Apr 20, 2022

CultNEWS101 Articles: 4/20/2022 (Occult, Event, Parental Alienation, LGBTQ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Swami Chetananda, Sexual Abuse, Legal, Child Abuse)

Occult, Event, Parental Alienation, LGBTQ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Swami Chetananda, Sexual Abuse, Legal, Child Abuse
"The word 'occult' has gained an infamous reputation in western society. Often tied to satanism and 'mystic' practices outside of western world comprehension, using the word occult will frequently garner confused looks and skepticism.

After all, the largest religion in Canada is Christianity – as declared by the 2011 National Household Survey completed by Statistics Canada. In the survey, 22.1 million (67.3 per cent) of the population said that they were Christian.

However, what does 'occult' really mean? How is it interpreted in comparison to "traditional" religions such as Christianity?

Speaking with Rebecca Plett, a professor in the Anthropology Department at Wilfrid Laurier University, the same theme was apparent – 'occult' being seen as problematic by society despite its actual definition.

"All occult means is 'hidden'…so you know, there's a number of practices that people do that could remain hidden" Plett stresses.

Instead of the word 'occult' Plett describes how anthropologists would prefer the term 'New Religious Movement' – a term that Britannica describes as "all-new faiths that have arisen worldwide over the past several centuries".

As with the understanding of 'occult', New Religious Movements are seen as alternative religious practices that are outside of the "norm". While not all of these movements are inherently harmful, many have the potential to be, as suggested by Plett.

"[New Religious Movements] pretty often start off as something rather idealistic and then they can turn into something a little bit more harmful, potentially."

In addition, using the term New Religious Movement can be seen as "just a way to kind of put the focus on why people might be interested in joining these groups rather than the harm that they cause." This is an important distinction considering the idealistic viewpoints pushed by many of these religions.

In a world reeling and rapidly shifting due to a global pandemic, it is unsurprising that New Religious Movements with their idealistic views and beliefs are appealing to many. Much of this growth can be seen among younger generations, especially on TikTok. The hashtag WitchTok on the platform has over 25.0 billion views, creators on the app using it to instruct their viewers on how to use crystals, pendulums and tarot."

ICSA Annual Conference: Unpacking Belief Systems
Kat Wallace, Judith Linzer Ph.D.; Sunday, June 26, 2022; 4:00 PM-4:50 PM
"How do people get trapped in cults? One tool cults use is emotional and mental coercion to exercise undue influence keeping people stuck in the group. Even without physically holding people prisoner, it is possible to hold them by building a closed system of beliefs and isolating them from other ideas. This is especially true for people who have grown up in high control groups because when they leave, they don't have a pre-existing set of beliefs to return to. High-control groups often excel at weaving a set of beliefs that are difficult to think one's way around. They form a circular system, using thought-stopping techniques, keeping people unable to think critically for themselves. Once embraced, it is nearly impossible to challenge those beliefs. One of the biggest struggles for Ms. Wallace, as a born-in cult survivor, is changing these implanted core beliefs. Even while logically disagreeing with the cult's beliefs, triggers can be intense. In this workshop we will discuss how cult survivors can change these implanted and debilitating beliefs. We will also discuss how professionals, supportive family, and friends can help people escaping high control organizations unpack and change self-harming beliefs and what might make matters worse for the "escapee". Join Wallace and Dr. Linzer for an exploration of these questions. Wallace will share her personal experiences "detoxing" from being raised a Jehovah Witness. She has spent the past twenty years struggling to get the cult out of her head. Dr. Linzer and Wallace spent years discussing Wallace's cult experience finding many similarities between child custody work and healing cultic experiences. Please join us as we discuss this process of helping someone leave a cult. We will talk for 30 minutes and then open it up to questions for the last 20 minutes."
"This is the first in a series on that inestimable guru, J. Michael Shoemaker, AKA Swami Chetananda, 74, a man who women allege likes to strangle them to get his old flaccid member erect.

"It's the only way he can get an erection," one of his students told FR.

Twenty years ago, Richard Read, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote a five-part series on old Swamiji Shoemaker.  His articles were published in the Oregonian.

Read spent three years tracking Shoemaker, investigating alleged financial scams, interviewing members who claimed abuse, and investigating followers' lives to portray the guru-disciple-like activities that Shoemaker and his followers were living.

Read never made a final judgment about the morality or legality of the Shoemaker group.  But we live in different times.

Shoemaker is alive and well and still strangling women to get off. Some of them are traumatized, and some of them are hospitalized. But Shoemaker keeps on.

So how will his activities be looked at now in the post-NXIVM world, the world of Larry Ray of the Sarah Lawrence sex cult fame, or R. Kelly, and others?

These like Keith Raniere all came to a bad end.

Will there be a documentary like Wild, Wild Country, Bad Vegan, Dirty John, Seduced of the Vow?

The new day dawns and suggests that coercive control can bring bad results not only for those gullible enough to come under the sway of leaders such as Shoemaker but also a bad end for the assholes like him who do it to others.

The question is:  Has Shoemaker, and his group stopped abusing and exploiting people?"
"In a consequential ruling that legal experts say will give Texas sexual abuse survivors more power to sue attackers and the institutions that protect them, the Texas Supreme Court has allowed a lawsuit to go forward in which a Houston man alleges he was repeatedly raped by influential Southern Baptist figure and former Texas Appeals Court judge Paul Pressler.

At issue is Texas' civil statute of limitations, the time period that victims have to file a lawsuit. In 2017, Duane Rollins sued Pressler in Harris County, claiming the longtime conservative political and religious leader first began to molest him when Rollins was a member of Pressler's youth group at various Houston churches in the early 1980s. Pressler and his lawyers denied the allegations and moved to have the case thrown out of court, arguing that Rollins had filed his claims too late.

Rollins, however, said in court papers that trauma from the assaults led him to develop drug and alcohol addictions and suppress those memories until 2016, when they were revealed while undergoing psychiatric treatment in prison, where he was serving a sentence for driving while intoxicated. He argued that the statute of limitations should begin from when he realized he was the victim of the alleged sexual assault, not from when the alleged assault took place.

The state's high court agreed last week and ordered the case be sent back to Harris County district court. Legal experts said the ruling is significant because it opens the door in Texas for people who were sexually abused as children to sue both attackers and institutions that mishandled or concealed the abuses years or decades later.

"It's a massive and important step forward," said Rachael Denhollander, a lawyer and expert on child sexual abuse who was the first person to publicly accused now-imprisoned USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of abuse. "It shows a willingness to bring our justice system in line with what we know about sexual assault."

Lawyers for Pressler did not respond to a request for comment.

Decades of neuroscience research show that about one in three child sex abuse victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and that many — particularly those abused by clergy — can develop a sort of Stockholm syndrome that prevents them from recognizing themselves as victims for years, if not decades. The average child abuse victim does not come forward until after their 50th birthday, long after it's possible to file a lawsuit, according to research by ChildUSA, an advocacy group for statute of limitations reforms.

'One thing we now know about sexual assault is that the PTSD and mental neurobiological injury often make it impossible for survivors to fully remember what's taken place or to even be in the position where they're healthy enough to come forward," said Denhollander, who has advised the Southern Baptist Convention and other religious groups on sexual abuse policies. "And that closes the halls of justice to many survivors.'" 

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery



Intervention101.com to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement.

CultRecovery101.com assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice.

CultNEWS101.com news, links, resources.





Cults101.org 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 cultintervention@gmail.com.

No comments: