Woman banished from Westboro Baptist Church will publish memoir

Lauren Drain’s father, Steve, set out to make a video documentary about the Westboro Baptist Church — a hate group that masquerades as a Christian Church.

In the process he became so fascinated by the group that he moved his entire family from Florida to Topeka, Kansas, to join the church — which is notorious for its hateful activities, including picketing funerals of children, soldiers, and anyone whose sexual leanings the cult disagrees with.

Lauren Drain was 15 years old at the time. 7 years later she was kicked out — banished from the church and disowned by her family because she had been chatting and emailing a man who wasn’t a church member.

“Had I not been kicked out, I would have left myself,” Drain tells the Topeka Capital-Journal, explaining that she had already been questioning the church’s beliefs.

She says her family is brainwashed, but hopes they will at some point reconcile.

Drain has written a book, “Banished, A Memoir, Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church,” which will be released March 5.

Steve Drain is currently a spokesman for the church.

UK’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric resigns

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the UK’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has resigned as the head of the Scottish Catholic church after being accused of “inappropriate acts” towards fellow priests.

Three priests and a former priest in Scotland reported Cardinal Keith O’Brien to the Vatican over allegations of inappropriate behaviour stretching back 30 years.

Church of Scientology accused of holding woman in isolation

The Church Of Scientology in Sydney has been accused of holding a young Taiwanese woman hostage after she suffered a mental breakdown. The Church of Scientology denies the allegations.

The claim was made in Lateline, a news and current affairs program of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Watch the video (and read the transcript).

Alice Wu, a young Taiwanese woman suffered a mental breakdown last March. She was hospitalised after a serious cut to her hand caused by punching a window at Scientology’s Sydney headquarters.

Her family believes the woman was hurt while trying to escape the cult.

According to Lateline the case is said to highlight Scientology’s controversial beliefs regarding psychiatry.

While the cult’s medical teaching amount to nothing more than quackery, the Church of Scientology actively fights against psychiatry.

One of the cult’s front groups — the ironically named Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) — specifically fights against alleged abuses in psychiatry and psychology, and is considered a hate group.

The Scientology cult is known for using popular causes, such as human rights or anti-drugs education, in its attempts to gain legitimacy.

Scientology critics point to the death of Lisa McPherson as a prime example of the destructive nature of Scientology’s anti-psychiatry stance.

Irish Exorcists

Ireland currently has at least three practicing Catholic exorcists, writes Independent.ie.

They tend to shun publicity, but the paper says David Kiely and Christina McKenna have documented 10 cases of Irish exorcism in their book, The Dark Sacrament.

Exorcists have been given new recognition and respectability during the papacy of Benedict XVI.

According to the paper no Irish exorcist is as prolific as the Italian Gabriele Amorth, former president of the International Association of Exorcists.

Research resources on exorcism

Ex-Scientology Kids

The Ex-Scientology Kids website has been revamped.

The site is designed, owned, and operated by three young women who grew up in Scientology, and later left the Church.

Their experiences will inoculate many against getting involved with the cult.

The site runs a project called Voices in Unison:

This project was born as a way to help people who want to tell their Scientology stories, but are nervous about possible reprisal from the Church of Scientology, feel safe speaking up.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday February 25, 2013.
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