… Oh, the irony: the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is being sued for religious discrimination. According to a lawsuit filed in June, the commission — in 1998 as a watchdog to investigate violations of religious liberty worldwide — had a history of discrimination against Muslims, including retracting an employment offer to a researcher because of her Muslim faith and her work with a Muslim organization.
- The lawsuit was filed by Ms. Safiya Ghori-Ahmad. She applied for a position as a South Asia policy analyst, and was recommended and approved by USCIRF’s executive direction.
- After accepting the job offer, Ghori-Ahmad was given only a temporary job without benefits and with reduced responsibilities.
- She says she lost the job because of pressure by commissioners, particularly Nina Shea, a civil rights lawyer who directs the Religious Freedom Center at the Hudson Institute. Ghori-Ahmad alleges that Shea objected to her because she is a Muslim, has worked with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) on behalf of Muslims, and was assumed to be Pakistani descent.
… Dr. Andrew W. Engel, a dentist in Bend, Oregon, has been ordered to pay nearly $348,000 to settle allegations that he threatened to fire a dental assistant unless she attended a Scientology-related training session.
- It’s the largest penalty imposed by final order in the Bureau of Labor and Industries‘ recent history, an agency spokesman said.
- According to the agency Engel repeatedly “badgered” Susan Muhleman about the three-day conference despite her concerns that it would conflict with her Christian beliefs. When her also turned down her request to attend secular training instead, she quit.
- Read the Bureau’s Full Order, which says the forum “awarded Complainant $12,000 in back pay, $10,654 in out-of-pocket expenses attributable to the unlawful employment practices, and $325,000 in damages for mental, emotional, and physical suffering…”
Incidentally, there seems to be a ‘thing’ with Scientology and dentists…
Another dentist who forced employees to submit to the cult’s indoctrinations
Dentist denies Scientology was forced on employee
Dentist denies forcing Scientology on worker, as suit alleges
Dentists, Scientologists, and me
Dentist-Scientologist refuses a deserter
Scientology benefits when Miami dentist runs up patient bills
Scientology: Dentists Defrauded
… Speaking of Scientology, Barry Morgan of radio station CJAD in Montreal, had a conversation with former Scientologist and author Jefferson Hawkins. Hawkins had a bitter split with the Church of Scientology and talks about physical and emotional abuse.
Hawkins is the author of Counterfeit Dreams: One Man’s Journey Into and Out of the World of Scientology
On this day in 1989, after a five-week trial televangelist Jim Bakker was found guilty on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. On October 24th, Judge Robert Potter sentenced him to 45 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.
In February 1991, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld Bakker’s conviction on the fraud and conspiracy charges, but voided Bakker’s 45-year sentence, as well as the $500,000 fine, and ordered that a new sentencing hearing be held.
Jim and Tammy Bakker were divorced on March 13, 1992. On November 16, 1992, a sentence reduction hearing was held and Bakker’s sentence was reduced to eight years
Bakker was granted parole in July 1994, after serving almost five years of his sentence. Nearly ten years later he was back on TV.
Initially he denounced the so-called prosperity gospel he and his wife once touted.
Prime example: he associates with Rick Joyner, a false prophet.
… Canada’s federal government has decided to end its contracts nationwide with minority-faith chaplains who had been working part-time in Canada’s federal prisons. Full-time chaplains who remain will be expected to provide spiritual guidance to inmates of all faiths.
- Spokeswoman: “the Government of Canada is not in the business of picking and choosing which religions will be given preferential status through government funding.”
- The Correctional Service of Canada says that in the last fiscal year, 36 per cent of inmates identified themselves as Catholic, 18 per cent as Protestant, five per cent as Muslim, four per cent as native spiritual, two per cent as Buddhist, one per cent as Jewish and one per cent as Sikh. Twenty percent said they were non-religious, seven per cent said they belonged to “other” religious groups, and six per cent answered “unknown.”
… Evangelical Christian from around the world filled streets of downtown Jerusalem on Thursday in a show of support for the Jewish state.
- Organized by the International Christian Embassy, the march takes place annually during the week-long Jewish Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) holiday
- The Associated Press notes
Evangelical Christians are known as strong supporters of Israel, providing financial help and political backing, especially in the United States. Even so, their hard-line views toward Palestinians and suspect religious motivations make some moderate Israelis and Jews abroad uncomfortable. […]
Many Israelis are troubled by what they suspect is the source of the unqualified support – a belief by some evangelical groups in an apocalyptic battle between good and evil in which Jesus returns, and Jews either accept Christianity or perish.
- It was reported that the seven family members — including the child’s parents — and their Indonesian maid had pinned down the child in the master bedroom of the house in an attempt to save her from an evil spirit. The maid, who was not charged, will be a witness in the case.
… A 16-year-old girl in Zimbabwe has reportedly confessed to being part of a Satanic cult that murdered 38 people, drinks human blood and feeds on human flesh.
Note that the headline in this report by a Zimbabwe news outlet reads, “Zimbabwe satanist girl confesses 60 murders,” while the article says ‘worked with’ 60 people:
The girl stunned Cowdray park residents when she gave out a list of 38 people including their addresses, which her cult had allegedly killed in the suburb.
She went on to mention about 60 people that she said she worked with.
Included in the list were leaders of a big church in Cowdray Park.
The girl also gave the address of a house she claimed had an underground room where corpses were kept for the Satanists to feed on.
It sounds a bit like the ‘Satanic Panic’ reports of the Seventies regarding Satanic ritual abuse. Keep in mind that African news media reflect local beliefs in the supernatural.
… Bruce Davis, a convicted killer described as a top follower of mass murderer Charles Manson was granted parole Thursday.
- Convicted in 1972, Davis was imprisoned for the 1969 killings of musician Gary Hinman and ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea
- The LA Times says
Davis did not participate in the 1969 Manson family murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. During his 40 years in prison, he became an ordained minister and earned master’s degrees in philosophy and religion via a correspondence program.
- After having been turned down 27 times, Davis was recommended for parole in 2010. His release was later blocked by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
- California Gov. Jerry Brown has up to 120 days to review the case and ultimately decide whether or not Davis should be released.
- Manson family prosecutor Stephen Kay says Davis should stay in prison
… A burgler who stabbed a reverend to death in his vicarage had broken into a cottage just weeks before and left an angry note branding Christians ‘scum’ and saying he hated God, a court in England was told.
- Stephen Farrow, 48, denies the charge of murder of Rev John Suddards, 59, at his home in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire. He will only admit a charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
- He is also accused of murdering retired teacher Betty Yates, 77, Bewdley, Worcestershire, a month earlier.
- Bristol Crown Court was told that after Farrow murdered the vicar, he placed pornography and condoms on his body