Aug 18, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 8/17-18/2019

Polygamy, Ambash, Israel, You Church, Switzerland, Chris Oyakhilome, Christ Embassy, Nigeria, Kingdom Embassy InternationalNarcissismReparative Thearpy, NXIVM, Rainbow Cultural Garden

"Four wives of a polygamous cult leader who was convicted of sadistic abuse of his family members six years ago officially registered on Thursday [August 1st] as a political party to run in September's election.

In 2013, Daniel Ambash was sentenced to 26 years in prison in what has been described as one of the most shocking abuse cases in the country's history. His six wives and many children were kept by Ambash and his assistants in slavery conditions, forcibly confined and routinely punished with rape, electric shocks and beatings.

But most of the wives have never renounced Ambash, a Bratslav ultra-Orthodox Jew. They still live together, view themselves as his wives and revere him. The four have claimed the entire case was fabricated."
"Swiss evangelical group YOU Church says it is being unfairly labelled as a sect that manipulates people. Claims of healing, money grabbing, and the estrangement of followers from their families have been cited as the main problems. What – and who – is behind the organisation?"

" ... One of the main founders of the church and current Senior Pastor is Jella JR Wojacek – known as Pastor J. Wojacek was inspired by Nigerian pastor Chris Oyakhilome, who runs the megachurch Christ Embassy with millions of followers worldwide.  

YOU Church began as a splinter group of the Zurich-based International Christian Fellowship (ICF) and was called Kingdom Embassy International. After internal splits and mergers – it went by the name of Word&Spirit International for a while – it began operating as YOU Church in 2015."

Besides Sunday services, the church hosts prayer nights and small Bible study classes. Worshippers are offered dance and karate classes and a playroom for their children. The church also funds Bible sessions abroad, for example in the Dominican Republic and the Philippines.  

However, the group has come in for some criticism and was responsible for the second-highest number of calls (35) made to the Infosekta helpline last year. Waniek attributes the increase in helpline calls to what she calls fear-mongering by Infosekta.

Three issues keep cropping up among hotline callers asking about YOU Church, according to Infosekta: healing, money, and the estrangement of followers from their family."

"Infosekta's view on YOU Church

But she insists that so called "free churches" exhibit sect-like tendencies.  

"At first glance they appear like any Bible group. This is one side of the coin and behind it lies a black-and-white approach of either you are with us and God, or you are under the influence of Satan," she says.  
She also says that some members give more than they can afford because the leader says that they will get back what they give, tenfold or hundredfold.

On the subject of healing, Schaaf is aware that YOU Church has officially made it clear that they do not require worshippers to stop taking medication. However, she feels they should do more to prevent people from interpreting messages as they see fit.
"When people end up with problems, the groups try to blame the outcome on external factors or the members themselves. These controversial groups should be responsible for how their messages are received," says Schaaf."

"The internet is full of sites by non-mental health professionals that say that narcissistic personality disorder cannot be treated.  They also say that narcissists are master manipulators who can fool even experienced psychotherapists and what appears to be progress is just a temporary behavior change. Or, else they claim that narcissists twist the truth and somehow manage to convince experienced psychotherapists that they are blameless and the real problem is someone else.

I would like to set the record straight.  None of the above is true.  There are effective treatments for narcissistic personality disorder. Change is difficult, but possible.  Everyone has the capacity to grow and evolve and this includes people with NPD."

" ... In an executive order signed Friday [August 2nd], Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper barred the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services from using state and federal funds for "conversion therapy" for North Carolinians under the age of 18.

"Conversion therapy has been shown to pose serious health risks, and we should be protecting all of our children, including those who identify as LGBTQ, instead of subjecting them to a dangerous practice," Cooper tweeted shortly after signing the order.

Equality groups across the state applauded the move, which aligned North Carolina's policies with the consensus among leading medical and mental health professional organizations.

"As we continue our campaign to end conversion therapy once and for all, we're looking forward to working across North Carolina to share a message of love and affirmation," said Allison Scott, director of policy and programs at the Campaign for Southern Equality, in a statement.

So-called "conversion therapies," also known as reparative treatments, rely on the assumption that sexual orientation can be changed or "cured" -- an idea debunked and discredited by major medical associations in the United Kingdom, the United States and elsewhere.

Studies have found that efforts to change a young person's sexuality can put them at a greater risk of depression or suicide. Despite being condemned by medical bodies, the practice is legal throughout most of Europe, where campaigns and petitions to halt it exist in several countries.

About 698,000 LGBTQ adults in the US have received conversion therapy at some point in their lives, according to a 2018 studyby the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law."

"The convicted leader of the notorious NXIVM sex cult concocted an experimental child development program that's still operating internationally, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has found.

NXIVM is the Albany, New York-based "self-help" group that in 2017 was exposed of coercing numerous of its female members into becoming sex slaves branded with the initials of its leader, Keith Raniere. A federal jury in New York convicted Raniere in June on numerous charges, including sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of a child. Former "Smallville" actress Allison Mack pleaded guilty in April for the role she played in the sex slave ring.

In 2006, Raniere founded Rainbow Cultural Garden (RCG), which he called a "revolutionary child development program promoting children's cultural, linguistic, emotional, physical and problem-solving potential." The program claimed it could teach children as young as 2 years old up to seven languages simultaneously."

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.

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