Aug 28, 2019

Domestic abuse: Killers 'follow eight-stage pattern', study says

August 28, 2019

Men who kill their partners follow a "homicide timeline" that could be tracked by police to help prevent deaths, new research suggests.

Criminology expert Dr Jane Monckton Smith found an eight-stage pattern in 372 killings in the UK.

The University of Gloucestershire lecturer said controlling behaviour could be a key indicator of someone's potential to kill their partner.

One murder victim's father said the findings could help to "save lives".

About 30,000 women across the world were killed by current or former partners in 2017 .

Dr Monckton Smith said women account for more than 80% of victims killed by their partners - and most of the time, the partner is male.

To conduct her study, she looked at all cases on the Counting Dead Women website where the woman had had a relationship with the perpetrator - as well as several extra cases such as those of male victims killed by their male partners.

The eight steps she discovered in almost all of the 372 killings she studied were:

A pre-relationship history of stalking or abuse by the perpetrator

The romance developing quicklyinto a serious relationship

The relationship becoming dominated by coercive control

A trigger to threaten the perpetrator's control - for example, the relationship ends or the perpetrator gets into financial difficulty

Escalation - an increase in the intensity or frequency of the partner's control tactics, such as by stalking or threatening suicide

The perpetrator has a change in thinking - choosing to move on, either through revenge or by homicide

Planning - the perpetrator might buy weapons or seek opportunities to get the victim alone

Homicide - the perpetrator kills his or her partner, and possibly hurts others such as the victim's children

The only instance where a stage in the model was not followed was when men did not meet stage one - but this was normally because they had not had a relationship before, she said.

"We've been relying on the 'crime of passion, spontaneous red-mist' explanation [of killing] forever - and it's just not true," Dr Monckton Smith told the BBC.
"If you start looking at all these cases, there's planning, determination, there's always coercive control."

Alice Ruggles, 24, had been stalked by her ex-boyfriend, soldier Trimaan Dhillon, after their intense relationship ended.
Dhillon killed Miss Ruggles after breaking into her Gateshead flat in October 2016.

Her father, Clive Ruggles, said the outcome of the case "absolutely" could have been different if police had known about Dr Monckton Smith's eight-stage model.

"He had a history of stalking and controlling - the warning signs were there," Mr Ruggles said.
A domestic homicide review concluded Army officials had failed to record a previous domestic assault charge against Dhillon in Kent.

"That information wasn't known to police, Alice had no idea - we had no idea," Mr Ruggles said.
When Dhillon began stalking Miss Ruggles, she and her family "did not realise how much danger she was in", Mr Ruggles said.

"If [police] had looked at Jane's stages, they'd have realised - the constant messages, the emotional blackmail, all of that sort of thing - it was quite clear that he was already onto stage five," he added.

"We really believe that if this model gets out there and people start acting on it, then it will improve things for people and very likely save lives."

Dr Monckton Smith has taught her model to lawyers, psychologists, police forces across the country and probation officers.

She hopes that now the study has been published in the Violence Against Women Journal, the model can be rolled out more widely.

"As soon as they see it, victims and professionals are able to say, 'Oh my God, I've got a case at stage three', or 'My relationship is at stage five'," she said.

"Police have been incredibly receptive, and recognise the steps in cases they are working on, because it speaks to their experience and makes an order out of the chaos that is domestic abuse, coercive control and stalking," she added.

'Damaging headlines'

Dr Monckton Smith said once police learn the eight stages, they will be able to keep track of certain potential perpetrators - while victims will more easily be able to articulate to professionals what situation they are in.

She also said there should be more research into ways in which victims can leave controlling relationships safely, and into what causes people to seek control in intimate relationships.

The charity Women's Aid said improving understanding of domestic homicides could help save lives.

Head of communications Teresa Parker said: "We know that controlling and coercive behaviour underpins the vast majority of domestic homicides, and this important study shows why it is vital that we take non-physical abuse as seriously as physical abuse when considering a woman's safety.

She added: "A greater understanding will also reduce misleading and damaging headlines which cite jealousy, an affair or heartbreak as the reasons why women are killed by a current or former partner."

Aug 27, 2019

Ninth Circuit Upholds Verdict Against Sect-Run Arizona Town

Courthouse News Service

August 26, 2019



(CN) – An Arizona town that let a Mormon sect run the government deprived non-church members of their constitutional rights, a Ninth Circuit panel held Monday, affirming a federal judge’s 2016 finding.

“We conclude that because of the overwhelming evidence that Colorado City deprived non-FLDS residents of their constitutional rights, it is more probable than not that the court would have reached the same verdict on the United States’ [Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act] claim,” wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Milan Smith Jr., in a 21-page opinion.

The U.S. government sued the towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale City, Utah, in 2012, for letting overseers of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) appoint city leader and marshals.

Following a 44-day trial in 2016, U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland, a Ronald Reagan appointee, awarded a total of $2.2 million to apostates denied access to water utilities as well as a former city councilman wrongly arrested and charged with felony theft.

Hildale City withdrew from this appeal in 2018, leaving the 4,857-person Arizona town alone in its argument against the court’s use of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Smith noted the act was passed “address systematic patterns or practices of police misconduct.”

Colorado City argued the law didn’t apply since the town didn’t have an official policy on the books committing it to work on behalf of the church.

Nevertheless, the FLDS was handpicking city marshals to “ignore violations of the law – such as underage marriage, unlicensed drug distributions, and food stamp fraud – by FLDS members,” Smith wrote in a summary of the trial.

Law enforcement on the town payroll helped church leaders duck the FBI, kept tabs on unfamiliar license plates that rolled through, hid church leader Warren Jeffs from the FBI for more than a year and destroyed evidence against him.

Moreover, the marshal’s office “selectively enforce[ed] the law based upon religion,” arresting several non-FLDS members without probable cause.

The church also employed its own security detail nicknamed the God Squad.

Colorado City also argued that statements made by FLDS leaders should have been discounted by the court as mere heresy, but Smith said doing so would not have changed the case’s outcome.

But Smith, a George W. Bush appointee noted in his opinion that “the United States presented extensive evidence at trial that supported the existence of a conspiracy between the church and the towns,” including that “Jeffs excommunicated the towns’ leaders who did not follow his orders [and] FLDS leaders determined who would occupy the towns’ government positions such as mayor, City Council members, and police officers.”

Smith was joined in the opinion by two Bill Clinton appointees, U.S. Circuit Judge Michael Daly Hawkins and Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn of the Northern District of Texas, sitting by designation.

Spanning the Arizona-Utah border, the Short Creek Community follows the teachings of Warren Jeffs, whom they consider a prophet. The FLDS should not be confused with the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which excommunicated many of the sect members.

Jeffs is imprisoned in Texas for life plus 20 years for the sexual abuse of two young girls he had taken as his “spiritual wives.”

Aug 26, 2019

Netflix released a new documentary on the secretive religious group 'The Family.' Despite its flaws, it's a must see.

President Trump prays during the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 7 in Washington. The prayer breakfast is hosted by a group called the Family, which is portrayed in a new Netflix documentary.
John Fea
Washington Post
August 16, 2019

Last week Netflix released “The Family” a five-part documentary about a secretive group of Christians with a mission to spread the teachings of Jesus to Washington, D.C., and beyond. Many progressives will love the documentary because it gives them what they want to hear, while conservatives will probably question the motives of those involved.

“The Family” is directed by Jesse Moss and based on two books by journalist Jeff Sharlet: “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” (2008) and “C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy” (2010). (Sharlet is an executive producer and has a significant amount of camera time.)

Sharlet’s books have appealed to progressive pundits anxious about the Christian right’s threat to the separation of church and state, but his work also has had its share of critics.

Historian of religion Randall Balmer, who over the past 30 years has been one of our most discerning observers of American evangelicalism, panned the “The Family” in a 2008 review in The Washington Post. Balmer criticized Sharlet’s sloppy use of history, his paranoid style and his failure to take seriously members of the Family who did not identify with the Christian right. (Coincidentally, Balmer and Sharlet are now colleagues at Dartmouth.)

When Sharlet published his books, many observers of American religion, like Balmer, were skeptical of conspiracy theories about the theocratic schemes of cultlike groups working behind the scenes in Washington.

Historians of American Christianity were hard at work trying to convince academics and the general public that evangelicalism was a religious movement, not a cover for a nefarious attempt to create a 17th-century Puritan theocracy. The efforts of these historians, of course, did not come easy during the Age of Reagan, Moral Majority and the “culture wars.” Sharlet’s book didn’t help the cause.

But much has changed in the past decade. In fact, Moss and Sharlet’s documentary, which devotes the bulk of its coverage to developments in “The Family” after 2010, is quite timely. The Christian right has found renewed energy since President Trump’s election. Christian nationalism, the idea that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and needs to return to its religious roots, is on the rise. Many pundits and scholars wonder whether the evangelical movement can be separated from the agenda of the Republican Party.

It’s time to examine Sharlet’s work (and now Moss’ work) with fresh eyes, and for this reason alone, “The Family” is must viewing.

Abraham Vereide, a Norwegian-born evangelical, founded the Family (its original name was the International Christian Leadership) in 1935 to provide a space for men with power in his adopted hometown of Seattle to meet regularly for prayer and Bible study.

As Sharlet notes in “The Family,” and Princeton historian Kevin Kruse has argued in his book, “One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America,” Vereide’s organization had more than just a spiritual agenda. He merged evangelical Christianity with corporate capitalism to defeat what he believed to be the socialist leanings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Family emerged at a time of labor unrest in Seattle, and Vereide used his fellowship of Christian businessmen to crush the city’s growing workers movement.

Sharlet first learned about the Family when he was invited to live at Ivanwald, a house in Arlington, Va. Young men, preparing for future leadership in the movement, resided there in spiritual community and spent time serving the needs of the Family’s leadership and international dignitaries who met at a nearby mansion known as the Cedars. Episode 1 of “The Family” dramatizes Sharlet’s experience at Ivanwald.

The Family is now known best for its sponsorship of the National Prayer Breakfast, an event that has especially attracted evangelicals. Vereide’s successor, Doug Coe; eventually took over the gathering; religious leaders in the world of politics, business and culture come to Washington every February to share a meal and build networks among like-minded believers. Since its inception, every president — from Eisenhower to Trump — has attended.

Coe, who died in 2017, was an enigma, and the documentary doesn’t help us get to know him any better. On one hand, Coe seems to have been a kind, Christian gentleman, with roots in mainstream evangelical ministries who felt called to minister to politicians, lawmakers and other men of influence in Washington. His primary concern was telling people about Jesus.

But the Coe portrayed here was a puppet master who demanded loyalty of his followers. He illegally subsidized the rent of congressmen living at a Family-owned townhouse called C Street Center. He modeled the Family’s organizational philosophy after the mafia and the Nazis. And he operated in secrecy with little accountability.

Moss and Sharlet seem to be interested only in this darker side of Coe. They concentrate on the Family’s numerous efforts to blur, or in some cases, cross the line between church and state. This is especially the case in the episodes dealing with the Family’s influence outside the United States. “The Family” documents several incidents in which Coe’s organization funded the travel of sitting members of Congress to meet with autocratic world leaders for the purpose of sharing the message of Jesus. While such meetings are not problematic in and of themselves, the documentary points out that these ambassadors for Christ rarely condemn, or in some cases simply ignore, the human rights violations of these leaders.

Moreover, world leaders often perceive these delegations as U.S. envoys. Sharlet puts it well when he says that Coe and the congressional members of the Family meet with world leaders “as representatives of the most powerful government in the world,” but when they arrive, they claim that they “are just talking about my Jesus.” Some of these congressmen have even advanced the religious agenda of the Family while serving on official government trips funding by taxpayers, and at least one spent time in prison for laundering money through the Family.

Indeed, “The Family” makes a convincing case that many of Coe’s followers are crusading Christian nationalists who use fear mongering tactics and political influence to spread a false gospel that equates Christianity with worldly power.

Many viewers will inevitably equate the Family with American evangelicalism. And who would blame them if they did? Some of the Family’s most troublesome practices reflect an approach to religion and politics that led 80 percent of American evangelicals to vote for Trump in 2016. Many of the politicians who gravitate toward the Family have run campaigns designed to convince evangelicals that gays, Muslims, Barack Obama and immigrants are eroding white Christian America.

But the Family also seems to be a much more complex organization than the quasi-theocratic movement that Moss and Sharlet make it out to be. The history of the organization suggests that its members and friends also include Christians who reject the Christian nationalism that has come to define much of evangelicalism. Why did Hillary Clinton or evangelical progressive Jim Wallis or Jimmy Carter gravitate toward Coe? (To be clear, none of them are considered “members” of the Family. Clinton and Wallis do not appear in the documentary, but Carter is interviewed.) Did Coe deceive them? Or did they believe that Coe’s vision for prayer and Bible study was not only appropriate, but valuable, in the United States? Moss and Sharlet don’t seem to be interested in exploring these questions.

Take, for example, the Family-inspired fellowship group that meets in Portland, Ore., and is featured prominently in Episode 5. The men in attendance are intense about their faith. They reveal a masculine approach to Christian faith that has been a part of the movement for a long time. But they spend little time talking about government or politics.

The group is interracial and is led by an African American evangelical. A white member openly criticizes Moss for the lack of racial diversity in his film crew. At one point, the conversation sounds like we could be watching a local Black Lives Matter meeting. Yet Sharlet seems to imply that these men are in training, just like the young men he encountered at Ivanwald, to advance the theocratic mission of the Family.

The members of the Portland group are not elite power brokers. They appear to be ordinary men with everyday problems who want to be better husbands and fathers. They struggle with pornography, they lament the prevalence of divorce and adultery, even as they realize that they aren’t immune from such problems, they talk about racial reconciliation, they challenge one another to surrender their lives to God, they display humility and they hold one another accountable in their pursuit of Christian faith.

Maybe this is what the Family, at its core, and despite its many flaws, is really all about.

John Fea teaches American history at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and is the author, most recently, of “Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.”

Correction: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that Doug Coe started the prayer breakfast gathering and has been updated to reflect that he took over the gathering. This piece has also been updated to fix the original name of the group profiled in the documentary: International Christian Leadership. The piece has also been updated to clarify that the author believes Jeff Sharlet appeared to imply men were in training to advance the Family.

Leah Remini Calls Out Trump Administration's Ties to Scientologists

Leah Remini
The whistle-blowing host of A&E’s ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ on the end of her show, its many disturbing revelations, and what’s next.

Marlow Stern
The Daily Beast
August 26, 2019

For years, Leah Remini has listened to the horror stories of people who have escaped the clutches of Scientology, and she has had it.

“What I care about is justice for the victims of Scientology,” the actress and whistleblower tells me. “We need to start raiding Scientology’s folders, and we need to start taking action. Enough of the Twitter bullshit. Now it’s time to get serious.”

On Aug. 26, A&E will air the finale episode of the Emmy-winning series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. It’s a 2-hour special focusing on the rape allegations against actor (and Scientologist) Danny Masterson, and features two of the That ‘70s Show star’s accusers telling all to ex-Scientologists Remini and Mike Rinder.

The episode was supposed to air in February but was put on hold by the network following an elaborate smear campaign conducted by the Church of Scientology. Recently, four of Masterson’s sexual-assault accusers have filed a civil suit against Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its leader David Miscavige, alleging “stalking, physical invasion of privacy and a conspiracy to obstruct justice,” according to reporter Yashar Ali. (Masterson has called the suit “beyond ridiculous.”)

“It’s important that people hear what goes on in Scientology when a crime is committed, and how the victims are blamed for what happens to them,” says Remini. “That’s Scientology technology, to say, ‘When have you raped somebody in a former life’ or ‘What have you done to receive that?’ It’s never, ‘Wow, you’ve been raped or molested, we need to contact the police.’ You’re not allowed to report crimes outside of Scientology. If you do, you are labeled an enemy, and they will come after you and try to destroy your life.” (The Church of Scientology issued a rambling statement to The Daily Beast branding Remini “dangerously unhinged,” as they have done in the past.)

In a wide-ranging conversation with The Daily Beast, Remini opened up about the end of Scientology and the Aftermath, her frustration over shelved episodes, and what’s next in her quest to expose an organization she calls “a dangerous cult that’s hurting people.”

I was pretty surprised when I heard the news that Scientology and the Aftermath was ending its run after three seasons—and the 2-hour special.

It wasn’t a surprise to me—I mean, it wasn’t cancelled. It was not that situation. I think we’ve done our work—what we’ve set out to achieve, we’ve achieved—and the things Mike [Rinder] and I need to do now just cannot be done in this way. I don’t want anyone to think the show is cancelled, because that’s not true. A&E were amazing partners, as were our partners at IPC and Disney, but we have some other work to do. That’s become clear.

What is that other work?

Well, I don’t want to tell you! But Mike and I have done a lot of work behind the scenes. We’ve needed to help victims coming to us to get real justice, so we’ve done that work, and I think you’re seeing that now—people are filing lawsuits, people are going to the police, people are filing police reports. We can only tell so many stories. I can’t sit there and bite my tongue and not be able to knock down a door or two; that’s just not my personality. And there are certain constraints with network television run by advertising dollars. We have great support from our audience, and I think they want Scientology to be stopped.

You mentioned “constraints with network television.” What were those, exactly? Because we reported that this finale episode featuring the Danny Masterson accusers was shelved by A&E for some time after a smear campaign conducted by the Church of Scientology.

It’s certainly heartbreaking when you have survivors coming forward who want to talk to you because they trust you, and for whatever reason … those reasons are not given to me, certainly people don’t need to answer to me—and also, two of the victims decided that this wasn’t the right time for them and requested that they not be shown. That’s just not the show that we do but I totally respect and understand the decision to remain anonymous. There were also a few other shows that were shelved, and it was very painful for me and Mike to not have our audience see those episodes. But again, I’m not paying for the show and I’m not a lawyer. They vet these shows up and down, and for whatever reason—or reasons—certain shows had to be shelved. Yes, we have binders and binders of legal threats from Scientology and their lawyers, and there were 441 letters written from Scientology to our advertisers, and they’re picketing outside of A&E and crying “religious bigotry.” This is what they do with their time. Their usual bullshit.

What did those shelved episodes explore?

One episode was important because it was about the directives of Scientology’s “Fair Game” policies, which are probably 1,000+ policies on how to destroy people who speak out against Scientology, how to infiltrate government agencies, how to lie to the police—and how to lie to the authorities in general. They got away with it, and have been getting away with it. Another episode was, we had a family member who reached out to us who wanted to check in on her uncle, because she hadn’t seen him for 30 years and he was up at the Gold Base, where they are holding the senior executives of Scientology, and her doing a welfare check launched an attack from Scientology, because doing a welfare check on any member of Scientology is seen as an act of war—as I did with Shelly Miscavige. They sent PIs to this woman’s house—she was a grandmother—to scare her, and for some reason we couldn’t air this episode. They didn’t give me an answer, but to me, there’s no good answer. It’s very difficult for me to listen to these people’s stories who are trying to be active and go against what Scientology is telling them to do, and then have to say, “For some reason, we just couldn’t air the episode.”

You’re hearing somebody after three years of hearing about children being molested, women being raped, and Scientology obstructing justice, so I am at my wit’s end with this organization continuing to get away with this shit.

We’ve done plenty of reporting on the Danny Masterson sexual-assault allegations. Why did you decide to have the final Aftermath episode focus on this, and what do you hope to shed light on with it?

I felt a responsibility to them. They came to speak to us, they asked for our help, and the show—for whatever reason—was delayed. Look, I can’t blame A&E, because without them we couldn’t have done the work that we’ve done, so I want to make that clear. But you’re hearing somebody after three years of hearing about children being molested, women being raped, and Scientology obstructing justice, so I am at my wit’s end with this organization continuing to get away with this shit, and I thought it was important, even though we have only two of the four accusers—two are remaining anonymous for now, and all four have filed a civil lawsuit, and they just want their day in court. If it was any other organization or any other person, Jackie Lacey [District Attorney of Los Angeles] would have filed charges and moved forward. They deserve for a jury to decide.

We’ve reported on this a bit as well but there’s this weird trend of people with strong ties to Scientology getting very close to members of the Trump administration.

Very close? Very close?! No, close! Close, babe. Close. Donald Trump has tweeted about [Scientologist singer] Joy Villa, a person who’s infiltrated the White House. Yes!

here’s also Greg Mitchell, a lobbyist who’s done a lot of work for the Church of Scientology, who met with Vice President Mike Pence. And there were two big Scientology donors in Jim Bridgeforth and Tom Cummins, of American Power & Gas, who recently met and posed for pictures with President Trump.

Yup. They should do some research. There’s a policy in Scientology dealing with the public image—this is also under the Fair Game stuff—and it’s to infiltrate real churches, control governments, control government agencies. This is all part of the policy of Scientology, which is to infiltrate to take over. They have no idea what they’re dealing with, and I’m disappointed that they’re not seeing through Joy Villa’s bullshit. I mean, you only need to look at her social media to see whose [political] side she was on before, she wears that Trump dress, and then she gets her failing career going. This is all part of the game of Scientology. Scientology hopes to take over our government.

You also have people out there like Greta Van Susteren. I don’t think a lot of people know that she’s a high-ranking Scientologist, and she’s out there conducting sit-down interviews with President Trump and other high-ranking officials in his administration.

Big-time! She’s a big-time donor to Scientology and she’s OT VIII. That’s the top of the Scientology bridge!

I know you alluded to working more behind the scenes exposing Scientology post-Aftermath, so is that what you’ll be doing now? Trying to facilitate more action—lawsuits, etc.—against the Church of Scientology?

Yes. We’re doing all that we can. Look, we did what we wanted to do which was alert the public to what was going on, and let them know that it’s not some cute, innocuous little cult—it’s a dangerous cult that’s hurting people. We wanted people to care, and to see these people as real people. Most people don’t get into Scientology because they want to hurt people; they get in because they think they’re helping the world. Once you’re indoctrinated into Scientology you believe it’s you against the world, and without you, the world has no hope. That justifies a lot of bad behavior. The public now knows that this is not something to laugh at. They want to “clear” the planet, which means make the majority of the world Scientologists, and that means taking over the government, infiltrating other religions, turning people from their families, and destroying people. We’ve done what we can do in this first phase, and now we’re on to phase II.

Marlow Stern

Senior Entertainment Editor


CultNEWS101 Articles: 8/19/2019

Multilevel Marketing Companies, Maharishi University of Management, Mormon Church, Legal, Lev Tahor

" ... 'We were told very specifically, never post anything negative on your Facebook. No prayer requests, no talking about, I'm having trouble at this. No drama. Like you were supposed to filter your Facebook as though once you joined It Works all your problems went away,' Courtney, a former distributor for It Works, told Business Insider of the pressure she received from other distributors.

It Works is a multilevel marketing company that sells beauty, nutrition, and weight loss products through its network of distributors. It Works is best known for its Ultimate Body Applicators which people wrap around their stomachs or other areas in hopes of tightening, toning, and firming. Courtney says she first learned about this product and the opportunity to sell for It Works after she posted in a mom group about her "mom pouch" about three weeks after having a Cesarean section.

Because recruiting and motivating thousands of independent distributors is fundamental to how MLMs operate, it has caused some to liken these companies to cults.

"Multilevel marketing companies do have some similarities to cults," Jennifer Chatman, a professor at the Hass School of Business at UC Berkeley who researches, teaches, and consults on how companies leverage organizational culture to improve corporate performance, told Business Insider.

"What cults do is they try to recruit people based on relationships. They say, here's a person who is very similar to you and you should forge a relationship with them and they're going to be really nice to you," Chatman said."

"Maharishi University of Management reported 16 safety-related incidents involving students on or near campus or other MUM affiliated properties in 2017. Of the 2,795 colleges and universities that reported crime and safety data, 1,396 of them reported fewer incidents than this."

" ... Based on a student body of 1,530 that works out to about 10.46 reports per thousand students. In 2017, 1,454 colleges and universities reported fewer incidents per thousand students than did MUM."

" ... Crime and safety incidents fall into four broad categories. Disciplinary actions represented 25.0% of all incidents. Arrests related to possession represented none of all incidents. Violence against women represented 43.8% of all incidents. Arrests for major crimes represented 31.2% of all incidents."

" ... Maharishi University of Management reported 16 safety-related incidents involving students while on campus in 2017. Of the 2,795 colleges and universities that reported crime and safety data, 1,475 of them reported fewer incidents than this."

" ... Based on a student body of 1,530 that works out to about 10.46 reports per thousand students. In 2017, 1,577 colleges and universities reported fewer incidents per thousand students than did MUM."

" ... Disciplinary actions represented 25.0% of all on-campus incidents. Arrests related to possession represented none of all on-campus incidents. Violence against women represented 43.8% of all on-campus incidents. Arrests for major crimes represented 31.2% of all on-campus incidents."

Campus crime is greater at MUM than in other colleges. And, 48% of the crimes are crimes against women- higher than the national average.

"A federal lawsuit sure to get attention in Utah claims that the "Mormon Corporate Empire" has driven worshipers to existential crises, suicide, anxiety and depression by peddling a "scheme of lies" centered on the  religion's creation and its scriptures, a onetime member claims.

Laura Gaddy on Monday filed a scathing, 75-page class action against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Represented by Salt Lake City attorney Kay Burningham, Gaddy claims the church, which claimed 16 million members worldwide in 2018, twisted "the foundational history of Mormonism" in a "fraudulent scheme perpetrated for generations."

"The material facts upon which Mormonism is based have been manipulated through intentional concealment, misrepresentation, distortion and or obfuscation by the [LDS] to contrive an inducement to faith in Mormonism's core beliefs," the complaint states."

"Four more alleged members of Lev Tahor, a fringe ultra-Orthodox sect, were indicted in New York for conspiring to kidnap two children from their mother and return them to their sect.

One of the men, Mordechay Malka, was arrested this week at Newark Liberty International Airport and remains in custody, the New York Post reported, citing the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan. Three others — Shmiel Weingarten, Yoil Weingarten and Yakov Weingarten — remain at large.

The charges unsealed Friday in White Plains come days after five leaders of the sect, who were arrested in December, were indicted on similar charges.

They are accused of participating in kidnapping two children — 14-year-old Yante Teller and her 12-year-old brother Chaim Teller."

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement. assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice. news, links, resources. 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.

CultNEWS101 Articles: 8/20/2019

ExtinctionRebellion Jehovah's WitnessesTranscendental Meditation

" ... XR's actions have been applauded by many environmentalists, who say the only way to make governments, people and corporations sit up and take climate action is to shock them into it. But the radical philosophy underpinning the group, which includes wanting to set up citizens' assemblies that could overrule parliament, is drawing increasing criticism from foes, who compare the group to a millenarian sect. m
"The cultish nature of XR's activities is a little spooky," said Austin Williams, director of the Future Cities Project, a group that focuses on urban planning and futurist technological solutions.

Sympathizers acknowledge that XR hasn't helped itself with some of the remarks made by its leaders. Co-founder Gail Bradbrook said her realization that humanity was on the brink of extinction came from taking huge doses of psychedelic drugs, which 'rewired" her brain and gave her the "codes of social change.'"

XR has also seen defections. Sherrie Yeomans, coordinator of XR blockades in the English city of Bristol, left the group, saying, "I can no longer surround myself with the toxic, manipulative Extinction Rebellion cult."

" ... Johan Norberg, a Swedish author, historian and XR critic, worries that the group is fueling anxiety while not being practical about the possible solutions to global warming. 

"I guess it depends on your definition of cult," he said. "But I think it is a growing, but very radical, sentiment that I fear plays a part in giving people anxiety about their life choices, and also leads us to thinking about these things in the wrong way," he told VOA."

The Boston Globe: Losing my religion
"The first couple years after I left the religion I was born into — the Jehovah's Witnesses — I was still worried I might die at Armageddon. That was the punishment for those who left. Actually, it was the fate of anyone who wasn't a Jehovah's Witness. Any day now, God would kill all non-believers, and the faithful would live in paradise on Earth.

Some of the Witnesses' beliefs didn't stand up to scrutiny when I began to have doubts in my 30s. I had come to understand that, contrary to what I had been taught, the Witnesses didn't have "the Truth." But what if they were partially right, I still wondered. What if they were right about the end of the world?

My first boyfriend outside the faith listened patiently one day when I told him of my fears. I realized I might sound crazy, but I had to tell someone. He didn't laugh. He opened up his computer and googled "cult survivors."

That seemed a little drastic. But then again, I was talking about Doomsday.

Over the course of a long winter in an unheated loft in Brooklyn (the place I had moved to after leaving my missionary post in China), we worked our way through blurred '70s footage of Jonestown survivors (which was the first search result returned). As the snow got deeper and the room colder, we progressed down the YouTube sidebar to interviews with other escapees of controlling religious groups across the spectrum. From the crazy to the more moderate, there was one common thread: They all sounded like I did."

"Next time you hear about some arch-defender of the a-constitutional "wall" of separation between church and state whose knickers are in a twist because a school allows ten seconds of silence during which students may pray, remember this story:
NBC News reported that for four years, four San Francisco middle schools have been using the Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education's Quiet Time program which teaches Transcendental Meditation (TM) to 11-14-year-olds. Students spend 15 minutes twice a day meditating, with at least one school even extending the school day to accommodate TM.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, disciple of Guru Dev (aka Swami Brahmananda Saraswati), repackaged Hinduism in a form more acceptable to Western minds and brought it to American hippies in the 1960s and 1970s. Disciples of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi publicly and deceitfully claim that TM is solely a scientific method of relieving stress, conveniently omitting any mention of the religious dimensions of the program and practice.
Decades ago when I became a TMer and my husband a TM teacher, mantras—the word repeated soundlessly during meditation—were  assigned during an "initiation" ceremony called a puja. Initiates were asked to bring a piece of fruit, a new handkerchief, and flowers to the ceremony which was conducted in a darkened, incense-infused room in front of a de facto altar. The TM teacher would them begin the ceremony which was conducted in Sanskrit, which meant the initiate had no idea what was being spoken.  After becoming a TM teacher, my husband learned the Sanskrit words spoken during the ceremony:
To LORD NARAYANA, to lotus-born BRAHMA the Creator to…GOVINDA, ruler among the yogis…to SHANKARACHARYA the redeemer, hailed as KRISHNA and BADARAYANA, to the commentator of the BRAHMA SUTRAS I bow down. To the glory of the LORD I bow down again and again, at whose door the whole galaxy of gods pray for perfection day and night…GURU [Dev] in the glory of BRAHMA, GURU in the glory of the great LORD SHIVA, GURU in the glory of the personified transcendental fullness of BRAHMAN, to Him, to SHRI GURU DEV adorned with glory, I bow down…with Brahman ever dwelling in the lotus of my heart…to That [Brahman], in the form of Guru Dev, I bow down.
At various points during the ceremony, the teacher would pause and ask the initiate for one of the gifts they were asked to bring which the teacher would then place on the altar. At the end of the ceremony, initiates were given their mantras, which, as it turns out, are the names of Hindu gods.
Initiates were ordered not to tell their secret mantras to anyone. Eveventually I learned that mantras were assigned according to the initiate's age. Mine was "aing" which is a mantra intended to honor the Hindu goddess of Saraswati."

"Students at a Chicago high school were led into a room with shades drawn and door windows papered over, lit only with candles and scented by incense. They were handed flowers and told to pay attention to instructors, according to one student's account.
Jade Thomas, an incoming sophomore at Bogan Computer Technical High School, said instructors "chanted in a foreign language" and "threw rice, seasonings and oranges in a pan in front of a picture of a man." She described the ritual, which she said involved a "secret mantra," to a rapt audience at a Chicago Board of Education meeting Wednesday.
At one point, Jade said, "they tell us to place the flowers in the pan with everything else, and they ended the song. I felt uncomfortable because I didn't know what they were saying or who the man was in the picture."

The program, which brings transcendental meditation into schools, was developed by filmmaker David Lynch's foundation. Known for movies including "Blue Velvet" and the "Twin Peaks" TV series, Lynch also is a longtime proponent of the meditation practice.
At Bogan on Chicago's Southwest Side, the program, known as Quiet Time, is run through a partnership with University of Chicago's Urban Labs, which is evaluating its effectiveness, according to a Chicago Public Schools official.
The university's crime and education labs are working with CPS and the David Lynch Foundation "to test whether providing youth with training and time to practice Transcendental Meditation can help youth reduce their toxic stress, succeed in school, and stay safe," according to the Urban Labs website.

Lynch's program bills itself as a way to help youths, especially in low-income urban areas, cope with traumatic stress that can result from living in poverty, among violence and with fear, and can hinder health and learning."

"Yogic Flying was introduced in 1976 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the world's foremost scientist of consciousness, who has brought to light the knowledge of India's ancient Vedic tradition. Yogic Flying is a natural extension of the Transcendental Meditation program, which Maharishi introduced in the mid-1950s and which has become the most widely practiced and thoroughly researched program of self-development in the world.

Yogic Flyers use a simple, natural technique that has its origin in the oldest continuous tradition of knowledge on earth, the ancient Vedic tradition of India — specifically, a branch of the ancient Vedic Literature known as the Yoga Sutras of Maharishi Patanjali. These students are actually rising up into the air in a series of blissful hops."

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