Sep 18, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 9/18/2019

Jehovah’s WitnessesAustralia, Doomsday Cult, Book Review, NXIVMMagical Thinking

"A letter obtained by INQ has shed light on the secretive methods the Jehovah's Witnesses are undertaking to erase the impact of child sexual abuse within the sect."

"A body representing the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia has written to all elders of the group ordering them to destroy confidential records, including notes taken by elders investigating child sexual abuse, in an instruction that has enraged survivors of abuse inside the secretive Christian sect.

In a letter obtained by INQ, dated August 28, a body called the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Australasia) instructs elders to destroy so-called judicial hearing records and certain congregation notes.

“We ask that each elder check his personal computer, or hard copy files, and even his meeting bag, to ensure that no confidential correspondence is retained outside the congregation’s confidential file,” the letter states. 

It also directs elders to destroy information aired against so-called “wrongdoers”: “If this ‘wild talk’ is recorded in detail, it may not be accurately assessed when reviewed out of context,” it says. “If it is determined that some brief personal notes need to be taken during a hearing, they should be destroyed once a summation of the hearing has been prepared.” 

A spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses declined to answer questions. In a statement he said records relating to child abuse were 'retained in harmony with all legal requirements'."

"This group had a lot of rules, and we were expected to follow them. Only men could be in positions of power or leadership. Only men could preach. Only men could lead a family. Women couldn’t wear too much makeup or flirt with men. Homosexuality was a sin. No blood transfusions. College was frowned upon. It took your time and focus away from God. Sports and other extracurricular activities were also discouraged. We weren’t supposed to associate with anyone outside the church. "Bad associations spoil useful habits," the group told us. It was All God, All the Time."

"A former member of the notorious sex cult, NXIVM, has recalled the excruciating pain she suffered while being branded with the group leader’s initials just under her bikini line.

Smallville actress Allison Mack plead guilty to charges that she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for the group’s leader, Keith Raniere.

In her new memoir, Scarred, former cult member Sarah Edmondson has shed light on the painful initiation ceremony that many of the women went through.

According to Sarah, she was asked to join a separate sisterhood group within the cult – DOS – in January 2017.

In order to become an official member of the group, Sarah was asked to send nude photos of herself with videotaped confessions of her ‘darkest secrets’.

The 42-year-old wrote in an excerpt obtained by People: ‘Seven weeks later I flew to Albany [New York] for the ceremony with four other members.’

Sharing harrowing details, Sarah revealed: ‘We were told that we’d all be receiving an identical tattoo the size of a dime.

‘Instead, we took turns holding each of the other members down on a table as NXIVM’s resident female doctor dragged a red-hot cauterising pen across the sensitive area just below their bikini line. The women screamed in pain as the smell of burnt flesh filled the air.’

Recalling her own horrific experience, Sarah admitted: ‘Nothing could have ever prepared me for the feel of this fire on my skin. Lying there, I could feel each millimeter of my flesh singed open.’

It wasn’t until two months later that Sarah realized the initials KR, for Keith Raniere, were burned into her skin."

"Scientific thinking is hard is because our brains are not wired for it. Instead, our minds are wired for magical thinking. Magical thinking is a part of all aspects of our lives, and exists at the core of neural functioning.

What is scientific thinking? Scientific thinking is a process of testing ideas with evidence. It is a process of having a theory about how things work in the world, and then going out and doing an experiment or making an observation to see whether that theory actually pans out. Scientific thinking is involved when you examine your ideas to figure out what very specific and concrete things that those ideas tell you that you should expect to see… and then go out to find out whether you see them."

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