Nov 12, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 11/12/2020

Cult Podcast, Shincheonji, The Hells Angels, The Church of God, Prashant Upadhya, Child Abuse, Legal, India, NXIVM, QAnon

" ... Every Monday, friends and comedians Paige Wesley, Armando Torres, and Andrea Guzzetta take a not-so-serious look at popular cults and their leaders, inadvertently providing a social service. Their general vibe cautions listeners not to drink the Kool-Aid. The conceit? Each week one of the three presents a mix of commentary and research on one group and the other two react, trying to make each other and the listeners laugh. Their 2020 season has covered groups like the Illuminati, The Hells Angels and The Church of God with Signs Following (America's serpent-handling congregation). If you want something truly topical, download episode 130, which aired March 16: "Shincheonji: Fire Type Jesus." It's tough enough being a cult in today's media landscape, what if your cult was also being blamed for a major COVID-19 outbreak? Such is the plight of Shincheonji or New Heaven on Earth. Their super-spreading services resulted in 36 percent of COVID cases in South Korea. Wesley, Torres, and Guzzetta take us through how this cult came to be, the history of their practices (like drinking the water from their leader's footbath) and what they believe. This episode includes a running segment, "other Jesus' at the time"—meaning at the time the leader of one cult was claiming to be Jesus, how many others were claiming the same thing at the same time?"
"Self-styled spiritual guru Prashant Upadhyay has been booked for reportedly raping a minor girl repeatedly between 2013 and 2017. Upadhyay is associated with the Bagua Mukhi Brahmastra Vidyamandir of Warasiya area in Vadodara.

Gotri police station on Saturday. The complainant, who was a minor at the time of the alleged crime, said that the accused had raped her on twelve occasions between 2013 and 2017.  According to The Indian Express, the survivor's family used to attend the sermons delivered by Upadhyay at his spiritual centre. The girl said that the 'guru' had then encouraged her to "offer services" during vacations.

The survivor further said that in 2015 when she was 16, three women disciples of Upadhyay took her to his room. The accused allegedly gave her a tablet that rendered her unconscious. He then reportedly raped her. Later on, he threatened her to release her nude pictures on social media.

The self-styled guru has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for rape and criminal intimidation. He has also been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as the survivor was a minor when the alleged crime was committed."

"On October 27, I sat in US District Court in Brooklyn as Judge Nicholas Garaufis sentenced Nxivm cult founder Keith Raniere, 60, to 120 years in federal prison. It had been 16 months since a jury convicted him on seven counts that included racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy and sex trafficking.

So much for the guy who was known to his followers as "The Smartest Man in the World."

Just before sentencing, Raniere's lead lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, was reprimanded by the court for his desperate, garbled plea for leniency and then Raniere rose to address the judge. His prison scrubs were only slightly less stylish than the drab clothing many Americans have recently viewed him wearing in HBO's nine-part documentary series about the cult, "The Vow."

For a man who insisted on being addressed as Vanguard and commanded the psychological and sexual obedience of numerous accomplished women and fealty of men (many of them quite successful), Raniere is one of the least prepossessing cult leaders in history. He is a short, doughy dweeb in owlish glasses and schlumpy clothes who wore a headband and nerdy knee pads to play in Nxivm's nightly volleyball games in Clinton Park, New York, the cult's headquarters."
" ... "It's very important to remember that QAnon is filling a need," says Doni Whitsett, a clinical professor of social work at the University of Southern California (where I'm also an adjunct professor). "People are feeling lost and very uncertain, and human beings don't like to feel uncertain."

Like Zadrozny, Whitsett says for many, the group seems to have all the answers that they're looking for. "Even though these are false, they're answers. When people are feeling anxious that binds their anxiety. They can tie it up in a little compartment and say, 'This is why things are happening, this is why I feel so lost and confused,' and it takes away a lot of that confusion."

It takes a concerted effort and a lot of empathy and support for a person to find their way back from that. For Hay, it was the realization one day that Q had swallowed her entire life and left her dangerously close to being alone forever."

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement. assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice. news, links, resources.




Instagram resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

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.

Please forward articles that you think we should add to

No comments: