Tag Archives | Cults

Christian Cult Leader And Business Tycoon Sun Myung Moon Dies

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:

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.

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Government And Police Department In Colorado City Accused Of Operating As A Branch Of Polygamist Cult

Chilling, imagine traveling the Southwest and accidentally wandering into a extreme theocracy. Via ABC News:

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.

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Dozens Of Children Freed From Subterranean Islamic Cult In Russia

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:

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.

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Body Missing from New Jersey Mausoleum; Police Suspect Palo Mayombe

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

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Papua New Guinea Authorities Arrest 29 Members Of Murderous, Brain-Eating Cannibal Cult

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:

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.

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Childhood Inside Scientology’s Sea Org

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:

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.

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Final Suspect In 1995 Tokyo Subway Poison Gas Attacks Caught

The Tokyo-based mystical cult Aum Shinrikyo's deadly terrorist attack, conducted to bring about the apocalypse, revealed the insanity hidden inside the sterile, hypermodern metropolis. The New York Times reports:
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.
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Grisly Death At A Mysterious Buddhist Desert Retreat

Southwestern chic and cults are both very hot right now. The New York Times on a strange Buddhist sect which blends years of silence, the pursuit of riches, and perhaps ritual stabbings:

Bowie, AZ— The rescuers had rappelled from a helicopter to a cave 7,000 feet up in a rugged desert mountain. Inside, they found a jug with about an inch of browned water. They found a woman, Christie McNally, thirsty and delirious. And they found her husband, Ian Thorson, dead, apparently from exposure and dehydration.

The puzzle only deepened when the authorities realized that the couple had been expelled from a nearby Buddhist retreat in which dozens of adherents, living in rustic conditions, had pledged to meditate silently for three years, three months and three days. Their spiritual leader was a charismatic Princeton-educated monk whom some have accused of running the retreat as a cult.

The monk who ran the retreat, Michael Roach, had previously run a diamond business worth tens of millions of dollars and was now promoting Buddhist principles as a path to financial prosperity, raising eyebrows from more traditional Buddhists.

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Living With The Jesus Of Siberia

The Church of the Last Testament is equipped with solar energy, vegetable gardens, and trampolines, money is meaningless, and children sing pop songs and chase after adorable animals. As far as 21st-century Jesus reincarnations, this has to be one of the most convincing:
Deep in Siberia's Taiga forest is Vissarion, a cult leader who looks like Jesus and claims to be the voice of God. He's known as "the Teacher" to his 4,000 followers...who [possess an] unflinching belief in UFOs and the Earth's imminent demise.
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Swiss Woman Starves to Death on Sunlight Diet

SunlightVia the Herald Sun:

The woman embarked on the diet after watching the controversial 2010 documentary film In The Beginning There Was Light, newspaper Tages Anzeiger said.

The movie centres on Swiss chemistry doctor Michael Werner, 62, and 83-year-old Indian yogi Prahlad Jani, who both claim to derive sustenance from spiritual means rather than the intake of food — a concept also known as breatharianism.

Werner claims to have lived without food since 2001, while Jani told the documentary of how he had lived for 70 years not only without food, but also without water.

The woman, from the east of Switzerland, saw the movie and decided to try to survive entirely on light, preparing for the process by reading a book by Australian breatharian Ellen Greve, who goes by the name Jasmuheen. In line with the book, the Swiss woman, who was in her early 50s, did not eat or drink anything for a week — and even spat out her saliva — before resuming drinking in the second and third weeks.

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