Jan 3, 2022

CultNEWS101 Articles: 1/3/2022 (Transcendental Meditation, Podcast, Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Legal, Korea, Jehovah's Witnesses, Kyrgyzstan)

Transcendental Meditation, Podcast, Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Legal, Korea, Jehovah's Witnesses, Kyrgyzstan

"What do Pete Rose, Grandma Walton, skin boys, Dear Prudence, Brooks Brothers suits, David Lynch, Mary Tyler Moore, Merv Griffin, Mary Tyler Moore, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds and Margaret Singer have in common? They're all mentioned in this episode, and you'll have to listen to find out why. There's just not enough room in these show notes to tell you. But don't worry, you'll be glad you listened, because Patrick Ryan can tell a culty oral history with the best of them. He joins Sarah and Nippy for the penultimate episode of Season 2, and it's a doozy that just might make you take a second look at your meditation practice. As Stefon on SNL would say, "This one has something for everyone: Yogic flying, off-brand incense, and fake CIA operatives." It's been a batshit year, kids, so enjoy 2021's last A Little Bit Culty episode drop.

More about today's guest: Patrick Ryan is a graduate of Maharishi International University. He has been a cult intervention specialist since 1984. He's the co-founder of TM-EX, the organization of ex-members of Transcendental Meditation, established ICSA's online resource (1995-2013), and has presented 50 programs about hypnosis, inner-experience, trance-induction techniques, communicating with cult members, conversion, cult intervention, exit counseling, intervention assessment, mediation, religious conflict resolution, thought reform consultation, eastern groups, transcendental meditation and workshops for educators, families, former members and mental health professionals at ICSA workshops/conferences. Mr. Ryan received the AFF Achievement Award (1997) from AFF, the Leo J. Ryan Foundation, and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2011) from ICSA. Along with fellow intervention specialist Joseph Kelly, Patrick publishes several cult news sites that are an indispensable resource for all things cult-related."
"An appellate court on Tuesday upheld a lower court's ruling and acquitted a religious sect leader of charges that he obstructed the government's response to COVID-19 outbreaks last year.

Lee Man-hee, the 90-year-old founder of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, was indicted last year for allegedly underreporting the number of Shincheonji followers and church locations to the government when the virus was fast spreading among the followers.

However, both the district and the appellate courts found that submission of such information pertains to the data acquisition process, not the government's epidemiological investigation process, concluding Lee's act is not punishable under the infectious disease prevention act.

"It is also difficult to conclude the accused deliberately omitted requested data," the Suwon High Court said, noting that the church later submitted all requested data to the government.

The court, however, found Lee partly guilty of charges of embezzling 5.6 billion won (US$4.7 million) from church funds to build a new church facility and holding unauthorized religious events at local government facilities from 2015 to 2019.
"A court in Bishkek has refused to deem publications from the Jehovah's Witnesses as extremist, rejecting a step by authorities toward completely outlawing the religious group.

The Birinchi Mai district court in the Kyrgyz capital on December 3 rejected a request by the Prosecutor-General's Office to recognize 11 books, two brochures, and six videotapes belonging to the Jehovah's Witnesses in Kyrgyzstan as extremist.

The materials in question were confiscated in 2019 from the religious group, which has operated in the Central Asian nation for more than 23 years, by the State Committee for National Security (UKMK)."

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