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Anorexia is not a new disorder. The compulsion to refuse food stretches as far back as Ancient Greece and into the Middle Ages, when Catholic saints such as Catherine of Siena would eschew meals as a symbol of their piety. Unlike contemporary sufferers of anorexia nervosa, those with anorexia mirabilis (the miraculous loss of appetite) were celebrated for their ability to exist without earthly pleasures.
The world's deadliest terrorist groups are increasingly open about their intentions, tactics, and targets. Last month, Rumiyah, the slickest terrorist magazine on the Internet market, was very precise. The "most appropriate" killing vehicle, the Islamic State publication advised, is a "load-bearing truck" that is "double-wheeled, giving victims less of a chance to escape being crushed by the vehicle's tires." It should be "heavy in weight, assuring the destruction of whatever it hits." It should also have a "slightly raised chassis and bumper, which allow for the mounting of sidewalks and breeching of barriers if needed." And it should have a "reasonably fast" rate of acceleration. In the same issue, Rumiyah urged Islamic State members, or sympathizers anywhere in the world, to hop in vehicles—steal them, if need be—and attack outdoor markets, public celebrations, political rallies, and pedestrian-congested streets. "All so-called €˜civilian' (and low security) parades and gatherings are fair game and more devastating to Crusader nation," the magazine, which is published in several languages, said. [...more...] - Source: The New YorkerIslamic State calls Berlin attacker a 'soldier' as manhunt for killer resumes Berlin attack: Police hunt Tunisian suspect after finding ID papers in truck Analysis: intelligence has limits in preventing truck-borne terror See: Islam and Terrorism
So why maintain the website? Obviously if you still believe it, you are a proponent/member of something, right? The reason I ask about suicide, is because if Do and Ti were the only Next Level Members, what does that say about the others who took their own lives? They were human, correct? Not inhabiting a human body, but human? I'm confused by this and what I've read. I'm just trying to understand more clearly. Also, what is a task partner? The website is to provide information for their future return. We are designated to maintain and care for it. Humans are not to commit suicide. Those 38, and those 38 only, we allowed to shed their human body, take on space-capable, Next Level bodies and depart this planet. No human can do that or would be allowed to do that. We know you are confused about this but those individuals did not commit suicide. They broke the bond of human connection and quickly switched to a Next Level one. [Ed. note: Reports showed that there were 39 bodies, suggesting that Heaven's Gate does not include Marshall Applewhite a human.] - Source: FanzineMore about Heaven's Gate
As usual, A&E put up a disclaimer at the beginning of the episode and between each act break, given the religion's leaders harshly condemned the series and denied many of the claims. The church also has called Remini an "obnoxious, spiteful ex-Scientologist" who is angry that she was expelled from the church, and that she's doing the series for money; they also said the show is "doomed to be a cheap reality TV show by a has-been actress now a decade removed from the peak of her career."Scientology likes to call itself a 'church' and a 'religion.' At Apologetics Index, we call Scientology a hate group. Here's how the cult destroys friendships, families and other relationships.
Hundreds of British churches, including some of the UK's largest congregations, have been warned against possible infiltration by a group accused of being a "cult" promoting "control and deception". The Church of England has issued a formal alert to almost 500 parishes in London about the activities of the group known as Parachristo. The organisation, a registered charity, runs Bible study courses at an anonymous industrial unit under a Botox clinic and a personal training company in London Docklands. But it is understood to be linked to a controversial South Korean group known as Shinchonji (SCJ) — or the "New Heaven and New Earth" church (NHNE) — whose founder Man-Hee Lee is referred to as God's "advocate". It is claimed that some of those who become involved gradually withdraw from friends and family and actively lie about their real lives [...]A companion article, titled The Korean religious leader on a collision course with the Church of England notes:
Organisers insist Parachristo exists solely to help "understand the Bible more deeply". [...] Former attendees of Parachristo study groups have claimed that existing members effectively pose as new students. Shinchonji teaching documents seen by The Telegraph instructs these "maintainers" to "arouse curiosity" of newcomers and "try to be close to each other until the student relies on you fully". They are told to "take notes of the conversation with the student" and report back to the group leader.
"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."The church also believes that Revelation 7:2 refers to South Korea (East) and to Lee Man-Hee (angel):
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God.According to the group's promotional literature Lee Man-Hee is the only person who can testify to the mysteries of the Book of Revelation -- which he claims already has been fulfilled. He is said to teach that the world has already ended, and that we are currently living in the afterlife. Shincheonji denies the biblical teaching that people are saved by faith in Jesus Christ -- and not by works. The church denies the doctrine of the Trinity. Shincheonji's teachings contradict essential doctrines of the Christian faith, thus identifying the group as, theologically, a cult of Christianity. Sociologically Shincheonji has many cult-like characteristics as well.
From 17-19 September 2014 Shincheonji organised their SCJ 6th National Olympiad. It is the major event for SCJ which they hold every four years, and it coincides with Lee's birthday. On this occasion, they also invited many international guests who all believed they were attending a secular "World Peace Summit". As the two events took place simultaneously and in the same venue, it led to significant confusion and embarrassment for international guests who had been misled.Here's one blogger's experience at a similar event: "We thought we were going to a world peace festival...turned out to be a religious cult sort of thing." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTgmqqHoXuQ See also:
Research: a brief overview of the attitudes of Western European states towards new religious movements is an interesting article by Jean-FranÃ§ois Mayer, founder and editor of Relioscope -- an independent website that provides 'news and analysis about religions in today's world.' The article describes official responses to cults during the 1980s and 1990s. Under the heading 'General Comments and Observations,' Mayer writes:
If we summarize the current situation, beside a few centres receiving local or regional subsidies, three Western European countries — Austria, Belgium and France — have established agencies or centres for monitoring NRMs; these institutions are the outcomes of state initiatives at the national level. Despite the successive waves of concerns about "cults", most European countries do not have state agencies dealing with cult-related issues. In some cases, this has not prevented targeted measures against a specific movement, as evidenced by the years of surveillance of Scientology by German security agencies. State-sponsored institutions dealing with cults are supposed to be neutral observers — which was one of the reasons for their founding. What happens in reality is nuanced and should certainly not be over-simplified. In practice, representatives of some official or state-supported agencies are seen more often at conferences of people with shared anti-cult assumptions than at academic conferences attracting sociologists of religion and other scholars conducting fieldwork. This has not prevented some members of these agencies' staff from gaining considerable knowledge through years of work. One should understand that from the start the very roots of such agencies made it difficult for them to be really "neutral" (whatever meaning is ascribed to this word), since they were supposed to help solve a social problem, to support people seen as victims and to deal with deviations. Social scientists studying NRMs usually work from a quite different starting point. - Source: Jean-FranÃ§ois Mayer, Research: a brief overview of the attitudes of Western European states towards new religious movements, Religioscope, November 5, 2016Mayer also notes that the situation has changed a bit over the past 15 years.
Firstly, except for the deaths of hundreds of members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God in Uganda in 2000 (unfortunately, when news of this kind comes from Africa, it does not have the same impact as similar events in the West would), there have been no further major, dramatic "cult tragedies". With the exception of Scientology, which remains quite controversial, most NRMs that were at the top of the list from the 1970s to the 1990s have lost much visibility, and several well-known cult leaders have died: their movements now have a lower profile or have partly reformed themselves (with ISKCON being one of the most significant instances of such internal reforms). There are still tensions within families as a consequence of spiritual quests and reorientations, but they are less associated with clearly identifiable groups. The Western European environment has become more individualistic: the appeal of radical forms of communitarian life has declined, especially at a time when most young people are primarily concerned with getting a job and keeping it. Certainly, the repeated warnings about the dangers associated with recruitment into "cults" have made some people more cautious when encountering missionaries of various persuasions. Most of all, Westerners no longer experience the same fears: we live in the post-9/11 environment. Islamic radicalism looks like a much more serious threat than do small religious movements. Security agencies invest more time in monitoring Salafi mosques or jihadist websites than the followers of Hindu gurus or Japanese new religions. Some religious groups still require attention, but they are no longer the same ones. - Source: Ibid
More recently, as we see young Muslims leaving Western cities to join Islamist groups in Middle East war zones, relatives or acquaintances of these young people have spontaneously explained that they had been brainwashed: this often seemed to them to be the only "rational" explanation for such radical departures. This has quite naturally been grafted onto a "cult brainwashing" narrative. The metaphor of mind control offers an attractive model to explain various situations. Despite initial reluctance by some cult critics to venture into that field, we are seeing what to some extent looks like a new incarnation of the cult controversies around jihadism, with deradicalization becoming a new keyword (as well as a new industry). - Source: Ibid.Clearly, many expressions of what is known in Islam as 'lesser Jihad' (holy warfare against the enemies of Allah and Islam) -- as opposed to 'greater Jihad' (the personal struggle against sin) are indeed cult-like in nature. The possibility that such recruits are victims of Brainwashing and/or Mind Control -- concepts certain religion academics crusade against with something very much akin to holy fervor -- should not be summarily dismissed. That some cult experts see similarities between the recruitment tactics of apocalyptic Islamist terror groups and those of other destructive cults is logical. The process of undue influence is the familiar and follows a predictable tract. Not surprisingly Mayer's comments include a nod toward the semantics problems that have plagued the 'New Religious Movements' debates: How does one define terms like 'cult' or 'sect'? According to him, shift from "cults" or "sectes" to "cultic deviations" does not really solve the problem because the term is "not as neutral as it claims to be."
As James Lewis has observed, "the minority religions lose their chance for a fair hearing as soon as the label €˜cult' is applied". The shift from "cults" or "sectes" to "cultic deviations" has been an attempt to resolve the dilemma and deal with the tricky issues presented by such a vocabulary without a clear legal basis when it is being used by supposedly "neutral" states. It fits the model according to which only questionable behaviour is targeted, but it fails to really solve the problem. The talk is indeed not merely about deviations, but about sectaires, thus qualifying a very specific type of alleged deviations that most people associate with a specific type of group. It is therefore not as neutral as it claims to be. Moreover, this shift has contributed to wider applications of the label "cultic deviations" to a variety of groups and individuals. The cult controversies of the past decades have thus even led to the modification and possibly the extension of the meaning of words such as "secte" or "cult".In the end, the overview is of interest to those who are familiar with the issues discussed. Mayer's comments provide some insight into current thinking about the topic from a perspective that seems more worried about the impact of activists on 'New Religious Movements' than about the damage cults, sects, or other groups that engage in cultic deviations have on victims.
Today's edition includes stories about a radicalisation prevention program that may backfire. A protest against Whole Foods over its link to Marc Gafni. Iglesia ni Cristo, a powerful cult of Christianity, endorses presidential candidates. Plus: Religion and Cult News Quick Takes Additional items may be posted throughout the day.
However, the methods of the Research, Information and Communications Unit (Ricu), which often conceal the government's role, will dismay some Muslims and may undermine confidence in the Prevent counter-radicalisation programme, which already faces widespread criticism.The paper sees it as a "sign of mounting anxiety across Whitehall over the persuasiveness of Islamic State's online propaganda," but notes that critics say it risks alienating UK Muslims. The article says that "[m]uch of Ricu's work is outsourced to a London communications company, Breakthrough Media Network."
[Breakthrough Media Network's] relationship with Ricu helps them get their own messages to a wider audience, and that they retain editorial control over counter-radicalisation communications. However, a series of Ricu and Breakthrough documents seen by the Guardian show that Ricu privately says it is the one retaining editorial control, including over the products produced as part of these partnerships.Inside Ricu, the shadowy propaganda unit inspired by the cold war: The Guardian unravels the secretive workings behind a campaign to stop UK Muslims from falling prey to Islamic State -- The Guardian, May 2, 2016 Prevent strategy 'sowing mistrust and fear in Muslim communities': UK's terror watchdog urges review of government's anti-radicalisation scheme, saying it is significant source of grievance -- The Guardian, Feb. 3, 2016 'You worry they could take your kids': is the Prevent strategy demonising Muslim schoolchildren?: Teachers now have a statutory duty to spot signs of €˜non-violent extremism', with children as young as three being referred for anti-radicalisation. Does the policy safeguard vulnerable pupils — or discriminate against Muslims? -- The Guardian, Sept. 23, 2015
INC announced its endorsement through a circular read during worship service by executive minister Eduardo Manalo, who called on the sect's members to vote as one on Monday. "This is based on the teachings in the Bible that were taught to us even before we were accepted as members of the Church of Christ. We have faith that it is God's teaching that there shouldn't be division among us, but that we should be one in thinking and one in judgment," Manalo said in Filipino. The INC head cited I Corinthians 1:10 and Romans 15:6 in claiming that the sect's unity came "in the name of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God and for the sake of the church."Theologically Iglesia ni Cristo is a cult of Christianity, since the movement's teachings and practices fall outside the boundaries of the Christian faith. Sociologically INC has some cult-like elements as well. Recent scandals involving the Iglesia ni Cristo cast doubt on the practice of bloc voting. Will INC members still obey their ministers on election day? -- Rappler, May 1, 2016. Revolt in the Iglesia ni Cristo: Over 100 years old, no one ever imagined the INC was in the throes of dissension in 2015, with no less than members of the family entangled in a bitter quarrel -- Rappler, Dec. 23, 2015. Former INC pastor flees Philippines to seek refuge in Canada -- Asian Pacific Post, May 5, 2016