According to Raël’s beliefs, cloning would make reproduction through sexual intercourse unnecessary and outmoded, which is why he teaches that the purpose of sex is purely pleasure.
Sexual pleasure is extremely difficult or even impossible for women who have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FMG), a cruel practice that involves “partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”1
In response to this practice — which occurs around the world, but particularly in Africa — the Raelians in 2008 decided to build a hospital in the West African country of Burkina Faso, where women could come to have their clitorises “reconstructed.”
The ‘Pleasure Hospital’ was built by Clitoraid, a Las Vegas-based charity founded by wealthy Raelians and backed by the International Raelian Movement.
an influential doctor who is a member of a powerful Catholic organization in Burkina Faso wrote an extremely defamatory letter where he announced that the Ministry of Health and the Governor had been beseeched in order to prevent the opening of the center, simply because of Clitoraid’s affiliation with the Raelian Movement.
The Independent writes that French-Canadian doctor Brigitte Boisselier, a prominent Raëlian and president of Clitoraid (and, way back when, also president of Clonaid — the laboratory that claimed it had produced a cloned baby) blames the “Catholic Church and its cronies, who are conducting a smear campaign against our wonderful mission for their own selfish motives.” The Catholic Church in Burkina Faso has dismissed this as “poisonous rumour”.
An official at the Health Ministry tells me that the opening was cancelled because Clitoraid had not provided essential documents. All of which sounds reasonable until the Health Minister tells another journalist that “medical organisations should be focused on saving lives and not advertising their religion in an attempt to convert vulnerable people”.
The BBC says that Banemanie Traore — a local member of the hospital organizing committee, and a Raelian is convinced that the Ministry has stepped in to stop the project for religious reasons. She says powerful Catholics in the country have put pressure on the government. “They don’t want women to have pleasure,” she says.
Religion News Briefs is a collection of links and blurbs highlighting religion news, cult stories — and anything else we think you might like. May include a dash of opinion and perhaps a touch of humor. Comes with links to the original sources plus additional research resources.
… Lawyers for 16 Amish men and womenon trial for attacking fellow Amish and forcibly cutting their hair and beards say their clients acted “out of compassion — trying, with admittedly misguided methods, to help them repent and see the true Amish way.”
Each of the defendants, including the group’s leader Samuel Mullet, has his or her own court-appointed lawyer.
this trial is not for simple assault, and nearly all of the lawyers, in opening statements on Tuesday, hammered away at two things the prosecution must show to justify the unusual federal hate crime charges, which are being presented in Federal District Court here and could result in prison terms of 20 years or more for some of the defendants.
First, under the law, the defendants must have acted with intent to cause bodily injury, which can include, the prosecutors noted, the bruising, cuts and pain that several victims experienced as well as disfigurement of beards and hair.
Some defense lawyers questioned whether the assaults were intended to cause physical harm.
“Is cutting the hair willfully causing bodily injury?” one of them asked.
Second, to fall under the federal law, the attacks must be shown to have been motivated by religious differences or prejudice.
The paper also says that
Many Amish in eastern Ohio, including the victims in this case, had questioned Mr. Mullet’s unorthodox methods, calling him a domineering cult leader who used corporal punishment and sexual “counseling” of women to control his flock. Defense lawyers said on Tuesday, however, that residents, including several of the defendants, had voluntarily cut their own beards or spent weeks living in a chicken coop out of a desire to repent for impure thoughts, and had not been forced to do so by Mr. Mullet.
Last week a judge ruled that prosecutors will be allowed to question witnesses about Amish leader Sam Mullet’s sexual activities.
But the judge forbid them from describing the group with words such cult, sect, clan, band, schism, faction, off-shoot, breakaway, renegade, rogue or splinter group.
Most of the articles in the paperback are in German, except for the one by Kent, and another chapter by Russian cult exeprt Prof. Alexander Dvorkin: The Story of my Friend Pastor Thomas Gandow’s Involvement with Russia.
… The Raelians held their “National Go-Topless Day” in 30 U.S. cities and 10 around the world last Sunday.
The annual Go-Topless Day was established in 2007 by a former sports car journalist called Rael, who founded a religion called the Raelian Movement after he said he was visited by a space alien in a French volcano park who told him life on Earth was created by extraterrestrial scientists, according to an account on his website.
Occasional references to alien creators did not seem to register with the crowd, which focused mostly on the breasts.
The UFO cult is quite skilled at generating free publicity:
The two men testified that Alamo ordered his enforcer, John Erwin Kolbeck, to beat them.
In October 2009 they were each were awarded $1.5 million from Kolbeck after he failed to respond to their lawsuit. Kolbeck died in January, 2011, of a heart attack while on the run from law enforcement.
If you think Tony Alamo’s Christian Ministries doesn’t sound very ‘Christian’ you’re right. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers it to be a hate group.
A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered punitive damages against an evangelist who ordered two boys to be beaten to be reduced from $60 million to $24 million.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an additional $3 million award each for the two men, now in their 20s, who grew up in Tony Alamo’s ministries. […]
“Despite the exceptionally reprehensible nature of Alamo’s conduct, it would be unconstitutional to let the punitive damages – and their 10:1 ratio to compensatory damages – stand,” Judge Duane Benton wrote in an opinion for a three-judge panel.
Whether and when the two men can collect their money is not clear. Alamo reportedly took property out of his name after he was convicted of tax evasion, and various courts will have to untangle the financial mess of him and his ‘church.’
… Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his campaigning against apartheid, has withdrawn from The Discovery Invest Leadership Summit because he found the former prime minister’s support for the invasion of Iraq to be “morally indefensible.”
Like former U.S. President George Bush, Blair claims to be a Christian. Both have evoked God to justify their ‘war on terror,’ including their invasion of Iraq.
Islamic leaders in Pakistan have come out in support of a Christian girl with learning difficulties who is being held in prison, in an unprecedented public denunciation of the blasphemy law by hardline mullahs.
The All Pakistan Ulema Council, an umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars, which includes representatives from fundamentalist groups, joined hands with the Pakistan Interfaith League, which includes Christians, Sikhs and other religions, to call for justice for the girl, Rimsha, who is accused of blasphemy. They demanded that those making false allegations be punished.
The chairman of the Ulema Council, Tahir Ashrafi, warned that the ”law of the jungle” was gripping Pakistan, with police routinely pressured by baying mobs to register blasphemy charges, as happened in the case of Rimsha, which has made headlines around the world.
Religion News Blog (RNB) provides an almost-daily selection of religion news — selected by religion- and cult experts.
RNB has a particular focus on issues dealing with groups and movements often referred to as ‘cults,’ ‘sects,’ or ‘abusive churches.’ We also cover related issues – including religious persecution and human rights.
We include a dash of opinion and perhaps a touch of humor, along with links to the original sources plus additional research resources.
Religion News Blog is an excellent way to quickly catch up on today’s top religion news reports, key facts, and other religion information sources.
In today’s roundup: a UFO cult promotes the Swastika; yet another one of Jehovah’s Witnesses needlessly dies in obedience to the cult’s teachings; and the Trinity Broadcasting Network is reeling from yet another revelation.
Also: do people join cults due to depression? Plus: links to additional religion news stories of note. [Read more...]
In the white-tiled, one-bedroom Miami apartment were books and hand-scrawled notes attesting to the family’s devotion to a sect that believes in extraterrestrial beings and human cloning.
Among the items found in the sparsely furnished apartment: several French magazines and books — including Let’s Welcome the Extraterrestrials and Yes to Human Cloning — connected with the Raelian movement. [Read more...]
Go Topless has been around since 2007, and its big push is Go Topless Day, an annual event held on the Sunday closest to Aug. 26, which is Women’s Equality Day, the anniversary of the day women were given the right to vote.
Although Go Topless is focused on the laws in the U.S., its roots are, well, extraterrestrial in origin.
Both Gary and Abdulla are members of the Raelian religion, which believes that humans were created by advanced scientists known as the Elohim. The group is best known for its close ties to Clonaid, a human cloning company that claimed in 2002 to have created the first cloned human baby.
They say their beliefs in ETs are inspiring them to fight to make the right to bare breasts as fundamental as the right to bear arms. [Read more...]
Addressing a conference of cult survivors in Brisbane today, Senator Nick Xenophon said a new motion for a new parliamentary inquiry might include a push for police to take criminal action against cults.
He was also attracted to using the Trade Practices Act to prosecute groups for false and misleading conduct if they wrongly claimed to provide therapeutic benefits to their devotees.
The conference has heard a number of heart-rending stories from different religion-based and therapeutic cults. [Read more...]