Tag Archives | cult

Rajneeshpuram [Free Documentary]

In 1981, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual leader from India, and thousands of his disciples, set out to build a new city, a utopian community in the desert — Rajneeshpuram — on what had been the Big Muddy Ranch in Eastern Oregon. Thousands of people from around the world gathered here to celebrate life and transform the landscape. But by 1986, they were gone.

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Scientology: My First Audit

AJ+ (a recently launched digital-only news network from Al Jazeera) has just released this short on Scientology. AJ+’s Francesca Fiorentini visited the Church of Scientology in San Francisco for her very first dip into the religion, or, as some would call it, cult. In Scientology, “going clear” means reaching a state of happiness and freedom. To get there, you’ve got to go through “audits.” Years of them.

Follow AJ+ on Facebook.

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Cult Leaders That Used Sex to Control

John Humphrey Noyes, (1811-1886)

John Humphrey Noyes, (1811-1886)

In the book Raping the Gods, by Brian Whitney, a ghostwriter is hired to ghostwrite the memoirs of Dylan, a deranged, fantastically wealthy sex addict, who lives in Samoa with his female sex slaves. Dylan’s had a profound spiritual awakening during a vision quest he went on with a local tribe. He thinks he met God. Actually, he thinks he met God and had sex with Him. Raped Him, in fact. Throughout all of Dylan’s insanity and abuse his slaves remain unwavering.

Many people throughout time have used sex to take control of people’s minds. When it comes to keeping someone under your control, banging them while slowly exerting power over their minds and bodies is possibly the best way to do that. It is true that other methods can work. You can threaten someone, beat them, isolate them, financially exploit them, but none of those are as effective as sex.… Read the rest

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Inside the Sex Cult of ‘Christ’

M.I. Nestel has written an extensive profile of the “self-professed holy man, Victor Arden Barnard,” over at The Daily Beast. Barnard was captured in Brazil on Friday after being on the run for about a year for allegedly having sex with girls as young as 12.

He claimed to be a Savior. But he turned on the teenage girls in his flock. And when they spoke up, he went on the lam.
“Christ in the flesh” has been captured. And now, his alleged victims and embittered kin are left to process the damage he’s wrought.

Self-professed holy man Victor Arden Barnard, 53, was busted in a beachside community in Brazil on Friday after almost a year on the run—and three months on the U.S. Marshals Service’s Most Wanted List. For years, according to court documents, Barnard had his way with several girls as young as 12, including a Brazilian exchange student, and also fornicated with church members’ wives back in his sect’s original compound based in Finlayson, Minnesota.

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A Forgotten Midwestern Religious Sect

istolethetv (CC BY 2.0)

istolethetv (CC BY 2.0)

via The Paris Review:

In 1988, when I was ten, my parents moved to a five-acre farm between the rust-belt city of Rockford and the village of Winnebago. Not being from the area, they were naturally curious about the history, and one of them found a Works Progress Administration history of Illinois in the library. In that book, we discovered that the country road we lived on had once not been so somnolent. A block north of us, a large complex of buildings painted red bore the name Weldon Farm, but once it had been called Heaven. In the 1880s it had been the center of an obscure religious sect—still lacking a Wikipedia entry of their own—called the Beekmanites. A woman named Dorinda Beekman had declared herself to be Jesus, as one did in those days; she died after promising to rise from the dead in three days.

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The American Cult of Bombing

Car bombing in Iraq, 2005. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Car bombing in Iraq, 2005. Via Wikimedia Commons.

William J. Astore outlines America’s history of bombing and how we can expect more of it.

via TomDispatch (please follow the link to read the entire piece):

When you do something again and again, placing great faith in it, investing enormous amounts of money in it, only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn’t be entirely surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity or asked you if you were part of some cult.  Yet few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behavior of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe).

Poor Iraq. From Operation Desert Shield/Storm under George H.W. Bush to enforcing no-fly zones under Bill Clinton to Operation Iraqi Freedom under George W. Bush to the latest “humanitarian” bombing under Barack Obama, the one constant is American bombs bursting in Iraqi desert air. 

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Inside the Chinese cult that killed a “demon” in McDonald’s

Critic posts against Almighty God church in Beijing, close to Confucius Temple. By Mongol via Wikimedia Commons

Critic posts against Almighty God church in Beijing, close to Confucius Temple. By Mongol via Wikimedia Commons

I guess refusing to give out your phone number makes you a demon.

via BBC:

China is about to try one of the most notorious murders in recent memory.

In late May a group belonging to a banned cult beat a woman to death in a fast food restaurant. Her only crime was to refuse to give them her telephone number.

The cult in question is called the Church of the Almighty God and claims to have millions of members.

It was an ordinary evening in a small town McDonald’s in east China until a family of six arrived trying to recruit new members to their Christian cult.

They moved between the tables asking for phone numbers and when one diner refused they beat her to death, screaming at other diners to keep away or they would face the same fate.

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New Photography Exhibit: Warhol, Burroughs, Lynch

Warhol, Lynch, BurroughsAndy Warhol is better remembered for his paintings, and even his films, than for the hundreds of photographs he took in the last period of his career. William Burroughs’ legacy counts writing and even painting before his drawn-on photographs. David Lynch is a known cinematic genius who happens to love capturing still images of massive industrial spaces.

Each of these tertiary bodies of work would be fascinating to see on exhibit, but a gallery in England has decided to display photos by all three artists in a trio of contiguous exhibitions. I know, it’s blowing my mind right now. Here’s the word from Channel 4:

They’re three of the key counter-cultural figures of the 20th century: Andy Warhol the pop artist, William Burroughs the cult novelist and the film maker David Lynch.

Now a trio of exhibitions at London’s Photographers’ Gallery shows us another side to these men – the view from behind their stills cameras.Read the rest

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Sinners in the Hands: When is a church a cult?

Antichrist with the devil, from the Deeds of t...

Antichrist with the devil, from the Deeds of the Antichrist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)(PD)

Depending on which definition (2, 5A&B) of cult, all churches can be one. They all certainly start out as one, perhaps sect is a more polite term. Sometimes a cult is non religious altogether, we here at disinfo can be perceived as one. Depending on how loosely one views the definition of course. I digress, this article talks about a family that has lost their daughter to a nondenominational New Testament church. Called the Church of Wells.

via Texas Monthly

Andy and Patty Grove never planned to settle outside of Texas. Their roots in the state reach back many generations. Patty’s ancestors came to Texas on a wagon train from Tennessee in the 1830’s (an elementary school in Houston is named for her great-grandfather); Andy’s father owned a tract of land that is now part of the posh Houston neighborhood of Hedwig Village.

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