Religion & Cults News – Wednesday

Handbooks published by the so-called ‘Islamic State’ call for exactly the type of attacks we just saw happen in Berlin. Such attacks may be hard to prevent.

Also inside: In March 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate UFO cult committed mass suicide. But the cult’s website is still online — maintained by two ex-members.

Plus: Not surprisingly, the dwindling Scientology cult reacts with its usual venom against Leah Remini and others who expose the cult for what it is.

The attitudes of Western European states towards new religious movements

The ‘cult wars’ of the 1980s and 1990’s have largely abated, but those who fight for the right of “New Religious Movements” seemingly continue to worry more about such groups than about the impact “cultic deviations” have on victims of cults ands sects.

A brief look at an overview and comments by religious historian Jean-François Mayer, the founder and chief editor of Religioscope.

Are you old enough to remember Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh?

In 1981 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh spent $5.75 million on a remote piece of property in Oregon and invested millions more to build Rajneeshpuram as a spiritual retreat for thousands of his red-frocked followers.

A few years later some of his followers were convicted of infecting salad bars with Salmonella, as well as other crimes: arson, wiretapping, immigration fraud, election fraud and attempted murder.

International Cultic Studies Association: Upcoming Events

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other environments.

ICSA is unique in how it brings together former group members, families, helping professionals and researchers.

Here is a listing of upcoming events.

Child in ‘resurrection ceremony’ starved more than 20 days

Aracely Meza, a ‘prophet’ who operated the Iglesia Internacional Jesus es el Rey church at her home in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, has been arrested for allegedly helping starve to death a 2-year-old boy to rid him of a “demon,” then holding a resurrection ceremony shortly after he died to try to revive him, investigators say.

Islam in UK, USA; FLDS chickens; Marty Rathbun

Watch what happened when a former FLDS cult member tried to pick up her children from the community.

Is Islam compatible with UK values? Sky News commissioned a survey to find out what Muslims and non-Muslims think about that and other issues.

And former Scientology top executive Marty Rathbun talks about Scientology, ‘auditing,’ and the cult’s harassment techniques.