ReligionNewsBlog, Apr. 12, 2005
ReligionNewsBlog, Apr. 12, 2005
[Scientology] Mental health bill gets star treatment
A Church of Scientology group brought celebrity firepower to the Capitol Tuesday, recruiting actor Kelly Preston to lobby for a bill that aims to restrict mental health services in public schools.
The bill, backed by the Scientology offshoot Citizens Commission on Human Rights, has moved steadily through House committees. But it appears to have hit a snag in the Senate, partly because of its ties to the church.
[Seishin Chuo Kyokai] Scandal-hit church was investigated for demanding donations
A church whose leader stands accused of raping a young girl was investigated by Kyoto Prefectural authorities seven years ago after officials received information that it was demanding donations from people, it has been learned.
[Bill and Patsy Freeman] Freemans refuse to respond
With the exception of one e-mail sent to the Whitworth administration late February, the Freemans and their followers have reacted with silence to the college’s caution about the group and articles in The Whitworthian detailing the Freeman’s history.
In reply to Johnson’s e-mail, Whitworth President Bill Robinson wrote: “I believe we acted in a responsible way when we alerted the community to concerns that had come to us regarding the Freemans.”
[Witchcraft] Third patient alleges witchcraft in Delnor suit
A third malpractice lawsuit has been filed against Delnor-Community Hospital charging that a former psychologist used witchcraft under the guise of therapy.
The lawsuit states that Libman administered witchcraft to Carlson by instructing her to use the witch's pentagram, to conduct a seance, told her how to write and perform her own witch's spells and asked for a sample of Carlson's ex-husband's DNA so she could perform a spell on him.
[Offbeat News] 'Holy Ghost' faces classroom ban
New guidelines for religious education in Norfolk suggest expressions such as the Holy Ghost be banned from lessons because they could confuse pupils.
The Norfolk Agreed Syllabus for religious education recommends that teachers use the term Holy Spirit, to avoid comparisons with ghost stories.
[Mormon Church] Mormons Abusing Memory of Deceased Russians — Religious Council
The Russian Inter-Religious Council has descrideb as “deliberate abuse” the Mormon practice of enrolling deceased people in their organization. Russia is also subject to the practice, and it’s a pity there is no law to stop Mormons from doing it, Roman Silantyev, spokesman for the Council, told Interfax Tuesday.
[Satanism] Band member jailed for part in satanic murders
A court in Italy jailed a man for 19 years yesterday for his part in two satanic ritual killings which were committed when he was a minor.
Mario Maccione, a member of the Beasts of Satan heavy metal group, was 17 when he helped murder a young couple whose bodies were found in woods outside Milan in January 1998.
[Russia] Russian TV Visits Sect That Believes That Putin is Apostle Paul Reborn
Vladimir Putin is a reborn Apostle Paul. Such is a new postulate of a sect that has been operating in Nizhniy Novgorod Region for several years already. A former prison inmate, now known as Mother Fatinya, is attracting more and more followers under her wing. People are abandoning their families and selling their flats - all for the sake of learning the so-called truth. The local [Russian Orthodox] diocese is aware of the sect but cannot do anything about it.
[Polygamy] Bizarre events add intrigue to Kingston family hearing
Heidi Mattingly Foster spent nearly two hours on the stand in juvenile court Monday as state attorneys repeatedly asked her to acknowledge she and polygamist John Daniel Kingston abused their children and questioned her ability to protect them.
Inside the building, Mattingly Foster refused to detail any past abuse, citing her right to avoid self-incrimination. But she said new parenting techniques learned in months of therapy would help her keep the children safe and that she would protect them from Kingston "If I need to."
[Polygamy] Custody Hearing in Kingston Case
A hearing was held today involving some of the children of polygamist John Daniel Kingston and one of his wives. A judge is deciding if he'll reunite them with their parents.
[MOVE] Jury verdict will push city costs from MOVE bombing to nearly $43M
A federal jury awarded $12.8 million to 24 residents of Osage Avenue yesterday after finding that Mayor Street and the city violated their rights in the wake of the bombing of the MOVE house 20 years ago.
The jury's verdict, and comments by some of the jurors, reflected sharp criticism of Street's actions in dealing with the residents, whose homes were among 61 destroyed in the fire that followed the Mother's Day 1985 police bombing.
[MOVE] MOVE block residents awarded $12.83 million
Twenty years after the MOVE bombing, the price tag for the debacle keeps rising, with a federal jury yesterday awarding the last 24 residents of the West Philadelphia block about $530,000 each and handing a stinging rebuke to Mayor Street.
[Hate Groups] Czechs worried by increase in neo-Nazi meetings
Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda expressed concern about the increasing number of international meetings of right-wing extremists, especially in regions of the country bordering Germany.
"I hope and wish that the Czech Republic does not become a melting pot for neo-Nazis," Svoboda said in Prague.
[Alternative Healing] Most Older Adults Use Alternative Medicine
More than 70 percent of adults aged 50 or older use some type of alternative therapy, such as herbal medicine, meditation, or seeing a chiropractor, according to new study findings.
Author Dr. Gong-Soog Hong said she was surprised to see so many older adults turning to alternative treatments. Although it's important to have "options," she said that many of these remedies are largely untested, and experts still don't know if they interfere with many combinations of drugs older adults are taking.
[Catholic Church] Lay activists may shape Catholicism
The Vatican needs all the hope, and the help, it can get these days in Latin America, which accounts for about 40 percent of the world's Catholics. The church may still be dominant in the region, but it's now far from universal.
An array of spiritual beliefs and political tendencies fractures the church. Millions of its believers have deserted to evangelical Protestant faiths. The ranks of priests and nuns continue to dwindle even as the total number of Catholics expands with the rocketing population.
[Unification Church] Public Faith in NGOs Remains Strong Despite Scandals
Of wide historical note in Korea are the Reverend Moon Sun-myung’s pseudo-religious political organizations, most well known of which are the Unification Church and the Women’s Federation for World Peace International.
Having been in operation since the 1950s, Moon’s non-profit organizations, which now total 1,000, have been little more than a front for transferring funds through a transcontinental business empire with links to North Korea and Latin American conservative militia groups.
[Mormon Church] Jews, Mormons to Examine Proxy Baptisms
Jews and Mormons decided Monday to jointly scrutinize a Mormon database that includes the names of thousands of deceased Jews including Holocaust victims who were given unwanted, posthumous baptisms.
[Clint Brown] Evangelist Clint Brown hit by suit
A Denver church has sued Orlando evangelist Clint Brown, saying he has
refused to repay a $100,000 loan he sought to help buy a building for his Pentecostal congregation.
The suit by Heritage Christian Center is the latest in a series of legal troubles for Brown, who leads the 6,000-member FaithWorld church west of Maitland. Heritage is suing FaithWorld as well as Brown.
The 41-year-old preacher and recording artist also is embroiled in a bitter divorce case and already has been sued by a former church member who says he reneged on a verbal loan agreement with her.
[Opus Dei] Opus Dei watching for selection of pope
As cardinals prepare to elect a new pope, one Catholic community in particular has much at stake - Opus Dei, the ultraconservative movement at the center of the furor generated by "The Da Vinci Code."
Founded in Spain in 1928, the movement has more than 80,000 members worldwide, many of them lay people but also hundreds of priests, bishops and even two cardinals among those who will be casting votes in Rome.
[Jehovah's Witnesses] Teen can't refuse blood, court rules
A 14-year-old Jehovah's Witness undergoing cancer treatment lost her fight in court yesterday to stop doctors from giving her a blood transfusion against her will.
[Scientology] Scientology in schools
L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer before he decided, more than a half-century ago, to publish his views on mental health. Now, apparently, his adherents are writing Florida law.
Two bills aimed at schoolchildren that are winding their way through the Legislature bear a familiar Hubbard trademark. They hold the practice of modern mental health medicine in contempt and, by extension, those who would dare to seek the help of a psychiatrist. The bills were written, at least in part, by a group called Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which was set up by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to attack health care professionals who don't subscribe to Hubbard's vision of "Dianetics."
The Scientologists are certainly entitled to their own world view, and the celebrities who are drawn to it are surely buoyed by Hubbard's suggestion that they are "a cut above man." But Florida law, and Florida schoolchildren, don't need to be a party to Hubbard's grudge against psychiatrists.
[Christianity] On new NBC show, Revelation meets ad rates
When NBC airs the first episode in its new “Revelations” TV drama Wednesday night, don't expect to learn much about the New Testament book of Revelation.
The six-part series may have been inspired by the imaginative, puzzling and complex apocalyptic writing in the final book of the Bible, but the TV show's take on Revelation can't possibly reflect what Christianity thinks about it. That's because Christianity as a whole has never quite decided what it thinks about Revelation.
[Lyndon LaRouche] Fresh inquiry into student's death rejected
A fresh investigation into the bizarre and unexplained death of a British student who had become involved with a political cult in Germany has been ruled out by prosecuting authorities in Wiesbaden.
The decision is a devastating blow to the family of Jeremiah Duggan, 22, who have maintained since his death two years ago that the decision of the German police that their son committed suicide by jumping in front of cars on a dual carriageway was wrong and based on inadequate inquiries.
The family believe Mr Duggan's involvement with the Wiesbaden-based followers of Lyndon LaRouche, a right-wing American millionaire and conspiracy theorist who has been accused of running a political cult with anti-Semitic views, holds the key to his death. They believe their son may have been victimised because he was Jewish and wanted to leave the gathering of cult followers he had been attending.
[Scientology] Scientologists deny claims of homophobia
John Travolta and Tom Cruise have forcefully denied allegations that they turned to Scientology to "cure" them of their supposedly gay urges. But critics continue to claim the religion is rife with homophobia.
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his 1950 best seller, "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," that gays were "sexual perverts" and "very ill physically."
[Judaism] 'Lost' Jewish tribe to settle in Israel
Thousands of tribals in India's north east are set to migrate to the promised land after Israel recognized them as descendants of one of the Biblical lost tribes, community leaders say.
The 6,000-strong "Bnei Menashe", or children of Manasseh Tribe, spread across Mizoram and Manipur states have been officially recognized by sephardic or oriental chief rabbi Shlomo Amar in Jerusalem.
Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
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