Oct 31, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 10/31 - 11/1/2020

NXIVM, Research, Maharishi European Research University, neo-Nazis, Research on Cultic Childhood's, Germany, Timothy Leary, Adnan Oktar, Legal, Turkey 

ABC News: NXIVM founder Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison
"Keith Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison at a Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday for running NXIVM, a self-help organization prosecutors labeled a "criminal enterprise" exploited by Raniere for power, profit and sex.

To followers, he was known as Vanguard, but prosecutors cast Raniere as a con artist who did "immeasurable damage" to victims over 15 years of crime and exploitation. They had asked he receive a life sentence.
"You have done irreparable harm to peoples psyches, to their self-esteem, their belief in themselves and their experience of sanity and well being," filmmaker Mark Vicente, a former member of NXIVM turned whistleblower, said in an impact statement delivered at Raniere's sentencing.

"I believed in you. I believed in your mission. Because I thought it was the same as mine," Vicente added. "I believed you knew what goodness was. Finding out the truth about you and your actual motives turned my world upside down."

"Raniere and his co-conspirators maintained control over the Enterprise by, among other means, obtaining sensitive information about members and associates of the Enterprise; inducing shame and guilt in order to influence and control members and associates of the Enterprise; isolating associates and others from friends and family and making them dependent on the Enterprise for their financial well-being and legal status within the United States; and encouraging associates and others to take expensive NXIVM courses, and incur debt to do so," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.

The U.S. attorney in charge of the case said he was satisfied with the result.

Victims spoke to local FBI, but downstate office made case against Keith Raniere

"When Sarah Edmondson told an FBI agent in Albany on May 30, 2017, that she and other women had been blackmailed and branded in a Saratoga County townhouse, and that more brandings of female "slaves" were expected to take place the following week, she thought it would lead to a raid.

Edmondson, the former head of the Vancouver office of the personal-growth company NXIVM, had just supplied the FBI with a blockbuster tip — the same information that would ultimately contribute to the conviction of NXIVM co-founder Keith Raniere, the guru known within the group as 'Vanguard.'"

Tomoya Watanabe is a student studying a master's programme on the Psychology of  Coercive Control at the University of Salford, UK. She is at the stage of beginning her master's  dissertation that focuses on psychological distress and recovery of former cult members in the UK/North America and Japan. Accordingly, she is looking for former cult members who are  willing to take part in this study.

The purposes of the study:

1. to comprehensively understand psychological problems and recovery that former cult  members can experience after leaving a cult

2. to find the similarities and differences of the psychological problems and recovery  between former cult members who live in the UK/North America and Japan. 

The global headquarters of the Transcendental Meditation movement and Maharishi European Research University (MERU) -- 1972 to 1983 -- the Grandhotel Sonnenberg in Seelisberg, Switzerland is for sale.

A police recruit in northwestern Indiana has been fired after a department investigation found he was involved in a neo-Nazi online chat forum in 2016

"A police recruit in northwestern Indiana was fired less than 24 hours after the department was notified that the officer was involved in a neo-Nazi online chat forum.

The Lafayette Police Department launched an investigation into Joseph Zacharek, who was hired in June, after being notified on Twitter Friday evening of his possible participation in a chat forum called Iron March in 2016.

The department's internal affairs division concluded the information was "accurate and credible," and Zacharek was terminated, according to a Saturday news release from Chief Patrick Flannelly."

Here are the findings of a german study on "Cultic Childhood" (in which Katharina Meredith and Dieter Rohmann also were involved).   
"Cults are religious organizations requiring total commitment and submission from their members. They form a highly controlling environment with rigid structures to suppress individuality. Being born and raised within a cultic community has a significant impact on the life course of those affected. Especially after exit or exclusion, second generation ex-members commonly have to face different challenges. This study aimed to investigate these cultic childhood experiences and their long-term effects on the individual development and the further lives of those affected. Former cult members (n = 16) who were born and raised in cultic groups participated in an in-depth qualitative interview study. The findings indicate that growing up in a family belonging to a cult is often associated with serious restrictions, burdens and even traumatization. Later in life, this may lead to the development of self-esteem problems, mental disorders, and difficulties in intimate relationships. Individual life experiences should be taken into account when providing help for those who have grown up in a cult and managed to get out of it. Based on the study results, recommendations for psycho-social practice are presented in this paper."

"Richard Nixon once described Timothy Leary as "the most dangerous man in America". A Harvard clinical psychologist whose experiments with drugs led to his dismissal, he became a stand-up performer, convict and fugitive, and unlikely dabbler in psychedelic theology."

"Turkish police seized smuggled fossils worth $10 million from the home of a jailed cult leader infamous for his anti-evolution views and bizarre female following, state news agency Anadolu reported on Wednesday.

Authorities discovered a total of 879 fossils in raids on two of Adnan Oktar's properties.

Oktar, also known as Harun Yahya, is an Islamic creationist who became known internationally through his televangelist network. In his televised lectures he would surround himself with "his kittens" - female followers with nearly identical bleached-blonde hair and perceived surgical enhancements.

He delivered televised sermons to "his kittens" and often danced with his young followers between his speeches.

The religious cult leader was arrested two-years-ago alongside more than 160 of his followers. 

Last year, he was indicted on a whole host of charges including kidnapping, sexual abuse, political and military espionage and running a criminal enterprise."

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