Apr 11, 2021

CultNEWS101 Articles: 4/10-11/2021

Little Pebble, Australia, Legal, Religious Freedom, Sai Baba, Disorganized Attachment

ABC: Hundreds petition to stop cult leader and paedophile 'Little Pebble' from returning to live on NSW South Coast
"Hundreds of residents on the New South Wales South Coast are calling for a convicted paedophile and cult leader to be prevented from returning to live in the region. William Costellia-Kamm – also known as "Little Pebble" – is the founder of a sect he calls the Order of Saint Charbel and claims to be a prophet who speaks directly to Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.

The 70-year-old was convicted of sexually assaulting two teenagers he referred to as his "spiritual wives" in the 1990s and had been living in Sydney since he was paroled in 2014 having served more than nine years of his 10-year prison sentence.

Late last week he was granted permission by the NSW Supreme Court to return to his commune at Cambewarra, in the Shoalhaven region.

"The risk which the conditions need to manage is the risk of further serious sex offending," Justice Stephen Campbell said."

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sidestepped a chance to further expand religious rights, turning away two cases in which employees accused companies of violating federal anti-discrimination law by insufficiently accommodating requests for time off to meet religious obligations.

The justices declined to hear appeals by two men of different Christian denominations - a Jehovah's Witness from Tennessee and a Seventh-day Adventist from Florida - of lower court rulings that rejected their claims of illegal religious bias. Lower courts found that the accommodations the men sought would have placed too much hardship on the employers.

In a dissent, conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito said the court should have taken up the case from Tennessee. The Supreme Court has taken an expansive view of religious liberties in a number of important cases in recent years.

At issue in the cases was the allowances companies must make for employees for religious reasons to comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on religion as well as race, color, sex and national origin.

Gorsuch wrote that religious rights under the employment law are "the odd man out" because they do not receive as much protection as other rights guaranteed under federal law, such as those that apply to the disabled."

Scroll: Labelled 'jihadi', Sai Baba's idol demolished in Delhi. Hindu hardliner exults. Devotees despair
"He is no god, he died in 1918," the middle-aged man declares, looking into the camera. "He was Muslim."

Attacking members of religious minorities and taking a hammer to an idol in a Hindu temple are acts inspired by the same ideology that promotes a pure, militant version of Hinduism, say sociologists.

The demolition "seeks to produce the 'others' of Hindus that may not actually exist in real life," said Sanjay Srivastava, a professor of sociology at Delhi University. "Those who say that such and such person should not be worshipped within the premises of a temple because he was Muslim (which may or not be true, but that is not important) want a version of Hinduism which has a single origin and a clear history."
A textbook example of how the terror of disorganized attachment – as analyzed by cult survivor and researcher Alexandra Stein – can be framed as a spiritual necessity.

" ... Ray succinctly provides a perfect vignette of the terror-euphoria cycle that characterizes the trauma bonding that Stein argues is central to cultic coherence. Of course this is not his framework. He's telling the story as a kind of hero's journey that has the secondary advantage of justifying a continuation of these dynamics within his own circle."

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