Mar 7, 2023

CultNEWS101 Articles: 3/7/2023 (Book, Cult Recovery, China, Religious Freedom, Larry Ray, Little Pebble, Obituary, Happy Science, Japan)

Book, Cult Recovery, China, Religious Freedom, Larry Ray, 
Little Pebble, Obituary, Happy Science, Japan

"Have you been told, "you're too sensitive" or "you think too much"? Do you wonder what is wrong with me? Nothing, according to The Gentle Souls Revolution.

After a five-year cultic misadventure in a secret "school," author Esther Friedman wrote her cautionary tale. Memoir led to research on narcissistic abuse and a recovery template for empaths. With humor and compassion, Friedman describes how the cult exploited her empathy. She interviews former members from other cults and includes research from leading experts. We learn that all cults and cons market false hope by leveraging human nature to profit from the vulnerable.

This revolution teaches Gentle Souls to self-protect by accepting the existence of—and learning to identify pathological selfishness. Recovery requires valuing your proclivities and protecting them like priceless gems. When you do that, those vulnerabilities can become your greatest strengths. That is The Gentle Souls Revolution."

" ... Today, the definition of cults has broadened to include groups that are non-religious in nature, such as the one depicted in Stolen Youth, but in the past they typically referred to groups that professed some kind of non-mainstream religious beliefs.

There must have been countless religious cults in China given its long history and its territorial and population size, but almost the only ones that got any mention in historical records were those that became sufficiently powerful to threaten the regime of the day.

One of the earliest religious cults to grow into a political and military force was the Taiping Dao, or Way of the Great Peace.

Its leaders were Zhang Jue and his two brothers, who were venerated as sorcerers and healers by their followers, which numbered in the hundreds of thousands all over China.

Zhang Jue launched his armed rebellion against the Eastern Han dynasty in AD184. Known in history as the Yellow Turban Rebellion after the headgear of the rebel troops, the revolt was eventually put down after a few years, but the Eastern Han was so severely weakened that warlords tore it apart and the dynasty fell in 220.

In the Tang dynasty, a woman named Chen Shuozhen, who claimed to be immortal, led an armed rebellion against the local government in 653.

She even proclaimed herself the Wenjia Emperor, making her the first woman in Chinese history to bear the title huangdi, a full 37 years before Wu Zetian, the only officially recognised "female emperor" in China, took on the title in 690.

Chen's rebellion lasted only a month before her troops were routed by government forces. She was most likely killed in battle but many of her followers believed that she escaped death and ascended to heaven like an immortal, or survived and lived incognito among them.

The most recent cult that shook the nation before the 20th century was the Bai Shangdi Hui, or God Worshipping Society, a syncretic form of Christianity founded by Hong Xiuquan, who claimed to be Jesus Christ's younger brother.

In 1850, Hong led around 10,000 followers in an armed rebellion against the Qing dynasty and founded the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, a theocracy with him as the supreme ruler.

The Taiping Rebellion grew to such an extent that the Heavenly Kingdom occupied almost all the territories south of the Yangtze River at various stages of the rebellion."

9Now:  What life was really like inside the doomsday cult run by the paedophile known as 'Little Pebble'
"His devotees call him Little Pebble; his victims know him as a paedophile.

William Costellia Kamm is the self-appointed leader of a notorious doomsday cult that formed its headquarters in 1987, based in a secure compound in Cambewarra, just outside Nowra on the NSW South Coast.

At its height, thousands of pilgrims from around the world travelled to the bush setting for a spiritual experience like no other.

On the 13th day of each month, the Virgin Mary would appear to William - her apparition only visible to him - and he would pass on her messages and warnings to the gathered and devout crowd.

Watch full interview here on 9Now

He declared his compound the Holy Ground, a new promised land for his followers for when the apocalyptic second coming of Christ would wipe out most of mankind.

At the time, Kamm was married and had four children but unknown to his wife, this self-proclaimed Messiah was planning on creating a royal harem, filled with 12 queens and 72 princesses - 84 mystical spouses to bear his children to repopulate the earth.

Little Pebble claimed God chose who his brides would be but as Detective Chief Inspector Peter Yeomans from the State Crime Command puts it, it was Kamm who did all the grooming, and his preference was under-age girls.

"He was using religion in such a way that just split families. So, it was just awful and it continued for many many years. I see it as grooming with the families to get to these children and it's just terrible," he says.

In the Hinrichs family, Kamm found the perfect target. He discovered them on one of his many pilgrimages to Europe where he would drum up business by preaching his particularly conservative and fringe brand of Catholicism, for which he would ultimately be excommunicated by the Church.

Amongst the faithful in Munich, disaffected by the so-called modernisation of the Catholic Church, Kamm found Ingrid Hinrichs and her family of pretty blonde daughters.

This struggling family had already suffered unspeakable abuse. In the attentive Kamm, they believed they had found a benevolent saviour."

"A Japanese cult leader who famously claimed he could channel the spirit of any living or dead person has passed away at the age of 66. 

Ryuho Okawa, leader and CEO of the "Happy Science" cult, was rushed to hospital after collapsing in his home on Monday from an apparent "state of cardiac arrest." He finally passed on Thursday night, and his cause of death remains unconfirmed, according to Fuji TV.  

Okawa had remained a controversial figure for most of his life, claiming to have received "Messages of God" and to have the ability to channel the spirits of the rich and famous. Okawa would publish books based on what he said the spirits told him.  

His publications included addresses from the "guardian spirits" of Jesus Christ, former President Trump, Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He described his books as a form of "religious journalism."   

Okawa was born in 1956 in a rural area and graduated from the University of Tokyo. He founded the "Happy Science" cult in 1986 after he had an "epiphany" that he could speak with spirits, which told him that his mission was to "lead humanity to happiness."  

The group believed in Okawa's ability to channel spirits, as well as spiritual reincarnation and the construction of a global utopia.  

The cult claimed to have grown the group to include members in more than 110 countries and 700 related facilities both inside and outside the country. A New York Times report in 2020 cast doubt on the group's claims, including its boast of 11 million members, instead citing Okawa's first wife who said the group had roughly 30,000 members in 2011."

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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