The prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham has taken public steps to embrace Mitt Romney for president this week, removing Romney’s Mormon religion from a list of cults on his website and taking out an advertisement that appears to urge people to vote for Romney. Graham’s Evangelistic Association removed the word Mormon from its website, where it used to be listed along with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientology as a cult...
Tag Archives | Cults
Soup, rather than Kool-Aid, was likely the method to be utilized. The Daily Mail reports:
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Police swooped on a Brazilian doomsday cult just 10 minutes before more than 100 followers were about to commit mass suicide by drinking poisoned soup.
Elite troops burst into a building where self-proclaimed prophet Luis Pereira dos Santos had barricaded himself in after predicting the world would end at 8pm. There was believed to be an exchange of gunfire between the group and police who used gas bombs and pepper spray during the assault. Santos was arrested as officers took away a tub containing a sweet paste made from Caju fruit which they suspected contained a toxic product.
Known to his flock as Daddy Luis, Santos had claimed an angel visited four years ago telling him the exact time the world was going to end. Last month, the 43-year-old spiritual leader instructed his 113 followers to leave their jobs, give away all their possessions and take their children out of school, police confirmed.
The International Cultic Studies Association has a roundup of life advice from the just-deceased reverend, whose spiritual insight led to a multibillion-dollar business empire, millions of devotees, and the admiration and friendship of presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush:
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On Democracy: “My dream is to organize a Christian political party including…all the sects. Then, the communist power will be helpless before ours….But when it comes to our age, we must have an automatic theocracy to rule the world.
On Lies: “If you tell a lie to make a person better, then that is not a sin.”
On Race: “Father thinks about the three races, yellow, black, and white. Orientals can contribute in the spiritual aspect, white people can contribute in the analytical, scientific area, while black people can contribute in the physical area.”
On Marriage: “You will be happy to die on the earliest possible date. You will be pleased, won’t you?
His ideas were insane and his vast influence dangerous, but viewed as performance art, his mass weddings of thousands of international strangers at basketball arenas must be appreciated. Via the Los Angeles Times:
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The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed Messiah from South Korea who led the Unification Church, one of the most controversial religious movements to sweep America in the 1970s, has died. He was 92. At the height of his popularity, he claimed 5 million members worldwide…followers [who] were mocked as “Moonies.”
Moon offered an unorthodox message that blended calls for world peace with an unusual interpretation of Christianity, strains of Confucianism and a strident anti-communism. He was famous for presiding over mass marriage ceremonies.
What also made Moon unusual was a multinational corporate vision that made him a millionaire many times over. He owned vast tracts of land in the U.S. and South America, as well as dozens of enterprises, including a ballet company, a university, a gun manufacturer, a seafood operation and several media organizations, most notably the conservative Washington Times newspaper.
Chilling, imagine traveling the Southwest and accidentally wandering into a extreme theocracy. Via ABC News:
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Police in Arizona are beginning daily patrols in Colorado City, a polygamist community that was once home to Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) leader Warren Jeffs.
The patrols come after a complaint was filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against the Colorado City government and local marshal’s office alleging…the Colorado City Marshal’s Office “routinely uses its enforcement authority to enforce the edicts and will of the FLDS; fails to protect non-FLDS individuals from victimization by FLDS individuals; refuses to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies’ investigations of FLDS individuals; selectively enforces laws against non-FLDS; and uses its authority to facilitate unlawful evictions of non-FLDS, among other unlawful conduct.”
In April, the Arizona House of Representatives killed a bill that would have replaced local police in the town with Mohave County sheriff’s deputies.
Led by a delirious, bedridden, elderly self-described prophet, the so-called “catacomb sect” was attempting to establish an underground kingdom. Via the BBC, a likely preview of how we will all be living in twenty years:
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Four members of a breakaway Muslim sect in Russia’s Tatarstan region have been charged with cruelty against children for allegedly keeping them underground.
Police discovered 27 children and 38 adults living in catacomb-like cells in an eight-level underground bunker. The sect was uncovered last week in a suburb of the city of Kazan during an investigation into recent attacks on Muslim clerics in Tatarstan, a mainly Muslim region on the River Volga. Prosecutors said some of the children had lived there for more than a decade.
The sect’s elderly leader, Faizrakhman Sattarov, who had declared himself a Muslim prophet, had reportedly wanted to build his own Islamic caliphate beneath the ground. He and his followers began to shun the outside world in the early part of this century.
Via CBS News:
A corpse has disappeared from a Pleasantvile, NJ family crypt, and Chief of Police Rocky Melendez believes that practitioners of the Afro-Caribbean religion Palo Mayombe may have been involved:
Spinelli’s body was dressed in a powdered blue gown when it was taken, according to Lafolette. Police are still investigating.
“To go the extra step and remove the casket, pry it open and remove the body, I don’t want to hang my hat on just vandalism,” Melendez said.
According to CBS Philly, police said the body may have been taken for use in some sort of ritual. They are looking into possible cult or religious activity including one group called Palo Mayombe.
“It has been said that they do use human remains and animals to do…either their sacrifices or their religious services,” Melendez said.
Chief Melendez may be jumping to conclusions in assuming Palo Mayombe’s involvement, but he may be justified in doing so: There have been several grave-robbing incidences in New Jersey connected with practitioners of the religion.… Read the rest
Similar to the Mafia, except that the sorcery-dabbling cannibal cult conducts extortion by threatening to eat your brain and steal your soul rather than threatening to break your legs. Via the Huffington Post:
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Authorities have arrested 29 people accused of being part of a cannibal cult in Papua New Guinea’s jungle interior and charged them with the murders of seven suspected witch doctors, police said Friday. Madang Police Commander Anthony Wagambie confirmed… that the cult members ate their victims’ brains raw and made soup from their penises.
“They don’t think they’ve done anything wrong; they admit what they’ve done openly,” Wagambie told The Associated Press by telephone.
He said the killers believed that their victims practiced “sanguma,” or sorcery, and that they had been extorting money as well as demanding sex from poor villagers for their supernatural services. By eating witch doctors’ organs, the cult members believed they would attain supernatural powers and literally become bullet-proof.
Via the Daily Beast, Astra Woodcraft shares her youthful memories of and the tale of her escape from a Scientology compound in Florida, including out of body experiences, marriage at age fifteen, and an odd beverage of choice called CalMag:
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I was 7 years old when I entered the Orwellian world of rules, rewards, and punishments known as the Church of Scientology. Prior to that, I had led a relatively normal life with my family in London. Then my mother decided to become more involved with the church, and we moved to Clearwater, Florida, where she joined a religious order called the Sea Organization. She signed a contract commiting herself to the group for a billion years—covering her future lives, as the church believes people are immortal. We settled into a compound with other families. The year was 1986.
The Sea Org came along after Scientology, in 1967, initially operating from several ships.
After 17 years, the man thought to be the final suspect from the doomsday cult behind the 1995 nerve-gas poisoning that killed 13 people and injured thousands of others was arrested on Friday, the police said. Investigators arrested the suspect, Katsuya Takahashi, 54, near an Internet cafe in central Tokyo after receiving a tip that a man resembling the fugitive had been spotted there. The cult’s blind leader, Chizuo Matsumoto, was convicted of masterminding the attack and has been sentenced to death.