warren jeffs Archive

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Scientologists almost ready to ‘build a new world’; Actors in cults

bullet Michelle Pfeiffer (Dangerous Liaisons, Batman Returns) has revealed that she was once part of a cult after becoming involved with a “very controlling” couple who believed in breatharianism – the alleged ability to live without food and water.
Michelle Pfeiffer
Meeting her first husband, Peter Horton, saved her. Horton had been cast in a movie about the Moonies — as followers of the late Sun Myung Moon used to refer to themselves. While helping Horton research that cult she realize she was in one herself.

“We were talking with an ex-Moonie and he was describing the psychological manipulation and I just clicked,” she said in an interview for The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine.

Scientists understandable file Breatharianism under the heading of pseudoscience, pointing out that several people who practiced it died from starvation.

One proponent is Jasmuheen, an Australian woman who claims her DNA changed so that she can live on hydrogen. When Australia’s version of 60 minutes challenged her to live under surveillance they ended the test a few days when a doctor warned that Jasmuheen’s health was collapsing. She blamed pollution from a nearby highway.

She also turned down a $30,000 offer from Australian Skeptics if she could prove her DNA claims, saying she could not see the relevance.

bullet Zimbio has a slideshow of actors and actresses who were once involved with cults.

bullet Speaking about actors and actresses in cults:

The Church of Scientology — the destructive cult that actively courts celebrities — is gearing up to — finally — open its ‘Super Power’ building in Clearwater, Florida.

It is designed to deliver what Scientologists refer to as the ‘Super Power Rundown‘ — a high-level training course intended to teach the cult’s followers to use all of their 57 “perceptics” or senses.

If you do not quite get the terminology, don’t worry. It’s all based on the gobbledygook of Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard who, in creating his fantasy religion, came up with the idea that a “rundown” is “a series of steps which are auditing actions and processes designed to handle a specific aspect of a case and which have a known end phenomena.”

Are we losing you? Hubbard explains: “This means that puts Scientologists into a new realm of ability enabling them to create a new world.”

Yes, Scientologists believe they are working toward creating a new world.

Sounds like a good time to point to our research resources on the subject of brainwashing.

Meanwhile, Scientologists — most of whom don’t stand a chance to complete the course — may want to take a look at what their money buys the cult.

And yes, the building comes complete with a token ‘chapel’ — used primarily to pull the wool over the eyes of those who like to think of this destructive organization as a ‘religion.’

bullet The other shoe has finally dropped for jailed evangelist cult leader Tony Alamo. A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Marshal service to sell some of Alamo’s properties in order to satisfy judgments against him on behalf of two of his former victims.

Alamo had ordered his enforcer, the late John Kolbeck, to beat up Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna.

The two men — who were also starved, denied education, and forced to work without pay — successfully sued Alamo, who subsequently tried his best to convince authorities that his properties did not belong to him.

Though he is serving a 175-year prison sentence, Alamo appears to still very much in control of his ‘ministry.’

bullet Just like Tony Alamo, cult leader Warren Jeffs — who is serving life in prison — has continued to rule his followers with an iron fist.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on a lawsuit that alleges the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) essentially runs the twin towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah., not the elected leaders, not the civil authorities and not all that subtly.

If true, it means the separation of church and state — a constitutional bedrock of pluralistic America — is nonexistent, replaced by an iron-fisted theocracy in which Jeffs’ edicts are enforced above the law.

And the paper says that hundreds of photos, found on a flash drive someone lost, show the extend of the intense surveillance the FLDS carries out on current and former members, as well as on outsiders.

Jeffs was sent to prison for sexually assaulting two underage followers he took as brides in what his cult viewed as “spiritual marriages.”

The Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP) has a November 8 conference in Austin, Texas, to address child abuse that occurs in faith communities:

How do we best handle cases of child abuse and neglect when they occur in faith communities and cultural groups?

Do some faith practices or cultural traditions cross a line into abuse?

How can community leaders better support victims?

Attendees will hear from some of the country’s most renowned experts in faith, child advocacy, and the law, including:

If you cannot attend you can follow the conference via a live feed ($20).

CFFP President Janet Heimlich is an award-winning journalist and the author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment

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.