Sep 30, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 9/30/2019

Psychic, Legal, Jehovah's Witnesses, Universal Medicine, Australia, Resurrection Life Church and World Ministry Center

"A fake psychic has shared how she manages to convince her clients she actually is clairvoyant - despite being just a normal woman.

The anonymous "psychic" (referred to as Sandra) offered to give journalist Katy Ward a free session, to try and show her how easy it is to fool people.

Writing for The Overtake, Ward describes how Sandra alludes to the death of her father when she was a teenager.

She asks if I'd lost a parent at a young age and whether this coincided with a 'major event' in my life. This cuts. My dad did indeed die when I was 18, with this funeral three days before my Oxbridge interview.

Sandra explains that she googled Ward before their appointment, and came across an article she'd written about it.

Looks like journalists would be a fake psychic's dream."

"As crystals, horoscopes, and other associated wellness frauds to make people feel better about their lives keep popping up, so do scammers who want to weaponize them. Last year a New York City fortune teller was arrested after conning a man out of $800,000, while another in Maryland swindled more than $300,000 from clients. But nothing compares to Sherry Tina Uwanawich, a fake psychic from Florida who now must repay $1.6 million to a woman who she convinced was cursed.

The New York Times reports that Uwanawich met the woman, an anonymous 27-year-old medical student, in a Houston mall in 2007. After giving her a psychic reading, she convinced the student her entire family was cursed. Over a seven-year period the psychic charged the student money for meditation materials, crystals, and candles, all needed to lift this apparent curse."

"An attorney for the Jehovah's Witnesses asked the Montana Supreme Court on Friday to reverse a $35 million verdict against the church for not reporting a girl's sexual abuse to authorities.

Last year, a jury awarded $4 million in compensatory damages and $31 million in punitive damages to a woman who said she was abused as a child in the mid-2000s by a member of the Thompson Falls Jehovah's Witness congregation.

The abuse came after the congregation's elders disciplined the man over allegations of abusing two other family members in the 1990s and early 2000s, the woman's lawsuit said."
"A Brisbane multi-millionaire who donated $300,000 to a charity associated with a group later found in court to be a "exploitative cult" has said he gave the money freely as a reward for treating his chronic pain.

But software business owner Stephen Ninnes got his cash back, after an Australian Tax Office (ATO) crackdown forced the College of Universal Medicine (COUM) to relinquish almost $600,000 in donations.

The COUM promotes the teachings of Universal Medicine's (UM) multi-millionaire founder Serge Benhayon — a former bankrupt tennis coach who claims to be Leonardo Da Vinci reincarnated.

Mr Ninnes said in hindsight, after damning findings by a New South Wales Supreme Court jury last year in a defamation case brought by Mr Benhayon, "without any shadow of a doubt, I would have nothing to do with it".

The COUM remains a registered charity, despite being stripped of tax-deductable gift registration by the ATO, which found it was not operating a "college" for tax purposes.

Other major donors to COUM include Neil Gamble, a prominent executive and former Sydney casino boss, who was once at the centre of the "cash-for-comment" scandal with radio broadcaster John Laws."

"A husband and wife team of pastors from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, are now facing tough questions after selling their longtime church to developers then splurging on a million dollar luxury lakefront home while telling their members that God now wants them to worship in "micro churches" held in their homes.

Bill and Sharon Predovich, senior pastors of the Resurrection Life Church and World Ministry Center they founded 30 years ago, were not immediately available to discuss their new vision with The Christian Post on Monday, but insisted in an ABC 5 report that the real estate transactions were appropriate."

" ... Real estate records cited by ABC 5 show that the pastors, who are both in their 70s, bought their luxury home located on Reitz Lake in Waconia with cash on Sept. 28, 2018.  That same day, the Resurrection Life Church and World Ministry Center received $1 million from a developer who was buying the church's land."

" ... Speaking to their former congregation in a message posted on the church's website in July, Sharon Predovich assured them that they weren't "quitting."

"We're not quitting, we're repositioning. We'll no longer be your pastors, we'll be your apostles over smaller works," she said after explaining how they ended up without a church building."

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