Dec 17, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 12/17/2020

Transcendental Meditation, Prakashanand Saraswati, Video, Jon Atack, Religious Freedom, Legal, Trauma, ParlerApp, Extremism, Hindu Nationalism, India

Jon Atack, Family & Friends: Moving Beyond the Guru, with Joe Kelly
"Joe Kelly spent nine years in Transcendental Meditation and then five more with a rival swami, who convinced his former TM followers to sue for refunds from that group. This led to Joe meeting Margaret Singer, who helped to begin to rethink his involvement. For many years, Joe has worked helping members of authoritarian groups to rethink their involvement."

Justices' drive to promote "religious liberty" may only become more intense.

"The Supreme Court's decision last week overturning New York State's limits on religious gatherings during the COVID-19 outbreak previewed what will likely become one of the coming decades defining collisions between law and demography.

The ruling continued the conservative majority's sustained drive to provide religious organizations more leeway to claim exemptions from civil laws on the grounds of protecting "religious liberty." These cases have become a top priority for conservative religious groups, usually led by white Christians and sometimes joined by other religiously traditional denominations. In this case, Orthodox Jewish synagogues allied with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to oppose New York's restrictions on religious services.

But this legal offensive to elevate "religious liberty" over other civic goals is coming even as the share of Americans who ascribe to no religious faith is steadily rising, and as white Christians have fallen to a minority share of the population.

That contrast increases the likelihood of a GOP-appointed Court majority sympathetic to the most conservative religious denominations colliding with the priorities of a society growing both more secular and more religiously diverse, especially among younger generations.

While most conservative analysts have cheered the Court's moves in this area, centrist and liberal critics see the ingredients for a political explosion as the Court backs religious-liberty exemptions to laws on employee rights, health care, education, and equal treatment for the LGBTQ community.

"What we are seeing today is this effort to turn religious freedom into religious privilege," Rachel Laser, the president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told me. Religious institutions and individuals are being given "the right to wield religious freedom as a sword to harm others, and frankly to dial back social progress in light of our changing demographics and progress toward greater equality."
Indeed, the succession of recent religious-liberty rulings by the conservative Court majority may represent another manifestation of the fear of cultural and religious displacement that helped Donald Trump amass huge margins among white Christian voters in both of his campaigns. "We are dealing with a majority-conservative Court that suffers from the same Christian-fragility disease as we are seeing in Trump's base—as though Christianity is what's under attack when others are asking for equal treatment," Laser said."

Medical News Today: What is trauma bonding?
" ... A trauma bond is a connection between an abusive person and the individual they abuse. It typically occurs when the abused person begins to develop sympathy or affection for the abuser.

This bond can develop over days, weeks, or months. Not everyone who experiences abuse develops a trauma bond.

Stockholm syndrome is a specific type of trauma bond. While this term typically refers to someone who is captive developing positive feelings for their captors, this dynamic can occur in other situations and relationships.

2018 research investigating abuse in athletics suggests that Stockholm syndrome may begin when a person experiencing abuse begins to rationalize the actions of the perpetrator."
"Parler looks a lot like Twitter. It's a microblogging platform where users post short updates, called "Parleys," which can be reshared by others. Just like its well known competitor, it uses hashtags to link content and account handles begin with the at symbol.

But the social media app, which caught fire with supporters of President Donald Trump during the election, isn't based in Silicon Valley. It's headquartered in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas.

Parler owes its newfound popularity to promotion by right-wing media figures and its promise to never censor users, unless they post illegal content, spam or pornography — a major draw for conservatives who object to recent reforms on Twitter and Facebook designed to limit the spread of misinformation. 

But experts warn the site is becoming a right-wing echo chamber, where average Republican voters are exposed to conspiracy theories and extremist propaganda."

" ... Meanwhile, far-right content is thriving on Parler. 

A review of the platform by CapRadio revealed overt neo-nazi propaganda being shared by users who advocate for violence against the Jewish community. 

The site also includes members of the white supremacist Proud Boys, who have threatened Black Lives Matter supporters in Carson City and fought with counter-protesters in front of California's State Capitol in recent weeks. 

Affiliated accounts on Parler have posted videos of Proud Boys engaging in violence, which is encouraged by the organization.
"On November 28, a pro-ISIS propaganda channel on Telegram released two videos, titled "The Battle of Mosul" and "Mosul Another Perspective." Both videos were responding to Netflix's release of the movie "Mosul," which is based on the true story of an Iraqi police SWAT team fighting ISIS in 2017. The pro-ISIS propaganda films, approximately 12 minutes and 43 minutes each, contain extensive footage from previously released ISIS propaganda videos shot in Mosul, including propaganda clips including the British hostage John Cantlie. The videos include footage of vehicle suicide bombings and shootings.

In addition to Telegram, the videos were uploaded to Ok.Ru, the Internet Archive, File.Fm, pCloud, Mail.Ru, and Dropbox. The initial uploads on November 28 were no longer available approximately four days later, however on December 3, additional uploads of the second video were still available on MediaFire, File.Fm, DropApk.To, and UsersDrive.Com.

The Guardian: Twitter accused of censoring Indian critic of Hindu nationalism
"Writers including Salman Rushdie express anger after journalist Salil Tripathi has account suspended

"Twitter has been accused of censoring the prominent Indian journalist Salil Tripathi by suspending his account, after he tweeted on subjects including the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque and his work on India's shrinking democratic space.

Writers including Salman Rushdie and Amitav Ghosh expressed anger after Tripathi, who is chair of PEN International's Writers in Prison Committee, had his Twitter account suspended on Sunday without warning.

A rightwing Hindu nationalist group called Deshi Army, which has 26,000 followers on Twitter, claimed victory after the suspension. Deshi Army was recently praised online by Kapil Mishra, a hardline leader from India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), who said: "This team is doing amazing work" in targeting critics of the government online."

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.




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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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