Oct 14, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 10/14/2019

Grooming, Manipulation, Devadasis, FLDS, Child Sexual Abuse, Magical Thinking, HIV, Podcast, Jehovah's Witnesses, Grace Church, Wicca 

Susan Raine(a) and Stephen A. Kent
Aggression and Violent Behavior
Volume 48, September–October 2019, Pages 180-189

"This article examines the sexual grooming of children and their caregivers in a wide variety of religious settings. We argue that unique aspects of religion facilitate institutional and interpersonal grooming in ways that often differ from forms of manipulation in secular settings. Drawing from Christianity (Catholicism, Protestantism, and Seventh-day Adventism) and various sects (the Children of God, the Branch Davidians, the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints, a Hindu ashram, and the Devadasis), we show how some religious institutions and leadership figures in them can slowly cultivate children and their caregivers into harmful and illegal sexual activity. A number of uniquely religious characteristics facilitate this cultivation, which includes: theodicies of legitimation; power, patriarchy, obedience, protection, and reverence towards authority figures; victims' fears about spiritual punishments; and scriptural uses to justify adult-child sex."

Full Article is available until December 1, 2019 (follow link in title)

Season Four, Episode Ten

October 9, 2019

72 minutes

"Kernan Coleman became an activist and critical thinking advocate after losing loved ones who denied the existence of #HIV though they were effected. He shares his encounters with celebrities and their belief systems, and how growing up agnostic affected his skepticism as he navigated the world of entertainment. Kernan brings a vivid language to his perspective on anti-vax culture, and discusses other uses of mysticism that can cloud critical thinking and cause people to act on myths. He advises everyone to steer themselves away from 'grief vampires' that offer false but convenient information to people who have suffered a loss and are searching for answers. Kernan's evolution from 'science geek kid', to credulous new ager, to becoming an advocate for critical thinking and scientific skepticism- is a work in progress. Rachel gives an update on Alan and Dee from storytelling episode, 'Home Invasion'."

H2H: Sharon Tyson - Abuse and Recovery Among Jehovah Witnesses and Other Cults
"Sharon is an ex-JW Cult survivor, the mother of 4 children and has served for the past 10 years as an Anti-Cult Activist working with many such groups around the world including the U.S. Nigeria, Italy, Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia and the Phillipines. She has also been a volunteer in various grass roots projects aimed at helping ex-JW children and adults to recover and has developed a series of programs for ex-JW Children to help them heal. For more information about this program series – check out www.exjw-help.com."

WXYZ-TV Detroit: Parents, alumni raise serious concerns about church [Grace Church] near CMU campus
"When you send your teens off to college, you have an expectation that they will stay a part of your family, even as they grow in independence. But some families say when they sent their kids to Central Michigan University, a nearby church [Grace Church] isolated and manipulated them and they want the school to do something about it."

Grace Church Exposed
"The purpose of this site is to provide a place where those who have been negatively affected by their experiences with Grace Church and its leadership can find support and information to help them work through what has happened or is currently happening to them. Also, we hope this site can help to warn people about what can happen if one is not alert to methods used by controlling and manipulative church leaders. Further, this site has now become an avenue for the accountability that Grace Church leaders have lacked."

WXYZ-TV Detroit: Ex-church [Grace Church] member: 'They try to encourage you to not go visit your family'

"When you send your kids to college, you don't expect that they'll end up spending more time and money at a local church [Grace Church] instead of on their studies. Dozens of people have come forward to warn parents about a church near Central Michigan University's campus that some say is controlling and manipulative."

Capilano Courier: Wicca, Not Wicked
"Beyond the confines of fictional tales like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Rosemary's Baby, practicing witches live among us. Far from the grotesque, sexual and terrifying depictions in the media, most covens reject the cackling cryptic rhymes for individual empowerment and personal transformation. It's hardly the collaboration with Satan we tend to imagine.

Anxiety—fed by negative public reactions and Hollywood's demonization—has contributed to a certain stigma around witchcraft. Paganism is often confused with Satanism. But, like many other religions, Wicca exists in various forms and denominations, none of which are related to Satanism. Today, many witches practice in secret.

Privacy and geographic limitations can lead modern covens to choose to pursue their practices online. Lily, a member of the Correlian Nativist community (one of the many branches of Wicca), has been practicing Wicca—both collectively and on her own—since she was a young child. In fact, she said her talents first manifested at the age of two and she remembers predicting the rise of sea levels at 13. By 18, she knew it was her destiny to lead a coven of her own.

It wasn't until her mid-thirties that she finally understood why her dreams forecasted future events. After running from fate for years, she finally came full circle when she asked the universe to aid her in starting her own coven. "I know a lot more than I did at eighteen, don't we all," Lily mused. Now in her fifties, she says the answer to her question arrived subconsciously in a dream, the day before she opened the Coven for membership.

Today, *Lily, who lives far from urban city life in the mountains of Northern Ontario, is the high priestess of a Correllian Nativist Coven that practices entirely online. She believes that the misconceptions that surround Wicca only serve to stigmatize those who practice magic, pushing them further from widespread acceptance. Lily asked for anonymity, as speaking about her craft can still result in backlash."

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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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