Religion News Quick Takes: Islamists, coconuts, noisy Scientologists, PanaWave and more

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A collection of links and blurbs highlighting religion news, cult stories — and anything else we think you might like.

You may encounter offbeat stories, links to religion-related resources, and a dash or two of personal opinion.

The Islamist terror that links Syria and Iraq: Al-Qaeda cells moving freely between the two countries threaten the entire region’s stability. [Islamism] [Jihad]

White supremacist guilty of Mandela assassination plot: Mike du Toit, a leader in South Africa’s Boeremag (Boer Army), was found guilty of high treason on Thursday after a trial that lasted almost 10 years.

Boeremag planned to drive South Africa’s black majority out of the country. The hate group also intended to shoot whites who opposed their vision of a racially pure nation. Verdicts for 21 other Boeremag members are expected over the next few weeks.

We think the term ‘White Supremacy‘ tends to be a misnomer: while adherents are indeed white, their words and actions clearly demonstrate they’re not supreme in any way.


New York’s Department of Environmental Protection fails to silence Scientology: A DEP inspector slapped a noise violation on the cult when he came across two large flat-screen TVs blaring “commercials” outside its headquarters at 227 W. 46th St. Using a sound device for commercial advertising is banned by the city’s Administrative Code.

According to the New York Post a Scientology representative challenged the $700 summons by arguing that the group is a religious organization and the TV and speakers were being used to spread the tenets of the church, not to sell anything. A hearing officer at the Environmental Control Board agreed, and dismissed the violation. The DEP appealed the decision, but lost…

As for the ‘religion’ thing, consider this:

Scientology — Business or Religion?
The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power
Scientology as a business
The cost of Scientology
The high cost of Scientology
Prices up to OT8 and beyond

Greek Jews protest new neo-Nazi ‘rocker’ lawmaker: The Greek Jewish community in a letter to political leaders and the country’s president expressed its “revulsion” to the swearing-in of an anti-Semitic musician as a national lawmaker. Artemios Mathaiopoulos of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party took the oath as a member of the Greek Parliament on Wednesday. He replaces another member of the party who resigned.

Golden Dawn, which features a Nazi swastika-like flag and has a Holocaust-denying leader, swept into parliament with 19 lawmakers in recent elections campaigning on an anti-austerity, anti-immigrant platform.

What you know, you know. (William Shakespeare)

Just in case you understand Swedish, People and Beliefs — At the Intersection Between Religion and Politics — broadcast on Sweden radio’s P1, might be of interest.

If your Swedish is rusty the Google translation won’t help you with the audio, but you can read the blurbs (and then impress your friends when you ‘interpret’ the audio reports).

If you’re researching cults, cult-like organizations, cult experts, New Age quackery, or anything related, you’ll want to start at CounterCultSearch.com. This search engine presents information from 260+ websites, blogs and forums dedicated to cult research, spiritual abuse, ex-cult counseling & support.

A similar search engine, ApologeticsSearch.com, helps you find apologetics articles, books, videos, and other research resources at 135 Christian apologetics websites and blogs.

It looks like we missed this year’s Aadi festival of the Sri Mahalakshmi Amman Temple at Mettumahadanapuram in Karur, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

The highlight of the celebration occurs when the chief priest breaks coconuts on the heads of devotees. Not surprisingly these reports, from previous years, say that ambulances are on hand.

According to IBN Live the Human Rights Commission once appealed to the temple authorities to just place the coconut on the heads and then break them on the ground. But the temple authorities have proved tough nuts to crack.

Authorities have stipulated that only those above 20 years of age can participate.

Church Around The Corner: Real, Offbeat Religion News

We quote — verbatim — the text of a message received by our parent website, Apologetics Index:

hhello,i seriously want to open up a branch of the pana wave cult here in Nigeria. I am a prophet and after reading about the pana wave cult over the internet,i saw the need to open up a branch of the grand movement here in order to create awareness of the existence of this cult to people here and also help to share their belief system and ideologies here. All i need is their permission to do do this,i promise to handle it to the best of my ability.will be waiting for ur reply.

In 2003, Japan’s Mainichi Daily News wrote

Paranoia gripped Japanese residents in April when the bizarre Panawave Laboratory group appeared and took over a stretch of road in Gifu Prefecture, covering up crash barriers and roadside trees with huge white cloths.

Members of the mysterious organization, who dressed themselves entirely in white, and wore surgical masks, claimed that electromagnetic waves were causing catastrophic environmental destruction that would destroy the earth on May 15.

They claimed that they had to wear white clothes and cover their fleet of vehicles with white sheets to protect themselves and their ailing leader, Yuko Chino, from the waves.

That same year five members of the cult were arrested for beating an academic with bamboo sticks to remove electromagnetic waves.

The earth was not destroyed on May 15, nor on the revised date of May 22. Chino died in October, 2006.

We don’t quite know how to break this news to the Nigerian prophet…

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This post was last updated: May. 9, 2014