Mar 13, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 3/13/2020

Lawrence Ray, Mindfulness, Conversion Therapy, LGBT, Indonesia  Spain, LDS, L'Arche International, France, Shincheonji ChurchCorona Virus, Korea, ScientologyHeaven's Gate, Thailand

NY Post: Sarah Lawrence 'sex cult' victim overdosed while working for alleged leader
"One of the female victims of the alleged cult founded in a Sarah Lawrence dorm room nearly overdosed in North Carolina while under leader Larry Ray's spell, according to a new report.The woman, identified as "Yalitza," was found unconscious from an apparent drug overdose in a Staples parking lot in sleepy Southern Pines, after Ray reported her missing in October 2013, according to police records obtained by The Pilot newspaper.At the time, Yalitza, whose last name was withheld by The Pilot, was living and working at the home of Ray's stepfather, Gordon Ray, in Pinehurst, North Carolina, along with a small group of Larry Ray's 'students.'"

New Statesman: How mindfulness privatised a social problem
The £3.4trn industry encourages a preoccupation with the symptoms of mental illness, rather than their social causes.

" ... In December 2008, while forcibly evicting tenants from a concrete high-rise in south London, Southwark Council pulled off a remarkable feat of complacency. Though residents didn't know it at the time, every flat in the development that replaced the Heygate Estate would be sold to foreign investors, despite the council's repeated promises of new social housing.

Recognising that people were "stressed", councillors hired life coaches and "spiritual ministers" to run workshops teaching residents how to progress emotionally. The company behind the workshop, the Happiness Project, was founded by the British positive psychologist Robert Holden, the author of Shift Happens! The firm's motto was: "Success is a state of mind; happiness is a way of travelling; love is your true power."

That people about to lose their homes were stressed is hardly surprising. The council encouraged residents to look inwards, towards their brain chemistry, and in doing so cast itself as a solution, rather than a cause of the problem. Its response typified the idea of "magical voluntarism", which the writer Mark Fisher described as "the belief that it is within every individual's power to make themselves whatever they want to be".

The connection between stress and economics is well documented. In their 2009 book The Spirit Level, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson identified a strong correlation between inequality and poor reported mental health. In a report published last month, Dr Dainius Puras, the UN's special rapporteur on health, stated that confronting inequality would be a more effective prophylactic for poor mental health than excessive therapy or medication.

Yet governments often opt for treatments that focus on the individual rather than social maladies. "Most don't want to be thinking about how their policies might be contributing to problems in the first place," says David Harper, a clinical psychologist at the University of East London. In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a treatment that focuses on raising awareness of negative emotions and developing coping strategies.

A preoccupation with the symptoms of mental illness, rather than their social causes,  is because there's no "big drug lobby behind prevention", Harper says. Treatments such as CBT have proved a cost-effective cattle prod for herding the mentally ill off welfare benefits. As chancellor, George Osborne introduced the therapy for 40,000 recipients of Jobseeker's Allowance as part of a back-to-work agenda."

Gayle's TV: "Spirit of homosexuality! Get away, Satan! "
[Google Translation]
"Madrid . Year 2020. Although it seems hard to believe, there are still people and even organizations that treat homosexuality as a disease. To cure it they create conversion therapies . It has happened this week in an evangelical church in Madrid , one of the only four autonomous communities along with Aragon, Andalusia and Valencia in which these practices are expressly prohibited. It has been denounced by the Telecinco program " Viva la vida " that with one hidden camera has recorded one of these practices to cure homosexuality."

"After evening prayer at the mosque, 33-year-old Syifa's* parents asked her to lie down on a prayer rug. As they recited verses from the Quran, Syifa tried her best to contain her laughter. After all, they were trying to exorcise her gayness out of her. "It was just so dumb to me, but I tried to appreciate what they were trying to do for me," she told VICE.

As a Muslim Syifa was no stranger to exorcisms, or efforts to expel demons and spirits that wreak havoc on wordly bodies. But Syifa was certain that she wasn't possessed, she was just bisexual.
The process took about half an hour, after which Syifa was still bisexual. Although she is now in a relationship with another woman, she feels that her parents' attempts to exorcise her at least gave them some peace of mind.

Syifa decided to come out after ending her two-year marriage with a man she never loved, deciding instead to spend her life with another woman. She did not want to hurt her parents' feelings by telling them their efforts to convert her had been unsuccessful.

'[My parents] didn't know how to handle it, but they wanted to do something because they believe that being gay is wrong," Syifa said.""

KIVI: A look at the religious circle surrounding Chad and Lori Daybell
" ... Chad and Lori are or have been members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they are also affiliated with several informal groups whose teachings go contrary to what one would hear in a typical Latter-day Saint congregation.

East Idaho News reached out to several people in east Idaho who were or are part of these semi-secretive groups. Several have agreed to go on the record with their names, and others have agreed on the condition of anonymity, as they are still active Latter-day Saints or fear retaliation from other members of these groups.
There doesn't appear to be any sort of formal organization or clear doctrine among these non-conventional groups of Latter-day Saints. In fact, many of the people interviewed by East Idaho News reported vastly different experiences."

Washington Post: Jean Vanier, once seen as a Nobel or sainthood candidate, now accused of abusive sexual relationships
"When he died nine months ago, Jean Vanier — founder of L'Arche International, a worldwide organization supporting adults with intellectual disabilities — was lauded as a moral exemplar to people around the globe and a likely future saint in the Catholic Church.
This weekend, his organization published a report shattering that image.
Vanier, who died in May at age 90, had coercive sexual relationships with six women during his lifetime, which left the women hurt and in need of psychological therapy for years, L'Arche's report said Saturday. The alleged behavior took place in France.
The response in some corners was rapid. On Sunday, the University of Notre Dame revoked two awards given to Vanier. In 1994 the school gave him the Notre Dame Award, and in 2014 the school's Kellogg Institute gave him the Ford Family Notre Dame Award for International Development and Solidarity, the school said in a statement Monday. Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins said 'The L'Arche report was thorough, rigorous and fair.'"

Korea Herald: More than 550,000 sign petition to dissolve Shincheonji by force

"Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans have called for the forcible dissolution of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, a shadowy Christian sect that has been identified as a hotbed of new coronavirus infections.
Over 552,000 people have signed an online petition to that effect since Saturday, when it was filed on the website of the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae. Any petition that gets more than 200,000 signatures within a month requires an official response from Cheong Wa Dae.
The opaque group, which claims to have over 240,000 followers, has come into the spotlight as the majority of COVID-19 cases were traced to its branch in Daegu.
As of Monday morning, 456 people linked to the sect tested positive for the virus, accounting for 59.8 percent of the country's 763 cases. The tally rose to 833 in the afternoon, but it was unclear how many of the new cases were linked to Shincheonji.
Public uproar intensified as health authorities said they were struggling to reach out to Shincheonji members in Daegu but hundreds had not responded."

"Members of the Shincheonji religious group dress in identical white shirts, black pants and name tags when they gather to hear founder Lee Man-hee preach.

There are no chairs, except for those provided for the elderly or sick. They sit on the floor to listen to sermons to maximize space.

The religious practices of Shincheonji are in the public eye because the movement appears to be the source of South Korea's growing novel coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 5,000 people there.

Shincheonji, however, is not the only fringe faith in the country. Today there are hundreds of similar minority religious groups in South Korea -- including Christian ones -- according to Tark Ji-il, a professor at Busan Presbyterian University and a respected expert on the country's religious movements.

Some of their leaders claim to be prophets or argue they alone have an unmatched ability to interpret the Bible. A few are notorious for calling on worshipers to do things that look, to the outside world, strange at best and abusive or violent at worst.

Though there is no accepted consensus as to why so many of these new religious movements proliferated in South Korea, many trace their roots back decades to Japan's colonization of South Korea and the military dictatorship that ruled the country when it gained independence after World War II in 1945."

Tampa Bay Times: Clearwater robocall sounds like it's from #Scientology. Republicans did it.

"In a robocall sent to voters Thursday, the person on the line sounded like a Church of Scientology member talking to fellow parishioners. She urged them to vote for Kathleen Beckman, a candidate for Seat 3 on the City Council.
"Beckman stands with Scientologists and we must stand with her," the woman declared.
The call, however, was the work of Republican operatives, a bit of political misdirection just days before a landmark city election on March 17.
Beckman was indeed endorsed by a group of parishioners, but she suspects the call was designed to turn voters against her by linking her to the controversial church. She called it dishonest.
The Florida Values Coalition, the stated sender of the robo call, is a political committee backed by a string of Republican money and GOP interest groups.
It was registered with the state in August by Stafford Jones, a longtime Republican Party of Florida figure who was named in 2014 court records that showed GOP consultants drew gerrymandered Legislative maps and used third parties to push them.
Almost all of the Coalition's $3,300 came from another committee chaired by Jones, Liberty4Florida, which got most of its $70,000 from Citizens Speaking Out Committee, according to state records. That group, also chaired by Jones, has nearly $1.3 million in funding from three dozen other committees with names like Citizens for a Conservative Future and Sunshine State Conservatives.
An advocacy group run by Scientologists recently endorsed one candidate for each of the three, nonpartisan City Council races. But the robocall only highlighted parishioners' support of Beckman, a retired teacher and Democrat challenging the no party affiliated Seat 3 incumbent Bob Cundiff and two Republicans, Bud Elias and Scott Thomas.
Cundiff, Elias and Thomas all said their campaigns were not involved in the robocall."

"Believe it or not Hollywood thought that a story about a man and his wife who said they were from space would make a great movie. They had no idea they what would happen in the future when that couple created a cult called Heaven's Gate."

"A burglar claiming to be a former monk says his "invisibility spell" he learned as a monk didn't work leading to his captured by police. The burglar claims he used the spell many times before when robbing homes.

This time the spell didn't work because he took off his pants, leading to his arrest. Security footage was able to capture him in action, including when he left the house wearing just a shirt and his underwear.

Police Major Gen. Nanthachat Supamongkol in Udon Thani reported the arrest of 32 year-old Anurak Promwang 32 years on 21 February 2020. Mr. Anurak was charged with burglary of a local pharmacy."

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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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