Thirteen members of a Southern California religious sect, including children as young as 3, who went missing this weekend were found alive and well at a California park today. Steve Whitmore, the spokesman for the LA Sherriff's Dept., announced the news this afternoon that the group was found at 11:55 a.m. at Jackie Robinson Park in Palmdale, Calif. Believed to be led by Reyna Marisol Chicas, a 32-year-old woman from Palmdale, the group left behind cell phones, identification, deeds to property and disturbing letters before disappearing on Saturday, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Captain Mike Parker. Authorities said it appeared they had gone off to await an apocalyptic event...
Tag Archives | Cults
A sad tale of a modern-day cult, only with more money — a lot more money — than usual. From the New York Observer:
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The heiress wanted to meet the Dalai Lama. She wanted the Dalai Lama to be her friend. She had been obsessed with him for two and a half years.
“I was literally in my bedroom one day listening to his tapes and thought to myself, ‘Wow, this guy is amazing!'” Sara Bronfman told an Albany AM radio host last year. When His Holiness arrived in town the next day, Ms. Bronfman could take credit for his presence.
During her dilettantish early 20s, Ms. Bronfman continued, she never would never have conceived of such an ambition, but for the previous five years she had been immersed in Executive Success Programs (ESP), a self-help regimen administered by the local organization NXIVM (pronounced Nex-ee-um). It was an experience she found singularly emboldening.
Beyond Growth – Technoccult interviews Duff McDuffee and Eric Schiller:
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Duff: Ok. Well, from what I understand it largely emerged in the early 20th century when New Thought religious ideas became popular and were applied to worldly success. The basic idea was contained in such books as Think and Grow Rich and As a Man Thinketh.
The notion was that you could create stuff with the power of your mind. The correlary is that if you aren’t getting what you want, you need to do a kind of mental hygeine and clean up your stinkin’ thinkin’ (to quote Zig Ziglar).
So you have people like Napolean Hill, who died broke by the way, writing books on how to get rich by visualizing and affirming one’s future wealth.
Eric: In Douglas Rushkoff’s book Life Inc. he argues that ‘personal development’ or self help found its place in corporations, in order to help the remaining staff become more efficient after job cuts.
Dead at 89, Paul Schaefer sounds like a monster out of a horror movie, but he was terrifyingly real. Strangest detail: “He had a glass eye, having accidentally gouged out his right eye while trying to untie a shoelace knot with a fork.” The Washington Post reports:
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Paul Schaefer, 89, a German-born evangelical preacher who was convicted of sexually abusing 25 children while leading one of the world’s most notorious anti-Semitic and apocalyptic sects, died April 24 of a heart ailment at a prison hospital in Chile.
His enclave in southern Chile, Colonia Dignidad…doubled during the 1970s and ’80s as a detention and torture center for opponents of right-wing dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
At the time of his death, Mr. Schaefer was still under investigation in the 1985 disappearance of mathematician Boris Weisfeiler, an American citizen who went missing while hiking near Colonia Dignidad.
Mr. Schaefer turned to preaching after serving in the German military during World War II.
Listen to the episode at SittingNow
This week I talk to one of my new favourite authors (and guests), Arthur Goldwag. Arthur is the author of the recently published ‘Cults, Conspiracies, & Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull & Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order‘, a fantastic book that I recommend to anyone that wants to be introduced to these fascinating topics in a more logical, and non-bias fashion.
In this episode we discuss: The mindset of conspiracy theorists, why the Freemasons are blamed for everything evil in the world, how L. Ron Hubbard’s rise to power baffles us, some of the weirdest cults out there, and the age old question: is Lady Gaga a puppet of the Illuminati?
From the Telegraph:
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Two former Scientologists have shone a less than flattering spotlight on the controversial organization, which counts the actors John Travolta and Tom Cruise among its followers, in a landmark lawsuit.
In the test case against the US-based Church of Scientology, Marc Headley and his wife, Claire, have told how they were treated like slaves and forced to work 20-hour days almost continually through the year.
Mrs Headley claims she was coerced into having an abortion, while Mr Headley has spoken about how he was subjected to a strange mind-control practise by the actor Tom Cruise.
Both were members of Sea Org, the Scientologists’ “religious order” and a supposedly elite vanguard made up of its most dedicated recruits, and signed up to the religion when they were still teenagers.
Members of the order sign a billion-year pledge of loyalty, promise not to have children, and live and work communally.
I never thought of Bob Dobbs’ Church Of The Subgenius as a UFO Cult, but that’s how it’s described in this news wire release:
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CLEVELAND (Wireless Flash) — A Cleveland-based UFO cult claims Doomsday is finally coming after years of false alarms.
The Church of the Subgenius is a satirical “church” supposedly founded by a man named J.R. “Bob” Dobbs in 1953. Today, Rev. Ivan Stang runs the parody cult, which has thousands of members who pay $30 to get in and receive “important-looking documents filled with made-up words.”
On July 5, Subgenius will host “X-Day” in New York, a bizarre ceremony to celebrate the end
of the world. Each year, they predict that Armageddon will come on July 5 and members will be saved by flying saucers carrying “alien sex goddesses.” These aliens will pleasure members for eternity, or Stang says they get triple their Church dues back.
He calls the party one last hurrah among “nerdy boys” and “weirdos,” though he’d be surprised if UFOs actually came.
Raised as Scientologists, Christie King Collbran and her husband, Chris, were recruited as teenagers to work for the elite corps of staff members who keep the Church of Scientology running, known as the Sea Organization, or Sea Org. They signed a contract for a billion years — in keeping with the church’s belief that Scientologists are immortal. They worked seven days a week, often on little sleep, for sporadic paychecks of $50 a week, at most. But after 13 years and growing disillusionment, the Collbrans decided to leave...
On the AP via the Sydney Morning Herald:
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For more than a week, Ria Ramkissoon watched passively as her one-year-old son wasted away, denied food and water because the older woman she lived with said it was God’s will. Javon Thompson was possessed by an evil spirit, Ramkissoon was told, because he didn’t say “Amen” during a mealtime prayer. Javon didn’t talk much, given his age, but he had said “Amen” before, Ramkissoon testified in a US court in Baltimore.
On the day Javon died, Ramkissoon was told to “nurture him back to life”. She mashed up some carrots and tried to feed the boy, but he was no longer able to swallow. Ramkissoon put her hands on his chest to confirm that his heart had stopped beating.
Ramkissoon and several other people knelt down and prayed that he would rise from the dead.