Mar 25, 2012

Area man takes on Planet Aid

Richmond Daily News
David Knopf
March 25, 2012

Jerry McCarter is just one man, and one man can’t save the world.

But McCarter said he hopes to help his hometown by ridding it of Planet Aid, a non-profit organization that, for years, has been criticized as a get-rich front for Amdi Petersen, a resident of Denmark.

Planet Aid has at least a half-dozen of its yellow collection boxes in Ray County, a figure McCarter said he wants to reduce – and keep – at zero.

“Everyone donates to them and they don’t have a clue where that stuff’s going,” said McCarter, who has contacted most, if not all, the six property owners to have the boxes removed. “This is a national problem, not just in Ray County.”

McCarter said he’s aware of Planet Aid boxes at Susie’s 10-13 Diner, Four Seasons Siding, House of Hair, The Depot, Richmond Bargain Town and Continental Siding in Richmond, and The Crossroads convenience store in Orrick.

There may be others.

McCarter said that none of the property owners is aware that clothing left in the boxes is ultimately sold with the proceeds filtered through a complicated web of organizations linked – directly or indirectly – to Petersen’s TVind in Denmark.

Mar 23, 2012

Ill flock to Brazil 'psychic surgeon' John of God

Albany Times Union
March 23, 2012
ABADIANIA, Brazil (AP) — John of God grabs what looks like a kitchen knife from a silver tray and appears to scrape it over the right eye of a believer.
The "psychic surgeon" then wipes a viscous substance from the blade onto the patient's shirt.
The procedure is repeated on the left eye of Juan Carlos Arguelles, who recently traveled thousands of miles from Colombia to see the healer.
For 12 years, Arguelles says, he suffered from keratoconus, which thinned his cornea and severely blurred his vision.
John of God is Joao Teixeira de Faria, a 69-year-old miracle man and medium to those who believe. He's a dangerous hoax to those who do not.
For five decades he's performed "psychic" medical procedures like that for Arguelles. He asks for no money in exchange for the procedures. Donations are welcomed, however.
The sick and lame who have hit dead ends in conventional medicine are drawn to Abadiania, a tiny town in the green highlands of Goias state, southwest of the capital of Brasilia.
Faria says he's not the one curing those who come to him. "It's God who heals. I'm just the instrument."
"Psychic surgeons" are mostly concentrated in Brazil and the Philippines with roots in spiritualist movements that believe spirits of the dead can communicate with the living. Like Faria, they often appear to go into a trance while doing their work, allowing God, dead doctors or other spirits to flow through them.
Such practices have been roundly denounced.
The American Cancer Society has said practitioners of psychic surgery use sleight of hand and animal body parts during procedures to convince patients that what ails them has been snatched away.
But Arguelles, the 29-year-old Colombian who had his eyes worked on by John of God, doesn't care what the medical establishment says.
A week after visiting Brazil and undergoing the procedure, he said his vision had improved "by 80 percent" and was getting better each day.

Mar 11, 2012

Former top clan leader claims jobs fall adds to rise of KKK in Victoria

Herald Sun
Mitchell Toy
March 11, 2012

JOB losses are contributing to a growing white supremacist movement in Victoria, according to a former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Rev Johnny Lee Clary, who rose through the ranks of the Klan in the US before renouncing racism and turning to God, said hate groups were active in Melbourne and across the country seeking to recruit white youths.

Ahead of his speaking tour this week, Rev Clary said the group National Front, active in Melbourne, resembled the KKK.

"I have spoken to kids in schools who have told me they have been approached to join these groups," he said, adding that economic turmoil was a driver for a growing white supremacist movement worldwide, including in Australia.

"When the economy gets bad and people lose their jobs, they need someone to blame for that.

"Hitler didn't come to power when everyone had money and a home. He came to power when everyone was poor and feeling badly treated."