Jul 15, 2021

CultNEWS101 Articles: 7/14/2021

Lev Tahor, Guatemala, Legal, Abuse, Buddhism, Benjamin Creme, Russia, Legal, Grigory Grabovoi

Jerusalem Post: US, Guatemalan forces raid extremist haredi Lev Tahor cult compound
"US and local Guatemalan police have begun raiding the compound of the extremist ultra-Orthodox (haredi) cult, Lev Tahor, arresting at least three top officials in the cult, Globes reported on Tuesday evening.

Another reporter for Globes reported that cult-members Yoel and Shmuel Weingarten have been arrested.

US and Guatemalan forces have performed several raids on the cult's leaders and members in recent years, mainly for kidnapping and child abuse charges, arresting their leader Yaakov Weinstein last March. In 2019, four members were indicted for kidnapping two children whose mother had taken them, wanting to return the children to Lev Tahor.

The sect has been accused of forcing girls as young as 12 years old into marriages with much older men within the sect."

Medium: The Goodness of a Cult Comes from Those it Abuses
That ideal façade is often built by people trying to survive

"When I report on institutional abuse in yoga and Buddhism I always discover that survivors were stripped of time, security, money, earning potential, educational opportunities, social status, family bonds, bodily autonomy and inner dignity. I hear stories of endless hours of unpaid labour, undertaken with the promise of salvation. I hear from members who were raped by leaders who told them it was for their spiritual good. They describe being silenced by enablers.

These details constitute the cultic crime scene. An organization has exploited its members, and left human wreckage. Their stories can be told, corroborated, fact-checked, and published. Innocent and earnest members of the organization will hope that accountability is possible, so that what they remember being good and wholesome about the organization can be salvaged.

But a bitter irony curdles this desire. So much of what an earnest group member will be nostalgic for — the beautiful singing, the communal meals, the tidy accommodations and lovely gardens — came from the organization's encouragement and exploitation of the skills of those it abused.

This organizational capital isn't limited to songs and salad greens and sandwiches. In many cases, it also informs the core content of the group. In the two cults I survived, it was unpaid cult members who transcribed, edited, published, and distributed all of the cult literature."

Mathew Remski: The Edgelord Lama
"To understand how a worldly and sophisticated 60 year-old Bhutan-born Buddhist lama starts shitposting about #metoo, we need some background and nuance. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche isn't your typical 4chan troll. He's on a mission to defend a global spiritual industry that's crumbling under the weight of its abuse revelations. Somehow, he believes that cloaking the presumption of ancient spiritual superiority in victim-blaming jokes and memes is a good strategy."

Medium: Growing up as a child in Benjamin Creme's Maitreya Cult
"I would like to explain my mother's background to understand why she joined a cult, and why, as her only child, this was my upbringing. My mother was born in 1946 and grew up in a tiny apartment block near the centre of communist Budapest. She and her parents were crowded together in one room, living in poverty. They would argue daily. Her mother beat her physically every day and her father had become chronically ill after my grandmother had been hiding him in a damp cellar so he could avoid the persecution of the Nazis (since he was Jewish). When my mother was only 17, her mother married her off to a French man, so she would be able to leave the communist-controlled country. She lived in great poverty in Paris, barely having enough to eat, and then divorced him. At one point, she moved to London, where she has stayed ever since, eventually marrying my father.

My father was born to a middle-class family with both parents who had fought in World War II. They were also relatively dysfunctional as a family, in that his father was always very cold with his two boys. My father is a good man, but he is 'damaged' in that, in his own words, he is 'unable to feel joy.' My father's mother had become a numbed-out alcoholic since she was in an unhappy marriage (she overcame this in her old age after my grandfather died). For this older generation, divorce was frowned upon, and alcoholism would have been the only escape.

During the cult happy 1970s, it is of no surprise then that my parents, along with the rest of their generation, were desperate to find a better way of life. Some of them were trying to create utopias and communes under the guidance of various charismatic cult leaders. So, when my mother saw Benjamin Crème's advert in the newspaper that 'Maitreya is now in the world', for her, it was a call that spoke to a deep sense of a need to belong and to feel as if there is a purpose for being here. This was felt by many of her generation who joined spiritual cults, as they were searching for something radically different from the war-torn misery of their parent's generation. Looking back had I not known what I know now, and had I been in their shoes, I might have joined in also! Who, I wonder, is not consciously or unconsciously looking for 'belonging' and the love we seem to have lost?

His group was harmless in an outward way, but for me, unfortunately, it was not harmless. It was harmless outwardly in that there was no physical abuse, because I can tell you that Benjamin Creme absolutely believed everything he was saying and his intentions were good towards all groups of people inclusively. He really wanted to help save the world for all people equally. Cults become harmful outwardly when the leader is doing what he is doing for self-interest — and that was not Ben.

Yahoo News: A cult leader was imprisoned in Russia for promising mothers he could resurrect their massacred children. 13 years later, his 'cheat codes for the universe' became a TikTok obsession.
"@kai.metal.billy said he turned a $700 crypto investment into $25,000 within two days. @victoriagross said her dad transferred her more money than expected. @soulfulxistence said she found $20 in her car.

It looked like everyone was getting lucky. But they weren't calling it luck.
Like thousands of TikTokers, they were putting their good fortune down to Grabovoi codes, or Grabovoi numbers - a pseudoscience based around seemingly random strings of numbers.
Some called them "cheat codes for the universe."

The sequences supposedly "create a frequency at the vibratory and energetic level to positively affect situations and structures that are part of our lives," Edilma Angel Moyano, a self-styled Grabovoi follower, said in a 2018 book about the codes. The science behind this is - to say the least - unclear.

There are codes for "unexpected money" (5207418898, per Moyano), good skin (55942833), weight loss (55942833), and even a formula for protection from mosquitoes (55942833 combined with 694713). And yes, there's one for eternal life.

Like many TikTok trends, it's fun, and costs nothing to try. But it's the brainchild of a man with a dark history.
Who is Grigory Grabovoi?

Grigory Grabovoi is a Kazakh faith healer who rose to prominence amid the complex politics of post-Cold War Russia.

Some 17 years before his "codes" became a TikTok trend, Grabovoi and his followers were, prosecutors said, promising grieving mothers he could resurrect their children for a fee of $1,200. (Grabovoi denied charging money, reported Rapsi, a Russian legal news site.)

According to his website, Grabovoi graduated as a mathematician in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 1986, and quickly put together a busy résumé. It included selling services in "extrasensory diagnostics" to Uzbekistan's national airline, where he claimed to correctly predict the engineering issues of 360 flights.

This appeared impressive in Boris Yeltsin's Russia. There were press reports of the then-president charging Grabovoi with keeping his plane in the air through telekinesis by the late 1990s, Eduard Kruglyakov, the head of the country's Commission on Pseudoscience, told the Regnum news agency in 2005."

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