ReligionNewsBlog.com, Feb. 8, 2005
ReligionNewsBlog.com, Feb. 8, 2005
- News about religious cults, sects, and related issues
- Shown in context
- Includes links to related research resources
[Jehovah's Witnesses] Court rules doctors can override patient's wish
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says doctors are obliged to provide the best care possible to seriously ill children, even if it conflicts with their parents' religious beliefs.
The Supreme Court of Western Australia has ruled staff at Princess Margaret Hospital can give a 15-year-old cancer patient blood transfusions, even though he and his parents object to the treatment because they are Jehovah's Witnesses.
[Aum Shinrikyo] Attempted Murder Victim Hopes Ex-AUM Member is Not Executed
Hiroyuki Nagaoka, 66, told the Tokyo High Court he does not want former senior AUM member Tomomitsu Niimi put to death. "Capital punishment may be inevitable, but if possible, I hope he could be let off it." [...] "The defendant has changed from what he was, and he understands he committed irreparable crimes," Nagaoka told the court.
[Aum Shinrikyo] Car Dealer Found Guilty Over AUM-Related Sales of Skin Ointment
The Tokyo District Court on Friday sentenced a used car dealer to a three-year term, suspended for five years, for selling atopic ointment in 2003 and 2004 without the government's authorization, in conspiracy with former members of the AUM Shinrikyo cult.
[Polygamy] The Texas Prophecy - A Special Report
The biggest drain on the FLDS bank account in recent weeks is a seemingly frenzied construction project on a remote ranch in Texas. It's believed to be the first polygamist temple and it's setting off alarm bells. John Hollenhorst flew over the site in West Texas and brings us the exclusive story.
It's not just the spending that has people worried. It's the astounding speed of the project. Some believe Warren Jeffs has created a dangerous atmosphere by setting a deadline: his own "Texas Prophesy" of the end of the world.
[Hate Groups] Police: Man uses media to create illusion of movement
For more than a year now, a Tualatin man has used public access television, the Internet and the mainstream media to create the illusion that a white supremacist movement is on the rise in the Northwest, law enforcement officials said.
But in reality, authorities said, the so-called Tualatin Valley Skins and the pro-white movement is the work of one man, Matthew Ramsey of Tualatin, and perhaps one or two other men.
[Destiny Churches] Destiny promotes Tamaki to bishop
Formerly Pastor Brian, the head and founder of Destiny Church is to become New Zealand's newest bishop, he confirmed in Dunedin last night.
[USA] Files Show New Abuse Cases in Afghan and Iraqi Prisons
A cache of documents disclosed Thursday provides several instances of prisoner abuse by American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq that appeared to have been investigated only briefly. The documents, released by the American Civil Liberties Union, include one file in which an Iraqi detainee asserted that Americans in civilian clothing beat him repeatedly, dislocated his shoulder, stepped on his nose until it broke, choked him with a rope and hit him in the leg with a bat. Medical reports in the file confirmed the broken nose and fractured leg.
[Exorcism] Priests get refresher course on exorcisms
In a classroom ringed by Rome's pine-covered hills, 100 priests solemnly stood in prayer, made the sign of the cross and got down to business: a lesson on Satanism, demonic possession and exorcism.
Worried about ritual killings in Italy and simple adolescent angst, a Vatican-recognized university launched the course Thursday to help priests and seminarians understand what makes people turn to the occult. The class is billed as the first of its kind, with wide-ranging instruction by exorcists, psychologists and a police criminologist.
[Santa Muerte] Mexico weighs recognition of Saint Death sect
Praying to a statue of the Grim Reaper and collecting the faithful across the country, a small religious sect that worships death is now fighting the Mexican government for recognition.
The church, an unofficial offshoot of Roman Catholicism, was registered as a religious group in 2003, allowing it to legally raise money and own property.
But on Tuesday, the Mexican government said it was considering withdrawing official recognition of the church after an excommunicated member accused the cult of forcing its members to worship death and failing to stick to its bylaws.
[Aum Shinrikyo] Facts Lost If AUM Members Executed Before Founder, Ex-Cultist Warns
A former AUM Shinrikyo cult cadre who is appealing the death sentence against him to the Supreme Court, said Thursday that the truth surrounding a series of crimes related to the cult will remain forever hidden if death-row followers of AUM founder Shoko Asahara are executed before him.
[Polygamy] Challenge of Utah polygamy law swatted down
A federal judge has refused to strike down Utah's ban on polygamy, dashing hopes for a walk down the aisle by a Salt Lake County man who wants to add another wife to his marriage.
In an order issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart rejected an argument that the prohibition on polygamy is an unconstitutional violation of religious and privacy rights and ruled that the state has an interest in protecting monogamous marriage.
[Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee] Kidnapping suspect breaks into religious song at hearing
Defense expert Jennifer Skeem, a University of California-Irvine assistant professor, has twice examined Brian David Mitchell but said in the hearing Mitchell had become "recently delusional and more distressed" and was no longer fit for trial.
She also said Mitchell, whom she has diagnosed with delusional disorder, believes the last days are near, and he will lead the righteous people to the holy land, where they will engage in an epic battle with the Antichrist.
[Vampirism] Justice derailed: who's to blame?
It was a story of almost unbelievable brutality — the frenzied stabbing to death of a 12-year-old boy, tape-recorded evidence of the three accused killers plotting attacks, tales of vampirism, of blood, of hate, of teenage love.
At the core of it all, the teenage girl who appeared so cool and calm in the witness box, who brightly told of the phone call she got from one of the accused killers. She recounted how she had played along with the vampirism. Really, she said, she didn't take any of that stuff seriously.
Then Tuesday night, one of the decade's biggest trials turned into a train wreck. A newspaper story told how the teen, the prosecution's star witness, had posted references to bloodlust and vampirism on the Internet. The judge reviewed the information — and declared a mistrial.
What went wrong?
[Vampirism] Crown to retry 'Johnathan' case
A mistrial was declared after a key prosecution witness allegedly lied about her interest in vampirism.
Justice David Watt said the witness, a former girlfriend of one of the defendants, may have misled the court after a newspaper reported she had contradicted her sworn testimony in postings to the internet.
[Vampirism] Small fringe jumps from hobby to cult
If most are recreational vampires, a small fringe cross the line from bizarre hobby to dangerous cult.
During the trial, one of the boys facing charges in Johnathan's death -- a friend of the brother also in the defendants' box -- confessed in his testimony to a fascination with vampires and a proclivity for drinking human blood.
But this week, while the jurors were in their second day of deliberations, a mistrial was declared when it was discovered that the boy's former girlfriend -- a teenager who was the prosecution's key witness -- had posted her profile on a popular website for vampire aficionados, where she claimed a fondness for blood, pain, cemeteries and knives, after denying in the witness box that she shared the boy's interests in blood.
[Scientology] Clear thinking
Since a 1963 US food and drug administration edict, Scientology can no longer refer to E-meters as having any medical use: they are now "religious artifacts" that continue to play a central role in scientological practice. The latest Mark VII Quantum model looks like two tin cans wired up to a Smart Car dashboard but, like its predecessors, it is integral to the process of becoming "clear" or "free from negative thoughts and emotions".
[Shinto] Court accepts priest's touching of girl's breasts as 'religious activity'
In giving the ruling, Tomita acknowledged that Sakamoto had touched the breasts of the girl, but said of his actions, "(In the sect to which the defendant belongs) there are some cases in which the skin is touched directly, and one cannot say that this did not constitute a religious activity."
[Word of Faith Fellowship] Judge delays hearing
Tuesday afternoon, District Court Judge David Fox handed down a visitation order with a serious stipulation before postponing the hearing involving Shana Muse's efforts to reunite with her two youngest children.
Judge Fox, agreed to let Muse's two daughters, who have been emancipated and and have returned to the Word of Faith Fellowship, to have two hours of unsupervised vistation with their younger brothers.
The stipulation is that the girls not attempt to discuss their religion with their siblings.
Muse is a former Word of Faith Fellowship member whose four children were placed in DSS custody by an October 2003 court order which found the WOFF environment abusive.
[Transcendental Meditation] International Education: Meditation helps students
New research appears to be strengthening the case for teaching transcendental meditation in U.S. schools, showing it to be a means to improve the concentration of students and a way to enhance their physical and mental well-being.
[Hinduism] Sex, lies and CDs, it has all the ingredients
The dramatis personae were four priests and seven other persons who had planned and funded the operation. The CDs were shot at two Swaminarayan (Vadtal sect) temples in Junagadh and Bharuch and two private premises in Ahmedabad and Surat.
The three women who figured on the CDs told police during interrogation that they’d been lured with the promise that they would give birth to a male child.
[Hinduism] Priest, others in sex scandal dismissed
The sadhus, including the priest of Swaminarayn temple, allegedly involved in a sex scandal, would be dismissed, a top priest of the Vadtal-based sect said here on Wednesday.
[Polygamy] Polygamous leader Owen Allred dies
Allred had faulted The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for abandoning polygamy to appease the federal government to get statehood but in 2000 said he supported the state's ban on polygamy.
"I'm really in favor of it being against the law, because if it wasn't against the law, there wouldn't be anything sacred about it at all," he said. "If you really believe in it, you'll fight for it."
[Vampirism] Vampirism allegation leads to mistrial in Toronto murder case
A mistrial was declared Tuesday night in the murder trial of three teenagers in Toronto amid allegations that a key prosecution witness lied about her interest in vampirism.
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