Oct 17, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 10/17/2019

LevTahor, Religion Research, Jordan Peterson, Cult Contradictions

"Documents presented last Thursday at a US federal court show that leaders of the fringe Hasidic cult Lev Tahor last year requested asylum from Iran and swore allegiance to its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

According to the documents, first reported late Saturday by Yeshiva World News, the ultra-Orthodox cult in November 2018 asked Tehran for "asylum, protection and religious freedom of the families of its loyal members in Cheshek Shlomo community."

Lev Tahor declared "loyalty and submission to the Supreme Leader and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran" and called for 'cooperation and help to counter Zionist dominance in order to peacefully liberate the Holy Land and the Jewish nation.'"

"In 2015, a paper by Jean Decety and co-authors reported that children who were brought up religiously were less generous. The paper received a great deal of attention, and was covered by over 80 media outlets including The Economist, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and Scientific American. As it turned out, however, the paper by Decety was wrong. Another scholar, Azim Shariff, a leading expert on religion and pro-social behavior, was surprised by the results, as his own research and meta-analysis (combining evidence across studies from many authors) indicated that religious participation, in most settings, increased generosity. Shariff requested the data to try to understand more clearly what might explain the discrepancy."

" ... To Decety's credit, he released the data. And upon re-analysis, Shariff discovered that the results were due to a coding error."

" ... "Decety's paper has continued to be cited in media articles on religion. Just last month two such articles appeared (one on Buzzworthy and one on TruthTheory) citing Decety's paper that religious children were less generous. The paper's influence seems to continue even after it has been shown to be wrong."

" ... Last month, however, the journal, Current Biology, at last formally retracted the paper. If one looks for the paper on the journal's website, it gives notice of the retraction by the authors."

"Our own research on the topic at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard, published last year in a paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology, has likewise suggested results more in line with Shariff's meta-analysis. Moreover, rather than looking at whether religious children are more or less generous as children, we examined how a religious upbringing shaped children over time from adolescence into young adulthood. We found that during childhood and adolescence, those who attended religious services regularly were subsequently 29 percent more likely to have high levels of volunteering than those who did not. Those who attended services regularly were also 87 percent more likely to subsequently have high levels of forgiveness; and those who prayed and mediated regularly were 47 percent more likely to have a high sense of mission. Again, the effects of a religious upbringing seemed to contribute to a greater generosity toward others many years later during young adulthood.

Our study also indicated that those who were raised religiously were also protected from what are sometimes called the "big three" dangers of adolescence: depression, drug use, and risky behaviors. They were also more likely to have higher levels happiness in young adulthood."

"A self-help guru who's widely celebrated in some circles—and reviled in others—has gone into rehab, the Daily Dot reports. Jordan Peterson's daughter announced the development Thursday on YouTube and Peterson himself tweeted a link to the video, saying, "At least life isn't dull." The 57-year-old began taking clonazepam, or Klonopin—an anti-seizure drug that also helps with panic disorder—when his wife Tammy Roberts was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery.

He also took other drugs to beat the clonazepam, and ultimately went to New York for rehab, per the New York Post.

"He decided to check himself into a place because he didn't want to stress mom out, wanted to get off of this as quickly as possible, and honestly needs the medical help," says his daughter, Mikhaila.

"I've never seen my dad like this. He's having a miserable time of it. It breaks my heart." On the bright side, his wife is apparently doing better after complications from kidney surgery."

"Cult contradictions exist in how destructive cults work, in what the leaders say, and because the doctrine is totalitarian in nature, typically there are cult contradictions here as well. They are usually a product of the leaders thinking and are used by the cult leaders to justify their own actions, to manipulate the members, or both."

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