Sep 19, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 9/19/2019

Psychic, Legal, Science of Identity Foundation,  Jehovah's Witnesses, Doomsday Cult

"She was a 27-year-old medical student in 2007, suffering from depression and going through hard times, when a self-proclaimed spiritual counselor approached her at a mall in Houston with the promise of supernatural help. The student, looking for an answer, agreed to a psychic reading.

The purported psychic said her name was Jacklyn Miller and told the student that her mental problems stemmed from a curse that had killed her mother.

The student met with the psychic, whose real name is Sherry Tina Uwanawich, several times a week and, for years, paid large sums of money for meditation materials, including crystals and candles, in order to lift the curse and protect her family.

Over a decade later, the psychic was charged with three counts of wire fraud, one of which she pleaded guilty to in June as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

On Friday, Ms. Uwanawich, 28, appeared in federal court in West Palm Beach, Fla., and was sentenced to pay $1.6 million in restitution and serve 40 months in prison.

Ms. Uwanawich claimed she had "God-given powers" and could communicate with the spirit world, according to court documents. She said a witch in South America, where the student's family was from, had cursed the student's mother before she died."

"Deep in the Washington state wilderness, a highly paid political consultant is raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's presidential campaign.

It's the kind of money usually spent on national name-brand political operatives with bustling offices and large staffs based in Washington, D.C., or New York.

But few people in the business have ever heard of Kris Robinson, the owner of Northwest Digital, a web design and internet marketing firm working for Gabbard's campaign. His company address is a P.O. box here in Stehekin, a remote village in the Northern Cascades mountains that's famous for its isolation.

There are no roads to Stehekin. One of the few options to get into the valley include horseback.

Cell phone service is non-existent and there are no roads in. Visitors travel mostly via ferry, which each day makes a run up Lake Chelan, a 55-mile journey that can take up to four hours. Other options include horse, foot and floatplane.

As one summer hand at the local lodge said, "It's kind of like 'The Shining' here in the winter. Lots of snow. Not many people."

Yet in the first six months of 2019, federal campaign finance records show Gabbard paid Robinson and his company more than $259,000."

" ... Former members interviewed by Civil Beat also confirmed the Robinsons' and Stewarts' affiliations with Butler and his religion.

The Science of Identity Foundation is an offshoot of Hare Krishna that was started in Hawaii by the surf-obsessed Butler in the 1970s, and has since spread to other parts of the U.S. as well as countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines.

Butler and his followers had clear political aspirations in Hawaii, launching their own party called the Independents for Godly Government that in 1976 fielded a slate of more than a dozen candidates for federal, state and local office.

Much has been written about Gabbard's upbringing in the religious sect and speculation continues about how much Butler and the organization are influencing or involved in her presidential campaign.

Gabbard's parents, Mike Gabbard, a Hawaii state senator, and his wife, Carol, a former school board member, were both Butler devotees. The congresswoman even spent a couple childhood years at a school in the Philippines that was run by Butler's followers.

Kris Robinson also attended one of these schools, according to Ian Koviak, a Portland, Oregon, resident whose mother was a devotee of Butler and his religion.

Koviak says he was a classmate of Robinson's at the Science of Identity Foundation's all-boys school in the Philippines, where his mother sent him while she went on a mission to Poland."

"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."

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