Oct 20, 2018

CultNEWS101 Articles: 10/20-21/2018

Universal Medicine, New Age, Book, LDS, Robert Augustus Masters, Cult Dress, St. Matthias Church, Exorcism, Play

"A wealthy NSW spiritual healer has suffered a significant defeat in his defamation case against a blogger after a jury found many of her posts were true, including that he's the leader of a socially harmful cult."

"Former tennis coach Serge Benhayon, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci, sued ex-acupuncturist Esther Mary Rockett in the NSW Supreme Court over her 2014 blog and tweets."

"But the four-person jury on Monday completed answers to 58 pages of questions, primarily in Ms Rockett's favour and against Mr Benhayon, the founder of Universal Medicine (UM), based near Lismore in northern NSW."

"The "substantially true" findings included that he "has an indecent interest in young girls as young as 10 whom he causes to stay at his house unaccompanied", preys on cancer patients and "is a charlatan who makes fraudulent medical claims"."

"Other truth findings were he intentionally indecently touched Ms Rockett during a consultation, "engages in bizarre sexual manipulation to make money for his business", vilified people with disabilities, is dishonest and guilty of exploitative behaviour."

"A jubilant Ms Rockett, who had run the defences of truth and honest opinion, flashed the peace sign as she left the court complex with her junior barrister Louise Goodchild."

"Faith healer Serge Isaac Benhayon has been labelled as either crazy or a fraud in court, but, according to his barrister, there is a third option: a man of sincere religious belief."
"The 54-year-old former tennis coach, who founded spiritual healing business Universal Medicine, is suing blogger and former acupuncturist Esther Rockett for defamation in the New South Wales Supreme Court."
"Over the past month a jury of four has heard evidence on wide-ranging issues, including what constitutes a cult, family relationships that allegedly broke up due to Universal Medicine, an "ovarian reading" and other energy-based spiritual healing theories and practices, reincarnation, and alleged sexual misconduct."

"UNIVERSAL Medicine founder Serge Benhayon is "not a fraud” but sincerely believes his teachings and does not make medical claims, a court has been told."
"The defamation trial brought by Mr Benhayon against blogger Esther Rockett was also told on Thursday that the Lismore-based healer was 'not a charlatan'”.
"In his closing argument, Mr Benhayon's barrister, Kieran Smark, SC, said the healer "was not making medical claims” and that everything connected back to his "fundamental teaching” about energy."

"Renee Linnell stood with a friend on the beach near her Los Angeles home, built a fire, and burned everything she owned. Her brand-new Armani leather jacket, her parents’ wedding album, even her bed — everything went into the fire."
"She did this because a woman named Lakshmi, whom Linnell paid $500 a month for such guidance, had told her to do so. She did whatever Lakshmi instructed, however it might destroy her life."
“'The Burn Zone' (She Writes Press) is Linnell’s wrenching tale of falling under the sway of two “gurus” named Lakshmi and Vishnu (referred to in the book by their first names only), taking much of Linnell’s money and years of her life in the process."

"SALT LAKE CITY — A lawsuit alleging sexual abuse and a cover up has been filed against the daughter and son-in-law of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
"The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Salt Lake City on Wednesday by six unnamed people listed only as "Jane Doe" and "John Doe" against unnamed "Doe 1 Male Defendant" and "Doe 2 Female Defendant." However, Brenda and Richard Miles' attorney publicly disclosed their names after the lawsuit was filed and said they vigorously deny the allegations."

" ... I’ve recently been surprised by a person who’s told me she wouldn’t mind attending church again. Sort of. It’s not that I don’t think this is a nice idea, but WHAT?! And why now— especially when so many people (at least in my world) are making a beeline straight for the exit sign?"
"I’m not quite sure why this individual wants to return. Maybe she wants to experience a familiar sense of community or to hear hymns she once loved or to stoke a nostalgia for the spiritual language of her youth."
She’d like to return under these specific conditions:
  • She wants to feel accepted for who she is now, because she actually likes who she is now, even if her life doesn’t look very Mormon.
  • She doesn’t want to do the full buy-in when it comes to her level of activity, which in some ways is the larger issue.
Here’s the deal: Being an active Mormon is time-consuming. Really, really time-consuming. A formerly Mormon friend of mine recalls being with some women who were miffed that the Latter-day Saint women in their neighborhood didn’t seem to pull their own weight when it came to volunteering for community activities. My friend, who’d walked away from the church years before, was able to explain in that moment what the calendar of, say, the average Relief Society president looks like.

"Author and spiritual teacher Robert Augustus Masters, also known as RAMOS ran two abusive cults for a period of 17 years. He is accused of systemic physical and emotional abuse. Former members claim he has never confronted his own shadow nor has shown empathy or compassion for his victims or remorse for his actions— something that contradicts his so called expertise on “the shadow.” Masters’ history raises important questions about what accountability means for spiritual teachers who have abused in their past."

" ... I asked cult researcher and author Janja Lalich, Ph.D., professor emerita of sociology at California State University, and a survivor herself, to tell me her unfiltered thoughts on the matter: Should anyone dress like a cult member for Halloween?"
"No," she tells me, point-blank. "Essentially, cult members are victims. They are victims of a situation of influence or control that they have been trapped and deceived, and I don’t think it is ever appropriate to make fun of victims. It doesn’t show any kind of empathy or understanding of what that world is really like, and the kind of things that cult members experience and suffer."

"At St. Matthias Church in Trinity-Bellwoods, they spoke in tongues, went into trances and performed exorcisms. When a teenage follower complained of an earache, they tried to drive the devil out of her. Within days, she was dead."
" ... [M]y grandfather embraced rituals that were wildly different from the Anglicanism he’d practised before. He spoke in tongues. He performed the laying of the hands. Sometimes, he’d whip himself into a frenzy, flailing and rolling around on the floor. During sermons, he’d shake and howl unintelligibly. This kind of preaching extended to the home, where his children were exposed to odd spiritual behaviour. His ministry was a patchwork of influences, some of them self-contradictory. He described it as 'Catholic in faith, liturgy and worship, evangelical in Christian experience, biblical in teaching and witness, Pentecostal in ministry, proclaiming Christ in the inner city'.”

"He brought East and West together, inspired with new visions. Thousands of young people followed his call - in search of a new consciousness, spirituality, sexual liberation. The vision of a peaceful world seems palpable. But the dream becomes a nightmare."
"A wise man inspires thousands of people: Bhagwan wants to create a holistic new human being from the eastern spiritual and western material people. First in the Indian city of Poona, from the 1980s in Oregon, Bhagwan's followers want to realize the vision of a peaceful, libertarian and spiritual society. But the dream becomes a nightmare."

The author, D.W. Gregory, has been invited to conduct a post-show discussion and is seeking ICSA members in the area who might be interested in participating on a panel with her.
Inspired by a personal story, Salvation Road looks at the cult experience from the point of view of bewildered family and friends left behind. Where do you draw the line between faith and fanaticism? Between a church and a cult? Perhaps it is that moment when you are forced to choose between your religion and your family?
The performance times are: Nov. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7.30 p.m. Nov. 3 and 10 at 2 p.m.
All performances are open to the general public.
If you're interested in serving on the panel, please contact the author at dwgregory2008@gmail.com by Oct. 1.
If you are interested in attending the production, tickets will be available at the door or online at www.wtwdrama.org -- $5 for students and seniors and $10 for general admission.

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery

Intervention101.com to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement.
CultRecovery101.com assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice.
CultNEWS101.com news, links, resources.
Cults101.org resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

Selection of articles for CultNEWS101 does not mean that Patrick Ryan or Joseph Kelly agree with the content. We provide information from many points of view in order to promote dialogue.

Please forward articles that you think we should add to CultNEWS101.com.


Joe Kelly  (joekelly411@gmail.com)
Patrick Ryan (pryan19147@gmail.com)

If you do not wish to be subscribed to this list, or you think you are being maliciously subscribed to the list, or have any other questions, send them to: pryan19147@gmail.com or send an email to: cultnews101+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com. 

No comments: