Oct 31, 2015

Rasta tells Worcester court: "Weed is my religion."

James Connell
Worcester News
October 30, 2015

Rasta tells Worcester court: "Weed is my religion."
Rasta tells Worcester court: "Weed is my religion."
A RASTAFARIAN challenged magistrates about why he should be punished for smoking cannabis, claiming it was part of his religion.

Lisimba Germaine was arrested in Ronkswood, Worcester after a struggle with police officers.

A small amount of cannabis was found hidden in his socks when he was brought into custody at the city's police station.

The 32-year-old father-of-three admitted being in possession of the class B drug on July 10 when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Friday but questioned why he was being punished as smoking a spliff is part of his religion.

Lesley Ashton, prosecuting, said: "Police officers stopped a vehicle in Ronkswood in Worcester. The only occupant was the defendant.

"Officers spoke to him and he tried to get out of the car. Officers prevented that and there was a struggle and he was restrained.

"During the course of the police investigation the defendant was arrested and conveyed to custody at the police station. As part of the booking in procedure he was made subject to a strip search. A small amount of cannabis was found concealed inside his socks."

A search of his home in Privet Close, Great Barr was carried out and in his bedroom, in a set of drawers, police recovered two small wraps of cannabis.

Germaine, who represented himself at the hearing, said he was unemployed and had a newborn baby which he was trying to bond with and two other, older children.

He said: "I smoke. I do that. That's the only thing I do do. I'm a Rastafarian. It's in my religion. As a medicinal drug I don't see anything wrong with it. I know it's illegal but it is something I do. Sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused."

Paul Denham, the chairman of the magistrates bench, told Germaine that possession of the drug was against the law.

But Germaine said: "It was only a very small amount. It is my religion to smoke."

Mr Denham responded and told Germaine: "It is against the law in this country. Our hands are tied."

Germaine was told he would have to pay £385 in total, comprised of an £80 fine, £105 court costs, a £180 court charge and a £20 victim surcharge.

But Germaine said the police had taken his belongings following the search, including his car, his phone and some money. He told magistrates that would be around the equivalent of the total he had been asked to pay.

Germaine asked what would happen if he refused to pay (the cash would be deducted from his benefits) and was warned by the clerk he could be imprisoned and that bailiffs could become involved.

"I don't think it's fair. I don't see how it's helping me. The money is going in your pocket and making you richer" said Germaine.


Vapostori bay for Messenger of Court’s blood

News Day
October 31, 2015

Vadzidzi vaJesu
Vadzidzi vaJesu members were joined by others from neighbouring co-operatives, who were accusing politicians of using them to settle factional political differences.

“The Messenger of Court came here today (Thursday) intending to evict our chair Nicholas Mutume and myself as the secretary of Vadzidzi vaJesu,” Langton Mugeji said.

He said when about 10 officials from the Messenger of Court began removing his goods, scores of people started baying for their blood and they quickly had to run for their dear lives.

Mugeji accused a housing scheme which broke away from the Harare South Housing Association apex board to join the Harare South Housing Union for pushing a “vindictive” agenda of evictions and demolitions through Tanganyika Housing Co-operative. When NewsDay visited the area on Thursday, rival groups who were double-allocated stands could be seen pushing and shoving each other claiming ownership to the land.

Observe Beyi from Humble Housing Co-operative said: “Those taking advantage of poor people like us must face justice. It’s been six months now since the evictions started, but whenever we try to put forward our grievances, no one seems to care. Government officials should be investigated.”

Patience Chayambuka from Vadzidzi vaJesu Housing Co-operative said the situation could degenerate into open warfare.

“It’s all about political struggles, but I don’t see why my lifetime investment will be razed down like this. I’m tired of corrupt politicians and government officials who do not stop at anything as long as they line their pockets. It’s game on and the fight is just starting. No one will come to my place and leave a happy person,” she said.

Shingai Mlambo said she has been living in the open for six months after her dwellings were demolished.

“My stand was given to another person from another co-operative. My house was destroyed and I cannot afford to build another one at the moment. My property is in the open where I live with my children. Imagine what will happen now that the rainy season has arrived. It’s so painful.”


Peru Catholic society admits sex abuse probe against founder

Frank Bajak
October 31, 2015

LIMA, Peru — A secretive Roman Catholic society with chapters across South America and in the U.S. has revealed under pressure that a Vatican investigator is looking into allegations that its founder sexually molested young recruits.

The scandal at the Peru-based Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, or Sodalitium for Human Life, has close parallels to other recent cases of charismatic Catholic leaders in Latin America being accused of sex abuse — as well as the church dragging its feet on investigating claims and trying to keep scandals quiet.

This week, Sodalitium’s general secretary disclosed the Vatican investigation after two journalists published a book detailing the accusations against founder Luis Fernando Figari, 68.

Co-author Pedro Salinas, a former society member, has been publicly accusing Figari since 2010 of physical, psychological and sexual abuse. According to the book, three men lodged complaints the following year with a Peruvian church tribunal alleging Figari sexually abused them when they were minors.

There is no indication the tribunal did anything with the case, including notifying prosecutors. Nor is it known when the Vatican was advised.

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, the conservative archbishop of Lima with jurisdiction over the tribunal, was quoted as telling the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio this week that case is “regrettable and painful” and claiming

“We have acted with absolute transparency and rapidity,” he said.

No criminal probe was opened in Peru until after the mid-October publication of “Half Monks, Half Soldiers.” Prosecutors, though, say the statute of limitations has almost certainly run out as the alleged crimes occurred in the 1980s and 1990s.

Founded in 1971, Sodalitium has a presence in schools and churches and runs retreat facilities with communities in Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Italy and the United States. Its members are mostly lay Catholics but also include clergy.

After the book’s release, the society issued three successive press releases as a public clamor for greater accountability and transparency intensified.

First, the society revealed that Figari, who is not a priest, has been living in relative isolation at a Sodalitium community in Rome since 2010 and has been out of public life and governance of the society since then. At the time of his departure as general secretary, Sodalitium said only that Figari was stepping down for health reasons.

It added that the society’s current leader, Alessandro Moroni, decided in 2014 to intensify the regime of “prayer and retreat” being followed by Figari

The statement also noted Figari wasn’t alone in being accused: The book says the society’s No. 2, the late German Doig, was accused of sexually assaulting a minor. He died in 2001. A decade later, after the allegations against him first surfaced, the society said his candidacy for beatification had been canceled.

In a second statement Oct. 21, the society said the book’s allegations were “plausible” and needed to be thoroughly investigated. It said it created a committee to hear complaints from other possible victims and asked forgiveness, calling the accusations against Figari “cause for deep grief and shame.”

It said Figari insists he is innocent, though it notes he hasn’t said so publicly.

This week, the third release disclosed that the Vatican had on April 22 named a local bishop to investigate the society. Figari departed Lima three days later for Europe, according to local published reports.

The book’s co-author, Paola Ugaz, said she and Salinas wrote in January to the Vatican office in charge of apostolic church societies detailing the allegations against Figari. They never got an answer, she said. But the official to whom they wrote, Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, signed the April 22 decree.

The scandal is similar to one in Chile involving the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a charismatic priest who in 2011 was sentenced by the church to a lifetime of penance and prayer for sexually abusing young people. The local archbishop sat on allegations against Karadima for years, refusing to believe them, and only passed them on to the Vatican after the scandal exploded globally in 2010.

The case also has parallels to a scandal at the Legion of Christ, which was headed by the late Mexican priest Marcial Maciel. The Vatican under St. Pope Paul II ignored decades of credible abuse allegations against Maciel and discredited his victims. Only in 2006 did it act, giving him the same sentence as Karadima.

The Peruvian bishop assigned to the Figari probe, the Rev. Fortunato Pablo Urcey of Chota, is ordered by the decree to “verify the true authenticity of accusations” past and new against Figari and file a full report.

But Urcey, the secretary general of Peru’s council of churches, said in a radio interview this week that he didn’t consider himself an investigator as much as a supporter of Sodalitium.

In an interview with RPP radio, he said he had no plans to interview the ex-members who filed the complaints or to read the book.

“I like the designation ‘visitor’ better than ‘investigator’ because I’m not an investigator,” he said, recalling his official title as an “apostolic visitor.” Three times during the interview, Urcey said he would do all he could to “save the charism of this congregation,” a reference to the spirituality that makes it unique.

Urcey did not return phone messages left by The Associated Press. Efforts to reach a spokesman for the Lima ecclesiastic tribunal also were unsuccessful. The body’s deliberations are secret.

The society’s current leader, Moroni, said in an interview with the newspaper El Comercio this week that he contacted the tribunal about the accusations against Figari more than two years ago.

Tribunal officials responded that “they are an independent body and they didn’t have to give us any kind of information until they reached a decision,” he said.

In an article published Friday, Salinas, the co-author, urged that Moroni be removed, calling him complicit in a culture of abuse that Salinas said included Figari’s burning of his flesh with a candle flame for about a minute in front of fellow initiates.

A Peruvian non-governmental organization, the Institute for Defense of the Rights of Minors, asked prosecutors last week to investigate Cipriani, Lima’s archbishop and an Opus Dei member, for obstruction of justice.

Its president, Daniel Vega, said none of the men who filed complaints against Figari with the tribunal were ever contacted by it afterward.

“There is a recurring conduct of the cardinal and his entire team of covering up crimes and not informing the criminal justice system.”

AP Vatican correspondent Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.


With promise of "rapture" cult spreads in Honduras

La Tribuna
October 27, 2015

Under the false promise of being taken by Jesus Christ to the Kingdom of Heaven, the day of the "rapture", the sect Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and has followers in La Ceiba, Atlantida; in Tulián Rios, Cortés; and La Ermita, Talanga, as reported by residents of these congregations Christian witnesses.

In Nicaragua, the organization has over 600 members and has been linked to a massacre in which expired four policemen and three civilians, in the community of Ayapal, Jinotega, which occurred in December 2013.

Faced with the danger of "capture" sheep to his flock in Honduras, TRIBUNE consulted with some Nicaraguan Christian pastors how to operate that sect in the country.

Pastor Nilson Martinez recalled that the Nicaraguan media, then, reported the death of "four policemen and three civilians; there were different forms of attack, I think with knives and guns. "

How many members has this sect in Nicaragua? He was consulted Pastor Martinez, who said that "in this group there is a range of 600 to 1,000 people, between that range is; they are in a sea area near the sea, on the island of Venice. "

Religious recommended Hondurans be alert to the preaching of such organizations as "a person who confesses truly a Christian faith, its base and its foundation is writing ...".


How make it clear to the unwary that these sects preach true faith ?, he asked the Nicaraguan pastor, Pedro Jose Montiel, who warned that "you can see, we have a Bible, but we have thousands of religious sects".

"Today there are many sects that rise can use the Bible but his teachings are unbiblical," Montiel said. For that matter, the sect in question ensures that the rapture will occur on the island of Venezia, in Nicaragua.

The sect Mystical Body of Christ is already in three Honduran cities and has more than 600 members in Nicaragua.

The pastor said that there is no biblical basis to ensure the exact place where the rapture will occur, "there is no scripture in the Bible that centralizes us where is the Rapture, as the lessons that are being handled there in Nicaragua our country".

"... Actually that's something hurtful, because it is unbiblical, and many religious sects that have come today, which have their legal status, have many anti-biblical things that are not based in the scriptures."

The religious leader said that in Nicaragua the sect Mystical Body of Christ is called "the sect of William Branham," which hurt the Christians, because this character was a true man of God, that "things never taught were unbiblical "let alone urged anyone to sell their properties under the excuse that soon would be the day of the rapture.

On abnormal practices of this sect in Nicaragua, the religious said that his country "is heard that some have sold their properties and have taken the money to person X, the leader they have, which is what really should on the news, he called Javier Sanchez, did has he said? I do not know, because I have not been with him to listen, or do you have them ?, consists not me ".

Meanwhile, a Honduran Christian, declined to be named, he said that the sect began operating in Honduras five years ago, and its leader Francisco Javier Sanchez.

"Your strength is not doctrinal he is Jesus Christ, God Himself, but say they are immortal, and that's what they offer, immortality. He associated with his doctrine clergyman William M. Branham, who died in 1965, but this was a true Christian, a man of God. "

He recalled that this group came to Honduras "with the Orellana family; Ivan Orellana is the leader, this man was responsible for buying the food of the sect, in Nicaragua, and gave the high life with money from the poor people. "

The respondent reported that the wife of Ivan Orellana, called Dulce Orellana, killed in La Ceiba, "and Javier came and kept unburied for 72 hours, because she said she would rise, but the police came to order to be buried. "

He added that another member of the sect in Honduras is the Nicaraguan Gerald Wells, who "is composer of evocative music, send subliminal messages through music", with which manages to dominate to the ordinary people, without higher educational level.

"This sect is a group in Tulián Rios in Cortés; La Ermita, Talanga; and another in La Ceiba, Atlantida, "he said.


Religious zealot who murdered his sect leader mother in her own home when she objected to a preacher he was watching on TV is jailed for more than 20 years

October 30, 2015

Beryl Gilchrist (pictured), 58,  was stabbed to death by her son,  Jermaine Gilchrist, after she objected  to a preacher he was watching on TV
Victim: Beryl Gilchrist (pictured), 58,
was stabbed to death by her son,
Jermaine Gilchrist, after she objected
to a preacher he was watching on TV 

A religious zealot was today jailed for more than 20 years for murder after he brutally stabbed his sect leader mother in the neck when she objected to a preacher he was watching on TV.

Jermaine Gilchrist, 39, fell out with his mother, Beryl Gilchrist, 58, after she gave herself a name used to refer to Jesus and cut off her family to become the leader of a Christian sect.

He traveled from his Huddersfield home to Mrs Gilchrist's London house on an overnight coach in the early hours of the morning after buying a knife from a pound shop, prosecutors said.

He arrived at the Croydon property at around 4am and later that day, started watching Sky TV in the living room in the presence of his mother.

As a certain preacher appeared on-screen, Mrs Gilchrist declared she did not like them, causing her son to fly into a fit of rage, prosecutors said.

He stabbed his mother in the neck with a four-inch knife - thought to be the one he had bought - until its handle snapped off, before covering her in a duvet and laying a Bible next to her.

He then sold Mrs Gilchrist's mobile phone and charger for £25 at the nearby shop, World Internet & Telecom, London's Old Bailey heard.

At 8.17pm, Gilchrist called 999 and told the dispatcher his emergency was ‘murder’, saying: ‘My mother - she’s dead, she’s lying in the front room. I killed her - she’s been stabbed to death’.

Detectives rushed to the scene, where they found Gilchrist calmly smoking a cigarette.

'The defendant was seen smoking a cigarette, he appeared relaxed and when asked where his mother was he said in the front room', said Martin Hicks QC, prosecuting. 'He said his mother tried to escape through the open back door but he grabbed her and brought her into the living room.'

Officers discovered the knife, with its handle broken off, underneath Mrs Gilchrist's body.

Gilchrist later told detectives that his mother 'only do evil'. He claimed he had stabbed her to death at her home in Miller Road, Croydon, 'to send her on her way,' the court heard.

Oliver Blunt QC, defending, said both Gilchrist and his brother Elvis has fallen out with their mother after she had joined a church group called Elelyon The House of Prayer For All Nations.

'Elvis identified the breakdown of the relationship with their mother as being because of her association with what he described as a mixed-up African cult,' he told the court

'The catalyst that seemed to provoke this assault was an argument in relation to a certain preacher on a Sky TV channel that she took exception to. Mr Gilchrist was watching a preacher, she didn't like that preacher, and that argument ended up in the fatal attack on Mrs Gilchrist.'

The court heard Mrs Gilchrist had recently changed her name by deed poll to Nazarine Samuel.

She had also cut off contact with her close family.

When Gilchrist told police about the attack, on June 24, 2010, he said: 'She began speaking to me very rudely, talking to me like I was some beast between her legs. I judged her.'

He said he 'got a pillow so she could rest her head, and put a fake Bible next to her.'

This is an offence of murder of your own mother, and that's a dreadful thing, to kill one's own mother - Judge Nicholas Cooke QC

'The reference to fake Bible was no doubt another manifestation of the problems he encountered with his mother', added Mr Blunt.

Gilchrist has been detained under the Mental Health Act since January 2011, having been deemed mentally unfit to plead.

But after being passed fit by psychiatrists, the defendant this morning pleaded guilty to murder and a separate attack on his ex-girlfriend.

Judge Nicholas Cooke QC sentenced him to life in prison - and ordered that he serve at least 20 years and 252 days in custody before being considered for release.

'This is an offence of murder of your own mother, and that's a dreadful thing, to kill one's own mother', Judge Cooke told Gilchrist, adding: 'I accept at the time of offending you were confused mentally and there are elements of you being subject to a form of religious mania.'

The judge pointed out Mrs Gilchrist, a Jamaica-born mother of three divorcee, suffered defence wounds as she struggle to escape. 'Her last moments must have been ones of terror', he said.

Gilchrist, from Lockwood, Huddersfield, was on bail at the time of the murder, having been arrested three weeks earlier for stabbing his ex-girlfriend in the shoulder. He broke into the home of Joanne Helm, then 23, in the middle of the night on June 6, 2010, and woke her up.

'She woke to find him entering her bedroom, he sat on the bed and started talking about their relationship', said Mr Hicks.

'When she ignored him, he suddenly swung his right arm and hit her left shoulder.

'She felt a stabbing pain and saw blood running from her shoulder, and she saw the defendant dropping a vegetable knife.'

The court heard the couple had been involved in a several incidents of domestic violence during their volatile five-year relationship.

Her last moments must have been ones of terror - Judge Cooke

Their daughter was just seven month old at the time of the attack, and was in the house, the court heard.

Police had also been called to past claims of violence by Gilchrist against his mother.

Mr Hicks said Ms Helm washed away the blood after the stabbing, but went back to sleep instead of reporting it for fear of more violence from Gilchrist.

When he was later arrested for murder, Gilchrist admitted he stabbed Ms Helm because she had been blasphemous, the court heard.

'He said if the injury had been fatal he would have just let her die like his mother', said Mr Hicks.

'He said the event had been a success - there had been truth and some light on the subject.'

Gilchrist was jailed for five years in 2000 after carrying out another stabbing. He also had previous convictions for threatening behaviour in 1999, and theft and disorderly conduct in 2009.

In addition to his murder sentence, the defendant was also today handed a consecutive term of eight years for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in the stabbing of Ms Helm.


Actress Leah Remini blasts Scientology in exclusive '20/20' interview

Ben Brumfield
October 31, 2015

Leah Remini
Leah Remini

(CNN) After 30 years as a Scientologist, actor Leah Remini turned her back on the church in anger. She's written a book, in which she harshly criticizes her former faith, in part over incidents related to one of its most high-profile figures -- Tom Cruise.

On Friday, she appeared in an exclusive interview on the ABC news magazine "20/20," ahead of the release of her memoir, "Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology," to voice her sentiments.

The Church of Scientology said in a statement to the media that Remini's criticism had more to do with her than with it.

Remini is best known for her role as Carrie Heffernan in the TV sitcom "The King of Queens," which ran from 1998 -- 2007.

Remini: Rigidly strict

Scientology's mission is to save the planet, Remini, whose mother introduced her to the religion as a child, told "20/20."

That may sound good but has very negative consequences, "because Scientologists view children as spiritual beings, you're not treated as a kid, so you're given a lot of responsibility," she said. "Your ego becomes extremely inflated."

Her mother enlisted her in the Sea Org, a highly disciplined part of Scientology, and she signed a billion year contract with them, she said. Scientologists believe in reincarnation, and Sea Org members are expected to rejoin when they are reborn.

Remini felt she was exploited as youth labor while living in rundown conditions, "20/20" reported. She said she got into unreasonably severe trouble when her boyfriend then touched her in an enticing but not really salacious way.

Remini on Tom Cruise comments

Remini also got written up for comments to and about Tom Cruise during her time as a Scientologist, she said.
Remini was teaching salsa dancing to Cruise and his then girlfriend Katie Holmes. "He was like, forcibly kissing Katie, and I said, 'Hey, get a freaking room.'" Remini got written up for that, she said.

She also disparaged Cruise's famed appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," in which he jumped up on a couch. She got written up again, she said.

Scientology: Remini blaming others

The Church of Scientology shot back at Remini's allegations with a statement criticizing her as blaming others for her own weaknesses and revising events to suit her own agenda.

"She needs to move on with her life instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money and attention to appear relevant again," the church said in a statement.

Remini has dedicated part of her book to criticizing her own personal faults, saying she pushed people around and was a bad mother, she told "20/20." She said she made the revelations to preempt scathing personal criticism she expected from the church in retaliation to her criticism.

CNN's Jack Hannah and Paul Vercammen contributed to this report.


Meditation holds health benefits for body as well as mind

Cassandra Keenan
Review Journal
October 29, 2015

Sandra Dunn, a member of Soka Gakkai International, does a chanting meditation July 11 at the SGI-USA Buddhist Center
Sandra Dunn, a member of Soka Gakkai International,
does a chanting meditation July 11 at the SGI-USA
Buddhist Center
Being stressed may seem like a problem as fleeting as the bad day that may have caused it, but it is believed to add up.

"Stress, by definition, is an overload to the machinery of perception, and then it's stored chemically or structurally in the nervous system," said Janice Williams, director and certified instructor at Transcendental Meditation Southern Nevada, which operates the Las Vegas TM Center at 8360 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 250. "By this definition, we know that we can incur stress on the level of any of our senses. Year after year, we're collecting it and collecting it until we get to the point where — anything can be broken down, even a piece of steel."

She and her colleague, Michael Williams, who also is a TM instructor, said meditation is an effective way to combat the problem, not to mention preventing and curing disease, boosting the immune system, enhancing mood and promoting clarity of thought.

"The idea of TM is to unfold your potential by transcending and experiencing that subtle level of your existence that lies inside of all of us," Janice Williams said. "The ability to transcend directly affects the nervous system, and your nervous system is responsible for our state of consciousness. So that element of our consciousness becomes more expanded."

Michael Williams added that meditation boosts energy levels. He pointed to himself as proof, saying that, at age 67, he is the oldest and most energetic person in his Zumba class.

Lee Papa, mindfulness trainer, public speaker and author of "The Temple of All Knowing," cited research that showed stress as the main cause of physical, mental, emotional and behavioral issues. She said she believes meditation is a good antidote.

"The Mayo Clinic just did a report on how stress adds to so many different ailments," said Papa, founder of the now-closed Ganesha Center. "Adding a short meditation to your life is going to impact you and on your physical body and emotionally and behaviorally."

Alona Angosta, a nurse practitioner and assistant professor for UNLV's School of Nursing, recited a host of benefits that result from the activity.

"Studies have shown that meditation can decrease anxiety, depression, pain and chronic illness and complications from chronic illness," she said. "It also helps lower blood glucose for diabetics, blood pressure for hypertension patients, and it decreases the perception of pain."

She said it also has been shown to improve sleep problems, decrease asthma attacks, improve focus, and alleviate depression and anxiety.

She said she teaches her students to be open to such alternative means of health care and treating patients holistically.

"Part of my treatment plan for my patients is I always include alternative therapy like meditation," she added.

— To reach Henderson View reporter Cassandra Keenan, email ckeenan@viewnews.com or call 702-383-0278. Find her on Twitter: @CassandraKNews.


Leah Remini reveals why she left the Church of Scientology

Tampa Bay Times
October 30, 2015

Leah Remini
Leah Remini
Leah Remini is the latest actor to join the list of those willing to spill secrets about the Church of Scientology.

The King of Queens star has a tell-all memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, coming out Tuesday. She also appears on ABC's 20/20 at 10 p.m. Friday.

Previews of her interview with ABC News' Dan Harris have already been released. In one, Remini, who was introduced to the church by her mother when she was 9, discusses how Scientology places a special importance on the role of children.

"Because Scientologists view children as spiritual beings, you're not treated as a kid," says Remini, 45. "You're given a lot of responsibility, your ego becomes extremely inflated."

She also explains how difficult it was for her to leave Scientology.

"The decision to leave is you are giving up everything you have ever known and everything you have worked for your whole life," she tells Harris. "I feel that people need to understand, this has been my whole life. I want them to understand how it happens."

Remini left Scientology in July 2013. She said her own daughter was also coming of age in the organization, and Remini said she didn't want that life for her.

Church spokeswoman Karin Pouw told People magazine in a statement earlier this week that Remini's claims are an effort to drum up attention for herself.

"It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former faith as a publicity stunt by rewriting her history with it," Pouw said, "including omitting that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her ethical lapses."


Judge: Polygamy can be raised in lawsuit against 2 towns

Arizona Daily Sun
October 30, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge presiding over a civil rights lawsuit against polygamous towns on the Arizona-Utah line has ruled federal authorities can offer evidence at trial about polygamy, underage marriage and the teachings of the dominant religious sect in both communities.

U.S. District Judge Russel Holland ruled polygamy and underage marriage can be raised as long as they have a connection to the U.S. Justice Department's allegation that Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, served as an arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Holland also ruled the teachings of the church, which broke away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when it disavowed polygamy more than 100 years ago, can be brought up if they have a connection to city business.

The rulings issued earlier this week marked a setback for both communities, which argued it would be irrelevant or prejudicial to let the Justice Department bring up those subjects.

The trial is set to begin in Phoenix on Jan. 19 and will be decided by jurors from northern Arizona.

The towns are accused of systematically denying housing, water services and police protection to people who weren't part of the church.

The lawsuit says the communities' police officers have confronted people about their disobedience of church rules, failed to investigate crimes against them and returned an underage bride home after she had fled.

The towns also are accused of refusing to provide water services to non-members and preventing them from building homes.

The communities deny the allegations.

Holland is mulling a request from the towns to bar the Justice Department from mentioning the sermons of sect leader Warren Jeffs, who is serving a life sentence in Texas for sexually assaulting underage girls he considered brides.

The Justice Department is seeking a judge's declaration that the towns have violated a fair housing law and court orders requiring steps to prevent future discrimination.


China sentences "cult" leader to life in prison amid crackdown

October 31, 2015

BEIJING, Oct 31 (Reuters) - China has sentenced the head of what it calls a cult to life in prison on charges including rape and fraud, state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday, continuing a crackdown on what it views as dangerous illegal movements.

After a probe lasting more than a year, a court in the southern province of Guangdong on Friday sentenced Wu Zeheng, founder and leader of the Buddhist-inspired Huazang Dharma group, and fined him 7.15 million yuan ($1.13 million), Xinhua cited the court as saying.

Three others were also sentenced to up to four years in prison for fraud and perverting the course of justice. Wu intends to appeal, according to Xinhua.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan U.S. government commission, says Wu and his followers are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

Reuters was not immediately able to locate a lawyer for Wu.

The Huazang Dharma has said on its website, which is blocked in China, that he is a purely religious figure facing cooked-up accusations, and has appealed for international help.

Xinhua previously reported that Wu had already been jailed at least twice, and set up his group in 2010 upon his last release from jail.

"In the name of charity and life science and through inflammatory preaching, Wu lured a growing number of followers who were interested in Buddhism, were suffering diseases or thought association with the cult would ward-off ill fortune, according to the police," the state news agency said on Saturday.

"Wu slept with many women by saying he could give them 'supernatural power'. He was also found to have amassed more than 6.7 million yuan in ill-gotten gains, according to the court," said Xinhua.

China's officially atheist Communist Party does not tolerate challenges to its rule. It prizes social stability and religious activities must be state sanctioned.

Authorities have gone after what they view as cults, which have multiplied in recent years, and demonstrations have been put down with force and some sect leaders executed. ($1 = 6.3180 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Tom Heneghan)


Oct 30, 2015

Germany bans neo-Nazi group 'Sturm 18'

October 29, 2015

The interior minister of the German state of Hesse has banned the neo-Nazi group "Sturm 18." A search conducted on some members revealed far-right associated computer files and weapons.

Peter Beuth

The far-right neo-Nazi group "Sturm 18" (Storm 18) has been banned for violations "against the constitutional order," explained the Hessian Interior Minister Peter Beuth on Thursday.

"We do not give any room to right-wing extremism," he said. "This is especially so when they come together and organize to threaten the values of our free and democratic society."

The decision to ban the group is based on an investigation conducted by Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and Hessian police.

The investigation found that current and former members of the Kassel-based "Strum 18" had committed some 300 crimes. A mid-August raid on eight club members secured computers and cell phones, which held evidence of Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner files as well as illegal clothing, flags, pictures, symbols and music, Beuth said.

The search also found a telescopic-baton, an airgun, a blank firing gun, a rifle, a dud-grenade and a small amount of narcotics.

Germany has witnessed a rise of right-wing sentiment as the country faces a flood of refugees from the Middle East.


Leah Remini Speaks Out on Her Break From Scientology

Transcript for Leah Remini Speaks Out on Her Break From Scientology

Leah remini taking on scientology in her new memoir, "Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and scientology". And she sat down with Dan Harris for a candid conversation about her break with the church after three decades. Good morning, Dan. Hey, George, good morning. In a church known for its celebrity members Leah remini is the most famous scientologist to defect and then go public. This morning we have an advanced look at her exclusive interview with ABC news. Long before she was TV royalty starring on the hit CBS sitcom "The king of queens." Do you need to build yourself up by tearing me down. 

Reporter: Leah remini was a child who joined scientology at the behest of her mother, who to use church terminology brought her daughter into the faith and put her on course. What does that mean go on course? You learn how to aply the techniques of scientology to yourself and others. Reporter: So for a kid who was always looking around comparing herself to other people, to be part of a faith where you had a mission to save -- The planet, save the planet. That must have been a big deal. Yes, and because scientologists view children as spiritual being you're not treated as a kid so you're given a lot of responsibility. Your ego becomes extremely inflated. Reporter: Leah would go on to be an active member for more than three decades. I love it. I love being involved with it because I feel like I'm a good person. Reporter: But as she describes in her new book, "Troublemaker," she would ultimately leave the faith and level some scathing and very public criticisms. The decision to leave is you're giving up everything you have ever known and everything you have worked for your whole life. I feel that people need to understand this is my whole life. I want them to understand how it happens. Reporter: It is quite a yarn she has a lot to say and we'll have. More of the story behind her decision to leave and publicly criticize the church in which she was raised tomorrow right here on "Gma" and you can see our full exclusive interview Friday night on "20/20." Her whole life. Wow. . Of it, yep. Thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.


After City Harvest Church Verdict, Supporters Maintain That Church Membership Continues To Grow

October 28, 2015

Harvest Church pastor Kong Hee pictured with popstar wife, Sun Ho
Harvest Church pastor Kong Hee pictured
with popstar wife, Sun Ho 

After the long drawn-out court battle involving six City Harvest Church officials that dramatically tarnished the name of the Singaporean congregation, its rabidly loyal members insist that they will continue to support the convicted officials, and that the handed down verdict has not affected the growth of the church's membership one bit, Yahoo News reports.

A news website affiliated with the City Harvest Church published a video of members speaking of support for the persecuted leaders.

One of them is Elim Chew, founder of clothing brand 77th Street, who remarked that the church should continue to pray for and support the fallen leaders. Another said that, "Over the past three years, my cell group doubled in size, so it proves that trial or no trial, God is still with us ... We will go to the next level with CHC 2.0"

Nevertheless, though the trial has ended, things are only beginning for the six convicted officials.

Kong Hee recently came out in public for the first time since the judge's verdict was handed down, Christian Today reports. The fallen pastor apologized to his congregation after being found guilty for fraud. "Pastor is sorry," Kong had bowed and said to the crowd at the Suntec convention center on Sunday morning and on Saturday night.

In the speech, he said, "You have suffered much over the past few years because of your commitment to City Harvest Church... I am so sorry for all the pain and the turmoil you have had to endure under my leadership, under my watch. You have had to answer questions, and criticisms from family, from friends, from colleagues. Pastor is so very sorry...that you have to endure through all this under my leadership."

Singapore's office of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) has also announced that it would continue the process of removing seven church office-holders, one of whom is church founder Kong Hee. The COC had to postpone investigations in August 2013 until after the trial was concluded. Now that it has been, the organization will now only allow the officials in question to assume religious duties but may not hold any of the following offices: governing board member, key officer, trustee, agent, or employee, the Middle Ground reports.

The report further elaborates that the COC can in fact enforce stronger powers on the City Harvest Church than what is being invoked. According to the Charities Act, after conducting an inquiry, the COC may remove office-holders, remove their membership, limit financial transactions, appoint key staff at will, and control the errant charity's property, subject to the Attorney-General's http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/59198/20151028/after-city-harvest-church-verdict-supporters-maintain-that-church-membership-continues-to-grow.htm

Scientology lawyers threatened with death

BRUSSELS Pascal Vanderveeren, a defense lawyer in the trial against Scientology for the Brussels Criminal Court, has this afternoon at the beginning of the meeting reported an anonymous letter in which he and his colleagues with the death threatened. The authors of the letter say they are victims of Scientology.

The lawyers consider to lodge a complaint with civil party in. The letter was added to the file. "It is not the ordinary prose against Scientology," said the presiding judge, Yves RÉGIMONT. A lawyer for the defense signaled to the president that her client was insulted in front of the courthouse and the soldiers who stood nearby, had to intervene.


The well-deserved decline of Scientology

Stephen Friedland
The Daily Campus
October 30, 2015

Tonight, actress Leah Remini, known predominately for her lead role on the show “King of Queens,” will be featured on ABC’s “20/20,” where she will be discussing the acrimonious dissolution of her relationship with the Church of Scientology. She was a member for 30 years.

Concurrently, a court in The Hague, Netherlands recently revoked the church’s status as a tax-exempt organization, citing its auditing courses – which ostensibly rid the participant of body thetans (invisible spirits that travelled to Earth and were subsequently blown up in volcanoes in Hawaii 75 million years ago by an evil galactic overlord named Xenu) – as egregiously expensive, much more than secular courses which offer a similar therapeutic value (at least initially).

This comes as a bit of a shock, considering the fight the organization has been known to put up for tax-related predicaments. In the United States, the group fought the state of California and ultimately the IRS from 1967 to 1993 to claim its tax-exempt status today. Court documents revealed the church had grandiose plans to infiltrate and suppress government agencies in their investigations, leading to the incarcerations of several high-ranking members for wiretapping the office of the IRS.

Incidents like that in Holland are indicative of an organization in steep decline. In addition, the numbers of members are dwindling. While the church itself said in a 2012 ad that it courts 4.4 million new Scientologists worldwide each year, censuses and other testimony are a little more telling. Sea Org, essentially the church’s military-esque parish – touts only 6,500 members. 2011 censuses in Australia and the United Kingdom reveal 2,163 and 1,781 members, respectively. It is clear Scientology is not the behemoth it once was.

There isn’t just baseless defecting, though. Everyone that’s departed, from B-list actresses in ‘90s Kevin Smith films to B-list actresses married to Tom Cruise, has cited oppressive tactics designed to inspire devout obedience to the church at all costs.

In the former instance, Carmen Llwelyn was married to Jason Earl, of “My Name is Earl” fame, for about 10 years. A prerequisite of their marrying was that Carmen join the church at Jason’s behest. She took classes and went to audits for many years, and eventually she read a book by a former Scientologist, describing the more insidious facets of the religion. When she expressed concerns about it to her husband and friends at the church, she promptly received “disconnection letters,” one culminating a decade’s worth of marriage. It’s assumed Llwelyn was then deemed a “suppressive person,” or an enemy of the church.

After receiving the moniker, a suppressive person (SP) becomes “fair game,” which entitles the congregation or any Scientology administrator to ruin the life of said SP. A 1967 publication from the Hubbard (L. Ron, founder of the religion and a science fiction writer) states a person labeled fair game “may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”

Llwelyn was no exception to this rule. She was followed, people would publicly discuss private conversations she had minutes before and vicious, baseless rumors spread about her.

Even former officials are subject to “fair game” and the excommunicating of family from the church. Mike Rinder, who served as the executive director of the office of special affairs (cited by Llwelyn as the branch of the organization responsible for the post-membership terrorizing, ironically enough), was immediately divorced from his wife of 35 years upon departure and his two adult children don’t maintain contact with him. This coldness is commonplace and not bound by blood.

The biggest crux to Scientology has without a doubt been the Internet. Troves of articles and testimony are now a click away, and no matter how hard it tries, the church cannot suppress this seemingly infinite flow of information. For more information, I highly recommend the documentary “Going Clear” and the South Park episode “Trapped in the Closet.”

Stephen Friedland is a staff columnist for The Daily Campus opinion section. He can be reached via email at stephen.friedland@uconn.edu.


Survivors of clergy sex abuse hope 'Spotlight' film brings victims forward

Scott Malone
October 30, 2015

BOSTON (Reuters) - Survivors of clergy sex abuse said they hope the upcoming film "Spotlight," about the Boston Globe's groundbreaking report that Roman Catholic officials routinely covered up abuse by priests, prompts more victims to publicly confront their abusers.

The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for revealing in 2002 that church officials routinely covered up reports that priests had sexually assaulted children, setting off a global wave of investigations that found similar patterns at dioceses around the world.

The scandal damaged the Catholic Church worldwide, undermining its moral authority and requiring costly legal settlements. The church is still struggling with the crisis, which Pope Francis addressed last month on his historic first visit to the United States, meeting with victims and declaring that "God weeps" for their pain.

The film, which focuses on the work of the investigative reporters who spent months tracking down sealed court records, victims and abusive priests, does not depict abuse but shows the heavy emotional toll it took on survivors, many of whom turned to alcohol, drugs or suicide when unable to overcome their pain.

"I do think it will encourage more survivors who are still trapped in silence and shame and suffering to find the courage to speak up," said David Clohessy, who runs the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and was sexually assaulted by a priest as a teenager.

"Spotlight," starring Mark Ruffalo as reporter Mike Rezendes, Michael Keaton as editor Walter "Robby" Robinson and Rachel McAdams as reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 6. It has gotten strong early reviews in festival showings, and some in the film industry describe it as a possible Academy Award contender.

Victims portrayed in the film describe how pedophiles of all stripes, not just priests, "groom" their potential victims, first lavishing attention on them, then sharing inappropriate secrets like pornographic magazines before moving on to raping them. It is a pattern survivors of child sex abuse have described repeatedly.

"You feel trapped because he has groomed you. How do you say no to God?" victim Phil Savino, played by Neal Huff, tells Pfeiffer in one early scene.


"Spotlight," produced by Open Road Films, ends with a list of 206 cities around the world, in countries including Ireland, Australia and Francis' native Argentina, where abuse has been uncovered.

Terence McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org, which maintains records on abuse and cover ups, said he worries that a movie set more than a decade ago could lead some viewers to believe the crisis had passed.

"It wouldn't be a bad thing for people to ask themselves in what ways is this continuing and in what ways is it better," said McKiernan, who has seen the film. "How is it that this terrible problem duplicated itself around the world, and what do we do about that?"

Insurance experts told a Vatican conference in 2012 that as many as 100,000 U.S. children may have been the victims of clerical sex abuse. Some 12 U.S. dioceses have filed for bankruptcy since the scandal broke, in part due to more than $3 billion in settlements paid to victims.

But victims' advocacy groups note that they continue to fight to reform U.S. state laws that set tight time limits on when victims of sexual assault can sue their alleged attackers.

Victims' advocates contend that short statutes of limitation prevent victims from recovering money that could help pay for the years' of therapy that many have needed, while church lobbyists argue that extending the limits would hurt the church's charitable mission.

Boston's archbishop, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, appointed after Cardinal Bernard Law resigned over the scandal, said the film "depicts a very painful time in the history of the Catholic Church" and added "the Archdiocese of Boston is fully and completely committed to zero tolerance concerning the abuse of minors."

The description of the abuse crisis as part of the church's "history" angers victims and their advocates, who contend that abuse is ongoing in dioceses around the world.

In one of the film's final scenes, as Rezendes leaves the office of attorney Mitchell Garabedian, played by Stanley Tucci, he pauses to look at a pair of young children playing in a conference room, and Garabedian mentions that they have just been victimized.

That, said director and co-screenwriter Tom McCarthy, was intended to underline the point that the crisis of abuse has not passed.

"My biggest concern is that not only the church, but the laity, the parents will think, 'OK, this was a problem of the past. We'll lower our guard,'" McCarthy said. "Until we're certain that this problem has been dealt with completely, we have to remain vigilant. We have to push for reform, for change."

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


Pope Francis grants plenary indulgence to controversial Legionaries of Christ

Doug G. Ware
October 29, 2015

Pope Francis
Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Pope Francis granted a formal reprieve Thursday to the controversial Legionaries of Christ -- a Catholic order attempting to reform itself after years of child sex abuse accusations.

The pope granted plenary indulgence to the group Thursday in observance of the order's 75th anniversary, its jubilee year, in response to an official request by Legion leader Father Eduardo Robles Gil Orvañanos, Vatican News reported.

The group may receive indulgence during the solemnity of Christ the King in 2015 and the solemnity of the Sacred Heart in 2016, the report said, if they "profess or devotionally renew the promises or vows which bind them to the Movement or the Legion" and "dedicate a sufficient amount of time to the corporal or spiritual works of mercy."

The Legion of Christ has for years been attempting to get back in the pontiff's good graces following revelations of alleged child sex abuse by its founder, Marcial Maciel, over decades with alleged abuses dating back to the 1940s.

John Paul II, who led the Catholic Church between 1978 and 2005, never formally disciplined Maciel when the allegations first surfaced in the late 1990s -- because, critics believe, the two were close friends. In 2006, Benedict XVI disciplined Maciel and banished him from ministry service, but Benedict refused a canonical trial due to Maciel's advanced age and declining health. Maciel died in 2008.

It was alleged that Maciel repeatedly sexually abused young men studying the priesthood at the Legion under his leadership, fathered several children and carried on sexual relationships with various women -- in addition to their criminal repercussions, the abuses constituted violations of the church's pledge of celibacy.

Francis' granting of plenary indulgence Thursday follows Vatican approval last year of the Legion's constitutional reforms, a third-party evaluation of the group, and an apology from the seminary group to the victims.

"I encourage you to make the most of this grace that the Holy Father has granted us to renew our gratitude to the Lord for the gift of the Movement and to increase our desire to be apostles and credible witnesses of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ," Orvañanos said in response to the pope's granting of indulgence.


Jerry O'Connell Is Still Hiding From Tom Cruise And Scientology

Todd Van Luling
The Huffington Post
Ocober 29, 2015

A lesson to never start something you can't finish.

In one of the more memorable assertions that was popularized by the 2015 HBO-released documentary "Going Clear," Tom Cruise is worshipped by the Church of Scientology as a sort of living god, who deserves to be given whatever his perhaps not mortal heart desires. Cars, parties, women trained to be his ideal girlfriend -- the Church gifts them to Cruise.

Keeping that in mind, it's understandable that actor Jerry O'Connell has lived life in fear ever since he teamed up in 2008 with Funny or Die to parody Cruise's recently leaked Scientology recruitment video.

"I hid for as long as I could," O'Connell admitted to hosts of the podcast "Allegedly," speaking about a party he attended where he knew Cruise was also present. "When it was time to disperse, I literally was the first at valet," the actor said, and then added, "I don't think there'll be a confrontation, but why poke that bear?"

Below is the video O'Connell created that started this "Mission Impossible: Rogue Church" situation:

O'Connell was actually in the movie "Jerry Maguire" with Cruise, which was released in 1996. In the movie, O'Connell played a star quarterback who decided to abandon the agent Maguire after Cruise's character worked with a black athlete, played by Cuba Gooding Jr.

And here we are, almost two decades later, and the actors have just as awkward of a relationship offscreen. But now, if Cruise yells, "Show me the money!" perhaps that's just enough of a terrifying prospect for O'Connell to cause him to want to hide until the edge of tomorrow.


Leah Remini Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Slamming Scientology (And We Love Her For It)

Maxine Page
The Popdust
October 30, 2015

Leah Remini refuses to shut the fuck up when it comes to the cult “Church” of Scientology—and, we love her for it.

Despite the organization’s whiny butt sore little bitch reaction to her revelations about life inside the notoriously covert and media hating “church”, Remini can’t stop, and just won’t stop, slamming it.

Laura Prepon’s Scientology Interview Is Suitably Batshit Fucking Crazy

As Popdust previously reported, the 45-year-old is currently bracing herself for the inevitable backlash she’s in line for, as she gears up to release her explosive Scientology expose, detailing the alleged corrupt inner workings of the organization.

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, is set to be released November 3, and the candid tell-all promises to be a blistering take-down of the “church” and its hierarchy.

Scientology Acting Like Whiny Butt Sore Little Bitch Over Leah Remini

As part of her book promotional tour, Remini sat down for a talk with 20/20—ABC has released a teaser of the interview, which airs in full this Friday—you can watch it right here on Popdust.

In the clip, the actress talks about joining Scientology as a child—her teacher mother, Vicki Marshall, brought her daughter into the “church” when she was just 9-years old—and, Remini shares that her life was drastically affected by the decision.

Did Kirstie Alley Cut Off Maksim Chmerkovskiy Because Of Scientology?

“Because Scientologists view children as spiritual beings, you’re given a lot of responsibility and your ego becomes extremely inflated,” Remini says.

She goes on to talk about how, similar to mold on cheese, before you know it, Scientology manages to creep all over and into you, ultimately ending up consuming your entire life.

“I feel that people need to understand this has been my whole life,” Remini admits, “I want [people] to understand how it happens.”

“As time goes on, you start to lose touch with the real world,” she says later in the clip. “The mindset becomes ‘Us against them.’

“The decision to leave is you are giving up everything you have ever known and everything you have worked for your whole life.”

Juliette Lewis Defends Scientology, Says Tom Cruise Is Victim Of Big Pharma

Since defecting back in 2013, Remini has become a high profile thorn in Scientology’s side, bravely speaking out against the organization, and sharing secrets of the hideous day-to-day life within the “church.”

She previously opened up to Oprah, for an episode of Winfrey’s Where Are They Now?

I don’t think people know the amount of dedication it takes to be in this organization. I mean it was every day, three-and-a-half hours minimum, seven days a week usually. You know, I’m working most of my time, and then the other time was spent at the church, so minimal time is really spent with your family.

I was at one of these hotels in Florida, and I saw my daughter swimming for the first time while I’m reading this thing [Scientology coursework].

And a tear came down my face. And I was like, ‘What am I doing?’

Despite Scientology’s vehement claims to the contrary, the organization engages in many practices that are viewed as being the staple of modern day cults—including isolating members from “negative forces” outside of the “church”—or, in Scientology jargon, “suppressive persons” (SPs).

John Travolta Defends ‘Beautiful’ Church Of Scientology

Remini discussed how unhealthy that can be for those unfortunates still inside the organization.

I didn’t want to raise my daughter in the church because from what I experienced and what I saw, the church becomes everything, your mother, your father, your everything. You are dependent on the church.

In 10 years, if I didn’t want to be connected to the church anymore, my own [daughter Sofia] would be taught to disconnect from me. I didn’t want to create that. I didn’t think that would be healthy for her.

Sure enough, since leaving, Remini has become a pariah in social circles involving her former Scientology friends—pals like Kirstie Alley, whom she was close to for years, but is now shunned by.

Alley slammed her former friend during an interview with Howard Stern, branding her an anti-faith “bigot” who picks on Scientologists for no reason … and declaring that Remini is now her “enemy.”

Church Of Scientology Accused Of Bullying And Intimidating A Clearwater Cinema

For their part, Scientology has taken the usual tried and tested aggressive and nasty attack stance against their former member, releasing a bitchy little statement to the press:

It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former religion as a publicity stunt in a pathetic attempt to get ratings for her cable show and seem relevant again.

She is rewriting history and omits that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her and her husband’s ethical lapses.

Wah! Wah! Wah

It’s impossible to imagine any other supposed religion acting this way—people leave the Catholic Church, and speak out against it, all the time, but we’ve yet to read a statement from the Pope tearing them to pieces for doing so.

Travolta And Gaga—Is There A Creepy Motive To Their Friendship?

But then, Scientology ain’t your regular, run-of-the-mill “religion” as much as they like to pretend they are when it suits them….and, Scientology’s creator, L Ron Hubbard definitely ain’t no Jesus figure—although, we have to give major props to the failed science fiction writer for his awesome imagination, which is on full display when it comes to the utterly fantastical and ludicrous tenets of Scientology.

For those of you out there who remain blissfully unaware of what Scientology preaches, here’s some of the best bits for you:

  • Earth is over-run by evil dead alien souls (“Body Thetans” in Scientology lingo) who live and roam amongst us, posing as humans.
  • Body Thetans are the result of a mass murder spree undertaken ions ago by the blood thirsty evil alien ruler Xenu—who killed millions of aliens (“Thetans” in Scientology lingo)
  • The blood thirsty evil alien ruler Xenu killed the millions of Thetans by kidnapping them, transporting them to earth in shimmering DC-8 “space-planes”, stuffing them in volcanoes around the world and then blowing them to pieces with hydrogen bombs.\
  • The poor murdered Thetans’ souls (the aforementioned Body Thetans that live and roam amongst us to this day) were then captured by Xenu and his peeps, brainwashed and released out into the world—where they immediately attached themselves to the human population
  • The human population of old genetically passed on those pesky Body Thetans to their children, and their children passed them on to their children..and so on, up until present day—where, we, unenlightened non-Scientologists, remain riddled with pesky brainwashed Body Thetans, which are the cause of the vast majority of our mental and physical ailments.
  • Luckily, we can rid ourselves (“clear” in Scientology lingo) of the pesky brainwashed dead alien souls clinging to us, by paying vast sums of money to specially trained potential blackmailers Scientology “auditors”
  • The specially trained potential blackmailers Scientology “auditors” will then hook up the poor Body Thetan riddled human (“pre-clear” in Scientology lingo) to a Hubbard Electropsychometer (“E-Meter” in Scientology lingo) which consists of a plastic box type thing with some dials, wires, and a couple of empty soup can kind of things attached, which is purported to “measure changes in the electrical resistance of the pre-clear by passing a small electric current (typically in the range from 50µA to 120µA) through the pre-clear’s body” via the empty soup can kind of things.
  • An average auditing session involves the pre-clear divulging all of their deepest darkest and most shameful secrets to the auditor, who tapes it all for future blackmail opportunities reference.
  • After shelling out shit loads of money and divulging every single one of their deepest darkest and most shameful secrets, the aforementioned auditing will eventually rid the pre-clear of all of their attached Body Thetans, rendering the pre-clear all nice, clean and evil dead alien soul free.
  • Scientologists who dare break any of the organization’s many rules, are forced to submit themselves to a regime of physical punishment, total isolation, intense ideological indoctrination, an ongoing series of forced self-confessions, and hard labor, in some weird prison camp type scenario (the “Rehabilitation Project Force” (RPF) in Scientology lingo).
  • Scientologists are entitled to physically and emotionally injure any critics or enemies of the organization, in addition to seizing dissenters’ property.
  • Contrary to both evolutionary and creationist belief, all humans actually evolved from clams