This is our archive of news items tagged False Memory Syndrome.

 memo You'll find articles about that subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

Hijab Outcry * Interfaith Movement’s Status * Pastor or Cop?

bullet Having been handed a anti-social behaviour order (Asbo), David Camp, of Cambridge, England, has been banned from going near Islamic buildings in east London for a period of 12 months after posting racist messages on Twitter.

bullet Using the hashtag #hijabuppropet (hijab outcry) a number of women across Sweden published pictures of themselves on Twitter and other social media websites on Monday wearing headscarves.

They did so in solidarity with a pregnant woman wearing a headscarf who was harassed and assaulted in a Stockholm suburb last weekend. The woman believes her faith was the reason for the assault, during which her headscarf was pulled off. The attacker also shouted racist taunts.

Why Muslim women wear veils

Instragram screenshot

Instagram screenshot

bullet America’s interfaith movement is facing some challenges.

Well-known interfaith organizations such as the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, the National Council of Churches, and the Parliament of the World’s Religions have been laying off staff members as revenues shrink.

But some experts see positive developments as well:

  • Over the past three decades religious minorities have grown significantly in size and stature
  • Nowadays Americans interact more easily with people of other faiths, and
  • nationwide there currently are twice as many interfaith groups as a decade ago

bullet Authorities have issues an arrest warrant for Matt Pitt, Founder and Pastor of The Basement Ministry — a youth outreach in Birmingham, Alabama.

Pitt faces jail time after being arrested a second time on charges of trying to impersonate a police officer.

The Basement is one of the largest youth ministries in the USA.

bullet Remember this story? Second Woman Claims Clinic Gave Her ‘False Memories’ of Satanic Rituals (February 16, 2012).

We just saw this tweet from the Castlewood Victims Twitter account:

By now, three more women have filed lawsuits against Castlewood Treatment Center in St. Louis, MO, and against the center’s founder, psychologist Mark Schwartz.

The women allege that Schwartz brainwashed them into believing they were members of satanic cults.

Schwartz stepped down last May from his position as the Center’s Director.

The lawsuits: Case 1, Case 2, Case 3, Case 4
Research resources on brainwashing

bullet According to a local NBC affiliate, exorcisms are gaining popularity in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The station doesn’t really offer any proof, but it did “take a look at two Bay Area Exorcists.” One of them is Father Gary Thomas, the official exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose.

Thomas is one of about 14 Vatican-certified exorcists working in the U.S. and the real-life counterpart to the character played by Colin O’Donoghue (not, as NBC says, Anthony Hopkins) in the 2011 thriller “The Rite.”

The station quotes Thomas as saying that the number of exorcists has quadrupled since the movie came out.

Curious about exorcism? Check these research resources

bullet A court in Iran has sentenced a Christian convert to 10 years in prison for “endangering state security” and “conspiracy.”

His crime? Mohammad Hadi Bordba distributed copies of the bible in the Islamic Republic after he converted to Christianity from Islam.

bullet A Utah judge has extended the deadline to apply for a board of trustees being formed to take over the United Effort Plan — a state-run trust that once belonged to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), polygamous sect of Mormonism.

bullet An increasing number of young converts to Islam are traveling from France on a mission to engage in ‘holy war in Syria.

Like other European countries France is threatening to jail those who do so (and/or those who recruit them).

The father or two converts has given an exclusive interview to the BBC claiming his sons were brainwashed.

bullet How do people forgive a crime like murder? In May, 1985, Bill Pelke’s 78-year-old grandmother was stabbed to death by four teenage girls who then ransacked her house.

Ringleader Paula Cooper was sentenced to death on 11 July 1986, and Pelke thought that was an appropriate sentence. But 18 months after his grandmother’s death he started to reconsider.

He became increasingly convinced that his grandmother – a devout Christianwould have felt love and compassion for Cooper and would have wanted someone in the family to feel the same.

Though his family members struggled to accept it, he says his decision to forgive brought him “tremendous healing”. [See: The Healing Power of Forgiveness]

Cooper was released in June, her sentence having been set aside due to her good behavior in prison. Not only had Pelke actively campaigned for her release, but he now wants to help her adjust to life outside.

Jury finds ‘Sound Doctrine’ pastor guilty of sex crimes against child

Also inside: Director of treatment center steps down after brainwashing allegations Anti-cult conference takes on Scientology Religious nut claims to be Jesus Christ Cult leader Warren Jeffs says Mount Olympus will fall on Salt Lake City Pastor reportedly sends ‘goblins’ to former member of his church.

Sound Doctrine Church pastor convicted

A jury in Enumclaw, Washington, has found Malcolm John Fraser — a pastor at Sound Doctrine Church — guilty of sex crimes committed against a young girl.

The Enumclaw Courier-Herald says

Fraser had been charged with two counts of first-degree child rape and two counts of first-degree molestation. The case involved a girl who was 11 when the  incidents took place; she is now 18. The incidents occurred in the girl’s home, while Fraser was living with her family.

The jury found Fraser guilty on all counts.

He was taken into custody immediately after the verdict was read.

A sentencing date had not yet been set.

Fraser is facing 20 to 25 years in prison, as well as a possible fine of $50,000.

Theologically Sound Doctrine Church is a cult of Christianity.

Sociologically there are concerns about the group as well.

Castlewood Treatment Center director steps down

A psychologist sued by four women for allegedly brainwashing them at a treatment center for eating disorders has stepped down from his position as the center’s director.

Since 2011, four women have filed separate lawsuits against the treatment center and psychologist Mark Schwartz.

The women allege that Schwartz brainwashed them into believing they were members of satanic cults.

They also claim Schwartz implanted them with false memories of sexual abuse.

Schwartz, who founded the inpatient Castlewood Treatment Center in St. Louis, MO, twelve years ago, is scheduled to give a deposition in late July.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a spokesman for Castlewood has called the claims “spurious” and has said the center will “defend this case vigorously.”

The lawsuits: Case 1, Case 2, Case 3, Case 4
Research resources on brainwashing

Anti-Cult organization holds conference in Scientology’s European backyard

European anti-cult organization FECRIS has held a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The city is home to the European headquarters of the destructive Scientology cult.

FECRIS is an umbrella organisation for European family support groups whose members help the families and friends of cult members.

FECRIS president Tom Sackville told The Copenhagen Post that few European governments had enacted legislation to protect citizens from controlling groups that call themselves religions.

“These organisations wreck lives to an extent that normally would lead governments to take some action,” Sackville said. “But by posing as religions, they succeed in convincing civil servants and politicians to back off and fail to take a principled stand.”

Sackville was particularly critical of the Danish government for allowing the Church of Scientology, which was started by the science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1952, to establish its European headquarters in Copenhagen.

The organisation is known for its controversial practices that include urging its members to “disconnect” from friends and family who are not members.

Copenhagen is also the location for Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) where members that have deviated from the cult’s teachings are sent. Critics allege that the RPF functions as a labor camp and private prison.

The cult has several of these camps around the world.

Former IT Specialist Claims To Be Jesus Reborn

From our ‘Religious Insanity’ files: Former IT specialist Alan John Miller heads a religious cult named ‘Divine Truth‘ from Wilkesdale, near the small town of Kingaroy in the state of Queensland, Australia.

He wants people to believe that he is Jesus Christ.

Moreover, his partner, Mary Suzanne Luck, is supposed to be Mary Magdalene.

Miller told Sky News

“I have very clear memories of the crucifixion, but it wasn’t as harrowing for me as it was for others like Mary who was present.

“When you are one with God you are not in a state of fear, and you have quite good control over your body’s sensations and the level of pain that you absorb from your body.”

The networks says the whilst critics dismiss his claims, Miller’s seminars attract large groups of people, up to 150 a time.

Cult experts in Australia and beyond are concerned, as some of Miller’s followers reportedly have given up careers and families in order to join the religious nut.

Do we even need to point out that Miller’s group is, theologically, a cult of Christianity?

Here’s a June, 2012 documentary on the group:

One buyer beware regarding this video: If you ever need a cult expert, make sure you check this information first.

‘Mount Olympus to fall on Salt Lake City’

Cult leader Warren Jeffs continues to use his prison sentence to sharpen his creative writing skills.

Jeffs heads the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), which is theologically a cult of Mormonism.

In August, 2011, he was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting two underage followers he took as brides in what his church deemed “spiritual marriages.”

Ever since, the cult leader — who even from behind prison bars continues to rule the polygamous cult with an iron fist — has sent out a series of silly ‘revelations’ and ‘prophecies,’ which he claims were given to him by ‘Jesus Christ, Jehovah Son Ahman.’

‘Son Ahman’ is one of the names of the Mormon version of Jesus Christ.

Most of the alleged revelations amount to doomsday predictions and other warning of dire consequences should Jeffs not be released from prison.

Jeffs’ most recent bit of nonsense includes the threat, “I shall cause Mount Olympus to fall on Salt Lake City.”

His previous predictions included the destruction of Phoenix, an East Coast tidal wave, the destruction of Idaho by fire, an earthquake and tidal wave in Seattle, the destruction of Cincinnati, and damage to the U.S. electrical system.

Prophet sends goblins…

Who says the religion beat isn’t interesting enough?

A woman in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, claims that her former pastor — upset with her for leaving his church for another one — is sending her goblins which steal her g-string panties and whisper insults.

Prophet sends goblins

Second Woman Claims Clinic Gave Her ‘False Memories’ of Satanic Rituals

False Memory Syndrome A second woman has filed a malpractice lawsuit against a St. Louis, MO treatment center, claiming she was hypnotized into thinking her eating disorder was rooted in “repressed memories” of cult involvement.

Leslie Thompson, 26, filed the suit late yesterday against the Castlewood Treatment Center and her former therapist, psychologist Mark Schwartz. [Read more...]