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.
Today: stories about the Palmarian Catholic Church, how easily people get radicalised, and what IS jihadists have in mind for Europe’s cities.
Also: tongue-in-cheek, How do Operating Thetans get in touch with eachother? And is Crossfit a religion?
Finally: Religion News Blog’s new design.
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.
Why and how do young people get recruited by Muslim extremists?
Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary will debut on HBO at the end of March.
Also: Psychic Daniel Perez has been convicted in the drowning death of a woman at his commune, plus 27 other criminal charges.
Plus: cult expert Steve Hassan’s YouTube channel.
Today in 1997 police in Southern California discovered the bodies of 39 people — who had committed suicide in order to board a UFO they believed would take them to heaven.
Black magic is firmly ingrained in some African belief systems. We’ll tell you what gri-gris are used for.
Then there is an illustration of religious insanity provided by a preacher who thinks he is an apostle.
Plus: get up to speed on the religious exemption case the US Supreme Court is grappling with.
Private Investigator David Sullivan — who helped people get out of cults by joining those cults himself — has died at the age of 62.
His work is featured in a cover story in the November 2013 issue of Harper’s magazine.
In today’s religion news briefs: Russians have arrested a top breast feeding expert, excusing her of running a ‘cult.’
The Church of Sweden elects its first female bishop. And the head of the BBC’s religion department wonders whether you get the religious references in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
Also: the sense and nonsense of alternative medicine (and download a free book on the subject)
Updated Israeli police have arrested man whom they suspect of leading a violent cult community that routinely practiced child abuse.
The group of people he controlled consisted of six families, including 11 parents and 25 children.
Japan’s Koyasan Shingon sect of Buddhism invested money from followers, who were not told about the investments. The investments went sour.
A Muslim hate preacher once called “Osama bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe” again thwarts UK government efforts to send him back to Jordan, where he faces terrorism charges.
Two former Narconon executives will expose the Scientology front group to daylight in a broadcast on NBC’s Rock Center.
Also: a panel of cult experts looks at the question, Are Cults a Hidden Epidemic?