Oct 16, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 10/16/2019

Podcast, Scientology, Doomsday Cult, Legal, China, Zoroastrianism, NXIVM, Children of God

"JON ATACK was a member of Scientology for nine years, finally leaving in 1983. Since then Jon has been speaking out against ...  the practices of coercive groups.

MARK from Talk Beliefs catches up with Jon from his UK home, and talks about what can be done to prevent young and impressionable minds being seduced by cults."

"Actress Leah Remini revealed Sunday that she just learned her estranged father died a month ago. "We had no idea that he had died a month ago. We weren't aware that he had been sick leading up to his death. A funeral came and went and none of us knew anything about it. We were not able to say goodbye," she wrote on Instagram. Remini had a distant and contentious relationship with her dad even before the Church of Scientology enlisted him to criticize her A&E series about the organization. "I'm angry that the last chapter in our relationship was dictated by Scientology," she wrote. "Scientology took my dad in as a pawn against me and likely robbed him of any last ounce of heart that might have been left in him. I'm angry that Scientology found his personal weak spots and got him on board not with their beliefs but with their smear campaign against me."

WRAL: Mom sentenced in deaths of 2 girls banished by doomsday cult
"A Colorado woman has received life in prison without parole in the deaths of her daughters who were banished to a car without food or water by members of a doomsday religious group because the girls were thought to have been impure.
Nashika Bramble was sentenced Tuesday for killing 10-year-old Makayla Roberts and 8-year-old Hannah Marshall. The sisters' bodies were found in a car parked on a farm near the southwestern Colorado town of Norwood in September 2017.
Authorities said they died of heat, dehydration and starvation."
"A student group linked to the Chinese embassy is demanding guests provide their passport numbers to attend a Canberra event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, sparking concerns the information will be passed to Beijing.

The National Day celebration is being hosted by the ACT branch of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, which has called itself "the only Chinese student organisation in Canberra officially approved by the Chinese government".

Chinese language promotional material requires those seeking tickets to the free Monday night event at the Canberra Theatre — less than 4km from Parliament House — to provide their passport number, home address, student number and social media details.

The event, which also celebrates the Chinese calendar's Mid-Autumn Festival, will include video clips, awards and the singing of patriotic songs."
"Before Mohammed, before Jesus, before Buddha, there was Zoroaster. Some 3,500 years ago, in Bronze Age Iran, he had a vision of the one supreme God. A thousand years later, Zoroastrianism, the world's first great monotheistic religion, was the official faith of the mighty Persian Empire, its fire temples attended by millions of adherents. A thousand years after that, the empire collapsed, and the followers of Zoroaster were persecuted and converted to the new faith of their conquerors, Islam.

Another 1,500 years later – today – Zoroastrianism is a dying faith, its sacred flames tended by ever fewer worshippers."

"It was a company that touted itself as a repository for self-help secrets that could propel people toward success, but in the end it was revealed to be a pyramid scheme that coerced women into sexual slavery and even branded them like cattle.

NXIVM gave personal and professional development seminars to thousands of students, but it was its nefarious inner circle that drew the attention of federal authorities and resulted in several convictions and guilty pleas for top members earlier this year. 

Within NXIVM, there was a secret slave-master sisterhood, called 'DOS" or "The Vow," where women became branded slaves. There were eight "first-line masters" in that secret society who reportedly directly to NXIVM's leader Keith Raniere, Lauren Salzman, a former first-line master herself, testified earlier this year. Salzman said she had 22 slaves that reported to her. 

It appears that all the slaves were branded with a cauterizing pen, which doctors use for small surgical procedures.

Sarah Edmondson, who spent more than a decade in NXIVM, was one such woman. 

'We were told that we'd all be receiving an identical tattoo the size of a dime," she wrote in her memoir "Scarred." "Instead, we took turns holding each of the other members down on a table as NXIVM's resident female doctor dragged a red-hot cauterizing pen across the sensitive area just below their bikini line. The women screamed in pain as the smell of burnt flesh filled the air.'"
" ... The September 11th terrorist attacks were shocking everywhere, but the most shocking thing in my house was that the adults had turned on the television and images from the outside world were permeating our closed society. Our Prophet had always predicted that America, Babylon the Whore, would feel the wrath of an angry God, and we could see it happening as the buildings collapsed. But worldly television? That was never allowed.

I was born and raised behind the commune walls of an extreme modern-day religious cult, the Children of God (COG). My mother, who was also raised in the cult, was 15 when she gave birth to me, in the Philippines, where she lived away from her own parents, away from my father, yet always surrounded by her cult family. My father was in another commune, in another country, married to someone else.

At 14, I had never set foot inside a school and was not allowed to read anything but the King James Bible or COG religious texts. I had never played on a sports team or even had the overwhelmingly "regular" experience of walking down a sidewalk alone.

COG members believed in Jesus, love, brotherhood, and the looming specter of the Apocalypse, when the world would end in fire and brimstone. The group had originally held a unique appeal for American hippies during the late 1960s, but over the course of 40 years the cult's leader took his unquestioning followers on a very dark journey through religious prostitution, physical and sexual abuse of children, and various forms of religious isolation and extremism, all while convincing them that they were the "true" missionaries of God.

Four generations of women in my family had been taken in by David Berg, a man who claimed to be the "Endtime Prophet of God." My great-grandmother donated money and land to this "new religious movement," and her daughter would eventually go all in, sacrificing her freedom, her daughters, and eventually her granddaughters to build the True Endtime Army of God."

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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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