May 15, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 5/14/2020

Maharishi, Trafficking, Universal Medicine, Saint Benedict Center 

"There is a little known place near Fairfield, Iowa called Maharishi Vedic City, that officially incorporated in 2001. This little city, located right next to the Fairfield Municipal Airport, boasts its very own outdoor observatory, The Raj Ayurvedic Health Center, and a hotel located kitty-corner to the Maharishi Vedic Pandit Campus. The campus itself spans 80 acres, and consists of over 160 buildings designed according to the Maharishi Vastu Architecture, giving the appearance of army barracks. They accommodate 1,000+ male Pandits training to be world peace keepers. Pandits are students that train under the Maharishi's instruction, spending 8 hours a day in transcendental meditation and chanting to create an influence of world peace, and they do this for 2-3 years. They begin their training in India, at a very young age, before moving to Iowa, fully funded by Maharishi followers. These Pandits arrive from India, and in 2014, it is alleged that over 160 Pandits went missing – shortly after, a mob of Pandits attacked the sheriff. Astonishingly, between 2008-2014 there were 20 suicides in the small town of Fairfield, with a mere population of only 9,400-10,000 during those years."

" ... At the end of January, UPS announced that it would begin training its delivery drivers to detect signs of sex trafficking. This policy would extend to both neighborhood and freight drivers, reaching a total of 97,000 drivers and supervisors nationwide."

"The UK Court of Appeal has published a landmark ruling to protect a child from the harmful effects of Universal Medicine, which include alienation from her father. Her mother, a UM follower, has been ordered to break from the cult to be able to retain shared custody. The decision has been reported in UK's Mirror and The Times."

" ... Saint Benedict Center was founded by Catherine Clarke in 1940 as a meeting place for Catholic college students in the Boston area. Within a few years, its popularity led to the installation of the renowned Jesuit priest, Leonard Feeney, as its full-time chaplain. By 1948, however, the center had dwindled to about 60 followers of Father Feeney, all of whom adhered to a strict interpretation of the Catholic doctrine extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("outside the church there is no salvation").

As a child, my life was centered around the activities of the men and women who chose to follow Father Feeney, including my parents and an array of married couples and single men and women, all of whom became members of the unofficial religious order they established and called the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Within a few years, we had grown to nearly 100 because of the 39 children born to the married couples.

As a child, my life was centered around the activities of the men and women who chose to follow Father Feeney.

My earliest memories are filled with the sound of laughter, of being in the constant company of the energetic and intellectual men and women of the community. I did not know that they had come together in this joyous enclave because of a falling out with the local authorities of the Catholic Church and Rome. (Father Feeney was dismissed by the Jesuits and excommunicated in 1953 after refusing to reply to a summons to the Vatican.) Nor did I know that my father, a teacher at the Jesuit-run Boston College, had, along with two other professors, been fired in early 1949, when I was just 7 months old, because of their rigid theological views.

Though I was only about 3 years old, I remember well when the members of the community gave up their "worldly" attire and began donning identical clothing: black suits for the men and long black pleated skirts, topped with a white blouse and a black jacket, for the women.

When I was 4 years old, Father Feeney ordained that everyone change their "worldly" names and adopt new "religious" names. It did not matter to me that I was forbidden to call my parents "Mommy" and "Daddy" anymore but had to address them as Sister Elizabeth Ann and Brother James Aloysius. I knew they loved me, and I loved them back.

But I was upset when, at 5 years old, Father Feeney changed my name from Mary Patricia to Anastasia. Young as I was, I knew then that Father (as we called him) and Sister Catherine wielded all the power at the center.

At 5 years old, Father Feeney changed my name from Mary Patricia to Anastasia. Young as I was, I knew then that Father (as we called him) wielded all the power at the center.

I did not mind when the big brothers (as all the men were called) built a stockade fence around the seven houses that served as our homes and shut out the rest of the world, as long as I still lived with my parents and three younger sisters and younger brother.

But I was devastated when, at the age of 6, together with my 4-year-old sister and 3-year-old brother, we were separated from our parents and two youngest siblings. No longer part of a loving family, we were suddenly being raised by one of the big sisters, a stentorian woman who meted out corporal punishment on a regular basis. I watched in agony as my little sister, Mary Catherine, became a frail and frightened child, prone to going for days without eating. My only recourse was to assume, as best I could, the role of protector, which often meant surreptitiously eating her meals so that she would not be punished."

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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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