“RNB Roundup” is a collection of clippings, snippets, links, commentary and other items that, in one way or another, relate to the topics normally covered in Religion News Blog.
Note: This page may grow throughout the day… Too, linked items may be online for a limited time only. Get them while they’re hot.
The human brain is a wonderful thing. Some people believe it evolved purely by chance over eons of time. Others believe a deity made human beings exactly as we are today. Many believe something that falls between those two opposites. Whatever is true about how it got to be the way it is, the human brain is a marvel.
A fifth of British teenagers believe Sir Winston Churchill was a fictional character, while many think Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur and Eleanor Rigby were real, a survey shows.
The anti-Scientology group “Anonymous” told NBC11 Monday it expected more than 300,000 people to join protests expected Feb. 10.
“Of the 24 time zones there are 17 that have a church located in them and we believe our protesting is happening in 15 of those 17,” said the group member. “We have a map that people can log in to and say what protest they’re going to at the current moment. At last count we expect 300,000 at all the protests. Everyone in the world is invited. We’re trying to get support from local organizations.”
The group said it still planned to engage in activities that would harm Scientology Web sites. The member told NBC11 that she knew the activities were considered illegal. She said she was not a hacker herself.
The member said Anonymous is planning to hold large monthly protests against Scientology at its churches each month until May.
She said the group is drawing up plans for more protests after that.
Scientology-Victims-Testimonies.com is a first of its kind website, featuring video testimonies by the victims of the Scientology cult. The victims tell their stories about how they got involved with the cult, went through horrifying nightmares and had trouble to get out.
– Press Release
Their campaign has sparked a debate among long-time Scientology’s opponents, who wonder whether the aggressive rhetoric and tactics, including illegal denial-of-service attacks on the church’s websites, help the cause by raising awareness of the religion’s controversial beliefs, or hurt it by using the same type of heavy-handed methods they accuse Scientology officials of employing against critics.
“I don’t know if anybody in Anonymous did this but Anonymous set themselves up to be targeted in this way . . .,” said Mark Bunker, who runs one of the leading websites criticizing the church, www.xenutv.com, and posted a video last week warning Anonymous to tone down its campaign.
“I hope it doesn’t hurt the larger critic community who have been speaking out for years about Scientology’s abuse.”
One of Scientology’s favourite promotional leaflets, “endorsed” by Albert Einstein (in image at least), proclaims that the average person uses only 10% of their mental capacity. With Dianetics, this figure can supposedly increase. The same message has been repeated by Scientology for decades. But where does it come from and on what is it based?
– Scientology and the Great 10% Myth
A group of Orthodox Christians in northwest Russia have accused Coca-Cola of offending their religious beliefs with adverts that use distorted images of Orthodox churches, including inverted crosses.
Coca-Cola representatives said the adverts demonstrated their attitude to preserving cultural heritage.
Somewhere along the line, Snipes seems to have become involved with the Nuwaubians, then headquartered in Putnam County, Georgia, though the exact nature of his relationship with this group is unclear. In 2000, a Nuwaubian representative told the Macon Telegraph that Snipes was an “avid” member, and the cult boasted of its relationship with Snipes on its website. Noting that the star “is a proud Nubian/Nuwaubian,” the site added, rather portentously, “He is moving to Putnam County, and with him comes more money and power. All Nuwaubians will join his elite force for training. We will stop at nothing to drive the evil out of Putnam County.”
At the time, the actor’s representative denied that Snipes was “even remotely” affiliated with the sect, but his attempt in May 2000 to purchase 257 acres adjacent to the Nuwaubian compound for use as a training camp certainly raised eyebrows.
– Radar Online