      country's democracy is under threat and called for rejecting immigration
      from non-western nations in the wake of the killing of a Dutch filmmaker,
      allegedly by a Muslim radical.

      "We are a Dutch democratic society. We have our own norms and values,"
      Geert Wilders told The Associated Press in an interview Friday. "If you
      chose radical Islam, you can leave, and if you don't leave voluntarily,
      then we will send you away. This is the only message possible."

      Fri, Nov. 19, 2004
      [Islam] Norwegian imam supports van Gogh murder
      Dr. Zahid Mukhtar, spokesperson for Islamic Council in Norway, stated that
      he sympathize with reason why the Dutch film director Theo van Gogh was

      [Nuwaubians] Nuwaubian leader appeals case, has backers
      Attorneys for jailed religious sect leader Dwight "Malachi" York on
      Thursday called his federal conviction on child sex charges flawed, as
      more than 100 members of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors proclaimed
      the group strong, even with its leader in prison.

      York recently referred to himself as "Baba" in a letter to supporters from
      a special housing unit of the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan. In the
      Oct. 30 message, York said he has received visitors from another planet
      while in prison and was moved by prison officials because he was
      converting other inmates and levitating in the air.

      [Mormon Church] Utah art dealer: Divine intervention led to return of
      Last month, Snarr's trailer and two Mormon holy books from the 1800s were
      recovered by Reno police. The third stolen Bible was recovered by a Reno
      Gazette-Journal reporter who turned it into police.

      [Church and State] Town Wasting Money in High Court Appeal, Legal Experts
      The town of Great Falls is likely fighting a losing battle in its effort
      to keep the name of Jesus Christ in its council meeting prayers, several
      legal experts say.

      The Town Council this week voted to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in
      its ongoing case with Darla Wynne. Wynne, a Great Falls resident and
      Wiccan high priestess, sued in 2001 to prevent the council from evoking
      the name of a specific deity, in this case Jesus, in its prayers.

      Wynne won the case, a decision that has been upheld in two appeals,
      prompting the 6-1 council vote to go to the highest court in the land.

      [Uniao do Vegetal] A Federal Appeals Court Says A Religious Group Can
      Import Illegal Drugs
      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently sat en banc -
      that is, in a larger-than-usual panel representing the Circuit as a whole
      - to address the claim that the federal drug laws do not apply to a
      particular church.

      The party adverse to the government was the O Centro Espirita Beneficiente
      Uniao Do Vegetal (UDV). It was secretly importing a tea-like substance
      called hoasca -- which it refers to as the "vine of the soul," the "vine
      of the dead," and the "vision vine - from Brazil to the U.S. for use in
      its religious ceremonies. The problem is, hoasca contains a Controlled
      Substances Act, Schedule I, banned drug

      [Armenia] Armenian Apostolic Church Calls for Review of Law on Religion
      The participants in a sitting of the supreme spiritual council in the Holy
      See of Echmiadzin discussed the activities of various sects in Armenia and
      the recent registration of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious sect in

      [Bible] Getting the Bible back to its roots
      Biblical scholar Robert Alter's major new English translation of the first
      five books of the Hebrew Bible -- alternately called the Five Books of
      Moses, the Torah or Pentateuch -- has some critics manning the barricades
      while others are applauding his efforts to return the work to its original
      Hebrew meanings and majestic repetitions.

      [Glenn and Justin Helzer] Ex-Playmate rehashes Helzer's extortion plot
      Jurors in the penalty trial of Glenn Taylor Helzer heard two witnesses
      once close to Helzer describe how he masterminded an extortion plot and
      five murders in the summer of 2000.

      [The Fellowship (Australia)] Book exposes damning secrets about cult
      A new book is lifting the lid on The Fellowship, which some clergy want
      expelled from their church, writes Steve Waldon.

      "One Sunday evening, close on 65 years ago, in the genteel suburb of
      Canterbury, an earnest bunch of church men and women gathered in the home
      of Alan and Frances Neil to share their faith, encourage one another, and
      learn more about the deeper Christian walk.

      Without doubt, they were a sincere and eager group, representing most of
      the big mainline churches, whose motives were 100 per cent commendable.
      They could not know they were laying the foundation for a parachurch
      organisation, which would live on for many decades to come, outlive most
      of those present, and acquire a reputation as cruelly elitist and

      The organisation referred to is The Fellowship. According to a new book,
      Fractured Families: The Story of a Melbourne Church Cult, up to 400 people
      are still connected to the group, which is described as elitist, pious and

      [The Fellowship (Australia)] How I endured 'psychological crucifixion'
      Traditional Christian teaching holds that believers are saved by grace.
      Works are a sign of their commitment. Contrary to The Fellowship,
      theologians say the New Testament does not portray prosperity as a sign of
      God's favour. Fractured Families says The Fellowship's emphasis on works
      and public confession leads to crippling introspection, and elitism.
      Leaders use this to control members.

      [Polygamy] Author discusses abuse in polygamist families
      Current legislation is not enough to protect women from the dangers of
      polygamy, a local author said at a Food for Thought meeting on Wednesday.

      The presentation, sponsored by the Women's Resource Center, focused on
      abuse and coercion, which occurs often in polygamist families, said
      presenter Andrea Moore-Emmett.

      She interviewed 18 women who left from polygamist families so she could
      gather information for her book, "God's Brothel."

      Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
      ApologeticsIndex.org: Research resources on religions, cults, sects, and
      related issues
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